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5:06 p.m. - May 30, 2003
Can it be true or is it like Velveeta, the untrue cheese?
Wendy, the other boss at the San Francisco agency, called a half hour ago and asked point blank, Whatís going on? Easy for me to ascribe angry but it wasnít, it was concern even if I resist. Asked why my availability went from 100% to 80 to 10 to zero and when I do accept assignments, I cancel more than half of them. Wendy was not put off or deterred and I tell you, it was comforting. How much I want and relish peopleís obstinance, how good it is to feel genuinely cared for. It doesnít happen often.

Launched into my Iíve-been-busy-with-the-book soliloquy and she cut me off, No, unh-huh. Said she could tell thereís something more and I was quiet for a minute and said Iíve pretty much given up. I used to work 60 hours a week, be in school 15, write outstanding papers, thrived on the competitive nature of interpreting, strived to be the best, to put so much distance between myself and the nearest competitor to make competition seem foolish. And now, I struggle to get out of bed most days, work next to nothing, write nothing. So itís depression or something akin, I know this.

You know what Wendy said? She said that there are many people who care for me, everybody in the office is worried and my colleagues have noted my absence. I said my not working is a boon to other interpreters because it means more work for them and she interrupted me, disagreed, mentioned I am one of the best, one of the agencyís preferred. The week-long stint in the mountains didnít work because the requesting company would only work with me and were peeved I was unavailable. Asked me if I knew what itís like to be compelled to assign work to the lesser qualified because Iím not available. I thought that were I to disappear off the radar screen things would still run smoothly, I could crawl under my rock and I wouldnít adversely affect things. I guess thatís inaccurate.

Told me about the school district that wants to hire me to evaluate their services in the fall, a five-month project at consultation rates; Iíve done these before and always enjoyed them and my interest upsurged much like a jerky harridan witnessing a market altercation. She asked if there was anything the agency could do and I had nothing to say, no suggestions. She said I canít hide forever and I thought how true and thatís what Iíve been thinking about as Iíve written this entry. Iíve been trying to hide Ė mostly ineffectively Ė for some reason, pulling away. Iím not sad, but something. Dispirited? Simply ennui? Itís more like being at a total loss; nothing Iíve planned has come to pass and for someone like me, thatís terrifying. I donít know what to do anymore and thatís not fun, it isnít exciting, it isnít wide-open vistas and roads that rise to meet my feet, the sun at my back. Itís dark and damp and windy with echoes and I want to sit down, curl up. Rest until thereís light.

Doesnít work this way. Mind over matter, mind over matter. I can yank myself up out of the doldrums; I do it often enough though the ceiling lowers each time.

So next week Iím working 45 hours at an assignment anybody else would go crazy for. Iíve done it before and will enjoy it. Plus, itís at premium rates.

Ah. I want a challenge. Thatís what I miss. I figure Iím the challenge and to look inward rather than outward. Maybe thatís the key?

 

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