Ah, Mondays. The birth of another agonizing workweek and, for many, a bleary-eyed, inconvenient reminder of a sad reality.

A drab, off-white drop ceiling lined with harsh, florescent lights gives way to white walls peppered with a poorly curated collection of middling landscape art, dust-caked awards from magazines that no longer exist and weren’t prestigious when they did, and lined with department store desks, the kind built from cheap particle board that begins to swell at the first drop of burnt coffee, and where the corners begin to chip after getting caught in the office’s unpleasantly matted, dark green frieze carpet. “They should make this place at least a little inviting,” you think to yourself between grimacing sips of that coffee. It’s 8 a.m., for crying out loud, and your boss has called a strategy meeting for a big client who deals in pharmaceuticals, or medical devices, you aren’t really sure because the materials he provided were so dry you never finished reading them. You certainly looked at them, then and now, but to call what you were doing reading would be false.

The meeting begins and, as your boss excitedly outlines the firm’s plan of action for this client, which has some bullshit name that’s either a make-believe word or a common word creatively misspelled, you’re still waking up. You’ve never been a morning person, or an office person, so combining the two, even in the name of a still-too-low-but-steady paycheck, seems like cruel and unusual punishment. It’s mid-May, the birds are chirping outside. The thaw has been going on for a month now, but it’s currently in full swing. It’s the time of year where the first truly nice days in months makes you wonder if any construction sites are hiring, or if you should just start delivering Chinese food on your bike for a living, at least until winter sets back in. As your boss continues his speech, your eyes wander away from your notepad, where you haven’t been taking notes anyway, to the window just to his right and your left. Freedom lies yonder, you think. It is bright and sunny and attainable, if a little irresponsible, but between this weather and this work, you’ve been feeling increasingly fidgety lately anyway. Your foot starts to move a little and you don’t notice it right away, but once it registers, you understand why it’s happening. You’re waking up but it’s a different kind of awakening, the more profound kind that leads not to more productive work for some boring client who could fire your firm and put you out of your misery in a split second, but the kind of awakening that seems to say, “Holy shit. What am I doing here? I could be anywhere in the world right now, and I have chosen to be here. Why?”

Why choose mediocrity and complacency? Why choose the illusion of security? What they don’t tell you in high school or college is that, in reality, there is no net. Anything can happen at any time, and for no logical reason. It is a harsh lesson to learn, but a necessary one. Might as well do what you want. Might as well lose your smart-casual office attire, go outside, and Rock The Fuck On Forever.

 

 

 

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