Monday, January 11, 2016, 9:51 am

starting over...

With the beginning of the new year, I’ve been reflecting on the past one.

2015 started on a high note. I was at the top of my game, landing new projects, and headlining a big project at my day job. I had hedged almost a month of vacation time and had a significant amount in savings in preparation for a Greece trip that was to take place in May with one of my favorite girls.

We were excited to leave our lives behind for a few weeks.

However, there was one key piece that wasn’t falling in place. The project at work was very exciting, to everyone but the exec. In fact, nothing I did was exciting to the exec, and halfway through the year, he brought down my entire house of cards.

The last six months have been a true trial. The hedged vacation time translated into decent money... but now all of the money is gone. The opportunities are few and far between. Sent resumés land interviews, interviews land second interviews, but still no job has appeared from the mist.

I’ve considered other options, but some prospective employers lose interest when discovering what I made at my previous job. Others have a hard time taking someone who has driven a desk his entire life seriously. After all, why would an office worker even apply to become a factory worker, a parts seller, a driver, a railroad track layer, a welder?

Why, indeed?

Perhaps their concerns are not unfounded. Those are all 8-5 jobs... and as one who’s never been a morning person, that 8 am has always been a hard note to hit.

If only, I had acquired the taste for coffee... no, yuck.

So, 2015 was the year I officially became a nobody. I no longer contribute to society... and may no longer be able to.

Next week, I finally start over.

Yes, start over.

I’ve accepted a job as a temp. Doing tech support. I’d almost rather die than do tech support.

Almost.

Oddly, I’m fully aware that this isn’t even rock bottom yet. I may not have any money at all, but what little I’m able to get my hands on goes into those little things... like utilities, and the house payment. So, I’m not homeless, nor hungry.

It’s not yet just a boy and his dog.

My dog. She is my rock that keeps me going.

I can’t help thinking that I’m destined to be this nobody. A casual glance on social media would suggest that we can be whatever we want. However, as one who’s not landing the careers that will give me the life I want... I’m losing faith in everything.

Dreams die, don’t they?

And no, I can’t say I’m entirely blameless. I’ve cultured this ruined life. The exec who was unhappy with everything I did created a situation I should have run from. I should have looked for a new job while I was still employed... instead, I let his persistent micromanaging burn me out.

Now I wonder if one can even come back from burn out... how do you get the spark back? How do you get the magic back?

I used to be passionate about projects and ideas and creating cool stuff. Now I wonder if I’m the total failure he accused me of being.

I can’t even declare 2016 as a rebuilding year. There’s no foundation left to rebuild upon.

So, now what?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 9:13 am

one step up...

It’s been several years since I’ve used my birthday or year end as a touchstone for my life...

Well, it hasn’t been a good year, nor even what I would call a “rebuilding” year. Let’s call it... chaotic.

I’ll start with the elephant in the room: on a sunny day in June, that proved to be both the best... and worst... day of my life, I lost my job. It was the best day, in that I escaped from a truly awful job and a truly awful boss. I was so relieved that I practically floated out of that building.

It was the worst, in that I have not yet found a new job. Resumés are landing interviews, interviews are landing callbacks, yet so far, I’ve not yet closed the deal. Some of the near misses have been disappointing, but I’m trying to maintain my confidence and keep my chin up. Many days, it truly feels like one step up, two steps back.

I’ve been able to sustain myself from a combination of hedged vacation time, savings, freelance projects, unemployment benefits and the kindness of friends and family... the latter of which I’m incredibly grateful for.

It’s been a great year to find out who really has my back... as well as who doesn’t.

I’ve begun to write again... not that this blog is any indication. I’m writing in a journal that I carry with me. I’m torn, because it feels like the writing belongs in this space, yet not all of it is something I feel like sharing. However, it is refreshing to be able to get thoughts onto the page again. Who knows where that’ll lead?

The writing spawned from a no distraction diet I did in September. That was an interesting experience. The “mild” version of the diet is quite simply: no women. Translated, that equals, no hitting on women, flirting with women, dating women, trying to get their attention, etc. Not surprisingly, as one who trends towards “non-social,” that wasn’t difficult at all. In a small way it was like returning to my former self.

There is also a “spicy” version, which you tailor to yourself to maximize the experience. The idea is to become comfortable with being with yourself again... and even to love yourself. When you love yourself and your life, you attract others who are drawn to your contentment and inner peace.

But that’s not the reason to do it. If you do it for that reason, you’re missing the point of the exercise.

It’s kind of like this: I love the movie Dead Poets Society, therefore I’ve seen the movie so many times that I don’t necessarily live by the message in the movie. My diems aren’t carped.

The spicy version of the diet suggests one cut out the following: alcohol, sugar, caffeine, drugs, television, music (yes, music), casual internet surfing, social media,... essentially anything that could be considered a distraction.

Anything that fills the hole you experience by not interacting with women.

It’s pretty powerful stuff.

And a terrific exercise to become present, to live in the now... which is its own reward.

Then, of course, there’s the Facebook. The social network everyone loves to hate. This year, I was super tempted to take a break again... my 200 days of no Facebook... but I didn’t. Some days, I regret that decision because of all the butthurt I see daily, because, you know, words. Yet, other days, I don’t. I’ve reconnected with some friends I’d lost touch with during the hustle and bustle of my work life. I’ve also picked up a few great job leads. I now believe that the dream job not only exists, but is attainable. Which is nice.

Also, during this period of soul-searching, I know now that I was burned out. I still have some trauma related to my job, but I should have had the confidence and motivation to get out and rejuvenate when I sensed I was starting to burn out.

