What do you want? What do you really really want?
I was asked this, a few weeks ago, in relation to work, what do you really want to do?
And I just don't know. In all honesty. I just don't. I have a faint idea of what I don't know, but even that isn't certain.
Because I don't know. I can't decide on anything. There's nothing I feel strongly about. I have no certainty left, I have got no confidence in my abilities or what I can do.
I used to. Know. I used to want a challenge, responsibility, progression. I had ambition, determination.
I don't recognise myself in that anymore. I don't take rejection well. I don't know how to deal with it.
On top of it, my memory has got worse. As in, really bad. And my common sense has also become worse. And my logic and thought processes are slow, I can't think of things quickly enough, I know I know them or I know I should be able to work them out yet I can't. Probably because my memory has become so bad.
I know I'm not stupid, I know I am smart enough. I know I can learn.
But my decisions have proven to be so bad. I have done and said and write things that have brought about my downfall. I don't see the way out.
I don't see a way out.
I had a window there, for a while, for exactly four months. Last year, 2011, from February to May. And I had four of the most amazing days of my life in May. I even fixed my eyes!!
Since then it's all gone downhill. I was kidding myself on my last job, it was a necessity, "fake it till you make it" I kept telling myself, something I had read or seen somewhere but that it epitomised all the months of that job, I simply did not know what I was doing. I had been arrogant enough to self-delude myself into thinking that being good at one job meant I could do any similar ones and progress and be better elsewhere. The grass is always greener as it was proven in the end.
I had a window. In those four months. At happiness, real true happiness. At change. At being different. Being able to, finally, be myself and do things and go places and meet people. Be myself in a way I cannot ever be fully, that I was never able to be before. Only those who have known me the longest know that person. But I have been this other subdued, diffident, quiet melancholic individual for so long I no longer know where one starts and the other stops.
I no longer know how to be me. I had a window there, for a while. To rediscover myself, and, once again, be!
I was only me in three periods of my life: when I was promoted on my first job for six months and became an adult. On my second year at university, following a consolidation and adaptation during my first year: I was confident, hopeful, full of life, fell in love, possibly twice, maybe even three times. Got my heart broken, discovered writing but still all to play for, I was twenty years old and I had the idealism of youth. Then third year happened, parents split up, grades suffered, dissertation messed up and things went downhill from then. In fact it was a long fall of about four years, with one "blip", an unforgettable Summer of great parties, parties and semi-friendship, but it couldn't last and it went down and down. I thought then that returning to Portugal would fix something but it didn't, it was even worse. The bottom was reached, and I could take it no longer after two years back.
I had to change things before I drowned myself. I did, and moved away, and it worked to an extent, but with very strong strings attached, and I entered a period of stasis for about eight years. It was the price to pay for not drowning, I accepted it and did not ambitioned more. Being promoted after six months provided a much needed boost, but the strings didn't allow for a lot of movement.
I accepted it. Work went well, even if life was none. My work persona was a success. A persona that was developed and moulded and refined into a professional, competent and even respected figure. Work was good but life was almost non-existent. Work become life in a lot of ways which is why I used to take it so seriously.
Until work become restrictive, and thoughts surfaced that maybe, just maybe, I could do better. But I was too fearful of the risk, the strings still pulled too strongly.
Ultimately, decided to stay. Once the decision was made after much agonising, I was strong again. Strong enough to break free of the strings.
Then these four months came around. Confidence was high. I was once again hopeful, determined, ambitious. I felt on top of the world. I felt on the edge, on the edge of freedom, of really leading a Life, as I hadn't before. I had possibly four of the best days of my life on a mini weekend holiday.
Then I had a rush of blood to the head. Ten seconds of insanity. And things went downhill, and despite a temporary slowdown, which was never going to be definite, the fall resumed. I am still falling.
I can feel it. Falling. Further, deeper. Know that it's there, the edge. That I'm teetering on it. Desperately trying not to despair. Trying hard not to see the walls of the hole I'm in, trying so hard to believe that somehow, somewhere, a chance of sorts will arrest this free fall.
But another thing has happened over the last four years or so, or maybe even for the last 14! I have stopped feeling, I no longer feel. I know, rationally, that I'm so very close to the edge. I also know that rationally I should believe and not panic. But in actual fact I almost don't care either way. I don't feel it, one way or the other, I am desensitised.
I may be two weeks away from being homeless. One of those that live on the edges and cracks of society, ignored and invisible. I'm nearly there. Yet...
I don't feel it. I expect I shall if I get there. I know, I understand, that I should decide what I want to do with my life, set a target and fight for that goal. But I don't.
Because I don't know. I don't feel. I don't care for much. So I can't decide. And so, I'm not deciding, it's just going to happen.
Because I don't know. Who I am anymore, and what I've become, I don't recognise myself. For so long, being me was such a small part of my existence, and being the Work person so much more important, that without being the Work person I don't know how to be Me.
I have lost myself.