Oh! Hai there!

So I must admit, there has been a gap of time since my last posting here.  OK, so maybe you can’t call it a gap; it’s more like a chasm or even closer to an abyss.  Part of it had to do with suffering from a bit of a creative drought, but mostly it was just life getting in the way.  I’ve undergone some huge changes in the last few months, almost all of them overwhelmingly positive.  Lately, however, I’ve realized that I missed having a creative outlet, and I’ve decided to recommit myself to spending at least a few hours a week collecting, condensing and distilling my creative juices…kind of like fine whisky.

So what’s changed?  Well, for one, I have gone from having a job that saps my energy and crushes my spirit to finding one I look forward to every day.  I’ve left Dow Jones and the inestimably evil Rupert Murdoch behind.  Thanks to a suggestion and referral from a friend, I’ve found a place for myself at LEGO Systems, Inc.  The difference between working for a monolithic Conservative mouthpiece and a toy company couldn’t be bigger.  Rather than dealing with the wealthy, angry and entitled on a daily basis, I’m tasked with bringing enjoyment and excitement into the lives of loyal LEGO fans.  Obviously, most of our end users are children, and to be told by happy parents or grandparents that I’ve made a child’s day is incredibly gratifying.  I’ve only been there a short time, but have already been rewarded for my hard work, enthusiasm and dedication to our customers by being given greater responsibility, as well as a continuous flow of positive feedback from my superiors and supervisors.  In 2 1/2 months on the job, I’ve been asked to provide prospective hires with “listen ins” to give them a taste of what they’ll be asked to do on a daily basis.  I’ve also been tasked with acclimating trainees to their first day on the call floor, which has been immensely satisfying.  Finally, starting in two weeks I will be placed on the Help line, providing support and knowledge to other advisors in the contact center.  It’s the first time I’ve ever really felt wanted and needed by an employer, rather than a nameless, faceless drone.  This is also the first time I’ve found myself looking ahead and planning a career instead of staring and the clock and begging and praying for it to move faster.  I feel energized by my job, and the overall effect that it’s had on my daily happiness and sense than I’m actually carving a niche for myself has been an undeniable boost in my feelings of self-worth and has had a tremendous influence in my ability to be optimistic about my direction in life.

I’ve also moved residences in the past month and a half.  After initially being overjoyed to have my own apartment again, I began to find it crushingly lonely.  After reaching a point where I could bear the solitude no longer, I broadcast a desire to find a roommate.  The response was almost immediate, and now I’m living in a cavernous new space in a sleepy rural community with a housemate who is both easy to live with and good company to boot.  Not only that, but I’m also saving several hundred dollars a month by sharing bills instead of being the sole payer.  As much as I enjoy my work, I enjoy coming home even more and hanging out with Mike, my housemate.  I’m also enjoying having more space and am eager to invite friends and hold gatherings in the new palace.

Lastly, I’m breaking out of several years of self-imposed social exile which was driven by a total collapse of confidence and the burgeoning belief that I was a broke, failure of a human being.  The more I’ve put myself out there and forced myself to be a social being again, the more the positive feedback has driven me even further out of my shell.  I have learned once again that I am likable, that people enjoy being around me and look forward to my company, conversational abilities and sense of humour.  This nascent social life has helped me chip away at the hard, irascible and angry facade that I had built up to insulate myself from the possibility of pain that sometimes comes along with social interaction.  I had stopped being myself and become more of a character or even caricature.  A loving, social, and empathetic person had become a cruel, snide and downright misanthropic hermit.  Hopefully, those days are behind me, replaced by warmth, laughter and optimism.

So here I am now, a being in the midst of metamorphosis.  The process is by no means complete, and I know I have much growing and evolving to do in the future.  But for the first time in years and years, I have stopped looking at life as a burden or an inevitably terminal disease.  I am filled with optimism, energy and possessing hope and plans for the future.  I feel alive, and it’s beautiful.

~ by schlippo on October 31, 2010.

2 Responses to “Oh! Hai there!”

  1. I’m sorry you went through such a hard time Mike. I’m glad that you found your way through it and that you are enjoying life again. You are a good person.

  2. Welcome back.

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