This summer was strange, but this fall has been stunning. I rarely use the word strange, but it is the best word to use at this juncture, in my truly humble opinion.
Today I quit work. Sitting next to me is my boyfriend. Yes, the same guy from previous postings, I'm gleefully surprised to say. I'm in a coffee shop. I am stunned. This life is finally catching up with me.
I don't remember feeling this much like myself for years.
My life has been on a bit of downward drudge for a while. And I have been emotionally walking through it... I've been just passing along; hoping that eventually I would find my way back into my own lovely neighborhood. I think today I did.
I took the job at the coffee shop with the intent of eventually going to Wales this fall or something of that sort. That never occurred. Instead I got trapped and I hated it. This last job was like some sort of painful emotional apex. I was humiliated on a daily basis by customers who looked at me as a failure. I know they did. Honestly. Some people assumed I was only working there as a stepping stone while being a college student, but there were always the customers who thought you just didn't give a damn about life and had settled into a blue collar customer service job happily. I became increasingly tempted into a bitter state of mind.
My employer was shocked to hear my reading list. I was apparently too stupid. Why else would I have been working there with her? Right?
It was like the movie, The Wrestler. That was a scary movie. What does it say when you can relate to a washed up, middle-aged, dead beat dad wrestler?
I bet I sound like a snob. My job wasn't "good enough" for me... But the truth is I do care a great deal about a great many things and it's hard to be taken seriously when you essentially have a "would you like fries with that" career. And yet so many people who are much better educated than I am have jobs like that right now though... People who come in for expensive espresso drinks because they have managed to make it for whatever reasons often forget that. I am bitter. Sorry.
I am only dimly and amateurishly describing what I imagine many people are currently feeling for reasons related to the state of the world at this moment. But for me it was part of a long experience involving a lot of self-loathing that started when I turned in my first late homework assignment in high school. I started falling apart when the bull market was only just starting a pleasant sizzle.
I had been such a responsible person... ridiculously responsible. An extreme goody-two-shoes. My family fell apart and then I stopped caring as much. Nowhere was home anymore. I felt like all chance of controlling my life for the better had essentially been taken from me. My only chance at happiness was to create my own safe haven outside of my family.
I had that safe place vaguely in the form of college. But in that safe haven I also had the pressures of school. Nowhere was restful really other than the company of my closest friend or a walk in nature, especially near the ocean. Everyone else had something to ask of you that you couldn't say no to because their reasons were the sort of reasons that break your heart or tug at your conscience. I was slowly breaking down from the inside out. I kept making mistakes that I shouldn't have made because I knew better, and over time the people who knew my more responsible nature dwindled.
I found peace within myself. I did. And in quiet moments it was sublime... but it wasn't enough rest. I wore down.
Being late, lonely, sad and depressed was common. No one could tell eventually. There is a point when you stop asking for help. It's the point when you cry and cry and no one is there when you stop. The world has gone on but you haven't really and you know the general consensus is that you should just fucking get over it. "You can't let life's obstacles define you." What the fuck ever. Life just sucks sometimes.
In any case, as I was saying, this job was like the final blow in a series of pride-crippling, ego brutalizing outcomes based in my failure to pick myself up and "move on" and stop giving a damn that I breathlessly hated huge portions of my life that I had no control over. You don't pick your parents and you don't pick who does or doesn't love or care about you after that either.
And no one can make up for a loud, demanding parent who decided at childhood not give a damn about anyone but himself.
No judgement intended. Honestly. It just sucks.
Today I waltzed out the door of my boyfriend's place and narrowly missed my bus for work by a block. I saw it drive past me. At that moment I knew I would be fired if I didn't quit. Actually I knew that two blocks before when I realized I had two minutes to run down two blocks.
I would never recommend being late for work. I would never recommend being irresponsible. But sometimes the dumbest things can work out for the best. I don't recommend doing dumb things. Maybe it's fate. It would seem so. Because I feel great. Better than I have in years.
I went back to his place and took a couple of minutes to decide to call in to work and quit right then. I felt awful about myself for a while. I had to face making a lot of people really angry. I had to truly disappoint people I cared about without giving them any indication that I would. I had to shock people for the worst. I had to be the bad guy; the one people gossip about with resentment and malice. I let the team down.
Then I realized I didn't have to go to work at my coffee shop and I felt amazing. I had oddly made a stand for myself in some nonsensical way. I hated that job. I was exhausted. I was miserable. But I tried. And tried. And I didn't succeed. Then I accidentally was put in a position where I had to really just fucking give up.