Concerns Part II

Perhaps it was returning from what has been one of the most profound experiences I have been apart of in a long time. Perhaps it was getting some quality time with the spirit resultined in a greater awareness of the areas in my life that need attention.

I struggled all day at work with a very bitter anger. I have just recieved a master's degree and am still doing the same type of work that I was doing right out of college. Basic administrative tasks, hand holding of my boss, and cleaning up my over extended boss' mess. It is yet again another in a series of jobs stretching over the last 6 years which both underpay and under-utilize me. It is not that I am devoted to earning a lot of money, but I do think that getting paid what you are worth is important. I have lived in both intentional and unitentional poverty; now I want to live a life where I don't have to go hungry throughout the week or cut every corner possible. I know that I am happiest in jobs that are helping my fellows and making the world better. I really believe in the project I am currently engaged in, however, at every turn there are empty promises and red-tape mixed with a lot of drudgery. While I am realistic that those are often present in even the best of jobs, this is daily a practice of patience and humility that would make even someone with a good temperment and a saintly demeanor have trouble.

I am just tired. I am tired of trying to do the best possible things with my life and being met with a series of bad timing. First it was the economic crash in 2001 when I graduated college, then it was a series of low paying jobs to (barely) pay the bills. Then a series of moves in Minnesota, a return to NC, and then Maryland. I want to sit still. I want to have roots. I want to feel centered in a greater way than just the spirit, my body and emotions need time to center. But those are not things that have been afforded me in the tender beginnings of adult life. Currently, I am waiting for a snafu with payroll to be fixed so I can actually be paid for working 40hrs a week, and then I can start to pay off my debts incurred while waiting for my tuition scholarship to be processed this fall...then I could deal with the odd (and the situation is a bit odd but for many reasons you will have to just trust me on that) demands of my job a bit better.

I had dinner last night with a F/friend of many years, and we were talking about what is going on in our lives and our frustrations...though our paths have differed in many ways, they often run in parallel. And what helped the most last night was to know that I am not alone. I have no answers or direction...but at least I am not alone.

1 comment:

RichardM said...

I think that the sorts of frustrations you describe are extremely common among young Quakers. Quakers have always had a problem living in a world that doesn't appreciate our values. But I think that the times we are living in now are somehow even more hostile to a sane, simple, spiritual life than they were in the past.

I'm not sure that most Quakers of my generation really appreciate the spiritual challenges your generation faces trying to live in such a hostile environment. Many of my generation have managed to build lives that insulate us from the worst of modern life. But the worst of it is being shoved in your faces all the time.

What would you think of organizing a small panel of young Quaker adults (I'm thinking between 24 and 34 for some reason) to talk about these issues at North Carolina Yearly Meeting this summer? Just a thought. I'm responsible for the program and have been pondering what to put on for the big Saturday night session.