Is A Return After A Long Absence Worth It?

Hey all!

It has been over 2 and a half years since I’ve even been on WordPress and I’ll admit it, it’s producing a little anxiety. What am I doing back here? They say you can never go home again, but is that my goal? So much has changed that there is no way this blog will follow the same trajectory as before. I’m a different person. I mean, an amazingly different person. But I feel like I have something to say again, something to share, a lot of things to make sense of, and I hope it’s something that interests past and new readers as I once did before.

This blog was aptly named ‘Tales of a 30-Year-Old Nothing’ at the time I created it and now I feel it could be more like ‘Tales of a 30-Something-Year-Old Something’. (Name change currently under debate in my head). When we last met I was mainly struggling through unemployment and the dreaded job search. I got a job, or 2, or 3 and switched to find struggles with nothingness, lack of motivation, uncertainty and instability, depression, this past winter on the east coast (you know what I’m talking about NE-ers), finding purpose, finding my place in life, an eventual move back to my hometown, making sense of the adult I was fighting against becoming and the adult I’m working so hard to be. It’s no pleasure cruise (but sign me up for one of those stat), and looking back knowing that there has been a 2 1/2 year gap between then and now makes me realize how little and how much growth there has been. These progressions aren’t happening over night and they have been met with resistance from my own psyche as well as other’s. The old adage 1 step forward, 2 steps back becomes a way of life and the best we can do is make sure that step forward is more of a stride. It’s the only way to get anywhere. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many moments of contentment and happiness, times of pure elation, ecstasy, and joy that have shaped my journey. It all matters and plays a role. And really, I’m not a heavy person. Put on a cheesy 80s song (such as the one I’m listening to now) and I’ll dance to it like a lunatic. (Unfortunately, videos will not be provided).

I’m not looking back anymore. At least not to live. I will, however, take a handy-dandy time machine to certain points that I feel are important to address in hopes of achieving a deeper understanding and to share with those who are/have been stuck right along with me.

So I’ve heard starting at the very beginning is a very good place to start, and I feel it’s time to reintroduce myself to the WordPress community. I’m 33, I moved to Philadelphia within the past year after over a decade in Manhattan, and am reawakening a part of myself that has laid dormant for far too long. I’ve always loved writing but occasionally lose focus when life gets in the way. Just like working out, once you put it off a few days, months, years, what’s a few more? This time I’m committed, as I am in all aspects of my life. That is the difference. And I’m on the computer all day anyway (like the rest of us dry-eyed zombies) so what’s another hour? But why am I on the computer all day? I work in social media. It’s a glamorous life of home offices in bedrooms, neighborly door-slamming distractions, soap opera lunch breaks, and bun hairdos. My co-worker/housemate is a cat and I have a pair of Kurdish farming pants hanging on my bedroom wall to remind me of a trip to Turkey in my 20’s. My favorite color is pink and I like long walks on the beach… (wait, just kidding, that last bit is not at all true). Most importantly, I’m navigating through a series of mazes and obstacles on my way to living the life I want and know I deserve. We can do it with a little help, determination, time, and a very well-timed bet that a friend jokingly proposes but you take on with extreme gusto.

-xo

I’m Gonna Have to See Some ID

It seems I’m getting carded more than ever lately. (I’m not complaining.)

I suppose I’m thinking about it because my thirty-first birthday is coming up, which means that ten years ago was that all magical twenty-first birthday. (That’s the kind of math I’m good at!) Back then I was working at a restaurant as a hostess, the only worries I had were whether I was going to get just enough sleep to work off the booze from the night before. I could do that back then. Work a double shift, run all over the place making sure the restaurant was running smoothly, go out drinking at midnight with the whole crew, then hang out after hours with my boyfriend, only to wake up and do it all over again. Those were the days. Now, if I have one too many I feel like I need to spend the whole next day in bed before I can function like a normal human being. (I feel like I’ve written all of this before, but all that drinking has killed so many brain cells). The point is that at that time, the start of those drunken nights at the restaurant happened when I was actually under twenty-one. I was able to ride on the coattails of the others who knew all the bartenders and knew who would never ask for my measly ID. I, along with the other few under-agers, became untouchable. I was young, a size 0, had no bills to pay, and it was good.

