A slight digression, in that this post is about me and not about my relationship with an anonymous alcoholic. As some of you may recall, I recently got made redundant, and then re-deployed into a new job. So far, s’ok.
Maybe it’s just new job blues, but I’m really hating it. Who knew creativity could be so tyrannical? One day I’m an editor, getting on with my reports and blogs, the next I’m expected to come up with communications strategies and creative campaigning concepts, while getting on with my reports and blogs. Wha-?
Nothing in my academic or professional career has prepared me for this awkward turn of events. I feel like I’m trapped inside an ad agency instead of the fuzzy NGO I joined nearly 10 years ago.
Serves me right for not moving on earlier, I guess. Now I can’t, because clearly the whole world wants people who can do this kind of work, not the old-fashioned stuff I used to do, and anyway, I missed my chance at taking the redundancy package so leaving now would mean leaving with nothing.
As my friends say, “You’ve got to earn your wages now.” And my wages are pretty good, really. So, my job has gone from being one I went the extra round for, because I was interested in it, to being the thing that pays my bills. It also costs me several sleepless nights a week.
The thing that makes it all that much harder is the fact that there’s no comfort at home. In the old, old days, I’d come home from a crappy day at work and get a hug or a head massage while we watched TV together. Now, I come home to me. Yes, Rosie’s there, but I’m the one who needs to provide some comfort to her (although I often fail on this count). She would, bless her, try to make me feel better, if she knew, but that’s not the way it works, is it? And it’s not the same as finding some protection in the embrace of someone who still thinks you’re actually ok and not rubbish at your job.
The other thing I’m particularly shite at is not transferring my stress onto the little one. I tell myself that tonight will be different, that I won’t shout at Rosie, and then I get home and find an excuse to shout at her. Poor child. I’m shouting at myself, of course. I’m pissed off at myself for being trapped in a job I feel ill equipped to do, and I take that anger out on my own child. Then I brood in the darkness, or type confessional pieces like this, all the while listening to her snores and knowing she deserves a far, far better mother than me.
Sometimes I even whisper this to her while she’s sleeping. I tell her I love her, that I don’t mean to shout, that she is a wonderful, clever girl. And I hope she can hear these words like the song of a unicorn in her dreams. I tell her these things when she’s awake, too, but they are lost in the din of her thoughts and all the other things I’m saying (like brush your teeth and hurry up! and have you gone to the toilet yet?).
So, tonight it just feels like it’s all too much, like I’m perpetually chasing after myself. Tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll catch up for a moment, before I’m dragged under again by another tailwind.