Really, though, the bathroom key is the biggest perk so far.

Well it’s official: I’m now an Employee. That is, I’m no longer a temp- I’m now a full time employee at the company where I’ve been working for the past six months. In some ways, nothing has changed: I’m still doing the same work at the same office during the same hours, but now I’ll have benefits like health insurance and (eventually) paid vacation. I’ve never had paid vacation before. I’ve never had employer sponsored health insurance of my own. I’ve never had a 401k. So while nothing has changed in my day to day routine ( except that now I have my own key to the bathroom), everything has changed. 

On one hand, I finally feel like a grown up. On the other hand, it feels just the tiniest bit telling about the state of my life that I’m in my mid-thirties and am just now getting the basics of full time employment. Up until now I felt pretty good about myself whenever I worked a job that gave me a W2 instead of a 1099, just for the sake of knowing that I wouldn’t have to leverage a kidney to pay my self employment tax. Where would I be if I’d waited this long to start saving for retirement? Where would I be if I hadn’t been lucky enough to go this long with good health?  Or, conversely, where would I be if I’d gotten a full time job ten years ago? Would I be better off than I am now or would I be in the same place, only wondering what it would have been like to job around setting my own schedule and choosing how to handle my own affairs? All things considered, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. 

Now that the question of “Where will next month’s rent come from” has been de-prioritized, at least for the time being, I’ve been forced to confront the question of my plans for the next five years. Where do I see myself in five years? Still working in payroll by day, commuting by bus and squeezing in writing and filmmaking on nights and weekends? In five years I’ll be forty. That’s a sobering thought. I’ve been enjoying my thirties, but I always thought I’d be more established by now and if I want to make that a reality then I’ve got five years to get my act together. Thinking back over the last five years I can see how far I’ve come, so I have confidence that it can happen. Now it’s just a matter of making a plan. 


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 5, 2017.

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