So the other day I was talking to a friend about dating, etc and I made my typical self-deprecating comment (something I’m trying to get out of the habit of, by the way) about why I didn’t understand why they would want to date me when my life was kind of a mess. They were kind and said they were used to messy lives but when I set my phone down I was struck by something odd.
I realized, afterwards of course because isn’t that always how it works, that what I’d said wasn’t exactly true. Not anymore at least. Maybe I’ve been used to the idea that I’m a total mess and going through a million things and barely keeping it together and that had become my default answer but when I thought about it, I realized that I’m actually more together than I’ve been in years.
Things in my life are actually going…well. I’ve got a steady source of income, I’ve got some big changes coming up but nothing bad or overly taxing, I’m writing more, I’ve got friends, and I’m happy. Not sure when all of that happened haha, but I could definitely get used to it.
After living in Texas since June 1, 2017, I’ve decided to go back to Indiana. It hasn’t been an easy choice at all. I love Austin a lot. I feel like I can breathe here and I’ve been really happy here and am proud of myself for making a life here. I’ve also had the chance to learn a lot about myself since I moved, and one thing that I learned is that my family and friends mean more to me than I realized.
I love it here, but I feel like I’m missing a limb, like a huge chunk of myself is just absent. It took me a little while to come to the realization that I can live with an Austin-shaped hole in my life (as long as I still get to visit!), but I can’t live with a family/friend-shaped hole.
It turns out though, that even while I feel like this is right decision in my gut, I’m still apprehensive. I left Indiana at a time when I was suffocating and could barely hold myself up. The few months I spent before I left at my brother’s house helped for sure, but the time before that, in the apartment by myself, I was followed constantly by a storm cloud that I thought would eventually drown me.
So, now I find myself going back and a small, irrational part of me is scared. I’m worried that the anxiety and crippling depression I left behind is waiting for me, a 70-foot dragon waiting at the state line just daring me to cross.
It scares me. I’m worried I won’t be able to breathe there. I’m worried the depression will come back when I cross back into Indy’s borders, like shrugging on an old heavy coat. I’m afraid everything will be the same.
But I also know that this is something I need to do. That while I’m safe here in Austin, I need to face the demons and dragons I left behind to show that I really have grown. Because the fact is, things won’t be the same in Indy when I get back, simply because I’M not the same.
So, March 2018, I face the dragon.
(and who knows, maybe it’ll end up looking like this guy)
So there are a couple of things I’ve learned this week or am in the process of learning…
1. Drivers in Austin are dicks. Seriously, the worst.
2. It is the weirdest feeling to me to live in a place where people voluntarily go to visit. Like on vacation and stuff. They come here. On purpose. I run into tourists constantly, especially while driving for Lyft and it still boggles my mind. No one goes to Indiana for vacation. They go to visit family or for a job or some other random reason. Other than that, no one is planning their dream vacation and saving their money to go to Indiana. So that’s definitely an adjustment.
3. Now that filming has finished up, I’m back to a “normal” type of schedule. Except I’m in a new city and have yet to actually establish a standard for normal. So that’s the biggest thing I’ve been learning, how to meet new people, deciding where I want to work and what schedule would be best, which meet ups I’d like to join, etc. I’m basically figuring out how to build a life from scratch, which is both intimidating and really exciting. I have the freedom right now to form a life that I actually enjoy and it’s an opportunity a lot of people don’t get in their lives. So, I’m trying to take advantage of it and make myself proud.
Well, I’m here. In Texas. Have been for about a month now, and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions for sure, but so far, no regrets. Still, it’s a little too close for me to have fully processed and be able to write about in depth yet.
So…in the meantime, I’ve decided on a new kind of layout for this blog. I think instead of just random shit, I’m going to be posting more frequently with “What I’ve Learned” stuff, either with whatever random shit came up that day or that week. Sounds kinda cheesy off hand, but I think I can make it work for me.
So, on that note, here is today’s…
Yesterday I went back to my job delivery pizza after working for a full week on a friend’s movie. I’ve been pretty over this particular pizza job for awhile now but I was NOT prepared for what I felt when I walked through the door yesterday evening. It’s a particularly evil kind of soul crushing atmosphere, the kind where a malicious elephant waits at the door of the establishment to jump up and down on your soul until it is crushed into oblivion and you start to forget your name and shit. It’s awful. Add to that the fact that, despite my having earned a college degree, everyone is treated there and talked to as if they are dumber than a Spongebob character. Despite the fact that I’ve worked there for almost 3 years and therefore, have a reasonable handle on how to do the easiest job in the world, I was bombarded yesterday with waves of condescension. All the joy I’d felt for the past week at doing something new and challenging evaporated when I had to go back to my “real life.”
And that’s when I realized that I put myself there, and that I could get myself out. I can’t control other people and the way they act or treat others, but I can control the environment in which I put myself in. I didn’t move 1,000 miles from home just to do the same fucking job and feel the same fucking way. I moved to grow and challenge myself, and the next step in doing that is getting the fuck out of this job.
