Tuesday, October 27

I dare you

I have no idea what I’m doing here

I am a brilliant person in search of a function. I always thought of myself as a slacker who didn’t accomplish anything because I don’t have a job and let’s face it that’s what you got to do to pay the bills and be a “useful member of society” right? However upon further reflection that’s the strange part because I can do everything BUT get a job.

I know more than most people about writing having written short stories, articles and two novels. I took up silver smithing and sold jewelry at the Saturday market. I went to college and got a two year degree in graphic design. I taught myself upholstering and have redone several chairs and a two couches. I studied tarot for fifteen years to the point of giving readings to my teachers. For two terms I taught an opera appreciation class at community college. I studied aikido for over fifteen years and have a black belt. I learned carpentry from my mom- a professional and did considerable remodeling of my house and built a Japanese style tea house in the back yard from scratch.

I can look at a blank map of the US and name all fifty states, most of the capitals, major rivers and mountains ranges. I kill at Trivial Pursuit. I had to answer two questions per turn when I played with my family. I once qualified as a contestant for Jeopardy. I have an encyclopedic memory for every movie I’ve seen and some I haven’t. Only imdb.com knows more. I have excellent “object identification” skill which is fancy way of saying I can find anything. I can walk through a house once and then draw a floor plan with the location of all the rooms, windows and doors.

While other kids in high schools were skipping class to smoke dope and hang around during recreation time, I was in the study hall reading everything I got my hands on, textbooks, newspapers, magazines anything. They thought I was weird cause I read. Which meant nothing coming from functional illiterates.

So here I am, almost fifty and unable to get a job. I worked at a full time job for eight months in my adult life. I can talk to anybody from a street crazy to an a academic but can’t navigate a job interview.

Everyone talks about having a purpose in life, how important life is, how precious. Bullshit. The only thing that counts for validity in this culture is having a career, social status and an income. None of which I have or have ever been able to acquire. Am I a loser? According to society-absolutely. This is the message I hear loud and clear every day. How is it that I have learned all these skills, done so much but have so little to show for it? A matter of value. Our culture doesn’t value the eccentric, the genius or the creative person who thinks outside the box. I have tried- and I mean this before God- I have tried everything to fit in to no avail.

I dare any of you to find a place in society where I belong that is meaningful and productive because I sure as hell can’t. I dare anyone to go beyond words of encouragement and help me understand there is something I can do to make my way in the world because I haven’t a fucking clue.

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