It has been almost one full year since I left the structured-by-semester schedule of higher education behind, although my estimate would have been quite uncertain if I hadn’t just checked my calendar. The days blur – the ones into the many – out of repetition, monotony, and a lack of notable milestones. I have been accomplishing tasks day-to-day, and I may have accomplished some set goals. But looking to the future, I fail to see a point of demarcation signally the end of this time period, and the start of another.
I am working now. I may work for the next forty years more or less, and they may look very similar to this last year, if I choose not to stray from my current path. I am working now. It seems endless. It is endless. Not the individual days, but the days in aggregate. I am working now. It is what I have to do. I enjoy it at times, but it is what I have to do more than what I want to do, and it is what I will continue to do, for as far as I can see.
I chose my own adventure, and I chose to sit at a desk for many hours every week in order to earn a salary. I chose my own adventure as a high school senior, who believed there was one direct highway to success and it was paved with hard work and degrees. I chose the future I wanted. I wanted success. I defined success based on what I was told success is. I chose a future I wanted, and I wanted to be successful in a field, and I wanted the benefits associated with being a success in a field.
What are the benefits? Health, vision, denial. What are the benefits? A few weeks of pained vacation. The weekends to acquire. A plan for retirement. A plan for retirement. A plan for when I have worked for long enough that I have saved enough currency to rot for the rest of my days in comfort. Comfort. The benefit of work: comfort. The goal of life: comfort. The definition of success: comfort. The opposite of desire: comfort.
I chose my own adventure, and I chose to be comfortable, not for one day, but for many. I chose my own adventure, and I chose to be successful in a field: I chose a life of boring comfort. As many have done before me and as many are working tirelessly to do while I am still here. Still here. Still here. Still working. Working. Always working. Type, type, typing at a desk. Exhausted from being so motionless.
I chose my own adventurelessness. I chose to be a monotonous miniature success. I made my very own bed and now I’m lying restless tossing turning in it. Screaming silenced into pillows. Fighting swinging punching: mattress-cushioned softened blows. Waking dreams for living nightmares: searching for a sensible end. An end. An end. A place where the next part starts. A point of demarcation signaling a change. A chapter heading: A Once Stagnant Life Turned Oh So Strange.
I won’t get there sitting here, but here is a run-on sentence: lasting so long it stops making sense. But today I chose comfort, and tomorrow (place your bets): I probably will too.