Decisions/Cause and Effect

November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

My lease is up in mid-January, I think, and the closer I draw to that date, the more stressed I feel. Decisions need to be made, big, potentially life-changing decisions. Trying to plan the move to coordinate with both my life and Jason’s has been a surprising source of tension for me, leading me to suffer from a seemingly permanent tension headache that spreads from my eyebrows back over my head and down my neck to my shoulders. I haven’t had an appetite all week as well, leading me to eat only once a day as an afterthought, usually around 6pm or later. My dreams have been confusing and uncomfortable at the least, addressing lingering concerns or fears in my subconscious, only some of which are related to Jason.

These persistent thoughts and stressors were what I thought enough until my mother threw an emotional wrench into the mix, asking me to reconsider the move to stay in Birmingham instead. My family is here and surprisingly, they actually enjoy seeing me. It always surprises me that they enjoy my company when my perception of myself is that I constantly bitch and moan about one irrelevant thing or the other, never seeming happy in my current state or satisfied with any part of my little life. Mom made some solid points about why I should stay beyond the family affection and proximity, not limited to nurturing the tender roots I’ve been laying in this city, giving them time to actually blossom into something rather than abandoning them.

I don’t know why I insist on moving so often, why I can’t get through a year without planning to move on to something new, something else, something different. Is it fear of success, like I’m sabotaging myself? Or is it just a restlessness that I’ve been plagued with since adolescence? I’ve never felt like I’m in the right place doing the right thing, if such things even exist. I’ve always been focused just a step ahead, looking down the road to see what’s next rather than living in the now and focusing on this moment. It’s a curse, really, because I’ve spent so much time planning for a future that never really comes that I’ve missed out on most of my life experiences. People seem to have so many special memories of their lives, even their short lives when they’re still children, but I have very few memories of anything in my past and most of my memories are bad ones that I’d much prefer to forget.

I get bored, too though. So quickly I get tired of the same places, the same people, the same inane conversations. Birmingham in particular wears me down because it is so small and the people have such a narrow view of life and the world around them. So many young folks complain about living here and say that they’re going to leave, going to move to X place and do X things but they never do. Years later they’re still in the same place complaining about the same city to the same people with no realistic intention of ever bettering their situation. That’s not a rut I’m interested in falling into.

The thrill of a new place is intoxicating. I look up restaurants, cool neighborhoods, different galleries and festivals. I love discovering new textures of urban environments, new types of people, new styles of cities. So much to see, eat, and do. New cities hold so much hope for me, hope that I’ll finally be happy or satisfied with my life. Hope that I’ll finally be in the right place doing the right thing and feel some sort of peace.

In the past, I’ve rather boorishly moved at my own will with no regard to other people’s feelings. I didn’t think I mattered to other people, honestly, and I didn’t think my absence would be noticed. In fact, I always wanted to just disappear without telling anyone, without announcing my move date and new location, but the human being in me reminded me that it’s polite to tell your friends and family where and when you’re leaving their presence. But their desires for me to stay or pain from losing me never really reached me in my inner thoughts and feelings.

Now my mother has reached into my chest and pulled on my stiff, cold heartstrings, reminding me that for some strange reason people love me and want me around. Perhaps only in the significantly medicated, post-suicidal episodes and rock bottom have I finally emerged from the selfish fog I’ve been living in and realized that what I do genuinely affects the wonderful, miraculous people who love me. No man is an island and no woman exists in a vacuum. What I do affects people and I have to be conscientious of that, particularly if what I’m doing causes them pain or heartbreak, so I can at the very least attempt to make amends or ameliorate that harm. No doubt my mother speaks for other members of the family and perhaps close family friends who would strongly prefer that I remain where I am, a mere hour or less away, rather than move 8 hours away to another state.

