Dont go down, blue…Cause that wood box…It weren’t made for you

The past week or so has been pretty interesting around the homestead.  I wanted to make sure it was water under the bridge before I truly blogged about it.  I have a tendency to make light of situations that I honestly shouldn’t.  As Elbert Hubbard said, “Don’t take life too seriously.  You’ll never get out of it alive.”

Friday I received two calls from potential employers.  The first call was from Tarleton University, where they told me they wanted me to seriously consider becoming a Student Recruiter, but as for the position I applied for… they filled it.  He went into this elaborate plan to put me into a data entry position so I could make some money until Texas A&M took over in March and then I could move over to be a recruiter at a local community college.  First and foremost, I suck at selling things.  If it wasn’t for a pretty face and an overabundance of military personnel ready to spend every penny they were just paid, I never would have sold any replacement plans at my first retail job.  It was easy to sell stuff at the restaurant because people WANTED what I was selling.  Who doesn’t want a fishbowl full of alcohol?  (And again, it helped with military payday and such…)  When I’m presented with trying to push something on someone who didn’t come to me in the first place about what I had to sell, I fail miserably.  Hence, the student recruiting position sounds a lot like my own personal slice of Hell.  Thanks, but no thanks.

The job I’ve been working on getting since December, that I’ve gone to countless interviews with little or no warning and have even changed travel plans several times over because of… I get an email telling me that I wasn’t selected.  Now, from a personal standpoint, if I was very well aware that a potential employee had changed travel plans (very COSTLY changes), I would have given them the courtesy of a phone call.  And even still, if I had brought them in for no less than five interviews ranging from 15 minutes to 2 hours in length… a phone call would be the right thing to do.  Obviously they deem it otherwise.  I received a nice little form letter from Human Resources telling me to “continue to pursue other employment opportunities!”  On Sunday night I rattled off a nice little email that mildly stressed my annoyance with such an impersonal send-off and asked for advice on how I could improve my presentation of myself in order to “score” a decent job.  (To her benefit, she called me personally today and discussed why I was not selected.  Turns out the woman they picked has a lot of experience in places I don’t.  Personally, I think she just put out or something.

So, I had two pretty big blows just before another weekend of waiting.  Nana almost lost her mind worrying about me, which of course drove me up a wall.  She called hourly Friday night until after midnight my time.  Just before I went to sleep she left me with a request in a wavering, unsteady voice:  “Don’t do anything to hurt yourself.”

It has to be so debilitating to constantly worry about whether or not your child/grandchild is going to take their own life.  Especially when that child is an adult and lives 1200 miles away from you and is going through (as Karev from Grey’s Anatomy calls it) a “rough patch.” 

In all honesty, there was a time.  There were a lot of times a long time ago.  Those ended a little over four years ago.  It doesn’t even occur to me anymore because… well, who would take care of Lucky?  Who could give him the quality of life that I can?  It sounds so strange, but I really had nothing holding me here until him.  We’re all driven by certain motivators.  Many people have the family motivation… they don’t want to let their mother/father/sisters/brothers/nieces/nephews/etc down.  They have a support system.  They have someone they want to stay here to be with.  Until four years ago, everyone I wanted to be with was already dead.  Everyone I felt that I should have been depending on for support were clinically depressed as well. 

As may be expected, the news of my epic failure on the one job that I had been so excited about the opportunities and experiences it would give me… sent my grandparents into a panic.  But I went another route… I went the creative road.

I spend most of Saturday in a craft store getting some cheap supplies for crafts.  I’m picking my 365 back up.  I’m going to do a creative journal.  I’m going to continue making APC’s and maybe get involved in some swaps.  I might finally open that Etsy shop I’ve been talking about for the past year.  I’m working on my novel.  I’m going to keep hoping that one of these jobs comes through for me and its more than I ever dreamed it could be.

I’m finding my way back to sanity again…Though I don’t really know what…I’m going to do when I get there…

I’ve been reading… a lot.  There really hasn’t been much else for me to do here.  I decided not to get cable when my satellite didn’t work out.  I have a PS2 and a membership at NetFlix, 30 days on Warcraft, and the internet.  Books are where I go to be with people and to escape the walls  of my apartment.  I can go and meet up with some people who have been with me through everything:  Vonnegut, Picoult, Hornby… and even some people who I just met:  Card, Hosseini, Weiner (don’t laugh). 

Attempting to write my novel has made me go back through everything I’ve read and try to figure out why I like it.  Why does High Fidelity always remain in my “Top 5 Books of All Time”?  Why did I absolutely devour A Thousand Splendid Suns and Kite Runner?  What did Hosseini do that was so different than Steinbeck?  Even though I don’t really identify with her characters, why do I read Jennifer Weiner’s books?  How does she keep me coming back for more?  What is it about Abby in You Suck that made me laugh out loud and smile every time she came into the picture?  Why do I hate Shakespeare?  What is it about early British lit that makes me come back for more?

I can come up with a myriad of reasons why.  She had hope for a better life when her husband was making her chew on rocks.  She could make herself feel empowered and important after her exboyfriend told the world about their lovelife (and her weight problems) in a newspaper column.  A little boy was a vehicle for something bigger than himself and didn’t realize it… and when he didn’t agree with it, he decided to change it.  He didn’t let it define him.

I can see myself in the lists of High Fidelity.  I make them myself.  I have three notebooks in three different areas of my 600 square foot apartment that have pages of lists.  (I even wrote down everything I have to do tomorrow before I leave for my interview with Tarleton University.)  I have playlists on my computer that remind me of people and places, times in my life that have passed years ago… people that are and are not in my life anymore for one reason or another.  The love of my life did not die in my arms, like in Love is a Mixtape.  I’m glad that I don’t have stacks of tapes as my one vehicle back to someone who changed my life forever.  But, if I ever want to re-live my senior year of high school at Pinecrest driving around in my white 1990 Buick LeSabre Custom… I have just the playlist to do that. 

Creating believable characters is incredibly difficult.  It forces you to go inside of yourself and find things that you may not have wanted to find.  It makes you bare the things about you that make you human and put them on display for everyone to read.  The gift of that is… in the raw humanity of it all… pouring everything you have onto that paper makes some lonely 20-something in an apartment with no one around to talk to… feel a little more human too.