Good news — I’ve recently found a good job. Things are looking up.
Lost my job a couple weeks ago — layoff. Things have just gone from bad to worse.
It truly has been a while since I’ve posted. I’m kinda surprised you still check up on me.
There’s not that much to report. Things are pretty, pretty, pretty boring right now.
I find myself surprised that life could get so boring so fast. At this juncture, you pretty much spending all your time working to save up for vacationing as a working adult.
The tumult of graduation and commencement has given way to the silence and desperation of the office. I’m still working on the last parts of my application for grad school, since I already started. I’m not going to enroll, though — too expensive, and too much of a commitment. However, if people went through the trouble to write letters of recommendation, I should at least respect that and apply.
Still saving up for my trip to Colorado this summer, which will be awesome. The hard part is the boring, lonely, droning, solitary days up until then. It’s like adulthood is a death march.
I really, really, sincerely wish I had something cool or interesting to report. I feel like it’s my own fault I let life get so absolutely boring. But then again, post-college is the opposite of college. Maybe when money gets better, I’ll get a MetroCard, and take some continuing ed classes at an art school downtown. I dunno… I need to rediscover my “joie de vivre”, my cheerful enjoyment of life. I feel so drained these days.
I know that one day, things will get better, and I’ll have more time and will be less stressed. But until then, I need to discover the little things that genuinely make me joyous on the inside.
I like bicycling, and I know I said I liked biking in the cold, but I haven’t had the energy or the desire. I went on a nice ride lately, on Sunday, when the rain ceased, and the wind let up. However, I’m not excited about bicycling in NYC, or even here in the east. When the money gets better, I’ll ship the bicycle and do some more traveling, some bike touring.
When I was younger, I’d look at the adults and know that something’s wrong. They always looked solemn, sad, like animals in a zoo. So, I tried to enjoy life as much as I could, before the mysterious unspeakable happened, and I somehow became one of them. And it was fun. And then, bam — life happened.
I’ve gotta get out of this town. I think that’ll be key.
Major bullet points:
Yeah, so I balked — no grad school for me right now. Way too much debt, and I need to get a better job and stash right now.
Kidlet’s in school. Mom’s retired. So, I can just focus on building my resume, getting interviews, and getting FT work.
2012 is the year of putting in work.
Dad: “What happened to the bike? It’s just sitting in the basement like a museum piece. I don’t see you ride it anymore. What happened, is it packed up for the winter?”
Yikes. This is what I feared: My bicycling habit falling off.
On the one hand, it wasn’t supposed to go this way. I was supposed to be one of those cats who bike every day, wherever I have to go. But… something happened.
My energy level has completely fallen off. A combination of short daylight hours, minimal chillout time, poor nutrition, and the stress and responsibilities of wrangling a pre-schooler have wrecked my carefree habits. Walking has become my way to zone out; sometimes it seems like bicycling takes too much effort.
I can commit to biking for one hour a week. Certainly that’s not too much; there are 168 hours in a week. I’ve gotta take some time for me, to get away from the life and strictures I’ve created for myself. Tomorrow I’m off — I’ll hit the road then.
As well, not riding has become a habit — a downward spiral caused and perpetuated by lethargy. I love my bike, and I’ve spent a lot of time and cash building it up and making it durable and making riding very sustainable. Grrrr… fall and wintertime and spring are supposed to be my seasons to hit the roads. Instead, it became my time to rustle up the kidlet when the afternoon came, enjoy the last drops of daylight on the drive home, carry his sleeping body up the stairs to nap, catch a shower, and prepare his homework, heat up dinner and prepare for bath time and bedtime.
Even mornings are so tiring that the last thing I want to do is look at my bike, an emblem of lighter, freer times. Rise early, bathe, iron a shirt, iron his school uniform, nuke a bottle of milk, and coax him awake, and coax him into brushing his teeth, freshening up, putting on his clothes and going to school, with minimal whining. Some days are better than others, especially at his early age.
And when I’m not doing all that, it’s my time to catch up on all the many household chores that I otherwise missed. The danger of running things on autopilot is that the days fly by. Seasons fly by. And many joyless months fly by, just doing the routine, minding the clock, sticking the little one into school, and then putting the little one to bed because… “tomorrow’s another day.”
