Bad Days and What To Do About Them

Sometimes I have these bad days.

Today was one of them.  It wasn’t that everything seemed to go wrong, as is the case with most bad days.  It was that I just started to feel so overwhelmed with my beige job, my lack of nearby and available friends, and my uncertainty about the future.  Before I knew it, what started off as a beautiful October morning ended up with me in my car at lunch, tears dripping down my face in despair.

Let me explain.

I like to believe I was created with certain gifts and skills, a uniqueness that I’m supposed to use in order to leave this world a better place that when I started.  I love to write, I love to read and engage intellectually, I love to be organized (though you wouldn’t know this if you saw my room right now), I love to find out what makes people tick, I love to sing and draw and dance and, basically, do anything creative.  I feel alive when I’m doing these things.

At my job, I sit in a cubicle across the room from a window that looks out onto a highway.  My desk is covered in various piles of papers, and I spend about 90% of my day staring at a computer screen and typing in names and numbers.  The other 10% I spend on the phone, most of the time getting yelled at by someone.  Today was different–maybe 70% data entry, 10% yelling telephone people, and 20% removing staples from another stack of paper and separating pages into like piles.  I don’t have much of anything in common with any of my fellow employees (I am the youngest by approximately 10 years), so there are days I speak so infrequently that when I go to ask a question, my voice is hoarse from the lack of use.

Perhaps you can see the problem here.  Simply put, I am doing absolutely nothing all day that excites, interests, or invigorates me.  On these bad days, I am so miserably aware of how dull I’ve become.  I become a shadow of myself, a mere shade of who I want to be.

So here’s the deal.

I can complain about this all I want, but it all boils down to what I am going to do about it.  I’ve spent far too long wallowing in self-pity.  One of the reasons I started this blog was as a form of accountability for what I say I’m going to do, so if I say I’m going to apply to grad school, I’ll actually have to do it because you all will be asking me about it.  I really hope you will help me in this way.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

  1. Apply to grad schools.  MFA Creative Writing programs.  I have put this off for a long time now because I don’t want a repeat of two years ago (aka getting rejected nine times).  But back then I think I applied because I didn’t know what else to do.  Now I realize I really want it–no, more than that, I need it (see my previous entry on the importance of writing).  This community college class just isn’t cutting it for me.
  2. Get out of this life-sucking job and into a life-giving job.  Even if I just get a job at Starbucks, I will at least have some human interaction.  I really want to work somewhere that inspires me and that taps into at least one of the skills I list above.
  3. Cultivate relationships by…
    1. Keeping in touch with old friends.  My friend Christine and I just established a weekly phone call night because we’re so bad at keeping in touch with each other.  She is also a great listener and will do a lot to ground me.  Hopefully I will have some sort of positive impact on her too.
    2. Getting more involved at church.  I realize I may be alienating some readers by dropping the c-word, but the church I just grew up in just relaunched their 20-somethings ministry.  They’re really big on the whole concept of “belonging” right now, and that sounds pretty good to me.

    So today was a bad day.  That sucks.  What are you going to do about it?

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    6 thoughts on “Bad Days and What To Do About Them

    1. definitely one of my mentor’s favorite phrases to use on me.

      me- –walks into office after class, plops into chair with a heavy sigh– “I’m fed up with X class. They don’t put the work in or pay attention in class, blah blah negativity”

      mentor- “And what are you going to do about it?”

      silence.

    2. I just want you to know that I’m so proud of you. There is something so refreshing and positive about taking action…even if just emotionally and spiritually preparing yourself for such change. Let go of all your fears and know that you are created to use your gifts…that you are so abundantly blessed with 🙂 I love you Ali Faye.

    3. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

      you emit your spirit and vitality to all those around you, my life has been blessed having you in it, i love you so much and am praying for you daily! you will find your way and when you do it will be in God’s perfect timing 🙂

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