Saturday, January 22, 2005

Dragon's eggs

My concept of eggs hatching of course includes bad ones, and after 4 months a monster has hatched, meaning I now have no regular income. But my preparation meant that though I am far from happy, (I am still in shock of course) I did not panic or worry my life is ruined like I would have before. This is the first time in my life that I have ridden a storm rather than drown in one, and though I admit it's not the worst thing that can happen to me, it's no picnic.

Otherwise, there is little to report on any front beyond earlier progress. I can only think of utterly trivial items to mention but as this is a diary they all go in regardless, if only for others to see their lives are pretty much the same as everyone else's. Here goes for what my friend Vicky called a stultifying list of recent Kingsbury events to test the resolve of my few regular readers.

Firstly, due to so little happening last week I was finally able to start my filing, and have already chucked out about 6 inches of papers. The house still looks like a cross between a museum and an office, but I'm still ploughing through, and the best bonus I hope is that I find a long lost item while I look. Other than that, I'm struggling to think of anything else. I've also got another birthday coming up on Saturday, at this stage in life it's not anything I can be happy about, just relief I've survived another year, and see if I've done enough in the extra time to justify my existence. I still have the bare minimum, ie my house and my qualifications, but my pleasures in life have been cut to the bone.

I can (using the privilige of an imminent birthday) give something of a review to show my current position. The foundations we sometimes have in life that we can fall back on so whatever happens there is always something behind us have left me one by one till these two are the only ones left. I literally understand the term 'rock bottom' now, as if you imagine floating, there are so many layers of water cushioning you, and as one goes at a time, if there are none left, you end up with no water and living among the sharp rocks on the surface. Well that's where I finally ended up now. I can allow myself this one cathartic moan today as if I can't have a beef when I'm in the shit, when else could I?

So, since 1981 my foundations of all types have gone one by one. Firstly, and possibly the biggest, was when my mother left us in 1981, leaving myself and my father alone in the family house. Then my beloved Edmondson card train tickets I collected since 1970 were abolished for general use in 1988 (to be fully abolished in 1996). In 1993 we had to sell the family house where I'd been since 1965 and, though I didn't like it when I originally moved in, had got used to and was comfortable in. Following this, in 1997 I lost my job of 5 years, which though it wasn't well paid was easy and tolerable, and apart from the self-employment only managed to find one job since that lasted 3 days! (not my fault either). Finally in 2002 my best friend and his family (who also gave me the last job) left to live in America and I discovered I didn't actually see any other close friends much any more as I hadn't actually noticed until that point. Finally my regular income went. That sparked off this list, as I am now on the bottom, no water to float on but just the floor.

In future, of course I'll gradually get used to the situation, once the shock's worn off, and am having to adapt to the situation. Whatever I choose to do to get a job has no relation on actually getting one after waiting two years to get my last one. Refusing full time work doesn't help, but the previous time I applied for over 100 full time jobs I didn't get one of them either. The other eggs in my life are few and far between, and to be frank, don't mean a thing now as they don't really exist unless they hatch. Till then they only exist in the mind and not in the world. I'll just say that after reading of a few online friends who are dying, I've still, thank goodness, got my health (physically anyhow!) but I am alone and have little direction beyond the one I already have automatically. My life will barely change in practice. I'll just open a letter one day and find I have a lot less money. Other than that life goes on much the same, but along the rocks from yesterday onwards, till someone fills the bath again...

1 comment:

Stef said...


I have some understanding of where you are, not 100%, just some. I am in a similar position in that I jacked in my profession of many years a while ago and have vowed never to return to that line of work.

Finding alternatives has not been easy.

Fortunately, I still have buffers in place and probably won't have to face the consequences full-on for a little while yet, touch wood.

I've learned a few things so far, these are personal and not necessarily aimed at you but I'll share anyway ...

Self pity doesn't help nor does giving in to depression. Collapsing into jelly starts a negative feedback loop which becomes harder to correct the longer is goes on for. Most of us are born with the strength of character to deal with these issues but society doesn't encourage us to discover that; there's money to be made from insecurity and self-doubt

No-one else can pull you out of your situation. I've poured my woes into other people at times in the past but it didn't make me feel better for very long and it bummed them out. Even if you are surrounded by a partner, family or friends they are powerless to guide you. They can support you but you are responsible for your own life decisions.

Life's fortunes can change in an instant. If you stay in the game, keep a positive outlook and stay in contact with the World something can turn up, tomorrow or maybe the day after.

Perspective helps. I think of the countless number of people who have been and will be. I'm more fortunate than most of them. Like 99.99% of those people it was unlikely that I would ever become famous or materially successful nor do I particularly want to be. I want to be self-actualised. Happy.

The only difference between me and people I know in full time occupation is money. They get the money, I avoid being a wage slave. I don't need a job to define my life but lack of money is what will defeat me in the end. My savings will run out and I will be dependent on those around me. Before that point I will, and already do, face limitations on what I can do with my life because of lack of funds.

Where am I going with this? Bottom line, there are two separate issues to deal with that shouldn't be confused.

1. Don't get ground down as a person. Indentify what you're good at and do it. Don't let setbacks beat you and use them as tool to develop as a person. Stay on track, whatever your personal track might be.

2. Find an income.

Strangely, most people find 2. easier than 1. Speaking personally again, 1. is a snap, 2. is a bugger and it might very well be that the two are even mutually exclusive. At some point most of us have to compromise between these two objectives.

Apologies if any of this is trite or obvious.