This job is temporary

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When you come to Los Angeles, you go to the restaurant and the waiters are of course, actors. When you go on set, the gaffers want to be directors, and the best boy wants to be a star. Even the PAs want to sleep with the director and the catering people have their own ideas about becoming chefs to the stars. At the spa, the helper people explain to you that their job is temporary and pretty soon, they’ll have their own spa. Your gardener plans to start his own landscaping business. The guy who washes cars at the carwash where I go is planning to be a famous DJ. A DJ to the stars.

In Collateral, Tom Cruise asks the cab driver about his future. Foxx waves his hand at the cab, “This is all temporary,” he says. He then explains that he plans to start a limo service that will give people a cool ride to and from the airport which would be amazing since the drive to and from LAX is not at all peaceful or cool. It’s quite exhausting but not as exhausting as flying.

For many years, I had nothing at all in my office at work. It was like the institutional office in a prison. The reason I didn’t do anything to the office is that the job was/is temporary. I’m just doing it until something else comes along. Well, then I started sharing my office with this guy Chris and we decorated it with rock posters and Dali posters, a rug, lamp and tapestries and it’s kind of vaguely comfortable now. But it’s still temporary.

The problem with everything being temporary is that you don’t actually dig in anywhere doing anything. For a long time, I refused to fix up this house because we planned to move and since living here was temporary, why fix it up? We’ve been living here since 1998, so that’s not really temporary, and I’ve been teaching since 1989 and at this one university for thirteen years.

We work at relationships and jobs and houses and cars that we plan to stick with. I take care of my cars like I’m going to drive them more than 300,000 miles, and I do. I take good care of them and of the family and of writing. None of that is temporary.

I want to treat my life like the whole thing is fluid and dynamic but also like it is something I must take care of. Love and family—that is your kids—that’s not temporary. You don’t walk away from kids, they’re your life.

But I think that I could live my life better if I lived more fully in the present. This is it. This is today. This is my one and only wild and precious life.

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Published in: on February 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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