Your life's progress report

Zeabot

Californium
Founder
Oct 25, 2013
1,506
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68
Somewhere along the line we seem to adjust our trajectory once we realize our true (or at least our perceived true) potential. That kid who wanted to be an astronaut becomes the high school student who wants to work for NASA, which becomes the college student who wants to become an engineer, which somehow ends up as the adult who works in a warehouse.
I understand what you are saying here, but I look at it in a very different light.

That kid who wanted to become an astronaut gets to high school and realizes there's a lot more to going into space than strapping on a suit. That ties into the "potential" part, but there is so much more! There's also the want to do those types of things that disappear. Ambition is equally as important as potential. I think you are a perfect example of that. While you are successful in what you do (and are more than comfortable doing it), tell me you could not get a PhD and work in research labs? I think most kids ambition bottoms out well before their potential does.
Secondly, In high school, it is generally considered "not cool" to have those types of dreams anymore. In fact, from my experience, it is almost "not cool" to have any dreams. Mostly it is just "I have no f'in clue what I'm doing after high school" or at the most "I'm going to x university to study something, then whatever."

Again, I know there are a lot of demanding academic jobs out here that are just not for 90% of the populace and that is where the potential factor in. But I think ambition and goal setting are missing, too.
 

Pud

Yaa!
Founder
Apr 20, 2010
511
0
16
56
Wow.

5 years ago: no.
10 years ago: not at all.
20 years ago: hell no.

It's hard to relate to the percentages and metrics. To what, to whom do I compare myself? To my expectations at 16 years old, when all I dreamed about was getting a room with heat in it and and a kitchen with food in it? Yeah. Met those expectations. The upside is that I don't stress about food or money. I know how to get both, even if I were to wake up in the morning and have neither.

School: I managed to graduate high school. I thought I was stupid, but I'm not. That's common enough. I did not think college was an option for me because all my teachers told me so. And my guidance counselors. And my parents. I could have moved out of the house when I graduated -- technically. I was making plenty of money managing a pickup canopy factory, but my dad knew the owner and kept track of what I made. There was always some dire need for my money the minute I got paid. So, one day I drove downtown and signed up for delayed enlistment. Took the ASVAB and they pulled me back in. Recruiter asked if I wanted to go to the AF Academy. I didn't even know the difference between an officer and enlisted so I said "I don't know." That's not what they wanted to hear so they sent me to basic. But I did get an uber-cool job because of my scores. I signed up for college (military paid 75% of tuition -- could NOT pass that up!) and took a study skills course. Turns out that I learn differently than most, so problem was now fixed. Picked up two degrees and a professional accreditation during my during 8 years in. Because I started working when I was 11, I never really had a "school" experience. I'm enjoying the hell out of exactly that now. In a 3-year residential grad program and happier than a pig in shit. Fortunate, fortunate, fortunate. Starting to consider PhD programs.

Career: At first, my singular goal was to be "not somebody's bitch." I'll never forget delivering fire wood to a house and finding out it was the opulent home of a classmate at school. He took great pleasure ordering me around and being Boss Man at 17 years old. *sigh* Upon joining the military -- omg -- I absolutely loved it. All rules were written down in a book somewhere. I rocked the uniform. I was extremely good at my job and landed the best positions. After getting my B.S. under my belt, I was ready to apply for a commission, and it all exploded in my face. My ex wife did what ex wives do and ruined my career. The details are unimportant, and stupid stories about women scorned are boring ... and stupid. After that happened, I never really wanted a career. That was it. That's what I wanted, and if I could have it now, I'd jump at it. I'd make a damn fine full bird. This is probably my one and only regret in life was missing this opportunity. These days, I'm still very good at what I do and charge people a ton of money to do it. This allows me to work a third of the year and go to school the remaining 2/3. And, yes, it's awesome. But I'd still give my left nut to be an officer in the military, going to grad school and working my friggin' ass off doing it. So there. My one regret. Maybe I'll start a company with some of this VC money I'll have access to next year and hire nothing but vets. Who knows. I just like quality people and they are few and far between. Or, maybe I was just spoiled in my career field.

