I recently had an anniversary at my job. I have been there a very long time, and I have been promoted as far as I want to go in my current department. Other departments don’t really interest me that much. I have built myself a niche, and upper management even created an offshoot of a standard position for me, and I know at least two people who want it (and would likely eat my soul with relish and brimstone to get it).

I fought for years to get that position created, and in a Fortune 500 company, that’s no small feat. It had to go from my supervisor, to my manager, to the director, to the junior and possibly senior vice president of our part of the company. They approved it and it was a huge accomplishment, based on my work ethic, accomplishments, and history there.

Shortly thereafter I published my first novel with a small gay publishing company, and several months later a short story for an anthology. It was bittersweet. There was this sense of accomplishment, but it wasn’t the stunning debut I wanted.

Then I realized I was being an ungrateful prima donna and tried to realign my expectations and ambitions. Still, there is a sense that I haven’t done enough for the amount of time I have been on this planet. How do you look at the years, at your relative lack of ambition, and come away without a sense of loss? How do you look away from the lost time and look at the positive?

My supervisor is great: generous, tough, pleasant, and has a great sense of humor (even if his jokes are so lame as to make one think he read them off a discarded Laffy Taffy wrapper). As a joke/well-meaning teasing, he sent an e-mail to my team, a new team he’s watching over, all the supervisors, and our two managers, telling them that I hit my billionth anniversary.

I got a flood of well meaning e-mails, visits, congratulations, and words of support. And it depressed me. Shouldn’t I be further in life? In my career? In my writing career? I have nobody to blame but myself. It’s not like I have been restrained by someone (and when I was, I overcame those obstacles). I was depressed for days. Thinking about it now, I’m still depressed.

In a country with high unemployment and people scrambling for jobs, I know that I’m fortunate. But it’s no longer enough. It’s all very practical, but I’m not happy. I haven’t been happy at that job (for all my accomplishments) for years. If I’m not happy there and my writing isn’t what I want it to be, then I have nobody to blame but myself, and only I can change that.

A rut is difficult to dig oneself out of, but I have two options: to stay discontented but secure in a state where the cost of living is out of control and only getting worse, or to heave myself up while I’m still young and start over somewhere else, to take a chance at being happy instead of just surviving.

I don’t know that there is really a decision here.

So, to make myself happier, I’m off to devour the Shark Week programs currently filling my DVR. *chum confetti*


~ by Darren Endymion on August 14, 2014.

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