So I have been saying for the last 10 weeks, when I was let go of my Barbie Dream job as a sommelier for a French restaurant. It was a title I had been working towards for five years, and in a matter of moments it was gone. Not to imply that my path was entirely linear, for years I juggled my undergraduate degree, various jobs and internships in and out of the wine industry, and my personal studies. I was afraid I would get bored if I decided to settle down and choose one area in which to specialize.
I was upset at first; reveling in the dejection and rejection that accompanies such news. Yet I also began to experience something new: relief. Gone was that desperation, the feeling that I needed to find something immediately or else find myself on the streets with a cardboard sign reading “will work for wine.” My job had ended on good terms and I was thus eligible for unemployment. Hot-diggity dog! My benefit from the State of Massachusetts might not cover pesky things like food or utilities or those wonderfully timed renovations (more on my sinking tub and toilet later), but I have enough to cover the majority of my housing.
So here I am 2 months 16 days later (but who’s counting) and what do I have to show for it? Certainly not a job but I have:
- Learned how to tolerate cats (Thanks to my boyfriend’s roommate for that one).
- Caught up with some amazing friends and made some new ones.
- Found a hosting service for my websites.
- Started blogging.
- Become adept at using twitter (I am not an addict, I can stop anytime I want).
- Started volunteering once a week at the yoga studio down the street.
- Started actually going to yoga regularly.
- Taught my boyfriend’s dog, Laszlo, how to snuggle on command (well almost).
- Discovered the television program “Lost.” (Because that was a good idea – I needed another time waster)
- Began reading 4 books simultaneously for pleasure again (The Story of French, The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union).
What do I really need a job for? I have accomplished so much.
In all seriousness, my down time has taught me something: as passionate as I am about wine, I might be ready for something else. There are a number of things that I also find fascinating: travel, writing, reading, current events, photography, economics, psychology, public health, linguistics, neurobiology, movies, pop culture and music to name a few. Perhaps I was limiting myself by selecting such a specific focus.
I am now in the process of trying to discover what I want to do next. My work is cut out for me not only on account of the current economic conditions, but because I do not want to have to pick just one thing. What’s an intellectually curious, ADD-addled, recovering sommelier to do? I am looking at jobs in everything from social media to marketing to editorial work to consulting: something in which the goals, assignments and priorities are in a constant state of flux. Whatever the next project is, I am now ready willing and able.