It’s a tough combination. You’re tired mentally and physically. You lay down and are excited to rest. That when the anxiety picks a topic and then kicks you into emotional turmoil, even in your exhaustion. Scenarios run through your mind until you’ve come up with every bad outcome. All you want it sleep. It’s about work. Usually is. About all the ways I fail. It would be so nice to have some positive attributes of myself mixed in for momentary relief. But that’s now how it works is it? Those thoughts telling you how bad you suck become the only thing ringing in your brain. Then you start counting the hours of how long you can sleep. The hours start slipping through your fingers, another casualty of anxiety. You know you’ll wake up just as exhausted (after you finally fall asleep). But you’ll slap on a smile (after lots of caffeine) and pretend it’s all okay. Put on that mask for another day so no one else knows how you spent another sleepless night worrying. Another night taken by anxiety. But you’ll hide it and make it through another day and wait for the next round with anxiety. You know it’s coming. You just hope it takes its time and gives you some rest. Some rest would be so nice and is needed.
…to constantly feel like you are failing at something?
If it’s not work then it’s personal relationships or school or hobbies or something. I always sort of feel like I am somehow failing to live up to expectations of those around me. At work, I feel like no matter how much I do I am always missing something. Something that seems obvious to everyone else around me and I am an idiot for missing. In my personal relationships, I feel like I am never doing enough for everyone and I have somehow failed them and to live up to what they expect from me as well. And everyone expects something different on different scales. It’s maddening. It’s completely maddening. I am not one, but I hear parents say they feel like they are failing at that too (if you are worried you are failing as a parent – you aren’t). When does the feeling of failing stop? Does it ever? Is that part of this culture we’ve created? When is enough enough? Never – off to see what I fail at next. This concept is killing my mental health at the moment.
I usually write about my anxiety in retrospect but today I decided to write about it smack in the middle of it. I thought I could better relate it, or maybe worse because my mind is racing all over. So sorry in advance if it swings that way.
Heart isn’t racing but its at a higher pace then normal. Usually indicates some kind of anxiety but not the worst I’ve experienced. Feel slightly sick to my stomach and my muscles feel weak and wired at the same time. My mind is jumping to worst case scenarios of humiliation and horrible outcomes. My anxiety started this morning when I left Marty alone again in the apartment for the first time. I tried calming it but it wasn’t going anywhere so I slapped on a smile and tried to hide it. When that didn’t work I slapped on a smile and apologized to my volunteers for seeming anxious and explained the situation. They were very cool about it but then I had anxiety about sounding a little crazy. Classic case of anxiety about anxiety and the circular nature of it all. Then there was potentially a mistake and that gave me 100000000000 times the anxiety. I so badly want to succeed and do the best job possible that the idea of making a mistake absolutely sent my anxiety over the edge. Worst case scenario after worst case scenario is running through my mind. I just can make it stop, I want to so badly, but it isn’t that easy. Impossible comes to mind. So I am trying to travel back to my therapy and what I learned. How many times do things come to the worst case scenario? If they do, would that be the end? Or would I pull through it and find a way to live and move past it. That is helping a little. I am not yet to the point of having to use my grounding tools just yet, which I am trying to take as encouraging.
…this is a little late (about 3 weeks) but I got a dream job!
I don’t know why I took so long to write about it – maybe I thought I would jinx it. But it is very real so here it goes. I got a job in Balboa Park working with volunteers. My office is in the middle of Balboa Park and I get to help people help people! It’s awesome. Great benefits and a wonderful team of folks to work with. I moved to San Diego and I love my little apartment and it’s close to work! I am getting over my anxiety of driving around Balboa Park and San Diego slowly but surely. The only downside is my dude is still on Orange County and I miss him.
I worked for this and somehow I got it. I got in my top choices of work places. It still doesn’t feel real. How did I get this dream. So cool.
Now it’s time to pedal to the metal and prove they made an excellent choice in hiring me. It is just a little scary – who gets their dream? I don’t wanna mess it up. I will do my best and that’s all I can give and I think it will be good.
Dang man, I got here. Now time to prove my salt – it’ll be fun!
…nope not a Bible passage- just the time in the morning I’m awake.
I actually woke up at 3:45 am. I’m just coherent enough to write on it now. This is the 2nd biggest issue with having a long commute. My early shift days are really f*cking early. And I have this shift for three more straight days after this. Hello 8:45 pm bed time!
I will say it’s better then the later shift on weekends because of one thing: traffic. It takes at least twice as long to get there on weekend afternoons. I would rather have sleep deprivation and no traffic then lose an extra hour or more to the 5 freeway.
