Let the Games Begin

By games I really mean resetting my sleep pattern before I start working next week. This whole sleeping at night and waking up fourish hours earlier than what I normally do is a mind fuck. If it weren’t for me promising to watch my friend’s kids this week, I would have had to do this whilst adjusting to working as well as over the weekend. But lucky for me things didn’t tun out like that. Perhaps, unluckily for the wee ones I’m minding this week, for my energy will be manufactured by coffee.

And it is obvious writing blogs at this time of the day isn’t for me. Sure, I normally write them shortly after I awake. But normally I’m not awake for at least three hours, probably closer to four. This morning I sat on my bed for hours (okay it was probably like three minutes, but I didn’t count and it felt like hours), pepping myself up for the day. Was I pepping myself up for the twins? No! It was actually leaving getting dressed and leaving my house at this time of the day. This time of the day being before noon.

The sun is at weird angles. I vaguely remember this from when I was at my soul sucking grocery cashier job. But even then, I tried to get midshifts if I could help it.But on the other hand it’s not quite as bright out, and I can appreciate that. Well, at least the sun is still hiding behind the neighbor’s house for the most part and not reminding me my eyes are misshapen causing me to shrink back from the sun in a rather vampiric manner. (On a side note over the weekend I developed some sort of reaction on my arms, which makes me question whether or not I am in fact at least part vampire.) But I digress.

I ate a banana. So, you know I have that going for me. Also, I managed to make a cup of coffee without exploding the kitchen. I feel like those are small glimmers of hope, that I will be able to… Nope. Nope. Nope. The sun just crested over the neighbor’s house and right into my eyes.

Long Sleeves on a Hot Day

I’m still reeling from the job offer of Monday. I haven’t even started yet (and won’t start for another week), but my mind has ran wild with what it will be like. I’ll never leave the country again. I’ll have a small apartment and write at nights and sleep on a bed of manuscripts I never submitted for publishing. OR I work my work and get licensed. Take a large chunk out of my debt. Keep on writing and submitting until finally I write enough to make it so I don’t have to do the 9-5 thang.

That’s right I just used the word thang. You know what, I was born in 80. It’s totally appropriate for my age. So don’t mock me. Whateva I do what I want, which is part of why I’m not necessarily freaking out but ruminating at an incredible rate. I’ve never worked without an end game. I’ve always worked as a way to get out of the country again or to go back to school. But this job… it’s a step in my career as a counselor. This is huge. This is a game changer. It is only dawning on me now that perhaps part of my reluctance to find a job was because of the inevitable change it would bring.

Yes, there’s a shitload of silly little things like having to wake up before noon and get dressed every day. But there is also a shit ton of major changes like paradigm shifting change. I remember sitting in one of my grad classes and having the instructor tell us to look around. That the people around us are not just our classmates for the next couple of years (or so), but they will be our peers. It was a game changer in how I viewed the people in my classes. Now, this job is not just a job. It’s a career. I have to be able to say even if it’s not forever, because my wee mind cannot handle it not not being forever.

Okay, okay, okay, I know there’s a lot going on in the nation today. I know I probably should have discussed current events. But once again, I’m not sure what to say about everything. So, you know, it’s better to say nothing and have people think you may be a fool than to speak have them know you are. Right?

A Wrench in the Machine

Is that even a saying? I mean, if there was a wrench in the machine that surly would muck everything up. So, I feel like it should be if it’s not. Wrench in the cog makes no sense at all. But cog in the machine I know for sure is a saying, and I suppose it could work in this case, because my snag in my plan of being a starving writer living at my parents’ house until they die is that on Monday I was offered a job, and I took it. It’s even a counseling gig.

Even as I typed the words out I wanted to do something to whisper them. It makes me nervous, because things could fall through. And then where would I be? Having to explain so much to so many. I’m trying not to get too put out of shape about having to get dressed at least FIVE times a week as well as WAKE UP BEFORE NOON. I’m also trying not to be excited about getting hours toward my licensure and being able to pay my student loans. And lets not forget the tattoos, I’ll now be able to afford. Oh right, and potentially moving out if I can find affordable rent (totally huge IF).

