Missing It and Not Missing It

 

Tonight Kat and I went to the city so that she could finally get herself a new phone (her old one was really on death's doorstep) and so that we could see a movie (Deadpool 2. Worth seeing!)

Before we headed out to the Verizon store I was taking a look at the plans for my own phone because my upgrade window had just opened up last fall and I'm a fan of new tech. I've slowly grown to the idea of a bigger phone, and so that 8+ was looking mighty fine. But alas, after working out the numbers, I just couldn't bring myself to drop that kind of money on a phone I ultimately didn't need. If anything I feel like I've been using it less now that I don't have a combined two hours of commuting every day to do.

When we got to the store and Kat was going through the whole process of swapping phones, I had a very brief moment where I missed my old job. Or I guess I should say I had a very brief moment where I missed my old paycheck. Working in advertising was the one time of my life where money wasn't an issue. That's not to say I was living a super luxurious life or anything. Just that I never had to think much about it and I was making enough that my few hobbies (video games, Disney, and tech) were well covered. 

I asked myself, "Would I go back to it?" Would I trade what I have now for that nicer paycheck and the flashy gadgets and games that come with it? I told myself of course not, but sometimes I get the feeling that when I answer it so quickly it's out of repetition more than anything else. 

That worried me. Not to the extent that I felt I'd abandon all of this anytime soon for a better paycheck, but it felt like I had discovered a crack in a dam. Not a problem now, but will it be the temptation that months or years from now pulls me back?

After we were all finished at the store we headed to the theater, and as we walked down one of the blocks we passed a building that had quite large ground-level windows that looked into to a basement level office. All of the lights were on and it was a massive cubicle farm. In that moment it, too, reminded me of my old job.

 
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I don't know if I could put this into words properly: While that internal answer about going back almost felt like an empty repetition of an answer I worked out months ago, and existed only in my head, the reaction to seeing the office was potent and came from my gut. It was not a good feeling. In that quick moment of looking at the office I just remembered all of the slow 9-6 days I spent at that office wishing I was anywhere else, doing anything else. The crappy work laptop. The meetings with seemingly no purpose or goal. The e-mails, the e-mails, and the e-mails.  

And so while the answer to the question just ten minutes earlier felt empty and unsure, the answer right then was as strong as ever.  Hell no. Suddenly, any desire for a new phone or an extra video game or a impromptu weekend trip to Disney died. They'd be nice, but it's not worth the price, and I don't mean the money.

I'm sure I'll have more days in the future where I look back fondly on that security, and I'll keep working my ass off now to try and build that level of security while doing this.

In the meantime though, all I have to do is take one look at those cubes.

 
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