What if we have it the other way around. Maybe having balls isn’t a matter of finding a way to cope with the emptiness of working for the man, find some kind of solace in the routine of it all. Maybe having balls has everything to do with admitting you’re unhappy, not in a “my life sucks, feel sorry for me” kind of way, but in a way that can’t be drowned out by any amount of alcohol or buffered by any pay raise.

Even looking at my boss doesn’t inspire me. I keep staring at her and feeling like I’m lying to myself if I keep thinking this is it, that it’s about titles and quotas and higher paychecks and using people who climbed the ladder as an example of how “awesome” my life could be. What about the legions who didn’t make it that high up?

But I also keep thinking about the rest of the story, like how much it would please my mom to give her another grandchild, or the twinkle that my lola gets in her eye when she tells people I have a job. I don’t like my job, but I know I like it better than not having a job. At least I like the implications of it, like a monthly paycheck, benefits, security. Security is great because we can rest easy in the face of all the stupid what-ifs we’re always preparing for. We’re so sure something horrible will happen to us that we forget to set the money aside for the awesome things we want for ourselves.

Is it really that hard to imagine the future holding anything besides kids, a house, or some other variation of settling down? What if you have the resources to create a different kind of reality for yourself? Whenever people ask you about plans, it automatically translates to how you plan to earn, how you plan to sustain yourself and your lifestyle. We value the practical, the safe, the comfortable; if you’re not happy with the comforts that you’ve been blessed with–a large house, a car, food on the table every night–then you’re insane. I’m not insane, but I can’t help but feel that this isn’t it.

(I got a compass tattooed on my wrist last thursday. My dad wanted to know what I had to prove, I guess I wanted to prove that just because I can’t commit to my job doesn’t mean I’m completely incapable of committing. That’s the stupid reason, the other reason is because I promised myself I’d see the world, and I don’t have to do it as a corporate peon. Of course the tattoo earned me a memo from human resources [verbal, but whatever]. I’m not getting fired, but they didn’t fail to stress that a corporate appearance requires clean and clear skin, so can I please do everyone a favor and wear a watch or keep my sleeves rolled down.)

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