Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jobs and Hope and Paychecks.

Most peeps know the amazing feeling of opening up an envelope and grabbin' out a check with your name on it.

(photo found here)
You earned it.
You worked hard for it.
You deserve it.
For those of us, young and old, who came into the workforce when the economy just went into a recession --
This feelin' is something new.
Perhaps that's why when I received my weekly check today I almost wanted to cry. It was like all of the pressure and worry I have had over the past year came to surface and finally left my body.
A check. How powerful it can be. Not just the dollar amount, but also what it symbolizes --
You're valued.
Part of me wants to frame it and keep it on my wall. The way I feel -- appreciated -- is priceless. And now I understand when people say how important the journey is. This is obvious to me as I look at my college friend who has grown so much in the past year as well:
I stand at the bar with a glass of champagne in my hand. A gorgeous view of Los Angeles is at my back and I feel great. After a few moments, I spot my Friend. He's in a nice blazer and looks good. As I approach him:
Me: "Hey man, you look great!"
Friend: "Oh, thanks Lauren. Yeah, I figure I should dress up since there are a lot of important people here."
Me: "Yeah. Totally. But, you look happier, dude. Like a weight has been lifted."
Friend: "I feel good. I really like my job now. I think it's what I want to do for the rest of my life."
For some reason, I am so proud I want to give him a hug. A year ago he was crying every day and I couldn't crack a smile out of him. Now...he's so strong.
Me: "I'm so happy for you."
For both of us. We're making it on our terms, mistakes 'n all. As we sip on champagne, our gaze lands on the city. It's beautiful and alive -- like us.
Me: "It's good to see you doing so well."
Friend: "We're doing it. It's taking time but look at us. We're doing okay. Want another drink?"
Me: "Yeah, but just one more."
As he goes toward the bar, I take one last look at the night and smile to myself. We are doing it. And boy does it feel great.
Perhaps we all need to hit rock bottom, or some type of bottom to really enjoy the great things in life -- like getting a paycheck. Or, being able to buy a drink for your friend.
These days may not be easy for some of us, but the important thang is enjoying each step that we make...even if we go in the wrong direction. Most of us eventually find our way back anyway.
Off to da bank.

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