On Facing Myself

I realize I haven’t been posting much. It’s just…I’ve been afraid.

I’m currently in the middle of looking for a new job. I need one, badly. I’m barely making ends meet and it seems every day my boss has a new way of aggravating me. But, of course, as everyone says, with the economy the way it is…

So far I’ve had two phone interviews, but that’s it. A lot of emails trying to scam me.

I haven’t had anything to post here because I’m being bad, I’m being afraid of myself. I haven’t gone down to my little basement temple in months now because I know that if I go there, I’m going to have to face all these fears that are building up about myself–what if I have no future at all? What if the economy crumbles and I can never make a decent living and can’t pay off my student loans? How could I have made the stupid financial decision of getting a degree in dance? Have I ruined my life?

You know, stuff like that. It’s hard, too, because all the other young people I know (except my sister, her boyfriend, and my boyfriend) are having these problems. The kinds of jobs young recent college graduates usually get are easy to replace with unpaid interns, or to get rid of altogether. And we’re on uneasy footing, just figuring out how to walk on our own in the world, and we don’t have enough experience for any jobs. It’s very frustrating to see all of my friends floundering around, too. And that makes me feel like there’s no hope for my future–if even my friends who I think of as so strong and capable can’t find decent jobs, how could I hope to?

To make it worse, my housemates, my twin sister and boyfriend, are doing awesome. My sister’s company is paying for her to get an MBA that she’s starting in a few weeks, and Gent is fulfilling his dream of being an architect. And it makes me feel inferior as a result.

I try to make myself feel better about it by pointing out that I have my first professional performance of my own choreography coming up in a month. I’m doing pretty much everything to get the show up, and I think it’s going to be a success. I love the work I’ve made. I’m living my dream.

But somehow it’s not enough. Because this show is costing me far more money than we’re going to make in ticket sales even if we sell out. Because dance isn’t really a viable career choice. Because I’m afraid people won’t like my show.

To top it all off, I’ve realized that I haven’t much felt Freyja around since moving to Philadelphia two years ago. I don’t think she likes it here–it’s ugly and people are cruel and violent. There isn’t very much beauty and few flowers, especially in my neighborhood that is quite industrial and concrete.

And so I can’t go down into my temple. I know if I go down there I’m going to have to deal with my insecurities and my fears about losing Freyja, and I just don’t want to. Soon, hopefully, I will have the strength to do it, and hopefully I will come out happier on the other side like I always do. But I’m not ready to face it yet.

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6 thoughts on “On Facing Myself

  1. Oh Salena! I brag about you all the time to my friends. You’re a professional dancer. That’s incredibly impressive. Yes, that comes with poverty, but that’s true of all “artists” when they start out. I am so proud of you!

    You’ll get another job. You’re amazing.

  2. Like you said, the same is true for all of my recently-graduated friends. The economy is in the toilet right now and even those with internships are finding they weren’t “enough.” I didn’t finish my degree, and so I work retail at a big box store. It’s nothing close to what I imagined I’d be doing with my life, but I still try to be the best at what I’m doing. That means I’m now competing with two people who were previously over me to be their boss. “It’s not what you do but how you do it” that needs to be a mantra in times like these. Have you considered looking outside your area of specializing? You’d be amazed at how many doors any old bachelor’s degree can open. I know, because those doors are closed to me.

    As for your Gods, I think there’s this hope that we get to have “high-woo” or highly mystical experiences all the time. As one who gets the very occasional “blip” of a feeling as opposed to regular interaction, I think the true growth comes when we stick to the path even after the spiritual high has faded. You may find reading In the Spirit of Happiness by the Monks of New Skete interesting, as it talks about monastic life and how it starts out very powerful, very transformational, and pleasurable, even. And then it becomes routine, and it’s not “special”-feeling anymore. I’m not calling the motivations of your spirituality into doubt, only noting that most everybody feels this way after a time. The hard part is pushing through it.

    As they said above, “this too shall pass.” And, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” Good luck.

    • Thank you very much for this thoughtful comment. My current job is outside my area of expertise, but is too far outside to be at all fulfilling. But I’m sure I’ll find something else soon.

      I will have to look into that book, you probably have a point about it. i used to have such intense religious experiences all the time, but I’m not having to teach myself how to be a pagan anymore, it’s become routine.

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