In response to my blog from 2011, I Am Not My Job.
Hey, John from 2011, you're still washing dishes. But you are comfortable with that.
Yes, I still find dishwashing to be Zen. However, my current job a little more interactive in the high-stress environment of a very busy kitchen. You have to be on the ball the entire shift. Full throttle.
After being at that job for almost 2 months now, I have to say: Sorry, Mr. Durden, I am my job. From the moment I walk in the back door until I clock out, I am a dishwasher. My problems, my relationships, my history...I turn it all off when I turn off my phone. And then I dive right in.
I don't know if I would recommend a low paying physical manual labor job that leaves you with little cuts and burns to anyone...but I have absolutely zero stress at the end of the night. I leave, and I'm no longer my job. The kitchen is clean, my head is clear. No bullshit to take home. See you tomorrow.
My counselor in treatment was concerned when I stated I was going back to washing dishes. "Don't you want to aim higher?"
My first reaction was to say, "Well, I suppose I could try for a desk job somewhere, assuming I can explain to them why there's a 6-month gap in my employment. Good call, SMART Program. Rip us away from our jobs and residences for half a year and then say, 'get a job and a place to stay'."
I said, "We'll see where life takes me." Stupid level-headed sober me.
To my counselor and some concerned family members and friends: I'm aware that I'm very intelligent, and that I could probably obtain a higher level job, even with a felony DWI on my record. But, look...I'm not fucking Good Will Hunting, here. I'm not 17 and a math genius. I am almost 40 with addiction issues, a genuine distaste for cloth-covered boxes with fluorescent lighting in a micromanagement atmosphere and a renewed passion for the art of stand-up comedy. I am appreciative of this simple life, and I'm in no itching hurry to find a corporate ladder to climb.
I'd love to update my resume, but I think I'd rather go sit outside and watch the neighborhood squirrels and drink a cup of hot tea. Sounds more my speed at this stage of life.
Oh, and tonight I performed at the Velveeta Room for the first time in 3 years. When I'm on the stage, I am my job once again...I am a stand-up comedian. THE comedian.
...well, unless I'm bombing. Then I am THE comedian who SUCKS.
(I had a good set.)