Going back to go forward

I gave my last week’s notice to my temp agency this week. I found a job at the company where I got laid off back in December 2013. On my second “tour” of this job (2012), I didn’t have any grand purpose in life. I just wanted to work and go home, listen to music, and maybe watch a movie every once in a while. I was doing nothing. I felt like nothing. Most importantly, I felt lost spiritually and I had lost my love of playing the guitar. I just consumed and consumed and produced very little. I remember talking to a close friend during this time of my life and she said that I was spiritually, emotionally, and mentally constipated. She was right. Fortunately, I can say that I’m more regular these days.

When I start this new job at an old company, it will be in a different context. I’ve recently discovered an interest in web development and I’ve been doing initial research on what it takes to do it, who does it, and what they’re doing now. I feel some hope that I can actually change the trajectory of my career path towards something with more meaning connected to a dormant creative force within me. This job is not a vehicle to get me to do nothing. It will be platform in which I can support myself as I explore a possible new passion and pursuit. There’s something comfortable about going into something unknown in a gradual way, like walking into morning fog.

This idea of going back to something familiar while being different emerged during a recent therapy session. We discussed how my return to living with my parents (when I got laid off in 2013) was my way of trying to figure out the problems that have been with me since childhood. I had to go home so I can learn to leave in a way that made sense and reflected a true sense of progression. I’ve left home before to live on my own but I still brought with me my past – with my parents, problems, and pressures. I resonated with this idea when I first heard it because it’s so true. If I really wanted to, I could’ve stayed with a friend for a few months or maybe even live in my car (which is getting harder to do in Orange County). Instead, I found myself at home with familiar smells while living with people that I really didn’t know and who really didn’t know me (even though they think they do). Even though so many of my peers live on their own, I don’t think that they have experienced the expansion of self-knowledge and insight that I have been through in 2014. Suffering seems to produce a wisdom that never leaves you even when you get everything you want.

Friday fuck off

I walked into the office today with a sense of dread of what awaited me on my paper-laden desk and cluttered email inbox. Much of what I had to do today was put off for about two days. I put off these tasks with a bowl of oatmeal – cinnamon and brown sugar added – and a cup of tea. I don’t think I’ll ever get these things done and I scour my inbox for easier tasks to finish while I plan my escape or daydream about the day when I’m terminated from employment. Microsoft Outlook has no windows – it is a pixelated prison cell for the unambitious.

The two hours that elapse when I take my break are filled with prayer and curses. They are desperate and serene. The patio furniture and potted plants conceal me from my co-workers who play video games on their phones and smoke flavored vapor. The smartphone that threatens to slip from my hand burns my eyes with baby pictures and statuses about new jobs and cleanse diets. I slip my phone back into pocket and slip back into my cubicle and pretend like I didn’t take a 30 minute break. I am honing my skill at wasting time.
Who can survive $18 an hour, air-conditioned oxygen, and work redundancies? The desperate and serene, remember? If you want to join the ranks of this special community, you’ll have to refrain from certain activities. I’ll explore them in the coming weeks. I’ll start with this: listen to your parents’ expectations and plans for your life. If you want to join the restless and directionless workforce, then do what I just said. You will end up sitting in similar patio furniture while shaded by potted plants. Just remember to not sit near me. I like my patio furniture for myself.

The Tempin Point

I start my new temp job tomorrow at an insurance company owned by a large food distribution company. This job came just in time because I will be getting my last unemployment benefits check this week. I’ve already gone through my 6-month allotment for this year because I wasn’t able to find a job since I got laid off in December 2013.

I think it would amaze to find out what people do for money once their unemployment runs out. I’ve heard of so many people who have had to take jobs that were outside their intended fields of employment or previous educational background. English majors working at Starbucks and people with master’s degrees – like me – who have had to take jobs that have no room for growth or fulfillment. Now that this is the norm, I do feel a bit of a relief that I don’t have to feel so ashamed of my circumstances because so many people share them. We’re all just surviving but how do people grow when only money, food, and shelter are on our minds?

My resumes continue to be emailed and job positions on mental health agencies are added to my list. I apply and wait. These days, I’m also considering of shelving my plans of becoming a therapist with a community mental health position that would put me at the forefront of therapeutic methodologies. Maybe I can revisit these plans in 5-10 years when life is stable enough to launch such an endeavor. For now, I think I can get by with this job and I might even reconnect with some friends in the title insurance industry to find a more permanent job. I know that when I get a permanent job, I have to use my time more wisely and do a lot of soul-searching to discover what I really want to do and to do the research.