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Destination Unknown

Posted on 2012.03.13 at 10:10
Current Location: 67114
Current Music: Eshkeri - Stardust

"If there's one thing I've learned about all my years watching Earth, is that people aren't what they may seem. There are shop boys, and there are boys who just happen to work in a shop for the time being. And trust me Tristan, you're no shop boy." ~ Yvaine, Stardust

Unlike my very successful "live-your-dream" friends, I never had a specific destination in mind, nor a specific career. Looking back in fact, I really just stumbled into everything I've done, as my father before me did. But when you're seeking happiness, defining it with specificity is a gold-bricked road paved directly to unfathomable bewildering disappointment.

When I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to DeVry for awhile, but programming wasn't what I was looking for - something I did not know until I was there. I was working at Wal-Mart part time completely aware it wasn't what I was going to do for the rest of my life despite not knowing what I was. I was not callous toward those who chose it as a career despite pursing a different career myself - I never thought myself better than my coworkers, I just knew what I was doing was temporary. In fact every job I held for many years after that I saw as temporary, but never with a 'get quick rich' attitude, only a 'get eventual happiness through hard work' mindset.

Later, I joined the Air Force. Again, I knew I wasn't going to be doing this for the rest of my life, and I had no idea whether or not it would net a career (it didn't) but that didn't stop me from having a joyous time. I embraced everything about the life, immersing myself in the lifestyle up until I didn't. Many were surprised I left.

My first job outside the Air Force was in the Intelligence field. I was getting good at what I did and enjoyed it, but knew I was not going to sped the rest of my days working in Philadelphia. Despite this knowledge, I lived as if I were going to be there forever, attempting to advance my career and enjoy the hell out of my job.

Then I changed careers. Rather abruptly. It was a steep learning curve but I was riding the wave at the top of the dot.com bubble! Looking back over the past twelve years with my current employer (14-years with my client) its unimaginable that I've been here this long - I was planning for a year, two tops. Yet here I remain. What was I looking for? Fuck if I know. But I found it. At least for the time being.

Many regurgitate journey over destination because they think they know what it means, or think it makes them sound edgy and hip. Living it is an entirely different beast; one who's sinewy tendrils of adaptation and availability I seek to ensnare myself into. Nothing is forever, and those who lash themselves to the mast of that sinking ship will surely get what they deserve for their folly. As a hiring manager I once told a young man the most important thing he could exude at an interview was a magnificent attitude. His reply? "If I walk into John Hopkins off the street with no experience but a great attitude they're not going to hire me as a surgeon." You know what? He's exactly right! Bravo to him.

Why do I do any of the things I do? Its the next logical step. Or the next empirical stage. It is, simply put, the next available opportunity to either enrich my life, find enlightenment, or move on. How do I know? I neither seek it, nor am suspicious of it. But I can guarantee it works. It may be a salty whore-lick of a circuitous route at time, but I'm living proof. Just like my buddies who are living their dream, so am I. I was just seeking something different - happiness.


jobu121 at 2012-03-13 15:25 (UTC) (Link)
I too have fallen into everything as well. I was a truck driver, landscaper, bartender/waiter, and a student. Win95 came out and I got a virus regardless of the fact I had two different ant-virus software running. Because I had experience with Win 3.11, Win 95 and Mac OS - I took a call center support. It was only to help out through Christmas of 1995. And since then I have been in the computer industry. As you I did not like programming.

What I have learned traversing the globe - "The world is a DICK!"

