I've learned a lot in the past three days. I've walked around in the shoes of the real world, or at least corporate America's version of it. I've learned a little more about people, and the way the world works, as I do every day of my life, and as I hope you do also. I've done a bit of research on Taoism. I've prayed for help, hoping not to drift from myself, or to drift from myself. Whichever.
I've learned small things about my friends, and I've met new people, though I wouldn't say I've learned much about them. Not yet anyway. They seem nice, and I look forward to working with them.
I've read more Sandman, and I've watched more Downton Abbey. I have remembered why I took up writing in the first place. Maybe it would be truer to say that I have been reminded.
I've learned a lot, surely, though the lion's share of what I've learned would mean nothing to most of you. To nearly all of you. It's mere data, mostly. Programs my mind has been downloading.
I asked Dan multiple times before I applied what his work consisted of. He consistently answered vaguely, or didn't answer at all. I now understand why, though. To really understand what we're doing you have to spend hours and hours of training. That's mostly what I've been doing at work thus far, and I wouldn't even say I understand it even now. I have a good idea, I think. We'll see when I get into the thick of it though.
It's interesting the little worlds that exist around us, that we never pay attention to. That we don't know. Sure, there are the thousands of worlds that hide in the minds of everyone we know (and don't know), and I respect that notion more than (again) most, if not all, of you. But here, that's not what I'm talking about. Here, I mean to reference the fantastic differences of all our lives.
Maybe fantastic is the wrong word, but maybe it's right.
The thing is, there are rules, and methods, and processes that we will never know, but that we are surrounded by. There is so much knowledge out there, it truly is mind boggling. I saw this with my first job, hanging Christmas lights. I was taught specific things, and we used tools I (and most people) didn't know existed. Even more specifically, I was taught trade secrets, like the saguaro halo. Things that even other people, who were very much a part of our small world, didn't know.
With the bookstore, this fact became even more apparent to me. Maybe I'll say with the bookstore is when it became apparent to me. There's a lot of things that go on there that most of you don't know about (though significantly more of you know about the bookstore than my current work or my passion for the hidden worlds in people's minds).
Now, though, I feel like I'm truly getting a handle on how unique the life of one individual is. No, I'm sorry, that's a falsehood. I don't even come slightly close to understanding that. I can hardly consider my knowledge an hourglass of sand compared a shifting beach, let alone all the gyrating sand in the world, which is still does the notion no real justice.
No one else will truly know what it was like for me to lay, stomach down, in the dirt, at night, on the church campus, watching an older man (who, I cannot remember) stand atop a small building and shine his flashlight, trying to catch kids from the youth group who's goal it was to sneak by him. They won't know what it's like to think back and reflect on that memory, of that childhood that seems so distant now.
Will they reflect on their own childhood? Yes. Can they infer what it's like for me to reflect? Sure, they will even possible feel that same pang of emotion, the distance from who they once were. The confusion, telling themselves 'No, you're not that distant from your old self. You're closer than many. Look at you, capable of reading many, many thoughts of your old self. You may be distant, but you're not as far away as them." Will they even have instances where they lay, stomach down in the dirt, and watch someone shine a flashlight around, looking intently for someone(s)? Some will, but it will not be the same.
I guess what I mean to say with all of this is, I don't know if you can really know what it's like at my new job. I have my own cubicle, so if you've had your own cubicle ever, there's an aspect of my new job you might be able to understand. A corner cubicle? Even closer, but even if you had the same exact cubicle, you wouldn't know what it's like for me to be there. Not really.
It's weird how people ask these questions. "How was your day?" "What's it like there?" "What do you do?" Questions like that, that, even in the most honest cases, cannot be met with a complete answer. It makes sense, I guess. People try to put themselves in your shoes sometimes, and that's awesome. That shows interest in your life, in what it's like to be you, and, I don't know, maybe that means you matter to them. It's hard to answer those questions though. So you say, "Fine." "A desk job." "Data entry." You give them an answer, but you know it's only a portion of the truth. A portion so small that you feel they're being misled.
Saying something abstract like "I've slept awake on pages of my windowed future" would convey to them better the truth, but saying stuff like that's weird. You're also not sure that truth you wrapped for them would ever get unwrapped. Maybe you just like the abstract. Maybe you should have been an artist. Maybe you should still try.
Do I like my new job? Even answering that would mislead you.
I over think things, I know. I'm pleased to have the job. It's going well. There are a lot of acronyms. I'm sorry I haven't painted you a picture. Ask me in a week or so, maybe I'll have the brushes to do it then.