Last Day, First Steps (40-Day Mental Health Writing Challenge, Day 40)

Here we are – last day. And I feel great.

That may even be an overstatement. But quite frankly I’m tired of understating things. I’m tired of cautioning my words, anchoring and humbling everything I say with reserve that smacks of cynicism. Backhanding my own positivity with self-sabotaging assurance, following everything with “But…”

I also know damn well how my emotions can shift – I may not feel this good tomorrow morning. But I’m going to enjoy it, and use it to my advantage the best that I can, for as long as I can! Exclamation point!

The Great Shift is approaching; nay, it’s arguably here already. Things have been put into motion in my life that should allow for nothing but progress.

I forget where from, but I recently heard someone of experience, stature and financial security speak of taking a lesser-paying job so that he could allow himself more time to create. In a sense, that’s what I’m doing, without even realizing or intending it. For the past six months I’ve been working on-and-off at a record store, where the pay is quite frankly not that good. It’s actually quite a step down from the hourly wages I’d been earning at various other labour jobs over the past couple years.

And yet… I feel okay with that. And to be honest, that’s not even entirely the point. Partially reflective of the low pay, the work itself is much easier than what I’ve had to endure lately (moving companies, arborist companies, etc.). And most any days that end with me exhausted, stressed out and emotionally damaged are the results of broader issues pertaining to my anxiety and depression, as opposed to the day job itself wearing me out.

The point is this: I’ve just made an arrangement with the record store to work 35 hours a week, guaranteeing me my bare-minimum living expenses. And as much as I hate to admit it, as petty and embarrassing as it may sound, my money situation has been a massive factor in the anxieties that keep me depressed and stagnant in life. By ending almost every month of the past year with extreme worries over whether or not I could pay rent and bills, I’ve been left in a state of depressive and repressive tunnel vision, unable to think of anything but working ill-fitting jobs during the day and escaping reality at night.

Writing is my goal. And I haven’t been pursuing that goal worth a damn. But rather than falling further into the circular trap of self-blame and guilt over it, it’s time for a new perspective. Technically it’s not that new: I’ve long envisioned a short-term plan of working a part-time day job while working on my writing career the rest of the time. The long-suffered trick has been finding a day job that is neither full-time, nor exhausts me physically and mentally to the point of not being able to do much of anything writing-wise.

There’s also the lifelong, comfortable sense of routine behind having a full-time day job that pays the bills no matter what. This is what I’m used to, and it feels so good compared to the uncertainty of trying to find freelance writing work (especially as a beginner). But if I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that my spirit can no longer tolerate even a comfortable routine like that if it means completely neglecting my dream of a writing career. Combine this inner sense of feeling lost with anxieties over having enough money to simply live comfortably, and you’ve got a deadly situation.

But the opportunity for supreme change is here. The non-exhausting, barely-full time job is secured; the minimum monthly finances are guaranteed; new writing contracts are about to begin. As I said yesterday, it is now up to me to grab this and run with it!

Even tonight sparks the change. I’m writing this, my final entry of this 40-day challenge (but not the blog itself), much earlier than I usually do. And my next post to this blog will be tomorrow morning, when it is more likely to be read by followers old and new. It’s time to explore the notion of seeking out and expanding an audience of my writing.

After all, I’m not trying to write this in a vacuum, am I?

© 2017 Day By Day Mental


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