It’s been a slow week at work (and in general) which means its time for every ones favorite segment of this blog:
“Daniel had way too much time to think this week about his life and his purpose and its time to go down the existential hole he keeps digging!”
EDITORS NOTE: think of better title.
I enjoy speculating and finding the answers. I keep digging this hole so often that I’ve started doing back flips into it. Hell at this point I’ve built a fucking spiral staircase to the bedrock of my existentialism.
Anyway. My new thing I’ve been thinking about is a continuation of my previous train of thought: about how I have spent my life trying not to do things. This all started when I began the Rogue Trader campaign like I said I was going to. The campaign is straightening out and coming together and its fun for people but I almost immediately didn’t want to do it anymore. Its fun and all that jazz but being tied down by a responsibility to do something and being held accountable by my peers drained my mentally.
Now those astute readers might point out to me that I was going to run a campaign to force myself to develop better habits such as accountability and the like. And you are right! Mostly though I haven’t been thinking about stopping the campaign as much as I’ve been thinking about why I don’t like to do things.
It feels like in some cases with each passing days that the things I do for fun become less fun. On YouTube I’m constantly seeking old stuff to re-watch, I’m looking for new podcasts and nothing stands out, I have a hard time trying to stay invested in video games, I find it difficult to read for long periods of time, I quit playing magic for the time being, I can’t find a new table top I want to dive in on; the list goes on!
To reiterate: I wouldn’t say I’m sad as much as I feel stuck. I go home after what feels like ages at work and sit there desperately wishing I had something to do while I sit in a room surrounded by things to do.
The obvious answer is just do something. But again none of it feels fun. I have like 4 – 5 games on the back burner but when I think about playing them I’m just like, “Ugh, I need to get through all of these.”
The feeling of consistency in my life is that “things are chores I need to do.” Its why I listen to the same podcasts over and over, and its why I re-watch the same old videos on YouTube. Doing new things feels more like something I have to finish than to enjoy. Books on my shelf, games in my library, stories in my head- they don’t feel like something I want to do as much as something I need to do as some point.
And that’s the feeling I’ve been addressing. Not so much the fact that I’m bored or listless, but the feeling that something should hold my interest. Right? I see my friends and family and they are all hustling and bustling about theirs lives and hobbies. Devon is always fucking excited about his new game or thing he’s doing.
I think part of it has to do with that I’m a creature of habit. My morning routine and my afternoon routines are very similar day to day. In the morning our alarm goes off and I lie in bed for another ten or so minutes. I usually physically get up at around 7:25 AM and my morning ablutions take until about 7:55 AM. The drive to work takes about an hour or less and I get to work around 9:00 AM. I drop my bag off and walk down the street to get a bagel. I come back and eat at my desk and then we have our morning meeting at 9:30 AM, and so on and so forth.
The evening is the same. We leave work at 5:00 PM and we get home around 6:00 PM depending on whether we stop at the store. Mike and Molly play till 7:00 PM, Big Bang Theory till 8:00 PM, and potentially the news until 8:30 PM. Then we turn on Netflix or something.
I do not do things because I enjoy them. I do them because its the daily grind. The routine. The day to day. The moment I go to turn on Netflix I just stare at it because I don’t know what to put on. It was easier when the TV programming was in control.
I love this system because I don’t have to think its just part of the routine which fills time in between events.
Having to fill the time is where my emotions and drive begin to fail me. I love the routine because I don’t want to think about doing stuff, I just want to find something to fill time. I’m not seeking entertainment I’m seeking distraction.
I’ve been thinking about this disengagement all week at work. It started with YouTube. It’s been a slow week so I have been turning on YouTube to fill the quiet. And I was having trouble finding anything new to watch. I’m up to date on my favorite channels so I revert to just watching old playlists.
Then I started thinking that I feel the same sort of apathy for my work. Even in these slow periods I find it difficult to find personal stuff to work on. 3D to me has just become a job I do, not a passion I chase. This job will likely never offer me prestige or wealth so what is the point?
I have been leafing through various materials on what I might like to pursue instead- but again, whenever I encounter resistance I feel apathy. Engineering, robotics, industrial design would require me to get training and potentially college and I can’t afford that. I would likely never reach a high enough level to just be successful at what I’m doing.
But I’m smart enough to know that’s not true. It does spur the question: how do I foresee my own career reaching its logical conclusion? What is that conclusion? I don’t really know. And maybe that not knowing is what is causing me to disengage.
The slow days drag on because I’m forced to face the fact that I don’t do much. Maybe I don’t enjoy the busier days but I certainly appreciate them because they go by much quicker. I don’t have to think too much and can just focus on my work. Because it gets me through the day. Maybe my job is merely a distraction. Something to fill the time in between things.
So now what?
I feel like “so now what” should be one of those great questions echoed in the halls of philosophers. Questions like:
“Why are we here?”
“What is life and existence about?”
“Does God exist?”
“So now what?”
That’ll be my tribute to the grand scheme of things. Sir Daniel Smudde, the man who dared to ask “so now what?”