How Soon Is Now?

4:28 PM

"So, what's your plan? What's next?"

Questions asked from friends who live out-of-town, family members I haven't heard from in ages, and acquaintances who are just hearing things through the grapevine. I am going through divorce, I live at home with my parents, I have been at the same job for going on nine years, half of my belongings are in two different houses, and I am pretty fucking broke. Depending on what I am wearing, how I do my hair/makeup, I can pass from anywhere between 23 and 33 years old, but it doesn't change the fact that I am 30. By society's standards, I am supposed to have my poop in a group by now. Instead, I feel like a college grad, home after having a giant taste of freedom with her tail between her legs because she couldn't hack it it in the Big Bad World. 

What is my plan? This morning as I was sitting on the floor in front of my closet mirror, coffee and bagel beside me as I try to decide if I should just smudge the cat eyeliner on my left side to match the right, or wipe it all off and start over. Already late, and needing to brush my teeth yet as my brother was hogging the bathroom, I opted instead to just make the liner thicker on both sides, causing me to look like I should be hanging out in a bar instead of heading to an office, but, if I add a blazer and a NASA T-shirt, it tones it all down, correct? Maybe it adds a bit of mystery. If I don't say where I am going after work, or what I am doing, it could be anything. When I re-apply my brown mood lipstick before heading out the door at the end of the day, I could be living the 'expected' single girl life and spending the evening coyly twirling the tiny straw of my cocktail around in a dark bar, making eyes with the other patrons/updating my Tinder account.  When in actuality, I am sipping a $2 pint with Mariah, Googling pictures of sexy famous actors old enough to be our fathers, while picking at a bowl of seasoned fries. Most nights I just stay at work late, giant pink headphones on whether I am actually listening to music or not, and sipping stale coffee until I can't take it anymore and finally leave. Some nights I head to the gym, sometimes I end up at the grocery store, buying kale to add to my salads (I have to watch my lipid intake now). I am convinced that the more kale I eat, the more it will magically erase all the damage from so much drinking every weekend from the past four months (my coworkers offered to purchase me a helmet for my liver). Sometimes I go to the mall, sometimes I go to the thrift store. Sometimes I go around to a friend's house and watch TV, sometimes I sit in a coffee shop playing with my phone. Sometimes I park my car on the street in front of my house, and I sit in it until the windows fog up and the last song on the album I happen to be playing on my cracked iPod is finished playing, sometimes it's The Smiths. Sometimes if I get home before 11 pm, my dad won't ask "Another long night?".  Sometimes I come home at 3 am, causing the dogs to bark and wake up everyone in the house. It's usually on a Wednesday. 

Until quite recently, my biggest fear was of being forgotten. Aside form being a creative outlet of sorts, this blog became on online diary of the *almost* daily happenings in my life. On Instagram, and Snapchat, I can show the world what I had for breakfast, because it's the most important meal of the day, duh! I can check in on Facebook, so that just in case I get raped and pillaged on the way home from wherever I decided to get brunch that weekend, at least the internet will know where I was, and who I was with. Truthfully? I just wanted to be important, significant, a fucking snowflake. I wanted to be needed, I wanted to be the person my friends called first when something happened, good or bad. I wanted to be included in group trips to the movies, and to late-night diners for pancakes. The very end of the the Doctor Who episode "The Hand of Fear", when Sarah Jane Smith left the TARDIS, not because she wanted to, because the Doctor couldn't take her with him, she looked back at him with pleading eyes, almost begging: "Don't forget me." So many drunken nights were those exact words fallen out of my mouth to whoever would listen: "Don't forget me." Always wanting to hear the correct response: "No Sara-h, don't you forget me.".

Now? My biggest fear is being stagnant. Not being able to afford to move out of my parent's house, still at the same job after so many years, it is purgatory. I am afraid of where to move to when I do move out, because I don't want to be stuck there forever. Despite being broke, I mostly think of traveling. I have friends in Chicago, New York, Oakland, Seattle, Portland, Hawaii, and even Melbourne, Australia. Aside from two camping trips in July, and a mini road trip at 19, I haven't really traveled anywhere without my parents or Kyle. I have come to realize through my fear of being forgotten, I am never alone, not really. My friends are all a text- message away, and each "How was your day, kitten?" and poop emoticon are wrapped in more love than I could ever ask for. 

