It’s been an eventful year, to say the least. My marriage has ended, I now live in a spacious basement apartment at my family home, I am deeply in love, and I am in a crisis of careers. Pandemic and social upheaval are changing the world rapidly, and like so many others, I can only hope that the outcome will be a better world.
I have been in the service industry for a long time - about thirty years. I am back to full time bartending, because the distillery job that I love is on indefinite hiatus because of the pandemic.
I am miserable.
My coworkers are good people, but I desperately do not want to be doing this job at all. Perversely, I tend to work myself into the ground because I am so used to seeing myself through the lens of “a hard worker”, and valuing myself accordingly. When you do this at a job you do not want to do, you burn up all of your resources, get sick, and then feel terrible about missing work. I need to figure out a way to get through this without killing myself. Until I can go back to the distillery, I have to figure out a better way to pay my modest bills that is no longer doing something I am so, so tired of.
I am proud of my skill as a bartender. I am very good at it. I am also just...over it. I don’t enjoy it as a challenge anymore, and I am tired of the mental strain, especially in the New World of Coronavirus. Customers cause me stress far more than they used to, and that says something. I desperately want to feel like there is learning to do, growth to be accomplished, a real gratification in what I do.
I have a new partner - he isn’t perfect, of course. None of us are. But he brings me such joy every day. He and I continue to improve with each other, both for ourselves and for us, and I never knew what that felt like before. I want to be happy and gratified with my work both for myself, and for him. He deserves me as my not-miserable self. I manage that most of the time, but I am rocketing towards burnout, and I do not want my terrible coping mechanisms to take over.
I would love to write - really write. I know I am reasonably skilled at it, and I often write things that resonate with people. Unfortunately, I am uncertain how to parlay that into a career now. What little knowledge I had is desperately out of date, and I am often so tired that I don’t make myself do the research that I know I should do.
I am emerging from that underground I was in for so long. I am breathing air, seeing light, pulling free. Now, how do I live?