In North America, a resume. In Britain, it's a C.V., or Curriculum Vitae.
I have always hated looking at my own C.V. How many times I have had to edit and rearrange it, throughout my life, and although it has gotten me jobs sometimes, it never ever got me the jobs that I really wanted.
And when I say hate, I mean I have often felt near mortal dread at the thought of even approaching the computer with the damning document.
No, not even when I have been sickly and ghastly have I ever dreaded looking at myself in the mirror, as much as I dread looking at my C.V.
One's desired self-image and one's actual image are two different things. I'm relatively comfortable with my physical image: I'd much rather be a chameleon or shape-changer so I could morph into anybody I wanted to be, but I know how to live with the body I've got. How other people see me, is more of a problem for me, but I think I'm used to that.
The CV is another story. My desired CV and my actual CV are like two different universes. I could more easily become a lying Member of Parliament than I could exaggerate my career history.
There's something about looking at my CV which makes me feel like a total utter failure. This was not the life I intended. This was not the future that I had expected as a boy. Catastrophic disappointments and disillusionments are amassed in a reservoir of self-dread condensed into two or three pages of A4 on Microsoft Word.
Quite apart from which, even if I had a CV that came close to what I had expected out of my life, I would hate with enormous passion being pigeonholed and trapped forever in its stream of history. The greatest liberty afforded to a man is the chance always of starting from a blank, clean slate, unfettered by his past. It's impossible to achieve this, of course, and it will never ever happen, but that is the ideal. And this ideal shrinks away into the distance ever more, as the technocivilization juggernaut bulldozes through our society.
So there, I've said it. And my God, this is what blogging is for. I hate C.V.'s and the entire system of selection for a job. I have no other system to suggest. I just hate them, because they have never ever gotten me what I wanted, but only occasionally got me barely what I needed. And I know it's not just the C.V. At the interview, it's me: my body, my voice, my looks, my values. And I'll never be able to change how people see them, or how some will like what they see, and some will not. Which is why all I can do is blog about it. But goddamnit, that's got to be better than letting it infect me with thoughts that "there's something wrong with me, and thus I shall hate myself for it".
After nearly two days of Zombified moroseness and maudlin eruptions of mourning, I napped yesterday afternoon, and awoke feeling normal again. Another mysterious phase of mourning vented, thank goodness. I may go to watch my Dad die, after all, instead of waiting until he's gone, and then going for the funeral. People die, and yes, his is the shitty, slow, painful, worst way to die. If I go, it will be because I might as well face it now. It won't lessen his pain. It won't make me a saint. It might not enlighten me any more than what I have so far reached. But I'm thinking about it.
Spoke to P in Dublin yesterday, and he was helpful as usual because his Dad died slowly of lung cancer only 2 years ago. Spoke to Sis in Europe and she is a little more confused about what to do. Bro will be starting his first ever job in over 10 years, and it will be at a call centre. Financial reality. This is indeed a time of family upheaval. The contortions of a middle aged family make an unanticipated landscape for me.