Every day’s story is different. Every day there are different thoughts and words and ideas I wish I’d recorded, observations that make sense to me one day but by the next week I no longer align with. My beliefs change, my opinions change, my emotions change, and my life changes. I’ve spent a lot of time writing down ideas for what to write here on my blog but never writing any of it, because the next day when I’m ready to write, I’m stuck with yesterday’s ideas, and I don’t want to talk about them anymore, I want to talk about what’s on my mind today.
And this led me to an understanding: I have to write when I’m feeling it, or it won’t be recorded. My thoughts and dreams are special to me, and I want to have them written down, I want to look back one day on what I’ve thought and felt, and see how much I’ve grown and how far I’ve come. But I can’t do that by storing up ideas and waiting, waiting, waiting to finally write them down. Sometimes an idea will come, and I’ll put it aside and think “That’s great, but I’m tired right now and I’ll write about that tomorrow.” But when tomorrow comes, either I don’t want to write about that idea anymore, or I have a new idea, or I’m not interested in my old idea, or a million other reasons why I’m unable to write about it.
I spend a lot of time thinking “I need to write about this in my blog, it will help me feel better to get it down.” But then I don’t. And that’s okay. I don’t HAVE to obsessively document my life (although if I did, I feel there might a great David Sedaris style journal/essay collection in there). So, when I have an idea, I’m going to try and write about it, and if I miss it, that’s okay. I would rather sit down and look at a blank page with no idea what to write on it, then to pull out a list from the past four months of things I meant to write about but never got to.
I’m taking so much to time to talk about this for a couple of reasons: one, because it’s how I feel, and two, because I tend to begin most new blog posts with an apology for not writing enough, or talking about how difficult it is for me to write. So I think I’ve figured out how I can deal with that. Tori Amos would probably call it “respecting the muses.” She says that the muses don’t operate on her schedule, and when they come, she has to open up and listen, or else they might not come anymore. I don’t know how much I agree with the idea of the muses, or being in fear of them, and I’m not saying that’s what she was saying, but I do understand the idea of letting creativity take over and going with it. And if you fight it, you never get to experience what that day’s creativity was.
Every day has new troubles and sorrows, but also new hopes and ideas. I want to try and live in the moment, even though I’ve always heard people talk about that and never much understood what they meant. So I’ve got a lot of ideas, and I don’t know how many I’ll still be on board with tomorrow, and I don’t know how much writing I’ll get done today, especially because I have to be at work in forty minutes.
And now, speaking of work.
I’m going to be honest, I’ve always been pretty bad at working. Worst of all there HAVE been times when I’ve loved my job, but unfortunately because those jobs are in the past now, I spend all of my time comparing my current job to those. My first real job was at Pottery Barn. It was incredible. I managed to do a job that involved constantly being surrounded by crowds of people and working with the public, and all of this while I didn’t even have anxiety medication. Granted the anxiety did get much worse as time went on, and every day was a gamble because of the possibility of having panic attacks, but in general, it was a great job. My coworkers enjoyed being around me, the work wasn’t too hard, and I seemed to do pretty well, even though there were plenty of times when I had no idea what I was doing.
The second great job was at a book store called Books-A-Million. I started out in the cafe and to be honest, I had a lot of fun in the cafe. Making drinks and talking to people, organizing the books in my section and cleaning up, this all made time pass by pretty quickly, and I got tips too. After working in the cafe for a few months I did a shift over on the front end register and it turns out I was GREAT at selling memberships to customers. I was completely surprised by this. I was so good at it that I got mentioned on the company’s website as their employee spotlight, and I got a pin to wear on my apron and everything. I was consistently the highest seller in my store, and my manager’s all really appreciated it, and even though sometimes it was stressful, the job itself remained pretty simple. Most of all, I enjoyed going into work every day. There’s this wacky little Tori Amos song called Happy Worker that I actually don’t really like, but it has this silly refrain in it, “I love my job, he loves his job, it’s the perfect job…” And I used to find myself involuntarily singing that under my breath.
So with these two jobs as a barometer of what I enjoyed, it made it impossible to enjoy working at Polo Ralph Lauren, Waffle House, Barnes and Noble (I was surprised by that one too), an e-commerce company, Wal-Mart, and now Staples, where I currently work. I keep comparing my experiences at work to my happy times at past jobs that I really loved, and I just keep thinking about how I DON’T wake up in the morning excited to go to work. Honestly I feel a bit like crying right now, just getting ready to go into work at Staples, and I’m not entirely sure why. I have to take anxiety medicine to help me not be so scared. Sometimes it isn’t as bad as others, but I just have so few hours and make so little money, and enjoy what I’m doing so little, that I feel so defeated. And there are SO many jobs in the world, but I keep getting job after job that I hate and so I have to leave and find something else.
