Tag Archives: anxiety

Things I Worry About at 3am

  1. Is my hair falling out?
  2. What will I do if all my hair falls out?
  3. Oh god, I’ll be so ugly.
  4. I’ll have to buy a lot of colourful scarves.
  5. I don’t know how to tie scarves on my head!
  6. What if I learn how to tie colourful scarves on my head and people think that I’m doing it because of cultural appropriation and I’m trying to be cool.
  7. What if I get pregnant and then EVEN MORE of my hair falls out?
  8. What if I have a kid and they’re embarrassed because I don’t have any hair anymore?
  9. What if my hair is falling out because of something in the water?
  10. What if my hair is falling out because of something in the food?
  11. What if my hair is falling out because I have some kind of terrible disease?
  12. What if all my teeth fall out?
  13. What if I die?
  14. Oh god, I have to ring those people in Germany.
  15. Oh god, I don’t want to ring those people in Germany.
  16. Oh god, I’ll have to speak to those people in Germany in German because it’s only polite.
  17. Oh god, I can’t speak German.
  18. Why is German so complicated?
  19. Why do Germans have so many rules that I don’t understand?
  20. Why did I move to Germany?
  21. Why did I sign up to complicated, German contracts when I can’t understand German?
  22. How would I have lived in Germany if I didn’t sign up to complicated German contracts that I didn’t understand?
  23. Oh god, why did I move to Germany?
  24. I have no money.
  25. I can’t do anything ever because I have no money.
  26. I can’t even look for jobs because I don’t have that stupid letter from the Home Office to prove that I’m here legally, even though I’m definitely here legally.
  27. Even if I did have that letter, no-one is offering me any job interviews.
  28. Even if I got some job interviews, they probably wouldn’t hire me.
  29. I’ll probably only get some crappy, dead-end job with no prospects because I’m too old now to start a career.
  30. Oh god, what if I never have a job again.
  31. What if I never have a job ever again and then Brexit happens and the UK catches fire and we don’t have enough money to get back to Australia?
  32. What if we get back to Australia and I can’t find a job there either?
  33. What if we get back to Australia and there’s no water left by the time we get there?
  34. What if my Dad dies in a massive bushfire when I’m overseas?
  35. What if massive climate change occurs and so then planes no longer work and I can’t get to a ship and mobile phones no longer work and the postal service doesn’t exist and I’m stuck in the UK forever and my Dad is in Australia and my brother is in the USA and I never get to see either of them or talk to either of them ever again.
  36. What if A. dies?
  37. What if it’s my fault that A. dies because I didn’t look after him properly?
  38. What if people blame me for A. dying?
  39. What if people tell me I should have looked after A. better?
  40. What if A. dies and all my hair falls out and no-one ever loves me ever again.
  41. Oh god, why did I say that thing to that person today.
  42. Oh god, that person must hate me.
  43. Oh god, maybe I should write to them and tell them that I didn’t mean what I said and I know it was wrong.
  44. Oh god, what if I do that and then they’re really put off by my anxiety.
  45. Oh god, what if everyone is really put off by my anxiety.
  46. Oh god, what if those people want to offer me a job and I don’t know how to do that job.
  47. What if I get in on the first day and they know, straight away, that it was a mistake and then they tell me to leave.
  48. What if they hire me because I said I could do the job and then they get angry at me when they realise I can’t do that job?
  49. Why is my skin so itchy?
  50. Why can’t I stop scratching?
  51. Maybe I’ll scratch off all my skin.
  52. Maybe I’ll scratch off all my hair.
  53. Oh god, everything’s itchy, I can’t lie still because everything itches.
  54. It’s too warm under my blanket.
  55. It’s too cold without my blanket.
  56. My arms hurt lying in this position.
  57. My knees are too bony to lie in this position.
  58. Oh god, I’m feeling nauseous.
  59. Why am I feeling nauseous?
  60. Maybe I have food poisoning.
  61. Maybe I’m going to throw up.
  62. Maybe I’ll throw up all night.
  63. Maybe I’ll be sick tomorrow.
  64. Maybe I won’t be able to do that thing tomorrow that I said I’d do.
  65. Maybe I won’t be able to do that thing tomorrow that I wanted to do.
  66. Maybe I’m pregnant.
  67. OH GOD I DON’T WANT TO BE PREGNANT.
  68. Maybe I’ll have to have an abortion.
  69. Oh god, I don’t want to have an abortion.
  70. Oh god, I don’t want to pregnant.
  71. Oh god, it’s 5am and I’ve been awake for hours and I want to go to sleep.
  72. I think I’ve forgotten how to sleep.
  73. How does a person go to sleep?
  74. Oh god, I can’t lie still and I can’t keep my eyes closed and everything itches and everything’s too hot or too cold and I can’t stop moving and how does anyone do this, I’ve forgotten how to do this.
  75. Maybe I’m too anxious.
  76. Maybe I need to see a doctor.
  77. Maybe the doctor will put me on medications.
  78. OH GOD I DON’T WANT TO BE PUT ON MEDICATIONS.
  79. But does that mean I’m going to be anxious for the rest of my life?
  80. OH GOD I DON’T WANT TO BE ANXIOUS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE
  81. I just want to sleep.
  82. How do people sleep?
  83. Is my hair falling out?

