I’ve been coming to some hard conclusions about myself lately, y’all. And one of them is that I’ve become a person who lets fear dictate much of my life. That’s a hard realization for someone who has always prided themselves on being, you know, fearless. That’s a hard realization for someone who wants to live a life of general badassery.
But I dunno…age, an ever-increasing paycheck, laziness, developing chronic pain that means I need good benefits, the fact that I now have a mortgage, who fucking knows…has made me complacent and—underneath all of that—fearful of change or upheaval. So I’ve stayed at a safe, comfy job that I’ve disliked for far too long. I’ve offered up a number of reasons for this, and those are indeed valid reasons—I needed good health care, my wife was starting her own business and quit her job, it wasn’t a hard job and I got to work from home and set my own hours—but in the end, what I was doing each day made me miserable.
For a number of reasons I won’t delineate here because they’re boring and y’all won’t give a fuck anyway, I think I’ve reached my breaking point with this shit. My company is circling the drain, and I think I’m either being set up to be fired or they’re trying to force me to quit. The combination of these two things makes for a shit sandwich I can’t ignore.
And so now I’m at the edge of the cliff. Do I walk the walk? When I say I want to live a life of general badassery, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean staying at a soul-destroying job for another decade. I’m pretty sure that involves figuring out what Happiness looks like to me and my wife in the shorter and longer term and then figuring out how in the fuck to get ourselves there. I’m pretty sure that involves filling my life with things that I want to be doing not things I have to. I’m pretty sure that involves fear and self-discipline and trying new things and forcing myself to reenter a world I’ve cocooned myself against in the last few years. I’m pretty sure it involves doing without and not knowing where my next paycheck is coming from and worrying about whether the engine on our car is going to make it another year and crossing our fingers that our 50-year-old plumbing doesn’t explode and cost us thousands of dollars that we now won’t have.
And all of that shit is so fucking daunting. But is my happiness really coming at the expense of having a car engine and plumbing safety net? I’m not saying that kind of peace of mind isn’t important, but damn. Life is too fucking short, y’all. I don’t want to look back at the age of 65 with shitty hips and a bad back and all kinds of arthritis and think “Man, I wasted the last decades of the time when I could have felt really good and done all this cool shit being chained to a shitty fucking job inserting semicolons into technical documents for a company that was full of shit anyway.”
I mean, I was once the chick that chucked it all and moved out to California without a job when I was 25. I once took a six-month sabbatical from my job to backpack through Europe by myself. I likedbeing that person, that badass. I wanna be THAT girl again. The girl I was before age and fear and obligations and complacency ground her down to some weird nub of a human she no longer even recognized.
To be happy you have to do things that make you happy. And I don’t even fucking know what that is any more. That used to be hanging out in bars and getting drunk with my friends. That was enough. It was fun and it made me happy. It used to be floating down a muddy river in an inner tube with a beer in a my hand or ‘shrooming in Dolores Park. But I’ve moved beyond that and I’m looking toward the next thing or things. Life needs to be richer and fuller and more…contributory.
So I’m listening to the part of my mantra that says Be Powerful. I’m reclaiming my life of general badassery. I’m gonna start doing things that make me happy, regardless of how scary they might be.
Watch this space for big changes, lil Buddhas. Shit’s gonna be exciting.