November 19, 2007

Cold Feet

Warning: Blathering Confessional Ahead

When I worked at AT&T in the late 1990’s I was a child; strolling through life unscarred and free. Growing up I was a fighter, who fought with rage and for no reason at all, to the detriment of my relationship with my brother. As a teenager I had been drop-kicked countless times in the stomach by a woman I loved, or thought to. Then, in college I witnessed the beginning of a debilitating illness that struck my mother low and watched coldly as it affected all six members of my family. But what none of these things ever did to me was change my happy-go-lucky course through life. It was impossible for them to have any considerable affect on me. I had yet to glance inward, yet to lose any sleep.

At work I was talented and well liked, but never driven. As with anything else that I had “accomplished” in life, work at AT&T came very easily. At the time I would have told you privately that this was because of how great I was. Looking back however, I would tell you simply that my expectations were low. Not so low that I was one of the people in our office that we would all tell pathetic stories about, but lower than they should have been for someone who thought so highly of himself. I strode though life like a man whom the world couldn’t touch and must have come off quite glib to many of the people I worked with. A conversation I once had with a coworker very unlike myself still shines brightly in my mind.

I remember it well for a couple of reasons. One, she was very driven and goal oriented. She worked hard for everything she had and knew, as a single mother of two, exactly what she needed to accomplish in order lead the life she wanted. Because of this she was always wrought with anxiety and tension over whether or not her objectives would be met, and as with most adults, the biggest of these objectives was financial stability. The second reason I remember this particular conversation so well is that it came a few short days before my life was flipped upside down.

We were standing by her cubicle, and because I was the person that people told their problems to, she told me of her worry about whether or not she could afford to educate her children as they deserved. Her face was wrought with turmoil and I listened intently (or so I thought at the time) as she explained her predicament. Despite my seemingly grave concern, I proceeded to blithely tell her how everything would be fine. Life always worked out for the best, so there was no need to fret about things that would take care of themselves. This was a concept instilled in me from a very early age. I have wrestled with it a lot over the last few years. Did thinking this way make it a reality? Or did repeating the old mantra after you fucked something up simply gloss over the facts of the situation?

When I finished my speech about her meaningless worries, she gave a knowing little laugh and told me that someday I would get it. For now I was too young to understand how hard life can be. I soon discovered that I was only too young by a couple of days when a project that I had been working on for a year or so began to bear the fruit of my labor.

Hello all: I just got cold feet about the rest of this story. Shall I continue? I would hear from someone who knows me and someone who doesn't please.


Blogger Baseball Lab said...

Part II is obviously very important to you and I would hate to have an outside influence 'make up your mind for you', it may be something you regret not deciding for yourself.

November 20, 2007 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger z said...

i second that!
wait a day or two...
and trust yourself.

November 20, 2007 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can I pretend to be someone you don't know?

November 28, 2007 at 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is like a really good tv movie that you're really into and then you realize that its 10:50 and the killer bees still haven't been trapped and you know those three awful words are coming up... "To Be Continued"...

I say if you're not going to post the whole thing then you should take down the first part. Its torturing me.


November 29, 2007 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Whether or not you want to continue your story, I love your blog and would love further updates on your life! Don't stop writing!

December 2, 2007 at 7:39 PM  

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