Sunday, January 11, 2009

Feel My Pain, Part 1

I’ve been feeling dissatisfied lately. I’ve had more time to dwell on it because I’m only working one job. I think part of the reason I try and work two jobs is so I don’t have spare time to think about the way I think my life should be. I’m always dissatisfied though. Nothing is ever enough, and it’s driving me nuts. Things could be so much worse, and I realize this, but I am an impatient person, and the older I get, the more I realize time is running out.

I also feel like Scarlett O’Hara after her mother died. With no field hands to do the work, Scarlett had to go out and do it herself. Realizing she was ill-suited for manual labor, she lamented the fact that her mother basically taught her how to be a lady, but didn’t teach her anything useful. I’ve learned that having a college degree plus being resourceful and working hard doesn’t mean anything anymore. But these are crazy times we are living in. In short, I feel like I’ve been cheated. I did what I thought was right, played by the rules, and I’m still struggling at a time in my life when I should be firmly entrenched in a career. But I’m not the only one. I need to keep reminding myself of that. It’s hard though, when you show up at a temp agency, and the only difference between you and the recent immigrant is that your skin is lighter and you have a better command of the English language. To the temp agency, you are two warm bodies fighting over a job.

I also don’t like the fact that I get bored easily, especially when it comes to jobs. I asked to learn something new at my day job, and I was taught in a matter of minutes. Now, I guess I need practice. I like learning a lot, and I am in a continual quest to learn as much as possible in order to add yet another skill to my résume. I don’t know when this boredom with jobs started. There was one place that I worked on and off (mostly on) for eight years. It was repetitive work, yet the only times I didn’t work there was when I was laid off twice. I came back after a couple months or so. I don’t remember being bored with the job, which I can’t quite understand. There was little chance of advancement. I don’t know if my personal life was so satisfactory that it made up for the job, or what.

Anyway, I am not looking forward to the future with pleasure. It’s crazy times, but there’s a sense of failure that I’m struggling with. There are certain things I wanted out of life that I fear I will never get. My career expectations are falling lower and lower. I need to take pride in some things I’ve accomplished, but I’m hard on myself, as well as others. I’m always looking for “the next big thing,” and even if I get a book published or win a contest, or whatever, I can’t seem to enjoy it. I’m always looking for what’s next. In some ways that’s healthy, but in other ways, it’s not good.

I’ve been dreaming about my parents lately. Speaking of looking for what’s next, I have to say I’ve been looking back to simpler, better times. Times when my parents were alive and life didn’t seem as bleak as it does now. I always assume that things will stay the same and never change. Of course, stuff does change. But I miss the old days of when I was a kid and I really didn’t have to worry about stuff. Deep down, I want to be taken care of. I’m not good with office politics. I’m too honest for my own good. I trust too much. I’m naïve. I’ve been “dive bombed” (an expression I made up) by so-called friends. “Dive bombing” is when I think things are going along well, then they do something that just totally shocks me. It’s usually something downright rude. I’ve basically shut two people out of my life because they did that to me. Perhaps what goes round does come round, because one of them became homeless and bounced from hotel room to hotel room; the other one ended up in a mental hospital and kept calling me, begging to be friends again. Once you cross me, that’s it.

So that’s where I am right now. Tired of trying, but there’s really no alternative. Given up on my dreams. Wanting to be somewhere else, but can’t. There’s plenty to be thankful for, but I guess if you’re raised in America, you think if you work hard and try and do the right thing, you’ll get ahead. That isn’t true anymore. That’s why I see a future for myself working two jobs when I can fit them in my schedule, never getting out of debt, and eventually dying. That’s not the most positive outlook for the new year, but it’s exactly how I feel. Sorry, folks.

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