NO idea.

          I could not, if I tried, tell you what I do with my days. And at some times, I feel like some incredible loser suffering from the curse my family is under, but other times I’m like. What’s different about my life now than when I didn’t feel this way about myself? Oh, right, not spending 42-45 hours a week at a job I couldn’t stand working with some select humans, and by select I mean wonderfully crafted examples of what makes a fucking terrible human being. See, I don’t want to be told there’s some inherent virtue in working yourself to a frazzle because it’s “normal.” Maybe I got more burnt out than I realized because like…the first two decades of my life were pretty trauma riddled. I don’t think people notice when they’re in crisis mode if they’re usually in crisis mode. It makes you apprehensive of the calm times. I think. Like I know.

But. Well. I don’t want to blame 2020, but 2020 kind of happened and now my life is WEIRD.

See. Lets see how abridged I can get. I graduated from high school in 2006, two weeks after that I moved out because I knew I had to get away and stay away from my dad. I call him W and Willis a lot, so keep up, same guy.

I went to college, it took my 5 years to get my B.A., then I spent a year working full time at the job I had from high school all the way through that first degree. Then my at the time boyfriend and I were like…this is uncool. So I applied to graduate school downstate as an excuse for us to move. We both landed jobs fairly quickly. Stupidly enough, I found a job incredibly similar to my old one. I worked at a family owned pet store from age 17 to 24, then I worked at a Petco from 24 to 27. At 27, almost at the exact same time I finished graduate school (3 years for an M.A. in the same pointless field) I started my first office job. I had despised retail so much by that point, I was incredibly happy at the office job. At first. I mean, no customers and no weekends  (sort of…), and paid holidays and an actual hour for lunch every day, that’s all pretty magical when you’ve worked retail for 11 years.

          But, the office job was compliance at a trucking company. It was horrible in such a multi-level way I can’t get into to, but rest assured, I fucking hated it this place too by the end. Multitude of reasons. But having put 5 years in, I’m not going to say it’s because I somehow couldn’t handle the culture of the industry, which they like to imply when someone burns out and leaves. No. Y’all are toxic. Anyway.

          So I whiled away 5 years of my life at this office job. Also, I moved from our first apartment downstate into a rental house almost the same month I started my office job. Then, in the March of 2020 when I quit that job, we also moved. So twice now I’ve changed jobs and homes at the same time. I’m like that though, some weird sort of Taurus, if you ask me.

          So, March – September 2020 was the first time in my life since the age of 16 that I wasn’t working. Well, I worked a low paying part time at home gig. And I was also hired for a new job in July, but because of Covid-19 situations, couldn’t start until September. Well, this new job was underwriter at a mortgage company. And boy. Let me tell you. That is not the job for me. Sorry, I do not have the actual price that level of mental frazzling has for me, but it’s not $30/hour. Yeah. I miss making that much. I lasted there 7 months, quitting right after my 33rd birthday.

          And now, here I am, wildly unemployed again, for my 34th birthday. Actually, now that I think about it, the last time I had a job for my birthday was 2019. Jeez.

          I had an online teaching job that ran from May to March, but although the company won’t admit they’re shutting down, I haven’t taught a class in months. Which sucks because that job was definitely how I was paying the rent. I DO still maintain my at home part time job, and I DO make more at it than I did. But. Still. My fuck what a pay cut. After spending a terrible ten months trying to adjust to that pay, it’s lost. I know I could go back to work a normal job. BUT. A few things.

          One, we’re possibly in the process of buying a house. Right now it’s not looking great because the one we want needs too many repairs and the selling agent is being a wang about paying for them. It’s the $800 on an inspection and appraisal for nothing that deeply saddens me. That’s a ton of money in my world, kids.

          Also. I have to go to fucking Arkansas for a week in May. Because my mother needs someone to help her on and off the plane. We have a transfer in Chicago with less than an hour. She walks more slowly, with a walker, than a baby crawls. This is going to be a nerve-destroying nightmare. She was invited to attend her great-niece’s high school graduation. And for some reason we have to stay 5 nights for this endeavor.

