I sure think about it a lot. So, obviously the other day I determined that in order to enjoy my work, I need to feel proud of what I’m doing. I can’t pinpoint exactly what will make me feel proud, aside from wanting to do something that most others cannot. And as I think/type this, I realize how pitiful/elitist/simple I ought to be perceived for it, but I wouldn’t have come to this realization were it not a really important one in helping me clear the fog that clouds my destination.

* Writing these always feels so self-indulgent. So many things in my life feel effectively the same way. I don’t mean to spiral, but it just seems like it doesn’t even matter what path I choose, that no one is affected by whether I choose or don’t. It’s challenging for me to feel as though there is meaning in anything, at least where I’m concerned. I am a speck, and honestly, I’m pretty isolated, too. But what does it matter? I wonder if what I’m saying makes sense outside of the walls of my own brain, but hopefully I’m conveying my point. I just think humans are a joke, I guess. And (not to sound suspiciously like I may be a robot, but) I am one. So… I suppose this must be full-scale existential dread. But I guess it’s okay that I’m writing into the internet abyss because no one has an obligation to read these useless streams of consciousness…

Another thing that I have found works SO well for me is distraction. If I don’t have time to think about what I’m doing from a retrospective/onlooking point of view, I am content. I want to be so busy that I have time to work, briefly (and happily) socialize, eat, bathe, sleep. That’s all. I know this to be true because I was so busy this past summer and, while the world thought I was ridiculous for it, I found it to be super good for me. Related, I have found that exercise truly helps my frame of mind. I kind of suspected this to be true, but I felt like I officially proved it to myself last night when I was seriously down (gloom town, population me) and decided I was going to go to the gym anyway. And I did. And while I can’t really breathe well because of this Valley Fever or whatever I have paired with my already too large  nasal cartilage, IT WORKED. As soon as I was done, I felt the sadness creep back, but some part of me was too exhausted, too mildly proud, too satisfied, whatever, to allow it to take hold. I had chamomile tea + honey (which was warm and cozy and nice) after I took a shower, and I slept through the night for the first time in a few days (another sure sign that my body desperately wants that exercise). So… I guess what I’m considering most is the military right now. I don’t really know what I want to do, but I don’t want to sit still… and for my mental health, it’s best if I don’t have time to reflect, so… the military? I’m right near an Air Force base. I would feel probably pretty proud, definitely be distracted, and it would open up a number of doors financially/occupationally. The Air Force (and the Navy) don’t treat their soldiers poorly… I think this is the route I need to take. Though I do need to fix my sinuses and such. So I’ll use that as a reason for delayed enlistment. Yeah. I don’t know. This seems drastic and I never thought I’d join the military… but I think I’m about to give it a whirl. And then I’ll finally have a path.

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This is a short one, but I’m happy with it.

Hey kids! Guess what I realized today! I’m on a quest for dignity. That’s all. And I realized it today because I’m feeling decently comfortable in my own skin, and am dressed in a manner that I consider presentable. I was reflecting, amidst the glory of my feels today, upon arguably terrible things people have said to me, and I googled them to glean some feedback from strangers. What I came upon was more hurtful garbage, but it was enlightening. Somehow a flip switched, and allowed me to see that any experience I dislike is directly related to how dignified it makes me feel. I understand that this doesn’t seem novel or remarkable once I’ve somehow put it into words, since the undertone has been there all along. As in most of these posts, however, the obvious feels as though I’ve given myself help toward serious clarity once I can pinpoint it. This is important on so many levels. My appearance, my relationships, my career, my mood, almost every facet that is ~*me*~ desperately needs to feel dignity in order to function well. I’d assume this is likely the case for a lot of people, though I don’t see many online articles that discuss it. Dignity is only article-worthy when it concerns the severely ill and/or dying, it would seem. But I think nuh-uh.

So, right now, I have no job. Which is okay, because I’ve got a ton of options to explore in the immediate future. Now that I’m focused on it, however, I know that I need to better explore what pursuits will allow me to feel dignified in my pursuit. I understand now that while I feel teaching is noble and necessary, there is part of me that just doesn’t want to become that. I understand what was subliminally the worst part of serving tables. I understand why I enjoy dressing nicely and going out. It seems so obvious! But it wasn’t. And this is an excellent, solid foundation. I need to seek careers that are altruistic, fact-based, and don’t require groveling. Thank God for revelations.

