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...


Blogger MrsNichols said...

No!!! I like Greenway Station and I don't want to be a yuppie!

9:34 AM  

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