OK, I am officially depressed.
I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but I'm not surprised. If I knew I was going to get a job at the clinic, I might feel better. But now it feels like I'm courting them and they're playing coy with me, and I don't know how to deal with it. I'm not naturally optimistic: I expect rejection, bad luck and failure in life. So, even though it's only been a week, I find myself thinking that I was wrong to pursue this and now I'll have to go back to what I deserve: doing any job that will hire me and pay me, no matter how much I hate it.
The signs have been there. I'm still sleeping a lot and odd hours. All I want to eat are grilled cheese snadwiches and cereal. I'm not talking to anyone. I'm barely even leaving the apartment.
That's all bad enough, but do you know what came next?
I discovered Second Life.
Second Life is boring and poorly-rendered. People wander around blocky, half-finished landscapes looking for useless things to buy and sex. Upon actually chatting with some of these people, I've come to learn that there are whole networks of people devoted to playing out fantasies of Elvish tribes protecting and enslaving each other, dressing up like bunnies and practicing BDSM. It's like Lord of The Rings meets D&D meets Hello Kitty meets The Story of O.
Of course, this being the Internets, this is not surprising. But people take it so seriously. Granted, with extrememly limited vocabulary, but seriously, nonetheless. It's fascinating.
And therein lies the sad part, because although I find it repellent to completely immerse oneself in fantasy to escape the world on a regular basis, I see the appeal. I've gone through several periods in my life where I've done this, including protracted period in my childhood where my best friend and I spent most of our time making up elaborate stories because real life was so depressing, and, naturally, some ill-advised internet dating situations. My point being, if there is a place where you can pretend to be whoever you want and noodle around exploring weird stuff while remaining completely safe in your real life, I don't want to get sucked into it. For some people, it is a pleasant diversion. However, if I am depressed, I know that it can all to easily become a perceived refuge, even if it is, all said, pretty boring.
The only upside to this is that you can make money in Second Life. People make virtual clothes and objects and develop virtual land for increasingly tidy sums. And, it does occur to me that, with my level of creativity and experience in this sort of thing (don't even ask Mrs. Nator how much time I spent creating junk for The Sims when it I first discovered it, or how caught up I get in getting my Madden Superstar into the Hall of Fame), I might be able to turn this temporary interest into a bit of cash. The danger is, of course, falling further into the hole of reclusive geekery, which is only so fulfilling. I mean, I admit I'm a geek, but I'm not a serious geek. I'm too old, I rarely txt msg anyone, and I thought The Catswold Portal was for shit. I don't know a thing about Bluetooth or Firewire... I don't even own a game console, people!
I guess what I'm saying, in my roundabout way, is: escapism is fine, even nice, but one has to be careful when one is prone to depression and isolation to begin with. So, once I see the signs I have to admit to myself that I'm down and let meyself feel it, so I can move on. It's understandable that I'm discombobulated and upset: my routine of nine years has abruptly ended! I'm faced with a giant neon sign flashing "NOW WHAT?" and I don't know the answers. Now is the time to tell myself that it's okay - I'm not the only one who's gone through this, and it doesn't make me a failure. It just makes me a fallible, feeling human. I need to learn to love myself for that.