After the news of the closing
down of my company, I immediately began the process of sprucing up my CV. Once
complete I sent it to my brother for proof reading before sending it out to
potential employers and various industry specific recruitment agencies.
Along with a few comments down
the margin, he sent me some inspiration…
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.
Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA.
I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid.
On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin.
I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
Yesterday I received news that the company I am working at
will be closed by the end of April. A little over a year ago, I was in the same
situation (Goodbyes and Beginnings)…
I am doing my best to trust fully in the notion that everything happens
exactly as it should.
"The thought of sitting in front of a man behind a desk and telling him that I wanted a job, that I was qualified for a job, was too much for me. Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank. When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn't have you by the throat."
the rush of yielding to temptation, esp. to behave in a compulsive manner; the
flood of relief that occurs after permitting oneself to indulge (see: Case of
years ago, a recovering bulimic taught me this word. She was describing the
cycle of her disorder: the days of starvation and white-knuckled control; the
inevitable momentary weakness; the first few bites of cookie or pie,
eaten in the certainty that moderation would be possible this time; and then
finally, inevitably, the tipping point when her willpower gave way and a binge
began (“OH FUCK IT!").
she told me, was about never giving in to the Fuckits.
so happens, the Fuckits are mutual friends of ours. Like those
"networkers" who talk to you for five minutes at a cocktail party and
then immediately friend you on Facebook, they've managed to connect at one time
or another not only with me and her, but pretty much everyone I know.
They have a knack for appearing at the worst times in my life:
after a stressful day at work, as I open a bag of candy corn; when I'm already
2 white wines in, contemplating a third; or when I'm staring at Burberry skirts
biting my cuticles.
can be lots of fun, but they can also be overbearing, controlling, profligate
assholes. No matter how often you spend time with them or what you do when
they're there, you always feel a little dirtier in the morning.
recent years, some of my friends have stopped speaking to the Fuckits. Their
lives are better for it. These are the addicts, the Fuckits' favored few. At
one time or another, they have each faced a stark choice: stay away from these
guys, or die prematurely.
relationship with the Fuckits is less dire. I am what you would call one of
their subclinical friends. They come around fairly often, but not so much that
they're ruining my life. My impression is that they're at about the same
friendship level with the majority of women I know.
it make sense for EVERYONE to defriend the Fuckits? Even if they haven't ruined
our lives, why do we want to keep such an unpredictable, irritating, unbalanced
company? Is there any reason we're still listening to their crazy schemes after
all these years?
yes, there is a reason. They might be full of crap most of the time, but the
Fuckits are kind of my heroes.
someone I know -- or something I read in a magazine -- tells me to be more
patient, submissive, practical, or pleasing, the Fuckits know just the right
response. When tonight was supposed to be the night of a thousand laundry
loads, but I'm just too interested in writing this article, they smile and tap
me on the shoulder. If I hear again that no one could possibly procrastinate as
much as me and succeed, they make like a Roman emperor in the arena and do a
instincts that tell me to go ahead and eat the whole sundae, to drink until I'm
drunk, to stay up all night and ruin tomorrow reading random articles on
Wikipedia -- they are instincts of surrender, of desire, of just-because-I-want-to.
They are hungry, ugly, primal. They would rather expose themselves to
embarrassment and criticism than miss out on something delicious.
instincts, these desires for something more, are amoral. They run strong and
quick, right past eddies of worry, in search of satisfaction. Like water, they
will flow forward by any means we allow: wide, shallow floodplains of
cheesecake; deeper, more frightening rapids of change.
scared of the rapids. It's convenient to let my life clog them with inertia and
self-loathing, or to build dams in advance by internalizing society's opinions
about who I should be.
often my desires have run toward a big dream, a needed breakup, a lavish and
impractical adventure that sounds worthwhile only to me, only to hit an inner
Hoover and divert for something shallower. And how wonderful it's been the few
times the Fuckits happened onto the scene, drunk as usual, dressed for some
reason like Venetian gondoliers, singing in jaunty straw hats as they hand me
sticks of dynamite: fuck it, fuuuuuck that shit, dooo it anyway, fuuuuuck that
Fuckits are irritating. They are insane. The stakes of hanging out with them
are high, and I need to start inviting them to better parties.
naked in front of a mirror for a long time, under unflattering light if
possible. Trace the rises and falls of the little ripples on your skin — the
scars, the dimples, the cellulite — and think about how much you try to hide
these things in your day-to-day. Wonder why you hate them so much, and if this
hate stems from somewhere within yourself, or as a result of being told all
your life that it’s wrong to have physical flaws. Wonder what you would think
of your body if you never looked at a magazine, if you never thought about
celebrities and models, if you never had to wonder where someone would rate you
on a scale of 10. Look at yourself until the initial recoil softens, and you
can consider your features in a more forgiving frame of mind.
Listen to the music which makes you want to both sob and
dance with uninhibited joy, and allow yourself to repeat any song you want as
many times as your heart desires. Think of the person you are when you have
your favorite song in your headphones and are walking down a street you feel
you own completely, swaying your hips and smiling for no good reason — remember
how many things you love about yourself during those moments, how much you are
willing to forgive in yourself, how confident you are for no good reason. Try
to think of confidence as a gift you give yourself when you need it, instead of
something you have to siphon from every unreliable source in your life. Dance
because the music makes you remember how much you love yourself, not because it
allows you to forget the fact that you don’t.
Write a list of all the things you like about yourself, even
if you think it’s a self-indulgent and narcissistic activity. Start as early as
you like in your life — put down that time you won a trophy playing little
league soccer when you were eight and then got an extra-large shake at the DQ
on the way home, and don’t feel silly for remembering it. Try to understand how
many sources in your life happiness can come from, how many things you could be
proud of if you chose to. Ask yourself why you so tightly limit the things you
take pride in, why you set your own hurdles for happiness and fulfillment so
much higher than you do with anyone else in your life. Let your list go on for
pages and pages if you want it to.
Touch and care for yourself with the attention and the
patience that you would someone you loved more than life itself. Rub lotion in
small circles on your elbows and hands when it is cold and your skin is dry and
cracked. Make soup for yourself when your nose is running and curl up, with
your favorite movie, in a pile of expertly-stacked pillows. Light a few candles
and let their glow flicker against your body. Admire how gentle they are, how
delicately their warmth touches you — wonder why you don’t let yourself do the
same. Soak your feet in warm water at the end of a long day, until they have
forgiven you for walking on them for so long without so much as a “thank you.”
Listen to your body when it aches to be touched, and don’t be afraid to give it
every orgasm that you may have been too ashamed to ask for in someone else’s
Be patient with yourself, and don’t worry if a switch doesn't flip in you which abruptly takes you from “crippling self-doubt” to
“uncompromising self-love.” Allow yourself all the trepidation and clumsy,
uneven infatuation that you would with a promising stranger. Try only to be
kinder, to be softer, and to remember all of the things within you which are
worth loving. Listen to the voice in the back of your head which tells you, as
much out of sadness as anger, “You are ugly. You are stupid. You are boring.”
Give it the fleeting moment of attention it so craves, and then remind it,
“Even if that were true, I’d still be worth loving.