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I would say that most of us, especially those who read this site, possess an innate desire to succeed and the ability to put in the hard work that’s required to achieve that success. It’s a fire burning inside of us that pushes us to take on new challenges and exceed our potential, both at work and in our personal lives. For some people that fire never wavers and often intensifies over time, which leads to the accomplishment of extraordinary things. I used to have that fire in me, but not anymore. Now my flame just kind of flickers and fades and only burns fully when I need it to.
I’ve become pretty complacent at work. I used to try really hard when I first started, but that began to fade once I understood the office hierarchy and environment more. It’s a union-backed government job, so I would have to fuck up pretty egregiously for them to terminate my employment. I’m also not eligible for a promotion for another couple years, which I’ll eventually get at some point or another. Needless to say, I’m not about to exert too much effort for the forty hours a week I’m scheduled to work (And not a second more). So long as I continue to receive my annual union-mandated pay raises, everything’s kosher with me. I’m basically one unexcused absence away from becoming a real life Peter Gibbons, but without the promotion since I can’t get one yet.
This recent phenomenon is starting to creep into my free time too. I have every Friday off of work, which I spend doing absolutely nothing. Any errand or activity that involves self-improvement gets pushed back further and further into the day until it’s too late to do it, in which case I just throw up my hands and continue to sit on the couch watching the same Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode I’ve already seen several times. If I didn’t live directly next door to a grocery store, there is a 1,000% chance I would starve to death because my desire to not leave my apartment would overwhelm my hunger.
Have you ever heard of those companies that give their employees multi-month sabbaticals as a benefit? The intention is to give their workers a set amount of paid time off to travel, do some soul-searching, and all that hippy shit. If I had that kind of free time though, I’d probably end up spending most of it living out the Green Day song “Longview.” Stuck to the couch, inebriated in some fashion, and rubbing one out every once in a while to pass the time. I may not find myself during that time, but I’d sure as hell feel it.
Not even my social life is immune to this quasi-apathy. Instead going out to try different things and meet new people, I’d rather just stay in my immediate vicinity and get hammered with the same crew of goons I’m used to seeing. My FOMO is practically non-existent. I don’t even bother trying with my outfit anymore either. I don’t need to impress anyone, so what’s the point? If I can’t get into a place wearing a Megadeth shirt and jeans, then I’m just not going out. Doesn’t bother me, the beer is cheaper in my apartment and I don’t have an oppressive dress code that requires pants.
Writing this article also has also been a cumbersome undertaking for me. I think I came up with this idea two weeks ago but am finally getting around to typing it up. Writing is hard and I just didn’t feel like it, you know? I also hope deFries catches all my errors and fixes them for me because I’m not about to proofread anything I just typed out. That sounds like even more work than I’m willing to do.
Fortunately, this all seems like a phase that I think we all go through at various points in life. If it was more than a phase I likely wouldn’t even have a job to take for granted in the first place. The grind is tough and it wears everyone down from time to time, which is totally normal. It’s simply a matter of how you recover from it when you’re down. Some people require a spark to light that flame inside of them back up, others like me just need a little time to snap out of a funk. Eventually, I’ll get back to working harder, utilizing my free time wisely, putting more effort into my social life, and writing better articles (Although your mileage may vary with that last one). I just have to leap over a few mental hurdles first to get to that point. For now though, it’s time to show my boss how average of an employee I can be. .
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