Health: Each morning, as I lay in bed trying to figure out how I might make it to the coffee pot without actually having to move a muscle, I breathe deep. It feels good to breathe deep. To fill your lungs to capacity. To savor the moment. I may be dizzy, and I can't feel my right arm yet -- and when it comes alive, yeeeeow! -- but I savor the exquisiteness of the pain and the pleasure together. Another day. Another gift. I'm not particularly attached to being alive (my kids have strict pull-the-plug-ASAP and DNR instructions), but man-o-man while I am, I'm going to savor every second. Since the age of 25, I've not been able to do "high impact" workout routines. Let's just say they more closely resemble physical therapy. Well, OK, I can leg press pretty impressively for an old man, so there's that. Cranium has a right/left hand thread on here. I'm a strong dominant rightie. But I can write and eat soup with my left (by the way, if you really want to test the dexterity of your non-dominant hand, try lifting soup on a spoon all the way from the bowl without bending down to it). I can bike 25+ miles handily. I can hike as far. I can run (OK jog) 5 miles relatively easily. I can swim a mile. Did I mention that I'm still consuming oxygen and savor every breath? Even the painful ones? When it comes time to die, I'll know that I drank in every last moment pain and pleasure alike. I know for a fact I won't think about my career. I won't think about my money in the bank. I won't even think about my car (and that's saying a lot). I'll think about exactly two things:

1. My kids.
2. Did I practice what I preached? (i.e.: ≠ hypocrite)

Family: Obviously, the aforementioned was a setup for this. My 'rents and sibs are kinda "meh" for me. I wonder how (or if) I'll react when my parents pass away. *shrug* So, you can imagine what a shock it was to find out that I adore my asshole kids. They are weird, bizarre, maddening, insouciant, petulant, ungrateful, and totally, completely amazing people. They drove me to madness and back again and I'm a better man for it. When my daughter rips someone a new asshole, it makes me inexplicably happy. When my son tells his mother (after she has cried crocodile tears about how she never gets any thanks) that he is thankful for the use of her uterus, I beam with pride. I mean -- what a wicked little creative shithead to come up with a line like that. Don't get the wrong impression though, they are also good people. They stand up for what they believe in, and they have SPINES! omg. Talk about proud dad. They help others in need. They don't give false compliments. They DO give useful feedback. I didn't know I had PTSD until my daughter told me. She didn't say it in that acronym, but she told me to my face. Well, Jesus Christ. Nobody else had the guts to say so. So, I went and got help and I'm MUCH BETTER now, thank you. I can actually be around people without *literally* wanting to stab them in the eye sockets fast and repeatedly. This, by the way, is why they kinda get a pass for being bizzaro nutjobs once in a while. If you want to know what it's like living with an active PTSD sufferer (and God help you if it's your ONLY parent), ask Josie. She can explain much better than I. (remember -- I didn't even know there was a problem ... that's the thing about mental issues ...) For the record, I did not want kids as a young man. Had I never had them, I likely would not know I had missed out on anything. I find this to be exceptionally weird. Would have been quite happy childless. But, also very grateful to have these beautiful creatures in my life. Paradox and weirdness all wrapped into one.

Finances: Money? Meh. Highly overrated. I've made tons of it. All it buys you is a bunch of dry goods with a lot of problems that you gotta go get more money to fix! And, oh -- then other people want to take it from you. Banks are first in line, then governments, etc. etc. Basically, lazy people want what industrious people create. It's not just money either. I had some old bitch sit down next to me at dinner tonight (not kidding!) and strike up a convo about how she had to help her friend paint, and how she had to go find the "special" brushes for the trim, did I know what she meant ... *leans in and looks at me with expectant doe eyes* ... I shrug like I don't know. But I know. I'm a man with a baseball cap and blue collar clothes (never did shake that habit) and big and beefy and look like I could paint a house. And she's a woman. Paint your own fucking house, bitch. I'm not your bitch and I don't work for $20/hour in the hot sun. Fuck that shit. <rant over> Anyhoo... people generally want free things. And the only way to get free things is to take them from someone who did the work to create them. So, I don't participate in that racket much anymore. Money? Meh.

That's the long and the short of it isn't it? I have a family that I love dearly (one of these days, I hope to find something about either of my granddaughters that I like -- but other than that it's all good. The boys are AWESOME). I have the luxury of saying "no" or "yes" to money as it suits me. I've gained enough earning power (and knowledge of how and where money is made in our system) to work for a few months out of the year and do what I want the rest of the time. I know that unless you know exquisite pain, you cannot experience exquisite pleasure. Please don't argue with me on this, as I will ignore you. It is a simple fact of the universe. You cannot have light without darkness. It's as simple as that. These basic truths are what make me happy to live. And they are what make me ready to die with gratitude. Any time.
 

Pud

Yaa!
Founder
Apr 20, 2010
511
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What are your degrees in? And what do you do that allows you to only work a few months out of year? Some sort of consulting?
Sociology, Psychology, Public Affairs, Public Relations (I realize that's 4; one's a minor and one's the accreditation). I'm currently in an MBA program. I advise people who are the movers & shakers in the world how people -- in general -- are going to react to their moving & shaking. I create programs, messages and campaigns that are designed to tap into stupid people's (which is most) emotions so they'll act/react in a desired way. I'm picking up an MBA now.
 

