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I recently started a new job. I’m still in that awkward phase where you learn the lay of the land, meet an immeasurable amount of people daily that all know your name and you attempt to recall theirs, and get up to speed with the inner workings of my duties. I love it, although I still kind of feel like a fraud.
Frankly, I got lucky. My boss is a wonderful person. My immediate coworkers are all gifted and talented. All of the people in my department are super nice, like if the Midwest and the South had a child.
It’s also a fairly decent upgrade in title and pay. I’m not a braggart by any means, but in my field, it’s a sizable promotion. Thankfully, Facebook and LinkedIn have a nice feature to not make it public when you update your info (do you even get a new job if everyone doesn’t know about it)? That way, I can continue to rumble on through my life without anyone noticing because that’s just who I am.
Have you ever been somewhere and someone says something innocuous, something that seemingly is just a part of the process, but it hits home? I was at a focus group and one of the consultants was asking the students to “think about a time you were happy and describe it.” This question is reasonable, especially given the context of why it was asked, but I went off into my own head thinking about the question.
Life is like a chapter book. I’m not inventing a new idea with this, but riff with me a second. Think about a time and place where you were happy. Maybe it’s college, maybe it’s a great job, and maybe it’s a place. Now think about how under no circumstance you could ever recreate this. It was magical because of the timing, who was there and the circumstance. I’ve often wrote about times like this, whether it be losing the glue of my friends, dealing with a friend’s shitass partner, or being a guest at the a friend’s house. I’ve made lifelong friends. I’ve met quite a few readers. I’ve DM’d and bantered on the Twitter.
I started out as a reader, often trolling writers. I kind of feel bad about it, but to go along with the theme, life is about recognizing your chapters in life. Each page is blank and it’s like one of those books where you pick your own adventure. Unfortunately, you can’t jump back and retry a new avenue because a zombie fucked your shit up. I remember when my first article was published and it was asked of me to continue, I took that as an honor.
I’ve injected a lot of my personal life into my writings. The good, the bad, the embarrassing. It’s been cathartic. One of the best compliments I ever get is that I’m a “fan favorite.” I might not write the most burning or click-gathering articles, but at the end of the day, I’m fairly proud of most of my writing. I’ve tried to be humble, real and mostly write things people enjoy. Writing anonymously has its benefits, but I promise I’m a half decent person in my personal life.
I’ve had this article in the chamber for what seems like years. For those of you who have read my shit throughout the years, a huge thank you. Regardless of your opinion of my writing, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read, comment and give feedback. There’s been an upwards trajectory since I started writing, from being an unpolished greenhorn in a cubicle to someone with “Director” in their title. Maybe that’s not a big deal to many of you but I’ll always be that kid that worked under the table for my dad at $3/hour putting grills together and stocking shelves. I’ll always be the same kid that worked unpaid pulling range balls out of the woods, getting bit to shit by mosquitoes and working with dangerous acids while refilling golf cart water. I’ll be the same kid who got his first adult job phone call while hungover as shit on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland.
This site has seen me grow up, both with my career as well as my writings. A huge thank you to Mrs. Madoff, my editor. You guys only get to see the polished stuff, but I’d probably have been asked politely, yet firmly to leave without her.
It seems this new job is making me, whether I want to or not, become a big boy. No more jeans, more meetings in a day than I used to have in a month, an actual office with a window (king in the castle!) and people introducing me as “This is Madoff, Director of Dicknballs.” I could ramble on forever and I’m trying to keep it below the “Manifesto” designation.
Bruce Springsteen used to talk about how his music was a conversation with his fans. While I’m just some idiot that got lucky, The Boss reminded me to talk to people, to write things that mean something to people. I’ve gotten many DMs over the years thanking me, telling me they are fans. It means more than any dollar amount. Making people feel and connecting with others, even when my face to them is an elderly felon, is stranger than fiction to me. I’ll continue to write until they physically make me stop but I think in these trying times, it is important to remember that our lives have many chapters and oftentimes characters come and go. Never to lose sight of who you are. Thanks for all of the memories we’ve had and for the story not yet written.
Your Cubicle Brother-in-Arms,