October 9, 2014

Today was a tough day.

I woke up fine and read for a little while, then laid there listening to the sounds outside. Doors slamming, heels clicking, people going to work. I got up and went to my desk to stare out the window and pay some bills. I don’t know. Suddenly it just hit me: I miss working.

For all the times I’ve bitched about being stressed out, at least it was my stress and I had the option to take it or leave it. I don’t have that choice anymore, it’s been made for me. I’ve never been a person who had to rely on anyone for anything. My parents raised us to fend for ourselves. We didn’t get furnished apartments, home loans and paid educations. We paid for all those things on our own so we would understand how to take care of ourselves and develop a strong work ethic. As tough as it was, as I got older and made my way, I came to really appreciate the ability to be self-sufficient.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to get up and go to work. (Maybe I do have brain damage?) I’m not too good for a job, even one that means wearing a suit I’m allergic to. Yeah, I’ve been fortunate to build a business that was primarily from home, but it wasn’t always that way. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed being productive, learning from sharp minds, and contributing to wherever I was employed – even on the days it worked my last nerve. There’s a deep level of satisfaction on Friday at close of business. That’s what TGIF is for!

This morning I cried, really sobbed, thinking about everyone going to work. Even if they hate their jobs they still have the ability to choose another. Right now I can’t do anything and I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do in the future. That really scares me; not just from a financial aspect, but from an independence one as well.

I hate the thought of having to rely on anyone. I hate how limiting that feels. I want to be able to take care of myself, or at least have a hand in what that entails.

This blows.

If you’re out there hating your job, think of me. Then go find another one and kick some ass at it.

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  • Reply This Free Bird October 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Yes, shit spiral is a thing in health and I know you understand it all too well. When my broom’s out of the shop we should fly and meet.

  • Reply Katie October 12, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Get on a plane to Alabama. Or I need to get on a plane to California. (Either works for me.) Health issues and the shit spiral they send you into (can I copyright shit spiral?) are no joke. This brought to you from me, crying on my couch, at 2am. Hang in there.

  • Reply missgiven October 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Yes healing is priority but I would be the same way. I like making a difference and being able to help others with my own money. I quit working in August and now I volunteer 70 hours a month. Its just as rewarding if not more so than a job. Be patient Carrie and you will figure out exactly what you can and should do. When you do you will make a difference and do great!

    • Reply This Free Bird October 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Thank you, Miss G. I appreciate the perspective. I guess I’m not great at laying around. Who knew??

  • Reply Joyti October 10, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I sympathize. It’s a terrible feeling. But I think (hope?) – when you hit that low, you can only go up from there.

    By the way, I am in a very similar to yours – no job, wondering what I can do with myself, an expensive degree with (now) poor job prospects…GOOD LUCK lady, and I KNOW you’ll make it. You seem to have a certain strength and force of mind that won’t let you sulk or fail.

    • Reply This Free Bird October 10, 2014 at 1:30 am

      I really hope there’s not a lower low and that we both figure out WTF to do with ourselves. You’re in good health. I think you should go to pastry school (or find a shop that’ll hire you to learn from the chef/team) and I mean it. You have a gift.

      Thanks also for the encouragement!!

  • Reply Jen October 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Right now, your work is to heal. And I can tell it is indeed WORK. I know that it doesn’t pay bills and I understand that fierce desire for independence. Even though that desire is part of what is making you so damned frustrated, afraid and bummed out, it is also what will motivate you to keep going, help you heal, and it is that desire that makes you special. Without it, you become a blob. And there are a lot of blobs out there and they are a waste of space. Be thankful you don’t have that passivity in you. Thank you for sharing your experiences, even the tough ones, with all us virtual peeps out there. We are inspired by and sending you healing, positive thoughts daily!

    • Reply This Free Bird October 10, 2014 at 1:29 am

      You preach it, too. I needed to hear this. I’m trying to focus on healing, resting and not wigging out about how to make myself useful. Thank you, JEN.

  • Reply lena October 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I can imagine just how you feel. Even on those days when I’d rather stay curled up in my pjs sipping tea, there is nothing more satisfying that getting shit done and being rewarded for it. But I know that this setback, while it probably won’t be the last, is only a detour. Sending you lots of love.

    • Reply This Free Bird October 10, 2014 at 1:27 am

      Preach it. You hit the nail on the head.

  • Reply little luxury list October 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Like it or not, we are defined by our jobs. We spend most of our waking hours at a job so it is weird to NOT be working after spending at least 1/2 of our waking hours for years on end at a job.
    I’ve had a weird series of jobs since moving abroad and it really hit me hard when I felt like i wasn’t working. I felt what you said – like I was dependent on my husband and my self esteem and motivation took a dive. I’m looking for a new gig now because the startup I was at isn’t going anywhere. But I’m motivated by my daughter and saving towards a home for us some day, I know it isn’t easy and your circumstances are different, but build yourself back up. There are opportunities to make money in lots of different areas. Also remember that you ARE more than your job and can work again!

    • Reply This Free Bird October 10, 2014 at 1:27 am

      Be damned if that isn’t the truth. If we’re serious about our jobs those things do define us to some degree. I know I’m more than my job in theory, but I hate the idea of not working. I LIKE to work. Not sure what that work will be, but trying to focus on getting better and seeing what doors open. Thank you for the encouragement. Means a lot.

  • Reply Courtney October 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I’m really sorry – not being able to work would be a real blow to me, I know it would. All I can really say is hang in there – this strikes me as soon of those “give me the courage to accept and endure the things I cannot change” type of scenario. Which sucks….

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • Reply This Free Bird October 10, 2014 at 1:24 am

      The good ol’ unknown. The idea of not being able to care for myself at the level I have up until this point. Ugh.

  • Reply Lori October 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

    It is always the way ~ when you are working you would rather be home ~ and when you are home you would rather be working. Of course your situation is different ~ way different….. I just know that when I was not working my self esteem dropped as well ~ I am the type of person I think that needs structure in my life or I would become a slug. Sending big hugs to you Carrie xoxox

    • Reply This Free Bird October 10, 2014 at 1:18 am

      Dang. I can deal with the no structure – thrive in it, in fact. It’s the fear of not knowing what I’ll do. What will I be able to handle? I guess that’s the unknown. Shudder

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