Thursday, August 30, 2007

Freedom

Today is a HUGE day for me.

I don't come from a wealthy family. I don't have a trust fund. I've never relied on my family financially. Just emotionally. They give me millions of dollars worth of love and support.

I think that's why my brother and I are such workaholics. We've had to fend for ourselves a lot in life. Which, quite frankly, I'm pretty grateful for. I'm extremely independent and my work ethic goes beyond nutty.

So I thought it was funny the other day when Karl was surprised to hear I had a day job. I've always had a day job.

I've had a day job since I was 14. Since Aaron got me a busboy/busgirl position at the local Village Inn. I worked my butt off to move up to hostess so I could wear pretty clothes to work and not come home with pie and eggs all over my shirt. After a year in the food industry, I got a job at the Royal Palm Movie Theater. I just thought it'd be a fun place to work. And it was. I realized that the nacho cheese they serve at movie theaters is criminally disgusting. I also learned later that my boss was embezelling money and snorting cocaine. That job lasted until I headed off to college. 2 years? 3? In Tallahassee I got a job at the Oak Lake 6 Theater. It was owned by the same company as the Royal Palm. Easy in. My boss there was lottery winner. Apparently he bought a lot of guns, a couple of trucks and a lot of booze. You could smell it whenever he got within five feet of you. I remember being so poor in college, I had to steal a buck once just to fill up my car with gas to get home. After I graduated from college, I got a job down the street at the Bruno's Grocery and Pharmacy. It pretended to be an upscale grocery store. My boss there was Mr. Sohns. Think, Gary Cole from Office Space. Ugh. Then I moved to Austin, with the dreams of becoming a filmmaker. This was 1997. Matt got me a job in accounting at Book People. I loved it. I worked long and hard. My boss Judy and my coworker Andrea were the best office mates I'd ever had. And who wouldn't love to be in a store full of books and people who loved stories. But after 5 years there, I found myself digging a deep, round financial hole. See, independent bookstores, much less independent anything doesn't pay much. Below poverty level, usually. So I got a job at Cycorp. What they do, I still don't completely understand. Officially, they create artificial intelligence software. That's about as detailed as I can get. But I was lucky enough to get a boss that took great lengths to take care of me and my dreams. She bought us a whole summer worth of snacks for jumping off bridges. She'd send me home with printers, office supplies, cookies, trinkets, money ... She supported every festival screening, fundraiser, event I had. And for that I am forever grateful. I've been here for 4 1/2 years.

But today, today was a day that marks a huge milestone in my life. I turned in my letter of resignation. I'll stick around for about another month to tidy things up, train someone new and pack up my things. No more day job. No more wasting time on someone else's dream. I got my own to continue to make happen. And somehow, with a little creativity and a lot of work, I've made being a filmmaker a paying gig. And I love it. That's my job. That's what I do. I'll have my own office, my own desk and computer. Employees (kind of, if you count interns). It feels really good.

4 comments:

David Lowery said...

HOORAY!!!!

zen imbecile said...

Congrats!

Stacy said...

Yeah!

Alisn said...

I used to work at the Village before it was the Alamo Village. My boss would serve nasty hot dogs that he'd reheated so many times I couldn't count. Once I saw that he dug cups out of the trash to reuse because he'd lost some and inventory was crucial to his commission. Out. of. the. trash! I didn't last long after that.
hey, you are good at your job!