You know those blobfish? The ones from the deep sea that look like their face is melting, that look like they’re very sad versions of Danny DeVito as the Penguin in Batman Returns?
Apparently, they don’t actually look like that. It’s only when you take them from the pressure of their natural environment that they melt, relax into a completely different shape, and stare at you reproachfully like you don’t even know who I am, man.
A few months ago I left my job. I loved my job, loved my co-workers, but it was a stressful environment. It had become so over a number of years, leaping and tumbling chaotically towards a manic, constantly changing version of itself. I embrace change and constant learning, but sometimes it was like nailing Jello to a tree. I was tired, all the time. I was injured, all the time. I was emotionally invested, when I should have been investing elsewhere.
(Like in this kid I know, who is 10-going-on-16 and needs me right now.)
So I took a job elsewhere, in a more established, corporate environment, in a less volatile industry. I felt like I had been running at 900 mph and slammed into a brick wall.
At first, it was nice. To only be expected to sit and absorb information. To slowly, very slowly, start to walk away from the brick wall at a conservative 3mph.
Too. Fucking. Slowly.
I had relaxed into a blobby shape, but...I didn’t understand this new body. I need to do things, I need to be useful, I brought up in each meeting. Please give me something to DO.
Oh, of course, they said. Here.
I looked at them sadly through my blobby eyebrows. You don’t even know who I am, man.
Turns out, chaos and change are what give me shape. Constant activity is what keeps me swimming. The pressure of expectations are what prop me up out of bed in the morning.
So I’m heading back down into the Mariana Trench. Not the same trench as before, but a similar one. To be shaped by the currents, held together by the weight.
This time, I won’t be swept away.
I know who I am.