I took my friend OBL to task for getting all whiny depressed on her blog, because dude, that’s my current thing and one blog site can only support so much of that at a time. She told me not to worry, because she’s switching over to anger, which I totally agree is a better approach than catatonia. I thought I might try it, too. But I can’t figure out how.
I mean, of all the things contributing to my depression right now, very few of them present a handy target for righteous rage. Should I be angry that 150 highly qualified individuals apply for every job that I apply for, and that they always, always choose someone else? Should I be angry about the things that maybe might make me look like a less attractive candidate than some of the others—like that I’m old? Or that I am a mother? Or that I’ve done a whole bunch of part-time contracting but not so much full-time jobbing? Can I blame any given employer for making the choice that seems best for their organization? That’s what they’re supposed to do.
Should I be angry with myself for having kids? Or for taking care of them myself? Or for abandoning my former career altogether? I made those choices with my eyes open. Sort of. In my defense, when you are 30ish it is impossible—completely impossible—to grasp what reality is going to look like when you are staring 50 in the eye. Nor could any older, wiser woman have informed me, because reality now is different from reality in different sociocultural and economic times.
Maybe I should be angry with the social media environment that makes it look like everyone else is doing impressively, spectacularly well. It’s an illusion, I know. Everything is an illusion. You never actually know what is going on with someone behind their carefully constructed image. It doesn’t matter how cheerful they are, how immaculate their home, how their family turns out at parties looking all Norman Rockwell, or how fantastic their career trajectory seems on their LinkedIn profile. You don’t know shit about them.
Should I be angry about the lies of our lives? Should I be angry that I apparently can’t have what I want? Does anyone really get what they wanted? And if so, does it turn out to be how or what they thought it would? And if it doesn’t would they ever admit it?
The truth of our lives lies in what we don’t say. Maybe I should be angry about that.