So I’m split, between the man I love and the life I want in a new city, and the family who adores me and the life for which I’ve already built a foundation. That’s a tough ass call if you ask me. In my heart of hearts, I feel like a wretched asshole for hurting my mother and loved ones by leaving, but I feel that getting out of Birmingham is necessary right now for my sanity. Newness, change, discovery. It’s time for another move and following the man I love seems like the right path, albeit a terrifying and risky one. A lot could go wrong, absolutely. I’m no fool; I realize nothing in life is guaranteed and things can fall apart in an instant. But I can’t let an amazing thing slip through my fingers or get tossed in the trash because I wasn’t strong enough to take that leap. I may hurt my family but in the end I won’t lose them. Jason is by no means on the same level of security.

At this moment I’m undecided what’s the best decision for myself. Jason, my family, my bosses, hell even my dogs, are all interfering with the clarity of my thoughts, reminding me that I don’t operate in a bubble so every decision I make will have a definite cause and effect. I must be mindful and thoughtful of those both obvious and subtle.

As always with big decisions, I’ll know what the right thing to do is in the morning. I’ll sleep on it, my subconscious will weigh out the options, their pros and cons, and when I wake up, my decision will be made. But until then, I fret.

How Failure Haunts You

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

In my mind at least, I see myself bouncing back pretty quickly from failure. I pride myself on being resourceful and persistent, spending a mere 12-24 hours to grieve rejection or disappointment before getting up the next day with my fire renewed and my engine chug chug chugging onwards to my determined goal. Historically in my short little life, I’ve met plenty of failure but I bounce back almost immediately, always scrounging and scampering and scraping things together until they form a decent new plan.

This year has been really rough. All the “You’ll find something…,” “Just be patient!”, “Something good is on its way.” and “This just means the right job hasn’t come up yet!” sayings in the world couldn’t secure me any kind of Big Girl employment. Hell, I couldn’t even get restaurants to call me back; it was just dumb luck I guess that I got hired at the restaurant where I work now. But a restaurant job? Come on, I can’t even put that on my resume.

I’m basically the new boss of the floor now. I’m the only person who works every shift we’re open and I’m one of the only two people who are trained on the register, so I’m basically In Charge. I delegate tasks to the new people and the people we have coming in to pick up random shifts as we struggle to keep a full staff. I’m in charge of to-go orders, bread puddings, alcohol servings, whipped cream, and other food prep assignments that in the past went to Sarah, who recently left to have a baby after working there for years. Considering I just started, what, a month or so ago? This feels like a big step. Good thing I’m ready, willing, and damned able to take it. I delegate better than the other ladies who were heading the floor, so that’s a plus, although I am somewhat particular in the way I want things done (stay as organized and efficient as possible, please!) which is taking longer for people to catch on to.

Anyway, totally not the point. The point is that I can’t allow myself to feel any kind of optimism about my employment status during this shift to Tampa. I feel panicky and in a constant state of anxiety, noting all the jobs I’ve applied for in Florida and how not a single one has called me back. Jason, bless his heart, has been saying the same things my family told me over the 8 months of my unemployment, and I finally had to tell him just to stop saying anything positive because I have 8 months of proof that all that is bullshit. There are no guarantees of a good job in my future. There aren’t even guarantees of shitty jobs that would make me figuratively want to blow my brains out like being a receptionist or (worse?) an executive assistant. I tried like hell to get a job in Birmingham where I grew up and have a plethora of connections and networks, yet I couldn’t get anyone to hire me. How the FUCK am I supposed to get anyone in Tampa (what, 400 miles away? I don’t even know) to hire me?!?!

In the past, I would have been very confident if not cocky. I would have said “Of course I’ll find something! When have I ever not?” because in the past, the longest I’d been unemployed was a month. Maybe two. But now I’ve felt that burn of constant rejection, that building pressure of desperation as the money runs out, that crushing feeling when you realize you, along with so many other Americans, can’t afford to take care of yourself because no one will hire you.

