Not many people in their right mind would think to call their parents, the moment they’ve been let go. As vividly as I can remember, that’s exactly what I did; answering on the other end of the telephone signal was the resounding voice of my father as I exclaimed “Dad! I just got fired!”.
“I’m proud of you, Son!” — isn’t something one expect to hear from their parents when being informed that their adult son is now fully unemployed.
Supportive as my parents have always been, understood well and truly, I was never meant to be held down in a cage and it was rarely that I wound find my place in a house built by strangers.
Being Free Spirited, means being open-minded — and with it the pros and cons often rattle against one another as we search for “meaning”.
Asking myself, constantly, every step of the way — “I wonder what I was put on this earth to do…”.
We watched a documentary about Mountains and talked about the dangers and perils individuals on this planet do undertake to fulfil their thirst of desire in this endless pursuit of what is seemingly a personal journey.
“No man is an Island”, but it always felt as such; Individuality cannot be embraced in a corporate structure.
Standing up for yourself becomes that much harder as we grow older, and responsibilities pile on.
It doesn’t look too great on a resume when your first job is one you resigned from and the last job you held was the one that got you fired — but it does say a lot about what the person is and isn’t willing to stand for.
“Office Space” in Real Life
I quit when a cheap printer became more important to my bosses than people
In essence, the most binding of support always came from the ones closest to home; the ones that had witnessed me grow to become the person that I am today from when I first opened my eyes to the wonders of this world.
Proud, as they were when I first began and when I decided to end it; it always resonated with them, my inner fighting spirit.
“Being fired”, for the right reasons — would’ve meant my parents wouldn’t have been so proud; instead I would’ve received a much more long overdue lecture about discipline.
This wasn’t the case, as was evident to them and as it was to me; except I was just failing to recognise it — a “job” for most people is to earn a living; for me, my job had to be my life.
In tiring myself to the point of no-return, having barely any energy at all to interact with the outside world; I’d become a shell of a human being, over worked and overloaded.
It is in the moment that things get snatched away, and one has “nothing” to focus on; nothing to “wake up” for — that we have time to reflect.
“Without that job, what am I?” — for a very long time, my work WAS my Identity.
I clocked in and I clocked out, making myself believe I was on my way to a broader picture — as though my life was a cinematographic epitome of a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s motivational videos.
Except it wasn’t so, and I certainly wasn’t happy.
“My job” was an excuse, a hideaway, a discourse, a defence mechanism to avoid dealing with my personal issues.
Tell me to do “nothing” and I’ve got a serious problem; my brain runs wild and I can hardly focus on anything — I get anxious and agitated, I feel like my emotions will explode and I’d say the wrong thing.
The thing about family is, one can never say the “wrong” thing; the thing about loving parents is, they see right through the angry voice and find the pain; find the ability to heal it.
“Calm down, there’s nothing wrong” — as I would look to myself as a failure and everything that I didn’t want to be in the future that I had envisioned for myself.
Yet, here I was; “Dad, I got fired”.
“That’s great news, now come home…”
I’d been home, just never at home. Not present.
Not many are as lucky or as gifted as I am, to have a safety blanket; something to fall back on, the privilege of not having to work for money.
As I sat in my empty room, wondering how it all came to be; I finally had time to reflect upon what I’ve always “wanted” to be.
“This is the best time of your life, you’re young and in this moment you can make the decision of whether you wish to live the life that is cut-out for you or the life that you’ve always envisioned for yourself”.
I realised the voice was not only one of reason, or of compassion; it was a voice letting me know that my parents hadn’t worked so hard to achieve the life they wanted for their children, to one day find themselves in an empty room thinking how it had all gone so very long.
“We worked hard, so that you could live your dreams”.
It was in this moment, I’d come to realise — the path that I had chosen was not out of sheer hard-work; I’d made compromises and found comfort.
Giving up on my true goals in life, for reasons which at the time appeared too mundane, was a compromise I’d made.
I’d learnt to settle for comfort rather than pursuit.
I’d given into the life that my academic qualifications bought me, rather than working towards igniting the spark that was always dimly lit and slowly fading.
We watched “Up in the Air”, and my dad did a rather odd impersonation of George Clooney as he said to me; “How much did they pay you to give up on your dreams?”
“Not nearly enough”, I said to him as we both embarked on a journey together to pursue the life that would bring us joy, and not just a hefty salary.
As I quoted my favourite line from, “Fight Club”; as far be it from reality,
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”