The diploma I earned from my Master’s program at the University of Denver hangs directly above my toilet. It’s not that I’m not proud of my achievement – I am. I worked as hard as my left-leaning, socialist pinko-commie* brain would let me during those 18 months of torture. I am not interested in the world of big business but I went to classes and did my work and earned my degree. The whole time I was in that program I felt like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. I clearly didn’t think like my peers. I didn’t have the drive and determination to take over the world. I don’t want to think outside of the box and there was nothing that could incentivize me to break the freaking glass ceiling. I just wanted to have a meaningful life without the use of corporate buzzwords to get me through my daily dose of productivity. I thought that if I went to business school that maybe I could take that education and start a really cool non-profit that would help others have a meaningful life, too. Oh, okay, I wanted to impress my un-impressable in-laws, as well. Unfortunately for me, my divorce was final just months after earning that piece of paper, so it was mostly for nothing. It was a very expensive mistake. That’s what I get for caring what someone else thought of me.
Most people have a nice office where they can hang their pricy piece of parchment. My post-MBA work-life has confined me to a world of mostly of cubicles. There was no solid wall in which to put a nail, and at the time there was no clip or velcro strong enough to support my $40,000 piece of paper. So my diploma hung in a fairly inconspicuous place in a house that cost about 2/3 more than my education did. Something that should be an impressive achievement spent most of its days longing for a better piece of real estate.
Of course, we all know the next bit of the story: Ben got sick. Work ended then. The world of big business seemed absolutely ludicrous to me. Nothing else was important besides getting my son well and caring for my newborn daughter. My diploma kinda just floated around from space to inconspicuous space for the next few years as I braved the next phase of my life that no degree on earth could have ever prepared me for. I didn’t work for eight years.
So now that Ben is better and my life is a lot different, I’m trying to piece things back together. Some days it works. Some days it doesn’t.
I’ve been working as a temp off and on because I was out of the workforce for so long. Usually, I get passed over right away for jobs because Big Business doesn’t understand that the “little people” have lives – and they especially don’t understand when people have catastrophic lives. It’s not like I was sitting around eating bonbons for eight years. And so what if I was? If they can’t own you round the clock you’ll never advance to the point where you’re allowed to take time off for a sick child or a doctor’s appointment without feeling guilty that you’re not giving them your all. They want your first-born. Well, I’m sorry, but I’ve worked too damn hard to keep my first-born. I’m not going to give him away to some sleazoid piece of crap who won’t appreciate him. And who obviously doesn’t appreciate me.
So, with that said, I was released from my job yesterday because I took Ben to a doctor’s appointment and then the next day I was a few minutes late because there was an accident on the way in to work. I gave plenty of notice on the appointment and I called when I knew I was going to be late. It sucks being a temp, you’re treated more like a disposable diaper than an actual person. I was told the day prior to my release that I was doing a really good job, so… it doesn’t make any sense. I spent all last night wondering WTF happened but today I’m trying to not dwell on it and just move forward. At the very least, now I have some time to get other projects done, like write. I’m more the creative type anyway.
Don’t ever try to be something you’re not. I’ve declared war on selling myself out for so little – maybe that will bring me some peace. I’m inventing a backup plan – one that involves my creativity. Because, in all honestly, that’s what I truly excel at. I’m scared, but hell, what’s new? I’m always scared.
I just want to have a meaningful life. I’m not going to get there by doing what I’ve been doing. I need to put all my gifts together -find the synergy- and grab the low hanging fruit. Ugh. I guess I can’t exorcise those MBA demons completely after all. 😉
And the next time I run out of TP when I’m dropping off “bonbons” at least I’ll have a backup plan directly above my head.
*Note: I wouldn’t say that I’m a socialist pinko-commie, but I have heard this descriptor of me from others on more than one occasion. It fit into my story so I used it. I’m more of a middle-of-the-road girl, which I should revisit because all that’s going to get me is hit by a truck.
Thanks, Mike DiTommaso, for the word. I tried to write about candy, I truly did, but this is what came out. It’s been a joy following you on FB the last couple of years. I know we didn’t know each other well during high school but I’m glad we’re in touch now and I appreciate your friendship! Even if you are a conservative.