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I know I haven't updated in a long while, but I feel so... stuck is maybe the best word. Embarrassed at myself. I'm not really depressed, I'm mostly quite fine just as long as I manage as much as possible to block out the knowledge that what I really should be doing is look for a new job. (Or as long as I'm not having dental hygiene, but that's an embarrassing story for another entry...)

I'm still going on hikes on weekends, I even found a new Russian teacher after the last one left for a job in Hamburg, so it's not as if I'm a complete lazy slob who gets absolutely nothing done.

On the other hand...

I go to work and I come home so tired. I'm having dinner, I waste a couple of hours on the internet, I go to sleep. I've never in my adult life gone to bed before midnight so regularily. Ever since I've had to change shops last year I've tried to maintain my level of activity? work ethics?, whatever you want to call it, but it's getting increasingly hard. I've mostly cleared out the storage space upstairs where there were shelves of books untouched since they switched departments and floors some five years ago. Sorted out and re-boxed the shop-window decoration materials. I've done some highly necessarily dusting downstairs, but I can only do that when neither M. or U. are around, because I don't want to make them look bad and start disliking me. It drives me crazy. Yes, the dust gets in again, and yes, it's a Sisyphean task, but it was that back in the old shop too, or even worse, because our shelves were dark wood where the dust showed immediately, and I still dusted them every 2-3 days. In what world is this a reason not to do it at all? I don't know why the boss persons let this slide for so long. It's incredibly frustrating to hear everyone complain about how bored they are when I just have to look around and see all the work that needs to get done.

The atmosphere there is just draining. It's not toxic in the sense that there's mobbing or intrigues, we get along fine, mostly, but it's toxic in the sense that everyone is more or less waiting for the end, and meanwhile nothing gets done. We're all dragging each other down.

Rationally I know I need to get out, but I'm stuck, waiting, along with everyone else. Unable to do anything.

I retyped and updated my CV a few weeks ago because the Word version got stolen with the laptop earlier this year, and then I tried to take a new photo to put on it. (Sad to say this is standard here.) I picked the ones I thought were on the tolerable-ish to actually nice-ish side and sent them to my sister and G. for objective critique. G. said they looked like my worst enemy had picked them. Sister said I looked to serious and that I should smile more (with teeth!). R. at work, not that she had much choice to be very objective at this point, since I was already completely depressed and in tears, said she would use some of them, but not others, because I looked too mischievous on them. (Which, coincidentally, actually was what I was worried about.)

So much for that.

Since then, nothing.

I should practice my Office skills, too. H. asked me a question about Access recently, and I had to dig out the script for the ECDL Advanced exam, because apparently it all seeped out of my brain since last autum.

Guilt. Should. Should. Should. It's paralysing.

I'm completely terrified at the thought of having to look at adds and write applications. All those decisions that I can't face. Again, rationally, I know I just need to get started, and it'll probably become easier then, but there's this mental block I simply can't overcome. I don't even have clothes that would be remotely appropriate for an interview, and with fashion as it is these days I have no idea where I would find something that is both nice and makes me feel comfortable and confident in that it actually reflects my personality.

At the same time everything I'm doing that is not job-searching feels like an evasion that I should (and do) feel guilty about. I can still justify the hikes (getting into shape, keeping me somewhat mentally balanced) and the Russian learning/reading, but it pretty much stops there. Meta writing is an unforgivable waste of time, which would make more sense if I weren't wasting my time in any case, and in much worse and pointless ways, although it doesn't help that I'm not really getting anywhere on this front either; I keep turning over ideas in my mind, but I still haven't found the right handle yet.

I've been throwing away a lot over the last couple of weeks, clearing my desk and drawers, gas bills from my last flat, bank statements from years ago, Russian learning materials from my beginner days that in all probability I won't ever look at again, scribbled notes from as far back as 2004, Andromeda fandom, Smallville, B5, Angel, fragments that I couldn't even tell anymore what they were about; something about a Jack that couldn't be TW, and turned out to ideas for an Aubrey/Maturin fic when I looked at the other side of the paper. Why do I even keep all this stuff? Notebooks where my older niece, who used to go through my bag every time I visited, scribbled over my TW meta notes.

Tore out pages of diary entries from various notebooks, but couldn't bring myself to throw them away, vague thoughts of typing them up sometime, although there's nothing spectacular there, mostly just depressed thoughts from when I was on holiday in Salzburg without a laptop that I probably should throw away instead of cling to.

Still, though, I actually did type up, mostly because they were in the first notebook I looked at, some notes from when I visited un_crayon_rouge back in 2007. Typing them, I remembered how alive I felt then, how open and hopeful.

When (&how) did my life become this empty and meaningless? When did I become so stupid? Rereading my post-MD meta I feel like I've lost a couple of dozen IQ and eloquence points since then. I keep going, but my interests have narrowed down so much, I've become so negative that the level of enthusiasm in my earlier fanish posts embarrasses me, and I just don't really feel much of anything any longer.





( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yikes. I understand all too well. Getting past the guilt and shoulds to actually DO something about what we have in mind can feel overwhelming!
Aug. 7th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
What's really frustrating is how much time I'm wasting with the guilt and procrastination. Rationally I know better, but for some reason some part of me absolutely refuses to be rational...
Aug. 7th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
*huge hugs* Those were the days, huh? Man, I looked at those photos and had to blink back something that I couldn't very well justify as dust... Also, I felt a wave of shame wash over me. I feel like I left you so *alone* sometimes, gave you the feeling that you weren't welcome, that you were an intruder... It's just that I was rather in awe of you, you know, I wanted to be interesting and intellectual and witty and I blew it, of course. I'm sorry I couldn't make your visit better...

As for the feeling of stagnation, I know it very well. I've been having it for the whole past year, and there's no solution in sight. And certainly didn't get better when my coworker got pregnant and everyone started asking "sooooo, when's your turn?" Sigh.
Aug. 7th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
What? No, no, no, you didn't do any of that, and you didn't blow it. Absolutely not, the visit was great. It's maybe rather the reverse, I maybe felt I didn't live up to expectations... you had this cool job, lived in this cool apartment... What could I offer? I maybe felt a bit inadequate, but that's me, or my issues, and certainly not your fault!!! And maybe I was too reserved, because I always need time to adapt and open up. But I absolutely loved both visits, and I felt so full of possibilities there, like a different person.

I'm really sorry for drifting away so much since then.
Aug. 7th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
So maybe we just need to visit again? S. does have a whole apartment that's sitting empty at the moment...

Perceptions are a curious thing: I saw you as the cool one, you saw me as the cool one... Maybe we should try to convince each other that none of us is all that cool, but its ok anyway. </p>

On a (maybe) totally unrelated note: S. and I listened to a girl play an incredible Bach Chaconne the other day on the street. While I was listening to her, I was thinking "maybe this is enough"... Don't know exactly what that was, but it seemed fitting...

Aug. 7th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
He, I still find it completely mindboggling that anyone would ever think of me as cool...

Re. visiting... the problem is, wir sind so unterbesetzt, dass es unmöglich ist, frei zu bekommen, und im Moment ist immer wer auf Urlaub... (Ausser mir. *seufz*) Aber wenn Du mal in Deutschland bist... Salzburg wäre auch eine Möglichkeit, da steht bei uns eine Wohnung leer herum. :)

Hm, ich glaube ich hatte so einen 'maybe this is enough' Moment auf der Hohen Wand vor ein paar Wochen... (Montag, kein Mensch da, auf einer dieser neuen wellenförmigen Holz-Liegen gleich vorne an der Wand wo es hur hinunter geht, blauer Himmel, Aussicht — wenn man die Augen aufmacht —, angenehm warme Sonne, Kreischen irgendwelcher Raubvögel... leider musste ich irgendwann weiter und runter...)
Aug. 8th, 2012 09:20 am (UTC)
Ja, das ist immer das Problem, irgendwann ist der Moment vorbei... that's the challenge, I think. Das Vorbeisein als Teil des Moments geniessen, diese kleine Traurigkeit... oder so.

Übrigens, was mir noch zu deinem Meta-Schreiben eingefallen ist. Hier gibts einen Verlag der in letzter Zeit fast nur not "meta"-Bücher rausgibt: eins hiess "Teleshakespeare" und da gings um TV-Serien im Allgemeinen (unverständlicherweise fehlte Torchwood), dann gibts ein Buch über The Wire, eins über Game of Thrones, über Lost hatten sie glaube ich auch eins... Also, es könnte doch noch nützlicher sein, als du denkst und überhaupt kein waste of time :-)

Wir wollten ja in diesem Sommer nach Wien, aber dann hat das Apartment, das wir mieten wollten, nicht geklappt, und bei der Familie will ich AUF KEINEN FALL wohnen... Salzburg klingt schon *viel* besser :-)
Aug. 9th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
So sorry, not ignoring you, but yesterday/today was one of those 'just lie down and read for a bit, then wake up at past 2 am, blearily brush your teeth and get out your contacts, then toss and turn for a couple of hours trying to fall asleep again, until you finally do fall asleep and wake up at 8:15 and then feel like crap for the entire day' days...

Meta... Part of the problem is that it isn't really going anywhere at the moment. I was hoping things would emerge/sort themselves out during writing, but all I do is re-write and when I open it the next time it still doesn't feel right. Meh. I hate feeling so stupid.

Salzburg... vielleicht geht sich's ja wirklich mal aus... :)
Aug. 8th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
One thing at a time
I know how you're feeling, and I have a suggestion that might help.

At the end of June, I created a sort of "Can't Seem to Get Anything Done" Anonymous program for myself. It's based on low expectations, low energy, and the need to stop feeling like such a failure.

I resolved to every day:
1) throw away one thing
2) recycle one thing
3) put away one thing
4) clean one thing

Now, what this means is that on a very low-energy day, I can wash a fork, dry it and put it away, throw an empty cat food can in the trash, and take an empty pill bottle to my car (to take to work for recycling). I can do just that little, and my day is still a success. I make an X for each of these things on my calendar. They feel like gold stars.

I can't say I've accomplished anything anyone else would notice, my house is still a mess. But what's amazing is, it now feels *possible* that I'll be able to get out from under. I'm a success every single day.

Of course you can revise this to fit what needs doing in your life.

Aug. 9th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Re: One thing at a time
Thank you, that sounds both useful and doable!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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