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Coming Clean, Part 1

Photo Courtesy of Photobucket.

I'm back from Atlanta after spending Friday playing chaperon to my wife while an Emory University admission officers showed us around. That evening we had an early dinner at an outdoor pub on Peachtreee Street and drank apple and peach Belgian beer. Then we had a couple of drinks with KNIGHT and his wife. And finally, I watched the Lakers finish off the Nuggets from the 23rd floor of the W Midtown while my wife was out with a friend she's known since birth. On Saturday, we looked at at least 12 houses which by the end of the day, left me nauseous. Yesterday, I was at Citi Field roasting like a peanut in the sun as I sat along the third base foul line. The Mets beat the Marlins 3-2. My son ate from the time he got there until about the top of the eighth inning.

And now I'm sitting in my dining room first thing in the morning tapping these words on my laptop. Today is June 1, 2009. Today (maybe not tomorrow) I don't have a job, I don't have any job prospects, and I don't have a viable source of income other than my savings (a big no-no for me).

June is shaping out to be a pivotal month for me, historically. Last year I was embarking on a fruitless war with my wife. The year before that our living situation with the in-laws collapsed and fell to about the 7th ring of Hell. And now in a month that we're supposed to be leaving our apartment, putting down on a home or at least deciding which one we want, watching our son graduate from 8th grade, and not to mention have a good time on Father's Day, I find myself being backed into a corner and walled in by my circumstances.

The employment thing didn't just happen. I choose not to speak about the negative and prefer to focus mostly on the positive. Not because I'm some great human being but because, if I begin to acknowledge the negative it grows taller and stronger than me, loses one eye and begins to breathe fire. In no time I'm not contending with a problem, but rather an one-eyed, fire breathing juggernaut that wants to eat me.

May was difficult for me because I was steps away (or so I thought) from closing a book deal. Instead the person who was my agent went from being completely communicative, to short and distant via email and left me flapping in the wind like a jilted lover. Immediately I didn't want to do anything since the thought of starting over from scratch was worse than death. An immense amount of disdain for this blog erupted in me as a result of needing validation or some kind of return on investment. Suddenly I wanted money from this thing other than the $143 I've made off of it since 2/08. Every day was exactly the same as the day before it. Here for the first time I felt pressured to keep it light and fresh and different, when it really, truly wasn't.

I actually don't mind not having the job I had. I believe it stopped the tidal wave of my taking jobs I believe I can do well, versus doing what I truly want to do. I worked for a women's non-profit and although the work we did for the young girls toward pregnancy prevention was out of this world, the office culture (which myself included, totaled 4 men) was less than pleasant. It was like being a human in Planet of the Apes. We were second class, marginalized in meetings, spoken down to and when push came to shove, most of us were let go. My boss in particular suffered from the overwhelming desire to speak to me like I was in kindergarten. And although she knew I was a family man, I don't believe she knew how old I was, nor remembered from my resume that I have a Master's Degree and have managed staffs before. I spent most of my time there making phone calls on her behalf, writing letters for her, sending out emails for her and not being allowed to make a single, effin' decision on my own, ever. She wouldn't sign off on any career development classes for me and occasionally insisted that I work late in the wee hours of the night with my coworkers who without a doubt, worked very hard, but worked long because they spent so much time talking throughout the day. It was a very big step backwards for me. One I hope I don't have to suffer for other than time served.

And now here I am, free and confined all at the same time. I'm now an At-Home Dad who loves writing, photography, graphic design and almost all things music but I was raised to get a job and didn't know the things I loved could ever be worthwhile jobs. So the things I love --- I have no work history and the things I hate --- well...

I have a family and they deserve the best from me. Isn't the best from me the best of me? I don't want to merely be a superhero in the hearts and minds of my kids who are programmed to believe so anyway. I want to be a man of impact for many. Now's my chance, but right now the playing field looks more like a minefield.

Check back tomorrow for more.

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