I never read the book Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. I was introduced to the term years before I even knew of the book’s existence. The song “Live in the Sky” by T.I. has a verse that goes “It’s a Catch 22, you either lose or you lose”, and the saying stuck with me ever since.
That’s what I’m in right now. It starts with my car being repossessed. Without a vehicle my answer to “Do you have a reliable form of transportation?” becomes no, which pretty much guarantees no place outside of walking distance is going to hire me. Sure, I could lie, but then the bus breaks down, doesn’t show up, turns up late, gets caught in traffic, etc, and now I’m a liar without a reliable form of transportation. Of course all that’s assuming I could even get a normal job, which was proven false when I looked around for one while I still had my car. (That reminds me that my license is suspended now too! Oh the irony.)
But that’s okay, I can work remotely with an internet connection and build back up that way, right? Well I have literally $14 to my name, and without any money I can’t pay subscription fees and whatnot that are needed to grow my business in any sort of speedy capacity – if at all, which remains to be seen. (Life lesson #1 kids – it takes money to make money.)
I’ve had one Fiverr client, and he didn’t even bother giving me a review or saying anything after I turned in the work he requested. Other than that I haven’t heard so much as a simple “Hi” from any other kind of client, prospective or otherwise.
I’m going to be effectively evicted by the end of the month, i.e. four to seven days. I’ll start starving right around then too. (Not the “Oh, I’m starving! I haven’t eaten in twenty-four hours!” type most people think they’re familiar with either. Trust me, true starvation is no picnic.)
The point is I feel like I’m stuck in a Catch 22 of sorts. No matter what I choose to do I’m damned one way or another.
It’s my fault. I never once even thought otherwise. I put myself in this position. Don’t take my bemoaning as a sign of anything different. Just because I know it’s all my fault doesn’t mean I still can’t bitch about it right? At least afford me that small comfort.
I don’t have anything uplifting to turn this around with – sorry to all the eternal optimists out there. To be honest, I’m not a cheerful person. I’ve seen life predictably play out poorly too many times to be anything other than a realist.
Do you know why there are so many books written about people who are successful and their successes? Because success is fucking rare. Sure, there are thousands of books about it, but there’s also billions of people in the world. The truth is there are a trillion ways to fail in life and only a comparative handful of ways to succeed – many of which require dumb luck.
The hardest truth I’ve discovered in my twenty-four years is that hard work doesn’t pay off. I think it used to, not even that long ago, but it doesn’t any more. Take for instance the thousands of actors who work their entire lives to never get even a semblance of a big break, or – let’s bring it back down to Earth a bit – the hundreds of thousands of people who work at retail stores for decades and never get that managerial promotion.
There are too many people for hard work to be a deciding factor. Every career, every form of potential income, is supersaturated to the point where success in any endeavor becomes a lottery of some sort. Just think for a second about the chance that someone better than Michael Jordon never got scouted and wound up working at McDonalds their entire life instead of being a professional basketball player. They worked hard, honed their skills, and still got nowhere. Statistically the likelihood is astronomical and the same rule can be applied to every career path in existence.
Of course this all depends on how you define success, which is another discussion topic entirely, and I fully admit my definition of success is more grandiose than most people’s. But I also believe most people have tailored their personal version of success because consciously or unconsciously, they know what I’m saying to be true and have adapted their lives accordingly.
Yea, it’s sad, but that’s life. I commend all the people who can just ignore it, and I’m jealous because I can’t. I can’t settle. I can’t amend my expectations. I can’t live out my days doing some 9-to-5 that doesn’t involve something I’m passionate about, where I’m not creating. And yet everywhere I look, all signs point to that not being a possibility. That even trying is futile.