2015: Easily Distracted

If you’re thinking that this is going to be another whiny post about me not having any idea what I’m doing with my life and being a terrible human being, then yes, you are thinking correctly. I’ve been meaning to write a summary post about 2014 (like I did that one year for 2013) since basically 2014 and here I am. (I hope I didn’t write a 2014 summary post or else this is going to be so embarrassing, I kind of want to check, but kind of just want to hope for the best and pretend that I know myself really well.)

Life has been dull and I guess that’s partly (mostly) my fault. As the subject line suggests, I let myself get really distracted really easily really often. I also am really good at making excuses for myself which is really not good in the long run. Work is good and I’ve really been enjoying working at PacSun and at the store I’m currently at. I’ve been having a good time with my coworkers and getting to know them on a more personal level. I like the idea of continuing to grow with this company and moving up in this company and working for this company for maybe years to come. (Yikes?) It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing with my time like many people suggest. I like my job and that’s probably the first time I can honestly say that in a long time. The problem with it is that I let that job consume my life. Which, ok, I get that it isn’t a bad thing, but at the moment, in this exact position I’m in, I don’t feel like it’s my life. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to make a career out of working at PacSun, but being an assistant manager in the middle of nowhere New York is not where I see myself ending up and I think a lot of people should be able to gather that from ALL THE OTHER POSTS I WRITE ABOUT MY LIFE. (Drama and flair.) So, I just feel like I’ve gotten sidetracked (distracted) and have been putting off all the other things that I’ve always wanted to do with my life. (All the other things refers to the other thing which refers to writing. There’s really not much else that I want to do with my life tbh. [A necessary acronym.])

That was obviously me complaining, but this is something that I don’t think I’ve ever done (I’ve probably done it): I’m finally going to take full responsibility for what I’ve been neglecting. I’m not going to blame my varying work schedule. I’m not going to blame the amount of time I spend at work each day/week. I’m not going to blame the fact that I feel tired. I’m blaming myself because ultimately I have the choice when I get home from work what I do with the time that I’m not at the mall. And as much as I love coming home, eating a bagel and watching “Friday Night Lights” on someone else’s Netflix account, I know that I can’t keep doing it as a routine like this. The occasional binge is ok, I know, but the every night binge as I neglect my book lists and my pen pals and myself via journal writing just hasn’t been cutting it. I’ve been feeling the neglect in my bones. Everyday I mope around my house acting like the world is out to get me. That the mall is ruining my life. That the weather hates my mood. (I think the last one is really true, though, and you guys can probably agree. Like, the cold weather just destroys all happinesses.) I’ve been subconsciously doing this to myself. Subconsciously putting myself through this unnecessary funk and I think it’s about time that I get myself out of it. (Go me, high five, jump freeze frame, yeah!)

(Also, I just may have read some of my older posts and dear goodness, I do this way more often than I ever thought I would and I am so sorry for that and it’ll stop right after I hit “publish” because I promise this time it’ll stick.)

I feel like I had way more to say but now I can’t think of anything which is sad.

I guess I’ll try to conclude this post on a better note than that last one and say that I’m really just ready to start taking ownership of my life and where it ends up next. I’m ready to pay off my school loans and apply to grad school. Ready to put together a portfolio. Ready to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. I’m ready to put myself out there even if I get kicked in the face for it (violent, I don’t know why, I felt like there’s an expression that says something along those lines but maybe not). I’m ready to take charge. To move on. To adventure. To become the me I’ve always imagined I could be.

(Really hating that I’m finishing this post with a rhyme but I really just can’t find anything else to say that would better conclude these thoughts.)

Update: I did write a 2014 summary post oh my goodness I am so bad I don’t even know myself anymore.

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2014: A Summary and Salutation

I know that I’ve disappeared (again) and I know we’re already a week into the new year, but I’m currently sitting in the backyard of my boyfriend’s house in the middle of sunny San Diego and thought there was no better place and time for me to do these reflections.