So I quit. I walked away, and already I feel a thousand times lighter, as if that soul crushing elephant is nothing more than a pesky fly.
I’m fortunate enough to have a backup means of income, so I plan on doing that while I focus on my writing (including this blog), finding a job I don’t hate, and meeting new people.
Wish me luck! ❤
Only 8 days left until I leave and the closer it gets the more I feel like I’m on the right path. Like I’m finally, finally moving in the right direction again. I want to take advantage of this new city, dance in the lights and explore the hills and meet strangers. And write. I want to write like I’ve never committed to writing before. I want to let myself burst out of my box and actually work for the life that I want. I crawled, on hands and knees to this decision, to make this move happen. With my last breath I reached for the edge, to the surface, and the fresh air is so close I can almost taste it. And I want it. No, I need it. This doesn’t even feel like a choice anymore. It feels like the next step in my evolution, a compulsion. It’s a survival instinct built in to ensure that I don’t stop growing, that I don’t keep myself locked in this tiny box of a life that will inevitably suffocate me and snuff out any light I had inside. I have a chance to make the first of many dreams come true and for the first time in so so long, they seem within reach again. So much is waiting for me. And I met someone, maybe someone great, but right now she lives in my phone. A phantom I can’t see or touch, just out of reach, until I make this jump. This jump across the border that I’m literally aching for. The more it sinks in that I’m leaving soon, the more I’m brought to tears of relief and excitement, and joy. I can’t wait to see what’s waiting for me.
Most of you know that I’m staying with my brother for a couple of months until the big move to ATX. We get along fairly well but I think it’s been at least 11 years since we slept under the same roof. Also in the house is our friend, Tyler, a guy we both know from work. It’s a full house but there’s plenty of room and it’s been a nice change from living alone.
We all get along but sometimes things get interesting…
Here’s an example of how our days generally go….
8:00am: House is silent. Seriously, everyone here is childless and under the age of 30…therefore, no one is awake this damn early.
11:00am: Tyler is still asleep (what a bum). Cameron’s in the garage smoking and drinking coffee because he thinks it makes him more of an adult. I sneak Cameron’s dog into my room and try to convince her to love me more than him.
12:00pm: Lunchtime..or breakfast depending on how you look at it. For the guys: frozen pizza and/or pizza rolls. For me: a sandwich. Cameron says something vaguely misogynistic in an effort to make me mad. Tyler encourages him. I flip them both off.
1:00pm: Cameron “plays game.” Seriously, that’s what he calls it. Whatever, he plays on his xbox before work and argues with my manager, our mutual friend, on speakerphone about whether or not “bike life” is a stupid thing to tattoo on your body (hint: it is). Tyler’s in his room and I’m on the couch reading a book and making fun of Cameron’s gaming character.
3:00pm: Cameron leaves for work. I saran wrap his toilet seat as revenge for his ongoing sexist attitude. Nothing teaches you to be nicer to people than peeing on yourself…Ghandi said that, I think.
5:00pm: I also eat the rest of Cameron’s Cheez-its for good measure and give his dog an extra treat to reinforce the idea that I am way better than my brother. I think it’s working. Then I leave for work.
1:00am: I get home first, feed the cats, and make some dinner. Cameron gets home next, goes upstairs, uses the bathroom, and finds the saran wrap. There’s a lot of yelling on his part, but I can’t stop laughing. He gets all grumpy and goes upstairs to take a shower. I sit on the couch and watch Dance Moms with my dinner.
1:45am: Cameron comes back downstairs and I force him to watch the rest of Dance Moms while he complains the entire time. I throw a pizza roll at his head. It makes contact. His dog eats it and comes to sit next to me. Operation steal his dog is a success.
2:00am: Cameron makes his own damn pizza rolls because my projectile weapon make him hungry. We turn on It’s not always Sunny in Philadelphia and hang out until someone gets too tired to stay awake. At some point during the show, Tyler leans over the balcony on the second floor and tosses his rent down to Cameron…in singles…
Well, I’m officially out of my apartment and in my brother’s house with him and his roommate for the next couple of months. I’m not gonna lie, it feels pretty amazing to be out of that place. I’m grateful for that experience and the sense of accomplishment that came along with it, but towards the end it became a symbol of my own loneliness and I started to feel suffocated.
Things aren’t perfect now that I’m away from it of course, but being around other people most of the time helps. Even when no one is at the house, just knowing that later on they’ll be home or sitting down and watching a movie together when everyone is there, has done wonders. I don’t feel so alone. Most of the time.
For the other times, and to help give myself as much of a chance at success in TX as possible, I decided to go back to counseling. It’s only been one session so far and we don’t have a lot of time, being that I’m leaving towards the end of April, but already it is helping to challenge the thoughts ruminating in my mind. I’m hoping to get out from under this black cloud following me and I know so much of it has to do with the way I think and live day to day. So, here’s to hoping it helps and I’ll be able to move with my head just a little bit clearer.
So that’s that as far as updates, there isn’t much else going on right now.