That’s wimpy, though, isn’t it. “Oh, you were unemployed for 8 months in your home town after getting a Master’s degree. Oh, boohoo. So you’re just going to stay in Birmingham and work at the restaurant forever?” Of course not. That’s not who I am. I always keep trying, no matter how many times I get knocked down (13 PhD rejection letters can confirm that). I have to keep trying to make it to Tampa without having to move blind again and hope that I can 1. convince my parents to cosign yet another apartment lease with me so I can have someplace to live without a job after the Bham gamble was a disaster and 2. actually get a job with a decent, livable wage, preferably not a restaurant job though I suppose you have to start somewhere. I’ve certainly learned that a restaurant job is better than being completely unemployed. Plus being unemployed makes me crazy from boredom and cabin fever. There are challenges ahead and my failures constantly haunt me, preventing me from feeling any kind of optimism or opening my heart to any kind of positive words offered to me by my beloved and my family.

The excitement of being in a new city is certainly building though. God, I love being in new places. Finding special little nooks and crannies, new dive bars and breweries, new brunch places and burger joints, new parks and things to do outdoors. Hell, I even appreciate the sunset in different cities and their different landscapes, both urban and country. A new place with a new vibe, new people, new things to explore! I’m beyond thrilled. I’ve loved living in Birmingham and have enjoyed the comfort that comes with being in your hometown, always knowing what places are open when and where to go to get that perfect thing to satisfy whatever you’re craving. You can drive anywhere with very little thought as you run perpetually on autopilot.

But in a new place, you have to pay attention and every time you get lost, you have another adventure, seeing new areas of the city and neighborhoods and finding your favorite streets, your favorite houses, your favorite trees. I haven’t spent much time in Florida beyond the panhandle and it’s one of the few southeastern states that I haven’t lived in (Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, check check check). I refuse to ever live in Mississippi and I pretend that Arkansas doesn’t exist (because ew). South Carolina is on my list of places to live, albeit likely only for a short while, specifically Charleston, but that can wait along with New Orleans in Louisiana. Florida is uncharted territory for me and I plan to thoroughly explore and enjoy all that it has to offer.

With so many rivers and lakes, I intend to fish on the weekends and eat my haul throughout the week. For the most part, I would be fishing bass and I don’t know how healthy or nutritious it is, but at least I’ll feel better eating something I’ve caught myself. I will be forced to confront my mortal dread of alligators, which many people laugh at for some reason despite the fact that they are damn near perfect predators.

Ah. Slow down, kid. You’re doing it again. Don’t I always have these grand plans whenever I move someplace new? And then I never do them. I spend my freetime in bed watching netflix or staring at the ceiling.

Oh right. THAT’S BECAUSE I WAS DEPRESSED! This will be my first move since I’ve started medication and am on the path to healthiness and happiness so I think I actually will do much of what I hope to do while I’m there like kayak on the bay, lay out on the beach, go deep sea fishing (not often though, cause that’s intense), and fish on the river on the regular. To be fair, I’ve done a hell of a lot in Birmingham from hiking to kayaking to going to festivals to volunteering my ass off. I think Tampa will be a lot of fun, especially since I’ll have the most wonderful man to force to do things with me. We’re still dancing around the living together conversation, or perhaps just I am and he’s totally fine moving down there separately. Either way, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, either when one of us gets a job offer or when I move down there in January when my lease is up. Whatever comes first…

In the meantime, how to fight off the Failure Ghosts? How to trust the people who love me and believe them when they say positive things regarding my employment potential? How do I have faith in them when history has so clearly contradicted everything they promised me? I don’t know. But even if I don’t believe all their positive sayings and irritating optimism, I know that I will continue to press on as I always have, keep fighting for what I want, keep struggling towards the life I wish I had.

Future Talk

September 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s always a dangerous thing to ask me what I’m thinking about. People do it so often, including those who are near and dear to me and thus should know better. I don’t know how other people answer that question because the few times I’ve pulled myself out of my own thoughts to bother asking someone they responded with “Nothing.” in a truthful way.

