Last night I had a long conversation with a favorite aunt of mine. We talked about her career, and mine, how things are, how we wish they might be, and I came away with some renewed energy along with a greater sense of personal power. This morning I woke up, went to church, came home, and started packing some lunches out of the leftovers I have in the fridge. This is important because normally I do not do this. Normally I buy a bunch of food before I figure out what I can use that I already have, this feels like progress in the sense that it's something new I haven't done before, but it comes with a sense of guilt and shame over the food that I have tossed in my lifetime. Back when I lived at the house I had a very nice compost pile, and now that is no longer available to me. There are many things from my past that I miss, things I took for granted, did not appreciate while I had them, and that makes me sad. While it is true that I could find a way to compost, and maybe this is what I will take on next, I don't since I live in an apartment, and I realize that's another excuse, but it is true that there are more barriers in place now than there were back then.
Today I am grieving. My life is not the way I wish it would be in many areas. Somewhere along the line I spent way too much money, and now I am running out. This makes me sad. It makes me angry, at others, and myself. I'm going back and thinking about how things could have been different, and seeing how choices I made, sometimes with another person, or people, sometimes independently, have cost me financially. It's scary to think about what is going to happen next, I've typically had a great deal of apprehension and anxiety concerning money, but the key is to take some sort of positive action rather than sitting and ruminating about whatever it is that I'm uncomfortable thinking about. I could sell things. I have a desk I'm not really using, two beds, and some other smaller items. Even if I don't get much for them, something is better than nothing, right? I can learn to economize. I can move, I can find another job that pays me better, I can do nothing, I can take money out of my retirement account, I can ask people I know for funds; the point is that there are actions that would move me in the direction I would like to go.
I could write a book and try to sell that. I've always wanted to do this and I'm not really sure why I haven't other than I'm afraid it won't sell, and I'm also fearful of what would happen if it is somewhat successful. The other day a fellow employee, the one who was telling me about his depressed friend, told me that he asked the friend what he was afraid of, and this fear of success came up in the conversation. I think that's more legitimate and valid in my life than I realize. I've read articles about sabotaging things when they get going since the failure is familiar, and we cling to these old habits and worldviews rather than face a bold new future. I like to think of myself as a confident person, but I know I could be and do so much more than I am right now. This makes me sad, angry at myself, fretful, depressed, confused as to why I have this mindset in the firstplace, but also reflective, and optimistic since once you identify a problem, one can start searching for solutions that make sense.
In addition to packing some food I put together outfits to wear during my upcoming work week. I have no idea why we are required to work so many hours since we would end up staying late regardless. Were I to be in charge one of the first things I would do is give all of us better schedules. There is no need to have each of us working eleven, twelve hours, and sometimes longer than that. We end up coming in on our days off, we answer texts, take calls, and respond to emails outside of the office, there's really no way to escape the fact that selling cars, like selling insurance, is a lifestyle rather than a career. I was told that we would work one open to close day a week, I was not told that we are expected to come in for a weekly sales meeting, come in an hour early one day a week to help out in the service drive, and this is really bothering me since it now consumes my life. There seems to be no way to escape the job, and that's really frustrating because we're not getting paid hourly.
You really need to have some other source of income in my opinion. It's extremely difficult to sell enough cars to make a living wage, and there are some who do quite well for themselves, but there are many more who last for a very short period of time; probably do to insufficient training, lack of support and encouragement, and sheer burnout from the number of hours logged. The duties of the actual job are not that difficult, it reminds me of a self study program where you're given a mountain of material, a bunch of time, and expected to go through things on your own because in the end, it is up to you to master it, or die trying. It's very hard to be disciplined, even when I want to keep going, my brain simply doesn't work in a way that helps me remember things like prices. I care about how people feel, and I need to be worried about how to get them to say yes to me more often. Things could be much worse, but they could also be better, and I'm caught in a trap of my own making which is an ironic sort of space to be in; this is what I thought I wanted, why am I not celebrating the fact that I've made it this far?
I am grateful for this job and the people that I've met there. Overall it's one of the better places I have worked, the culture is more aggressive than passive, people say what they think, this bothered me at first, but it's nice to know right up front what you're dealing with rather than have bottled up resentment simmering under the surface until it erupts into a boiling froth of repressed anger and hostility. One thing that would help me is better stress management and coping mechanisms. By the time lunch rolls around I feel as if I have got to get out of that place, even if things have gone well that morning. While it's true that I have a very nice office, there's only so much I can take of the same four walls, the people around me, and the unending sameness of the showroom. It makes me wonder how prisoners in solitary confinement stay sane, and I'm free to get up and walk around whenever I choose. I enjoy being outside, even when it is too hot, raining, I still remember the evening where another sales person sent me out in a gale, but the good outweighs the bad, and for that I am very grateful.
I'm also grateful for the opportunity. While I could declare bankruptcy if I really needed to, I'm reluctant to do that since I would have to come up with the money for that, and then my credit score would take a hit. I'm not sure why I didn't do it when I first found out that this car accident would be costing me what it did, has, and will, but I didn't. Perhaps that was a good thing. In many ways I am much better off than I was before. Outside of the admittedly large bill that the other person's attorney sent me, I don't really have any other major debts. I don't even have very many minor ones. I owe my therapist for a visit, I think I remember her saying that she would work with me on this, but I don't owe much on my credit card, there's a charge that doesn't belong there, I stopped by the place I used to work to see what could be done about that, perhaps it will be removed by them, otherwise I will have to go to my financial institution and see if they can have the charges reversed. My health has been pretty good overall, and I'm thankful for that since these are long hours that bring various types of stress into my life.
I've lapsed and not been as good with my Pilates video. I made the excuse about not having an internet connection, but the truth is I could have used my phone, or gone to the clubhouse in the apartment complex where I live. I did a couple of halfhearted minutes this morning, and it was discouraging to find out how much ground I have lost during this short break. While I was fooling around on Twitter, I retweeted a comment about sports writers I am acquainted with not covering road games since funding to send them had been cut. I didn't really think too much about this at the time, but later on I saw a message, and clicked on it thinking it was one of my friends. Instead it was a writer I have followed for some time asking if I could take the time to email my thoughts about the road games not being covered. I want to help, I'm also somewhat flattered, but I also don't really want to write an email so I have to think about how to handle that. It probably wouldn't take that long, and maybe it's something I'll end up doing anyways, I'm just kind of overwhelmed by everything that's going on at the moment.
One good thing is I was able to have a short Snapchat conversation with my youngest. She broke up with the guy she had been seeing, and I'm proud of her for doing that even though I feel bad for him. My impression is that he was madly in love with her, and I know that kind of a loss can be tough, but she has to be true to herself. Update; I sent the email, and I'm proud of myself for supporting local journalism, even when it's in another state. I'm really tired, I'm still scared, but I'm also happy with what I accomplished today. I'd like to get out of the house and do something fun this weekend, I feel as if I have been writing that forever, yet I seem to not actually do anything about it. A bunch of baseball Twitter people met up at Miller Park, and seeing pictures of where I used to work brought back all sorts of feelings and memories of the past. My life seems both unreal, surreal, and all too real at times. So much on my mind, but it's good to take breaks.
All my best,
P.S. I'm really proud of myself for sending that email. Felt good to be asked, and to be able to deliver. I respect that about myself.