2014 was not my best. I don’t normally like to use one word to describe my year (unless that word is weird), but this past year was different for me. It was probably one of the most difficult years for me. I faced a lot of obstacles, physical and emotional. And I had to overcome a lot of obstacles that I set up for myself. It was hard, yes, but I think it was also the year that taught me the most. About people, about life, about myself. (I guess that’s kind of cliche, but it’s true and I stand by it.)

The year started off in a way that basically everyone wants their year to start off. I was in Texas with my boyfriend, ringing in the new year with homemade pizza, puzzles, and funny movies throughout the night. It was good and it was easy until it wasn’t. (So dramatic.) The truth of it all is that I moved to Texas without enough money saved up. I also moved to Texas thinking a friendship that had lasted so long would continue to last even when put through a stressful situation. I was wrong. I was running very low on money for a very long time and felt that I had no one to talk to. When it finally was talked about with my parents, it was such a weird feeling. A feeling that a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Like I wasn’t dealing with it alone. And even though I was able to lose the weight of being financially unstable, it felt like I had gained a new weight: the weight of figuring out how I could possibly pick up a life I was trying so hard to make work. I had packed up my entire life and moved halfway across the country. I was able to build such a strong relationship with a human that I basically have committed myself to. I made some great friends. I loved my coworkers. And now I was faced with this. And basically it wasn’t even a decision. I had nothing to decide. I didn’t have enough money to stay and so I had to leave.

Once I did, I created this weird (there’s that word) barrier between me and basically my old life. The only people who knew I was coming back home were my parents and all the people I was leaving behind. I kept it a secret from people I was once really great friends with. I guess that seems weird. It seems like I would’ve wanted a lot of people around to help me going through such a weird transition, but it was exactly the opposite. I felt defeated for a long time. Like I had messed up somewhere. That I couldn’t do it. That I couldn’t even make it six months out of my house before I came back. It took months for me to finally get over it. To realize that I could do it. I didn’t move back home because I couldn’t. I moved back home because my preparation to move out wasn’t enough. I didn’t have the money. Not the ability. I learned how tough I really was. How independent I could be. And it felt amazing to have had the chance to move out. Because it taught me that if I could do it once really poorly, I could do it again but hopefully next time more successful.

But also it taught me who I want around when I do make decisions like that. I feel like the last few years, I haven’t changed the people I’ve surrounded myself with and I thought that it was because I had finally found the people I want in my life. But I guess every year brings new realizations and last year brought this one: That while I had a lot of the people I need in my life, I had a lot of people that I didn’t need. That were bringing me down.

And so here I am. Visiting my boyfriend for over a year in California. With some of the best friends I could’ve asked for. The most supportive family. A new family member on the way next month. And a possible promotion in the next few months. I’d make a resolution but I know it won’t stick. This year isn’t the year of the new me, but it’s the year of a better me. (Stole this from my good friend Julia.) I want to do more of the things I want to do. I want to take more steps to get to the places I want to be. I’m going to stop letting everyone’s negative energy affect me more than it should. I’m going to keep my nose out of business that isn’t mine. I’m going to read and write and drink hot chocolate. I’m going to spend more time with the people that want to spend time with me. I’m going to stop letting work get me down and start using it as a stepping stone to get me to where I really want to. I need to stop using these posts as a way to bring myself down when I should be building myself up. I’m going to be ok and this is the year that I start believing it and acting like it.

Me Being Thankful for Things

This post is partly cliched because I’m 100% going to make a list of things I am thankful for (on Thanksgiving, yes). But don’t worry, I’m going to try to make this as original as possible. (It won’t work because it’s Thanksgiving and also a list of things I’m thankful for, but it’s ok I’m going to do it anyway.)

I’m thankful for a mom who reminds me to get a life but also makes me slippers every winter because my feet get cold. Who makes dinner basically every night but also complains about making dinner every night because it’s a pain and also my sisters and I work a lot and are each very particular in what we eat and when we eat it. Thankful for a mom who hung up the phone on me when I was upset in Texas. (You’ll all take this out of context but literally I was the worst that day and it was icing and I couldn’t leave my terrible apartment.) A mom who drove in a little car half way across the country to help me move into an apartment that I ended up moving out of. Thankful for a mom who plays Super Mario Bros with me when we’re bored at night because Super Mario Bros.

