Life is Funny

02/15/2012

…not always “funny ha-ha,” but always funny.

I’ve been applying to jobs pretty consistently lately (no, I didn’t get that one at the non-profit that most of you are aware of) with no little success.  I say little because I have had a couple interviews, which have gone well, but they’ve all “decided to go another direction.”  It’s a cross between soul-crushing, frustrating, and amusing, and no, I can’t really explain the last one.

Other than that I’m trying to come to terms with other aspects of my life.  I’m taking the hope that maybe by ordering other aspects of my life, I’ll have success in the job department.  I’ve been trying to eat healthier, trying to sleep more regularly (that’s not going well, but who’s surprised really?  Hell, part of the reason this is being posted so early is the fact that I haven’t been able to sleep today).

I’ve also been evaluating things in my life and trying to see what I want/need to change and what things I can continue.  This is everything from, “Do I want to start reading more books of type x,” to, “Should I become a Buddhist monk and move to Tibet?”  Okay…so that last one’s a bit extreme and isn’t one I’m really considering, but there are major changes, most of which are private(ish), and thus probably won’t be discussed here.

Through all of the above, I’m trying to keep my head up, but it’s hard.  One of the things I’m trying to do to help myself stay positive is remembering that, in reality, most (read: all) of my problems really are First World Problems.  Though that phrase is usually attached to people bitching about stupid things to mock them, when it comes down to it, my problems really are first world problems.  I do have a roof over my head (I’d like to maintain that, but I’m not directly in danger of losing that, either).  I do eat daily (unless I forget – it’s a thing, don’t judge me).  I do have a computer on which I’m writing this, which also has an Internet connection.  Yeah, I really, really want a big-boy job (at this point, if it was 40 hours a week with health care and a reasonable salary, I’d drive up to an hour for it without blinking), and yeah, my personal life/feelings are tumultuous, but I don’t have it that bad.  There is no one actively attempting to murder me.  I am not afraid of the elements or starvation.  I just need to get the fuck over myself and keep grinding.

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Update ahoy!

02/08/2012

I’m not really up to writing a whole big post, so I’ll just write you all a quick update.

My life is going pretty good, if not a little repetitive right now.  I’m in that, “Job search, apply, repeat,” stage and waiting to hear back from somewhere, hopefully.  My sleep schedule’s all sorts of wacky right now with random intervals of sleep spread between 11 PM and the following day’s 1 PM, ranging from 10 minutes to a couple hours.  I’ve been using melatonin a little bit with mixed results, but the stuff I have says not to use it for more than 7 days in a row because your body will build a tolerance to it…so…there’s that.

Mostly, right now, I’m trying to wade through and keep my head up.  I know I’m employable, and I know that I’ll eventually find the right job…it’s just the waiting and the not having it that kinda suck.

Crash, burn, repeat.

01/30/2012

So, I interviewed for a job last week and the interview and follow-up phone interview went incredibly well.  It was something I could have hypothetically made a career out of (depending on how the first year or so went).  It was a good job, if not for the commute to NoVA.  Honestly, given that I’m basically wiling to shovel stables for a paycheck at this point, it was a great opportunity.

Today I received that dreaded phone call which indicated that the organization had chosen to go a different direction with the hire.  Understandable.  There are certainly people more qualified for the work and I’m trying to focus on new and different opportunities.

It still sucks, though.

I was given a stark reminder as I hung out with a friend, though, that this is not the worst of all possibilities.*  S/he informed me that one of his/her friends committed suicide recently, and it was clear s/he was in a lot of pain, but was repressing it to get through his/her day to day life because  s/he didn’t have time to deal with it yet.  I’ve been on that side of things, too, and it sucks.  So, really, life isn’t that bad.

It’s just nice to know that I’ve gotten pretty good at finding the eject lever in the plane that is my life and pulling it before impact, even if it’s not really a crash-and-burn situation.

* Not that I really thought that it was, but it’s easy to get caught up in my own myopic view and let job-hunting and rejections get frustrating and upsetting.  More than they should, at least.

This is awesome

01/27/2012

While I am not necessarily someone who loves dancing (mostly due to the fact that I’m incredibly self conscious about it – I mostly feel ridiculous, and no, two semesters of dance didn’t help), I appreciate it.  This series of videos is freaking awesome.  Even though I am fully aware that I could never look this cool if I tried I thought I’d share it with you.  Enjoy.

Also, Girl Walk’s new album is bad-ass, as you’ll learn if you watch the videos.

