I don’t perform emotions correctly; many have made this perfectly clear. I guess sometimes I look unhappy even when I’m having fun, so they think I’m lying when I say I’m fine. I don’t cry at appropriate times, like gestures of affection or funerals or whatever, only for unacceptable reasons like grocery shopping or well-intentioned teasing. I guess I don’t look properly enraptured by a pretty face, even when I really do find the person attractive, so I must be lying. Someone as broken as I am can’t possibly be trusted to accurately comprehend their emotions, after all. This inability to behave properly is such a burden on those around me, and I know they wonder why I can’t act normally for once. I’m sorry. The secret is, I’m just a robot with a passable human emotional protocol but I’m not convincing enough to hide my artificiality completely. A machine, especially such an outdated one as myself, can only be so realistic when compared to a living being with a heart and a soul. All I have are the brain bits, and at the end of the day those aren’t worth shit to real people. Who wants to be with someone intelligent but emotionally stunted? (Spoiler alert: no one.) I mean, did you feel bad when your Tamagotchi died? What about when you got rid of your Furby? A little, probably, but deep down you knew it didn’t actually experience emotions; it was just programmed to seem like it did. Artifice. Clever artifice, but still just artifice.
You know, I always hated the story of Pinocchio so it’s kind of ironic that I find myself wishing desperately to be a real girl – or at least that you saw me as a real girl and not a robot failing to make the grade. I feel real, is that not enough? Or could I peel back my skin and find circuit boards underneath?
Which motherfucking star do I have to wish on to not be me anymore?
I am the many times great grandchild of cursed, damned Pandora. All my life I have witnessed the consequences of her thoughtless decision and yet all my life I have repeated her mistake as if it runs so strongly through my veins that it moves my body of its own accord. There is a sweet music that plays when the lid of my own box is opened, you see, and sometimes I am sorely tempted to pull back the lid so others can hear it as well. The problem is that I’ve stuffed so much into my box with the intention of locking it all away that when I do crack open the lid, even the tiniest bit, anything might come spilling out. Anger, fear, depression, anxiety, cruelty, grudges, sorrow, grief, mania, jealousy, apathy, shame, any of them could break free if I’m not careful. The music my box plays is beautiful but is it worth the worry that what escapes might hurt someone I love? Is it worth the chance that someone might see all of me and not just the parts I’ve tamed and made presentable? Every time I start to open my box just a crack I think of poor Pandora and I slam shut the lid again. She had no idea what she might unleash, opening that box, but I do.
So I’m minding my own business, just a Container Store full of nicely labeled boxes and jars and tubs and cubbies and storage cubes and vacuum seal bags all sitting prettily on their shelves and display stands with the shrink wrap still on, and in she walks – cursed Pandora with her clever fingers – and open she pops all my carefully organized containers and out pop all the things I’ve hidden away in them, hoping to never see again in the light of day: my various anxieties and angers and fears and shames, bad memories and unwelcome realizations, guilt complexes and mother issues and latent mental illnesses (oh my!), how they come flying out in a hurry, and there she stands in the middle of the maelstrom with a mild look of apology like sorry, but it had to be done, and oh my troublesome Pandora, I’m not mad, I find, not really, because she’s right, it’s time I actually went through all the crap I spent thirty years shoving into boxes and jars and nooks and crannies and you get used to the chaos, she says, and I figure she’s probably right but that doesn’t make the disaster zone look any less overwhelming.
I’m really struggling lately to focus while at work and I know it’s affecting my performance. After cleansing my cubicle to hopefully rid it of bad vibes, I did a tarot reading to learn more about this issue. You can tell from the “questions” I asked that I was in a particularly frustrated mindset.
Question: Why am I being a shitty employee?
Card: Ace of Cups
Interpretation: I am starting out on a new chapter of my spiritual and emotional journey, and this is understandably consuming a lot of my energy. This card may indicate that I’m unhappy because my job doesn’t nurture this growing part of me, and thus I’m putting energy in without getting anything in return. Yes, I recognize and am incredibly thankful for the perks of my job, but on a daily basis I’m not doing work that nurtures my soul.
Question: How can I stop being a shitty employee?
Card: 2 of Cups
Interpretation: I need to get out of my dumpy, isolated mindset and focus on teamwork. I like my job best when I’m able to take burdens or tasks off of my manager’s shoulders, so I should frame more of my day in that context. Fostering harmony among my teammates will allow me to see the daily impact of my work and keep me from getting lost in the weeds. This card may also indicate that I need to interact more with my coworkers, instead of just hiding in my cubicle. That’s probably very true… but ugh, human interaction.
Question: How can I prevent myself from being a shitty employee again in the future?
Card: 8 of Wands
Interpretation: This self-defeating mindset comes over me when I have too much time on my hands. Therefore, to avoid it I need to remain focused, energetic, and strive continually toward my goals. Instead of stopping at the base of every hill I reach, thus giving me time to see how tough the climb will be and psych myself out, I need to push on and use my momentum to carry me to the summit.