What is the plan though? I haven't got one. Possibly move in with Mariah in August, probably, if I can pay off my debt and acquire a savings. In all honesty, I can't manage to see past the end of each month as they begin. Do I want a more exciting job? Yes. But the only way I can prove to myself that I can handle that is to get up on the first, maybe second alarm, instead of waiting for my dad or Liam to pound on my bedroom door to jar me from sleep. To plan my work out enough so that I am not always behind. To take regular lunches, instead of skipping them, then disappearing for an hour an a half once per week because of the need to escape the dank warehouse. To get through one week without crying at my desk because the day was that bad, and Dancing in the Dark came on the radio. To date? Everyone has advice on that one: "Date this person, they have always liked you", "No, wait, you are not ready", "Hey, I've got this friend...". To sit next to someone, no matter how much you like them. and try to picture yourself with them going to a movie, or with your friends to karaoke, or going to Eastern Market, or to get pizza when it's too snowy to be bothered with anything else, or to the grocery store, or riding bikes, walking Louie, or literally anything past the end of that evening is impossible. I am still mentally 15  years old when it comes to dating, the world left me behind on that one when I ran off with my high school sweetheart, starry-eyed with the word "forever" tattooed to front lobe of my brain. My heart wants to pour out into the world, my brain has the emergency brakes on. They are in a constant battle over whether love is real, or just a fantasy. Each time I touch someone, it is with the utmost fear that my fingertips will catch on fire. 

The best I can do is say that when I grow up (because I'm only 30), I want to be Maude. Really, I want to be David Sedaris, and write a brilliant, witty, mix of narrative fiction, and non-fiction. But I want to also be Maude, the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I want to be carefree, and make each day an adventure. I want to be that cool old lady who tells extravagant stories to the neighborhood kids, leaving it up to them to decipher which stories are true, and which are embellished a little. I can't see past the end of December, but I can picture Party Cat Sara (because I can't really be Maude) at 80 with silver Princess Lei buns, fandom T-shirts layered under long cardigans, and probably at least three cats. Is there ever a Harold? I am sure there is, I am sure that person will come in all shapes and sizes, tall, short, fat, skinny, black, white, hopefully British and named 'Tom', (because wishful thinking). They might not always be brooding, or obsessed with death, but that part doesn't matter though. Because right now, all I can picture is me, and in the end, all you have is yourself. It isn't sad. It might be lonely at times, but lonely isn't always sad. Like Morrissey: "I am human and need to be loved, just like everyone else does".  However, people often forget how to love themselves. 

What's next? Tomorrow, and the day after. Each day is different. and I am working my way through bouts of anxiety and depression that seemingly spout up out nowhere. The rug keeps getting pulled out from underneath me, and each fall bruises my ass, and scrapes my knees, but I take a minute remember those scares, and get back up. Who is pulling the rug? That bitch called life. The thing to remember is that I may not be in control of everything that happens in my life, but, I can control what I do about it. In the end, I know I'll be fine. I might feel trapped right now, but, at least it is never boring. It slows down at times, but picks back up, and often. I have no fear of being bored, because, if it gets too bad, I'll just liberate a tree, or crash a funeral. 

 "A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. *Reach* out. Take a *chance*. Get *hurt* even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room." -Maude, Harold and Maude 

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19 Musings

  1. Life is not meant to be easy at times but it does get easier as time goes on and you grow from this. You will always have support from family and friends. Its the support that makes those struggles become easier month to month. Your friends close by and far away are here for you. Don't forget that. :)

  2. I'm also going through a tough weird time in my life. My husband and I have separated and life is just... Strange. He was also my high school sweetheart and I also feel like a 15 year old in this new dating world. It's strange. Just everything is. Some days are good, some days are bad... If you ever need to talk, let me know. Just take it day by day, that's what I'm doing. I don't know what I'll be doing or where I'll be at the end of this month and that's okay. I'm kind of done planning things out... I tried that and nothing went as planned. I'm just going to embrace each day and try to be as happy as I can be. Sending you a hug!

