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