I was talking with a colleague at work earlier today, and I asked her if she read fiction. She didn’t seem like the type — head on her shoulders, au courant with politics and social issues, always discussing the management consultancy world and its people. She said No, I don’t.
My job is my job. My life is my life. At least it always was, but now one leaks into the other, and I’m not sure that I appreciate it. I never understood those people who would bound out of bed at the promise of emails unanswered and projects yet to be completed. For me, replace promise with threat.
And now I sleep with my work phone by my bedside, and check it as soon as I wake up. What fresh horror of the day confronts me, I ask myself with dread. I love my job. For the first time in a long time, I’m challenged, every day, and I enjoy it, and I’m good at it. But I don’t like the job-life osmosis.
I like to read fiction. I find the news depressing. I don’t know if my work-life ideal is a dreamer’s ideal. Considering I spend ten hours a day doing office related things, I often wonder if my ideal is just impractical and wishful.
Then I know this person who is an absolute, control-freak of a nightmare. It keeps me awake at night, thinking about how to deal with it. More work. I always thought of myself as someone who spoke my mind and said what I thought. But I realise more, that in situations in which I am confronted by overt aggression, or just plain rudeness, I become mute. My brain just switches off, and I act like that person might as well be talking to me while I’m a soporific sun bather on a Caribbean beach. Sometimes I hear myself, and I think I sound stupid. It’s not like I’m not hearing what’s being said. It’s just that my mind and my spirit cannot deal with unchecked ill-manners. Until late at night, when I’m lying in bed, and there’s a hurricane of thoughts in my brain that even chases away sleep. Which is why I’m typing right now.
Whatever it takes to blog again.
So, what, do I run away from real life? Do I run from confrontation? Is it because I like to read made-up stories? Is it because I don’t really care about the screaming at the other end of the phone, since it’s a just a job and not my life?
My god I’m stressed.
Maybe I should read The Economist and bite back.