For anyone who works an office job like me, it can't be emphasized enough how great it feels to have a personal email pop up in your inbox during your work day. It's such a small thing but for some reason, I pounce on it when I see that beige envelope icon pop up in the corner of my screen. This is in stark contrast to the groan I let out whenever I get an email from someone in my office. It's really amazing how such a little thing can be such a bright point in your day. I'm sure there is some Jack Handey-esque deep thought to be explored about the importance of friendship and the grayness of corporate life but I'm going to bypass that gimme topic and go straight into something with a little more meat.
This journey of non-physical self exploration began on a typical work day, when I received an email from a friend of mine, who was equally as bored. As usual, I drop whatever I'm doing (unless it's lunch) and spring upon my latest personal correspondence. There was the usual banter with a deeper question thrown in to spark a conversation that would help pass the time: "What do you think the meaning of life is?"
Wow. But I was ready for it. I forwarded my phone to voice mail, threw the contents of my inbox into a drawer and minimized my spreadsheets as I flexed my fingers dove onto my keyboard and after I was done, the results were both frightening and eye opening. Here is my response verbatim:
"This brings us to your timeless question regarding the meaning of life. Honestly, I haven't found it. I've debated it with myself but I can't really reach a lasting conclusion. With that I mean I usually appease myself periodically by telling myself that the meaning of life is to live it to the fullest, be a good person, have fun, find somebody (or some bodies) to love, etc. But then I later think, 'You’re a fool, H. You were just feeling good because it was Friday and it was sunny.' Or something like that. The point is, I feed myself these lame clichés to avoid bringing myself down and to keep me from hanging myself with my necktie. (Actually, I'd probably do something a bit more shocking like going out Michael Hutchence style – hey sometimes you kick and sometimes you die from auto-erotic asphyxiation.) Anyway, my point is that while those stereotypical 'enjoy what you have, make the most of each day' arguments are nice ideals, the reality is, I sit in a windowless cubicle 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. I sit in traffic for a minimum of 1.5 hours a day, 5 days a week just to get to this carpeted rut and it's for the sole purpose of accumulating material possessions so that society will see me as a 'success' whatever the f that means. Sadly, what it [success] is defined by is your material possessions.