Saturday, April 22, 2006

workslave interrupted

My life has changed.

For the past several years, I've done medical transcription work for a major hospital on the west coast. As time went by, I recruited more workers and ended up with a little business of sorts. I was making a decent amount of money at something enjoyable enough -- and I got a lot of emotional satisfaction from giving good-paying work to other people. I actually paid my people about 80 percent more than the industry standard.

Then the hospital we worked for, with hardly any warning, let us all go and brought in voice recognition machines. It's pretty depressing to lose your job to a machine, and I understand the Luddites in a whole new way.

I became one of the victims of our "booming" economy. I contributed to rising productivity by joining the hordes of workers who are doing so much more for so much less. My resentment was enhanced by my exhaustion. I went back to grocery shopping adding the bill in my head as I went along, careful not to go over my limit, an artifact of poverty George W and his ilk will never know or understand. I have been depressed and felt stuck. I didn't have a good solution or plan.

A miracle happened.

I was offered a new job, entirely different than what I have been doing, yet perfect to exploit my skills and talents (and education). And it pays enough to pay my bills. It's like a gift from the gods, and I am still amazed.

For the next year, I will be editing several projects for a professional writer. I've begun the first, a novel, and I am in heaven. I'm actually very good at it (at least I believe so).

I'm so happy. I don't even feel like I'm working -- isn't one of the signposts of "right work" that it's work you would do for free if you didn't have to earn a living? This is how it is. I love editing. I love working with words and ideas. I am so happy.

And this is the big change, the miracle in my life. It was, for me, a risk to say yes to this; I have always had a mental block against living where I loved. I would hear my mother's voice: Who do you think you are? and back away like a frightened cat.

So I have had two miracles: the offer, and that I said yes. My life has changed. I am learning to say yes to the miracle. Will I make this interruption a permanent departure?


expatmama said...

This is so wonderful-- you get a job you love, and Professional Writer gets a top-rate editor. And I'm betting it will lead to either a successful editing business, or a time for you to work on your own words and get that novel out there, or both!

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I am so glad to be reminded that miracles DO happen! Wishing you all good things and happiness, my friend.

Quit Bloglin' Me said...

Sounds like someone's following her bliss!

So happy for you, L. (and, by default, for the Pro Writer you're working for)

The other L.