The Crash Course

in #life9 months ago (edited)

Maybe I'll just start living more.

That was my first thought today when I woke up.

Normally, by now, this far into the year, I'd be busy with work.

Due to budget cuts along with plenty of uncertainty in this world, and like many others on this planet, I've yet to receive that late evening text: "What time will you be in tomorrow?"

NoNamesLeftToUse  I'm Missing Something.png

I Quit.

Roughly seven years ago I made a tough decision that was so incredibly easy to accomplish, I can't believe I didn't do it sooner.

I had spent years working my way up the corporate ladder.  What started out as grunt work in my late teens turned into the career I didn't know I wouldn't want.

By the time I decided I was bored and unhappy, I was both directly and indirectly in charge of hundreds of people.  Probably two months away from turning that into thousands of people, since the next step was in the works and 90% guaranteed according to some of the most reliable people I ever got a chance to meet.

Listening and talking.

With every step up, I'd find myself doing less work and more sitting on my ass, talking on the phone, writing emails, sitting in meetings, dealing with problems, coming up with solutions, then making everyone else do the actual work.

One tiny oversight or a new curve ball meant more sitting on my ass, talking on the phone, writing emails, sitting in meetings, dealing with problems, coming up with solutions.

The pay was great, but that's all I did, and I knew it would be far more of the same damn thing, for the rest of my life, if I kept going.

With every step up, I always became the one who was in charge of me at the time.

Many of those people did not have direct experience with what they were in charge of.  Every time they'd move on, I'd take their job, fix all the problems they ignored or couldn't figure out, then coast along, waiting for the next opportunity.

I knew I'd be bored, for the rest of my life, if I kept going.

My entire existence was on autopilot.

Work.  Music.  Drink.

That's all I did.

Wake up.  Go to work.  Go home.  Turn on the tunes.  Crack open a beer.

I would be at work, sitting on my ass, waiting impatiently, wanting to go home so I could sit on my ass some more, with a beer.

People thought I traveled and went on a lot of vacations because it would be mid-January and I still had a tan from sitting in the sun, listening to music, and drinking beer until my buzz was enough to convince me my life was actually worth living.

Needless to say, my beer budget was steadily increasing over time.  You'd FOMO if I put that line on a chart.

I remember a coworker/friend sensing there was something wrong with me.  We got to talking and she recommended a book.  I don't want to say which book but she even gave me her copy.

No.  It wasn't the bible.

Basically some self-help advice disguised as fiction.  Instead of this reading material tricking me into accepting a shitty life simply by following a few easy to use thought processes plus maybe quit drinking, I saw through this madness then quit my job about a week after giving her the book back and saying, "Thank you."

One could jump to many conclusions now.  Was I only making things worse because I couldn't go a day without many drinks?

The career didn't trigger the alcohol.

What started that was arriving home one day, to silence.  Walking to my daughter's bedroom, opening the door, and seeing everything gone.  All that was left was a pile of trash in the middle of the floor.

That was probably six years before deciding to end my professional life.

A sight that still haunts me to this day.

Everything I worked for and my only reason to wake up feeling good, was gone.

It was my fault as well.  I was the one who ended the relationship.  The trust was gone.  The problems only got worse after being told they'd be better, constantly.  Beyond repair.  To the point where I couldn't stand the mother of my kids, and she was only pretending to love me.

Lived in that quiet house for a couple months, alone.  A few beer and some music was all I had to numb the pain and drown out the silence.

I knew there would be consequences to ending that relationship but I had no idea how embarrassed I'd feel after losing nearly everything my peers admired about me.

There I was in my early twenties.  Already with a family.  Nice house in a nice neighborhood.  Mowing my lawn.  Kids are over there playing.  Beautiful woman keeping me in line.

One sentence was all it took to lose all that.  An ounce of truth was all it took to pull the mask of perfection off of a lifetime worth of lies and heartbreak.

She had a bad habit of being unfaithful.  A guy can only take so much.

Work was all I had left so that's all I focused on, for many years, until I decided I wanted to break up with that, too.

I knew I had a lot of money saved up and some mature investments, but I forgot about the part where once you give up, you lose everything.

If I were to fill in the gaps plus write about even more times I've given up on things simply because I'm unhappy for extended periods of time, I'd have an entire novel worth of a life nearly wasted.

Had the day off again today.

Probably the nicest day of the year so far.

Decided to go for a ride.

Dirt biking has been a huge part of my life since the age of eight.  No matter how hard I crash or how far I have to walk because I ran out of gas; it's something I'll never quit.

Found a new path today.  I think animals made it.  Slow going.  Branches and downed trees every few meters.  For the first real ride of the year, it was hell.  All I wanted was a nice stretch of open area so I could go fast and cool down.

No dice.

