The last 10 days have been a whirlwind of change.
1. Abigail and I mutually decided that the best solution for our housing and financial problems was for me to move in with her in her parents’ abandoned house. Her parents have moved to Las Vegas already, and a have almost a year left before their time here would have ran out. Therefore, she and I will be here until it’s no longer okay for us to be.
After about two weeks of binge eating and feeling sorry for myself, I’ve decided to take my life back. I’m back in the gym and back to clean eating. I’m back to sleeping enough (and not 14 hours like I was last week). I’m back to calling my friends and at the Hall.
After applying at 200 different companies, I finally landed a job as a caregiver for disabled old people. It’ll be a week since I started next Monday. I work six days, four of them 12 hour night shifts with my favourite client, a cat lady with Parkinson’s. I sleep when she sleeps. If I’m there 12 hours, I’m only truly working for 4.
The pay sucks, but I’ve got as few or as many hours as I’m pleased to work.
Abigail, my friend and former coworker, is moving in with me 20 April. I love living alone but I hate sweating for 2 weeks out of the month wondering how to pay my landlord.
Last month, she threatened to serve me eviction papers. Her reasoning was,” We are old and we need the money too. I like you. I don’t wanna put you out. But you’re late every month. “
I don’t blame her. But I also don’t want to move all of my crap,change addresses and move to yet another congregation; so Abigail is coming to stay with me, mostly because her parents are moving to Vegas and she’s not interested in moving there too.
I had a meeting with the elders earlier this week to seek spiritual guidance. They were a terrific help to me, and I feel like I’m ready to conquer the vices that have bound me for so long.
Mostly, I’ve been keeping very, very busy. I am out of tears and out of angst, but not out of heart. I’m just deciding to put my heart elsewhere.
Failing business, looming bills, idle hands —> worry, worry, worry, worry, worry, worry,worry, worry,worry…..
I am struggling. I am struggling with my weight. I am struggling with my negative emotions. I am struggling with the fact that my rent is due Friday and I do not have the money.I am struggling to rein in my more sexy desires so I can please Jehovah. I am struggling not to allow my laziness to override the need to work for a living. I am struggling to eat from freelance gig to freelance gig. I am struggling to pay attention at the meetings and go out in the ministry. I am struggling to be patient with my dear ones, and with myself. I am struggling to talk to Sergei, even when he gives me a pun and a sign in his greetings to me. I am struggling to find the money and motivation to rock climb again. I am struggling to stay in touch with my friends uptown. I am struggling to read all of the books and finish all of the projects and find all of the love and hope and dreaminess I was promised in my twenties. I am struggling to forget Sal’s limpid, sweet brown eyes. I am struggling to deal with the fact that I’m drifting from B because I am changing. I am struggling to find clothes that I like and that fit. I am struggling to keep this smile plastered on my face. I am struggling not to dance until I literally drop from exhaustion… because dancing is the only time I feel wholly alive.
Someone, please, tell me, that this is all going to be worth it in the end.
My old boss called me yesterday to offer me a part-time job at their company doing recruitment. I dunno if I’m gonna take it. I like the freedom I have found through driving, but it would be stable, and close. I’ll see how it goes.
Mostly, I’ve spent the days driving for money, eating well, rock climbing, preaching and sleeping in. I have no desire to change any of that, but I do think it’s interesting she’s asked me to come back.
MY OWN STRANGE PATH
I left my resignation letter on my boss’ desk today.I’m having a meeting with her tomorrow. When I wrote it and printed it today, I felt confident and strong, more than I have in years.
After I left the office and spoke about it with my co-workers, however, all I felt was terror.
I’ve come home for the night and eaten a lavish meal at my parents’ table, uncaring that it was sticky and covered in the kids’ previous meal. I’ve got my feet propped up and I’m listening to The Smiths and drinking (terrible) beer as I write out my plan of attack.
I have no intention of telling them until long after I leave.
