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Last year was the most tumultuous time of my life, in a prolonged sense. I freed myself from almost everything that I defined myself by, i.e. my boyfriend, my job, my hobbies, my habits. I've basically been reinvinting myself for the past year.
Though I'm not living my life the exact way I want to live it, I've been making small steps toward change. I'm pretty happy how everything is coming along.
I'm going to turn 33 next week, but I am going back to college (I only got a couple of Associate degrees last time I went) and should be transferring to a University by next August, I'm painting and meeting artists in my community, I'm helping out at a community Literary Arts program; this life finally coming together.
Basically, I've found the joys of simplicity. I've been living pretty sparingly (because I am currently job-less) and reduced my possessions to a minimum. I am free of debt and I have no interest in accumulating more in order to keep up with the Joneses- I'm still free of college debt, but that will change next fall.
Got some awesome trips planned that I have been putting off forever- Hawaii in December and Europe sometime next year.
I've learned that just because you don't have a job, doesn't mean you have to be without the means to get what you want, when what you want is within reason, haha. No, I'm not on any public assistance, I'm just being absolutely frugal, which doesn't have to be a painful thing if you just realize what defines the term 'needs'.
My needs are few. My joys are many.
This post was edited by betty on Oct 22, 2007.
I was going for a long walk the other day to clear the insane voices in my head when a song popped in and started drowning out everything else.
I don't remember the name of the song, but the chorus is:
"Everything is Beauuutifull, in its own waa-aay"
and I started thinking. Everything isn't beautiful. There are beautiful things, there are very ugly things. Basically everything is what it is.
I can look around and see beauty all around me, but there are some very bad things in the world that bring no joy, no comfort on any level.
I want to believe that I can find something positive about everything, like the joy in a crack whore's laugh, or the sparkle in an abused kid's eye. Can't do it.
The whisper of the wind in the trees brings me peace. The gurgle of the stream soothes me. The trucks flying by me at 65mph spewing exhaust fumes in my face as I walk across the bridge makes me want to vomit.
So, it is what it is. My new personal philosophy.
I'm in the middle of a three week doctor-recommended vacation. Some people call it "disability", i call it "happy pill time".
Because of a lot of crap that happened to roll down the hill that I was standing at the bottom of, I have become depressed and ever-so stressed out. I don't know if the depression caused the stress, or the stress caused the depression.
The basics are that my now ex-boyfriend is in jail accused of something just horrific, i'm moving back in with my parents (please let me be strong), and I'm stepping down from my job as manager of my little store.
Oh, yeah- corporations are evil. I'm back on that kick, which I don't think I ever brought up in here, but yeah, corporations are evil.
After a couple of 60 hour weeks with no time off, nothing getting accomplished in the store, and every day feeling like i was on the wrong end of a shit taco, I just couldn't get out of bed. Couldn't go to work. Thought about ending the whole deal with a handful of vicoden. I called my one and only dependable friend in the world -Mom- and had her take me to the doctor.
So, here I am. Sitting at the computer in my parents' spare bedroom. 31. Single. No career. Having a great time going on road trips during the day and hanging out with an old friend of mine on the weekends.
I'm trying not to think too hard about what is going to happen when I go back to work. Actually, I've been trying to figure out a way to go back to college. Study English and Art, my two loves (besides cats and coffee- not at the same time, caffiene hair balls, ick)
Generally, I'm in a much better state of mind than I used to be. I think it's the pills. I hope it lasts.
I’ve always wanted to be a great writer. I wanted and still do want to write a book that will be remembered for ages. A story that people will look to for years to come for wisdom and insight. I want to write the modern girl’s version of Siddartha, The Prophet with a twist. The Celestine Prophecy for the next generation. A story that is great for ages 8 to 80. But then I did the worst thing I could possibly do; I got a job in a bookstore.
At first, I thought it was a great idea. I’d be surrounded by the things that I love the most; good books, mediocre books, and books that probably should never have made it to print. I thought I would find inspiration being surrounded by books. I would find my drive and my motivation in the works of others, but actually what I found were my limitations.
While studying business in college, the instructor of my Business Management class told us the key to being a good manager, and this lesson has carried over into other aspects of my life like the overflow of a pot of chicken soup that has been left on the stove with the fire set too high. He said that a good manager doesn’t go to school to learn how to be a good manager. He said that as soon as you set boundaries to how a manager should be, you cut yourself off from what a manager can be. I think that is what I have done to myself by working in a bookstore.
I used to write all the time, I always had a notebook and a favorite pen with me. I would write anytime words started to stir in my brain. Whenever the darkness behind my eyes began to spark with thought, whenever questions wanted to burst from my mouth, whenever I wanted to vomit screamed syllables toward the sky, I would write. I would pencil in whispers in the margins. Though I have always professed a dislike for poetry, I would write confused rhymes on a single sheet, and never throw it away. But now that I have bought and read so many books on how to write, I have lost the ability to write randomly. I am afraid of the content and structure in my writing. I worry over punctuation and grammar. Thanks to Lynn Truss, commas are no longer my friends.
