But seriously

August 10, 2007

It just occurred to me that what I miss most about college—or school in general—is resolution: finishing one thing, and beginning another. Pass a course, great; you’re on to the next. Flunk it, it’s not even the end of the world; start over next semester. In moderation, at least, it’s no big deal.

This goddamn interminable sameness at work is, I’m pretty damn sure, what I really don’t like about it. I have coworkers who have been doing their job—my job—longer than I have been alive, and that’s terrifying and horrifying and unfathomable. Those people are obviously a hell of a lot better and faster and more efficient than I am, and they’ve been practicing for a hell of a long time, so more power to them. But if I’m going to spend a lifetime—a goddamn lifetime!—practicing a particular skill, I want it to be because it’s something I enjoy doing so much I want to do it for its own sake, not because getting better will let me go on ratrace-autopilot for 40 hours a week until I retire.

Or maybe I’m just making excuses.

Of course, the other nice thing about school is winter and summer breaks. Which are nice for their own sake, but also serve to reinforce the episodic nature of the experience—again, unlike the sameness of work.

Seven months ago I came down with pneumonia. It was a miserable ordeal, but I loved it. Why? It gave me a plausible, undeniable excuse to do absolutely nothing for a week. Not a care in the world, other than the sickening feeling of drowning in my own lungs, and wishing the bathroom were closer because walking 20 feet made me winded. On balance, though, I’m almost wistful for it, because it was a nice interlude. And that’s all I really want.


  • Aili says:

    See that’s exactly what I’m so fucking terrified of.

  • Greg says:

    Some people enjoy settling into a routine. For you, three staggered part-time jobs may be preferable to one full-time one. What I personally hate about full-time jobs is that one forgets the primary purpose of the fact that he has it–to make the money to survive. Instead, even if one has enough money for the time being, he must not stop, for fear of being fired and not being able to find work once he needs it.

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