I’m overwhelmed. Slowly sinking. And over the past 32 years have developed frighteningly inadequate coping skills. Who knew trying to buy a foreclosed house in Tennessee owned by a bank in Texas which hasn’t been occupied for two years while trying to secure financing through a non-profit advocacy organization would end up being a process that closely resembles a full time job?!
Never mind that I already HAVE a full time job. A job that requires my nearly undivided attention at least 8 hours every day. And while some may be operating under the misconception that architects just sit at drafting tables drawing pretty pictures all day, my job is actually fairly demanding, and often stressful enough to warrant alcohol... or tears... or oreos.
In addition to my full time job for which I am paid, AND my new full time job dealing with bankers, realtors, contractors, inspectors, and NACA every goddamn hour of every goddamn day of the week, I am also trying to help a friend rent her house out here in Nashville. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a big deal. However, responding to emails and phone calls and requests from interested parties and then trying to schedule a time for those parties to view the house while I’m simultaneously responding to phone calls and generating emails and creating project scopes and trying to schedule times to meet with contractors and inspectors, and wading through the murky swamps of not only NACA red tape, but foreclosure red tape, trying desperately to meet our inspection deadline and our closing deadline, while trying to competently coordinate with structural engineers and fire safety code professionals and making sure proximity cabinets are shown on the plan the way the hospital wants them, and taking conference calls with elevator construction vendors and preconstruction managers and hospital equipment vendors while trying to help design a building that functions safely and efficiently and looks halfway fucking decent…
and that’s when the drowning sensation swirls around me and I panic and start gasping for air.
Believe it or not, in person, I’m not much of a complainer. I’ve always been of the opinion that my stress, my problems, my busy-ness is no worse than anyone else’s. Right? I mean, we all have shit to deal with and my shit isn’t any more important or special than anyone else’s shit. Which is why I don’t complain. Which is why I complain here instead. If I didn’t do it here, the consequences of keeping this stuff to myself could be catastrophic.
I’ll keep treading because I have no other choice and because I’m just being a big whiny baby, and what the hell would I do if I REALLY had stress? You know, the serious kind of stress that people everywhere have to deal with everyday. Like losing my job or losing a loved one or not having clean water or enough food or a safe place to sleep.
You would think that putting my piddly problems into perspective like that would snap me out of my navel-gazing stress, but oddly it doesn’t. Instead, it makes me feel like a horrible person. Like, how dare I complain about the stress in my life when, compared to A LOT of people, I have it really good. So then, in addition to the stress that has not dissipated, I berate myself for being so ungrateful, so self-important, so grossly self-absorbed. Yeah, it’s vicious. And totally unhealthy and unproductive. And the kicker is that I realize how stupid I’m being, so then on top of the stress and self battery, I further chastise myself for being so self indulgent as to even waste the time and energy berating myself about something so completely inconsequential. And then I feel insignificant and inadequate and want to crawl under the covers of my bed and devour 3 pints of ice cream.
Coping skills? What coping skills?