Thursday, October 1, 2009

One Begets the Other

Good morning, October. I am sitting at home--that is to say, my parents' house--living out the final days of this transition period. Get your trumpets out and brace for the fanfare, everybody, because I officially have a job. A big girl job. Salaried, with benefits. And you know what? The release I so thought I would feel from that moment, that glorious e-moment that was like Christmas for the unemployed, didn't last nearly as long as I thought. What I quickly realized after being offered the job was that one decision begets dozens of others. Where to live? What neighborhoods are good? Can I find an apartment that will finally allow me to fulfill my irrational desire to get a pet? Should I deal with a commute? This is all a process, a one step at a time kind of thing, and I don't do well with that. I like to step evenly, in rhythm, and this process is a bit more interpretive than I would prefer.

In the meantime, there has been yet another victim of this "time in my life:" my relationship. What I thought would be a clean break ended up only bending, and now I have no idea what to do. He has faith that relationships can smoothly transition from romantic to platonic, without a break in communication, without any time in our separate corners. I am less optimistic, as my last relationship was really just a series of trying to do exactly that and failing miserably. And of course my stupid rom com-poisoned heart so wants to believe in faith and fate and grand gestures. After all, is there any better time than when you're young to do crazy things? To wear trench coats and hold boom boxes over your head or drive from Boston to Stanford in some POS car your friends got you for your birthday?

Life is not a movie. Life is not a movie. Life is not a movie.

I'll find an apartment. I'll get a cat. I'll move on and I'll enjoy my pay stubs. I can savor my escapes into rose petal-filled fantasy, but what it comes down to is that all you can do is just keep on keepin' on. Do what you can with what you can control, and let the rest fall as it may. Anything else is just a wrestling match you're bound to lose.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Salaried with benefits, please

Knock on wood--and seriously, do it if there's some around--the tides are turning. Of course job hunting is a clusterfuck in every stage: scramble to apply to jobs, scramble to interview for them. I have been applying to jobs seriously since April, with a sporadic few sprinkled throughout the winter before, and only in the past three weeks have I gotten interviews. And as soon as I got one, it was suddenly as though some impenetrable job floodgate had been kicked down. Relieved that I would finally be headed home in a matter of days, I am now extending my east coast stay another five days for an in-person interview in DC, which is six hours from where I currently am. As a friend put it, "Your life is a logistical nightmare." Tell me about it. All of my clothes are in boxes en route to my parents' house, my car is stuffed to the brim with things from my storage unit, and the only pair of shoes I have are some flip flops. Whoops.

I know I shouldn't complain. Having interviews is absolutely incredible. I just have to sit back and let the humor of it all kind of marinate in my head, you know? Naturally it would be too simple for interviews to happen while I was just starting my summer job, or even through August. Only as my summer employment was ending did all of these interviews come to light. Timing is nothing if not humorous. And that may be all it is, because otherwise you're gonna look at it and see it as inconvenient, unforgiving, and sometimes unbelievable. My coping mechanism is definitely humor. If I can hold onto it for just a few days longer, it may pay off big time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Solo Movie Endeavors

Here are the best things about going to a movie alone:
1. You never have to worry about finding a seat.
2. You can eat all of the popcorn/candy before the previews have even ended.
3. You can buy popcorn/candy and not secretly wonder if the other person is judging your choice of upping the size for 50 cents more.
4. You don't have to deal with your movie partner's perhaps annoying movie habits.
5. You can go to movies you'd never want to admit you paid money to go to.

Here are the worst things about going to a movie alone:
1. Everyone else is with somebody.
2. If you have to go to the bathroom (and I inevitably do, as fountain Diet Coke is my Kryptonite), there's no one to tell you what happened while you were gone.
2a. If you have to go to the bathroom, there is no one to watch your things. Take your chances and leave the bag there, or look suspiciously like it's that time of the month.
3. There's nobody to talk to about the movie when it's over.
4. If you do, in fact, polish off your popcorn/candy, you can't pull the "but I was sharing it with someone else" justification.
5. When you stamp a "date" title on it, you're ensured that at least part of the night will be paid for.

Overall, I think that going to the movies by yourself is as delightful as Sarah Jessica Parker makes it look in "Sex and the City." You don't have to cater to anybody else's needs, you can buy and see whatever you want to, and you can stay all the way through the credits if you want, or, if you're like me, haul ass as soon as the scene fades to black. Plus, it has a level of anonymity thanks to the darkness that is not provided by, say, dining alone.

