The tone for the national day of gratitude - Thanksgiving - has been set by long-term contract worker Alex Rich in today's column on Abovethelaw.com. The bottom line on being on the bottom of the food chain as a freelancer is that, hurrah, we have paid work.
That is much different from those who are under the illusion they are going places because they are doing uppaid work for brandname media, organizations, and politicos. We know better. A few bucks in the hand trumps a lot of fantasy about making it big.
My bible has become the book "Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path." It's by Ayya Kema and here you can order it from Amazon. First published in 1987, the book is still in the 100,000 ranking on Amazon. That means the deep satisfaction of simply being an Everyman or Everywoman is a meme which continues to resonate.
If we are cagey about how to play the free-agent game, we have everything we need. Long ago we surrendered to the reality that wants were vestiges of the false consciousnes of affluent times (20th century). Rich has health insurance. Is able to pay off law school loans on a regular basis. That means no garnishing of the Social Security monthly payment for what's still due. That ordeal is becoming commonplace among my generation of Baby Boomers. And Rich also has a network of kindred spirits while toiling in the bowels of document review.
My main piece of gratitude for Thanksgiving 2014 is I have been able to put together a game that's movable. No longer am I tethered to the pricey, careerist, polar vortex Northeast Corridor. Last April, I cut expenses in half and blood pressure down almost 20 points by relocating to the desert + mountains of Arizona. State Farm charges me $100 for car insurance versus $200 when I lived near Yale.
Because I am a nobody, no one even noticed that I was no longer taking the bus, Metro North, and subway into downtown Manhattan to be among the 15 pitching for the same whatever. It's funny. Because I am just Everywoman (and aging), David Muir chose to interview me on ABC when I did land work during tough times in the financial district. Here you can view the clip.
The new definition of "success" in America may be the ability to pay one's bills.