ANYWAY, there are more similarities between the two, at least in my case, than you’d think. In jobs, I tend to settle for part-time work in which I am overqualified. In girlfriends (DON’T GO THERE), I tend to settle for women whom I am overqualified for [and no, I’m not talking about THAT. You people and your sick minds 😉 ]. Since I tend to settle for jobs that I’m overqualified for, or any job that I can get, I don’t tend to work long at them. I have not been at any job for more than two years, unless you count the Mark Twain House, where I worked for slightly over two years, but slightly less than two years in any one position (I give up). And for legal reasons, I must state that all of the opinions expressed in this blog are my own opinions and do not necessarily express the views and opinions of the Mark Twain House or its workers, except for this one: Mark Twain is a golden god. No wait. That’s from Almost Famous. Even in Japan, where I spent three years of my life, that time was split between two different companies.
I fare worse with women. My “record” for dating someone is two months, and during those two months, I saw her twice. Seriously. She even broke up with me by email. To my cell phone. While I was watching Azumi. For the second time. Of course, it’s the quality of the time spent with someone, not its length, that counts (as Before Sunrise proves–click here for my review of that movie and its sequel, Before Sunset). In that case, my track record is even worse. Not that I didn’t have some blissful moments with my exes [again with the dirty minds ;-)], but in the end, none of the relationships were quality ones, ones I wish hadn’t ended. What I usually wished was that the person I had dated had been the person I hoped her to be, rather than the person she actually was.
Dream jobs and dream girls seem much the same to me, too. Always just out of reach, always requiring much planning and/or gumption to get. Crushes tend to be like jobs we think we want to have: when we don’t get them, it allows us to fantasize even more about how great they are. Also, job hunting and dating can get stuck in similar ruts. In job hunting, one can get stuck in the seasonal, part-time, retail rut, while in dating, one can get stuck in the type of girls that one dates (I said type!). Those who like retail and are looking for part-time work, of course, are fine with ruts, as are those who end up marrying their high school sweethearts (don’t go there).
With online dating and personal ads, even methods of finding jobs and girlfriends are the same. You can find both through networking, both through print ads, both through online ads, both through search engines. Jobs sites include descriptions of the jobs; dating sites include descriptions of the people. Both include qualifications (1-2 years customer service experience a MUST; SWF looking for SWM 18-39), both include preferences (college graduate preferred; looking for someone over 6’2″, nonsmoker), both annoy you with their restrictions. Yet the best way to find one, both a job and a girlfriend, is through other people. Networking results in the most job hires; networking results in the most relationships. Picking up a woman at a bar, on the other hand, is akin to answering a “help wanted” sign–and perhaps less satisfying (though I can’t speak from personal experience on this).
Job searches and dating also share one other thing in common: I’m bad at both. But might it be the same failing? Might my failure at both have the same root cause? Perhaps. Perhaps I lack the knowledge necessary to know when to keep fighting for what I want, and when to let go (I always let go when rejected), and that goes for both job hunting and girl searching, or job searching and girl hunting, or career chasing and girl grabbing (well, maybe not that).
So, which one will I prove more successful at? As far as jobs are concerned, sooner or later, everyone gets one (we are told). Whether it will be the right job for me remains to be seen. At least I know that my writing career awaits. So even if I get a full-time job that’s a disappointment, if it can sustain me financially–and allows me to continue writing on the side–I can deal with it for a few years.
As for a girlfriend, well, having one is the means to an end, and perhaps I’ve been too focused on the end. There’s no need to date someone because, in the future, we’re going to get married. That kind of thinking eliminated too many choices for me in high school. Rather, I should date someone because I like them now. Or, to quote what one of my friends said about her then boyfriend (now fiance): “I don’t know if he’s the one, but he’s the one right now.”
Living in the present, while the artist lives in the future. And yet, I’m learning.
NOTE: The same friend whom I quoted above is also the one who convinced me not to delete this post after hearing the gist of what it was about, so be sure to thank her in your comments, if you like what you’ve read, and curse her, if you hate it. 😉