Before I say anything, I want to make this 100% clear. I am not trying to give myself a confidence boost. I am definitely not trying to kick my confidence while it’s down, but this isn’t going to be one of those posts that I write about how much better I am going to be. What I will do is just try to give myself a kick in the butt to do anything really because basically I’ve done nothing about my life in way too long. It’s time to be proactive. And this time I mean it. (I think.)
I’m going on my fifth year working at the mall and, while it pays the bills and it’s super terrible, the mall is not somewhere I imagine myself for much longer. I’ve always given myself an age limit. By 25, I need to be at least getting ready to get out of the mall and 25 feels like it’s rapidly approaching which is not good for me because I feel nowhere close to getting out of the mall. My dream job would be to just be able to write and (hopefully) get published and so life wouldn’t be so terrible while I’m spending all my hours writing. But I know (at this moment in time) that’s not a practically lifestyle, so I’ve always been “ok” with the mall and the “security” it provides. And recently, I’ve really uncovered this love of fashion and clothes and visual merchandising and so I’ve been looking into doing more with that until I can pay for grad school. But even with that, I feel such a lack of confidence and experience that I’m nervous even to apply sometimes. This happened when I was thinking about going for publishing internships. I feel so under qualified because of all my years spent on a clothing store sales floor. And I know I basically shouldn’t feel under qualified when it comes to applying for visual internships, especially when they’re internships for the company I presently work for, but something makes me so nervous. I don’t even know if I’m nervous that I won’t get it. I think I’m more nervous to get it and then to have to start over. It would be like the first day of middle school or something. Will you fit in? Will you find something you’re good at? Will you make the impression you want? I think the mall, for a long time, has been a comfort for me. I know what I’m doing there and people know that I know what I’m doing and those people respect it and acknowledge it. I feel safe there because of it. But the more years I spend there, the more I realize that, while I’m good at what I do, this is never what I imagined my life to be.
I don’t think it helps that I haven’t written in basically forever. Even after deciding to set up a creative writing coalition with my undergrad comrade Julia, I still haven’t written. I’ve journaled, yes, but I actually haven’t sat down and just written something. Anything. And so I know that hurts me. I know it hurts to think that the mall is all I’ll ever be good at. Maybe if I was writing more and submitting more pieces to magazines and contests, I’d feel a little less awful about myself and where I’m going with my life. Maybe if I was working on a portfolio for grad school (something I’ve told myself to work on for three years now), I’d feel more confident in my ability to get into grad school for creative writing.
It also doesn’t help that now there’s a new added goal to my life: getting my long distance relationship to be not long distance. So, while for a long time, it’s been me worrying about how long it was going to take me to get to where I want to be, I’m now in a spot where all I do is worry about how long it’s going to take to get to have an actual relationship again. Neither of us have the funds to support ourselves at this point and I understand that. But I also feel like no matter how much I work at this mall, I am still nowhere close to even starting to work toward being together again. So that’s another added fear where I think I should just apply to internships across the country, but then it’s not only starting over in a job, it’s starting over in a new state. Which is cool, but also terrifying, considering that I already feel under qualified. Am I ready to move across a country and start over? Maybe I would be if I had an actual job and not a part-time mall job? Life is hard.
I guess it sounded a lot like me kicking my confidence when it’s down and I really didn’t intend to make it sound that way. I guess I just thought if I wrote it all down it would give me more fight. Now that it’s out in the open, maybe I’ll kick myself into high gear to just start being more proactive. I complain a lot, I do. And I know that the only person who can make any real change in my life is myself and so I think it’s time that I start doing that or else I’ll keep complaining and all of you innocent people will continue to have to deal with it.