Monday, October 26, 2009

rounding out my resume

hmmm, it has been a while. . .

so, to bring you up to speed. I spent the later half of my summer in europe, came back to the states and promptly got in a car accident, have been recovering ever since (ie last two.25 months) - a process that includes going to physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, the occasional mental therapy, and taking 3 classes. oh and working oh so minimally.

last week I decided that maybe it is time I look for some kind of regular job. I cast my lines. no tugs to speak of.
then I get an offer for a regular, paid job at a place I like a lot, with flexible hours, that's super part time: cleaning person at a yoga studio. while I don't think this is the most perfectly sculpted gold brick in my illustrious career path (actually, it's more like a bar of soap in the rest area restroom just off said career path than a strong foot hold), I'm doing it. besides, I like to joke to mostly myself and sometimes my roommate, I'm rounding out my latina resume. so now I can proudly put 'maid' above 'dishwasher' and 'farm labor.' I jest. a little.

and just so there's no confusion, allow me to explicar. I am in fact latina. half. tho I look 125% white (how I ended up paler than my midwestern dad is some kind of mendelian genetic conundrum. my honduran mother has been mistaken as nanny to my (pale) sis and (paler) I).

my first job was a dishwasher. not the most fun job, but whatever, it was fine while it lasted. especially when I graduated to fruit cutter/juice prep. I started the job last year of high school and left the job half way into my first year of community college, to focus on my studies which were undecided at the time but fell under the general field of engineering. oh my future looked bright.

farming didn't happen till the rest of college came and went. this time I found myself back at a menial job (bagel and coffee slinger) after trying a few laps around the professional track. ie I worked as an analytical chemist for a pharmaceutical company. for about one month. not wanting to watch my entire soul dissolve in an erlenmeyer flask, or watch it fall cream cheese side down on the crumby deli floor, I sought out other options. and a small door opened to fortuitous fields in northern california, working for 3 weeks that later became 3 months at a small organic, beautiful, mountain side river running thru it farm. I was miles from lab coats, espresso machines and everyone I knew. I couldn't have been happier.

this new chapter in my career book follows several years of working freelance as a theater techie stage hand type. work I love, work i am good at. work that takes more back strength than what I am able to offer at the moment. I'm not giving it up, but I am taking it easy. and looking for something steady. my mother would love me to get a 'real job.' this is nothing new. either for me or, i suppose, for any other kid who isn't working a full time textbook job. I have yet to tell her of my recent new employment (which, interestingly enough, pays like twice what I usually make hanging lights). I think by now she is past the point of being super worried and usually only gets mildly concerned about the choices I make in the job field. I wanna joke with her and my family about filling my quota of latina appropriate jobs but I have a feeling they won't think it's that funny. the look in my mom's face when she found out I've never made more in my adult life to put me above the poverty line. the look in my grandmother's face when I told her I applied to work at a car wash. I mean, I suppose that would be disappointing news on some level to any parent or relative, but to my family, there's this extra edge, a hidden heaviness. my mom (& dad, gotta give credit where credit's due) didn't put me thru school to wash dishes. my grandmother didn't move to the states for me to scrub toilets. my great aunt is baffled (and ashamed?) that I would lower myself to picking vegetables in a field. I'm basically putting myself in every typical position that they, not for who they are but for what they look like, would get stuck doing, would have no other option but to do. me with an education, me with white skin (save for myriad of tattoos - but that is another blog altogether), me with smarts and opportunity. me with a broom in my hand.

It's not like I'm trying to go down the list and check off all the minimum wage jobs. wait. i guess i'm not not trying either. in my brain it is a ping pong debate of 'all jobs are important' vs just doing the job because I can and don't NEED to. no one is forcing me to work these jobs (half) my people are forced to do. is it solidarity? I wanna connect with (half) my people. is it insulting? I can leave when I want to. or rather, when I figure out what it is I really wanna do.

in the meantime, let it be known that I am really good at what I do. that studio will be the cleanest it has ever been. or close to it. I enjoy beautifying my surroundings. I'm already seeking out recipes for alternative cleaning solutions. the supplies closet has been organized to my liking. cobwebs and dust bunnies are on the verge of extinction. at least for 4-5 hours of the week.

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