The work itself is all right. It's not a bad job. Not the most dynamic thing, but the pay's good and it's not like it's hard. There are people who would do most anything to have my job right now, and to be gauranteed a place after seasonal ends. I seem like I should be the luckiest guy in the world. Right?
The problem is I am not happy there at all, and I feel guilty about it. I am getting an awesome job, handed to me on a silver platter, heaps of validation, good money, good hours (long stretch without work now not withstanding), and good benefits if I stay on. I even have a good friend there who lives on my road and can give me a lift in. There are people who would kill to be in my shoes. And although I wouldn't say I'm "miserable" just yet, I started smoking again after quitting for seven months, and have stopped eating to boot.
It could be because I have never been comfortable working around or for people. I can do it, certainly. And the people there are great, and even the people on the phone are okay (not nearly as abusive as they were when I was a telemarketer). Maybe it's that a little part of me dies every time I have to answer the phone with my legal (female) name. Maybe it's just that I'm the perpetual starving artist, who feels like he's wasting away when he's not being poor but creative. Maybe it's the way my grandmother and everyone else seems to be pinning all of their hopes on me becoming an L.L. Bean bigwig. Maybe it's just because I'm still in God-Forsaken Maine.
I'm not stupid enough to think I can just go off and pursue a glamourous creative career without anything to keep me alive. I just really want to be able to be by myself and be myself for a little while right now. I'm almost 22 and I see my life passing before me, in an endless stream of people who lament my wasted potential (my former college advisor, one of my grandmother's best friends, is dying of a brain tumor, and from her death bed, the woman lamented the fact that I dropped out of school and didn't even end up anywhere better. I was apparently the top of my class when I left, which I believe is more a pathetic commentary on the school I was in than praise on me). I don't want to be that person who has potential and instead takes the easy route and settles into the comfortable (or perhaps "convenient" is the better word) rut, but at the same time, the rut's really damn hard to yank yourself out of sometimes. I don't want to be the person who wakes up miserable twenty years down the line and bitches that they "could have been...". But most days, I just can't see the way out.