etc.

etc.

etc.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Introspection

Reasons I’ve used not to write

  • I can’t think of anything to write about, so there’s no point in trying
  • Nobody’s asked me to write anything
  • Nobody’s paying me to write anything
  • Nobody’s waiting for me to write anything
  • Nobody’s asked me to collaborate on anything
  • Everything that could be written has already been written
  • Even if I could take something that’s already been written and write about it in a new way, that new way has already been written
  • I’m not creative enough
  • I’m not hard working enough
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not political enough
  • I’m not opinionated enough
  • I’m not thoughtful enough
  • I’m not funny enough
  • I’m not serious enough
  • I don’t read enough books
  • I don’t read enough poetry
  • I don’t listen to enough classical music
  • I don’t watch enough experimental video art
  • Sometimes I use the wrong words for things
  • I’m not Australian enough
  • I’m too Australian
  • I haven’t read Kafka
  • I haven’t read Faulkner
  • I haven’t read Joyce
  • I haven’t read [X]
  • I don’t understand Foucault
  • I watch too much on Netflix
  • I don’t watch enough on Netflix
  • I know too many internet memes
  • I don’t know enough internet memes
  • I don’t have a law degree
  • I don’t have a philosophy degree
  • I don’t have a literature degree
  • I didn’t start young enough
  • I haven’t been given any grants
  • I haven’t won any prizes
  • Ok, I won one prize, but that was ages ago, so it must have been a mistake
  • I don’t have a mission statement for my writing
  • I don’t know why I’m writing
  • I’m a middle class white girl and nobody needs to hear my opinion on anything
  • I’m a middle class white girl and can’t write anything that doesn’t directly involve middle class white girls
  • I’m a middle class white girl and it’s my job, at this point in history, to be quiet
  • There’s too much crap to read in the world anyway, I shouldn’t add more crap to the world’s ‘to read’ pile
  • If I do add more crap to the world’s ‘to read’ pile, then who will read all the crap that has already been written? I should just confine myself to reading other people’s crap and validating that
  •  If I start writing and it’s not immediately good enough to win a prize/be on the BBC/sell a million billion gazillion copies, then there is no point continuing
  • Somebody in the world has to be a grown-up and do all the things that nobody else wants to do. Like, filing.
  • If I write something, maybe people won’t like it
  • If I write something, maybe people will be offended by it
  • If I write something, maybe people won’t understand it
  • If I write something, maybe people will understand it too easily
  • If I write something, maybe people will be neutral about it
  • There are terrible terrible things happening in the world and how can I think about writing when there are such terrible terrible things happening in the world, what’s wrong with me, I should just sit here and think of the terrible terrible things happening forever
  • In 20 years time, the world will end through huge and horrible climate change, so there’s no point in writing anything anyway.

Leave a comment

Filed under Introspection

Anxious, Anxious, Anxious

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve been very worked up for seemingly no reason at all. Looking back over what I’ve been up to for the past little while, certainly nothing warrants the amount of anxiety I have been exhibiting. Get up, have breakfast, go to work on lovely bike ride, look after children, read them stories, sing them songs, put them to bed, wake them up, read them more stories, sing them more songs, go home on even nicer bike ride, eat nice dinner, possibly go to movies or go to gym or see friends or drink nice wine or maybe all of them, go to bed. And, in case you’re wondering, no I haven’t accidentally missed out details of our daily drone attack or, you know, the recent enemy army invasion or, basically anything really that would warrant some kind of freak out and the low-level, general uneasiness and angst I have been experiencing for the last few weeks.

