Travel guide to homelessness and happiness

Today I starred a bunch of big girl jobs on Craigslist. Jobs that seemed interesting enough that dealt with marketing/pr—things around my degree, jobs that come with security—401k, health insurance, a salary. Because jobs like this is what I’m being told I should take. Being told by society, my student loans looming over my head, my family, the voice inside my head when I think about my future, my money problems, and my adulating self. I found myself getting exciting, saying “hmm that could be cool, I could do that.” More times than that though I did find myself thinking I’m not qualified enough for that one, or I would never get past the first round of the interview process. So, I moved on, I moved through, job after job, not starring anything lower than $15/hour.

But then I starting thinking of something else, like my brain usually does when forced to focus on a particular task. Damn.

I slowly, but quickly, started realizing that maybe these types of jobs are what I don’t want, shouldn’t have right now. I am in a place in my life where I feel pretty lost, wandering in a familiar path, looking for something that can prove itself as new to me. Thinking, if I land one of these security jobs, what happens when I realize years down the road that I took the job too soon. I fell into a life that I swore I wouldn’t ever stumble into, because of well, health care.

I found myself saying “shit this job wants me to commit to a 2 year program, NEXT!” I cannot, in every cell in my body, commit to something for over a year at the moment. Love is the only thing I can see as an exception. I simply am just too goddam unsure, ok, more like scared that I’m going to make the wrong decision and send my life into a direction of tripping in puddles and looking up to see that I am nowhere near anything familiar. Hell, when the gym guy was signing me up for my membership and asked me if I want a lower-priced committed plan vs a higher monthly priced non committed plan I pretty much screamed OH I DO NOT WANT COMMITMENT.

I know that right now, in my 25 year old self, body, and soul that I aggressively am against putting myself into anything that I am not passionate about. Yes, I know I need to start setting myself up for the future, and I know that can be seen as an incredibly selfish and naive statement, but if I am setting myself up in a way that will actually put me 5 years back when I’m 30, is it worth it? Because I know myself. I know that I can’t allow myself to settle and feel ok about it. Is it worth always wondering if I could be doing something I actually enjoy, something I made for myself because of the giant risks I took in my 20’s? If I put myself in a position right now of setting my creative 20’s life away, where will that put myself in the future? Is now the time when I need to be taking foolish jobs, wandering even more, falling in love even more, feeling even more scared, and jumping into some not so lucrative creative things?

Recently a coworker was just talking about how almost everybody out of college gets a job that pays over a 30K salary—not sure how valid that point is— and it got me to thinking that, damn, I really don’t want to be in a category of people that go into the fucking “job market.” Right now, I don’t want to picture myself saying, “yeah I never saw myself marketing ceiling fans, but damn I’m sure good at it and its makes me a make a hefty salary.” No, right now I want to picture myself standing strong on my own in my own art studio in painted overalls sipping on tea while a soft jazz number plays in the background. I want to see myself as someone who made her own path. Made something of HERSELF. I don’t want to market SHIT. I want to find a passion, run with it, and be proud of it because it is a part of me. Ceiling fans will never be apart of me. I don’t care how good I could be at it, I don’t even want to imagine myself in that god awful position no matter how good looking that salary looks. Label me crazy. Hell, I sure feel like it. I think it’s an inner battle that I’ve been having with myself for awhile now. I just haven’t realized it. I know what I should do, aka get a security job. And I also know what I want to do/should also do because it’s something I want. And I sure know, I do what I want.

Listen,

I’m not sure what kind of decisions I’ll make, nor what I’ll base them off of. I do know I’m nervous, and I also know deep down that whatever decisions I make will be the right ones, because life has a way of working itself out. I truly believe that. It’s all perspective.

The day is today.

There are a few things that I’d like to be known. And it’s not because the bullshit of it being a new year and I’m feeling all ambitious for the reason of the first of a month. No, it’s because of the weather today. My moods are like the seasons, expectant, ever changing, and surprising. Like days like today. It’s the second week into January, and after a good week of freezing face and ass weather, we are at a balmy 50 degrees. Granted, skies are still grey as hell, but the wind sounds different. It’s not as harsh and hating as it’s been. And you know what I woke up to this morning? A bird chirping. A bloody happy bird.

So, you could say I’m a woman moved by nature…ok so it’s more the weather but it’s pretty much the same thing and nature sounds so much more profound and deep so I’m gonna go with that.

