The new normal

Before I get into today’s post, I’m sad about this. I love her music … her sound. Sure, she was a train wreck, a hot mess or whatever phrase is used to describe a messed-up soul these days, and hard drug use is so fucking gauche, but this is a huge loss. Not nearly as huge as her death, but still there will be a significant hole left in the music world by Ms. Winehouse’s early departure. Rest in peace.

It’s been six months since I was set free from my part-time copy editing gig at well-known health care business/policy magazine here in Chicago. Since that time, I’ve survived a horrible winter (along with the rest of the Chicago area), gotten back into Bikram yoga full-force, made huge strides in writing my book, spent some time below the Mason-Dixon, picked my nose, kept my couch down, dyed my hair, read a lot, watched the political cavalcade gearing up for 2012, saw & avoided my family, contemplated my future, and did a little of this and a little of that. Big whup. Oh, and I looked for work. In the past 6 months, approximately 75 resumes have been sent from this computer. Each one was carefully crafted — mirroring the job descriptions and some good came out of my efforts. I had several phone interviews with publications in south Florida and a few other places. Odd. But, I figure I’m not going to find anything decent in town since the competition here is very stiff. I’m up against much more seasoned journos who used to write for the Chicago Tribune, the Sun-Times, Crain’s, etc. I heard recently that one gig I applied for — over 50 locals applied for it. My contact didn’t divulge the total number of applicants from parts unknown though, and I am grateful for her silence, because I’m sure it’s well over 100. She probably didn’t want me to add to my stress.

It’s all part of the new normal: 100s of applicants for one job.

A friend was kind enough to hire me to help her out on her pub’s copy desk. The money’s decent and the material, interesting. She’s a life-saver. However, I’ve realized that what my life is now is the new normal. I’m probably never going to get that elusive benefits-laden full-time gig in a newsroom, and I’ll be freelancing for the rest of my life. Soon, my days will be spent hearing about how some youngin’ got a job I should have landed but because of my age and, um, *experience*, I was never even in the running. Doesn’t matter that I’m just starting out too, my *experience* is my age and while it’s completely unfair, it’s also a huge shitbag of wrong.

But, what can I do, really? Throw a hissy fit? Ugh, that’s so passe and so NOT me. Plus, it only feels good for a nanosecond and as soon as it’s over, you feel like you’ve slid head-first down Crap Mountain, naked with your mouth wide open. I’ll just keep it in the back of mind to remember to gently talk any woman in her late-30s who’s considering going back to school, to never get a master’s degree in journalism, or any type of liberal arts degree for that matter. It’s a waste of money — especially if you want to work as a reporter at a daily or weekly. No one will hire you! They want young and inexperienced (read: clueless). Ha. So much for not looking my true age.

‘Tis sad but true, and I have the battle scars to prove it.

My dream is that my book sells and I’ll be rewarded with a huge dose of motivation, which will then enable me to say “piss off” to the journo world. I’ll write all day, but there will actually be a bona fide future in this whole write-the-whole-damn-day dream.

This is one dream I truly hope comes true.

We all know that today could’ve turned out a lot worse.

3 thoughts on “The new normal

  1. The sad thing about Winehouse is that she had the best looking fun bags I’ve seen on a singer in a while. And her pipes weren’t bad either.

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