Something to show for it all

person walking across an empty parking lotI’ve been thinking a lot about my situation, lately, and the thoughts haven’t all been very encouraging. Basically, I feel as though I’ve spent 25 years building up my skills, gathering experience, learning some really tough lessons along the way… only to be pushed out of the way for political reasons, or by people who want what I have, but haven’t actually earned it.

I know, I’m being incredibly unrealistic in this respect, wanting to see some sort of payoff for all the years of investment and dedication. That’s not how the world works, I hear you say? Yeah, well, in some parts of the world it is.

And I’m not currently situated in that part of the world.

I suppose this is just what happens, when you’ve been around for a while. Eventually, people who understand what you do and get it, “age out” and move on. I’m really noticing that, these days, because the people who really understand me and realize what it is that I do are 10-15 years older than me. And they’re ramping up their exits from the world I inhabit. Retiring. Or dying. Disappearing, in one way or another. So, my allies and advocates are getting fewer and farther between. Which leaves me standing alone in the midst of the crowd, wondering if everybody realizes just how mediocre everything has become…

I can’t shake this horrible feeling of having wasted so many of my years. After all the work, after all the dedication, after all the determination, what do I have to show for it? I can’t go back to school, because while I have the money, I don’t have the time or the bandwidth. I’ve tried it. I can’t manage an academic course load of any size while I’m working full-time. My partner’s health is declining, and it just feels like I’m biding my time till she worsens and passes away — which is a terrible way to feel, when it’s the love of your life. I don’t know what’s happening with work, or what I even want to happen. I would sorely love to get out of technology, but they money’s too good, and I’ve sunk too many years into that activity to move into another space. I have some ideas about how to move forward, but nothing is very clear, right now.

Well, anyway, the world is full of opportunities, and if I don’t see them, that’s on me. I just get a little tired of doing so much work and not having much to show for it. Or maybe I’m just looking for the wrong payoffs. Maybe I’m casting too wide a net and expecting too much from my efforts. I tend to do that. I have plenty of ideas in my mind about how things should be and what should come of them, but I’m not always tapped in to the reality of how things truly work.

And maybe I’ve been seeing payoffs all along, I just haven’t realized it, because I’m so focused on doing and doing and doing… always moving, always making, always creating… the point is the journey, not the destination, with me. But every now and then, I stop and look around and wonder what in heaven’s name I’m actually working towards.

I’m in a transition phase, that’s for sure. I work with people who actively try to thwart what I’m doing, who hide their agendas from me, and who take credit for my work. They don’t know what they’re doing, actually, and they don’t listen to my guidance. They’re too busy finding out for themselves. I’m superfluous. Especially since they believe that nothing now is the same as it was 25 years ago. I’m not going to change them, so I need to amend my own point of view and/or my own situation.

That being said, I need to go out for a walk. I made a point of bringing walking clothes with me, so I can stretch my legs. It’s 3 hours ahead of my usual time, and I have a few hours before I have to start my official day. I’ve got lots of room to roam, which is good. And I can think about how I’ll spend my afternoon on Friday, since I’ll have a lot of time to spend after the conference is over. It’ll be Friday afternoon, back East. Nobody will be working or emailing me. I’ll be able to explore and take in some museums, I think. There are lots of museums nearby.

Anyway, enough typing. Enough stewing. I’m in limbo, not sure where I belong, not sure where I’m going. Just floating, trying to keep myself upright in the roiling sea. Unmoored. I’m unmoored. But I can’t think about that now. I need a walk.


4 thoughts on “Something to show for it all

  1. Out of everything you discussed at length, my mind kept coming back to your brief comment about your partner’s health. It’s something over which I know you have little real control. I also know that in a similar situation it would at once be the most central and important thing to me and the thing on which I would try to focus the least. For me, everything else pales in importance. Career, education, and the rest have always been more means to meet the demands and needs I saw. In a lot of ways, my partner is the reason I kept tackling everything else, I kept finding new depths of resources, and even now still keep trying to deal with … whatever is in front of me.

    We are all different, of course, but I have a sense that your single sentence sandwiched and almost buried in a paragraph between issues with school and work might be the most important and revealing sentence in your post. I have no advice. I don’t know there is any that anyone could offer. I can only offer my empathy. That has to be really, really hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. VisualVox

      Thanks Scott. Yeah, it’s not my favorite thing. And yes, ,my partner’s health really overshadows everything, to the point where it’s hard to enjoy much of anything or even relax. I definitely need to get some support, but where to turn? Whenever I’ve reached out before, the selective mutism kicks in… plus, the alexithymia makes me look like an unfeeling a**hole, and the fact that I’m a woman and she’s a woman throws people off, for some reason. I mean, your life partner is in poor health and you need support – what difference does your gender make, honestly?

      Well, I’ll figure it out. I just have to keep my priorities straight. And make sure I get my regular walks in. They really help clear my mind when i need it most.

      Thanks again for writing. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I definitely understand how it feels when you can’t speak and how difficult it can be to express things in emotional ways. Though as someone who presents and is perceived as male, the demands and expectations in that department tend to be less for me. And yeah, it’s ridiculous that people get focused on things like gender instead of the need for support.

    I know how easy it can be to let the things that help slip and fall away. It sounds like you do need to keep your walks going. I’m glad you see that. My self-perception often isn’t all that great.

    Good luck and take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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