Listening….

Merry….whatever day you want to call it. Instead of getting bent out of shape worrying about what the holiday is called or who is going to get pissed off because I didn’t name their specific holiday…just have a happy whatever you want to call it or not. One thing I have learned over the years, you will never be able to please everyone, so its easier to please yourself.

Its been a tough year for me. Serious illness and loss of employment will definitely do that to a person. But that is only part of the whole year. There has been fun. There is love. There is community. There is good and bad moments. After all, its Life. You never know exactly what is coming up around the next turn in the cart-path. And if the donkey is pulling the cart too fast, you can wreck the whole lot. Yeah. Donkey. Because I don’t really want Life to move much faster than that…at least for right now.

Most folks don’t really catch my sense of humor, so don’t feel too lost if you don’t. 🙂

For me, the end of the year…the end of the decade…finds me at a potential crossroads. Nearly a decade ago, I was in a similar place. I was unemployed, as I am now. Undecided on what I should do. Life, then, threw me a curveball…working in collegiate Education. Over the next nine-plus years, I learned more about a field that I knew so little about. I got into the classroom and enjoyed every moment that I was there. I was able to converse with other people, listen to their dreams, and find ways to motivate them even further on their own personal Paths. My students came from different walks of Life, different careers, different employment opportunities, but all had the same basic element to their education goals – striving to better themselves, so they could do jobs that fit more naturally in their lives.

Then, after three and a half years, I moved into the Administrative side of things. I had lofty thoughts of an environment where people worked together to achieve and environment that helped students succeed. What I found was a labyrinthine environment, rife with individuals holding decades-long grudges against parts of a system that no longer contained the individuals that had inspired such feelings, and others that were spiteful over the successful endeavors of others. For someone such as myself, driven by a desire to help other succeed and achieve, such an environment is always a sad thing to view; particularly when there were others that also wanted to find ways to improve aspects that were choked into submission, such as transparency and communication. Only to see these individuals run out of the system after pounding themselves endlessly against steel walls, their ideas falling onto deaf ears. That lack of communication led to lack of cooperation, and eventually to the series of events that followed with my own dismissal, the details of which are not important to this conversation.

Along this particular Path, I learned to traverse the broken ground that lay before me. I learned the concepts, the subject matter, and attempted to do the best I could – for the team. My efforts were also driven by how I could help to better my team. I wrote my code with notes strewn throughout to allow others to run the same code in the future with minimal effort. I didn’t encrypt concepts or methodology to insure some form of “job protection” – for me, that is unacceptable. Its not a part of team-work.

Yet, here I stand on the outside again. I now spend my time trying to find ways to re-invent myself, yet again. At fifty-four years of age, it is likely I have come to my last attempt to re-invent who and what I am. And to what ends? I don’t chase the almighty dollar. I have no desire to have massive amounts of money on-hand, just enough to survive in what I would consider to be “comfort”. But to what ends am I striving for? I don’t need to be the tops on my career field, whatever that might look like. I have no desire to be the “expert” in some subject matter. I’m not out to be the “top Druid” in any conversation…I’m not even sure I belong in any such conversation to start with.

Don’t mistake me here. I am talking about where I am going to aim myself into the future with whatever I need to do to make money to stay alive in today’s overly-capitalist society. My Spiritual beliefs, my life as a Druid, who I am as a Polytheist….none of that is in any question whatsoever. I have had thirty-three years to figure all of that out very well for myself. But perhaps, my time has started to come to figure out how I can weave all of that into the skills that I have accumulated in my lifetime. Perhaps that is the direction that I may need to contemplate going into my future. How? That is a good question, and one that I do not have a ready answer for….yet.

There are a few things that I do understand going forward. I am a team-oriented person. One person can be strong, several people together can be a force. Wherever and however I end up going into the future, it will be with the friends that I already have in my life. Without them…and without those who I will met in the future…there’s not a lot for me to be strong about. All of you are included in that…

This has been me just thinking out loud. If you are finding yourself at a familiar crossroads, I would suggest that you take a few moments in your night to stop, ask the question that you need to, and then be quiet and listen. That’s where I find myself most nights. Listening.

2 thoughts on “Listening….

  1. Wow, a donkey and cart that sounds flash. I’ll watch out for you on the path, I’ll be the one walking, carrying as little as possible.

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  2. Sorry to hear about your travails. You have my sympathies: I’m only a few years younger than you, and in a similar situation. For health reasons, I’m probably going to have to leave my job in the New Year and move home to a country that’s become strange to me. Still… it’s never too late for reinvention, not while we’re still breathing. I’ve got a few ideas, plus skills, qualifications, and experience that I hope will open up opportunities. I’m sure you do, too! (As a former coder/sysadmin, can I thank you for being one of the good guys who leaves comments! As a former academic… oh my, I hear you about the politics. Glad I’m out of that). As for being at a crossroads… my inclination would be to call on Elen of the Hosts, or perhaps Papa Legba… though another name may suggest itself to you.

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