I was totally caught off guard too. Like I didn’t even tell my references to expect a call, because I was so positive it wasn’t going to happen. FYI this is the position where I made suicide jokes at the interview. (RIGHT!!) In fact, I don’t even know if they got ahold of any or all of my references, because I haven’t heard from anyone telling me they gave me a reference. Evidently, when multiple people quit at the same time things go awry. Yes. That was all it took for me to get a job… multiple people finding better jobs in better places and (I assume) all other interviewees finding jobs elsewhere. The only other thing that could have surprised me more was to be if I was walking down the street and a random hot Irishman began speaking to me because he wanted to sweep me off to back to Ireland forever.

If you’ve read my blog for anything length of time, especially recently, you’ll know I’ve done a lot of soul searching and the like. You know I had accepted the fact I didn’t have to be a counselor to have a meaningful life. You know I am attempting to be published. Now when am I going to write and attempt to be published if not during the middle of the night because I’ll be sleeping because I’ll have to be to work in the morning. I’ve already decided to give myself a few hours every evening after work to be a writer. Of course assuming nothing happens to the job I have lined up. But I’m not holding my breath for things to work out with the position. Not until I pass my three month review. And even then, who’s to say there won’t be a lack of funding or downsizing or suddenly drugs are no longer a problem.

Let It Go

Sometimes I have problems letting things go. Flannel shirts. The bob cut. My love of 80’s hair bands mostly of the Christian variety. That super embarrassing thing I did ten years ago. And of course, that one time I was watching the news and the reporter said ‘octopuses’. Thinking about it even now makes my blood boil. Seriously, ‘octopuses’!? Are you not a communications major? Should you not know the plural of words? I don’t feel I’m asking too much for the reporters on television to use proper English.

I don’t know about you, but my teachers when I was a child taught me that the plural for octopus is octopi. This probably happened around the time my fellow classmates and I were taught the plural of goose is geese. In other words, it common, basic knowledge. Or at least I thought it was until I listened to a news story about what was going on at the aquarium in Seattle. Now, I know Seattle and area isn’t the largest region in the area. However, Seattle has the most MAs per capita than any other place in the country.

Excuse me while I let out a long sigh and roll my eyes. Admittedly, I get a bit “shouty” when I watch the news. Local. National. International. Doesn’t matter. But the angriest I’ve ever been was when that damn piece of eye candy posing as a serious journalist said ‘octopuses’. (Side note: the fact my computer isn’t recognizing octopuses as misspelled is also starting to flame my ire.) So, in the effort of trying to be fair maybe he was “dumbing it down” for the “common folk”. Then again… highest amount of MAs per capita.

Lately, a friend has been encouraging me to use ‘infinite compassion’. As in actually say the words when I don’t feel them, especially if I’m feeling the opposite. Rarely, do I remember to do this. But when I do, it helps a little to be reminded everyone has her/his own story and reasons behind the scenes I’ll never see. However, it does not work when someone would insult my intelligence and act like I wouldn’t notice. That’s right. I’m taking that reporter’s misusage of the plural of octopus as a personal affront. I tried not to, but it’s just so basic, and it’s his job to use proper words!!!!

Okay, I’m going stop before I burst a blood vessel. Happy Monday to us all

Special Father’s Day Edition… Not About Fathering

Just to get it out of the way. Happy Father’s Day to any of my readers if they’re fathers (okay that thought is weird; I never considered my readership to be dads). Or if they’re single moms and play the role of both mom and dad. Also, I’m going to give a HUGE shout out to any of my male readers who have chosen to not reproduce for whatever reason. You fellas are my male counterparts, and we both know it is the path less travelled.

Right. So. Because I didn’t blog this week, I thought I’d do one today. I spent a big chunk of my day napping. Wait… that’s not what I wanted to talk about, albeit the truth. I spent another chunk of my day editing my sister-in-law’s final paper. I agreed to it last night, not thinking of all the implications. It’s not that I didn’t want to help her. I did. I truly did. It’s just that APA style of writing is the most pretentiously ridiculous format that I can think of. I mean there may be a worse format, but I haven’t come across it.

Now, I know what all you non-APA writers are thinking, “Come on. Way to use hyperbole.” To which I reply, send me your email address and I will send you multiple articles and papers written in APA format. Then you tell me how readable and practical and non-pretentious it is. Seriously, citations midsentence really breaks up the flow both when writing and reading. There is nothing wrong with the footnote. Nothing at all. Then again, I’ve never had to use the footnote because APA was the official format of my uni.

