I’ve been applying to jobs all day long and I’ve been remembering exactly why it is that I was so happy to finally find a job, any job, in Orlando. Searching for jobs, applying for jobs, waiting to hear back about jobs–it’s all so stressful and life-altering. The feelings of fear, will I get called about this position or rejected out of hand? The rejection is the worse. In every area of my life, rejection is my biggest fear. What’s at the base of that feeling? Well, I can’t honestly say. The main thing I remember though is the gift thing, which may not have anything to do with it at all.

So, to the gifts. When I was younger, I got gifts from my father for my birthday and christmas all the time. My father was never in the same state as me. He was in Florida, or Tennessee, or California, or wherever, I didn’t really know, but I did know that wherever he was, he was thinking about me. One of my favorite gifts was this copy machine thing. I don’t know if any of you will remember these things, but they were very popular. The simpler one was a then grey sheet you wrote on with a little stencil, then pulled it up to erase. The one I got was more sophisticated. You put paper into it, drew on it, then pressed a button to copy your drawing or message onto the paper.

I enjoyed the gifts that other people would give me, but I absolutely revelled in the gifts that my father got me. Maybe it was because he wasn’t there, or simply because he was my daddy, but I loved them. Looking under the tree or across a table full of gifts, I could never decide whether I should open his first, save them for last, or open one every other gift.

Then when I was maybe 10 or 11, I got a little from my father. It was pretty much about some issues he had had in his life with drugs and making bad decisions. It had, of course, nothing to do with gifts. It was simply to explain why he hadn’t really been involved in my life as much as he could/should have. The thing is, I had, at that point, no idea that he wasn’t that involved in my life. True, I didn’t see him, but I had gotten all these gifts. Or had I?

It really sunk in when he began visiting me afterwards. The gifts he would bring me were so…different than they were before. I liked them, mostly because they came from him, but they weren’t great gifts as the others had been. And the clothes he picked out for me…it was very clear that he hadn’t been responsible for the gifts I’d received before. I did later learn where they came from, but I never forgot the moment of realization that he hadn’t gotten them, hadn’t, most likely, been thinking about me in that time at all.

It didn’t get much better afterwards. He has always seemed to be much more concerned with what I am not doing “right” than what I am. He will commit about my hair not looking neat enough, or I look like I’m getting fat. When I confronted him about it, his approach is to just avoid saying anything about it at all. He has never asked why it bothers me, so he most likely doesn’t know that it feels like rejection.

All of this is way off topic from looking for a job, but it was on my mind.

I am having a problem with my boyfriend going places without me that I shouldn’t be having, which precipitated most of this. The real reason that it bothers me is because of another issue, that I don’t want to share (funny, since I’ve shared everything else but the state of the kitchen sink). Maybe at another time I’ll feel like sharing, but at the moment not.

All this looking for a job is just a reflection of everything else in my life. Have I really given it my best? Have I really taken the best for myself, or just whatever comes along first? Do I think I deserve better?

So many questions, and nothing but time to think about them at the moment.

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