Keeping busy helps me avoid feeling sad. I filled today with everything I could think of: phone calls, errands, cleaning, dinner and comedy show with friends, etc. Pathetic, I know. Feel your feelings. But these feelings suck.
I found myself staring off into space when my friends were talking to me. I didn’t hear a word they said.
I heard HIS voice. I saw HIS face. I imagined what conversation we’d have now, if we could have one. And then the unfortunate reality of who I was actually talking to came back to me. I love my friends, but I’d give up everything and everyone to change things. I would. I’d live a lonely, sad life without friends or a good job or anything else if it would make it better.
Instead, there I was with my friends in their beautiful backyard, smoked cod on their plates, drinks in their hands. They were carefree. I was trapped.
Day 118 – Feel your feelings
Do so-called “normal” people have as many ups and downs as I do? What is normal, though? Like, pumpkin spice lattes and cute fall photos and long blonde hair and a terrier puppy and a small waist and a job in PR? Or, like, a big friend group and co-ed sports teams and tickets to concerts out in the desert and a boyfriend of 8 years that’s perfect and church on Sundays? Or, better yet, a comfortable job and financial security and good friends and a spouse and a house and a workout class every Wed/Fri and hosting themed parties and in bed by 10?
Instead, I have emotional roller coaster rides and confusion and judgment from my family and flaky friends and constant sadness and lots of cookies and evenings on the couch watching reruns and a job I tolerate that pays me next to nothing and a dream I haven’t accomplished yet and disappointing my parents and anxiety.
Am I doing it wrong?
Day 117 – Normal
I’m trying really hard to like my new job. I like the people I work with. I like the parking situation. They have free coffee.
I know everyone expects me to like it. I know everyone thinks I should. I know I’ve complained about my job(s) in the past. (I complain a lot…it’s what I do. It neither makes me charming nor cute, but it’s true.) I know people who love me want me to be happy. And by happy, I mean employed. And by employed, I mean making money and having some purpose every day. And by purpose, I mean something other than writing, because I’ve gathered that no one sees that as having purpose until you’re JK Rowling, and then money talks. Right now, money isn’t talking to me. Right now, it’s a silent reminder that I have to do what everyone eventually has to do as an adult. Get a job. Make money. Get insurance on things like cars and rental apartments and my life. Dream about what kind of fence I’ll put around my yard (white picket, I’m told). Plan for retirement, when I don’t have to work this job anymore. Pick out some sort of school area I want to be in if I have kids. I’m supposed to have kids apparently. Meal prep so I can do the smart thing and save my money because eating out is a waste. Invest it so I can give it to the kids I’m supposed to have. Use the job money to buy gas for my car so I can drive to work to make more money to buy more gas. Go to bed early so I can be well rested for the job I sit at to make money so no one has to worry about me any more or wonder why I’m so useless and pathetic when they all thought I’d be somebody. Ignore all feelings of wanting to write or run away because that’s not practical. Not nearly as practical as sitting at my desk day after day and making money so I can come home too tired to remember that writing is the only thing that makes me happy. Forget about happiness so I can work because adults are supposed to have jobs they don’t like. Who am I to think I get to pursue my dream? Who do I think I am? Unless I become EL James somehow and write the masterpiece* Fifty Shades of Grey and then it’s okay that I wanted to be a writer. Then, despite the content and the quality, then it’s okay because I have the money to show for it. But until then… I should stop trying to write and be lucky I got a job.
Day 99 – Mo’ money…
First day. I put on my big girl pants and faced the world. I’m not gonna lie: pajamas on the couch is much better than pants in the outside world.
As a side note, I tried ridiculously hard not to panic about being unreachable by phone, not to worry that something was going to happen, not to check my phone constantly (thinking I was being sneaky, but I’m about as sneaky as a toddler with pots and pans). I ended up feeling sick with worry all day. What if something happened? What if someone needed me and couldn’t get ahold of me? What if…?
I feel like I’ll never be free of the pain.
Good news, I guess. Again, not about the thing I really care about, but about something else. Work.
I make pro/con lists. That’s what I do. I make them about everything except: should I spend an obscene amount of money I don’t have online shopping for clothes, and then leave town so it’s a Russian Roulette of whether the stuff will get stolen off my front porch or still be there when I return? It’s a fun game.
If I take the proffered job, I make money and I get a good credit from a good network and have stable work for about 6 months. If I don’t take the job, I can go to film festivals and be available for work that is MUCH closer to what I want to do and go home to see my parents and grieve together and also help them.
I was hoping making that list would help. It didn’t. This is all I thought about today. When I wasn’t buying clothes online.
Day 79 – To Work or Not To Work?
I got one little nibble today and even though it’s nothing, it’s still toeing the line with SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENING, so I’ll take it. I got a job interview for next week. To actually do something that I want to do. It’s a start, a step. A little part of me wanted to curl up on my couch and ignore it instead (read: a very big part of me), but I didn’t (yet) and I accepted the interview.
I really want waffles and eggs and everything covered in maple syrup – damn you, Parks and Recreation. There’s just something about the way that show deals with breakfast food…
To the important things: I had a mild-medium panic attack today. I have no idea if I’m ever doing the right thing. Work? Grieve? Nap? Move? Stay where I am? Curl up into a ball and cry? Watch comedy? Eat all the ice cream? Move back to Colorado? Keep on the path I’m on? Try something different? LIFE IS SO HARD! Who has the answers to these things? How does anyone ever figure out how to navigate the world correctly? Is there some like secret list of information somewhere that everyone is reading except for me?
I have extreme career anxiety. I believe very strongly in hard work and a good work ethic. BUT SOMEONE HAS TO HIRE ME. Yes, I also have to be a good fit for them. AND YES I have to earn it. Shhhhh, I KNOW.
But every day that goes by that I am not working gives a little caffeine jolt to my anxiety and then I return to the cry-nap-eat cycle I seem to be so fond of. I am amazed I have friends, to be honest.
Day 58 – Life Is Hard