Thursday 8th January 2009

there's more to life than this

i bet even you know the old saying about how when you reach the end of your life, you'll look back on it and not think, 'man, i wish i had spent more time at work.'

in my future i see data mining and analyses and reports, a dancelike feedback loop of things happening, to data, to knowledge, to other things happening. and i'm good at it, dig? so obviously it's what i want to do forever, right?

we come to the point. i tend to do this thing when i encounter something i like: i binge on it, totally saturate myself with it, eventually get turned off, stop liking it. it's an extremely male-brained thing to do. i do it all the time in many and varied parts of my life, but so far, not in any of the really important parts. my fear is that i'll inexorably work my way through all my dream jobs, all those things i'd do for free if i had nothing else to do, in exactly this manner—loved intensely, but shortly, and discarded.

i like my job. i really do. it gives me little fixes of certain things i like (including, not least of which, money). i want to continue liking my job. but the first six weeks of the year are my hell weeks, and i'm definitely smelling the brimstone; i hope this is not the year i discover i forgot to pack my asbestos armor. or my boots of +5 fire resist.

i wonder how long i could string this metaphor along. if i really tried.

posted by mAtt @ 19.59 (gmt+0000)
to /unhappiness


[+] Comment by Ted

Dude, I'm sorry. I'm totally feeling for ya. You could always try what I did to get out of the end of year work: have a baby!

[+] Comment by mAtt

that's like telling me to inhale anthrax spores to fix the rattling sound in my car.

[+] Comment by Soylent H

I kind of understand what you mean. I can be that way with music. Buy an album, then listen to it until it's completely imprinted on my brain and I don't actually need the CD to listen to it anymore, or at least, I find it's impossible to focus on the music after a while, it just feels like the natural background of my brain at some point. Then I find another CD that I really dig and do it all over again.

By all means keep yourself financially secure, but I think if you feel you need to change jobs or directions in order to grow as a person or just be true to yourself, you should do it. Of course, there is also value in making sure it's not just that you get stressed out in the busy season. If you look into the future and feel suffocated or it looks stagnant and you can't imagine growing or blossoming in that environment then you have a couple options. Look at your own life, and make sure this isn't some sort of displaced anxiety about other needs in your life that aren't being met, such as maybe you don't have enough creative outlets. Similarly, maybe you can identify a specific need that work previously used to satisfy, but is no longer doing. In that case, maybe an alternative activity such as a hobby could meet that need and make work bearable.

I'm probably in pretty much the opposite situation. I freaking love my job and could do it for many years, but most of my personal life and the city I live in need a fairly dramatic change or I feel like I'm going to be a mime in a very large invisible box.

Listen to me, all pop psychologist. I was reading a self-esteem book on the plane so this is what my head is filled with. Also, I've read a lot of peanuts cartoons recently where lucy plays psychiatrist. In any case, anything I say should, of course, be taken with a healthy does of "what the hell does he know about anything."


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