Total Meltdown

Published July 25, 2020 by Iphis of Scyros

So, I just had a total f***ing meltdown here.

I was looking at this list of world-building resources from World Anvil.  There’s some really useful stuff on that list, especially this list of world-building questions that’s given me a lot of things I want to add to my template.  This guide to drawing maps (including a way to randomly generate them in Photoshop) was useful enough that I want the link to it here so I can get at it on my phone and thereby consult it while I’m on my good computer, the one that actually has Photoshop, not just GIMP.  (Though it might be too old a version of Photoshop to be able to follow the tutorial…)

But then I tried to read the tutorial on how to hand-draw maps if you’re artistically challenged.  It was a .pdf guide, but for some reason it insisted on downloading instead of letting me read it in the web browser.

And every single time I try to open the file, it crashes after about a minute.

I scanned it repeatedly with my antivirus software.  I tried the “search online for a solution” choice on the crash menu.

It keeps on crashing.

And after the fifth or sixth time, I just had a complete meltdown.

Seriously, I threw off my glasses and just started crying.

It’s like that.  It’s always like that.  Every time I want to do something or find a way around one of my many inabilities, there are always roadblocks.  It always comes back impossible in one way or another.

The universe is trying to tell me not to bother, because I’ll never, ever succeed.

And, okay, I get it.

So, I’ll never be able to draw a map.

Fine, I get that.

But lately it seems like it’s also telling me to give up on fleshing out this world because it will never be good enough, never real enough, never even good enough to get people to suspend their disbelief even a little bit.

Maybe the universe is just trying to convince me to give up on my insane notion that I’ll be able to make a video game in this world I’ve been working on.

If that’s all it is, that’s fine.

But I don’t think that’s it.  I think the universe is telling me to give up on writing at all, because I suck at it so badly.

But everything I try to do, it always comes back the same:  I’m no good and should give up.

It wasn’t (allegedly) my fault I lost my job.  But despite weak claims that maybe they’d be able to hire me back when the world gets back to normal (if it ever does), it was pretty clear that they really don’t want me back, ever.  I mean, they won’t even let me keep doing the job for free.  That’s pretty telling, you know?  How bad do you have to be at a job that they won’t even let you keep doing it for free?  I shudder to think what those recommendations they offered to write would say if I ever asked for them.  (Since no other museums are hiring given what’s going on, and since I was never actually qualified for the job in the first place, obviously I’ll never need them.)

But I thought that being a freelance proofreader sounded like a good thing.  I thought it was a sure bet that I could at least get a little money coming in that way.  My own error-filled text notwithstanding, I genuinely am good at spotting errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.  But every job market I can find for a freelance proofreader wants years of experience.  (Or a photograph, which is even worse.)  I don’t have years of experience.  I did some proofreading at the museum, but only maybe half a dozen times a year over about four and a half years.  That would only count as a few days’ experience of the sort they mean.  And really it’s less than that, given how many of my edits were ignored.  (There were also a couple of times I was lectured on my edits being “too harsh” but really it’s not my fault if I started getting a little snippy when people with Master’s Degrees were producing text that would get an F in a high school composition class.)

So, the universe is telling me I can’t get work as a proofreader, the only thing I have that even comes close to being a marketable skill, and that I can’t ever make the game I want, the only thing I would ever be able to produce that anyone might pay even a tiny amount of money for, so what am I left with?

How am I supposed to make a living, universe?  I have no skills, and so many social phobias that there’s no possibility of doing something like retail, and so many health issues that I couldn’t get work in any kind of factory setting, if there even are any in this town.

So what am I supposed to do?

Even if I cut off all my unnecessary spending, I can’t live forever on my trust fund.  It’s not that big, and of course it’s much smaller now than it was last year, given the nosedive that the stock market went into because of COVID.

I mean, I know the whole world only has ten, maybe twenty years left, but…the money won’t last even that long.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

Other than try to stop thinking about it so I”ll stop crying at least long enough to eat my lunch.


For what little it’s worth, before my meltdown I was able to spend 53 minutes working on taking notes based on all those world-building resources, making for 24:59:46.56 total time spent in July.

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