"The masters of space and time awaken to find themselves slaves of distance and haste."
- Wolfgang Sachs For Love of the Automobile
Friday, September 06, 2013
1975 I got a paper route and I've had a job ever since. That streak
was broken today as I said goodbye to a job that I've had for over 16
years. I bid my co-workers farewell with tears in my eyes because I was
so lucky to work with really great people and I will miss them dearly.
I quit my job and I'm not going to another company. Why?
Burn out is a real thing. I had a very difficult time working -- I'd
feel almost physically ill some days. Sunday nights were dampened with a
dread that I had to go to work again Monday. Slowly that dread would
creep in earlier and earlier into the weekend until Saturday nights were
now deadened with pain of returning to the office.
did I feel dread, but I was slowly turning into a creature that my wife
barely recognized. Sour, depressed, angry at everything. I felt that
there was nothing worth doing, no activity would bring me joy, no
happiness was possible. I would drift into dark mental places that scared me.
I had to leave.
I started saving my money and paying off any debts I had outstanding so
that when the time came, I could count on the ability to live on Mrs Yam's
salary. When a surprise windfall showed up, I was able to pay off our
car, the last of the debts except for the mortgage. With that out of
the way, I started the long, dark trek of convincing myself it was
possible to leave.
It's odd what a hold a job or career has on a
person. Our culture is all about work; the question "What do you do?"
is not about hobbies, but your job. We define people by their
occupations, how much someone earns, their title and position. I have
always worked and to convince myself that it isn't necessary to always
work was depressingly difficult.
What would I do if I quit?
Would I be able to live the life to which I'd become accustomed?
Perhaps that lifestyle and its attendent costs chained me to a job I was
no longer willing to do? What if I changed how I lived? Could I live
differently and be happier? I intend to find out. I'll not be working,
but I'll be busy. I have bikes to ride, camping to do, cooking and
baking to perfect, gardens to put to bed and a house to clean. After
all of that, there's a couple of Robin Hood bikes that need renovating,
sewing to learn, and volunteering to do.
I'll eventually get
back to working for money, but there's no guarantee that I'll be back in
IT. I'll put my resume out there, but I'm not going to look real hard.
Maybe I'll get my computer mojo back and maybe I won't. Not sure what
will happen, but I want to wander and see where life leads me. I feel
good about this, and I'm scared and excited to see what the future