Saturday, December 30, 2006

End of the year

It is somewhat hard to believe that another year has gone by. I suppose that this calls for a little introspection, so that's what this post will be about. For those that know me, it's likely obvious that I'm not what one would describe as adventurous. By this I mean I enjoy stability. I don't think of myself as someone that enjoys life-changing events. As such, I find that when I look back over the past year nothing much stands out. However, the winds of change seem to be in the air. Maybe it is more of a slight breeze, but it still weighs heavily on my mind.

Is this such a bad thing? That is, I suppose, the question that I find myself asking as I look forward to 2007. In all regards I lead a happy and successful life. I don't have many complaints. However, no situation is ideal. Given the stability of the life I find myself leading, my main fear for the future is that I won't change anything. There are many, many things that shouldn't be changed, now or in the future. I am very lucky in that I have a great circle of friends and family. This became especially clear to me after my sister moved to Florida this summer. When I place myself in her situation, I don't believe I could handle the sudden shift to being half a country away from everyone that I know. I have always lived in the same region. In fact, I have never lived over 30 miles from the exact place I was born. I actually spent a year in college living a block from the very hospital that welcomed me into the world. So I suppose this means that I don't intend on going anywhere but here. I don't have any desire to live anywhere else in the world but Madison, WI.

I also find my chosen profession to be one of the bedrocks of my life. I have friends that seem to bounce between jobs on almost a monthly basis. I find this to be completely foreign. I was hired on at my current job a month after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. I know that eventually I must move on. I just don't know when the time for this will come. Coming out of school I told myself that I would work for two years and then go back for my masters. Come February I will have my three-year anniversary at my job. I couldn't be happier, actually. I've managed to go from being completely ill-suited and vastly ignorant to what most would consider an expert. It helps, of course, that I work in a highly specialized and slightly obscure field. Still, it is a great feeling to know that you are highly regarded in your chosen field. Yes, it is hubris, but of the kind that I can readily live with.

Having established that I do not want a change of location or a change of vocation, the question becomes "What do you want?". To this question I can't seem to come up with an answer. I seem to be stricken with some form of existential self-doubt. And this is where it all gets tricky. I've always considered myself to be a fiercely independent, self-reliant person. So you may be able to understand why it is troubling to me when I find myself looking at my friends and acquaintances and other elements of our American culture, and I find myself looking fantasizing over the "good life" as advertised on CBS and in Parade Magazine. Who is this person? Not the salty punk rocker/iconoclast that I've tried to fashion myself to be. Case in point: last Saturday my sister returned from Florida for the holidays. We picked her up and proceeded to J&M's in Belleville for a burger and several beers. After going about three Fat Squirrels in, I had a conversation with my mother on how I liked the Greenway Station shopping center better than the West Towne Mall. My mother (rightly) described the recently-constructed Middleton shopping destination as a Yuppie oasis. To which I replied, "I'd rather be a Yuppie then. They have nicer shit." Good fucking god, that is what came out of my mouth! And the shock of recognition was definitely there - there were more than a few things that I saw at the Sharper Image that I coveted.

What does this hold in store for me? I can't rightly say. However, it is evident from this post that these revelations have somewhat shaken my self-image. It is my personal belief that you chose the type of person that you become. And I thought that I had already settled this interal debate years ago. Still, I can't seem to shake the feeling that something's not right. Life's funny that way, isn't it...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back in the swing of things

Been a while...

That would be an understatement, to be sure. I didn't give this thing nary a thought for around a third of a year. It appears that I've fallen so low as to be de-listed from Belle of Madison. The shame, the shame.

So, onto the excuse. I got to the point at work where it was so busy I wasn't staying late to put together a post. I was staying late just to get everything done that I was supposed to finish during the daylight hours. Logically the next question would be, how is it that you've decided to start up again, at this late stage of the year. Well my friends, the answer is...

I am the proud owner of a spiffy new black MacBook. I am giddy with joy. I am also stealing Internet access from a neighbor with WiFi.

Let the adventure begin. Or at least pick up where it left off.