Six

Six years ago today, I bought my very own domain for the very first time. I set up a new blog. I had decided to “try out this WordPress thing” after manually making my own websites for years. I was a junior in college, busy doing things like socializing (or partying, as college students are wont to do) and trying to make it through classes. It’s funny when I think about those early days. My life was so different back then, and yet I still feel like I’ve only been at this for a couple of years.

Today, I am in the midst of packing up all my things and finally moving out of my parents’ house. Yes, that’s right. After four years of living the post-college life comfortably (and sometimes not-so-comfortably) ensconced in the company of my family, I’m finally getting out and living in the great city of Chicago. I don’t know if this is something that happened all of a sudden (because it sure feels like it, although I guess it’s been a few weeks now since I signed the lease) or something that I can proudly say is the culmination of hard work (because I wrote back in January in my journal that I would move out this year), but all that matters is I’ve made a move and am making progress in my life and finding new challenges to tackle head on (because I know this won’t be easy on my precious bank accounts).

I’ve got so many plans (I know, I know—I’m seriously a broken record) but to think that next week, one of my grand plans will finally be moving into action…it’s so amazingly satisfying and thrilling.

Look to hear more from me soon.

Life is about to get incredib-effing-ly busy

If 2012 was a year in which nothing truly remarkable happened—I continued working two jobs, living at home, hanging out with friends—then 2013 is about to become the exact opposite.

March 2013 in particular. I’ve already established that I’m going on a 5-day solo trip to London, with a quick St. Patrick’s Day stop in Ireland. My parents recently announced that we’re moving from this house to another one in town, with plans to rent it for at least the next two years until my youngest brother graduates high school. Then, they will look into moving out west—more specifically, Las Vegas or somewhere in California. Talk about big moves. As for me, I’m not quite sure what I’ll be doing in two years, but at the moment I’m focused on the next two weeks, in which not only will I have to continue working my two jobs while packing for my trip, but also packing up my entire life (I mean, bedroom) for this new house. Yikes. According to my dad, we can start moving our stuff there next week but we won’t be actually living in there until April 1.

Which leaves me to this next bit. While packing up stuff I found a couple of my old journals from high school. Read through one from 2006, the year I was 16 and a junior in high school. It’s a strange thing, encountering a previous incarnation of yourself. It’s like…you can still feel every morsel of pain and teenage angst that that person was going through, but at the same time you want to show her the light at the end of the tunnel. What was I like at 16? Well according to my journal—and let’s remember here, I seem to be the type of person who only writes when angry and alone and confused—I was a very angry and alone and confused girl at 16. Not many friends, no boyfriend, nothing exciting going on.

Seven years later, here I am at 23. What’s changed? I noticed that for the most part, the fuel to my fire in high school was the tension with my dad. Back then, he would never let me go out. Like, ever. Pretty much every other entry consisted of me crying about how I was trapped in this house with no life and no prospects. But to say my dad has lightened up now would be an understatement—he no longer calls me at 11 in the evening on a Saturday night, demanding I be home within the hour. No questions asked if I say I’m sleeping over somewhere (although only God knows what he’d say if he found out I’ve been sleeping over at a boy’s house as of late). It’s funny how things magically change when you turn 21 and have a car, a full-time job, and a college degree.

But the part that slightly concerns me was, and still is, my anger. A lot of entries began with “Am so depressed” or “I’m so fucking furious” or something along those lines. The scary part is, I know I still feel those emotions today. Sometimes I wonder if I do have a serious problem. Even my newly minted boyfriend (still feels really weird to say that!) has pointed out I have a lot of passionate anger bottled up inside. Hell, I even had a Xanga username once that was called savetherage. I know I get feisty and mad a lot. But I like to think I’ve done a magnificent job not letting it overcome my life. I have passions. A lot of those journal entries also consisted of me writing to do lists and declarations that “I will be productive with my life today.”

And that’s just who I am. I’ve learned that I need to constantly feel busy and productive with my life. I don’t like feeling useless. My life is so filled with activity now, with jobs and friends and hobbies and trips. While I tend to whine a lot, I know that in the past near 2 years since I’ve graduated college, life’s been a lot easier since those hellish high school days.

It’s that time of the year again

I had to use my Spanish skills today at work. Actually no, strike that, I didn’t have to, I sort of stumbled into it. This mother and her kids came up to the counter with their merchandise, and the youngest girl greeted me with an “Hola.” I smiled and said hola back. Her mom smiled at me too, and then it slipped out. I asked her if they were all set in Spanish, and then she starts blithering away about how her son liked this one pair of jeans he tried on but there wasn’t a price on it and if I could look it up for her. The funny thing is, I really did understand about 90% of the stuff this woman was saying. I just didn’t know, for the most part, how to respond right away without translating everything in my head. I ended up doing the transaction with this woman in Spanglish. And responding with “Con gusto” instead of “De nada” when she thanked me. I forget that they only say that in Costa Rica.

