Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Wednesday
Jun142006

Chasing The Dream

I am stoned, watching the television program INTERVENTION on A&E. And it's FREAKING ME OUT! You go along, living life as a fairly productive citizen and suddenly you're a pot brownie away from an episode of INTERVENTION starring yourself. S'okay.. Am out of pot now. Future employers will be glad to know the binge is over.

Listen... I am having a crush of thoughts.. a big ol' crowd of thoughts jostling for attention up in my head. Cuh-razy thoughts that change the way I feel about life and my potential. My head aches with growing pains.

Not having a job affords one the time and the inclination to ponder what one really wants to do. The redundancy of a job can dull the senses and plug up the well that deep thoughts spring from. You tend to go through the motions, without giving them much thought. But you can go through the motions and wake up a divorce and four kids later and wonder how the fuck it all happened.

I graduated high school and set my sights on college. Once I realized I was moving faster in the 'real world' than college, I left college and accepted a full-time position at FOX news. Then I aimed for bettering my salary. Once that happened I settled into perfecting my skills as a producer. And then... and then.. Then what?

The job got old. Barring breaking news (which, unless some stupid bastard hiker gets stuck on a mountain prompting a 'major' rescue effort, isn't a pressing issue in Utah) the job was fairly routine. After awhile, even the breaking news gets routine. Same stories, different players.. I played my computer keyboard like a piano, often accomplishing what was supposed to last eight hours in two. Now what?

What's bigger and better than conquering New York City? So I landed my 'dream job' producing and writing news in the number one market in the country. But like ravenously biting into a much anticipated sandwich and discovering a hair that doesn't belong to you, I quickly discovered my dream job was just that; a dream. The reality is I lost my taste for producing. But the money kept rolling in and I told myself the gig was good as it was freelance and afforded me the option of trotting off to Europe with The Surge.. So I stuck with it until a month ago they made the decision for me.

So here I am... a panorama of options lay before me and I don't know what to do. I am paralyzed. Of course, I've sent out resumes (not one fucking response after sending out twenty odd resumes... and it was a proper I-am-a-responsible-employee resume chock full of self-aggrandizing lies) because that's what you do when you don't have a job.. But the lack of a prompt response (do you think maybe they googled me and found this blog and tossed my resume in the trash?) has given me time to think about me, my life. Is this what I really want? I don't know. If not, what do I want? Well, I want to be a writer.. a columnist, an author.. I just want to write. They say you need to find a way to get paid for doing what you love. I just can't seem to find a way.

Reader Comments (38)

okay ... here's the deal ... almost all writers (song writers, novel writers, sky writers, etc) either have trustfunds or girlfriends/wives who pay their way ...

look for a job waiting tables ... or face homelessness and hunger ...

dig it!

--PA
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterparticleaccelerator
Hmmmmmm....I don't know of many writers who have trust funds or wives/girlfriends who pay their way. Besides didn't think all writers were men either.

Monica, don't fret. You will get some bites. Just takes sometime. While you may think you have conquered NYC I don't know if that's true. Conquering it to me would be doing or finding something you love doing and making money at that.

You are a beautiful and talented young woman. You will go very far. Don't give up. Keep going!

I heard about the guy who applied for some insurance job. The potential employer found him on myspace. Found other things out too and decided against it. HA HA! While it's not really funny, it made me chuckle.

Don't give up on your dreams. They may not all come true but sometimes even the big one's do.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFiabug
You are a writer! You're a great writer, and I look forward to reading what you type, every day. You're looking, and you'll find your way; you're going to be published in the VERY BEST weblog writing book-- I'd say that's a good, first step.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
You strike me as a definite scrapper; I think that you'll figure out what kind of writing you want to do (book aside) and will kick ass when you figure it out. Until then, maybe getting a job that pays the rent but allows you some free time is the way to go? I've been dreaming lately of less responsibility. Working Girl sucks -- I don't want a damn corner office. Harrison Ford circa mid-'80s, though? That I'd take.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersandra
Maybe, just maybe, you need a total change, like a husband who is around more and a regular job...You're getting a little older now, maybe put away the drugs and the solo pitty party and move on. Also, I'm not an expert on this stuff, but my guess is admitting drug use and mental issues on a blog may make your really cool friends seem cooler, but not really help the job prospects.

