An obligatory night of being social–that was last night. The boss at the new company invited me to his birthday party, and I couldn’t say no. He forwarded me a FB event invite and I couldn’t view anything other than the time and place, so I friended him on FB to see the details of the event, but he didn’t reciprocate. Not knowing what to expect, I drove up to an exceptionally fancy custom home in South Austin, almost all the way downtown. It was de ja vu all over–the boss at the non-profit I worked at, who couldn’t possibly have made that much more than I did–being able to afford a home just south of Barton Springs and completely remodel it by adding a whole other floor to it.
My present boss had a large, off-roading Jeep with big knobby tires and a Porsche parked out front. Clearly, from the way the vehicles were parked, they were his or his wife’s. Maybe I am going to sound covetous or envious, but that’s not quite it. It’s more a matter of the ongoing question of why it seems I can’t hack it at being a responsible adult like others seem to be able to. Here we are, living in an apt again, and not an exceptionally good one at that. I don’t ever to expect to make an enormous amount of money, but clearly, there are people who make as much as I do that can manage their money better. You see them at every happy hour, but they nurse one drink. They buy salads and other cheap food when the team goes out to lunch. Yet, skimping here and there just doesn’t seem like it would result in getting to the point where you can display such conspicuous wealth when you throw a party.
Part of it is, I’m just not comfortable living in a home like my boss’s. I would feel like I was renting it or a guest, and what’s more, a guest who inevitably would have to pay for the fancy life at some point. So, if the Law of Attraction has any merit, I am probably by default not someone who can attract wealth. I am happy living like my dad does–out in the country in a double-wide–except I don’t need all the stuff he has. Quite certainly, if my wife goes before I do and my son is able to take care of himself, I will spend my final years living as a hermit of no account whatsoever.
By default, I can’t stand parties. I don’t like the way people circle the wagons and glare you down if you try to enter their conversation circle. I drink too much to remove my nervousness over being socially awkward. I spend too much time talking to one person who is either desperate for conversation and even more socially awkward than I am, or they think that I am desperate and take pity on me, and I can see them cooking up ways to extricate themselves–all the while I am hoping they will leave me so that I can retreat to my own inner world and sulk in a corner sizing everyone up.
It’s not always that bad, of course. Last night wasn’t so bad. The one non-coworker that I had an extended conversation with was a woman with interesting ideas for a non-profit. I actually enjoyed listening to what she had to say. I tried my best to dredge up all of my old non-profit contacts in the area who might be able to help her get her non-profit started.
I didn’t drink too much, either. I managed to just have two Crown/Club Sodas and a hard cider before making my exit. I only stayed about two and a half hours.
I just hope that I don’t get invited to another party that I pretty much have to attend any time soon. Now that I have dropped the whole schtick about becoming a pastor, and I’ve given up on any illusions about actually having a real career, I can gladly turn down most workplace party invites because I know that people are just being polite and perhaps feel sorry for me when they include me on the invitation list.
It’s hard to describe it, but I think that I’ve almost completely turned a corner from all of the BS I had in my head about a calling/vocation or even a career. I am, surprisingly enough, more excited than ever about living life. There is more stuff to be done than there ever was–I need to get back into regular exercise, there is a stack of library books and computer books that demand my attention, I want to start learning Python so I can do something useful with data for the rest of my professional life, and there is always this massive collection of writing that I am still working to port over to a single WP account.
I’ve cleared my head of the nasty, evil cobweb dreams of looking over my shoulder and wondering what might have been or what it would be like to be living someone else’s life in some other town. I am never going to think of Austin as the greatest city ever, but I am perfectly resigned to living here for a long time to come.