March 27, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Montreal

“Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work; dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not; and to believe in your own individuality.” - Henri Frederic Amiel
It's that combination of daring and resignation that is kicking my ass lately. I think I'm resigning who I am and daring myself to be all that I am not.

I'm considering having my brain removed entirely and replaced with Henri Frederic Amiel quotes. Why? Because most of his quotes make me feel better about the choices I've made. And because I think it would be a blessed relief to only have a rolodex of quotes in my head, instead of all the monkeying contadictions riding the elephantine worries.

Let me introduce my elephants. The fattest one, who bosses everyone else around, his name is "Paying the Bills". Next to him is the matriarch "Self Doubt" and that bitch is always pregnant, popping out little "What Are You Doing With Your Life", "Get Off Your Ass, Already" and the ever succinct "You Suck, Sucka". These beasts have been stampeding through my head lately, uprooting every good thought and shitting it out for the monkeys of contradiction to throw around.

The contradictions are thus: I promised myself last year when I bolted from Calgary that there would be NO MORE abandoning of dreams and taking jobs to pay the bills. There's something demeaning in doing work you believe is meaningless - and I'll be damned if there's anything more meaningless than a 10 page excel spreadsheet that needs 5 signatures to be legit, only to be redone 15 times because an illiterate salesman can't decide if he likes commas, periods or semi colons on his contracts....Man. You'd think the bitterness would have faded by now.

I promised myself I would do better. BUT. But, but, but. I have the fear. Not that I can't do anything worthwhile, but that I won't be able to find a summer job that doesn't suck my soul out of my ass. It's hard to bounce back from 'soul-sucked-out-your-ass-itis'. So what I really want is to just find a simple, repetitive job. Any work that doesn't require me to iron clothes before I go. No meetings. I have recurring nightmares about meetings. If there'd been a meeting about the wheel, we'd all still be walking everywhere.

I resolve to do this every day, and by noon, I am struck down, feeling useless and desperate enough to take anything. This is my track record, too. I always just take a job for the sake of paying the bills, and stick with it because the sickening, deadening comfort of having those damn bills paid numbs the fear. But it numbs the mind, too, and I have to resolve again every day that the fear is acceptable, that I can and will, think of some way to keep my mind, body and soul intact. Even if that means I have to take one of those numbing jobs and just clench the whole time.

ps. Mom, this is not a plea for money. It's just a little rant prior to me finding a summer job. It's gonna be ok. Really.


Angela said...

I am right with you!! I had an internship when I was in school. The man in charge ended up wanting to hire me. I was so excited to be one of the ones who had a job...and a pretty good paying job. I took it and I started 2 days after I graduated! TWO DAYS! I stayed there getting my soul sucked for 5 years. I promised I would never do it again. Now, I am in a dead end low paying job. I have pressure (if you read last nights post)from my husband to find a better job NOW! I know I need to make more money so I can help more and take more stress off him...but I do not want to jump into another soul sucking job or another dead end job. Frankly just having a job right now is a good thing. Businesses are closing left and right around here.

I wish I had some good advice to give you. I really do. I am right with you though. I just want to be myself and be happy. I have no idea why that is so hard. I am 35 and clueless. I am just glad we don't have children.

Anyway, didn't mean to leave the longest comment ever...but I really hope things work out for you.

Lisa said...

I did read your post, and I am really hoping that the craft fair is a success for you, and that you're prints take off on Etsy!

It's actually reassuring to know that I'm not just a lazy freak for wanting to live my life the way I want:) I think things should be ok, I'm just not good at being patient while they work out.


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