Tax season is coming up, and the pay system at my job is strange; she pays us for the previous month’s work. I suspect I’ll be able to take care of the things I need for a short while as I rest up and decide what I’m going to do now.
My landlord is prompt, kind and lenient. My car is old but pretty reliable (and I have AAA in the event it decides to not be anymore). I’m not under any obligation to stay (this is where at-will employment is a fine institution) and I never had health insurance anyway, so I will not take a loss in that regard.
Pulling the trigger on the things you want to do despite reason is always the hardest part of life. Julien Smith calls it “the flinch” for a reason.
However, last year I realized that flinching has done me not a lick of good. I didn’t flinch when the opportunity to leave home presented itself, and I’m determined not to flinch now.
I remember that the day I signed the lease, I was overwhelmed with terror then too… but I signed it, and I have absolutely no regrets moving out, high utility bills and no internet aside. Being on my own has enriched my life and changed my personality in ways I’m proud of. I feel like I like myself for the first time since childhood.
I’ve determined that this is the year I stop daydreaming about dancing and preaching during my days and actually do those things. I’ve determined that this is the year I stop sitting so much that it’s killing me. I’ve determined that this is the year where I stop having to beg for the time off I need to do the things that make this life worth living. I’ve determined that this is the year I learn how to rock-climb, play the drums, ride a motorbike, speak Hindi and rock size 2, slim-fit jeans. I’ve determined that in order to be ME— the real me— I can’t stay at an office job.
My friend Janine is applying for a full-time position at my old job and she said to me yesterday, “Honestly, I’m quite surprised you work here.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re incredibly active. You don’t think you are, but you are. Not saying you’re not intellectual. But this kind of thing seems like a poor fit for you.”
If even she can see it, so can everyone else… and so I’m striking out.
courage’s prerogative (or, the highest journey)
“Be careful what you ask God for. You just might get it.”-- In the Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez
Moving forward is not easy. Moving forward when it comes to someone you’ve cared about and that you’ve respected and who has since changed is not easy. Moving away from the people that you love in order to create a new life is not easy. Begging the Lord to help you move forward and realizing that Jehovah has shut the door behind you is not easy.
But it is worth it. I am begging Jehovah right now for the courage I need not to turn back to the door He has closed and pound on it.
Rough weeks leave me with these mantras:
1. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
This question is going to be niggling in my brain all weekend. There will be nothing I can do to change that.
2. How? How? How? How? How? How? How?
Could this have been avoided?
3. I will conquer this. Can I conquer this? Yes, I will conquer this. I will conquer this. Can I conquer this? Yes, I will conquer this……
The tiny voice inside me that can see the future, which will be good.
When everything’s falling apart, meditating is even more exhausting than pretending everything’s okay.
CUTE WITHOUT THE “E”
It’s been a little over two weeks since I’ve moved out of my parents’ house. How am I enjoying the experience? I think my experience with it so far is that I’m living pretty much the same as I was before: constantly out except to sleep, eat, shower and zone out. I still see my family almost every day, and my friends too. Even if I don’t see them, I still hear from them. My life is still just as “peopled”. My woman-cave is now a lot bigger and sans carpet, but it’s still essentially the same woman-cave—- sparsely furnished, clean and full of books and papers.
I’LL GIVE BACK TO YOU SOMEDAY SOON/ YOU WILL SEE;
Things in my life that are currently falling apart:
Things that my house still doesn’t have that are important:
Bills that are due:
all of them
Time before next pay day:
seven long days.
It has been two days since I’ve moved out of my parents’ house. I have 10 dollars in the bank and 12 days until payday, but otherwise I am pleased with this decision. My apartment is coming together but still needs lots of things—bath mats, appliances and cleaning implements. I also need to recover a tiny box with small hardware for hanging shelves in it. I’ve searched for it both in my boxes and at my parents’ house but it is not there.
The quiet of living alone is pleasantly eerie. Despite ignoring warnings from my dear ones about the “perils” of being a female living alone and leaving home in the first place, I still find myself quietly surveying my apartment as soon as I get in, slowly opening the doors, fists and fury ready.