I got called into work last night and worked until 10:00 pm, then had an hour drive home. So I got home around 11:00 pm but had to eat, brush my teeth, and calm down. So I am in my bed at 12:00 pm. I have to be up at 3:45 am to leave my house by 4:30 am to be at work by 5:45 am. At best, that is just shy of four hours of sleep. I started down the mental road of I have to fall asleep ASAP because I only have 3 hours and 45 minutes to sleep and so it went until about 1:00 am which put me under three hours of sleep. Then I drove and hour for my first job and after that went to my second job. I am so tired and as young as I feel in my head, I am definitely older then that. I need more sleep! Is anyone else a terrible napper? I wake up wondering what century I am in. I know I should nap, but it feels risky. Maybe if I just lay down and rest a bit. All I can think is DAMN I thought I was past the point in my life where I worked two jobs and had shifts everyday. In grad school, I had full time school, a part time internship, a part time job, and a relationship. I have no idea how I made all that work. My goodness. I suppose the conclusion here is I am old and sleepy. I have enjoyed this flashback to being young with two jobs, but I think I am ready for on full time one again.
I see you, I feel you, and I appreciate you! In my business, like so many others, I work what is many other folks holiday or long weekends. It’s fun because you see a lot of folks come in, but it stinks because you see a lot of people with friends and family having a bunch of fun and you are wishing you were with your friends and family having fun. So remember those who work to make your holiday weekends everything they can be and be kind to them.
And of course reflect on the reason for Memorial Day Weekend, remembering our brave soldiers who died working to ensure that you can have a fun long weekend.
…from Jamie’s perspective with Kathy’s role being played by my work place.
For those who haven’t seen it, The Last Five Years is a great musical that is about a five years of a relationship told from the perspective of the man and woman living it. Jamie, the man tells his story from start to finish and Kathy, the woman tells her story from finish to start. They are telling two different versions of the same story. That doesn’t mean that either version is wrong or false, they are just different. Their love starts strong and hopeful and their lives just grow apart and their love changes. I don’t want to say it fades, it just doesn’t work together anymore. It was also made into a movie with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan (swoon) that is on Netflix. Beautiful and worth a watch.
So what does this have to do with my work and I’s relationship — a lot turns out. I started working at my current employer five years ago today. I am excited and hopeful about the job and I felt welcomed and that folks were excited to have me there. We went on like that for about 3 years. Excited and hopeful. Then me and my work started growing apart. By year five, I barely have any hours and I am clearly not missed by my place of work and honestly, I don’t miss it that much either. I am looking for new job opportunities, having been basically dumped by last one after trying to work it out so hard for what feels like forever. I am sure if I had my work’s perspective it would be just as valid (like in the play).
This parallel came to my mind today and I wanted to put the thought down before I forgot it. It’s not that I hate my place of work or anything. It’s just I don’t want to be somewhere I am so easily deleted and forgotten. Something I invested so much time and effort into, erased. It’s not fun but I learn, I do my best while still there, and I look to the future. All we can do right?
I had a few things to write about that are all different yet connected.
Let’s start with work. I went into nonprofits because I wanted to do something good, do work I care about, and be cared about where I work. As I understood it, that was a perk of going the nonprofit route and it helped with the ‘gonna be poor’ part (no one goes into nonprofits for the money). I had that for a few years and it was great. I loved it – even the shit days with people who yelled and made me feel less then. It was okay, because then I would teach a kid something or my volunteers would be their awesome selves. Since COVID I understand that even nonprofits have to survive during these tough times – I just didn’t know it would be at the expense of most of it’s employees. But since I am writing this I suppose I am feeling it’s a lot at the expense of me. I didn’t realize that I was quite so disposable and forgettable. I guess that’s on me for being naive and kinda dumb. My bad. I am great at what I do and I know it. I think it’s time to start over at another place with a new mission to support that might need my skill set and contributions.
I am not married. I am in a relationship. He doesn’t want to move forward and is happy staying exactly where we are. I am not. But since I am the one who wants more I have the choice to leave the relationship or move only at his speed, because he wants to go slower. I read some stuff about it on the internet and it said that rushing someone will only get you dumped. But does that mean my timeline doesn’t matter? It’s not that I don’t want to respect his wants, I just want the same consideration. I don’t know what to do. I am hoping it will come to me.
Ideal world. My dude want to get engaged and combine our lives. I’d be good with a long engagement. I help him where he needs it and he helps me where I need it. It might also give me some opportunities to go back to teaching at nonprofits and managing when I work up to it. I love the problem solving in management but I miss teaching daily. I could contribute more to our lives together and moving my work happiness forward. Dare to dream I suppose eh?
If you happen to know me, you know that my socks almost never match. What does this have to do with a holiday work tradition? Good question! We have a little tradition on my work team of having a holiday sock exchange. It’s a secret Santa but you get the the other person socks that fits their personality for $10 or less. It always SO much fun and I have gotten my favorite socks from it. Socks are good for men, women, or however you identify yourself. Everyone needs socks, wears socks almost daily, and hates buying them for themselves. It also give you an idea of how that person thinks of you. I have mermaid, beluga whale, and Hufflepuff socks from past exchanges and that sums up my interests pretty well. It’s easy to get socks for under $10. Even in this crazy pandemic year, with a small team of four people, we are doing the exchange by sending them through amazon. I love that this tradition is living on. I hope it goes on long past when I am there. My team is the greatest, always has been. This exchange just shows of their fun and playful spirits. If anyone from my team (past or present) is reading this know that I hold you in high esteem and thanks for making everyday as fun as sock exchange day!