I admire people who can be bloodless and realistic to the core. I almost have it in myself to be like that, and I think I have managed to become more cerebral and less gut-driven as I’ve aged. Most times in my life, the act of letting my emotions get the better of me has seen me fall into any number of traps. What’s more, people don’t particularly care for an emotional man in real life. Emotional men in movies are fun to watch, but nobody wants to live with one. I would almost want to put out a guess that this culture doesn’t really value emotional women much, anymore, either.
There is something appealing to getting a Linux SysAdmin Cert, finding an entry level job as a SysAdmin, slogging it out for a few years until I can get a more advanced position, and then just socking away as much money as possible into retirement while living an hour away from the job in a highly affordable house. After some twenty years of doing this, I should be able to retire with enough money to pay for the first four years of college for two children, plus another twenty years of retirement, including domestic travel with the occasional trip abroad. Nothing glamorous about it–no fancy clothes, no sexy companies–just whatever company is willing to hire an older schmuck to manage their servers.
As it stands, I am in the middle of living out my great assertion that my career deserved to be a true vocation, that I was called to do something, that I was made to be and do something more than just make money and pass on my DNA, even if it means that I end up not having much money at all, ever.
One of my most fatal errors has been to allow the notions of others to get the better of me–to sit around on days like this just kind of stewing in my own words as I think that I must be eventually destined for some greater work than simply pushing buttons for people to lazy or too afraid to push those buttons themselves.
Maybe there is just one word for it all: pride. All it takes is one single day out of a hundred where you show up to work and can’t duck your head and swallow your pride and let the younger and less intelligent people boss you around. One day out of a hundred where you can’t stand to hear another recycled idea presented as being bleeding edge and have your ideas dismissed out of hand as being impractical or already tried. But, if you are still walking around with even a tiny little bit of pride left in you, then it’s really more than just one day out of a hundred that matters. It’s that one day that puts you over the edge, but the other 99 days see you repressing so much venom and anger and desire to have the management put you in charge of everything for once.
If you put all of your pride aside, and you still have a calling or vocation to do something more than just be a decent family man and breadwinner, then perhaps you really do have a calling or vocation that you need to pursue. But, if you put all of your pride aside for months on end–no, you get rid of your pride completely until there is no pride and no ego left at all–except that last little bit of ego that we all have to keep us getting out of bed in the morning–if you get rid of it all, and you find that you could be just as content sitting on your ass rebooting servers and computers for people all day, then why are you bothering with seeking out something that is higher than what you were ever made to seek?
Killing pride–that’s my goal for 2017. I am talking about the kind of pride that insists on me putting myself above at least one other person in the room–the kind of pride that says I should be the one running the show. Sure, I know how to swallow my pride to some degree–I stayed at home with my son for over a year while my wife went to work every day–but it was done with an eye toward becoming something even greater than what I’d ever been. There is no room for the prideful in the profession I hope to pursue next, and yet there I was all last semester allowing myself to be pumped up full of pride every time I scored a high mark on a test or did well on a paper.
I don’t know exactly how I’m going to kill my pride, but I think that this has to happen first before anything else can fall into place. If I can’t honestly come up with a good reason to stay here after some months of living without my pride, then it will be time to pursue the SysAdmin cert, and get on with being like every other suburban, white middle-class male out there.