Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Movin' Me Down the Highway

I'm applying for a job. It's one of those jobs that would be a really good use of what I do best, and of who I am. I was updating my CV (résumé in American English) and I realized that it's now dipping onto the third page. I need to trim it down, which will probably involve just taking off the last job on the list. Then I saw what job that is and it made me a little sad.

It's my Art Therapist job, which I had in Brooklyn, New York. It feels like a life time ago that I worked there. It was 2002, so if you're reading this and you're six-years-old or under, it actually was a life time ago. It was the job I had in my thirties, and it was a pretty great job (for a while) for what it was.

I moved from Texas to New York to go to graduate school to study art therapy because a mentor of mine told me it would be a good idea for me to leave Texas - and she was right. Art therapy was interesting, but I soon realized that it wouldn't be the job I kept until retirement.

Fortunately, I had happened into a choice job in an outpatient unit working with mentally ill chemical abusers in the ghetto. (Doesn't sound fab, but for that kind of work, it was pretty great.) However, I said more than once, "If I'm doing this at 40, just take me out back..." I stayed there for eight years and then good fortune intervened. The hospital downsized and because of my seniority, I was given a chunk of change to leave a job that was beginning to eat my soul. Then I took my first trip to Europe, fell in love and moved here a year and half later.

But there's something about having that job on my CV that I liked. It's like I'm able to hang onto that part of my history in a fairly concrete way. Plus, it explains that strange masters degree I have. But now I have to let it go. I almost feel like I need to call them and say, "I'm taking you off my résumé. I won't be needing you any more now. But that doesn't mean that I didn't have a great time. I'll still mention you now and then at parties, but I've got to move on."

I read a book called Necessary Losses when I moved from Texas to New York. The basic premise of the book is that in order to progress through life, we have keep letting go of people and things and ideas. It's such a strange thing, this letting go. I almost don't feel prepared for it, although I'm pretty much an expert by now.

But as Jim Croce sang in I've Got a Name, I'm movin' ahead so life won't pass me by.

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