Realizing your own mortality is a life-changing event. For a long time you may burble happily along, vaguely aware that there’s a finite end someplace then–WHAM–you collide with the reality of the thing.

How you respond to it depends on where you are with your life. I didn’t respond gracefully; I think I did a good ostrich impression for a while before I came to grips with it.

My initial response was to deny it and cling to safety, desperately squeezing the air out of a punctured life raft. That kept me afloat for a few years. But as the leaks got bigger and the water lapped closer, I started a wild scurry to patch the holes with whatever nail varnish and chewing gum I had handy.

Nope. Graceful it wasn’t.

I finally decided to abandon the raft and admit I needed to learn to swim. Not too graceful at that, either–but, I’d rather be doing it now than five or ten years on. I’m treading water, profoundly happy that I can do this at least, and finding that the ocean isn’t such a bad place after all. From the raft, it was just a big, black unknown. From the water itself, I can duck under and see a bit more and I’m not confined to a postage stamp.

All in all, I think I made the right choice.

I’d really like to say I know which direction I’m going. I can’t. I’ve started studying indexing again and remember why I wanted to go into it. I started indexing a live site just to see what it was like; it’s far more challenging than I had imagined and more satisfying. I realize that my core skill-set is probably what I need to leverage; at the same time, I’m reinventing myself very differently.

Being freed from the constraint of 8-5, M-F work has reminded me how many things in my life I accepted at face value. I’m not a “face-value” kind of person. I started reviewing my weaknesses and strengths quadrants and I’m pleased with what I’m seeing, though I have to admit I’m saddened that it took so long to believe in myself. You can’t force a chrysalis to open. It just has to happen when it does.

It’s a pleasure to realize that the best person to work for is myself and, really, I am the most appreciative audience and employer I can ever have. It’s easier to be self-satisfied without the overhead of conforming to someone else’s expectations.

2 Responses to “Embracing transience”

  1. Emerson says:

    didn’t even get a chance to say so long

  2. rivercrow says:

    Nothing personal. :) You know where to find me.

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