[First published in March, 2002]
I think that if you look back over the things that have concerned me in these journals since leaving the job, money will pop up more often than any creative endeavor. There was a tremendous rush of freedom that I felt when I left the corporate world, but also a new kind of respect for what money meant to me. It’s almost akin to moving from adolescence into adulthood.
The corporation was your parents. They took care of you. True, they would kick you out if they had to, and there was no real security, but there was the illusion of security. And now, you go out on your own, and it seems romantic and all, but along with the freedom comes the reality that you are now in charge of your own life and finances. How many times did my father say, “Do you think that money grows on trees?” Well, of course, you know it doesn’t. But somehow the corporation can take the place of the parents in that role.
There’s a bus strike in Queens. And I remember one of the strikers calling for “job security”.
He was yelling into the camera, “If we do a good job, we should be able to keep our job.” That idea seems totally foreign to me. The only place that I can think of these days with that security is in academia.
[It turns out that this post was more prescient than even I could imagine.]