On June 23rd, my last grandparent, Papa, entered the ground. He smoked most of the 92 years of his life. Cleaning out someone’s apartment after their death is so strange…everything left behind just becomes, stuff. It was a small service filled with awkward laughter: my parents, my two uncles and their partners, and me. There were a lot of adorable ducks at the graveyard. I said goodbye at the Cracker Barrel and headed home, still not comfortable eating inside.
I left Central Florida last November for northern Georgia. The rental is nice. I have a small room for a bed, a large over-the-garage room for work and personal space, and a basement treadmill. There are lots of deer in the neighborhood. We’re surrounded by wonderful parks and scenery, and I appreciate the access to it, if not the traffic. The weather has been so much better overall. I’ve gained 15 or so pounds, less from eating and more from having fewer excuses to be out.
I still work for the same place, and we’ve been fully remote since COVID. It’s bittersweet and mostly unchanged from my last update: very little meaningful work, declining morale, shrinking teams, and expectations that don’t match reality. Just enough work to keep me too guilt-tinged to do many other things, to keep me in this continuous frustration cycle. But I do occasionally get that accomplished feeling some days. The latest: I’m being reassigned to a new team, but neither the old or new team seems to have any idea what I should be doing. My days are probably numbered.
I’m struggling to find the desire to invest in my career. I don’t want more money and I don’t crave any specific role. Working from home is lonely, but working from the office was almost as lonely. Everyone seems to get by with as little as they can, never accomplishing much of anything. That accomplished feeling was my favorite part of work.
I don’t know where I want to be. Nowhere seems interesting or worth the trade-offs any more than the next. Which is to say, I’ll probably have equal chances being happy most places, and I’ll probably carry the same personal issues anywhere I go.
I don’t have many non-digital friendships that I foster. My relationships overall feel strained and diminished. I’ve always been my own worst obstacle to making friends. Most seem to already know what they want by this point, and I get it. I don’t drink. Parties are confusing. I don’t have a high tolerance of risk, travel, frustration or discomfort, and that’s been made worse by all the coping mechanisms I’ve layered on for the last few years. I feel very uninteresting lately.
I’m starting to have trouble believing in a better future. It’s hard to imagine a job, a location, or a home that’s worth the effort. I’m also aware that most would prefer my status quo, and that makes it tough to feel like any of my feelings of dissatisfaction have merit. Self-promotion, the kind that is necessary to be anyone or get anywhere, feels even more disgusting in this state. And with the way the world is moving, it feels like the effort needed will continue to increase.
I feel like I’m not trying hard enough. But the feedback I get is that I’m often trying too hard, being too hard on myself. I’m trying my best to fill my life with my own passions and I always try to promote friendship and assistance through them, but I worry they’re just distracting me from these bigger issues. Without these pursuits I wouldn’t care at all, and with them I have no time or desire to care beyond them. I feel a bit trapped.
Its exhausting to not be able to relate to what people like, want and pursue. I’m tired of “effort” and “accomplishment” being the only way I can fight for my own happiness. I’ve been told more than once since the pandemic started that I expect “too much”, and maybe I do, but that’s really depressing to consider.
Some days as I’ve been picking at this post, the sentiment sounds right. Other days I don’t even recognize this sour outlook. It’s a weird place to be when every other day feels like a different world. But! I remain stubbornly thankful for the bright spots in my life.
My streaming routine has enabled me to maintain a semblance of structure and purpose. It’s unlocked a way to put myself out there and has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people and reconnect with others. It’s sometimes a recipe for frustration, self-doubt and embarrassment, but overall I’m very grateful for what it’s meant to my life, especially now. Who knew this year we’d raise nearly $5000 for charity or I’d become a mod for Lawn Mowing Simulator? It’s been a trip.
When I can find something that catches my interest, I’m very thankful that I can still seem to work up a passionate response to it. Whether it’s a charity marathon, learning a new speedrun, working on a personal project, or even just writing, I’m really happy that I can still feel the blind faith in the reward of being crazy into whatever I’m doing. As gullible as it paints me, it comes in handy.
I’m thankful for the geese, the ducks, and the breeze on a short shady walk. I’m glad Starbucks makes the same wonderful cold brew every few blocks around town. I appreciate every time someone messages me to check on me or catch up, and I try to do the same as often as I can. We are so lucky every time someone chooses to spend their time making something cute, funny or uplifting.
Big changes are coming for me. Our lease is up early next year, my development team is being dissolved, and my parents are leaving Florida soon. I’ve put off some big decisions for years now. I need to make some. 🐾