Resigning ambition?

I’m considering giving up the freelance efforts earlier than anticipated.  End of September had been my self-imposed deadline.  If sustainable work wasn’t coming in by then…  Yet I’m not sure how much more of this I can endure: the fretting and excessive self analysis.  Can I really do this?  Am I good enough?  Do I have enough to offer?  Do I care enough?  Neverending questions maddeningly grind and tear and sneer and accuse.  The unknowable indefinite transience causes psychological saggyness. 

So I’ve begun to look more closely at full time roles.  Public sector ones.

The brother stayed and was maddeningly insensitive in his interrogation once again.  In the same way as he takes jokes that step too far, when they’re beyond funny, the same way he’s almost offputtingly direct and focussed, he blathered away with questioning and thinly veiled rhetoric about not doing x and y.  What was stopping me? 

At length.  Most people can read body language, sense when they’re pressing too hard or somebody has become defensive, sensitive to such aggressive, direct or personal questioning. 

Not him.  He’s a highly successful reporter.  But could equally be a highly successful salesman.  We had a short period in our teens working for different double glazing firms.  He kicked arse.  I didn’t.

It’s the almost absurd lack of self consciousness and empathy which beggars belief.  He never tells himself, “oh, maybe I should just leave it there.  I’ve planted the seed at least.”  No, he drills it in.  Stamps up and down on the little bastard until it’s cowering.

Yet nobody has ever made me feel quite as insecure as my brother, as low on confidence, vulnerable and generally useless.  I imagine nobody ever will.  He has that hold.

It’s wrankled, evidently.  Caused temporarily deep gloom which has led to dark thoughts.  Made me think he’s right.  There are things I could be doing which I’m not.  Some of which I’m not prepared to do, which require more balls, aren’t quite my style or in my skill set.  Perhaps this freelance thing isn’t for me.

The sector I work in is full of quite overwhelmingly driven entrepreneurial sorts who thrive on typical notions of success, money, glamour.  I’m becoming more attracted to the idea of divorcing myself from all that altogether.  If I can, returning to the public sector, somewhere reasonably safe.  Public sector offices I worked in were much homelier, comfortable places than the paranoid private sector.  That’s appealing now.  A less explicitly ambition-driven, go-getty environment.  Comfy jumpers rather than sharp suits.  Although I daresay even middle-of-the-road public sector jobs are more competitive than ever at the moment.

My African excursion could easily be perceived as ill-judged, given my circumstances.  And I’m still affecting effort and work at the freelance thing, however much I may or may not care about it.  But in taking the trip I’m just trying to offer myself a reminder that life isn’t always so hard and serious, full of tricky problems, stress and crap.  There’s no single person who can remind me of that, or effectively illustrate it.  That life is capable of providing fleeting moments of wonder, awe, which makes you realise that you’re not that important, none of all this stuff is really.  That you probably shouldn’t take it that seriously.   Nobody to remind me.  My seldom seen nephew probably comes closest, but not through his deeply incisive mentoring.  Just by being two years old.

While “something will work out” might not hold much weight or meaning, perhaps the level of worry and stress you’re relentlessly whipping yourself with isn’t all that justified either.


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