Ever have one of those days when things just don't go right? It's like everything is just off kilter and bound and determined to get nothing but worse. Now, I've known a lot of people lately who've had ridiculous bad days. The kind where you wake up and expect normal, but by day's end someone you love is no longer in this world. It's been one of those years of death actually. Haven't known so many people that have died since 2003-04. (sigh) I certainly don't want to trivialize that sort of bad day with the kind I had on Saturday, but it was a doozy all the same.
It started out okay, pretty well even. Mark and I hit up some garage sales (something he's become quite fond of both hosting and visiting this summer) and we made a great find. A Foosball table in excellent condition. And not some wimpy little one, but a serious (heavy) one. So we had a little Christmas in September, and handed over the cash. It definitely wasn't going to fit in our little Milan, so we headed back to Moscow (all the sales were in Pullman today, due to the fair being the star event in Moscow this weekend) to borrow my Dad's truck.
While we were back at the house I had a little time. It felt good to sit be still for a while after getting up at 6 to check the sales, and I decided to check e-mail. I don't get much by way of exciting e-mail anymore these days. It seems most people now resort to facebook messages rather than actual letters (the paper kind obviously having fallen out of fashion years ago with the astronomical rise of stamp prices) so my inbox is mostly full of ads. It get lots from wedding sites, despite the fact that my wedding took place over seven months ago, as well as airline ticket companies, Publishers Clearing House, and different survey companies. Today, however, I got a most unfortunate e-mail that really kicked me in the stomach.
Basically I've been saying my entire life that I want to write. I've no doubt been spoiled by the praise of those near and dear to me. I got plenty of recognition in school, and figured I had a handle on the whole writing thing. Naturally, when my sister called me with the idea of joining some freelance writing website it seemed like a no brainer. I checked out a couple and was pretty excited by some of the options. Then I went to check my e-mail after having applied to a decent paying company only to receive a rejection letter.
It's not like this is my first rejection letter. When I was in High school I sent out copies of my manuscript and got a nice handful of the things, but I was aware that they were all unsolicited, and had been expecting rejection. But to have a company try to say nicely that I might have been told in the past that I could write, but it's highly competitive and I just don't have what it takes picked me up and threw me headlong over the edge. The thing is, I know I can do just about anything. Tell me what you want me to do, give me and idea of how to do it, and I'll manage. That's one of the reasons I've always been so irritated when job hunting. I know I can do these jobs, and all my previous employers will gush over me, but that doesn't mean I can manage to get an interview.
The whole episode brought me back to the day when I got a rejection letter from the Simpson acting group. The truth is, I probably would have been irritated by the sort of acting they did. It was all overly theatrical religious skits for chapel, but when I got the letter saying they felt like "God was calling me in a different direction" I was beyond crushed. I was down right angry. So angry that I wrote a letter to the club captain and informed her that she should seriously consider rewording her rejection letters because she had no right to represent herself as being equal with God when deciding what a person should do in life. The sad thing is, I haven't acted since then. Realistic or not, the entire thing put me off, and there really haven't been options since then. And I suppose you could say the rejections in high school put me off trying to publish anything, because I certainly haven't offered up a manuscript to a publisher since then.
It was just a black mark on the day. The sort of thing that's hard to shake. Mark and my parents were fabulous in trying to make me feel better and encouraging me to try again, but the truth is, a letter like that makes me lose the desire completely. Sure, there's another company that I can work for, but they pay an tiny fraction of the price and require three versions of every article. I'm the girl who didn't ever write drafts in college. They were a waste of time. Why write something over and over when you can do a great job the first time? Utterly pointless in my book. I know I should probably make myself do it, but it's really tough to force the issue.
After that it was hard to motivate myself to go and pick up the Foosball table. I wanted to sit in my chair and cry at my computer for the rest of the day. But we'd already given them the money. So we hopped in the truck and headed out. Unfortunately, the gas tank was empty so we had to put in a few gallons. I had the brilliant plan that I'd just add $10. It would be plenty to get us to Pullman and back. I asked Mark to pump for me, and I went inside to prepay. Nice idea, right? I mean, what station out there actually lets you pump before you pay without putting in your credit card first? I can't remember the last time I had that happen. Well, apparently the Moscow Chevron is a different sort of place. The trusting type you could say.
After waiting several minutes for the attendant to show up behind the counter, and then waiting a bit longer while she served the man in front of me, I was blown away when I told her to put $10 on 5 and she informed me that it was already more than that. Come again? Apparently, she'd been feeling extra helpful and just started it up without waiting to see if I was going to prepay. I rushed right out and shouted for Mark to stop the gas, but it was already up to $30. I. Was. So. Angry. I could scarcely contain myself. It was like adding expensive insult to crushed dream injury. I wanted to shout at the girl and ask her what she was going to do if all I had was $10. I mean, seriously. I was shaking and trying my best to talk politely, and assure her that I realize it wasn't her fault, nor was it Mark's fault. Most likely the whole mess was my fault. But I REALLY didn't want to throw away that much money at that moment. Not cool.
All this led to me just being a mess for the rest of the day. We got the Foosball table home, and after an immense amount of effort managed to get it into the basement. We won't talk about when it slipped out of my hands while we had it on its side to get through the door, or how my back is still not too pleased with how heavy the whole ordeal was. We just have to be happy that we have the beast. Not to mention how we had enough gas in the truck to drive up Moscow Mountain and have a romantic walk on our 7 month anniversary. (okay, so I didn't actually realize Monday was our anniversary until the next day. It also happened to be inventory day at work, meaning I was up at 4:15 AM in order to count a bunch of stuff. Not my favorite time of day.) Some days really are better to just put in the past and move on. Sadly, not everything is as easy to walk away from. I'd really been hoping the writing job could help us when we're living in Czech for three months with no jobs, and then returning to the US after, still with no jobs. Don't really have the life savings to fall back on that I had when we came back last time.
In his eloquent way, Mark reminded me that maybe this was all just God trying to wake me up from my every day life so I can start "REALLY" writing. Hard to say. For now I'm just going to do the best I can to keep on going through these days with the hope that some day it'll all come together for us, one way or another. And every day that isn't such a miserable, horrible, no good very bad day needs to be seen as a blessing. And I guess I even need to look for blessings in those icky days too. God does like to play like that every now and again, especially with me it would seem. So it goes.