February 24, 2010

Switching Off

I have just encountered a strange phenomenon. Something probably foreign to most of the world, but something probably infinity relateable to those who deal in high stress professions: Doctors, Police Officers, Firemen, Soldiers, and to a lesser extent, the people in the profession I'm studying.

Here's how it goes down: I'm driving to to class for a day of fun and pressure in the kitchen. My head is flying at possibilities, getting stations set up, selecting tools, the mad scramble for cookware and appliances to get a head start on things. Part of my head is anticipating potential problems for the personnel in my group, and how to best adapt to it. I've got a mental soundtrack playing in the noodle that's got me pumped. Real pumped.

Soon as I hit the Institute, I hit the ground running. Decked in the uniform, looking sharp and ready, I dash into the kitchen and start tending towards necessity. Grabbing cutting boards, sanitary buckets, that whole shebang. I am reared up on adrenaline, and ready to fly.

And then, the tide turns. Class is canceled, and everyone can go home.

Now for most folks, this would be great news. A day off to go do with what you like. No long hours, or sweaty high stress situations. A day to relax and embrace a little peace. There was a time, not too long ago, when I took this as great news too. I mean, hey, I'd rather be doing other stuff.

But not today. Today, I am mortified.

My heart is still racing, and I feel practically ready to run a marathon. I've got that much energy, and I really don't know what to do with it.

I've noticed traces of this phenomenon. Days when I'm not in the lab I feel agitated and edgy. I scurry all over the place with this deep seeded feeling that I need to get something done. I have no idea what that something could be, but it needs to be finished before I can calm down.

I've spoken of the Warface before, and I suspect this is an extension of that. This feeling of constantly being bombarded with stimuli, that you don't think so much as react. Constantly adapting to situations to achieve a set goal, until suddenly it gets achieved. And you find yourself sitting atop a mountain of energy, and no place to put it.

Switching off people. Most folks do it, and do it well. When they're done with their outside life and return home, what's done is done. But, some people, like the aforementioned doctors, police officers, soldiers, etc... can't do it so easily. And somewhere along the line, without really meaning to, I became one of those people.

I'm not complaining, for within all that pressure comes a remarkable sense of achievement. Being able to pull a monumental task out of one's ass within a set amount of time feels pretty damn amazing. It's an endorphin rush like no other. And perhaps, that's what keeps me edgy. Maybe I'm an addict. Maybe I'm riding the rush the way crackheads weave slurry songs to their muse. Truth be told, it makes more damn sense than anything else I've been able to come up with.

Anyways, I just needed to say something about it. To try and get it out of my head so I can go embrace a day to myself. It's sad, I never meant for this blog to be a place where I celebrate and promote the profession I find myself in. There are tons of other blogs out there that do this, and I certainly don't want to be one of them.

Alright, enough of the culinary babble, it's time to get back to bitching, Boogie-style.

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