Strap yourselves in, because it's story time.
It's Friday afternoon at work. Fifteen minutes to five. The workshop is closed for another week, and we're now stuck in end of week limbo.
You know, that zone of suck between finishing work for the afternoon and waiting for five to come around just in case a last minute call comes in? That. When everyone makes the subtle shuffle toward the door while everyone else pretends they haven't noticed you're making the slowest beeline for the car park in recorded history. And inevitably someone, often well intentioned, decides to make an attempt at small talk.
"Anyone have any plans for the weekend?"
Silence. At least for a moment, while everyone attempts to make some kind of interesting spin on the same old shite they've answered this question with the last fifty-two times over the last year.
"Probably stay in and have a quiet one."
"Never a bad thing, I suppose."
Normally I would agree. After a long week at work, who doesn't feel like coming home, throwing the PJ's on, turning on the heater and getting settled in for an evening of 80's Australian television nostalgia courtesy of our friends at YouTube? Sounds like heaven, right?
And it was, the first fifty-one times. But this time is different. It is a bad thing.
I'm 25, Male, living in suburban Adelaide. I have no kids, a stable job, and a relationship. I'm a statistic of modern society, and until recently I had no qualms about this fact. I liked where I lived and loved my job. (And still do.) I would come home, be greeted by my wonderful partner, and talk about the day before watching a movie. I caught the bus everywhere, but worked towards getting my drivers license. I had hobbies, albeit small ones, fixing up the occasional computer and doing some work around the house to pass the time. I learned to be content with the "now", because more would come later on.
The drivers license worked out, but some of the other things didn't. My partner has chosen to spend some time elsewhere, at least in the interim, and being on my own I now realise just how little of my own identity I actually have. I fix computers at work and I fix them at home. I have no true friends or social connections. I have wheels, but nowhere to go. Occasionally I wander down to the local pub to break up the monotony.
In layman's terms, I'm boring as shite.
I almost found the formula once in my love of broadcasting television and radio, working in some community radio stations in the afternoons and evenings. But alas, that ended too and now I need to find something new, something completely different, and something I enjoy doing.
Some have suggested I take up a degree at Uni, which sounds like a brilliant idea as far as meeting people goes, but would involve leaving my stable, full time job. It's this limitation that makes matters difficult, because it limits me to something out of hours and at least in my area, that's nothing. Even the community seniors weekly crochet group meets on a weekday morning here.
It's a bit of a weird situation to be in, where you're independent and relatively stable financially (and should be grateful for this fact) but because of past events and decisions, regrettable or not, you end up alone and without connections, working hard but with no life to show for it. It's like being inside your own bubble that is your existence, with the same routine and the same faces, day in and out.
And now, I'm afraid that I'll be destined to service computers forever. That's all I'll ever amount to. I'd like to have friends, to have connections and outside inspiration, but most of all to know what's next, be it in life or my career. I need to break free from the bubble, but I'll be damned if I know where to start.
I'd have someone follow me around for a week and assemble a fifty-point inspection report on where I'm going wrong and the opportunities I missed, but nobody offers that service. That's a potential growth market, right there.
But since nobody offers it - yet - all I can do is ask others for their experience and wisdom, find out what worked for them and armed with that knowledge, attempt to piece it all together.