Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35

Dear Mr. President,

Today I'm watching my nephew, Asher, who will be two years old in May. He saw my copy of The Audacity of Hope and pointed to your face on the cover. I tried to teach him how to say "President Obama", but so far all he's got is "bama." I try to think about the America that Asher will know, if he'll come of age just as lost and disillusioned as my generation has, or if he will face an entirely new set of challenges. I appreciate the discussion of what we're leaving for the next generation- the deficit, clean energy, new industry, and the environmental impact. I know you have young children, yourself, and will therefor need no personal face to remind you of how important your legacy will be. Just know that there's a little boy in Seattle trying to master his ABC's, refine his utensil-wielding skills, and say his President's name. He's not worried about having clean water, or job security, living in a safer, more peaceful world, but his aunt is.

The problem with me is that I may have gotten the hang of my ABC's, but I still don't know what I'm supposed to be doing to improve things. I work for a corporate bookstore. I enjoy the work immensely, I love reading and recommending books, and the community of knowledge that my coworkers and customers create when we talk about reading. That being said, I'm not wild about many of the business practices of my company, and our future prospects aren't great, as more of the market is being taken over by online retailers and e-books. I've tentatively started to look for new jobs, sent in a few resumes, but wasn't generally troubled by the lack of response. Until this week. I've gotten a couple of solid prospects, positions with better salaries, better benefits, and better long-term opportunities. Unfortunately, none of them are with bookstores. I'm torn between doing work I love for a company I don't, or working for better pay & better conditions, doing something I'm less than passionate about.

I think, whichever job I take, I'm only treading water, so to speak, while I continue my education. Once I finish school, I'll have to push myself to discover my potential; find my purpose, define my goals. Right now it's OK to be a sales girl or a receptionist or a barista, because later I'll find a "real job." Or so I tell myself. The trouble is, i don't have the answers, or even a clear idea of the right questions, about my future. For now, I get by, reminding myself to be content that I have a job, at all. Still, sometimes I wish my ambitions were easier to quantify.

Respectfully yours,


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