  3. That Maude movie freaked me out, but you don't at all. ;)

    You said: "The very end of the the Doctor Who episode "The Hand of Fear", when Sarah Jane Smith left the TARDIS, not because she wanted to, because the Doctor couldn't take her with him, she looked back at him with pleading eyes, almost begging: "Don't forget me."
    I say: That is one of my favorite episodes and it is so beautiful and sad. My brother had a guinea pig named Eldrad. hehe. Eldrad must live, and so must you.

    I have a dear friend of mine who is also going through a divorce with her first boyfriend. They didn't know one another as long as you two did and they had a terrible relationship the whole time through completely, and he was extremely unfaithful and violent towards her and manipulative. I don't know what you are going through and I have no idea what the reasons for your divorce are, but I LOVE reading all that you write in these posts as much as the hardships are that you are going through. They are sad but filled with so much life and hope in them.

    You amaze me. Love is possible and can be true. It is never easy but it is worth getting through the hardships even if you have to do it alone to find it again. I go through "break ups" with friends constantly and need to move on through it each time and it takes a chip off of my heart every time. I know it is not the same though as someone that you spent half of your life loving and wanting to be with forever. I do know what it is like to be with someone that long and know that I don't think I'd be able to function at all without him. . . so my imagining of how I would be in your shoes makes me ache for you, and I really wish that I could just read your whole story in book form even or listen to you talk for hours about everything and nothing.

    Whatever is next, You'll be amazing.

  4. You are special. You are important. I'm a good judge of character and I respect you. You'll never be forgotten.

    Why don't you travel a bit? See some of the world and visit friends. Come to New York and let me show you around. Go other places where you have friends. Such adventures could boost your spirits and feed your soul. If you need help, just ask me.

  5. Oh..I know you can endure it. You will. You have a good support group too. And anything is possible. Keep smiling ...and well, enjoy your own company. These are all things you do.

    Just think of the adventures.

    30 is so young... in other just might be leaving home and trying to be on your own. 30 is still a very young age. Besides in some countries..those in their 20's were serving their country. I have a feeling you'll always be young at 60 or 80...and possibly have a 1000 lonely boyfriends.

  6. You are so cool. You really are. Its time to get out your She & Him Christmas songs. I do hope you have a wonderful holiday with friends and family!

  7. The sudden shift in this blog and sudden lack of mention of the guy made me wonder if it was, in fact, a divorce that might be what's going on. You didn't seem down on your blog, you just mentioned you had been down. I'm really sorry, love. If you ever come through Seattle, Snapchat me pronto! :) I'm so proud of you for taking the bad on with a fight, though, and knowing that it's all part of life.

    I think no matter where we are in life something always feels stagnant. Right now, for me, I feel stagnant in my producing writing that's ready to be submitted to any publication--just pick a publication already, Jen! But I also recognize that sometimes other things take precedence; like getting your shit in order elsewhere.

    Btw, if you want a talking buddy, I'm just a Tweet, Snapchat or blog comment away. Ask Lyndsey from I can be a pretty okay sometimes good blogging bestie when it's necessary. And you're on my list of rad people, anyway. ;)

  8. I'm sorry to hear that you are Kyle had gone your separate ways, I thought maybe something was up, when you mentioned moving back in with your parents, but I'm not one to pry and it's for you to mention if and when you so wish to.

    I know things are hard at the moment, but when I read these words, I read a lot of hope and happiness lurking in there. You are a strong-arse woman and life will not defeat you!

    I hope your December is a happy one and you have lots of loved ones to share the holidays with!

    Take care!