My birthday is next week and I’m not sure what to do (or indeed if I should do anything at all, I hate making birthday plans for myself). I know I want to go out to dinner at the Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago, Irazu, but I don’t know when. I don’t know if I should pick a club or bar to go to. I don’t know if I have to make reservations if I do do that. This is my first birthday at home in four years, and I don’t know what the fuck to do. I hate birthdays!

Speaking of birthdays, this is my first birthday that I won’t be spending at a school. At the beginning of a school year. The first birthday where I don’t have to worry about figuring out classes and all that good jazz. I’m not moving back to college, I’m not thinking about syllabus week or buying books. Nor am I packing up four months of my life to go live abroad in a completely foreign country. Normally this would be the part where I think about how I have nothing to look forward to while everyone goes back to school, but my internship does start next week. So life is changing. Somewhat.

Same ol’, same ol’

I have pinkeye again. Yesterday it began with my left eye. I woke up with tiny bits of crust and it looked swollen and red in the mirror. Today I woke up with goo in my right eye, and lo and behold it was red as well. Luckily I still have my eye drops, and my left eye is less red today, but still. I have fucking pinkeye. Now I have to throw away my contacts and makeup again. And change my pillowcases (I should probably wash my blankets too…) and find ways to disinfect my room without having to run to the store to buy disinfectant stuff. Have I mentioned I am still incredibly unbelievably broke?

I’ve been able to make some extra cash with Demand Studios lately, but now that finals are coming up, I don’t have any more time to churn out articles. I don’t know how many other ways to say it, but I don’t have any freaking money. I am in debt. I owe people money. I have bills to pay.

My plans for after graduation are still fuzzy. If my internship is to continue through the summer, and I’d be getting paid for it, then I’d be staying in Champaign. Which means I’d have to find jobs I can start in for August or September. If I’m not working at my internship anymore after school, then I go back home and I’d have to find a job right away.

The point is, I have no money because school is taking up my time and taking my money (i.e. in form of tuition/bills/etcetera). Money money money! Fuck you!

The art of letting go

Hurrah, hurrah! I’ve finished my monstrous 15-page research paper for EPS 310! Time to start doing other work, yay! /end sarcasm

It’s come to my attention that I am now almost a full month away from college graduation. I know what you’re thinking. How do I feel? Am I ready for the real world? Am I ready to let go? These are just examples of the flurry of questions I’ve been getting lately.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the past year, it’s that whether or not you’re ready to let go, you’re gonna have to let go. Last school year I had to learn to let go of a few people, a few comforts. That was normal, since it was the end of my third year of college. Then summer came, and I had to learn to let go of my “home” life. Instead of returning to the suburbs, working at the movie theater, and hanging out with “home” friends, I did something different and stayed in Champaign. I worked a ‘real’ job, hung out with people I never normally would have hung out with during the school year (aside from my roommate), and created an actual real life for myself pretty much.

Then in August I had to let that go. It was probably one of the hardest things I’d ever done. Even though I knew I had this wonderful adventure abroad waiting for me, the interruption to my blissful summer was — literally — heartbreaking. And it had to happen, because prior to summer I had made the decision to study abroad during the first semester of my senior year. As for that decision? Definitely do not regret it at all and I am so so thankful I was able to go. Costa Rica was truly one of the best times of my life. Honestly, in the four months I spent there, I felt more at home than I’d ever felt in the three previous years at Champaign. I had friends and family there. I had a host mother who mothered me in ways I never experienced before. She was the emotional and loving support I was lacking from my own real mother.

And of course, letting go of all that was hard. Unlike my good-byes to summer, these good-byes were extra difficult because I didn’t (and still don’t) know when I’d see Costa Rica again. I didn’t just say farewell to the wonderful people of Central America, but the American friends I’d made as well. At the beginning of my study abroad experience, I couldn’t imagine staying for more than a semester, and thought the first month was hard enough. But by the end, I did not want to leave Costa Rica at all. I never wanted to leave.

But like before, I just had to let go.

I think that entire year of upheaval and changes has definitely affected the way I’ve approached this semester. I’ve been operating with the mindset that nothing is ever permanent. A year from now, I know I won’t be hanging out with the same people anymore. It’s the story of my life. I’ve never had a friendship last for a significant amount of time. I’ve never been in a relationship and it appears that me and the male species just don’t…well, we mesh very well (if you know what I mean…) but obviously it doesn’t seem I qualify as girlfriend-material. I have nothing tying me down. Even the great city of Chicago, the place I once called my hometown, my anchor…doesn’t quite stir the same feelings within me anymore.

Point is, I have no idea where my life is going to lead me in the coming months. I have some vague plans, but at the moment I have no idea where I’ll be living, who I’ll be surrounding myself with (family- and friends-wise), what I’ll be doing to make a living. And you know what? I am perfectly fine with that. It is much easier to let go than to hang on.

I don’t have anything or anyone to live for but myself right now.