Longest post ever?
It's been weird to not post in a week, but I've been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of watching tv because my laptop is broken and I realize now how much time I waste on it. But I digress to the thinking...
This last Thursday I had a job interview at Albertson's to be considered as a courtesy clerk.
This was somewhat of a big deal for me, considering I've been actively applying for jobs since October (I haven't kept any sort of accurate count, but I've applied to at least two dozen different businesses).
The interview went very well, in both my perspective and the store manager's (allegedly; he said it was "a REALLY great interview).
However, I received a call from him saying that he did not hire me, but rather four other candidates.
He said not to lose hope, and that if two of them decide they don't want the job, he'll offer me the job again.
Oddly enough, after all the hopeless filling out of job applications and all the excitement gathered from my family and friends about this opportunity (as well as their supposed sympathy and sorrow for the results of the phone call), I found a great deal of dissonance within myself about the entirety of the situation.
When the call came I was playing drums in my basement, alone for about an hour.
When it ended, I picked the drumming right back up for an hour or so.
When I put the sticks down I came to a realization: I don't really want some job, especially not as the miscellaneous labor force for a grocery store.
I know only two things that have mattered to me with any amount of consistency over the years:
Jesus, and the gifts and talents to which He instilled in me.
I've been pushing very hard to get a job, but not for either of those reasons.
Having a job would provide an ability to pay for my car insurance and gas, work experience, extra money for extra things and savings, and pleasing my stepfather, who was the original instigator to my job search and is the person who threatens punishment if I am not employed or seeking employment.
While those are some fairly good reasons to get a job right now, I feel I'm cheating myself quite a bit.
In the event I get the job offered to me, there are some pretty major implications it will impose on some things in my life.
(I'll do my best to skip out on the effects of seemingly minuscule factors, such as social life, personal time, etc. I can always work around my schedule to do carry those things through efficiently.)
This next semester I'll be taking 4 high school classes and a single college math class.
While that only adds up to 5 classes, it's near to a full schedule, something I'm not familiar with, and it constantly brings back the memories of taking two college classes and a full schedule.
That semester was one of the most fatigued and stressful of my life thus far, I must say, it put me down quite a bit.
So to take on a job that requires twenty hours of focused energy every week, it would put me back in that situation, but during the times where I would usually do homework.
While having 4 more classes would add about 8 more hours, give or take, of class and study time, that'd be difficult in its own rite and less than half of how much I'd be working.
I'd be back to a similar stress of that 9 class, after-school club, volunteering and youth group schedule that put me in such drought of sincerity for every aspect of my life.
It became a hassle to get involved with my social life, as I had to sacrifice productivity in order to see people, and even when the sacrifice was made I was always exhausted or upset or plain unwilling to be around others.
It took a toll on some of my closest friendships, so much so that I now only have less than half a dozen Christian friends.
I attribute my lack of being around as a major factor to some bonds being lost, as well as the loss of faith in several of my closest friends.
I know it's not entirely my fault that they left me or left God, that'd be a very egotistical thing to say, and a person should never be the foundation of another's faith.
But there were all these plans that God was trying to work through in their lives and I shirked them in order to "relax" or "do something for myself for once."
I was burning the candle at both ends and every degree of rotation.
Emotionally distressed, spiritually depraved; states I wish not to retain.
Creatively speaking, it wasn't until after the busy semester that I began posting on here more frequently, I wrote, recorded, and released more music.
Amidst that free period I learned to Chiptune, recorded 4 demos of instrumental songs (which led to my 5 song EP I released in August), worked with the Reckless Pursuit somewhat frequently, and over the entire 2011 year made 256 posts, more than tripling the posts of last year.
While there were obviously more variables which provided creative productivity over that stretch of time, if I continued with that same schedule I simply would not have had the time or motivation to accomplish much of anything.
It was also the time period where I read the Book of Job, much of the New Testament, got over a romantic thorn in my side, and, once July hit, became more active and consistent in my youth group with small group, diligent biblical study, and reading Mere Christianity (while I worked at Silverwood over the summer).
Just listing what happened does not sum up the experiences in themselves, or in-between, or the crappy things that still went on during the time I was free from the business of that 1st semester.
There's some reflection of both sides during those months within the blog, not as in-depth as possible, but it gets the idea across.
After all that reflection, let's come back to what the current situation is now.
The store manager at Albertson's is anticipating two of the four people he hired to drop off (according to "most the times he's hired people"), and if that comes to happen, he will call me within the next week to offer me the job again.
Now on the other hand I have the unnamed post-rock project I'm involved in to consider.
This is the first band of all devoted Christians I've ever been apart of.
This is the first band where I don't carry the bulk of the workload or am an instrument lacky; all four members have an equal contribution to the music both in performance and composition.
This is the first band where we don't sound like wannabes and have the potential to gather a unique and interested fanbase.
This is the first band where we have the equipment to play shows just about anywhere.
This is the first band where we have the ability to record our own demos; the first to have enough material to release EPs and (potentially) full length albums.
In conclusion, this is the only musical project I've been apart of that I have confidence in to become, at least, internally successful and successful within our local community.
Here's the catch I'm sure you've been anticipating: I can't do both the job and the band.
The band practices take up at least half of a day, and that doesn't blend well with occupied weekends and afternoons.
So it comes down to their overall meaning and significance, not just in the worldly sense of success and temporal sustainability, but when it comes to God's plan I can see either opportunity being a part of it.
The job: God allowing me to push past my personal desires, encouraging me to work hard and maintain all sincerity through my work ethic and how it pours into my life. Maintaining undesirable responsibilities, becoming an adult, having a back-up plan, preparing for the future. Rewarding me for my (somewhat) patient and persistent efforts to find a job/being obedient to my parents.
The music: God giving me the opportunity to lay all the cards I have on the table; the paper and pen to write out my magnum opus. To prove that there is truly virtue behind all the aspiration to do good; that there is courage, not cowardice, in the face of danger. To paint the picture of His beauty as it has worked itself in me. Removing the idolatry from the talent and lifting up the source of all passion, pleasure, and glory. Rewarding me for my effort poured out into this medium of praise, this medium of love to communicate to those in need of meaning.
When it comes down to it, either way would be Biblical, I believe.
Where God wants to take it, I am unsure, but praying to be as ready and willing for whatever the situation.
I have, at the least, two days to figure it out; at the most, a week or so.
When comes down to it, I am very biased on which path I wish to take.
But the truth is, if I were God, we'd all be dead.
P.S. I'd also like to make the note that my financial situation seems promising for the Fall semester at North Idaho College (NIC). Financial aid for 15-20 credits, plasma donation, working for Cha-Cha = $$$ without a real job.
P.P.S. I am also going to be out of state for 4 to 6 consecutive weeks this summer, making me unavailable for a great portion of it. I don't know if I could hold the job after that, or even get it with those plans in mind.