Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time to shake things up like a shake weight..

I was recently struck head on by a train.  It was not a standard choo-choo train or even a locomotive.  In fact, the train I speak of wasn’t even corporeal.  It wasn’t tangible in the slightest, but left an impact as wide as blood splattered on the tracks.  This train that hit me was a train full of reality.  You see, it has come to by attention that I had become way to complacent with life.

It could have been a hard pill to swallow for most people who came to such a realization.  For me, however, I understand that such a realization provides more of an opportunity for change rather than a burden.  Ultimately I have become way to accepting of the mundane existence which I lead.  Do I have things going for me?  Sure, but they are nothing to phone home about.  In a nutshell, my life is rather boring on a day to day basis.  Sitting through my day is often like sitting through a marathon of Water World followed by The Happening on a continuous loop for 8 hours.  There are very few redeeming qualities other than a steady paycheck.  It is bland, repetitive, and mind numbing.  That is not what I ever intended when I left for college back in 2000.

I wish I could place blame on an external force for this conundrum of complacency that I find myself in.  There isn’t anyone or anything to blame other than myself.  I created the life path that lead to this point in my existence.  Destiny presented several options and I kept choosing the wrong ones.  If my life was a Choose Your Own Adventure book, it would just be a continuous loop without a real fun ending.  I’d wake up, go to work, come home, watch tv, and then sleep.  Rinse.  Wash.  Repeat.  Exciting eh?

My job really isn’t fulfilling in the slightest.  I have been with the company for essentially three years and have accomplished just about as much as I possibly could within my position.  There may be a few more responsibilities that I could pick up, but they wouldn’t lead to more pay or even a title change, so that would be a moot point if you ask me.  Some may think that’s a great way to establish your name within the ranks, but they are probably delusional and drinking the Kool-Aid.  The honest and skeptical person understands that corporate America loves nothing more than to get you to do more work without having to reward you in any means.  My current philosophy is to just kick ass at what I do.

Kicking ass is what I feel I do on a daily basis.  My numbers are good and I’ve never been on any kind of improvement program.  I have established my niche and expertise in things that others chose not to or are incapable of understanding.  The problem with this is that I think I ran out of ass to kick.  Nothing seems new anymore.  When there isn’t anything new then there isn’t a chance for excitement.   I’ve said it about four different ways already, but let me reiterate it one more time.  I am bored out of my fucking mind with what I do. 

I feel like a mindless robot.  My brain is not being used to its full potential.  The critical thinking and problem solving skills that I developed over five years at UW-Whitewater are going to waste.  There are no opportunities for my creativity and ability to think outside the box.  Instead I live through a week of scripted responses, answers on an online database, and redundant tasks.  The work assigned to me might seem like life altering shit for some of the people in the company, but I would wager to say that those are the same people who feel as if they’ve made it big because they didn’t expect much from life with a high school education.  Yeah, I know that sounds harsh, but it is a rational observation of the world around me.   Being a claims processor and customer care specialist was never on my list of ideal jobs when I decided to get an education.  The work I do everyday is nothing more than mindless bullshit meant for drones.  I want to be intellectually engaged in my work again.

I suppose that is what I miss the most about my last job, at UW-Whitewater as a “Compliance Manager” in the office of Research and Sponsored Programs.  I was at least challenged to think every now and then.  Granted the pay was about 30% less than I make now and it was technically a limited term job, it was engaging and offered new opportunities to grow every day.  When I moved to Green Bay was the moment I came complacent.  I just needed to find a job to pay the bills and give me a little padding to live comfortably.  I settled.  There is no other way to say it.  As stated earlier, this whole mess of nonsense is all my fault.

So, what the hell is this rant all about?  Well, as I stated earlier, it has become crystal clear that I have become complacent.  Well, as I have straightened out some details of my life, I was able to see that changes need to be made.  These changes are both professionally and personally.   Settling is something I can no longer do.  There are other options for me in every facet of my life.  There are new career paths to be explored.  There are new people to meet.  There are other women to woo.   There are adventures to be had.  All of these ideas were not realistic to me in the past three years because I needed to do what I was doing to get by.  At the time it was the only way to do things.  It is time to stop needing and to start wanting.

A new day is dawning for me.  I’ve been online scoping out new jobs with every extra minute I have.  New cities are being researched as potential places to live.  Different people are becoming more regular components of my social life.  I am slowly breaking the shackles of redundancy.  I feel as if I am being liberated a bit more every day.

Oddly enough it all started when I decided to sign up to run that Packers 5K that just took place.  I had never done anything like it before.  There needed to be a first time for everything.  My new philosophy lately has been that I can’t make something a reality unless I have set a concrete plan in place.  Something had to be official somewhere for it to be a real goal.  By investing my money into that run, I had no excuse not to do it.  There was a real endgame that I was unable to avoid.  I had to get my ass running or else I was going to be an embarrassment and out $25.

Running was something I had attempted to get into several times previous.  In most cases I did so for just a couple weeks and then interest fizzled away.  Sometimes I just lost all motivation or made excuses not to do so.  That shit stopped when I decided to run the 5K.  To further encourage myself, I bought new shoes to go with my Nike Plus device as well as new shorts and a gym bag.  The more I invested into the task, the more I was motivated to accomplish it.  I did something new and scary.  It was something I never thought I would get into.  But I did it.  I ran that 5K.  I finished it.  Most of all, I enjoyed doing it.  That is why it was such an awesome experience.  It isn’t every day that you get to invest yourself into something you enjoy doing.

For now I will go through the daily motions.  I will probably be fairly bored to fucking death doing so.   However, I am going to explore whatever else is out there.  Will I find a new job?   Possibly.  Maybe I will end up going back to school.  I have seen a lot of people do that lately.  What is stopping me from doing that?  Absolutely nothing.   I used to think there was some invisible force out there discouraging me from doing so.  Well, that was me making up bullshit excuses.  Something big is on the horizon and I am going to find that shit if it is the last thing I do.

It better not be the last thing I do, though.   I could think of a million better ways to die.  Like being hit by a meteorite.  That would at least be a great story to tell all the other dead people.

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