          So. Yeah, you know that Master’s degree I mentioned? My mom didn’t even make it to that ceremony for her own daughter, because she was off her pain meds for a surgery and didn’t think she could handle sitting that long. It’s a good excuse but also I’m like…why did you schedule your surgery so close to the ceremony date? She knew well in advance. So. I’m annoyed about this trip on many levels.

          So I think it might be annoying to be looking at buying a house and moving AND have to take a week off in May while also attempting to lock down new employment.

          My new plan is to start looking intensively when I get back from Arkansas.

          So, what have I been doing during my time of unemployment?

          Lol I wish I knew.

          Every day I cook and wash dishes and shower and do yoga. Also laundry and stuff for the cats. There’s getting groceries about once a week. And. Uh. Reading? Lol not really, I tend to scroll TikTok while eating alone, which is almost always. Writing? HA. I mean I did today. But, when there’s usually paid writing to be done, I’m not going to be working on my book. I clearly don’t work on it when there isn’t either. I want to finish it, really but again, unsure where my time goes.

          Lately, and only lately, I’ve started playing the Sims obsessively. Because, IDK I like an addictive habit no matter what. So that’s taking my time now. But I don’t know what else is.

          Still not pregnant. Obviously. Trust me, it isn’t lost on me that it would be ideal to have an infant right now when I’m not working, because the sleep deprivation would be less detrimental. But. What can I say, nothing is happening there. I try to limit my caffeine and alcohol. But. Well. Need I say more.

          Trying not to focus on life’s disappointments. Trying not to compare myself to people I know. Trying not to grow up to be like either of my parents. You know, the usual.

          It also isn’t lost on me that 2020 was the weird year of death, and I’m not even talking about Covid, because as usual this is all about me. But we put Felix down at the very beginning of 2020. I had never been present for the euthanasia of a pet before. It was horrible. Then I already told you about March 2020. Then Oscar, the Himalayan cat I’d had since the age of 17, died that June. Then Willis drank himself to death that August, then Ryan did the same that December. What a year.

          Then in 2021 I got my first four tattoos that weren’t my permanent eyeliner, which had retouched in 2020. I’m noticing that not wearing mascara every day is really helping with the longevity of that tattoo.

          Honestly, if I’m really delving into it, the only things I can think of that make me happy are bad for me. I guess the notion of getting another book written, of having that to show for my time spent on this earth.

          And that’s it I guess. Major highlights are continued infertility, attempted first time home purchase, and another long bout of unemployment. And yes, still an alcoholic stoner. Like that’s going to change. It would it I got pregnant, of course, but…until then…what am I supposed to do with myself?

          Yes. I hear it. Anyway.

          One thing. When I move. There’s this one box. I opened it the day it was shipped to me. And that is the first and only time I did. Perhaps there will be a day when it doesn’t enrage me. But it still does. But also, what, I’m going to just throw out a portrait of myself? Really? Okay no I still want it. Just wish I didn’t have to be like…HA, remember the most *recent* time you allowed your feelings to be hurt? God you’re fucking stupid sometimes. Like I’d ask if I’m going to learn but I know I won’t so why bother.

          But, at the same time. I wonder what life has in store. I know I probably sound like I’m aspiring to be a 60s housewife. But. I guess I am. One who also writes books. And I don’t mind working from home, but I’m really going to try and never work outside of the house again, until I’m at something I’m actually passionate about. Like because it’s for a worthy cause or because I’m opening my own business or something.

