Check

The airplane is pulling away from the terminal. I’ve pretty much settled on where I’m going, what career path I’m taking at the moment. The past few entries have been a metaphor for my current situation, a terminal of opportunities–each plane representing a possible career path.

The beautiful thing about this metaphor is I didn’t stop to realize how much of it applies to my situation. That is, I don’t have to commit to one as an end all, be all–which was part of my quandary. I don’t want to commit to something I may not like, or something I may not be good at. The great thing about this airport metaphor is the plane may take me to another airport where other planes await for another destination. Sure, my decision now will impact the “planes” I’ll get in the future, but it’s not a forever thing. Nothing is a permanent destination.

Work has always taken a back seat; it’s a means to an end, it pays the bills. Some people take joy from their day jobs, while for others it’s simply a way to pay bills. And while every job has its rewards, the pinnacle in the reward-accomplishment mechanism in the human psyche, for some it’s just a job. People get their rewards elsewhere, in a hobby, volunteer work, or art.

I’ve slowly started getting back to my art, back to writing. It’s baby steps… mostly editing old work. I’ll slowly chisel away at something I’ve been working on for many years. In the end, I have to remind myself not to be discouraged by the small progress. I’ll get there.

I recently had a physical exam and while I was there I had the complete STD screen. All clear on the STD front (not surprised, but always good to know for sure). Blood work good. Unfortunately, I do have some mild heartburn and stomach-lining issues. It appears I’m a little stressed. Kinda funny when you go back to consider my last five entries. The travel to Texas and the lingering career decisions that have remained have certainly taken their toll.

I’m more relaxed knowing where I want to go, though I am wary how the new job will impact my stress levels. I don’t want to risk my health. I like being happy. I was fine where I was before, but as I’ve always told myself “complacency can be bad.” Mostly it’s a fear of missing out and a fear of Stockholm syndrome why I think complacency is bad. I won’t know what else is out there unless I try something new.

Speaking of new. I’ve started going to the gym. It started as a way to cope with a breakup in April. Now, it’s just turned into something I enjoy. I’m not all buffed out or anything, but it’s a way to stay healthy. I’ve got some minor goals in mind. I figure I may as well enjoy this fleshy body while it’s still young and still mine. Regret, like complacency, can be a terrible thing.

Here’s to new things.

New

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Boarding

“Sir, are you boarding?”

Ticket in hand, at the front of the line. The woman behind the ticket counter extends her hand. I rub the ticket in my hand, unsure of what to do. I look back at the people behind me staring impatiently. This is just about the pinnacle of a terrible situation for an introvert. All eyes on me as I hold things up.

“Passenger Branli to gate N401 please. Passenger Branli to gate N401,” an announcement booms overhead.

“Passenger Branli,” another voice overhead, “please report to gate S201. Branli to gate S201.”

I look at my ticket, I’m set for gate D411. That’s where I’m at. That’s where I thought I was going.

This is sort of how things have felt the past few days. As I get loaned from one location to another, I’m having a hard time deciding where I want to be.

“Where do you want to go? Where do you want to be?” is a question I get often.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure.”

And not knowing isn’t entirely a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy with whatever offer comes my way. Uncertainty isn’t rejection. Certainly not rejection. I’m very grateful for the offer–very grateful for the opportunities.

Things changed recently and very quickly. Mid afternoon last week I got pulled aside from my boss’s boss and I was told I was being re-assigned. I was happy about the news, happy to be trying something new. However, I could see the sadness, see the worry in my boss’s boss’s eyes as I agreed to the new assignment. It meant I was moving away from her organization, far beyond prior assignments.

“I want you to always make the best decision for you and your career,” she made clear.

“It’s just a loan, right?” I asked her.

“I’m not so sure anymore.”

Later that night, as things set in, I paced around in the kitchen, smiling, laughing, and soaking up the prospects.

“I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful,” I kept repeating to myself.

I’m apprehensive and nervous about the new position. Though I have to remind myself that I was nervous about my current position when I took it almost a year ago. Now, granted, this position I’m offered is temporary, with possible offer. It’s not unlike the other offers I’ve had and it’s why it’s so hard to make up my mind on where I see myself in the future. And yes, I’ve heard all the comments; “oh, poor boy with all the offers and possibilities. You could have no offers or possibilities.”

Gawd, I hate those comments. It doesn’t nothing to quell the apprehension, the nerves, the real fear that I could be making the wrong career move. What if the position I accept ends up getting terminated? What if it moves to another state and I can go with it? What if I’m not any good at it? What then? Where would I go?

I’ve been in a relatively safe position for the past ten years, and things are getting more serious as I take on new roles.

I’ve put in a lot of time and effort at work. I feel I’ve more than done my time–especially with moving to Texas for four months. That was harder than I thought. It certainly cost me personally. This isn’t to say I deserve anything, but rather to question how much more of myself am I going to put on the line now that things are more serious?

I barely have enough time for me these days. And I miss that time. I miss my free time, I miss my friends, and I miss writing.

I see my superiors and colleagues sacrifice so much of themselves for work. I see their health suffer. I see their personalities change. Work is all they breathe. Yet, that’s dedication. That’s what making a career out of a job is about. And that… that’s why I struggle so much with making a decision.

For now, I take on my new roles proudly and appreciatively. I fully intend to do my best and then some. And, as “gates” call me to report to another “terminal,” I shall answer each call as best I can. I just hope that in the end, I’m not left without a terminal to report to.

Possibilities

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