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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