Posted by: nedlnthred | February 27, 2015

42. No, 50.

An even bigger sidestep from the queens of Henry VIII, but not such a great one from being a grad student, I expect.

I am not happy with my life.  I am not the person I want to be in it and I have not managed to make for myself a life I like.  This is not an unusual place to be when one is 49, but it *is* my life and I’m the one who had to get up every day and be *in* it.  So surely I can do better.1607066_627293280639746_2087347644_n

I feel strongly that Tarder Sauce is called for, because this is how I have been for weeks, months, years around both the people I work with and the people I love, and I’m tired of it all.  I want to be happy, have a sense of purpose, and take some pride in what I’m doing.  GRRRR.  Instead, I feel like I’ve become one of those invisible women with unkempt hair and too many cats who is always in the background, working away at something unconsequential.  And maybe that’s it.  When I was growing up, people always treated me as though I couldn’t fail to be Very Consequential.  How is that?  Why are my friggin’ expectations so high, anyway?  But at 49, admittedly after an exhausting and bitterly cold winter, I’m feeling more like I live one of T.S. Eliot’s lives of quiet desperation.  Surely I can do better?

I’m not even sure how to attack the problem.  (Which is another *of* the problems: I used to be excellent and effective at attacking problems and have become gradually unable even to *see* them half the time.)

But I have some sense that I used to feel like I was going somewhere.  Like by 50 I could be an Associate Library Director or Executive Facilities Manager and have responsibilities for more than just myself.  And, if anything, I have less responsibility and less ability to process information, and am whinier and more resentful and bitter.  This is just not where I thought I was going.  I’ve chosen the wrong crossroad somewhere in the middle of Central Park where it looks like background/staging area, but is still transverse.  Not that my life was ever looking quite as, well, well-placed as Central Park, but you know what I mean.

So here are some things that I see myself as now that I don’t especially enjoy:

Bitter

Angry at people I perceive have maligned me.  Which implies that I thought I was owed something and that way lies madness.  I’m supposed to be trying to make the best of every new day.  So why am I so fucking angry?

Getting nowhere in my life.  Weeeellll, that’s simple.  I’ve stalled until I’ve put myself in that old spot where nothing in my life will be a win or a pleasure until I’m post-dissertation McMahon.  Which is all very well and good, but I keep walking up to a beginning step on the damn thing and just not being able to turn on the computer or pick up the book. I’m in a D&D version of my life and surrounded by a giant, clear force field with no idea what the magic phrase is.  And maybe that’s why I’m writing this out, because then I’m exercising my writing brain and that will help me shift to writing what I’m *supposed* to be writing?  Please?

Indecisive.  I hate this.  I used to be good at making decisions.  Ok, so maybe no I didn’t and I agonized over all them and thought them to death.  But surely there was a period in there somewhere where I shook myself off and took myself in hand and picked a path?

Fearful.  I’m so fearful of looking for jobs or being called uncreative that I couldn’t even update my portfolio.  I gave up work I loved because of that.  When I write that, it reminds me of people I’ve known who didn’t finish degrees because they couldn’t finish that one final paper.  SRSLY??  Yeah, seriously.  My sense of my creative self is that fragile.  I just didn’t have what it takes to put it on the line and keep looking for new jobs.  Being someone who writes well and easily, I always thought that excuse I was hearing was pretty a) stupid, and b) bogus.  But I guess not.  Because here I am NOT WRITING THE GODDAMN FINAL PAPER.

<headdesk>

cropped-scottccathousedetail.jpg

Yeah, it’s *that* labyrinthine in there.  Argh.

Why.  Is. This.  So.  Very.  Difficult?

When talking with a social worker once about a friend’s mental illness, the worker commented upon a particular action saying “her thinking had probably disintegrated pretty severely by that point”.   Yikes.  But I think I might be knowing how that feels from the inside.  And it’s pretty ghastly.

So it may be that where I am driving this post towards is a heartfelt conversation about my struggles with depression. “The common cold of mental illnesses”.  All I’m saying is, I never had an effin’ cold take apart my life, my hope, and my ability to create myself.  Am I still under warranty? Can I return this poorly designed part?  Mmmblee mbml Meatsack!!

I need to turn my brane off for now, but it’s a start at the thinking.  Or the writing.  The writing-thinking?


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