I am a middle-aged underemployed freelance writer and editor living in DC and NYC. Also a lapsed lawyer and policy wonk who bakes a lot, is neurotically organized, and likes Campari.
I think my favorite part of this is how blase she is about everything, during a time when feminism was a Big Deal. She's just like, "Yeah, I figured I would do whatever seemed like a good idea to me at the time, and be a generally excellent person, and enjoy whatever turns my life took. Worked out pretty good."
"But what about other people's expectations?"
" . . . I don't think I understand the question."
I aspire to be this lady in my life.
@MilesofMountains Boyfriend is being paid a good wage, as a writer/editor on a brilliant, arty, snarky magazine, straight from college. It's what he loves. But- three days out of five, he come home miserable and knackered. It's what he loves, sure. But it's also a job, with a boss, and things that have to be done, and people to chase up, and PRs to deal with, and it stops him writing and editing in his own time. I honestly think he'd be happier doing something "soulless" for 9-5, and working on his own things after hours. Everything is a compromise, you know?
If Edith stepping away from editing the site results in her just popping in now and then with more stuff like this, then I truly believe that EVERYTHING WILL BE OK!
I am BEYOND proud of Edith--and the great community you all make.
@enic I think he sounded dry because he was actively trying to frame it as an academic economic question. To my ear, it actually came off rather droll.
@queenofbithynia oh yeah and I think the demeaning discourse of "passion" is deliberately meant to stigmatize and humiliate anyone who wishes to spend the better part of their day and thence their working life doing something that is not boring and hateful. If only artists and spoiled children need to 'follow their passion,' which is the natural conclusion of talking about it that way, and everything that is not a passion is a boring shit job that everybody else but your loser generation was satisfied enough with, what's your problem anyway, then there you are, miserable but normal, like God and capitalism intended.
man it is a sick sad world where we all have the comfortable tacit understanding that "what's your passion" is code for "what do you want to do for other people that they will pay you money for?"
I have a shitty office job. Is it because I have not 'found my passion?' Is it because I was born without the passion gland? Is it because I am too dumb to parley my passion into lucrative employment, which is, surely, what passion is meant for, since what good is a visceral longing that cannot be monetized?
No. It is because my "passions," to put it into incredibly gross and distasteful terms, are for intermediate-level mandolin playing, novel reading, cat petting and being left alone. The last time I took these things, which are indeed mighty passions and not mere mild interests, into employment consideration, I had a job buying and selling used and rare books, which combined the latter three passions into one pleasing package. It was so pleasing that it paid me ten dollars an hour plus dental (but not medical) coverage. Why don't I do that anymore, since I loved it so well and it satisfied so many of my passions? Mysteries!
also, I am not listening to that NPR story because my passionless job will not allow it, maybe they mention this, but "passion" means "suffering" and everyone who is not getting paid to pursue their passion is getting paid for suffering, to some degree, so... it all works out?
@Emmanuelle Cunt Not only is this exactly what I did, I was very much encouraged by all the adults around me to do so: "just study what you're interested in, you'll figure out a career later." I realize now that this was a result of them coming from less privileged backgrounds and thinking they were giving me the advantage of untainted study, but man I wish I'd given any thought to what my life might look like after school while I was in school.
@catfoodandhairnets I don't think it's silly that he wouldn't know. If you've spent most of your life doing what's expected of you, you might not have enough experience to know whether any one thing is "enough." And he's only had two years of work experience, probably only in one field. How is he supposed to know what it's like to give up his own time and comfort to help other people if he's never done it?
@Jolie Kerr the good news is, your floor is probably spotless so lying down on it is ok.