Unmotivated: I can’t call into work today and say, ‘Sorry – I won’t be in this morning, I’m feeling a bit… unmotivated.’ It’s true though. I am. If – when – I do go to work today, I won’t be motivated to send that email, finish that project, or read Barbara’s fifth attempt at the story for page eight. She’s sending in awful drafts. “No, Barb, character vulnerability does not mean they need to be crying the whole time.” But we need to work with her because her husband prints the magazine.

If – when – I go to work today, I will read the new protocol twice, maybe more, because each time I get to the end of the last page I’ll realise I have no idea what I just read.

I’ll keep walking back and forth from my desk to the kettle.

I’ll offer to sharpen everyone’s pencils to look like I’m keeping busy.

I’ll lengthen my conversations with the janitor on the way back from the toilet just to waste time.

And if I do phone up and say I’m feeling unmotivated, they might ask me why. And then I’ll have to tell them.


“Oh… um… I was up late watching telly. And then my friend phoned from America. Actually, it’s quite funny, I was arguing with my boyfriend. It’s alright, really. I’m fine. Well, actually, I’m a bit hungover because after he hung up the phone on me I went to the pub round the corner. I had a glass of wine. Or two. I spoke to some people at the bar. They were kind. Their conversation was simple and I was quite enjoying it. So I stayed. I maybe got home at about four or five. I had eight missed calls from Jonathon. I didn’t phone back. I think I called my ex instead. I remember leaving a voicemail. But I did fall asleep. Eventually. I’m fine now. Just feeling a bit… unmotivated.

I couldn’t say that. They would whisper about me in the office all day and then the Ellen the Evil Editor  would find out and call me back, getting my name wrong over the phone, to tell me maybe I should take some ‘personal time off’. We all know what that means – unpaid leave until I’m invited back. Which is likely to be never.


My dad says to stick it out for a few more years. But by then, I’ll have grey hair and wrinkles – maybe a bigger vocabulary – but I won’t be happy. And Jonathon will still not have proposed and Ellen will still not have noticed that not only do I work 40 hours a week at the office but I come home and read a couple hours every evening so I am at the same pace as everyone else.

So instead, I push the duvet off me, stretch until the bones crack, stand under a cold shower, have a strong coffee and get on the train.

I haven’t brushed my hair, I’m carrying bags under my eyes, I’m pretty sure I’m wearing the same thing as yesterday, I wander aimlessly about the office for an hour and nobody asks if I’m feeling okay.

This is the life.


(this is a fiction piece about my fear of working full time in a job I might not enjoy while social life and happiness falls away from me)

 All artwork from http://www.ordinaryyoungman.com/ whose aim it is to capture the every day feelings happening inside young people.

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