The Lesser of Two Evils

12 Jun

Just when things are going as swimmingly as they could, along comes a big shark to scare you out of the water! Well, a couple of sharks actually. Friday evening I did the now-standard reaction of jumping up from my writing desk, running out into the garden and pacing backwards and forwards for half an hour, fretting like crazy. Only this time it wasn’t about my writing. It was about that dear old existence called Life and trying to figure out which is the lesser of two evils.

2012 was always going to be a tough year financially but, I hoped, a constructive year personally. This is the year of introspection;  I finally accepted that I needed to take ‘time-out’ so as I could deconstruct myself, try to understand the fears that paralyze me psychologically and make practical progress in fixing me inside so as I could try to secure a better future for myself on the outside. It took me 3 years of living in darkness to finally realize that I could no longer pursue the normal pace of life while my head was in a dizzy, swirling cloud of disillusion, depression,  misery and lost-ness. I had to get off the merry-go-round and exit stage-left from the rat race before I hurt myself and the people I cared about.

Wouldn’t I love to spend 6 months in a beautiful paradise retreat figuring out the meaning of my life and everything that fills it – emotionally, psychologically and philosophically. My only chance of securing the funds for something like this would involve a bank and a pair of stockings over my head and so, after years of struggle I have had embark on this path of self-discovery while flat broke and trying to keep my head about water.

Friday’s reaction was in the face of the circling sharks ; the bank, the solicitors, the phone company, the gas company, the insurance company, the landlord (the brick-layer and the candle-stick maker…) – would they understand my human quest and what I was trying to do? In the garden, I asked myself if I should ‘cop-on’, give up this dream of self-discovery  and launch myself back into ‘real-life’ – back to the scramble, the confusion and the mental exhaustion where at least money/survival was more secure and I could keep the sharks at arms length. I have thought of little else in 3 days.

It’s a classic case of deciding which is the lesser of two (perhaps not-so-evil) evils:- broke and struggling with meeting the practicalities of life, while trying to decipher my life and mind OR being some-what financially secure while dealing with a tormented psyche?

There must be a balance?


7 Responses to “The Lesser of Two Evils”

  1. Jilanne Hoffmann June 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Ok, so worrying, while a natural response, isn’t going to get you what you want. So, the question is this: what do you need to do to give yourself the space to write and the money to live on?

    1) Will getting a roommate help?
    2) Will getting a part-time no-brainer job help?
    3) Is begging/borrowing money from your parents an option?
    4) Forget getting a sugar daddy. That’s only a complication.
    5) Will living in a cheaper place help?

    Other than #4, will any of these things give you some breathing room?

    • What's it All About and Other Stories June 14, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Can I consider option #4?? Just kidding ha ha!! Thanks Jilanne – #2 is the only option haven’t pursued as of yet, so this hopefully will be the solution – something gentle, like a coffee shop barista (without the training!!).

      I have made such progress that I don’t want to bow to financial pressure half way through this journey, just when I am starting to see positive changes (albeit slowly) and spirit in my writing.

      Thanks again Jilanne πŸ™‚

  2. Phil June 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Possibly. I gave up a sensible job I had loved but where I knew that a few influential people did not want me making me love it a lot less, 4 years ago. The plan was to take a year out and then go back to work having had some to to travel, write and do stuff. Several years without a holiday were taking thier toll.

    Anyway, a month after I left, the economy collapsed. Thoughts of travel and doing stuff went out of the window as I I knew taking the year off entirely was a bad idea. Petrol prices going through the roof messed up ideas of getting around in a campervan and UK train prices are stupid. I did travel a bit and write up my experiences but it wasn’t what I wanted.

    Or was it ? The trouble is I had a sort of vauge dream about what I wanted but have a feeling that if it really had been my dream I’d have done it a lot earlier.

    Now I work part time in a theatre and earn some money from writing about my hobby. Income is less than half what I had and that wasn’t a fortune ! After a lot of compromises I keep my head above water and sometimes I think it is great. In the future I’d like to expand both the work and writing, or at least earn more from both so I can plan for the future.

    Basically, the way to do what you and I have done is earn a shed load of money in the city and then retire to lecture other people on the joys of down-sizing.

    Sorry – That wasn’t very helpful was it ? Maybe I’m saying you aren’t alone.

    • What's it All About and Other Stories June 14, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Phil – that is quite inspirational. This whole process of finding out what you want from life is both draining and lengthy whilst trying to keep you head above water. It’s great that you found something in the Arts that you like and gives you time to write and figure out what you want to do in the future.

      Here’s hoping I get there too, thanks for sharing Phil, you have given me hope πŸ™‚

      • Phil June 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

        It wasn’t the arts that I was into. The job started as a relief projectionist in the little cinema. Gradually my role has spread to become something a bit more fulfilling.

        Don’t see the part time job as a dead end. With a bit of luck it can grow. At the very least it forces you to meet new people and takes you out of yourself occasionally. Sometimes we need a holiday from ourselves.

  3. mskatykins June 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I think you are being really brave, girly! I’m impressed at your staying power and it’s only natural that you should have self doubts. Do you feel like you are progressing on this mission? What have you, personally, gained from it so far… Only you can decide what to do next but I think you’ve made a really positive step just going for it and I really admire you! πŸ™‚

    • What's it All About and Other Stories June 14, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Ah thanks so much mskatykins – it’s so great to know that there are other people who understand what a mission like this is about – the change is so slow you wonder if things are really changing at all??!

      I am going to try everything in my power to stay the course… I owe it to myself. So no-brainer job here we come!!


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