Until soon before my big birthday…

I ran into an old high school ‘friend’ at the favorite bar of my co-workers. She was shocked to see that she had been carded yet there I was sitting at the bar with a big old beer. This obviously didn’t make her happy, and her pettiness led her to tattle to the manager. As I purchased my next drink, I was busted. For the next couple months I was forced to sit on the sidelines (or drink at home), and it was no fun. The night of my twenty-first birthday, my boyfriend took me out to a super fancy dinner in the city. I insisted on the way home that we go to the bar that banned me to have a nightcap. My glee was apparent to anyone to within a couple bar stools how proud I was to present my legal-ness to that mean, old manager who was just doing his job.

I moved to New York only a couple of months after I turned twenty-one. I never thought that I would have issues buying alcohol again (something that is oh, so important for a college student). But I soon found out there was a liquor store across from my college that didn’t like the looks of me, even though I liked them a lot. They sold $4.99 magnum bottles of wine which I could purchase only some of the time, depending on who was looking at my ID. They constantly claimed they would not take out-of-state licenses and turned me away. No amount of arguing worked, and I argued.

My ID looks way better than this AND it's real!

It upset me every time I was denied because I finally wasn’t trying to fool anyone. But it didn’t matter to them, mostly because they didn’t know how much business they were losing by turning me away. College is a messy time, folks.

Then there are those mega crazy situations where I see people getting carded ahead of me in line, get out my ID in preparation, then don’t even get looked at twice. I can be in full dress-up mode or my pajamas, it doesn’t matter. It makes no sense at all to me.

Last night, I went to get some beer because I spent the day doing a good scrubbing of my apartment, applying to jobs and writing. It was one of those days that I could feel great accomplishment without even venturing outside. I planned on relaxing by drinking at home in my pj’s while the rest of those weekend warriors freeze their nips off in the first deep chill of the season. I ran to the bodega to pick up some beer and brought my ID (just in case). I was right, he asked for it. I can’t decide if it’s thanks to my amazingly youthful looks or because stores are so scared about getting in trouble.

I’m going to go with the fact that I haven’t aged a day over twenty!

-xo

Desperately Seeking Substance

I’ve been intensely bored lately.

Having no job seems like it’s all fun and games. You have all this time to do whatever you want, the world is your oyster! … As long as it doesn’t cost any money.

This summer has been both awesome and lame. I’ve gotten to do a lot of things with family that I may have not been able to do on a 9 – 5 schedule. I’ve gotten to go away for a weekend and decide to turn it into a week at the last-minute, which fits right into my hatred-of-all-things-planned kind of lifestyle. But what to do with all the other times when there isn’t anything to do? The random Thursdays where everyone else is at work and you’re stuck in the house trying to decide if you should go for yet another walk or just find a new bench to read that next chapter. And by the time you figure out which one sounds less monotonous today, you’ve spent the whole afternoon on Facebook.

Oh yes, my life is so glamorous.

And you’re probably like, ‘hey dumbass! You live in New York-fucking-City! There are thousands of things to do!’ True. Although, just about all of those things cost money. Surely I can go to a museum and skip paying the ‘suggested’ donation price, but then I’ll just feel like an enormous dick the whole time I’m trying to enjoy beautiful art. Plus, how many pictures can you really stare at before your eyes go goofy? I get bored easily, especially when alone. And don’t get me wrong! I love being alone. I cherish my solitude more than most, but after spending much of my time flying solo I would prefer to enjoy my art-gazing with a side of conversation. I”m just kooky that way.

So, what else is there? Shopping? No. Trying a new restaurant? Nope. Head for the gym? Can’t afford it. Get my nails done? Even if I had the money, I wouldn’t waste it on that. And so on.. you get the drift. Therefore, I try to get creative. I crochet, try to learn new things, I’ve even picked up cooking. Nice, low-budget hobbies that can keep me entertained (and productive) in the hours that I’m taking a break from the job search. But the problem today is that I’m still dog-sitting, which means I’m not at my own house. No yarn, because I chose not to lug my two current projects (already in full blanket mode) across the city and I don’t really enjoy cooking in someone else’s house, I can get messy. So, I’ve taken to walking with and without the dog. Walking at least five miles a day, up and down the city.

