One down, a dozen to go.
I don't really feel like writing this right now. But once upon a time and for a brief (very brief) period, I saw a therapist who advised me that the best time to get things done is when you least feel like it. Of course she was only saying this because I told her I didn't feel like going to therapy anymore but still, I always thought it was wise because it was something my father confirmed with me. And ever since I was a kid I have looked up to him.
This might be an awkward entry. I'd rather wait until I feel like writing this entry, until I can get into the perfect writing mood so I can win over everyone with my story and story-telling ability. But lately I'm realizing that almost never happens.
So here it goes.
I don't know when I started procrastinating. There was a time I was very active, esp. creatively. I can't remember at time when I couldn't read, I used to devour books. At 10 I was reading seven books a week. At age 12 I started writing my own stories and drawing prolifically. In junior high for two years in a row I won the Academic Achievement Award for Art. In high school I started photography and won the Academic Achivement Award for Art twice again, although I was never there to accept my award my last year because by then I had quit high school. I was three courses shy of getting my diploma because I had basically skipped my final exams for those courses. If I had shown up I could have passed and been accepted into any art school of my choice.
I don't even remember what I did that day, probably went to the mall and had a yogurt. I just didn't feel like going.
I've been told I'm smart, I have great talent in art, and that if I applied myself, I could really be something. I was 17 and now I'm turning 23 this year.
It just feels like everytime I try something, I really get into it, but then slowly fall out of getting into it. I picked up the guitar when I was thirteen and finished a beginner booklet my mom had lying around in one month. But it's taking me 10 years to finish half the intermediate booklet.
When I quit school, my parents made me get a job. And I had it for five months, but was fired because of lack of hours. Later, they wanted me back but I really didn't feel like working anymore. i had other job offers but I turned them all down. I eventually did get another job, but I held it for only five months before I unofficially quit. I just stopped showing up, the same way I kept doing to all my jobs afterwards. I'm a great employee, always the most trusted, the most hard-working, the most dependable. Maybe not the most punctual but I can be relied upon to always show up. But after a time i start to lose interest. I never quit, I just stop showing and after a long period in which I feel guilty, I pick myself up and get another job, always resolving to do better.
I tried going back to school. Every year I would enroll into a high school or online course, and after the first three months in which I study hard, become one of the top students, pass quizzes with flying colours and get all my homework handed in, I just stop. I lose interest again and I stop showing up. THen I get a job and after five months at the most, I quit that too and the cycle continues.
For a while I was depressed. A therapist I saw briefly thought I had Seasonal Affected Disorder which could account for me always gettind depressed as winter set in and I would quit school and start working but after five months, when spring came along, I'd lose all interest in work and in the highs of my emotion 'quit'.
Last year a friend of my mom's hooked me up with a job at an art gallery. I always thought that the real reason I quit all my previous jobs was because they were meaningless. But if I could somehow work with art, I would be happy. So I was hired and for a time I was happy. I started another online course and everything seemed good.
But the inevitable happened. I stopped doing my online course after a few weeks, and I started to show up to my job less and less. I'm not sure why my boss didn't just fire me then. It probably had to do with the fact I went on vacation after my fifth month at my job and when I came back the gallery was in the middle of relocating. Turns out I was the only one she could rely on to show up and help out.
So I did that. I found that the irregular hours i had to work kept things interesting. And even after we relocated I had to help set the store up, which was fun and new. And even after that, with fewer employees my boss was relying heavily on me and I found myself doing a lot of overtime. I was late all the time but doing so much overtime, it was overlooked. But when things settled and new employees were hired and I went back to regular hours, I was continued to be late and my boss finally put her foot down. I was either going to show up on time or not to bother to show up at all.
I knew better than anyone how unqualified I was for a job that paid better. It was either shape up or go back to cleaning rooms or making sandwiches for a living. No more dealing with art. So I started trying to become a better employee. I figured, I have to start improving somewhere, right? At first, I did things to make myself earlier, then later, to be a better employee. i got my boyfriend to argue with me about showing up. Whenever I say "I dont' really feel like working today" he'll say "that's what gets you fired" or "guess it's just better to clean dingy hotel rooms."
I also take showers before I go to bed so I only have to style my hair in the mornings and cuts my time by half. I clean out my containers in the evenings so in the morning I can take porridge and OJ with me to work so that I can have breakfast during my break. That's also when I take my multivitamin because my doctor has warned me that my iron levels are dangerously low. I'm very close to become anemic. For a while I procrastinated on eating healthy, taking multivitamins. I fear taking so long to smarten up about my health may have costed me. But I'm trying now. Hopefully it's not too late.
When I'm at work I make sure I get all my work done and when I have finished a particularly long and mentally grueling task, I award myself with a few minutes time on the computer. Then I get back to work.
I have been at my job for one year and two months and it has been the longest job I have ever had to date. Even my SAD has gone away. I have not been depressed in one year. I am the best employee. i am so good I have been given manager status on the retail program we use at my work. I have also been given the duty to write up the employee work schedules every week. If I had more schooling and training, I've been told I could easily become the manager. Unfortunately, I just don't have any of that.
And this makes me evaluate my life and my procrastinating ways.
I would love more than anything to go to art school and study business. I would need to finish my high school before I could apply to college. i would also need to develop a portfolio.
But for all the progress I have made at work, my personal life hasn't improved very much. I am in a loving relationship and if it weren't for him and his support I would never be the employee I am today. But I still never fulfill promises most times, I am always late for lunches or dinners or movies. I always promise my brother I will babysit my nephews so he and my sister-in-law can have some time for themselves but I never do, even tho I would luve to spend time with them before they grow up into men. My room is a constant mess and my laundry never gets done. I find I'm buying clean underwear just so I can have some to wear. I have a dozen sketch books that are barely filled. I have been enrolled in an online high school course for nearly a year now and haven't finished half of it yet. Because of my years of enrolling in school, quitting, getting a job, quitting, and continuing the cycle, I have racked up a $4500 debt on my VISA. I'm living with my boyfriend and his family because I can't keep track of my money anymore and pay rent for my own place. For a month I was walking to work because I never got around to getting my car battery fixed.
I would luve to turn the rest of my life outside of work around. I would luve to become debt free, finish my high school and get into college or university somewhere south. I would luve to get an apartment with my boyfriend and keep it clean and maintained. I would luve to put my key into the ignition of my car and hear it start and know the tire isn't low, the oil has been changed and the battery has been replaced. Finally, I would luve to be able to call up my brother and say "I will babysit my adorable nephews tonight!"
And I would luve to come home, dinner in hand the way I promised my boyfriend when he said he was too tired to cook anything that one time but I never did. That one I feel more guilty about than all the jobs I ever quit, than all the times I ever disappointed my mother and all the times I ever disappointed myself.
*sigh* I just have to figure out where to start and I thought I would start here, by accepting who I am. I am a procrastinator and I need to stop. For those who actually finished reading this particularly long entry, thank you.