Has it really been four years? You mean, I have kept a job - the same job - for FOUR YEARS? Jeez, now that is a cause for celebration! Truthfully, I started celebrating last night with a friend over a bottle of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon and therefore am slightly slow this morning on the computer. I also worked my last day at The Home Depot on Friday, another thing to celebrate - me leaving a job by my own choice and not the other way around. Too many times over the years, I have taken jobs working for other people that I didn't even want and stayed at them much longer than I should have, and when you make decisions like that - not listening to what your instincts are telling you - things are usually not going to go well for anybody involved. Which is why starting today, I hope to work 100% for me...or at least until my money runs out.
"So a comedian walks into a library and decides to work there..."
That was the tagline that started everything on June 1, 2010. It was the start of a joke. The beginning of a story. My story. The story that I am finally going to write...and finish. I look at all of the things I have accomplished over the past four years as the Stand-Up Librarian from performances and events to literary purses and parody songs, but the two things I wanted more than anything else was to be hired as a librarian at a library and to finish writing my book! A job offer is obviously out of my control, but writing this book has been completely up to me. I talk about it all the time. I say I'm working on it. But I'm not. Because I am scared. What if I suck as a writer? What if I open up my heart and soul to expose my truth and then nobody gives a shit? I also mostly think, Who would hire me after reading this? But then I look at all of the people who have hired me as a result of not writing it. Zero.
Well, except for The Home Depot. They hired me. For $8.25 an hour as a cashier. Talk about a humbling experience for someone with a Masters degree and a ten year career in marketing/public relations. The reasons I went to work there were simple: 1) health benefits; 2) meet dudes; 3) to prove to myself and my parents that I could keep a job. Mission accomplished. Kind of. The company took away health benefits at the end of the year for all part-time employees; most of the male customers were either married, crazy or missing teeth; and I finally realized at almost 40 years old, I shouldn't have to prove anything to anybody, especially that I can work for low wages for people I don't respect. What I did learn was most of my co-workers were awesome people I admire and that DIY really means Do It Yourself! Like seriously, don't expect anybody to help you even when it is part of their job description. It should also mean Do It For Yourself because most of the time you won't win awards or promotions for your work but if you truly enjoy it, then it will be a rewarding experience no matter what. So thank you Home Depot for all that you taught me about "The Power of Tools."
My talents may include dancing on a book cart or designing literary accessories but they also include molding my image into a person that is hopefully hireable and likeable, thus concealing the "bad" parts. It is not only exhausting but a huge waste of time. People will eventually see that you know next to nothing about caulking (and don't care to) and when you slice off the tip of your finger or drink too much, you curse like a sailor. Which is why today, four years after I started this whole Stand-Up Librarian journey, that I am going to apologize. For holding back. Some of my best jokes I have not performed. My craziest stories, have not been shared. Why? Because I wanted to protect the people who were assholes. And sometimes that asshole was me.
That being said, I am going to take the summer off from everything in order to dig deep into my past to finish this book so I can finally let go of the person I was trying to be and become the person I actually am. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my family. I owe it to anybody out there that is discouraged or frustrated about unemployment or struggling to find their passion or simply needs to see that someone like me - someone who didn't "make it" in Hollywood or get hired out of library school - still managed to have a great time by learning to Do It HERSELF.
See you in a couple of months...
Comedian. Librarian. Designer. Writer. Publicist. Advocate. FUTURE AUTHOR.