HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY
Someone remarked to me the other day that I overestimate how unhappy others are because I judge their happiness in relation to mine. Apparently, I am happier than most other human beings. I may have known this for most of my life, but I feel like I'm really processing it now for the first time. I have fun. I make people laugh a lot. I laugh a lot. I brighten peoples’ day. And I get a lot of pleasure from doing this. I want others to be as happy as I am. I feel like a lack of severe trauma has freed me up to be a well-adjusted free-spirited young adult moving through the world with great confidence.
I was having a conversation one evening with some old friends who were commenting on my unemployed lifestyle. They are the types of people who need to be working. They cannot fathom a life without the structure of a job. And they marvel at my ability to make it work against all odds. My Girl made the point that after not working for a stretch and finding you can get by, you start to see that it's possible. And life is so much better without having to go into the office. I'm not against working per se, but I am deathly afraid of the idea of working at a job I don't truly love and having no endpoint. As much as I hated working as an assistant on sitcoms the last couple of seasons, I always knew that it would end. At worst, the show would go a full season and production would cease. Otherwise, I could not have survived. I would have quit. During the last grueling week of this past season, I started to feel lightheaded and dizzy, and my vision was blurred. Thanks to my mother’s diagnosis over the phone, I discovered I had extremely high blood pressure.
Now I am at a crossroads. Out of the last two and a half years, I have only worked a total of about a year. During that time, I have a amassed a ton of life experience, a boatload of good times, and twenty four thousand dollars of credit card debt. My unemployment just went up from two hundred thirty a week to three hundred thirty a week. Without having taxes taken out, which has never come back to haunt me before, that sum of money is more than I can make temping or at some other menial job. Therefore, it would behoove me to take a job only if I was being paid the same amount of money I was making on those shitcoms or more. I am willing to gain such employment if the opportunity should present itself, but the job market is for shit right now and I know of a vast number of people around my age who have either gotten laid off due to corporate consolidation and integration or find themselves at a similar crossroads, deciding whether or not to make a career change. The fallout from the giant bursting of the internet bubble is most evident in my generation. Technology and the economy are in great flux. Consequently, so is the labor pool.
One invaluable thing I've learned over the past few years is that if necessary, I can live on very little money. That's not to say that I don't desire material possessions. I won't claim to be that saintly. But I don't need them to be happy. At the moment, I'm unemployed and broke, without a car and without any job leads. But I have fulfilling relationships with my family and friends and I've found a fantastic girl who I have a lot of fun with and who compliments me extremely well. I'm not averse to making a living, but I don't want to sacrifice this happiness for financial security. Granted, I want health insurance, I want to claw my way out of debt, I want to make a down payment on a new car, I want to travel to exotic locales, I want to take My Girl out to eat at the fanciest restaurant for her birthday, I want to upgrade my electronic equipment to take advantage of the latest advances in technology, and I want as much disposable income as possible, but those things aren't nearly as important to me as spreading love throughout the world. It's what I'm best at. Whether it brings me wealth or not, I’m confident that somewhere down the line I'll be well-compensated.