the puzzle

by rantywoman

I thought I could turn down the interview later for the safety jobs, but alas, they got back to me the same day. There will be little time to explore other options. I’m trying to look on the bright side. It’s nice to feel wanted. I could pick my pension back up. I like my former coworkers (yes, this is a place I worked at before). I could move into better jobs eventually.

Would I have moved back here for this? No. But then, would I have moved to California if I had known in advance how things would turn out? No. At least I have more of a sense of community here, so there’s that.

A former friend of mine, a woman who in that godawful year of seventh grade won parts in several plays and made it on to the cheerleading team while I failed at both and was suffering through my parents’ divorce, posted some pictures today of her daughter winning several academic awards. This woman is married to an attorney and stays home with her three kids. I’m trying to hold on to that wise saw about not seeing others’ successes as my failures.

I’m struggling with that same old feeling that there’s just not quite a place for me in this world. I’m a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. Bright, creative, and resourceful, but not wealthy, connected, or extraordinarily good-looking. Still single and looking for love and adventure long past the age our culture expects women to be settled down and raising kids.

As far as money-making opportunities, I suppose I could try to start my own business, but I’ve never had that dream, and the market for writers is probably the worst it’s ever been.

I know plenty of lovely, older single women who are well-educated, attractive, fit, and decently-employed and have empathetic, kind souls to boot. They should be able to find partners, but they can’t. Where can they turn? Classes, bars, online dating. All are far from guarantees. A basic human need for love and companionship and there’s nowhere to turn but the vagaries of the capitalistic marketplace.

It’s the same with the other basic human need to find satisfying work. What are the options? Job boards, employment agencies, networking. No guarantees.

It’s a tight market for both, and the competition is stiff. We may live in a world of abundance, but it’s not an abundance of appealing jobs or partners.

I’m hoping I’ll have at least one more month off. I’m enjoying Spanish and looking forward to my sewing class. I’ll have to drop Spanish if I get the job, and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for sewing. I’ll still be able to fit in some dance classes.

Will I get desperate for some kind of fulfillment and turn to online dating again? There’s a good chance, and a good chance I’ll be disappointed with it. Whenever I consider going down that road now, I turn my attention to my hobbies, but once I’m working, I’ll have much less time for them. And once again, I’ll be looking for something to offset the daily grind.

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