Unemployment, Netflix, and the Postponement of my Childhood Dreams

I had an interview today that didn’t go as well as I hoped it would. To be fair, when I shook the interviewer’s hand and left her office, I was feeling pretty confident. But it’s been about twelve hours since we talked, and in that time I’ve thought of about a dozen things I wish I had said during the interview. The problem was that while we were talking, I got so excited about working there, and I started congratulating myself on the job well earned halfway through.

Now, as I sit in sheepish concession, I’m trying to convince myself that I didn’t really want the job anyway. The ol’ sour grapes routine, right? But it’s true. Perspective makes me acknowledge that this isn’t a big deal. I did my best in the moment, and whatever happens, happens. Interviewees get rejected all the time, right?

The thing I’m still clinging to, however, is how good it felt to be excited about something.

Social media gives me the impression that millennials dream of being paid to watch Netflix, their greatest hardship being the pantless trek from the couch to the kitchen. And I guess I got married and got a degree, but I still lump myself in with the Netflix binge crowd (though sadly I moved away from my roommate’s account. I guess I’ll have to read about the last few seasons of Lost). But this can’t be what we really want, right? Not deep down? When I was little I wanted to be an author and illustrator. Other little kids wanted to be scientists, rock stars, vets, firefighters. You know, jobs that they could recognize and relate to.

I can’t subsist on my childhood dreams right now any more than I could subsist on watching TV all day, but I’m watching, not writing. Maybe we’re empty and want to fill some pesky, bottomless void in our souls. Our consumption–my consumption–of stories played out in sounds and pictures must be some kind of vicarious living. I mean, if you’re like me, you’d rather tag along on your character friends’ adventures from the safety of the couch, as opposed to feeling and emoting like we see the actors do–for money, I might add.

Perspective: I might not get this job. I had dreams as a child–dreams I still hold–that are not being realized. But things are going to change, eventually. I’m trying to open myself to wherever fate or God or luck would have me go.

Anyway… thanks for coming along for the ride.


Smile back

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