Note about life changes that many people experience. Attempt to explain them differently.
(In the words of a cynically positive young adult).
The reason for this note is to explain two changes that are raining on me sideways right now. These are not all uncommon changes. They are the expected norm, but going through them makes me compelled to write them down and save them as memories for me in the future. Hopefully something in this will inspire or encourage others. Even if it’s just one thing. This is also me continuing to grow as a writer, which I am finally beginning to see. With my confidence levels wavering like a storm ridden sea, it hard to really tell what I am actually good at or doing right in any given area of my life lately. Two changes: moving out of my house with my boyfriend and getting a full time city job. Though I am excited, I am rattling in my boomers right now.
I smelled something burning in my car on my route home today. As many people know by now, my car is a disaster fest, but also one of my near and dearest friends. I am at constant war with it. Sometimes I write poetry about her. Other times, she is just an evil bitch who hates me and wants to destroy my life one red light at a time. When the rain stops, my windshield wipers do not.
So, this week the jungle green dream didn’t pass the emissions test. I even tried to look semi-attractive, just in case that kind of thing might work in passing a shitty shitty bang bang of a car, so I wouldn’t have to pay 600 dollars to get it fixed. Like cops not giving crying girls tickets. It’s not like I dressed like a hooker, I just put on make-up and wore a brighter tank top. I don’t know, either way it didn’t save my or my car’s sorry ass at all.
When I tried to bat my eyes and ask innocently like a freaking weirdo if I passed, the guy testing my car, goes “no, I am sorry you didn’t even pass just a little bit.” So when I smelled burning under my car today I thought whatever got me to fail that test was about to literally explode on me while I was in my vehicle. I don’t usually fail tests, but I am too poor to pass this one all the time. I am happy about my new job because I am now less likely to die at age 23 in a fiery death trap explosion in my car.
What also just occurred to me is that tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and the burning smell might just be early fireworks, in which case I am a dumbass. But regardless, my car is a goner.
Also, HEALTH INSURANCE. SWEET MOSES, HEALTH INSURANCE. I can’t wait to have health insurance. Just in case something unfortunate happens to me because I am human, including a fiery death trap explosion in my car. Getting this job only brings me closer to obtaining health insurance.
I’m not an idiot. As much as I avoid the news and other means of current events because it ironically makes me feel even more small and insignificant and voiceless a lot of the time, I still find myself craning my neck, leaning my ear in, and paying attention. With all the fucked up shenanigans going on how can you not? This is a pivotal time in history for us youngins. I have heard horror stories about corporate America, political and personal. And sometimes, that is the same thing.
I have had a teeny, tiny pinch of salt taste of what it is like. I know that many people try to mold you into someone who is less like yourself and more everyone else. I know that a lot of the time, they wring you like a sponge, and a lot of time your true talents get shoved down the garbage disposal. Sometimes, to the point where you forget what your talents were in the first place. I have observed and at times mapped the after effects of someone who is trying to maintain a job at that level. Or any job for that matter. If you want to get all philosophical about it.
But this is not an entirely cynical view. I am determined to begin my job with the same do-good, feel-good gusto, the same amount of casualness, awkwardness, and high energy I bring to every job. I am hoping that I prove myself wrong. That I will not easily be manhandled by the system of things. I am growing up like everyone my age in this economy/society/generation etc., but that does not mean I can easily be fitted for a wooden frame. I was interviewed for my writing and the interviewers all met someone who does not know how the hell to be anyone but herself, but was open to growing as a professional for the greater good of something bigger than and beyond herself. (Hey the end of this weirdly sounds like a conversation about religion). And hopefully not in a sell your soul to the devil kind of way.
I wrote a cover letter that was basically “I want to be a writer and I don’t give a fuck about doing anything else. Can you use this sort of person in your company?” They interviewed me for a job that I did not get. But they wanted me enough to be an intern. And I am not so naive. I know what it is like to be an intern. I was an intern before. Who knows if I will even be able to write. But somehow, this time I feel it is going to be different because I am going to make it different.
I am getting used to not being in a constant learning environment. I had hard ons for school I loved it so much. But this is not the difference between A+ and B- anymore. I have to figure out a way to learn something on my own. How to grow from things and shit.
I have been trying to stop freaking about out things. Like money. There is always going to be money issues, unless you are loaded. Money is everything, I get this, I really do. But it makes me sick to see people consumed by it. It’s a hard thing not to get over-consumed by.
