Tuesday, July 3, 2012

High and Dry

I was watching The Newsroom today when an interesting thought hit me... oh, you haven't seen The Newsroom yet?  Really?  That delightful new concoction from Aaron Sorkin that mixes cynicism with wild, patriotic optimism?  The TV show about a news show that wants to be fair, and thorough, and actually return to the state of honest journalism that has been sadly nonexistent in recent years?  That show starring Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterson and Emily Mortimer and Alison Pill (who was my favorite part of Scott Pilgrim) and Dev Patel (who I've hoped would do something to redeem his last appearance in the worst movie ever).  You know.  That show.*

Anyway.  Back to my evening and the inevitable exciting-ness therein.  As I was watching the second episode of The Newsroom, this aching started.  This slow burn spread from my sternum, burrowed though ribs and lungs and settled into a white hot point of despair right between ventricles and arteries and whatever necessary tubes lead to the heart.

I want to have a job I care about.  I so, so desperately want to have a job I care about.

There's a reason I haven't been writing a lot lately,either here or privately.  It's because while life is going great, and while I love being in Seattle and adjusting to being married (surprisingly easy, actually) and having new friends and new experiences, there is this constant drag on my spirit.  My job has been the greatest source of strife for me over the past few months.  Every day, I wake up soulsick, knowing that I have to drive and drive and then sit and sit, trying to fight apathetic teens and over-zealous parents, teaching a test I believe is fundamentally flawed, all while struggling against a broken system.  I hate it.  I HATE IT SO MUCH.

It's not a difficult job.  It's just mindless, and soul-sucking, and my branch is run by people who have absolutely no business being in charge of anything.  I'm lucky that I have an out soon, and that come August I start an excellent job at an excellent school.  But right now I'm stuck in the middle of this disaster.  It's a strange experience, witnessing a workplace fall apart.  I feel like I'm watching the tail-end of a year-long decline at my company, watching the students and teachers abandon ship one by one, and anxiously waiting for the time when I can put on my life preserver and jump off.
That's why it's difficult for me to view people that feel so strongly about the importance of what they are doing.  I am self-aware enough to know that I'm driven by passion, that I studied a field that could feed that need and that I'm quite skilled at to boot, yet here I am.  Drowning in the after tow of life-progression blues.  Trying my best to survive these two months until maybe, just maybe I can feel some drive and inspiration again.  Until I can float atop the waters, soaking in sunlight, rather than being sucked into the riptide.

*It's also that show that has some salty language, so if you have sensitive ears maybe it's not quite the show for you.  But may I recommend the first four seasons of The West Wing?


Sierra Penrod said...

Cat, I need to know--what exactly is your job?

Cat said...

I work for a tutoring company, tutoring kids ages 5-20 (almost exclusively ESL students). I mostly do SAT prep, though they've had me tutor anything and everything, from elementary math to Latin American history.