I’m a train wreck

01/23/2012

I have two posts on my mind right now, and the focus to complete neither of them.  This is meant to be introspective, and, honestly, is probably more written for me than it is for you.  Why post it to the Internet then, instead of, say, a moleskine?  Excellent question.  I don’t rightly know, other than to say I suppose it’s going to be the catharsis of typing it out and sharing the thought process with somebody else who may have felt this way or who currently does, or may even feel this way in the future.  Forgive me if I digress or if I seem to be channeling a 14-year-old girl who is going through an emo phase.  You’ve been warned, skip it if you want.

One of my best and worst character traits that I may have touched on before is that I’m a helper and a people-pleaser.  I say best because I really do try my best to help people whenever they need me and I’ll often do so at personal expense – be it fiscal, mental, or physical.  I don’t say this as a toot my own horn kinda thing (though, I’m sure some of you who know me better are probably rolling your eyes and thinking I’m a bloated wind-bag*), I’m just trying to put this in perspective.

I say worst because it usually leads to me trying to take all of the stress/anxiety/frustration/what have you of my friends and family of which I am aware** and internalize it and try to carry it for them.  Unlike Sam in The Lord of the Rings, who so insightfully says, “I may not be able to carry [the ring] for you, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you,” while they’re climbing Mount Doom***, I try to carry the weight of something that isn’t necessarily mine.  The problems with this are numerous, not the least of which is that eventually, my compassion burns out and I’m left bitter, cynical, jaded, and feeling very much that I just wish to be left alone.****  This often leaves me falling off the planet for extended periods of time***** in order to recuperate and take a run at the brick wall that the world is.******

With the above being said, it often leads me to feeling somewhere between a thousand rubber bands which have been spun together at the ends an infinite number of times and a hummingbird on a steady diet of cocaine (not that I actually know what cocaine feels like…but…poetic license or something).  It also leaves me ill-equipped to deal with my own stresses, anxieties, and problems, which, of course, only exacerbates things. It also means I often feel obligated to things that I’m probably not and probably aren’t the best decisions for me, but I’d rather suffer and struggle than “cut and run.”*******

I don’t know exactly how to overcome any of this, other than talking about it to the people I can or writing about it so the universe can maybe relate.  And thus, this.  Maybe I’m writing this all in some pitiful attempt at attention.  I like to think I’m not that a-hole, but maybe I am.  If your only comment at the end of this is, “Hang in there,” or, “You’re awesome,” please, refrain.

Today, the world decided to strap on steel-toed boots and kick me square in the nether-region with a rather healthy dose of my own stress and that of a friend (which I’ll forgo sharing, as it’s not mine to discuss).  My own stress, I’ll elaborate on a bit, and again, I apologize for the whiny-ness of all of this.

I’m 27 years old with two undergraduate degrees – one in unemployment Philosophy and one in Economics – and yet I wait tables and bartend.  I don’t mean that to degrade my work (and, to be honest, I should be more thankful for the fact that I have A job, much less a DREAM job).  I’m constantly questioning what it means to be a man, much less a good one.

I suppose the only thing I really can do is pick up and keep fighting.  Quitting’s not an option.

So, dear reader, thank you for allowing me to vent.  Thank you for being someone who’s decided to share the struggle with me, even when I suck at it.  I hope you’re well, and that I can be a friend when you need one.********

—————

* You’re not wrong.

** And possibly the world.  I have a bit of an Atlas complex (no, I don’t know if that’s a thing, but it gets the point across).

*** A paraphrasing of what I remember from the books (it’s been a couple years) and the movies.  Also, sorry if I just ruined it for you.

**** Not unlike Bilbo by the end of his days.  Also, that’s exactly what I need: more cynicism and jaded.

***** Or, as some of you have lovingly named it, “Daving.”  Also, I need to look into how to number footnotes rather than using an infinite number of asterisks.  Perhaps another post.

****** Here, I’m reminded of Don Quixote tilting at windmills.  I just used two footnotes in one sentence.  God, I’m pretentious.

******* Yes, intellectually, I know that’s stupid.  That’s part of the problem.  Intellectual knowledge and understanding are different.

******** In a healthy way.

Damn it, Jim, I’m a man.

01/12/2012

Sorry for the nonexistence of posts.  I fell into a long rut that I’m still kinda in.  But ignore those long, lonely, post-less days and enjoy this one.

I’ve been reading a lot of Art of Manliness.  I love that site, because, as M-A-T-T explains, it can often be difficult to feel masculine in the world in which we live.  Most of us sit behind desks (or stand behind bars, whatever), drive rather than walk (or ride horses) everywhere.  Generally, there’s not a whole lot to existing as a dude.  I’m not trying to say I’d trade any of this in to live in a time in which disease killed large portions of the population before they had matured or that I want to have to walk or ride a horse to visit my parents (conveniently only between an hour and three hours away – thanks a lot, 95).  But at times it’s definitely difficult to feel as masculine as my gender once was.  But back to AoM.  It’s focused primarily on classical, classy masculinity, like our fathers or grandfathers felt (or, for some of my younger friends, possibly your great-grandfathers).  It’s just a nice place to go and contemplate being a man.