          That’s all that’s happening in my life right now. I’m hoping the house works out. I’m hoping we actually get to have children. I *do* have an appointment with a fertility doctor, it’s a phone appointment, and it’s actually during my annoying sojourn to Arkansas. I’m going to lie and say it’s a new therapist, because then my secrecy and annoyance over questions will seem warranted. I just, don’t feel like having this shit broadcasted to everyone my mother/mother-in-law knows, so we don’t tell them anything. And there’s no point in informing siblings we’re not that close with, because then it’s this big secret being kept from the parents. My one friend knows. I mention her a lot, she’s the doctor. It’s always made me feel infinitely better that she doesn’t want kids. Like, it has nothing to do with me, of course, but her life decision has always made my struggles in that area seem all right…like, eh well she doesn’t have kids either. Plus, I don’t know how to put this but I’m not exactly envious of my friends with children. Like. I don’t want *their* kids. I want the ability to have my own. The only people I actually envy are the childfree by choice. The ones who legitimately and in no way want children. That seems so fucking nice. But, that’s not me. However, I WILL act like that, because it’s better to come off as a childless baby hater than…the sad barren field that I am. Okay I probably shouldn’t make such comparisons but it’s about me so.

          Why would I publish this on a blog but not want our families to know? Well. How has truly read this far? Maybe a few. The way probability works there’s going to be a few people even I appeal to.

          Also, interesting development. My husband and I are both coming to grips with the huge, huge, huge person problems we both have with Christianity. Willis professed to be a devout Christian. At one point he sent me a text that said “I strongly advise you to read Ephesians something something” it was a verse about submitting to the authority of your parents. A Pauline epistle. Barf. The car accident that essentially ruined my brother’s life occurred because he had to please Willis and attend his “alive” church one town over rather than the “dead” church he’d attended with our mom and myself for his entire life. The teenage girl who caused the accident was speeding in the rain on a Sunday morning because she was going to be a counselor at Lu Lay Lee, a Lutheran summer camp I had myself attended one summer, and was in a hurry to get there.

          Kind of weird, huh? I always thought so.

          It ruined his life because he got addicted to pain meds and awarded $100,000 at the age of 21. He has no money, no education, no work history, no car, he can’t even drive on the highway, and he’s still on methadone. He’s now nearly 37. Yeah. Sometimes I feel like it sounds like I’m making my family up. It’s shocking what a terrible human being my father was. What happens to children raised by a narcissist and the wife who isn’t strong enough to remove herself and her children. I know, I should think better of my mother and brother. But, I just don’t. In my mind I’ve outfoxed their inability to nurture me by rejecting any notion of such when offered. You can only cruelly reject an upset child so many times before she doesn’t even think to turn to either of you when she’s upset. Only that won’t do either, and she gets emotionally battered into a breakdown when her father is angered by the fact that she’s upset about something and won’t tell him what it is, because that means she thinks she’s so much better than him. That happened to me, when I was upset about something trivial at school, freshman year in high school, and when I didn’t want to tell Willis all about it, because I’m sure he was high and/or drunk and was in the mood to tell me a 45 minute story about his life in the 70s to cheer me up, but when I didn’t instantly mirror his mood, as I had been taught, he turned into a monster in a second, like he was good at doing. I will always remember being told at 14 that I counted for as much as a pimple on my dad’s ass, how dare I think I was too good to tell him why I was sad. Like. Whose father says that to them? How insecure and pathetic of a human being do you have to be in your late 40s to speak to your 14 year old like that? But. That was classic Willis. Take MY upset and turn it into a wrong I’ve committed. That’ll teach me to show any emotions in the future.

          And they wonder why I hated them.

          I have a theory I’m significantly more intelligent than the rest of them, and having seen the lot of them for what they are for most of my life…it’s warped me in a way I can’t change. All I can really do now is work to maintain the relationships I want in my life. Like with my husband, and best friend. Different people. But. If I’m being grotesquely honest, the thought of my entire family fills me with revulsion. Like it just sickens me when I think about being emotionally available for them. Like my mom said “No, I just want you,” when I asked if they wanted me to bring anything to Saginaw the day Willis died. It literally revolted me. Like ew. Since WHEN do we have that type of relationship, lady? SINCE WHEN?

          See, people like me are all pretty typical. We’re all just jabbering fucked up children on the inside. But I like also happen to be smart. Smart enough to get away at least.

          Other than that. I don’t know.  I always imagined I would have children and publish books. But. Who knew one of those would be way easier for me? Other than that, not much is happening. Other than, I still cannot tell you where my days go.

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