(Wherein I spiral somewhat uncontrollably into a puddle of self loathing. If this is not your cup of tea, then please, look away.*)

Today is Wednesday. (So yes, this is not my usual Friday post. The reason why will become apparent in a bit, I’m sure.) I spent Monday and Tuesday in bed. Because migraine and general exhaustion. I do feel physically better today. Emotionally and mentally, not so much. Let’s just say there’s a lot that I’m processing.

  • I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the reason why I chose to apply for a job, mostly because I’ve not heard anything back from the recruitment agency and, although one would think I’d be feeling excited about the possibility of going back to full time work, I’m not. I’m quite relieved that there isn’t any movement either way. Relieved because I don’t know that I can face an interview at the moment (because exhausted and my heart just isn’t in it, and my cold sore has turned into a nasty scab… and a nasty scab on the lip doesn’t exactly make for a self confident me at an interview.) So. Basically, relieved. I applied for the position because I felt like I needed to do something (anything!). I feel like I’m wasting away at home, being a housewife. Mostly because I suck at being a housewife. My work doesn’t feel important or… purposeful. No one really gives a damn if the laundry is done or not, or if there’s a nutritionally balanced meal on the table. There are days when I  feel like I could disappear and no one would notice, at least not for a while. So my thinking turns to an imaginary picture of me pointing at a thing I’ve made (and someone has paid for) and me saying to anyone who cares to listen: “Look, I made this thing. It serves a purpose. It is of value. And by extension, I am of value.”
  • I was taught that, to be of value, you need to be making money somehow. And because I’m not making money… well… I’m of no value. I was also taught that making space for exploring ideas and a new direction is indulgent. (No one has time for that. You need to be working, and earning money!) Anything less is frivolous… or downright lazy. (I didn’t say these were good lessons. I just said it’s what I was taught. It’s difficult to shake off thinking that’s so deeply ingrained.)
  • So here I am… spending money on books and online courses because I want to go in a totally different direction and my head is telling me it’s frivolous because I’m not earning the money that buys the books and the online courses. And then I feel shame. Because I don’t know where this will take me. I can’t… justify it. I just know that I’m happy when exploring fashion history, clothing construction and all things fibre and/ or textile. But being happy doing it doesn’t pay the bills… and I don’t know that it ever will. I’m looking for certainty that can’t be found.
  • For a while there, I was thinking the SCA** could be a vehicle for exploring clothing history and construction, and the ‘frivolity’ of it wouldn’t matter because the SCA is a hobby, right? A thing you do for fun. It’s not meant to be ridiculously serious. It is meant to be a place where you’re encouraged to learn, to recreate.  But I don’t know anymore. The SCA is so much bigger here… we’re exposed to so much more of the politics. And it’s not fun at the moment, not really.*** It’s just… heavy. Add to that, my own insecurities about what I (haven’t) achieved over the years in the SCA… and… well… it’s all just so heavy. We are going to an SCA event this weekend, but still. Heavy.
  • I want to be good at something. Right now, everything feels like I’m starting at ground zero. EVERYTHING. I feel downright stupid. Going back into instructional design was an idea born out of wanting to feel like I didn’t have to start at ground zero. Like I actually knew something. Like I could make a worthwhile contribution with that something. But now I just feel like I’m going in the wrong direction… again… and that’s… a little heartbreaking.

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* and I suddenly think of the theme tune to A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sorry. I know, it’s catchy.

** Society for Creative Anachronism

*** January 2018 saw #Trimgate (the infamous Caid Swaztika Incident), and more recently #IStandWithDavius. If you really want to delve into the politics, here’s a place to start. This article gave me some clarity around the feelings behind #Trimgate, and a way of navigating my own emotions around the situation. But still. Being new to a group is hard enough… being confronted with the realisation that the society you’ve invested so much time, energy, and money into isn’t what you thought it was (i.e. a place where everyone can stand) is a hard pill to swallow. I see the world through rose-tinted glasses for the most part, and I suppose I’m naive to the hatred that’s out there. So when I’m confronted with it… well… yeah. Heavy.

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