I’ll be honest. I have work related meltdowns all the time. Okay, so not like all the time, but enough times for self-doubt to pretty much be a part of my general existence. In fact, self-doubt is probably ingrained in my DNA.
So when I had a meltdown over the weekend, about an editor *still* not getting back to me over a feature I filed two months ago which I could, to be totally honest, really do with being paid for, it wasn’t exactly new territory.
I vented to my husband – “SHE commissioned me” – and he, patient as ever, told me these things aren’t personal and that I’ve been doing this for long enough now to know that it’s not the quality of my work that’s being judged, it’s just bad timing for something to go in a newspaper, that’s all. We have this conversation quite a lot.
Normally, this is where the conversation ends – me, sniffing and saying “Okay then”, and then a few days later, hey presto, an email from whichever editor I’m dealing with at the time pops in, apologises for the delay and suddenly my day is made and all angst forgotten (temporarily) and he says “See? I told you so!” knowingly and I say “Yeah, yeah, whatevs” and it holds there until the next time.
But not this time. This time, instead of the conversation winding down, I paused for a moment and then:
“BUT IF I CAN’T EVEN BE IN CONTROL OVER WORK, HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF A BABY?”
Well. This is new. Talk about off-topic.
Cue loads of unprecedented tears that literally came out of nowhere. This was like some sort of out-of-body experience – like I was crying but also at the same time, a voice in my head was saying: “Okay. So this is unexpected. Where the hell did this come from? What the hell are you doing?”
Eventually I calmed down. I put it down to hormones. Pregnancy, eh? Can’t beat it.