In truth, I tend to take a deist approach to these matters. I don't think God/the Universe/whatever gives enough of a fuck about me (or anyone else) to test me. I'd prefer to think the Universe isn't that much of a cunt, and I think that any personified higher power simply isn't that involved. The Universe behaves more like The Force in Star Wars.
Karma is simply the energy of our actions plus our circumstances. Some shit is simply beyond our control. Other shit may be in our control but we may not to be able to act on it in the most effective fashion. I'm at the breaking point with most of it, so I'm going to break it down further.
When I was still working a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke), I was driven by anxiety. There was the anxiety that I wasn't going to get to work on time. There was the anxiety that I wasn't going to get enough sleep. There was the anxiety that I wasn't going to be able to get any writing done. I was bound and determined that working a J.O.B. wasn't going to stop me from doing what I really wanted to do.
All along, I gaslighted myself with Teh Big Dreem. You know the one. The dream where I become an overnight sensation, am able to quit my job, meet Teh Handsum Prints, and live Haplessly Ever After. Yeah. That one.
Today, approximately three years beyond when I was last able to work for someone else, the chickens have come home to roost. But these chickens are not gentle hens laying golden eggs of inspiration. Nor are they funny Foghorn Leghorns, cheering me on with cheeky comedy gems. Nor are they Little Red Roosters serenading me with smoky blues numbers. Nope, these chickens are the shadows of the shit I avoided dealing with for decades. They are fucking trauma vampires and they are fucking with my head.
All of my life, I had to fight against an enemy and my writing sustained me in the fight. When I was in school, the enemy was the fuckers who bullied me. I was determined that one day I would have my revenge on them by being successful and adored by the public while they rotted away in loveless marriages with ungrateful children, toiling away at dead-end jobs they hated.
Once I started working for a living (if you could call it living), my job became the enemy. My writing was going to lift me above the rat race and, depending on how much I loathed the job, I would either benevolently put in my two weeks' notice or I would burst into a rousing chorus of Take This Job and Shove It. Either way, my cruise ship to the High Life would come in, and for once I wouldn't be at the airport.
I actually did work at the airport for a while, first in a bookstore and then in a clothing shop. It was kind of fun at first. It started sucking pretty quickly. My boss at the clothing shop was bugfuck crazy and her son would have made the kid from the Omen pee his pants. The little monster was completely out of control. I literally had a headache anytime she brought him with her. I'm sure he went on to set fires to mailboxes or worse. Not even joking about that.
Currently, the U.S. disability system is the common enemy, but I don't know if I'm up to taking on the entire-ass corrupt system currently in place. I'm fighting it by exposing it, but I don't have the energy to do much else and I have my doubts that anyone is listening.
Disability is even worse than working a J.O.B. in most ways. I don't have to punch a time clock and I don't have to answer to a power-hungry supervisor, but I do have to follow a set of unrealistic, Draconian rules. To break free of the clutches of the U.S. disability system, I would have to make an unrealistically large amount of money. I would literally have to become an overnight millionaire.
Although the federal government sees the piddling amount that I make from book reviews as insignificant and allows me to claim the standard deduction, SSD doesn't see it that way. I have virtually given up doing book reviews for pay because I don't want to have to report that nothingburger to disability and risk having my benefits lowered. Most of the time I make less than $100 doing these reviews. It's a fucking hobby. It isn't a real job. But I still have to declare "self-employment income" from it. Fuck my life.
I'm trying to do better with the whole self-care thing, (I kind of hate that term, to be honest), but I'm so used to burning the candle at both ends and running myself to the point of exhaustion. Taking care of myself doesn't come naturally. Youth, stupidity, magical thinking, and self-medication used to mask the damage that I was doing to myself.
Obviously, I'm no longer young. I may still be stupid as a bag of bricks, but I'm no longer able to gaslight myself with magical thinking. The only "self-medication" I do these days involves shit prescribed by the doctor. Antihypertensives, asthma and allergy medicines, diabetic medications including insulin, eye drops for glaucoma, anti-rosacea cream that makes my face feel like I've been mummified for several millennia, thyroid medication, and triglyceride-lowering medication just don't hit the same as booze, pot, and illicit pills.
These days my idea of a party is seeing if I can find something that doesn't suck too much on Amazon Prime to watch while playing games on my smartphone to earn Amazon gift cards. I have people that I like but nobody I can call a friend because I always feel like I'm bothering people. I'm a loner by nature but sometimes I wish there was somebody that I could bounce things off. I honestly don't know how to be a friend because I don't trust anybody. I've got my reasons.
Well, it's party time. And by that I mean time for me to take the aforementioned medications. Are you jealous yet?
Spirit of the Universe, I'm trying hard not to give up. I'm trying to make it make sense. I'm trying to take responsibility for my health. Maybe I could have a win--just a small one?
~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~
Things Ornery can't do anymore
Free use image from Open Clipart Vectors
52 Weeks of Writing
The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese If You Please (Or Don't Please)
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