Current mood: adventurous
I’m having a mid-life crisis. Never mind the fact that I’m not even anywhere near the midpoint of my life. I just had a birthday 17 days ago, and I’m still in my twenties. I’m very young in age, very young appearance but very old in my soul. It’s my soul that is having this crisis.
I feel like I am wasting my life. I feel like I am wasting the talents that God has given me. Why am I doing that? What the hell is wrong with me?
I am not unhappy. I’m not miserable or depressed or suicidal. I’m very thankful to be where I am today. Life could be a lot worse. I could be still at that dead-end piece of shit job at TSA. That was real misery. Every day I woke up to go to work I wanted to kill myself. When I was working there, I was very depressed. I tried to hide it because I didn’t want anybody to ask me, “What’s wrong? Want to talk about it?” No, I don’t want to talk about it; I want to do something about it!
When I was at TSA, everyday was a trial. I would sit on the X-ray and think of ways to kill myself. At night, on the employee bus, I used to think of excuses I could use not to come to work. I faked all those doctor’s notes. When they started demanding the doctor state why I could not work, I once wrote that complications of an STD prevented me from standing or sitting for long periods of time. The supervisor looked at me like I was crazy, but I could really care less that she now thought I had some disease. She said, “You know the doctor doesn’t actually have to put what’s wrong, just state that you are unable to perform the duties of your job.” I was like, “Whatever.”
I told a manager that I was having an abortion so I could get a day off during a black out period. She stared at me and I said, “Do you want me to bring a note?” She shook her head and said she would write it in the book and she just walked away without saying anything. I would even call in pretending to be someone else and claiming that I had some issue that prevented me from calling myself. Once I pretended to be an officer and told the supervisor that answered the phone I had been detained as a witness to a crime. I had my sister way down in Florida call once; she told Robert that I was narcoleptic and I couldn’t wake up for work.
I used to daydream about hurting the passengers. One time I hit this lady in the head with the wand. I told her it was an accident, but really, I did it on purpose. The previous passenger had pissed me off and I took it out on the next lady. I used to fuck with people’s bags on purpose to make myself feel better. Misery loves company and I wanted everyone else angry too. One time this racist man came in and I squeezed toothpaste in his shoes and opened up his Listerine and poured it into the bottom of his bag and into the DVD player. I hope it shorted out when he tried to use it. Things like that made me feel better.
I never messed around as far not paying attention to bags on the X-ray or not properly searching for prohibited items. I don’t want anybody to die or get seriously injured. Getting knocked in the head with a wand is a far cry from getting blown up, and that type of carelessness wouldn’t make me feel better. It would just create more misery when my ass gets thrown in jail for gross criminal negligence. No, my satisfaction came from knowing that when a passenger gets to her destination, she would only have one shoe or her bikini would be missing.
I hated the job. I hated the passengers. I hated the management. I hated the lame ass rules, the excuses given by management. I hated most of my co-workers. I hated that feeling of being a slave on a plantation, of just being screener number 57844. I hated having to beg for a day off just to get my mind right. “Please, massa, just let me off the plantation for a day. I swears I won’t run away!” I hated everything about working there, and my intense hatred made every other aspect of my life miserable. When I came home from work, all I did was complain to my [then] boyfriend, my dad and my sister who worked the same job down in Florida. We would sit on the phone for hours and cultivate our hatred for TSA.
I think at one point I really was suicidal. I would think things like, “If I get into an accident, I won’t have to go to work. I just need to make sure it’s serious enough that they won’t try to put me on some bullshit light duty.”
When it gets to that point, you’re a psycho, and I did feel very pyschotic. Some days my grip on reality was very loose. I would have very real dreams that I worked some place else, and the dream would be so real that when I finally came back to reality and realised that I was still at TSA, I would sit in my car with the windows rolled up in 100 degree weather and cry hysterically. I used to hope that I would die of heat exhaustion or at the very least pass out or something.
Everybody used to make jokes about certain employees coming back and shooting up the place. I never wanted to do that. I don’t have any grudges against my co-workers, and shooting up the place only makes it worse. My hatred was very internalised because everyday I cried about going to work but I wasn’t really doing anything about it. Just bitching. What does that solve?
My co-workers would ask me why I had such a shitty attitude and they would ask about my mood swings. “What the hell is wrong with her?” If only you knew about the madness that ate at my brain.
But I could only bitch and cry for so long. While everyone else was sitting in the breakroom complaining about yet another stupid rule TSA management had handed down, I began plotting. Even if I had to go down to Norma Jean’s and get my fat ass on a stage and strip, I had to leave TSA before I had a nervous breakdown. After working on that plantation for all those years, I finally got my ass back in school. I littered the job sites with my resume. I got a few hits back but nothing that was substantial. The day I got a significant job offer, I started crying before the lady even hung up the phone. It was like after all that time God was finally answering my prayers. It’s like approaching Mecca after a disheartening trek across the sands of time.
When you are unhappy, there is no sense in just complaining; you have to do something about it. You really have to get up and get off your ass to get out of a situation that is slowly killing you inside like a brain-eating tumour. You can either settle back and accept your pathetic lot in life, or you can grab what you desire most no matter what the cost.
The discontent I feel now is nothing compared to the abominable misery I was in at TSA. I don’t wake up feeling like I should drag a dull blade across my own throat. I am not wholly unhappy and the truth is that I ought to be grateful for what I have and content with what God has given me. But banal contentment is not the spice of life. I am never satisfied because I cannot resign myself to settle for less. If I do not attempt all that I want in life, then can I ever say I accomplished anything? Can I ever say that I am truly happy?
I feel like if I stay where I am right now, in this moment, I am in danger of becoming like Gregor Samsa. You may not know who that is, but I do and I cannot subject myself to such a monotonous existence. Is life really about having a well-paying job. Is success an arduous commute? Is happiness navigating the rat race? Should I equate my good fortunes with how well I manage to hang onto a thread? What shall I do to escape the inevitable metamorphosis that threatens if I stay?
I have a dream. I’ve been dreaming it since I was little. I kept putting it off because I told myself it wasn’t realistic, and it might not be, but what’s the point of a dream if you don’t ever try to live it out?
On Friday, after having a long discussion with Maquona about perceptions and identity, I have come to the conclusion that it’s just high time to start living out my deepest dreams. While I am still unencumbered, I owe it to myself to give it a try. One day I will wake up and I’ll be 64 years old and wishing that I had done what I said I’d do when I was 17. I don’t want to write a “Life Half Wasted” article on myself.
I keep putting it off saying, “When I get enough money.” Well, when am I going to get enough money? I was poor yesterday. I’m poor today, and I’ll be poor tomorrow; might as well be poor and living out my dream, instead of poor and wishing on a star.
I’m giving myself six months to act it out. I’m plotting now, even as I write this. I’m getting ready. I’m not scared to make changes in my life. I’m not scared of the unknown. But I am scared of failure. I chew my nails at night wondering if I will make it.
I guess I won’t know till I try it. The year of our Lord 2008 is supposed to be my year, and so far it has been. I need to keep riding high.
Let Luck be a lady–no, let Luck be a princess. To steal Ayanna’s saying, “Who God bless let no man curse.” God has blessed me and amy God in His infinite mercy continue to bless me so that I finally may achieve some contentment in my life.