Sunday, June 24, 2007

Look out World.

I have been in such a terrible mood. My apologies, to anyone who has crossed my path this week.

It all started with a terrible meeting at the beginning of the week, wherein one of our community partners told me he felt that I was more concerned with pleasing corporate groups and celebrities, than with helping the community. This, by the way, is after I spent part of my "vacation" straightening out a mess these guys had made with a volunteer group. Also after the leader of their volunteer group yelled at me over the phone, called me "ridiculous," and then spent the weekend calling my personal cell phone every 15 minutes to make demands... Demands like "You need to bring us a barbecue grill out to our work site right now. We want to cook."

After that, we had this huge corporate project on Wednesday. There were some big shots from our national office in town, and they were less than thrilled about how the project ran. In fact, on a conference call afterwards, one of them reached down my throat, ripped out my heart, and took a big bite out of it. At least that's what it felt like.

Actually, things got pretty heated on that call. He essentially said that all the work we've done for the last 8 months has been crap, and we've just been getting by on people's sentimentalities for the situation down here. Then I basically told him, he didn't know a damn thing about working in New Orleans, or any of the projects we've run for that matter.

And it basically ended with him saying that this next project better be perfect because the fate of the organization was on the line, and me telling him that it would be perfect - and that when it was, we should damn well get his respect for it. And then 10 minutes after the call, I was already hating myself for getting caught up in his ridiculousness, and for letting him make me so angry.

Then the week rounded out with the team that I manage having a meeting, and raising the age old question: "What does the management team do, anyway?" Now if this question were asked in a spirit of curiousity - it would be completely understandable and I would be happy to answer it. But it's not. It's asked in the spirit of: "We run this place. You guys don't know anything about what we do. Whatever it is you do, we could probably do it better. And in general - How dare you try to manage us."

And I know this - because I used to be the one asking that question in that spirit, before getting sucked into this management role, and having a whole new world of organizational problems and crisis' to deal with. Essentially, most of my energy is spent working with a few other folks to keep the doors of this place open. And that takes a hell of a lot of time.

In addition to all of this, I'm trying to find a job and in general plan out my life after New Orleans. But with work being as miserable as it is lately, I just can't bring myself to apply for any job with a non-profit. In fact, I really loathe the idea of working for anyone right now. I also can't stand the thought of sitting behind a desk for 9 hours a day.

All of this has led me to pursue the idea of freelance work, wether that would be writing, landscaping, painting, or whatnot. And that thought, gives me a little peace of mind. Unfortunately, everyone I talk to tells me that either - I won't be able to support myself, or that I'm committing career suicide by not utilizing the experience I've gained here to move up.

But move up to what? I higher level, better paying job - that sucks my soul out of my body one day at a time, until I give up on happiness completely? I know I sound like a 25 year old right now - but I just don't see why I should aspire to something I know will ensure my misery Monday through Friday between 8 and 5, every day forever. Especially not if it's just for the money.

Seriously? I've been saying this since I was 10. And back then - everyone thought I was just a kid. I said it in high school - and everyone thought I was idealistic. Now I'm 25 - and I still:


I want to be able to pay the bills and save a bit, but I have never wanted to be really rich. Or have tons of extra cash, so that I could fill a too-big house with too-much stuff. I don't want alot of gadgets, or a coffee maker that makes 20 kinds of coffee. I don't need 12 rooms in a house, or a gigantic car. In fact, I feel that the simplicity of my life is directly linked with my personal happiness.


So then some friends invited me to a movie... Who Killed the Electric Car? Which is a documentary on the creation of a high-functioning electric vehicle, and the subsequent destruction and cover-up of that technology.

Honestly. And this is terrible. But I try and avoid movies on any sort of world issues. They only spiral me into depression, and then make me feel pressured to do something about all the injustices in the world. And of course, there's not much I can really do - So I end up just feeling terrible about the world and myself.

So far, in the middle of this horrible mood - I've had terrible conversations with almost everyone important to me, and really anyone else that's crossed my path at all. I think I ought to temporarily ban myself from social endeavors and phone calls, until I get myself straigtened out.

My ma says I just need to get through this next month in New Orleans, and then take some time off. She thinks once I've decompressed, the future won't be so depressing and overwhelming.

I hope she's right.


Erin said...

...and then make me feel pressured to do something about all the injustices in the world. And of course, there's not much I can really do...

Ohh, jeez,'re doing more to right the injustices of the world, just by doing what you're doing in New Orleans, than just about anyone else I know. I have tremendous respect for you, though I'm sorry that you're so tired and frustrated right now. Don't let anyone ever make you feel like you're not doing "enough."

Hang in there, and don't let yourself get too burnt out. The world is always going to need people with your fire and drive - but it also isn't going to collapse if you take a few months to heal yourself.

I don't know why this particular entry compelled me to comment, more than any others, but there you go.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

If you're good at whatever it is you want to do, you can easily support yourself by freelancing.