Oh! Except that I saw Get Out the movie yesterday and it was fucking awesome. It was really smart and scary and also hilarious and everyone should go see it immediately. <3!
When someone finds out I’m moving, they often ask me “why” or “what’s in Texas?” And I haven’t been able to give much of an answer outside of “it’s not Indiana” or “I’ve always wanted to live somewhere else.”
The closer the move gets too, I find myself checking and double checking my reasons for wanting to go so badly. It isn’t like being in a new state, in a new city, is going to solve my depression. It isn’t like it’ll be easy or that I know that many people there, or all of my Trump anxieties will disappear. So why do it? What am I hoping to find there that I haven’t been able to get here?
The answer is community. A support system of some sort. Friends. Human connections that have evaded me in so many ways in the life I live in Indiana.
The times in my life when I have been the happiest and the most fulfilled, besides when writing of course, were times when I belonged to a group or had a small network of friends. When I was part of a dance company. When I was a youth at IYG after I came out. When I accidentally stumbled upon two great people who eventually became close friends. When I’m surrounded by friends and family at my second family’s house. When I was unofficially adopted into a big loud family that loved me as much as I loved them.
People come and go, I know that as well as anyone, and because I know it so well, I have a hard time trusting people. For instance, I have friends in TX, but already I’m afraid of burdening them, of wanting to hang out too much or saying the wrong thing or just not being good enough in general. I’m already anticipating the day when our friendship ends. I’m already anticipating the day I form a new group of friends I haven’t met yet that then will at some point also dissolve and leave me right back where I started. By myself.
I’ve done everything in power over the past 3 years to make sure I can survive with only myself to count on. Now I know I can. But I also know that being that alone, that lonely, changes something in a person. We are solitary creatures by nature. We, I, need to feel like I have support and a sense of belonging to thrive.
So that’s what I’m looking for. Maybe I’ll find it, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ve been alone too long already and broke the part of me that used to relate to people and therefore will have to live like this forever. I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t know if that’s something I can do. But there’s no reason to worry about that yet.
Apparently Valentine’s Day isn’t too far away, at least according to the seasonal candy aisle at my local grocery store, but I am happy to be spending this one alone. I’ve been single for awhile, mostly by choice, because what’s the point in starting up a potential relationship when you’re planning to move (ALONE) 1,000 miles away. Even if I had met a girl, I have no interest in dragging someone else along with me to TX when it’s something I know I need, and want, to do alone.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the occasional crush, and one in particular has stuck around for a few years now…
There’s this writer/personality/awesome person whom we’ll call Dawn for anonymity’s sake (and to save me some embarrassment if hell ever freezes over and she reads this). So, this Dawn and I have a lot in common; we’re both writers, we’re both adorable, we’re both outspoken about mental health, and care about women’s issues, etc. We’ve met in person briefly but I’ve also talked one on one with her several times online and through email.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do next or how to even tell her that I’d like to get to know her better, because I didn’t want to come off as creepy or weird, but I’m super awkward so I can’t guarantee that still didn’t happen despite my best efforts. So, I went my usual route and just told the truth (well, not about the crush part). I asked if I could get to know her better and was semi-rejected. She said we could be online friends. So I guess, not a no in many ways, but also yes a very firm no.
Which I totally get, we live in different parts of the country, even though our paths cross often, and from the outside I probably just seem like a weird awkward fan of some sort. So, it is what is. But now I don’t know what to do. I feel weird interacting with her online. Also, I can’t help but feel like if maybe I were more on her level career-wise, she might have given me more of a chance at us getting to know each other, even as just friends – which is totally fine. I’m aware that I’m a nobody right now with big dreams and a life in transition, but that won’t always be the case.
So, here’s to hoping. Here’s to continuing to respect her and her work and hoping that maybe one day, when we’re more evenly matched, our paths will cross again and she’ll see me, instead of seeing through me.
Alright folks, I’m only 18 days away from being free from my lease and moving out of the apartment I’ve lived in for the past 3 years! Next stop is crashing in a room at my brother’s house until mid to late April (I have to stick around for a wedding and baby shower).
And then…I’m out. It’s so close but still too far away and the excitement is really starting to creep in. So, yay!
I’m not sure what’s going to come next yet, I’m just taking it a day at a time right now; working, packing, and saving as much money as possible. To be honest, I feel like this move is kind of a Hail Mary for me. Things have been so dark and difficult lately that the only way out right now is to make a drastic change and completely remove myself from my comfort zone.
So, here goes nothing.
Also, I’ve been having a hard time writing lately. It’s a destructive cycle too because when I don’t write I feel listless, unfulfilled, and lazy, and when I do write I feel accomplished, happy, content. And yet there are so many times when no matter how much I want to write, I can’t bring myself to sit down and do it. So I guess that’s something I want to work on this year, maybe setting a schedule that I can stick to in order to train myself to sit down and write more often.
Either way I need to step up my game in a lot of areas in my life, because I turn 30 this year and while I’m not anxious or upset about it, there are a lot of things I want to do before that day comes.