Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Looking over the walls of Shawshank

Wow, it took awhile to have the creative juices dry up, perhaps all this rest and recouperation from yet another challenging quarter of college has left the guard down and allowed the unspeakable writer's block onto my now seemingly regular day of posting on Tuesdays.  Windows are finally down, air is just starting to get a little thicker outside as both my kids tackle baseball during the summer months with soccer in the fall.  Watching the five year old daughter blossom into the Patti LeBelle of T-ball after a rant about receiving a commoner's drink of water in her Barbie sports bottle.  Refusal to hussle, turning a deaf ear on the high school juniors working for $10 a session with "Park and Rec" emblazed in gold across the baby blue t-shirts like a spoiled Manny Ramirez she pouted until daddy coming straight from the office dropped by with an individual serving of Sunny D.  Soon afterwards she combined the speed of Flo Jo with the defensive ability of Ozzie Smith to show her parents that an attitude adjustment (absent of shock therapy and threats of the removal of toys) would be in her future after returning home.

The boy is the same but different.  His issue isn't defiance or a need for attention but more about trying to find a reason to show what talents he may have hidden.  When prodded he regularly beats out the other boys in races, shows a fluid swing at the plate, and isn't afraid to get a little dirt on the gray pants. 

Likewise for their father during the changeover from quarter to quarter, I try to re-evaluate why am I doing this?  The easy answer is for a better future.  Stability at work, gain of knowledge that I normally would not have had the drive to seek, and the satisfaction of following through on something that was started 16 years ago in a dorm room at ASU.  No, not the quest to get laid, but to finish the bachelor degree that seemed so easy to grab but personal insecurity, financials, and health reasons pushed finishing my education off. 

Image credit

The hard answer is do I want to remain in this corporate setting?  Meet person X, do project Y, get reward Z.  Its a formula learned in a middle school algebra class but also by watching Red speak to the parole board near the end of The Shawshank Redemption.  He talks about normalacy, and how when someone is accustomed to a certain setting that they let go of their individuality, let go of hope, let go of the drive to seek new things and allow themselves to be swallowed into whatever is spoon-fed to them via company email and internal classroom settings.  While I love the corporation, there's a nagging piece of me that wonders what's beyond those walls, what if I took a rock hammer to the soft brick and tunneled into something new? 

Barring a complete meltdown of the company, my employement here is relatively secure since for the most point I keep my head down, work hard, learn everything I can, do extra projects, make friends, in other words exactly the type of suit they like.  But, am I reaching my potential?  Granted my options are not endless as my wife and kids come first before any life-changing decisions are made.  But, when you sit back in your computer chair and gaze across the screen to read about the exploits of friends and seeing yourself sitting on that barstool/typing on the laptop next to them, or see yet another promotion pass you up there's self-doubt that trickles in, feeding the fire that maybe this isn't the right path.  Would happiness be found by tossing away a decade and half of climbing a ladder that seems to be slicked with bacon grease for the unknown?

For now things are stable but just to make sure there's a little sriracha sauce in my life, I've poking around for a new job here with any hope I can put together enough corporate cliches that would get me to a more interesting job and check out the view from the next rung on the ladder. 

Just like Red would say that rehabilitation is a made-up word, and that a person should get busy living, or get busy dying.  Or in my words, stop fucking around and get something done.  Too bad it took me 36 years to finally realize that.

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