When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Monday, May 24, 2010

45 Years of Bad Road

I'm going to re-name this blog "downer" because that's all I seem to use this space for anymore. I twitter happy stuff with pictures and funny things to say all the time. All day everyday, in fact. In 140 or less. But when Teh Suck descends on me, 140 or less don't cover it. And too, some people who follow me on twitter are not trying to hear Teh Suck. They don't follow me just so they can hear me say that sometimes my life is no better than a steel-toed boot to the face.

Because frankly, EVERYBODY lives a life which isn't always that great. And so people subscribe to twitter accounts for their own entertainment, not to be brought down. Which is why there are therapists. You go pay for the service of having someone hear you whine. Not many want to do it for free.

But for the ones who WILL do it for free? Them I call "friends."

So friends, here it is again.

I spent over an hour on the phone today because the insurance company that pays me for listening to people's problems wildly both overpaid and underpaid me--as if they lost their entire minds when the insurance buy-out took effect and their pay rates to me changed.

In trying getting to the bottom of why they screwed up so badly (no answer was forthcoming), I did find out what they intend and actually WILL pay me, once they get it right on a consistent basis.

Fully one-third less than what I had been paid.

This will be from now on with my insured clients. The same work for much less pay. For no other reason than that one company bought out the other.

Aside from the ethics of that action, I ask myself, when does life get better? How many setbacks is ahead of me, yet still left to wade through?

I tend to think that, okay, life sometimes absolutely sucks. Without question. It can ab. so. LUTELY suck. Absolutely. But through the suck, you grab a foothold here, a threshhold there, and you get to enjoy what's "normal" sometimes. You get to have a sense of equilibrium. Some security. Some love. For just a while. Maybe for a good while. And maybe along in the good whiles, you can make a difference. Plant you a flag somewhere. Matter to planet Earth and a few of its inhabitants for just a spell. Get a little of that glow before you go back to Teh Suck again.

But what happens when Teh Sucks seem to mount up to more than the Good Whiles? Inordinantly disproportionate numbers of Teh Sucks. Wildly out of kilter. What then? When you look back at your life and you realize you're looking at 45 years of bad road.

Parents who physically fight one another.

Polysubstance-abusing father.

Bipolar-disordered mother.

Raised by a woman who, while is not your mother, dysfunctionally loves your father so much that she covers up for the absolutely shitstain of a human being that he is.

Molestation from a neighbor.

Uprooted from home and transplanted into a roach-infested, impoverished neighborhood.

The task of fitting in thrown comically off-kilter by the fact that you already know what sex is, and it's terrfying.

Learn to escape your life by playing D&D and reading comicbooks.

Sequester yourself in a religious cult, because fantasy & science fiction isn't covering your tracks when your peers want to go get high and make all the gooshy sex.

Made to believe that the only life worth living is the one on the other side of death.

Realize religious zealotry is mainly best suited if you're a bigot, but your skin is brown, so you know you'll never fit in there.

Realize also that men are more sexy than women, and so, hey guess what, you've actually been gay all this time! 1000 bonus points!

Try to turn this shitstorm into a life, head off into being a therapist because that's the only degree your years in religious zealotry can be folded into.

Discover your chosen profession pays the least amount of all the degreed professions because mental healthcare is low on the totem pole of societal concerns and values.

Turn around to see yourself smack dab in the middle between your 45th and 46th birthday with no savings, living from paycheck to paycheck, rooming out of someone's apartment, no girlfriend, no boyfriend, no kids, no future security, no ... you don't know what. So unsuccessful at being an adult that you don't know WHAT else it is that you don't have. But you know you don't have it.



If I don't succeed in something within the next 5 years of my life, then really, what am I doing? What's the rememdy for the facts as I've lain them out here? Do I need to shake off the cobwebs and get that doctorate? Go deeper into debt but come out somehow with a better paid position because of the PhD? Do I reinvent myself as a Super Hip Metropolitan Professional Life Coach, and pile on the charm to court the affluent and needlessly wealthy & encumbered? Do I jump tracks completely? Do I sign up for public assistance--again?

Or maybe I go back to the pursuit of art and find ways for it to make me money this time. All this free time, forcing the time & opportunity to write, maybe that makes it "put-up or shut up" time.

I think I'm a good writer.

Oh yeah?


Make some MONEY with it.

Stop whining.

DO something.