Empire Records – It’s an entirely different world

Today I had a job interview; the second round to be exact. It was for an assistant position at a huge international company with renowned reputation in these parts. I left the first interview last week feeling pretty darn good about myself. After a long time, I had the opportunity to review all my achievements, all the jobs I’ve worked at in past 15 years. This afternoon however, when I came home tears spilled from my eyes. It’s not that I was dissatisfied with how the conversation went, it’s that my life got dissected on a whole different level – at least from my perspective.

My potential employers, two of them, focused a lot on the role that art has in my life. After all, I am a Film Studies graduate who, until a few years ago when I took a job at a construction company, worked in the field of art. I realize that they were just trying to understand where I wanted to go in my career, the problem was that I couldn’t tell them. Of course I replied all the usual, rehearsed crap, but I’m not sure whether they were convinced that I have decided to put art behind me to walk the corporate steps. In fact, neither am I.

My introspection continued into the evening, when I settled myself to watch an old time favourite of mine “Empire Records”. This movie, featuring very young Rene Zellweger and Liv Tyler, is about a half dozen teens who work at an independent record store. Their personal stories get intertwined with their attempt to save the store from being acquired by a huge, national wide record company chain. At their current jobs their manager (played by Anthony Lapglia) is like a cool dad who looks out for them, lets them play whatever music they want, allows them to dress however they want, and express themselves in any creative way possible. Of course, when The Man (aka the big chain) buys them, not only will they not do any of that stuff, but they won’t even be there to rebel against it. Basically, it is a movie about teenage angst, rebellion, creativity, love, and most of all just another movie in the line that stresses the importance of being true to yourself.

So, as I was laying in my bed, desperate to fall asleep, I was trying to decide what would be better for me: getting the job, or not. I was thinking that I wanted the job because

a) I (we) need the money

b) I feel the need to actually get out of the house and go to work

c) I craaaaave the stability that financial security brings with it

On the other hand, I was starting to be afraid what I would be signing up for by coming aboard such a large company – and an assistant at that, too. Would I lose myself completely? Would I officially be a failure in my own eyes for not having succeeded in the alternative lifestyle? Would this be just another coat of cement burying down my creativity; my soul? And that’s when it hit me: all this turmoil stems from fear.


That stupid, annoying feeling that creeps up on us eager to spoil all positive feelings. I was not only afraid that I would get the job, but I was frightened that I wouldn’t. I was stressing about how the interview went because I was afraid for our future finances, scared even of having to go through these experiences many times again before I found a job.

As soon as I defined that it was fear making me cry, fear spreading doubt and making me feel anxious, I knew that I had to stop debating myself. The decision is out of my hands now, and worrying about it will only make me miserable. Instead, I should be grateful for the experience, and just continue on my way of simply enjoying every second of life.

If I’ve learned anything from Empire Records, it’s that you have to find yourself to be truly happy; to trust yourself as you fearlessly walk through life. And I have found myself. The only thing I know for certain is that I want to be happy; that I am happy. Period.

Fear is the mind killer – but that’s from an entirely different movie.

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