So I should change that. I’ve written loads of drafts, but what good are those? This is a post I’m starting from scratch. I don’t really have a ton (meaningful) to say, but I’m going to go ahead and say stuff anyway. That’s what most people do, right?

Today is my first day off for just me in a long time. I have mixed feelings about it, but mostly I just believe it to be necessary. Today is also the start of Scorpio season, which is, of course, the time of year when everything dies and Scorpio infants breathe their first breath. This means I’m almost twenty-five. I guess yay? I’ve felt twenty-five for about three months, so I guess I’m ready to embrace it. But of course there’s a strong recurring burning need to figure out my life. Or at least figure it out temporarily. I know it’s fatalistic, and for that I apologize, but I find it exceptionally hard to take seriously the task of figuring out what I’m going to do when I have incredible doubts that the human population has enough time left that I’ll actually be able to complete anything I start. Shouldn’t be a problem, though, right? I’m so accustomed to not bothering to finish tasks I begin. Proud of me for that one, too.

Speaking of, I recently (about three months ago) decided, based upon the outcome of several career aptitude tests, that I would try to become a lawyer. When I was in France in high school, people would routinely ask me what I wanted as a career, and I always just said ‘avocat’– lawyer… so might as well follow through, eh? Or at least attempt? I realize I was distracted for much of high school, and was probably mentally recovering during the time I wasn’t distracted, but I still wish I could go back and really understand just how I 110% failed to plan. I chose schools willy-nilly. Like, didn’t prepare at all, didn’t really do any voluntary extra-curricular anything that would look good on a resume. Didn’t seek out colleges that would reasonably admit me in areas I wanted to live. Didn’t realize that college was supposed to be a fun time when you discover yourself finally and set up your future. Nope. Just didn’t want to live in a dorm, which I did anyway (and it wasn’t bad). Didn’t want to go somewhere with a strong Greek life, which would have meant a school with spirit. Wanted to leave Florida, which is fair I suppose. College was, for me, another box to check off. And I checked it. And now I’m here, over two years after completing my last class, wandering aimlessly, feeling old and like a loser, and having too much listless time during which I have the opportunity to think about all of my failings. But you know, I’m registered to take the LSAT on December 2nd. And I’m supposed to study for it. Which I am trying to do, but I really don’t know how. And also I am extremely lazy and very, very distractible, it would seem. So… we’ll see how it goes. I’m in the midst of trying to revert back to an old school of thought I held in which I believed that everything occurring in my life has some sort of meaning, and that I can trust where all of my decisions (mindless as they often seem) will lead. That I’m going to end up in an okay place, where I am content in my day to day life, and not living as a homeless troll under a bridge.

As I write, I realize my thoughts are completely scattered. If I laid out what I was going to say before saying it, I’m sure it would improve. But I haven’t had to do that for informal writings in the past. I would just let my brain go, and then I would end up with a large piece of something that was coherent and followed people’s natural train of thought. It’s unfortunate to recognize that what I am producing now does not feel anything like the tidy mess previously described, and it is likely that my writing ability is beginning to slip. At least I’ll have this as evidence, as a general timestamp of yet another slip from yet another slope.

I generally like me. I don’t really like being me, but I like me. I am not boring. And boring is among the worst things a person can be, in my opinion. However, as noted, being me is not very fun in the grand scheme of things. Lately, even more than usual, I am topsy-turvy, wild and crazy all over the place. I probably need a psychologist but they’re costly and not guaranteed to be any good. As an aside, the fifteenth one in these few paragraphs, I think part of my problem with assimilating perfectly is my inability to fake things. People put on masks all their lives, and masquerade genuinely indifferent to the fact that they are under-qualified for the tasks they perform. To say this widespread phenomenon is tragic is a vast understatement, but it’s also enviable. I wish I were dumb and careless enough to own that ability. Anyway, back to the point. I’ve been all over the place… and so I have been imploring those near to me to tell me wtf to do. I wish I could have a step-by-step, because I have to hold my own hand through this like mad, but at least I’ve been given general suggestions. Those are to take the LSAT and begin the path to becoming a teacher meanwhile.

