keith “guru” elam ; 1962 – 2010.
( image hat-tip: [indexed] )
ending your time with a job at my age under non-ideal circumstances is one of those things that is criminally overlooked in the unofficial manual of How To Grow Up and Handle Yourself Gracefully. i never had anyone sprinkle any words of wisdom on this subject amid the tips on how to get your resume noticed among thousands or how to negotiate your salary. and yet, it’s one of those things that sneaks up on some people, a slight whipser in your ear that turns into a bullhorn over time. something you know you have to do to restore order to your life, but that scares the mess out of you all the same. i would be one of those people who found themselves in this rare situation.
now, to be clear, there are different types of young resignees. there’s:
the person who doesn’t care.
they either see a halo of welcoming light surrounding the room they grew up in back at their parent’s house, or see a halo of light surrounding their trust fund/outside party-funded bank account.
the person who is moving on to bigger and better in their field of choice.
the world is their oyster, their lobster, their escargot. “resigning” isn’t even in their vocabulary. it’s replaced with “rising.”
the person who is content to stay in the situation despite the bs.
i feel like this one is self-explanatory.
the person who can’t take it anymore and must make moves.
it’s just not working. they woke up one day and realized that the path for their life had developed from detour into getting lost without a map. it’s the dead of night, no sign of help anywhere, and their car eventually runs out of gas. they decide to abandon the car and go back the way they came, rather than sit around and hope a bear doesn’t happen to pass by. they’re usually found to be carrying around a crater in their stomach.
wow, that got really emo really fast. but anyway, i would be the lucky recipient of scenario number 4. fun times! a little back story on me:
i moved to new york in june of 2007, bright-eyed and full of wild abandon and hope. i got an internship with the art department of a magazine almost immediately. worked there all summer, learned lots, had an amazing time assisting on photo shoots, shopping for clothes and accessories, scouting locations. but i wasn’t getting paid. i searched and searched for a job to supplement, but nothing worked out. just as things were getting dire, the awesome editor who hired me at my first magazine and had since moved on to another hired me at her new title as a freelance photo assistant. i worked there for about 2 months and also finally found work at an art supply store. no job to two jobs. my freelancing period ended, and in perfect sync, i landed a position with a design agency. i started there the next week. then, the economy decided to tank. being in the design field, my industry was one of the first to feel it. i got laid off after 5 months. being 24 and living in new york alone, i’m not ashamed to say that my honest reaction was to fold in on myself. i collected unemployment and spent most of an entire summer inside my place, too afraid to spend money. 3 months after being laid off, i was offered a position with my current company. a position that centered around my college major, but one that no longer fit the ideal picture in my head of what i wanted to do. but i took it, out of fear.
the money came, the benefits package came.
the corporate structure came, the back and neck aches came, the weight gain came.
and eventually, the red flags came.
ask anyone right now, especially in new york, especially in brooklyn (young and jobless land), and they will either have just gotten done job searching, know someone job searching, or if you ask them in the middle of the day in a coffee shop or bookstore, be currently job searching. the fraternal eye-rolling, groaning, and sighing is exchanged. it’s hard out there. imagine being someone with a job that pays a more-than-decent salary, unfulfilled, out there in the dead sea of employment collapse. i only mentioned my tabooed plight to a select few. but even only a fraction of them really “got it.” the constant stress on my go-getter personality became too much, and i began my search again. i started with high hopes, and even had a few prospects, but they turned into nothing. i had to transition from looking primarily for something in the field i desired, to looking for something not in my field that would still get me motivated to go everyday, keep me active, and allow me to go back to giving my jeans collection some attention. so after about 11 months of stress and searching, out of 20 months of employment, i found a promising retail position that i’m hype about.
i could sit here for a week laying out all the emotions i’m feeling surrounding this. trepidation, cautious optimism, excitement, disbelief. 20 months felt like an eternity, and i know that i now have to take some time to clear my head of that mindset. start over. rediscover my creativity.
i guess the best piece of advice i can give myself is to take my time. i’ll be officially out of the rat race next friday, and while it’s not the best decision for everyone, it definitely is for me. so although i may be going “back” into retail, at least i’m going somewhere. the rat race can be fast-paced and stagnant all at once. not my cup of tea. and money is nothing compared to peace of mind. i’d much rather turn around to find my way than to sit around.
time to implement. and rise.
here’s some visuals to enjoy. sade and erykah badu are already checked off of my top 3 list of most anticipated releases of the year, and this would be the third. i don’t think anyone is prepared for what janelle is about to bring, including me. i await the mindblowing audio with growing impatience, but thankfully there’s not much longer.
janelle monae, the archandroid: may 18.
and if you live under a boulder and haven’t seen the video for ‘tightrope,’ do not pass the click, do not collect $200.
( image hat-tip: [sean aickin] )
ha ha (slow down son) by talib kweli.
the original version of this is by fat joe featuring young jeezy, but talib kweli freestyling makes me go “fat joe, who?” and anyway, the power behind these tracks is the beat. produced by scoop deville, it’s a beast. his sampling of soul II soul’s dance anthem “back to life” is another to add to the list of unique and rare reworkings that have come out in the last few years. i need to track down an instrumental of this.
empire ants by gorillaz featuring little dragon.
i’m a much bigger fan of little dragon than gorillaz, so i was somewhat wary about this track. i’m glad i was wrong. very chill, motivational track with 2 movements. and yukimi nagano’s voice just makes everything it touches turn to gold.
dilla jawns by the roots.
questlove gifted his twitter followers (so, essentially 95% of all twitter users) with a collection of dilla-inspired tracks performed by the band. he originally posted the link on dilla’s birthday 2 months ago, but the man tweets so much that most of us missed it. (not that i’m complaining, keep entertaining, quest.) hat tip to 2dopeboyz for the re-alert. i’m linking to their original post, but since then, quest renamed the mix from dilla joints to dilla jawns, so that his hometown didn’t come after him with torches.
common presents just wright mixtape: volume 1.
a mixtape of the single track variation. if you love soul music, just listen. the end. volume 2 is soon to come; rumor has it that it’ll feature some newness from common himself. the film looks good, too.
in honor of national poetry month, here’s one of my favorites from def poetry jam, featuring none other than jilly from philly.