Midnight Post on Absence
I don't expect any of you to read this until you're bored one day; maybe I've posted a new article and you're finished with it, or maybe it's boring you and you're clicking around. Either way, this is just a low-key check in. It should also be noted that the bougie Air-Canada meal in the picture for this post was part of the honeymoon upgrade from a year ago, that's an aspirational meal right there.
It's been almost two months now since I lost my job. My EI finally came in, which is nice. It's always great when the system works, but I believe the phrase is "one step forward, two steps back." My wife lost her job two days ago. Fear is rampant in our house, and for the first time in a long, long time, I have no idea what's going to happen.
The job search has been dehumanizing and demoralizing. I've gone on interviews at highly inappropriate companies who have either mocked me to my face or torn me to pieces for my lack of qualifications, when they're the ones who called me. There's been about 50 emails returned to me with variations on the phrase, "we cannot pursue your application any further," despite over half of them being jobs I've done before, for multiple years at a time. I honestly had better luck finding writing work that paid pennies, and I'm reaching my wits end. I've applied for anything and everything, just to be told over and over again that I'm not what people are looking for.
It's hard not to hate myself when I was younger. I find myself sitting around, stewing over decisions I made in high school and college, things that would have played out to my advantage today, but that I avoided for reasons unknown to even me. I fight against that every single day, and now that an emotional doppelganger has entered the fray, I'm scared of a rising tide of anger and frustration. We've made pacts, we've held hands and promised each other that we wont lose sight of our goal and our collective and individual struggles. We've promised to keep the band together, and it's legitimately all we have anymore. Well, that and my words.
My secret, like Bruce Banner's constant rage, is that I know I'm going to buy my wife a house with them one day. It doesn't have to be a big house, it doesn't have to be new, or even the nicest on the block--it just has to be ours, on our terms. It may seem unrealistic to have that as my goal, but it's hardly a goal to me. It's an item on the list. No matter what happens to me, no matter how many times life kicks me in the teeth, I believe in myself. The only reason for that is because of people like you, the people who read this blog and in its past incarnations, left comments, or message me on Facebook or Twitter with kind words. I've heard enough from a wide enough spread of people to believe it.
There's always for improvement though: I read James Baldwin, or listen to Eminem and I see what the giants on Earth can do with the language I'm fortunate enough to call my mother tongue. English is so fickle, such an interesting amalgamation of cultures, origins and processes have left us with this tool--a way to speak to half the world, but also a way we can look directly into human history with simple words like grammar, which comes from the Greek, Γράμμα (Grámma), "that which is written or drawn."
On Monday morning, between moments in the employment hunt, I'm starting to send out my query letters to publishers and agents. I'm just desperate enough now to start selling myself. The only reason there seems to be so much stank on that last sentence is because I loathe self-promotion because I'm lousy at it. I've been trying to come up with a blurb for the back of the book that I'll be able to use to help sell it, but I've managed to write more than a third of the novel since decided I needed to come up with the blurb. I'm friendly enough, I have a good personality and I do believe I can find someone to work with on this novel. If I can push myself past these last few road blocks, I can do this.
I have a podcast in my back pocket that I'm trying to build a pitch for as well, but there's a small team I'm wanting to involve in that one, so it requires a meeting first. Regardless, the reason I bring all this up--other than to get it all out of my head, is to have it in writing: my deal with the world.
I'm going to play this game. I'm going to find gainful employment and contribute to my house--but it's a temporary thing. I've always been the type to go my own way, and that's what I have to do to survive. If I want to meet myself as an old man at the end of this road, I have to be true to myself and seize every opportunity I can find, and when I cant find them, I'll make them. I have a website. I know how to play the self-publishing game.
I'm a Writer, that'll never change. Maybe in a few weeks I'll be a Writer/Barista, or a Writer/Forklift Driver, a Writer/Book Store Employee, I'm not sure, but I don't think it matters. I know who I am and I'll do what I need to do to stay who I am, no matter what.
Also, just so ya know, there's a donate button at the bottom of the page here.