Jason asks me a lot, and sometimes I tell him the truth and other times I deflect.
Last night I tried to deflect.

“What are you thinking about?”
“Really? You’re asking me that?”
“Yeah.”
“Life.”
-_- “What specifically about life?”

And so began an unresolvable, slightly tense conversation about our future. We’re moving to Tampa, that’s the one thing we both know for sure. We don’t know when, since the timing of the move will be based solely on when we get job offers, or if all else fails, when grad school starts (for him, the summer. for me, the fall). It’s too early in the relationship still to discuss in any kind of seriousness living together and he’s been just as ambivalent in the things he’s said as I have. We’re both dancing around the subject until the time comes when we need to make a decision or feel like we’re actually in a place to make a decision/discuss options.

We talked about the Peace Corps too. I’m not going to try to go with him; that just doesn’t work with my lifestyle. I take pet ownership as seriously as having children and I don’t want to leave my dogs for 27 months, a decent percentage of their sadly short lives. Given how I do grad school though, I think I’ll hardly notice he’s gone. I’m always so busy, trying to pad my resume as much as possible, use every opportunity to get an internship, get a relevant part-time job, hold leadership positions on campus, etc. Maybe it’ll be better for both of us if we’re apart during that time. He really wants to do Peace Corps, and I can’t help but be a crazy insanely busy person when I’m in school. We’ve both flip flopped a lot about whether we could do long distance for that long, only being able to see each other for a week or so every six months. I found a couple of programs that would let me choose where I go, so in theory I could spend a summer or two semesters abroad where ever he is, but I guess that’s a long shot. And of course there’s always the chance that Peace Corps won’t take him in which case he’s going to try for Doctors Without Borders which is a 6 month term and he’ll plan to do back to back terms. I want him to do whatever he needs to do to be happy, I just wish there was a way we could do it and stay together.

I need to tell him that I love him, but knowing Jason, it would need to be a moment rather than a “oh by the way, I thought you should know…” It’s been on the tip of my tongue for the last few days. I feel too like I should wait until he says it first, just to make sure I’m not alone in this. What good would it do to tell him, though? I just want him to know and I feel like I’m lying by not telling him when I know it clear as day (and have since like our third date). But maybe it would be better, given our shaky and unknown future, to keep quiet so as not to further complicate the decisions and emotions he’s already grappling with.

It’s so weird to have this problem. In the past I’ve been the one leaving and saying either “You can’t come with me.” or “I’m going and you can come, and if you don’t come, we’re over.” Things are much more complex now, filled so many more gray, shadowy areas. Is love enough to keep us together? Can love span the ocean and two years? Seems like a tall order for two people who haven’t yet had a really strong, healthy relationship. But it just takes one, right? I don’t know what’s going to happen with us but I hope we end up happy in the end, particularly if we end up happy together.

I really hope I don’t bail out if things get difficult, more complicated, as a result of our decision to pursue grad school in Florida. I need to grow up and commit. When the going gets tough, the tough get going right?

Words

September 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I went to my first college football game (roll tide!) with my dad, a close family friend, and a prof from UA. it was a fun day and I had a great time. I’ve always been something of a daddy’s girl I think, so I love getting to hanging out with my old man.

I don’t think dad realizes how much his opinion of me matters. After spending all afternoon and evening with him, the one thing that’s overshadowing my memory of that event is dad calling me “weak” on the ride home because I didn’t want to drive him all the way home, suggesting instead that he just spend the night at my place and arrange to get home tomorrow when everyone isn’t tired from a day at the stadium. “What you’re telling me is that you’re weak?” After all that I do, after how much I bust my ass to try to take care of myself, to do good things, to have big plans, to work and work and work to make something of my life, he thinks I’m weak because I don’t want to drive another 1.5 hrs after a long day when there’s really no rush or reason for him to be home that night.

