I've stopped reading so much as late and I think that might be why I'm writing a lot less. I used to want to be a poet, or a writer. I used to want to be Bukowski. I've found myself thinking less and less nowadays.
I've found myself settling into the day to day effort of waking up in the morning, going to work and trying to win fictional prizes then going home. I'm going to Singapore in September where there will be five days of training, marketing advice, presentations (including a couple that I will have to run) and product releases. The brand in question has a sales target of around half a million dollars every year, and that is just one of my smaller brands. Every day, I struggle to push these products into the mindset of our sales team so they sell my products as well as the three hundred thousand other products that they've got available to them. Last year, I only hit 91% of my sales target. This year, I'm already 40% behind where I should be.
When I first arrived in my customer service role, three years ago, I wrote a poem about my co-workers, the first stanza says:
The grey single silent seconds
Has glazed the eyes of the worker many
They measure their successes by their heartbeat
If it stops, they lose
I've found that I've become so wrapped up in my fictional prizes of sales targets, inventory targets and potential wage increases that I've literally become what I hated. This is an idea that scares me.
There is a concept that I like to think about when people talk about feminism. I see the great success of feminism was that it broke women from their traditional gender roles. Women were to be born pretty, marry young and bare many children for the rest of their lives. When women broke away from this role they were able to fight for more equitable rights. I see that by doing so, they also aided men in breaking away from their own gender roles. Men were to be born strong, get a good job, and provide for the family for the rest of their lives. This has led to a stereotype-full of men living miserably - stuck in dead end jobs with dead end conclusions.
Every time I think about my new fictional prizes, every time I think about how I'm writing less, that I'm reading less, that I'm thinking less, I can't help but feel that I've got my fingers on my wrist measuring my heartbeat as I fulfil some kind of traditional gender role.