Saturday, 18 October 2008

Big Jerk

That's what the card I bought T. this afternoon says. Inside it says, sorry.

The day started off ok. I cleaned up our container garden for winter and changed the screens to storms in the front door. Then I started hanging curtains and wasting time and everything that's been making me mad recently just kind of bubbled to the surface. The high point was probably me slamming a curtain rod to the floor and making an unnecessarily jerky comment about one of T.'s family members. Nice, huh? So much for chivalry.

Finally I got myself together enough to get out of the house (civilly) and went for a six-mile walk. I kept walking until I'd calmed down and my head had cleared, and then I stopped by a pond, lay down, and let the sun soak into my face.

Lots of things have me on edge right now. I have a lot of work-related pressure, which ordinarily isn't a big problem for me. But at the moment I'm sick to death of my work. It feels like the ultimate good-girl profession, like something I chose in order to please my family and isolate myself from the world. I look at the series of hurdles ahead of me for promotion and career success and I just think, fuck it. I'm so over this treadmill. I was valedictorian of my high school class and honestly? I regret it, in a way. I regret using my being smart as a way out, as a way to be acceptable and to connect with people, as a way to 'deserve' my family's approval. I regret getting caught up in the cycle of rewards and achievement. In high school I also had a manual-labor job and I kind of wish I'd stuck with that, or something like it. Landscaping maybe, I'm good at that. Anyway it makes it hard to muster the energy to do anything work-related, while the deadlines pile up and I wonder, what am I doing?

Then there's family stuff. Not getting into that here for privacy reasons. Just adding it to my list of complaints.

And then there's the sense of loss and wasted time. I look at my new friends and acquaintances and I feel so incredibly happy. But how did I spend nearly thirty years with 'friends' who mostly actually didn't really like me? What was wrong with me? Why is this path, this life, this identity, so hard? (Cue violins, I realize this is a giant pity party, but it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.) We went to a performance the other night that included the seemingly superficial line, imagine your life without homophobia. But as a friend pointed out, in fact, our lives would be unrecognizable had they been lived in a world without homophobia. Using my analogies from the other day, what would my youth have been like if my family had said, in addition to oh she's lefthanded, oh she has a boy soul? What if we didn't have to worry about random violence and harassment for how we look? What if T.'s colleagues' curiosity really felt only benign, and not like I was on the boundary of their definition of fully human? I think spending time with other butches and genderqueers etc. has really made me feel this stuff so much more strongly, partly because of the contrast with the sheer joy and calm and connection of hanging out with them, and partly because I see what they've been through and go through, and it's something different to see your own anxieties and heartbreaks walking around in front of you, lived by someone else, too.

And I haven't had enough time to work out, either. And I'm hungry. OK, with that, I'm off to pick up some pizza and open a beer. If you've made it through this post, I have the feeling I'm going to owe you a "Big Jerk - Sorry" card, too.


Kyle said...

naaaa.. you don't owe me anything, buddy. I wish I could buy you a beer. You're not the only one who has days like this, you know that. There are days I just feel the crap building up in me and seriously feel like I need to go bust things up -- like it's too bad there isn't some demolition to do.

I don't have any tidy advice to help you 'get over it', just wanted you to know you're not alone.

Holden said...

Leo I'm with Kyle, you're not the only one, it happens to us all. And I'd certainly love to be able to buy you a beer right now.

femmeismygender said...

Leo. we're all human. We all have crappy, badly behaved,self-doubting days when all our decisions and the world around us seems wrong. I wish on so many levels things were different for all of us. There is undoubtedly a lot of ignorance out there. It often seems to me that is fuelled by fear. Just keep on being the person you are, who truly shines through on these pages. Big hugs Leo - I wish if Holden and I were closer than a million miles away I could come and give you that in person. I'd bring muffins and Holden would surely bring the beer! x

QueerRose said...

Hi Leo. Sometimes things feel shitty and you just have to go with it. If you can't express it here then what's the point? Like you said - it's your blog and you can whine if you want to. QR prescribes snuggling up with your girlfriend and a nice hot cup of tea. Hugs QRx

QueerRose said...

PS I wouldn't call it whining but being human QRx

Jen said...

Reading your feeling regarding your chosen career path is like reading the script of my life ...while I know there are things I love about what I do...I wonder what job I would be doing if I had had the metaphorical balls at 25 that I have now... And now I am left with how to make a change.

Belle said...

Your are human. The best thing you can do is: Forgive yourself and be kind to yourself. You are a lovely person. And you know it and so does T and the abused curtin rod. We all have our days, week, months, years and moments. Take a moment and try again. It's all we can do. Try again every day.

You're in my thoughts.

MLC said...

Walking is a great stress reducer for me too -- iPod and travel.

Sorry you are having a hard time right now, everything is impermanent and you can change careers anytime you want to.


Jess said...

Hey buddy. Sorry you had such a shit day. We all have a big jerk inside of us, you're not alone.

Don't beat yourself up over it too badly though.

I do think you should cook T a nice romantic dinner though ;) Maybe some good old fashioned romance will smooth things over a bit.

LL Cool Joe said...

Loads of "what ifs" and regrets here. I've been going through a stage of this recently too. But you wouldn't be who you are now if it wasn't for all the crap you've been through either.

It's never too late to change careers either. I went from Art teacher, to Graphic Designer to DJ and I have the feeling that I may end up driving a van as well. :D I've come a hell of a long way from that posh little kid with the BA Hons PGCE after their name, but I wouldn't change one part of my journey to get here either, however crap it was along the way, because it's made me who I am today. And I'm kinda proud of Joey even if everyone else hates him. :)

I'll join you in a beer too. :)

greg said...

Beh, I hardly consider this whining, but still you should go ahead and whine and bitch and carry on to your hearts content. This is your space to let go and we are here to nod at your words b/c everyone has been there in some form. We're here to put a hand on your shoulder, buddy.

You're in the middle of big changes - it's ok to be mad at the younger you and be scared for the older you. You are growing and that's just not simple.

saintchick said...

Leo, My sweets I am so very sorry that you were having a little down day. They kinda suck ! You know that this will pass and that the things you've thought about will seem so small and unimportant.
Please let me know if you need anything.. I'll kick a clown on my way home for you !!!

Honey said...

I am so very late to this party, but I thought I'd give you my words of support too.

I've been on the career path for almost 10 years myself and some days I have complete breakdowns about it (they feel like mini midlife crises). Hopefully when it hits me, I'm at work so I don't freak out on Agent, but sometimes she takes the brunt of my confusion, and I love her for talking me through it over and over and over again. Sometimes I just feel like it's all a pointless game that I certainly don't want to do anything to win. I feel best when I have no longing for advancement.

I hope you're feeling better by now. I know that pizza and beer always helped me feel better about things.

Butch Boo said...

Hey Leo.

I am totally with you on this one. I was a bigger jerk on Saturday night. I got very drunk and acted like a twat and said a couple of really dumb ass things to my beautiful girlfriend.

I had a massive rant about the world, how hard it is being me, bla bla bla drunken shite...

Next day I felt terrible and it seemed I had been determined to push away the very person I wanted nearest.

So you see....we (especially me!!) are all jerks at some time or another!

When I read your blog it really hit home.


A big hug