The Time That I Got Fired From An Amazing Job Less Than A Month Before Graduation

Fuck.

I didn’t think about what I was going to write here past that title. I mean, that kinda sums it up, doesn’t it? I guess I could pile on by insisting it’s not my fault. Or explaining how that’s true. Or complaining about the fact that just a few weeks ago I splurged what little money I’d saved up at my other job on the down payment for an apartment I can no longer afford in an extremely expensive area of the city that I no longer need to live in.

Did I mention this is my last week of classes? Ever.

For about a week I seemed to be in the most enviable position an aspiring writer about to graduate into This Economy could be in – I was gainfully employed at a job that (hell, let’s just lay all my cards out on the table) involved going to every single Phillies home game. And while there, be decked out in a fancy press pass that meant getting close enough to the players to have reasonable dreams of establishing inside jokes with the likes of Hunter Pence.

I’ve learned that I must be very spoiled or very stupid because right now, the worst part feels like the embarrassment. I mean, I know enough to know that the real worst part is the fear and having none of the money and apparently being the type of employee who gets fired before the first homestand is even up. But yeah, right now it just really sucks to slink back to down to the level where everyone doesn’t tell me ten times a day that what I have is a “dream job”. And having to correct those people who still mistakenly do.

That makes it sound like the validation was somehow more important than the job itself. And maybe you would be right to think that. Not just because I’m so riddled with insecurities and desperate for attention but because the thing is, this wasn’t my dream job. I was crying about this job before I even worried about it ending. And as quick as I am to remind myself of this when I feel like the sky might be falling it doesn’t actually reassure me all that much.

My future never sneaks up on me. I know exactly what day I want my wedding to be even I don’t have any idea what year. And I definitely know where I need to be at any given stage of career to be on track. But this not-so-dream job happened so quickly that now I’m realizing I don’t even know what I’m looking for when it comes to taking that first step.

A Love Letter, of sorts

(oh hey, this is a thing that I still have and do apparently? OK, for anyone who cares I have the BEST set of excuses for where I’ve been. And it’s funny because they are so very REAL life that I don’t know how to write about them in a “bloggy” way. It’s basically just a lot of, “since I’m graduating I need a job and then I got one and it rocked and then life got really busy and then I put a deposit down on an apartment and woah since when am I an adult?!” But I do want to try to write about if only to sort through my feelings but for now, this is what’s been on my mind.)

This semester I met a man who says things like “I’m lucky to have you in my life,” and “you know I think you’re beautiful, you shouldn’t ever have to ask,” and “don’t even bother arguing, of course I’m walking you home,” and when I’m having a really rough day and just need a hug “I’ll be waiting outside”.

Before it started a single semester left at Penn seemed like a completely negligible amount of time, there was nothing left for me in college except to get through it. But now I can’t imagine what it would be like to remember this period in my life without the long hours watching basketball in the basement of a house shared by that man and four others – each of whom will make an appearance in my soon-to-be nostalgia for this last semester. This best semester.

And the friends who aren’t surprisingly brand new considering how well they know me? They are all the more valuable now that I know what I want out of a friendship and can see how willingly they give it to me.

The people I see on a daily basis mean so much to me and that is a fact that can make for a happy life if I can learn to just let it. They each deserve a manifesto in praise of them.

But this one is for him, that man who says all the sweet things. The guy who stays up all night with me because I’m worried I won’t get up for my extra early mornings that work sometimes necessitates. The one who has never not picked up his phone when I call him. Who knows when I just want to talk and when I really want him to answer. Who makes me say things like “what will I do without you?!” without the slightest self-conscious hesitation.

Who I will have to do without when this semester ends, as it will and as I am rushing towards in all other aspects of my life. It seems silly to dread saying goodbye quite as much as I do and when he says “I made the plans to move before I even met you!” we both laugh because this love, however genuine, is a platonic one. Funny how rarely I write about those.

Miss Me Yet? (There is only one correct answer)

Oh hey, almost didn’t see you there wondering if that girl who was never that reliable of a blogger to begin with has finally dropped of the interwebs. About that, things like finals and traveling to Istanbul and moving out of the UK and Christmas and getting a real person (kinda) job that will pay real money (kinda) and last past graduation (for a little whiles anyway) have been rather distracting. Well, plus the ever-present white noise of doubt that nothing I write would be worth reading anyway.

This post is not going to make any mentions past this paragraph about the confetti worthy event that will exist for an instant around midnight tonight. Partly because I’m not in a summing up type mood. But mostly because as I write this from my parents house in my pajamas (oh yeah, I’m cool) I’m a little depressed about the situation. But it’s not really worth mentioning as I’m confident that when I wake up tomorrow and the calender no longer holds connotations of grandiose expectations all I’ll feel is well-rested.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I’m back from England. And wanna know a funny thing about my semester abroad? It was – with several preemptive months tacked on in the beginning – completely romance-less. No dates, no kisses, not even any crushes. And sure, I’ve bemoaned it some. And given the option, I’m a big fan of intimacy. But frankly, it’s been a nice consistent level of fine. And maybe I’ll sound a lot ditzier than I hope I am for saying this but: I was relieved to find out that not having some guy to talk about or obsess over didn’t make me boring.