I don’t get a lot of praise from my dad. I’m not needy or anything like that, I certainly don’t need to be praised constantly, but I feel like I’m constantly being critiqued and never recognized by him. In a lot of ways, we’re very similar which definitely leads to some clashes, but I wish like hell that wasn’t the case and I could have a harmonious, positive relationship with him instead like I have with my mother. She always tells me she’s proud of me, even when I’m unemployed and asking them for money. She’s always so careful about being critical of me, choosing to emphasize the positive rather than constantly point out the negative. I don’t have a lifetime of memories of her critiquing me like I do my father.

I’m always surprised and somewhat bewildered when people tell me that I’m “strong” because dad has made me feel weak and small and simple-minded. I don’t know why his voice overrides all the others that tell me positive things, but I’ve always been weird like that with men. Alec told me I have “humble looks” and that I’m “no Angelina Jolie.” Mark told me I had “thick legs” (though he meant it as a compliment) and has a long list of complaints about my personality. I’ve done pretty well about purposefully trying to let go of the negative things Jason said when we broke up because we’re supposed to be starting fresh and moving forward but I can still remember the sting of his words if not the exact things he said.

Maybe I’m just very lucky to have women in my life who are positive and try to support me and my decisions no matter what. The women in my life are so full of love and wisdom, two things they never hold back from me or fail to offer me on any occasion. I feel like I’ve spent my life trying to get dad’s attention, trying to get him to talk to me instead of napping or being absorbed in some piece of technology. Trying like hell to get some kind of approval from him. I remember when I was in high school, dad told me I’d never be a straight A student. When I got straight A’s in college and grad school, his response was “Of course you did. I wouldn’t expect anything less.” When I’m not the best, I just don’t have it in me to be, but when I am the best, I still don’t get approval, I get “Meets Expectations” instead.

Knowing dad, his response to any of this will be “you’re remembering it wrong,” like somehow his memory is infallible and mine is incorrect because it doesn’t align with his. He knows that’s total bullshit, of course, because all memory is a fluid, messy, subjective, and sometimes ever-changing organism. Whether or not something actually happened one way or the other, the significant takeaway is the emotional response to that event, which is something that cannot be right or wrong. You can’t and should not dismiss someone’s emotional response to a memory just because the details of that memory don’t align with yours. That’s like saying “You’re remembering it differently from me so your emotional response is invalid and irrelevant.” He has a long history of doing this with me, so I should probably just let it go instead of letting it continue to upset me.

And people wonder why I’m fucked up. Words matter. Their delivery matters. And unfortunately for me, I constantly seek approval from the men in my life while the women supply it freely and often. Is that just part of a patriarchal society? Am I just a product of the sexism that permeates Western culture? Or is it something specific to me, specific to my personality, upbringing, lived experience, emotional needs? I hate growing up like this has pushed me to the point where when a man says something positive to me, I’m skeptical of it or disregard it as an empty compliment.

I hate that depression is added into this as well, because it only complicates things further. If I talk about my actions, thoughts, emotions, etc. and point to depression as the cause of how warped or messed up they are in reference to “normal” or “appropriate,” they say I’m using it as a crutch. But any time I say that I’m good or healthy, they remind me that I’m still heavily medicated and that my mind is still severely warped by a lifetime of depression. Anytime I get really sad or upset, they point at it and say “See?? You’re not healthy!” instead of realizing that even healthy people have bad days and emotional reactions. Is that a result of Western embedded sexism as well? You can’t trust women to know themselves? You can’t trust women to speak truthfully about how their feeling? You can’t trust women to analyze their emotional reactions and categorize it according to the event or mental illness as they see fit? Or is it not about women at all and much more about the male ego? “I’m right and everyone else is wrong. I see things clearest. I know you better than you know yourself. I know what you’re feeling and why. I know what you’re capable of and what you’re not. I have a penis so I’m all-powerful and all-knowing.” Is that really what the male ego is like?

