Monday, February 9, 2009

Lessons Learned, Realities Faced

I left my job at Spencer Gifts on Saturday. Lots of behind-the-scenes drama, but I had taken some shifts off to meet with the guy who did DJ'ed Eric's wedding back in October. My original plan was to work three jobs this summer, with the gig at Spencer's being something to keep me occupied during the week. Pete and I had a 20 minute talk at the beginning of my shift - he had circulated a memo directed at me and another employee - and everything seemed fine. Then my other supervisor said Pete decided if I didn't come in on Valentine's Day I was fired.

So I wrote my two weeks notice.

It's fine. Don't worry about it, the reason on paper and in all reality is that I was sick of dealing with all these local schmucks. You guys all know I'm not one to play up my intelligence, but as someone 7/8ths of the way done with college and bound for graduate school I deserve better treatment than what I get at that job simply because I'm a dumbass on the other side of a counter. On moral grounds, I saw people bitch about the economy only to spend $80 on hats, a purse, and some other stupid item.

The combined total of mine and Shelley's groceries was just under that at $79. Ridiculous.

With today and yesterday being the warmest days so far this year - and to actually be in the threshold of comfort as opposed to this Arctic bullshit we had a month ago - my spirit has been lifted. When Shelley gets back from class I'm probably going to insist we go for a walk.

Never mind - I just called her. She doesn't want to. She has a paper due. Can't put something off...no. And it's not like her writing a paper just means we can't go for a walk. It means I can't talk to her, I can't listen to music, I can't play video games...

Sometimes I wonder if solitude, in spite of its overall depressing, has some curative properties in moderation.

Anyway, the cabin fever that comes with the cold months has faded. Yesterday I went for a long drive in the car. I went all around the region west of Bloomington and Monroe County. I wasn't going anywhere, I didn't have any music to listen to...but it was great. I did a little bit of brainstorming for my Kinks project, which I in turn made into an outline this afternoon. Once I wrapped up my chapter, I talked to myself about some recent events.

Don't be fooled - talking to yourself is probably one of the best things you can do. Like masturbation, it's just one of those things the public scorns. Get caught in public doing it, even once, and you're branded a weirdo. (Satire)

I learned some things about myself.

A long time ago, when things had gone sour with my parents regarding religion, Kelley Lindstrom told me I needed to pick my own battles. It pissed me off at the time that someone would do something other than just let me vent, bloviate, and victimize myself to no end. (The nerve of that woman, I know!) This advice has constantly been on my mind these past few months. I could have fought with Andy over my dismissal - but I would have lost.

I could have made a big deal about quitting on Saturday and reported some regularly broken rules to corporate as an act of spite...but I didn't. Moreover, I couldn't. Just because someone has wronged me - intentionally or not, for real or in my own mind - doesn't mean I need to get back at them. I learned back in April when I pranked David one step too far that working for the Karma Police is not something you do on your own. Sometimes people have a hard enough time waking up in the morning and realizing they're still them. That's punishment enough.

However, if the opportunity lands in your lap to administer some justice to someone who has it coming, as I did with Laura, DON'T PASS IT UP.

That all said, I have reconnected with Joel and Nicole over Facebook. With all the loss I've had, I learned what the real definition of a terrible friend is. It's not Joel - he might have been an odd duck, but at least he gave a shit and always wanted to hang out. Don't get me wrong, I approach Nicole with a bit of distance and a lot of caution. But I learned I should never be anti-anybody. Or anti-anything other than racism, pedophilia, animal abuse, and intolerance. I learned this dealing with Andy. Yes, I was furious, but at no point could I ever come out and say, "He's not even that good at his job!" Because he's terrific at it.

I don't know if this weekend would work out, but I wouldn't mind getting in touch with him to hang out. I apologized to him for being so quick to blow him off, and that life was too short for grudges.

Believe me, I see the parallels here. I'm doing what I was hoping others would do: apologize and extend the proverbial olive branch.

Anyway, his response didn't smack of "I told you so" arrogance or "well, I don't know...", no. He responded, "No worries." Water under the bridge. He's a better man than I.

I know, this doesn't translate well into words. My own personal experiences, like feeling the presence of a higher power - the presence of God - none of this crap makes for interesting reading. At least not to me. The point is I'm continuing to grow and learn. If I may actually say something positive about myself, but this is something I will never stop doing.

Here are two songs from Neil Young's yet-to-be-released-on-CD album Time Fades Away, released in 1973.

Time Fades Away


Don't Be Denied


I also finally sat down and listened to all 17 minutes of Miles Davis' "Spanish Key" off Bitches Brew. It felt like it went on forever, but in a good way. My mind doesn't get blown as much as it used to, but it did last night.

Going out for a walk, alone, and not at all bothered by that idea,
Alex

1 comment:

M@ said...

Being alone has amazing curative effects. Trust me on that. And talking to yourself is also an amazing counseling method. And if you do it the way I do (I talk to myself in a variety of voices and accents.) it is even more fun.

And let me please tell you that you are making some of the best choices. Reconciliation and patience are two of the toughest things, but the more we practice them the easier they get.

God's peace, Alex. And I'm sorry I haven't been very regular with this blog.