I would like to address a point before we really begin on this journey of writer and reader, blogger and bloggee, so that hopefully you will all understand me a little better. It’s not a huge point, or one of major profundity, simply a statement that will act as a disclaimer for the majority of the following post.
I am grateful to be employed.
There. Now, as a I continue to ramble, prattle, and wax tangential about my current state, you can all look back onto that one line and remind yourselves that I am indeed grateful to have a job, as I understand that there are a great many people in this country, and the world over, who are unemployed and in far more dire straits than myself.
However, despite the gratitude I feel toward my employer and the opportunity he has given me, I still feel what I can only imagine the vast majority of us feel about our jobs or work.
I am unhappy and unsatisfied.
It’s my own damn fault really. I have, up to this point, done much but accomplished little. I have spent the last 26 years of my life trying to figure out what I want to do with the remaining “x” years of my life, and in that quest for enlightenment, have remained relatively enshrouded. I have discovered, many times over, what I don’t want to do with myself and my life, but have yet to find something that truly reaches out and grabs me by the short-and-curlies and says, “Hey motherfucker, this is what you like, so fucking do it.”
I thought I had, once or twice, found my path, but ultimately, for various reasons (usually paramount amongst them an unwillingness to go back to school), decided to walk a different way.
There’s a line of thought that suggests you should never meet your idols or heroes in person, because they will most likely disappoint you. I think that’s how I see a lot of the things I’m interested in. There exists, in my mind, an ideal, and I approach something based on that ideal, only to find that it’s much uglier and crude than I had imagined, and I want to distance myself from it.
Now, I understand that nothing in life is perfect or flawless, and that to believe as such is naive. I simply believe it has taken me some time to actually come to terms with that idea, and am only now beginning to learn to navigate around it.
There is, I believe, a flaw in the system of employment. Everyone wants to get a job as “something” or doing “something,” or wants to work for “someone.” We live our early lives working toward the idea of finding a job with some company or organization, rather than looking ahead and thinking, “What can I do for myself, by myself, and on my terms? How can I make a life for myself without having to bend to the rules of another person? How can I ensure the survival of my perspective and ideals without sacrificing them to those of another?”
To those questions, I wholeheartedly and unabashedly reply, “Fuck if I know.”
There seems to be a system of oppression (and I’m not trying to argue about how our economy or nation or government or any other of that crap is structured) in our country, that all but forbids the rise of an individual on his own terms. Now, that’s not to say that it has always been as such, or that that’s the way things actually are. But, it does seem that the phenomenon of “the rich get richer while the poor get poorer” reigns supreme over practically everything, and that overcoming the disparity of wealth is more or less a Sisyphean task.
Think about it–we work 40 hours a week to make enough money to; buy groceries, buy gas (which, by the way, needs to go eat a fat one, and need to start driving steam cars again…), pay rent, and supplement our lives with the other random minutiae inherent to the human condition. It’s something we all experience and contend with. We work, make money, feel great about ourselves, then spend that money on the above expenses, and feel like shit about ourselves again.
It is a continuous struggle to develop and maintain permanent wealth, and it seems to only get harder as we grow older, since we tend to accrue more expenses as we age.
So you might be asking yourself, “Well. what do you suggest we do about this, Jim?” To which I again reply, “Fuck if I know.” If I knew, I would have done it by now. I do know one thing though. We, as a people, nation, culture, etcetera, need to revolutionize the way we look at things. We need to start standing for ourselves, on our own, and seeking ways to make our own wealth, rather than relying on, and clinging to the coattails of other’s successes to make our way.
This ends Part I of my discussion. Tune in later for further readings.