Monday, October 26, 2009

In the Company of Men

Last Monday, October 20, 2009, I ended a seven year stretch of working part time. I had been telling my wife for months that I was tired, and wanted to resign. She didn't think it was a good idea, so I decided to stay and remain miserable.

During my last review, my boss informed me that she was changing my work hours, and that I had not been hitting the previous expectations set in regards to my arrival time to the various offices she had me stationed. As cool as I could, I told her that my mornings involved my son's prep time for school, and in no way was I going to rush him through his morning to get to a part time job that changed my arrival time from my initial employment contract. My last comment to her was that I understood my priorities to be my family and then my job. I then stated that she needed to let me know when our arrangement did not work for her anymore and at that point we could part ways. On the 20th of October, I stood erect, confident, and secure in my decision not to sacrifice my time in the morning with my sons for the comfort of an A.M. cubicle; we parted ways.

My wife did not like the sequence of events that unfolded Monday, but I have no regrets. For the first time in a long time I feel free, uncompromising, and like a bad ass who just stuck it to the man, or in this case, the woman. Remember, this was a part time job. Yes, it afforded me roughly an extra $15k on the year, but who cares. I still have my full-time "take care of your family and secure your future" gig. Only the part time job had to go.

One week has past since my liberation, and I am still smashing my freedom. It's not often that you get a second honeymoon so I wanted to make sure I took full advantage of my newly found good fortune. I feel like I've come into my own with this experience. I feel like I've joined the ranks of men who forged their paths through life with no regrets, no shame, and strongly convicted in their beliefs and decisions. I simply can not put into words the joy I feel rolling by my old office, or when I see old colleagues going about their business. Knowing that I can choose to interact or not interact with them is priceless. And if I decide to interact, knowing that it will be on my terms gives me a cockiness that some may misread as arrogance. But the fact of the matter is that I can say what I want, and what I feel with no restraints. In that moment, that instance, that type of freedom in worth more than $15k. I've found my voice again, unbound, fighting silence, and contemplating raising hell. I've found my passion for expressing my opinion, and I'm able to discuss topics again without having to dumb them down to spare someones feelings, or mask their ignorance.

I'm not sure of what the future holds, or whether it's holding another part time job out there for me, but I do know that I'm in good company. I can afford my time again; I don't have to sell it to the highest bidder. It's a damn good feeling to be in the company of men.