And I know this isn’t the first time I’ve paraded my look-at-me-all-single-and-ok-with-it self around here but there something about looking back on an entire semester in college – and entire life experience on another continent – completely devoid of any sex or relationships that inspires the tiniest sense of “huh, good to know that’s not the end of the world”.

Truth is, I’m sure I’ll stop feeling this way if all of 2012 is man-less. But I’m completely proud to say that biggest news from my 2011 was landing a job – all by my self.

The Bitter, Angry Phase

When we first broke up, I wanted all the best for Lorax. Actually, that’s not even entirely true. I wanted all the best for us. I spent an absurd amount of time entrenched in uncomfortable denial and I wasn’t about to wish misfortune on the guy I planned on living happily ever after with. I still hungered to hear his triumphs and gushed over each one – genuinely marveling that I knew such an incredible person. There was about a year of that. A year of hoping he would want to celebrate each of my small victories the way I still desperately wanted to be a part of his. I tried so hard that I guess I can’t really blame him for continuing to let me.

Then, a big fight and a period of conspicuous distraction during which time I told myself I wanted all the best for Lorax because no matter what, I would love him like he claimed to still love me – a safe, shelved love.

I needed so badly to be the bigger person that eventually I think I honestly did want all the best for Lorax. Friendly phone calls about his success elicited honest smiles and barely registered with my still-broken heart as I tried not to search our conversations for remains of the boy I once knew. I wanted all the best for this smart stranger who somehow knew too much about me.

And then, all of a sudden, it changed. And now I find that I don’t want anything but suffering for the man who consumed most of my college career with misery. I physically recoil when I accidentally stumble across a virtual mention of him and violently shake my head to rid my mind of the onslaught of memories. I’ve become an imaginary criminal mastermind – concocting fantasies that kill him off in some sanitary way I don’t have to witness.

I realize this makes me insane and please don’t call the police on me – I’m pathetically nonviolent and can barely keep it together when goldfish die.

Besides that’s not enough! Oh no. If he were to meet an untimely end now it would be tragic – a fallen hero of potential. I would probably be so sad I would deliver some tearjerking eulogy that completely forgets everything that came after how happy we once were.

I want him to be a complete failure first. I want the things that made it difficult for me to be with him make it impossible for anyone else to be with him. I want him to realize that not everyone will see the beauty in how no matter how many times you ask him what he’s thinking, the answer will never be “you”. I want him to miss my constant chatter when his strong silence leaves him with a quiet life. I want him to realize he is fallible just like the rest of us and to know what it feels like to work so hard for something only to not get it. I never want him to run out of ideas, that is too mean, but I want him to learn that ideas are not enough. I want him to watch his cold genius get passed over and wonder what happened to the girl who trudged out in the December snow at 7am to dig up cattails for research that never went anywhere.

And when he seeks out the answer – if only out of incredulous curiosity for how he believed so adamantly for so long that she was enough – I want him to find out that I didn’t peak during the years that my life was dominated by my issues. I want him to see that I’ve become all the things he made me promise I would and wonder why seven years wasn’t enough of a foundation to overcome the unspoken doubt that distance brings. I want him to think secretly that I won’t be as happy with anyone else as I would be with him and then remember it doesn’t matter.

I don’t need him to want me back – I can’t, I know too well that will never happen. I just want him to be unhappy enough someday to be tormented by the nagging wonder: what if I hadn’t sent that email?

I know none of this is groundbreaking stuff for anyone who has ever been dumped. It’s just weird to find that I now actively want the worst for someone whose happiness felt like my own for most of my rememberable life.

I know that thinking this means I’m still not really ok about the situation. But the other day I realized that I never want to ask him again if he still loves me. The answer has always been “yes” but I feel like something’s changed. And besides, I know that either answer will break my heart all over again. And so not wanting to ask feels like progress.

About Time!

You know what’s a good way to get back in the swing of things when I’ve been remiss about blogging? Lists. And you know whats a good way to get back in the swing of things when I’ve been remiss about blogging and continue to lack for any real inspiration? Cliche lists. And so, I come to you today to offer a highly specific account of why I’m okay that I’m currently single.

But, this list will be different from every other list with a similar title in that none of these perks relate to hooking up without concern for the ol’ ball and chain. Cause he’s the thing, my single-self is distinctly unsexy. I don’t just get less action when I’m unattached – I get no action. I mean, Stella from How I Met Your Mother still has me beat by a significant margin (that chick went five years!) but going home with a stranger from the local pub is definitely not on my list of

Top 10 Reasons Being Alone is Kinda Awesome (for me) (right now)

1. I can watch How I Met Your Mother every night starting from season 1. Sometimes three or four episodes at a time.

2. I can be ugly. I’m not talking that sort of secretly cute cozy thing girls do with the slouchy shirts that reveal shoulders and boy shorts. I’m talking getting out of the shower and noticing a rash on my legs that’s probably a result of wearing unwashed gym shorts too many times and deciding “eh, it’s not like anyone sees my thighs these days.” (note: the rash is now cleared up if anyone would like to volunteer to change that fact)

3. Not talking too much about my boyfriend. Now, to all my friends who are in relationships, when I ask you about the boyfriends, I do actually want you to go on and on. It’s one of the perks of having a gossipy, psychoanalytical friend – I’m fascinated by your love life (in a totally non creepy way). But, I know not everyone feels this way and being single is the best way to be sure I’m not that annoying girl who brings every conversation back to how sweet her honey is. Plus, it means I can ask my coupled up friends about their relationships without it secretly being a tactic to get them to ask about mine.