Sounds like someone needs a solid kick in the balls.

September 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

alec is moving back to birmingham. in two weeks.

Better Than Ever

September 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Jason and I worked things out and are better than ever, only spending a couple of nights a week together so that we are both getting our personal/alone time while also having enough time to get our own shit done without the distraction of the other person. it’s working really, really well so far, though I do miss him on our days apart. we’ll be taking a couple of weekend trips together in october, so that will be some nice together time.

he’s decided to apply to grad schools outside of alabama and beyond merely UAB, which is exciting but complicated for “us” as a couple. just for fun, I checked out some of the programs at one of the schools he’s applying to in Florida, just because I’m a nerd and love school way too much, and low and behold…

I’VE FINALLY GOT A PATH TO FOLLOW.

I’m applying to Master’s of Public Administration programs with a plan to either concentrate in non-profit management or earn a graduate certificate as a part of the MPA. why I didn’t think about going to school for non-profit management, I will NEVER know. I think I just thought I could start from the bottom and work my way up, but the evidence of my 8 months of unemployment pretty clearly states that I don’t have the right education or enough experience to make the shift out of the art field and into the broader world of non-profits.

my favorite program right now is the MPA at the University of South Florida, the only program I’ve found so far that offers graduate certificates in both non-profit management and community development, both of which are exactly what I want to pursue. The University of Central Florida offers a dual Master’s degree in public administration and non-profit management, but there’s no community development option. plus, why do I need three Master’s degrees? oh right, following in dad’s footsteps…

anyway, I can’t express to you how FUCKING THRILLED I am to actually have a direction to pursue! goals, plans, opportunities. my mind is constantly running in high gear thinking about what all I need to get done to prep for grad applications and yet another move out of state. strangely, I’m even thinking about just getting a large studio apartment instead of a multi-bedroom place. I’m feeling pretty drawn to open floor plans right now, perhaps a result from constantly having to weave around walls and through doors in my strangely laid out current two bedroom apartment. the studio would have to be significantly larger than my last studio apartment, of course, since I need space for furniture I have and the girls need some room to lounge. but all in all, I’d be okay with a studio apartment for the right square footage.

my biggest challenge right now is finding funding since I refuse to take out xx,xxx in student loans to pay for another graduate degree. I feel like I’m a stellar candidate for the MPA program and for funding because I already have a graduate degree with a 4.0 GPA and I’ve spent my career up until this point working in non-profits.

the main schools I’m looking at are USF, UCF, UNC Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State. UCF and NCSU are nationally ranked for their MPA programs (in the top 25 in the country), but their programs still aren’t as appealing to me as USF because of the community development option.

people have been asking me so often “what do you want to do? what is your dream job?” which I’ve answered with a blank stare and a dumbfounded expression. now that I’m thinking about grad school and all the opportunities that will open up, my mind has been whirring away on what I really want to do. I definitely want to work in a non-profit that aids in community development, but I’m even thinking a bit bigger than that to starting my own non-profit that will combine my love of art with my deep interest in building up communities that are struggling or have been mostly abandoned.

so much of my thinking about community development stems from my life here in Birmingham after I moved back from Dallas. all my volunteer work, all my interest in city developments, all my thinking about the struggling communities like Woodlawn have led me to this point in my life where I’m seeking a distinct career shift away from museums. the more I learn about the Birmingham community, the more I see how disconnected the museum is, how irrelevant the exhibitions are to the average citizen. the exhibitions are rarely grounded in contemporary time, they’re such that they could be shown at any moment in a 20 year or more span, and they would have the same impact on people. there’s no real interest in the people beyond the walls of the museum, reaching out to new audiences, showing people something new. exhibitions are designed for the people who pay for them and curate them. god, how fucked up is that.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a non-profit that addresses the issue of empty buildings in urban areas. Birmingham has so many of them and they make the city feel partially abandoned, drab, and rundown. it’s not an inspiring, energetic atmosphere like it needs to be to thrive. my idea is to put those storefront windows to use displaying local artists’ works or small-scale murals that focus on specific organizations or neighborhoods in the broader metro area. the goal is to inject life into those empty buildings through generating visual interest and directing attention to the Local, to local people, neighborhoods, and organizations that the common city person might not know about or might have misconceptions about. my hope is that these displays will encourage more exchange between the urban and suburban, between art and the average joe, and between other non-profits and the city.

