Dust in the Wind
It all began at work, a place I used to look at as an escape from the real world bull that came with my sudden change of lifestyle. I had written off my friends and had chosen to take my life in a much healthier way, let's call it, playing it safe.
Well, playing it safe included coating myself in a protective layer of pure pretend, something I did just to fit in, to "meld with the crowd" and to "assimilate" to the everyday regular guy that one ran into on the street. Well, I guess there came a time when the stress just got me. When this mask I had decided to put on slowly started to tear itself apart.
My mind could no longer hide the broken circuitry for it had come apart at the seams. So much of who I was felt forced, faked, that had now become like a complete stranger. So I broke, I couldn't take it. I let all the cares in the world slip away, and I was no longer the same person at work.
I figured that throughout all the time, more specifically, since I had gotten the promotion offered to me about a year ago, I had been working extra hard, pushing myself, and even doing things that perhaps were not even my responsibility, but as a hard-worker that I've always been, I felt like picking up some slack was nothing more than just "doing my job."
Perhaps I got blinded to the fact that for some people, me working equaled me doing too much. Was I making others look bad? Was I supposed to not do that? After all, the promotion came with more power and responsibility that I figured the more I worked...well, makes sense, right? I just looked at it as doing my job, like I said.
That was one drop of stress.
The second came when all hell broke loose at work. People were quitting and getting fired left and right. Our numbers were thinning out and I was just as amazed, if not more, as any other higher-up on the field. However, see, what the problem here was, not that this was all happening suddenly and of-kilter, but the fact that everyone else didn't seem to care or at least show that they cared. It was almost as if it was expected or perhaps even something usual in a day's work. This bothered me. Quite a lot as it kept on happening.
You would think that keeping staff around would be easy, but as it turns out, most of the ones gone didn't value a job as important or simply had "better" things to do. I'll never understand it, nor do I want to.
See, the third drop happened to come unto me like a snake in the grass. It had been hiding there for a while and had clenched its teeth onto my leg and was slowly sucking my blood dry as time went on. I figured, eh, I got promoted, so okay, it'll take time until it all becomes official. I guess I just didn't think it would take this long. And believe me, I can have a lot of patience for a lot of things, but it had seemed to me that my patience had hit its limit.
It now felt wrong to work hard. To care. And so I stopped--I had to, before the stress run me down like a fever, like the poison the snake had sneaked in me through my veins was somehow dormant until this very moment. When it finally made me open my eyes and realize that I was going nowhere and real fast.
It was the moment of truth that I had been waiting for a while; I had come to hit a wall in which I had to make a decision. Should I try to dig my way around it, or just stay there facing it, waiting for it to come down on its own?
All I had in front of me was a spoon. And by God, was I dead-set on using it. So I chose to dig around it. Thing is, the more I dug, the more I uncovered about myself and where I was. What I was.
At first I wasn't sure, but then I realized, I was just a face in the crowd.
Expressionless, wide-eyed, simple, yet unrecognizable face lost in the sea of blue shirts and black vests.
I didn't feel like I mattered. Like I was making a difference. I didn't feel like I deserved the promotion, let alone needed it.
I felt. Nothing.