Ahem, allow me to start this post with five seconds of truth with Alexandra… I write travel, but I don’t always only write travel. I sometimes do contract work, a wide variety of contract work, and most recently I’ve been working on a project in the Bay Area. And now they may want me to not just be an independent contractor… That being said…
I would imagine that when people find out that they just got a permanent job, they would be thrilled and want to do (or perhaps actually do) what is commonly referred to as “the happy dance” and that the only tears shed are tears of happiness. And if in fact most people react in the way I imagine, then I’m left to wonder (and brain and erratic female emotions, I direct this question primarily at you) why on God’s green Earth, when I’m told, “We’d like to hire you permanently” (or any other variation of that saying) do I feel a surge of panic rush through my body, a lump appears in my throat, and my eyes begin to tear up just a little? And I sit there envisioning myself throwing back the chair and standing up (of course done in an overly dramatic manner) and shouting, “How dare you try to offer me a job! Just who do you think you are, trying to hire me like that?!” And then of course I follow up this over-the-top blow up with a Braveheart-esque belt of “Freeeeeeeedommmmmmm!” Upon which, I then calmly walk out of the office.
If only that could be my actual reaction! First of all, not only would that be so much more memorable for the employer (and me), but it’s also a more accurate version of how I want to react in that situation. But (as you probably already guessed, or I hope you guessed at least) I instead sit there nicely as they break the “bad news” to me and just do a lot of “mmm hmm” “ok” “yes, great” and “thank you so much.” (Sorry Mel, no Braveheart tribute after all.)
Now mind you (contrary to what my ridiculously fantasized reaction may have led you to believe) it’s not like these people are trying to hire me to work in a sweatshop or something. There is no forced labor or straw mats involved in the contract. (However, I would be opened to discussing the possibility of throwing in a straw mat as an extra perk.) No, these are good jobs and jobs that I’m good at, they pay well and are usually a great work environment. But…these jobs would keep me in one place, doing the same thing for a rather long period of time, which, if I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m saying it now, is one of my worst nightmares, right up there with having my teeth break in half and bleed profusely (weird, I know).
And every time I’m offered “one of these jobs” I feel like a mother lioness trying to protect her cub (in this case, my cub being my suitcase, which in reality I am not attached to because I have a weird psychological issue in which I think my suitcase is my child. …Though if I were to have a weird psychological issue that would be cool one to have—I can see it now, rocking my suitcase to bed and changing its diaper. Awesome). No, I’m attached because my suitcase serves as the tangible representation of my freedom to travel and live an untethered life.
(Having written that last paragraph just gave me a great idea. Maybe next time I’m offered a job, I’ll actually react as a mother lioness. I’ll just squint my eyes, flash an intense look of death, and then start growling. Yeah, I think that would definitely get me out that job ASAP.)
Now the reason I mention any of this in the first place is because, it happened again. I just sat through this same, “’We’d like to hire you’ and me considering screaming or growling like a lion” scenario this last week. And now I’m in the all too familiar tug of war between a good job offer and my suitcase (which is sort of ironic because the job actually includes travel, but it would probably take about a year at the company before I’d get to really do any of the travel part). So I’m sitting here running my fingers through the zipper of my suitcase, smiling at its cute little pockets, and considering offering it a bottle of milk (hmm… maybe that potential psychological issue was more of a problem than I thought) and I’m feeling very indecisive on whether or not its time to bench my suitcase for a while and play with the big kids in the corporate world. Or, do I instead say, “Hands off my suitcase!” and live up this life on the road a while longer?
(Please keep in mind, while I may suffer from a condition in which I sometimes believe my suitcase is my child on which I may or may not put a diaper, I am a mature (or at least I would like to think I am) girl who realizes that I probably won’t want to live out of a suitcase forever. But while I’m young and free, I’d like to live just as that, young and free and traveling with my suitcase–because what kind of suitcase mother would I be if I left it behind?)
So unfortunately, all said and done, there’s no great conclusion to this post (Sorry, I know you were expecting awesomeness, but even I can’t be awesome all the time.) I’m still sitting here at the crossroad of decision, pretty much totally unsure of what to do. Although that mother lioness idea is starting to sound better and better to me…
…And if you have any two cents on the situation, I’d love to hear it (and I promise, offered advice is not contractually binding, unless of course it’s bad advice that I end up following. In which case, I will be forced to take all of your fortune and fame. And if you don’t have any of that, then I’ll take your chocolate chip cookies.)
P.S. I clearly need therapy.
P.S.S. Contrary to how it may sound, I am actually very grateful for these job opportunities. I know it’s a rough economy (my bank account reminds me of that everyday) and it’s not easy to find a job. So I consider myself blessed to even have a chance at one. But who are we kidding, I’m human (and female), and sometimes I just like to pout.