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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Cultivate relationships by…
- 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.
- 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?