There is a common myth that I've had told to me that on his or her deathbed an atheist will often "repent" and shout out to god. Often this is either used in conjunction with the broken Pascal's Argument in an attempt to sway me or it is used in conjunction with "magic" and placed in the same mystic realm as "out of body experiences" and "near-death experiences", which is to say that they sound to me an awful lot like illusions and hysterias.
No, for me, the place I will most likely seek comfort on the deathbed isn't "God" or any other external deity. I'm afraid that the obvious place for me to go is a familiar place called solipsism. Solipsism, the belief that I alone matter, is something that has always been on the edge of my thoughts. Ultimately it's a combination of natural skepticism and paranoia. At the end of the day it's easy for me to say, "I'm not sure anyone else exists outside me," and fall asleep in that simple comfort. Come death, I think the temptation would be too great to slip into those thoughts one last time. Solipsism isn't exactly egotism, at least in my opinion. In fact, the loneliness that tinges it can alone be ego-shrinking.
In my own thoughts I've dealt with solipsism for a long time. The small belief I carry as a keepsake of some of my more solipsistic periods of childhood, as a small mini-solipsism, is the belief that I am a Rain God. I remember so many afternoons when I was disturbed and angered over some outside game and my only friend and companion would be the Rain-- its tears would overpower my own, and in so doing would drown out the sorrow by forcing us to move to indoors activities.
A psychologist might diagnose it all away as a mild case of SAD (seasonal anxiety disorder) in which the lack of sunshine causes my grief, not my grief causing the Rain. They would probably further go on to say that I had what I felt was a rough childhood and what they think was a loner attitude. But, what do they know? How does that explain my seeming preference for nocturnal living or the fact that my moods generally do start often before the weather?
I believe that these past few months' heavy rain and cloud cover in my vicinity is no coincidence, and is partly my doing. A psychologist might call that delusion, perhaps even a "benign" delusion, but I've always just kind of seen it as a toy I may or may not have. It isn't so much a delusion as a running joke in my life and I'm just not sure who the joke is on: me or the universe.
Beyond that however, is the fact that between quantum cryptography and the more panentheistic belief structures solipsism is slowly being accepted as a possibility, although in a much larger sense. I find it aesthetically pleasing to think that perhaps I, as a momentary fragment of consciousness in and of the Universe, am quite possibly thinking the thoughts of the Universe and it really is all about me, just "me the Universe". If that's the case, then the joke is on both us: me and the universe.
So, I believe this recent heavy cloud cover and rains have been due to my mulling over my job situation, even as this session of it nears its close. I am feeling the very feelings I warned myself, out loud and in public, that I warned myself I would have. I'm feeling regret that I accepted the money I was offered, and the only job I was offered, and didn't fight hard enough for a better one.
It's not that I'm unhappy, I'm just not happy. This place is so stifling, uncreative, and conservative, that I feel like I'm slowly dying. I feel like the creativity is being burned off me like some layer of skin I didn't know I had. Even beyond all that, I feel stuck in a rut simply in the fact that I don't feel challenged in the work. There isn't anything in the efforts I'm asked to take that I haven't done before. The typical response is "well, ask to do something that will ask new things of you", but it's just not that simple. There isn't any task at work, due to its technological conservatism, that I haven't done some form of already. Having such a big name brand on my resume can't hurt obviously, and I can parlay what I have been able to do into good potential interviewer stock, but I can't honestly say that I've learned anything really new or gained any experience.
"I told you so" just sounds so much more hurtful when it's you on both sides of the discussion.
I keep wondering if perhaps I should continue to seek a job that might be emotionally and creatively more fulfilling for the next semester I can co-op, even if the Co-op Office at school and the co-op HR people at work might both be hugely disappointed, and perhaps angry. Someone in my group at work even suggested I keep an ear to the ground for a possibly better opportunity. On the other hand a few of my close friends, some of whom have done similar work in co-ops, think that I'm just whining and I should just live through it.
The one job that keeps haunting me is how much I would have preferred to try working at Microsoft. It would have offered a more technologically progressive work environment, better perks, and a chance to see more of the world than I currently have. (Perhaps, however, the real siren song I hear is that of such a stereotypically rainy city like Seattle/Redmond for a lesser Rain God.)
I spent quite a bit of work attempting to get them to notice me. I got some notice, but some of it was simply too late. That particular recruiter was kind in acknowledging me, and offered to fight for me and my resume in the next round of recruiting, which itself has just passed by uneventfully. If I emailed him, what would he say? I feel so drained from the job I'm currently in that I'm not sure I'd have the will to fight for a new position...