Today is that terrible point in the year we call Blue Monday where we are, as a nation, feeling the pinch of the Christmas splurges as the credit card bills come rolling in and it’s a long way to the next pay day. Being self employed, it’s going to take a while before all my clients start sending out payments and no one will be treating themselves to the non essentials that are one of my main sources of funding. It’s cold and, now that my income streams have all slowed to drips and trickles, it’s going to be a hard few weeks. I have to really watch myself at times like this as I can start getting resentful about the less than perfect things in my world. Like today for instance, it’s frustrating having a house full of stock in a town where I currently have no stockists. It’s not an uncommon situation in Hastings and St Leonards as the shops pop up and disappear quicker than mushrooms. The real annoyance is that the nature of all the places that have appeared of late are the last sort of place likely to sell the sort of things I produce. It’s bloody annoying, particularly as when I do get my work in the right places, it practically walks straight out of the door. Everywhere new in St Leonards seems to follow an identical pattern, twee middle class lady shopkeepers selling ever so tasteful stuff that no one actually needs to dot around the house or adorn the bedrooms of children who have been saddled with ridiculous names.
If you live somewhere long enough and keep your eyes and ears open, you can see the patterns form, and the pattern here is this… All these places will be gone within a year, there just isn’t the custom or the money to support the fripperies that any of these places provide. Plus the expense of the fittings and decor has dug them too big a financial hole to climb out of. There will be the odd one that is little more than a tax write off or a hobby, and those will be around as long as the marriage lasts but I known it’s all just a big wheel and along will come somewhere and someone that will get what I do again…. Well, for a while anyway. But stored properly, everything I make will last as long as I will and, in the meantime, I just have to work out what to do next and keep telling myself that things will be ok, but when you are scraping around under the bed or down the sofa for enough dropped coins to buy a loaf of bread when you have hundreds floating in the ether from unpaid sales, it’s hard to remember that, and that is when my eternal Withnail comes out. Withnail, the frustrated thesp, the creation of equally alcohol fueled Bruce Robinson, all entitlement and painfully unaware of his many failing. I, like him start to look at the world and teeter on the edge of self pity and grandiose self entitlement. I think of all the work I’ve put in and all the skills I have aquired over the years and I start comparing my life with that of others. I can feel him clawing away back there, comparing, calculating, blaming but I known he is not coming out because I know something else, something far more horrific and it is this…
THE WORLD IS NOT FAIR.
It never was and it never will be. There is no point looking over at this person or that and wondering why they have what they have or get away with doing something awful when I get crucified for doing little more than showing I know the difference between right and wrong. You can try and make it fairer if you like, it might work, it might not, but don’t be surprised about its arbitary nature. The world doesn’t hate you, it just doesn’t care. That doesn’t mean you should give up though, it won’t care if you do that either. But simply put, if you want anything done, do it for yourself. It’s actually quite freeing when you think of it like that. Just enjoy things when they go your way but don’t be surprised if things go a bit wrong , the world isn’t fair. Did I mention that? The world isn’t fair and people aren’t fair either, or logical for that matter. You can appreciate the loveliness when you get it but don’t rely on that either. And why is that?
Well, you work that out because I’m not fair either.