Word.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKenny P
Kenny, do you like the Post or the Daily News better? Just curious.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
You know what's cool? Drugs.

You know what's cool? Smokin.

You know what's not cool? Voting.

June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
Your an awesome writer Monica - INCREDIBLY TALENTED SO. Getting paid for it would definately be nice, but until then, you already have the job - know that - you just need a salary increase.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
"Your an awesome writer Monica - INCREDIBLY TALENTED SO. Getting paid for it would definately be nice, but until then, you already have the job - know that - you just need a salary increase."

June 14, 2006 | Irene


I like that!


.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoe's mellow yellow
I have always thought that the idea that you should find something you love and then try to make money at it is kinda shitty advice. I would certainly like to make money doing something I love, but I don't want to do something I love to try to make money. Moreover, I think people are dynamic and complicated enough to find a career that they love to do outside of their creative passion. I think better advice would be: find something you love and just do it. Find any way to do it. Take a job that allows you to eat and to do what you love. Money chases talent. But sometimes talent has to take a day job while it waits for money to catch up.

June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLucia Dreamer
One last thing.

Last night I decided it would be a good idea to get out and network. I, like Monica, need work too.

Fuck the resume shit. I was gonna press the flesh.

I decided I would go out to one of the local watering holes and see if I could get a record-spinning job. Then I'd be back in the game! I'd make that bar manager forget about the time I chased out half of his crowd by playing Iggy and Lou Reed in his predominately, jam-band oriented room. I make him realize that there really isn't that much difference between Umphree McGhee and WHITE LIGHT WHITE HEAT. Surely he'd see things my way...especially if I begged.

Before I ever made it, I stopped off at another watering hole IN THE SAME BUILDING, upstairs where a friend of mine was making $150 playing the hits of yester-year in a cocktail lounge setting.

Anyway, one of the local drummers was at the bar, so we preceeded to get shit-faced drunk on vodka and I never made it downstairs to "network."

He managed to drive down a one-way street/alley the wrong way whilst moving his car about 100 feet.

I forget where my car was, and when I did find it, I drove 2 blocks to the nearest, dark residential street, parked, and slept for 3 hours.

The moral of the story is, if you are looking for a job; don't stop in for a drink first, don't drink more than 3 vodka shots, don't follow that up with a marijuana/tobacco spliff, and definitely watch out for drummers on their day off.

There's no substitute for networking.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoe's mellow yellow
Kenny, what a wiener you are. What does not smoking a little herb have to do with anything in the real fucking world? You probably like boys, just like Mike J., but because you don't post about it you think everything is cool in your world. Come on now, you got your shit. If you don't have any shit you are a boring cocksickle; get a hobby. So She posts, She posts her truths, many relate, many wish to the fucking end of time we could be as honest and still have our lives. Going out with friends and airing your emotional glib only strengthens a soul, it only lends help to one’s own delightfully confused soul in this motherfucker of a world.

God damn, you voted for Bush…I know it, and you think he is one smart apple.

Save it.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCunning linguist
Drinking is cool!
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
Joe, you are unbelievably funny and are, hands down, my favorite commenter.

Monica, it will all work out. It seems to me that your future employers may or may not google your name. If they do, they find the blog (it's the first thing that comes up, I checked) but I doubt if they'll spend two hours going back over every post to discover the drug use and so forth. As for Kenny's comment, I'm over 40 and I'm still friends with Mary Jane yet still hold down a job. So...
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSloopy
Easy Cunning Linguist... He has a few valid points. And remember, you'll scare away all the other folks from commenting for fear you'll blast them. Besides, Kenny intrigues me.. and only "Kenny" knows why.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Of course, if The Ex ever posts again, feel free to fling around the word 'cocksicle' indiscriminately.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
You know what Monica, if they google your name and take note that you smoke and not the genuis before and after that admission - screw them you don't want to work there anyway!
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
Kenny is not the problem; it is the hypocrisy that invades every aspect of interaction between humans within the United States. Whether or not you two have your inside interactions his comments only bring to light the bigger, reeking elephant in the corner where no one wants to tread. This fucking “corporate morality” or “religious idealism” stinks of such putrid, week-old meat, that only a whiff of the idea makes me puke and shit all at once.

To be honest, brings pain. To be self, brings isolation. To know self, brings lies.


Where is my fucking oxygen mask?

Where is my bong?

