The Boss was on one of his crusades today, the kind where he tries to bend the law to suit his skewed view of the world. The contractor that we filed a stop notice against last month responded with an affidavit, and my entire day was taken up with preparing a counteraffidavit. The Boss would fax his draft to me, I'd type it and fax it back, he'd make corrections or changes, and we'd start the process again.
He would like it to look as if it were done by an attorney, but he's not about to hire one. So he borrows wording from various legal documents to make it sound legally formal. Or formally legal. What actually comes out is a pseudo-legal patchwork of words and phrases and clauses that may or may not mean anything.
His plan was to finish today and get it posted by certified mail. Then about five o'clock he decided that since the post office was closed, we would change the dates and get it off tomorrow. Unfortunately, that also left him the rest of the night to fuss over the document and fine tune it to death, with me dancing on the other end of the string.
It wouldn't be so bad if it were a straightforward typing job, but I'm left to decipher his muddled handwriting and distorted grammar. After thirteen years, I'm forced to admit that I know how to think the way he does, and how to phrase things the way he'd like to. In fact, he doesn't have to take care with his drafts because he knows I'll fix them. This lets him write and rewrite until he wears me out.
We finished it, I think. But tonight I'm so tired that I might not get anything done tomorrow, either. Could just sleep straight through the whole day.
This was not how my life was going to go. Whatever this is that I do, it's not what I am.
It took years to convince myself I would never be a writer, at least not the kind I aspired to be. I could put words together, but I couldn't tell a story. I'm not sure how well I would have done even if I'd had the talent, though, because I probably wouldn't have worked hard enough to develop it. Some of it is laziness, just the way it sounds. The rest is not wanting to spend too much time on any one area of interest. Whatever I'm doing, I can always think of several other things I'd like to be doing. At the same time.
If I held onto the dream of writing for too long, I might have given up on teaching too soon. I allowed myself to fail at that endeavor, halfway through my year of student teaching. I talked to my counselor, and she agreed with my decision to quit, reinforcing the feeling of inadequacy that comes all too easily to me. At 22, I was a lost soul, overwhelmed by the world.
But I look back now and see what might have been. Then I look at what is, and it's all I can do to remember that my life is mostly good, and that I am not my job. Hell, even my job is mostly good. I don't know if I would have succeeded, had I stayed on course toward a teaching credential. But even if I'd tried and failed, the next few years would have been no more of a waste than they in fact turn out to be. You couldn't tell me that when I was 22, though.