change · finances · health · integrity · recovery · work


Over the last few years, I have gone from smoking maybe half a pack or so a day, down to
nothing — this, by no virtue of my own. There have been times when I was
smoking a pack a day, and sometimes hardly at all, having started back in college, when I said Fuck It, I Need a
Cigarette, following a dramatic break-up with my first “real boyfriend” my
freshman year.
But, over the last two years or so, I’ve had to stop.
Despite having developed strep throat several times a year in the past, and continuing
to smoke until really, ultimately, I couldn’t breathe fully or swallow,
whereupon I’d “quit” until I could get that nicotine relief back into my lungs,
a different ailment began to happen when I’d smoke recently – after several a
day, at night, I began to wake up from my sleep, not able to take a full breath
properly. So… slowly, I cut back, and realized that even after one a day, I’d still get this tight chest pain, and
shallow breathing, which was always not so fun. And slower still, testing the
waters still… I’d go down to a drag from someone else’s or splitting half a
cigarette with a friend. No. Dice.
Without fail, I’d go to sleep, only to wake up a few hours
later unable to breathe. So, I “quit.” Or rather, I stopped. I had to – it
wasn’t my choice, I’d rather not have, despite the health and smell and cost
and yadda yadda – If I could, I would, but I can’t.
Yesterday, as I was sitting at my temp job in SF, I had
a similar experience. Something being crossed off my list by no virtue or
choice of my own. Within a few hours of sitting, doing data entry basically
(I’m organizing the massive library for the interior design firm that I’ve
temped with before – hired to work with them until it’s finished – so about two
weeks) – my back began to hurt. And this isn’t like “oh, silly back pipe down,” this is
like “stop sticking a fucking fire brand into my lower spine.”
I’ve known recently that sitting for extended periods of
time has been aggravating my health, but it’s been easier to moderate as I
haven’t been working full-time. So, yesterday by about 3pm, with near tears in
my eyes, my three or four lower vertebrae about ready to jump out the back of
my skin, I told my boss that I was going to leave for the day.
This was fine – she knows the work is grueling, and I’ll be
back this morning, and I’ll attempt to moderate my sitting time more
consciously. But, when I came home yesterday afternoon then, and came to my
computer to apply for jobs, what am I looking at? Admin jobs.
For the love of Christ.
This, is being taken away from me as an option through no
virtue of my own. Sure, I’ve been applying to admin jobs at cooler places, like
the SFMOMA and galleries and art schools – places that seem more aligned with
where my values lie – but, it seems, and is evidenced, that this too is not an
option – or not in this way.
I simply cannot sit down for 8 hours. The job that I applied
to yesterday listed under physical requirements that I be able to sit for 80%
of the day and type for 50% of that. It’s a cool-ish job too. And yes, I
applied, before I began to put two and two together.
So, this option is being wiped off the slate, and I’m left
with another question mark. I’m honestly glad that it is being taken away from
me – it’s a default position, it’s a fall-back, it’s what I’ve always done, sit
behind a desk like a good worker bee. I’m good at it, but like I recently told
a friend when she asked me if I liked those kinds of jobs, I said it’s like
(forgive me) farting – it’s something I can do, but really I’d prefer not to.
Sorry. 😉
So, it’s been suggested for me to make a list of all the
jobs that don’t require sitting for 8 hours a day, or more schooling at this
point – though, maybe that’s just what will happen – though, sincerely, I hope
not. And doesn’t require standing for 8
hours, like waitressing. Although, I do have a few offers for some catering
work over the next few months, … which I haven’t replied to yet.
I was with a group of folks last night, and we were
listening to a tape of a suggested meditation. This was about money, our
relationship to it. We were to stare at a monetary bill of some denomination,
and really look at it, and imagine it nearly animate – we, Americans, Humans,
give money a lot of power and anima all the time, may as well find out what it
has to say! The first question we were to ask it was, How do I (Molly) feel
about you (money)? Its answer: Distant. … Duh, no wonder I am where I am.
There were a few other questions along these lines which
need some more marinating and change, but as I change my relationship to money,
how I can earn, how I can earn respectfully and with integrity and health, how
I can be of service to others which is reflected back to me as a monetary value, how I
can be responsible to myself, to money,
to my jobs or career … I will apparently also be changing my position, physically
and otherwise. 

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