When I was a kid, and rode the public transit system home from school, there were always home domestic workers riding as well. I had a work shift after school, and was riding home about the same time they were getting off for the day. In those days, they still wore the typical uniform of domestic workers of the 60s, a grey dress with white collar and buttons, white sleeve cuffs.

They greeted each other with smiles, fatigue showing through, but a knowing solidarity whether they knew each others’ names or not. They understood their common bond of shared experience, and knew they alone understood it. They were boarding from the wealthier parts o town, where the bus stops were situated on the fringes of large well-to-do homes and manicured lawns, often only a short distance from the housing projects and homeless enclaves.

I would hear bits of conversation from these women, usually in their 60s, with deeply lined faces and beads of sweat gathering on upper lips and hairlines. Some dabbed at the dampness with Kleenex or a towel, others tipped their heads back to direct the stream backward. City buses had long ago lost their air conditioning, and open windows only circulated the warm moist air from outside. But it was all we had, so you made do.

Nearly all of these women carried the largest purse money could buy. Had they been any larger, they’d have been considered luggage. My great aunt, who was a nurse, carried a huge purse like that. I never quite understood what might have been in there, but it always seemed that whenever it was necessary to retrieve something from the depths of such a valise, they waited until the last possible moment to being looking for the comb, or the silver dime, or the three pennies that would keep them from breaking a dollar bill. That was often the sum total of my frustration for the day, because I would be screaming at them silently to get ready for the cashier or bus driver to ask for money and start looking before they were asked, so as not to hold up everyone else, but to no avail. I suppose in those situations, they had all the power. The power to hold up a line of people, waiting impatiently for them to dig in the crevasses of some gigantic bag to find a few pennies, and when failing to find the coins produce a $10 bill. Every time. Every single time.

I don’t know where that memory came from. Things just pop up in that crack house that is my brain. In a way I don’t mind, unless it’s a really unpleasant memory, one that brings me back to some dark place, some underground catacomb with bones and skulls and spiders. I generally would rather not go there, and often have trouble getting out. It’s a mystery how I find myself in those places, why I can’t easily let go of those memories. I don’t think it’s a simple matter of forgiving myself and moving on, but it frustrates me that I feel victimized by going back to such places again and again. What good does that do? I can’t change it, and I’m no longer there, so what purpose does it serve to be tortured with the memory os something unpleasant?

Anyway, I’m very frustrated. I applied for another online writing job, and they turned me down. I put in another application this afternoon, and it’s not something I’m really hoping to get, but I need a win. It’s getting to be more and more of a struggle to not give in to the “you’re a loser” soundtrack that’s playing in the background of my brain. Maybe I’m too arrogant, pissed because I didn’t think much of these online employers and can’t believe they would reject ME, brilliant ME. Or maybe it’s just that I feel the financial walls closing in and I have a bit of panic right now.

I’m not entirely sure what else I should be doing right now. It occurs to me that I may have to start looking in the IT world again, as much as I don’t want to entertain that possibility. Imagining that work gives me a nervous twitch in my upper lip, and I can feel my shoulders getting tight. I don’t want to give up the other non-paying things I’ve found, the volunteer stuff for the Fellowship and the justice effort. I feel compelled to fight for that, because it’s more what I want, and gives me some kind of purpose. Besides, they like my writing. So, there.

The whole notion of having something that I want may be causing some resistance in my energy flow, or however that works. What I mean is that I understand when I am settling for something, when I am short changing what I want for what I believe I deserve, for what I believe is the practical thing. I want this job at the UU Association, but they aren’t saying a word. The longer the silence, the more my brain fills that space with all manner of self-defeating monologue, telling myself that I probably can’t actually do that job, that I’m not skilled enough, as evidenced by the two online opportunities that have rejected my application. Oy vey.

When I listen to the Abraham channeling, I feel as though I am in agreement with their philosophy of manifestation, wherein our positive vibration is what brings about that which coincides to it. So, if I have a positive vibration about having the job that I want, and emanate that positive vibration outward, as though it is already a reality, the Universe will manifest that reality because it matches what I’m putting out there. Yeah. Makes sense, but easier said than done. There’s just too much uncertainty, too much of the unknown, too many variables that clutter my field.

I suppose I’ve always felt that I have the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In elementary school, if I did reasonably well on a test, sometimes my teacher would offer a re-test to see if I could improve the score. When that happened, I usually did worse on the re-test. In my head, I’d be stressing over the teacher’s expectation that I’d get a perfect score, and I would always do worse than before. It’s always been that way, if I believe that I’m going to disappoint an ally, I will somehow manage to make that a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It has occurred to me in the distant past that maybe I take some perverse joy in disappointing those who believe in me, that I want to prove them wrong as something of a test. If I fail, will you still believe? If I fail, will you still love me? If I fail, will the world come to an end? That right there is some twisted mess, but it’s the mess that populates my grey matter.

