SM has this question she asks people, “If you had a million dollars, or whatever amount appeals to you — enough to take care of you for life — but you still had to work, what would you be doing?” It’s her way of getting inside their heads and learning their true passions, and she likes to help those folks move to doing the job that they would love doing more than anything else, if income were no longer a factor.

My answer, during our marathon five-hour business/chatting session yesterday at Mickey D’s, was, “The job I have now.” (This should make IKEA Boy happy.) It’s the truth … I love interviewing people and coming up with story ideas and angles, and while it’s a frustrating process to pull together the interviews into coherent articles, it’s an activity that I enjoy. I know I have several sleepless nights ahead of me this week (as it’s deadline week), but I’m okay with that — it’s great to have some easy workdays tempered with some really crazy ones, whereas at Two Strikes, it was havoc every single day. My workdays are no longer filled with terror, and I no longer struggle to apologize for decisions I made to a CEO who had empowered me to make those very decisions. Yeah, I’ve jumped out of the fast lane and into an environment where I pretty much set my own schedule and am generally rewarded and even complimented on some of that work.

At any rate, living on $16K less per year hurts and is nearly impossible, but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a temporary financial mess, one that will improve only if I make efforts to improve it (i.e., getting promoted, taking on additional responsibilities, writing books and maybe even teaching classes or doing freelance work). And I’ve been so much luckier in life than a lot of other folks in the world, so really, while I’m not where I wanted to be at age 28, perhaps in the next few years, I will have made so many strides toward those goals that I will “catch up” to where I hope to be at menopause! heh heh.

IKEA Boy took me out for a night on the town last night. I didn’t get home till after 6 a.m., and I didn’t get out of bed till about 4:30 p.m. (Before arriving at home, my dumb ass was entirely too messed up to take a ride, which I did, and I got lost in Fairfax County somewhere.) And I’m still incredibly tired and reeling from the incredible mixture of drinkey and smokey activities. Although IKEA Boy and I talk every day, we don’t really “talk” talk, not like we did last night. I got to see yet another of the many sides of his dynamic personality, and I learned so much about him and the horrors and sadness that he’s seen in his young lifetime. A part of me feels terrible that I wasn’t there for some of it, but moreover, I am glad that I can be there for him now and for a long time to come. We will probably be siblings in our next lives, because that’s what we have become in this one. I’m glad to see all that he has done and is doing to set his life on the right track and overcome the various obstacles in his path … I am inspired by the person into which he has evolved. Now, all I need to do is kick myself in my own ass, so I can be proud of myself, as well.

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