Aiming for a creative life

I Am Santo

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Things Can Change

I write this having moved this fledgling – and now rather aged – repository of creative work to yet another webhost, having grown sick of the setup I’d had previously which had me annually forgetting the process to renew and install the security certificate. Now the host does it automatically and I can breath easily knowing the landscaper doesn’t have THE ugliest lawn in the neighborhood, but rather just an overgrown mess that needs more tending-to than I have time to give it.

Or do I have time now?

Last I’d written in here, I was given a three-month sabbatical from my job of ten years. I’d worked hard, earned a rest, took it, went back to work and lo-and-behold, while I was out they’d hired my replacement. I was expected to be ok with this despite the years of working hard for the position to prove myself, but that damn sabbatical proved to someone that I couldn’t hack it and, well, I ended up training my replacement while handing over the reins. And I didn’t mind too much because I technically had less responsibility.

Only that was a technicality, and oh how I was still in way too deep on far too many projects.

So one fine late-summer day, I got frustrated over this thing or that and decided to submit a couple resumes. Both got call-backs immediately, but one for a “digital marketing” position declared that my cv was “too digital.” I’ll always wonder what that was about.

The other was intriguing, and the place sounded hungry for someone with my skillset; to the point that they’d pay a little extra. On my end, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing for the job sounded like 20% of the work I used to do for 80% of the pay. For someone as stressed and unhappy as I was, this sounded like a no-brainer. I leapt, and in doing so said good-bye to the position I held for 11 years.

The last few weeks at my former employer were rough. I worked my butt off to finish some major, highly visible projects as I wanted to leave behind a legacy, but was frustrated and more than a little hurt that I was leaving at all. This was my livelihood and something I’d worked so hard at for a very long time. And it was gone for reasons I still don’t entirely understand but had to accept.

A month into my new job and all I can think is “Why didn’t I leave sooner?”

The change of employers has reduced so much stress and mental exhaustion from my day-to-day, that I’m actually able to think about doing things like, y’know, writing an entry on this website. I have time… or, more to the point, I have ENERGY. I tinker and putter on home projects. I rest more. I read. I smile. And when I go to work, I do my job, do it really well and then… go home and don’t think too much about it.

It’s an incredible feeling.

I’m still co-running a podcast in my outside-work hours and am just realizing that I probably never mentioned it here. It’s called “Filmjitsu!” and it’s a fun diversion that finds me and my buddy Mike forcing each other to watch crappy movies and then report back with a review. He started this podcast “where films are wielded like deadly weapons” around a decade ago with a friend named John, but decided to reboot it with me a couple years ago. We started releasing episodes back in April and it’s a good deal of work that got a lot easier for me to keep up with now that I’ve made an employment change.

That said, what about the writing?

Well it’s not happening much at all, to be honest. I am writing daily in my journal since last September when the sabbatical started, and I finally did finish that mother of all journals I’d started originally in 2015! And while there was a short story in there that I wrote back in January, it’s the only thing of “value” I’ve produced.

No books. No collections. No screenplays. Nada for anyone to hold physically and read.

I’ll get there, or so I tell myself, but honestly I can see the road ahead now is much shorter than the road behind and I really need to start thinking about getting things done. My greatest personal fear, aside from anything bad happening to those I love, is that I suddenly die tomorrow without having ever published anything. I’ve written far too much for that to happen. And even if it’s sub-par, I’d like for it to be collected and consumable as it’ll likely define me.

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