This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge at the Daily Post is a relatively simple one: Complete the sentence “I wish I were _____” to toy with the subjunctive mood. I’m feeling really melancholic right now, so bear with me while I write something that’s significantly less light-hearted and humorous than my usual fare.
I wish I were beyond whinging. Whinging is something kids do to draw attention to themselves in a desperate attempt to garner sympathy. And for what purpose? What good could possibly come of it? Will someone magically fix all my problems? Would it make things better if someone were to pat me on the back and tell me that everything is going to be okay?
Of course not. I’m more realistic than that.
Yet I can’t stop myself from doing so right now. It’s like that last bit of cake. You know you shouldn’t eat it, but you eat it anyway. It doesn’t matter if nobody reads or notices this, deep down inside I know that I relented, and for that I feel ashamed.
I wish I had gotten into animation at an earlier stage of my life. I just can’t help but wonder that if maybe I’d done that instead of making a mid-career switch, I wouldn’t be looking for entry-level jobs when I’m in my mid-30’s, and feeling like a deadbeat loser.
When I look around me, the people in my position are young and free from many responsibilities and commitments. I look at the other people that are my age, and they’re comfortably established in stable careers after having put enough years into this industry. And here I am, stuck in the middle.
I wish I don’t have to go job-hunting. When you put me in a job, my level of confidence soars and I can truthfully say that I’m the type of guy that always gets things done well. I may not be a genius, but I’m creative, resourceful, and probably more than just a little bit lucky.
But no matter how stellar my track record might be, I instantly forget all of that when I’m here in this state of unemployed purgatory. I am engulfed by self-doubt and despair, I lose all belief in my skills, and I start to wallow in the music of The Cure. Honestly, I don’t even know most of their lyrics; it just sounds like how I feel.
I wish I weren’t so quick to lose my sense of perspective. I have my health, a loving wife, and a furry dog that loves to sleep on my foot. How could I possibly complain when many people don’t even have these? Some really unfortunate folks are even allergic to dogs.
And it’s not like I’m unemployable either. Maybe my dream job is unrealistic in my current situation, but I have the skills and experience necessary to do well in a lot of other jobs. Why do I always forget this?
Wishing is what you do when you’re not actually doing anything about your situation. Life goes on. You have to move with it, and you do that by accepting the cards that you’re dealt with, and dealing with the choices you’ve already made.
So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.