I’ve worked myself into a frothing mess.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCunning linguist
Monica, Why don't you model? You're definately pretty enough....and it would pay some bills and you'd get to travel.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjust someone
Awww.. Thanks for the compliment (checks in the mail)
June 14, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
Work does make me numb. Fuck. I agree with Lucilia Dreamer about shitty advice and better advice. I liked the part in your post that said, "my head aches with growing pains." I've never heard it put that way and it caught me. I don't understand how Kenny P. seems like a Bush voter but he is an idiot. Do you think that if any of that stuff is true that is the way to go about helping you change? What a judgemental clod. I especially didn't like his comment on dumping The Surge, because I think he is a good part of your life even if he''s not around enough. Most of the time advice comments annoy me. They don't say anything new. But I'm glad Kenny commented, I know what you mean about different points of veiw making things more interesting. I hate having my ass sucked all the time. It stops meaning anything after awhile.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdesiree
BTW, you are still on friend probation.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCunning linguist
You love me and you know it! I just want everyone to be able to post their opinion without fear of attack.. I do agree with you on all points..

One of my major annoyances about the workplace is everyone's fake work persona.. Just be who you are, so long as you do a good job. So I smoke pot.. As long as I'm in my living room and I'm not neglecting a child, that should be no one's business but my own. I'm still a damn good producer. That's why I detest office small talk. It's one person's fake persona talking to another.
"How was your weekend?"
"Great.. great.. went out with friends on Saturday and spent Sunday laying around.. it was nice." (translation: got alcohol poisoning Saturday and spent the night crying in the bar bathroom, spent Sunday clinging to the toilet and cursing Jack Daniels)
June 14, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
As much as I believe the Cannabis should be legalized, I found that if you are a person who tends towards the Manic D. (cheeri-o) you get the illusion that the snoochies are stopping the mania/anxiety. But it really just made the downswings that more precipitous. So I don't do it no more.
(Unless it's a ganja gooball procured by some hippy friend at a jam-band show. You couldn't drag me to an {insert guitar noodle band name here} but GODDAMN those goo-balls are good!)
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commentererei
Goofball :)... that reminds me of my grandma. She's been known to say "I don't like that boy.. He's always acting like he's hopped up on goofballs and The Pot."
June 14, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
The flip side to your fake office persona situation is being stuck with a coworker who NEVER SHUTS UP and forces you to listen to every single detail of her sad dating life. This person will also make you rehash certain events to decide if the guy meant this or that. This is fine with girlfriends that I know and love - but not the nutty girly I happen to share a cubicle with. I wish she would utilize a little professionalism or "fake persona".
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
I literally burst out laughing sitting here at my desk on the 'weekend translation' line. You are funny, and now the whole office knows I'm not working. I work in an old school, conservative type office and struggle with it ALL the time. The one guy in the office who's honest about his weekends has been banned from all company social events. Booooo!!!
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVanAlly
This has become an interesting discussion...I once was drug tested as a teen working at a video store. A VIDEO STORE. I mean, who wants a sober video store clerk? How boring. You should be required to be stoned.

I agree with Gemma that some people need to get an office persona, pronto. My crazy coworker does the same thing - shares every detail of her life with all of us (STD testing, emails from hook-ups, shit she wrote on myspace). It is so unprofessional. We really just want her to shut up so we can get some work done. I don't care what the hell she does on the weekends, I just don't want to hear about it ad infinitum.

What you do on your own time is absolutely no one's business but yours (unless you fucking tell me about it all day long) and we should not be required to smile and chit-chat with each other. Of course, those people who do not participate in office chit chat are the "weirdo stoner guy/girl".

What to do? Maybe we could just be polite to each other at work, and recognize that we are not here because we're friends, but rather because we are counting on that happy little check every two weeks. No pressure to be buddies or fit in, no need to know your cubemate's personal life story. Cause we are at work for the cash, right? I don't go in there for the social interaction, I have friends for that. But see, I suspect some people do think work is for social interaction, and confuse it with real life. And therein lies the clubbiness of some offices/industries.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
I've got a guy who thinks he's Jay Leno's 300 pound cousin sitting at the desk next to me. I swear he comes to work only to try out new material. If he tries to make one more stultifyingly dumb joke about what somebody is wearing I'm going to the grocery and buying every Weight Watcher's meal in the freezer and stacking them at his desk.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg
"This has become an interesting discussion...I once was drug tested as a teen working at a video store. A VIDEO STORE. I mean, who wants a sober video store clerk? How boring. You should be required to be stoned.