This morning I also set my alarm to an early 8 am wake up call, but every time Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours serenade came on I immediately hit snooze, until it was 11 am. Now, even though I set this alarm to get in the routine of getting my day started out earlier, you know for my well being, that little voice in the back of my head kept shouting “why the hell did you set an alarm this morning, you idiot,” which further encouraged every snooze button hit.

Feeling pretty stiff come 11 am I throw my legs out of my bed, put some pants on, and precede to drag my lazy ass down the stairs. At this point I know full well I’m a let down, that other little voice in my head was telling me so. To make up for it I make myself a healthy breakfast of mushrooms, eggs, and toast, gulped down with a pot of very black coffee.

I do some reading after breakfast because I just read a headline the night before that CEOs read an average of 30 books a year. 30. I’m in the middle of 4 and I’ve been in the middle of one of them for 3 years.

I’ve been doing this thing lately where all I listen to at the gym is the Guardians of the Galaxy Pandora station. It really stirs something in me, and I dig it.

Got a bit off topic here, but I think my morning is a nice lead up to what I want to be known. Because having a good morning with certain intentions, warmer weather, and a singing bird stirred up some thoughts. I think it’s important to set goals for yourself, and I think it’s just as important to hold yourself accountable to them. While I do have several personal goals that do not need to be public knowledge, I have some that I think the public could benefit from too.

In todays society filled with social media, casual relationships, frightening politics, frightening leaders, and guarded-more-than-ever people, I think we all need to add a few things to our daily routine. Rather than setting a New Years resolution like going to the gym, which by the way every goddam body seems to be doing, set some resolutions that can actually contribute to more than your fucking glutes.

Here’s a few that I’m keeping in mind.

Look strangers in the eyes more. We all want to be seen.

Speak more realness. Too often we comply with what others are saying for the sake of saving face. We are so quick to agree with an opinion or topic, and a lot of times we aren’t fully informed on the said topic, but for some reason we just have to seem like we know what’s going on. For once, maybe say, “hmm I’m not really aware of all that you’re talking about,” rather than excitedly saying, “oh my god, I know what you mean,” or “for sure!” (que eye roll)

Be an outlier. To reiterate on the point above, say what you goddamn feel. It’s refreshing, and real—something this world needs a hell lot more of.

Love hard, and fucking fight. This is an obvious, but I’m realizing more and more that people have a tendency to go along with things because it’s easy. And yeah, you can definitely find yourself in a relationship because a lot of times it’s easier to be in one with someone because they’re easy to sit down to a dinner with. I call bullshit on a lot of things, and am picky as hell when it comes to people I let in. Fight for what you want, because easy isn’t going to get you what you really want, or need.

Laugh with people. I was at a movie the other week, and something happened at the end that really felt awesome. Everybody clapped, like really clapped. You could tell the whole theater was full of ear to ear smiles too. This felt like such a cool moment that we all experienced together. No matter what our views, beliefs, or demographics are, we all came together to feel this way.

Have more human experiences. Be present. Relate to others. Be kind. Be the best you can be. Be corny. Be smart. Lead. And most importantly, love.

Boom goes the dynamite

So there I am, at the gym working out on the arc trainer— you know, the elliptical looking machine that makes you look like you’re jumping over hot coals or something. I keep my phone in front of me laying horizontal on the ledge of the face of the machine. I go to skip a song on my Pandora station, cocking my head to read the name of the next song, when my hand gets caught up in my headphone cord which then sends my phone flying off the machine. Hitting the foot swingers of my machine on its way down, my newly leased iPhone bounces off not only the machine that’s to my left, but then off a third arc trainer before it finally hits the ground leaving booming echoes of this extraordinary fall. My headphones, dangling in front of me, still plugged into my ears. So harshly was my music torn from me and left me with the deafening loud hum of the ellipticals in front of me and some top-40 pop song overhead on the main speakers.

Muttering a “fuck, “which very probably was a bit above a mutter, as I angrily ripped out my earbuds and slowed down my pace to stop the machine so I could retrieve my phone two machines over. Thankfully there was nobody in the immediate area of fire. Apprehensively walking toward it, I could see it was facing down hiding any shame it now may have possessed. Bending over and under the machine to snatch it up, I turned it over to realize my fear was real. I had managed to crack yet another screen—another glass spiderweb to look through.

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad of a crack, and it was only the screen protector that cracked, but STILL, this was the piss of the day that broke my seal.

To get some background, I am no stranger to cracks in my life. For some reason I attract them. Just one week earlier I turned in my old phone that had been severely cracked for over a year, both screen and protecter. I was just now getting used to the luxury of having a smooth, bright, crackless, and happy full iPhone screen. I currently have a crack in my car windshield that over 3 years has been annoyingly extending right into my sightline. I graduated college with a laptop that survived falling off my couch onto a wood floor—surviving meaning it worked but a ginormous crack spread over it. I was an advertising design major, and every graphic design I turned in was created through a glass spiderweb.

So, as you can see, I am FED UP with having cracks in my life, in my sight, and under my fingertips.

But, this whole crack thing got me thinking.

Cracks happen.

And yeah, they become something we always have to look past, an annoyance that we deal with. But, eventually you don’t notice them anymore. You learn to live with the cracks. Hell, maybe the cracks made me a better designer, you know, gave me a keener eye…Ha. Ha.

It just goes to show that events that happen to us may seem like a big deal initially. It might even feel like the end of the world. But, as proof of you living, life goes on. The cracks of life are still there, but your human strength to focus on the more important things, like the road in front of you, give you the edge you need to get through.

Just another day kicking my own ass

I’m not one to use big words. I’m more someone who creates words and insists they’re real. I mean come on, funner has gotta be real. I get a lot of flack from that one—from not fun people I should add. Anyways, I do think it is important for me to become more aware of the real words out there. Especially when, ya know, I try to write. Which is why lately when I come across words that I don’t know the full definition of, I ask my Australian Siri Man. He’s useless for the most part, but defining may be his one strength. 

So being very transparent here, you might say I’m in a bit of a rut. Call it a quarter-life crisis maybe. Fitting since I am 25. Meh, whatever you want to call it, it resembles a ball sucking, ass kicking, and mind boggling time in my life. All we can do is live day by day they always say, so day by day is what I do. Great advice oh wise one—sheesh. But, sometimes corny obvious advice is what one needs. We overlook what’s in front of us while we’re searching for our soul in the greener grass.

While I’m off climbing yet another mountain to find my guru, I’m reading this book. It’s a very thick one, and it is taking me for-fucking-ever to read. It’s because I have to re-read every single paragraph this lady writes. Her content is so dense, so true, I want to fully understand what they hell she is really saying. And, you know, the whole making up words thing is just not cutting it for my comprehension. With Australian Siri Man to my rescue, I find a word that I didn’t realize describes my current situation perfectly.

Malaise. A general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify.

It’s such a vague word, and is the twisty tie holding my world together. It’s tied in such a way that when I think I’m untying it I then realize, nope, I’m making it tighter. So I go the other way. Over and over again. Floating in this emotional malaise while getting seasick over the raft I built for myself. It’s a constant itch as I try to keep my emotions in check.  It’s partly due to the fact of where I am physically, back at my parents house, cramming my stuff around Pokemon cards and remote controlled cars in my brothers old room. It’s also partly due to what I’m settling for. For the first time in my goddamn life I know what I want, but yet I feel like I’m holding sand in my hands. Following the heart is a devastating path. It’s hard, it’s fucking hard. But, for some ungodly reason, it’s still all I want to do. And settling, oh it’s killing me. More so making me feel psychotic. Temporary is what I keep telling myself, it’s all temporary. This emotional malaise, this overpowering general feel of uneasiness, is challenging me to ends I don’t know how to meet.

Drastic moves is what will come next. I can feel it climbing up through me. After such contemplation, over-analyzing, and self scrutiny, I know in my bones who I am. And drastic is something I do. Once I make a decision, it’s made. There’s not even a chance for me to talk myself out of it. A very large fault of mine, I know this, but at the moment I’m going to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to go after my instincts, to feel in my gut what my heart wants, and let my head actually create something sustainable.

…and it’s going to be funner than anything else.

Entitled Bystander

You just stand there and watch me leave.

You just stand there and watch it happen.

You just stand there watching the worst.

You just stand there watching people doing.

You just stand there because you can.

You’re standing there, standing for nothing.

Standing on the bridge they’re walking over.

You’re making it easy, easy to be.

Because you just stand there, can’t you see?

The illusions we treasure.

People don’t say what they want to say.

People don’t say what they need to say.

People say what they think they should say, and people do what they think they should do.

So what does that make us?

Short answer. Delusional.

