I was warned that there would be “good days” and “bad days.” I thought to myself, “How is not working going to ever result in a bad day?” When I was employed, I LIVED for my days off. I always had grand plans of what I would do on those special days in which I didn’t have to pass out meds to the inmates, or babysit their illegitimate children (managers = inmates, children = their incompetent employees). Ultimately, I would end up spending most of the morning on Annaswasteoftimemachine, make a trip to the grocery store, maybe do some laundry, and consider cooking dinner. Fucking exciting.
Except it was fucking exciting when I was working… because all that mattered was that I WAS NOT AT THE ASYLUM.
Well, it does get boring. Free-time is great… but when all you have is free-time, it starts to lose its appeal.
I very recently had the benefit of spending some time with a friend who is in a similar situation. While his circumstances are significantly more complicated than my own, it was refreshing to chat with someone who understands the emotional part of being jobless. After hearing everything he’s has been coping with (unemployed, marriage is on the rocks, toddler to raise, finances a mess, not to mention the anxiety and bouts of depression), it made me think that I should be able to cope much better.
But I’m not.
Yes, I’m unemployed… and while my anxiety isn’t quite like this:
it definitely fluctuates between this:
I think I’ve decided that what I’m truly worried about is this:
I’ve been given the opportunity to make a career change without any real consequences. I should be thrilled that I can finally do whatever I want and fulfill the saying, “If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!”
Except when presented with this challenge, the pressure mounts. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Most people are never afforded the chance to make the changes that I am about to. What if I screw this up? What if I choose the wrong career and hate it? What if I disappoint the people I love?
I’m truly afraid of failure. I’m afraid of hearing, “Ya blew it.” I know that even if I choose the wrong path and find myself starting over again, it will not be detrimental; no one will die and life will go on. We won’t lose the house, we won’t be financially unstable, my husband won’t divorce me… I just don’t want to FUCK THIS UP! Does that make sense? I feel like I need to navigate these waters perfectly, but I just picture myself as Ralph Wiggum doggie paddling in a kiddie pool only six inches deep with water… as if I’m going to drown in that. Then I start thinking about actually screwing it up and I get like this:
How do I get past my anxieties and just do this? Why do I feel like I need to be such a perfectionist about everything? I just wish I could have more of a honey badger attitude about it, but that’s just not me. Any advice you folks have to offer would be appreciated.