Thursday, 23 September 2010

The post too big for a title


That there is the line I've drawn underneath all and everything that has happened in the last two months. There's been a litany of reasons for my fall into this most epic of writing black holes and I'd be lying if I said sitting down to write now, after two months of barely an email, is easy. It's oddly a physical challenge as much as a psychological one and pushing past all the rejection and self-confidence issues that have overwhelmed me lately feels like pushing over a wall of concrete in order to stagger up a really steep hill. But because I've drawn a line and because I'm now needing to write in order to move forward I'll neatly summise the two key events that kneecapped me and then, well, draw another line:

- First: an email from the editor at an unnamed art magazine telling me my writing style was "too broadsheet for the particular kind of art journalism they were looking for." With the kicker: "but I'm not saying no-one will ever publish your work." This is the first time I've written since receiving that email and I still feel sick and ashamed and a bit beaten.

- Then: a successful job application that lead to what even I, in my most pathetically self-doubting moments, know was a good interview.... only to then have to chase the HR department to confirm that I didn't get the job and for the kind of lame reason that says "Oh no,we never intended to hire you. We already had someone lined up for the job but, because that looks incredibly dodgy, we had to waste the time and efforts - oh and emotional energy - of a bunch of strangers to legitimate what we'd already decided before we put the job ad out." It doesn't matter this was only the second interview I've managed to get in nine months or the fact I was born to do this job.

I was destroyed. Flattened. Defeated. I may have even been sobbing in an alleyway off Kings Road with snot running down my face. I was then and still rather am now just a tad exhausted. But the beautiful thing about getting to emotional ground zero, particularly in the department of all things career, is that you can't then get any lower. And once you get used to the cold, hard, dark ground on which you lie, and once you exhaust the tears and once the deafening voices in your head that scream "YOU ARE A FAILURE" simmer to a low hum, well, that cold, hard, dark ground becomes cool and peaceful. And the solitary nature of this place becomes somewhere to retreat, a place to accept and just be, a place to consider new options, re-consider old ones and to just clock out for a while on the whole "what is the meaning of my life/what can I contribute to the world/do I have any value/will I ever earn more than £7 an hour" head fuck that has been my intellectual reality for way too long now.

With confidence broken, opportunities lost and hope missing like a favourite sentimental earring, well, it's a good time to just stop. And then, slowly, begin again. And/or go to Turkey.


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