Underthecurrent


The Big Chill
April 28, 2016, 6:43 pm
Filed under: when I grow up

Sometimes, counting the theoretical work days (less weekends, stat holidays, time off) before this is done.  Not the most useful preoccupation.

In just less than eight months, there will be a plane trip.  After this trip, in theory, there will be a calculated notice period.  Maybe the explanation will be a long walk on the beach, there’s time to work that out.  It won’t be that this exit was planned from the start and just took a bit longer due to bureaucracy.

There is no tangible reward waiting for performing at anything less than the acceptable standard right now.

A further, blunter commentary, written and rewritten many times.  Any efforts made in the last few years to deliver exceptional results (which have been delivered in most metrics available) have been met with vaguely insulting, unintelligent responses.  There isn’t any discernable malice, just stupidity and weakness.  The kind where you reflect on an interaction and it’s hard to contain the fremdschämen.

Better management would have led to a mutually beneficial response.  Mild intuitive sense or knowledge of the standard business model would have helped.  The solutions were obvious and still are.

The problem now is keeping in the game just a bit longer, which is proving tricky.  Perspective necessary to power through the last run.  A little bit more fakery.  A little bit more tolerance for moments where the insticts are eye rolls and a good firm shake.

Maybe this is the lesson.



Hasta Luego
April 21, 2016, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Canada, overtly political | Tags:

When we moved here, the cab drivers from the suburb where there are regular gang shootings would say “you live in a bad neighborhood”.

Last week, a driver dropped me off and said “this neighborhood sure is changing.”

This morning I walked to the cafe that had good breakfast burritos and nanaimo bars, jonesing.  It was gone.  Brown paper in the windows advertising a new cafe.  The same thing happened a few months back with the best grocery store in the hood.  One day it was just shuttered, a sold sign outside.  Strange small businesses have come and gone – taking a risk on cheap rent.

We were late comers to this hood – years ago, cabs wouldn’t come down at all.  There’s no pretending to have true ownership here, we came to witness the end.

On arrival, it was perfect.  A heady mix of things within walking distance.  Sheltered from the crowds mostly due to incorrect fears.  An incubator for the small and interesting, a repository for roughed-up history.  It was friendly.  A bit weird.

It was also very obvious what was coming.

Now.  Upmarket spas and fitness options.  Replicated cafes, almost indistinguishable from each other, on each corner. Other parts of the city reach tentacles into the storefronts, making everything just a bit more uniform.  Tidy.  Many sources for cold pressed juice, all the cold pressed juice you can handle.  Little reference to what was before, spaces remodelled and wiped clean.  Made boring.

Mainstream press starts to trumpet the area as a must-see.

Personally, this is not, financially, a bad thing.  More people will consider buying this place because they are more comfortable in gentrified spaces.  This hidden enclave will have more visibility, curb appeal.

And we will disappear along with the others.



After the Anesthetic
April 13, 2016, 4:57 am
Filed under: insight, when I grow up

Pushing two weeks post-op, things are ok.  Wobbly and scattered, but ok.  Quitting the Tramadol after about five days was one of the worst parts – total neurotransmitter chaos, systemic bodily disruption, and all for a few blurry opiate-like days slipping into hazy naps.

This is the first time in three and a half years being unplugged from work.  Not checking in.  Not checking email.  Not having anything forwarded, or worrying that some emergency message will be missed, or that someone will be angry.  Not mapping out a return to do list or staring at work brought along just in case. Mental silence. Absolution.

Time to think and look around.

In the overall grand scheme, this has all worked out okay.

Every month at work there is a mental notch that is hit or else it is deemed a failure – most of the time, the notch was my choice, an internal goal.  Almost always, it’s just out of reach, which means constantly failing even when that’s not objectively true.

In my mind, every month, I’m a micro failure.

But when the noise of this arbitrary, consuming goal is dialed down, this isn’t a story of failure.  It’s the story of a long, hard push – so hard and so fast that we didn’t look back to take in the view.  Building the happiest place I’ve ever come home to, piece by piece.

A hundred things are imperfect. The push is far from over. But the view from here is pretty okay.