All Aboard the Struggle Bus

Three weeks ago, I was laid off from my 9-to-5. It wasn’t exactly my dream job, but it was still a bit of a shock to the system to be left without something to fill those forty hours per week. Not to mention the money. Anyway, I decided to explore career options closer to my interests, so I’ve spent the past weeks calling up alumni from my university—people I found on the school’s alumni directory—and asking them how they got into their line of work. My main conclusion was that people mostly just end up in the career they end up in, but that’s a little glib and cynical. Most of the alums I spoke to admitted that yes, they ended up in their line of work because it’s simply where the wind blew. They either got an internship that led to a job, or a job that led to a better job. So much for the American ideal of self-invention. However, a good number of them did bear tales of hard work and swimming against adversity to break into a new industry. So it cuts both ways I suppose.

The job I held for my first year out of college—the aforementioned 9-to-5—amounted to little more than data entry, and it required no skills beyond using a computer and a calculator. Nonetheless, I was grateful for the position, which gave me enough freedom to pursue my own interests outside of work. But when the company was bought out and more than 80% of the employees were laid off, I decided I would take the opportunity to pursue something more in line with my interests. Hence all the cold calls to alumni and the (thus far unsuccessful) applications to jobs and internships for journalism and copywriting.

Which brings me to this blog. I know I like writing, and every writer I’ve spoken to has advised me to start one. In my crotchety technophobia, I have thus far resisted, but the boredom of unemployment has caused me to cave. I’ll use this hard-won free WordPress as a platform to explore the things I think are worth exploring, catalog the things I think are worth recording, and maybe generate some useable writing samples in the process. (A capitalistic environment demands a capitalistic goal-set.) A primer on me: I’m a white, cis male with a BA in English and an obsessive knowledge of 20th-century American literature. My disposition fluctuates between extreme cynicism and an almost Buddha-like optimism (people have called it manic depression) and I am a lost soul from a doomed generation. So here’s to the eventual collapse of the American economy under the enormous weight of millennials’ student loan debt. I look forward to the end, as Cormac McCarthy has prepared me for the worst.

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