I’m sitting at my desk doing the same thing I do five days a week for eight hours a day, the same mind numbing and thankless tasks I perform over and over that sketches out a poor outline of a career and the same thought goes through my head. Escape.
Everyday I trawl through the job listings hoping to find something ‘different’, something that appeals to me and everyday I’m greeted with the same flamboyant language describing the most mundane of jobs (decoding those is an art form itself!). There was a time when I wanted a career, sometimes I think I still do, but now all I feel is a desperate need to escape and be left alone to fend for myself. In essence I think I just want to start again.
I’ve been living in the city for nearly seven years now and of coarse there are things I like about it (but then I like toast ….if it has the right topping) but I’m not sure it’s enough anymore. Perhaps it’s an ‘age thing’, as I get older I feel a greater desire to go back to my roots, I miss the countryside more and more and I feel far less concerned about ‘going somewhere’ professionally speaking. So much emphasis these days is put on doing more than JUST existing, on being a success, but I cant help but wonder that perhaps to exist is the greater achievement.
The world is so much smaller than it use to be and our ‘personal networks’ reach so much further and a greater number of people than they use to. As a result it’s easy to loose focus, perhaps we’re living too much for other people, to much for too many. I use to trawl through social media sites looking at the accomplishments of friends and ‘friends’ their jobs, homes, families and various other benchmarks by which we measure success and it would leave me bitter, resentful and depressed. I know my life is MY life and it can’t be compared to that of another altogether different person but non-the-less I felt failure. I’m not a father, a home owner or a successful career man I’m just me, doing the best I can whilst I can.
When I think about it I realise I have concerned myself to much with ‘others’ (Not in the ‘I read Heat magazine’ kind of way!) and that maybe the rise of the global society has increased the pressure we put upon ourselves. In the past when the greatest extent of a ‘personal network’ would have been the local community, people would only feel concern for the ways in which they were viewed by their family and a close circle of friends, Perhaps 20 – 30 people at most. Today, regardless of geographical and emotional proximity, that number is limitless. Anything we put out online is there for anyone to see, privacy settings cannot prevent someone looking over your friends shoulder whilst they view your profile online. On a sub-conscious level I think we as individuals understand that we are now open to scrutiny from anyone who has access to a computer and as a result our ‘circle of concern’ becomes exponentially bigger.
As much as we can protest ‘I don’t care what anyone else thinks’ it’s undeniable that it’s in our nature to compete with others; to appear the strongest, most attractive, the smartest. Once the odds would be 1:30 against you, now the odds are 1:∞. Perhaps now, what I want, is to re-address the balance personally and professionally. To paraphrase the fictional Dr Ian Malcom (Jurrasic Park 1993) when it came to global socialisation we were so preoccupied with whether or not we could that they we didn’t stop to think if we should.
What are the consequences?