So I went to dinner with Trey and his wife last week. Since I changed cities at the turn of 2016 he and I see each other less, but that’s more to do with geography — that we used to live less than five minutes from one another — than any indictment on our friendship. I’d not seen his wife in a few months, which I realized, because that’s about as long as she’s been pregnant with their first child.

There’s nothing remarkable about this dinner; it’s just a reference in time. But recently, within the last couple months, one of our mutual friends, Ryan, and I were talking about splitting a house together.

It came about like many of my other supposed brilliant plans: alcohol was involved. Everything seems like a good idea after three or four drinks. Ryan and I talked about it, mostly from a financial perspective, how it would benefit both of us. And that was true. It seemed like a really good idea at the time.

In my heart, of course — or perhaps my right mind — I knew this plan would never come to fruition. And for the same reason as what Trey said when I brought it up to him: We live different, almost entirely opposite, lives.

Ryan enjoys company, and I’m more of a loner. It says something about me that coexistence has always been an issue of mine. Aside Trey the longest adult friendship I’ve had lasted only a couple fractured years. The longest relationship I’ve had lasted just shy of a year, and that too was fractured. The longest job I’ve kept lasted like two and a half years.

The latter is relevant because I’m again on the verge of jumping ship from my current job, a handful of months short of the two-year mark.

There isn’t any great mystery here to be unearthed: I’m an addict for novelty. Or more specifically, the feeling of novelty. I seek what is new when I am no longer new. When the well runs dry on both fronts it’s time for me to leave.

It’s true in almost every aspect of my life, with family acting as the obvious exception. This isn’t about Ryan, specifically. This is about me, generally. I get tired of everything, all the time. I’m not sure if there is a solution to such a problem. But then again I haven’t checked the price of a lobotomy.

What’s obscure is I do have some biological yearning to have a family and raise kids. I look forward to that stage of my life. The conflict is getting to that point, because with where I’m at right now I can’t fathom the process of meeting someone, falling in love or whatever, living with them, marrying them, and having kids with them. This isn’t Click and I can’t just snap my fingers and get there.

But I’m probably just frustrated with this box I’ve put myself in. The reason I left my first job was on a whim, though the need for a change had been boiling over by then; the reason I left the first casino I worked at was to step up into a better-paying casino; the reason I want to leave the better-paying casino I’m at now is to get to an even better-paying casino. My lust for progress knows no bounds.

What I put the bulk of my thought into is what I plan to do when I get tired of the next place. That’s going to come, too. I can’t be satisfied.

Work is a means to an end, even though time is the only currency I ever truly acknowledge. I’m not going to be a dealer forever because I can’t be a dealer forever. And, I imagine, it’s for the same reason I can’t hold a friendship or a relationship: I have too high of an opinion of myself. Being a dealer sells me too short.

This is where I stand as of August 6, 2016. A reminder of how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go.

I’m not playing this game against people I went to high school with, or people I work with. At 26 I know I’m ahead of the curve, well ahead of the curve in some respects. I’m playing against my own impossible standards, just like I did when I was 10 and 14 and 16 and thought I was going to Duke University. I didn’t make it there, but I did make it to my other dream school.

That’s what I’m doing now. I’m dreaming on something that may never happen, but if it doesn’t then I’m sure as hell going to get close. I doubt I’ll be satisfied, or even happy, by then, but I’ll at least be buying myself the option to keep moving up.

For my entire life I’ve felt trapped in the state of having all the time in the world to play with, while simultaneously being up against the clock. I wouldn’t be wrong on either end of those poles, but I’m stuck in the meantime of the middle. Where I’m good where I’m at with the knowledge that it isn’t enough.

I need more. I need to see the whole world. I need to write about it.

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