28 July 2010


I applied for 15 jobs tonight. I hate applying for jobs. I hate being broke more. In a fit of anger and frustration (I always get angry and frustrated when applying for jobs), I applied for a job at Walgreens, thinking I could work the night shift and enter the yearly Martyrdom competition. I must say, applying for a job at Walgreens is more complex and complicated than applying for a job at St. Davids as a unit coordinator. Odd. One of the many stupid and ridiculous questions Walgreens asks was this: "It is sometimes okay to give free items to return customers - True or False?" Why wouldn't it be okay to give "free items" to anyone? They are free, right? But of course we all know that isn't what they were getting at. Stupid.

So here's hoping I land that perfect job. Here's hoping it pays $50k a year. Here's hoping they offer 6 weeks vacation and stock options. Here's hoping I don't keel over and die after a full days work and 30 loads of laundry. Here's hoping.

23 July 2010

playing mind tricks with death

I hate funerals. I really do. I know, I know - everyone hates funerals (well, not everyone as I've never known my mom to say "no" to one). But we can generally agree that most people aren't fans. But after giving the matter much thought, I've decided this: I would rather live in a state of denial regarding death. I don't want to say "goodbye". In all other aspects of life I say "no" to denial. But as it turns out, I prefer death come with a huge chunk of denial and a dash of mind games.

I've never lost someone that I've been extremely close to at the moment of their death. I've lost grandparents that played a huge part in raising me, I've lost great uncles that were beyond wonderful - but at the time of their death I could not say that we were extremely close. For one reason or another there had been space between us. With my grandmother (who I stayed with more weekends than not as a kid), I had grown older and she had created more space the sicker she became. With my grandfather (ditto on the weekends), there was a family falling out that separated us years before his death (luckily we briefly reunited before he died). With my great uncles and great grandparents (and I have been blessed with some wonderful great uncles/grandparents), it was distance that kept us apart.

For many years I wondered if I was cold inside because I did not "sufficiently" mourn their deaths. I say "sufficiently" because next to my mother I always came off as stone cold. My mom will cry for a good solid hour at the loss of your 2nd cousin twice removed if you let her. Me - well, I was always a little more reserved with my mourning. But as I lay in bed this evening mourning my great uncle Gene's recent passing I realized it was something else. It isn't that I don't care, it's that it doesn't register with me that they are gone. Most especially if I skip out on the funeral (which I will almost always try to do). And even if I get wrangled into going (and my mother is a pro at this), I seem to have some weird coping mechanism that allows me to think they are still here.

For instance, I know my loved ones are gone. I know this without a doubt. But in my mind I still think of Uncle Carl gathering corn from the fields and Uncle Gene cracking peanuts on his front porch. As for my Grandma, she is still sitting at her kitchen table drinking a Coke and skimming through the Sears catalog. My Granddaddy is off running the roads in his 'Green Machine' (a 1970's puke green wagon) looking for a good beer joint or fishing spot. My Great Grandma and Papa John are busy in the kitchen chiding each other on something someone said at last Sunday's church service. And because we weren't entirely close (in a call each other on Sundays kind of way), I will be allowed to go on thinking that as I grow old. None of them are actually gone.

I don't know if this is healthy or not. Perhaps I listened a little too well at the very first funeral I ever attended. I remember someone saying "they are still alive in your heart and memories" and it made perfect sense to me. However, that comes as no consolation to someone like my mother as she is breaking down in sadness during these times. Because obviously this sort of mental defense tactic works on very few people besides myself.

And in all honesty, I can foresee a lot of heartache in the future due to this kind of mental trick. At some point, hopefully in the extremely distant future, I'm going to lose someone I'm truly close to. Someone that I can't trick myself into still being alive. And when that day comes I will be completely unprepared with how to handle it, as all my little mental and emotional tricks will no longer work. And when that day comes, some distant person will most surely say "they are still alive in your heart and memories" and I will want to punch them in the throat. Because I'll know that memories don't call you to see how you are feeling and hearts don't visit on the holidays and I'll be mourning a pain I've yet to experience in this lifetime.

18 July 2010

2010 - Start writing again

Never before have I gone this long without journaling in some way. I'm honestly confused as to why it's happening - that I just don't have anything to say. Actually, that's not right. I have a lot to say. I think the difference is that, in a weird way, I've found my voice in person and have had nothing to get out independently. I've always been a communicator, but these days I over-communicate. I've been drawing boundaries, expressing feelings and clearing up misunderstandings. I've been voicing my insecurities, my frustrations, my hopes and my dreams. I've been doing so much damn talking, I haven't had a whole lot of time to reflect. And reflection (and bitching) has always been what most of my journaling has been about.

2010 started out right. It's been the best time I've had since my early 20's. I was selfish, I made some difficult choices, I took a lot of action. It's been a very external time for me. Thank goodness, as I was about to explode internally. But tonight as Chris and I had one of our future-at-a-glance discussions I realized things weren't going to stay this way. A lot is coming down the pipeline. Issues with our families, new work situations, me possibly going back to school. The selfish fun is going to minimize a bit as we reevaluate and renegotiate our life. And this certainly will bring me back to writing. I think a fragment of why this year has gone so well is because I spent some time out of my head. Because of this my anxiety abated, I stopped analyzing so much and I was able to gain some fresh perspectives regarding a lot of issues. And I stopped writing. And because writing is no longer routine (a first in over 10 years), when I do write it feels awkward and fragmented. It feels uncomfortable. Which is why I've stopped. But yet here I sit, writing away, once again figuring out things about myself as I type and I realize how much I've missed it. Hopefully I can get back to it soon enough.