Remembering Who I Am

I don’t eat shit very well. Some people can do that, but I’ve never been any good at it.

Desperation is a funny thing, though. Desperation whispers in your ear and tells you to change your perspective. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you are desperate until after the fact.

I’ve been unemployed for almost six months now. My state unemployment insurance will run out soon. I really need to find a job.

So when a position that I would be incredibly qualified for at one of my old jobs opened up this week, I stopped by to talk to my old boss to see if there was any chance I would be considered. After all, we didn’t part well, but some time has passed. Perhaps we could come to an understanding about expectations and try this all again.

You might ask, “What was I thinking?” I certainly thought it. But I know what the answer was. I was thinking about paying bills. That’s really all I was thinking about.

Desperation was whispering in my ear. It whispered loud enough that I temporarily forgot how I spent three years being marginalized and diminished. How no idea I ever brought forward was ever implemented or treated with respect until it was echoed by someone else. How I was treated as though I was stupid or inexperienced or uneducated on whatever the subject was.

How I was forced to eat shit day in and day out.

Fortunately, as I sat prostrating myself before this boss who spent three years refusing to acknowledge any of my accomplishments and demeaning me, she did it again. She told me straight up I wouldn’t be qualified for this new position, suggesting the three years of work I did for her did not amount to “professional experience.” She disparaged every one of my achievements on her behalf again.

And I remembered that I’m not very good at eating shit. I remembered that I am a published author with a brand new short story out, who is enjoying trying to fulfill his dreams.

I remembered that it is possible to pay bills and maintain my dignity.

So I told desperation to shut the hell up. I’ll find something that pays the bills until being a published author does it that doesn’t involve me working for someone who has no respect for me as a person or a professional. I remembered who I am.

And I’m not going to forget again.

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