For over an hour; hard work, sweat, bumps, scrapes, scratches, and bruises.  The whole time I wanted to turn around but instead, kept going.

The trail led nowhere.  Ended next to a pond I wouldn't have known about had I not cut the engine, steadied the bike, and went for a walk.

I spent two hours trying to make friends with a beaver who didn't want to be friends because I don't know how to socialize with beavers properly.  Throwing rocks near them so they smack their tails on the water and make a big splash is cool to look at, but typically frowned upon in their society.

Eventually it decided to just stay in the house so I thought I should get out of there in case there's more and they're planning some kind of a plot to get revenge.  An army of vindictive beavers is the last thing I need right now.

So I hopped back on that bike to do the same thing but in reverse, all the way back to a series of gravel roads leading home.

The entire time dealing with the chaos wondering, why am I even doing this?

Then I remembered.

I had purchased this motorcycle used, with some of the savings I had stashed away after hitting the magic life reset button.

Even though I'll still have a drink from time to time, I bought this bike to celebrate the fact I had shaken a severe addiction, went through all the nasty withdrawal symptoms, and had five months clean under my belt.

Every time I fire up that engine I'm reminded of how much pain I've felt and how I can live through anything.

The world was preparing me.

So today when I crashed at moderate speed for no good reason at all, on that perfectly fine stretch of road even an amateur could conquer...

I did not feel a thing.

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"Today's art was something I made long ago."
"It's called: I'm Missing Something."

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Having had quite an "eventful" life sofar myself also, I feel you man.
Without getting into details I'm noticing even some simularities here and there.

For me it wasn't a book that made me change "things". It was a just a question a good friend asked me on a night loaded with booze and other "delicacies" that got me thinking the next day, after again one more great hangover.
'What would you do if, after a medical exame, the doctor told you you had 5 more years to live'? Not one day more, not one day less. Exactly 5 years, AND in good health!

In a "previous life" I had a rather succesful career in HRM, which at some point, I exchanged for a following 12 year life in France, working in construction; working with my hands. Which I still do and enjoy.
Became a dad already at young age, married because of that. One big mistake and lots of troubles. Got divorced, the judge giving me custody of my son, who was at that moment almost 3 years old.
There I was, a kid with a kid in fact, not even having lost my so called wild hairs yet. With some help of my mother who took care of him while I worked, I did my best to raise him as good as I could.

Anyway, lots of other "challenges" have crossed my path.
Would I do it all over again? Yes, having no regrets at all.
Would I have made other decisions in the past, with the knowledge and life-experience I have today. Probably!.
But that's not how life works.

Take care mate.

P.s.1 Like the artwork
P.s.2 Only a real prick can downvote a post like this.

I remember one friend early on asked, "Do you see yourself doing that when you're thirty?" I'm like, "No." He's like, "Why you doing it now then?"

That led to a brief wake up call but it didn't last.

I work with my hands now, getting dirty on a farm. Of course, that hasn't started yet for me.

I'd do it all over again. A lot things from the past involve just going with the flow. That's what I was given. I didn't write about good times here but that doesn't mean they didn't exist. A chance to fine tune a few historical events might improve things for today, but I'm sure I'd still have new challenges and eventually something to look back on.

So honest @nonameslefttouse, I can feel your pain.
Without any details, I can relate to your plight, my oldest son also carries the pain of losing his two daughters to a woman I don't think ever truly loved him. I miss my grand-daughters so much and pray I will be able to see them again before I die.
I try every day to just LIVE for today.
Thanks for sharing your journey.

Kids still remained in my life except for a time I had moved far away. Oldest just finished highschool last year. Youngest will be driving soon.

I doubt I'll be writing about these things much in the future. It's just that time of year again and the only thing on my mind.

I understand there's a specific proposal meant for you and three others and a vote is needed to get an airdrop. I'll swing by there later and do my best to hook you up.

Thanks for your support on that new proposal. Fingers crossed 🤞

After reading about your family/work situation it got me thinking...

Something interesting that I've learned over the years is the power of deeply letting go. Bad relationships, bad jobs, bad past decisions. I'm not saying that it is easy, but really, at the deepest level; letting go is the true path to enlightenment. Not just figuratively, but it is the actual path to awakening at the heart of many contemplative practices.

We grasp at things on such a subtle level that even consciously we're not necessarily even aware of them. Our moment to moment impossible desires are actually quite painful and leave us endlessly unsatisfied. Some find this statement frustrating because sure, it's easy to say, 'just let go of it!' but in reality, intellectual knowledge is not the same thing as insight/wisdom.

I've always thought that a great illustration is as follows. A small child sits in front of a fire and his mother says:

Don't Touch the fire! It will burn you.

That is what we all call passing on of knowledge, right? But the insight isn't there yet in the child's mind. There is no wisdom; only information. No fundamental understanding.

