Black holes and lost dreams

Published April 19, 2012 by Kim

My life–so far as my work-life, that is–sucks. Like a black hole. It’s eating my brain, destroying my soul, making me hate myself and all the people I talk to. What I do…it’s like my job is a dementor: happiness, life, hope? Sucked away, leaving you cold and despairing.

I’m a yo-yo, of this I am aware. When things go well here, I’m great. When things go wrong (and they’re going pretty damn wrong, ATM)–well, I end up like I am right now. I’m so lost, so hopeless, so freaking desperate…I can’t begin to explain.

Good God, I hate this place. I hate the calls, the hold music, the constant emails reminding everyone to SMILE AND BE HAPPY because customers HEAR IT IN YOUR VOICE! and all that other BS that gets stuffed down our throats every effing day. I hate stupid people. I hate trying to explain basic concepts that my SIX YEAR OLD gets, but grown adults whine and bitch about because it’s so complicated. I spend eight, ten, fifteen minutes explaining “yes, you pay your deductible” and watching that timer go up and up and up, knowing I’m not meeting goal and I’m going to get yanked back to working in Greensboro because I can’t meet my goals.

My dream conversation:

Do you drive a car? Yes? Do you have auto insurance? Oh, you do. Good! Now, remember that nasty little thing called a “deductible”? You know, that thing you have to pay if you hit a mailbox or your wife busts out your windshield when you forget the trash AGAIN or your kid joyrides it into a culvert? Ah, you do. And you remember that YOU have to pay that before the insurance company pays to fix your precious tank–I mean SUV? FABULOUS. So glad you remembered. Well, here’s a little hint–your medical deductible works the same way! It’s the SAME THING. Not a homonym, like “hair” and “hare”, which sound alike, but are vastly different things. Here, it’s spelled the same, sounds the same, and works the same way. ISN’T THAT EFFING AMAZING? See, I told you that you could understand simple things! Have a cookie.

I want out. I want to do something–anything–that doesn’t suck the life out of me. …Except, I’m thirty-three. My “career” is this. Only this. It’s all I know, sadly enough. No one wants to hire someone so green at my age, start her out and still pay her enough where she can make her bills.

And writing? Let’s not joke any longer. I’m no writer. I’m unreliable and unimaginative. My best work is taking other people’s characters and manipulating them in a believable way through a new storyline. That’s not creating.

I’m a hack. A talentless, motivation-less hack.

I wonder, sometimes, if I ever wanted this. Did I dream of writing because I wanted to get those worlds and lives and experiences out of myself? or did I absorb–again, as I always do (just a copy, a representation of something greater)–the dreams of the girls I loved from books? Jo and Anne, for instance. Did Jo March set me on this path, with her sordid tales sold to newspapers, and her darling Fritz reminding her she’s so much greater than that? Did Anne come along, with her “My Graves” and other stories to rival the greatest angsty fanfic available, to inspire me to laugh at early attempts and know–again–that she (I?) was capable of so much more?

Does it even matter? I can’t do it. I can’t put a thought together, nor hold on to one long enough to see it through to the end. I’m…lost. Adrift. Frozen. And I can only talk about it here, I can’t do like my SiL and take off for a “weekend with the girls” and leave my family behind while I go play. I’m here. Surrounded by a mess, and responsibilities, and notes and pages and charts and research for things that I know won’t ever see the light of day, because I CAN’T DO IT.

So. Do I hate my job or myself more? My job. –I hate myself because I know I’m not good enough to get out and into something I love.



ETA: Sweet Jesus, I’m a downer. Sorry about that.


6 comments on “Black holes and lost dreams

  • Okay, a) if I can start looking for a new carreer at my age of thirty-mumble, then you can too. b) you are not a talentless hack. If you want to write, then write. Look for competitions in the local paper, then start going from there. If you have to do fanfiction, do it, but then start taking the characters to another level. Start making up your own world. If you want to go dystopian, use your job as a starting point. c) you’re not a downer, you’re upset and depressed at a job that you find unfulfilling. It happens.

    Start writing here more. I have the hardest time writing something every day, but I try. Sometimes what I write is pure crap, so I do a book review. I mean…you can do it. I know you can. I have faith in you.

