Today is my 50th birthday. Nothing more to say about it really. 50 years on the planet. 50 years of knowing others on the journey. 50 years of life, love, trouble and strife. It’s the kind of milestone that makes you suddenly take stock of your life and re evaluate your priorities. In my case, this involved a move to a house I really couldn’t afford to provide a better environment for my daughter, starting a skateboard company on a shoestring, getting divorced and staring imminent destitution in the face. It’s not a comforting feeling.
The biggest surprise I’ve found is just how disposable anyone over 50 seems nowadays. Age discrimination or not, companies won’t look at me for jobs I am completely qualified for. Vermont is a small state, and I’ve pissed enough people off in it to expect that the informal referral network buzzes with vitriol and stories every time my resume hits a desk. I know without a shadow of a doubt that at least one ex boss has systematically destroyed my professional reputation in this state. The frustration about not being able to do anything about that is extreme, but I have found ways to focus it into steely resolve. In my situation, I have to find gainful employment in my own business, selling stuff outside of the state but allowing me to live within it in something that has manageable stress levels. I am finding this to be a tall order and I’m not exactly sure why. I have a bucket of skills that is huge and deep in good, relevant areas. I don’t have the pseudo qualifications needed to play the game in the traditional way. In short – I’m an oddball. Put me in the right situation and I’ll blow your socks off. The wrong one however will quickly lead to frustration, dissatisfaction and a burning desire to leave. I’m just not cut out for spending years of a finite life working for douchebags who’s main skill is residing in other peoples rectums and who’s only active product is carbon dioxide.
So I fight my personal demons daily, somehow finding the strength to face the enormous challenges and make progress. It has to be this way. The alternatives don’t bear thinking about (although I do – frequently). The business will expand and gain momentum. Money will start to flow and life will get better. I have to believe that. Doing that daily though – well that’s the biggest challenge of my life so far.
Thanks for reading this rambling post. I’d be interested to hear your comments on all this, especially if you have ideas on what I can do.