I had a job interview today at a Very Important Organisation. The Very Important Organisation is so important that just going there for an interview is worth talking about, but also so important that it’s pretty much impossible to talk about it without giving away what it is, so I’m going to be silent here. Suffice to say I nearly couldn’t find it, but got there on time in the end. I thought I did OK in the interview because I only had a little autistic mental freeze, but the interview lasted about twenty-five minutes and at the start they said it would be forty-five minutes to an hour, maybe more, so I either aced it or did so badly they just wanted me out of there.
I started feeling anxious on the way home about whether I could actually do the job. I became anxious about having to do cataloguing, even though it wasn’t on the job spec or the overview they gave me at the interview, because one of the interviewers said something about seeing it on my CV. I’ve become paranoid about my cataloguing skills, feeling that I’m so rusty that maybe I should not say I can do it any more, but then what would I put on my CV? I also asked if the job could be done as as job share, which did not go down well, so if I get it, I would probably have to do it full-time and I’m not sure I’m ready for that.
Later this afternoon I got a call from an agency offering me an interview and test (gulp) at a law firm (as a law librarian) this Friday. I’ve never really seen myself as a law librarian, but I will go along and see what happens. There is a test, details unknown, which terrifies me after messing up (or more accurately, being unable to complete) the last cataloguing test I did. I worry that my skills are so rusty as to be useless. It feels sometimes like interviews and tests exist just to further lower my self-esteem.
I broke up with L., if “broke up” is the right term when we’d only been on two dates. I just didn’t think there was enough chemistry.
“Chemistry” seems such a stupid, intangible thing to break up over. I can see that L. is kind and gentle and that maybe the fact we had both been through a lot of difficult times could help the relationship. Moreover, in the past, I used to get annoyed when people broke up with me for a lack of chemistry. In fact, I used to think I would date someone with no chemistry and see if it would develop, but now I realise just how important it is, even if it is undefinable. I could see it was just never going to develop on its own, no matter how hard I tried to force it. I feel sorry for L., as she is a nice person who has had a hard life, but marrying someone out of pity is not a good idea and she deserves better than that.
The scary thing is that for a week or so I convinced myself that the chemistry was there. At the end of our first date, I was sure that L. was about to say she didn’t want to see me again and I was fine with that as I didn’t really feel anything, but to my surprise, she wanted to meet again and so I said yes to give it a chance. Then for a week or so afterwards, in my mind I thought we were perfect for each other and were bound to get married eventually, but as soon as I turned up for our second date and met her in the flesh again that certainty evaporated immediately and I realised it was just fantasy. I was projecting what I wanted out of the relationship onto her, not relating to her as a real person.
Breaking up does feel like the right decision, upsetting though it is to have to say that to someone (I’d never really broken up with anyone before, except one instance which was a semi-mutual thing; usually they break up with me). I’ve also asked the dating service I met L. through not to set me up with anyone else for now, as I want to concentrate on my job hunt. I think I have enough uncertainty and stress with that and my wait for an autism assessment without adding any more stress in. My parents and (I think) my rabbi mentor seem to think I could be dating, but I just don’t think I can handle it right now, despite my loneliness. Plus, being unemployed doesn’t make me terribly attractive.
Still, I think I have learnt a bit from the experience. From my dating experience over the last couple of years, I feel that I’m looking for someone kind and intelligent, but who probably is already quite frum (religious). I’ve dated non-frum women who said they would become frum for me, but I worry that that would make Judaism into a barrier, plus I want someone who is interested in active spiritual growth with me, not just doing something as a chore to make me happy. I realise I’ve probably priced myself out of the market here, as someone frum might want a partner who went to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary) or who goes to shul (synagogue) or studies Talmud more often than I do. Plus I also need someone who can accept my mental health situation and my financial situation, which is not going to be easy. They also need to accept my geekery, which can be hard in general society, let alone frum society.
Put like that I wonder a bit if I made the right decision with L., but I think I did, although I may be single for a long time yet. The relationship didn’t have any of the joy or excitement I associate with starting other relationships, which is not a promising start.
It’s hard to prise my feelings apart sometimes. My Mum said yesterday that she thinks my depression is a lot better and when I say I’m depressed now I often mean I’m anxious. There could be something in that. I certainly seem more anxious than I was in the past. Thinking about work/career, dating, marrying and having children or just the future in general does make me feel anxious at the moment because it all seems scarily open, but time is ticking on, as I said yesterday.