17 September 2012

A Trip to Dayna's House

Every so often - perhaps every other year - a friend of mine asks me to be a guest blogger on their site. I find the offer to be wonderfully exciting. I mean you guys choose to come here. You choose to read me, mostly because you know me. I'm constantly amazed that you care to read what I think. Guest blogging takes that a step further. To be asked to be a guest is to be invited into someone's house. It means someone trusts me enough to yield a blog post to me. They expect I'll have something interesting to say. They trust I won't disappoint their readers. That's huge. And I take the responsibility seriously. First came a post for Brian Allen, then came Find Me Frugal(er). Now comes Hold The Phone, my friend Dayna's blog. I tried to write about myself. But you'll see that didn't happen. 

When Dayna asked me to be a guest blogger, it took me a whole night to decide on a topic. I woke up the next day with a clear subject matter in mind. I decided to write about myself. Honestly, it's a fascinating topic, about which I am the foremost expert on the planet. I was going to write about being selfish, versus being self indulgent. I've been feigning selfishness lately, while being self indulgent. I mean to say instead of doing what's best for me (selfish) I've been doing only what I want to do (indulgent). I'm not proud of myself, or of my new habits. I planned to regale you with examples to clarify my intent, and to show you where I failed.

This post is not that.

Instead, this post will tell you a tale, possibly showing you more about me than declarative sentences ever could.

06 September 2012

The View From The Other Side

It's been nigh two months since the deal went down. I'm six weeks out of news. I've missed a few mass shootings, at least one hurricane and two political conventions. I mean to say those events have happened, not that I've lamented not having them on my radar. It's oddly liberating to only hear the news you want to hear. If you've never worked in news, you don't know what it's like. There's a point where child molestation is just a thing. The details may give you pause, but only briefly. Scams happen, and you find yourself blaming the victims. People - real human beings - are shot and killed, and you question their motives, the capability of their parents. You don't believe in honest politicians, bankers, wait staff or cashiers. Working in news weighs on your soul. That goes for both the stories you tell and the ones you don't. Now I simply don't have to know. It feels good to have a choice. I choose science. I choose business. I choose all sorts of things that don't embitter me toward society. Let's agree this new life is already a win-win. 

The positives don't stop with a more saccharine outlook either. Oh no sir  (madam), the change in careers has somehow freshened my outlook. Everything is an adventure now, and I apparently enjoy adventuring. My alarms go off early - like catch the school bus early. I battle my neighbors for the hottest of the hot water. At 6:35 I get it. At 6:50 I don't. I've recently started making my own coffee and even my own breakfast. That's a lot more difficult than it sounds. First of all, there's coffee at work. There is also breakfast. I don't need to feed myself. But it is the smarter / cheaper / healthier option. Still, when I'm trying to jog for the bus and my coffee is sloshing and I don't know if I have a napkin in my purse, it does not seem that way. And yet I do it merrily.

Shall we talk buses? There are two routes that get me near enough to work to walk. One is full of Super Yuppies - Michael Kors totes and Tory Birch wedges. Every bus is extremely full and sometimes the drivers don't even bother to stop. The other route is (what I call) Yuppie Light. Its buses run less frequently, so I get the same driver when I'm on time. She'll even wait for me to walk/jog with my coffee. I nearly always get a seat and the people are what I consider to be regular. Our gadgets & accessories are comparable. We exchange pleasantries. One day a lady told me I had toothpaste on my face. That was nice of her. I mean I can't make coffee and look into a mirror people. 

So I work. At noon, I'm hungry. I try to fight it. I don't want to be a cliche. But something about noon just makes my tummy growl. I fight the masses for food. I work more. I get back on the bus and I go home. It's crowded. I'm part of the pack. I enjoy it. I really do. I see things along the way that make me smile. I feel good. It might come from years of being on the outside. I spent more than a decade waking up when people were going to bed or punching in as they were about to punch out. I'm just now getting a taste of what's supposed to symbolize success. It's a novelty so far and I can see how it could get old in the future. I'm okay with that. I'm living for the now. 

Of course there are challenges. I'm now that person available when my friends have to work. I can take my work home with me. I never know if I'm doing enough. I'm not sure when to stop. The only person who doubts what I can do is me. I don't know the proper level of frustration for obstacles. I'm in foreign territory, making up the rules as I go along. I've already made some mistakes. I'm still smiling though. It's exciting. It's an adventure. And I like adventuring.