It would have made the recovery process much easier. Yet, I know now it is possible to recover from burnout.

So, looking into this new year, I can honestly say I have no idea what’s ahead. Life is still pretty chaotic, and I have to depend on change... simply because I will not survive the way life is going right now.

It makes no sense to make plans for the new year... aside from ensuring an income again. Yes, it would be nice to get a new car, to spend a few weeks in Europe, and to take that photography intensive I’ve been looking at for a while now, but I need to find the capital. Whether I do something entrepreneurial or go back to answering to “the man,” something’s gotta happen.

Exciting? Yes! Scary? Kind of. Let’s do this. It’s going to be a great year!

What i'm listening to:
1989 Wildest Dreams
Ryan Adams
1989

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 2:52 am

No rest for the wicked...

I haven’t been sleeping.

Some nights, it feels like I’ve forgotten how to focus. Others it feels like I’ve forgotten how to let go.

Still others, I can manage to clear my mind, but then every nerve ending in my legs fires up. It doesn’t feel like it’s burning. It doesn’t hurt. But it’s letting me know my legs are there... like an incessant itch.

Ice baths help... almost long enough to fall asleep. Almost.

The insomnia hasn’t helped. When I do sleep, my dreams are incredibly vivid. Emotionally draining.

When I do sleep, I wake up exhausted.

I’ve been thinking of shoulda, woulda, coulda. A’s been on my mind. It’s time to let go. She has her life. I have mine.

I’ve been making tremendous strides in life. Opportunities abound! I’m excited about what I’m becoming.

If only.

If only I could sleep.

I never really sleep anymore.

What I’m listening to:
Samantha Fox It Just Won’t Quit
Meat Loaf
Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 2:35 pm

like a boss

You know you're game is on when you walk in, fill out the job application, get the interview immediately, and on the way out hear you've got the job.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 4:21 pm

lost

I need some advice, but where do I turn?

For the last year, I have fought a battle at work. At one point, I was great at my job. I made magic happen.

I’ve had problems with employers before, but nothing on the scale I’m experiencing now.

I come home utterly defeated. There are frequent meetings... even when they go well, there is clearly a hunt for something that I failed at.

I have been told that he has “zero confidence” in my ability. When those words aren’t said, the message is still conveyed.

Getting that message long enough has affected all aspects of my life. In a conversation with a close friend yesterday, he said that I was no longer hire-able. He said, that by talking with me, what I’m looking for isn’t about doing work... it’s only about the money.

So, now I’m caught in a situation where I need to rediscover my confidence and my passion, and get away from the constant flood of negativity and unrealistic expectations... yet as long as I’m doing this job for this employer, I’ll continue to get beat down.

What do I do? How do I put up a wall so I can rebuild my self-worth, and continue to “get by” and collect that paycheck?

I know I shouldn’t take any of it personally, yet after a year of hearing this, I have zero confidence I’ll ever satisfy this boss.

Do I need a shrink? A spiritual leader? A sabbatical?

How do I salvage this and get back into a good situation? A good job?

Friday, May 15, 2015, 8:30 am

Indeed...

Buried within all the white noise that is the Facebook news feed, this little nugget jumped out at me:

You have no reason to go back to what made you miserable.

This really speaks to me. I may just find my way back from the precipice after all...

What i'm listening to:
Once Fallen from the Sky
Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
Once

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 8:12 am

Finger lickin' good dreams...

Last week, I decided to join a co-worker who’s doing the “24-day challenge,” which is essentially a period cleansing and clean eating. It’s designed to usher in a lifestyle of clean eating.

Our challenge began on Monday, and since then... never, have I ever, craved Kentucky Fried Chicken so much in my life!

We’ll see if I make it 24 days before I sit down with a bucket of chicken...

What i'm listening to:
Eat 'em and Smile Yankee Rose
David Lee Roth
Eat ’em and Smile

Monday, April 13, 2015, 5:35 pm

Always pumpkin season...

Today, I learned what pepitas are.

The more you know!

What i'm listening to:
Summertime Dream The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Gordon Lightfoot
Summertime Dream

Sunday, April 5, 2015, 6:41 pm

why...

I’m just going to leave this here and see how it lands:

You should be in a relationship with someone because they make you a better person by being with them.

Friday, March 20, 2015, 9:51 am

One-hundred days of peace...

Tonight, I celebrate, for today marks the end of my 100 days off Facebook experiment.

In December, I was going through a lot in my life, and really didn’t need the noise that Facebook was providing... especially the stuff that makes it less fun than it was when it was all college students. The activism, the pity parties, the baby pictures, the videos (any video).

I decided I didn’t need any of it. So, I quit.

I quit with the intent of staying away for ninety days. Somewhere around halfway, I figured that if I can avoid it for ninety, I can surely do a hundred.

The first week was surreal. It almost felt like something was missing in my life. Like a friend... but not necessarily a friend that you spend a lot of time with. Maybe an acquaintance you’re fond of.

Then the occasional random texts started appearing: how did you miss this event? you didn’t know I’m single? happy birthday.

And the: is everything ok?

Now, I question how strongly I want to rejoin. Overall, I think it was a good cleanse that everyone should do now and then. While I don’t miss the drama nor the videos, there are a few Facebook friends I miss.

Maybe a few that Mr. Kite misses too.

So, today I’ll be logging back in, knowing that the next break will be for 180 days (or 200?).

We’ll see how it goes. It has been a peaceful 100 days, 7 hours & 5 minutes.

What i'm listening to:
Going to Hell Follow Me Down
The Pretty Reckless
Going to Hell
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