I Want to Be a Cowboy When I Grow Up

Thursday, June 10th, 2004 • 3 Comments on I Want to Be a Cowboy When I Grow Up

I’ve been polishing my resum鮠 Not that I’ll be using it anytime soon, but I can dream.  Interestingly enough, despite a variety of jobs (ten or eleven at last count) and a college education, I’m not really qualified to do all that much.  At least not anything that pays well.  Correction, I’m not willing to do the jobs that would pay well (and by “well” I mean a living wage that would allow me to be self-supporting without having to subsist on Ramen).  I do not wish to be a an administrative assistant, a teacher or a retail manager.  I do not want to work in a cubicle, be required to wear pantyhose or spend my days shuffling papers someone else put on my desk.  I do not want to sacrifice my soul to put a roof over my head.  Is that too much to ask? 

The sad, ironic thing is, I’m bright enough to do the jobs that pay well.  Accountant, easily.  Banker, definitely.  Mid-level manager of a major corporation, with my eyes closed.  Marketing and sales, please don’t insult my intelligence.  Attorney, sure.  Psychologist, I’d be getting paid for a talent I already use.  I don’t have the math skills to be an engineer or the stomach to be a doctor, but there are plenty of well-paying jobs that I could do if I wanted to (would that I had pursued those areas in college rather than the ubiquitous English degree that has served me so very well—insert maniacal laughter here—). 

The key, of course, is the phrase “if I wanted to.”  I have never subscribed to the notion of money equaling happiness.  I cannot fathom doing a job that I didn’t at the very least like.  Work time is too big a part of life not to enjoy it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done what I had to do to pay the bills and sometimes that has involved juggling different jobs I didn’t love.  My survival instinct is greater than my need for job satisfaction.  Still, I’ve never had a job that I hated.  I’ve grown to dislike some of the jobs I’ve had, but every job started out as something exciting, new and challenging.

Back when I got my palm read in DC, I laughed when the fortune teller said I would be the head of a large company.  It is so far removed from anything I would ever want to do, she lost all credibility in my eyes (not that she had a lot in the first place, given her tacky fur coat).  Truth is, I could be in charge of a company if it was something that interested me.  But the idea in general doesn’t appeal to me and no amount of money in the world could make that kind of job fulfilling.

I don’t have to be self-supporting and money is not a huge issue right now, but it’s a big enough issue to prevent me from returning to writing full-time with no idea whether I’ll be able to make fifty or five hundred dollars a month (let’s just say I’d be buying Ramen instead of roast beef, if my last stint at writing full-time is any indication).  So, the resum頩s getting a little update in the hopes that when the time comes (bets are now being taken on when that time will be) I can make “worthless degree in English” sound like something desirable.  Here’s hoping the next job will be interesting enough to sustain my spirit—if not my lifestyle—until I feel like I can commit myself to writing with no other source of income.

Posted by Kristina in Essays
  • Joanne says:

    If not a large company, could you see yourself running a small company-like maybe a really small greeting card company? No resume necessary.

  • Kristina says:

    Are you sure you want to offer me a job when it’s taking me months to write your captions?  Speaking of which… and I mean it… I’m going to get that done THIS WEEKEND.  Promise.

  • Joanne says:

    I’m sure. We could get matching pairs of boots to kick each other in the ass.

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