it’s one of them mondays. when you wake up earlier than your alarm, hours before you actually ever really wake up to start your day. when you lay in bed and think about making your fantasies practical realities.
i call it active thinking. i’ve been passive thinking for weeks now. thinking about my future, where i see myself, what i see myself doing, houses i see myself living in, clothes i see myself wearing, et cetera, et cetera. but i have been doing very little of the things i believe will get me to that future.
i’ve been aware but i haven’t been present. or vice versa (i’m still unsure if there’s a difference between the two, awareness and presence, and which qualifies here). i’ve been doing my jobs perfectly fine. at one job, i do inventory and hum to the celtic/country music on my supervisor’s ipod shuffle. at another, i write grants and hum along to hozier on the radio. at the third, i sell stamps and pack boxes and sing along to 90s rock, very loudly to “wonderwall”, “closing time”, and “iris” on pandora radio. i converse with customers, i insist my boss take some personal time off when her life gets hectic, i listen to my 17, 18, and 19 year old coworkers regale their friday nights, often involving boys – always involving alcohol. but i’ve got this steady inner monologue that’s honestly just a shell of myself.
perhaps that’s why a tweet (or a series of them) here, an instagram post there can be so much easier than texting friends or having a heart to heart with my mom. they require almost no effort, no heart on my part. they are shards, facets of me but not me. a status update about a movie i’m watching, a pithy observation, a photo of coffee as a part of my aesthetic… okay, that last one’s a bad example but only because i am more coffee than human girl. that’s not just a clever bio quip. but what i give of myself online is not myself. who i am is a girl nostalgic for a past i can’t go back to and a future i’m no longer afraid of but am passive aggressively being convinced that i’m a traitor if i pursue.
but back to the reason i’ve been up since before sunrise and how that’s so not me:
i am not a morning person, but if my internal clock is ticking this loudly maybe i should pay it some mind. between four and five weeks time, i will be twenty-five. and at a quarter of a century, yeah, sure, not everything has to happen by a certain age but come on! what is my excuse for not going after what i want?
i am a military brat, who was, i guess, lucky enough to live in one place to get a steady education. i am a college graduate with three jobs where i actually feel valued. how many people can say they got offered a job the week after they finished school? in an environment that they love, no less. i get paid to drink coffee and appreciate art. that is my job (one of them, anyway). i refuse to discount my current status. but i’m also not using it to my advantage.
i get defensive when adults (baby boomers, who technically do not have to work to get by) ask me what i plan to do with my post-graduation glow. “work” is always my answer because bills have to be paid and why would i leave three good jobs for uncertainty simply because that’s what is expected? the job market for a young, black, tattooed, in-debt college grad is very different from a white woman in her sixties retired independently wealthy from the state of georgia. life affords us very different circumstances and opportunities.
but are they 100% wrong for asking? no (more like 97% wrong). because in my mind, i’ve already heavily contemplated sacrifices concerning the future i could have versus the future i want. maybe i move to savannah because it’s far enough removed from small town life but close enough i could make the commute to work. maybe i go to grad school for counseling and find employment in the public school system, which honestly terrifies me. maybe i settle for a nice, funny boy with a nice family and settle down for the the domesticity i earnestly do crave. i could stick around because the people here just like me so much – that’s general public opinion, so i’ve been told because i’m pretty meh if you ask me.
or maybe i take advantage of where i am and use it to do what i want and to go where i want to be. it’s not enough to spend dead time at work zillow-ing houses in san antonio, texas if i’m doing nothing to get back there. it’s not enough to want to get into publishing, to want to write novels when i’ve got one gathering dust on my desk and several unfinished others doing the same on my laptop.
i am not doing enough and i don’t feel ashamed to say that. i once saw the life i easily, so easily could have had but desperately did not want and i fought my way away from it. i almost flunked out of college but went back and have three degrees to show for it. i mean, i even told myself i was going to graduate this year – because i was sick of school but also couldn’t afford to belabor any longer – and did. at the beginning of the year, i promised my aunt i’d come visit and now i’m going to spend my birthday with family i rarely get to see.
i know my limits, know when i’m not pushing myself, know when i’m doing the bare minimum. if a photograph with nine notes on tumblr of a section of I-35 can make me break down into tears, it means i’ve hit a(nother) wall. so it’s about time i do something about it.
however, for now i’m going to self-medicate on benadryal for these insufferable allergies, drink dark chocolate hot cocoa, and finish season one of jane the virgin.
and here’s 3 for the hell of it:
- crimson peak is 10/10 would recommend. guillermo del toro is a master storytelling and also tom hiddleston’s ass
- it’s okay to withdraw into yourself from time to time. put in the effort to give your own soul the same kind of nourishment you give others
- …i’m sorry. i’m still on hiddles’ “english countryside” *heart eyes emoji*