Monday, 3 November 2008

Staying Cheerful

It’s a tricky thing, staying positive at the moment. I’ve started calling jobs Applications of Joy instead of Doom, giving the whole process a more upbeat feel, but it still doesn’t change the fact the future is as murky as paint water.

The main problem for me is being back at home in my childhood bedroom. It hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. I left the majority of stuff in it when I moved out (Stuff R Us should be the family motto, apart from it sounds less toy shop and more taxidermy than I’d like), and so here I sit, in a room that by and large hasn’t changed since I was 15. It feels, well, sort of odd. It has an air of melancholy, like the young me was pickled in a jar ages ago and is still here somewhere, starry-eyed about the future. Yet here I am, and here I sit, and nothing feels right, not one bit.

You know it is bad when I start rhyming.

But then I try to stay positive, as the good thing is no bills m’lord, and that is exactly what I need right now, at this moment in time. I say ‘no bills’ – well I do pay my mum a bit each month, and then there is the cats insurance, and a myriad of other strange small amounts – but nothing like the big hitters – flat rent, mortgage, electricity - those are the hard ones. So – all good, right? If only moods were so easy!

I can sense my cheerfulness is slipping of late; I get uptight easier, over-react to silly things, more cynical with bigger things. Nothing sits easy with me – I’m constantly thinking about what the hell am I doing? Am I doing enough? Am I letting life slide? Am I opting out? I worry I’m not being a good enough friend, girlfriend, or daughter as I feel so overly occupied with my internal analysing. I find myself doing more childish things – reaching for books I last read while in school uniform, running through old shows and theme tunes on youtube – I’m probably just riding a wave of nostalgia being back here, so maybe I should enjoy it! Or I’m taking comfort in these memories… or of course it could be I am regressing into a small childish blob. *lobs analysis out of the window*

Still – more Applications of Joy coming up, and I promised I’d cook mum and J dinner tonight. This may have been a trifle foolhardy, since I basically agreed I’d make the equivalent of mushroom pasta and know full well there are no mushrooms, and possibly no pasta. So this means a stomp to the corner shop to pick over whichever road-side vegetables look still vaguely edible, or I ask J to buy his dinner in its natural raw state and bring it to me, where I can boil it to within an inch of its life. If you get the impression I'm not a natural born chef I'd say you were very astute.


musicobsessive said...

You may not know it but that was probably one of your best posts - full of raw emotion and evocative description. All the best songs are born of despair and this post is why you're going to be a great writer of fiction and I'm quite envious because it is something I cannot do. I've tried to write fiction but just can't do it so I'll just continue to write magazine-y non-fiction which seems to be what I'm best at. Just wish I could do the fiction thing.

Be proud!

Jayne said...

Ah, I don't know what to say! I'm really touched by that, thank you. All your encouragement has been great, and has definitely helped me to keep going :) Thank you again!

Rose said...

I agree with musicobsessive, this is a really well written post and I think a lot of people would identify with what you're feeling.

Their circumstances might be different but I think the feeling that you aren't doing enough and that everything involves climbing a mountain is something all of us experience from time to time- and it isn't always logical.

You seem to be a great writer to me and you have found something you love doing which I think is really important too. You have been proactive and done something about wanting to write a novel where a lot of people don't ever get that far. You have probably given out a lot emotionally doing that and job applications are hugely draining, you may just need some re charge time.

Good luck with the applications of joy!

Jayne said...

Rose, that's so nice of you to say, thank you, it means a lot. One of my main worries is if I am any good at writing, so that is really great to hear, from both yourself and musicobsessive.

Re-charge time - yes, more than likely! Writing it has been a lot of effort, and while I certainly didn't expect it to be a walk in the park, I guess when I started I had no idea of how much mentally I would have to invest, and keep investing. Inevitably the bucket comes up empty sometimes... hence these sort of posts!

And thanks for the wishes re: Applications of Joy! (I've even started singing the words in 'Songs of Praise' style - surely this is a good omen!)