It’s Not A Memo – It’s a Mission Statement.
Can you name the movie quoted in the title of this post?
As I sit here this morning with my thin toasted bagel, honey nut cream cheese, flavored coffee, glass of OJ, I realize.
I realize that I’m an almost-thirty-year-old assistant.
I’m an almost-thirty-year-old assistant with a college degree.
No responsibilities, no career driven passion, no zsa zsa zu for anything, save spewing my verbiage onto a screen and getting a slight thrill every time someone acknowledges that I do, in fact, exist.
The issue at hand is simple.
It’s hard to admit, and I choke as I write, because a character trait that would land me a role as a strong, unforgettable leading lady of my own damn story, this is not.
But regardless, it’s true.
I am addicted to the bottom of the ladder.
I’m not tied to it, wormlike umbilical cord still firmly attached at the navel, providing comfort and sustenance until I’m ready to climb.
I’m addicted to it because I’m not attached.
And, if you want to know the truth, I have no desire to climb.
I test a rung, then jump back down. It’s fun down here in the tall, tall grass. Up there, I’d have a view of the whole, wide world. But down here? Down here I get to run all around, play in the dirt, leave when I want, answer to no one. The playground is huge, and there’s no way I’d trade it for a tether to my cell phone and a plush, swivel office chair.
But what am I doing? I ask myself as I drive, fists clenched around the molded plastic wheel, cutting through traffic in a town that hates me on my way to the place where I will spend the next 6 self-deprecating hours as an almost-thirty-year-old assistant.
I’m not ashamed of the job itself, but of the fact that I’m wasting my time.
Of the fact that I’m wasting everyone’s time.
Of the fact that I’m privileged enough to do as I please, yet here I sit, ass tucked firmly between Rung 1 and Rung 2, with no drive to climb yet no heart to run. To run with writing, to declare to the world that this will be my career, even if it makes me a failure who has no choice but to sit at the bottom, staring up with envy at those who’ve made it — who’ve made a true impact — the Chuck Palahniuks and the J. K. Rowlings and the Stephen Kings and yes, the Jenny Lawsons and all the rest with their views from the top and room to run.
I’ve carried this metaphor too far, I think.
Which tells me I probably have a long way to go.
And many changes to make.
Are you ready?
Because I’m not sure I am, but it means a lot that you’re still here. Still reading. And you — yes, you — are my encouragement.
Jerry Maguire. I wish I didn’t know that answer, because I can not stand Renee Zellweger, with her squinty-eyed, constipated version of acting, and her oh-I-had-to-work-so-hard-to-add-lbs-for-Bridget-Jones-because-really-I’m-just-naturally-this-tiny-little-waif. Like we can’t all find pics of her starting out looking like a normal human with a layer of softness on her during her break into Hollywood Empire Records days. Ok, maybe this diatribe says more about me than her.
At least you know what the goal is, even if you aren’t actively running towards it. Some of us don’t even have that. You already are a writer. Looking forward to seeing your plans for climbing up and making the rest of that happen.
I think I might be the only woman in the world who doesn’t mind me some Renee — squinty eyes and all.
Thanks, Lax. :)
Love your column today! Watching an interview on the news right now with the woman who won the fashion competition. She said she was a teacher for 10 years BUT she finally took the advice she’d given her students and followed her passion. She always loved fashion/had a passion for it and she went for it! She had never even threaded a sewing machine before! And it ultimately paid off!
Stick to your guns and keep writing! You have a talent for the written word. I look forward to seeing your email in my inbox! It’s like a favorite piece of candy has arrived and I savor the flavor while I read!
Thanks, Bex! That is awesome and inspiring!!
I bet this resonates with more people than would like to admit it. Clever as usual! And to “laxsupermom” I so agree with the RZ assessment, UGH!
I bet you’re right. :)
Haha, why’s everyone hat in’ on Renee? ;)
I’m here and cheering you on in whichever direction you choose… up, down, all around… it’s your life and your path to take!!
Aw, thanks Tracy. :)
Yay! Run little ducky, run! I love your writing style and will happily read anything you put out there. (I think I finally just figured out how to resubscribe to your blog.)
But I don’t think you should see yourself as wasting anyone’s time if you don’t become gigantic like those people you mentioned. You already make an impact.
Thanks, Stephanie. Awesome comment. I may not be gigantic, but now my head most certainly is. ;)
You’ve made a huge impact on me… just saying…
You’re awesome. :)
[…] They’re scattered about on yellow sticky notes and inside notebooks and on pieces of scrap paper everywhere. The key, I’ve discovered, is going to be learning how to write at night, when I have the most time. When I don’t have to be to work in 45 minutes. When, unfortunately, my flow of motivational steam has been fully depressurized by the soul-sucking realities of spending my days as an almost-30-year-old assistant. […]
This post resonates with me strongly that it sent a “is-she-reading-my-mind? shiver down my spine!
I just stumbled onto your blog and this is the third post I’ve read – and now I’m totally addicted. You’re a terrific writer!
Why thank you! It’s comments like these that keep me going. :)
I hope you keep reading!
[…] Back at the bottom of the ladder again, but this time, it’s my own. […]
You are a writer. If you need proof, you’ve got it in fact that I’ve spend the past 40 minutes drinking in your words and your journey – snippets of ups and downs, full of nothing but honesty and an entertaining, sassy personality. The fact that I’ve clicked through more of your posts than any other blog recently (and that’s saying quite a bit – I read a lot online.)
Your writing is easy to follow. Your writing is like talking to a friend. Your writing makes me want to know you in real life. That’s *powerful*.
You are a writer.
Go go go.
So much respect,
This is just… one of the best comments ever. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. So thank YOU. You help me keep the faith. :)
Funny thing how ended up here. I was reading ‘fifty shades of grey’ and read a sentence I loved, and secretly chuckled at, so I decided to search it up. Typing away – “it’s not a room, it’s a mission statement.”…… And I end up here. Read through your post and loved it. Your writing style is impressive, especially when I know and can feel to what you were writing about. Keep up the good work.
Ha, what’s kind of funny about this is that I thought Fifty Shades was kind of awfully written. ;) (The title is actually from the movie, “Jerry Maguire” which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen.) Thanks for stopping by! :)