Rant: Day Job vs. Passion

I’ve been going back and forth in my head for a couple of weeks now about this. I’ve been applying for a bunch of jobs and I’ve been tossing back and forth between applying for only what I’m passionate about or applying for jobs that I’d simply be good at. 

Whenever I mention passion to my much-older cousin, she says it’s dangerous to be fixated on mixing your career with passion. Passion implies forever, and our careers don’t necessarily need to be forever. Especially nowadays when people have several different careers during their lifetimes.

I want to find something I’m passionate about doing because whenever I meet people who are passionate about what they do, I feel a tinge of jealousy – I mean, obviously, right? It was always ingrained in me growing up that I should do what I love and what I’m passionate about, but is that not really the way it is? Just because a very small percentage of the population has managed to find a job they absolutely love, does that have to be what we all strive for? Because it’s almost as hard to find as finding your “soulmate.”

Why isn’t it good enough for all of us if we find a job that pays us so we can live our lives and pay the bills and take the occasional vacation? A job that we might happen to be good at, even though it might not be something we’re particularly passionate about doing? 

So, at first I was limiting my job applications to only companies for which I could muster up some degree of passion. Then I realized that those jobs are super few and far between and maybe my cousin was right: just find a job with people that you like (or can at least tolerate), that pays you well, and that you’re good at and, live your life outside the office. 

I went to school for theatre management and took an extra several-month course in commercial producing after graduation. I worked in theatre and the pay was lousy and the hours were even worse. I loved some of the shows I was working on, but even though I loved (and still love) theatre, I knew it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t work in the industry anymore. It was my passion and I could do it outside work. 

Isn’t that generally what passions are anyways? Things you do in your free time? Yes, I’d love to teach yoga full-time, but that path is hard as fuck, and you have to hustle, and I don’t know if I’m cut out for that. 

So, in the meantime, I’m going to try to teach (for $$ or volunteer) yoga on the side and then get a job that I’m good at. I’ll try my best not to work in an industry that I find revolting (again) and be content that maybe I’m not 100% passionate about what I do from 9 to 5 every day. My life outside of work is more important at the end of the day: friends, yoga, meditation, theatre, music. 

And if you make your passion your day job, is it really your passion anymore? Just asking. For a friend. 

Post-Holiday Hangover

Happy post-holiday hangover! The holidays were pretty easy this year. My parents hosted Christmas Eve so I didn’t have to move much. My mom’s side of the family (my dad’s side doesn’t come because they live in Maine and they’re Jewish, duh) is SO LOUD. I had to retreat to my room at one point to meditate and decompress because it was so goddamn loud. I had a lot of fun playing with my parent’s kitten, though. She’s so energetic! 

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Though my mom might be Catholic, we still pretty much celebrate Christmas like Jews. We have the morning presents and relaxing and then go to the movies and out to eat Chinese food. We ended up seeing La La Land which was So So Painfully Bad. Apologies to Pasek and Paul, but the music wasn’t memorable and the storyline, though not their fault, was horrifically cliche. The opening number really had nothing to do with anything and was so terribly awkward I wanted to shrink down in my seat and die.

I traveled back to the city with my mom on Monday and J and I met my friend Elliot and his girlfriend to see the [random] matinee of The Encounter, which was again a wonderful experience and all enjoyed it. Today I am getting back to yoga at my studio and trying to finish up a quick book. I’m allowing myself to eat and drink whatever I want this week, within reason, until New Year’s Day. Because… new year, new start? Then I’m reigning it in. Back to not drinking more than one day a week and cooking. 

And I’ll be entering lots of ticket lotteries this week with my partner in crime, @endotique. Who never posts on Tumblr anymore and really should, right guys? 

Here’s to a week of freedom before new beginnings. 

Gratitude List

I have an alert set on my phone that goes off nightly as a reminder to make a mental list of things I’m grateful for that day. Thanksgiving Day was yesterday and I’ve just gotten done eating a second plate of leftovers today. I’m grateful for that today.

