Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Descending the ladder......

I'm not quite sure when this happens. And maybe it's different for all of us. Most things are.

But a few years ago, I jumped off the career whirley-gig. You know the one where you care about that next move up the ladder that is particular to your profession? The one that keeps you from pointing out to the idiot in your office that he (or she; they come in both genders, but I'm only going to say it once) IS an idiot even though his ego causes him to toss around nonsensical edicts like confetti at a coronation?

When you're younger you roll your eyes, but you comply. You care about that ladder with all those steps you haven't gotten to yet. They can mean more money or prestige, after all. A better life for you and your family......right?

Let me alert you, which is why we convene here anyway. At some point, you'll get your saw out of the garage and chop that ladder right down. 

For some people, it happens gradually. You'll realize that the pull of your living room is stronger than the one that has always sucked you back into the office, even if you had already put in hours of overtime that week. You'll sneak out to attend your child's basketball game, rather than make one more excuse for missing it. You simply would rather be sitting in the sun cheering her on than you would occupying a chair in another endless meeting where egos are slithering all over the room.

You will accept that your boss or supervisor or whatever that person is called in your professional life is not a diety after all. That person does not hold the key to your happiness. It occurs to you that you're probably smarter than she is; it's simply a matter of you not being intimidated any longer. Why? Because the ladder is of no concern to you.

For some, it happens overnight. You wake up and the world has shifted on its axis as you slept; your mirror shows a different person as you brush your teeth. The thought of walking through that office and smiling at all those nonentities one more time churns your stomach.

As a writer trying to climb the ladder of acceptance, I did all the right things: I attended writers' conferences. I continued to study the craft. I started a writers' group. I smiled at agents; I even paid agents to talk to me about my work.  I wrote queries according to ridiculously detailed instructions. I submitted my work following even more detailed directives. I was lied to by a publisher. And I wrote and wrote and wrote.

I did all of this for years. I still don't have an agent. I ended up publishing my work myself: one printed book and one eBook.

I love to write. I don't need anyone's acceptance or approval to do it.

My ladder? It was hacked into pieces during this past year, and put out on the curb for garbage pickup. Where it finally belonged.

Any consideration of the life and larger social existence of the modern corporate man ... begins and also largely ends with the effect of one all-embracing force. That is organization.... It is to this, at the expense of family, friends, sex, recreation and sometimes health and effective control of alcoholic intake, that he is expected to devote his energies.John Kenneth Galbraith

Are you a single parent or know a single parent? Broken Strings: Wisdom for Divorced and Single Parents is available at all online bookstores now! Save shipping by contacting the author directly......


No comments:

Post a Comment