To help with the job search, i am reworking my resume, which is rather illuminating. None of the accomplishments i am proud of count. And i am having a very hard time figuring out anything that i accomplished in the jobs i’ve held, certainly nothing i can quantify.
To me, all of this shows just how, well, messed up our cultural value system is.
What accomplishments am i proud of? Let me list them here mostly to remind myself, though also to show what things our culture just doesn’t value let alone reward:
- Leaving an abusive marriage with an infant in tow.
- Raising a child to a healthy adult despite almost constant harassment by his father.
- Learning how to heal my wounds from the abuse i experienced.
- Acknowledging that i am in the wrong career and taking the jump into a career change (granted that still needs to be completed…).
- Going back to school in my early 40s to single-mindedly pursue a question that bugged me (“is marriage natural” which turned into my thesis about overcoming stereotypes)
- Developing my cultural critique into a theory of “cultural trauma“.
- Learning to dance to reintegrate my body & mind.
- Tracking my transition and growth on this blog.
This list would also not count on a resume because it’s not quantifiable. I did not increase sales by x% or help add y% more money to a business’ bottom line. I did, in large part, women’s work, which doesn’t count. So, is it any wonder that the voices in my head are calling me a failure? No, it’s not. I call this cultural trauma.
The other thing that i learned through this exercise of reworking my resume: I made the right decision to leave my job even though it’s scary for me to wonder how i’ll, ultimately, survive. At this point, i don’t know how i’ll be making money (yes, i know, there are people who are successfully living without money; i am not ready for that (yet?)). Because i was literally paid a ton of money for not doing anything. Oh, i was plenty busy – except that it was really just shuffling papers (or the electronic equivalent). Or so it seems. Because i cannot figure out what i contributed – at least during the last 4 years of my “career.” And, again, this is reflected in the larger culture: Many of the most well-paid people are working in the financial service sector and contribute nothing. They aren’t curing cancer or climate change. They are involved in one big Ponzi scheme that enriches them while impoverishing all of us. Well, and destroying our life support system, at least for us humans.
You might say that this post sounds bitter. Or angry. And you’d be right. I am bitter and i am angry. Because i am stuck in this absurd culture – and am unable to find a way out that does not seem like a huge sacrifice.
P.S.: So that you don’t think i am undoing one of my accomplishments here (digging myself out of the hole of depression), i want to add that i do have a few ideas that i am pursuing that reflect my preferred way of making a living… It’s not all as dire as i sometimes make it sound… 😉