Uncertainty, cookies, and stories have been on my mind lately.
I'm one of many folks who has been dealing with it. I have friends and loved ones dealing with death, severe illness, divorce, all sorts of things.
I've got stuff going on too. This is my first week on a new job. I was pretty whacked out when I found out I was going to lose my old job, about a month ago. There are a lot of reasons why. Chief among them is the fact that certain kinds of stability, or the lack thereof are my personal kryptonite.
I think that's connected deeply to something about my childhood. Growing up my family was fairly well off, or seemed to be, for a while. But at a certain point, all that went right out the window. My dad wasn't a very good guy, and it came to pass that my family learned he had been lying about a great many things. It's a sad story. The net result of it was that my family was more or less destroyed, as I had known it. My parents got a spectacularly messy divorce, and all of us went through great emotional, and financial hardship for a long time.
Mostly, I came out the other side of that unscathed. I graduated from college, went on to get into a decent career, and the scattered remanants of my family came together as best we could. But it has left me with a lingering weakness - I like to, as much as possible, know that I can provide for myself and my family, and the idea that I can't, or won't be able to, kind of messes with my head, when I let it.
What's this got to do with stories or cookies? Well, it's this one thing: the best part is the part in the middle. Let's pretend for a minute that you and I are characters in a book together. When the person reading our book begins it, they've got a sense of who and what we are as characters, pretty quickly.
Generally speaking, people start out the same. There's some hanky panky, a sperm meets an egg, and 9 months later, here we are.
Then, at some point in the future, our story ends. Our stories always end the same way: we die. That's just how it is. It could be comfortably in our bed, at an advanced age, surrounded by our loved ones. It could be in a deep sea submersible, which is being attacked by irradiated mutant hyperintelligent sharks. (It's my blog, sorry.) The exact manner and time of our demise isn't known. But, the fact that we all have one, that's a given. Just like an Oreo cookie, we've got the chocolate cracker at the start, and the one at the end.
But ah, that cream filling. That's the good stuff. It's the middle of the story that's the best part.
Case in point: my job change. After a week on my new job, I'm having a great time.
It hasn't been all easy so far. Yesterday I spent a snow day in my house staring at code that looked like spaghetti to me, for a while. I am just beginning to get to know the system I'm working on, and that can be scary. But today, back in the office, things are clicking for me. The code, its overall purpose, and what I may do to make it better are beginning to come clear. What's more, the experience I got at my last gig is paying off - skills, knowledge, and experience I acquired there are coming in very handy here.
It's not a forgone conclusion. I feel on top of things today, but tomorrow, the next day are an unknown to me.
That's what makes them good.
I forget that sometimes. I'm human, and as prone to striving, mindlessness, and weakness as anyone else. That's actually normal, and natural, too. What I'm grateful for today is how great it is, when I remember that life right now, at this moment, is so very sweet.