‘You’ll be happy and wholesome again / When the city clears and the sun ascends’

Yeah, yeah — another Planned Parenthood rally photo. But that’s because my participation has gotten me thinking even more so than usual.

I just watched my DVR’d “Give it up for Greg Giraldo” special. And I know now that the reason he was so damn intelligent and thoughtful (and therefore so quick and brilliant in his comedy) was that he lived and breathed current events, politics and human nature.

That’s why this Harvard-educated lawyer gave it all up one day and said, fuck it, I’m going to do something I love now.

I remember when I was passionate about my work. My whole career, I lived and breathed the concept of being better than the best. I didn’t know what it took to be the smartest person in my vocation, but I was hellbent on doing everything to make myself the smartest person in the room.

And somewhere about three years and three jobs ago, I lost that passion. At some point, the hamster wheel just kept spinning and I never really stepped off of it. I’d say it was somewhere around 2008, when I had to give up the hundredth personal commitment because there was too fucking much work to do, that my heart disconnected from a ventricle and, therefore, from my head.

And I’m a logic-ruled person. For as flighty and impulsive as I can be, the head always wins. Even if it’s merely the subconscious manifesting its own destiny, my heart’s vote is never the deciding one.

“And my heart told my head
Let love grow
And my head told my heart
This time no
This time no.”

— Mumford & Sons, “Winter Winds”

I just read a great article on “Is it me, or are all my bosses jerks?” The idea being, of course, that you may work for one dud but if you have three in a row, the common denominator is you.


OK, but when you get (or a friend gets) dumped for the umpteenth time, you don’t place the blame on yourself (or them). Oh, no. It’s the other person! And we just keep picking losers, right?

I do believe that, to some extent. Don’t get me wrong — there are some self-serving jerks out there. But I like to maintain hope that ultimately everyone is looking for the cheese to their macaroni. (Gratuitous “Juno” reference, since it was on today.)

But yeah, I went from two awesome bosses at Ye Olde Workplace Establishment, to another boss there and then two more jobs, and the article felt like it was saying, “Yo, Goddess … ever considered that you’re the problem?”

Alas, if I were someone counseling me from a relationship point of view,I would say to myself that I tried but that none of them were marriage material. Sure, you can live together fairly peacefully and have some common interests. But all in all, I wanted the toilet seat down and they left poop particles in the bowl. Or they wanted the place sparkling clean yet I befriended the dust bunnies. Whatever.

I’m in a really scary place right now, workwise. I have a job that mercifully paid me a retainer up front, and I haven’t had much time to give them. And on the other side of the scale, I have another that won’t pony up a penny and yet someone there has the cojones to imply that my immersion in research into their company history (including reading all the experts’ books) means that I shouldn’t be paid because I didn’t turn in my work FIVE DAYS EARLY.

Good God, I gave them a delivery schedule and adhered to it. Are they going to be the fourth employer I have to put behind me in just as many years?!?!

And don’t get me started on the other projects I said “yes” to that I haven’t even gotten started on. I am an idiot, I know. I just know that when times turn desperate, I shine.

I’m still counting on that to happen, BTW. Lord have mercy.

But the Goddess who happily (or, at least, compliantly) worked 80- to 100-hour workweeks is dead. Seriously, her mind is at the beach. I can fucking see the sand from my bedroom but I never go because I am parked at the damn computer all day.

I’m fine with that, for now. I’m A-OK with following up on all my commitments. But I am saying right now that I do NOT expect this to be a long-term situation.

Here’s the deal, and I’m afraid to say it but that’s never stopped me before. 🙂 I got accustomed to not working. I mean, I got up every morning, took a shower, made coffee and set about contacting everyone I know who could help me.

And then I settled in for a nice afternoon of “Ghost Whisperer” and taking a walk after dinner and then getting up and starting the process anew every weekday.

I didn’t spend my weekends worrying about deadlines. Sure, I wondered where the money was going to come from, but I spent more than two months just chillin’ on my own terms.

And now, to have a crazy person threatening me and changing the deliverables midstream (Fuck. That.) means that the squeaky wheel is getting the grease and I’m the dirty monkey with the banana in her tailpipe.

And I do think back to two jobs ago. I went in with such hope, such promise … such eagerness to break out and kick some ass. My initiatives were met with praise at first, some rewards afterward and, then, a complete 180 in the form of psychological torture.

So I went into the last gig, still a bit scarred, but eager to recover and regain some lost ground.

And now, I am dealing with people who have been burned before. They are hard on me because an hour without answering an e-mail means I’ve quit without telling them … because that’s what the last two people did.

I am committed to working through this, as after all we all know I love exceeding expectations or, at least, deconstructing human nature. But, really, do I have to say it out loud that I’ve been burned, too? That until I get an honest-to-goodness check, I don’t really trust anyone else, either?

If this were a first date, my ass would have been faking illness and hitting the bricks faster than you can say, “Cray-zeeeeeeeee!!!” Alas, when there will be money involved, logic HAS to win over. Mama just renewed her lease and cashish isn’t gonna rain out of the sky because I want it to.

Which somehow in its crazy way brings me to yesterday’s rally. I used to work for non-profits. I organized special events, I wrote grant proposals and talked to the media to get coverage. And on the northwest corner of Glades and St. Andrews yesterday, I was with two girls who were too busy taking photos and Facebooking than waving the damn signs. I was the one talking to drivers, waving, flipping my sign so they saw both sides and otherwise trying to do a good job.

Don’t get me wrong — there were people on all four corners of that crazy intersection, doing a great job. I’d say 50 of us showed up, altogether. There were college students, people my age, and husbands and wives well up into their ’80s. All hanging out for free on a gorgeous Saturday morning to raise awareness. Incredible, I say.

What I’m getting at here is that my perfectionist tendency isn’t so dormant after all. I was the second person to arrive (just after the organizer) She and I held the ends of the heaviest banner for 20 minutes till others showed up. I had to restrain myself from not being the welcome wagon and doing her job for her. 🙂

But that’s me. That’s the me who died. That’s the me who all these people hire before her joy absolutely evaporates and exhaustion kicks in.

I want to be great again. I was such a star at so many places. And now I get to Florida and all I want to do is melt into a puddle of goo on my couch and let the world keep turning without me. Why couldn’t I have been a trust-fund baby?

In any event, something has awakened in me again. Sure, I am looking at my work inbox with nothing but dread right now. But just like we all hope the great guy calls us (and soon), I am hoping that my contact at PP remembers that we talked about doing some marketing together.

And even though I know non-profits don’t pay their volunteers, and that staff members are barely at the poverty level, I’m OK with that. I have the beach. I drive a crappy car. For me, luxury comes in the form of technology and food. Give me Brie and an iPad over a Beemer and a Coach bag any day.

Just give me something, ANYTHING that makes me drop into bed at night, completely spent, knowing that I fucking DID something that moved the proverbial needle.

Don’t get me wrong — I will take others’ money in advance. I am damn good at what I do when people let me DO it. My track record wasn’t exactly advanced by listening to people and doing things on their terms. In fact, that’s what killed it, of late.

But yeah, the fire is back in the pit of mah belleh again. Thank you, Planned Parenthood, for being what it took to bring me alive again.

“We’ll be washed and buried one day, my girl
And the time we were given will be left for the world
The flesh that lived and loved will be eaten by plague
So let the memories be good for those who stay.”

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