mission improbable

You finished a chapter of your book, sipped from a mug of coffee and looked around you in one of the many coffee shops where you hang out, and you wondered if you weren’t bored of all this now, if you didn’t genuinely desire a sense of mission and purpose now, if you were ready to properly try again.

To try at what, you weren’t sure.  But something.  A proper job with people.  This was getting a little boring now, wasn’t it?  It wasn’t like you didn’t do this on most lunch breaks when you had a regular job.  And it’s less enjoyable because you know you’re not exactly taking a break from work; you’re using it to fill time because you haven’t got much work.  To wedge in a block of time which isn’t spent at your desk or wandering aimlessly.  Because you’re just spending plenty of time being worried about a lack of phone calls and email traffic which seems to be dwindling in direct correlation to the leaves on the trees.  Your biggest sense of mission and purpose is getting a coffee and a comfy seat in which to read a book.

The more it goes on, the more phone calls which go unanswered, the emails which go unreplied, the more you pointlessly wail into the internet; the more you feel a like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense.  Am I actually dead?  The one sometime client who reassures you with a swift acknowledgement is now based in California and, alas, in no position to offer work or employment.

But even when you get work you resent it: the drone of that painfully erratic main client, the writing and rewriting about the same fucking software.

Aren’t you capable of a tiny bit more?  Isn’t it time to get over that fear of knockbacks, rejections, and be brave again?  Recapture that early to mid-twenties vitality and ambition.  Shrug off the fact that it’s still cold outside and jobs aren’t easy to come by, particularly without connections, without belief or ability to sell yourself.

Regular employment still casually dangles there in the background, often unspoken, unattractive in its overbearing ability to control and seize your independence, yet appealing in its promise of returning normality, and redemption for permanently feeling like a cheat.

It’s not as easy as that though.  And say you found something which did initially interest you.  The chances are that you’d quickly resent it, tire of it, develop an unhealthy disrespect of your bosses and colleagues.

So this is still the easiest option for lazy idiots like you.  And it could just be another phase anyway.  You’ll forget about this twitchiness and trying to do something else if work suddenly picks up, if your patience-testing key client stops ignoring you in borderline rude fashion.  Just go on as before.  But what if it doesn’t and into November, towards Christmas, your invoices grow ever-more paltry?  At least you booked no New Year break this year.  Not quite confident enough.

That itchy eighteen month point is approaching too.  Your life tends to be marked in eighteen month periods: stints of time in an employment or dwelling, after which you get restless.  Eighteen months is enough to give most things when you have no obligation or responsibilities.  After eighteen months it’s time to do something different.

It’ll soon be eighteen months since you moved back here.  Around two and a half years spent working like this.  You still like your flat and the city where you live – even if you’re indifferent to many of its residents.  This dreary routine though.  Can’t you change that?  Do you really want to carry on doing what you’re doing?

Not much.

Then change it, like you tell other people.  It can be done.

How, genius?

Uhm.. not sure.  Usually means committing to something, doesn’t it?  Investing hope?

Hope?  That thing that sneers and laughs and shits in your face, leaving you on your knees, disgusted at your pathetic romanticism.

Yeah.

Fuck that then.

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2 Responses to mission improbable

  1. annajskye says:

    this worries me……….I don’t know you from Adam but I know enough to care that this is not healthy for you.

    • swashbuckled says:

      Thanks for your concern but I’m sure it’s unncecessary. This was possibly exaggerated a little for dramatic effect and is a fairly constant state anyway. Could have scribbled any time in the last 12 – 18 months.

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