Forty Two

It’s been an awfully long time since I’ve been this depressed.

The last time was probably at that den of ego and incompetence I left to start the store, when I had to force myself not to swerve into oncoming traffic every day. I’d say after the store, but mostly there, I felt like a failure, but a failure with lessons to learn. There was somewhere to go. Plus, there was the relief of having been through worst case scenario and somehow still muddling through. There’s something about losing everything that’s kind of freeing. It forces you to make decisions. To think laterally.

And yet somehow, I ended up in limbo.

I don’t ever remember having this little hope in the possibility of a future.

Ironically, it comes just as I feel I’ve finally reached a place in my writing ability (these mostly unedited posts notwithstanding) where the possibility of a career doesn’t seem entirely out of reach.

Then I read about a woman, a first time author, who just signed a huge deal after a bidding war in multiple countries, because apparently, her first novel is so utterly brilliant, it can’t help but to be an instant classic.

And so, I thought, there’s hope.

Then I read further. The woman is an ex-employee of Penguin, very highly placed, knows everybody in the industry, marketing, and all that and I couldn’t help but think.

She simply knows the right people.

I don’t begrudge her what was surely years of networking and possibly, being such a good person and prodigious talent that she deserves everything she’s getting. I don’t know her. She could be everything she’s marketed to be.


Part of me suspects it’s those connections creating the hype and not that she’s a particular generational talent. For the kind of money they were talking about, this probably isn’t a literary classic, but rather, something more in the veins of a YA or detective novel. It could be a literary classic, but is the hype because she managed a great deal through her connections and now, they’re forced to overhype it to guarantee enough sales to break even? If that’s the case, that makes me sad, because you know there’s some author out there who has written something of equal or greater brilliance, but gets neither the hype nor the paycheque.

Then again, I could be wrong. It could be everything they’re saying. At the end of the day, it’s the work that will determine that. Hype will still force some people to defend it even if it doesn’t live up to standards, even if it’s poor. Maybe it is brilliant and she’ll end up in the pantheon of the true greats.

I’m probably just jealous that she had the network to do that. My career trajectory took me in a direction where I know nothing and no one in the industry.

Hell, I can’t even get responses to anything I send out and that includes resumes for non-publishing related jobs. I’m not even worth the rejection.

I’m not even worth an insulting rejection.

I feel like a ghost.

I used to surround myself with friends and family, particularly on my birthday. I have no friends to speak of these days, but family is still absolutely crucial to me. This year, they all made other plans. I might as well have just stayed home in bed. I couldn’t even convince my wife to go to a movie with me the night before, and she’s pretty well always in my corner.

I’m becoming increasingly isolated, in desperate need of a kind voice and a major life change. I feel like I’m surrounded by selfish, myopic idiots, particularly at work, but since I have a standing policy to blame myself and to credit responsibility for my life’s current state to my own behaviour and/or inactions, I can only ask if it’s my fault, and what I can do to fix it.

My options seem limited further and further by the minute.

I no longer know what to do. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find any perspective, let alone one that might help me out of this.

I feel like I need a saviour though I know no saviour is coming.

I really have nothing else to say in the matter.

Update: I held off on posting this because it’s so goddamn navel-gazingly myopic.

I’m posting it now, post-birthday, because you know what? Things turned out just fine. My family showed up, I had a good time, and I think overall, the day went pretty well, save my sister’s new puppy putting a hold in my new Deadpool bathing suit. She’s pretty darn cute, though, that little mutt, so all is forgiven.

It pays to show how easily one can get into one’s head and how a little time and perspective can change the ballgame. It’s easy to mark depression as “forever” and “unavoidable” and “oh-my-god-nothing’s-going-to-be-better-ever-again-so-what’s-the-point”, but ultimately, with a little effort and time, sometimes, just waiting it out or getting a snack or a decent night’s sleep is enough to let the monster exhale and slow down a little.

For what it’s worth, I pulled a tarot card from my collection on the morning of my birthday to see what the next year held. It was the Chariot, signifying movement, change and progress.

So, you know… the universe speaks, even in coincidence. Things change, whether you believe in extranatural causes or not, and whether or not you change with them.

Everything changes, better to worse, worse to better. We control how we respond to that. It’s the only thing we do control.

And if we have the choice, change and be better or stay mired in misery, is there really any choice at all?

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