I want to enjoy working again. I want to wake up in the morning and smile the way I used to, because I was happy to go into work. I want to be good at my job. I want to laugh at my job. But.. it just keeps not happening. I keep feeling like I’m trapped in this dark spiral of depression and fear, and there’s no way out. Because of the lack of hours at my current job, I’m probably going to be taking my resume back up to the e-commerce company tomorrow to see if I can get a job there again. I left that job because working in a dark office with no windows (the office is more or less a dressed up warehouse), doing something that I didn’t entirely understand, and working full time, sitting in the dark for nine hours a day, was really draining all the life and hope out of me. I felt so defeated and on-edge and angry at everything.
When I got this new job I thought things would be different because I could work in the sun, and move around, and talk to people, but a lot of those things that I loved about it at first have become challenges to working there now. It turns out I’m not NEARLY as good at customer service as I used to be, I just don’t have the energy to put up with people’s rude and smartass remarks anymore, and I hate being abused by people just because they think they have the right to do. Walking around all day may be good exercise but I’m overweight, and even though I’m losing weight, I still have this incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassing problem of my thighs rubbing together and creating blisters that make it exruciating to walk around. I feel tired and anxious at work, and I try to sound cheery but I just feel dizzy and sleepy and afraid and weak. And I don’t know what I can do about this.
I’ve taken up praying again. Last year was sort of all about atheism, and I’m glad I took the time to really be a part of the atheist world and experience those books and shows and talks, and learn a lot. But I’ve learned that I just don’t know if I am an atheist. A part of me really wants to be Pagan again, or at least as Pagan as I was before when I was interested in it, but I don’t know if that makes sense to me either, and I’m certainly not Christian. It would be sad to me if somehow my whole rebellion against Christianity ended up with me sulking back to Christ’s feet, tired and beaten, and saying, “Fine, I give up. You must be God because I don’t think anything else is working. I tried my hardest to think for myself, to be independent, to experience some kind of wonderment and magic in the universe, and I failed.”
I’ve had some time since my move to Delaware to think about what I want my future to be. As always, there is this sinking feeling in my chest when I think about college. When I think about the fact that one of my friends who was still in high school when we first met is now on his way to have a PhD. In the very subject I wish I was learning. I avoided college so I could try and find a relationship, and I ended up becoming a person who has to depend on others to survive, who is weak and unable to fight for himself. Who fears working a measly eighteen-hour work week going out into the public because of anxiety. Who gained so much weight that I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a month ago. I feel so broken now.
Even though I’m a safe place, surrounded by friends who care about me, and far far away from my mother and all the corrosive influences there, I realize that now that I’ve had a chance to stop fighting, I was able to let everything break. I was struggling to hold myself together so I could survive near my mother, but now that I don’t have to, I’m in pieces. And I don’t know where to begin or how to fix it. I feel so exposed and weak and afraid, and I don’t know how to go about growing into a strong person. I want to go to school, I want to enjoy experiencing life, I don’t want to be afraid of everything anymore. Antidepressants used to help with that but now I feel just as scared and anxious as ever before. I’m tired of feeling that way. I want to have hope. I’m trying so hard but I don’t know where to go. I need to get therapy. Maybe that will be a good place to start.
Most of all I want to be a writer, I want to be a musician, I want to be able to enjoy what I’m doing with my life and to make money so I can survive while doing it. I want to be the artist I’m trying to be. I want to write the books in my heart and compose the songs in my heart. I want to sing and to write and to feel like who I am as a unique person is what’s making life worth living.
But I just don’t know how to keep going, or where to go from here. I have support and love from my friends but I’m still scared. But today, I’m going to go to work, and I’m going to try to get through this day. And tomorrow when I have a day off, I’ll try to keep going. And I’ll just keep trying to continue on, and I’ll just have to see what happens, and if it doesn’t go the way I want it to, I’ll try to make it different.
I’m weak. I’m scared. I’m broken.
But I will keep moving. And I will make it to a life that I believe in, and to a life that makes me happy. I will make it to accomplishment and hope and the future.
I hope things will get better.
It’s very silly and doesn’t feel quite right to say “I’ll try,” but yeah, I guess that’s true. I’ll just try. And I’ll try and try and try. And one day, things will get better.