[personal profile] walkinginthenight
I am no longer battling the Grand and Terrible Virus.

It shook me to the core (sometimes literally). I didn't like the way that thing invaded me and caused me to shiver, sweat, burn, and sometimes, yes, cry, when my headache would get so severe that all I could do was wait for the Vicodin to take the edge off.

It's gone. It left in a huff on Saturday morning, leaving me drenched in pools of sweat. I felt weak and crappy for a few days afterward, but today seemed to be the first day of truly restored health. I rode my bike to BART to go have lunch with my friends in Berkeley, and conquered that same long uphill incline back to BART that used to kill me on my trike fairly easily. My legs were burning, but I kept up speed.

And now the ruminations:

When I focus on certain life projects, I am like an unstoppable steam roller. I research obsessively and prioritize that thing above almost all others, even when I sometimes shouldn't. (See: buying an old Mercedes and running it on biodiesel. Not that it wasn't a good life experience, but it turned into a money pit.) But generally, when I say "I want to do this," it happens. Moving out of my parents' house. Transition. Finishing my degree. (Okay, I faltered on that one a while, but once I regained focus, I did it despite living far away from campus and working full time.) Moving to MA and across the country and buying an RV and learning to ride a bike. Etc.

My mother even said the other week (in response to the bike), "boy, when you really want to do something, you do it!" And that made me stop and think - with all of this ability to generate obsessive project mojo, why the hell can't I similarly generate and execute the same focus on finding myself a viable career that makes me decent money?

I mean, my current job (sort of) provides for my needs, and I'm certainly better off than a large percentage of the US population. I have health insurance and can pay my rent and bills every month, with a little left over for gourmet cheeses and hobbies. But that nagging voice in the back of my head tells me that I could certainly do better, and moving up opportunities that I'd actually want within my company are slim to none.

The goal is bigger and hazier. I could start small. I'm not sure that more schooling is the answer. I just spent a lot of time on another project to get my debt manageable. Only student loans now, and those actually aren't that bad for me. I have no desire to put a lot of time and money into something and be worse off than I was, which is the case with several people I know who are carrying high student loan debt without the big salary to pay it back.

I think another part of the problem is that I just have no passion for building my life around a career. When I daydream of the future, what do I see right now, at this very moment?

- Riding a nice, fully fitted bike with confidence.
- Having the time to have a cleaner, better decorated house with more meals cooked from scratch.
- Taking more road trips
- Having the time to see family and friends on the East Coast more often
- Traveling overseas
- Raising kids?

Most of these things require more time than a full time job generally gives, but they all also require money. The goal is to make more per hour and work less hours, or to be able to make my own hours (no problem working a few 10 hour days in order to have days to myself). And who wouldn't want that, except for people obsessed with their careers who are willing to put in 60-80 hour weeks for years in order to earn a ton of cash?

Yeah, some of those people retire early, and that's pretty sweet in itself. But that's a risky bet to take - the bet that you'll be in good enough health during your later years to enjoy that time.



April 2013

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