Alexander Gordon Jahans
In about 8 hours I begin my first proper job, and I feel fine. Nervous sure, comes with the territory, but I feel fine. I am reminded of how in World War Z the impending victory is when people would lose it. Like an elastic band round tighter and tighter until the slightest easing of the pressure causes it to snap. I have been expecting that madness, to be sent giddy or panicky with the prospect of a return to normality. Yet I feel fine.
Make no mistake I know that if this goes well not only does my short and medium term life look much better with the extra injection of cash but my whole life could change for the better. This is my first day of work and the last time I had a first day of work it broke me, utterly snapped me like a twig because I just couldn’t hack it. I am aware of the stakes but I feel fine.
Do you want to know why I feel so fine about this job? Because everything about this is screaming my name. I got the porter’s job because I did everything you’re supposed to do, I got this job because I did everything you’re not supposed to do. This was a job I applied to by chance because Universal Credit fucked up and told me to apply for a government programme I wasn’t eligible for but the interview went so well they decided to take me on anyway. My train was late, my heels were bleeding, I gave a lecture on the hell of youtube as a living and I didn’t send confirmation that I was going to hand in my application form until the minute before I left to do so, leaving me waiting in an empty office for hours. This was a clusterfuck of chance and regret and it paid off. That’s the way I do it.
Do you know why that porter’s job so destroyed me? Why there was no way in hell it was ever not going to destroy me? Because I had no back up plan, because I expected not to fail, because I was deliberately low-balling my work possibilities for an easy life. At University I learned to be confident in myself but only in a hollow fragile sense. I was faking it until I made it because the slow burning mind bomb of Kallman’s Syndrome had yet to be resolved and I was in deep denial. Everything will be fine because I am awesome. Just don’t question it. Then it wasn’t fine.
Do you know why this job won’t destroy me? Because I’m playing to my actual strengths, not society’s fucked up assumptions of my strengths. And because I know exactly what happens if it does go tits up. I sign back on to Universal Credit and put more time into my volunteering, which by the way, it also going awesomely.
I have prepared for this day, mentally, physically and emotionally. Yeah, it’s going to be boring for a while and then it’s going to get manic but this is what I am good at and there is going to be a nice lead in period. I can do this. Not in an laddish bragging sense but in a quiet calm understanding of the task at hand and my ability to meet it sense.
And finally, do you want to know why Weresylph Dawning is at 70,000 words and still not finished? Because I get nothing from finishing a story and I know how to waffle. My brain is fast and it will just keep chugging away at a task, I need problems the way a racing engine needs explosions. This is why the feminists haunted me so much, why the trolls infuriated me at all and why my fiction kept growing in length. Because my mind needed problems and I needed a purpose. On my honour I haven’t seriously written anything since I took up Universal Credit and I probably won’t seriously write anything once I start this job. Writing was a crutch to give my life meaning and I don’t need it any more.
I remember there was a time when I considered television my life, that I would pass exam after exam, suffer beating after beating and always television was there for me. Then I went to university and there was no aerial connection and I became choosier. I started watching letsplays instead but letsplays so often are just comedy and they lack the necessary drama to be really engaging and meaningful. With things like Netflix and Amazon Prime video television is alive to me again courtesy of choice and bingeing.
Writing will always be a part of me, the Farsh-nuke will always be a part of me but I don’t need to write anymore so I don’t think I will, I have work to do and television to watch. And all you sad pricks creaming your pants off at the notion that I watch a children’s show when Doctor Who was designed as a family show aimed at adults and children alike can now sod off as I am watching shows that are very much aimed at adults. Shows like Game of Thrones, Hannibal, House Of Cards, the Thick of It and The West Wing.