I spent the past two weeks concluding my life in Iowa, so I had much less free time than expected. Of course, I’d start a new project right before moving.
If you could go back and ask an earlier version of myself the places he’d likely reside throughout his life, Iowa wouldn’t have made any list.
I didn’t hate living in Iowa. To the contrary, I found Des Moines to be an enjoyable city overall. But, Iowa is not the kind of place I envisioned myself residing at any point. Maybe that’s a lesson in-of-itself, but that’s not the point right now. So I got off my journey and resigned to spending a few months there while looking for jobs. I was so convinced it would only be a few months. Then the new year came and went and nothing changed. I would have a spurt of applications, then a spurt of nothing and repeat, with the occasional revival of writing sprinkled across this time.
I wish I could convey how mentally and emotionally crushing it is to be stuck in essentially part-time work in customer service with years of education, culminating in a Master’s degree, bouncing around my head. I don’t mean that to say I was too good for that type of work, rather that I found it incredibly unfulfilling. I want to be apart of something.
Despite what some are convinced, I have never been one to chase the money. Obviously, I hope to earn enough to live a life free of debt and with some basic amenities, but I have never dreamed of riches in any serious fashion. What I yearn for, is the knowledge that my work, whatever that might be, will leave a lasting impact upon others and the world around me. I don’t seek fame, simply to know that I lived a life worth living: to know I helped build something important.
For a year, I accomplished nothing to that end. So despite the positive memories and relationships, I consider that time a failure. Not necessarily a waste of time, but a failure to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.
Previously, this is where I would end the blog. It’s poignant, albeit depressing, but despite the categorized failure, I do believe I have learned a few things.
It it much easier to make a simple observation and leave it at that. What’s maybe harder (for myself) is to observe, conclude, then ask why. There’s a number of variations to that question as it concerns the year spent in Iowa, but, as we’ll explore going forward, it comes down to habits. I’m a man of many bad habits and a poor ability to form new, positive ones. Habits I’m still trying to break.