Friday, July 10, 2009

Flirting with Disaster

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you totally didn't want to be and yet you weren't really sure how to get somewhere else and so there you were, lost, basically, hoping someone would come along and push you in the right direction? That is my life right about now. Lost. And in need of a push.

If you've been to visit here in the last few months, you have surely noticed that the law has lost its glamour for me and that I am floundering in a place of uncertainty, trying to figure out what the hell to do with the rest of my life. I've a ton of ideas, but one which I keep coming back to involves dance. And one way to make a living with dance is to teach it. Sure I could open a studio, but that scares the shit out of me (and requires a ton of money upfront anyway). So I thought, hmm, what about teaching in public school? I could be happy as a dance teacher. Because not only do I love dance, I'm stone cold jealous of teachers with their regular schedules and their summers off. Straight up, no bullshit, hard core jealous. And yeah, teachers make shit money, but not a little as you might think, considering they are home by 4pm and have summers off. Especially not here in NJ. Sure $50Gs a year won't make you rich but you ain't starvin' neither. So, I figured I get licensed, I line up a job, bang, I'm outta here.

Which led to me spending the better part of today researching what it would take to become licensed to teach in NJ. As turns out, if I want to teach Social Studies -- very little, thanks to my fancy-schmancy anthro degree, but if I want to teach anything else -- like dance -- I'd have to take a bunch of college classes...upwards of 30 credits worth. So I thought, hey, no biggie, I can take some classes. I like dance classes. I can make it work. I'll give up a yoga night. Or come in late a couple mornings ort whatever. And then I thought, oh fuck, the best I can do while still working is one class a semester -- and if I need 10 classes, that's 5 freaking years. And I thought, oh hell no. And so I stopped looking because I can't stay here, lost, for five years.

And then, last-minute-Charlie (one of my many bosses) sent me an email telling me he needed xyz done by Monday morning. Luckily, its the weekend of my high school reunion so I had an excuse to get off the hook, this weekend, but I know he will fuck up my next weekend and the one after that and the one after that. Cause god forbid he should consider that maybe, just maybe, I might have a fucking life worth living. Or, god forbid, he should assign the fucking work when he finds out about it instead of waiting until the last fucking minute. the mother fucker. Last time I had to work with this guy, I didn't have a day off for 33 days, and that was just last month. I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself, but that probably wouldn't be good for me so I said sure, I can work my face off all next week and for the rest of my natural born life until I have another acceptable excuse to run away. So you see, I definitely do not have 5 years to give.

And then, just a moment ago, I read about even more layoffs in the legal world (30 senior associates, like myself, let go from one of the nation's most prestigious law firms). And I thought, god I wish they'd lay me off.

Yes, I actually wished to be laid off.

Because as financially devastating as that would be, I know it would also be completely liberating. It would, for sure, be the push I seem to need to get the fuck out of this indecisive place.

Yes, hoping to get laid off seems counter intuitive and a bit nuts, but what are my other options really? Sure, I could go to some other shitty law job but what's the point? I'd take another job and a salary cut to go along with it and end up just as miserable but without the advantage of being able to escape to the islands a couple times a year. So, maybe like pulling off a band aid, a swift kick in the pants right out the damn door is what I need. And without a job, I could get my 30 credits in one single year. Granted, unemployment would barely cover my mortgage, but I'd get at least a few months of severance first, and I do have a little bit of savings, so I'd be OK for a bit. Scared as hell, I'm sure, but not starving.

So yeah, I'm flirting with what would likely be a total disaster, for a little while at least, but really, what's the point of money if you are too damn depressed to spend it? Or worse, if you aren't even allowed out of the office long enough to spend it? And what's the point of life if you don't get to live it? So please, bring on the layoff.

PS - my prayers will not likely be answered. Unfortunately my firm is financially sound (unless they're totally lying to us). Best I could do would be to get "asked to resign" - but you don't get severance for that. Ergo, still damn stuck.

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