I only seem to ever turn to this blog when things aren’t going well, so I guess it’s good that I haven’t written in awhile. Once again, I’m back where I started: Jobless, friendless, penniless, struggling to make my way in Los Angeles, and with no idea of where to go from here.
But this time it’s familiar territory, and so I have an easier time adopting an “It’s for the best, I’ll turn it around soon” attitude. It helps to have someone in my corner; my boyfriend, Jake, who (as corny as it sounds) is my best friend here. We’re even planning to move into together this summer when both of our leases are up, which isn’t something I ever expected to do this early in the relationship. We’re very supportive of each other as we both swim against the current that is the job market, and it makes the whole thing a lot easier to handle.
I still don’t have a definitive answer when asked “What do you ultimately want to do?”, but I have a number of things I’m striving for. Yesterday an old friend called me, and I was excited to talk to him, because we’ve only hung out a couple of times in Los Angeles, and I’m always eager for people to connect with. Due to our romantic past, I thought this would be an issue for Jake, so I didn’t bring the subject up for a few months. When I did, he was hesitant at first, but understood we didn’t have that kind of relationship anymore. So when the ex called, he just smiled, and went to fold his laundry while I talked.
We proceeded to have the usual dialogue: asking how the other is doing, what’s going on in their career and love life, how are your parents, etc. When I told him about being downsized, he used that as launching point to – get this – recruit me for a “leadership conference” he recently attended. You know the sort of thing: A pyramid-scheme disguised as “an opportunity to refocus you and help you discover what it is you should be doing.” I was so surprised that I acted very interested, and allowed him to continue using phrases he was clearly reading off a paper, like “Let me ask you something: Where do you see yourself in the future?”
The thing is, while I don’t know the answer to that question, I’m okay with that. I don’t need to pay $300 to do trust exercises, wear a name tag, and have someone tell me to “look inside myself.” I don’t doubt that it was helpful for him, and for others, and possibly even would be for me. But that’s money I need to spend on food, rent, etc. I’m a big believer in making the most of what you have, and every time I talk to a friend, acquaintance, or even a stranger at a party, I end up having a discussion that is somewhat enlightening. Intellectual, positive, stimulating conversation is everywhere… except, apparently, with my ex-boyfriend/”friend”, who didn’t have much to say beyond trying to get me to spend money so that he could make his referral commission.
All the best to you, Steve, but I don’t hit up people I like in order to make a few bucks; it tends to make them feel like you didn’t really ever care about their friendship. I’ll keep plugging away on the job hunt, learning from good, old-fashioned life experience, and spend my minuscule amount of spare cash on some wine for those nights when I need a little extra “encouragement.”