BLOG: Questioning

Currently staring out the window of the Cafe. Will I ever write again? Maybe.

I’m certainly making zero progress on my graduate school applications. I’ve already missed a bunch of deadlines and I’m still blocked on writing the dreaded Statement of Purpose. More brochures have shown up in my mailbox, which make me re-think my strategy every time. I ask myself, “Am I really ready for this?” and I feel like the answer is “no.” I’m definitely ready to get the hell out of dodge, but graduate school? Oh, if only I didn’t feel like my current existence was such a wretched mess.

I realized the other day that I haven’t sat down at my desk since well before I left for Paris. I carved out a nice little office space in my current apartment and I never use it. When I lived in my wonderful, inspiring loft with high ceilings, I sat at my desk and wrote all the time. I loved that loft. I wrote almost every single day I lived in that loft. Granted, it was about the most unfortunate of subjects (who we still know to this day as The Little Green Snake), it was nevertheless productive. How I long to be that productive once again.

I remind myself that I’ve gone through this before. In the past, I would go months and months without writing a word. During this time, I find it helpful to work as much as possible. It keeps my mind off everything while my physical being is occupied with exciting tasks such as making drinks, cleaning up the shop, and folding the same pile of t-shirts over and over and over again because customers keep messing them up. As we know, my jobs never last very long, which is fine because I usually start writing again. Ideally, I have enough saved to pay ahead a few months on rent. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, don’t ever let anyone tell you the life of a writer is glamorous, no matter how impressive my discount thrift store wardrobe may seem.

I wish I could feel confident enough to say, “I’ll just keep working for awhile, save money, and apply for school again next year.” However, my job security is constantly under threat. It’s so stressful. As much as I love my current job, I live in a constant state of fear that it will suddenly vanish under my feet and I will once again be left broke and starving and begging my parents for extra cash.

This industry is so unstable. Sometimes I think, “I should just marry a rich guy with great health insurance. That will solve all of my basic life problems, even though it will cause new ones begin men bring nothing but problems into my life.” Then I get on dating websites and peruse my options in South Dakota and it’s just like, “No.” Does anyone know if there’s a dating website for American women seeking French visas? Please respond in the comments below.

Everything is frustrating right now, but I do my best to remind myself that most of it is out of my control. I live in a state with few economic opportunities. The opportunities that do exist are Reserved For South Dakotans Only. Employers hire part-time so they don’t have to pay for health care or benefits. I have to drive an hour away to find work that pays a reasonable wage. The cost of health insurance is out of reach for me. The cost of higher education is insane, leaving me with taking on massive debt as my only option to advance.

I can’t change any of these things. All I can do is work within this shit system, all while being told that I’m lazy and don’t work hard enough to deserve reasonably priced healthcare and education. If I didn’t live in a conservative shithole where most of the residents long to live in the 1800’s again, I would run for office to change these things. Luckily for me, I am too smart to waste my time trying to argue with Trump Supporters. I would rather dedicate my time to figuring out a way to get the hell out of here as soon as humanly possible.

The last week I’ve been wondering if I should return to my hometown. I admit that the idea doesn’t exactly THRILL me. Granted, I don’t necessarily have to live in my actual hometown, which would be a challenge as the cost of living is astronomical in the suburbs outside of Washington, D.C. However, perhaps D.C. itself or a different area of NOVA would be an interesting compromise.

Why am I debating this? I don’t know. People keep mentioning D.C. to me in that weird spiritual way where you feel like the Universe is responding to your constant “Now What?” questions. It appeals to me because, well, it’s Home. However, it is not my “home” anymore (sadly Verm is), but I do feel connected to it in that way that only a person who spent the first 21 years of their life there can. The idea of spending time in a place that is Familiar and Comfortable is appealing. I can exist as Myself without the constant gaslighting and harassment that plagues me in Verm. I thought, “Maybe if I just go live there for a year, I will feel differently about all the things.”

Naturally, there are plenty of cons to this plan. One, it’s my hometown. I left a lot of shit behind when I moved to South Dakota. That being said, I believe most of the people I had problems with there have now dispersed across the world and will no longer present a problem for me. Besides, nobody says I have to hang out with the same people I hung out with high school. If Instagram is any indication, there are plenty of awesome people I never got a real chance to get to know still living there. I am also not required to ever set foot in Maryland ever again, and if I do, it won’t be to revisit The Drama. Looking back on it, I see now that the events that unfolded there were supposed to prepare me for the nightmare that is small town life. What a fool I was. What a fool indeed. At least now I can say, “Thank you for teaching me not to waste my valuable time chasing after shitty, misogynistic, unworthy assholes.” #Winning

The other cons obviously include factors such as the cost of living and traffic. I wouldn’t be able to live alone, which I am currently paying $400 to do, in a relatively large downtown apartment. That is, in fact, the main reason I continue to live in Verm, despite the fact that the questionable job/social/dating situation clearly makes it Not Worth It.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about this. It’s not like it would be that difficult to get up and move there for a year. I know the damn area like the back of my hand. I could easily find an apartment in a nice area close to everything I need. I know what resources are available for jobs, social activities, and hobbies. I know how to get around in both my car and public transportation. There are still people living there who I can reach out to. It wouldn’t necessarily be… that bad.

I don’t know. It’s a weird, random thought. It’s very much along the lines of…. “Maybe if I just go home, I can finally have the break I need from everything to just get my shit together. Maybe I can finally look at this pile of papers haunting my desk and put them together. Maybe I can finally study for the GRE properly and write my Statements of Purpose and figure out what writing sample to use. Maybe I can finally just have some peace and quiet, a chance to just exist free of judgment or expectation, a chance to feel comfortable in my own skin again.”

Maybe. I don’t know. There’s still a part of me that isn’t exactly EXCITED (not in the way I get excited about cities like Paris, New Orleans, and Los Angeles). I think about it and I’m like, “D.C. is great and I love it!” But then the memories creep and I get that sinking feeling in my stomach again. As I said, it’s best to combat this by reminding myself that most of those people are gone and that I literally never have to go to Maryland for any reason whatsoever. It’s a big city. It’s the Nation’s Capital. It’s not unreasonable to suggest I could move there and start a completely brand new life.

Still… meh. Hopefully I am interpreting all of this wrong. Hopefully I will go to New Orleans in a few weeks and be struck with inspiration! I’ll suddenly write my Statement of Purpose, submit it last minute, get into the school, and go start life anew! Maybe!!!

Who knows what will happen. All I know is that I’m stuck. Stuck, frustrated, blocked, and uninspired. Will I ever get my life together? Or will I just wander across the street to use my $5 off coupon to purchase a double bourbon ginger at Happy Hour? Stay tuned to find out!

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