This past Tuesday was my last day as an employee of Kaplan University. I actually gave 2 weeks notice, for the first time ever, and I realized that I really should have done that before, when In left various jobs. Those last days at work were some of the most enjoyable (and even productive, except for the last one) days I ever had at that place. When you've given notice that you're quitting, you are magically transported to the verdant fields of the land of Nothing To Lose. It is a wondrous place, this land of Nothing To Lose, where all the your frustraitions and fears fall away, and for those few blessed days, the rules, quite simply, do not apply to you. While that is not technically 'true', it is nevertheless so sublimely true. I enjoyed myself immensely there at the end, especially this thing called an 'Exit Interview' they had me do, where someone much higher on the food chain than yourself, asks you, on your last day, when you are more fully in that consequence-free environment than any any other time of your professional life, the one question you really, REALLY will enjoy answering as honestly and completely as humanly possible.... "So, why are you quitting, exactly?" Oh, I wish I could have seen my own face when she asked me that. It was the cherry on the sundae of an already fantastic day. I threw my ex-boss under the bus so gaddamned hard I think I tore a metaphorical rotator cuff. Oh, it was beautiful. I might want to write it down at some point, but now it's time to get back to the point.
No more am I entitled to call myself an "Application Support Specialist", whatever the hell that means. Along with the loss of that title went my steady paycheck, benefits, and justification for my daily train ride, which I really did enjoy. I've got enough in my savings account to allow me to float for a few months and finally get moving on a bunch of the projects I've been pining for. I'm not going to list them all here, but the main ones are the resurrections of Seraphine and Tearist, and the transformation of my yard from jungle to grove. So, it has begun in earnest at long last. I'm still not entirely certain that it was a good idea to quit my job like that, giving the whole economy thing right now. I'm also not certain that his isn't just that whole midlife crisis thing I thought I got past about a decade and a half ago. What I am certain of, though, is the fact that I could not have done otherwise. I've got plenty of reasons, or justifications if you prefer, but they don't matter anywhere near as much as the fact that I felt it necessary.
I've been growing increasingly restless and lethargic these last few months (years?); almost sort of 'congenitally frustraited'. I haven't been able to shake the idea that there's something else I should be doing, somewhere else I should be going, in terms of my life and stuff. Watching opportunities pass, unable to move on them or on anything, really. At first, I thought it was just dissatisfaction with my job, but that never really felt right. It's more than that. See, I used to actually _do_ things, and _make_ things, but for the last few years, I've only been 'dealing with' or 'handling' things. It's like I've spent so much time putting out fires and averting crises, that, while I've gotten very good at that sort of thing, I've forgotten how to do anything else. It may sound like a purely somatic distinction, but it's not. See, I used to spend my time and energy to make good things happen, but somewhere along the way, I started spending my time and energy to stop bad things from happening, which is not at all the same thing. I didn't notice the change, but somehow I grew accustomed to it, goddamnit. I've forgotten how to enjoy things, how to create, or design things. I noticed that when I came home from work, I didn't want to do anything other than sit on my ass and watch TV, because I was 'tired'. This, coming from a guy whose idea of a good time is to hit the road for three or four days straight, to get to some distant city with a good goth/industrial night in the offing.
Anyway, here's an example of what I'm talking about, in case I'm not making a lot of sense: It was a few months ago, when Caprica was in it's first season. I had Tivo'd it, but then I had to leave town for a few days. I was worried that it'd get deleted before I got back to watch it, since I really dig that show, for so many reasons, but that's another post. Just for the record, I know it's just a show, and I'm not saying that I would have gone out puppy-stomping or cried myself to sleep or anything if I'd missed it. It wasn't really that big of a deal, even at the time. Anyway, I made it back in time to save it from its imminently scheduled deletion, and so all was factually well. Now here's the screwy bit, the bit that brought me more than a little dismay. See, When the dust settled, and I sat down to watch it, I wasn't so much happy to see this show I liked so much from the comfort of my couch, as I was just 'not pissed' that I'd missed it. Instead of seeing it as a pleasant diversion, a bit of recreation, I was only able to see it as an issue to be addressed, a problem to be dealt with. It's like the difference between 'success' and 'not failure'. It feels like while I was distracted by life and strife, some fundamentally important and vital part of myself was lost/stolen, and I didn't even notice. I mean to have it back, come hell or high water. ... And, if this post is any measure, my writing skills seemed to have atrophied more than a little bit, as well. Hopefully, the engines will catch this time.