This piece of writing is grossly, outrageously overdue. I’m stuck due to a technicality, so I might as well give you some chat. Fell asleep for three hours, then woke up and couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop the feverishly fast thoughts, so I got up to do something. Roaming the internet at this time brings back memories of university, when I would stay up till 1am, then sleep till 6 and start all over again. Of course, I did go through that period of chatting to a close friend of mine till 5 am, and getting yelled at by my dad for not sleeping properly. It was the summer holidays, for fuck’s sake. Or was that my gap year?
My one grand stay-out-all-night was during the summer of 2012 or something, and it involved me, my car and a seductive co-passenger. Thinking back on it, we basically had no place to go but the car after a certain time and then just sat chatting and flinging flirty remarks back and forth. I was thinking about having sex in the car; might as well have done it, right? Just to tick that box? But no, I was too busy feeling it wasn’t right, or that it wouldn’t be comfortable, or that we’d be seen. Who gives a fuck? Anyway, I got yelled at for not coming home early enough, which is obscene when you consider that I’d already done the walk of shame quite a few times, just not back to my parents’ house. At the time I was driving too, and it didn’t make sense not to do that, since the car basically meant I was independent and ‘free’ to do what I liked. Admittedly, I can see how it could cause worry and frustration, but my phone was on all night, so all it would’ve taken was a phone call.
Anyway, those days are long gone. At 25, I find little reason to wake up earlier than 9 or 10 a.m., unless I have to take the pets to the vet or have some such vital appointment. In any case, the menu of the day involves self-deprecation, and self-loathing, which has moved into my life since my lack of proper work, the kind I would throw myself into. It ain’t that bad, though; I have two cats to worry about – one is currently coming and going between the living room and the kitchen, as he seems to assume I’m going to feed him (cause we just both woke up at 5 am).
Much to my embarrassment, the jobs I go for, I don’t feel like I would get anyway, since I have no relevant experience. And even then, they aren’t the kind anyone would kill for, unless they need the money enough. Of course, there are worse things in the world than a transgender white boi with qualifications and no job, but this is my life, day in, day out. Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering about jobseekers, they refused to give me benefits right after Christmas, possibly because that’s around the time I told them about my (now former) part-time job that earnt me £30 a month. Thank fuck for being able to register as freelance; otherwise, I’d be even more depressed. Did I say depressed? I meant demotivated. While the first stage is ‘admitting you have a problem’, I’d say my problem is my lack of patience with the ways of the world, and the idea that “something will come along” that suits my skillset and (non-existent) ambitions. I guess when I bring up the latter, most people would say I am depressed, since I basically feel like going nowhere. I wouldn’t say that of myself, partly cause I don’t like the way people treat you when you say you feel down or demotivated (as in “oh, it’ll be fine”, “you’re just in a rough patch”), and so on. It’s incredible how our remedy for this lack of motivation or feeling of incompetence in the 21st century is to basically tell people to keep doing what they are doing (I mean… applying for jobs and the like) until something ‘comes along’. Sounds so passive – like you wait there for it to turn up, but it won’t. And even when the “perfect job” does come along, how do you get it, after having drilled holes in your confidence so long, it’s like you’ve gone through a cheese grater? Yes, obviously, you try – applying for something you really want is the first step, right? But then, even if you do apply, you still have to compete with the ‘fresh’ batch of unemployed people, that might include people who have done things right, and taken that unpaid internship to show they can do the work, as well as that bar job that pays their rent till they find the ‘something better’.
Aye, it’s shite being unemployed, but being told you don’t have enough experience (for a job that says you don’t really need it, or that it’s “not essential, but preferable”) – unless you’ve just literally left school – is just regurgitated bullshit that knocks you down when you’re down. More like, it smashes your teeth in and breaks your ribs while you’re down there. And maybe a leg. (Of course I’m a violent person…I’M FUCKING ANGRY).
It’s not all depressing and miserable though. I have been filling my days with the most bizarre hobbies and activities. I’ve taken on acting as a ‘new’ career path, which isn’t really much better than my old one, since 85% of actors are unemployed at any one time (according to a radio drama teacher at the Conservatoire). I’m kind of hoping that’s going to help me vent off some feelings, regardless of what they are, and maybe even work through the sludge of shit I have piled upon myself. Fortunately, the tutors there are very nice – sometimes it feels like they are too nice, almost patronising, but hey, they are teaching courses for beginners and that’s when you need to be least criticized, cause you’re on that steep learning curve.
I think overall, my biggest fear is quitting. That’s why I had to sit and write this, to get the crap outta my system. I’m really good at quitting stuff for no obvious reason – usually just because. I quit dancing ages ago, cause my parents were complaining I was wasting my time (and then they complained I wasn’t even dancing anymore). I quit working out, which is bad, cause I’ve gained 10 kg in a year. I quit my writing gig, I even quit writing for the sake of writing! Need to reboot the systems, methinks.
There’s that one serious moment in Channing Tatum film “Step Up”, when his ‘incredibly talented’ character has given up on dancing at at the amazingly high-profile academy because the girl he’s with doesn’t trust him, and doesn’t really ‘need’ him any more (of course, this is right before he goes to confess he wants to be with her, etc, which only seems to ever happen in Hollywood films). Anyway, during this short scene, he’s sitting watching the television with his friends, and one of them tells him “you quit before you start”, and then proceeds to list things Tatum’s character has stopped doing. For years, I’ve felt ashamed to admit that’s a line I can identify with. My parents, hypocritical as they can be at times, used to tell me this all the time. Of course, that’s not exactly conducive to someone’s self-esteem, telling them they’ll quit something sooner rather than later or that it’s just a phase. Very often, I am a quitter, even if I do ‘try’. Usually, I will sabotage something just by looking at it. But then, there are times that I totally throw myself into things.
Anyway, where’s this long-winded rant going? I am a quitter. I have to quit being a quitter. I don’t know if I feel better that this is on the internet, or that I’ve put it down, but I should sleep. I seem to remember writing a letter to myself once, in case I forgot how amazing it felt to be alive (yeah, I’m THAT wild…). Of course, I then lost this letter… ok, no more pre-sleep pondering. I NEED SLEEP. Hopefully, I’ll care less about it when I wake up.
See you later, Internet. I leave you with one of my favourite videos of all time.