Thursday, October 13, 2011


I had a quick drink with an acquaintance last night. A guy who gave me some work when he was president of a small digital ad agency and I was (ahem) between jobs. I won't say that we are really friends but there was some symbiosis between us, so while I am most often anti-social, I agreed to meet him at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central so he could, afterwards hop on the 8:47 to Hastings or wherever, and I could take the 6 train home.

My acquaintance had hit what might be, if you're French (or affected) be called an annus miserabilis. In the past 12 months his agency has been merged with another and he was forced out. His wife divorced him. Leaving him lonely and without his four kids. And his father's come down with cancer.

Now, he's asking for my ear and experience as he searches for jobs.


This is just the way life is.

Especially as you get older.

The world, it seems, conspires to strip you like gypsy moths strip bark.

They take away your work identity.

Your identity as a provider.

Your identity as a father.

All that can disappear, I said, as another beer was placed in front of us--his ready for tears.

All that can disappear.

But you remain.

The work you have done.

The network you have built.

The reputation you have forged.

You still have you.



michael jacobs said...


Sage advice my friend.

Michael Jacobs

Sean Peake said...

Within two years I lost a sister-in-law, both my parents, and my wife of 25 years. All before I turned 50. The only way I could survive it was to see it all as one of the many long and brutal portages I've carried over in Canada's uninhabited Arctic. You keep going, you can't turn back. Your load bends you over but keep going, pushing forward through the pain, knowing that if you give up and stop you will surely die. Eventually, you find your stride, your back straightens and reach the end, exhausted but strong enough for the portage that lies ahead.

The Ed Johnson said...

Love the advice. Love the blog. I look forward to the few minutes every day I get to spend reading your words. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You always forget God in your posts. He doesnt give you "what you can handle", rather He gives you help with what you have been given by the world. Dont be such a hard ass. I know you are old school and I am somewhere in between you and the tragically hip ingrates of today, but for the love of Ghandi, lighten up every once in awhile. Oh, and The D aint such a bad place.