Ever since I was little I’ve known what the word “claustrophobic” meant. My dad would talk about his fear of being in small, cramped spaces and I figured, if someone as big and strong as my dad was afraid of that, it’s ok that I am too. But my fear has kind of transformed. I’m still afraid of small physical spaces, but now I’m more afraid of being stuck in any small space. Being stuck in my job, in this town, maybe even in my own head. I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing and it’s terrifying. I feel very stuck. Right now, today, in this situation. Very stuck. And I have no idea what to do to unstick myself.
I think the majority of my anxiety about the future of my career (and life) stems from the belief that I do not have a valuable skill set. I went to school for communication. That’s too broad to have gained a skill set worth anything. I worked in newspaper advertising for 3 years (which is practically defunct) and just now started working in digital advertising. My skill set here is based solely on other people’s impressions and and whatever the fuck an eCPV is. I feel like I’ve learned nothing to be able to make it on my own. Yes, I can make a media plan, but how does that help my future?? I feel useless and directionless, like a broken compass.
I like writing. I enjoy being able to express my emotions through words on paper rather than words out loud. When I speak my mind, it doesn’t make sense. Words come out jumbled, tripping over each other in a race past my tongue. They trample one another in order to reach the listeners ears and end up in a pile on the floor. But when I write, I can edit. I’m able to map out feelings and thoughts. They flow like a river, slow in some areas, racing quickly in others, careening toward the ocean that is a page. It’s comforting knowing that I have this outlet.
However the comfort doesn’t always last. So here I stand, surrounded by piles of helpless words. Watching the world pass me by, doing nothing to halt it, even long enough to jump into the motion.
Do I believe in God? Yes, I suppose so. But do I believe He has a plan for me and this life? No. Rather, I believe He is watching, waiting for me to make up my mind. He sits in his chair, preparing to judge the future I create for myself. But neither of us know or understand how this will work. All I can guess is that the feeling I get in my gut every time I realize I have no real plan for the next few years of my life is not somethings He is familiar with.
Or maybe He is. I guess I’ll never know.
Since starting a new job four weeks ago, a lot of my free time (not that I have much) has been spent panicking over my future.
- What will I do?
- Where do I go from here?
- How will I support myself as an adult?
- Do I really want to continue on this road?
- Where does this road even lead?
- Was this a mistake?
- Why did I leave my old job?
- Am I smart enough to be here?
- Do I even know what I’m doing??
At any given moment, these and countless other extremely frightening questions can be found swimming through my head, drowning any thought of happiness or contentment. My brain swells with thoughts that threaten to keep me awake at night, staring into the dark abyss, uncomfortably aware that I might never make anything of myself. Of course I can’t begin getting comfortable at this new place. Everything is wrong. I’m not smart enough to be here. I’m not smart enough to be anywhere! I’m useless and talentless. There is nothing more disheartening then realizing that you are mediocre, that you possess no unique talents, and that there are plenty of other people who can do exactly what you do, only way fucking better.
So then, the question becomes how does one make it through this unscathed? Or at least in one piece… Can I get better? I can take classes. I can go back to school. But do I really way to spend all my money for a masters degree in something I probably won’t like in 3 years? Could I even make it through the program? How much does a master degree cost? Would I be able to budget my time accordingly? I can’t commit to this… What if I don’t like it and don’t want to do it after a few days? Do universities offer refunds? This is way too much for me.
My mind feels like a WWE wrestling match. Right now, any form of delight I might have had over now working in Soho, or living at my summer house, or even the God damn weather, is getting beaten to a pulp with a folding chair in the corner of the ring, with its head lolling lower and lower and it’s nose bleeding profusely. I can’t tell if I’m frustrated about not having a general direction to run in, or if I’m completely terrified of it.
Having a goal would help tremendously. But as you can see, I’m goal-less. The way I see it, I’m basically spitting in the wind, hoping it won’t come back and hit me in the face. But I know it will. Your career doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you want to follow the current with, if that makes sense. This is not a “go with the flow” kind of situation. I can’t just see where the stream takes me. Unless I’m wrong. And while it is highly probable that I am wrong, I’m still pretty damn screwed, possibly more then originally anticipated. Because if your career is something that you want to lift your feet for and follow the current, I might not be able to relinquish control long enough to. I like to pretend that I’m spontaneous and adventurous, but if I’m being serious here, the most spontaneous thing I’ve done all week was stop to get gas this morning on my way to work when my gas light when on earlier than anticipated.
So what do I do?
Do I spend the money, go back to school and hate the masters I’m only a quarter of the way through with?
Do I try and stick with the current plan and work to be an advertising sales representative, even though I know full well that I’d be the worst salesperson in the whole universe? Or do I just quit, steal a cardboard box and sleep on the beach in Breezy Point for the rest of my life?
I have no fucking clue. Maybe I need a life coach.
I haven’t written in so long. I miss writing. I obviously miss writing here, but I also miss writing for a reason. I sometimes feel like I’m talking to an empty room and it can be really disheartening.
But I’ve also been extremely anxious lately. I have trouble concentrating on almost everything I do and its been pretty difficult to write about anything. I started two or three posts in the last two weeks that were thrown out after sitting in a Microsoft Word doc for 8 hours.
The only thing I’ve been able to concentrate on lately is reading. In the last three weeks I have read all five books of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and the first three books of the five books in The Heroes of Olympus series, all by Rick Riordan. They’re all under the YA (young adult) umbrella, which is totally cool in my book. I never understood why someone would be embarrassed about reading a book labeled “young adult.” I’m just proud of you for reading dude.
My anxiety has also helped me not procrastinate, which makes things slightly easier.
The first friend I made in college (besides my roommate) is getting married in September. But instead of getting married in a normal place, she is getting married at the camp where her and her fiancé met… which means I’m taking a trip up to the middle of nowheresville, Maine. Its going to be very expensive but should also be very cute. My best friend/roommate is coming with, so we’ve turned it into a girls weekend. We plan on flying up the night before, staying in a darling little bed and breakfast, eating as many homemade cookies as the hostess can make, and making sure our heels don’t sink in the mud.
I know our plan because I spent my morning creating an itinerary in excel. I’ve already found flights and booked our room. I plan on buying the tickets for the flights tomorrow and spending the rest of my week looking for a taxi service that doesn’t charge extra for a ride into the sticks of Maine. Hopefully we aren’t forced to rent a car. Neither of us are 25 and from what I’ve heard, that’s the minimum age. I don’t have the sort of patience convincing a random person to let me rent a car would take. So I’m hoping to avoid it completely.
Luckily for me, I will also be flying into Florida later in the week to celebrate Easter with my family. I’m hoping a few days in the sun will help me chill out, mainly because I am not used to being this anxious or productive. Its terrifying (the anxiety, the productivity is actually kinda nice.)
Also, my eating habits have been really reallllly terrible lately, which is probably not helping the anxiety. I’m hoping to curb that by the time next Monday rolls around… or it’ll be me rolling around, and I would rather not.
Well… wish me luck.