I miss having a friend at work. I like my coworkers as well as the next person. They are smart, they do their work well, they respect me and I respect them. We have nothing much in common apart from work, but that’s okay. Has always had to be okay.
But when I started here, a decade ago now, I made a friend. We became good friends. The kind of friend that you trust with your personal life. The kind of friend who listens to your stories even if they aren’t interested in the same shit you’re interested in. The kind of friend you tell about having been abused. The kind of friend who notices the days when you’re feeling off. The kind of friend that you can tell about your PTSD and anxiety and depression.
Since she left, I don’t have that anymore. My coworkers are friends with each other. They have the same hobbies. They have the same status. I lead the department and I’m doing a good job at it. But I’d love to have one friend. Someone to confide in on the bad days. Someone to share the good days with. Just one person I trust. That would make daily life so much better.
Lately, I’m feeling very small. Not in the literal sense, I am quite tall, actually. But in the sense, that my contribution to the world is not a big one. I feel like I spend most of my time doing nothing productive at all. Most of my free time is spent in front of my notebook and a good chunk of that time is unproductive in the sense that I’m just looking at stuff someone else made, be it art or stories or videos. I look at these virtual folks and it seems to me that they go out a lot and they have many friends and they know all the cool people. Basically, I feel like they live and I live by proxy.
And it sucks. I feel like I’ve lost a year here with the depression and everything and I’m not a step closer to any of my goals and I’m tiny and insignificant and I know no one in the world and am just a waste of space and resources.
But then I notice that this is still the depression speaking.
Because, you know what? I kinda DO stuff. I kinda DO try to save the world. Not quite as heroically as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Captain Marvel, but a little bit at least.
During the work day, because I’m a scientist and we work on making the future better. I spend most of my time trying to find new and improved ways to use our natural resources for food production. Every individual thing we research and implement is small and of course just our little group of scientists is not enough to achieve this goal, but ultimately, we work on solutions to feed every single person in this world. That’s pretty cool, actually, and I love that my job is something that makes the world a bit better.
And in my free time, I try to be kind. I support the people I love and I support random strangers whenever the opportunity arises. I try to make the world a better place this way. And I definitely try to take Neil Gaiman’s words to heart and MAKE GOOD ART. Because beyond nourishment for our bodies, we also need nourishment for our souls.
So, no, I’m not a big part of anything. But I try to do my small part. And if the depression would now shut up about this, please, because I believe that I have actually made quite a few good life choices here.