I wanted to take some time today to just reflect on – well, frankly, nothing in particular and everything at the same time.
I’m sitting at work right now waiting for the next task of the day to present itself, listening to new music by the same band I’ve been listening to since I was quite literally 8 years old sitting on the back of the bus and sharing a pair of earbuds with a schoolmate. We were still listening on CD players back then, with *NEW* *COOL* *ANTI-SHOCK TECHNOLOGY* that never seemed to actually work. A band that I can’t even recall how I came across for the first time, but my best guess is from a TV show or movie soundtrack. I was vaguely familiar with their band name then, never mind the names of the musicians – I just knew the way their loud guitars blended with smooth bass lines and heavy hitting drum beats sounded good to my ears. And then I started listening to the lyrics, and I think that’s the first time music spoke to me on a very real, raw, honest level. Of course, the subject matter at the time was a bit beyond my understanding, but that’s okay, ’cause what I didn’t know at the time is that I would grow into that understanding and now here I am, 18 years later, eagerly anticipated that same bands latest studio release because I just know that it’s going to speak to my soul in the same very raw honest way it did then (I can’t wait!). And I know all their names now as if we were pals.
Life is funny in that all the way it changes, many parts of it remain the same.
Anyways, so back to the now. I’ve spoken about this briefly in the not too distant past, but I suppose it is still very much at the forefront of my mind. I’m bored half to death when I walk into this building every morning. I’m not challenged or mentally stimulated in any way when I’m here – it has become the bane of my existence. You hear adults joke about the 9-5 grind all the time when you’re a kid but you never truly appreciate the sentiment until you find yourself in that position. It’s one that I strived to avoid for most of my young life, because even without understanding it and living it, I knew it wasn’t a way I wanted to live. Begrudgingly working 40 hour work weeks just to make it to the weekend, drink enough to place yourself in a cloud of blissful ignorance, and go to bed early on Sunday just to do it all again.
What a waste of the unique existence we are fortunate to have been gifted.
I don’t believe I am someone who is driven by money or power. I recognize that I need money to live the kind of lifestyle I want for myself, my fiance, and our little pup; but I don’t have any aspirations to be swimming in a pool of it. I am thankful for that, something I can presumably credit my parents for instilling in me at an early age. I certainly am not driven by power. I’ve worked all sorts of different jobs that have placed a certain sense of humility in myself. That being said, though I don’t want to be in power per say, I also don’t want to be taken advantage of by those that are. I guess that is the plight of the middle class (although I think I’d sit somewhere in the lower-middle class variety – thanks to our all star economy).
For the first time really in my life, I don’t quite know what I want for myself. At least, not with the same vigor as I had as a teen. Perhaps this is the mid-life crisis (quarter-life crisis? Is that a thing?) we are warned of. In an effort to avoid the classic 9-5 grind, I went to school for music – inspired by those same productions I listened to on that state-of-the-art Sony Disc-man I used to carry to school every day. As the music industry does, it reared it’s ugly face amidst the success I was having and forced me into the decision to accept the position I currently work. I guess I shouldn’t say forced – it was my choice of course. But what can you do when you’re working for peanuts at best, long, exhausting hours, and barely even getting credit for the work you ARE doing, never mind make any sort of meaningful lifestyle out of it all. I loved what Id id, but it was borderline killing me. So I made a choice that got me back-in-the-black, and a series of funny events unfolded that have led me here, sitting at my desk, eagerly awaiting my next day off (2 more days, come on weekend!), and desperately searching for my next ‘way-out’. In a lot of ways, I feel like we are constantly searching for a “way out”. A way out of a bad relationship, a way out of a boring job, a way out of a small town….. but we shouldn’t be trying to escape all the time. If we are, something’s gotta change.
A way out of the regurgitating desire for ways out, if you will.
I think things have played out exactly as they were supposed to for me up to this point, and now at these crossroads I am able to make a decision; keep trucking along this path, or veer off it and make my own. Fortunately, I have never been afraid of making my own path. I plan on spending the remainder of this year giving real conscious thought to where I’d like that path to lead. The gears are in motion already. I have ideas, but I’m weary of jumping into anything too quickly.
Reflecting today was step one. I have many more miles to walk.