Friday, 19 September 2014

Walk away in silence

April 2010. I had been working in the bank for three years; a solid job with stability and progression. But behind the career and the payslip, the way of routine and monotony had begun to wrap itself tightly around me. I was suffocating beneath a wave of my own stillness and self-loathing. I sat in a cash office in the same seat every day, confined to the cushion of a chair 9 to 5. I smiled because it was highlighted to do so in contract. I served the same customers at the same time day after day. I talked about the weather. I talked about the weekend. I talked about the weather and I talked about the weather.

The original feelings of pride and autonomy in contributing to work life had long disappeared.  I had once enjoyed the job. I enjoyed the constant meanderings and busyness on the streets and on the morning train. I had met interesting people and made wonderful work friends. But one cannot deny ones feelings. Pressure and desire chipped away at me. I began doubting the process, doubting the integrity of the job at hand and doubting my own ability to continue contributing. The thoughts of pointlessness in my existence began to swirl around my brain and I allowed them to swirl endlessly. I was angry.

I had good friends. A loving family. No one would want to hear the complaints and concerns of someone like me. I had a good job. I worked hard. But I convinced myself I was underachieving and that I would always be underachieving. I had let my parents down in everything I had ever done and I had failed them and failed myself. I was angry.
The job became tedious. I became paranoid that I wasn’t liked by other people. I began disliking people for no good reason. I was angry. I was constantly subdued and increasingly rude to customers. 
The finest example coming one idle Friday when a gentleman came through the doors and politely asked:

“Excuse me; am I in the right place to lodge a cheque?”

My charming reply: “Eh ye, it’s a fucking bank!”

Not me. Not me at all. The guilt of my smartness ate me up that day and confirmation of the need to escape from the setting came soon afterwards when an elderly woman suffering with Alzheimer’s entered the building and a clerk saw an opportunity to coil her into opening a new account. Sheer exploitation and downright wrong. I hated it all. I was angry.

I became very relaxed towards reaching goals and getting things done. I didn’t care.  I stopped getting up early. I began arriving late. I stopped getting up full stop. I was always sick. Cold after cold; Chest infection after chest infection. I cried in the mornings at the thought of it all. I wanted out. I was angry.

There were other key factors outside of work that were hindering my mood and my belief is that in this instance, the job was the medium in which my anger and hate were channelled and proceeded to eat me up. I was suffering badly with my asthma; a condition I once had as a child, but had recently being diagnosed with it  again. I struggled to deal with emotionally and physically and I didn’t know how to control it. I was angry.

Almost every close friend I had was in a relationship; buying a house; planning a baby; planning a wedding. I was single. Despite being comfortable in my own skin and wholly independent, I was often lonely and I had need and want for companionship and love. I was still lacking confidence in sports. I was never as good as any of my friends at football. My inability to compete at the level that they did hurt me. I was angry.

These are simple things; life problems which the average person comes upon daily. Issues and niggles that were in so many ways extremely innocent and unimportant, but I allowed them to become deeply severe. Combining all this hurt and supposed neglect, I failed to see clarity and I lost faith in myself.

It was time to go.

I was no longer angry. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, David, I found some time to come check out your blog. You are such a good writer!

    I understand your ordeal you write of here. I've been through many an existential crisis myself. I could probably write a whole book, but I am not ready to relive some of my life experiences.

    Right now I am going through a little bit of a crisis, because my psych doc asked me about my FUTURE and what I want my life's PURPOSE to be. I hate that she had to go messing with my mind. I was happy with being apathetic. I've been extremely happy with my life: going to work and coming home to a good book. Now I feel life squeezing in on me. Am I going to die under a pile of books if I continue hoarding books and stop going out? For now I'm going to think and write poetry about the futility of existence until I figure out how to live my life.