Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Ghost of Summer Vacation

Well, it's summer break and I should be ecstatic. At least, that's the way I always remembered summer break as a kid. Back then I was on my local swim team, which meant I got up even earlier than when school was in session, but I didn't mind that at all. I had a great group of friends, that I predominantly only saw during the summer as they attended different middle and high schools than I did. But man, those were the days. This past year, I worked at a middle school so on June 15th when the kids were celebrating their freedom, I was doing the same. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying not working at the middle school. I feel like can hear all you people who are at work reading this right now groaning and telling me to appreciate my down time. Relish in it, make the most of it. I know, I know, I should be grateful to have a summer break as a 27 year old. But when you think about it, it's depressing as all hell.

What this really means is I still have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I'm not going back to the middle school in the fall. Public education is just not for me. There are a lot of really great people who are involved in educating the minds of tomorrow and that's great. But I couldn't swing the Monday through Friday early wake up, no hats, no gum, rules. It's not that I mind rules all that much, but having to follow the same ones as the kids is a bit annoying. And something about the whole system just rubs me the wrong way. Why is it that once your child turns 5, they start spending more time at school, with other random adults, than they do with their own parents. That's odd to me. Some of the kids I worked with saw their mom or dad for about an hour each night before going to sleep due to work schedules. Some of my kids had to get up at 4am to see their parents before leaving for the day and being asleep by the time the kid got out of after school program at 6pm. To me, it just doesn't make sense. I mean, was school really just made accessible to all so that parents could work more? That's what it feels like, one giant day care for the children of the dregs of society so that they can contribute more hours to working and less to child rearing. And then, the government pays those who watch the children next to nothing, like glorified babysitters, even though they have to go through so much schooling to do a job that has very little glory and no glamor. No, I'm not going back in the fall.

So, I've been looking for bartending or serving positions. Something to supplement my part time job at the Altarena Playhouse in Alameda. But it's hard to find a position as a bartender or server these days. So many people looking, so few jobs. Which I guess is still the case everywhere and in every profession. I heard on the radio the other day that the Great Recession officially ended three years ago. If that's the case, why is it so hard to get a god damn job?! Or rather, why is it so hard to get a second job? Or just one job that pays well enough that I don't need two jobs? And what should that job be.

I've been obsessed with working for Lonely Planet for about ten years now. Lonely Planet is my bible. Since traveling is my favorite thing on the face of the planet (with my puppy dogs coming in a close second), working for Lonely Planet would be the best thing that could ever happen to me. And since I've been living in the Bay Area I have applied several times to their general base that they pull from when they have openings. There are three locations in the world where Lonely Planet has publishing offices, London, Melbourne, and Oakland. I should be a shoe-in. But I'm not. They are no longer accepting general applications, nor are they accepting freelance writers, nor book ideas, nor interns. They have too many applicants. Of course they do. There are too many damn people on the planet!

I had not planned on getting up this morning and ranting about life in general. I had not planned on anything for this morning. Each one of these aimless summer days is filled with the few same tasks: walk the dogs, clean up the house a bit, go check on the cat that I'm pet-sitting, and get in some form of exercise, a run, or the gym. Other than that, I don't plan on or seem to accomplish much. And I know, I can hear you grumblers again saying start a project, get a hobby, go enjoy the sunshine. But you know what, I don't want to hear it. Today, I'm grumpy and that is how I'll spend this glorious summer day, thinking about how there are too many people on the planet, and how summer break just isn't what it was.

Maybe I should get a slip-n-slide.

1 comment:

  1. I used to think that if I got a job with the company that I wanted, that they would make me what I wanted to be. I've now determined to be what I want to be- and then maybe a company will seek me out for what I am. It's like a relationship- knowing who you are and being secure in yourself before you can be with someone else. Sure, sometimes it works out the other way, but that usually becomes very codependent and doesn't fit your individual personality (or mine).