Work and Life

It’s ironic, but even identifying things in my life I wanted to change backfired in a way.  Last week I fell apart worse than I had in a while–slacking at work, but still coming home too exhausted to clean, then staying up late to try to squeeze some joy out of each wasted day.  I’m doing better now.  A long weekend never hurts, nor does letting things slide to the point where you have to think, “well, this is just ridiculous!”  (Well, isn’t life ridiculous?)

  1. I am trying to stay on top of the cleaning, even if it is just a little each day.  It makes me feel more in control, and that feeling is more foundational than I realized.
  2. I’ve been better about practicing.  It’s never enough.  It never will be enough.  I have to accept that it is what it is.  But I’ve started (continued) writing a song, and it’s good to write again.  And I know it’s not great, but that in itself is a relief–it means that I can’t screw it up.
  3. Work.  There have been more downs than ups recently.  I go back and forth about whether I should renew my contract.  I probably shouldn’t.  But then, what would I do?  I don’t think I’m incapable.  Maybe I’m not passionate enough.  Maybe (really) I’m just too self-absorbed to be good at a job working so closely with people.  (When I was in high school, my dream was to be a hermit.  Maybe I should have…)
  4. Life.  What does it mean to have a personal life?  It’s baffling, because there aren’t concrete goals, and you’re not entitled to anything.  It seems like there should be some rules.  It all seems very disorganized and absurd.  I guess, for me, a personal life means getting to keep the house clean and try to practice every night.  It means that I don’t have to think about work all the time.  The only rule is don’t run out of money.  It’s very narrow, but it works.
  5. But what does it mean to live a good life?  Does it mean that you spend your time happily, or that you accomplish something that you’re proud of?  Can you do both?

Okay, what I’m really trying to say is: if you’re living in a way that doesn’t make you happy, and you know it doesn’t make you happy but changing feels impossibly scary, what do you do?  It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff, not knowing what’s below, and wondering whether to jump.  Of course you wouldn’t jump.  But if you’re constantly drawn to that cliff edge, you might have to out of sheer curiosity.

I don’t trust myself at all.  I feel entirely helpless.  So I’ll say this: I’m building a ladder.  It’s a very flimsy rope ladder that I’m constructing so I can go down and explore the bottom of the cliff.  And probably, I’ll never get to the bottom.  But maybe I will.

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