The Uplift 30.08.17
Let's start with the picture. It's my first effort at using an online tool called Photo Editor, because I had two photos that I wanted to share simultaneously: one taken early morning, 7ish, in July, with me about to go to work as a summer school teacher of adults. The other, last weekend, with summer school about to end, and me feeling tired but happy about finishing teaching and returning to my studies. They are two pictures that represent the beginning and end of my summer, the work I put in, as a trans person who thought not so long ago I might be unemployable.
Things change quickly: just a day or two ago, I wondered where the inspiration would come from for a weekly diary posting – just having something to say, about a life so unremarkable, without anything to celebrate, in a tangible sense.
I'm here now, though, feeling the uplift. Not all who wander are lost, of course, but sometimes it's difficult to know when drifting becomes losing your way in life, losing hope, you think it's the world, not you. Bitterness becomes your default setting.
I passed an interview on Monday, for part-time work at the university, the kind of work that other people used to beat me to. Check my past postings and you'll find the venting of melancholy, frustration, and rage. For the succession of defeats of a very personal nature, when the rejections kept coming. Did it use to be the same in earlier centuries? Were people always looking for work, jumping from one job to another? I may be playing cod-historian, but perhaps a feature of modernity is the amount of rejection we take, bam, bam, we are like punch bags, constantly - BAM! - constantly taking it before we stagger back while someone else is milking the adulation. So many offers of opportunity in this life; so many competitors, but so much scope for success - for those who deserve it. So many reasons to get discouraged when you return to your corner in the ring, undeserving loser that you are. At least in boxing, you know it will be over eventually, there are rules for these kind of beatings. White towels you can throw when it gets too much.I was really at a low after my failure to get funding back in April. I thought life would be about surviving for the next two years, studying and doing nothing else, and no work would come my way because I was unemployable outside of summer school teaching, as unemployable then as I am now, after my successful interview. You suffer enough rejections and you forget these feelings of excitement. Then one evening, as good news sinks in, you wake up and feel it. But even now, the feeling of YES has gone again. These highs and lows, like Edinburgh weather, sometimes too much to take.