This is the new home for my blog. It’s the same title as the old blog, but it’s here instead of there and I’m totally going to post ALL THE TIME, LIKE YOU WILL BE SO IMPRESSED, I PROMISE! (pinky swear)
Here’s the deal – last month I turned 30 and promptly lost my damned mind. I don’t know if it was the birthday milestone or what, but depression reared its ugly head and, long story short, I decided to quit my job. I went in last week to give notice and, following a series of events too tiresome to recount here, I’m now officially out on an extended leave of absence from work to deal with my emotional issues and be a non-working human for a while.
This is a big deal because, as everyone I’ve ever interacted with on the face of the planet can verify, I’ve been threatening to quit my job and go live in a van down by the river 2x per month for the past seven and a half years. Quitting wasn’t as…final as I’d planned, but now I think this leave is the right thing. For the next ~3.5 months, I can just exist and be. That sounds new-agey and shit, but if there’s one thing two years of therapy have taught me it’s that I derive self-worth from the wrong places. I vividly remember breaking down in the girls’ room in high school one day after we received our report cards. I’d received a “B+” in AP Chemistry, as I recall. I held it together as long as I could after class until I could get into the bathroom, and then I lost it. A couple of other girls who’d followed me in there to pee were bewildered. I wasn’t particularly liked in high school for various reasons, but they did try to comfort me. “It’s still a good grade!” one girl said, slightly horrified in the face of my uncontrollable sobbing.
“You don’t understand,” I wailed, my vision blurry from tears, “This is all I have. I have nothing else.”
Over twelve years later, I often still feel that way – that I don’t know who I am apart from what I accomplish. “What do I have?” I still ask myself, other than my company’s name on my CV, followed by a list of promotion dates and my degree. Most people would argue that that’s more than enough, and they’re right – but only if you feel that you, as a person, are enough without any of those things. Every human being has the right to feel worthy of existing, of being loved, independent of whether they make good grades or land a top job.
I simply don’t feel worthy, even with the CV. I joke to my friends that I feel “guilty for existing,” but it’s not really a joke. I often think that I’m taking up space and air on the planet that could be better used to support someone more deserving. These aren’t rational thoughts, of course, they’re sick thoughts, but despite the meds and the therapy I still have trouble not thinking them.
So that’s what this leave is about. I may go back to my original job or I may not, but either way I’m going to try to be for the next few months and learn to appreciate and maybe even like who I am as a friend, daughter, sister, and human being. A new start calls for a new blog, so here we are. I hope you keep reading.