Life is so strange
Destination Unknown
When you don't know
Your destination

Your title reminded me of This Video

ehowton at 2012-03-13 15:39 (UTC) (Link)
As a product of my generation, one which helped shaped who I am. Spring Session M forever!
Richard Rasner (Unique Nudes™)
uniqueblog at 2012-03-13 17:57 (UTC) (Link)
I was a music major in college. Then I thought I wanted to be a cop (and I was, for a while) and now look where I am. I never would have guessed it, but I'm happy here.
ehowton at 2012-03-14 05:17 (UTC) (Link)
We can't ask for much more than that.
pcofwildthings at 2012-03-13 22:12 (UTC) (Link)
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. College...changed majors many times, ended up with a bachelor's in Psych. What do you do with that? My first job out of college was only supposed to be temporary until I found something better. I went to work for a lawyer (and a crooked businessman) and that lasted a couple years until things went bad and he went bankrupt and eventually to prison. But I stayed with lawyers, except for a couple of temp jobs in between. I liked it and was good, and every employer told me I should go to law school, but I didn't want to BE a lawyer (seemed like the antithesis of happy to me). Eventually, I went a slightly different direction.

I do admire people who seem to have always known what they wanted as a career, went for it and were happy with it. I think it may be the exception rather than the rule. Just a hunch.
ehowton at 2012-03-14 05:10 (UTC) (Link)
I think you may be right. What surprises me is how many people bitch, seemingly endlessly, about their job.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2012-03-14 23:11 (UTC) (Link)
Steve Jobs said it best during his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address:

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Edited at 2012-03-14 11:17 pm (UTC)
michelle1963 at 2012-03-14 04:56 (UTC) (Link)
I, too, have always fallen into jobs, moves, etc. External circumstances came to pass and I did the obvious. Sometimes it was taking advantage of an opportunity that came my way, and sometimes it was simply doing what had to be done.

It always seemed to me that the hyper-focused, those that had their lives completely mapped out (I'll admit to only rarely meeting such people ~ they are usually young) are setting themselves up for disappointment, because life tends to work by its own schedule; not one's own. Secondly, those who are so set in going through life with hard set goals, often miss enjoyable opportunities.

By comparison, I probably appear aimless, but that is far from the truth. My goal is to learn, expand my understanding. Almost every path leads to further knowledge. That leaves my life wide open to take advantage of whatever opportunities come my way. I do think perhaps part of the trick is to position oneself so that opportunities actually do make it your doorstep.

When I became a lab tech, it was because the local college offered the class, and I liked science. A couple of weeks before I signed up, I didn't even know what a lab tech was. On this current job hunt, although I did apply for lab tech jobs, I also applied for car salesman positions, bank jobs, and this instructor gig. I knew whatever became available would suit my purposes.

Now, I am doing something I have never done before. How awesome is that?

ehowton at 2012-03-14 05:09 (UTC) (Link)
Now, I am doing something I have never done before. How awesome is that?

If you're enjoying it, it is. I've done something I'd never before done once and hated it. For the record, NOT awesome.
michelle1963 at 2012-03-14 12:25 (UTC) (Link)
It happens. Either way, one usually learns from it.

(For the record, I believe you are the one who promotes empirically testing such things.)
ehowton at 2012-03-14 12:35 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I can see where the opportunity to try your hand at something completely different could be awesome even if you hated it. Of course you're right!

I once had to wear a bunny suit for a job, and while that really sucked, it was kinda cool! No, my comment was thinking of thundercunt when she thought it would be an effective show of power to have me stack boxes in front of my employees. I thwarted her evil plan by compensating - I chose to be amused at how much I was being paid to stack boxes. But it took tremendous energy to maintain.
michelle1963 at 2012-03-14 12:39 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Bunny suit?

Yes, I can see how "thundercunt's" power play would be exceptionally trying. Perfect re-framing of the situation though. Some situations just suck regardless. It comes down to whether you can make it suck less.
codekitten at 2012-03-14 13:28 (UTC) (Link)
I really just stumbled into everything I've done

me too. i kind of wandered around until something grabbed my attention. not that i didn't analyze/evaluate each choice, i just never had anything very specific that i wanted to do career-wise.

changed majors in college from biology to psych, worked as an assistant in primate research, a tutor for kids with autism, in marketing for a publication company, bartending/waitress/etc.

like you, i seek happiness.
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