Seventh Chapter – Experience Points

As I continue making these reflections, I start seeing things I haven’t before.  A few post ago I started to see a certain amount of strength I had where I thought only weakness.  As the story of my life continues, it brings us to what happened after I got my A + Certification through the computer repair trade and quickly switched over to enrolling in Salt Lake Community College for the fall semester 1999.  Now something I have made very clear over the last several reflection post is feeling where I belong.  With that comes a level of complacency I realize has been more of a hindrance for me for a long time .

When you are the outcast for most of your life and you get to the place I was at, the friends that I had and the certain level of freedom I had at that time, it’s something you may not want to let go of.   School all day, game all night.  College was the same way.  After returning to campus, gaming became the task at hand.  College and what I was enrolled in, was less important than my own comfort level.  I realize now, how long I held on before leaving.  Had I not though, my life would be different and I wouldn’t have what I have now, even if how I started that road was the choices of a naive, clumsy fool. Don’t worry, we’ll get there soon.

My college education was average.  That was my fault.  It was how I prioritized my life at that time.  I have no doubts that I was capable of more.  I have no doubts now that I am capable of more.  I wanted to learn things in college but not more than I wanted to game.  After I finished my time and CJCC, i spent sixth months living with friends before moving back home to Missouri.  Again, we’ll get there, because that six months has a lot to tell but its not this story.

What followed was three years of complacency.  Not all of it of course, but job complacency for sure.  I went from a job I hated to a job that was tolerable.  What got me through it for the most part was the days off.  It where I was able to reunite with Maz, who lived not to far from me.  I spent a lot of time not at home, living in the middle of nowhere with family.  At the time, I was in one of three places when I wasn’t at home if I could help it. I didn’t try to push myself.  I didn’t try to learn.  I just tried to stay above water, cause at this point, I was dealing with heart break and regression.  This isn’t to say that my family did this.  Not at all.  But this goes back to the fact that deep inside I knew I didn’t belong in this place.  I also, at this time, didn’t have the energy to make the change.   When I consider even this block of time, estimated three years from the January I left Salt Lake, to the January I would be moving to California, it too was a period of work than play.  And the play was drown out the work, with copious amounts of alcohol.  Challenge Completed.

Until one day I couldn’t really take it anymore.  There I had family.  There I had friends.  For as much as that should have been enough, it wasn’t.  I did not belong in Missouri.  After checking with a friend who had offered an open invitation to move out to live with him, I quit my job, filled up as much of my crap as I could and drop to California.  I got to work in computers again there.  I got lucky enough to know a guy that knew a guy that was friends with the owner of the local shop.  For the next year of my professional life, I was complacent.  I knew what I knew for the most part, learning only what I had too, not everything I should have than either.  So consider that at my son was born, (story for another time) and moving back to Salt Lake, it was now just under five years that I had not tried to expand my knowledge.

Over the last decade there have been spots of learning, but not like it should have been.  I learned the workings of a job, or enough to get the job.  My current position required a certain amount of linux, when I learned, and there is plenty of learning that goes with the job, but i didn’t actively set out to improve my skill set.  I became complacent.  This is what I realized between now and than.  While when it comes down to it, I’ll make choices I need to make, and do things I need to do, but if there is not need, I don’t push for more.  Even today, I strive to learn more….only because my job has a dead line.  The value I bring to the company needs to be displayed to other employers.   I think after this much of my life, I finally really found my biggest hangup, and now I have to fix it.  +1 to Perception.  +1 to Reflection.


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