the matrix

I was talking on the phone last week with a single, childless friend of mine who lives across the country and is currently working at a stressful, full-time job. She’s a smart and considerate woman who doesn’t know what advice to give me in terms of job decisions, as she’s facing the same issues herself. “We can’t seem to figure out how to escape the matrix,” she said.


My current options are thus:

Take a 20-hour clerical job within walking distance of my home, perhaps keeping up the Spanish courses for another 10-hour commitment per week. Hold on to the housemate. Pull in enough income with the job and the housemate to just barely squeak by. This scenario is close to my original vision.

Take the full-time professional job for more than twice the salary of the clerical position. I’d have no financial worries, but with commute time and lunches added in, I’d be committing to 50 hours per week. The housemate could stay or go. I’m not sure yet whether he is going to work out, but if he leaves and I take another full-time job, I’m back where I started.

I figured out after considering these options that there IS a way to escape the matrix, and that would be to take a half-time professional, as opposed to clerical, position. Naturally that is not on offer.