Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One Bestseller Down, Another One to Go

I finally finished Life of Pi.

I did not find God or faith, as some told me I would. I wanted to be as overwhelmed by this book as hundreds of other readers were, but I fell short. Granted, my inability to read animal slaughter scenes and the timeouts I imposed on the book likely hobbled Mr. Martel's storytelling. All the same, I was underwhelmed.

Now I'm on to another bestseller: Eat Play Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was one of the used books I purchased last weekend to help save my indie bookstore. If you're familiar with either of these books, you might conclude that I'm searching for God or deepened spirituality, but you'd be wrong.

Yet there is a connection between the books for me (besides their bestseller status)—a connection that I think many displaced and marginalized workers can relate to. The protagonists (one fictionalized, the other real) of each book are on a quest and fighting for their survival. Both characters struggle with these questions: Where do I fit in? Where do I belong? Will I make it through this crisis?

These same questions haunt countless job-seekers. If we no longer fit in with the companies that pink-slipped us, and we don't fit so well into our former economic strata, and no organizations have indicated we belong with them . . . then who are we? What's wrong with us? What makes us different? What can we do to prove we can fit in?

Finding your place in the universe can be challenging—more so when you're unemployed. Feeling untethered, unwanted, unable, unlucky, uneverything is tough to hide and tough to bear. I haven't much advice on the matter except to pick up a book. It may not give you any answers, but it will provide some pleasure. And we all deserve a bit of pleasure from time to time, regardless of where we fit in.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...