Friday, 18 January 2013

Closer to Fine

I got the position of which I spoke in the last post--long term temporary, but four dollars an hour more than the previous temp gig--so the wolf has been banished from the door for now. Good thing, too, as this came about just as our unemployment benefits ran out. Timing is everything!

Don't get me wrong; our situation, while much improved, is still far from certain. It's stabilized a bit, but the long-term projection is still questionable. I'm afraid that this kind of fragile equilibrium might be the coming new normal, the end result of the "new economy" into which we've all been plunged (or been plunging), at first so gradually as to be almost imperceptible, until the momentum built sufficiently to start drowning us all a few years back. If that's the case, so be it; all I can do is try to learn to sail on rougher waters than the whole of my life experience thus far ever prepared me for, and that's not such a big deal, right?

Some of my most immediately pressing concerns having abated for the moment, I find myself relaxing out of hyper-vigilant, hyper-focused mode enough that other interests are getting room to breathe and expand in my consciousness again. I'm glad of it; I was weary of the things I loved and that gave my life joy and color being relegated of necessity to mere momentary distractions. That's a miserable way to live--although I know many people do, and for much longer than I have. (Bearability, which is not even a real word, is relative, of course, and "no big deal" to one is enough to drive another to suicide, so I won't indulge in comparisons or bother to castigate myself for making the proverbial mountains into molehills. We each discover our threshold, and learn to stay on the safe side of it as much as possible.)

Season 7 of Bones ended with Brennan forced to run thanks to the machinations of a brilliant serial killer who'd framed her for murder. To survive, she had to exile herself (and her baby) from everything familiar, everything safe and normal, all the things she'd struggled to attain, all the things she'd grown to love. She spent three months running, hiding, sleeping under the occasional overpass, working low-paying unskilled jobs, living always in survival mode and always watchful, never secure. The parallels I can draw are imperfect, but I can relate at least a bit to how that would have felt to her--which of course is one of the principal values of stories, in my opinion, giving the observer a connection, something to identify with, during the turbulent times of life. It is somehow heartening, at least for me, to see a fictional person experiencing similar things and surviving them; it's far too easy, in difficult circumstances, to end up feeling very alone in one's experiences, and having someone to relate to can be powerfully consoling, even if that person only exists on paper or a screen. Some forms of experience, of emotion, are universal; they appear different across cultures or times, but the underlying themes remain.

When Brennan was reunited with her partner during her exile, she admitted to him that she didn't think she could live that way much longer; the strain of it had brought her near her breaking point. He pointed out to her that she really had no other choice (beyond arrest and imprisonment for a murder she didn't commit) but to see it through until the circumstances changed. That is the feeling I came to understand as time dragged on and nothing changed, nothing happened to allow me to escape the exile of long-term unemployment and the pile-up of attendant unpleasant possibilities. But just as Brennan managed to survive, to maintain her sanity and not give in entirely to bitterness and despair, so did I manage to make it through the worst of things (at least the worst of it so far; no telling what the future will bring. I have spoilers for Brennan's upcoming trials, but not for my own). She had to discover and call upon hidden reserves of resourcefulness and strength, and so did I. As it turned out, I didn't have to leave my home, and if I do so in the future it will be by my choice as well as necessity. Brennan got to come home and I got to stay home. That's good enough for a start.

No comments:

Post a Comment