After the initial survey, I turn on the thermostat, plug in my headphones, bathe and sleep. Lately my sleep has been light. The croaking of whatever exotic bird my neighbors upstairs keep as a pet doesn’t help.
I spend most of my time away from home. Most of my time is still spent at my job, but even on nights like this the thought of staying home almost never appeals to me. I am at a coffee shop in Royal Oak, where I am watching an attractive artist work meditatively, flowing brown hair cascading down his taut, slender back. I came here to study and I will, but I am also people watching too, secretly hoping someone I know will walk in and join me.
Even if not, just seeing other human beings around is good. Continuous solitude is hard after spending your life surrounded by your family.
I have spent the last two days wandering all over the city. I wander because it is how I have so often lived these last three years—- a solitary but open traveler in the course of this life.
My apartment doesn’t have internet and I haven’t faithfully watched television for over 10 years. The interaction with others is keeping me sharp and sane.
1. I am sick and at work today. I would have stayed home but my co-worker did too. I’m not sure what’s going round but I feel miserable… and yet not-so-miserable. I’ve realized I complain a lot less about this job when she’s not here…
That doesn’t mean I didn’t spend the weekend applying to other gigs anyway. After calculating how much I make per man hour here, I realized that looking for a job with less time + more pay is not a crime.
2. Caffeine + very little but very deep sleep last night has me kind of high. I know I’ll be even higher after going to the gym today for the first time in two freaking weeks.
My boss asked me to lie for her Friday afternoon. I point-blank refused. She said “OK, I’ll get the other girl to do it.”
I am glad she didn’t try to get me to compromise but a part of me was hoping she would fire me on the spot.
I’m trying to hang on to this job until December 1st at least. I want to turn in my two weeks notice once I’ve successfully stopped procrastinating an set up freelance income (or, at least online income that doesn’t require me to be a Facebook moderator for cents on the dollar).
I’m trying to put my mind in the office in the meantime but it’s getting more and more difficult. My weight-loss has ground to a halt because this job takes up all of my time for exercise, the workday is stressful, and I’m not sleeping enough.
I know I have to leave. It’s very hard because this company isn’t a monolith . We all know and interact with the boss on a daily basis. If we were bigger, i wouldn’t feel awkward suddenly leaving.
But this isn’t something up for debate anymore. Was it ever? I want my life back. I am not conservative enough for day in, day out at the office, even this office where I wear sweatpants and walk barefoot with everyone else.
I was telling my friend Khalil during our last chat regarding modern life about how hard it is to resist the creeping nihilism that often comes with the territory of working for money. He argued that we’d have to go back to hunting and gathering if we wanted to live another way in this world. Honestly, as long as I got guidance beforehand and a subtropical climate, I would happily trade the jungle for the office. I don’t have a romantic notion of a secret mansion, still-have-it-all, private island life either. I can honestly say that creature comforts aside,i believe societies that still live as our ancestors did—tiny communities, subsistence farming and hunting/gatherings—have a much better handle of what we ought to be doing everyday. Eating to live, loving who we’ve got, only taking what we need from the earth…why does this not make sense to all of us living in the western world?
We’d rather spend all of our times slowly killing ourselves behind a desk and behind the wheel of a car instead. We’d rather underpay a few people to produce our food for us instead . We’d rather overstate and overshare our tiny little lives with a bunch of people we hardly know over the Internet instead.
I think I’m supposed to be an organic farmer instead of a paper pusher.
THREE, TWO, ONE— LET’S JAM!
I put down a deposit on a flat on Friday. My boss called me and she wants to have a meeting about how good I’m doing at work on Monday. The Spanish Hall is 15 minutes away from my new house. I am feeling completely content with where my life is going, and more content about who is in it.
Oh, and according to the scale, I’ve lost 50 pounds between this year and last year.
October is shaping up to be a great month!