I’m still the king of self sabotage. I love to take everything that I was supposed to be doing on Friday and move it over to Monday morning, even though I know it will be a big pile of work waiting for me when I’m in a state of mind of not wanting to work at all.
It takes me about two and a half days to get into the rhythm of the workweek.
I hate how bosses always seem inclined to have the weekly team meeting on Monday. I’m not sure they understand the psychology of the people that work for them. They are simply scheduling the meeting on Monday because it sounds good on paper–start off the week with everything we did or didn’t accomplish last week, and everything we say we will accomplish this week. Of course, it’s arbitrary. You have some Monday meetings where an hour isn’t even enough to go over everything you need to discuss, let alone what other team members need to discuss. Other Monday meetings, you have absolutely nothing new at all to share, and you feel like you are making stuff up just to fill the hour.
I am tired of the workweek and the rhythm of the office. I have lost the will to care about the core things I do that give me the appearance of having a profession and a career. They are things that, to me, just don’t really matter outside of the artificial world of business and making money. But, I don’t care much about the peripheral things, either. Technology can move on without me. Young people can continue to climb corporate ladders–graduating from college and blowing past me without giving me a second look.
Any given world of things that matter seems to be an artificial construct. Everyone has a particular world, and thinks that it is somehow the fulcrum that makes the rest of the world turn. The first greeting I got when I returned home from college after finishing my last exams and papers was from an old classmate, when I stopped inside the Subway I used to work at, and ran into him on his break. I’d always thought that he was one of the few “jock/good ole boys” of the class that had more of a live-and-let-live attitude toward those around him. In short, he and I had never had any bad blood between us.
I greeted him casually, amicably, and he asked what I’d been up to. I told him that I’d just finished up college and was coming back home to take a break while I decided what I was going to do next. I could see that he was some kind of first responder by the uniform he was wearing. I approached him with an attitude of “it’s all good, you’re doing your thing, I’m doing mine.” He looked me up and down, and saw my faux Birkenstocks, my olive drab thriftstore pants and my John Lennon spectacles, and sneered. I asked him what he’d been up to, and he muttered, “just been busy saving lives.”
It was a kind of jab into the perfect little zen world I’d been creating for myself. I’d had this notion when I was very little that the man who drove my schoolbus and my dad and the President all did valid work. It was valid in its own way, and each played his part in making the world go round. Later, as I grew accustomed to the kind of ways that humans willfully divide themselves up, I began to realize that there were different levels of validity. But, in college, I’d allowed myself to go back to that childlike notion of all who were in the world were valid as they were, and each of us was doing something worthwhile and important. The Abstract Expressionist making a jab on the canvas might not seem at first glance to be doing something just as important as the ambulance driver or soldier, but he was in fact offering us a reminder of the kinds of expressions of the soul we can leave behind on this earth when we take the time to get along and stop fighting each other.
This little jab and sneer at my existence as a aimless college graduate who’d had a small fortune invested in him (for what?) was like a crack in my world of light through which the darkness would eventually stream in until I had to reset myself completely.
Of course, none of us know how many lives we actually save or destroy. My classmate from high school might have gone on to destroy any number of women’s lives through careless manipulation of their hearts or even outright abuse, and the lives he thought he’d saved as an EMT all went on to contribute next to nothing to the advancement and progress of humanity. The homeless fellows I befriended and talked to in my college town might have gone on to get back up on their feet and do wonderful things for their families and community. Nobody can say for sure. Even if my rather extreme and unlikely example wasn’t the case, you could still make the argument that each of us in our hidden worlds may or may not be impacting the grander Universe of spirit in ways we can’t possibly imagine.
And you can’t forget that each of us is progressing along each of our spiritual paths in a different way, at a different rate. My classmate may have had every right to sneer at me, and when it came to understanding what was truly required of someone on this earth, perhaps he had it all figured out and I didn’t. I have since reunited with him on Facebook, and from his endless pictures of getting drunk and partying on beaches I was argue that he is not a more enlightened being, but those are also poor examples of a rich and varied life that is surely more than the some of the photos of himself he decides to post.
The bottom line is that it is a fool’s game to measure your validity for being alive on this earth against anyone else’s. You will never come close to reaching your own core, true state of Self, and a perfect place from where you can begin to sustainably grow and evolve as a human being. You will change like the shifiting sands, reaching and grasping at every single idea and opportunity that comes your way, because in the back of your mind, you’ll always hear that classmate or family member offering a critique for the choice that you made.
And, I think that this is why it’s taken me so long to really come to understand just how stunting my so-called profession of choice has become to my personal growth. Each Monday, I have to take the grand and bigger self that I’d been working to build on the weekend, and put him back in a box in favor of the small, petty button-pusher who meekly accepts the work thrown his way.
Inside of me, there is a sense that there is someone bigger trying to get out. Every door that he tries is locked. Nobody wants what I’m selling when I go out to the marketplace with the latest revisions of self. So, I retreat and retool, seeking deeply from within to locate the best me that I know is there and available for the right opportunity.
It’s taken me so long because I keep thinking that I’ve perfected a true self that can live harmoniously with the outer and inner worlds, and remain true to my core Self. But something always happens to destroy the mythical me that I made. It might be the stark realization that Time is getting the better of me, or the brute confrontation with a more forceful personality. It could be the discovery that everything I’ve written this week was either already written by me years ago, or written more eloquently by some long dead writer.
I don’t want the work week to be simply a tool for survival. For the most part, my job has become one of raw necessity. I don’t hold any ambitions anymore about where my work might take me. But, I do still hold hope that something deeper inside of me can still be extracted and brought to life, and that thing will be my ticket to exciting places.