We live in a world where we are told we have total control, but do we really? Did you tell the person you just fell in love with, that you love them? No. Because who in their right mind could fall in love that fast? Better hide it wait for a more reasonable time to share your feelings. Saving face is what we live for. God forbid we respond to a text message in less than a minute. The person on the other end might actually think we care.

We’re all fucking crazy.

We live in a world where we feel more connected to–more empowered from– our phones than actual people. And even then, we use our phones as a crutch to lean on so we don’t have to expose our vulnerabilities.

This selfie says, “I’m doing great! Actually, I ‘m more than great. I’m doing better than you, and look how awesome my face looks today!” That’s what we want people to see–to think. That we are fine, when in fact, fine is the word keeping others at bay from us. Don’t get too close, under the bullshit is a whole lot of ugly that we don’t like looking at. So we give it a new face. One that shows only what we want others to see, what we think they want to see. And what’s really messed up about it is…it’s easy.

We keep our phones on the table during dinner. We stare at our screens when we are in a room full of people. We are sitting right across from each other, but we might as well be miles away because we can still ‘like’ each others pictures–each others lives. We look at our views through, a pretty decent, cell phone camera. Our phones have literally become the middle man of our life. When did we become complacent with shit like this? When did we find more enjoyment in posting on social media, than we actually do taking the goddamn picture.

I can’t preach like I’m any different though. I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat more than I should. I feel the connection to the world that exists in the imaginary cloud. I feel the urgency to share the good moments of my life. I contribute to the illusion. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sick of it all. Because really, who the fuck cares what I had for lunch? Short answer. Not even me.

It’s stupid the amount of pictures of food I have on my Instagram. It’s stupid the amount of selfies I have of myself–like just me, close up, blurry background.  Honestly, who the fuck cares about what I look like today. Short answer. Not even me.

So why do we do it? Why do we let this imaginary world be our reality?

Maybe because it is easier to face than the truths of our lives. Definitely.

It’s easier to click a share button than to actually go do the adventure written in the article. It’s easier to read about how your relationship might be fucked, than actually LOOKING at it. Hell, it’s easier to end a relationship because of what you read, than actually reading into the person you’re sharing the damn bed with.

People are real. The warmth from our bodies is real. The words we say are the result of our thoughts so why don’t we make them mean something. We are limited in the ways we are able to connect with this world, and express ourselves to others. What we say and do is all we have. But these days we don’t say or do anything.

Except click an imaginary button, that who really cares about? Short answer. Nobody.

 

Does it have to make sense?

Three months. It has taken me three months to feel like the bed I’m sleeping in, is in fact, mine. The realism of being away from my everything–my family, friends, and familiarity is sinking in like falling in quicksand. My foot got stuck in the mud–well, more purposefully than stuck–and sooner than I thought I was knee deep. Standing there, looking at my surroundings, I can see how I could call this new place my home. But, before I get myself to feel absolutely good about it, my head is under the dirt. Just in the moments before, I found myself questioning things–ok, everything. I am in the ground sucking for the air I once knew.

On the less dramatic side, you could say that moving to a different state hits ya surprisingly. Surely, I thought I would be a wreck being away from everything.  But, moving wasn’t the hard part. Getting a job wasn’t the hard part. Being on unfamiliar ground wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was finding out three months in, that I may not be in as good emotional shape as I thought. Sure, I’m a strong gal. And, life is great. I am blessed and I am grateful. But life is different. Life is tough, and sometimes life hurts. Being all on my own? Body and mind… It’s something. Something. Something. It’s something I know I wanted, and something I know I needed. Need.

Learning things about yourself, that’s where it happens. That’s where you realize that you may have done the right thing for yourself.

What really got me is realizing that every day doesn’t have to be a good day, and you don’t have to feel good all the time.

But uhhhh that’s all I’ve been trying to do!–making the most out of my days. Running away from the sadder feelings that are in me somewhere, and I run fast…

But all good must come to an end. I guess. Sometimes.

And you know what? When I did confront those flitterings of sad feelings, I felt sad. As I should. But what was surprising is that it also felt good.

Realizing how you really feel about things feels good. Embracing it, that feels even better. Running away from the inner workings of myself left me confused, about everything. And truth be told, I am still confused about the whole shit of it all. But it feels good to know that I am on the same page with myself. At least as much as I can be at the moment.

And isn’t that enough?

After I pull myself out of the quicksand called life, this new air feels…great.