It's interesting how everyone has their different movie traditions: some love to chat about the movie during the movie (not me), some laugh loudly and unabashedly while others muffle their chuckles as perhaps a courtesy or insecurity, some are popcorn fiends, others sour patch kids lovers, some live for the previews (definitely me), others show up 15 minutes late to a movie just to skip them. Sometimes incompatible movie traditions can totally ruin the experience for both parties, whether romantically involved or simply friends.

As for me, I think going to the movies alone may become a new tradition in and of itself.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fear of Sleep

Days Until Employment Ends: 2
Jobs Applied to Today: 4
Hours of Sleep: 4

I cannot sleep in this house. I'm still transitioning to the new sounds and nuances only old houses contain. Last night I fell asleep at 3; the night before, at 5. Somehow I managed to peel myself out of bed faarrrr too early this morning, have a post-op check up with the dentist (everything's healing nicely, yee haw), and actually get some work done--after a big cup of coffee, of course.

But by one o'clock there was little left to do. I came back to the house and watched old David Attenborough specials on the leopard, crocodile, eagle, and humpback whale. This is the severity of my situation.

The more I come to terms with my summer job ending, the more I'm realizing that I need to go home. I can't wander around for much longer. I'm sick of packing up my whole life every couple of weeks and hauling it in my understated tan Corolla to the next squatting venue. One of the jobs I applied to today is actually at a university back home, and you know, after mailing my resume in (snail mail style--the Midwest is inching toward progressive, but some things they'll never let go of), I found myself bizarrely excited by the idea. Going back home but living in my own apartment, starting my own life there, sounds greatly appealing to me right now. Comfortable in many ways, but new in others.

I have made a pact with myself that I will fall asleep at a normal time tonight. Keep your fingers crossed....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Playing House

Movies/TV Shows Watched Since Wisdom Teeth Removal:
1. The Simpsons Season 3 (Disc 1 only)
2. The Simpsons Season 4
3. The Simpsons Season 6
4. Man vs. Food Season 1
5. Mrs. Doubtfire
6. This American Life
7. MaxedOut
8. House Bunny (forgive me)
9. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Thank you, Netflix Instant.

Earlier tonight, at the house I'm currently "sitting," I spent 20 minutes making the bed. Simply because I could, because I got lost in the fantasy of having my own place to call home, where I could have charming little knick knacks that ooze frivolity with the loopy cursive saying things like "Linen Spray" and "Creme pour le Corps." Living in an extremely well-decorated house that reflects what you one day can only hope your home will look like is not helpful when you're reeling from unemployment.

I also ventured back to campus today, the first day out since my immature wisdom teeth extraction on Monday. I think the Vicodin must have embedded some false sense of readiness in my horiztonal, Man vs. Food-watching body, because as soon as I got to work I felt incredibly awful. What I did love, however, was watching all the freshmen--still slightly shocked from the massive amount of sensory overload, but trying their damndest not to let on. Yes, it's orientation week, and it feels so weird to be there, watching as though I'm peering into a snow globe. It's bizarre how quickly a place that was your home loses that title, even when you continue to be surrounded by it after you graduate. But I must admit, all awkward friendship making and map toting aside, I was a little jealous of this class of 2013 (yikes). Welcome to four years of a reality defined by a cushy balance of structure and independence, where everything new seems like it will never get old and graduation is something you just got done with, not something to be looking out for. God, my timing is impeccable.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Losing My Wisdom

Tomorrow I will finally be inducted into the exclusive club of being sans wisdom teeth. To alleviate the potential devastation about the loss, the dentist assured me that the two buds growing on my lower jaw are surprisingly "immature for my age," and should therefore not lead to much trouble. Couldn't help but feel a little bit gypped from that statement. My immature wisdom teeth. Of course they are.

But it's true, in the two months since I even learned I had wisdom teeth, that I feel as though I've been on an intellectual backslide. I am an alumna now, 4 years of countless papers and tuition bills behind me, but now I can't seem to shake the feeling that I've simply screeched to a halt after what only recently seemed like an endless jaunt down a lovely, albeit bumpy, back road. Then again, this feeling could just be another result of my tendency to over think. Living this semi-nomadic lifestyle leads one to question the purpose of transition periods to be anything but completely annoying. I didn't really think that I would ever need to use the word "antsy" after I hit double digits, but that is the only word that really touches on what the past two months have been. And yes, I am fully aware that I should be taking advantage of this time and embracing the unknown, but to be frank, fuck that. The people telling me that are the ones who romanticized the confusion to be an embodiment of the gradual fading of youth. In retrospect, it's a beautiful thing, I'm sure. Living it sucks.

But for the next two days at least, all I need to focus on is taking my pain meds and enjoying endless pudding cups. If nothing else, this summer will have been good for getting pesky, immature teeth out of the way.