Over the last two nights (actually really just tonight because last night he told me to bugger off cos he was busy commuting the north of Scotland) I have been speaking to my Dad about My Future.
Oh yes, the words you think are irrelevant when you’re young and then when you’ve got a steady job and then when you realise your future looks exactly the same as it did two years ago and will in two years time which would be fine if you were not turning 35 and in a wee bit of a rut.
Oh, they mean shit now.
There are many redunancies at work happening. Voluntary, probably all of them. What I’d get after five years is not a fortune, not by any means, but it would make a huge difference to my life. I could pay off my (crippling, mounting) debts. It would mean a new start, it would force me to be proactive in my life.
Not that I don’t love my job, I do. but my life has ground to almost a halt. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve had (well documented, lord you guys know) mental health issues with illness and all that crap. One might say asking to be made redundant, with all its vagueries and uncertainties and shit is a terrible idea.
I vacillated between “this is an awesome idea” and “this is a terrible idea” for the last almost two weeks. Now I have three days to make a decision, with no plan and with a fear that even if I did apply, I’d be rejected and lunge further into the well of despair. I love my colleagues and all I have ever wanted to do is write but I feel after everything that has happened these past few months that maybe I need to challenge myself again and try new things. Yes, with no ultimate plan, but to try and live again because I’ve only been living a half-life for such a while.
I can go back to Scotland or work in Europe. I can freelance and write my novel(s). I was basically offered a super PR job doing a super thing by a mate I saw tonight (without any prompting, ever, but it’s in Dec). Sure it would pay rubbish probably and it might never come through but it would be working with two chaps I care deeply about whom I’ve known for ages and it would be FUN.
So back to my Dad. I gabbled briefly to him last night and we agreed to talk tonight. By the time I got back to him I was all like “it’s ok, I’ve made my decision. I’m staying”. Dad was all like “hang on, let’s talk”.
He pointed out, fairly, that as long as I didn’t spend 6 months in my pyjamas (“I will call you every day to make sure you do not”) then this could be a great opportunity for me. I could come home for a while. There actually ARE jobs in Scotland. I could go back for six months, a year. Because if I didn’t take this opportunity I would stay here, in my rut, doing what I always do and getting nowhere.
I love my friends. I love my colleagues. I love being a journo. But things have been tough for me for the last year. It’s not just about the illness, it’s about not challenging myself to do something else. I know what my dreams are. I know what I want to do and they are not really that far away. Writing is me. That’s all. But if I was successful in asking for redundancy I’d have space to breathe. A chance to get out and an impetus to make it work. I would never fall back on my parents for help. They raised me better than that.
Maybe I’ve spent so long in this hole of brain-madness that the only way to get out is to do something drastic. My Dad understands. He says it’s an adventure (although I must get up early in the morning and out of pyjamas and DO shit, he will call me each day and say so).
I’ve never run away from shit. i’ve never left a job without another to go to. But maybe I need this to wake myself up and get out of all of this. Reality is, I’m making my decision this weekend. And I might go to the boss on Monday (when all applications are due) and he might say no. So the worst that can happen is that I carry on as before, although i don’t want to make a decision and get all worked up about it and then be all like….no). But I feel this immense need to change. I want to shake up my life. I might never get another chance.
Wish I knew one way or the other. And also that my Dad didn’t tell me exactly what I wanted to hear. That he has faith and I should just do it. It might not even work out that way. So – T-minus 3 days and counting…..