I’ve spent the majority of today filling in job applications. At the age of 50 I’ve decided, with the original suggestion and support from my wife, that a career change might not be a bad idea. This is something I have tried to do several times over the past few years. The driving factor being the ongoing struggle I have with my mental health and my increasing inability to deal with the high pressure and stressful situations I always used to handle with aplomb.
Wether this is down to a loss of confidence or some kind of mid-life crisis, I’m not really sure. All I know is, that at any sign of a stressful situation, although outwardly I appear to handle any kind of stress with my usual coolness and expertise, inwardly I tend to crumble and question everything I have been doing, saying, and thinking, to the point where my brain turns to mush with the cacophonous internal monologues overlapping and flooding each other out until I’m reduced to a mental gibbering wreck. All the while seeming outwardly composed and collected until I can find a safe place, on my own, to collapse and gibber physically, completely lost and unable to recollect what I was actually supposed to be doing. Questioning my every thought over and over and over again.
It’s no secret that I had a massive mental breakdown towards the end of 2019, with which I was so mentally crippled with anxiety and self doubt I couldn’t cope with the simplest of situations for several weeks. I’ve always been very open about my mental health issues as I hope that by relaying my experiences in an open and factual manner it would help others suffering inwardly with their own demons, even if it’s only in small way. Wether it does or not I don’t know, I like to think I have a positive impact on someone, somewhere though.
Anyway, this post, isn’t really about my mental health though, those paragraphs were just to set the scenes, as it were, as to what I’ve been doing today and why. What I’ve been doing is applying for various different jobs, a very small fraction of which are related to IT, because I want to do something different, something satisfying, something new at which I can excel for the remainder of my years. I don’t really know what it is I want to do, other than it needs to be less stressful, rewarding, environmentally friendly, and probably to do with working outside as much as possible.
It’s while filling in these online application forms that I’ve noticed a theme which is actually going to bring me to my point. That theme is to ask me my gender, what age group I fit into, what ethnic group I consider myself to be, the nature of my sexual orientation, my religion and other such things, for the purposes of transparency, impartiality and equal opportunities and the like.
It strikes me that these sort of questions are likely to have the counter effect of their intended purpose, which is to ensure that an equal amount of people are selected from said groups. I get that, but surely that defeats the object anyway by also eliminating the best possible applicants for the position in order to fill the positions diversely?
With the unrest we are currently, and rightly facing, following the deplorable killing of George Floyd in America and the rekindling of all the emotions and wrongs that this appalling and senseless killing has resurrected, I can’t help but think back to my original philosophy and the opinions I gained during my anthropological studies so many years ago.
It matters not the colour of skin, religious beliefs, where we were born, what our heritage is, the supposed class under which we reside, the educational establishments attended, etc. There are no such thing as different races. We are one race, one species, and the only one of our kind. We are the Human Race. We are Homo sapiens, taken from the Latin for “Wise Man” as named by Carl Linnaeus who set himself as the specimen for the species way back in 1758. We are supposedly sentient and enlightened cultural beings with the capacity gained through evolution to love and feel and express ourselves. I don’t feel as if we are very wise though. In my opinion we are the opposite. We are collectively exceptionally stupid. We are truly unique on this planet, and probably in the universe, and yet we choose to segregate and persecute members of our own species, people that we are related to by race, no matter what colour we are or where we are from, WE ARE ALL THE SAME RACE. Maybe we could try and stop the pain and hurt and devastation we are pouring on ourselves and everything around us and reflect upon this? Please? For the sake of our own consciences? I know it’s a lot to ask, but I, for one , am beginning to despise my own species.