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An Eternity in an Hour

I’ve written before about how difficult I am currently finding it to experience unemployment. About the nagging doubts that I’m fat, 40 and washed up. I’ve talked before about how I’ve somehow found myself in exactly the same place I was in 7 years ago, when my brain broke and I ended up crawling into my parents downstairs bedroom to hide in the dark and lick my wounds. I’ve written about it all before. And I am done.

Today I woke up and I thought it was Saturday. When the Postman arrived my first thought was “but they only ever deliver mail on weekends over Christmas”. It didn’t dawn on me that perhaps I had the day wrong inside my mind. Instead I assumed I had the month wrong. Turns out, it’s Friday, not December. Who’d have guessed.

Unemployment is starting to remove any and all boundaries most people have in their lives. There is nowhere to go. Nowhere I need to be. There is no money to do anything. Frankly, it frightens me a little that this could be what retirement is like. My parents don’t really do much. They live at home, maybe go to the RSL once every blue moon for a coffee. They don’t travel, they don’t go to the movies, they don’t do anything. At the moment they’re both asleep, and I’m sitting here eyeing off my bed and wondering if it’s too early to call it a day.

I’ve discovered in myself an annoying tendency to slip into the dark side. My brain seems perfectly capable of happy thoughts for all of an hour, maybe two. Depends on how long it takes to check Facebook and Twitter, fart about on the message board and play Candy Crush – by the way, that game is evil and if anyone can tell me how to get passed level 29 I’d appreciate it – and apply for jobs I no longer believe I have a hope in hell of getting.

After that, it’s all down hill till dinner time. Last night I made “plans” for today. What time I was going to get up, what time I was going to go for a walk, what time I was going to start writing and what time I would finish. Yesterday I made plans too. I managed to shave. That was it. I did watch Buffy and Charmed, neither of which were on my list, but that was pretty much it.

I’ve decided that I need to introduce into my life something. I’m not certain what yet, but I feel like this house is eating my soul. I talked to a friend recently about being trapped, about my fear of being stuck doing the same thing, day in day out, every day until retirement. I talked of feeling like a drowning bird in a cage in my past job, and how after about 18 months that feeling of dread seems to surface with more regularity than a celebrity sex tape.  At the moment it feels to me that this house is the cage, and I am well and truly trapped.

I joined a writers workshop group – online of course – and today I planned to write my exercise. 800 words on what happens when you walk around your corner and you run into your ex. When I read that I thought “I’ve been single my entire life, how the hell would I know”. And the fact of the matter is that thought made me realise, my entire life I have been on my own. The fears, the cages, the insecurities; all of them have been invalid excuses to hide my arse in a dark, damp, brick walled room.

This past equalling the only possible future has to end. I can’t and won’t continue to invest time and energy into a world that I do not want. It is really that simple. My life is mine, and only I have the ability to destroy it or rebuild it into a better world, a place I can be proud to call mine.

I have friends who are ridiculously successful. I have friends with every single one of my goals manifested in their own lives, and with each of their manifestations, each of their successes, I’ve belted myself over the head with the fact I am still where I am. And that ends; today. I am over feeling sorry for myself, I’m over complaining and I’m sure as hell over being an overly emotional teenager in a body that no looks like mine.

I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in a months time, or a year. Whether I’ll be sitting here writing more boring shit about being lost or out of control I don’t know. I better not be. In the hour it took me to wallow today I came to the decision this will not be my eternity. I will make my life the life I’ve held in my head for the past 40 years. The goals and dreams and manifestations, all of it.

I feel like this post is scattered and stupid and slightly ridiculous, but I guess that’s the point. At the moment the thoughts and feelings in my head are just that; scattered, stupid and slightly ridiculous.

I don’t know where I’ll be or what will happen, but I can only take it a day at a time and see what happens. If I do nothing, if I continue as I have, then I’ll predict – using my crystal ball – that life won’t change and I’ll still be sitting here in another decade, writing the same nonsense.

Fear isn’t the destroyer of life, it’s the fuel. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is simply those who succeed acknowledge their fears and do it anyway. Those like me seem to get stuck on the loop of fear acknowledgement and go no further.

 

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

3 Comments

  1. I feel your pain. Being in the same age bracket, and having been unemployed for months at a time (the joys of contract work in an always uncertain field). I’m sure with that mindset though your ambitions and goal will come within your grasp.

    • Hi Roelof, thanks for your comment. There’s only one way to see and that’s to just keep on going. Congratulations on the contract work, that’s awesome.

  2. lisalday111711 says

    I too am struggling…been unemployed all summer and wallowing in self pity…not doing anything…not accomplishing anything and the misery in unrelenting day after fay. I just got a job but I am not excited about it. I don’t know. But I too was trying to come up with some kind of structure for myself so I actually have a purpose.
    Lisa

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