I’m thankful for a dad that will literally only text me the letter ‘k.’ Who gives me funny looks from across the table when I say something dumb. A dad who secretly loves my dogs no matter how many times he tells us he hates them. Thankful for a dad who wears suspenders. (Thankful for that because it’s hilarious because you don’t know my dad.) A dad who got really into soccer just because I decided to get really into soccer. A dad who watches videos on his iPad and laughs hysterically about them. (We don’t ever know what he’s doing on that iPad but he told me once that the two videos he was watching were “elephants taking baths” and “puppy dance party.”) But most of all, thankful for a dad who still does the “Do you like seafood” joke at the dinner table and then proceeds to open his mouth to show his very chewed food.

I’m thankful for a twenty-one year strong relationship with my grandfather. Thankful for the (incorrect) knowledge that the capital of Bulgaria was named after him (Sofia. Charles Sofia). Thankful for the constant reminder that somewhere he’s pretending to pat my head and whispering “you’re my favorite grandchild” with a weirdly fantastic smile on his face.

I’m thankful for my siblings. My brother who basically crushes me alive when he gives me a “hug.” Thankful for sisters who tell everyone how bossy I am and then yell at me over the television. An older sister who supports my new soccer life and also does not support my really terrible reading habits. A younger sister who supports all my terrible habits and also stays up till all hours of the night watching weird TV and drinking too much soda.

Thankful for my dogs, because dogs.

Thankful for a boyfriend that cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for me when I was living in Texas because I was homesick and wanted turkey. A boyfriend that texts me every day to tell me how much he loves me, but also crushes me in Words with Friends way too often and it’s not cool but I’ll still be thankful. Thankful for a boyfriend that likes video games, pajamas, junk food, and laying around doing absolutely nothing as much as I do.

Thankful for my two best friends even though they abandoned me and went to a new mall to work at PacSun.

And finally I’m thankful to be able to pen this post that you will all probably not read.

A Shorter Post of Me Complaining About Doing More With My Life

After a long, accidental/unintentional hiatus, I have returned with the same old whining and revelations I have once a month, basically. Lately, I’ve been feeling really down in the dumps about pretty much everything you can feel down in the dumps about: my job, my friends, my future, my life, my passions, myself. And that’s not a cool thing. I complain about it all the time and I’m here to complain about it again.

I know I posted something similar to this not long ago, but then I got a text from one of my closest friends from Texas the other night saying that she had read my post and was worried about me. Worried. About me. While I appreciate the concern and unwavering support (and also the fact that people are reading my blog), I hate the fact that people are worried about me. That people feel the need to text me to make sure I’m doing ok with life. (Yes, Mindy, I’m talking to you. I love you a lot, but ugh.) I know a lot of my posts are of me whining about how not ok I am with my life, but I guess I didn’t realize they were cause for worry? Doesn’t everyone get into ruts? Isn’t it hard for everyone to pull themselves out of a slump because if there’s someone who can easily get themselves out of a slump please have them contact me because I would like to have a chat with him/her, thank you. I actually didn’t give any thought to this text until today aka right now and I’ve decided to make a change.

Yes, I know what you’re all thinking: She’s making another list of changes that she will not be able to keep and then a month later she’ll post about how terrible she is at keeping lists and that she needs to make changes and then she won’t make those changes and then she’ll be back etc etc etc. I get it, I’m SO bad at this, but I guess I’m never going to pull myself out of anything if I just don’t go into it full force. Maybe I’ve been hoping that something will happen in my life and it’ll give me a lil push to get my going–to start the journey to redemption from the depths that I’ve buried myself in. But, ok, I was wrong. Nothing is going to come around and kick me in the butt because I’m pretty sure nothing cares if I’m writing or reading or if I’m neglecting these things by laying around in my bed eating really gross store bought brownies. Ok? The only person that cares that I’m doing these things is myself so unless I start kicking myself in the butt no one and nothing else will. So here I am with the proclamation that I will start kicking myself in the butt immediately following this post. (Or tomorrow, BUT THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE I’M SICK TODAY AND I NEED TO REST SO I DON’T DIE ON BLACK FRIDAY AKA NEXT WEEKEND.)

