The other night, I’m driving along Emek Refaiim in Jerusalem, indulgently basking in the blues, preoccupied with things like my future, job hunting, the fact that I’m no longer in the highly desired age bracket for opportunity, and that no movie producer is offering me millions to produce my books into a blockbuster movie, when for no discernible reason the guy in the car behind me began to honk wildly at me.
My first thought was, “What am I doing wrong?”
After a couple of seconds it was clear the guy was simply a jerk whose hand was crazy-glued to his horn. Great. This is just what I needed.
Indeed, it was.
I came to a full stop, yanked the gear out of drive, slammed on my parking brake and jumped out of my car toward the moron behind me and with eyes ablaze I spit out to him in high volume, “Don’t mess with me, I’m unemployed!”
There’s nothing like anger management.
Anger has been given a raw deal. I’m not advocating punching a hole through a wall…
…but anger can certainly propel someone to do better, to be better, to take initiative and improve one’s course in life. It gets the blood flowing, the brain thinking, imagining, devising, developing, and formulating. Anger spurs one to action.
So, I’ve decided to write a blog post. I confess. It was only after I sought direction by buying fortune cookies and promising to abide by the first one I picked out of the box. Lo and behold, my fortune stated, “Creative power inherent in you will make you very productive.” Naturally, I thought, “Yeah, blog post it is.”
While subsisting on a combination of freelance writing projects, very modest royalties and dipping into my savings, I try to keep my hopes up in finding a niche for myself. With each day it has come to my knowledge that I am not the only over 45-year-old person in Israel who is faced with reinventing oneself. And really, there’s no use in lamenting majoring in sociology and history. Is there?
My brother who lives in the German Colony and travels back and forth to the US for his business, consistently tells me about my niece who has been offered quality writing jobs left and right. Sure, she’s fresh out of diapers and with the loss of her first tooth was gifted with an Apple laptop under her pillow. I got a swab of cotton to stop the bleeding.
Meanwhile, technologically handicapped, I just recently managed to progress to the smartphone and I’m barely grasping it. But I’m not down on myself, nor do I shy away from challenges. Hell, some of my peers stare at me with awe because I figured out Twitter. And, truly, all hope is not lost. My son who is in college, bless his soul, periodically comes home with his load of laundry for me to wash. I still have purpose.
I recently came across an article that described the unemployed over-forty crowd as the forgotten people. I read the lousy statistics and sad testimonies of people in my position – although, more out of curiosity than for shared analytics. I was never one to listen to negative movie reviews. And more often than not was glad I didn’t. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did see Pan, and yes, I did like it!
I think the worst thing to do is get bogged down in everyone else’s sad story. And count me out of the “forgotten people” camp. I’ve been told I’m too annoyingly opinionated to be forgotten, which will probably lead me to reinventing myself as a life coach. As a single mom who’s been through the ringer and is still standing on my feet, I figure I have some wisdom to offer.
There is no one course of action, and no “same” path to follow. One way or another, I’ll get out of my present rut. Negativity hurts. Optimism does not. I think it’s all about empowering oneself. And yes, getting a little pissed off serves to spark the fire one needs to keep looking ahead for a brighter tomorrow, to create rather than wait for opportunity or at the very least, to write a blog about it.
In the meantime, if you find yourself in Jerusalem and driving behind me, you would do well for yourself not to honk at me.
I’m unemployed and I’ve got nothing to lose.