After buying a book called “No Plot, No Problem”, I thought my issues were solved. “No Plot, No Problem” introduced me to National Novel Writing Month. The book told me it was okay to write crap. It was fine to force words onto paper and into situations that you would never have put them before. The concept of writing without conscience was ingenious. I started to have doubts after re-reading some of the things I had started typing at hyper-speed on my not-so-trusty Brother typewriter. Though the book told me not to judge my own writing, I couldn’t help but hate everything that was making it onto the page. There was no continuity, redundant paragraphs, no emotion or purpose to my writing beyond the actual act of writing. Though I didn’t actually finish the first week of NaNoWriMo without giving up doesn’t make me feel any sense of failure. I still feel quite accomplished for having pushed ever so slightly at the invisible wall that has been holding me back. I have poked the wall with my finger and found that it is flexible. But I am not cured.
I am filled with self-doubt. I am confused about what is the right way to go about writing a good story. Should I write fiction? How do I tell the story, with a skewed Palanhiuk-ey tang relating everything to bodily functions (or malfunctions)? With the straight-forward moral-filled Sue Monk Kidd style? Do I write nonfiction? I could write a sobering report like “Fast Food Nation”, causing the reader to rethink the ease in which we shove crap down our gullets, or I could get so stoned before I started writing that Hunter Thompson would look like Sunday paper journalist in comparison. Of course, I could always try the Betty No-Name approach, but since everything has already been done would my original thought actually be original? If it has all been said, what is the point of saying it again?
The point, of course, would be to get the words out of my head. Just like it feels so much better to dance when the music is just right than to stand by the wall holding your cape cod and keeping your foot from tapping, the release of putting words down as you think of them just feels … right. I have a similar view on dancing, except I am more free to express myself without fear of judgment when I dance . The music has to be the right type of techno, rhythmic, thumping jungle beats without lyrics. Music that is made for you to feel, not listen to. Music that becomes your motions, music that focuses on you as you focus on it. Music that thump thump thumps its way into your head until you are alone on a crowded dance floor, losing track of time and friends. If only I could write the way I dance. I don’t care what people think of my dancing. It’s just about releasing the rhythm inside of me to match the rhythm of the music that surrounds me. The difference between dancing and writing is that as you are dancing, you are achieving instant results. The release is not something that can be looked back on , pored over for years to come by anyone with a library card. The satisfaction of dancing is felt as it is being done, the dance is not something that is judged by the end product.
Writing can start out fine, then it can lose direction, your thoughts leading from one disjointed idea to another. The question I need to ask myself is , am I writing for my release, or for the approval of the reader? Does it matter who I am writing for? I have heard that when you are writing, you need to think of your audience. What if I don’t care about my audience? Rather, what if I don’t want to care about my audience?
I think many of my problems stem from worrying about what other people are going to think about my writing. I am audience-obsessed. I am so concerned with impressing other people with my thought provoking words, that I throw away everything that I produce. Even now, I am simultaneously telling myself that I am writing for myself just to release my thoughts while in the back of my head I’m thinking, “I wonder if they will like this?”.
This post was edited by betty on Jan 16, 2006.
I've been working at a Mall Bookstore for almost 2 years now. I love my job, being surrounded by books, talking about books, shelving books, knocking over stacks of books, yelling my muffled cry as I attempt to seek help from being suffocated by books.....
The Mall has decided that my store is unnecessary or otherwise doesn't fit the mold that the new ownership has chosen for our only indoor shopping center. We are out in March. Not only is my heart broken that my store will be closing, but I am (almost) speechless at the lack of social responsibility that the Mall is displaying. There is no other book store for a 30 mile radius.
We may be a small store, but we are a multi million dollar store. When the rest of the mall is empty, our store is kicking! i'm so sad/dissappointed/angry.
What is the world coming to? (Not a real question, just an angry fist shaken at the sky)
This post was edited by betty on Jan 09, 2006.
I left my boyfriend, which means I moved out of his house and now I'm sleeping on my parents' couch. I don't earn enough money to pay rent on an apartment. My boyfriend wants me to move back in , my best friend wants me to move to Colorado (manymanymanymany miles away).
I'm afraid to make any decisions. If I move back in with my boyfriend, then I am accepting a relationship that needs a lot of work with a man that I dearly love. If I move to Colorado I can start anew, get my self back, and make the final cut with my boyfriend.
Today was my day off at work, and I have slept all day long. I think I am trying to avoid conscious thought. I'm not ready to draw any lines yet, i know I will have to soon because i can't stay here.