A few nights ago, my friend texted me and asked me to send her one of my short stories so she could show her boyfriend and, of course, before sending it her way, I reread it and felt my heart hurt because it was good. It was like reading something by someone that you really liked and thinking ‘wow, I wish I would’ve thought to write it.’ Except I did write it. I wrote something and read it back and wanted to write it. And whether or not anyone else understands that or whether or not anyone else thinks it’s good enough for that feeling, I felt it. It was good and it was me and I just gave up on both those things. I gave up on my writing and I gave up on myself and I am my own worst enemy and I need to fix it. Only me. No one else.

Not A Confidence Boost

Before I say anything, I want to make this 100% clear. I am not trying to give myself a confidence boost. I am definitely not trying to kick my confidence while it’s down, but this isn’t going to be one of those posts that I write about how much better I am going to be. What I will do is just try to give myself a kick in the butt to do anything really because basically I’ve done nothing about my life in way too long. It’s time to be proactive. And this time I mean it. (I think.)

I’m going on my fifth year working at the mall and, while it pays the bills and it’s super terrible, the mall is not somewhere I imagine myself for much longer. I’ve always given myself an age limit. By 25, I need to be at least getting ready to get out of the mall and 25 feels like it’s rapidly approaching which is not good for me because I feel nowhere close to getting out of the mall. My dream job would be to just be able to write and (hopefully) get published and so life wouldn’t be so terrible while I’m spending all my hours writing. But I know (at this moment in time) that’s not a practically lifestyle, so I’ve always been “ok” with the mall and the “security” it provides. And recently, I’ve really uncovered this love of fashion and clothes and visual merchandising and so I’ve been looking into doing more with that until I can pay for grad school. But even with that, I feel such a lack of confidence and experience that I’m nervous even to apply sometimes. This happened when I was thinking about going for publishing internships. I feel so under qualified because of all my years spent on a clothing store sales floor. And I know I basically shouldn’t feel under qualified when it comes to applying for visual internships, especially when they’re internships for the company I presently work for, but something makes me so nervous. I don’t even know if I’m nervous that I won’t get it. I think I’m more nervous to get it and then to have to start over. It would be like the first day of middle school or something. Will you fit in? Will you find something you’re good at? Will you make the impression you want? I think the mall, for a long time, has been a comfort for me. I know what I’m doing there and people know that I know what I’m doing and those people respect it and acknowledge it. I feel safe there because of it. But the more years I spend there, the more I realize that, while I’m good at what I do, this is never what I imagined my life to be.

I don’t think it helps that I haven’t written in basically forever. Even after deciding to set up a creative writing coalition with my undergrad comrade Julia, I still haven’t written. I’ve journaled, yes, but I actually haven’t sat down and just written something. Anything. And so I know that hurts me. I know it hurts to think that the mall is all I’ll ever be good at. Maybe if I was writing more and submitting more pieces to magazines and contests, I’d feel a little less awful about myself and where I’m going with my life. Maybe if I was working on a portfolio for grad school (something I’ve told myself to work on for three years now), I’d feel more confident in my ability to get into grad school for creative writing.

It also doesn’t help that now there’s a new added goal to my life: getting my long distance relationship to be not long distance. So, while for a long time, it’s been me worrying about how long it was going to take me to get to where I want to be, I’m now in a spot where all I do is worry about how long it’s going to take to get to have an actual relationship again. Neither of us have the funds to support ourselves at this point and I understand that. But I also feel like no matter how much I work at this mall, I am still nowhere close to even starting to work toward being together again. So that’s another added fear where I think I should just apply to internships across the country, but then it’s not only starting over in a job, it’s starting over in a new state. Which is cool, but also terrifying, considering that I already feel under qualified. Am I ready to move across a country and start over? Maybe I would be if I had an actual job and not a part-time mall job? Life is hard.

