It’s so easy to have this idea of yourself and then not really live up to it.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker / Unsplash

by Julius Olofsson

The Magazine

The first time I got fired, they said it was becaue I didn’t read throught my own trexts. Making sure that no typoes or other grammatical erroes was in there. I had never been so angry before. Or dissappointement. How on earth could they say that I didn’t have what was needwed when iot cmae to writing? A fucking magazine, I don’t want to walrk there anyways.

So h I said that, “that sucked” and “yeah I know” or something. I was way to wimpy back then so Iämn not sure exaclty what I did or dit not od., Back then I wasnt that interestedd in liek lagnguage. I used some words ao ver and over a lot and in a way I can understand taht they probably got bored with it.

I’ve alwasy been more abot teh content and what’s in a text, rather than how it’s structueds. so fuck them.ö

The Ad Agency

I had been working as a juniro copyuwriter for a whil,e and I fucking hated it. looking back I can understand there critixz , taht I don’t reatd throguh m texts and nobody said it had anything to do with hubris or sop, it was just me feelign that I was fhe fuckign king of the wodl. As I awas a juniro there, whte idea was that someone should guide me and help me as I was learning atehings, but nobody cared. SO i just sayt there.

Durign those months I manages to dgt asthma, and got these xeizurs where I coultns breath. So i stayed home for several weeks, trying to get throgutha ach day not panicking ofer my breahting.

AS i got back, i opnyl ate Big macs for a long time. not fries or soda och anything else, not candye. Bjust Big magc. NOt super healthy I know. But that’s was taht. I commuted weekly.

It’s so easy to have this idea of yourself and then not really live up to it. Who am I suppose dfto be? Hwo am I supposed to become. Where shoul dI t be at this time in my life? I thougth I was a person who shoudl be writing, but not at that ad agency, appreantly. So i got sakced, and left the next day.

The (other) Ad Agency

For just 1,5 years I had been workiung as a project manager at this ad agency. And this was the third time I was sacked. My writing was not important and I didn’t work creatively. I still think that I made some wrongs here and my grammar wasn’t surely on point either. but it didnät matter and no one cared. But That’s not why I got fired. I’m not fully clear why I got fired from this one. I think that I was too negative. Unhappy you can say. I did things I didn’t want to do, like selling crap and whatnot.

The reason I got for being fired was lack of work, and it was kinda treue. I didn’t have taht much to do really. And my boss said that hte whole digital department was to become shut down, snf oyhrtd hoy gitrf yo.

And a freidn whjo worked there got fired too. In the same room, but not at the same time as I am. And the differnece was that when he got fired, our boss ate a cinnamon bun. He didn’t eat it when ue fired me. But him. That kinda stuck with m,e for some reason. Was I still wrothy enough so he wouldt eaetne a cinnamon bun when firing me?

The Digital Agency

At the digital agency, I was still just a proejct managaer. But my job was to talk to clients and make them ahoypy, because if they were happy, then the agency was happy, but I wasn’t happy. I began on a monday and had meetings with everyone in the team. On fiday I started going to therapy.

I began digging within. Talking to this really nice guy who sat theyre, quitelhy and lsitend to me go on and on about my job. And then, one day, during my rant, I said something about my dad and he sat up straight and asked his first question. About dad. We never really talked about my job anymore.

At the agency I pointed out that I felt that things didn’t work. And one day I got fired. Due to “lack of work” and there was plenty of work, and two weeks later my daughter was born. They sent me flowers.

The Game Studio

Almost four years, I’d invested in that place when they sacked me. I’d been working as a copywriter again; this time, I had learned my lesson—flaunting texts that worked and didn’t stumble about on the page, with a broader vocabulary and almost no errosr. I read everything I wrote at least twice or thrice—and managers were pleased and happy.

But I wasn’t.

Therapy continued on and off, with me talking about my parents every other week.

So far, I’d learned that life is about getting kicked in the sack but knowing how to parry the next blow—brutally summarized, of course.

But as I was made redundant, my accumulated learnings and lessons throughout the years failed to save me. I had performed without remarks, but as suits had made the wrong choices, I, and a shipping container full of people, got laid off.

I sat down with as many managers as possible to ask what I’d done wrong.

And I was told: “nothing.”

I thought I knew how to parry that next punch, but there are always new, nifty tricks to be unleashed upon one’s ballsack.

So still, I have no fucking clue what to do with my life.

Born in Sweden, Julius works as a narrative designer in video games. He writes anything from flash fiction and books to games and screenplays and makes his own sausages in his spare time. He's been longlisted in The Bath Short Story Award and The Aurora Prize for Writing and is (so far) published in JAKE.

He's found on Twitter: @PaperBlurt