Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Missing the Benjarmins

It seems like every time I see a movie now it's shot in New York or LA. In places in New York in LA that I know well. It makes me homesick. I've been out of work for ten months, and in school for five. I miss the money. I miss the travel. I miss buying stuff I want. It sounds a bit crass to actually come out an say it, but it's true. I see friends' vacation pictures on Facebook... from Switzerland, Africa and France. I had to turn down the annual President's Day family gathering in Gatlinburg 'cause we couldn't afford it. And damn it, I feel sorry for myself.

I think about looking for a job. And it's not just for the money, there's something else I miss. It's a longing that's almost physical. Until recently I'd thought the longing was for the old life in New York: the big office, the secretary, and the travel. And although intellectually, I know and accept that that life doesn't exist for anyone any longer, it's still difficult emotionally. At least that's what I thought in my personal pitty party. (I read something just last week that Grey has had to hire a team of industrial psychologist to help people adjust to the new, open office. I have very strong views on open office, but will save that for another time....suffice it to say that I believe strongly that it's what put Chiat Day/NY and Wells Rich Green out of business.) Anyway, I haven't quite been able to recognize exactly what this longing is for; really. But after spending some quality time with former colleagues over the past week or so, I've realized the thing I miss even more than the money, is being with smart people and discussing ideas. That is really what I use to do all day. That's the part I loved. That's the thing I miss. It wasn't staying at the Mondrian and hanging out at SkyBar. It was the people I was with at SkyBar and the plans we made and the ideas we had. It wasn't driving up the PCH first thing in the morning, or the West Side Highway at night, or having breakfast at the Waldrof; it wasn't the places and the furnishings. It was the people and the ideas.

Isis and I talk about how we miss those Benjarmins from our old lives. She use to make thousands of dollars a week selling drugs. Now she's workin' fast food for $8/hour. She says what she likes about her life now is that she can sleep and spend time with her kids. "'cause when you is selling drugs, you get calls all day and all night. And you think 'I can make $1,200 just by drivin' twenty minutes' -- so you go, and then you get another call... And you never get any sleep. I was just SO TIRED all the time. I could never turn down that money." I sure as hell know that feeling.


Lyndsey said...

I love, love, love this post. It's one of your best ones yet. So transparent, open and sincere!

The thing is - even if you find & accept a job somewhere just to "have a job", you may not get to work with those fabulous people. Think of the fantastic men & women who work at the high-end salons that you will ONE DAY get to share all your glorious thinking with! And vice versa. Instead of talking about a shoot, you'll discuss the latest hair fashions out of NY or LA.

Keep going, you're almost there!

AdMom24 said...

Hey, thanks; that means a lot to me.

Amy said...

I agree C...great post. I'm just getting to this now. I started a blog (it'll be linked on my FB page soon) and added you to my blogroll. I hear you on the'll come around again, and this time you will have your soul. Remember how crappy it was there too? Don't forget that. Did I tell you about the book FINDING YOUR STRONGEST LIFE. ? It's the new Oprah book. I think you'll like it. I think the "i miss trading ideas" part might get answered with this book.