I got an email from my boss today, which punctured the tenuous joy of my vacation and sent me spiraling downward. I’ve been holding onto the edge of okayness for a while, and in the 30 seconds it took me to read her email, I lost my grip altogether. It wasn’t actually anything she said that broke my grasp, the contents of the email addressed something I may have not followed through with to the degree that was necessary, but that doesn’t really matter. It was just another reminder of how mismatched I am with my job, and my feeling of sadness at not knowing how to change it.

I sat on the couch in parents’ family room for about an hour, sobbing, while my mom sat next to me, not knowing what to do besides hand me kleenex and watch my mascara stream down my cheeks. In the moments between gasping breaths, I managed to hiccup out a few words. I told her how sad I feel being me. How I feel like I will never be able to do the job I’m employed to do very well, because at heart I am not a perfectionist, and my job really requires one. How I feel like there is nothing in the world that I am good at. That even in the moments when I remember how much I like writing, how much joy I feel at creating a good sentence that can tell a story and make someone feel transported, I am also defeated by the difficulty of it and the near-impossibility of finding success at it.

Right now I feel broken and unhappy. I don’t know how to get out from underneath this. I haven’t cried like this in years, and the tears are still close.

0 thoughts on “Sad

  1. seadragon

    Hey cheer up. Without knowing the situation, I can’t say whether you’re being too hard on yourself, but I suspect you are. It doesn’t sound like your boss was drawing the same conclusions you are about your overall ability and worth at the job.

    And remember… you’re home now with the goal of relaxing. Try to enjoy being there and put the email out of your head for now.

  2. Melissa

    Hon, don’t let yourself get too upset by this. It might not be a good job fit, but it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. If you work in the corporate world, I can tell you from my own experience, there is little allowance for the differences between people. I’m not a perfectionist either and sometimes it’s very hard to work in a world of them. But you’re young and you will definitely find a job that fits you (the way you are).

    Next meetup we really do need to sit closer to each other so we can actually chat.

    Have a wonderful holiday time at home!

  3. aasmodeus

    Merry Christmas Baby, you surely treat (us) nice — Springsteen

    job != life

    you have done some wonderful things with a wonderful group that we know. that is more than i can say of many people and it is now obvious to me that what you’ve done and continue to do is more important than you realize.

    job != life

    what will you end up with at the end of your life? recollections of how well you submitted form ab to apply for grant gx in order to get research vc done? or the beautiful friends and family who love you for who you are and how you’ve treated them and are there to support you and will remember you fondly whenever you’re not with them and rekindle your spirit again and again? my job and money don’t seem to do that for me, ever. i’m just sayin’.

    job != life

    if you’re not doing well at one job, and you’ve been trying really hard, then perhaps it’s not a good fit. that doesn’t mean it’s your fault that it’s not a good fit and that no other job will ever be a good fit because you are the oddball peg that matches no shaped hole in existence. it’s just not a good fit.

    I just wanna say … merry Christmas baby
    And happy new year too

  4. aasmodeus

    that was freaky. melissa and i posting the same thing about good fit. at the same time (i was typing mine still and didn’t see hers).

    and then the peg thing. and she’s forever square. 🙂

    coincidence? dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn.

    see you in the new year marisa. remember, it takes work to keep this outlook alive. one day at a time, one prayer at a time. it’ll get easier to remind yourself of who you are and what you’re here for and what’s important in life. then it’ll get easier to shift focus away from those distractions which bring you down.

  5. Jamie

    Others have touched on it but I want to reinforce that you have so much other stuff to focus on besides your job. Your job right now is just a place you spend time, your life is everything else, and that is where the good stuff is. I am glad you have your mom there with you, accept no subtitutes at times like these.

  6. tinapopo

    Marisa, your post made me so sad. I know how you feel, and I’m not just saying that to sound empathetic. I work in IT, but didn’t go to school for it. I’m learning it as I go, and I’ve gotten pretty good, but I’m no network analyst. I like it, but there are times when it’s rough, particularly when major things happen like network crashes, etc. I’m constantly being told by our tech vendors that our company should hire a “real IT person,” which in all honesty — they probably should. But for now, I’m all they’ve got. And those comments don’t help with my morale.

    It’s just a job, but it’s something you spend a lot of time doing, and even more time thinking about. If it’s hurting you this much, maybe it’s time to move on. I know that’s easier said than done, but sometimes it’s worth the leap.

  7. christian

    change is always good and maybe it’s time to grab a fistfull of it. You know that if you dedicated yourself to your job then you would excell at it. It’s all about the journey and not so much where you end up. You said that to me in Rittenhouse. I think it’s time to watch What the Bleep…or reread the Alchemist and regroup. The truth is that if you really want to write for a living then you will, and if you dedicate yourself to it the universe will conspire to let you in the door. The rest is up to you. Have a great holiday, Marisa, and enjoy the left the coast.


  8. Marisa

    Thank you all for all you’ve said. I’ve reread the comments about four times now, trying to soak it all in.

    Hey Luna, I wasn’t checking my work email, she actually emailed me on my personal account.

  9. isadora

    Oh my gosh!
    To err is human! THere’s a reason that phrase is cliche. Although if you’re not happy in your job that’s a whole ‘nother story. you’ll get there, I know! Can’t wait to see you. Love your blog!

  10. Scott

    I was in a job that I didn’t like at all for about 3.5 years (though I didn’t realize how much I didn’t like it until I started a much better job.. odd, huh?) and it really changed my personality. I wasn’t as much fun to be with and I was generally not in a good place.

    It is tough to be in a job that you don’t think is a good match, but as others have said you are much more than your job. You define your job, your job doesn’t define you.

    Trust your Uncle Scottycakes.

    Ok, that just made this comment a little too creepy, even for me.

  11. Katey Schultz

    just catching up on your blogs here. the thing that struck me about our talks at the reunion was how eager you were to talk about writing, and how now we’ve found we have this wonderful thing in common. if you haven’t herad of it before, you NEED TO SIGN UP FOR THE ARTIST’S WAY COURSE. seriously, it’ll change your life. that’s what finally helped me leave my job and tackle the writing life. you’re right, it’s not easy – but neither is doing work you DON’T love. anyway, hang in there. and if you want to know more about the course, i’ll fill you in.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *