I got a new job. I started last week. It’s a manager position. That’s something to get excited about. So why have I come home every night and gone straight to bed to sleep off a headache, or grabbed so much food that I know I’ve eaten myself a little closer to death, or tried desperately to avoid writing this (or anything)?
I avoided it because I know I’m unhappy. Deeply. It’s the depression (hello darkness, my old friend). A new job didn’t solve the problems that the old me wasn’t solving. I think it’s only made it worse. Or at the very least it’s made it more apparent that I have a problem (or two or three).
I’m so angry at my parents because they convinced me that this was the best option. In reality, I did this to myself. That doesn’t lessen the anger I feel that once again I’ve become the Good Daughter who does the Right Thing and doesn’t cause anyone worry or concern. I don’t know if this is who I am because people expect it or if it’s just a part of me now. Who the hell was I before this all started years ago? I wonder if I didn’t have to be the responsible kid taking care of the alcoholic parent would I have felt freer to follow my heart and less like I had to take care of others. I wonder that if I weren’t my parents’ only surviving child, would I have been braver and actually taken a risk in my life. My mom assured me that I was always a nervous creature who preferred security and rules. She reminded me that my nickname as a very little girl was actually Grandma (that or Bossy – I wonder where that girl went).
When I talked about my promotion with my dad, he told me that I’m now making more money than he is and boy was that a mind-fuck. I think it was supposed to make me feel proud of myself or motivated to succeed at work but all it did was make me cry (after I got done talking to him – can’t let the folks know how sad I am or they will worry and fuss and come here and make it their mission to fix me). I didn’t just cry because of my dad’s revelation, though. I cried because I don’t fit in with a group of ladies who keep Bible quotes at their desks. I sobbed because I don’t fit in with a department where success means wearing makeup and accessories every day. I wept because I don’t fit in with a company that sells me a bullshit story about how I make a difference to people when I know the truth (I make a difference to upper management’s bonus and the company’s bottom line).
There was a quarterly meeting on my third day in the new job and the speaker was a revered CEO from days long passed. He gave us the rah-rah rally speach about how we impact people and we make a difference (and generals can be SO good at convincing the cannon fodder to jump on the front line, can’t they). Near the end of his rallying cry, he talked about values and what “matters to you, is personally important to you.” And for all the shit he measured out, this one stuck because I was never really sure what was important to me, what I valued. I wish I valued myself more. I wish I valued my desires. I think that bossy little girl would be disappointed I let this happen to her. I should have protected her better. I should have loved her more.
Now comes the hard work. I need to force myself to actually go to a therapist. And I need to protect my time and the things that are important to me. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it my way. I’ll do my time but no more than my time. I’ll stick to my writing schedule. I’ll meet with other writers and show them my work. I’ll network and figure out how to get where I want to go. I know where I want to go now. I know what I value.
I guess I should thank that old-rah-rah-rich white guy for the inspiration. Or maybe it’s that bossy girl inside me moving me forward. Thank you, Bossy girl. I’ll do better for you, I promise.
Note: I realize I make my parents look like jerks. Really, they mean well and do the best they can. As all loving parents do.