What Color Is My Parachute?
It’s time to write about my boring life again. I have this really old book about job hunting. It’s sort of the seminal book on job hunting. It’s called What Color Is My Parachute? It was written by a minister, and it is somewhat faith based, but anyone can get something out of it. Its principle thesis is that we go about job hunting the wrong way in order to be successful in getting a job and in order to find a job in which we are fulfilled.
It’s one of those books that I’ve read several times because it’s worth reading. However, I eventually became convinced that while it was a great idea to approach job hunting in an alternative way it just wasn’t practical. The author talks of figuring out what your vocation is and in what setting you want to approach that vocation and then design your dream job and keep approaching companies until someone eventually creates or gives you your dream job based on the strength of your conviction.
You market yourself and convince the company that it needs you. While I’m sure that this approach is wildly successful for a minority of people, it’s not practical for the rest of us. How do I know this? I tried it. And the author would say that I didn’t try enough. Persistence. Persistence is key. But at what point does persistence begin to be foolish in the face of constant opposition?
That being said, I have decided to incorporate certain elements of that book back into my life. I have goals that I would like to see happen. There are three of them.
- I want to travel out of the country. I’d like to travel, period. But I have never once traveled out of the United States. I am going to see another country before I die. At least one. I do not want to die being one of those famously ignorant Americans who haven’t experienced life outside of these borders.
- I am tired of looking in the mirror every day and seeing a face that I don’t recognize as being mine. I am tired of carrying all this extra weight, and I am tired of looking at the chips in my two front teeth. I am going to lose weight, and I am going to get my teeth fixed. I’m sick of looking at them.
- I am going to get serious about my writing. I don’t want to be a writer. I am a writer. I’m a damn good writer. I am the best damn writer that practically no one on the internet is reading. My job is great, for what it is, and I am thankful to have it; no, I am blessed; I hope I never take it for granted. But it’s not fulfilling in and of itself, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. I get so tired of reading stuff written by other so-called professional writers, on blogs for big sites and some legitimate publications, that don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re or whose and who’s or its and it’s or how to use a damn apostrophe. If you can’t learn basic grammar, what business do you have making two nickels from writing while I sit behind a desk every day like Dilbert?
Last week I went to my therapist, and we decided to cut back to just one session every other week. Soon I won’t need to go at all. I came in and told him about how John Shore had paid me a compliment on my writing style and how I flirted with the Cute Museum Guy, and he said, “You don’t seem depressed to me.”
I said, “That’s right. I’m not.”
So, to complete my big goals I have to meet some little goals first.
First, I need a birth certificate because I need a birth certificate to get a passport. So, I got some paperwork notarized, and I got a $15 money order. And I am going to send that paperwork to the state of my birth and get a copy of my original birth certificate.
I am going to take that copy when it comes and get a passport. I am going to go to Walgreens and get a photo taken and go to the Post Office and pay whoever needs to be paid there and do it. Baby steps. I feel like the Bill Murray character in What About Bob?
Then, I am going to save up my money and go on a cruise with the Mr. Brewsters next May. We are going to see Mexico and Jamaica and the Grand Cayman Islands. It’s not India or Europe, but it’s a start. Maybe while I’m in the Grand Cayman Islands I can get some money laundered or something.
About the body and the face that I don’t recognize: I have a gym membership that I never use. I know how to lose weight. I’ve lost tons of weight before and kept it off for a significant period of time. I know what I need to do and what kinds of food I need to eat and how to limit my portions and the importance of drinking lots and lots and lots of water and eating lots and lots and lots of veggies. I just don’t do it to the extent that I need to to see results.
To that end, I am going to commit to eating better and exercising, and I am going to start seriously drinking water again. I am going to get at least twenty minutes of walking in at least five times a week. That’s completely doable. Anything else is gravy. I am going to start cooking at home. Healthy stuff. Maybe not every evening. That’s a bit much. But sometimes is better than nothing. Anything is an improvement.
As for the teeth, I need to make an appointment with a dentist. I have dental insurance. I’ve had it for almost two years, and I do not use it. I’m for sure not ever getting rid of the snaggle teeth if I can’t even pick up the phone to make an appointment with a dentist. Step One: Make a dental appointment.
As for the writing, I am going to commit to writing at least five blog entries a week. That isn’t too much to expect. A professional writer writes for a living. I go to my job and work five days a week. It’s not too much to expect for a writer to write, consistently.
As for getting paid for the writing, well, it’s never going to happen if I can’t prove that I can write. Writing consistently is going to give me a portfolio that I can use in looking for work. It might get me noticed, but that seems very unlikely. It’s more likely that I’ll have to go looking for work, but it’s certain that I’m not ever going to find work as a writer by working a desk job during the day and spending my free time reading other people’s writing and sitting on my hands. And I am sure as hell not going to find it at the bottom of a beer bottle.