Do you fellow bloggers sometimes sit down to write about ABC, and suddenly find yourself writing about GKQ instead? My God, what was I just doing for the past 45 minutes? That was not even close to what I had in mind to say when I sat down at this computer! I guess it shows the extreme state of my confused, distracted mind these days. Somehow I am guessing I am not alone in this phenomenon, am I?
Oh yes, now I remember what I came here to write about. It has to do with the deep insecurity of not knowing what to really do with myself in a day. Oh sure, there are plenty of things I can find to do, to fritter away the hours, such as sitting here writing nonsensical blogs or reading several of yours, cook dinner, listen to music, walk around the town or go down over to the lake. It’s not like I have nothing to do. the dissatisfaction comes from feeling I am not contributing anything of value to the world, to society at large (whatever that actually means) or to put it another way, I am feeling rather useless.
How many of you were raised to believe that you would grow up, get an education of one kind or another, and then, inevitably, get a job? (or, for the lucky ones, a Real Career.) Well I certainly was. And I certainly did. I have had, in fact, countless jobs over the past many years. Some have been more fun and certainly more interesting than others. The point is, for the vast majority of my life, I have worked. Slaved. Been employed. Been self-employed. Taught. Created. Loved it, hated it. But I have generally Done Something Which Earned Money. Until I came to Denmark, that is.
It became obvious within the first few months of living here, and getting the dirt from the other foreigners at the Danish language school, that the chances of us foreigners getting paid jobs in Denmark, other than becoming a cleaning assistant for various institutions or even in a private home, was between very slim, and none. Well, I have my pride. I am an American, for God’s sake, and I was not going to grovel as a cleaning assistant here, along with the Somalian and eastern European women and men who do it because they cannot find anything else. I cannot describe the degree of disappointment I felt to have this realization sink in, that as long as I was not fluent in Danish, and had no ‘network’, I would very probably not be able to get a real job here.
So much for sending money back to the kids in America. So much for my previous life as an independent, free woman in America. No, here in Denmark, my sole source for money would be my loving and generous, though unemployed and basically poor, Danish husband. So much for not groveling. From this time forward, I would have to ask for money each time I wanted to buy vegetables, toilet paper or toothpaste. Of course he has been happy to give me what he has. That isn’t the problem. Work, and the lack thereof, is.
So, for the past 19 months now, I have been without paid work in Denmark. A kind of poor woman’s sabbatical, as I think of it now. And for a while, I admit, it was pretty great. After so many years of working at the thousand different things I worked at back in the ol’ USofA, now I had nothing but time. Time. So much friggin’ time on my hands. No kids to bring and fetch from school, to take shopping or to a friend’s, to make dinner for, to spend my freetime with. No kids, and no work. Only a new husband, Danish school, and a whole bunch of freetime. Sigh.
I think that is one big reason I started this blog. It gives me a kind of work to do, and I am happy with myself for taking it so seriously. I come here to the nice computer at the library each day and spend a couple of hours writing, reading and posting on my blog. I am dedicated to it, it is my new creative work. I like that I am my own boss, and make up all my own rules and schedule. I decide how it will look, what topics to write about (well it’s basically a free-for-all, but hey, why not?) and work on figuring out ways to find more readers. (Any suggestions?) My blog is my new work. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t provide me a paycheck at the end of the week. Then it would be nearly perfect!
How I long for the day when we can all of us no longer work at ‘a job’ but instead have our ‘right livelihood’ of Zen Buddhism’s eight-fold path fame. I truly feel that writing and my other artistic endeavors are my right livelihood. So where is that paycheck, that monetary compensation for doing what I really love to do, why hasn’t it shown up? Hey, New Agers, all you guys who write books about ‘just do what you love and the money will follow‘ and ‘Success and Wealth is only a state of mind,’ like the Abraham people love to claim, what about it? Okay, I am doing it. I am a writer. I am an artist. Here I am stuck in Denmark, writing and arting my little heart out. So how about it, cough up the cash already!! (sorry, my ego got a little out of control there for a minute.)
Here I am in the year 2012. Broke, living with very little money, without a job, without my children, in a foreign country at the top of the European continent where they still keep their queen living high off the hog, believe in equality and freedom, and no longer believe in an alternative lifestyle. People like me are called Losers in Denmark. I guess in America too, but I never thought about it too much back there because lots of people live in an alternative way and don’t follow the rules. Don’t feel sorry for me though. That’s not what I need or want. I just want to manifest that elusive idea of Success and Abundance that the New Agers are supposedly getting so rich on. So how about it, God, Universe, or Whoever is up there listening? I am waiting.