Monday, August 31, 2015

Never More, Forever More

I recall thinking to myself years ago that I would not put off my next international trip any longer. Of course, life has a way to conspire against that, and from housing costs, to lack of friends, to excuse making, and here we are, almost 6 years after the original plans, and I have yet to have gone to Asia.

I recall thinking to myself years ago that I would not put up with one more Goddamn winter, of ice and snow and cold, slippery roads, shoveling, drafty windows, and pitch black morning and evenings saturated with weeks of endless cloud cover and biting wind. But as always, here I am, as summer winds to its close and I sit 3 months removed from snow and cold and trying in vain to use my light box constantly so that my mood doesn't plummet with the lack of sun and warmth like it always does. That I would move somewhere warm and sunny.

I recall thinking years ago how I would quit my job, one that has caused no shortage of panic attacks, breakdowns, self-hatred, and immense amounts of displeasure and distressing angst. The people, the work, the monotony, the angry co-workers, everything conspires to create a toxic environment. yet here I am, as I have been since January 2009. Because what other options are there for a college degree-less schmuck like me to make $12 an hour? None, I suppose, not least in a cheap Midwest city where any store or restaurant or movie theatre or what have you starts out at the $8.15 minimum wage.

I recall thinking that one day I'd be in a big city, so that every night I could walk around and explore my surroundings, and see something new every day, and meet new people, and try new restaurants. That the penultimate boredom of a small city and its bite-sized downtown and entertainment would no longer wear on me. That I could say I was in Miami, or LA, or New Orleans, or something where it's "cool" to be there, "cool" to live there, not just because it sounds cool but because the city is cool, and fresh, and exciting, and diverse.

Of course, all this is, I suppose, possible in a way. One can imagine a life in which I quit my job today, move far away, and start again. But of course, to do so requires not imagining responsibilities, or realties, of looking for new work that can cover the rent of a large city, even though such may not exist. Of selling a house, of being completely without contacts in a new place, of spending lots of money and time, of living with all new people, of having to pay hundreds of dollars to return home for holidays, of not being around to help out family.

I suppose we all have our "never mores." Things we vowed we'd move on from, never succumb to again. But I also suppose that too many these "never mores" are really "forever mores," destined to haunt us to our grave, until we sit on our deathbed and wonder how we steadfastly held on to the things that held us back so, so adamantly.

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