I took the train out to my parent’s house yesterday for an early dinner with most of my mom’s side of the family. A cousin’s fiance commented on my plate above, “Wow, you’re going to eat all of that?!” I’m thankful to have the self control not to punch you in the face. There was lots of talk about the election. I’m thankful that it’s over. I was thankful to see my family, who I hadn’t seen since before I went to Poland. I was also thankful to have the chance to play with their 12-week-old kitten. She’s weighs a whole four pounds now. And she’s cray-cray. 

I stayed the night and left early this morning to return to my apartment for a day of relaxing with Playbill, watching Confirmation on HBO Go and another episode of The Crowns, and tonight I’m going to see Guster at the Beacon Theatre. 

There are still two days left to the holiday weekend. I hope the rest of the weekend has yoga and coffee in it. 

The Newest Family Member

No, I did not rescue a kitten. I wish. But my parents did and I got to meet her when I was at their house on Sunday for Rosh Hashana. Meet Dani: She is 7 weeks old and she was found with two siblings underneath a dock on Long Island. I bought her a couple of toys – including the one with the feathers that she’s playing with up there. It’s a motion-activated toy that makes a tweeting sound when she moves it. She loves it but my parents will probably not thank me for introducing it into her life. Whatever. Playbill has one, too!

She’s very sweet and will run around and then promptly fall asleep on you or whatever she can reach that’s soft to land on. She does a mean Firefox pose already, right?

But, seriously, I want to rescue a kitten. Someday

File Under: Phrases That Should Never Be Used

I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.

Someone wrote this recently alongside a picture of themselves with their fiance because they had just gotten engaged (very happy for them, seriously!). My first thought was, “What was stopping you before the expensive piece of jewelry?

Seriously, am I wrong? Weren’t you (not just this person specifically but anyone who says that ever) planning on doing that anyways before he (or she!) started saving and you both decided it was a good idea to have the government involved in your relationship?

A much older (like, 70 years old) and wiser (she should really write a book) cousin is incredibly against marriage (it’s not a good idea to invite the government in bed with your relationship, she says). She’s been married twice, so she has experience with it. She had a child with her second husband at a very late age (luckily, she’s always been in incredible health) in an attempt to make him happy, because he seemed to really want a child (though she did not, but she didn’t mind) and she thought it would help make him happy. She told me recently, “If someone is unhappy, having a child is not going to make them any less unhappy.”

Point taken. 

The one perk of marriage she could think of was hospital visitation rights. That’s valid. Those are important. But the rest of it? Use lawyers to say what belongs to whom; have a joint bank account for bills, but keep your accounts separate. Get a Power of Attorney or something for your partner to have legal rights to sign things over for you. 

I mean, to each their own, duh. If you want to get married, awesome! If not, that’s fine, too. But can you do it without saying you “can’t wait to spend the rest of your life” with said-partner? Because it’s redundant and makes zero sense. 

Unless of course this is an arranged marriage. Then I totally get it. 

I was able to attend a performance of Our Mother’s Brief Affair, by Richard Greenberg, last Friday night starring the hilarious Linda Lavin. About a hypochondriac older woman (Anna, played by Lavin) in the hospital, her children Abby (Kate Arrington) and Seth (Greg Keller) come to her side knowing fully that this will not be her last time in the hospital (”it’s become her pied-a-terre,” jokes her son about the hospital). 

Anna admits to Abby that she had an affair when he was a teenager and her lover was an infamous American who had committed treason. Abby and Seth start to investigate her past to see if she’s telling the truth or not.

I’ve seen Lavin previously in Collected Stories and The Lyons and she’s always. the. best. I realized this time around that she basically plays the same role over and over – crazy, overbearing mother. I also realized that Lavin’s portrayal is becoming more and more like my paternal grandmother. A batshit crazy, narcissist who never should’ve had kids. 

In addition to Lavin, I really enjoyed Greg Keller’s performance. I can’t pinpoint why but I really felt for his character. Arrington was fine, as was John Procaccino as both their late father and Anna’s lover.

