Monday, April 1, 2002

Brief autobiographical notes on the broad

I grew up in one of those typical American middle class families whose financial obligations and frivolous spending sprees never seemed to include funds for a proper vacation. Going to Disneyland a couple of times as a kid counts for very little as you enter your teenage years and your friends around the block are gearing up for skiing in Chamonix, hiking in the Bavarian Alps, or snorkeling and volcano exploration in Hawaii. Unable to fathom a life unlike that of my parents, I imagined weeks at large overseas to be largely out of reach and forever over budget. Plodding along in this frame of mind, I finished college and entered the working world. Swept up in the excitement and riches of the dot-com economic boom, I found myself with enough excess income to take that real vacation that I'd been so sadly, tragically denied in my acne-prone youth. First Hawaii, then Europe. And then something truly wonderful happened. I lost my fancy job and padded paycheck and used nine boss-free months to mull a fork in the road. Along the way I'd rediscovered old interests (calligraphy and photography), developed new ones (book arts), and accumulated sufficient compliments on my artistic endeavors to warrant their pursuit more seriously. So I chose the road less traveled, a sizable pay cut, and a flexible job to bankroll my monthly expenses and annual excursions. Et voilà. C'est moi.

Correction. C'était moi. Maintenant, the arrangement is a little different. Or a lot, actually. As of December 2007, I opted for a new day gig (which I'm loving, by the way) to fund the artistic endeavors and world travels. I am happy to report that my latest source of bacon is travel-related, although it does not afford me to actually travel for work or nearly as much, for pleasure. Though I tried to negotiate a similarly flexible paid, plus unpaid leave package for myself, I was unsuccessful. 12 days paid leave per calendar year. 15 days paid leave after three years with the company. Period. Which is to say, more work, less travel. Not an ideal vie, but c'est la vie. For now. And not such a bad vie, at that. Overall, still pretty magnifique.


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