There are so many times lately when I am aware that I’m tired of fooling with myself, tired of questioning myself, tired of second-guessing myself. I don’t think everyone goes through such continuous self-examination, self-reflection, self-recrimination. I often feel as though I’m “processing” at such a frenetic rate that some outward sign of the effort must be evident, that smoke must be pouring from the top of my head or something.

I just took the psycho dog outside. She sat on the ground and looked out into the parking lot, and did…nothing. She barked at some hapless dude walking by. That was it. She had been dancing to go out for over an hour, and when finally out there, she produced nothing. Nada. I don’t quite get her, but she got a treat when back inside and she is happily gnawing on that, so I suppose all is well.

As I mentioned earlier, I sent off another online application today, even though it’s kind of bugging me that I’ve gotten two rejections. I know, poor me. But, this one is a research writer for dog nutrition (?). I sent them a writing sample, a post I did a couple of weeks ago about what my dog has taught me. I cleaned it up a little, and attached it with my resume’, so we’ll see what that yields. I have some apprehension about the possibility of getting this job, because if the UUA position would come through, I’d be in a dilemma – I don’t think this one has flexible hours, but we’ll see. I have to do something at this point, or my head will explode with anxiety,

There’s more unrest concerning the murder of the man in Elizabeth City, and there’s another case from two years ago that has surfaced in Louisiana. The Elizabeth City case is not meeting with positive feedback from the national press, and to me, the D.A. there looked like a fool. The Louisiana case was pretty ugly, with a guy who was being arrested resisting the State troopers. They put him face down, as usual, and tased him multiple times, after punching him and kicking him repeatedly. After they had left him prone for 9+ minutes, they finally got him in the police car, and he died in the back seat on the way to jail, or maybe the hospital. Not sure which, but it doesn’t matter. He’s dead.

This steady parade of deaths is becoming surreal. Numbing. We are becoming desensitized, another death expected. There has to be a better way. No, there IS a better way. We just don’t want to change one damned thing. I was talking earlier about being complicit with these systems, and saying that I have to accept that we’re all complicit. Every time I don’t speak up, every time I don’t use my voice when a situation doesn’t affect me personally, every time I use my debit card, I’m complicit. I have to accept that.

I’m not sure how to stop my complicity entirely, because all of these systems are interlocked. Using my debit card supports a fascist system of banking, but I don’t know how to remove myself from that system and survive. I reject the whole “off the grid” effort and the “sovereign citizen” nonsense, because it’s just not practical. I appreciate the sentiment, but I can’t make that work for me because I’m dependent on certain aspects of the oppressive capitalistic machine. I suppose I do the best I can with it, but it is a cognitive disconnect for me.

In all honesty, I’m seriously wondering if I really do have the skill, talent, whatever to make some kind of living as a writer. It seems as though so many of these job postings want SEO skills, which I don’t have but can definitely learn. That seems to me a whole lot of hype and a convenient way to filter out people who don’t have a lot of experience and tech savvy. Everything is not a sales opportunity, but most of the people looking for writers are trying to sell something, so…they want their site or product to pop up first when people do searches for their keywords. Hooray for capitalism, one more time. I will start boning up on the SEO tools shortly. That’s what YouTube is for.

The volcano is still cranking out lava like it’s going out of style. I think Mt. Etna is also making some noise. There are more volcanos on the planet than I thought. Iceland is one big rift between two tektonic plates, and there is perpetual movement of the Earth beneath our feet. I still find that utterly fascinating; there’s another world going on, invisible to us. The volcanos appear to be a window into that other world, showing us the underworld for a brief period. This is the stuff that inspired mythology of Hades, and Hell, and Satan. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of, but I find a certain beauty to it.

Since I’ve been watching this volcano in Iceland for the past couple of months, the notion of all good things coming from above and all bad things coming from below is serving me less and less. The underworld is still a part of the natural world, and I have doubt it is equally valid. There is life there, probably beyond our comprehension. There is a lot on the planet that is beyond our comprehension.

I suppose that because something is beyond my comprehension does not imply that I must work to comprehend it. I will never comprehend some things, like math. Some mathematicians, however, cannot comprehend music, or art, or literature. I suppose that is as it should be, but I frequently want things not really available to me. Like being an athlete. It’s just not happening, not where my skills lie. I have great skill for winding up on the ground when engaging in most sports, but I don’t imagine that’s the point.

It’s a nice evening outside, with the temperature rather pleasant. I enjoyed sitting out with the dog for a few minutes, even though she didn’t take care of business. Whatever. It’s her bladder. Now that I’m back inside, I’m suddenly tired, exhausted even. I had pizza earlier, and cheesy bread. That was a bad move, but I did it and I own it, and more or less enjoyed it. I still have a good bit of it left for lunch tomorrow, which is fine, but I suspect it was the carb load that has me so tired. Hopefully, I will sleep well. My sleep is a bit troubled because of the job situation, but so be it.

this about sums it up…

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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