I realize this all seems very trivial. Most people would kill to have so much time on their hands and when I do finally get a job I’ll look back at these times with envious fondness. But the problem is that I’m bored with freedom.

That’s a huge problem.

I’m so bored that the Lisa who started looking for jobs with such a huge amount of dread and loathing for the working world doesn’t really exist anymore. She has turned into someone who would be willing to take just about anything just to have a purpose, and that’s not a good place to be. I don’t want to settle. I don’t have time to settle. I’m thirty-years-old and have to pick my next career carefully because chances are it will be the last one I’ll have. It’s a scary thought that has left me paralyzed with fear many nights. I didn’t go to college with dreams of falling into a position that didn’t leave me fulfilled at the end of the day. I don’t want to end up being the one who cheesily exclaims ‘I’ve got a case of the Monday’s’ after each weekend, dammit!

I suppose I’m still naive about it all. Chances are I’ll become the same blurry-eyed, office zombie that most people are because I have to make a living. It’s a realization that I’m slowly starting to slip into, though will never wear happily.

Now I will answer the question that everyone probably has on their minds, especially my parents': Why are you still unemployed, I’m sure there’s something you can do?
I shall reply with two simple answers:

  1. I said it above, I’m scared. I’m scared to become a corporate drone just going through the motions in a beige, lifeless office. I can’t imagine spending the next thirty years of my life waiting for five o’clock to slink along. Contrary to popular belief, I kinda like being busy!
  2. (And this is the kicker). Out of all the applications I’ve sent in, I still haven’t heard back from one person that wants to meet with me. This fact, of course, throws me down further into the lack-of-a-job death-spiral. Maybe I’m not as creative as I thought, maybe I’m not capable of having the kind of job I’m hoping for, maybe I’ve been totally wrong about myself all these years. Maybe I’m just not destined to write. These aren’t thoughts I like to entertain, but they are hard to ignore at times. Then I grab some vodka and drown my sorrows. Just kidding! …?

In the end, it all swirls around in this vicious cycle that is very hard to break out of. It renders me useless at times and ferociously determined at others, but the result, so far, has remained the same. But I know one day it’s all going to change and I’ll be lamenting the horrors of my working life too. Because apparently, I’m never happy. But let me make this clear; I am happy, but I also know there is more out there for me and I want to know what it is. I’m ready to leave limbo behind.

So! Whose got a job for me?

-xo

Take This Job (Application) and (Don’t) Shove It

Well, it’s becoming clear to me that I’m not going to be getting a job in the writing field any time soon. So the next question for me is, where do I go from here? Where do I belong? I’ve done a little of everything and am not particularly interested in revisiting any of those areas. I enjoyed my jobs at the time, but I’m ready for something new.

I spent all day looking for jobs… well, dying my hair and looking for jobs. I had big plans to go to the park and read all day, but I guilted myself into doing something that would make my dad proud. And, of course, I had to balance out that terrible tediousness by changing up my hair color. My random act of defiance as I throw resumes at a thousand jobs I’ll never hear from.

This is becoming the never-ending process. I’ve never had this much difficulty accomplishing anything in my whole life and I’m starting to think that there is something wrong with me. Maybe it’s life telling me I should be spending my time looking for a sugar daddy.

Yes, I’ve been out of college quite a few years. Yes, I’m older than most of those looking for entry-level jobs. Yes, my experience is kind of all over the place. But I know I possess the knowledge and ability to do just about anything that’s asked of me. I actually like to learn and try new things. I’ve also lived a pretty good life, traveled, and worked plenty of different jobs that has given me a unique perspective. But most employers won’t ever know since they probably aren’t even opening my resume due to the job market being such a disaster. It seems millions of people are applying to the same ten jobs.

But that’s OK. Their loss.

