Where has Mr. Philosopher gone for so long? I’ve fallen short of my blogging promises and I must apologize for that. It’s been an extremely inactive year, and that’s largely because my priorities shifted from writing and it wasn’t until I wrote this just now that I realized it. The faithful blog readers remember my decision to leave graduate school for a year, and now I’ve returned in pursuit of my PhD (yup, it’ll be Dr. Philosopher before long). I’ll blog later on about why I chose to return (sometimes, you just have business to finish) but I wanted to describe more about what I’d been doing in the year off.
I’m a Marxist, but it must only be in theory because I was an ad salesman. How’d I get roped into sales, might you ask? It’s a long story but the finish is that the company is a black business directory (St. Louis Black Pages – if you’re looking to reach the Black community in STL and gain more exposure for your business, hit them up!) and I was sold on the idea of helping other Black businesses gain more exposure and help the company gain more exposure since it seemed like the right kind of business. I knew I wanted to do something that had nothing to do with what I’d been doing before, which was youth development and academic work. Nothing against either field, but when I finished my MA and knew that I wanted a break, it really meant taking a break from what I’d known. While extremely out of character for me, but I couldn’t fight my intuition – it was time to try something new.
The job had its highs and lows, like most jobs do, but it certainly gave me a crash course on real life and dealing with people because the bottom line was my job was to get people comfortable enough to recognize that our product can work for them so much so that they’re willing to sign over their hard earned cash to us. Sales is like playing defensive back and graduate school is like playing slow pitch softball in terms of the speed of the game, the action/reaction ability you need to be successful, and how important it is to be an athlete on the field. If a sale didn’t happen, that’s thousands of dollars I’ve missed out on – missing a deadline on a paper hasn’t cost anybody anything but 2 hours more.
That said, part of that break was taking an unfortunate break from writing. From being in front of the computer, actually. As the year progressed, I found myself away from my laptop, seeing as I’d spent most of the work day in front of a computer or a client or on the road. Handwriting my work was always an option, but even right now I can’t remember where my notebooks are (they’ve actually got a lot of important notes from the past 5-6 years, I’d better find them this weekend or I’m definitely up a creek without a damn boat) and for some reason, the desire to write waned. It wasn’t laborious to write, so much as the flame was down a little bit. Plenty of topics came to mind but there wasn’t a big surge of excitement, or even readiness to write like the one I have at present. Looking back, the flame being a bit down wasn’t the sole reason, because this still feels pretty shaky for my writing. My mind was extremely cluttered. So many clients and meetings and schedules and events and it was hard to just clear my head and think. The job became a thick, rolling fog in my brain and my fog lights just sucked.
Well, the good news is the fog is gone and the philosophy is back. Actually, Mr. Philosopher is back. That means IGNANT Fridays, Pissed Off Pontifications, and the debut of a new weekly segment – “Why You Shouldn’t Do That,” where, you guessed it, I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t do a certain action. If you’ve got anything you want me to tell you why you shouldn’t do it, inbox me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tweet me (check my tweets to the right) and it’ll get brought up in the first edition, which will be this upcoming Wednesday! Be a part of history, because I’ve never tried to tell anybody why they shouldn’t do things like post YouTube videos of themselves falling over, watch SportsCenter on repeat in the morning, go to a Prince tribute show under the influence, or be Black and run for President.