Applying for a job at the tea shop near Wakana’s office had an unexpected consequence: I was called to schedule an interview. I didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail, then panicked when I heard said voicemail. They actually want me to come in for an interview?! To be honest, I hadn’t really been expecting anything to come of this.
The rational part of my mind is saying I should do the interview for practice. If I’m offered the job, I’ll then have a choice as to whether to accept – in other words, I can still say “no.” If not – well, I went into it not really caring about the job anyway. That actually frees me to just use this as a practice interview. An opportunity to learn.
But the rest of me is having a mild panic attack. I can feel my chest constricting; it’s harder to breathe. There was some pain a little while ago. I feel dizzy, almost faint, and/or like I might be ill. There’s no way I can make a phone call under these conditions, it will have to wait.
The Critic is berating me. I should have thought this through before applying. I don’t really want this job, do I? I’ll never get a job! I thought I didn’t want to be helping other people, but that will be all I do all day if I get this job. I’ll spend most of my waking hours serving tea – is that what I really want? It will eat my life! It will be harder to schedule gatherings with friends and other fun activities – especially with Banji. How will I be able to stand for so many hours at a time? My feet will be killing me! I won’t make enough money to justify the resources I’ll have to put in. Do I really think I could enjoy it enough to justify the sacrifices?
I can hear the panic in the Critic’s voice. Ze’s terrified.
And then there’s the interview itself. I can go in and be professional enough and otherwise be myself and do well enough. Maybe not fantastic, maybe not impress them enough to get the job, but okay. As long as I’m not too anxious … the point is, I won’t spontaneously combust!
But I need something nice to wear. I made the mistake of letting my mind run through all these things in the shower; I wouldn’t even know where to begin trying to stop them. Everything came crashing down on me afterward, when it was time to get dressed. I don’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping, and a lot of the clothes I have don’t fit me anymore; mostly I’ve been getting by with comfortable items appropriate to lounging around the house. On rare occasions I can and will dress up a bit. But I don’t think I have anything clean right now that would be appropriate for an interview.
That was the final straw. I felt ready to fall apart.
I thought I would cry or something, but instead I feel incredibly tired. I’m having trouble staying awake to write this post. Granted, I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I’ve been tired all day; I even tried to take a nap and was mostly plagued by anxiety-filled dreams that weren’t restful at all.
But it feels like there’s some kind of alien force that really doesn’t want me to proceed with confidence in pursuing this or any job, or doing anything that might draw attention to myself. If it can’t distract me with video games and other forms of entertainment, if it can’t make me feel too horrible about myself to apply for a job, if it can’t squash any motivation I do manage to muster with overwhelming anxiety, then it will simply put me to sleep. I’ll admit it’s very tempting; the rats and Fox are snoozing, so why shouldn’t I join them?
The answer is: Because I don’t want to. I want to do something interesting, even if it isn’t particularly working toward my goals. I want to use what energy I do have. I want to go to bed at a decent time tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed. I want to live my life. I just need … something … to get me started.