There Comes A Point When You Just Can’t Afford That Shit

On the phone to an old friend/colleague/lover after over 20 years.  He knows I need work.  He might offer me some.  

All of Natasha’s, and various friends’ efforts, and all my supposed growing up that I have done in the traumas of the last years notwithstanding, I find that while I am mostly pretty cool about it (and grateful), little tiny whisps of doubt seep out.  Thoughts like ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘it will never come to anything’ or  ‘I hope he doesn’t actually have to see me’ or ‘what if I create an almighty cock-up?’  Like I say, just tiny, feeble thoughts.  Not the completely paralysing terrors of yesteryear.

But – and this is the new part – I find myself responding with ‘I can’t afford this sort of shit’.  In the olden days I would have fed the worries.  Now I squash them.  There are many reasons to do this of course, but the realisation that I can’t afford this shit, because I actually need a job and need to make some money, is interesting.  It makes me think that neurosis of that type is a luxury.  Not in the sense that it is a good thing.  In the sense that it is an indulgence, and something not afforded to the genuinely needy.

This is progress.

What I don’t like about it though is that it adds grist to the mill of those people (including me!) who see some of the drivel spouted by friends and strangers (and themselves!), and respond by thinking ‘pull yourself together for chrissakes!”  Which doesn’t help.

Or maybe it does.  It took me all day to sit down and revisit my cv for a job application.  I began it, at last, this evening,  and drafted a covering letter.  And I know that I could agonise over the wording, tone and formatting for days until I miss the deadline and that takes care of that.  But I am hoping I will just think ‘Oh sod it, I don’t have time for this’ and hit send tomorrow.  (Yes, I still think it is a good idea to sleep on it.  Plus I am waiting to hear back from another friend who has a contact in the company.)

Far too many things still fall into the ‘too difficult’ category, and a whole year has passed with – essentially – nothing to show for it.  Let’s face it: a whole lifetime.  But I am beginning to realise that I can’t afford it and that maybe not everybody is a million times better than I am at everything.   That I just need to get a grip.


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Florence Feynman

I am a middle aged, middle class woman, thinking.

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