Making Free Time Meaningful
10 May 2010 at 9:21 pm
A few of us really can create exactly the lives we want. People like Joanna, who have the perfect combination of diligence, intelligence, integrity, drive, and a substantial financial safety net.
I'm reading on the beach during my lunch break when the boy and I get to texting.
The boy has a problem with the types of job offers he gets. The latest one is for an elite security firm, the one that guards Oprah's estate.
"Are you sure you would be comfortable with me doing this kind of work?" he asks.
The bitch responds, "Whoa buddy. I can't be having you take me into account when it comes to your life decisions. But for the record:
And I actually respond: "I think it would be badass."
(I immediately delve into a "Bodyguard" fantasy. Man, that soundtrack was so great. I can't believe I thought I should sing Whitney Houston in public. I can't believe I actually sang a Disney song in public instead. He interrupts this train of thought, blessedly):
"Why will people only hire me to do dangerous things?" he whines, taking it personally.
"Because that's what you've been trained to do! You spent six years in the military, and you developed a specialized skillset, and you don't want to go back to school to gain another skillset! So of course you're only going to get opportunities related to your experience. It's not a reflection of your personality; it's a reflection of your experiences.
"Do you really think I thought I'd be analyzing P&L reports and tweaking meaningless spreadsheet formulas at age 26? This is just the career I happened into. This is just what I do until I find something else to do with my time. This is what I do to make my free time meaningful. Stop thinking about what you want, because if you really wanted it, you'd be well on your way to having it. Start taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you."
I would encourage his dreams and whims, if I thought he would follow through on them, but I'm not an "everything will work out" sort of girlfriend. I'm a "make everything work out, goddammit" sort of bitchy girlfriend.
"You can always walk away," I say. "Just going in for an interview doesn't make you an assassin-for-hire. Getting through training doesn't mean you're tied to this company forever."
He's not used to that. There are consequences in the military if you just walk away: your friends die.
mod l post-mod