  9. Have you ever heard of FOMA {Fear of Moving Away}? I read about it in SELF last year or something, and am convinced I have it - after reading this, maybe you do too? The endless questions regarding what we'll do, how we'll do it, are we happy? They all kind of point to FOMA. Sometimes you need to change your location to completely change your life and get out of your rut.


  10. What a beautifully written post. Being stagnant has been a huge fear in my life too. Whatever I am doing does not seem to be enough.

    I am the type of person who always needs to have a plan, and I do! I just wonder if it is the wrong plan.

    7% Solution

  11. I'm sorry to hear you're going through a divorce Sarah. That's difficult in itself. I went through a crushing breakup before I began blogging. Blogging has helped me pull myself back together. It hasn't made me what I was before (which was good). I'm turning into a totally different person. It did make me finally see why I wasn't suppose to be with him or others. I can't tell you how long you'll go through all of this, because I still am. All I can say, is LIVE everyday and keep moving forward until you move out of this. IT will lead you to where you should be.

  12. I am sorry to hear that situation but I'm sure everything will work out.It needs time as so far - I'm always ready to read you, to hear you and to make some silly comment for you to know that no matter how lonely you feel there are more people care than you think.

  13. Sorry things are shite. You are awesome and it will get better/easier.

    You're never going to run out of time to make things fantastic but it's hugely disorientating to find out you've been pushed off the trajectory you were expecting to follow.

    Chin up chuck as we say in Yorkshire. Thanks for sharing what's going on with you and I hope it's felt beneficial to you and you can sense all the support coming back to you. Xx

  14. I had a weird hint about you, and then I read this post... Oh, I'm so sorry Sara. But I always know that you're one strong special girl <3

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. I don't know if anything we say can be that helpful but we're thinking of you. I hope you have a good December with your family though. Things will get better and you'll figure things out but it's okay to take your time!

    Jamie |

  16. You write beautifully, even if it's about shitty things. For most it would have been a complete TLDR but I eagerly read every word of this post. I'm sorry for the things you're going through. Though they weren't nearly as bad, I recently came out of some blah myself and I feel so much better. If you ever need an ear or distraction, I'm a comment or email away! <3

  17. sorry to hear about your divorce and everything, always here if you need someone to talk to! the notion that one should know what they're doing once they get to the end of their 20s is just silly, i'm pretty sure most people never know what to really do with their life. and the perfect answer to 'what's next?' really is tomorrow, because it's okay not to have a plan all the time! and whatever you end up doing next will be great and worth it after all the not-so-greatness:-) also, your blog's now called cat ears & coffee!! (as if you didn't know this.) xx

  18. You should visit Los Angeles!! Then you can say hi to me! Jk. My only piece advice I can ever give someone is to go out there and travel. I was in a huge rush to get away from my family at 19/20 that I moved to California instead of traveling. Then Charlie eventually came along and that makes it a lot harder.

    While I never went thru a divorce (I'm so sorry you're going thru this), I've been thru custody battles and horrible break-ups. One thing I learned was... You'll figure out what you need to do on your own time frame. i want to get all big sister here and give you advice on what I learned but I also know sometimes hearing "I'm here for you" is sometimes a lot better. Even though we're blog friends - I'm here for you! Keep that beautiful chin up, Sara! You're doing great!


  19. Sometimes I feel like the introverted version of you. I think what I mean by that is when you write about how you really think and feel I totally get it. I've felt it or thought it too. This is also testament to the fact that you are a good writer. You expect a lot of yourself and then you party to hide from that. I've never been a partier-don't have the stamina-but I get the high expectations thing. The thing is you will never live up to them because no matter if you reach that bar you will just go and raise it. This is not good or bad really. It's good to strive, but it's not good to constantly beat yourself up. Recently I read something Drew Barrymore said when asked what she would tell her younger self. She said she would tell herself to relax and to not do anything differently. It will all turn out and the path you take makes you who you are. Embrace it. I've been through the divorce thing too. It's a very big shakeup. Get a grip on your finances and you will feel good about yourself and you will be independent. That independence is what you need most. Believe me, I know. Sending you love and hugs.


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