Everything’s going peachy. I found a place to live with six interesting, different, funny housemates. The house is big and clean and warm, and the kitchen is always full of good smells and people to share food with. There’s a box of red wine with a little tap and a garden out the back, and fuck me, this is perfect.
My French is getting better. In four months I’ve learnt more French than I learnt Italian in two years. I make little jokes in French. Not great sophisticated jokes but I’m starting to be able to express myself and make people laugh, which is more than I hoped for at this stage.
Antoine has settled into my life as my boyfriend, not perfect, not always present but a definite cherry on top of a fulfilling social life when he is around.
I’m happy… but I can’t find a fucking job.
I haven’t put THAT much energy into the job hunt, it’s true.
I haven’t been out monday to friday pushing my cvs and posting ads… I’ve never had to do that, and a few months of unemployment really saps your motivation, so it’s hard to start.
Whenever I’ve looked for a job before, I’ve done it online and found a shitty but financially decent job in a few days. It’s been a month now, a month of trawling the internet and kicking myself for not doing more physical jobhunting.
But it’s haaaaaard!
I’m intelligent, I’m a qualified English teacher, I speak four fucking languages. GIVE ME A JOB! I’m not even fussy. I just want to do something and get some money coming in because fuck, soon I’ll have to ask for more money from my family and I hate that.
And the thing is, I feel so damn entitled, it just makes it harder to get up early and go do what it takes to probably find work.
Ever since I was little…
I mean, I was a very clever child. I was always top of my class and I never did any work. I think this might have damaged my work ethic. Or meant I failed to ever get one.
When I was a child, I came home from school and then did whatever I felt like doing for the rest of the evening. If I had homework, then maybe I’d do it in ten minutes or maybe I wouldn’t bother at all. I was good at bullshitting. A lot of homework was corrected by the teacher asking us random questions. If you could think on the spot, you could get away with it. So every weekday I got home around 4pm and had around 5 hours to myself, and then I got older and my homework got harder but the teachers were less motivated to check up on us. I didn’t do my homework and maybe I got in more trouble but it didn’t really matter because I still did better than my classmates at tests and exams and on the spot questionning.
And still the workload grew and the teachers smiles and enthusiasm faded and we were teenagers and I got into more trouble but it started to give me a sense of power, being in trouble. I got labelled a nerd because I was in the top class, and I didn’t want to be in the top class because it was full of try hards with no sense of humour or social skills. I didn’t have great social skills either but I wanted to get a life, I wanted to flirt and make jokes and talk about sex and not caring about school was about the only thread of coolness I knew to tug on.
By the time I got a social life and a group of cool friends who weren’t ashamed to study and do their work, it was too late.
I had grown used to those endless afternoons of time wastage, the decadence of the weekends with nothing to feel guilty about, the only interruption to my fun, free life was monday mornings and even then I was pretty good at avoiding classes.
When the cotton wool came off and the dumped us out into the world I made it one semester into college before realising that my presence wasn’t going to cut it any more. I tried for about a week to STUDY. I got some books and a notepad and tried to copy what my friends were doing but what the fuck were they doing? How did they know this odd skill, writing out bits of the book onto a notepad in clear, concise, multicoloured sections? Were they really going to read back over that shit later? And if the bits you needed to study were handwritten in the notepad, why didn’t they just print a coursebook with that information? I had no fucking clue how to study and I still don’t. My classmates presumed this was me joking around, or pretending to do less work so I’d seem naturally smart. I came across a lot of people who did that. OH MY GOD I totally didn’t study, Arrrgh! And then they’d come out with an 86% on a college history paper, and I know that’s bullshit because our lectures only skimmed the topics, there was no way you could pull an A out of purely absorbing what you heard in class. It was all, go to the library and check out 10 books and filter through them with some mysterious…. how exactly did everyone know where to look, what to look for, what parts to copy out, how to write so neatly?
Since I was 10 I had been handing my essays in to doting teachers on crumpled, food stained loose pages with my handwriting getting smaller and smaller and the reading direction indicated with arrows as I ran out of space on the only page I could find in my mother’s car on monday morning, and had to go back into unused white space at the top.
And hey, I’m not saying I was sooo fucking special here, just that my school wasn’t very big and most of the smart kids in my area went to better schools, except for me because I stubbornly insisted on going where my friends were going, friends I immediately fell out with, I’d like to add….
but everyone else seemed to have learnt these skills to deal with a workload that didn’t even register with me. Teachers liked me when I was young and they let me get away with everything because I read a lot, I was interested, polite, I loved learning and although I was extremely argumentative I was also a really sweet and socially awkward little girl. I don’t know if they thought I was a genius or just felt sorry for me because I didn’t have any brothers or sisters or ahem, many friends… but I snuggled into the preferential treatment and here I am today, too lazy and entitled to do the hard work that life requires.