Saturday, September 22, 2012

Alter Ego

I began this week in a deep blue funk. I was feeling something, but couldn't tell what. It seemed everything set me on edge. And what's worse, I was coming off a three day weekend. I went to work that first day back ready to bite anyone's head off, and I didn't know why I was ready to annihilate. Was I depressed? angry? frustrated? something else? Tell me, dammit! I need to know! Everything was getting to me. But, I had no known reason to be feeling this way.

Recently things had been going very nicely. My debut novel is moving along to its release date, sometime in early October. My mortgage refinance is also progressing, though frustratingly slowly, toward closing and that would give me some financial breathing room. I had received a nice financial windfall which could aid in some additional repairs around the house. With so much positive going on, why was I ready to eviscerate the next person who said the first cross thing to me?

Why were my fears also crawling up out of the cellar of my soul? My publisher had painstakingly gone through my novel, and made suggestions where he felt some improvement was needed. But he made suggestions in scenes I liked, not in ones I felt were weak. It was all a plot to take over my story and make it his. Or so I felt. I am a shitty writer.

The loan hit a snag. The windfall now deposited in my savings account triggered an investigation. I am not talking a five figure windfall, no siree. Only four digits. But as it came after I documented my savings account, the loan processors needed the cancelled check from the issuer. And they also needed condominium documentation from the property management company.  I hate red tape.

I had even decided I wanted to be a monk. I was never going on a date, again. Ever. The pain of past dates and men I had met was resurfacing once again. I was tired of the bullshit and the lies. I was tired of men who say one thing and do another. Men who send romantic pictures to me, and then don't want to move the relationship forward. Or men who just want to fool around, and will only do this to me, but won't let me do it to him. Or I can do that to him, but he won't do it to me. Users.

I spent my three day weekend at home. I blogged, I wrote, I cleaned, I played (on the iPad), I gardened, I shopped for groceries, I took the dog to the vet. I may have betrayed a friend's confidence. I did have a vertigo attack. I did not have fun. Maybe that's it. I didn't have a pleasant three day weekend.

And yet, there have been other weekends similar to that one, but without the betrayal or the vertigo and I didn't feel this way. So, what was the difference? I sat and seriously thought about the issues. Was it my novel? I knew my publisher was only trying to help me become a better writer. He believes in me. He said so. As do many of my friends, both writers and non-writers, alike. It's still my novel, for it's the story that makes it, not each individual scene. It's a collective overall effort. He wants to be there for me, he wants to see more of my future work. I greatly appreciate his help and his constructive suggestions. And, no, he is not trying to take it away from me.

If the loan is to be, it will work out. These things take time and documentation. And even more time with more paperwork. I know that I will do my part, and will have to trust that everyone involved will do theirs. What will be, will be.

As for dating. I'm still not sure I don't want to be a monk. At least for now. Trying to find time to at least find someone I'd be interested in dating is daunting enough. I also think my reticence to dating now might also be due to the time of year. I have mentioned before that August is the month when my two relationships ended. This September marks one year since I had told someone I loved him, only to find out he did not feel the same. I realize it may appear I have not gotten over him though I believe I have, but am simply reacting to the time of year, and the fact next week is his birthday, which we were going to celebrate and then didn't.
As I tried to figure out where this mood came from, I began to notice what I wasn't saying. I was avoiding one topic. Work. It must be something about work. Maybe it's time to seriously consider retirement, once I'm eligible. But, I'd retire without full benefits. Could I give up some income for peace of mind? What can I afford to do without?  I need my peace of mind but can't afford to give up my benefits. So, I can't retire. Yet.

So, what is it about work that is driving me insane? Is it the deja vu of 'I just did all this last year' but with different kids?  Is it the fact this is my thirtieth year in the classroom in the same school? Is it the additional duties and responsibilities I took on for extra pay? Is it the group of kids themselves (18 boys and 11 girls, all turning 12 this year!)? Or is it a select few who try to run the classroom? I think it's all of the above. And everything in the paragraphs above that.

The funk may have started with work but it oozed into the different compartments of my life. It affected my attitude toward my writing, it affected my attitude toward dating. It's hard to separate the compartments of my life like in the cabinet above. I'd bought that to separate the different nails, screws and bolts that I have accumulated. While those can be separated, it's hard separating the different parts of me.

I did get myself out of the house this week. A fellow writer and Twitter/Facebook friend was reading near my home, kind of. He was actually closer to my home than his, but it gave us an opportunity to finally meet face to face and for me to support him out of gratitude for all the support he's given me.

I noticed after a night out, I felt better. Maybe it's none of the above after all. Maybe I need to get a life. I guess all work and no play turns me into my alter ego:


  1. So many things can cause our funks...and is just a funk. :-)

    1. That may be true, and I had been in a great place before, so maybe it was just a funk. But, I do think it was a combination of all things piled on top of one another hitting me all at once. Though, I still think I need a life. Maybe once this is all settled, I can step out more! :) Thank you for your comment!!

  2. Jeff, you are under a lot of stress right now; life is a little out of balance. Until you get a chance to stroll in nature in those foothills, try some celexa from the doc. Very safe and very efficient. I could watch that big limb being moved over the house by a crane right now and just say, "Ummmm, I guess I'll have to enjoy a few nights in a hotel with a gym, spa, and big beds!"

    1. Nancy, I'll look into it, thank you for the suggestion. I do have something here I can take in the meantime, should I need to. In the meantime, a small glass of wine might help. But, just one.