Final New Years Post: The Personal One (Non-RPG)

Not really intending this one to get syndicated; but I felt obligated to send it off anyways since a lot of it does involve peeps from around the RPGBN.

Disclaimer: Yeah, this is kind of a ranting personal post. If you want something game related, read anything else on this site. But, I feel obligated to share this.

This past year has been a roller coaster ride. It started on a downer, but has managed to ride itself up with a dash of humble pie.

The Whiny Part:

The downer being my job. I worked for over a couple years for a local company that has many businesses under its umbrella, ranging from everything from the medical industry to real estate and even a restaurant. I originally took the job to do basic office work; but wound up being moved up to the head office to become a weird pseudo-tech guy. I’m not sure how to describe my position there; I worked on everything from web sites to printer repair (sign printers at that; worth more than my entire salary working there) to network setup, t-shirt embroidery and printing, sign making, computer repairs, web marketing — I’m sure I’m leaving details out. The problem was I was moved up there because I was apparently a computer geek….but I didn’t have a clue about a lot of the stuff asked of me. I thought it was a sweet gig, because I figured I could figure stuff out on my own and I was given space to learn. Problem is, after a couple years I hit a point where I realized where my limitations of skills and self-training ended and where their expectations kept going.

Add to this I never had a raise with the company. It was one of the better paying jobs I’ve ever had; but after a couple years of this stuff the minimum wage had caught up to my pay, and I was flat out told no raises were in the company’s future. Very upsetting, especially since at the time I was barely capable of supporting me and my future wife as is. We were destroying our health living off Ramen and other cheap-ass nasty foods. It got to a point eating fast food was a luxury. We didn’t appear that bad off because we still had our computers upgraded, and we afforded high speed net. Sad truth was: That was our life-line, to give up the gadgets would put us behind our work.

The Humbling Part:

I finally left the company just out of sheer stress and the fact I couldn’t concentrate and the growing piles of demands for me. I’m not saying it was right or wrong; I just had to bail. It was a tough decision because that was putting myself into unemployment line by my own hands, during one of the worst job markets and economy our nation has ever faced. I was stressing myself out more with unemployment; I began to panic and worry more and was even trying to get my job back to no avail. And then, I got lucky. I had received a chunk of inheritance from my Grandmother, originally intended for my mom whom passed away back in 05. As I write this, I’m getting misty eyed because it’s still humbling to me. I will admit, I did go spend crazy here and there, but I’m ever so thankful for it and I don’t take for granted who gave it to me and the time it has come to me.

I have used that money to get my life back on track. I got out from my old 3-room (not 3 bedroom, literal 3 room) Duplex into a 2-Bedroom house. I was able to retire my ’93 station wagon finally for a newer vehicle, one that should last for a good long while and has decent mileage along with being big enough for a guy like me (I stand over six-foot and three inches.) New clothes, good food (okay maybe too much good food; but it beats ramen) AND I’m able to support my fiancee with good things while she finishes her degree. Most importantly, I get to go back to school. It’s been five years since I set foot in a class, and when I did go I “didn’t go” if you know what I mean. I spent too much time in college chasing tail and getting snookered than actually attending class.

Or did I? This whole time I thought I had dropped the ball completely. I knew I bombed a couple courses by not showing up, figured I was back on academic suspension and I wasn’t welcomed back for years. Five years later, I got my transcript from the University to send it a Jr. College, and found out the classes I did pass maintained a high enough GPA and that I was on good standing this whole time. This, my fair readers, was a five year lesson in humility for me. One that I have no regrets on; in that time I fell, and fought to bring myself back up. I had met the woman I know I’m going to grow old with,  worked plenty of odd jobs and had one longer-term job that really tested my skills and made me aware of what I’m capable of, and what I need training in.

The New Year, The New Decade, The New Plan:

It’s time for me to follow things through, to proceed ahead and get my academic career under wraps so I can finally fly straight and have a real career.
One obstacle in my way, though, is my self. I’ve come to face my demons. I worry too much, I anticipate too much, I dwell too much. Truth is, I have a bad case of anxiety. I don’t know if it’s bad enough to warrant anything; I’m not really a fan of doctors and pills. But I’m going to stick it out with my blood pressure meds, which, I’m taking one right now. I’ll be honest, I’ve neglected my pills during most of this year. I didn’t realize it until I ordered a refill on my medication…which should have been done in July had I taken my medicine properly.

Chatty DM had a great blog post, talking about the importance of “The Tribe.” He had his own demons to face down in 2009, and the blog post he wrote about it hit close to home.  I’m going to try to get my blood pressure under wraps; and if my behavior in terms of both anxiety and staying focused doesn’t change, I will seek help. And when my family and friends harp on me to stay on track, whether it’s with goals or taking my meds, I will listen.

Speaking of health, I have other things I need to do, not for only myself but everyone I hold dear. I need glasses; been near sighted since High School. It’s getting worst, I need to just suck it up. I need to get a check up with the doctor, and I want to get blood work done to make sure I don’t have anything like Diabetes, which is in my family. It seems like I have a check list for 2010 building, and it’s so much to stay dedicated to. This is where another blogger gave me inspiration, Yax’s article about the Resolution Machine Gun I think is a sensible, realisitc way for me to stay on track. No major resolutions, except the resolution to keep making smaller-termed resolutions and seeing them through.

So, there’s the final ending to 09: The Beginning of 2010, and trying to keep my head on straight. To quote one of my favorite VNV Nation song:
“It didn’t matter how hard I tried, It took so long to claim that I knew how, or what it meant to let go of this, to ever say goodbye.
Call it destiny, call it fate; Chose my direction, running forward.
Each life to learn anew, whatever may come”

Roll initiative.

3 thoughts on “Final New Years Post: The Personal One (Non-RPG)”

  1. There’s an old Japanese proverb I learned while reading a French book on depression that says “Life: Fall seven times, get back up eight”.

    There’s precious little things short of mortality (and related illness) that can’t be turned around in life. The importance is that you have a plan made of goals you truly believe in (no bullshiting allowed!) and follow it.

    Anxiety is a bitch… I’ve been so anxious last year that I was unable to concentrate and work. I finally caved in for pills and I’m happy I did… My mind cleared up and I fixed the elements of my life that caused me this anxiety in the first place. I stopped the pills with my doctor’s blessing

    You take medecines for cold and infections? Anti-anxiety drugs may help if your ‘mind infection’ does not leave.

    Do try meditation and other stress relieving exercises first though.

  2. Well said. I could’ve written this post, THAT’S how close my situation is to yours 🙂

    I won’t patronize you, I’ll just say that all the failures disappear in the light of one success. Keep your chin up and KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

    Best of luck with…well…everything 🙂

  3. Solid, going back to school is always a good idea. I’m hoping to get back to it this upcoming fall myself. Oddly enough like donny the dm I’ve had similar life experiences to what you’ve described.

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