Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Really Self-Indulgent Post On My Life

I've been struggling with life-stuff now for a while. Moving this summer has created a whole new set of life-expectations, not to mention a new setting for living my life. In the past, each move has brought the promise and peril of looking for work/figuring out if I wanted to just look for work, la-di-da-di-dum. This time, however, I kept my regular night job, with the added warm fuzzy of a much longer commute. So, my whole "set", as it were, of what a move is supposed to be, has been thrown off-kilter.

For the past month, I must admit, I've been in severe-angst mode. My life has seemed to be out of control. Indeed, "control" has been so far beyond reach that there has not even been the comfort of incipient depression against which to react. Part of that has been that I keep telling myself that my whole "life-worry" thing is small potatoes compared to, say, people losing not just their jobs, but their homes (in the latter case with the added bonus of having used up their savings to try and save their homes, so what are they supposed to do about living somewhere?). I haven't returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with a head trauma and had my VA benefits denied me (let alone refused a Purple Heart Medal). The peculiarities of my situation are such that any serious crisis is just ridiculous, quite out of proportion to my actual situation.

Telling myself that last has helped. For about a day. Two at most.

See, I keep running up against all sorts of hints and clues and, of course, my own conscience, that can be summed up this way - When I am on my death-bed (should I be so lucky as to have one), do I want to fade out wishing I had done something different with my life? Make no mistake, for all that I have been grateful to have kept my job through the worst of our current recession while nine million of my fellow Americans have lost theirs, I have neither the intention nor the desire to retire from Wal-Mart. Not that there's anything wrong with it (well, there are all sorts of things wrong with Wal-Mart, but we shall leave all that to one side for the moment because this post is about me). Circumstances, however - by which I mean the economy, for the most part - seem to be in the driver's seat.

Of course, that's not all. I have recently attempted to do some "serious" writing. That is to say, I started a couple "book reviews", mostly for the sake of practice (I doubted very much if they would move much beyond the stage of being exercises in writing something different, allowing myself to be critiqued/edited) and ended up, after submitting one to an on-line magazine, giving up. The thing is, the editors general note was, in short, "There is good stuff. Rework it so the good stuff is there, and the other stuff ends up in the recycle bin, and we can use it." Encouraging, right?

Pretty much every time I sit and try to do something a bit "more" - more serious, more length, more thoughtful - than this silly little hobby-writing of mine, I end up becoming more discouraged the encouraged by the reality that quite a few of the folks I've come to know via the internet are not just published, but great. Every time I click a link, I think, "Damn. Much better than anything I could ever do." Perhaps not the healthiest reaction to the experience of delight in reading others, but I console myself with the thought that it is normal.

So, anyway, that is my current situation. On the one hand, I feel unable to do much about my current life-situation, as discouraging as it might be. On the other hand, I feel completely incapable of doing the one thing I want to do because every time I try, I have this big FAIL sign blinking in my head.

Forgive the "oh-poor-pitiful-me" tone of this post; I did it, after all, to keep the blues at bay.

Virtual Tin Cup

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