The Last Job
I have probably said to myself: This is my last job over a dozen times. The last job hope is one I am certain many creatives (or anyone) can relate to. The last job is that unicorn you may catch one day. The unicorn that is the final 9-5 you work before you finally start your dream job, your passion. The name I have been calling every job I have had since I graduated college.
I am not sure it will ever actually exist. A lot of creative jobs don’t last forever. Broadway shows close, TV shows get canceled, books don’t sell, and magazines fold. A musician’s second album may flop. A comedian stops selling out. Nothing is permanent. The last job may be the job you have to return to when you need to survive therefore ruining its sparkly potential of being a final endeavor into the workforce.
I entered my new job thinking it will be my last. I hate that I do this but I can’t help it. There’s always that hope, that feeling that it could happen. This could be the final occupation before something clicks. Of course I have to make the clicks happen. I have to finish the novel or audition for projects but still. This could be it. My time has come. The end is nigh.
It is a great thing to hope for: to live your dream. I did live mine for the month of June (read about it here) and it was glorious. To write for an entire month and churn out an entire world and characters that live in it that speak through me was actual magic. Now that I have tasted the forbidden fruit, I crave more of it. I sit here at my desk on my lunch scrambling to write a blog to remain consistent and that wondrous life I led for 30 days dangles in front of me on a string. It’s there, just out of reach. It exists, it’s possible, it is attainable. But I don’t have it yet. So I will finish my lunch and go back to learning this new job which I still have hope will be my last job.
Don’t get me wrong; I have no plans to leave this job. So far, I like it and there’s no rush to imagine life without it since I’ve barely been here a week. It is never about the actual job. The job is something artists have to do to survive, to create, to pay rent. We all hope each one is our last one not because we hate it (though sometimes we do hate it). We hope because it’s all we can do. We hope to get ourselves out of bed in the morning and through the day. My hope fuels me to keep going, knowing one day I will wake up and have a day full of something I truly love and wished for. A work day where I am doing what I’ve always wanted.
It doesn’t make me bitter or angry. It certainly has in the past. There are days where it is difficult to continue to work with no certainty that we will ever get out. There are dim lanterns guiding our way there but sometimes they flicker and go out. Perhaps I should try harder to stop my brain from thinking every job is a last job. I may never get there and always be working a typical 9-5 situation. On the other hand, it is nice to have that goal when the days are long or dark. You never know what the future holds even after dozens of ‘last jobs’. One of these days, it just might be the actual one.