21 August 2007

We Fortunate Few

"I love my job," Dave Matthews said to the crowd at the concert I went to last night, "and I want to thank y'all for letting me have it."

The whole band seems to have such a good time doing what they do on stage. Boyd Tinsley plays violin for the band and is the consummate musician, as far as I am I concerned. He danced across the stage, playing opposite his band-mates, urging them to play off his riffs, smiling so wide the whole time. Dave does the same thing, and they laugh, dance with each other, having a nightly party with their closest friends and 30,000 people who pay to watch them have a great time.

What must it feel like to perform music that you wrote in front of 30,000 people and hear the crowd screaming every word of every song, so excited to see YOU on stage? Humbling, and intoxicating, I imagine. And then the next night, another, different group of 30,000 people is thrilled to see you. Amazing.

Love what you do. Do what you love. Wise words, I'm sure that you've heard them as many times as I have. I did, once upon a time. When I first went to work in the non-profit world, I loved that job with all of my heart and soul, putting more of myself into it that I have any previous job. I felt incredibly lucky to be doing something I loved so much. It was very fulfilling.

But the only constant in any of our lives is change, and I knew that job wouldn't be forever. Sure enough, it wasn't. By the end of it, when things were winding down, I no longer loved it, and it is/was part of the problem that was causing some of the depression.

As I said at the beginning of my time of unemployment, this was the first time in my life that I didn't have a plan. It has been terrifying, and fun too. Getting up whenever I feel like it. Spending as much time as I want at the gym. Baking. Cooking. Writing, too, a little bit. Not knowing where I'm going to get my next paycheck when the benefits that I do have run out. Being 32 and not knowing what the hell to do with my life. Being so depressed that some days I can't get out of bed. Fun, and terrifying.

But finally, at long last, I have a plan.

I can't believe that I couldn't think of this for myself, I'm having a lot of smack-myself-on-the-head "DUH" moments, but that's OK. None of us walks the road of life alone, and I have a friend to thank for pointing me in this direction. She knows who she is. And I think she knows how grateful I am for her insights. Or she does now. ;-)

I am going to go back to school. My plan is to get Master's degrees in both business and women's studies, and then work in advocacy for women's rights. Doing what exactly, I'm not sure, but either working on the front lines of the abortion debate, lobbying for better health care for women, working to make life better for women. See? A no-brainer. Idealistic, yep, that too. But if you can turn your passion into your career, lucky, lucky, lucky you.


Dawna said...

Awww... I'm glad that I gave you a big smack upside the head ^_^.

You can do it too, ya know.

what would Dave Mathews to? LOL

Lucy Arin said...

LOL, D, I'm pretty sure that when faced with a big decision, Dave smokes a bowl and strums his guitar, looking out of the windows of his fabulous house which is somewhere in Seattle. That'd be a bit tough for me since I don't smoke pot, can't play guitar and live in Ohio. :-)

I know I can do it. And I loved college the first time around, getting my undergrad was hard work, but still great fun. Universities are great places, freeing, somehow. I can't wait to get into some feminist philosophy classes. So keep your fingers crossed for me that when I take the grad school exam, the GRE, that I do stellar.