I have been in an angsty period for the past few months, though recently things are starting to come together. An unrequited crush, an unsuccessful interview, and, honestly, a little persistent headache. No, I haven’t gone crazy with eyeliner and I am still wearing a few colors every once in awhile. I’ve gotten pretty good at battening down the angst-hatches and only bringing it out in phone conversations with my friends.
One upside to the internal drama is that all art suddenly starts to speak to me. It’s kind of hilarious, actually. Rock music that I usually find nauseating suddenly is meaningful and deep. I grab onto everything that even slightly references emotional pain and slip it on like a mink coat. “I Want You To Want Me”? Wow. They’ve really gotten to the pulse of humanity.
It’s kind of amazing how much our internal landscape shifts from day to day, week to week. Things that occupied every waking thought are inconsequential within six months. In a way, it’s comforting that these things are temporary, but it’s also sad. What if I want this pain to linger? What if I’m holding on so tightly because I know that otherwise the whole experience will disappear?
I think that dynamic is especially true of our hopes and dreams. Anyone who reads self-help literature (and I count myself among that lucky, enlightened, self-righteous number) knows that dreaming is a positive thing. It’s just that attaching to that dream makes things hard. I like someone and I imagine us married. I have a job interview and I imagine my next promotion, what my office will look like, how I’ll be invited to barbecues and christenings. When those things fail to materialize, it feels like a strange sort of failure.
But, as I’ve asked before, does that mean you don’t imagine your future? Some people would say that, I guess. I’m not sure.
Yesterday I opened my ‘Resumes!’ folder and counted my job applications: twenty-five. TWENTY-FIVE?!? And guess how many nos have graced my professional email inbox? TWENTY-FOUR! (Actually probably more like fifteen, thanks to that weird not-getting-back-to-you-even-though-you-spent-days-on-the-application thing.)
With every application, you send in a cover letter, a resume, references, and a little piece of yourself. How can you apply to something and not want it to be a part of your future? That seems like a total waste of time.
So my angst, I guess, is a response to those little pieces of myself being returned wrapped in a dented package. But interestingly, angst, in its own way, is moving me slowly forward. It shows that I care about what will happen to me. I care about my internal dramas! Maybe angst itself is not the most mature response to those kinds of feelings, but even maladaptive responses seems to serve a purpose. Composted mayhem, perhaps?
I’m doing my best to keep my eyeliner firmly zipped in my make-up case, and I’m trying to rein in the attachment. Music may be blaring my things-aren’t-working-out songs and I might be caught up in the drama, but at least I’m applying! At least I’m crushing! At least I care! And at least slowly, slowly, slowly, I am moving forward.
*If you missed my YouTube video and feel like emoting with me, check out it out here. And if you’re up for some seriously fascinating tweets, follow me at @srellisboo!*