However, because I agreed to help my sister-in-law, I reread some old papers I wrote. Holy shit! I had no idea I could sound so educated. I mean I know I can be pretentious, but usually it’s just my attitude rather than word usage. Yet I digress. I HATED writing papers in grad school and in my undergrad for that matter. Then again, I did write passable papers. The entire thing made me question if I couldn’t be a technical writer. I mean be one without gouging my own eyes out or choking myself with my scarf, because I tended to wear scarves when I wrote papers. Shut up. It was my thing.

It’s good to know I could do something non-therapy related and still utilize my degree. Not that you see a shit ton of help wanted for technical writers. But it did get me thinking outside the box of how to utilize my MA, even if I’m not counseling or doing social work. But ultimately I would love it if one of the publishers I submitted to was like hell yes we will publish your book and we guarantee you’ll be richer than the queen. Okay, I know that’s not how things work, but a girl can dream.

An Explanation for the Silence

Simple answer: My laptop charger cord broke, and I was waiting for a new one to arrive.

More complex answer: Whilst waiting for aforementioned cord to arrive, I couldn’t remember my password to get into my blog. Also the computer I had access to has a strange keyboard. Seriously, the spacing is all wrong on it. So, I guess that makes me some sort of elitist.

Even more complex answer: What could I possibly have typed this week to respond to the shooting in South Carolina? There are no words to convey the travesty and heartbreak of repeated attacks on this congregation and on the Black/African-American community in general. My thoughts about racism are unimportant and come from a place of racial and educational privilege. My helplessness betrays my own weakness and ignorance. The change this country needs isn’t simple. It isn’t painless. Reconciliation comes at a price too many aren’t willing to pay. And none of these words will comfort the heart of those in pain right now.

Finding Meaning in the Aftermath

When I was starting to finish my BA/start my MA oh so many years ago, I was sure of who I was and what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. Almost two years out from graduating with my Master’s, I realize I’m not the people hating cashier I was when I started my educational roller coaster. Sure, I still hate people as a whole, but no longer am I cashier. ALSO, four years can change a person if you let it, and I let it. (Not to mention the past year and a half ish.) Now, I have to figure out what my meaning is with a shit ton of student loan debt.

Last night, I read an article about the man who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. He lived through the holocaust and counseled his peers not to give up. Just in case it needs to be said: I AM NOT COMPARING MY LIFE TO THE HOLOCAUST IN ANYWAY. Seriously, no Jews in my life have died, let alone millions. So, moving on, this man who survived a concentration camp and being the only member of his family to survive, was saying finding meaning in life is much more important than happiness. And let me just take a minute for my American, generational hybrid paradigm to suck on that.

I can’t tell you how many times in the past five years where I have wondered if I’d ever be happy again. There were so many times during my spiritual crisis when I demanded from God to make me feel better. Because if I was feeling like this, then how could he possibly be good. And then this past year, when there were so many times, I wanted to tell the people who were saying ‘just choose happiness’ to go fuck themselves. Happiness was something so changeable and not lasting. But during these years something else was happening while my focus was firmly planted on happiness.

Throughout the years, the meaning I was holding onto so tightly at the beginning of my formal education, slowly began to slip away. Even before I got my internship, I was thinking perhaps I didn’t want to/need to be a counselor. Then this past year, looking for a job/healing from two surgeries/being super depressed, I began to think I shouldn’t be pursuing counseling at all. I also was acutely aware of my hopelessness. It is only now I realize I had lost my meaning. No longer did I have school. I didn’t have a job nor could I seem to find one. I had no outlet to help people, which was once so important to me. And to take to a different level, I didn’t even church anymore. I’m not blaming anyone for the loss of those things which gave me meaning. Time seems to be the culprit in most cases.

During Lent this year, I finally rediscovered the meaning writing brings to my life. I also discovered it meant more when I shared it. I’m a few months out from Lent now. Having this one thing that gives my life meaning, as well as reading the article last night, has made me realize I need to do more to actively search out those things offering meaning to me. It feels like I’m looking at the rubble of what was once my life wondering how in the name of all that is holy am I going to rebuild something new. At least now, I don’t feel like such a mo for not assuming happiness to be part of whatever it is I remake of my life. That’s not to say I’ll never be happy again, because I will. It’s an emotion; they ebb and flow. But I’m not going to prioritize the pursuit of happiness over making sure my life has meaning. Not to sound pretentious or self-righteous or like a douchebag.