The idea of “unemployed” is something that I am quite familiar with. I am entering the year 2015 being jobless, and that’s been going on since October 2011. I barely remember what it feels like to receive a monthly paycheck, and I actually never payed taxes. My path is odd but like most people, I have my own history and did my fair shares of mistakes, failures and sabotages. Going to school was never my forte, I was that girl in school who always find another way to the solution, I was and still is an autodidact, I never felt like teachers could have an impact on my education. I am a French high school drop out, but I am a fast learner, leave me 2 weeks in Greece, and I can speak the language. I am polyglot, maybe not be the academic kind but I can hold a pretty elaborate conversation in at least 5 languages. I figured quite early as a creative that college wasn’t gonna be for me, and that I was made for the road and life experience. My first stupid move, as my high school drop out dad would say; (oh yeah my dad never finished high school, it was probably in my genes), was perseverance to be a professional snowboarder. Why? Cause that world was filled of boys. I did it, I moved to the mountains, hurt myself turned pro, travelled the world, made a bunch a money and after 3 years I was done, kissed all the boys I could, saw all the resorts in the world and I deeply knew there was bigger things for me outside this bros in snow goggles world.
Real soon, having a network became key. Back in the 70s my parents and designer Vera Wang were bff’s. That throwback friendship got me an internship at her PR department. Why not? Fashion runs in my veins, my mom was Alaia’s muse and an early 80s it-girl.
3 months in, I get my first employment contract.
The future seems bright, and my career promising.
And there it is again, stupid move number 2, as my dad again will name that. I met the wrong dude that distracted me from being a fashion industry boss lady.
But wrong boy was a smart web designer and art director, and was a major influence in sharpening my creative eye.
One things lead to another, being without the structure of an office job, made me a professional at spending nights in the clubs and creating my own network. The downside of it, was my lifestyle needed financial support and the only way to get what I need was a massive imbroglio to my poor dad. The illusion that nightlife could get me a job was quite real and it took me longtime to figure out that it was all a fluke.
Rewind to me as a teenager. Again, a boy, shared his passion for war reporting. I found my true call in the late 90s, war photography. Obviously my dad, then him again, always part of the story (it’s ok I am aware I have a deep Elektra complex,) wasn’t gonna let his dear daughter experiencing the atrocity of war. It’s ok, I wasn’t quite ready for massacres and blood bath. But my love for photography developed at this time. My camera became my partner and I kept on documenting every move and every encounters. I was good at this, encounters, and finding myself in ditto extraordinary situation.
Fast forward, I m out and about, camera around my neck, as my rolodex of contact get fuller, my bank account gets lighter and I come to an end with my lies to my dad supporting my lifestyle., this is it, he officially cuts me off.
I need a job, and I need one fast.
Once again, I ‘ll figure it out, I ll just become a photographer. Little by little, I get freelance jobs with Jalouse Magazine. Soon enough, Jen the editor in chief takes me under her wings, realizing that I am more then just a photographer, I have a valuable contact list that will feed her magazine. I end up exchanging ideas and content for some travelling, instead of cashing in. Stepping back again from a career, and developing an addiction for the adventures and the not knowing, I find myself being broke again but having a fantastic life as a companion and a world traveller, and having an hard time excluding myself from the fun, that I made my non lucrative business. My job is being THE FUN. My worldwide company of mastering the fun and mischiefs has no funding but somehow it works out to my advantage. I am adding more chapters to my biography, but in the end something is missing, the money and the security of what most of the habitant of planet earth call a job. The freelance and the fun isn’t enough, I need to step up my game and come down to real life. I am offered what anyone will call a fantastic opportunity, an art director position in one of the most respected music label, Because Music and it comes with a monthly honorable paycheck.