In this vein, my roommate and I have decided both of us are drastically overweight (I know, that comes as a huge surprise) and we’re going to do something about it.  He’s a former Marine who’s currently enrolled in school and I’m working a job which doesn’t afford me a ton of disposable income, so we’re trying to do this relatively inexpensively (read: free).  Today we went for a four mile walk around the local college gravel track (one lap is a mile if you do a figure eight) and while we were still in the first quarter mile, my roommate picked up a big-ol’ rock.  We then proceeded to do a variety of upper body exercises – arm curls, military press, a modified standing bench press, etc. – while walking.  I’ll be perfectly honest, there’s something kinda freaking awesome about lifting with rocks.  Maybe it’s the fact that both he and I are of Pict/Celt/Scott/Irish/whatever descent, maybe it’s just the primal nature of it that appeals to my masculinity, but ultimately, I felt more like a bad-ass doing these exercises with a roughly 10-15 pound rock than I would have with a 25 pound barbell.  Thoughts?

I’m Old

09/08/2011

To many of you, this isn’t news.  It was official about two or three years ago, actually, when I made a disparaging comment about the state of modern music.  However, even at the time, I wasn’t saying that all modern music sucks, it’s just that I’m  hard-pressed to believe we’ll see game-changers in rock and roll like we did in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s – and even, to some extent, the early ’90s (sorry, not trying to rag on grunge, but I can’t always distinguish between grunge and some baser forms of punk or even just straight rock.  Maybe that makes me a bad person).  There are a ton of bands outside of this time frame that I love, including some that I recognize are musically horrible but are incredibly catchy and I can’t help myself (no, I’m not sorry, and you can’t make me be).  I just can’t help but wonder if it really all has been done at this point.

So long 1202…

06/30/2011

Sorry for the infrequent (read: nonexistent) posts.  I got busy at the end of the semester and since then my waking hours have been dedicated to finding a job, a place to live, or both.

Last night (well, this morning if we want to be technical), I moved the last of my things out of the house I’ve lived in for three years and a couple months.  It was strange.  It still is.  I stayed in town, hoping that being half-way between both Richmond and DC will increase my chances of getting a job – and, quite frankly, I still like Fredericksburg.  I might not for too much longer, but it’s not a bad town – sure, a little too high-traffic for where I want to live long term, but it’s not that bad – and I have a lot of great friends here.

But I digress.  As I was finishing cleaning the old place this morning at around 4 AM, I moved the last remnants of what my life was there into a borrowed truck, did my last walk-through, turned off the lights and locked the doors, it struck me that the house I was leaving was the longest I’d ever lived in one continuous place without parents, that I had been the only constant roommate for the past three years (I had 6 others at various points),that the house had seen me travel to two countries and to a place I used to call home half a country away, that I had made some of the best or become much better friends with several different groups, that the house had seen me change a lot in three years.  I realized that I had romantic relationships and friendships fall apart in that house – mine, others – that I’d come pretty close to losing my mind while I was there (maybe I did, I’m still not quite sure.  Maybe it’s still in one of the copious amounts of boxes I have scattered around my new place), that no matter how hard you fight sometimes, you can’t win; that the house had seen me change a lot in three years.  I repeat the last part of the first sentence not just to be poetic, but because it really is true.  Rarely do we change only for the better or worse.  Sometimes we just change.  I’m not sure which of those three really happened to me, but that house was a big part of my life (roughly 1/9 for those keeping score at home).  I know I’m not going to miss that house – quite frankly, there were times when I hated the place, including recently – but perhaps there’s always a nostalgia of the good times (and, sometimes, the bad – you gotta learn somehow) when  you’re losing something, even if it’s a completely inanimate object that’s probably seen residents who were dead before I was born.

Just thought I’d keep you updated on what’s goin’ on with me.  Hope everything’s going well in your little corner of the world.

Final Film

04/18/2011

So I’ve mentioned this to a couple of you in person (some of you helped make it).  Others of you saw the trailer (hopefully…it’s the post right before this one).  This is the final video for my Digital Storytelling class.  I’d love to hear some feedback if you’d care to give it

Link.

I’m not dead yet…

04/13/2011

So yeah…blogging’s a thing…that I’m apparently bad at.  I’ve been busy finishing up my last semester at school and looking for jobs (something I haven’t finished yet, but hope to soon).  Here’s one of the many things that I’ve been working on.  It’s more interesting than Econ papers, and it was a lot of fun to do.  I’ll post the full movie when we’re done with it in roughly a week or two.  For now, I hope you enjoy.

Here’s the link.