On a deeper level, I don’t bike because I’m not excited about being in NYC anymore. I never intended to be here this long, for 15+ years after high school. Once I get out west… I’ll explore, by bike.
I just turned 33. Whoa. Jeez… that was fast.
It won’t be long now. The graduate program deadline is approaching — time to get back to work on composing my admissions packet. I completed composing the edited version of my video work to send off, complete with opening and closing slates with my contact info, and a kick-ass DVD menu. I’m very happy and proud to have something worth sending off to the school of my dreams. Now, all that remains is my treatment and my statement of purpose.
I’m scared, but I’m calm. It’s not that I’m scared because I don’t think I can do it — I’ve just got a bout of nerves because I respect the attention and work this kind of an undertaking requires. Let’s go.
Sooo much work over the past few days.
Hustling here and there to four different universities to assemble my various transcripts. Emailing professors. Composing my resume.
I had no idea that in order to get a letter of recommendation you had to write a “letter of request” for a letter of recommendation. The good news is that because of the Internet, I learned how to do it well. Anyway, trying to get time off from work and switching my schedule to link up with professors, and more time crunching in order to dub my documentary DVD, since the professors wanted to see my work.
Lots of trips on the train — more than I’ve taken in a really, really long time. I am so not used to commuting by train every day! Then again, if I’m going to enrolling in a post-graduate program and shooting doc, I’d better get really comfortable with mass transit.
As of today, my letters of request are all accounted for, and all the professors I spoke to all remember me, are happy to see and hear from me, and were more than happy to commit to writing me recommendations. That is a tremendous blessing; admissions requires three letters from professors or professionals (such as a boss). After all that legwork, the simple task of cutting my doc down to under ten minutes from a total run time of twelve minutes will be a total piece of cake.
However, next up, I’ve got to focus on a treatment. Luckily, I’ve been working on a doc concept this whole time, all these years. I’ve got six weeks remaining until my personal deadline to postmark my application, and that is two weeks ahead of deadline. I want to knock the treatment out in a week, and knock out the statement of purpose in the next week. After that, I can just focus on revision.
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
This weekend went by so fast.
I’m happy, because that means it didn’t drag on.
But I’m also bewildered, because it’ll be Monday before you know it.
I had a lot of fun. I decided to apply to grad school — the program I’ve been dreaming of, at the school I’ve been dreaming of since I was a school kid.
And suddenly, that means a flurry of work. Trying to compose letters of request for a letter of recommendation. Dredging my transcript to remember what courses I did well in, what professors I should try to contact, and what my time tables are, to get everything together before admission deadline. The admissions are rolling, but with only 22 spots per year available, rolling admissions also means the early bird gets the worm.
This is different. Whereas in undergrad life, my focus was on finishing so I could get the hell out of college, going to grad school for documentary means getting to do what I really want to do, and work on a doc that I brought from conception to completion. This is a massive concept.
Anyway, there’s a lot more work to do. I didn’t wrap up my work, and it’s time to go to bed. But I did get a lot of work done, and I still need to meet with my professors and give them my written letters of request. That’s not to mention writing a statement or purpose for grad school, writing a treatment for a documentary (departmental admission), and writing my academic resume to both include with my letters of request as well as with my admissions materials.
From here on in, every week will be full of work to do. I still have to cut my documentary to about nine minutes, to submit with my admission materials. But you know what? It’s happy work. And it’s been a long, long time since I’ve engaged in happy work.
For the first time in a long, long time, I feel a spark of life within me. I feel my blood begin to run warm; I feel stories within me that need to be told. It’s scary, but it’s a bit beyond me now. I feel like it’s not me that’s moving — the movement is happening through me. I couldn’t do all this on my own. Something is happening within me.
I think that now, after the baby, after my life has imploded and collapsed, after my self-image has been demolished and the rebuilding of me has begun, I’m still quite myself. I’m still forlorn and absent, but I’m more ebullient when I’m with my friends and people who understand me. I can be more honest about life and how shitty adulthood can be, but I feel like that it frees me.
It’s like living in a building that’s a reconstruction of the house that you grew up in. It’s not the same house, but it’s the same vibe, the same feel. Some parts are larger, some greater utility has been built in to suit a new stage of life, but you rebuilt it to be cozy, while still being functional. That’s how I feel like I am now. Built so that if an earthquake or tsunami hit it, the walls are made of paper, so no one inside gets hurt, like old the Japanese rural houses.