I walked away from this feeling the same way that I had after Big Fish. They’re both memory pieces. Is this a mind blowing play? Nah. Is it entertaining? For sure. 

Just Because You’re Family…

Well, shit. I went home to see some family that I hadn’t seen in a while, like probably 3-5 years, maybe more. It was nice to see them until one of them said, “Oh, what did you vote for Obama?!” Then I realized why I hadn’t made more of an effort in the last several years to connect.

Then he went on to say, “I always make sure to vote for the right (or white, I can’t remember exactly which he said) candidate.” Seconds later stupid was just dripping from his mouth about the birthers being right and his birth certificate and “Obama’s not even an American!

I used to get all agitated about comments like these and fight back (with words), but people with those uneducated opinions aren’t even worth the breath. I just removed myself out of the pathway of his asinine, ignorant bullshit.

We may be family, but it doesn’t mean that I have to put up with ignorance. 

My Pre-Birthday Celebration

My family and I celebrated my 25th birthday today (it’s officially on Thursday).  My dad wanted to see American Idiot before it closed, so you could say that we killed two birds with one stone.  My family was in traffic, so I went to the St. James when the box office opened and picked up two rush tickets because I was pretty sure we’d lose lotto.

We went to Five Napkin Burger for lunch where my parents gave me a pair of beautiful earrings.  My mother thought I deserved diamonds for my 25th birthday and who was I to argue?  I know it does not need to be said but everyone thought the burgers were pretty damn good at 5NB (I stuck with my usual – the blackened shrimp salad).  

We walked back to the St. James Theatre after for lotto and we lucked out because there could not have been more than 50 people there and I ended up winning!  I guess it was almost-birthday luck because I haven’t won since the third preview performance.  Instead of selling the student rush tickets I had bought earlier, my mom and brother decided they wanted to see the show too.  My dad and I ended up in BB 112-113, which have great leg room.  We went to Midtown Comics and walked around a bit to kill time before the show.  Andrew Call was on as the Favorite Son for the matinee, and needless to say, I was a little bit skeptical.  The last time I’d seen American Idiot was on February 27th and since then there has basically been a huge regime change so it was almost like watching the show for the first time again.  I also hadn’t sat in center lotto seats since the show was in previews.  

(photo taken on March 26th, 2010)

I was excited to see Justin Guarini as Will, but despite having a very pretty voice and excellent guitar playing skills, he was very one-dimensional.  He had wide, bug eyes the entire show and his only emotion was “REALLY ANGRY.”  On the other hand, David Larsen as Tunny was very decent when it came to his acting, but his voice left a lot to be desired.  He was whiney and much more so than the actor who I will not name that originated the character of Tunny in Berkeley.  I’m quite certain that Libby Winters has improved vocally as the Extraordinary Girl since February, and Van Hughes has grown into the role of Johnny, adding subtle nuances throughout his performances.  Andrew Call certainly had the charisma and vocal abilities for Favorite Son, but his physique was entirely wrong for the role.  

Billie Joe Armstrong was, of course, fantastic and his vocals were in excellent shape.  I was very excited for my family to see the person who has been such a musical inspiration for me perform live onstage and they were definitely impressed (my mother even mentioned that she liked him better than Tony Vincent).   Instead of saying, “We don’t need no stinking badges!” before Last Night on Earth, he exclaimed, “WINNING!” ala Charlie Sheen and he received lots of laughs from the audience, myself and my father included.  Miguel Cervantes tossed me his guitar pick after his solo in “Rock and Roll Girlfriend” and someone, I believe Libby Winters or Jeanna de Waal, tossed me their guitar pick after Good Riddance at the curtain call.  

Afterwards we went to Shake Shack for some dessert before heading up to my apartment.  Overall, a perfect birthday celebration.  The only thing that could have made it better, maybe, was catching Billie Joe’s guitar pick but I’m not too upset about that.  

Oh, and my dad loved the show. 🙂