I’ve been in this very deep grave of internal debate and reflection. And try as I might to be optimistic and dig myself out, it only works when it’s facing outward. Internally, I’ve been beating myself up since July. That’s when I lost my job ghostwriting and broke down and got a “real job.” And I’m thankful that I found the job I have. I couldn’t work for better people. And I mean that in the most literal sense. Because I’ve worked for a lot of people who own businesses and they are usually not genuinely good people. Most of the time they are real dickholes. So, I’m thankful that I found this gig.
But having a place I don’t hate going to every morning doesn’t stop me from hating the fact that I gave up on writing too easily and too quickly.
I always tell people I’m only good at two things: raising kids and writing (three if you count blow jobs but people frown when I mention that). So, raising kids and writing are the two things I feel like I can confidently brag about. My “gift” if you will. And when someone has a “gift,” it seems like a really shitty life choice to not use said gift on a daily basis. Even the blog has suffered because I am spending all of my time beating myself up instead of looking for ways I can make money doing what I love instead of getting paid to help someone else make money doing what they love.
I know that every person has a purpose and some people’s purpose is just to wake up, get dressed, clock in, clock out 8 hours later, do it again tomorrow. I think my life would be easier if I was one of those people. But, of course, I’m not. I wake up, get dressed, think about all the things I’d like to be doing at 8 am while I’m driving to work, clock in, think about all the creativity I’m missing by not being out in nature and not having any free time during the day, then I work for my 8 hours, clock out, get depressed because it’s dark before I get to my side of town and I can’t even take my dogs for a walk because I don’t like walking them in the dark (mostly because when I do walk them in the dark, I come up with every single scenario between alleys and burned out street lights where someone could kill me and all the places they could leave my body to rot while they are using my dog in a dog fighting ring- the cost of being a writer). So I get home, mentally exhausted from all the non-creative work I’ve done all day and the fact that I literally do not do anything besides work, parent, and sleep all week. And on the rare occasion that I do get to go out and do something creative like go to poetry, I feel happy. But that’s only about 2 times a month. Which is a sad statistic that I’m only truly happy two weekdays out of the month on any given month.
I’ve tried to change my outlook. But ultimately, I think I need to try to find something to do that will allow me to flex my creative muscles. I’ve started trying to be around groups of creatives. Ironically, they are usually huddled at a coffee shop during the day, during the week. So therein lies my problem. I’ve thought about asking my boss if I could work less hours or maybe only 4 days instead of 5, but that wasn’t what I signed up for when I asked for the job so I feel like it’s a little unfair. So, instead, I just tell myself that I can just do this job until Mel graduates next may and then I can throw caution to the wind and try to go back to writing. And maybe publish the 3 or so books I have sitting around between now and then and see if anybody wants to buy them. I’ve also thought about starting a podcast and/or a vlog for people who don’t want to read. But that’s another pickle to be in because I would need time to do that.
I know, people make time to do the things they want and if I didn’t have a 1 hour commute each day and if I got home before 6:30 ever, maybe I’d try. Or maybe I’m just making excuses because I’m afraid to really try because I’m afraid to really fail. OR maybe I’m afraid to really succeed. I think I’ve convinced myself over the years that my lot in life is to be as poor as I was as a child. As much as I would like to call bullshit on that, maybe I am content never having money to do what I want. Never being able to travel. Maybe poverty is my comfort zone.
Ok, now that I’ve written it and re-read it, I can actively call bullshit on that. I’m pretty sure that’s not it at all. I just haven’t figured out my “thing”. Even the ghostwriting gig wasn’t it, because I was essentially doing the same thing I’m doing now, which is working for someone else helping them make money. Even though I make money doing it, it’s not the same.
I recently had an entrepreneur tell me I need to do the thing I love (writing) and I need to figure out how to make money doing it for other people and I need to figure out what I am going to write for me to help create my “brand.” That’s as far as we got in the conversation before I looked like a deer in headlights. I did understand that he was speaking English, but I immediately got scared and frustrated because I couldn’t immediately come up with what that would look like (commence self loathing).
And so, tomorrow, I will wake up, get dressed, drive to work, clock in, work 8 hours, clock out, and continue to pretend I’m happy even though I’m quietly hating myself Monday through Friday. It’s not that I’m not thankful. I’m just not living up to my potential.