Yesterday was my official 1-year anniversary at my current job (not that anyone noticed). Even I forgot until today, since I had been doing the job for roughly a month before my “official” start date, doing some bullshit transition that allowed them to get away with only paying me half my salary for a month.
My review is coming up and I don’t care. I have no motivation for this. I already know what disgustingly small amount my raise is because they gave me my departmental budget. I already know I’m not getting a title change because my boss made that pretty fucking clear last week. So I have…what? Without possibility for advancement and the knowledge that I probably won’t be fired, I have no drive to impress anyone. Just give me my review and leave me the fuck alone.
After a year in this job, I don’t doubt that I probably made the right decision switching to this job and this company. But what I do regret, more than anything, is that that decision has made me miserable. I know it was the right thing for me to do for my life but, as with seemingly everything in my life, the right thing leaves me feeling sad and bitter.
It seems that everything reminds me of you lately. April, I guess. April reminds me of you. I go from thinking about you never to thinking about you constantly. I laugh at ridiculous things and catch myself wishing I could tell you about them.
I was trying to find a clip art of a flower for April’s e-newsletter at work today. This past summer, I was at the beach and I waited too long to dive into a wave. I hesitated and the wave broke and crashed into me, hitting me so hard and flinging me backward and so far, my mouth filled with wet sand and so much salt. I had to practically crawl back to the beach, scraped up and with sand in every orifice, choking and spitting.
Anyway. The point is, for some reason picking out a clip art flower today made me feel like I was being hit by that wave all over again. Because this time last year, probably this very week last year, I was picking out a clip art flower for my very FIRST e-newsletter. And the déjà vu left me feeling like someone pelted me with sadness looking at the past 12 months (an e-newsletter for all of them). Apparently, I can measure time in e-newsletters and freaking JPEGs of flowers.
And I guess it just made me think of all of the choices that led me here. I don’t know if anything would be different had I made different ones. But I do know that I will never stop being sorry for how I acted, and I don’t blame you that you don’t speak to me. And if I could tell this to you I would, but I can’t, so I’m writing it here. Even after a year, there has never been a day, and I suspect there never will be a day, where my life is better without you in it. But I hope that your life is better without me in it, if that’s what you want.
I have this deep desire to go away—to move far away to a place where no one knows me and just start over. Cut ties with everyone, even the people I love. Because if I do that, then it would be like every mistake or bad decision I’ve ever made never even happened. I could wipe the slate clean and maybe let go of the guilt or anger or shame that follows me everywhere because I can’t fucking let go of not being perfect.
My life feels like the beginning of a movie right now. Like the plot is about to get good. I’ve always felt like I was supposed to do something important with my life, that I was supposed to make a difference and matter. After I graduated college I became a little more practical and realized that I’m just supposed to be like everybody else—get a job and try and pay your bills. But lately, I’ve been feeling like maybe I still am meant to do something important. Or, if I’m not supposed to, at the very least I want to.
Because I feel so wholly unfulfilled at my current job. I feel under-appreciated and undervalued. I have to force myself to get any task done because I just feel like I’m wasting my time and my energy on something that matters very little to me, that doesn’t make me come alive, that feels unimportant to who I am. And by wasting my life on that, I’m failing to use my energy to find the thing that will fill me up. And it’s like I almost know what that thing is. Like it’s right there on the tip of my tongue, like a word I can’t remember. And that eventually I’ll sit up in bed at 3 in the morning and throw my hands into the air in relief and remember just what it is.
Most of my friends are moving away, or moving on in one capacity or another. And I feel like…a loser, kind of, and I know I shouldn’t. I look at their choices and look at myself in the mirror and hate myself because I’ve made different ones. I know that what’s right for some people isn’t right for others but I just feel so empty inside lately and they’re leaving to go off and do different things, and I want to be different too, I want to be better but I’m afraid. Literally moving does not equal figuratively moving on but doesn’t it though?
I feel really great for 2 weeks, then I feel really crappy for a week, then great for a week, then crappy for 3 weeks. I saw the doctor on Thursday but he still wants to do nothing, because he thinks it still could be my thyroid. And I do too, sort of. My symptoms went away but for the past 3 weeks I’ve had basically a 24/7 stomachache, and my heart is racing all of the time. My doctor asked me, “What do you mean when you say you feel ‘great’? What does that feel like?” And I said, “I just feel….overconfident.”
My overconfidence is bad. It has led me to make poor decisions from a lack of good judgment. Poor decisions at work that have gotten me in trouble. I want to leave. I don’t want to work there anymore. I just don’t know how I can function in a different environment, when I can get away with barely functioning in this one.
There are so many external things I want to change about my life, but more than anything, I continue to want to fix the things that are wrong inside of myself. They are things that are simply unfixable without time and life-experience and I want neither, I just want to be perfect now. I want to find something that makes me come alive and I want to stop looking backward. I want to stop comparing my life to the lives of others and I want to feel a lot better than I do right now. I want my thyroid to stop fucking up my hormones and leaving me physically miserable.
And since I can’t stop any of these things at the moment, I drink coffee until I’m happy, I watch television until I forget all of it, I read until I feel inspired, I write only to detest every word my fingers type, and I keep daydreaming about this someday maybe life where I’ll finally be happy without having to do a single difficult thing to get there.
If I leave, if I leave Maryland (my beloved state, my beloved city of Baltimore), if I follow in my friends’ footsteps…if I go live in the Czech Republic or take a job in Boston…will that fix anything? Will that push me to change my life because I have to? As desperately as I want to be a pioneer, I’m not a pioneer—I can’t leave, I can’t change, I don’t know how. Somedays I think I can, but I inevitably end up here, writing this or something similar and constantly telling myself, “Tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.”