I was the first in my family to go to college, and I waitressed all the way through, using my earnings to pay for a bachelor's degree first and then a master's. I resented classmates who didn't have to work real jobs, the ones who had the luxury of taking unpaid internships that would eventually position them for high-paying careers.
In times of uncertainty - whether it's economic, psychological, emotional, or philosophical - people often say that the only thing we can truly control is our attitudes. If that's true, then I'm going to spend today walking my 14-year-old dog on a free beach and treasuring the fact that she's still alive.
I'd gotten the message in my home, starting with my grandfather, that real work, the kind that makes you sweat and gets your hands dirty, is a respectable, necessary thing. But I wanted to write - and writing didn't qualify. Whenever I told my parents I dreamed of becoming a writer, they said, 'Great, but what are you going to do for work?'