I guess it sounded a lot like me kicking my confidence when it’s down and I really didn’t intend to make it sound that way. I guess I just thought if I wrote it all down it would give me more fight. Now that it’s out in the open, maybe I’ll kick myself into high gear to just start being more proactive. I complain a lot, I do. And I know that the only person who can make any real change in my life is myself and so I think it’s time that I start doing that or else I’ll keep complaining and all of you innocent people will continue to have to deal with it.

A Poem(?): A Finger Length Life

Three years ago I learned of a war
between ring finger and index.
Ring thrives with testosterone–
surpasses Index in height, in length, in boys.
We all stared at hands that day.
Index compared to Middle was petite.
Ring compared to Index was not.
Three years later I hear
“Those with more estrogen are prettier.”
Testosterone high; confidence, the opposite.
I wonder which finger determined that.

Creative Writing Coalition

Today was good. And I’m thinking it will increase my productivity level by 1000. Also I just wrote my friend a letter and licked the envelop and it tastes real weird and now I might die like Susan in Seinfeld (RIP). So hopefully that’s not poisonous and I stick around to blog another day.

I got brunch with a girl I went to undergrad with earlier. Her name is Julia and we were both Literature majors with a concentration in Creative Writing. We weren’t always super close, especially through our actual time spent together in undergrad, but this past summer, she and I connected a deeper personal level which is always a cool thing to experience. Then I moved far away and now that I’m back, I thought it was important to reconnect with her. Not only are we pursuing the same type of life, but we both feel stuck in the life we have right now. She seemed like a good connection to have and I wasn’t wrong.

We both expressed a feeling of being detached from our art and our writing. While both of us want to end up writing in our future, we just couldn’t find a reason to write right now (WHICH IS NOT GOOD). We both work jobs that we hope don’t become our entire life (me, a part-time manager at a moderately priced clothing store; she, a part-time server at a restaurant I’ve never heard of). We agreed that we weren’t writing because a lack of ideas. We have several ideas. Several good ideas. She said something that was interesting to me and, I guess, I never thought about it that way. She said that it wasn’t that she didn’t have the things to write, she just didn’t want to write. And it seemed odd, at first. You don’t want to write and you want to be a writer? You don’t want to write and then you complain about not writing? But now that I’ve been thinking about it, I think she’s right (haha, originally spelled ‘write’ woo). I have the most ideas in my head and I can communicate those ideas to basically anyone that asks. And it’s not even that I don’t have time to write because I do. And if I don’t, I can easily take some time from my “sitting on the couch eating cupcakes” chunk of time to do so. It’s not even that I can’t write, because I hardly think I can use that as an excuse anymore. It’s just a matter of writing, whether it’s quality stuff or not. I just need to get writing and hope something comes from it. Because at least then I’m writing and not complaining about it here. But maybe it’s the fact that I don’t want to write. Maybe I’ve let myself get so distracted and so discouraged that I don’t even want to try anymore. And that sucks, but I promise you guys, I’m here to tell you that I’m 100% changing my attitude.

She and I have decided to start a little writing group (aka me and her). We’ve settled on five pages a week and at the end of the week, we’ll meet somewhere and discuss. It doesn’t even need to be actual fiction or nonfiction or poetry. Maybe it’s list of things to edit. Maybe it’s new story ideas. Maybe it’s an old piece edited. Maybe it’s just a journal entry from what happened that day or that week. We basically gave no guidelines aside from writing five pages a week. I feel good about this and I feel even better that I have someone doing it all with me. I’m positive that this will give me the push I need to move forward with my writing and hopefully provide a little determination to find something that makes me inspired and happy and something that changes my “Weekly Whining” to something cooler, like “Weekly Winning” where I tell you all about how many literary magazines want to publish my writing.

Also how proud of you guys that I’m blogging more than five times a year??