I want to write about what it feels like to be unemployed, but I know that might be boring. I wrote too much, probably, about being about to be unemployed, and then there I am, unemployed, and it's a right old mess, and now I'm banging on about that all the time as well, rather than writing about all the stuff I should be writing about. I know all of this.
There was a part of me that thought "I'll have so much more to write about, and so much more time to write it in, now there isn't any work to drag me down," but that part of me was very wrong. There's something about writing when you have other things to do that means you have to work harder at it, or have less time to self-edit, which can be quite productive; sometimes it's better to have a deadline rather than an eternity, as it helps sharpen what you have to say. As it turns out, I'm writing less than I have done for ages. I am not so sure that is a good thing or a bad thing, but it's a thing. It is just a way of being, the same as writing too much was, when I did that. I look back at the multiple blog entries during a day, all the time trying to hold down a job, and I think, who on earth was that? Was that me? Was I really able to do that? Why did I do that? Why didn't I just relax? But I didn't. There was something driving me along, a sense of impetus, a sense of momentum. It's a feeling which has, I am afraid, started to fade a little. Not that it's gone forever, of course, at least I don't think it has - but it doesn't burn as brightly, right now, as it might have done, some time ago.
The days blur into one another; it becomes just a succession of days and nights, with the same contents shuffled around a little, the same tedious habits and routines put into a different order, the same you doing them, and the same feelings weighing you down. You want to look out of the window, but you don't look out of the window; you just close the curtains, and sit in the gloom, the semi-darkness, and stare at a screen. I am aware that this is not a good thing to be doing, but I do it just the same. A sense of frustration returns, a feeling that reminds me of being about 16 or 17, that restless feeling again, that desire to be anywhere, to do anything, if it's something, but the feeling that it is all impossible, that there's no way of achieving anything.
Every day is like Monday. There are no weekends. There is just a stream of days disappearing off into the distance, and a stream of unproductive days behind you. That's all there is, and it feels like that's all there is going to be. Of course, you tell yourself that this won't last, that there will be a way of getting out of all this; you know that it won't be forever, and it's going to be fine, and you'll look back on all this and reflect on it with humour and good grace. But then when you're in there, it's hard to imagine not being in there any more. It's hard to imagine everything being all right again, even if you're pretty sure that's how it's going to be. Every day is like Monday, and there are no weekends. It's just day after day that feels very much the same as the last one did. It's just day after day of ordinariness, of sameness, of being the same person in the same place, doing the same things.
And you think to yourself: well, what am I waiting for? I can change this. I can affect the world around me, and I needn't just sit around being a victim. Surely there must be some kind of way of barging through all this, of taking a battering ram to it all, of smashing down the walls and escaping. You think that, at first, but that possibility seems to fade and recede as the days pass. You think it still might be possible, theoretically, but there's no way of knowing what you're breaking down or what you'll do if you do succeed in doing it. And so you just stay in the same place, doing the same things, being the same person, with the same life, in a slightly gloomy, darkening room.