I agree with Gemma that some people need to get an office persona, pronto. My crazy coworker does the same thing - shares every detail of her life with all of us (STD testing, emails from hook-ups, shit she wrote on myspace). It is so unprofessional. We really just want her to shut up so we can get some work done. I don't care what the hell she does on the weekends, I just don't want to hear about it ad infinitum.

What you do on your own time is absolutely no one's business but yours (unless you fucking tell me about it all day long) and we should not be required to smile and chit-chat with each other. Of course, those people who do not participate in office chit chat are the "weirdo stoner guy/girl".

What to do? Maybe we could just be polite to each other at work, and recognize that we are not here because we're friends, but rather because we are counting on that happy little check every two weeks. No pressure to be buddies or fit in, no need to know your cubemate's personal life story. Cause we are at work for the cash, right? I don't go in there for the social interaction, I have friends for that. But see, I suspect some people do think work is for social interaction, and confuse it with real life. And therein lies the clubbiness of some offices/industries."
June 14, 2006 | EDW


WORD!

That's how I got the reputation as being "surly" in my workplace.

A lot of employers take all that "cameraderie" shit and pat themselves on the back for "creating a great work environment."

Fuck them...I'd rather piss on that parade.

Not that I'm bitter.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoe's mellow yellow
"I'd rather piss on that parade" ....amen joe.

I had a 'piss on that parade' moment today-everyone in my office was so excited about seeing a bald eagle fly in front of the Captiol Building. I did the only thing a 23 year old girl could do- burped real loud and walk away. The only way to survive the rate race/routine is to laugh at it.

Thaks for the laughs Monica--also thanks for introducing me to Marah-I'll be at the 9.30 club show.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterleggo
Man I love youse guys.. and I ain't even drunk - yet. Such great comments (still laughing ereiberg).. and Joe, surly? NEVER!
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Really good advice, Kenny!
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKarenh
'Hmmmmmm....I don't know of many writers who have trust funds or wives/girlfriends who pay their way. Besides didn't think all writers were men either.'

Thank you Fiabug! You rock. That comment so needed to be responded to. Your subtlety of reply was perfect.
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramy dee
No offense to anyone, but you reminded me why I switched into nursing. Yeck, I always hated working in an office.
I once had a summer internship in some big corporate office. Once I finished the work I was hired to do in the first two weeks, I had to spend the rest of the summer looking like I was doing something productive in my cubicle, when really I was just staring at a blank computer screen wishing my hangovers away. Oh, and the office chit-chat was mind-numbingly booorrrrrinnnngg! I remember just staring at the clock, willing it to turn faster. That next semester at college, I made up my mind to swich fields.
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterchrissy
But like ravenously biting into a much anticipated sandwich and discovering a hair that doesn't belong to you, I quickly discovered my dream job was just that; a dream.

I love this line. I am also currently unemployed and bored out of my mind, but I live with my parents so the whole drinking at noon thing would most likely get me kicked out. Then I'd be unemployed, drunk and homeless...if I were a writer that would make for good material though.

I had the same experience as you Chrissy, I did a two year office stint in at a magazine except I went into teaching instead of nursing when I quit. I've been temping on and off for the past few weeks while I apply for jobs and when I leave at 5:00 I feel like the life has just been sucked out of me, I think its a mix of the recirculated air, the lighting and the mindless office chitchat that does that.

I'm not sure if you are looking for advice Monica, if you are not just skip the next few lines :) Maybe try signing up at a temp agency or something. I was on the couch for a few weeks and fell into a deep depression. As much as the offices sucked while I temped it was nice to get out and feel like part of the "real" world, have a reason to wake up and all that crap. It's also a good way to get into a company through the back door, and to try different industries out. And, I have to plug it...I think you would make a great English teacher, the kids would love you (though the pot smoking confessions on the blog would definitely be a deal breaker with a school district).

Ok, I'm done, I'm not working today so I'm a bit rambly.

Ginger

June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergingerlemon
"Then I'd be unemployed, drunk and homeless..."


At least I'm not homeless...yet.
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoe's mellow yellow
I want you joe
June 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama

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