Today I discovered that I need to get two projects commissioned and receive one four star plus rating to stay as a freelancer on the website I was hoping to use to find work as a freelance proofreader while I look for other work and work on my writing.  So far, I haven’t had one commission.  I just cut my proposed fees, again.  I will see if it helps.

Why does nothing I try to do work out?  I don’t want to be negative all the time, but this is really how it seems to me.  I’ve had four jobs; one I ruined completely and I think I only avoided being sacked because I was on a very short contract anyway.  One I partially messed up and when my contract was up for renewal with revisions to the job description with more interpersonal interactions, my boss made clear that she didn’t think I could handle the revised job because of my poor social skills (although she was still surprised when I turned down the offer).  One I seemed to do OK at the time, but in retrospect that seems to have been a product of low institutional expectations and short working hours (three afternoons a week) and even then I missed a lot of time due to depression and anxiety.  And one I did well, but was over-qualified for and, again, was only working short hours (two days a week).  Thus far success at work seems only to happen when I’m over-qualified for the position, working short hours and/or have a super-sympathetic boss.  I can’t rely on a sympathetic boss and part-time work is hard to find.  I’ve tried applying for jobs I’m over-qualified for, but I don’t usually get called to interview; once I did and still messed it up.


I looked on yesterday, which I don’t usually do.  It’s a site for anonymous writing from the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) community.  They basically post anything submitted that isn’t libellous or offensive.  All posts are anonymous.  The standard of writing varies wildly, as you would expect, but some of the posts are very raw and moving.  Some topics come up a lot, particularly things like losing faith, repressed homosexuality and experiences of abuse.  I’ve read quite a few posts there written by women with husbands who are either outright abusive (physically, sexually or emotionally) or who don’t know how to interact with their wives as if they are actual human beings or don’t seem to know anything about what their wives might want from marriage (or from sex).  It’s tempting to think that some of this might be through ignorance of married life in sheltered communities, except that the women also report being pressured into doing stuff sexually that they didn’t want to do and which their husbands probably would not have picked up in the frum world and probably got from watching porn, so they can’t be that sheltered.

I read these posts and think that I would probably be a better husband than these men.  I know I don’t know emotional stuff intuitively and I have to think my actions through very consciously, and I know at least one woman who turned me down partially because of this, but I feel most women would prefer a husband who consciously has to think about her needs to one who doesn’t think about them at all.

Reading stuff like that makes me feel that I could be dating again on the grounds that I do have something to offer, and I know a lot of people (my parents, my rabbi mentor, commenters here) have said I should, but I’m just scared of rejection.  Dating while unemployed and uncertain of where my life is going seems self-defeating.  I know Ashley Leia has said here that I should let the women decide that, but I can’t face the rejection, and I can’t face telling shadchanim (matchmakers) that I’m unemployed and being sent away by them.

I don’t know what my dating options are anyway.  I’m registered with the values-based dating service, but they haven’t matched me with anyone for a while.  I can’t really afford a paid dating service.  I can’t face online dating again.  I suppose there is the Rebbetzin that someone told my Dad would be able to help me find someone despite my issues, but I’m scared to phone because of the unemployment issue and because I’m terrified of phoning generally.  I could message on LinkedIn, but the unemployment issue would still be there and she might not check LinkedIn messages.  Last night I felt I would message her on LinkedIn, but today I don’t have the courage.

This is all aside from a crush I have on someone from my old shul who I haven’t seen for years, purely because, when she ran into my parents over a year ago, she asked how I was doing by name, which surprised me as I didn’t think she knew me at all.  It probably doesn’t indicate anything other than politeness on her part, but I’m lonely enough to read all kinds of things into it.  I could probably get in touch with her via Jewish geography if I really tried, but that’s far too scary and awkward.  I don’t even know if she’s still single or looking.


Things done today: brief interview preparation, a half hour walk, cooked dinner very quickly (kedgeree, only with vegetarian sausages substituting for fish in my case because I only eat meat and fish on Shabbat and Yom Tov; my parents had it with tinned tuna).  I also did some work on my Doctor Who book for about an hour and a half, producing a fourth draft of the first chapter, in the process pruning nearly 700 words to get the chapter down to under 7,000.  I would have liked to have done more Torah study; as it was, I managed about fifteen minutes before my brain gave up and stopped being able to translate Hebrew.

I suppose this is a lot, considering at one point I thought I was too depressed to do anything at all today.  Still, I wish I could do more.  At the moment I only have a couple of active hours in a day.  It feels like I’m wasting most of my life on procrastination and internet searching, trying to connect with people and not being able to do so.

2 thoughts on “Looking in all the Wrong Places

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