Thursday, January 8, 2009

Riding on the Merry-go-Round

I wore my boots to work this morning, and then put them on again to run an errand at lunch, and again to come home. It's crazy - I know that adults wear boots, but I haven't worn them since I was small and needed moon boots to walk to school in the snow in Central Washington. Wearing them now makes me feel like I'm eight years old.

I've been in constant mental conflict lately. It's exhausting. The idea was that I would be a banker and make enough money not following my bliss that I could do what I really want - like volunteer and travel the world - in my free time. And up until recently it's worked out extremely well. But work lately is such a complete f-ing drain that I'm not doing anything in my free time except falling asleep on the couch in front of reruns of Scrubs. And it's not the normal hum-drums, as my sister would say. I feel like my head is in a vice that is constantly being tightened. The economy is really getting to me. I have a good job with a decent salary, and I am just getting by. My heating bill was $260 last month, so I turned the heat down even further. (It was already really, really low.) I don't know, it's getting to me. This isn't living.

Every meeting I've been in this week I find myself drifting off thinking about life. Real life. I've always enjoyed banking and felt like I was able to make a contribution that was meaningful to me. I think that's still possible in some capacity, but I don't know if it is in my current position. I won't write about work in particular here, but I'll just say that I feel totally caught up in the stress of pending layoffs* and the meaningless of the day-to-day. 

Not traveling lately is really getting to me. I was listening to a favorite mixed CD on the way to work this morning and Angels and Airwaves Everything's Magic came on. Torture. I listened to this song everyday in Europe during my last trip and almost came out of my seat with excitement during the beginning of the song. I have the strongest positive associations with it. Hearing it again was a quick high and then a grouchy low, and a memory of a time when I felt really alive.

I don't know if I'm quickly becoming finished with upstate NY, or if I just need a strong drink, but I'm not having fun. I'm broke and chained to my job and a little lonely and over the routine I have. 

And yet I do get caught up in the comfort of my house and my tiny little village. I love spending time at home. I love curling up on the couch with the animal and a book or ten and listening to the familiar noises. I really do. But something isn't working lately. 

So I'm sitting in meetings everyday and you can cut the tension with a knife, and everything is serious as a heart attack, and people are raising their voices, and I'm thinking - I will kill myself if I'm doing this in five years. And I don't really mean banking or business or attending meetings. I don't really know what I mean. But it has something to do with taking shit seriously that is really meaningless, and living in this cycle of receiving my paycheck so I can pay my bills so I can heat my house so I can live comfortably (if not a bit chilly) so I can go to work and get my paycheck. And to add insult to injury, I think I'm finally old enough for this to be an official midlife crisis. 

*It's probably the pending goddamn layoffs. That is some stressful shit.


  1. I love the way you write, and oddly enough - this is EXACTLY how I'm feeling tonight too. Twins?

  2. Work has been totally stressing me out. But then today my boss was let go and I suddenly feel lighter... and guilty. She's a nice woman, just not the right fit for the job. But I think, even in non-profit, that everyone is disposable and it makes me worry. Times are tough all around right now.

    Hope things lighten up for you soon.

  3. You know, if I had a blog back in 2002 I could have written this exact same post. If you know what I mean. Hint hint.

  4. I can't wrap my mind around what's going on in the economy back home - not that it hasn't impacted me in Korea, but slightly pricier restaurant food and and slightly shitty exchange rate doesn't require any more tightening of the belt than ditching one night out a month, of which there have been maybe 15 or so on average lately.

    I dabbled in banking briefly when I was fresh out of university and I must say, it broke my spirit in such a way that I haven't been able to handle working in an office since, though I can see that maybe other positions might have been ok.

  5. I think I'd have to say that you're in the very place that many people find themselves in from time to time..... I think it happens in every job, every state, every place on earth. My Mother in law loves to quote "You have to go through the Valley....but you don't have to pitch a tent and camp out there." Sending you good vibes and thoughts for happier days.

  6. Oh Honey, it does suck that we are old enough for a midlife crisis, I agree 100%, (maybe that explains my past year?) But chin up, there is a rainbow out there and somewhere behind the clouds the sun is shining.

    Just wish it was THAT beach we were sitting on! :)

  7. You deserve a gold medal for just surviving upstate New York =)

    (An NYC snob)


  8. Then I must deserve the supreme gold medal for surviving Canada. This is one of the few times I'm actually glad to be living on my fixed income.It sounds like a stressful time for many people.

  9. Hey LSL,

    How we can all relate to the job worries right now. It's like an epidemic across this country.
    I hope you're able to find some little joys in life to get you by until you're out of this slump and are able to travel a little more. (and turn the heat up a little) :-)

  10. Hey LSL,

    Sorry to comment so late. Hopefully by the time you read this you're all happy and cheery again. *hugs*

    Is it the job nature has changed a bit, or do you think that you might have changed a bit? I totally understand when you say about "free time". Though my job hasn't been as hectic lately, I find myself spending more time on myself than on other things/people that I really want to. That being said, don't be too harsh on yourself, you need the rest, and your body/mind is the first priority when it comes to anything. I know it's frustrating at times, but don't like that down your spirit!

    Always love the honesty of your blog, please keep writing even when you fell asleep half way through and repeatedly typing the "Z" key. :D