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The agony of choice

By Raggamuffin · Sep 7, 2021 ·
  1. Woke up today absolutely shattered. I got enough sleep, and I only woke up once; momentarily. Don't have coffee to rely on to help wake me up these days. Supposedly prolonged hydration will help energy levels. No coffee is leading to drinking more water. With the hot weather Mon-Wed I need to ensure I drink enough water.

    I seem to be having my daily smoke on the last 5 min drive before home. This could be seen as reckless for numerous reasons. Personally I've had no issue driving stoned for over 17 years. That's not to say it's not without it's risks, but I know I'm a very safe driver these days. Slow and steady is my driving style. I always leave a big gap in front of me, I max out at 50 or 55mph on 60mph roads. After writing off my first car and coming off my motorbike twice - I became a lot more alert. You could argue that a smoke negates the above, but personally I find it makes me drive even safer because I feel I must be even more cautious whilst driving.

    Mind you, I did have a little event last night. I'd finished my smoke and was about to chuck the roach end out the car. But I hadn't opened the window all the way down, so when I move to throw it out the window, my arm hit the window and I dropped the lit joint somewhere on the floor - panic. Thankfully it was a straight road, so I could search blindly with my hand as I kept my eyes on the road. My mind began to picture the thought of the car catching fire. Try as I might, I couldn't find the roach. After a minute or so I realised I couldn't smell anything and there was no smoke. I decided to monitor it and I closed the windows and turned off the air con. Then I waited, and waited - nothing.

    So I opened the window and drove a little faster as I was 3 mins from home. I felt a sense of urgency to get back home and check the car. I didn't break the speed limit, but before I felt like I'd made any progress, I got held up for a minute at traffic lights for some roadworks. All of a sudden there was a very strong, almost chemical like smell. My mind went back to the idea of a fire. Some sort of synthetic material burning, perhaps? In reality I knew deep down this was just a worry and not a reality. When the traffic got moving again I noticed the smell had gone - so it was outside. I got back home and checked for the roach. It was down the side of the driver's seat. I guess I lucked out, as that could've caught fire.

    I went out staffing yesterday evening just before sunset. It was nice and cool. One of my shoulders is starting to play up again though. I guess the timing is ok as I don't want to staff today or tomorrow due to the heat. A few kids at the skatepark mentioned me out loud as I walked past. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to react or talk to them. When I turned to look at the one commenting, a tree was blocking my line of site. So I just turned back to looking where I was walking.

    I did see the old woman and her German Shepard out for a walk. It's a beautiful dog and it let me pet her. I haven't seen the cats out for a while, so I'm a little starved for the company of animals at the moment. The woman asked how I was and I said I was ok, but she asked me again with an inflection in her voice. But still, I said ok. I know in our first encounter I'd mentioned my anxiety, but I wasn't really in a talking mood. She did say that it was lovely to see me, and as she left she gently held my arm as she said goodbye. That was nice to be a part of. Someone who seems kind and gentle.

    I think I needed some "me time" last night. It's strange really - I feel a complete lack of company at work, and then when I get home I barely talk to my friends. When I got home from staffing I had a shower and then I just sat and listened to music. Zoned out for a few hours - lost in thought. I felt happy though and rather relieved. I had planned to play PSU with someone, but in the end I didn't. They went on Discord voice chat and I wasn't feeling it. As usual, I got pressured into joining the chat and mocked and insulted when I told them I wasn't going to.

    I went through a load of my old photos and artwork. I saw many photos that I knew would sell. It's hard living with this sense of unworthiness, whilst also knowing I have talent and potential. It honestly feels like a real mess as I'm torn between confidence and self-loathing. The main issue I'm finding with my art page is that no matter what I draw, write or photography - nothing gets as many likes and feedback as photos of my old cat, Kes. This infuriates me if I'm honest.

    Then again the whole FB art page has been a damp squib. I've spent over £600 in ads. It's about 50p per new follower and no sales. Sure, I could revamp my website. before that happens I need to sort out my printer, learn Photoshop so I can edit any photo and make prints to order etc. Then I could have my website full of every single drawing and photo I've ever done. Allowing people the choice, and giving me the freedom to print things to order. That way I don't have to rely on 3rd parties to print my work. I can also mount and frame all my works myself.

    In truth, I could do this next month when I have the money to get a Photoshop subscription. The main issue I'd have is printer inks, paper and frame stock etc. If I wanted to have all my work available to buy at people's leisure - I'd need a stockpile of frames, paper, mounting card etc. It'd be a steep investment and also it'd take up way too much space at my parents. Not exactly viable. It's been one of the sticking points that has me doubting the online store.

    I'm still of the opinion that I'd do better in face to face sales. Still, the longer I've been waiting the more the unworthiness and self-loathing grows. To the point where I haven't drawn any big pieces in years. Doesn't help that so many people's opinion is that I should put my art on Xmas cards, gift cards and t shirts etc. I don't want to - simple as. My art for me is a framed picture. I don't like novelty cards or t-shirts. I think they're tacky and a waste of money.

    Ach, going round in circles. Repeating myself all the time.

    Facebook has stopped with the suggested friends or groups on my wall. Now it's suggested news articles. I'm a month and a half into stopping reading the news. I bet the media paid a lot to start advertising on FB. I despise it. I really do. Then again, what's different to me posting ads for my artwork? I've had some abuse from people on FB. Random people - usually white, middle aged American men telling me to F off and die and such like. Wonderful types.

    Feels like therapy could be good right now. Not affordable though. Doesn't really fix anything either. Sure, talking is nice - but I know that nothing will be solved until I start selling my art regular. Can't stomach finding another office job. Can't really stomach being in this job though. Sat in the office feeling angry most days. Lack of social life in work, lack of friends outside of work. Most people I know are online these days.

    At least I get excited for the evenings. It might only be 4 hours of freedom before I have to go to bed. Probably why I'm so tired too. I used to get more free time - now I get even less as I have a longer commute and leave earlier to beat the traffic. But last time I got to work on time, I started to fall behind. That then increases stress. So I either do my usual 5-7.5 hours unpaid overtime a week and feel dead to the world. Or I feel a little happier with enjoying more free time and do no overtime. Then I gradually fall behind and have to work in a much more stressful job.

    The agony of choice.

    Ed

    About Author

    Raggamuffin

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