Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here's the deal :: I want my soul back

Photo by alex.tango.fuego...

I wrote this back in Jawwguh (Georgia) back in early September and didn't post it for some reason. I also found that some posts reverted back to "drafts" - unposted. Strange.

Anyway, here's the post...I'm not sure why I never posted it...

So I'm sort of in the process of figuring out what I want to do when I grow up. My move back to Austin is a re-birth of sorts for me. A new life. A clean slate. Tabula Rasa. More or less.

I'm talking to one company about a "regular" job, in a fantastic little town on the Blanco River outside of Austin. A town most people would die to live and work in. A Chief Estimator type of deal. They're expecting 50-55 hours a week with a salary that is 1/2 to 1/3 of where I should be for maximal intellectual, spiritual, and economic stimulation. I ran the numbers and this is just a tad more than a break even scenario for me. It would be a 15 year retrograde salary-wise and capability-wise. It would be drudgery. It would pay the rent and the bills y nada mas.

So here's the deal. It dawned on me tonight if I am going to live a break even life, that I must break even on my own terms. On MY OWN terms, not someone else's terms. There's something deeply ingrained in me that I can't seem to rid myself of. Something about myself that I have been aware of since the wise old age of sixteen. Something that I don't want to "rid" myself of.

It's freedom. I've tasted it. Pure, sweet, unadulterated freedom. I've lived it the past several years. This freedom cost me dearly. Getting to this point has left me but a shell of a man. But I am a free man now. It's a freedom that I have lived in past lives. Past lives of freedom that I feel in my bones, that I know in my heart of hearts.

It's a freedom so familiar and so comfortable and so sweet that I can't have - no - won't - have it any other way. I refuse. I refute. I rebuke. Locked down by the shackles of the corporate world. Constrained by the iron bars of the pursuit of the almighty motherfucking dollar. Excuse my French. Constrained, restrained, ingrained, and contained in a windowless, five foot by five foot cold, gray, dank, dark concrete cell called capitalism. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The American Dream. Fuck that noise.

I simply won't have any more of it. I simply cannot continue to lead a life that admittedly is my own perception of what society expects of me. Be a good boy. Go to college. Work hard. Get married. Have 2.3 kids. Mortgageyourasstothehiltforthehousewiththewhitepicketfence. Pay your bills on time. Use credit to the fullest extent possible. Don't make waves. Climb the corporate ladder. Go with the flow. Be responsible. Exceed expectations. On time. Within budget. Buy, consume, prosper.

I gave it thirty years and I paid for it with my soul. It was too steep of a price for me, too dear of a sacrifice.

I checked my mailbox a little while ago. The new "The Territory Ahead" catalog was in there amongst some junk mail. There's a new shirt that I like. It's called the "Rancho Poet Shirt". The first line of the description reads thusly: Pulled calves, fixed fence, finished sonnet - this shirt is for men who invent their days.

I like that - "men who invent their days...". I want to invent my days. On my own terms. I want to reclaim my soul.


cindy said...

hear, hear.

Suzy Vegas said...

Oooh Baby - As my Grandfather (a trade union leader in the glorious 70s) taught me - 'you have nothing to sell but your labour and you must sell it to the highest bidder. He didn't live through the 80s so I have had to reinterpret his words to mean that we are all brainwashed into being slaves for the corporate world. The infantile reliance on education, salary, marriage and family to save us is proven wrong and those of us without the fear must continue to lead the route towards freedom. At least you are saved from the anti-ageing madness that women are currently controlled by.