[why yes, that was a Fight Club allusion. thank you for noticing…]
So…I’ve been thinking of something to write. Usually, blog posts pop into my head like random inappropriate thoughts and form into more elaborate inappropriate thoughts, err, I mean “blog posts,” as I drive or sit in class or pretend like I’m listening to somebody. Sometimes things come to me so suddenly they actually make me laugh out loud.
I admit way too much freaky shit on this blog.
But lately, I don’t have much. I explored the cracks of my mind in search of something interesting – and after finding nothing, over and over again, realized I am officially uninspired.
Does that ever happen to you? Yeah, it happens to me.
I’m just like not enthused. Not amused. Barely even interested.
This happens to me every February. Yes, I know, weird. But I have proof (which I won’t go into because it involves my past life of drinking and rehabs. Oh shit. I just said it.)…just trust me, I hit this insane existential LOW every February. Check out the post I wrote last February: “Dude. Sylvia Plath put her head in the oven over this shit.”
A few people have mentioned “seasonal depression.”
I don’t know about all that. I think I have seasonal “Fuck this noise. I’m bored. And by the way, what’s the meaning of life?”
A couple days ago as I was getting dressed in the gym locker room, I heard a couple of 60-year-old women (more or less) discussing retirement. Their conversation went something like this:
“So how’s retirement?”
“Oh, it’s great.”
“Yeah? I have 6 more years with the State before I can retire.”
“Yes, I worked for 27 years then bought myself out of three so I could retire.”
“My husband’s doing that. He’s pulling from his 401K to buy himself out so he can focus on his other job while our son’s in college and put his retirement money toward that.”
“Good thing to do…”
“yeah, but I just cannot stand my job anymore and it’s so hard to think about 6 more years. I’ll be 67.”
“But retirement is so important. You don’t want to lose that money!”
And they went on and on like this discussing 401ks and retirement and “roll-overs” and all kinds of shit I should understand but don’t…and how many more years they or their partners had to put in to be free from the jobs they’ve held for 20+ years.
And because it’s February, I felt my soul shrink into the weird plastic gym mat beneath my feet (you know? The ones with the holes in it?). Alright that was dramatic. The truth is that I felt weirder and weirder as I listened intently to them talking about “staying on” to put a son through college and blah blah blah. All I could think about was 30 years at the same job doing administrative work for the State of California and holding on through all that to “retire” comfortably. To be like old and comfortable or whatever. With well-funded children.
Screw that. I’d rather be comfortable now.
And also, let me just say right now, online, in public: Kids, if I can put you through college, big yay. If not, I am not going to get a second job or sell my organs on your behalf. Rather, you will take out student loans and get grants like every other self-respecting child of the working class. I did it. Your grandparents did it. Your great-grandparents did it.
I realize that last statement officially makes me the most horrible parent on the planet, but I don’t think all good life or intelligence hinges on going to college. And I don’t think it kills a person to take out some loans for their education, thereby making a personal commitment to the deal. There are many, many ways to develop a brain – college is by no means the only way. Some would argue it diminishes the brain.
What the hell am I talking about? I get side-tracked.
In all months. Not just February.
Oh right. Here’s the thing: I’d rather be poor pretty much forever doing something I love – and never having anything other than contentment to show for it – than slaving day in and day out so SOMEDAY I can enjoy my life.
I have a 401K. At my last job, I put into it each year like a good girl for 6+ years, more than the recommended amount, and it’s at a nice healthy number right now. So haven’t completely ignored the whole thing. I just don’t obsess over it or make life decisions centering around its growth. Sometimes I wonder if I should, but I’ve accepted that that sort of thing just ain’t in me. I will never be the person with a fat retirement.
[I will, however, most likely have a kick-ass collection of existential literature.]
The way these women sounded…it was like they were LIVING FOR THE END OF THEIR JOBS. Like life was going to start at retirement – when they’d finally be free. It was horrible.
Somebody should tell them they’re free now. And always were free.
(As long as they’re willing to be poor.)
It all makes me wonder what this is all about…life can’t possibly be 30 years at a job with one 2-week vacation a year, holiday bonuses, the occasional raise, and cubicles – then retirement. It can’t!
Dude I’ve written way too much. Sorry.
Guess I did have a few things to say.
The good news is that for me, this crap passes. It always does. And to be honest, I don’t think it’s all bad to feel gray and dull and bored sometimes. This world tells me I should be entertained and stimulated and motivated all the time – and if I’m not, there’s something wrong. I better go buy that new gadget to entertain me, or run out and get that pill to fix me, or drink to amuse me. Or eat to pleasure me. Or do whatever…something! to make it right.
How about just sitting with the wrong until it’s right again? How about pulling from the deepest recesses of my person to find meaning and strength, until it rises again to the surface?
I know that doesn’t work for everybody. I know anti-antidepressants saved my life at one point. But this? Ah, this is just the universe opening me up for the good that’s on its way.
Cause it’s coming. It always does.