I think I need a new job. I’ve worked part time in pubs and restaurants on and off for the last 11 years, I’ve done bar work since I was 18. Fair to say it’s starting to get me down. Some of you who follow me on twitter were kind enough to help me last week when I was in work and had a … well I’m not really sure what to call it. A blip? I was working and surrounded by people I like and who like me, and a couple of hundred strangers out enjoying their Saturday nights. And for some reason, that black cloud rolled over me. Completely unexpected, no real reason for it and suddenly, I was stood behind the bar, shaking, fighting back tears, and wishing I was dead. I haven’t felt it like that since before I started on my my anti-depressants.
My sister was in with her boyfriend, but here’s the thing. I love my sister, she is my best friend in the world. But she is also 22, an ex-model, blonde, size 6, and one of those girls that people fall in love with the second they meet her. She’s always been the far more outgoing, popular one of the two of us and that’s fine, everyone is different. But sometimes, I cannot help but compare myself with her. Because, compared with my sister, I am the older, fatter, ugly sister. Next to her, I feel like a failure. See things are going pretty well for her work wise, she’s been in her job that she started as a Christmas temp for two years and has had 3 promotions in that time into management. I, however, am still doing part time bar work at 27 just to hold it together. I know I shouldn’t compare myself, we’re very different people.
But when you fall into that dark place in your head, its kind of hard not to. All I could think was that I’m a failure. I’m only 27 and I’ve wasted my life. If not for Chops, I might as well be dead. Looking after her is the only thing I can do and I don’t honestly think I do the greatest job in the world at that. This thought popped into my head that I’m always going to be just average if that. I thought, looking at my beautiful, talented sister, that when I get married she’ll be my Maid of Honour and she’ll be stood beside me all day. I was thinking “She’s going to have to wear a burqa”. Because on that day, when the bride is meant to be the centre of attention, when you’re not supposed to upstage that woman, I’ll be stood next to my sister. Who even if she rolled out of bed with a hangover, 2 hours sleep, didn’t do her hair and wore no make up, would still outshine me by a million miles. I know how that sounds. That part is only a physical comparison. But it opens the door to all sorts of other thoughts.
In my current job I’m surrounded by staff who are between 18 and 21 and who look at me like I’m their Aunt or something. I’m not really ‘friends’ with any of the new staff and most of the staff who worked there when I started have left- they’ve moved on and I’m still stuck in a rut. On Friday, while we worked, everyone was chatting as usual, but while I was stood there, the other four members of staff started making plans to go out after work and bought a round of shots. I wasn’t included in the discussion. Not in a malicious way mind, I wasn’t being left out because they didn’t want me there- it just didn’t occur to them. See, I’m a ‘Grown Up’. I have a child, a steady relationship, they assumed (correctly) that I wouldn’t want to go out dancing at 2am and drinking cheap vokda and sambucas. I don’t resent not being invited of course, I wouldn’t have gone to the club they were heading for and I’d much rather go home to my wonderful child and boyfriend. But it did make me realise that perhaps, this feeling isn’t going to get better.
It’s time to move on. Chops has been in nursery for a month now and she is really enjoying it. It’s time to start seriously thinking about what comes next for me. Whether that will come in the shape of a full time job or a different part time job in a different industry I don’t know, but I think that my current job is making me feel bad about myself.