Suppressing memories and authentic happiness

I’ve gone from near-absolute existential crisis due to excessive idle time and no life direction, to 12-hour days filled with so much purpose and structure that I feel like I suddenly have all my shit together. I’m actually feeling so great that I wonder if I had my shit together this whole time, but I just didn’t see it because I was breathing too much recirculated air from 6 messy roommates and 2 untrained dogs. Do you think that’s it? I can’t remember what it feels like to be confused or listless. The days of yelling at Matt to turn off the fucking lights, ignoring Jon’s week-old moldy dishes, and group texting everyone downstairs to “please stfu” feels almost funny. Was it really that bad? It’s only been a week since we moved into our own place, but I’ve moved on so hard that I literally cannot remember how much I hated my life at the Klaus Haus.

As a note: suppressing memories is a valuable skill. According to Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology and professor at UPenn, it’s actually not a self-defeating or harmful practice. I’m reading his book Authentic Happiness right now, and when he said that suppressing bad memories is good for mental health, I got to work!

I am about to begin Day 2 of GEICO training in San Diego. I’ve been awake since 5AM (it’s now about 7AM), sipping jasmine tea and hammering out just above average but definitely not great 2-page papers for my MBA course (I’m still not proofreading). GEICO training begins at 8AM and goes until 4:15, with every 15-minute block scheduled. There is no ambiguity in my new world. Only peace.

Training is about 2 months. It’s largely memorization and recall. My memory is trash, but I have a special ability to remember large amounts of information for a very short period of time. I plan to employ this skill for the next 2 months while I memorize car engine parts and insurance law, two things I’ve never once considered relevant.

GEICO promotes almost exclusively from within, meaning everyone starts at entry level. I’m starting as an Auto Damage Adjuster. But after 6 months you’re eligible for your first promotion. Today we continue to learn about the company and its myriad policies, but I am most looking forward to learning the bureaucratic hierarchy so I can identify and plan for my end goal. There has to be a middle or upper position that pays exceptionally well, reports laterally, involves minimal interaction with coworkers, and also allows you to stand or move around all day (sitting is the new smoking). Yesterday, an SVP talked with us and casually mentioned that Senior Auto Damage Adjuster was exactly that, and therefore probably the “most cushy job” in the company. But I need to confirm. At this point in time, I know nothing. Why does it always feel like that?

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Wife, yogi, and cat mama living in the SF Bay Area.

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