Monday, August 5, 2019

Focus on My Mental Health - pt. 22 - Craft Show & Intense Anxiety

     Back around the end of March, I made some plans with a friend to head to Indianapolis to watch the Critical Role Live Show.  If you don't know what that is, then you're not as much of a nerd as I am, and that's okay.  It's basically watching a bunch of anime/video game voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons in front of a live audience of some two thousand or more people.  We happened to get tickets to be two of those people.
     Then the two of us stressed out for weeks hoping that we'd be able to get the time off together and that our terrible manager wouldn't throw a wrench in our plans by telling one of us we couldn't go (because, as I've mentioned so long ago, she didn't want us being friends or spending any time outside of work together...miserable woman.)
     Then just a few weeks later, I got fired and suddenly didn't have to worry about having the day off.  Well, sort of since I'd really hoped I'd have a new job by then and would have the worry about asking for it off instead of worried about what our manager would do to us.  So, with that off the table for the time being, I ceased worrying too much about it.  Then a few months later, my friend got away from that woman and her new job told her it would be fine if she went, she'd just have to do her test a day early (which she passed after only missing one question, so go her!)  Meanwhile...still jobless, I still had no worries with regards to whether I'd have a day off or not.

     Skip forward to May.  After a few weeks of being miserable (and coming down with colds TWICE) I pushed forward in my plan to make money somehow, by actually going after a spot at a craft show at a local church brat fest that I'd been thinking about for quite some time.  I finally got a table!  Got the payment turned in, got the confirmation, I was so excited... and then I realized that the two things were on the EXACT SAME WEEKEND.

     Well....this is awkward.

     I pushed forward with both plans even though as the days crept closer I started to freak out more and more that I couldn't pull it off.  But I had a lot of craft stock done and even though I took time in between to work on my D&D stuff, job application stuff, failing at unemployment stuff, and website/social media stuff...I somehow managed to get enough stock for the craft table and that was pretty awesome.

     But how to cover a table when I'd be out of town and they were very specific about having to have someone there the first day?  Thankfully, that's where my husband and my in-laws came in and we started preparing for them to set it up and run it on day one and then to tell everyone it was a last minute thing that I got tickets to this show and had to go.  Okay, it would have been a lie, but later once that Friday was over, he'd never had to tell the lie even once because no one asked where I was.
     The picture above was the prep setup I did so my husband could take pictures of it and have an idea how to put everything.  He actually sold quite a bit that first day (more then I sold on the last day to be quite honest) and it was a relief to me that no one ever asked about me and for all the staunch rules I was given at the outset - we were still given a form for the next show, so I guess no one actually missed me at all.

     Meanwhile, I was facing a challenge of taking a road trip with someone I'd never taken a road trip with before, hitting all of these stops along the way, and getting to that Live Show I mentioned in a city I'd only visited a few times when I was much younger.  
     I was a bit nervous about it all, but the drive was easy (I'd done 90% of it before) and we had lots to talk about and there were only a few lulls in the conversation but never enough to turn on the radio, and I was super amazed because it's been a long time since I've had a friend with me in a car for a three hour drive that wasn't my husband.  And even longer since I'd stayed in a hotel with someone that wasn't family.
     But it all turned out okay - we made our stops, we got to our hotel in time (even though the payment system online is really lame and was supposed to be paid for in advance but in reality they don't take any money until you check weird).  And we even managed to find a parking spot in that crazy town when the stupid venue parking was filled with food trucks......  Not a happy camper about that honestly - it was so nerve wracking to get back to the car in the middle of this big city after midnight.  I can't say I've done that since my 20's.

     In the middle of it all though, I get a phone call from a job I'd applied to.  They leave a message.  I get to the hotel, I get a busy signal.  Then another...  really?  In this day and age?  Then I get an answering machine.  WUT.  I leave a message.  I have 45 minutes in the hotel room and hear nothing.  I get on the road and am driving in circles around Indianapolis trying to find a parking lot somewhere and they freakin' call back.  I told them I was traveling...  They shoot back they'll be there until 6pm.
     At the restaurant my friend convinces me to call back.  They answer, they schedule an interview - no other talk, nothing - just, can you make it on Tuesday?  Hmmmm.  They'll send an email confirmation.

     I don't get this email until I finally thought to check my Spam three days later.  Not entirely sure this place is on the up and up, if you catch my drift.  I start to worry about whether I should even go.  I'm having a full-on anxiety attack of - nonononononono - but at the same time I think, "but it might be a job, right?"
     And then another friend tells me that she found out the reason I didn't get hired at the other place was because I didn't have call-center experience.  I almost lost it.

I wanted to scream.

     Like ALL those years in retail weren't experience with dealing with phone calls one after another after another??  Do you have this item?  Can you tell me this price?  Why isn't my online order going through?  Can I sign up for a class?  What's wrong with my gift card?  Can I speak to a manager?  ALL WHILE TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF ME.

If ANYTHING... my job was a LOT HARDER then some stupid call center job!!!!

But...I don't have experience in a call center.


     So... between that and this interview which I feel is going to go no where like every other stinking job interview I've had - plus it's a half hour drive away - the only thing that's even vaguely making my consider still going is a morbid curiosity to go into an area I've never been before.  Apparently it's right next to Amazon or something.  But once I really read this job description, it sounds like this "receptionist" job is actually just "warehouse mom" because you have to man the phones, keep the breakroom food stocked and the supplies stocked... help do shipping when needed, etc etc.
     I have no idea if I'm even going to feel like it tomorrow.  Especially when I'm balancing my husband having these wild swings between - you need to get a job now -  to you shouldn't go to this one... you should help me with the convention - you should do all of this work for me and I'm stuck doing even more housework than normal because his new job will have him away so I'll be back to cooking and cleaning and doing all of the stuff I usually do in my normal housewife fashion...and I honestly am getting so many mixed signals right now.

     Does he want me to help with the convention and keep up the house to keep up my side of the household?

     Or does he want me to get a job and make money and take care of things like we used to do?

     I just don't have a single clue because he swings wildly from "we'll be fine" to "you need to get insurance NOW."

     And I thought that maybe doing this online business thing and craft shows might be a good way to pass the time and start my own business.  I had an enjoyable time listening to everyone (on Saturday and Sunday once I got back from my trip) tell me that things were "cute" or "did you paint these?  They are really good."  And all of those compliments were awesome even if I didn't get as much business as I'd hoped I'd get - it was about what I expected overall.
     But I don't know if I can spend time working on that any more.  And if I get a job, I definitely won't.  Sometimes it really doesn't feel like I have enough time in the day to do all of the things I want to do, even when I force myself to really work, suddenly my day goes from noon to dinner and I have no idea what I accomplished during that time sometimes.

     As usual, this blog was an attempt to square away some of my feelings about things.  I want to feel really excited about stuff but I haven't actually felt relaxed enough to feel happy and in the moment as I would like.  My mind is always on the next thing and worried about getting through it and maybe a moment here and there I really can stop and relax, but I'm starting to get afraid that my body has been so tightly strung it can't unwind anymore.


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