Runaway Future

3.12.2010

and now for a bit of perspective

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:17

To counter-balance the feelings I expressed in my previous post, here’s my shake at perspective.

As I prefaced in my previous post, I often hide actual things that are going on in my personal life under layers of obscurity, but it’s not just for the sake of trying to remain anonymous or hide my feelings, avoid repercussions or whatever. Some of it is simply that a lot of the time, I feel I come off as self-centred and frankly, whiny. My last post would be no exception, which is why immediately after publishing it, I began typing this one.

Today, by some freak accident, a woman got pinned between an SUV and a storefront on Spring Garden Road. Here’s the Herald article about it. Currently, the woman is in hospital in serious condition with potentially life-threatening injuries. The accident happened across the street from my office. One of my co-workers was one of the first responders on the scene.

My mind kinda runs back to a few years ago, when a woman was struck and killed by a dump truck downtown, prompting me to write this post. Again, going back to the self-centred part, I took that dump truck thing as too much ‘that maybe could of been me’, but I also took some stabs at the larger, more important part of it.

No one promised you tomorrow. You get up, you go to work, it’s supposed to be just a normal day and yet there is so much that is completely out of your control that could potentially change everything. Could take your day-to-day grind and completely flip it. Acknowledging that is also acknowledging our own fragility, but it can’t go too far the other way, because life still needs to be lived. You can’t spend your time in fear that maybe today will be your last. But perhaps we do need that reminder from time to time. Unfortunately it so often comes at a heavy cost.

Things like that really hammer home what’s important and what’s not.

In which failure is a foreign substance to the body

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 22:49

Apparently there were some server troubles with this website this week, which led me to have a bit of a surprising conversation with a friend after she informed me the site was down. As I talked about how knowing my audience would make me self-conscious, I threw out a comment about how I was often intentionally vague about things that were actually going on in my life. Which is true. This is hardly a private space, but I don’t really acknowledge it to my friends or family and yet I still keep myself pretty shielded, covering most true stories in layers of fog to disguise their meaning, to hide identity and perhaps even make me sound better than I often am. It wasn’t said, but after I did throw out that comment, I felt challenged to change course, if only for a little bit. So here goes.

I had a job interview last Friday. On Monday, I found out I did not get the job. The job itself is irrelevant, except that I really wanted it. The mere fact that I’m about to devote more than a few words to my feelings only solidifies how much I wanted this job.

Prior to last week, I only ever had one ‘real’ job interview, which landed me my current position. Back home, in a small town, employers know you before you even drop off a resume and the interview portion usually consists of “So, you still want the job?” That’s not folksy-talk, I actually got three jobs that way.

But yeah, it’s a learning experience, it’s something under my belt, yadda yadda yadda. None of that really helps me right now because I can’t shake this feeling that I blew it. I had the chance, I had the interview and I didn’t make the cut.

Leading up to the interview, I was anxious, but not for the meeting. I was caught already thinking too far ahead. I was over-confident to the extreme of cockiness, in my own mind, that I would be able to talk my way into this job, that it would just happen, that I was destined in a way for this job. I had convinced myself that this was what I was working towards all along. I was anxious just to get this part of the process over with and move on to the next step that would eventually lead to this career. And make no mistake, it was a career. I was already imagining how I would leave my current job, what needed to get done before I went, taking the ferry to work each day for my new position, maybe eventually buying a car or moving to a new apartment. It was all going to come. I know that sounds ridiculous.

I’ve always assumed that if I put my mind to it and wanted something enough, it would just happen. I never contemplated failure and so maybe I approached the whole thing too casually, took the opportunity presented to me for granted in a way. Being turned down caught me by complete surprise. I was unprepared for it.

Like I said, I feel like I blew it, like I fumbled. I’m furtively searching for a reason and coming up empty. The questions continue to stream through: How do I rebound from this? Where did I go wrong? Where do I go from here, after letting my ideal job slip through my fingers? Will I get another chance?

I won’t get any second tries on this one. I can only hope that someday, I might get another shot at this job, or perhaps whatever the next job that I convince myself I am destined to fill is. But for now, I’m rudderless and adrift.

Stumbling across the Internet, I came across this blog post and I specifically want to highlight this section:

Opportunities are not unlimited. There are only so many scenic routes we can take. Only so many sunsets. Only so many chances at love or business. Only so many possibilities to send our lives in new directions. Only so many places to explore. Only so many ways to see someone else light up when you help them learn or do something they didn’t think they could do. Only so many live concerts. Only so many moments to talk to your significant other or kids without keeping one eye on the television. Only so many dog walks. Only so many new things to learn, and fewer to master.

Only so many chances to make a difference.

You only get so many attempts and I struck out at my first at-bat. I can only hope that next time I’ll be better.

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