I’ve never been very good at noticing when I’m feeling anxious, which conversely means I’m not very good at figuring out how to make it better. I am getting better at noticing the bodily signs that indicate I’m experiencing a higher level of stress than normal. Unfortunately, by the time you’re thinking, ‘oh, shooting pains in my belly so bad I have to lie down, oh, I wonder if I’m worried about something’, or ‘huh, it’s 3:30am and I’m still not able to go to sleep, perhaps it’s something to do with the racing, mindless, repetitive self-critical thoughts I’ve been having for the past 5 hours, I wonder what to do about that’, it’s usually past the point of quick and easy answers, like, ‘just trying breathing in for 10 and out for 10 a few times’ (‘but my stomach hurts so much I think I might be sick, it’s kind of difficult to count to ten at the moment’). At 3am this morning I googled ‘insomnia’ and found out all the wonderful, useful things I should have done 9 hours previously to prevent myself from being awake at 3am, which felt good in a self-punishment kind of way, but certainly didn’t help the insomnia any.

Also, I don’t really know what to do with the anxiety, because I can’t really understand what it’s about. There is no logical reason for me to be anxious. I live in a safe city that is fun and cheap and easy to be in. I have a job that I enjoy and am good at and the people there seem to like me. I have my lovely A. and am getting more and more friends in Berlin. I can speak enough German to get by at a restaurant and it’s getting better all the time. But it doesn’t matter how many times I repeat this to myself, it doesn’t seem to make anything better.

Eh.

Maybe it’s a phase and it’ll all blow over eventually and suddenly I’ll remember how good life is and I’ll be able to sleep again. Or, maybe I’ll never sleep again and I can be one of those geniuses that only ever takes cat-naps and then, like, won the war or wrote 10 literary masterpieces and still had time to be a witty alcoholic. Or something.

Leave a comment

Filed under Berlin

The Theatre Detox

In the past 8 months, I have seen a total of 3 plays. 2 of which I only went to because friends invited me (and I wanted to see the friend, not the play). 1 of which could be more accurately described as a work-in-progress physical-theatre piece, but, hey, ‘play’, is easier.

At the end of the Edinburgh Fringe last year, I was so physically, mentally and emotionally wrung out by ‘The Theatre’ (big, booming English dramatic voice), that I vowed to give up on it entirely. It was a gut reaction and it shocked me in it’s intensity and also in it’s feeling of truth. People didn’t really take me seriously. I had been saying I wanted to be an actor since I was 12 years old. I had been doing amateur theatre since I was 8. My involvement in theatre seemed to be the defining aspect of my personality. But, I said it vehemently over and over, to anyone who would listen, at any time of the day: ‘I don’t think I want to do this anymore.’ On the night after opening, I told my brother, who had, of course, agreed to perform in my show, unpaid, and give up 6 weeks of his time rehearsing and performing. I think I was wearing a towel. I could have made that up. The main point is, it was awkward.

I hated the theatre with all the passion and vindictiveness of a scorned lover. I felt physically gouged by the utter indifference I had managed to elicit from ‘The Industry’ (sarcastic, drawling American voice). I ranted about the artificiality and superficiality of ‘The Business’ and about the trumped up charlatans who ran it or succeeded in it. I lectured about an industry obsessed with youth and beauty and gimmicks and the ‘next-big-thing’; an industry that wanted shock and awe and cheap outrage at the expense of things that were beautiful or delicate or intelligent. I stored up examples of an industry that was irrelevant and so far up it’s own arse it couldn’t see how little it mattered to the rest of humanity. An industry that thought it was dissecting philosophy and religion, but was actually peddling cheap entertainment, that was no longer all that cheap and certainly not that entertaining (hey, I have Netflix now). I rolled my eyes at artists who moaned on social media about not get a living wage. I fumed at my computer and did my best conservative voter imitation and demanded that these freeloaders get a real job and then see what the hell it was like. With a few notable exceptions for some truly decent friends, I hated on absolutely anyone and everyone that had a modicum of success in the ‘Theatre Industry’ over the past 8 months. And that includes your 12 year old niece who just played Dorothy in her primary school’s abridged version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, where Toto is played by one of the kids from the Infants School wearing a headband with two floppy socks for dog ears.

All in all, it felt safer to avoid theatre for a little while. I didn’t want to become part of a news story which included phrases like ‘unprovoked angry ranting at a mostly elderly matinee audience’, ‘escorted outside’ and ‘public disorder charge’. Besides, I had been hurt by theatre’s complete indifference to me. It felt good to prove to myself exactly how insignificant I was. It felt good to hurt myself more, the way it sometimes feels good to push a bruise and feel that old ache renew itself. I gave up, and nobody cared. Nobody even noticed. I was absolutely nothing.

