I came back from the countryside with sharp revelations, as grating as the crests of these insistent wisdom teeth: I don’t like working! I really don’t! I need to work out some other fashion of tending to my days. And, of course, tending to the other needs: martinis, trips to Alton Towers, late returned book library fines, organic stoneground heritage flour for loaves. I want to try and need less; I am learning. But still, there have to be better ways to fund this life of mine.
I have tried many, many things, which make my mother wonder how to explain to me to the neighbours. I slant and slip and struggle over attempts to herd off a career. I am ever-fearful of waking up trapped in conventional employment, pulling on unsnagged tights for the office, painting my face in a vestige of the normal woman.
So many jobs I have slithered into: Switzerland silver service waitress, barkeep, kitchen manager, token NY hipster bar Scot, Scottish Water site quality control technician, venue founder/manager, business director, European Voluntary Service project manager, arts collective administrator, mentor, used underwear saleswoman, $5 per 500 words article writer, tutor, proofreader, ebook composer, writer, writer, writer.
Actually, I like to pretend the writing is a job. The money I have made from it adds up, over the past decade, as something in the region of three grand. I hear the yelp of the dayjob howling at my coat tatters; I start typing CVs at my computer lest I have to face the world outside; I become immersed in other people’s semi-colons and develop a fury over the written word.
I thought I had sorted out what I want here, but there is a deeply wedged splinter in my palms that whines it’s inappropriate to get a first class Masters in Philosophy and then do nothing, do little, do service industry positions.
I think it is wrong. I know it is. All I want to do it make things up. I am yearning for time, an empty head, no more computers. I wish the entrails of the internet would explode. I wish I would stop making excuses.
I am grateful for small things, however. I work in long pink socks and neon skirts, I work in lingerie, I work naked under a downy January duvet that keeps the draughts from my toes. I am going to stop now and take myself to a public house to spend money I didn't make today because I was besotted with the wrong internet things.
I know, I know! But I have a good feeling things are going to work out fine.