Zeabot

Californium
Founder
Oct 25, 2013
1,506
7
68
I create programs, messages and campaigns that are designed to tap into stupid people's (which is most) emotions so they'll act/react in a desired way. I'm picking up an MBA now.
That sounds like a pretty spiffy set-up you have going on. Congrats on those accomplishments!
 

Pud

Yaa!
Founder
Apr 20, 2010
511
0
16
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pretty spiffy set-up
Thank you. But I'm not particularly pleased with the BAU of of tapping into the lowest common denominator. I'd like to reverse the race-to-the-bottom dynamic of our current business culture, and have gotten to the point where I'm not willing to lend my talents to the swaggering rapists who are running things now. Hence the MBA. I'll be looking to write my own ticket from here on out.
 

Zeabot

Californium
Founder
Oct 25, 2013
1,506
7
68
I'm not willing to lend my talents to the swaggering rapists who are running things now.
That is also a pretty noble sentiment. I suppose I will have to wait a few more years to see where my career starts before I start talking changing the world. :khi3f:
 

Pud

Yaa!
Founder
Apr 20, 2010
511
0
16
56
where my career starts before I start talking changing the world.
I'd recommend starting here. You'd be amazed at what's going on, who's doing it, and what's available to you as an individual to start making an impact now (all while paying your bills). They even have a job board. It's all good work, my friend. If everyone does *something* to help their neighbor, it doesn't feel like much of a burden at all ... but then you wake up one day and realize a shit ton of great work is getting done.
 

Capt.

Dude!
Jan 18, 2011
79
0
6
41
Tennessee, USA
After a brief look back, I come to only one conclusion. It's all my fault.

Career: I'm starting classes at 32 for Network Engineering. AT 32!!! What a loser! I should have started these classes back when I was 20. I was really into computers back then and have absolutely no idea why I decided to smoke away my 20's. I married someone when I should have just stayed single. The beautiful promises of the sales career paycheck sounded great, and mediocrity won out. However, now I'm in a career I hate, making about the same as I was back then. Amazing. Good job, moron!

Personality: This part has always been ok to good. I've always been able to make and keep friends. That hasn't changed, so I figure I get at least a B+ in this category.

Family: I suck at family life. I don't call my parents enough, I don't visit them enough, and I really should send more Christmas and birthday gifts! It's not that I don't care, I do...but I don't prioritize correctly until it's too late. My immediate family gets all my attention. My wife and I are in love, and my daughter is growing up nicely, with plenty of happiness in her life.

GOALS:
1> Call my friends and family more, quit bitching about my life when I call them. They listen and help me, so they are doing their part...it's time to do mine.
2> Get and KEEP my mind wrapped around my school work. I hold the keys to a gate leading to a better future for my wife and daughter. I'm hoping I don't drop them.
3> Stop being such a shit face loser; making excuses for my procrastination
or attitude problems does not validate stupidity. Seems I have the hardest time accepting that.
 

Negativecool

Gold Member
Founder
May 30, 2008
2,359
43
78
39
Internet
Turning the F into a D....

Must decide the following:
Take a job in a private outpatient clinic (yay!!!) 25 miles away offering 29/hour with 40hr work weeks.

OR

Take a job at a nursing facility (boo!) 3 minutes away offering 35/hour with 40hr work weeks...

..??
 

Negativecool

Gold Member
Founder
May 30, 2008
2,359
43
78
39
Internet
Private outpatient clinic = "better" class of folk.

Nursing facility = Old assholes (usually) that have had a life long ear full of how they "are the greatest generation" who, by the way, believe it lock stock and barrel.

Private facility FTW !!
You'd be surprised. There are assholes everywhere.

The difficult decision comes in what kind of decisions I'd be making all day, not so much the primary age group I'd be working with.
Outpatient: Are treatments improving Joe's pain symptoms enough to meet therapy goals?
Nursing: What kinds of assistance does Joe need for transfers and walking and does this make him safe to be discharged home or...wherever.

I'm really not into skilled nursing facilities...but I can't argue with not paying 2,500-3,000 a year for gas just to commute to work.. or what salary they're offering a new graduate.
 

Fancypants

Yaa!
Founder
Oct 31, 2013
598
11
18
Order of merit for people that need to stay away from me:

1. Children under 16.

2. Old summbithes over 65.

3. Needy folk.

4. To be named later.
You don't want them to know just yet that they need to stay away from you? Element of surprise huh?
 

SittinGrumpy

Guest
Turning the F into a D....

Must decide the following:
Take a job in a private outpatient clinic (yay!!!) 25 miles away offering 29/hour with 40hr work weeks.

OR

Take a job at a nursing facility (boo!) 3 minutes away offering 35/hour with 40hr work weeks...

..??
I have commuted 4 hours a day right out of college for a job that didn't make me go boo, know what I mean?