Now, let's say the kid sticks his hand in the fire anyway. He obviously gets a good burn and an immediate strong sensation of pain. He also gains something else incredibly useful.

This is right where wisdom is born.

I think on an intellectual level we think we know what's good for us, but more often than not; if we look deep down on an experiential level - there is a knowing that we're ignoring. I think you pointed at this in your post. You were unhappy on so many levels for a long time, but probably rationalized it away with conventional thoughts such as "Good paying job is happiness". "Wife and family are happiness even though there is a lot wrong here".

I guess a lot of what we call 'conventional wisdom' is less wisdom and more social engineering/cultural conditioning.

It was a comfort zone. Something I try to avoid these days before it gets out of hand or starts controlling me. We become robots when attempting to play a role and do it well. A lot of what's outside of that role gets neglected, or hidden.

I didn't leave those lives feeling broken. Often a new set of challenges is a breath a fresh air. The first few breaths are gasps though, much like being choked out, then eventually things settle.

I feel like I have a career reset every couple of years. Single track isn't for me either, we spend too much time working.

One book I read that inspired me was 'how to be idle.' One day I keep telling myself.

If I were you, I would have employed the beavers to help clear those fallen trees, instead of just playing with them.

No point in accepting a miserable life just because it's easy.

Beavers would have made good employees; but I was sick of being in charge.

Why can't they just be self starters?

whenever i drink, i drink too much, like last night. luckily it was a quality pinot noir so i feel alright.

today i'll enjoy the sun instead.

Yeah. The "today" in this story was actually yesterday. Bright and early. Sun is shining. I'll probably head out again today. Start living instead of dying.

Living is great. Everyone should definitely do more of it.

I'd be concerned about not feeling a thing after crashing the bike though, is your neck/spine okay? O_O

XD

Wasn't paying attention, one hand on the bars, hit a large stone. I slid in the grass. Wasn't a bad crash at all. Just a lame fall. Shit happens. Everything is fine. Thanks for asking!

Oh phew glad it was an easy fall, even pros have those ;D

Every year I take a few nasty spills. Many I'm surprised I've walked away from.

I still remember my first bad one when I was a kid. I was rushing to get out of the way, since my uncle was approaching in the tractor with a load of hay on the forks, meaning he can't see me. I popped the clutch, front tire lifted, I did my best impersonation of a unicyclist at high speed, straight into a fence. The fence didn't give out. I hit the ground, the bike fell on top of me.

The only thing hurt was the damn clutch lever. Broke right off.

only by dying can you truly appreciate living...
- meesterboom 2020

If one was paying attention, they might be able to tie a few things together from here and understand the strange ending here a little more.

I noticed you've been quiet. Hoping all is well.

Yes, I am quite happy at gathering strands together. I am good mate, quite chipper. I hope you are ok.

Closing in on being bored and unhappy for an extended period of time...

Pretend to be a cat. Apart from the contortion invoked in trying to lick your own arse the rest of it is pretty good. ;0)

That's my girl. Now get over here and sit in my lap. I love pussy.

:0D

Yer a feckin pussy.

Disclaimer: Not everything I say needs to be taken seriously. Respond at your own risk.

For over an hour; hard work, sweat, bumps, scrapes, scratches, and bruises. The whole time I wanted to turn around but instead, kept going.

A perfect synopsis of my life. Sometimes, pain is progress in disguise. Great Introspective post my friend... :)

And sometimes it's best to just rip the mask off but I'm certain I'll be punished for that as well.

Or, you could just keep the mask on, but we both know how that turns out:)

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Either way; someone's getting killed.

Now that's the spirit killer! Slash first, and ask questions later! Now go out there, and show them why there really are nonameslefttouse!!! lol! 🔪 🔪🔪

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I think everyone should have a disclaimer now.

Disclaimer: Not everything I say needs to be taken seriously. Respond at your own risk.

I did enjoy I'm missing something, I was wondering why three or four or more faces did not jump out at me right off the bat as I was used to.

I never set out to quit drinking, like a lot of people I did drink a bit in younger years. I still enjoy a beer every now and then for just drinking, but now it is actually mostly medicine for me. When it became medicine in-take of it went way down hill which was good.

I still like to have a Corona even though everyone is afraid of them now.

I wonder if their beer sales have gone up or down, not curious enough to search, but just wondering. I'm sure one day I'll know.

The answer is both yes and no and, according to the internet.

Sometimes alcohol tends to create more problems at times than what it solve at times

Just what I think though

Goes nice with a sunny day.

Inspiring. Thanks

sorry man
i can't read everything, but i know you're right
i'm not sure i'm on the left
so it could be said that no~thing is sure...

I'm here to make my daily funny comment. Welp, My work is done here.

And there it was. Just like that.