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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Shadows Falling In A Land Of Confusion

"Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath, keep me in your heart for a while"
- Warren Zevon

* * * * * *

I don't know why the title is associated with this posting, other than the fact that it just occurred to me.  What I do know is that I feel, well, strangely kind of vacant.  Empty.  Tired and spent, if you will.  Part of this all relates back to the whole notion of being between careers, at least for me.  I am, simply put, a very poor career seeker.  I despise marketing myself.  I have difficulty initiating conversations solely for the sake of networking.  I like order, and personal uncertainty (as opposed to, say, the professional variety...which I have no problem with) can be challenging for me to mentally manage.

I know, this career change stuff isn't supposed to be a picnic for anyone, and I know some folks that have struggled with this before and someone who struggles with it now.  Yet that clarity is of little help.

Making all of this even more difficult is the fact that the in-between careers part actually is coming to an end.  As testimony to just how difficult this has been for me, I offer the fact that, even in the face of a victory, I still have this vacant feeling.  My wife asked me one morning "Aren't you excited about...?", and I didn't say yes.  I couldn't say yes.  None of which is a reflection, by the way, on my new career.  If anything, I have righteous reasons to be happy and excited, yet I'm mostly tired.

Now I am not an athlete, nor do I play one on television (you have to be old to get that reference), but I imagine that this might be how someone feels after completing a long, arduous marathon.  Victory lap?  Nope, I'm mainly just glad that I no longer have the (career) Sword of Damocles hanging over my head.  I am looking forward to new challenges ahead, but yet, it feels as if I'm still waiting to fully exhale.

When this whole career change adventure began, I kept a written diary of sorts.  The idea, back then, was that I would chronicle the process of losing and finding a career.  It would be dramatic, insightful, full of emotions...all of the things that garner high page hits.  Yet I haven't used any of that material, nor will I likely ever.  It just doesn't feel right.  I will though offer the following, if for no other reason than the fact that it's instructive to how I've been feeling:

(Written two days after being told I would be "retiring")  
All told, I'm still in this fuzzy kind of, almost conflicted, place.  I know that in the grand scheme of a life, this change...thrust upon me as it still going to be good.  But yet, and at the risk of evoking unwanted pity, I can't help but mourn for this loss.  I've felt this way before when I was going through a divorce.  Complicating matter is the fact that I am naturally just so very impatient.  I want this solved now.  My lesson from going through a divorce is that, to be blunt, "it just doesn't work that way".  I remember back then when others (who had been through a divorce) were telling me that "it's a process", and feeling very discouraged, as I have no need for "a process"...I just want a resolution.  This is what impatience rearing it's ugly head actually looks like, and for me it's frightening.

(Written in mid-November)  
There are times when I just wish...and I really do wish...I could just explode in a fit of rage, alone in my truck, for about 30 minutes...and then be done with it all.  I'd yell out all the anger and disappointment I myself...and it would somehow be purged for good.  It would be a grand and glorious exercise.  It would be healing.  But that's not to be because that's simply not me.  

This morning, driving back from my once a week breakfast out ritual I felt as if I was "this" close to an emotional outburst.  It just doesn't happen.  It's as if I'm one of those World War II-era Jeeps with a governor installed on it, so that, in my case, I can't exceed an emotional speed limit of 40 miles per hour.  It reminds me of how I felt after 9-11:  I was angry and emotional, but I just couldn't get it out.  It had to stay bottled up inside as if its exposure to the natural world would somehow cause a catastrophe of global proportions.  

In point of fact, I am angry.  Very angry.

I'm not angry at my former employer, or my former vice president.  Heck, in all likelihood they've done me a tremendous favor, and at this junction, I just can't imagine going back, in spite of how I feel.  No, I'm angry at me.  Furious at me.  Livid.  I somehow allowed this all to happen through sheer sloppiness. 

* * * * * *

Those are two samples of a larger population that, like the older radios I collect, will likely never see the light of anyone else's day.  I bring them up now, in part, to give myself a kind of emotional permission for feeling the way I do.  Having been raised in a highly controlled environment fueled with quite a bit of guilt, having permission is something that's important to me.  I strongly suspect that this is part of the exorcism that I need to undergo before the new career adventure begins:  This vacant feeling is probably designed to make room for many other things, new things, to shortly come.  All told, that's probably a good thing, although I still dislike the uncertainty.

On a final note, this wasn't how I had planned to actually talk about my career search coming to an end.  In fact, I have a whole other posting, titled "The Watch" written and edited, ready for the publish button.  Unlike the above sampled Land of Confusion journal entries, that will still see the light of day, soon I will add.  As for now, well, it's Monday evening* and I'm not quite sure that this is the right thing to publish.  Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow morning.  That's a common feeling for me by the way; as of this writing, I have 66 unpublished draft postings waiting in the wings, waiting for "tomorrow morning".

(*) Tuesday morning came and went, and I just couldn't get myself to actually re-read this posting.  For whatever reason though, the time seemed to  be right at 9:30 pm on Tuesday to tackle the task.  What you see above is, more or less, what I wrote on Monday evening, all be it with a few tweaks.  I did struggle a bit with the question as to whether the posting is too "dark".  In retrospect, while it may seem less than uplifting, it is honest, and sometimes that's the best outcome you can hope for in life (and blogging).

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