If there are no extra pieces in the universe, there must be a place for me somewhere. I just haven’t found it yet. Maybe I never will. My optimism is flagging. I feel isolated and friendless. Oh, I have several people whom I consider friends, people I can call now and then, or with whom I can go to lunch or coffee, but I have no friends who really get me and want me. Except for one, I lack any true, deep, honest friendships. My one friend is often so buried in her own dismay at the state of the world that I feel unwilling to burden her with my own clouds.

I’m immersed in a cloud. I’ve always been the sort of person who loves learning. I loved school. I was energized by it. Today I was looking through the Coursera offerings and could not find even one class out of thousands that interested me. None of it. There is a little cloud surrounding me that depletes my interest in anything.

I hate the business of my work. If all I had to do was serve my clients, I wouldn’t mind it so much. I like helping them. But I have to bring in business and think about and worry about and concern myself with all those little parts of getting business, and the thought of it makes me physically ill. I can’t sleep with it. I’ll lose this cloud in the sunlight of my daughter’s smile or the actual sun shining in the sky, and the cloud will catch me again, unaware. Oh, it says. You stopped thinking about marketing and now you suddenly did! And the feeling of nausea overwhelms me. The cloud descends. My stomach tightens. I feel trapped. I can’t escape it. It is misery and I have worn myself thin trying to come up with alternatives and cannot do it. There are no alternatives except perhaps homelessness, which is no alternative when one has children. I have to bring in money to pay for food and a roof over our heads. No one will hire me. I’ve tried and tried and tried until I’m blue in the face to find alternate employment to no avail. No wonder the long-term jobless feel flattened. It is demoralizing to try and try and try and never succeed. You start to wonder what is the point and this wondering leaks over into everything else you do, including enjoying learning, enjoying anything.

Plod, plod, plod. This is what my life is. It is what it has been for so long, I can no longer envision an alternative. Every attempt at an alternative has been a failure. I no longer even want to try. This is my cloud.

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