Built to be flexible, built to be pliable. Because everything collapses.
I’ve learned not to take life too seriously, because it’s all bullshit in the end. Just try to make people smile, to lighten someone’s load, and give a bit more than you get.
I just went to the info session of the grad school program I want to attend this weekend. There’s two sides wrestling within me — one side is the side of me that revels in being free from debt, and the other side is the side that wants to become a documentarian, realize my voice, and find my passion.
Two year program, $72,000+++. Either I’m an idiot for wanting to get into six figures of debt and wasting two years of my life on a wild goose chase of a career, or I give up the possibility of chasing a dream. Sigh.
“The speed of a runaway horse counts for nothing.” – Jean Cocteau
Being out of debt… what good would that do me if I don’t actualize my potential? Have I come so far to be stymied by my own lack of audacity? Or am I rightfully afraid of making good, balking at the price of entry, atmosphere, reputation and good connections? Wouldn’t that kind of debt, in this economy… financially ruin me?
Things to sleep on… for many nights. Some questions don’t answer themselves overnight.
When I take energy supplements, that means there’s a problem.
Because usually, I just sleep when I’m tired. There’s nothing in life that’s important enough to stay awake for anymore. I’m awake during the day, and I fall asleep at night, and most of the day I wish I were asleep. Until now.
I need my brain to do something for me.
Which is weird to say, bc most people don’t need to ask their brain to do something, the way a shaman might ask an oracle for advice or intervention.
Usually, I’m happy to be in a waking sleep. Nothing hurts, nothing perturbs me, and I don’t have to wake up to the tragedy that is my sucky workaday life.
But recently, something’s come up.
The truck that I’ve always wanted to own is now available. In mint condition. A 2003 Ford Lightning, somewhere in NJ, for $18,500 ($20,000 after tax) and only 32,000 miles (unheard of!). And I must own it.
When I want something — really want something — my brain turns on. The gears begin turn. And if I’m really on fire… the gears never stop turning until I get exactly what I want.
The motivators pretty much stopped after college. Why? Because there was nothing out there that I wanted badly enough. Life was/is pretty okay. Food, clothing, shelter, allowance. Having a kid was scary, so my brain, for its own protection, shut down completely. But now… this.
I can have this. All I want is this truck, and to move to CO, and quite honestly, I’m done. F*** the world — I’m cashing in all my chips. I’ve got my bike, and to have my truck and to live in CO with my fledgling family… everything else is just gravy.
So, I took energy supplements earlier this afternoon. And now, it’s 8:45pm, and my brain is awake like it’s early afternoon. My brain doesn’t usually like this, bc life is intrinsically boring and disinteresting, especially at this stage. But I can totally get a FT job or two for this. I can use this… to move on in my life.
Now, all this takes is sustained focus… and sustained enthusiasm. :)
College was so much different than real life. With college, life was exciting. Life was vibrant. With this, adulthood, life is just something you try to get out of the way while you’re waiting to die. A set of responsibilities you take care of. Bleh.
I took Rhodiola to stay awake so I could get my Japanese homework done so I could complete college, so I could move to CO. And now… that’s done.
Now, the plan is to put $20,000 together in ten months, so I can get the truck of my dreams. $2000 a month. So doable, if you’ve got no real bills and are deferring it all. I think I can.
All it takes is a burning dream and some grit. Just like with the bicycle, and the trip to CO.
It’s been said that the job that I’m working for is so pleased with me that they might extend my hours to a FT position someday.
Which is awesome. The thought of applying and interviewing for (other) jobs makes me want to retch.
But then I think, that would certainly change everything, and maybe not for the better.
The freedom of coming in at 10am and leaving at 1pm and having most days of the week off… thrills me. Back in the 90s, flex-time was the American Dream. Having leisure time.
I found myself wondering… how employable am I? Like, I haven’t worked a 40-hour work week in… well… ever.
The year 2000, probably. Yowtch. I’m a little too brittle (fun-loving, I mean) to hustle for a whole day, day after day after day, in misery…
But, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Maybe I can get a trip t o Seattle out of it. :) Yay!