The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED NINETY FOUR: HAPPY VS. NEED
We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
Henry David Thoreau
(I have talked about the following before but the dynamics have changed. This is my insight (or blindness) to the NOW situation.)
I sit on a ledge of a great precipice. It is large, vast, and completely engulfing. There is no bottom, only space. And in that space lies what seems to be nothingness. But in between the atoms of that so-called void lie anxiety, apprehension, and the fear of the unknown.
But somewhere, out there beyond this black, lightless desert, may lie my true destiny. I wonder if I squint my tired eyes hard enough, I’ll see that proverbial glimmer of hope. I want to stand and without thinking, I want to leap out. I want to fly and not fall. I want to see that pinprick of possibility to grow and pull me toward it. I want to feel its warmth and security as it embarrasses me and I leave the blank darkness behind.
Yet… I sit. And wonder…
That’s how I feel.
As I write this, it’s a weekday. A Wednesday, to be precise, and I am jobless. Four months ago, COVID 19 took my job and my security. If not for a savings and some money my dad left me, I would be up Shits Creek (which flows into the Gulf of Fucked).
I got a little money from the government (and there may a bit more coming), so I’ve been alright. My wife is still working and the bills are getting paid… for now.
And since I’m being honest (I wouldn’t write it if it wasn’t true, dear reader), I hated my job. HATED, with a capital HATED!!! I had been there for over nine years without a promotion or a bonus. I had a boss that couldn’t even spell my name correctly. So, the idea of losing that dead-end job didn’t bother me at all.
What bothered me was the security. There were two paychecks coming in instead of one. The wolf was far away.
Now, the wolf is creeping closer. It smells the blood in the air and is looking to make me a meal. It’s still not at the door but I can hear its howl nearby.
What have I been doing since being let go?
I’ve been watching TV, reading, working around the house, fixing things that needed to be fixed, working on typewriters, and I’ve been writing. As time has passed, I have started to think more and more about finding a new job, a job I might actually like, a job that might allow me to get out of bed to go to it a bit easier and not try to think of a way to not go.
And, honestly, I believe there is one out there for me.
I feel it in my bones… and my heart.
Then there’s my brain. It’s telling me to just find something you know how to do, something you have done before, and just do that. It’s telling me to go find a forklift job (I drove a forklift for about sixteen years for different places) or find an assembly job (I worked on an assembly line for about three years) or become an order picker (did that for three years one place and a year in another) or get a job working with insurance applications (did that for over nine… my last job). My brain is saying to go get one of those and be satisfied. It says ‘You’re too old to start something new. Nobody is going to want a forty-eight-year-old who needs to lose weight and has a bad back. You’re not going to find something that fits in your other ‘talents’, talents you have no paperwork for, no PHD, no certificate from a place of higher learning. Nobody is going to want somebody who is self-taught. Those people will not want YOU. Go drive a fucking forklift, you fucking dreamer. GO GET A PAYCHECK!!!‘
And that, my friends, is where I am torn.
I need to start looking for a job. And, yes, there’s my heart. It says, ‘Now’s the time. Go try. What have you got to lose?’
And my brain says, ‘Idiot. You’re too old for a career. GET A JOB!!!’
And I’ve started to look. I’ve been going online and looking for things I know how to do because I have been paid to do them in the past.
AND… for jobs that I know I can do if only they give me a chance.
And I’ve been looking around for possible jobs that lie somewhere in between. Example: Working in a bookstore. I’d hate to run the register or deal with… customers. But I’d be around books all day. And there is a discount for said books. Maybe even a comic-book store. Same pros and cons.
And, of course, it depends on where the quarantine phase is at the time. Some possible jobs are workable in online, while others are not.
I’d like to dream, ok? I wish that I could land a job writing. Maybe somebody might read this and thinks it fills a niche and they hire me to write a blog of money. Or a book. Or for a newspaper or magazine.
Or maybe somebody sees me for my creative talents and hired me with no experience to work at an advertising agency. Maybe a production company hires me to work on productions or edit or… write.
I know. It’s a dream. I gotta think real world. Maybe I’m too old to dream that way.
Look, it all comes down to this.
No matter what I do, I’ll have to be happy doing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a job where I’m seeking out my heart or a job where I’m selling out my brain, I have to find a way to make a living that I don’t regret. I have too many of those in my life when it came to jobs. And speaking of being too old… I’m too old to not be happy.
I slowly stand, my hands shake, my knees shake. I look out into the void, through the void. I hold my breath and close my eyes. My heart speeds and I feel the blood making my body vibrate. I slowly move toward the edge and stop, letting my breath out.
I step forward…
-Loyd Elmore Jr
March 12th, 2020
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.