I should explain. Things have been... well, not quite right for me of late. I'm not trying to be an online basket-case here, but my life's been on a detour the past couple of years, and I've spent that time trying to get back to where I was before the road broke to pieces beneath me.

A co-worker remarked to me today that I seemed more enthusiastic and energized than he'd seen me in a long time. It's because I've stopped trying to get back. Where the road disappears, I wander into the woods.

A quick, "rip-the-system" aside: we have a strange political system in this country that has ruled it is important to punish people who have children out of wedlock. Please forgive what might look like a hyperbole, but it's true: public policy in this country does not recognize that nontraditional families are an increasing trend. Instead of responding to cultural shifts, political wisdom has decided to up the ante in deterring folks from going down this road. And they go straight for your pocketbook.

This antiquated view that equates "supporting children" with "spending dollars" has been at the root of just about all sources of unhappiness in my life. Not that I mind being poor, but I do mind working in an environment that makes all expectations of living a proper, middle-class life, and not being able to fit into that. It's embarrassing to struggle to meet the unspoken dress code. See, I've been trying to stay on the corporate, upscale line for years, because it's what I have to do, to "support the children."

Well, if the government is going to make me poor, I figure it's time to just accept it and be poor. I won't bust my ass at the corporate level anymore. If I don't have any incentive to work hard to get ahead, why bother? If I can get by working a less stressful, part-time job, why not do it?

So I'm working to that end. Not tomorrow, not next month, but in the future, a future I can finally visualize. It's an energizing thing, to take the reins again.