Being nothing was harder than I expected. Giving up on the defining aspect of your personality (see above paragraph) turns out not to be that easy. What does one do with one’s time now that one doesn’t not need to read the latest script or see the latest director’s latest masterpiece for the good of your theatrical education? What does one think about if it’s not the crafting of your current production? What does one hope for if it’s not for the success of your next project? What does one dream about if it’s not eventually getting a fully-funded tour to actual audiences in actual venues of some kind of project that you’re somehow part of?

Old devils kept tempting me. Friends would tell me I should set something up, put on a show, apply for a thing. Being in Berlin was both a blessing and a curse. No-one in ‘The Industry’ knew me in Berlin and I didn’t know them, so it was easy to avoid everything. I went into hibernation. But, at the same time, theatre was how I made friends. Everywhere I went in the world, it was theatre where I felt most comfortable. Sitting in my lovely Berlin apartment feeling lonely I would want to do a thing with a person. But I wouldn’t know what that thing could be, if it wasn’t theatre, and I didn’t know who that person was, if it wasn’t a theatre person.

Visiting a friend in West Berlin a little while ago, I glimpsed the beautiful art deco facade of the Schaubühne Theatre, all lit up, and I felt (along side of the heavy helping of sour grapes), an older, warmer glow of excitement and anticipation. I went to the theatre’s website to see if they had plays with English subtitles. They did. I found a show about women and history, that was in German and English, not on for a couple of months. I thought I could probably calm myself down sufficiently over the course of a couple of months to see a play.

A. and I sent to see that play last week. I wish I could tell you it was a complete turn around and I’m once again a theatre convert (and OF COURSE artists should have living wages!) but, no, it’s more complicated than that. It was, in so many ways, the worst things about contemporary theatre. A hasty, cobbled together script with nothing to say; gimmicky direction hamstrung by it’s obsession with the latest theatre fad (live filming of the action on stage! Watch theatre through a screen – you’ll feel so much more comfortable!); and set and costume that completely upstaged the actors (the lead actress really did have a very nice hat on). I left the theatre shaking with rage and ranted the whole way home. Don’t feel sorry for A. – he seemed to enjoy it (the ranting, that is, not the play. Lucky for him, his opinion aligned with mine, though perhaps less vehemently).

I am left with two tentative conclusions from this so-called ‘Theatre Detox’ and it’s subsequent breaking:

1) I think I am over the blackest part of my rage at theatre ‘in general’ and am ready to save the worst of my vengeance for specific examples of heinous theatre crimes. That’s not to say I forgive theatre. No, I still find the majority of productions on offer these days boring, derivative and full of themselves. But, I seem to be able to hope again, that somewhere out there, is a production that is genuinely great and wonderful.

2) The living I earn will never be related to theatre. But, in all honesty, I don’t know if I can give it up entirely. I don’t want to do am-dram, and a person of my age doesn’t have the energy for fringe unless they’re getting at least some kind of funding, so I don’t know exactly what I am left with. Something small. The opposite of ambitious. But, I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know what the point of it is. I don’t know why I have this compulsion. I don’t like it. It feels self-obsessed and self-absorbed and attention-seeking. And, yet, I don’t seem to be able to kick the habit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Berlin, Edinburgh, Theatre

7am blues and 3am panic attacks

You’d think after moving countries so many times (Germany is now the…wait, let me count it up…7th country I have lived in), I’d be comfortable with the difficulties that a change of scenery (and weather, and subway map, and bureaucracy, and language) entails.

But, no.

There is always an initial honeymoon period, which usually involves me walking around my new city in something akin to a rose-tinted, honey-soaked, magic fairy-dust bubble of happiness, proclaiming said city to be ‘perfect’ and everything and everyone in said city to be ‘wonderful’ and that I shall never, ever leave, because why would anyone live anywhere else? But sometime after, maybe a few days, maybe a few weeks, things will start to go off track.

‘Man,’ I’ll think, with all the weight and seriousness that accompanies a 14-year-old’s epiphany, ‘Moving countries is hard.

And, I have, once again, unfortunately, inevitably, hit that point in Germany.

There are things that you need to make the transition to a new life in a new country easier: a home. A job (or, at least, a reason to not spend 15 hours a day on the internet). Friends. Money. Things that you enjoy doing in the new city.

