Today is the big day. It feels momentous and yet I know that it is anything but. Today is the day that I woke up early in the morning, made breakfast, brewed a cup of coffee, and then headed into my office to start working. I haven’t touched a professional email for almost two weeks now. I haven’t had a professional conversation for almost two weeks as well. To be frank, I haven’t even thought about anything professionally related for almost two weeks.
Opening up my inbox is daunting. From financial documents, to emails about current projects, to people hitting me up to come work for them there are a ton of emails. Yet, I feel like I did when I first became a civilian. After being a combat medic in Iraq, it was hard to get worked up or even concerned about things when I got out of the Army. If nobody was dying and nobody was trying to kill me or my colleagues whatever was happening didn’t rise to the level of me really caring. Today, I find myself back in the same state of mind.
Don’t get me wrong, because I believe like Tony Montana that “All I have in this world is my balls and my word, and I don’t break ‘em for no one.” I have always given my professional life my all. What I say I’m going to do and what I actually do matters to me. Delivering a high quality product or service is something I pride myself on. However, just because what I do matters to me, doesn’t mean I actually care about what I do. It’s an interesting and sometimes frustrating form of cognitive dissonance.
Yet this dichotomy lessened over time. Sure, I still knew what a “real emergency” and an actual “shitty day” were, but I could empathize more with civilians. I could convince myself that since what we were doing mattered, what was happening mattered as well. A crisis and the times to knuckle down and surge on work could resonate with me. Today, I again lack that empathy.
Losing my son continues to affect me in ways that are hard to imagine. Years worth of work and growth all seem to have been erased and I am back to viewing the world like I did when the injured, dead, and dying were all that concerned me for 7 years. I hope that this me can regain that lost mindset that the old me took years to build.