Waiting to escape part two.

Right now I feel I’m working an 80 hour a week job, but only getting paid for 40. My other “job” is non-paying, and in fact I spend money at it. Classes in being a facilitator aren’t cheap. Materials aren’t either. Books, drums, paint, canvas, beads all add up. This doesn’t even add in all the time I’m spending learning how to do this thing I don’t even have a name for yet.

I don’t want to charge people to help them. That is part of the appeal of the library. Anybody can come in and get what they need to educate or entertain themselves for free. It is open to everybody. Sadly though, it is more entertainment than education that happens. Sadly, more movies and romance novels are checked out than books on how to make life better – either for themselves or others.

I feel like I’m selling panaceas. I feel like I’m pushing palliative care. The vast majority of people are getting something to ease their pain and bide their time. They aren’t living life – they are escaping it, enduring it. I feel like a sober person working in a bar. I can see through things now, and it hurts.

Doctors swear to “do no harm” and while I’ve not made that same oath officially, I have in my heart. While I’m not encouraging people to get things that are wasting their time, I’m not encouraging them to get anything else either. I’m not allowed to suggest, really, because I’m not a librarian. That requires a Master’s in Library Science. I check in and check out materials. I get you your library card. I serve, and I solve some problems. I’m a facilitator there – I make things easy for them. Facilitators make things easy. But I have an issue with “easy” versus “good”.

“Easy” is getting ten movies to watch at home while you are nursing a hangover, or depressed because you are lonely. “Good” would be learning what you are trying to escape from and working on that. But that is hard. That requires real work. Soul-work is painful. It is like doing surgery on yourself without anesthesia. But the final result is healing and wholeness and harmony. The final result is clearing out the pus of the infection that is bad coping skills and bad habits.

There is too much pain in the world, and it is all avoidable. I can’t wait until people are ready to be healed. People say that the alcoholic won’t change until he’s ready to change. Meanwhile, should I keep giving him booze? I feel that I am doing this every time I see someone check out more time-wasting materials. I see the same people in every few days, getting the maximum number of DVDs or an armload of mindless romance novels. Sure, everybody needs a diversion every now and then. But when all you do is diversion, then you are never going straight on into life.

Entertainment and distraction shouldn’t be the main course. Dessert isn’t filling or fulfilling. Of course, I feel the same way about going to a buffet, but I don’t work there. Half the food is healthy, half is deadly. Too much of the good stuff isn’t good either.

“I set before you a blessing and a curse” God says. We have free will to choose every moment of our lives. I just feel like I’m being an enabler when I help people check out things that are more like a curse than a blessing.

I want to help people wake up to the wonder and beauty of life. I’m trained in processes that help people dig down deep, getting in touch with their true selves. There isn’t a way to do that at the front desk. Perhaps I can ask to teach classes at work? Then my “other job” and my “real job” will start to merge. Libraries are all about the free flow of information and communication. What is more basic than being able to communicate with your own self?

Waiting to escape part one.

In a way, I feel like the Israelites at the first Passover. Waiting, eagerly, to run at a moment’s notice to escape Egypt. “Egypt” means slavery and oppression. “Egypt” means not living live as we are meant to – as I’m meant to.

I’ve been shoehorning my life for a while now. My job no longer fits with my ideals. Buddha talked about “right livelihood” – where your jobs needs to line up with your values. It isn’t that the library is bad. It is just that it isn’t enough.

I am adverse to starting a “small business” and striking out on my own. Too often this means simply striking out. I don’t want to feel like I have to spend more time selling my “product” more than I spend creating it. My art isn’t my job. Maybe that is the problem though. Maybe the fact that I create and then go to a “real” job is proof I have time to do both.

I’m averse to doing all the taxes and paperwork required to run a small business. I want to get paid t create, to host Circles, to heal in many ways. I want to write, paint, collage, bead, and drum. I want to show others how to do the same. I want to facilitate weddings, funerals, and other religious ceremonies for those who have been turned out of or off of church. I want to have a place to do all of this that isn’t my home.

The biggest point is that I’m afraid to go out on my own because I need health insurance.

I need to remember that just because the Israelites became free, their lives didn’t become easy. 40 years of wandering in the desert isn’t ideal. Many people died. But they also always had enough to eat and drink, and their shoes never wore out. So maybe freedom isn’t what I think it should be.

I used to love working at the library, but that love has faded. I feel that my talents are being wasted. More importantly, I feel that my life is being wasted. I can’t stand thinking about 13 more years of 40 hour weeks until I can retire. I’ll be 59. My Mom died at 53. My Dad died at 60. Neither were able to retire. I’d hate to think that I’d spent my most healthy years at a place only half alive, biding my time. I resent the time my job takes from me. 40 hours a week is too much time away from my husband and friends. Too much time not creating and sharing and teaching.

My job is rather predictable and boring. In a way, the familiarity is comforting. In a way, it is smothering. I’m grateful to have a job that is regular and simple at times. I’m grateful to have a regular paycheck too. But right now, the only thing that keeps me going is days off, because then I get to do what I want to do.

I’d love to work in such a way that I don’t have to have a “second” job of living my “real” life. I’d love if my “first” job was more in line with my dreams and creative life. I’d love if I got paid to have circles where people could learn how to communicate better, or I could facilitate new ways of communication, where people could connect with art or music.