Yeah, that's right, I said it. I, Athena Titanides, am a recipient of government assistance. I'd like to thank the average Canadian taxpayer for covering my basic necessities of life (rent, food, Metropass and my Rogers bill). Funny how there's a common stereotype about people like me - they live in bad neighbourhoods, wear a lot of plaid and have an f-load of kids of which they feed copious amounts of Kraft Dinner. Why is that? In fact, stereotypes on a whole are ridiculous but that's a whole other ball of wax.
I used to be ashamed to say it, especially to my family. They're a proud bunch of folk who are extremely mindful about that others think. Heaven forbid they have a daughter or sister who's just in a temporary spot - gasp!! Cha. Those 'others' should just stop throwing stones from their glass stoop - their kids are either wanted by the fuzz or run 2-3 shifts at the baby making factory. At least I behaved myself somewhat... heh heh.
There's nothing wrong with my situation. I'm now beginning to realize this could happen to anybody. In fact, my dear friend Jasmine was laid off from her job just today because the economy is brutal at the moment. I remember not too long ago Jasmine and I had unemployment parties where we'd get together and try to figure out what went wrong with our lives... and here we are again! We could very well get it right this time around. Or she'll also end up on assistance and we can have whine & cheese parties... get it? WHINE and cheese? Muah ha ha ha! (ok, so I'm no Bernie Mac)
Truth be told, there are some advantages to being home all day. For instance:
- I can go to appointments without having to beg or plot for time off
- The malls & grocery stores are fairly quiet in the middle of the day
- I can people watch at 'lunch hour' - nothing like seeing those CrackBerries fly!
- I watched Euro 2008 in the comfort of my home without having to rely on text updates from their website
I like to think of this time in my life as a time to really figure out what I really, really want. The notion of work is something that I personally see as constricting and lemming-like. I've had jobs where they were just that - jobs. Something I do for 8-12 hours per day to earn money to pay bills. Yippee. Sound dismal? Or does this sound like you? Where's the joy in that? I want to live my life as much as I can. There is indeed a clear difference in a job and a career so now I have plenty o' time to determine my new career. I want to spend 8-12 hours (well, hopefully not 12) doing something meaningful and something that really contributes to the world and makes it a better place. I know this might sound really Miss Teen Texas USA but that's the honest truth. Working for billion-dollar multinationals as a cog in the wheel is cool for some but not for me anymore. I have worked for some high-profile organizations in the past and while others thought I was set for life, there was something missing. I didn't feel anything for them. In my eyes I was a serf while the lords & ladies feasted at my expense.
Granted, I used to aspire to be a top executive. Back in my Junior Achievement days (I was indeed a JA rock star) I always thought I'd be the one with the designer suit and stilettos walking into a room of suits saying, "This is how it's going to be". As I got older, I didn't want that life anymore mostly because that would end up being my life. I'm already a singleton now - do I really want to have a close and personal relationship with my office plant because I spend so much time at work? Non, merci.
So here I sit, with time to lime. I think about the possibilities to come. I can do anything I want to do. I can be anything I want to be. I'm 31 years old and it's only now I've come to truly understand this concept. I will be happy in what I do and I will lead a very salubrious life.
When that day comes, I'll let you know.