The general motif in my life, on and off for the last few years, has been, what am i going to do? where am I going? am I spending my time properly? am I getting enough done? don't worry about getting things done, just enjoy yourself, don't go out, don't spend money, go out spend all your money and come home in a cab with a hangover and an empty wallet. Etc.
This evening I spent reading some old, and I mean, eight years old, live journal entries. First it started because I was hoping to find a list of bands that I used to listen to, all the pop punk I thought I was still listening to in high school. But as I read on and on I realized that I pretty much gave up pop punk in eighth grade and moved onto emo, hardcore, punk, crust punk and ska. That aside, I realized how much time I spent being angry, being defensive, nurturing childish emotions, telling everyone(in my head and on the internet) to suck it, to fuck themselves, that I hated them, that I hated all people, and they could die horrible fiery deaths, apropos of nothing. Also I would complain about how fat I was. Situations I can't even remember now, which is probably for the best. If I could have a HUGE talk with myself from the ages of 15-19, at the still tender age of 24, I would first just want to sit down and hold my own hand and cry until I started to laugh, or vice versa. Because NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLE. And I am a pretty lucky person, with a lot of advantages that I obviously took for granted. And I knew this then, but I didn't want to say it out loud, for fear that those simple things would be taken away from me. I wish I had learned early on, either from my parents or just a strong female mentor that believed in nurturing and empowering slightly troubled young girls, that the way I looked was just fine, and that if I wanted to be healthier in body and mind, there were several things I could do. And I didn't have to try so hard to want everyone to like me, and the version of myself that I thought I had to be to get people to like me was this cruel hearted, oversensitive monosyllablic sad loner looking kind of a bitch, actually. I know, I know, everyone is awkward in high school, and if you're not, then there is something wrong with you. The problem with being so insecure and having low self esteem and no self confidence when you're so young coupled with a drive to be different and interesting amongst a sea of thin and optimistic guppies is that, when you finally leave the conformist environment to find yourself or do what you think you want to do, those feelings don't just go away. They get easier, my god have they gotten much much easier, but they are still there underneath the surface. I like myself alot more now; I'm proud of what I've done with my life, and at this moment in time, I'm happier then I've been in years. I have a boyfriend that I love and that I've been in a committed relationship with for three years; I graduated from art school and am contemplating graduate school, which, at seventeen, I doubted very much that I'd even get past the first semester; I've been more or less financially independent since I graduated school and have supported myself through several apartments and jobs, which is more than I can say for about 80% of the people I know; I've made lots of friends, been through lots of friends, and had a pretty good time with all of them; I still take photographs and still want to be a photographing artist with my work in MOMA someday; I listen to a lot of different music now and sometimes I even miss new jersey, until I go there and realize I'm just in love with a bruce springsteen song; I toughed it out as a line cook for a year, which I never ever thought I'd do but I did.
Half my problem was, is, that I don't think I've ever had that much direction. I knew(and I know) that I wanted to be successful, have enough money to support a somewhat bohemian lifestyle, be an artist regardless of medium, be independent, and live in New York. But beyond that, I never thought of a definitive life plan. "this is where i have to be by the time i'm thirty" plan. now that i'm almost in my "mid-twenties", I've been scaring myself in thinking that i have to make some decisions, I have to shape my life up and do more with it. Too much time spent sitting on the computer, withdrawn from real life. I have to shoot more, print something, do more, work more in the right direction.
All I really wanted, what I really want, is just to be happy. I still don't know how I'm supposed to do that, what I can do to simply accomplish that; because it's not like, just give me an ice cream cone and call it a day! find joy in the simple pleasures! I wish i was that free-flowing; I'm sure it would have made my life a lot easier. When I came here I found the kind of friends that I'd dreamed of finding since I was crying myself to sleep at fifteen. But along that way I've become WAAAAY more comfortable with myself and my choices and have stopped apologizing so much for who I am. For example, I recently learned that I can't work for someone that I don't like and/or respect on a personal level. If I wouldn't be able to be honest with them about something that was bothering me or if I felt like they didn't respect something I would do or say, I can't just look the other way and still accept their offer of a beer after work, as much as they think that an offer like that is a band-aid for mistreatment of employees. Of course, ten years ago I didn't recognize things like this. Today, when I go to an interview and I see a warning sign of the woman who would be my boss pulling the hair of an employee to "teach her a lesson", and the employee responds by calling her a cunt, that's not a place I want to work in; I want to change my shoes, take off my chef's hat and go home. Even a year ago I would have been too shy to admit this to myself; I would have made excuses and told myself to make sure to not provoke the boss into pulling hair, because I knew that I would cry and then the shit storm would swirl around.
Which isn't to say I can't take a joke, because I see how that could be seen as a joke to others. It was funny, I'll admit. It just seemed hostile. After being called "bitchy" by my last boss though, I'm all for avoiding confrontation in a basement kitchen at all costs.
For the record, my current dream job is to work on the HBO show "Girls". In all capacities.
|jesus died for his own sins, not mine.|