It is almost impossible for me to write anything longer than a page or more substantial than a resume when I’m working at home. Even typing out that sentence was brutal. Not counting the fact that I pay $50 a month for an internet service that works only when the planets align and I make an offering to the digital router, it’s just so difficult to get out writing that seems to flow when I’m by myself, at home, with a definite absense of good coffee. The biggest irony may be that, although I’m a barista with often praised drink making skills, I can’t make a decent cup of plain coffee at home. I blame my ancient, cheap coffee machine. Alas, every attempt I’ve made at homemade coffee on this dollarstore equipment has ended in a hot pot of disappointment
Absolute proof of that is that that one paragraph was all I could manage to do while sitting at home. I have taken to the coffee shop, and the presence of the cup of brew at my side alone as well as this wood table and the others that are here type type typing away is helping this blog entry along. I can already tell this post is going to not come easy, kicking and screaming, into this world. The first paragraph alone had the word “imporrible” in it that I didn’t even notice until now, almost two hours from putting it on screen.
Perhaps, this is all because at the back of my mind I don’t feel like I should be here at the coffee shop blogging, nor should I be blogging at all, even if it is part of an obligation of sorts I’ve locked myself into with this NaBloPoMo thing. Here’s what I mean. I’ve got some guilt at this self-serving behavior I’ve been indulging in for 16 days. I’ve been literally dropping all the problems in my world, the to-do lists that now have to-do lists of their own, and everything that is not related to getting at least 1,500 words out of the ether and into your life. It’s a selfish thing, I think, even if it is supposedly building my habit to write everyday and/or/nor making me a better, more developed writer by proxy. Even now, I’ve got Rachaele asking me to lunch and I am going to have to put the blog on the shelf when she gets to this side of town because I don’t want to blow off my human connections for a darn rambling session of philosphy I feel I may be embarking on.
It could be that because I’m reading Joesph Campbell’s 24-hour interview with Bill Moyers in book form, that I feel I am running out of time to make my mark and to fill my life with the experiences that make the life mean something. Ken says it’s a common feeling among everyone, this feeling that I’m a terrible manager of time and it’s slipping away from me before I can put the things I need for it to have to move forward in my life in it. Take for instance my need to buy a new car or a reliable used car. I know I have this need, but I can’t seem to devote the day hours to getting it accomplished. Add in the fact that I also don’t really have the salary to add a car payment to my monthly budget and the fact that my car is an object that is quickly moving towards its expiration date. How does one balence the missing funds, the need, and the lack of time outside of work, eating, sleeping and remaining sane? My word, I’m never allowed to complain about boredom again. Because I think the car is the least of the list of must-do’s.
There’s also the ever present desire to send my writing off to publishing houses, which itself might be an exercise in futility without the services of a publishing agent. And how does one employ an agent without funds? The cycle continues. As the Internet says: The struggle is real. Oh, what else is on this bitch list? There’s the job situation that is on there that begs a chunk of my non-existent time as well. I need a REAL job that utilizes at least one of my degrees and a bit more of my brain, and yet, I need time to network and go to non-profit charity events to find said sweet job. And to get invited to these parties of potential jobs I need to have an internship (and be a college student again somehow) or to be volunteering (more time) or to have more experience in the field (duh, I need a job people). I’m thwacking myself in the head upon remembering the networking seminars I attended as an intern for the chamber of commerce and how boring I thought these were as I snacked on mini cheese cubes. Will my moments of indifference to life be my downfall? Or should I just give up on sleeping and get all this nonsense knocked out this week? (…7 day later, life is completed! I’ll send everyone invites to the wedding! Ha)
It’s funny that I’ve heard Lanks lament all these issues before but I thought he was exaggerating and didn’t really see the scope of the problem when he said things like “I have no time. I have no money. I have no future.” I kind of brushed this off as melodrama, and again touched it with the sin of indifference. Now, I’m seeing things from his point of view, which is very similar to my own at this point and I’m wondering what does one do in this situation? I feel as though we are trying as hard as we can to get out of our individual ruts, but we can’t move, and we are constantly placated by people telling us “it’s not that bad, everyone is going through it, keep at it.” To those people, no offense (I was one of these not too long ago), what other choice do we really have than to “keep going” ? I mean, we can lay down in the road or accept the retail job in electronics, but I’m balking at both of these so hard. I think that those of us blessed with intelligence and a means to communicate it owe ourselves the struggle, the weight on our chests of continually hitting the wall, constantly trying to accomplish massive tasks and completing 0 to 1% of our struggle per day.
If anyone has any advice for us to find our job, our place, our center in the universe and it’s different than the motivational poster of a frog’s arms choking the neck of bird that’s trying to consume it, please pass that along. Colleges and Universities send all these motivational speakers to campus to try and give students a reason to keep struggling, but I think the real need in the community these days is for motivational people (who perhaps have actually attained a level of success we can admire) to be out speaking to 20 somethings who are struggling to make sense of it all AFTER the school years have ended. It’s a bad thing to feel lost in a world that has seemingly undergone no real change other than your perspective. Could it be any wonder that people “give up” or give in to depression or drugs or alcohol or any other means of coping? I can’t judge that too harshly, honestly. Whatever gets you through the night. The Beatles always know what to say.
Well, it looks like the coffee shop has stimulated the writer in me again, at least. If nothing else, this experiment in writing publicly and at great length on the daily is allowing me to delve a little deeper each day into my own thoughts. These are thoughts that remain hidden from even me most of the time, and I only really realize I am thinking them when they spill onto the page like an overturned ink well. Messy. But maybe you’ll learn not to fill your well so full in the future before you dip into that and spread some out into open air.
Speaking of the subconscious, it was yet another night for a remembered dream. Again, I was back in high school. (Do I keep utilizing this setting as a means of starting over? ) I was sitting at one of the long lunch tables with my assigned class, perched upon those hard blue circular seats with a tray of rice and chicken. I’d chastised a fellow student for taking too large of a portion, and not leaving enough for the rest behind them. I’m not sitting alone, but I don’t know anyone at my table. I look across to the table opposite, and there sits the beautiful and cooly reclining Lanks, making those cafeteria torture furniture looking like fine upholstry. He smiles at me, the nervous and supportive one he sometimes gives. Then he comes over and sits beside me, and I put an arm around him in uncharacteristic PDA as he leans into me. As he cuddles into me in silence, I don’t want to take my attention from this warm body against me. I’m hungry, but I don’t want to even move my mouth for fear of disturbing his cheek against mine. As we stare off into space, a silent musical interpretation band is setting up. We listen to their silent music and tap our feet to the beat.
With dreams like these and thoughts like these being brought into the open and into my throught plane now, I’m begining to get the feeling that there’s only a small percentage of people who are actually crazy. I think we are all just a little confused, searching for some kind of clarity with the hours that aren’t even real, the time that exists only in our head, all of us working towards these goals that seem impossible until they lay completed before us: a closed book with our name on it, hundreds of pages of our struggle tucked within.
-Anna R. Kotopple