The Fixer (Upper)


I am a fixer.

That’s a thing. I don’t necessarily do it out of a complete co-dependent place either.  It is in the very core of my nature to fix things. I enjoy figuring out how things work, analyzing them, figuring out their parts, and if it’s appropriate or beneficial, making them better. I do this whenever possible and with everything. I also love research, probably for this very same reason. It’s not out of some fundamental need to be right all of the time, although everyone else seems to believe this about me, it is simply because I want to understand. I want to know anything and everything I can about the way things work. This need is not limited to only a few subjects either. I literally want to know as much as I can about everything. I have a tendency to categorize and compartmentalize things as though I have my own Rolodex or indexing system in my head, thus making it easier to draw reference points and remember at least most things if not significant details about things. I am seldom wrong. This makes me hugely unlikable, especially in intimate or close relationships. I will readily admit when I am wrong, or if it is possible that I may be wrong, but I have a huge store of points to draw from and a desire to hold onto useless information that most people just don’t have.

So, going beyond the clinical aspects of wanting information for understanding and fixing things, in a human capacity I tend to do the same thing. I like to fix people and their problems. Why would we continue to sit with a problem when there is a readily available solution? Even if the solution is not 100% perfect, if it is statistically better than the situation you have currently why not take the risk if the odds are in your favor? Mathematically it makes sense right? I do not take into account sentiment, or fear when I make these assessments unfortunately. I also do not truly understand these things when “statistically” something makes more “sense”. I find it frustrating in fact when people try to argue for staying in the same situation because, for instance, something is a “guarantee”, even though every other aspect of that situation is making them miserable. Nothing is  guaranteed in this life… that argument is shit.

I also don’t understand doing things because “that’s how it’s done” or “that’s how it’s supposed to”. I’m not talking about basic morals here, like not killing people. I’m talking about social norms that have been created based on the imaginations of our elders and their elders before them. Like keeping a job that you hate because it pays well and it’s one that you already have, so why would you find a new one? This is how people get stuck in ruts that are so deep that they don’t know how to see the top and then end up hanging themselves.

Parents teach us that having a job is the end all be all first of all. That monetary success is of utmost importance. They teach us that when you do get that job that provides said monetary success you’re supposed to do anything and everything to keep the job. You don’t leave. Why would you give up a sure thing? You have a job right? That’s the important thing. WRONG. At least the way I see it. But perhaps that is why I need fixing now as well. I think money is shit. I think jobs are replaceable. I also think that even though we spend a significant portion of our lives devoted to the pursuit of making money there are only a few of us lucky enough to truly love what we do, so it is important to do a cost benefit analysis about what is truly important in life and whether your needs are being met elsewhere outside of the job if they aren’t met at the job. (P.S. The earlier mentioned fixing principals are applicable to all aspects of my life and you will see a theme, but today I am discussing work).

So, for instance, in my case, there are several redeeming qualities about my actual work, but the biggest let down is that I will never be able to make more money, or have any career advancement, unless I network. Even then I will always be at the mercy of what, I, a solitary human am capable of doing by myself, because I am self-employed and my production is my own. Having social anxiety limits me to working with the only company that knows me, because I don’t have to meet new people. Luckily most of the work is sort of interesting and changes so I don’t get too bored. The biggest perk is that I can make my own schedule for the most part and take mental health days whenever I see fit without asking permission. The downfall is that I am stuck in the most problematic location ever for mental health concerns, Western Washington. Seasonal Affect is a thing. Even though I could do a lot f my work online, this company wants some things done on site, so I would have to take a huge pay cut if I only did online things, and again have to figure out a way to network. So there are obviously pros and cons. One would argue that I should stay because “you have a job and at least you know you have that”. I have heard this argument in fact. It was infuriating… essentially I was being told to suck it up and deal with the fact that the winters here make me suicidal at all costs, because I have the ability to make money and that is a “guarantee”.

Here’s the thing, I’m in the process of reducing my bills down to where we only need one income (my husband’s) first of all. Additionally, there are always ways to make money. I’ve always figured out a way. Also, if you really think about it, what good is a job to a dead person? If the winters make me feel that bad, because they are so long, how many more am I realistically going to make it through before that job that is “guaranteed” makes not one fucking bit of difference to my husband or my children? Even if I didn’t off myself depression is a killer in so many ways. Stress or poor health because your body gives up. Systems go to shit when you’re depressed. That is a fact. My mental health suffers and consequently my children’s lives suffer, because I am a glimmer of the mother I should be. All because I need more sunlight. That is one hell of a cost benefit analysis right there. When I start looking at the statistics of depression, successful parenting, my own child’s mental health, stress, and how effectively I behave because of my own irritability, I realize that money and a job that is a “guarantee” in a state that ruins my head space don’t matter. I realize that the argument for staying here, because “you have a job” is about half stupid and full of errors and probably not the way to go about fixing my family or myself. Being stuck in something just because it’s “the right thing to do” or the “way you’re supposed to do it” is no way to go through life. I don’t understand the fear of change when change makes sense and change means the potential for improvement, even if it’s not a given or for sure thing. If the potential for improvement is there based on science and logic then it’s worth giving it a shot.

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