Friday, December 08, 2006

It is freezing here. F-f-freezing.

Last night we had snow flurries, the first of the year. Now, it's just bitter cold and brutal. This is the worst time for me as it has a serious affect on my mood.

As I'd mentioned before, I registered with a temp agency as I'm waiting for either a job in Los Angeles or for the show to start again. It's all about the job mojo, and the rule that it's easier to find a job while you are working, no matter where. Time is ticking towards Season Five, and I'm still unsure whether I'm going back. I love the people there, but it's just a huge chunk of time to commit to Baltimore. Maybe I could use it as a ramp up savings time to just move to LA once it ends. But, I'm growing restless.

Oddly enough, my first stint with the temp agency took me to the same building where our casting office is. It's for a nonprofit organization that pairs mentally handicapped with a peer who is not mentally handicapped. They have programs in high schools, middle schools, colleges and I believe just normal in the world people. It's a strict data entry job, perfect to put the iPod on Shuffle Songs, work and get paid for it. The office is open and warmly decorated, which I love. At any time, there are about three to five people there.

It's strange to be "the temp." The reason, is people aren't sure why you are a temp. They don't know if you are smart, have a college education, can belch like a truck driver or if yesterday you stopped a bullet with the palm of your hand. All they know is that you are there for a few days, maybe even one, and therefore don't feel a need to get to know you. They don't ask what your background is, or anything about you. All they know is that you are there to do a task as if you're a new printer they just plugged in. At the same time, I have a transitory attitude as well. However, I do take note of my surroundings and the people in them. It's a weird dynamic, but it works. There's a wonderful psychological freedom in being "the temp."

I also believe that sometimes we are given reminders of how lucky we are. As much as I get down on myself, at the heart of it I know I'm extraordinarily lucky. The last few weeks, I've been forgetting that. The data that I'm entering details some of the people with disabilities. It's sobering, that's for sure. My second day there, I was greeted by a young man that I knew had some sort of disability. He excitedly told me that it was his dream to work there since he'd been in the program. His hands shook from over excitement, and he told me that he'd fundraised his salary. Now that was a first one for me. I thought it was brilliant. Not to mention motivated and completely entrepreneurial. It was also inspiring. Not because of his disability, which he told me was Asperger's Syndrome, but because he'd wanted something so badly that he not only went after it, but raised money so he could get paid to work at the place of his choice. Jeez, I just might try that myself! I could just see it. Oh, my salary is taken care of, so and so. I love it.

At the beginning of the day, after he finished speaking with me, another employee approached me and told me that he could be intense. I told her I wasn't bothered at all, and I wasn't. He was the only person who asked me about myself.

Throughout the day when he'd come to talk to me, he told me of his other disabilities, one being OCD, which I could tell by the way he organized things rigidly on his desk, and ADD. He'd mention it as casually as one would say, "I bumped my head getting into the car this morning." He also spoke of the affects of his condition with a self awareness that few people have. As an example, on Friday they were scheduled to get new furniture. He told me he wasn't going to be in since change like that upset him. Occasionally, he'd stop by my desk to see how far I'd gotten in my tasks and call me a "fast typer." I told him the key was the iPod, keeping to the beat just helps me keep going. That's when he told me of his ADD. I wonder what it must feel like to have to explain yourself to people all the time. To feel you are in a world where you are markedly different and know that you can't function the same way that the majority seems to be able to do with ease.

What has to be particularly hard for him is that his disabilities, until you talk to him aren't evident on the surface. He's not in a wheelchair, doesn't walk with a limp or slur his words. It's only evident in his actions or behavior, and that has to be hard. I know a little of that, having suffered through depression hell. Feeling out of sorts in a world where people seem to be coping just fine. If I was to say to them, "I have depression," it's not something that people fully understand. It's a more frustrating thing, because most people think it's something one can just snap out of. When I was spiraling, it was especially frustrating for friends and family to watch me make poor decisions, whether they be financial or personal. It was frustrating for me to not understand where my fight had gone and wonder who this person was that was staring at me back in the mirror.

I'm always on guard for it to come back, and know what a precarious path I walk. Especially during winter when light and warmth are at a low. Though it's nothing like his afflictions, it can be daunting to know that I have to approach things differently because of anxiety or depression. Or, on days when it gets really bad to become a master of deception, putting on a happy face. Or, on really bad days, a neutral face. In short, it just plain fucking sucks. But I won't let it rule me.

Oh, hell no.

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