… That is, until I’m down to my last dollar and I’m begging Rite Aid to hire me.

(OK. Between the bleach, hair dye and seven hours of job searching my brain is absolutely fried. Time to play The Sims 3 and live vicariously through some silly video game.)

-xo

Can’t Say Nothin’

I have a pretty killer case of laryngitis currently, so I can only communicate through text. I feel like Louis in The Trumpet of the Swan, I should get my chalkboard. Today is worse than yesterday, but I’m pretty sure most medical professionals wouldn’t recommend going to a party – where talking over music and drinking all day is par for the course (my course, at least) – as a health regimen. But I had to go, the party was celebrating my niece’s graduation from high school. I can’t believe my niece graduated from high school, because that means I’m old. I remember getting the call that she was born, I was already in my early teens.

She’s the daughter of my step-brother, a step-brother who was already grown when my dad married his mother, so we were never close. But I’ve always been close with my niece, probably because I’ve been around since she was born. She looked up to me from an early age, even when I was too young to grasp the gravity of being a role model.

She’s been through a lot in her young life. Her family situation has been less than stable, she’s shuffled around from house to house, seen many family arrangements. Yet she’s prevailed and become a great young adult with goals of going to college to become a teacher. Goals that, as a high school graduate eleven years ago, I hadn’t yet figured out (and some would argue that I still haven’t figured out).

High school sucks, I’ve said it before, so it’s amazing that some kids actually have their futures kind of mapped out. Being a teenager is like playing a life-sized game of dodgeball where every hormone, emotion, idea, urge, and desire is being thrown at you at once. It’s no wonder most kids are so confused and angry. Who ever says those are the best years of your life is a pretty sad person, or was a jock who was never able to achieve the amount of stardom in his life outside of the gymnasium walls. I do look back on those years with a tinge of fondness, only because I was able to finagle my way out of most of my high school career so I could live my life. Most aren’t so lucky. Who constantly wants to feel like an outcast? Who constantly wants to feel stupid or under insane amounts of pressure to perform up to the standards of their parents? Who wants to be treated like a child when you’re screaming to be taken seriously as an impending adult?

The only things high school provided me was a place to socialize and nap. I didn’t know it then, but I was conserving all my energy for college.

My niece didn’t take the same road, mainly because she is a totally different person, and I congratulate her for that. She’s smart and determined to make a difference, and I’m so excited to continue to watch her grow.

A party is a great way to kick off the next stage in her life… But then again I’m always a fan of finding any reason to party, laryngitis or not.

-xo

When I’m 64

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful daddies out there! I’m off to see my dad, as well as a whole crap load of my family, this afternoon. There will be beer at this shindig (thank goodness), so it should be fun!

Yesterday I called my dad to ask him what time he would get to the party, so I could plan accordingly. During our less than five-minute conversation he managed to get that dreaded job question in.

Me: I applied to a whole bunch of different stuff today, so fingers crossed!

It didn’t seem to appease him at all.

I know a lot of his concern is for my future. If I’m not able to contribute to social security now, what will happen when I’m at retirement age? What about savings? Bills? What will happen when he’s not around to lean on? Well, fear no longer dad! I have come up with a list of jobs that I could pursue in my golden years that will keep my twenty cats stupid in wet food and cat nip for years.

  • Cute old lady extra on a TV sitcom.
  • Elderly spokesperson for low-cost insurance.
  • Greeter at Walmart.
  • Test subject.
  • Reality show contestant based on seniors finding love. (My generation is destined to be the first to do this).
  • Playing a corpse for mortuary cosmetology students.
  • Wheel of Fortune contestant.
  • The crazy cat lady that ends up on all those Animal Planet shows.
  • Nursing home tour guide.
  • Corpse on a cop drama.
  • Tapioca pudding taste tester.
  • Door-to-door denture salesperson.
  • Teaching ‘origami for arthritis’ classes.
  • Coach of the musical wheelchair team at the community center.
  • Bingo caller or community bingo shark.
  • Geriatric call girl.

So… I’m totally thinking about my future. Happy Father’s Day, dad!

-xo