I used to work at a call center. Imagine a lunatic asylum that’s been left to govern itself with no outside intervention, where everyone behaves at about a junior high maturity level and the objectives you were given at the beginning of the month are rarely the objectives you are evaluated on at the end of the month. It’s like the Stanford prisoner experiment, except without the guards.
That job increased my anxiety and the frequency of my depressive episodes. I went nights without sleeping, because sleep meant I would have to go to work the next day. My writing stalled to an even more sporadic output than I believed was possible, to the point that I questioned whether I could still consider myself a writer. That job gave me nothing good except the paycheck—which was a paycheck I would never be able to live on without roommates, and I am grateful to have had that luxury.
Eventually, the reality penetrated that I couldn’t fix the situation, the best I would be able to do was remove myself from it. During the month when I decided I was going to quit soon and the two weeks when I knew I was leaving but no one else did,* I felt less stress than I’ve felt at any other point in the three years and five months I spent working for the company. Read absolutely everything into that.
I have wanted to post for a long time about my job but every time I started to write something, it sounded petty. Because it was petty. I will continue not posting about my job. The memories, even the good ones, are shot through with all the bitterness and helplessness and rage that I felt while working there, which is unfortunate because there’s at least one book in those memories.
I’m done with that job now. I won’t go back this time: I’m committed to moving forward. I am relieved.
The end. Finally.
*I saw far too many people fast-walked out of that company after giving notice to feel confident in my ability to work through my notice—and I needed the money—so I didn’t tell anyone I was quitting until I had finished my last day.**
**Note to corporate: this is the bridge you burn when you have a company policy stating managers are not allowed to give references for the people they managed, under threat of disciplinary action.
Nothing of consequence/everything of consequence. Things are happening and other things are being reconsidered/reevaluated/reworked.
Between now and the new year:
- Abandoning Project: Fail Better (attempting that again in the new year).
- Working on my dead days novel (more on that later).
- Mental health fuckery (always mental health fuckery).
I’m not into New Year’s resolutions but I may throw up a new year post because one arbitrarily-designated timestamp seems as good as any other.
Better luck in 2016?
I’m officially not participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 9 years(?)* and I still don’t know quite how I fee about that. Instead I’ll be taking a shot at Project: Fail Better 2: The Fail Bettering.
- 350 words per day minimum, most days; 60,000 words over the next 2 months devoted to a novel.
- Project: Death Drive.
- Other Project: Fail Better updates.
- Work-in-progress fragments may be included.
- See life-related nonsense.
- Thank fuck.
*As opposed to unofficially not participating, which is how it always seems to go after the initial momentum wears off.
I am trying this again since it clearly didn’t work for me at all last time and doing things that clearly don’t work for me at all is definitely a pattern of mine.
How this works:
- Timeframe: November 1 – December 31.
- Word goal: 60,000 words of rough draft by end of timeframe.
- Project: Death Drive.
- Try to rope other people into doing this with me.*
- Fully outfit my freezing deathtrap into a functional writing garret.
- Devise a writing schedule I can commit to.
- 100% completion: the cheapest bottle of champagne I can find and I blow some cash on a one week vacation/writing retreat at a seaside cabin sometime in 2016.
*Because I’m super-into rope?
The short explanation is mental health fuckery and dental work.
The longer explanation is work sucks and has been tripping up my anxiety which has been making my sleep disorder worse which has been making work more difficult to handle, etc, etc, repeat. Also depression. I have had two deep depressive episodes within the past 6 months and I still refuse to be medicated or properly diagnosed because I persist on clinging to the belief that I can and am successfully coping on my own.
When I started researching non-pharmaceutical depressive treatment options, I figured out that what I’m doing is somewhat similar to cognitive behavioral therapy and. I’m keeping my head above water. Just. I’m not suicidal. I’m not at the point where I need to hide the sharp things. I’m helpless/hopeless but I’ve gotten pretty used to this feeling, so.
Besides the mental issues, I am finally dealing with some dental issues that I have neglected for too long.* Dental work is both interesting to me and a special kind of psychological torture.
Tl;dr: I’m trying to do better/I’m trying to be better. I’ll be back once I have anything somewhat worthwhile to post about.
*Who the fuck waits until they’re over 30 to get their wisdom teeth out? Seriously.
This is what I think of on my birthday. Every goddamn time.
Notation one: I’m beginning to think my perception of time is severely damaged, unless it’s normal to have an entire year pass and be basically exactly where you were the previous year with nothing notable to show for it.
Is this what adulting feels like? Because this is not something I’m into.
Notation two: Current blog design is still working for me, it can stay for a while longer.
!!! WARNING: YEARLY BIRTHDAY ANGST POST AHEAD !!!
The list of things I wanted to have accomplished by this year (written last year):
- Elsewhere/new living space. <— didn’t do that.
- Different job. <— didn’t do that either.
- Writing consistently. <— not even close.
- EXIT Strategy. <— working on it, but due to the fact that other humans have free will and freedom of action, I may not need as dramatic/far-flung an exit as I once believed necessary.
- Seekrit Writing Plan. <— working on that too.
- MOAR tattoos. <— asagi koi.
This past year, I:
- Maintained blue hair—with several brief ventures into multi-color combinations but still always including blue. Because fuckyes.
- Kept my job. I’m okay most of the time; I often think about getting a degree or certification in something/anything but most of the time I am okay.
- Writing. I still feel like this is a core part of who I am. I got my reminder wrist tat touched up. I want to pursue this/I will pursue this.
- Began to realize that it is not so strange an event when someone is interested in me.
- Am now slowly circling the idea that I am not fundamentally worthless and unlovable and useless except as a placeholder until the other person finds someone else.
- Discovered the following music: Conetik, Grendel, Haujobb, Mesh, UnterArt, [x]-Rx.
- I am extremely into Mesh, it is mopey in all the right ways. Also very recently enamored with Faderhead, which I technically discovered last year but didn’t get into until recently when I began putting all the albums I have from him on repeat for days.
By this time next year, I want to:
- Be elsewhere (what the hell let’s leave it on the list it’s practically tradition at this point).
- Get a different job. |OR| Make significant progress towards a certificate/degree that will qualify me for a different job.
- Figure out this writing thing (because writing).
- Get moar tattoos (always moar tattoos).
- Develop a sense of personal style (because adulting?).
- Stop being so fucked-up all the time and accept that sometimes good things can happen to me and that’s okay, it’s not some kind of cosmic mistake that will have to balance itself out later a thousandfold.