Self-indulgent musings: An ongoing series

Today I was on Bleecker and Lafayette, the block where my in-laws live, and I noticed that Two Boots wasn’t there any more. I hadn’t been by in a couple of months, so I didn’t know if I just hadn’t gotten the memo or if this had happened yesterday. Either way, it was very strange for it not to be there, and for a few moments I had that same feeling of not knowing how to react to it.

With the exception of the time I went to college and one extremely ill-advised year in San Francisco, I have lived in New York City for all of my life. In all that time I’ve watched it change and eventually turn into the unrecognizable luxury high-rise strip mall that it is today, but the one constant has always been people complaining about how much better it used to be in the past. I realized a couple of years ago that I am now one of those people. Maybe I always was, but I’m noticing it a lot more now.

Maybe it’s fatherhood, where I find myself constantly realizing that there’s this person in my life — who’s as integral to it as it gets and who I can’t imagine my life without —  who wasn’t around for the majority of the time that I’ve existed. It seems amazing to me that for the biggest milestones in my life, like getting married, Roman was nowhere to be found. It’s amazing to me that my grandfather — who I was incredibly close to and who I still carry around to this day — never knew him.

Maybe it’s also just getting older and hitting midlife. At the job I just left, and maybe a little bit at the one before that, I noticed that I was getting older but my coworkers always seem to be younger, sort of like a reverse “Dazed and Confused” scenario. I would make jokes with pop culture references in them and get back stares, cricket sounds. I could briefly comfort myself by telling myself that they would have that experience one day too, but the schadenfreude that offers is brief and fleeting.

I guess this is all natural and I shouldn’t be too surprised by it. By as unemployed 45 year old person, there is a tendency to wax philosophical about how little time you have left to be relevant, and how much time you pissed away worrying about stupid bullshit that never mattered in the first place.

Take it away, Possum.

While I’m technically “unemployed,” I’m still working. I made enough decent contacts at my last job that I can at least do some freelance writing for now, but I really hate working freelance and I’m hoping to get some sort of full-time thing at some point, at least for the health benefits.

At the same time, there’s not much that I miss, and I can’t pretend that I wish I was back at my old job. The last six months of it were really unpleasant, mainly because I knew that I was going to be laid off at any moment. I won’t go into the reasons why I became redundant, because it’s not interesting. But I knew the clock was ticking, and when the phone rings at your desk and you never know if it’s THE CALL from HR, it’s like feeling someone breathing down your neck for 40 hours a week. It wears you down. It really takes a lot out of you, without you even noticing it until it’s over.

If the last six months were like living with a terminal illness, then the last couple of weeks of it were like going into hospice care. You can tell when you’re going to lose your job because people at work stop talking to you. They stop returning your calls and e-mails. They cancel meetings and don’t reschedule them. It’s a lot of “When Your Phone Don’t Ring, It’ll Be Me.”

I have started blogging

Well, enough people have told me to start blogging that I have started blogging. I probably should have been doing this for the last few years, but Facebooking and the occasional Tweet always seemed to be enough to me. However, since I am deeply responsive to the demands of the consumer marketplace, I am totes caving and taking it to the “throw something together on WordPress” level.

In the highly unlikely event that you’re looking at this right now and are not one of the people who have told me to start blogging, I should probably say that this site isn’t even slightly ready yet. So keep checking back and then, one day, you will be rewarded for your diligence by finding a blog by an angry, unemployed 45-year-old that looks like somebody actually worked on the design for ten minutes.