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My Two Jobs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I have two jobs. Seems like a lot of responsibility for a senior in high school, right? Well, it is, but I’m not in the mood to complain. So, prepare yourself, because I’m going to trick you. My first job is a pretty original one for someone my age. I work five hours a week with a psychologist in social-skills groups for school-age boys who need help. My job is to be there for support and as a role model by showing them a point of view they are more apt to relate to since I am close to their age. It’s a very interesting job and I love it. It teaches me leadership skills and helps me get in touch with my feelings.

But that job isn’t really that important.

See, I tricked you, didn’t I? What? That’s not the subject of his essay? No, it’s my other job that I recently began working at full-time: existing. No, I don’t have a job that exists; my actual job is the act of existing. The pay is lousy, the hours are absurd (24/7), and my co-workers can be a pain, but I am learning so much that I couldn’t care less about the negatives.

The reason I say that I only recently started working full-time at existing is because, before (for 17 years actually) my existence was very wishy-washy. I often came to work late, I left early, I didn’t come to meetings, I rarely got the memo, and I never went to the company picnic or softball game.

Metaphors aside, I have spent an overwhelming majority of my life away from the action. I’ve been afraid to commit myself to activities for fear of what people might think of me. I haven’t tried new things for fear of being bad at them. I haven’t talked to new people because I was afraid they wouldn’t like me. I never had any passions. I never put myself on the line for something that interested me.

That was my part-time existence. No one knew about me. It’s not like I could blame them. I did, of course, but it wasn’t ever reasonable. Now, however, I have started coming to work more often. It began, as all things do, with a round object. A hacky sack. I brought one to school. People soon realized I was good at it. I was a phenomenon. I wasn’t a pro, but I was better than everyone else.

“That Ben kid is pretty good at weird stuff, isn’t he? I guess that’s kinda cool,” they said.

My activities widened to circus arts. I can juggle, ride a unicycle, use a diabolo masterfully, and walk tightropes. Gradually people heard about this, and much to my surprise, I wasn’t the “freak,” I was the “quiet guy who can do awesome things.”

This year I almost single-handedly founded the Comedy Club at school. I am the president and I have started doing open-mic stand-up in New York City. It’s a passion. And it’s mine.

And it’s thrilling.

There’s this incredible feeling that I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on. I get this rushing, high-tempo, blood-pumping feeling when I’m out there putting myself at the mercy of the crowd. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before? It’s such a shame that I only just began working full-time. The workplace seemed incredibly dull without me. But I’m finally here. I just want a two-week vacation every year - and dental.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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Pato said...
Jan. 23, 2010 at 6:44 pm:
This was great. You know what's funny? I realized this not too long ago also. Weird. Love it.
 
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