It seems though, that no matter how hard you try, you will fail to get all your ducks in a row. One thing will be missing. Or, if it’s not missing, something will trip you up that didn’t trip you up the last time. In a way that you didn’t expect and have no prior experience of.

I have a home, which I love. So, tick. I’m fortunate enough to have enough money not to be too worried. Tick, tick. I am getting a routine sorted, and there are lots of interesting places to walk around town. I don’t really have many friends, and I’m bad at getting in contact with the ones I do have, because I’m worried they can smell the desperation off me. But, at least I know what I should be doing, even if I haven’t yet gotten off my arse to do it yet.

I have a full-time job, which is both a blessing and a curse. I am constantly reminded by people how remarkable it is that I found a job so quickly. Not only a job, but a FULL-TIME job. I keep reminding myself how lucky I am and I try to feel lucky, but a lot of the time I feel stressed and tired. I haven’t been in full-time employment for 5 months and this is energetic, emotional full-time employment. This isn’t staring at a computer screen all day, this is running after kids. It feels like your emotions are in hypersensitive mode every second of the day. It’s drama, drama, drama, because this is what children are like. One minute they love you, the next they hate you. One minute you love them, the next you hate them. It’s exhausting. I started the job 3 and a half weeks after I got here. And whilst I’m grateful (GRATEFUL) to have it, the gear shift of changing countries was probably enough for any one person. Throwing a new job into the mix, where everyone speaks German to me (a language I barely understand), was ambitious to say the least. Also, the exhaustion certainly doesn’t help me in my quest to get out of the house and be social, I have to be honest.

Apart from the country change and the nature of my work, full-time hours are their own new and exciting struggle. There’s a time, usually around 7am on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when the week seems endless, the weekend never long enough (and, by extension, the year endless, the holidays almost non-existent; your life endless and it’s meaning not in anyway clear and/or present). I think I’m finding it harder at the moment because I always thought this wouldn’t be me – I was going to be one of those special people who lived on passion and air and the occasional arts grant. Whenever I’ve had full-time work in the past I’ve always considered it to be a temporary state of being. I’ve had plans of places I’d soon be going, projects I was working on over the weekends, the evenings. Full-time work was never permanent and it certainly wasn’t my reason for existing. I always had other dreams on the go. I don’t really have that anymore. And whilst I actually think that’s healthy and I’m glad of the decision I’ve made, it’s a huge change to the way I perceive myself and my life. I know this probably sounds depressing, but I don’t really know what I’m looking forward to anymore. I used to drift off to sleep telling myself stories of future spectacular achievements I could look forward to (embarrassing, I know), but I a) am not working towards these anymore b) don’t believe any of them would happen even if I *was* working towards them.

Which brings me to this exciting and new instalment of ‘What to Expect When You Move Countries.’

This week, I lost the ability to sleep.

And, after 3 extremely frustrating nights spent tossing and turning, attempting to count sheep and breaths, trying to meditate, trying to tell myself stories, trying to listen to music, to podcasts, trying to think of nice things (‘Raindrops and Roses and Whiskers on Kittens…’), I gave into the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and hopelessness racing around my head and let myself have a full-on, naked, hysterical crying, dry retching, panic attack in the bathroom.

Ah, international travel. It’s so glamorous and exciting, isn’t it?

I’ve never had a panic attack before. There was a detached part of me that was quite interested in the whole event. It also felt oddly good after it was all over, as if this was the worst it could possibly get and I’d survived it and, so therefore, there was nothing more that I could get worried about.

Of course, then I got gastro about 2 hours later, which wasn’t necessarily worse, but it was confusing and upsetting and certainly more than any one person should have to put up with in a single nighttime, especially when you’ve got so many other things to deal with, like a language you don’t understand and German bureaucracy and having no friends and a growing sense of isolation, but, I guess Norovirus didn’t get the message.

Anyway, the upside is that the Norovirus gave me back my lost superpower of sleep and I’ve now hibernated for about 13 hours. I’ve had a day in bed with Parks & Rec (because there is no problem that Leslie Knope cannot fix) and the panic and anxiety has subsided (for the moment). It doesn’t solve those pesky bigger questions of what I’m doing in Germany in the first place and how do you get up for work happily at 7am on a Tuesday and what do people dream about when they’re not dreaming they’re going to become movie stars? But it certainly makes the questions much quieter in my head.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reception (or, Feeling Stoo-pid)

New job, new insecurities.

