I was working until midnight on Monday, managing social media for a gig with some major international artists.
“Your work looks so glamorous!” people gush.
Stuck in a backstage room trying to get approval from client management, then artist management, while trying to direct and organise the on-site team is anything but. Some of them were such morons that by the end of the evening I wanted to scream. You know when people criticise your work just so they justify their own existence and their own jobs?
The following day I felt hungover, although I hadn’t touched a drop of liquor. I was so exhausted that my mind was permanently in a fuzz. A fuzz that seemed to last for the rest of the week.
And straight after there’s more, always more. Reports that are impossible to create because we don’t have the proper software, creative that is on insanely tight deadlines. I just…can’t. I can’t keep going with this. It’s too much. I don’t mind a challenge but I hate the stress of it all. It’s not the good kind, where you have the thrill of working something out and teaching yourself something more, it’s the worst kind. The kind where you are so disconnected by what you’re doing and yet are so insanely stressed by it.
I want to be good at what I do, but I don’t know how to make this better. I don’t know if I’m cut out for it. It’s not even necessarily the work, it’s the whole environment. It’s all too much. Things aren’t just done and then finished, things go on and on and on.
I try to explain processes and strategies, but because everyone is so fucking ignorant about what I do I have to explain it 10 times over and they still don’t believe me. It’s beyond frustrating. I try to explain that we need reporting and analytics softwares, but no – we should “just use the free version”, because that is easier to pitch to clients. Morons.
Every week I tell myself that this will be my last one, that I’m free to quit if I want to. Then every week leads to another one. Another week of stress and anxiety. It’s made me re-double my efforts to socialise and make sure that I’m going out and about with friends and doing other things; somehow I can’t just define myself through the work. There has to be more to my life in London that that.
I try to just look at it as part of the adventure which started over 4 years ago, that it’s the next chapter in the story and not a permanent sentence. But I just don’t see how it can continue long term, not in the form it’s in now. When I’m removed from it and look back upon the challenges I’ve faced that week I don’t know how I even got through it, and it makes me wonder what new horrors lie in store. As I compile these reports and tackle insurmountable problems, I sometimes stop in horror and ask myself what I’m doing. Why am I letting my career and desire for success lead me down a path which is only going to make me miserable? I sometimes wonder if I’ve got it all terribly wrong and I’ve let life lead me down the wrong way, with no path to lead me back again.
I tried looking at a house this week; I think circumstances might be different if only I could move somewhere new, to a nice flat with fun housemates again. But it wasn’t right and was too expensive. I think even in the nicest house nine is too many to live with. I mean, I said I wanted a more social living, but can you imagine the queue for the washing machine?
So many things in my life need to change. And yet all are somehow intertwined. How do I go about changing one when I need to change them all?
It seems that I’ve forgotten one of the biggest lessons when it comes to working, that one of the worst things you can do is to chase the ‘glamour’ – to do something because you want to somehow look good or make other people jealous of your job somehow. Whether it’s duties, income or whatever. Do what makes you happy.
Becuase that feeling of waking up and being excited and challenged by what I have to do, I had it once. I want to find it again. Just like I had a great flat which I was excited to come how to once, and I took it far too much for granted.
Just like those problems at work, I guess. When they’re presented to you they look insurmountable, and yet I always somehow find a way to break them down and tackle them. But I think hand in hand with that is finding a deeper understanding of me and who I am in all of this. I’m not just their automaton to do a great job and bring in ever-more money to the agency. I’m a person in myself, with hopes, tastes and dreams which they can’t touch or take away.