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[personal profile] dar
I would like to go back in time a short bit to when my biggest lament was envy at not being able to go to Comic-Con, or indeed, any con (and probably never will get to). Actually, no I wouldn't because then I'd have to live through the last 24 hours again. Even the idea of living the next 24 hours has little appeal.

Yes, I'm using this again. I tried going other places but couldn't think of anything to say. And haven't had a bundle of thoughts to compress together for several months (that I couldn't express on Twitter, anyway).
2011 has, so far, been a year of disappointment. In people, things, technology, trends and worst of all, expectations. There's only about two or three people who haven't disappointed me so far, and even still I find myself a bit wary. Ronan moved back home (I'm not disappointed in him, just in the circumstances that forced his return). Paul finally crossed a line I didn't think even HE could. And my parents were willing to look the other way, because their idea of peace and quiet is Neville Chamberlain's idea of peace and quiet. So yeah, Lotta disappointment. Lotta hurt for a year I had a lot of hope for. All I wanted to do was work and go on a holiday, come back, save up again and emigrate. Maybe write a book or two along the way and have some good company, that's ALL I wanted out of life.
But work has been terribly thin, and I need to stop talking about that, I know, so just this once more and none again after. The sad thing, you know I was actually starting to like the garage? Compared to the bullshitters, the hacks, the bankers, the vultures, it was starting to feel so wonderfully honest to me. Yeah, it's dirty and hot and tiring, but it's REAL. There's no lie in sweat. I thought it was just an isolated dry spell and sooner or later we'd get another good month like January. But I noticed this morning, no hyperbole, there are literally fewer cars on the roads of Dublin. The traffic IS thinner. The number of cars noticeably smaller. I don't know what it is. People emigrating (lucky bastards) people switching to bicycles or public transport, people just plain not being able to afford to own a car. Whatever the explanation, the consequence is the same: hardly any work for mechanics.

And it could not have come at a worse time. Da has to go back into the hospital, again, for surgery. The good news is his health insurance will cover the operation. The bad news is, he'll be out of work for at least three weeks and being a self-employed working man, all he's entitled to from the government is their middle finger and a kick up the arse. We can't close the garage, because that would mean starving. And at the same time, the bare amount of work we're getting is hardly worth keeping the garage open. That leaves me and Ronan under pressure to find work to support the family (Paul won't help. He could easily afford to, but he won't). Ronan will probably fare better, since he's actually qualified, but I can safely tell you that job-searching has left me the most depressed I've felt in years.

Ad: "Wanted: someone with several degrees and a decade's worth of experience, right out of college, for menial tedium a nutless monkey could do."
Dar's brain: "...Why aren't I qualified for any of that? Oh right, because I spent a lot of years being crazy and getting my head sorted out. But surely getting your opening adult years wrong shouldn't count against the rest of your life, right? I hear of people in worse circumstances turning their lives around, how did they do it? Being mentally ill isn't going to work against me for the rest of my life, is it? Why do I have to be punished for being crazy years ago? Haven't I punished myself enough? This isn't fair, I just need to help out my family and you're not letting me because you don't believe in second chances or even first chances. You don't want a person, you want an ideal. You want perfection, meaning anyone who's ever been broken can go take a walk."

And on and on. Like that. Well into insomnia. Feelings of uselessness and self-recrimination. And paralysis. Things can't be as they are, but they're not able to move forward, either. My only real hopes are that we have enough to keep ourselves afloat, we get a storm of work out of nowhere, or I can get hired by someone, anyone, to do something, anything.
I can't even pay my own way. I've had two days of work in the garage in the last three weeks and all I've been able to earn on that has to go to the dentist. I need to get a filling on Wednesday, which I can't put off and will cost me €100. Health insurance won't cover dental stuff. Because that would be helpful, that's why. Unless something happens, there is so much I can't afford now, it's not funny. I've got €40 and change to get by on for the foreseeable future. Any emergencies, bills, food, luxuries or evenings out after that have to come out of my rather unimpressive savings.

So, I don't know what to do. There are no famine ships anymore, unfortunately. I feel frustrated, really. I have potential. I could do so much. I'm able-bodied, I'm healthy, I'm intelligent, I'm willing to work, I have no drug problems or animosity. And I can't reconcile that with knowing it isn't enough: I have to have been lucky and mentally sound years ago in order to help my family now. They looked after me growing up, and it's my turn to do the same for them and I CAN'T. Think how good that makes me feel. And on top of it all, there's me selfishly wondering if I'll even get to go to Japan after all.

I've punished myself enough. I just want to work. Anywhere.
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December 2011

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