It’ll be fun, I said.
Just gotta get the creative juices flowing again, I said.
After more than a year. Because it’s literally been a full year since I even attempted to write anything more complicated than a hey-not-dead update for Tumblr. Forget about anything long-form that might require more than thirty seconds’ perusal and maybe a tap to whatever passes for a like button.
Still haven’t written that paper for my dad. Totally have an outline and some articles to mine for sources, though. Progress?
Still haven’t managed more than a few hundred words at a time for a pittance that’s not even worth requesting a tax ID for. On the plus side, I did get a whole five stars from the person who’s going to sell those few hundred words a few times at a markup before someone puts their name to it and shows it to the world.
Because damn if I don’t always wind up tilting at windmills that already have a glut of would-be Quixotes already banging away at them. Master’s in History? Adjunct at best, fighting PhD’s to teach classes at half a dozen different institutions for poverty-level wages. Writing? Ghost writing and text-mill work that wind up costing more in electricity and time than it brings in. (Even on the copy-editing side of things, the competition is fiercer than I’m really built for; I really wanted to stretch the metaphor to include Sancho Panza, but copy editors are just too bad ass for me to saddle them with Sancho. Ha. Loosey-goosey sibilance is fun.) If I could bring myself to move to a bigger city this would be just that teensiest bit easier by virtue of being geographically closer to major publishing houses instead of having to work remotely. (Not having a home mortgage’s worth of student loan debt would probably help, too. But it is what it is, right?) At least here I can help my supervisor by copy-editing her papers for her Associate’s—because lord have mercy, I have literally never in my life met someone so prone to comma splices. And I might or might not have bought her a book for her composition class next year when getting my help on that would be actual cheating.
Cripes, the poor me is getting annoying. But it’s words on the screen and ultimately that’s what today was all about. I either need to find a way to make this happen or find a way to be happy doing what I’m doing.
So I’m going to be thirty in about a month. I’m not depressed; I’m not freaked about being single and childless, without even one cat to my name (I FAIL at being a stereotypical dried up old spinster, I know); I don’t feel like the sands of my life are slipping away grain by grain. I swear it doesn’t cross my mind more than once in a while that my own mother was married with two children by the time she hit thirty. (I’ve got a whole less-interesting-than-it-sounds story about a well-meaning cashier at a restaurant asking if I was a mom so she’d know whether or not to add a free dessert to my meal. I said no; she said, “okay, so not a mom yet” and pointed out the survey on my receipt so I could at least get a free cookie. I somehow refrained from rolling my eyes and held back the tirade about reproductive choice and not being Less Than because I don’t have and don’t want kids, while mentally flicking her on the nose, because that was not the best way to phrase that, okay?)
Anyway. It’s just really freaking weird being almost thirty.
Like, how in the name of everything holy did I get here? Last I checked I was careening through my mid-twenties, trying to extricate myself from one scrape after another—pretty much all of those were my own damn fault—so I could settle down to the business of Being An Adult. Precisely what Being An Adult entails seems to be anyone’s guess.
Side note: it’s vaguely unsettling that when the media and pop culture reference “young people” they don’t necessarily mean me any more. Soon, demographic analyses and pundits will start shoving me into arbitrary “middle-aged” boxes with all their might. Thirty feels like some sort of huge, arbitrary milestone, like it’s the point where I’m supposed to have my life mostly sorted out, if not completely together.
I think getting my student loans consolidated and having more than one credit card that I actually use responsibly totally counts. Right?
Like, good weird—but weird.
I’m resolved not to complain that there aren’t enough pillows on my bed for me to sleep comfortably. Or that the outlet by my bed is too far away for me to plug my phone in and watch netflix at the same time. Or that it’s really freaking cold in here. What’s that going to do but make my parents feel bad?
I’ve gotten used to the rhythms and noises of the house I share with my roommates and their one-year-old. (I refuse to be the kind of person who mentions my fourteen-month-old nephew or my thirteen-month-old niece. That, should they feel so moved, is definitely a parent thing.) There’s always a huge buzz of activity early in the morning while Nephew is up and figuring out how spoons work during breakfast—it’s actually pretty hilarious when you’re not the one who has to clean up after the fact.
It’s 11:40 and my parents’ house is dead quiet; my mother is at work, but since my dad and brother are still here somebody should have cracked a door open by now, right? This coming from the person who lolled around til almost 10:00 and only really got up because my stomach very loudly pointed out that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. But it turns out my parents only have dairy milk, so getting up and dressed was ultimately pointless. Plus they’ve rearranged the kitchen several times, so I don’t know where the spoons are and all the potential drawers are super noisy. (One does not make too much noise at Home—even typing on my laptop’s probably too much—and risk waking the grumbly grumpy dad who’s tired from manual labor that he really shouldn’t be doing in the first place.)
I think it’s finally hitting me that while I’ll always be welcome here, it’s not really My Place any more. It’s a little bittersweet.
Also I had to kill a really big spider this morning. Because no one else was up to tell me if it was a dangerous kind and fuck if I was looking away from that thing long enough to google.
Ho-kay. So. I sat down in front of my computer with the most brilliant idea for a post I’ve had in ages and it’s gone–my brain completely eighty-sixed it. It’s so aggravating.
