Monday, May 09, 2005

Office Shinanigans

We have a new coffee maker in the office. Just got it hooked up.

You should see the stir it's making. Oh, what dull workday lives we have!

The cappucino is apparently pretty good... I better go make sure.

Workaday, workadoo.

Sometimes, When You're Feeling Down, You Just Need to Listen to Yourself.

Was moving through the archives, and found this little piece about what I learned in 2004.

You know, sometimes, I just need to listen to my own advice:

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:

Here's this year's: there are often long stretches of downtime on the road to where you're going. You know, those long stretches of highway between New York and LA, or the shitty stretches of nowheresville between Seattle and Chicago - but those distances, those driving times, are neccessary to get to where you need to go.

2004 has been a shitty stretch of midwestern highway, with road stops along the way like Toledo's Tallest Tree & Billy Bob's Lint Museum, intercut by signposts that say stuff like "Civilization: 2000 miles," and the car has mostly run pretty good, but it overheated once (luckily, I keep a couple gallons of water in the back), and got a couple of flats (ever since my roadtrip to Skagway, I keep two spares in the trunk), and there was the odd problem with something hanging off the engine that was resolved by tying a couple of choice parts back together with a shoelace before I got to stop off at the shop and get it fixed proper, and I didn't stop for any hitchhikers along the way, but I felt bad about it. I'm now consulting a really confusing map somewhere in the Salt Flats of Utah on my way to the ocean, and yea, I'm stronger and more confident, and I'm getting better rejection slips, but I can't see the ocean yet, likely because I'm just not ready to see it yet. Likely because I need to pick up a few hitchhikers and learn how to play the harmonica and trade in the car for a motorcycle, but I switched from fast-food to granola bars sometime back, and I've got better shoes and a good pair of sunglasses, and there's nothing so cool as arriving at the seashore on a sweet-ass motorcycle, wearing a floppy newsboy cap as my striped scarf streams behind me, and maybe that's the whole point.

There's a place I want to be. This is the road I'm taking to get there.

I don't mind that it's a long road. It just means I'll be a more interesting person by the time I get there.

Amen to that.

Thoughts and Wanderings

Now that the gray fog of illness is lifting, and now that I appear to be fighting off the last of my sicknesses, it's time to take stock of this life, and what the hell I'm doing with it.

The June date for taking the LSAT is full, which is actually a good thing, cause I haven't had time to study, and I'm still not sure I'm really gung-ho about the idea of law school - mainly because it'll mean I've got to commit to one place for 3 years and take out a huge amount of money. It means going back to being a *really* poor student. And though I miss the freedom of student life, and learning new things, taking a money hit for three years depresses the hell out of me.

The issue then becomes: well, shit, woman, what do you want to do with your life? Certainly, I'm writing books and short stories, and someday I'd like to make a living doing it, but that day isn't today, and in the mean time, I'd hate to think I was wasting my potential and not making full use of the years I've got. I'm youngish, nearly in great health, and can (mostly) pay my bills. So what's next? What do I want? What's my next challenge?

That's how I keep my mind going, how I keep from feeling like I'm atrophying. I need new places, new challenges.

I have a couple of options, and I've been mulling them all over for some time, to the point where, I think, Jenn and B are sick of hearing them. But I'm going to mull them over again.

Jenn and her SO will be moving in together after next year (likely), and the SO doesn't particularly want me in on this get-together, which is understandable, so if I do stay in Chicago, I'm on my own. This means that in order to live in something other than a studio apartment, I'll need to have a better-paying job by next year. At least 45-55K.

B is also very keen on me moving to NY for a year while he finishes up school - and I think living in NY for a year would be really cool. While I'm flying up there on the off-weekends, I can always extend the trip for job interviews. Living would be tight (money and spacewise), but I could do it for a year, and it would give me a new city to explore, a move to negotiate; a challenge, which is what I'm looking for.

There's also the opportunity with a gaming company one of my writing buddies is currently at. They're hiring, but they're also in Canada, and about an 8-hour plane flight from NYC, where B is. And basically, an 8-hour-flight is a make-or-break for our fledgeling relationship, or, to paraphrase B, "I think that's a great opportunity, and if you really want to do that, I'll totally support you as a friend. But I can't maintain a relationship where we see each other one weekend a month if 16 hours of that weekend are taken up with flying time."

He's right, of course. If I applied for, got, and took that job, I'd effectively end my relationship with B, and I'm not willing to do that. He's still got a year of school, so there's no compromise on that for at least a year.

It all comes down to what makes me feel the most fulfilled, and I don't know what that is right now. Writing books at a beach house on the Oregon Coast would certainly make me feel fulfilled, but I'm not at that point in my life yet. So how do I fill up the years between now and then?

The answer, for me, is about being better. I want to be better. Go back to school for another Master's degree? Or settle for taking French classes at Truman College? Could I "settle" for that? Would I feel like I was progressing? What if instead of academic pursuits, I focused on the physical stuff, really started taking boxing and martial arts seriously? Would I feel that that was a great enough challenge for me? (and oh boy, it would be a big challenge, to focus on actually getting *good* at something physical).

At what point can I step back and say that those social measures of achievements: school degrees et. al. aren't neccessary for me to feel like I'm "accomplishing" something?

Education was and is very important in my family, and it's how we measure success, that and money, of course, but education is considered almost *more* respectable than money. I'm sure I'm carrying around some of that when looking at my life. Am I done with formal school? Can't I just take up painting and collect books and have a nice place and feel as if I'm accomplishing something? At what point can I just say, "This is enough for me"?

I don't know. I don't think I'll ever be able to say it's "enough," but I'd like to be able to say I have enough academic degrees. Because those damn things are fucking expensive. I've got to find something I find fulfilling. I don't want to feel like I'm stagnating, like I'm merely existing.

I've got to find focus: the kind that comes with a "reward" at the end. Problem is, most things don't have a golden key at the end unless you give yourself one.

It's crises time, when nothing feels like it's moving forward, and you just want to kick yourself in the ass cause life just seems too damn comfortable.

Maybe I just need to spend a couple weeks abroad, and get this travel bug out of my system. I feel like I need to move.

Good Morning, Chiklits

At some point, I'll become a good worker and get here on time.

Just not today.

Whatever happened to my work ethic?

Ah, yes, that's right: I became old and cynical.