Saturday, October 15, 2011

So, I've been doing some thinking about things.  On one level, I'm trying to justify my time on this planet.  On another, I'm trying to spur myself into working harder.  More.  Same thing, either way.  For all my talk, I lost my job in 2007.  This will sound like a post I've made many times in the past.  Indeed, there are many ways in which this post is alike to those, but I'll continue.  I lost my job in 2007.  It was probably my fault, but I was dealing with a lot at the time.  I challenge other people to go through the same events and not suffer upheaval as a result.  Would everyone have lost their jobs?  Probably not, but given the economy, and the nature of my relationship with the job, it was inevitable.

It is what it is.

I spend a lot of time, "finding myself".  Some things come to me easily, and others take a lot of thought and contemplation.  They're not the same things for every person, and I find that I have to contemplate things that most other people take for granted.  There might be a reason for it, it might just be me, but either way, that's the way things are.  I spent a lot of time figuring that I had a plan and needed only to work toward that.  I even had backup plans that I regret I didn't take more seriously at the time.  Dream Job™ was... well, a dream.  It might have even been a good one, but it just wasn't meant to be.  One time, I might write off to bad luck or coincidence.  When it became obvious that I was going to stick with it regardless, they closed down, moved away, and changed their name.  Go figure.

But I still waited.  I had nothing better to do, or so I thought, and I didn't want to start something that I knew I couldn't/wouldn't finish because I was going to find a similar Dream Job™ any day.  Indeed, it wasn't until December 2009 that it became clear that other people thought the way I did - not entirely, but I wonder if that wasn't to light a fire under me.

I have no real deadlines at the moment.  Every deadline I work for is either self-imposed or amorphous.  I'm sure I am running against a clock or perhaps several of them, but they're none that I can see.  So, while that clock is running, it doesn't hold as much meaning to me.  There is another clock, less amorphous, that I know of, that could end all of my current status.  I think I have three more years though.  There's not a rush yet.

But, I've been down on myself for the time I've wasted and indeed, I have wasted time.  There is no doubt of that.  Sorta.  Learning to tie a shoe can be a waste of time to an outside observer, but it's pretty important to the person wearing the shoe.  Similarly, I had a lot of mental crap to deal with during those early years - life, death, love, injury, etc.  It was easier/harder when I was working because I could (mostly) suppress those thoughts.  It was also easier/harder when I was taking the pain medicine, for the same reasons.  It wasn't that I didn't have the thoughts, it was that I was able to digest the first pieces in much smaller bite-sized portions.  That bite-sizing was unsustainable, but I would argue that it was necessary.  Do I still deal with those thoughts?  Of course, but I think I'm done working through what I have to - the rest is just obsessing over failures.

The present situation didn't become clear for me until December 2009.  Up to that point, I didn't believe what others knew.  I didn't want to believe that I had fallen so far in ability.  Maybe it's permanent, it certainly seems like part of it is.  I have not accepted that it is all permanent, but I currently lack a true ability to change my status.  It's at the far end of inconvenient at the very least.

I won't say that I continued doing the same things I did before, because I didn't.  But there was still a lot of waiting, thinking, figuring, planning.  This whole writing thing was never much more than a dream if you will.  It was a pretty dream to be sure, but it was still just a dream.  Like the other stuff though, that time was probably just as necessary.  I could consider the reality of writing, without the pressure of doing so.  Or without as much pressure as possible, I still provided plenty of my own.

The reality is that as much as I've complained, less than two years have passed that I have seriously been able to contemplate writing full time.  The thought or dream was always there, but I never seriously considered all the ramifications of it - much like being an astronaut or a firefighter to a child.  Since that time, I've become much more aware of the efforts of others who have blazed the trail before me.  Things I had not considered before seem much less like magic and much more the product of the individual working to make it appear so.  I doubt that I will become completely satisfied with what I've accomplished in the time that I have had to accomplish it, but I'm certainly more understanding of the journey that took me to this point and the journey I still have yet to take.

- Jim

(note to self:  this message was cross-posted)