I've been in Colorado for about five months now. I knew when I moved here that the transition would be a learning experience but I had no idea what I would learn. So far, I have discovered that I very much like living with my boyfriend, that riding a bike isn't terrifying but fun and that I am not "A Weekend Warrior."
My definition of Weekend Warriors are the people who work jobs they have little on no feelings about week after week after week. These individuals live only for evenings and weekends when they do the things that bring passion into their lives. Of course, there are all kinds of weekend warriors from sport nuts to ballroom dancing fanatics. Most of them see their jobs as a means to an end - the end being the weekend. I am not judging these people; most of this country's work force would probably consider themselves weekend warriors. The reason I bring it up is that I am failing miserably at it.
In New York City, I worked as a Box Office Manager at various Broadway Theatres. For the first four or five years it was a dream job. I loved it. Now don't get me wrong, it was still work and I definitely didn't want to go some days, but I enjoyed that I was playing an important (albeit offstage) role in the production of high quality theatre. As the years moved along, I knew that I would not be able to do it forever because it was rote, boring, and I didn't feel like I was moving myself forward in any spiritual, emotional, or educational way. The job was what it was and it would always be exactly that.
One of the reasons I was so willing to move to Boulder, in addition to getting to live with my super-cute boyfriend, was that I would be forced to leave my comfortable job in Ticketing and do some other kind of work. But what? I thought that with 8 years of managerial experience in NYC I would easily find some type of administrative work that would pay the bills and then I would be able to become a Weekend Warrior. I didn't think about it that way at the time but that's how I imagined it would all work out. I would get some job as an administrative assistant at some hip, edgy Boulder software company or maybe work in the offices of Yoga Journal or even Crocs (both have headquarters near Boulder) and then on the weekend I would write, craft, cook, or bike ride. This I imagined would be a refreshing change to the hectic pace of NYC where you are what you do.
Boulder, CO as it turns out has the highest rate of under-employment in the United States which means that there are more people here with P.h.d.s working at Whole Foods than anywhere in the country. The employment agencies call it the 'Rocky Mountain Tax' which basically means that because it is so freakin' beautiful to live here (and it is possibly the prettiest place on earth with perfect weather to boot) that people are willing to work here for less. Way less. The good news is is that because of this people do not care at all what you do for a job; they only care what you do on the weekend. No one here is judging me because I am just a personal assistant. They are mostly concerned that I am not totally psyched about the upcoming Ski Season.
I initially overcame the Rocky Mt. Tax by landing a decent paying job as the 2nd personal assistant to a millionaire's wife. At $5.00 more an hour than the standard going rate for administrative assistants in this town, I thought that things were going to be alright. But they weren't. I am not happy at this job. And it's not because the woman I am assisting is a crazy, mean, unhappy woman that wants to control all people on her payroll. Sure that sucks, but I knew that she was a bitch when I took the job. The headhunter that hired me told me as much. When I asked her why this job was paying much higher than the other jobs in this area, she calmly told me it was a Bitch Tax. Meaning that because the person I would be working for was such a bitch they have to pay people more so that they are willing to stay. Fine. I saw myself as a mercenary. I would work this crappy office job and become - a Weekend Warrior. I would live for the weekends like so many other happy people residing in Boulder.
Unfortunately, I am failing. I feel bad at this job. It does nothing for my heart, soul, or mind. And having 48 hours on the weekend to do whatever I want isn't making up for it. How do all these people do it? I can't. It won't work. And sure, yes, by all means I can get another job. In fact, I have to. Mrs. Millionaire has fired her main assistant and wants to hire a professional personal assistant that has attened the Starkely Services Academy, which is one of the places in this country where one can train to be various types of servants to the rich. And so, I will move on to another office job which I fear will be similar in personal fulfillment for me but pay even less.
Why can't I do it? Here I am in this beautiful place with a fantastic partner and yet I am fairly unhappy. What I have learned in my first five months is Boulder is something I knew for about the last 3 years at my Box Office job - I need a career - not a job because I am not now and don't think I will ever be able to be a Weekend Warrior. My hats off to you, Weekend Warriors, you are noble people who have found a balance that works for you and brings you joy. This, however, is not my path.
I need a career not another job. If I am going to be somewhere 40+ hours a week it is going to have to be somewhere I feel useful and hopefully appreciated. I need to have a job that is important to me and that I care about. Unlike, my current place of employment where I have carefully hung a post-it note in my cubical that says, "Remember - You Don't Care."
So where am I? I know that I am going to have to take another 'job' soon as I know that I am not made of money but I hope it will be one of the last 'jobs' I will work. As the What Jessica is Reading window on the blog indicates I am currently studying to take the GRE and have to decided to go to Graduate School. For what? I am not exactly sure. I am in the middle of researching that right now. There are several great careers that I am currently exploring - all of which would make the 40 hours a week I will be working for the rest of my life more enjoyable.
So for now, I guess, I will be a Weekend Studier.
Good luck with the GREs! I find, when you are dissatisfied with your job, having small goals and activities to look forward to can really help you to get through the nine to five.
I, too, have begun my search for a career - I'm not a Weekend Warrior either. I need to have a little, teeny bit of passion in my job - otherwise it just doesn't work.
Best of luck!
What about doing your own thing--can you think of any kind of service you might provide that spins off of something you have done before, or something you love to do?
Make something, sell something, write something, etc.? If the cost of living is in line with the local salary structure, you could pull it off.
Or do business elsewhere--work remotely and charge NYC fees but still live in gorgeous-land with perfect-boy.
Cheers to you for recognizing the importance of being a warrior of 'Now' and not 'Then'. I hope you plan on applying to Naropa University since I believe that's why you're there in the first place. (actually, I was considering it myself ...)
Oh yeah. just in case you forgot, I miss you!
(your fellow mastermind)
Ajahn Brahm has a great podcast that I want to send to you. It's not so much about work as about dealing with bitchy people. I'll try to dig it up and send it to you.
- Jen V.
I always inspired by you, your views and way of thinking, again, appreciate for this nice post.
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