What follows is a stream of consciousness mess because that’s where I’m at right now:
Item: chugging orange juice is a BAD PLAN. Especially when I’m only chugging it because there’s just the teensiest bit too much left in the pitcher to fit into the glass I only picked because both the stemless wine glasses are either in use or dirty; these glasses would have been pretty perfect for holding about half my remaining orange juice. But I also wanted to get the pitcher out of the fridge and washed while I was still thinking about it, so chugging it was.
Item: I can’t decide which is more generally annoying, a hair caught in my cleavage or a spot of sticky something-or-other on my phone screen that’s resisting the cleaner I unearthed in my desk drawer.
Item: I’ve made zero progress on the paper I’ve been planning to write for my dad’s birthday/Father’s Day/Christmas/New Year’s present for years. I blame lack of free JSTOR access and work sucking all my motivation.
Item: I can’t seem to finish a non-fiction book lately. That’s sad, because my local library, while nowhere near as good as the one I raided so thoroughly in Greensboro, actually has pretty decent history and biography sections and I’m tired of getting tired of the books I check out halfway through.
Item: I know there’s a logical reason for the way stacked washer/dryer combos are arranged, but it aggravates me to no end that the flow of the chore itself doesn’t match the logical order of operations. It should go wash-dry-put away from top to bottom, not dry-wash-put away.
…I’m so glad it’s Friday, y’all. You don’t even know.
It’s been a long month.
I went from finally working up the nerve to ask my temp agency for a new placement to going permanent at the same company I’ve been at for more than a year, because it pays pretty well all things considered and has neither given me an ulcer nor driven me to more than a few fingers of actual liquor in one sitting—at least not so far. I’m shooting for another few years to give my résumé some stability, unless it suddenly gets absolutely, intolerably toxic.
I had the house to myself for a week, which reminded me what I miss and what I definitely don’t miss about living on my own. Pros? Exercising the no-pants PJs option, taking a bath at 3 am without waking the whole house up. Cons? Too much time alone in my own head, no super-friendly baby smiles when I got home from work. (I also briefly worried that one of my roommates’ cats had either gotten outside or holed up somewhere and died. But it turns out she just sort of forgets to exist when my roommate isn’t here and was probably under a couch the whole time.)
Walmart stopped carrying the lactase supplements I depend on to keep from having to follow a crazy strict no-dairy diet (I could maybe do it if not for cheese. I really, really missed cheese before I found the supplements). But it turns out it’s okay because Target just started carrying them.
I’m slowly but surely undoing some really stupid financial decisions from a few years ago; that’s a super-fun story of its own featuring fifty-hour workweeks, several different flavors of debt, and a series of actual sobbing phone calls that led me from North Carolina to Tennessee last year.
I’m substituting orange juice for wine as my after work drink because that’s just a terrible habit to get into with my particular genetics. I’ve also started logging when I have a glass of something on my wall calendar to get a better grasp on how much and how often.
I’ve started folding back into myself again for reasons I don’t understand. I could’ve been downstairs learning to play a new table top game tonight, but I had some ice cream while I watched a friend teach my roommates how to play and went up to my room to read for a while before bed, because I get obsessive about my routine when I’m heading into a funk. Ironic that I avoided playing because I didn’t want to be up too late, n’est-ce pas? It’s like watching from outside, hearing the fun being had and knowing I’m more than welcome to sit down and join, but opting to hoard what mental energy I’ve got left after work—never mind that that ish definitely does not have a rollover balance.
So yeah. It’s been a long month, y’all.
My name is ironic.
See, I’m Kasey, and one definition of that name is “brave” or, according to wikipedia, “vigilant in war.” I’m not that, either.
My parents might or might not have looked my name up in 1000 Baby Names or whatever it’s called; in the end all that mattered was the tribute to my great aunt KC. I’ve posted on this before, and mentioned that I really feel more like a Kate.
You could argue, though, that brave and fearless are not necessarily synonymous. In my head brave is filed under “being really freaking afraid of doing the thing, but doing it anyway because it needs or is worth doing.” I’m about 50/50 on that one. Sometimes I sit back and realize that the thing might need doing or be worth doing, but someone else can handle it because I am not equipped for that mess. Brave is finally telling my boss that no, I don’t want to go permanent at my job because I might very well be perfectly competent, but I’m just not satisfied enough to spend the next couple years plugging away at invoices just to keep my resume from looking like I drop jobs on a whim. Fearless is throwing caution to the wind and walking out at lunch like a coworker did a few months ago after a particularly passive-aggressive diatribe from our permanent coworker that was couched as constructive criticism; I was just as mad, but I’ve got bills and loans and a new(er) car to save for.
So maybe I’m not fearless. And maybe that’s a good thing. I do need to get on the bravery thing, though. My boss is waiting for an answer, after all.
You know what’s no fun at all? Whipping through every single one of your social media platforms of choice in less than an hour because no one is posting anything on a Sunday morning. Instagram: ten minutes catching up from yesterday’s pictures. Facebook: five (because seriously paring down your follow list really cuts down on how long it takes to keep up with people, especially when you’ve filtered out all the political nonsense posted by much-more-conservative-than-you small town relatives). Tumblr: maybe twenty minutes.
I mean, I get that in the South Sunday is for church and fellowship and Sunday School, but that’s what following people from outside the South is for.
I guess I could be out doing things myself, or posting them, but damn if I want to take time out of my Sunday to actually do things.