Sibling and Life Partner called me up excitedly one day. ‘Hello. Would you like a job?’ they asked. ‘Well, yes please’, I replied. (the answer to that question was definitely ‘yes’.) the job, it turned out, was a waitressing job somewhere in an Italian restaurant miles away, in a not-very-nice area of the city, that they knew of thanks to one of Life Partner’s work clients; there was a possibility of later turning the job into a management role. They both urged me to call the guy immediately. I had a mini-meltdown after I hung up the phone; wrestled ineffectually with the dilemma of continued uninterrupted PhD-writing versus a few waitressing shifts (long, exhausting…) here and there, a useful thing, but yet another distraction and a drain on my time. In the end, I rang the guy. I thought, beggars can’t be choosers; you do not sniff at any job offer, in this current climate, even if the job sounds nothing like what you want to do.
I met the guy (whom we shall call Artur) for an ‘interview’. It was an interview like no other I had ever had. He took one look at me, listened to me describing what I do, and told me, ‘Don’t work in a bloody restaurant. Just keep doing what you are doing. You have a great career path ahead of you. You want to work in a restaurant? You want to work from 10 am to 11 pm as a restaurant manager? Don’t do it. Don’t work in the bloody restaurant. Don't waste your time. Follow your dreams.’
And then, when I finished my tea he bought me a sherry and he bought himself some beer, and he carried on talking. And when I came home, I wrote down what he said, because I liked it. Here it is: here is the Life Philosophy of Artur.
- Don't hang around with negative people. if you are hanging on to something good by a thread, positive people will help you climb up and reach it. negative people will make you let go.
- Don't tell yourself negative things ('but it probably won't happen; there might not be any jobs; i'm not sure i can'). there's no point. just do what you want to do and you will succeed. there are so many opportunities out there.
- Live in a nice area.
- It's good to be in love with someone that you were friends with first. it's good to be in love with someone who is as intelligent as you. if you have that, then you are very lucky. love is more important than the rest of the stuff there is in life.
- 'I can't taste this here tea and describe to you what it tastes like; you have to taste it too, or you won't understand.' (this means: go out and taste life. don't just wonder what it MIGHT be like in the job or the life you want; taste it, try it.)
- Life is too short; it goes by quickly. do something good with it. don't waste it doing something you don't like.
- Be a yes person; not a no person (actually, i added this bit for myself, for clarity; this was partly the gist). don't talk yourself down. don't say things that will make people look down on you. talk yourself up.
- Hang around with people who are more successful and intelligent than you. don't spend all your time with people who are less succesful than you; something rubs off on you...
- You have many opportunities ahead of you. Don’t waste your time looking into sidelines, little jobs you are not really interested in. go for what you really want.
From ‘The Life Philosophy of Artur’ (noted down in a TextEdit file, under the influence of sherry, January 2013).