I am back, the 9 to 5, I am killing it, I am owning it, and once again I have a glimpse of a bright future. Mistake number 3, or accident number 1, how ever you’ll call that, this thing called life plays a major trick on me , I am a victim of a life treating scooter accident. Between life and death, this is a down spiral. I am broken physically and mentally. Technically I go nuts and painkillers become my best friends. I disappear and enter the darkness, I see Darth Vador vowing me to his dark side. My weakness makes me lose my job and my mind. I give up everything, my job, my home, my family and my friends. And I disappear in Middle East. Goodbye guys, I am going to war. I want the pain and the blood, back to my teenage love against everyone’s advices. The only support I have is the French Government, sending a monthly allowance for being part of the system. The smell of underage Syrian slaughter damaged me even more but I found redemption in the company of Afghan’s opium smugglers who teach me about life and the concept of not owning anything and that technically money sucks.
It’s official I hate money and any materials things.
My exil comes to an end and I wanna play the “let’s get a job” game again.
One phone call in, and I am on board again with my old partner in crime from Jalouse Magazine. No contract, just couples of euros for some cool trips, I ‘m squeezed like a lemon and becomes a lemonade of content and concept for the publication. Except that my lemonade is on sale and cash is needed to buy lemons.
Exposing your life thru social media becomes part of our life, and I feed into it. For the public eye, I have a fantastic position, and huge paycheck that allows me to have one of the most envied lifestyle.
This is fraud. I am a fraud. I am the most broke, homeless and I am being taking advantage of. And I let this happened to me.
I need more, I want more.
And life knocks at my door again.
Dasha Zhukova, my fairy godmother has a new magazine Garage, and offers me to be the voice and the host of her pop up Radio Station.
New Job, New Career. I am a radio host now.
Welcome to Radio Garage, this is Sara Nataf and I am gonna give you all the gossip of the fashion world.
This is a success, EVERYONE comes on the air. I crack jokes and get all the inside stories and obviously makes so many new friends.
But sadly, Radio Garage has an end. I am a gifted radio host and interviewer, but I can’t seem to get it together to make the next move. I see myself as a big tv host,
“ the late show with Sara Nataf”. I could do this.
But no. It’s not gonna happen, this is just a dream.
This is the very last year of my twenties. And I failed. So many times.
I am unemployed again. I am torn. I am so ambitious, I want more, I can do more, and I am not being presumptuous, I have it in me. But come on, this is it? No way? I can’t find a job. Really? Am I not gonna make it? What the f word is wrong with me? I am feeling like a waste, my idea machine is about to implode. My integrity is playing tricks on me.
I need to fix something. Fine, I take the path of sobriety to have a clear head. This helps. And now what? My fingers can’t help themselves and I m puking thru my phalanges. I am a writer. Wait what? When did that happen? I clear my head and I’m going on a suicide mission and I can’t help myself, this feels good and I am not gonna give up, this will be a long journey but I am going make it happen, and guess who’s back, my dad! Yep, out of all expectations I ‘m diving in one of the most ambitious endeavor of my life, I am writing a tv show about my dad. And writing is like bleeding thru my veins, it’s feels natural and nothing will stop me, I am giving birth to that baby and I am incubating fast.
Except that once again, I need to make some dough.
I need a job. More then that, I need a career. I want business card, a company credit card, benefits, an email address that’s not gmail, a business phone line, maybe I’ll wear a business suit and enjoy casual Friday like there’s no tomorrow.
I take meetings, I have all the contacts in the world, I know what I wanna do but nothing. Wasn’t I ready before?
Again I can’t figure it out. I am the girl that knows everything and everyone that ‘ve done it all but nope, I just can’t put it together, and my brain has become my very own enemy.
I’ve realized that I might be a modern day courtisane, men and women enjoy, demand and even beg my company, they love my stories and my knowledge, but that’s not really a business.
Everything is now disposable, your own history doesn’t really matter and a point of view is guided by someone’s hype or trend, taste and one’s opinion doesn’t really matter in the end. The creative world is full of one hit wonders and is being fed by pure crap and you come to a realization where integrity is a dying art. This is where I am dying. My art is dying. My vocation is a failure. What is my business? Where’s my career?
I am just unemployed. And I am tired of it.