Thursday, April 19, 2012

The "Quit Yr Job" Paradox

I finally figured it out,

Why so many of us go to work day in, day out, unsatisfied.  We talk about quitting as if it is some future victory we will claim.  The few who do quit- rather than changing jobs, or going back to school, or most often: staying the course or getting fired- inevitably do so quietly, without that sense of victory they had longed for, so long coming.

The thing is, in our longing for a sense of control- in the same way we embrace religion, routine, and fad diets- we have embraced job waffling.  The power to quit your job is one of the few reliable powers left to the American worker.  Of course, nowadays, so many Americans are out of work.  But I digress.

So we can never really quit, because that means losing the job.  Quitting quitting is much harder than just quitting the first go.  So if one can hold work, they do, because they are holding onto that freedom of choice, that power of self-expression that is the ability to quit your job at any moment.

So you might as well hang onto that unsatisfying job for the satisfaction of choice, because once you are unemployed, you have given up your bargaining chip.  You might be left with some unknown thing, even less fulfilled than when you were assistant manager at Starbucks.  And you become a quitter, rather than someone who could quit.

Of course, the choice is far more complicated.  For me, quitting didn't even become a consideration until recently, when I realized I had been lying to myself.  I was not, in fact, pursuing my clearly stated goal of sustainable contentment.

Which is pretty clear.  It's 3:26AM and I have work tomorrow and I'm already way behind deadline.  Something does not compute.  But it is nice to know, when a dodgy situation's all going to hell, well "by God I can get the Hell out of Dodge!"  But you know, once I did I'd be a failure.  And who wants that?

Nobody wants that- even though it's questionable whether or not my time at RMS is as productive as any other possible path for me right now.

Well, we're coming up on my third Vegas experience, which promises to be very different from the first two.  For starters, I'm not single!  Ahh, but my past experiences weren't all that adventurous anyhow.  Maybe they were, but not so far as attraction-relations were concerned.  Denny's Grand Slam for one, please.  First Ticket out of here, please.  Vegas 1.0 I was woefully unprepared.  I was miserable.

Vegas 2.0.  Lower expectations, greater freedoms.  The opportunity to get stupid.  Aha!  Vegas, where mediocrity shines.  If it gets overwhelming, focus on some fascinating character study drawn out from the rich tapestry of life on the strip.  Bury myself in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind.

Vegas 3.0.  With all the stuff at home to look forward to, with Juliana in my life to tie me to a tangible reality, bringing with me the Dao De Jing and Food Rules and Flow- Optimal Experience this promises to be the most rewarding foray into depravity yet.

And there's so much to learn in work and play, I just hope my physical form can support it.  I hope I can rest enough for the constructive part of my brain to click on, instead of flickering dimly as it has for so many weeks.

I kep thinking about that article, reading in New Zealand, about how Jews are resilient, because they see low points as periods of great potential.  On one hand, that is the only way to think (everyone who believes in Evolution believes they're a survivor) but on the other hand, I can't help but think there has to be something to it- that we find opportunity in our weaknesses.

So I look forward to leveraging my weaknesses, as I keep trying to help mankind live and learn in sustainable contentment- which, it's interesting, is a goal awfully similar to the Buddhist practice of Bodhicitta- "the intention to achieve omniscient Buddhahood as fast as possible, so that one may benefit infinite sentient beings."  

Although I guess my twist is, I don't believe in reaching 'Buddhahood' as an individual.  To me, it must come as a social effort, as something we all help each other toward, and the reward is intrinsic in the effort.  That is- my process of attainment is a path of self-fulfillment and if I am fortunate it is a worthy example for others to follow.  

I merely seek to share a set of tools and knowledge, and make them as universal as possible.

"May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings."

...And another early-morning ramble bites the dust.

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