Living the Dream

Today was one of those days where I wondered again what the universe would like me to do.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could just put in a request, like at the grocery store where they have slips that say: what would you like us to carry? and you wrote down: Cocoanut Water and a few weeks later, it appears on the shelf.  It just doesn’t work that way.  

I love it here.  I want to stay here.  And it seems like Nevada County really wants me to stay, but I need a new place to live, which means I need a real job .  I am trapped in that quandary of service industry work: if i get a job, say at the Briar Patch making 12$ an hour, then I lose what little assistance I have and I can’t afford to pay for child care.  

Suddenly I am peppered with offers to make music, people are interested in my writing, I’m meeting new interesting people I want to pursue relationships with and yet my mind keeps telling me to be reasonable and get a grown up job.  Somewhere else. 

I was at an event today at Sierra Commons for local business people and I found myself chatting with two people, one of whom turned out to be Heidi Hall who is running for congress, and both of them told me they started novels about the area and never finished them.  I guess alot of people have this dream.  Someone needs to tell the story.  

I noticed all over again how many exceptional people are drawn to this area with the hopes of contributing, of striking gold and sharing the bounty.  It’s built into the place.  And many do.  A surprising amount of people do.  

I seldom make the responsible choice.  Today, I could have sat down and struggled again trying to write a marketing blog about marketing trends in the life sciences.  I could have job searched.  I could have listed more stuff on Ebay and taken more stuff to the Salvation Army.  

Or I could have sat down and wrote another two pages in my novel.  Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.  

But I also know that I will never get to the end of my life and think: I should have gone right back to work after Blossom was born.  I know I will never feel like this time with her is wasted time.  She benefitted already from her first three years here.  

I have to believe that even in the thick of this unease it was worth it to be poor so I could be with her every day.  And if that means that Mommy never gets a career in marketing, or makes it as an artist, well, tough titty.  

Nevada County feels like paradise in a lot of ways.  But paradise is illusory.  



Job Hunting

Today I went to Sacramento for two purported marketing jobs.  What “marketing” means  is really sales, but most employers don’t tell you that you will be going door to door selling office supplies or working at trade shows giving away promotions for casinos.

Once when I was 20 and I first moved to Santa Cruz, another bleak job market, I answered an ad in the paper for a sales position in the paper.  This was pre-internet. I drove down to Monterey to discover that I would be going door to door selling vacuum parts.  Not even whole vacuums, just vacuum parts.  I feel kind of like that now.

I’m an artist who has finally made the concession that art is not a job, and call me bougie, but I can’t sell something i don’t believe in: you should see this casino!  It’s opulent! and cheap at the same time!  You should pay the 399.00, take your family, load up on cisco food and dump all your savings into a slot machine!  It’s sooo much fun!

Here’s the horrible thing: I would do this job if it had anything to do with writing AT ALL.  I could sell bullshit all day long as long as it gave me a chance to craft the language.  And of course, I got paid.

But I can’t work 10 hrs a day and never see my kid and live in the big box burbs AND make no money.  That would be a serious step down in my and kid’s quality of life.

This is the funny thing, on the way back from Sac I stopped at Carpe Vino ( really needed a glass of wine) and i started chatting with a lady at the bar.  Turned out we both live in Penn Valley and we compared notes about living in Nevada county, how people here definitely bring their B game when it comes to efficiency, but there is so much art, culture, so much potential.  She asked me what I do and i told her I write, mostly fiction but I’m trying to break into marketing etc.  She asked what I love to write about and told her art was the thing I really loved to talk about.  It turns out she works at Center for the Arts in GV.  And she gave me her card.  Weird, I thought.  last week I was about to off myself because I was unhirable, this week I had 3 interviews only to discover that all of them were crap and then I bump into a neighbor who is essentially responsible for supporting artists in Nevada County.

So tomorrow, I go back to the One Stop and check out the postings.  Tomorrow I try to get a gig doing reception or waiting tables.  Or “marketing”.

Wouldn’t you rather I paint your picture with words, Nevada County?  Wouldn’t you rather I help bring this place into the 21 century in terms of fostering a lasting culture, a real reflection of all the amazing stuff that is happening here?  All you have to do is pay me.  Really.  40k. and maybe benefits.