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The post that went through several different titles

I have been in a weird place lately. Over the past week or two, I have nearly "written" several posts in my head and pretty much finished one while at the park Thursday. The ramblings lent themselves to names such as the following:
  1. "If I actually publish this post, I am pretty sure some friends will be calling me with great concern"
  2. "Where is my happy place" 
  3. "I can't cry hard enough"
  4. "Missing person"
  5. "Paralyzed by fear" 
As for the first title, well, it is probably obvious that when that post was swirling around my head, I was pretty down. Fortunately, that post never came to fruition.

Later, things looked up and something got me smiling again. But, alas, something else had me singing the blues before too long. It could have been another struggle with Jordan (that happens a lot lately, and I am quite sure a post will eventually come of it). Perhaps Brian and I were arguing about Jordan (yeah, it's a problem) or money (another, probably bigger, problem). Maybe it was my bitterness over my car and feeling cheated. Whatever it was, I could just not stay happy for an entire day or for at least for two days in a row. For that reason, the second or third post title above would have worked. But, again, I could not bring myself to write down everything I was feeling.

After thinking about things for a few days, something occurred to me, which led itself to the fourth and fifth titles above. I realized that a big part of my not-there-as-often-as-it-used-to-be optimism/happiness had to do with the lack of a job. Not just any job, but the job that I lost two years ago.

I am sure at least two of you are thinking that it has been two years, so now, or perhaps last year, would be a good time to get over this. And I completely agree with you. But the problem is that I seem to be stuck in this weird place called "The Past." Many of us stay here way too long for sure. As much as I hate technology, it is clear how much I prefer the past. But as I was crying the other day, I realized that so much of who I was I left behind in that job. Maybe not so much the last position I held at that company, but rather what I did for most of my career there. I was really good at being an editor, proofreading, and project coordinator. I don't say this in a full-of-myself way, just in an honest way. And doing that job well and for so many years at the same place defined me more than I realized.

Now, because I don't have that job; because I am not doing the best job as a parent (not for lack of love or constancy); because I am not bringing in much-needed money as I did for the first 10 years of marriage; because I cannot seem to find a full-time, decent-paying job; because I am so afraid of failing (getting laid off can do that to you); and because I cannot figure out what it is I am really good at or what I should be doing, I have kind of lost myself. I don't know who it is I am supposed to be.

I know I need to get past all of this (and an improved economy would certainly help), and I am pretty sure I will. Because I have to. I really, really have to.

Comments

Mel said…
facie, have you tried temp-ing? it's a great way to get your foot in the door of some good places. and if you can do a full-time day at all, there are great opps for a talented and experienced person like you. Pancoast is a good firm.

I have gone through similar feelings every time I had a big change: motherhood, quitting work, going back to work, quitting again, having my child start kindergarten... every big upheaval causes me to have to reinvent myself a little. I'm still on the tail end of one of those periods now: I imagine people thinking, "why aren't you working? what does she do all day? how lazy. her poor husband..."

the good news is that you can do so many more things than you've already done. you won't know until you walk away from that last "thing." untether yourself from the dead beast and move away quickly. we all have a tendency, I think, to romanticize past situations and I know I've done it too. but when I truly look with open eyes at that situation (such as our old workplace) you can see that things were messed up and frustrating and far from perfect. yes, it shaped you, but it does not define you. YOU define you. learn something new, go to some free workshops, get involved in a group that's doing good things, try the temp thing, but change something. rock your own world. failure is simply a means of ruling out the wrong stuff. remember Edison?
Anonymous said…
Yes move on!!! I guess you probably can't just will yourself to move on but try. Mel is right. You are a good person with talents. You'll figure it out. I hear that company had another round of layoffs so I say good riddance anyway.

Hope the stuff with Jordan works itself out too. Parenting is not easy, I don't care what anyone says. If it was, all children would be delightful and parents would never drink. J/k!
Facie said…
Mel: Yes, I tried two agencies (neither was Pancoast), though originally b/c of specific jobs. Good reminder for me, though to get back into that. The whole kid thing makes it tricky, but not impossible.

I will try to remember that my last job does not define me. I think deep down I know it doesn't, but I just need to get past that (and some days I am, really).

Anonymous: Yes, I know I need to move on and I am trying to. Perhaps admitting I have a problem is a good first step. :-) And, yes, more layoffs (or furloughs, which often lead to layoffs; I have lost track of how many times it has been now).

As for the kid, I went to the lib to find a parenting book, but no luck. I mostly know what I need to do (be more consistent), but I give into defeat easily, sadly.

Thanks for the comments.
chris h. said…
I have definitely been in "that place" Facie (and blogged about it much as you did http://writingbyear.com/2009/05/19/who-am-i-again/). It seems our identity is tied up in what we do (for better or worse) -- especially the stuff we do well. It's hard to know you're really good at something, but nobody wants you to do it for them! I agree with Mel -- it's important to get out there and do something, even if it's not "the thing" because it inevitably leads to something better. In fact, I was temping (doing admin/secretarial stuff) when I landed a job at that same place you later did that changed the course of my career, and really, my life. You never know what's just around the corner, but it's waiting for you to find it!
chris h. said…
P.S. If you're up for a "field trip" out east sometime, let's have lunch! I know a place with a great deck overlooking a garden, good coffee, and an empathetic barista!
Facie said…
Thanks, Chris. I do remember that post. And I definitely am not holding out for "the thing." I have considered trying something pretty different and may ultimately end up in that direction.

And thanks for the field trip offer. How can I say no to that? Hopefully before too long!

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