Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The following is a gchat conversation. The name of my fellow conversant has been changed to protect the relatively innocent :)
me: sometimes i think i just want a more interesting job
other person: ME TOO.
me: hah
other person: thats why they call it work, and not play
blog on that
me: no. it's depressing
other person: exactly my point
something died in me when I got my first grown up job after college
for real
me: i feel like a sell out
i might blog about that
owning a house and working a 9-5
other person: yeah, but sell-outs pay their bills
you are what makes this country
hippie college kids walking around Alaska do nothing for the economy, society. they are takers not givers
so THERE. take that all you clove smoking hipsters
me: i used to like cloves
even though it is said that they make your lungs bleed
i don't really like them anymore
other person: selling out, one hip habit at a time
you're half way to a mini van
me: i don't think i'll have a mini van anytime soon
marriage is the one sell-out thing i'm pretty far from
so at least i have that :)
other person: yeah, you'll turn around twice and you'll have 2 kids and a jello in your DVD player.

i can't really decide whether or not i really have sold out. i often feel like i have, but i often feel many negative things about myself that may or may not be true. let's have some retrospect, so you can look at my life the way that i'm looking at it right now:

age 23 katie: why, hello, age 15 katie! would you mind telling me where you'll be in 10 years?

age 15 katie: not at all. wow, that's a really long time from now. surely, i will have graduated from high school and college. i will most definitely be married and maybe even have a baby. that will be so great. my husband will probably be a pastor and definitely a musician and will absolutely adore me. i might even have a great job at some non-profit organization, saving the world and they will, of course, give me a long maternity leave and then let me come back part time, if i want to.

enter age 20 katie

age 15 and age 23 katie: hi!

age 20 katie: listen, age 15 katie, i just want to tell you this now - we're still single.

age 15 katie: what?! you're such a bum!

age 20 katie: eh.

exit age 15 katie in a fit of rage

age 23 katie: sorry about that, age 20 katie. age 15 katie is a bit nuts.

age 20 katie: oh, i remember.

age 23 katie: great. would you mind telling me where you'll be in 5 years?

age 20 katie: certainly. well, i know i will have graduated from milligan. i'll probably be in grad school, or teaching at some wonderful little high school where they pay me in maple syrup. maybe i'll be in a relationship, maybe not. i'll definitely be doing something interesting and helpful for the world. hopefully i'll be playing a lot of music and writing. heck, i might even be a

i may or may not have gotten carried away in that hypothetical conversation between 3 different selves, but i'm done now and let us proceed.

now, it's clear that i've completely let down my 15 year old self, but that reminds me of a line in a song:

i know, we're not where i promised you we'd be by now,
but maybe it's a question of who'd want it anyhow?

that's not to say that if i, for some reason, was married and with child tomorrow, that i'd be devastated. i would embrace it. but, it's not something that i'm particularly longing for at this moment. i'm content in my life of parties and baking, sans diapers and where-will-we-spend-christmas? arguments.

it's the 20 year old self that i feel more upset about disappointing. i had such high hopes for myself - that i would do something different, unusual, radical, even. that i would live a life worth talking about. have i sold my dreams for a yellow kitchen and a steady paycheck? i understand that i'm only 23, but many people have done great things by the time they were my age, or at least working toward it. i have friends working in foreign countries, ministering in the church, teaching in the inner-city. i have an entry-level position and i wait tables. and i've started owning lots of things. i own a house and a couch and lovely dining room set. that bothers me - owning lots of things. it makes me feel heavier.

but at the same time, i will say that i still love my house and all of the things in it. i find them to be great tools of hospitality, and this i love. i also love having money with which to do nice things for people. for instance, i decided that i was going to make my brother a beautiful birthday cake from scratch. it cost $40 to get everything i needed! i like being able to do that, and to have parties to bring people together, and offer my house if anyone needs a roof or a family.

so, maybe working a 9-5 and owning a house isn't selling out after all. maybe "helping the world" doesn't necessarily mean doing that for a living. maybe that just means making life better for the people in your world. maybe i should just appreciate being blessed enough to bless others, and do it.

and perhaps, i'm really just taking myself far too seriously:
katie: i'm writing a blog and trying to decide whether or not i've sold out.
unnamed co-worker: i think you need to have gotten more before you're considered a sell out.
katie: great. i'm a sell out with nothing to show for it.

in order to help me feel better about my often-tiresome job, i'm going to try to get some short stories published, and hit up a few more open mics. i'll let you know how that goes. it's not a move to central america to live in a hut and rock orphan infants, but these are things that can happen now. perhaps i should try to steer away from escapist coping mechanisms for a bit and just try to make my life one that doesn't need them.

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