my last month of work

This month is my last month of work. I’m pretty excited about that, despite the fact that this might turn out to be the worst mistake of my life.

The thing is, everything in my life up to this point has just kind of worked out for me without too much effort on my part, and I’ve always felt like I was doing what I was meant to be doing. Fate. Fulfilling my own personal destiny. Swimming with the current of Life, or whatever. Unfortunately, the scientist in me is forced to acknowledge that this feeling is most likely irrational and emotion-based, and has absolutely nothing to do with reality or my future prospects.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that just because I ran through a busy intersection five times without looking and managed to not get hit by anything, that doesn’t mean that this time I won’t get creamed by a bus.

But that’s ok too if my goal is simply to traumatize people. And it is.

But seriously, I’ve spent a year and a half now working for one of the top guys in my field and in a lot of ways I’ve set myself up pretty well for a future in academia, and now I’m just going to throw all that away?

You’re damn right I am.

Because I hate my job. Honestly, the only way I can make it through this last month is because I know it is my last month. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it for the most part, but now I want to be done with it. For good. And yeah, it kind of sucks that I wasted $65,000 and five and a half years of my life to find out that I don’t really want to do this stuff for a living but hey, at least now I know.

And really, it wasn’t actually a waste. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had and the knowledge I’ve gained for anything. Especially not five and a half years and $65,000. I definitely got the best end of that deal, I think.

Even aside from the vague concept of “life experiences”, I really feel like I’ve gained valuable skills that’ll serve me well no matter what I do. Things like knowing how to research a topic, how to summarize, how to work independently, how to edit, and especially how to spot when a report on a scientific “discovery” that’s in the news is completely full of shit.

That’s something that’ll be useful no matter what career I end up with.

But now I’m a little less than one month away from embarking on something that’s been a dream of mine for the past sixteen years at least: to be a writer. Like, professionally.

And honestly, it scares the hell out of me.

Because up until now, it’s always just been some far off dream I could use to console myself when I didn’t like what I was doing; a fantasy where I could imagine myself as a successful and well-regarded author who didn’t have to slave away at a job he hated just to survive. Which is not to say I’ve ever actually slaved away at any job I’ve ever done since I’m really not that hard of a worker in general, but the point still stands.

But a month from now the dream will be come a reality, and I’ll potentially be forced to confront the fact that I’m just not that great of a writer, both in terms of style and content. And if that ends up being the case, the dream will never again be possible. And once that dream is forever shattered, I could very well end up a broken shell of a bitter, devastated man.

Ah well. I’ll still always have beer, porn, and video games, anyway.

Honestly though, when it comes down to it I’d rather know for sure than always wonder. And this really is the only way for me to know for sure. And I still have a lot of other plans, and plenty of other things I want to do with my life besides writing, so hopefully I won’t be too disappointed if I end up being a miserable failure at that.

I’ve always wanted to write a book about someone who was a failure as a writer, but the only way for me to know what that truly feels like is for me to be a failure as a writer myself. But if I’m truly a failure as a writer, how will I write the book about being a failure as a writer?

These at the things I’ll be thinking about instead of doing work during my last month of actual work. It’s a good thing I’m quitting, or else I’d probably end up getting fired.

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About Critical Awesomeness
I'm a 32-year-old American with a PhD in chemistry and a green hat. Only one of these two things is really important.

4 Responses to my last month of work

  1. J. Johns says:

    And if you’re truly a success, then you won’t know at all how it feels to fail as a writer and your book will feel contrived. Either way you won’t achieve that dream. Catch-22!

  2. J. Johns says:

    I’d hit the road before Nately’s whore kills you.

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