I think deep down, my desire is to return to Birmingham, maybe not immediately following my graduation from an MPA program, but not too long after that. this city needs help and I think the millenials are the generation to really step up and start fixing the mess that the previous generations have left for us to clean up or drown in. we’re an insanely driven group of young people who just need to get some financial stability so we can really start doing what we want to do, working where we want to work, and fixing the things that desperately need fixing.

I feel full of hope and excitement about this new turn in my life. this feels like exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and exactly the direction I should be going in.

things feel so right.

Falling Apart

August 28, 2014 § 1 Comment

Tears are streaming down your face, when you lose something you can’t replace.
When you try your best but you don’t succeed.
Could it be worse?

Jason dumped me. We fought too much, he said. We were too serious too soon, he said (it takes two to tango). I begged him to change his mind, to reconsider, but so far, not much response. He didn’t say absolutely not, so I assume he’s thinking it over, but I may never get an answer so I should brace myself for that and try to let go.

It’s funny how breakups make you feel like you’re dying, like literally dying as your torso is ripping and tearing itself apart from the inside. I broke down at work in the alley way. No one saw, but Haley sent me home early because I think she could tell. I kept it together during my second shift, but the manager could tell something was wrong. I said I was just really tired. She sent me home early. I hate that my emotions are written all over my face when I’m ready to collapse on the floor in a puddle of tears, snot, and hyperventilating. Guess it’s good there’s a three day weekend coming up? I can lie on my floor all day if I want to. Wouldn’t that be healthy.

I should stay busy, right? Think about other things? When has that ever worked for anyone when they’re completely heartbroken over fucking up the best thing that had ever happened to them. The fights were all my fault for the most part, of course. I’m such a mess. I have so many issues. If Jason can’t handle me, I’m pretty sure I’ll always be alone. I’m going to die alone after a life spent struggling with loneliness and isolation. Two months of happiness. That’s all I get? I guess it’s all I deserve.

Bill collectors have started calling me multiple times a day, like I somehow magically have the money since they called the day before. I just ignore them since I can’t pay them, but it raises the stress levels a lot.

I can’t believe this is my life. I worked SO. HARD. to make a good life for myself, to lay a strong foundation for my future success and financial stability, but here I am, working at a restaurant and picking up extra shifts to try to cover all my late fees for the bills I haven’t paid in months. My lease is up in January and unless some miracle happens, I will probably have to live in some shit hole apartment run by a slum lord because my credit score is likely so low now that no decent place will take me.

A restaurant, Alexa? A RESTAURANT? It’s like I’m 15 again, except back then it was cool to work in a restaurant. Now I just feel beaten, forced into it out of desperation because no other job would take me. All that hope, all that work, all for nothing. I’m 26 with years of experience, a stellar set of skills, and a graduate degree, and I’m bussing tables and handing out food. This isn’t who I am. This isn’t what my life is supposed to be.

And now I have nothing. Jason was really the only thing keeping me going. And now that’s over and done with. Will he change his mind? Who knows. I don’t know. I doubt it. Why would he? I’m awful to date. I’m a crazy train. I will always be alone. I don’t know how to fix things. Go see a counselor? When has that ever helped. Plus I don’t have the money. I don’t know what to do. It’s hard to see a way forward when your eyes are so full of tears. How could I have screwed up something so wonderful. How can I be back at a restaurant, as if the last ten years never happened. What kind of future can I have if this is my life now? Where do I go from here. What do I do.

I’m spiraling.

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