What next?

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

I just agreed to go to a job interview Friday, for an entry-level call center position less than fifteen miles away. The gross pay is exactly what I’m netting on Unemployment, which means I’ll make less by working than by not working, and there is no possibility of benefits for at least six months.

Why did I agree to this?

Am I so afraid of that day, three months away, when my Unemployment Benefits will disappear and I will stop contributing to this household?

Yes.

But that can’t be all of it.

Do I have so little faith in myself that I expect to get nothing better?

Maybe.

Am I trying to sabotage myself by taking a job, any job, which will keep me from writing?

Uh… could be.

Am I trying to force myself out of the house?

Kind of, yeah. I went to Walmart yesterday, and as I was getting out of the car, an old man riding one of those motorized shopping scooters said to me, “Don’t worry, dear, they have plenty of these inside.”

Damn!

That’s not what I want… and I’m afraid that if I don’t do something, I am going to atrophy to that point and beyond at a frightfully quick pace. As it is, I was barely able to hobble around the store for fifteen minutes.

My body was thrilled to finish shopping and get back in the car. My mind was horrified. I AM NOT AN OLD WOMAN. I AM NOT READY FOR THIS. I HAVE TO TURN MY LIFE AROUND. NOW.

I don’t know who the fuck I am anymore, or what I want, or what I am able to do. All I know is that I am no longer doing something at which I was very good and for which I was reasonably well paid. Consequently, I am sad and I am angry and I am scared and I am pissed off. I blame no one and I blame myself.

I blame myself.

Why have I not resolved this after two full months on my own?

I don’t know.

But I do know this:

I don’t want to do the wrong thing.

I don’t want to do something that is going to make me even more scornful of myself, and the way I wasted life’s opportunities.

I don’t want to keep hearing my father’s voice in my ears, disdainfully repeating the word “fracaso.” Failure. It’s what he predicted I would be, and damn me if the bastard wasn’t right.

Oh, there are many things at which I’ve succeeded, and I am infinitely grateful for them… my marriage, my children, my friendships. However, financially and professionally, there is no question that I have been the big fucking dud that the old man expected I would be.

And you know why I failed? Because I didn’t follow HIS plans for myself… OR MINE. I drifted from one thing to the other, devoid of purpose or direction, and hoped that everything that appeared to be an opportunity was, indeed, a good thing.

Some were. Some weren’t.

Some were…for a while.

Those whiles are over now, though, and I may only have one little while left.

I don’t want to waste it.

I don’t want to end my so-called productive years in a fizzle.

I’m not even sure whether the end is in the future or has already happened.

Meanwhile, although the opportunity ahead seems puny and insignificant, it may be the last one I ever see. Do I have the right to let it pass?

God help me and tell me what to do next.

 

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