Thursday, 23 December 2010

still here (more or less)

You know what? In many ways I've had a pretty shit year.

It hasn't ended well. I have a new job in a new career and I've fucked it up. My future is in jeopardy, and people are not queueing up to tell me how great I am. It's tempting to look back at the last few years and list all the ways I've failed.

I'm a forty-one-year-old woman with an eight-year-old and a two-year-old and it's fucking hard. I've had to make hard decisions. About what, who, when to prioritise.

There was a time when I was sitting in a training session. I was invited to think about how I could make someone close to me happy.

I thought of one of my very-best-most-loved persons, who I had nursed through an anxiety attack only the night before, and who had felt so much worse when I told them how amazing they were. "Don't", they moaned. "It doesn't help."

"What can I do to make this person happy?" I asked myself. And the answer came, "Nothing."

So I thought about my son. "What can I do to make him happy?"

I considered the conversation we'd had. "I wish you still worked at home," he said after I failed yet again to pick him up early and save him from the parent-stealing tedium of after-school club. What could I do to make him happy? I could give up my new job, the thing that had me sitting here discussing what I could do to make people-important-to-me happy.

Not long after that I found myself in an office, crying, as someone senior to me listed all the ways in which I was falling short of expectation.

But I'm still here.

Not that anyone will read this, as I haven't been here for ages.

For the first time in years I have shaken with the wide jaws of anxiety open before me. Threatening all that they brought before.

But I'm still here.

This is a bloody stupid job. It destroys its practitioners, yet they come back for more, those endless streams of unthanked fodder.

But I'm still here.

And I'll still be here when I'm there. And I'll get there because I'm stubborn. And bloody-minded. And bloody bloody stupidly-fucking bloody stupid.

Anyway. It's Christmas, and a birthday, and bloody Christmas, and merry bloody stupid fucking Christmas bloody birthday to you all.