Daily Life

‘Umble…That’s What You’ve Gotta Be

Humility is a trait I desperately seek, but, like Uriah Heep in Charles Dickens‘ masterpiece, David Copperfield, who constantly espoused the need to be humble, I implore myself to be modest, but the only area in which I have consistently done so is my track record in life.

For those who don’t know the story (which included me until this morning), Heep was exposed as being far from the humble servant he pretended to be, and was instead an unctuous, slimy, sycophantic hypocrite who ripped off his benefactors….

(Ouch…this feels like it’s getting a bit too close to home….better change the topic….)

Reality is giving me some lovely lessons in humility and aging nowadays. I’m searching desperately for a job but not really getting close to a look-in anywhere.

As a child and young man, I was lucky to be focused enough to do okay academically, then fell into a series of great jobs and opportunities that, looking back, were almost all entirely attributable to good fortune. I can literally point to a few incidents that dramatically changed my life. And, of course, I took all the credit for these achievements.

When my life fell apart, largely (almost entirely) as a result of my own actions, of course the blame was always laid elsewhere, including fate.

Anyway, what’s I’m learning now from the job market is that I’m nowhere near as good or valuable as I think I am. I can accept that, I guess, as I am old and scandal-plagued. I was surprised to be rejected for low-skilled labor, though, with the employment office telling me my eyesight and hearing are too bad for roadwork guard duties and that people would be too concerned about going off to work with a foreigner entrusted to look after things as a condominium caretaker, ruling me out of the two professions most commonly pursued by Japanese men of my vintage in Tokyo.

Freelancing seems the only option at this stage, but having failed miserably in that pursuit in the past, it’s not really a road I want to go down again. I never wanted it in the first place and sought a way to survive independently then and couldn’t, so the prospect of doing so now is even more daunting.

To deal with this situation, I’m trying to be willing, open-minded and honest. I have a contract for the rest of this week anyway, and after that, who knows?