At A Crossroads

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Jimi Hendrix would’ve turned 74 on Sunday, November 27. He will always be my hero. AP Photo via Getty Images

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything that wasn’t sports related or hockey. Be that as it may, I felt compelled to write in this space about personal stuff that’s been ongoing.

I’ve worked the same job for five years. How I lasted this long I still don’t understand. All I know is working at a call center is one of the worst things you can ever do. Between the long shifts spent on the phone and the rude and disrespectful customers who have no time or patience or appreciation for anything we do, it’s tedious.

I have needed to get out of this for a while. I feel like I’m going insane. I have lost all sanity. I miss the hell out of my friends I did things with. So many people have moved on with their lives. My closest friend works from home which makes this job a lot more tolerable. I just don’t know if I’m built for it anymore.

Even when it’s not supposed to, it causes me a lot of anxiety and stress. It doesn’t matter that it’s become consistent hourly pay. Honestly, salary at this place sucks. The fun went out once education died. Commission was better because it motivated us to work harder and get leads. Ever since they transitioned to jobs, this place has gone downhill. Between the awful records and poor management, they let a lot of quality people go.

I feel stuck. And really, I shouldn’t be. I should’ve just quit and done something else. I have control of the situation. But no direction. Try telling your parents that and they’ll think why did we spend all this money for you to get a Bachelor’s Degree. I’m told what to do. Not what I want to do.

Anyone who knows me knows I am one of the nicest, most unselfish and caring guys out there. I am always looking out for other people. I will always have my friends’ backs. Just once, I can use them here. Personally, I think I belong helping others. Whether it be as a guidance counselor or someone who can assist troubled younger adults because of the crap I’ve gone through.

Anxiety and depression suck. They go hand in hand. Even when I don’t feel down, I am because I keep wondering how I let it get to this point. Next week, I turn 40. And it doesn’t even faze me. Anyone who’s seen me knows I look nothing close to my age. Let’s just say I can than my Mom and Dad for good genes. I have a baby face. So, it helps. I also am easy going around people and love conversation.

It’s just that I’m shy around certain people. Mainly women I like. I don’t know why. It’s always been hard for me. And it shouldn’t be. But I just think about my situation and wonder why anyone would want to be with me. While former classmates have raised families, I sit here at my desk and wonder where I am going. And I honestly cannot answer it.

Sometimes, I think about getting away. I hate it here. I wish I could just pack up and leave. That would make it easier. I don’t need to be told what to do. If only I didn’t owe Sallie Mae so much money. If only I had made more wise decisions. But here I am. Nothing will happen on December 8. It’ll come and go just like every holiday and birthday in our family. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. And that’s not the person I want to be. It SHOULD!

Everyone I’m friends with always tells me how cool and funny I am. That I’m nice. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I am too damn nice. But that isn’t changing. I could never be mean to anyone. Not unless they are to me. I always have had this motto. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It applies in life. Also, never label anyone. Don’t judge unless you have been in their shoes.

So, here we are. A late November Fall night post Thanksgiving. Thank God. My favorite holiday is now one I dislike due to all the disgusting food. When did Americans become such pigs? We really are spoiled rotten. Don’t think so? Just look at the portions we eat. I can’t do it anymore. I drink antioxidant water. At least a gallon on average. That’s the one positive thing I’ve done. I just need to cut out all the junk. Getting older sucks. Anyone who tells you different is a fool.

Unless you’re in the perfect situation, I just don’t see how getting older is exciting. Maybe for parents it is. If I had a kid, I would give my left arm for them. It’s basically what I’ve done helping out my brother. I am not gonna get into his situation. Let’s just say I’ve given everything. At what point should I start living for myself?

It’s okay to care. If we don’t have emotions, we’d be hopeless. I have them. I smile. I laugh. I cry. Well, not really. Unless you count inside. Sometimes, we have to let it out. Be truthful. Be brave.

That’s what I’m doing here. I am being truthful to myself. And to anyone who loves or appreciates me. I hope I find the right path and plan the next decade of my life much better than my 30’s. I know I can live with myself because I am focused on getting the job done.

Until next time these three words appropriately from my hero Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. He would’ve turned 74 yesterday.

PEACE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.

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Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.

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