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For What It’s Worth

Submitted by Bonnie Sludikoff on May 14, 2010 – 2:11 amComments

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Courtesy of Aaron Schottenstein

In six years of college it never occurred to me that I’d ever lack steady employment.  I don’t think I would have survived the frequent all-nighters if I ever once stopped to think that I’d be in my late 20s wondering how I would pay my bills.  The whole point of higher education is, after all, a higher quality of living…. Isn’t it?

This is one the questions I ask myself as I decide if I can afford the Strawberries at Trader Joes or if I will ditch another dinner party because I can save 15 bucks by staying home.

Despite my shiny, glittering (not literally, that’d just be unprofessional) diploma, I am only partially employed.  Just the other day I thought my ship had come in when my parents got me the number of their neighbor’s production company. That is, until he told me he could (maybe) get me in to see someone about a highly coveted position working from 4pm-2am.

Ironically, my over-protective Jewish mother was more enthusiastic about this one than I was, and my finance-minded Jewish father will probably talk about it for the rest of my natural life despite what a bad move it would have been.  And despite the fact that the 50/hr a week job still wouldn’t pay all of my bills, that all my coworkers would no-doubt be doing coke to deal with the odd hours, that I’d be slowly climbing a career ladder in the wrong career and that I’d have zero chance at having a life of any kind— Despite all of this, I gave this job some serious thought.

But unfortunately for my empty pockets and the slight sense of entitlement I feel from growing up in the Valley, I came away with something else in college- other than the idea that money should be bountiful.  I learned that I can be whatever I want.  It’s a little new-agey, I admit, but it’s better than the pit of despair that I more affectionately refer to as “my peers,”  most of whom gave up on their dreams years ago.  26 out of the 30 people in each of my screenwriting classes in college were there because they had failed to get into the by-acceptance-only production department and I never met a single person who applied a second time.

I understand the sense of defeat and I don’t look down on those who are not doing what they swore they’d do at eight years old.  Dreams change, financial hardships are no joke, and often, great opportunities may open a new interest even better than your original dream. But I encourage anyone who is on the fence not to lose sight of the grass on their own side.  It may just need a little more sunlight and care to bloom.

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  • And don't even talk about avocados...

  • bonnie sludikoff

    avocados are my favorite, but thinking about what they cost makes me sad.

  • Ina

    Great encouragement, Bonnie! I'm in a similar situation - partially employed and looking for pretty much anything to help pay the bills. Good to know that I'm in good company. (Those strawberries can get expensive!)

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