Being a waitress, I have actually felt in my hands in mostly 1,5,10, 20 and maybe once in a blue moon (haha “blue moon,” no beer intended) over 50 dollar bill quantities. Working in a bar was probably one of the most degrading experiences of my life, but it sure taught me a lot of about how money works. How terrible and dangerous cash money in your hands in large quantities can be all at once, and how to remember how hard you just worked for each individual tip. Sometimes, putting up with the bullshit alone was not even worth the tip.
All I know is when I get to the mall and want to shell out 50 dollars on a new hoodie, I think twice about how I had to earn the money that crinkled before my eyes. But I try not to think too hard. Rewards are always in order. A balance is always important I guess.
It is also something that taught me how to be surrounded by people who were shelling out money in order to have a good time. It was hard to serve the party all the time and not want to sit at the bar with fellow, equally exhausted co-workers at the end of the night, buy drinks, and put all the money you just made back into the machine. Especially on 2 dollar draft night. It was hard to live by “you make the party, we clean it up,” and not want to have drink afterward.
But I am letting go a little more so that I am not consumed by it. I went to a private school for English and Social Work. I am clearly not a money-driven person. The reason I make money at my serving job is because I love people. I still love people, morbidly enough. I honestly do not know how this is possible. On Tuesday, I made 10 bucks it was so slow and my section sucked so bad. But I got to play ping pong with my customers, just hang out and relax. I learned about customers, favorite regulars, and my co-workers who have become my closest friends and even valid material for potential work stories I will attempt to recapture one day. I hope that I have made a slight difference in at least someone’s life while working there. I loved being a part of a team. I will miss the team atmosphere only a true sports bar can have. I will miss dropping “F” bombs whenever I wanted too. I will miss some of the most beautiful and hard-working women and men I have ever met. I learned from a lot of these girls about being a real girl.
I am accepting that I am changing as a writer, whether or not I get to do it all the time. One solid piece of writing here or there is okay for me. But ideally, I would like to do it all the time, at least whenever I am not out trying to understand things about human nature and mentally or into my tape recorder gathering material. I am more prepared for the evolving part of my written voice that is undergoing construction at this point in time.
I am also moving in with my boyfriend, which is what I was doing when this unexpected “yes” for a job that I was convinced I would not get flicked me square in the forehead. And as immersed into the thoughts and endeavors for my new job, I have to remember that I’m transitioning with a very important person (VIP) in my life.
Marriage terrifies me still. I am going to be the first person to admit this because I am a miserable liar. I am even worse at acting. I wouldn’t even get cast as an extra in a movie about myself. Not like there would ever be one. Maybe a book. Because that would be baller.
I am excited to decorate an apartment with Sean. Or for Sean because he seems to think I know what I am doing. I have a theme in mind for every room. But with my own weird ideas, not Martha Stewart’s or whatever the ladies watch these days. My grandmothers gave me some of their favorite things, and I can’t wait to include them into my daily life. I even have China now. Sean and Sarah, owner of two sets of China.
I am happy I get to see Sean first thing every day. He is my “smile on a Monday.” But in actuality every day. He picked me for a reason or I picked him or we picked each other, it’s all the same really. I am going to try my darn hardest not to let him down. I am glad I am not alone, and I have someone who is willing to have fun with it all and not take everything too too seriously. I will probably corrupt him into loving coffee as much as I do. I have already won him over with French Vanilla creamer.
We are going to be all right. I will learn how to cook food like women before me have learned to do. To properly prepare meat and chop all fast and fancy like. Maybe normal choppery, though. Cooked meat–I should probably learn about. Sean likes food. It was one of the first things I loved about him and wrote about, how he experiences his food. He experiences new food like he tries out the shoes of a new video game character. It is an artistic experience for him that I have tried to capture in words branded onto my heart. I will be able to cook for someone who at least will attempt to appreciate it. If all else fails, at least I can fall back on my tuna. I am good at making tuna.
I can have company. It can be a site for writing sessions, jam fests, alcohol digests mixed with heart-to-hearts and what not. My friends will help me decorate. My best friend might bring her over her dog. I will not burn Hamburger Helper to serve for when my family comes over. I can put up a freaking Christmas tree. I freaking love Christmas. Everything about it, yes, including Jesus. Maybe Jesus is helping a sister out right this very moment, who knows I am not ever entirely ruling him out.
The adult kids are moving out. And everything is going to be just fine. Because I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one on a pen or Nintendo Wi controller. I’m not going to close my eyes and numb myself into believing that true happiness is attainable because I honestly believe it isn’t. This is not a game to be won, it is making the most of our new life in the smallest of situations that are always worth jotting down or otherwise adding to the wide spectrum of memory.