Friday, June 01, 2007


One of the interesting aspects of aging is that over the years we generally tend to become much less brash, brazen, and reckless, reducing risks in our actions, compared to when we were younger. I guess this is probably a positive state in which to be as we get older. Perhaps I should have become that way earlier. Nevertheless, when I think of some of my youthful actions, I find myself not at all remorseful over what I did. That's not to say I recommend young people today should model themselves after me, as the consequences of what they might experience could be quite different now.

I've often wondered what stories others might have about their own youthful brash and brazen behavior. My story started with feelings of dissatisfaction immediately after college graduation. I uprooted myself from tentative plans for career pursuit due to a sense of obligation pertaining to my mother's welfare. Thus, I found myself moving some distance to another state, ultimately into a very small community, where I knew no one, nor did she, for that matter.

I successfully sought employment there, though hardly of the type of which I wanted to make a career. The promise of working with the advertising and sales promotion manager who hired me, expressing an intent to help me develop further writing skills in the areas of his expertise made my position palatable. After a learning period developing my position's basic skills, practicing these same skills for a relatively short period of time, the work quickly became incredibly boring. To make matters worse my employer was so overwhelmed with his own responsibilities, as he worked at home to 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. many mornings, the expected special training he intended to provide me, understandably never materialized.

I became so dissatisfied, coupled with the fact that other opportunities in that town were so limited, I desperately answered an advertisement for a position which would take me out of town quite frequently. This was hardly a wise move at that time in my life, on many levels, other than this was designed to help me retain my sanity.

My employer seemed extremely sympathetic and sensitive to my needs when I told him of my intent to leave his employ. He arranged for us to meet with his good friend and immediate superior, a vice president and son of the president and primary founder of this company. They tactfully intimated that talents well beyond the artistic variety might well be unofficially expected of me by some male business leaders in some towns where I would be sent by this new employer. I was not completely naïve, just very anxious for reasonable change in my life. They cautioned even my artistic skills would be unreasonably tested.

I agreed to visit a nearby town, unannounced at a public fund raising theatrical performance comprised of a cast garnered from local people. Producing such events was to be the primary function in my proposed new position with the new employer. I could see for myself another person in the same position I was considering, perform some of the public skills entailed in the job.

They, in turn, arranged for an appointment with a former university instructor of theirs at a private university that had been my unfulfilled childhood dream to attend. He also worked professionally in a manner to which I aspired as he commuted to NYC, moonlighting in broadcasting assignments. I am forever indebted to having had my welfare taken so seriously by these employers-turned-guardians, and their efforts made on my behalf. After visiting that nearby town, witnessing a theatrical debacle of which I knew I would never want to be part, I remained in that original position. I had reconciled myself to staying a while longer in town.


  1. buffy said:

    I can understand your need at the time for a fresh start. It's difficult to deal with BOOO-RING in your teens and twenties. You're right that we are better equiped at our present ages to cope with boring situations.

    It's really too bad that we have to do boring jobs at all, but location and availablity came into play in your situation. Even when jobs are available, we don't often get plugged into the right job for our talents and interests.

    How lucky you were to have so many friends and mentors to help you along the way!

  2. You were indeed lucky to have them be interested in your welfare, and make certain taht you would see the folly of leaving. Not many employers/supervisors would go to so much trouble to set all that up, and in fact, I have heard more stories of bosses who took advantage of young women, rather than to help them.

  3. For nearly 10 years I had a mostly boring job. One that did not fit my interest or education. During that period I was attending University of Detroit at night working on a liberal arts degree while working in the Engineering Department. But I was happily married and we had three kids during that time. I felt trapped most of the time. But that is all personal history.

    I have come to believe that all of my experiences prepares me for the future. Dag Hammarskold, first Secretary General, United Nations, once said: "For all that has been, Thanks. To all that shall be, Yes." Is that an ideal that can't be achieved? Perhaps, but it is what I hope to say with all honesty.

  4. Buffy: I guess what I was really looking for was either some way to enhance work aspects, or expand to some new projects. Since that wasn't in the equation, everything just became pretty rote. I like unpredictable activities, at least some of the time. As for friends and mentors, lucky indeed, and there's more to come.

    Kenju: Earlier life experiences made me very aware of possible exploitation. Perhaps in these later 1:1 face-to-face encounters, I had developed a special sense about people with whom I would want to work or associate myself. Also, I generally focus on the best in people, and many times that's what I receive from them in return. But then, maybe it's just pure luck.

    Bob: Yes, once we start the responsibility of a family, our risk level can become quite modified. My husband would certainly have been able to testify to that statement. The risks become even riskier with aging, I think, as age related job discrimation may come into play.

    I like and agree with the Hammarskold quote. Know I am certainly a product of all previous life experiences along the way.