What I’ve Learned In The Two Weeks I’ve Been Unemployed
I want to work but I don’t want to go back to working. I don’t want to have my time crippled by activities that deviate from my norm. I’m tired of the daily prison of things that holds your schedule hostage. You’re ordered to fill the web with useless stuff — sporting headlines that always knock your version out of place.
After about three months of content programming — I was willing to surrender to the “job thing” indefinitely because that’s what you do when you vow to keep your aging parents stress free — after offering to bear some of the financial burden.
Now, I’m in no shape to support anyone but myself — and even with that reality — I can barely manage — but, I make it work. You do what you have to — when you’re a writer by trade and a traitor during the hours of when logging out could cost you everything.
It’s been two weeks since my release and I sincerely have no desire to change my status.
Getting up in the morning and purposely planning the day with hours that belong to me has reverted me back to human. The robot that I was for five months has been deactivated — although I would love to utilize her for my own pursuits.
It would be great to have a life-like bot — attend the interviews that I no longer ace due to fatigue and a general lack of respect for a belligerent workforce — that hates the idea that so many of us need to make a damn living.
It’s like WTF are you doing back here?! Didn’t we place your ass with the company that everyone wants to work for, not too long ago?
Yep! These revered companies — work through clueless employment agencies — who no longer possess the willpower to fight for the dignity of their over-qualified clients. They agree to supply well-dressed laborers with enough brain power to perform tasks that require less than they can muster.
Why should I bother showing up like a dutiful American — with the birthright to pursue the dream that perished on my watch? I’d rather watch a slew of documentaries on Netflix and get smarter by the hour.
The one that really got me is titled Big Men — and the documentarian picked that title as an homage to Nigerians who typically refer to anyone with enough money to buy a country — as “big man.”
The film annoyed me for two reasons — the first one is petty as fuck but I don’t care — I hate that a young White woman partnered with Brad Pitt’s Production company to deliver a scathing review of the global greed that is responsible for the environmentally fucked landscape of the Niger Delta — where locals are being suffocated by the flames of bloated power mongers.
I ignored the call from another agency that wants to confirm for the 100th time — what my aspirations are and where I want to grow them.
I’m for real pissed that this well-made film that sheds light on how Africa’s resources are exploited for the betterment of civilized nations that need running water and constant electricity — at the expense of the population that was damned for being conceived in the middle of oil territory — was profitably conceptualized by a woman who didn’t grow up where I did.
Shit! I should have been a docujournalist.
I know about Ken Saro-Wiwa and how he died for his people. The Ogoni people in Rivers State — who are still being persecuted for their access to what gives Nigerian governmental officials — the incentive to kill off their own — in favor of side orders and a great relationship with colonizers and the United States.
Fuck! When you have all the time in the world — you tend to think a whole lot more than you should.
It comes in waves. You’re ravaged by the guilt of being an American with a Nigerian name and nothing to show for it — then you realize that despite the loss of major income — there is another way in.
Medium lets me know via text and email — that my words have garnered enough praise to earn me a deposit. Suddenly I’m tossed out of the funk and into the light. Perfect timing! Especially since the piece about Why Having a Job Is Costlier Than It’s Worth — gave me the most coins — until I was forced to delete it — to assuage former employers who couldn’t handle the truth.
Now, I have all the time in the world to write for money. The past couple of years are now filing up the hole that content programming vacated. Like a sparrow soaring with repaired wings — I’m examining the metrics below and swooping in on the day the money appears.
I’m trying to learn about perseverance with the banner of loyalty and adherence to the ones that loved you before you could lock them out.
I have a lot of time to write and think.
I think about the title while taking a shower — and then I begin the draft when the greenery kicks in or when I race for the pee that I’ve been holding — until I was halfway through.
I’m learning to decide what I want and what I truly need and how to make “not working” feel like a natural transition into the realm of “working all the time” — especially when readers prove how the years of free labor can transform into the career of your dreams.
I really, really, really don’t want to go back to work because I’ve spent most of my life working for others and hardly working for me — and now that I’m at the tipping point of calculating how much my passion is worth — the results will dictate everything.
My sensors are alight because the burden of every American who has to report for duty without a bullet-proof vest to validate the need for survival — has been shifted with consent.
I’ve learned that there is no traditional way to keep up appearances in all areas of life.
I’m over forty, single, childless, jobless, and still able to bypass the lists of people who killed themselves — without succumbing to the pangs of euphoria that could make it all go away. I don’t want to die because living is a bitch that I’m still trying to manhandle — I sometimes want to die because there is never a reason to want it that bad — until the reason begs for mercy.
I’m going to learn how to be kinder to myself. I want to perfect the ways in which we take ownership for how things are and leave the mystery to the day when the pearly gates part — with the audio of your most clapped piece — as the soundtrack.
I’m learning how to bow when the applause ends — but that hasn’t happened yet.
That’s why I’m never, ever going back to work. I’m just going to keep on working.