Someday I Will Long for the Simplicity of this Depression





If you ever want to know what it’s like to be a drug addict without having to do anything illegal, become a freelancer. The high highs, the low lows, the ruined credit, poor health, shabby wardrobe, and familial scorn of a crack habit can all be yours with two easy words “independent contractor.” Never worry about spiritual fulfillment again. You have a new goal now: making next month’s rent before you pass out from exhaustion.

And yet, this constant horror is the best job I have ever had.

Ironically enough, I used to long for an office job. I used to joke that I’d suck dicks for central air conditioning. Starting my career as a maid and then a gardener lead me to conclude far too early in life that any day that didn’t end with me bleeding or cleaning someone else’s (literal) shit was a good day. Even though that’s true, I set the bar far too low.

Let’s put it this way. Every time I wanted to kill myself as cube farm veal, it was because I felt trapped. Every time I wanted to kill myself as a freelancer, it was because I felt fundamentally irrelevant on a primordial human level. Now that I type that, the former seems more desirable, but believe me, it’s not.

I never wanted to kill myself as a gardener. Other people, yes. Myself, never.

Basically, what I’m saying is that, although my last full-time employment situation ended in me having the capital to start-up my consultancy and a year and a half of discount health insurance, it was in no way worth what I put myself through in that last year. I feel very strongly that I should have taken a job as a cashier and worked on my freelance gigs at night. A cashier job would have been equally demoralizing, but at least I would have known that demoralization was the goal.

Don’t stay at a job you hate. Don’t stay anywhere you hate.

Today I am sad because I applied and did two rounds of interviewes for a job I didn’t want, and was wisely not hired for. I only applied because I was terrified and thought I needed money, and they seemed like nice people. I figure I could stomach working for a company that wasn’t so very company-ey. That’s fucking bullshit. What a waste of everyone’s time.

If I don’t want a fucking office job, I should stop applying for office jobs. I’m an asshole if I keep doing this. I’m already an asshole, really.

I never understood the idea of reckless romance until I started working for myself. I have finally found something I love so much that I am perfectly content to rip my entire life apart in order to be with it. That’s massively unhealthy, and unsustainable, and even as I write that, I am on a course to make things far less dramatic for everyone involved. But I have enjoyed this level of hell. More than any of the others to date.

If I live through this, I will be very nostalgic for the horror.

4 Replies to “Someday I Will Long for the Simplicity of this Depression

  1. Hey, guess who has two thumbs and just got laid off?

    Me. It’s me. This joke doesn’t work very well on a computer.

    As someone soon to be joining the ranks of the jobless (I have the sweetest possible severance package, that being: two months where I get to pretend I still have a job, while actually getting paid to try and find a new one on company time), I will say this: at least you have something you want to do, and know you can do (even if, by not hiring you, not enough people are letting you do it). I wish I had half your drive and ambition and sense of purpose, because right now my future is one big shrug. “I just want an office job” sounds a lot more stable than it actually is.

    1. Oh no! I’m sad you’ve been laid off, but happy you’re getting severence and won’t work at that place anymore. I always got the impression that they were okay, but didn’t inspire you at all.

      I am working on trying not to be defined by my profession, which has actually lead me to feeling a little less driven lately.

      I can honestly say that getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me. Dying companies are depressing places to be.

      1. It didn’t inspire me, but I don’t necessarily know what will, is the problem. It will be a nice change to stop worrying about when my division is going to get the axe, though, since it’s been hanging over our head for years now, even if it’s just replaced by worrying about where I’m going to work.

        Marina my dear, I feel like you have drive to spare, so losing a bit in order to pay more attention to other parts of yourself still leaves you with a lot more drive than most people.

        1. Yeah, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I will probably not turn into my mother, so I can at least ease up on the terror that if I calm down even a littke, I’ll wake up on welfare and addicted to heroine they very next day.

          There’s something to be said for taking some time off and figuring out what you like. That’s kind of what the blog was for. And it sort of worked. I realized I liked working for myself.

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