4. I don’t have to do the laundry until I like really need to do the laundry. Because there’s no one to judge my tie-dyed underwear or notice that I’ve worn the same pair of jeans all week.

5. Listening to that song I’m really into, again. Look, I’m all for getting so comfortable with someone that you share even your most embarrassing secrets (although even at our best I don’t think I admitted just how uncool my music tastes are). But that doesn’t mean it’s not plain annoying to the other person when you get hooked on some really catchy song and want to listen to it fifteen times a day. So getting to do that now? Total bliss.

6. Having to look good only for myself. As you may have noticed (ahem, see all earlier reasons) I’m pretty much a slob who is content to wear a sweatshirt every day. And while getting to do that is definitely a perk, so is deciding that “today I will look good”, straightening my hair, wearing patterned tights and realizing that it makes me feel prettier even if no one says so.

7. Blankey*. I have an old baby blanket I occasionally like to sleep with. Except not when I’m sleeping with other humans.

8. Not being in a long distance relationship. Cause I would be, at least right now. And those things take time and effort and a lot of missing the other person. And while I could afford to miss someone right now, I’m low on time and effort. Mostly effort.

9. Being super into wedding blogs still makes me kinda crazy…but at least it doesn’t make me a crazy girlfriend.

10. Not having to take someone else into account when considering post grad life and beyond. Or, even more importantly, the sort of serious-talk self-knowledge that unlimited potential necessitates.

 

 

* Oh right, like you don’t have an embarrassing remnants from childhood!?

Sometimes, Unexpected People Make Me Feel Awesome

My seventeen year old little brother – the moody one who barely talks to anyone but me in the family – just told me he wants to write his college essay on his role model: me. I countered that I’m not that cool (really, I’m not) but he insisted “you were always the image of success to me”.

So, yeah. Next time something doesn’t feel worth it – school, relationships, working this hard, life – someone remind me of this, mk? That is all.

Shitty Friend

I wrote last time that I’m difficult to be friends with. This has bothered me ever since.

I fancy myself self-aware enough to recognize and report that, yet I adamantly believe I am a good friend. Sure, I’m awful at keeping a secret – but I will readily admit that! And I have no sense of propriety when I’m talking – but mostly about myself! And I will: remember your birthday, gladly accompany you on boring errands (I fucking love grocery shopping), write you long and poetic snail mail or email (depending on your preference and sense of romantic nostalgia) despite both our busy schedules, be easily excited, want to talk about your life, genuinely enjoy planning an outing (although I will generally insist that there is a plan), and bake you a cake or cook you dinner at the slightest provocation. Leave me alone at your place for too long and I’ll even do your dishes or fold your laundry (“cripplingly domestic” they call me).

But nonetheless, I fear I am difficult to be friends with.

I’m not a great partner in crazy debauched stories. Sure, I’m pushy and provocative but I don’t drink heavily and I’ve never even sampled an illegal substance. I get tired early and moody when I’m tired. Unfortunately, I’m also extroverted and prone to restlessness. Which means I’m the person who definitely wants to go out and do something and have fun and yes let’s do that – whatever it is – too! Until I don’t. Then I want to go home and go to sleep rightnow thankyouverymuch. And no, I am not very amused by your drunken antics. Yes, even though they are something I might have done just a few hours earlier and much more sober.

I’m insecure – to the point of embarrassingly paranoid at times. I hear contempt in every silence and an attempt to bail in every unreturned text. I worry when I’m nice it comes off as cloying and hate myself a little bit for the not-so-nice snark I can’t take back. I worry I’m not cool enough, funny enough, fun enough – even for people who have proven their friendship. I worry that in the group, I’m the expendable one.

I’m also a bit of a fatalist, masochist, or just uncontrollably needy. I test friendships to the point of breaking. Not just because I’d like more than one pillow, if you please. But also because, I want my friendships to come with a certain commitment, one with high standards. I don’t like it when you flake or act so callous that it hurts. I want you to be excited for me. But mostly, these tests come unintentionally. Or, at least subconsciously. If there is a theme to this blog that I haven’t bothered to be subtle about, it’s that I break down a lot. And in far less subtle ways than even these melodramatic confessions online attest to. It’s not just self-pity when I say I can be impossible to be there for.

I’m not sure if this makes no sense at all or perfect sense given how insecure I am. How silly is it to worry that people won’t want to be friends with me and then give them a reason to make that true? Or, is it that I can’t stop seeing myself as a ticking time bomb who is always one breakdown away from being too difficult to be friends with?

This is one of those posts where I hope you relate.

Oh and to all those people who are my friends despite the neurosis – thank you.