Sunday, October 08, 2006

Personal Space

Ok, so I live with my parents, yes I still live with my parents! And no I haven't seen Failure to Launch! Been contemplating moving out for years, but both family issues and monetary constraints have played equal roles in making that an ever elusive dream. As a guy in Egypt I have no 'seroius' obstacles to moving out but alas I was born with a tender heart and after a spaced out adolescence that almost cost me any real chance at making it in this world as a coherent aware individual I set out family as a main priority. Truth be told, they're great, not only do they provide me with the shelter that I have hitherto been unable to provide for myself, they really care and have proven themselves as worthy parents and friends, I am truly indebted to them with my life (and I really mean that too!)

So what seems to be the problem? Well, I've chosen a very difficult path for my life, for starters I gave up studying Economics at university and decided to take up Literature instead. I gave up the corporate sector after peddling lies in the advertising world for a while, then chose to work in 'development' but not the megabux USAID version rather the real 'get your hands dirty-on the ground' civil society version, and in arts and culture of all fields. So after a couple of years of exciting work with with various international and local organizations, reality strikes again; I'm turning 30 soon, I got no job, I live with my parents, and oh can't find the right girl.

The question is, is it at all possible to find that job that will make use of my passion for creativity but will also allow me to live a comfortable life.. I mean, many of my comrades, either artists, writers, curators or arts managers face the very same issues but we all get by, project by project, rabbak karim. Trouble is I don't want to live with this insecurity anymore, I had grand plans for a family with lots of kids, a decent home, a dog in the back yard, trips to exotic locations, a good education for my children...I did mention I lived in the Gulf right?!

Anyway, I'm not very rational right now, just had to vent after a seroius clash with the powers that be...can you believe they're asking me why not work in a bank! It's not their fault really, they just have no concept of what I do, or why, they just keep repeating it could still remain a hobby on the side while I work somewhere that'll pay me lots of moneeeeeyyyyyy!

The fucking rat race man...

8 comments:

Basil Fawlty said...

Hang in there. I moved out of my parents house and they practically had a fit (we don't get along that well). I also work in advertising and stuck with it. My impression is you have more principles than I do, but either way, you get what you're entitled to. My advice? Things happen quickly and you just need to be ready for them. Everything I ever wanted was granted to me, and with it, more problems, more desires and more fear. Your turn will come...just...be...ready.

Jester said...

Thanks for the moral support bro. I know I should be patient but I also realize that unless I stand firm on my decision to do what I do I will forever question it at every single turn. Gotta do some real thinking bout future and all tha jazz...

gayyash said...

damn. you know just this morning after my moroor episode i went to the bank (at nadi sporting, no less) and as always found the young tellers and cust. service guys absolutely fascinating, they're like another species those bankers. i kind of respect their mechanical efficiency but the fact that i know i'd crack after the first three hours of any day there makes me think there's been a much darker sell-your-soul-to-whoever sort of transaction behind their... i dunno, sumood, their satisfaction with the whole thing. but you can nearly see it in their very grain some of them. el 7amdollah. so i stepped out to stand in the sun and enjoy the alex (nadi sporting, specifically) breeze and colours while i waited my turn. as i did so i thought of writing an sms to all my khonfis friends asking 'mish 3ayez tishtaghal fi bank?'. had i done so, you would have been included.

i argue with my parents a lot about the whole career issue it and gets ugly sometimes. a friend once told me that i should stick to my principles if i think i can make it and that ultimately they will be happy if they see that i am genuinely happy. my dad later confided in me that he would rather i be a zabbal fashel (3ashan sa3et-ha 3al a2al ana 3aref ennak 7aga, ennak zabbal, wel fashal da mish moshkela, el moshkela ennak teb2a 3ayem zay manta keda) than a freelance free zbirit shab development w culture w bta3. i like the idea of focusing on my own happiness, but i found that it doesn'treally cut it with my parents because they already know that i'm delusional, which makes my satisfaction with my life kind of immaterial to them. 3ammatan eshta, adeena bnes3a ya m3allem.

Jester said...

Gayyash ya man,

Mahi deen om el moshkila ennina delusional, or is it disillusioned...no matter how bout both!

Amnesiac said...

Always better to be delusional, rather than disillusioned so keep on keeping on. (Says me who is also turning 30 soon, works in the civil society sector but got no job, and while in England not only lives with her parents but has to sleep on their sofa.)
The thing about working in the human rights/development field is that you go to sleep at night feeling fulfilled and contented, but always on a modestly-priced bed. Unless of course you whore yourself to USAID or, win the lottery and get paid in zollaar by one of the foreign NGO big boys whilst working in Egypt.
I'd be interested to know btw what arts and culture NGOs exist in Egypt.
And Failure to Launch is a piss poor film.

Jester said...

Amnesiac,
There aren't that many but the past few years saw the birth of several interesting initiatives in Cairo and Alex. Check these out:

www.thetownhousegallery.com
www.sematcairo.com
www.thefamilyproject.info (A project of the Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum)
www.culturewheel.com (they program heavily...bit of a hit and miss though)

Twosret said...

Is there is a way you can try to find a job for security and still be an artist?. I really hate to say this but you being an artist and gifted is awesome and I would hate for you to do some 8:00-5:00 job just for money.

You only wish that people are not driven by materialistic attractions and will give art the importance it deserves but as you said it is the rat race :(

La Gitana said...

Ohhhh I did that, gave up all my talent for "money", well not really money but you get the jist.

I got accepted into the New York School of Interior design and when I was, oh, 16 I think I got a scholarship to study (as a high schooler) drama at Stanford University.

I declined all that and I went into JOURNALISM. In CAIRO. May Vishnu smite me for it.