So, I’m not sure how many of you know this, but in the past few weeks, I’ve been getting trained up to work on reception of the hotel I’ve been waitressing at. I was oh-so-proud about this new job when they offered it to me. It’s a reasonable amount of responsibility, large payments, working independently, making sure balance sheets add up etc. And, its not like I was completely unqualified for the position. I’ve done several years in customer service in educational institutions. I’ve worked with databases, I know how to answer phones, I can type at a speed that sounds impressively and satisfyingly quick in a quiet, empty room (you know the clickety-clack sound I’m talking about – it comes with however many years in administration, countless hours wasted on social media and pages and pages of writing of various types: essays, plays, stories, blog posts etc.)

Anywho,  I was very much up for the new challenge that reception would provide. At least, I thought I was. But, my first training shift was, to say the least, intimidating. In between my first and second training shifts, I realised that whilst I could remember various useful things I needed to do (‘At the start of the day I print off reports!’), I couldn’t remember other, vital parts of that information (‘But where are those reports kept…. And what are they called again?’) So, on my second training shift, I started taking notes. This made me feel much more comfortable. On my third training shift, I put my notes into action and felt much happier. Until I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to encounter (and note down the correct procedure) of absolutely everything that could possibly happen to me on a reception shift. There was, inevitably, going to be things that I wouldn’t know how to deal with.

My first shift on my own on reception was on Monday and I was lucky in that only two people were checking out. It meant I could spend most of my time slowly working through everything else that needed to be done. Or, in some cases, slowly working through things that I had done earlier in the day and then realised I had done wrong. But, still, by the end of the shift, pretty much everything was done correctly and I only had one situation I needed to have help with from my manager when she took over from me. I left work feeling pretty ok about myself and how the shift had gone.

Today was my second shift on my own. You’d think that after having done one shift on my own, things would start to get better. I’d start to get into a groove, start to understand more things. I’d be building on the good start I’d made on Monday and that no days would ever be that hard again. It would be onwards and upwards from here. Constant progress. Like a progressive utopian view of history, where the perfect reception employee version of myself would eventually be reached at an, as yet undetermined, point in the (hopefully) not too distant future. (If you get me. I don’t blame you if you don’t. I’m not sure I get me). Anyway, that is, of course what I expected of today. A small improvement on Monday. Nothing too fancy you understand, possibly not even noticeable to the naked eye. But, something at least to make me feel like I was getting somewhere.

But, unfortunately I spent most of the day feeling like the little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the leaking dike to stop his Dutch town from being swallowed by the sea (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Brinker,_or_The_Silver_Skates#Popular_culture:_the_legend_of_the_boy_and_the_dike). Except that, unlike that Dutch boy, there wasn’t just one hole. Every time the phone rang, or an email came in, there was a new problem, a new hole burst in the dike. Some of them were smaller, more easily dealt with. But, still, by the time my manager came in at the end of my shift, it didn’t feel like there was just one tiny hole that could be stopped with just one tiny finger (like that lucky little Dutch boy), but that I was literally holding together the entire dike with my bare hands and attempting to fight back the full force of a storm-racked North Sea with my puny little girls’ arms. It seemed like the more I learnt about the job, the more I realised how much I didn’t know about the job. And that was kind of scary.

To be fair to myself, things that were confusing and scary a week ago are now easy. They’re now the things that I’m looking forward to, because they’re the things that I know how to do. It’s the unexpected things, the one-offs, the things that I knew I was never going to be able to write down the steps of on my little notepad, that are the problems. And, I know from experience of these sorts of jobs that for most of these one-off problems it won’t be a matter of learning the solution to every problem, it’ll be a matter or learning how to respond and learning how to find the information that I need to work out a solution. It’s just that I don’t deal so well with a state of conscious incompetence. And that’s a shame, because it pretty much always feels like I’m always living in a state of conscious incompetence (I do like that phrase). Some people seem to effortlessly exist in states of conscious (or even unconscious) competence. And still others are quite happy in their state of unconscious incompetence (it must be nice to like yourself so much that you don’t need to worry or care at all about whether or not you’re doing things right or wrong). But, even when I’m doing something I know I know how to do, I get anxious, feeling like there might be something I’m doing wrong that I don’t even know about. Which is why I always get nervous around policemen. Just in case I just happen to be doing something illegal accidentally when they walk past and I don’t even know about it.

Not a particularly upbeat post. And I know I’m probably taking things way too seriously (particularly for a job that is, for me, just about making ends meet). But, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s feeling stupid. And, feeling like other people think I’m stupid. And, today was just one long day of feeling stoo-pid.

Leave a comment

Filed under Employment