I am sitting in front of the TV eating left over pasta from the night before. Penne and jar marinara and chicken and looots of mozzarella. My twenty fourth birthday is in two hours. (Actually, it’s in almost twelve hours because for some reason I have always remembered that I was born at 10:32 am.) I’m remembering how my nana used to make everyone special dinners for our birthdays, and she always made me baked ziti. I can’t remember if I asked for it every year or if that’s just what she made for me. I mean I have definitely always loved cheesy baked pasta, but I don’t think I would have ever considered ziti one of my all time, make it for my birthday dinners, favorite dishes.
I remember when my nana stopped being able to make homemade mashed potatoes, and I was upset. Because boxed potatoes are not that great. Because her hands hurt her too much to peel and chop and mash the potatoes. Whenever I’m around her now, there’s always a pang of that sadness. She’s old, and she’s not healthy. She’s not sick. There’s nothing to point to exactly. No cancer, nothing eating away at her. But she’s not healthy. She was never young when I knew her, exactly. She was almost thirty when my mother was born, and my mother was thirty when I was born, and I’m not all that far from thirty myself (although, not that close either, really).
I like having these little food memories. Because for someone who loves to cook so much, I don’t have a lot of food memories. I don’t have my grandmother teaching me to make apple pie from scratch. Telling me that the butter has to be cold, and I absolutely have to use Granny Smith apples. But I have a meal of baked, cheesy, melty, delicious pasta for years and years in early March to show that she loves me, and was glad I made it to another year.
I’m becoming an extreme night owl again.
It’s good, I think. Well, actually, it’s bad, very bad. i haven’t worked before 9am in a few weeks, but I know I’ll get a 7am shift soon and I won’t be able to fall asleep for it. And I was just reminded that the time change is next weekend, so likely, with my luck, that’s when it’ll fall.
But, I haven’t been able to fall asleep before two, combined with my normal waking up every few hours, has led to me struggling to get out of bed by eleven.
It’s good, though, I think. Because it makes me think of summer when I can never sleep, because I refuse to put on the air, or at least to close my window all the way, because I’ve been cooped up all winter. And even the air I’ve been able to breathe all spring hasn’t been enough to make up for the stale air I breathed all winter. I need (as-close-as-I-can-get-in-Suburban-New-Jersey) fresh air, even at the cost of the heat keeping me awake, splayed out with blankets draped only over my stomach.
Maybe this summer will be the first summer I don’t complain about the heat. Maybe.
I’m so angry all the time anymore, and I’m not even totally sure why. I feel like even when I’m in a good mood, it’s just waiting patiently in my chest for something to set me off.
And I don’t mean just Big, Important Things that I should be angry about. I mean my mom telling my grandmother we’ll meet her for dinner when it’s my first Saturday truly off in months and months, and I have chicken marinating in the fridge. I mean a customer barking a cigarette order at me before I even get a chance to say hello.
This stuff will make me so deeply mad (and this feels like the right word, even knowing that it means insane and not angry) that I can’t speak. I shut down. I can’t let anything just roll off anymore.
I was doing really good for about a month not watching TV before I went to bed. I still didn’t instantly fall asleep, but it wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. A week or so ago I started putting the TV back on because I have been feeling particularly anxious and uncomfortable, and as all anxious and uncomfortable people know, bedtime is like a fucking symposium for those thoughts. (I just googled this to make sure I was using the right word, and apparently an ancient Greek symposium was a “drinking party.” Which, yeah, still applies.) I feel disappointed in myself, like I’m back on the wagon. But I’ve been dreaming more, and my dreams only ever make me angry because they’re so obvious. Oh, I was running in my dream, that means I’m running from something in my waking life? Go figure.
My birthday is in a week, and I always get antsy around my birthday. I always think of where I “should” be by this age. And I know that’s bullshit and everyone’s different and blah blah blah. But here we are.
I just wrote this really great and honest post but tumblr fucking ATE IT!!!
But basically, I am trying to do things that I’m scared of but shouldn’t be scared of because it’s going to be sunny and 60 this weekend before dropping back down to 20 for god knows how long and it’s making me want to breathe deep and not be so angry and hateful and mean all the time.
And I’m sick of wasting cute outfits and hair on my fucking awful soul-crushing job.
I’m burnt out.
I hate saying that because I know, my life, as it is now is, is what life is for a lot of people. And there’s nothing wrong with it really, except that it’s not at all what I wanted for myself. There’s nothing even exactly wrong with my schedule, which is work my four or five days a week, run around like crazy trying to clean my apartment and get done any other errands or chores on the two or three days I have off, and maybe once a month, maybe once every two months see my friends. Except I feel like my job is more emotionally draining every day.
I’m burnt out.
And yet I agreed to become a shift supervisor. It’s $2.25 more, and I need it. (Well, $1.50 more now that minimum wage has gone up.) But it’s still not enough. I could never move out on my own on that kind of money, and still be able to pay for my loans, and groceries, and whatever other costs. I could maybe afford to live with a roommate, but all of my friends are settled on their own. They have husbands, and adult jobs, and jumped right past the needing a roommate phase. And I’m still stuck in the living in my childhood bedroom phase. I could make the same amount in a job that I loved, or even one that I tolerated but was at least somewhat related to the degree I spent four and a half years earning, and will spend ten or more paying for, and it would feel like enough. I would make more money on the stipend from a doctoral program. If I could get in to one.
I’m one year out of school and I am burnt out.
Just applied for my 100th job in not quite a year. Feeling great about it. Wish I had off tomorrow so I could talk to some bourbon about it.
2013 has been a shitty year. No shittier than any other, though, I guess. When I really lay it all out.
Actually, only one thing seems really bad on paper, which is that at the beginning of the month my mom spent the night in the hospital. She is basically okay, or at least okay enough to not be in the hospital anymore, or really incapacitated in her day to day, but she is not exactly healthy. I’ve been trying not to think about or talk about it really, which is why I haven’t written about it.
2013 has been a year of stagnation for me. A year of seeing people around me growing and moving on. A year of seeing greener pastures through my window. Of dreaming about those bigger and better things for myself, but feeling they’re about as realistic as dreaming of winning the lottery. Of being selfish. Of truly being happy for my friends, but still feeling that pang of envy.
I have high hopes for 2014 but insanely low expectations. I want everything and expect only further stagnation.
But I always hope. I will always take a deep breath at midnight.
I haven’t written on here lately but I have lots to say.
I will get to it.
I have always been the nostalgic friend. The one who sends texts starting “Remember that time we…,” who sends pictures I found while cleaning out my closet, who relieves months, and seasons, and years through blog posts and other mementos.
I have always been the friend who tries too hard. Who bugs you to hang out until you’re sick of me. Who knows you’re busy but still can’t help getting angry when plans fall through. Who knows “Definitely!” is, at best, a hard maybe.