“For a Minute There, I Lost Myself”

I should really stay off the damn internet when I’m depressed.

So I’m surfing Twitter, bored as shit because unemployed + broke = lame, and I see that one of the trending topics is “Karma Police.” And it’s trending because Radiohead is playing at Bonnaroo, and six years ago, I was in the crowd when they played that song. I remember that BFRB and I were sitting on some sort of tie-dyed sarong shit, leaning against the picket fence surrounding the VIP tent, stoned out of our fucking minds and enjoying the feeling of being part of the crowd without being all up in the middle of it, alternately playing with our glow bracelets and taking stupid pictures of ourselves that we have vowed that no other human shall see.

And all I can think is, I should be there. I should be anywhere but here. I should not be struggling this hard financially to survive, I should not be putting myself in the position of seeking approval from those least likely to be granting it, I should not be pushing forty and feel like I’m less successful, career-wise, than I was at 25. I feel old and tired and angry. And I do not want to feel this way. All I want is a fucking stable job with a decent salary, one that will let me buy a new car and maybe a house and some furniture that isn’t secondhand or doesn’t come out of a box and indulge my Amazon e-book and MP3 download habit. One where I can come home and not think about it until the next day.

But I don’t know how to get there. I don’t know what the magic words are. I don’t understand why so many stupid fucking people have jobs that pay twice as much as I’ve ever gotten paid and NO ONE WILL FIRE THEM. I don’t understand why boss types seem to get some sort of fucking kick out of completely crushing any spirit I have, instead of harnessing it and letting me do things that will make them money and save them time. I don’t get why I need to be shoved into some little “paralegal” or “legal assistant” box and just do exactly what I’m told. I am round. I do not fit in square boxes. I want my own fucking sphere of happy, dammit. People find those. But I’m not one of those people, evidently, because I must have some expression on my face, in my eyes, that makes people want to stomp it the fuck out.

All I really want is for someone to fucking believe in me, someone to tell me that my cloudbursts of self-doubt are stupid, someone to stand up for me when it matters, someone to be a mentor, someone who is not afraid.

That’s the problem I’ve had at work. I feel like I get stuck in the role of advisor, of teacher, of the person who can answer your dumb questions without tattling to the boss that you don’t know shit you should know, the person who can keep a confidence. The thing is – I don’t want to be the person who knows everything. I want someone to teach ME something, sometime. Someone who doesn’t just insinuate that I’m wasting all this potential.

At what point does potential expire? Because I feel like my shelf life is nearing its end. I can’t sit through any more bullshit interviews for jobs I could do in my sleep, only to have them offered to someone who is a little less … intimidating. I feel like I could be doing more with my life, but I’ve been so focused on just surviving that I don’t know anymore what that is or what I even want. I read all these statistics about how often people change careers but how? How do I make that happen? Do I go back to school? Because anything I’m interested in, school-wise, has a shitty job market at the other end. Do I wait until the Magical Career Happiness Fairy gets around to me? Do I resort to ritual sacrifices? Find Jesus? Stay? Move?

What karmic debt am I paying? And when will the balance be paid in full?

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