Corporate Servitude In Review
Today is a special day. Special isn’t right. Special is for of birthdays and Christmas. Let’s try that again. Today is a day of note. Today represents one year of Corporate Servitude. One year since I reluctantly left the Pet Store and returned to my small, beige cubicle slice of ‘comfort’.
When I tried to come up with a picture representation of the past year, this is what I got. Somewhat bland, but visually appealing. A brick wall to be scaled. Hard to get through. Easier to get over, if you stay focused on the climbing. The metaphors could go on and on.
This last year hasn’t been without reflection. I’ve taken the time to note anniversaries and lessons learned. Important exercises in not loosing the forest through the trees as I navigate my way through this. Whatever ‘this’ is. I don’t want to just re-hash those same thoughts, but I also can’t help but acknowledge this day, today, one year as significant. Because it is.
If this is really the two year stint I’ve claimed, then we are half way through. That should make my heart sing to the bursting with 100% pure, unadulterated, the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music, capital J Joy. And it would, but is this really the two year stint I claim it is? There are still a bunch of unanswered questions and an anything but concrete plan. My current thought process goes a little something like this.
The Blog. Revisitng that ‘whatever this is’ statement, let’s question the existence of Dogs or Dollars for a moment. This blog, what is it? Is it merely an online journal documenting my day to day, as well as my larger transition from one life to another? Assuming of course that transition happens. Is it providing value to my readers in a way that could be (someday, someway) income producing? Largely, I think the money making blog is the pipe dream of our times. Like making it big on tech stocks or flipping houses from days of yore, everyone wants to sit at home and write as their day job. In reality, its like winning the lottery. You have to have some talent as a writer to begin with, then you have to work hard at it, persevering through all that unpaid time, and then maybe, just maybe, someday you will be discovered. Blogging as a viable career, not super likely to happen. So, what am I doing here? I’m dedicating a whole lot of time to something not necessarily a means to my end. Just questions folks. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.
My Corporate Reality. I hate it, and it’s pretty cushy. Maybe hate is a strong word. I hate it at times. I loathe it on the regular. About 80% of the time it affords my life a lot of elasticity to manage my Financial Empire, to make appointments (and even to go to them), to research garden projects, to tweak my blog, and the 1,000 other things I want to do. It affords me so much time in fact, that I have to consciously remember not to resent the demands my job does make on me. There are times when I have to work, often inconvenient times. It’s hard not to get pissy about those. It’s also hard to stay off etsy, away from pinterest, and not logged into Facebook. All that flexibility can quickly become a big fat time suck, if you let it. If my job isn’t demanding of me, I strive to spend my time on things that are furthering my game plan. (Enter: Low Tech Organizational Solutions).
Staying Focused. Eight hours a day at a desk, working here and there, like I said, cushy. How do you keep your fire fueled to get the foxtrot out of Corporate Servitude? I was complacent in this life once before, and I can see why. It’s squishy and has disposable income. What’s not to like?! That’s a keeper, right? False. I have to continually remind myself this is not the end game. More so, I have to do things like acting poor, or a little voluntary Wants Vs. Needs exercise to combat lifestyle inflation, a sense of entitlement, and Hey! I’ll buy that bauble off etsy I’ve been admiring day in and day out. Just cuz. That’s part of the reason for all my Corporate Servitude mumbo jumbo. I want to identify this as not my daily life (even when it is), as unpleasant, unwanted, and unnatural.
Leave of Absence. What if I leap without completely severing those chains of Servitude? A Corporate sanctioned excursion? From right around the time of two jobs, I’ve bemoaned my lack of time. I want time to think, to make my own schedule, to write, to see just how productive I am left to my own devices. Most Corporate Overlords offer some sort of short term leave of absence plan. From my research, it’s not clear whether my circumstances would apply. Why do I want to stay home for three months? Well, to get away from you! Yeah, I may have to sell that more effectively. But, this is my current plan. Less scary than cutting all ties, although I’d still be without income for months on end. That’s actually part of said plan. I’ve started a targeted savings account, just for this purpose, appropriately entitled Freedom. I’m putting away three months worth of dough, and hoping I can sweet talk my way into an abbreviated escape. I will do something at the end of these two years. It might not be an official break-up. More like a hall pass.
Business Ventures. A topic I’ve only recently been able to consider again. If you’ve read my lessons learned, there are some pretty big claims about not opening my own business, and not working 40 hours a week. What can I say? I was tired. It was the end of a very drawn out journey. I needed to process and decompress. A year of having mostly one job and eight months after writing that, I can look at things a little more objectively. A once and for all escape may very well mean starting my own business. Starting my own business will very possibly require working 40 hours (or more) a week. Hello Reality, Let me shake your hand. Conversations have begun. Ideas thrown around. I’ve actually looked at and contributed to potential business plans. This scares the holy living kibble out of me. Whatever the opposite of cushy is, painfully uncomfortable? That’s how I feel about going out on a limb to start my own business. Risk. Without a net. High potential for failure. I’m dabbling deeply behind (internal) enemy lines, and trying to see if I even want to play ball.
We’ve concluded, today is not special. I will not commemorate it with balloons or cake. I will buy myself no presents. Today is another day in a long list of days that will lead me away from here. Maybe it represents the half way point. Maybe not. Either way, I’m still moving forward.