The other night I was out with friends and I got THE question.
“So,” they asked, their eyes filled with bewilderment as to how one fills day after day when those days no longer include going to an office, “Tell us, what did you DO today?”
I admit that the question throws me off a bit. I am rarely at a loss for words, yet still this question makes me stumble. Do I dare tell them that I was in my bathrobe until 10 after which I ran to a dance lesson with my dancing guru, Alex Tchassov to pretend I am Julianne Hough on Dancing with the Stars? Should I lie a bit and omit the little nap I squeezed in before the shower I did not get to until 4, giving me just enough time to get ready to meet them? Do I tell the truth or do I create a story for those hours they were in and out of meetings, their eyes glued to their Blackberries? Do I concoct a more impressive story of what my day was like so no one worries about what I am doing or how I am going to pay my bills?
I know what is going on inside of their heads. I was them once, looking at my friends downsized or squeezed out of high paying, corporate jobs, wondering how they filled a day. I thought they must miss the energy inside the office, the tension, the gossip, the thrill when they get to the coffee machine in the kitchen and find there is still enough left to fill their cup, a sign for sure that it will be a good day.
I judged. I worried. I wondered when my unemployed friends would forget about that idea floating around inside of their head that they were going to pursue their dream, the one we all have about doing something we really love, instead of something that pays the bills. The one we had when we were first starting out, before life got in the way. I wondered when they would get a grip and get a real job.
Their faces reflect back to me the challenges I am all too well aware of. The economy is in a shambles. How many writers really make enough to earn a living? How many people really LOVE what they do? Why do I think it will be any different for me?
Before I can open my mouth, I notice something else in their faces. Hope. Hope, that there is life beyond the steel and glass of the business world. I see their desire for me to create something big. Because if I can, then perhaps their turn is next.
So, I went for the truth. I told them about my day, relishing each morsel of it. And added in one more thing I accomplished. I posted a blog.