Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unemployment: Day One

I called my dad yesterday morning before hopping on a plane to San Francisco and he scoffed when I cheerily told him that I have now joined the ranks of the unemployed.  And by ranks, I mean half of my friends.  This has NOTHING to do with the fact that we are twenty-somethings who have never done anything longer than 9 months and who are in the front lines of the ADHD Gen Y-ers, ever itching for a new phone/ipod/laptop/vacation/sitcom/bar/car/graduatedegree/job to hold our amusement.  That is not a relevant point in this conversation.  But as it goes, I happen to not be exaggerating in this particular instance (yes, I will admit, I occasionally, once in a blue moon, exaggerate for effect.  It’s part of my job description.  Yes, being a blogger is the closest thing I have to a job right now, so JUST DROP IT, OK??).  I literally had to stop and count how many of my friends are unemployed, not currently working for various reasons, or changing jobs, heck, altogether changing industries.  From one of my college roommates who is picking up her life from Miami to go to grad school in Austin to a friend who finished TFA and is going into ministry back in his home state of Ohio, to another TFA alum who is spending his summer doing a Lehman Brothers internship (Well, at least until the bank folds) in attempt to figure out his life, or my friend who was laid off out of the blue from her swank advertising job and has decided to start her own Non-Profit.  And that is the short list.  

So while my father thinks I am an anomaly, in fact I am much less unique than he would ever like to let himself believe.  Because then he would have to stop his disdainful scoffing every time I speak to him.  All for different reasons and all in different industries and circumstances, but alas, we are banded together by our unemployed status.  And as Type A New Yorkers, we’re all secretly freaking out.  Well, actually, I’m not freaking out at all, but I guess it seemed like the right thing to write.  Maybe I’m in denial.  Or maybe I'm just in California, a state so mellow it puts Jack Johnson to shame.  But I am so excited for this next year that I cannot even contain my grin.  It’s falling off my face onto my lap half the time, and I just want to share some of my joy with all of my friends who are chugging along from 9-7 and say, “Hey, come on over, it's much more fun on this side of the fence." 

I must say, however, that I had a wonderful job for two years, and no words quite encompass my gratitude for all that I learned, both professionally and personally at Easton Associates.  More importantly, I left with friends, with family that will be with me for the rest of my life.  This was all brought together on my last day when they threw me  a party.  Which was odd, considering I have planned nearly every single social event since the day I started.  So to be on the receiving end and have absolutely no input was just disorienting.  But altogether wonderful.  For the baker, they baked.  For the blogger, they blogged.  Each person in my company wrote a "blog entry" about what it would be without me at EA, what they will miss, what they cherished.  And let me just tell you, the waterworks were going full speed ahead as I read through all the heart-felt and often hilarious memos.  Truly the best possible ending to the chapter as a healthcare consultant.   

I anticipate many adventures in the coming year.  First up: San Francisco. Ready, set, go.

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