    • I envy you, sometimes–if only for the (perceived) ability to start fresh so readily. I don’t regret my marriage or children, but it’s difficult to try reinventing myself when I’m so…responsible. I have to be careful of my choices.

      But that’s me not considering what YOU have to deal with (financial responsibilities, uprooting and changing everything in this age, etc, etc, etc). Proof-positive that the grass isn’t necessarily greener, but has its own sorts of weeds. Try to ignore my “you’re so lucky to be free to choose!” attitude. I don’t mean it–I’m just being dense.

      It’s hard finding competitions around here; there’s pretty much nothing in this area. That’s one of the many things I had to choose when I graduated from App: move to somewhere that has options, or stay near my home. I ended up staying near home. That doesn’t mean I can’t look elsewhere, though–right?

      You’re right. I need to make an effort first. No point in giving up before I actually try. I’ll try to get something percolating, no matter how short or small. (And I’ll make an effort to get over here and POST, instead of thinking of all the things I mean to, but don’t.)

      • I totally have responsibilities. I mean, I’m dealing with either putting a good chunk of money into my car just so I can register it in a few months, or getting a new car without any certainty that I’ll be able to pay for it after the end of the year. I know that’s not the same as kids and a husband, but I have other things that cost money, and I need health care and dental and eye exams and all that good stuff. Plus, Chekhov also needs medical care, at least to get shots, etc. In a way it’s easier not having a husband, but I don’t have anyone to fall back on either, it’s just me.

        Oh god that’s scary. Just me. *shudder*

        Actually, with regards to entering competitions and whatnot, the internet age is working for you. On one hand, you’re going to have more, stiffer competition, but on the other hand, nothing is stopping you from creating your own niche. I’m trying to post enough to get on BlogHer so I can start taking advertising. Even if I only get ten bucks a month, that’s still ten more than I had before. You can start trying for the same, but you have to post at least three times a week, and that’s hard, trust me. But I do think you can do it. And your posts about the people who call you are so funny and snarky, you can definitely get started there. Just one a day, you know?

        Okay, I’ll stop preaching now. I by no means have the answers to the meaning of life, but I really do believe you can do it.

  • Oh, I know you have responsibilities–add to the mix needing to (by choice or just *need*) kinda, sorta help out your mom. I know you do…or strongly suspect it, I suppose.

    I can’t imagine being completely on my own; I’ve never actually done it. I went from home to marriage with only a stint of college in between, and though I lived on my own for over two years, it’s not quite the same, is it?

    I think you’re right, though–sometimes it’s easier NOT having someone to dance around, or negotiate/discuss/compromise with, and just strike out and make a decision. Of course, I’m a big fat chicken, so having a fall back guy is one of those things I can’t do without.

    You’ve told me about BlogHer before, and I really, absolutely, MUST put that on my list of Things I Need to Follow Up On.

    If you figure out the meaning to life (the universe, and everything), LMK–okay?

  • I just saw this…some friend I am…so sorry, I don’t know what’s happened to my WordPress alerts…

    Thirty-three is NOT too late.Thirty-three is just getting started. Thirty-three is the PERFECT age to start re-evaluating what we want to do with the rest of our lives.

    Our twenties are the time to hustle. We get the big things under our belt and do the stuff we always thought we ought to do. Some of us get lucky and discover that’s the same as the stuff we actually want to do. Some of us (like me, and Heidi, and maybe you) discover that what we really want is something totally different.

    About writing opportunities…I used to think there was nothing. But there’s loads. Honestly – loads. You just need to know where to look. Try the #amwriting hashtag on Twitter and start following the organisations and publishers other people are following – I’ve found lots of competitions, literary magazines, etc that way.

    I totally, totally get the time issue…but worthwhile writing doesn’t have to be a whole novel. Try flash-fiction – there are so many competitions and events and it doesn’t require the months of work that a novel does. There’s a great one coming up that I’ll be yelling about all over Facebook as soon as we open submissions. 😉

    I’ve been where you are. I thought there was no way out too. I was convinced that if I left my job it would be like pulling out that one crucial stick in Ker-Plunk. I honestly believed if I quit, I would bring about the financial ruin of my family, the end of my marriage and the destruction of everything that mattered to me. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

    There is hope! There is! I promise!

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