I’ve had a busy couple of months. Adjusting to my job followed almost immediately by the new Legend of Zelda game. I did nothing but play on my Nintendo Switch for about three weeks and then spent another week avoiding my TV and computer and Switch as much as possible while I recovered from my binge. No regrets, though. I’ve already started a second play-through and have a third planned that I might either record or stream. We’ll see when the time comes. I’ll eventually review the game as well, probably as my next post.
While all this has been going on, I’ve been taking the opportunity provided by not having my soul drained as a result of my day job to spend some time reflecting and growing, something I’ve apparently ignored over the three years I held that awful job. Its been interesting to see just how much I’ve changed as a person. I’m a lot less likely to take abuse (which is probably a direct result of said awful job), I’m a lot less likely to cling to the past, and I finally stopped holding onto stuff for no other reason than it stirs a strong emotion in me. Almost all of those strong emotions weren’t positive ones, to be honest. I was pretty subconsciously masochistic, apparently. It explains a lot. Coincidentally, my closet is now emptier than it has been in years.
All that being said, I don’t feel like I’m in much of a different place than I was when I last updated. I’ve only just started working on my writing again. I still don’t know how to push back against the insanity infecting the world and some of those around me. I still feel like I’m drowning in a sea of student debt and self-inflicted problems. If anything, I’m a bit less worried about it all and a bit more restrictive on how long I’ll let myself freak out about anything.
I do know I tend to feel tired more often, but generally in a much more balanced sense. My old job used to emotionally drain me or intellectually drain me. I never got a nice, well-rounded exhaustion from it like I do from my current job. Today, after spending almost 8 hours trying to figure out settings and hardware setup, I finally managed to get everything working and do the one hour (if that) of work I needed to get done today. It was frustrating beyond words. I nearly burst into tears when I made the adjustments I needed in order to add another piece of hardware to the system and everything worked on the first try (previous attempts had added at least an hour per additional piece of hardware).
It was exhausting physically because this hardware isn’t light. It was exhausting emotionally because I’m new and half the problems were me screwing things up. It was exhausting intellectually because I had to learn as I went and try to remember everything my senior coworker taught me. Now, I can barely make myself get out of my chair and the blog entry I’m writing feels like a rambling, barely coherent mess. But today, as I went to the grocery store to buy myself a bag of my favorite chips, I wasn’t buying them because I was tired and exhausted and my day was rough. Today, I bought them as a reward for solving a really tough problem, for being recognized by my coworker for doing a good job with a complex issue, and because I deserved some kind of self-recognition for succeeding when I wanted to quit.
That little change in mindset makes all the difference. I may not have the solutions to the world’s problems, I may be actively considering giving up my dream of being a successful novelist for the more practical goal of just being really good at my current job, and I may have very little desire to ever move from this spot again, but I did good today. I can say I gave 100% of my effort into something that was ultimately rewarding and fulfilling. It feels good. It is what will push me out of this chair in another ten minutes and it is what is going to sit me down at my computer after dinner to spent two hours or more working away at my current book project.
I may not be happy right now–I’m definitely grouchy bordering on almost hysterically tired–but I’m feeling more fulfilled than I’ve felt since I wrote the end of a story for the first time. To me, happiness comes and goes but fulfillment is something that can stick around forever. As long as I feel fulfilled, nothing else really matters to me.
I suppose I might be in the same place I was a few months ago, but I definitely know I’m headed somewhere new.