Psychological effects of jobhunting

I was supposed to take a test this morning at ten, to qualify for a job that I have applied for and have been interviewed for. Sort of a final hurdle sort of thing. It’s a good job, and it’s rather important for me to give getting it my best shot. So I’ve been nervous and I caught a touch of that test anxiety I wrote about earlier. It’s not as bad as that time, but I have been feeling it.

At nine-thirty, the company called to tell me they hadn’t got the testing materials yet, and to to reschedule the test to tomorrow at the same time. At one stroke, that build-up of anxiety and anticipation was flattened, canceled, deflated.

The rest of the day has passed in an odd sort of rush. I know I’ve done useful things. But I’ll be damned if I can remember most of them. Judging from my studio output, I must have cleaned up and inked character art for one page of Feral, then penciled another one. After that – and this I do know – I had a break and went to the pool below the studio, swimming 30 laps, or 1500 meters. I think the reason this is still fairly clear in my mind is that I had delayed my daily swim a bit compared to most days, and because I had intended to do 40 laps, but decided to quit after 30 because my breathing wasn’t quite right. I’m always very aware of problems with my breathing due to living with asthma for 30 years.

After that, I finished a second guest comic for CameoComic, a quicky I’d penciled and inked at Erik Wielaart’s place on Wednesday evening while the anxiety was already rising. I scanned it, cleaned up the scan, added panel borders and did digital lettering. Once that was sent off to Cameocomic writer Hogan, I went back to drawing and inked the character art for the Feral page I’d penciled earlier (in case you’re wondering, I’ll fill in the backgrounds on both pages later). Then I went to the bookstore and then home for dinner.

So, in short, I can reconstruct the period between 9:30 AM and 20:00 PM. But I can’t remember most of it properly. Presumably I’d been building myself up to be able to hyperfocus during the three hours that test would have taken. Had the test taken place, I would have spent those three hours doing the work and instantly forgetting what I’d done, simply because the brain would have been too busy with the work itself to keep a record. Instead, some of that carried over to the rest of the day, so I breezed through all my activities except the one – the swimming – in which my focus was temporarily broken.

I guess that anxiety, if kept at precisely the right level, is good for something. I did get some really nice inks done on those two pages and was generally more productive and less inclined to procrastinate than I usually would have been.

Well, I must have been. I can’t really remember it, see.