The Maid Behind the Bar

for my next project: to finally knit a lace scarf...
for my next project: to finally knit a lace shawl…

Today is the first day in a while where I have been able to sit on my couch all day to work on job applications. Last month, it was time to be more proactive in my job hunt. I went out and found a nanny job, a cat-sitting gig and have been picking up shifts here and there at a local Irish pub. After years of education it is very satisfying to be supporting myself. Likewise, I lined up two internships and have been dedicating three days a week to developing my skills within the arts & heritage sector. Even as a volunteer, I am able to contribute to interesting archival work and am learning a lot about developing online resources for heritage organizations. Needless to say I am finding myself in diverse company and have less of the luxury of thinking.

I have a running joke now with a regular at the pub where I work that all the locals are subjects for my next research project in Irish Diaspora Studies. Now, I didn’t start this! We were discussing several aspects of my research and he suddenly interjected with the self-awareness that most London-Irish seem to have: by talking to him, I would probably learn more than can be written about identity and ambivalence among the Irish in Britain. With an evil laugh, I assured him that each evening at the end of my shift I compile my notes carefully…

While studying for my masters over the past two years, I read a lot about “millennials” and graduates job hunting during this recession. I paid attention so I would know how to prepare and cope with this transition. On coffee dates with friends I asked for preemptive advice. All of that support is vital: it is not an easy thing to leave the shelter of academic achievement. I thought by continuing my education I would emerge into a more stable job market with increased prospects because of my experience and skill. With patience, this will still prove true.

Subsistence cannot subsume creativity, when I make time for thoughts like these. And I must admit there is a beautiful art to pulling a pint of guinness with banter on the side!

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