Dreams are funny and fickle things. Had two bad dreams early this morning that woke me pretty quickly, neither of which I really had any clue what they were relating to until I thought about them a bit later.
In the first dream, I found myself in what felt like a tall office building. Turned out to be quite cramped inside, as there were probably close to a hundred people wandering around. I was walking with a high-spirited red-headed guy who was talking to me about meeting the rest of the team to get their input before they give me a formal offer. I walked around to a set of desks and saw my old boss Jared sitting behind a laptop doing some design work when he looked up at me and gave me this horrible stink-eye. I don’t really remember the conversation leading-up to the loud portion of the exchange, but I remember him yelling at me about being a douche bag and a liar, to which I replied: Yes, I am a douche bag, and I was never aggressive enough about saying what I really wanted out of any job. I wanted a professional mentor, someone to partner with, learn from, and take care of business with. Next thing I know, he and I are standing in a corporate bathroom somewhere, all steel-and-tile, and we’re shirtless and shoeless and about to go off on each other in true “Fight Club form”.
Thankfully I woke up from that one before any fighting really got underway. I rolled-over and went back to sleep and found myself dreaming (yet again).
In the second one, I was wheeling-around my great-grandmother in a wheelchair which was fitted with an auto-defibrillator on a button. We were wheeling around someplace that felt like an office of some type or another, and every time her heart monitor would flat-line, I’d hit the button for the defibrillator and she’d come back. I started talking to someone and I apparently missed hearing her heart monitor that time, and tried fruitlessly to bring her back with the button… Woke up from that last one and just said “fuck it” to sleeping any further than that.
My subconscious must have been playing some kind of nasty trick or trying to regurgitate some of the older bile in an effort to rid itself of the negativity. Like a kind of psychic retching: you (generally) feel better afterward. The second dream makes a little bit more sense than the first one does, at least. I imagine that it is basically my subconscious telling me that I need to let go of the past, no matter what it is and bury it for good. The first one, though… not too clear on.
Spent the last couple of weeks working hard and finally rolling-over to permanent with the company I’m at, meaning at least I feel like I have some investment in being there and working a bit more like a real employee. Putting my thoughts toward the future, I’m constantly wondering if I really want to keep working in technology. I constantly feel as if I am behind and that I may never catch-up in a reasonable amount of time, meaning that I will simply be fighting an uphill battle against skill-decay and demotivation. It’s not that I’m lazy, I’m just not excited by the work I do. To contrast and compare what I do now versus what I want to be doing, here’s a short list of things that I want to do in the future:
- Run/own a 24/7 bouldering gym
- Write/blog/editorialize for a living to communicate ideas that matter
- Travel wherever, whenever, however I want
- Visit friends whenever I feel like doing so
- Ditch the 9-to-5 schedule (forever)
Whether any of these things are actually viable is an entirely different question, seeing as how I am already heavily-invested in the technology sector as far as time is concerned. I would imagine that when my debts are paid-off, I will be able to more effectively target the things that I want to do as income will be less of a concern. As it stands right now, the minimum amount of money I need to make in order to sustain my current way of life is somewhere around $15 an hour, which for a lot of technology positions isn’t all that hard to get these days… it’s just finding the work that’s meaningful that’s the issue now.
I have been harping on the idea of “meaningful pursuits”, and I admit that in my pursuit of discovering what the “meaningful pursuit” for me would be, my behavior can come across as erratic and ill-planned. What irks most onlookers (my boyfriend especially) is that it looks like chaos, but for me it’s simply my method of exploring new things. I agree that (at least to some extent) my ability to stay with a particular task is hampered by the fact that commitment is a difficult thing for me to employ, but at the same time I wonder why sticking with any one thing for a prolonged period of time if it doesn’t excite you or isn’t meaningful to you in some way is just as empty a commitment as ‘staying together for the kids’ sounds to anyone else.
I feel like I don’t really need some manager or director’s praise for doing a good job or being a good worker when I know for a fact that their emotional investment in me is about the same as my emotional investment in the “company mission”: if it doesn’t resonate with me on an elemental level, my emotional investment is a big, fat fucking zero. I come in, do a specific amount of work for a specific amount of pay. Anything outside of that is either out of the goodness of my heart or is being asked of me because something broke in the worst possible way, the latter of which is more likely than the first. I’d probably be a lot more likely to be emotionally invested in an organization that I actually had some kind of stake in or whose mission or product I believed in on a raw, elemental level… but I haven’t found that yet.
For a lot of people, myself included, it’s easy to talk about finding or doing work that matters… the difficulty-curve begins in the search for the meaningful work, escalates a bit when you find it and start investing time and energy into it, and then just flies off of the top of the Y-axis when it comes to actually bringing it to fruition… but it’s the meaning that makes the difficulty seem so much smaller than it really is.
Or, it could be that I am over-estimating how hard doing the meaningful work actually is. Any truth is better than no truth.