I feel that now, since my life has finally resumed a sort of normalcy and routine, I can no longer use the same excuses as to why I’m not engaging more with my writing or the literary world in general: money stress, overworking, the balance of relaxation versus effort, those were my crutches. I put out a lot of effort in the last six weeks. Monumental effort. I wanted a little downtime after all that.
And I had some, and it was nice. It gave me time to reflect on the shitstorm that is seasonal work. Though I don’t regret any of it; I’ve gained so much more confidence. I did some dirty work. I got experience. I also felt extremely uncomfortable telling coworkers about my qualifications, brushing off my master’s and former management position like it’s a past life. (almost feels like it.) I felt ashamed. Some days I feel especially angry that I left a secure job for essentially a sham job that wasn’t treating me right. But most days, I realize I got exactly what I asked for: living downtown with a reliable car. Check. Not at Subway. Check. Time to work on my writing. Check.
The guilt when I don’t take advantage of what I now have is enormous. I wrote more when I was at a shitty job because the dream and hope of escaping it carried me through. I researched publications and PhD programs and applied for dozens of jobs. But now I’m…coasting. The seasonal work left my bank account in an ok state and my “Creative Coordinator” position went full time and somehow turned into Assistant Store Manager too. Cool. But my writing life, writing community, and creative work has never felt more distant. And there’s an unease somedays, because I don’t have that goal in front of me. I know I’m not ready to leave this city yet, that I’m not done exploring it and exploring the friendships I’ve gained here, but more often now I find myself dreaming of traveling overseas or landing a new job out west or going back to school. Escapism & hope, again. Something else to distract me.
I’m learning though to calm the escapist thoughts and to be ok and content with the everyday, the routine, the comfort. I know I’ll look back on 27 with fondness and realize it wasn’t so bad (it isn’t.) I’m working on gaining urgency for the sheer desire to write and create and feel more whole and not the urgency to escape something.
tl;dr I need to blog more and write more and generally things are ok.