I can go about entering the world of teaching in a few ways. 1) I can apply to work for a charter school, for which I do not need a teaching certificate. 2) I can start substitute teaching, and gradually start earning credits toward a teaching certificate and subsequently work toward a masters (probably which would have to be in education, and I would have to brainwash myself into believing that education degrees aren’t total garbage). 3) I can take a “subject matter expert” (it’s called something along those lines) test, and become qualified to be a high school teacher. OR, and the most fun, the option with the least eye to the (possibly nonexistent) future, 4) I could become a part-time classroom aide, and work 14 hours per week, and then also work part-time at some place like World Market or Bookman’s or Whole Foods. Obviously I’m partial to option four, at the moment. I’ve just finished a run of working two jobs part time, wayyyy too many hours for months (and I’m still broke because I’m a miracle), but it was an educational time. This experience taught me that I can handle working a bunch as long as the settings are very different from one another, and that (as long as I’m not berated erroneously along the way), I can enjoy my work. I felt like each job was a vacation from the other, and each one encouraged me to do well at the other. And that’s ideal. But you know what this setup doesn’t allow, don’t you? Insurance. You’ve gotta work somewhere at least 30 hours a week if you want insurance. And I’ve only got a year left of my mom’s coverage so… well, help me decide if you’re reading and have any answers. Lordt knows I don’t have ’em.

Whew. Feels good to write all that down, actually. I’m a little surprised, but not displeased. Anyway, on to (shorter) ramblings about the day ahead. Autumn is really here and I’m so happy about it! I think first I will walk to the secondhand store and contemplate what to be for Halloween, after all. We’ll see if anything shouts my name for less than $10. I also may buy a casserole dish or two if I can find anything that’s ceramic. Later, I need to clean my room and car. Also I need to go to the store to grab groceries for making all sorts of semi-healthy semi-junk foods for later. It’s my day off, yo. Also on the to-do list: study, exercise, drink a huge cup of tea, read. So much simpler to figure out one day of chill than to figure out the future. But I’ll get there.

Let me try to iron out one more thought:

I desperately want to go to Florida to see my family soon. So badly. I just need to be able to make it work with my LSAT and my income. My last day at the job I’m working now is November 6. Maybe I’ll work one week after it, too, depending on whether or not my friend will be out of town. Beginning in the next couple days, but especially then, I am on a fast train to study town. Study study study so I can possibly do very well on the LSAT and then potentially have to rework the nonexistent future alllllll over again with a new featured event. And then after that, I could feasibly go to Florida for ten days or something. But not if I don’t have a little bit of income, and also that interferes a bit with getting a seasonal job. So I have to look at that opportunity cost. Or maybe I could just go for a week, and I could still be hired two weeks before Christmas and that would work well. Because I think I need a seasonal job. But maybe I could find some actively used apps in Tucson and help people complete chores, too. For like an extra $50 or so each week. Help. You see? This is what it’s like being in my brain. So fragmented and inconclusive. Sigh. Maybe I can read back through this piece of the mess and somehow clarify what the heck I really mean and tone down the anxiety. I hope. We’ll see. There’s also the concern of making my resume look good. So… maybe I’d better get an online internship for some company, either paid or not, whatever works, so I can appear as though I’m less erratic on paper. Someday I’m going to work somewhere and it’s going to pay well, I will know what I’m doing, the work will be something that progresses from day to day, the people I work with will be reasonably kind and considerate, and I’ll be at peace. I think this is possible. And then, friends, I won’t go bouncing off of seventeen walls like a ball being flung by a pingpong master at every turn. Someday I’m going to be okay.

I think it’s safe to say that my sense of self is not fully loaded. I certainly have opinions and am not a bland blob of a human by my own standards, but I don’t really have anything by which I define myself. At least not these days. It’s interesting to write this, because even as I write it, my sense of self is so, I don’t know- fluid?, that I’m not even sure saying that my sense of self isn’t clearly defined is an accurate statement. But I feel this way currently, and it seems highly likely that I have felt this way for quite a span of years. I don’t really understand the cause, aside from broadened horizons. It seems probable to me that this is one of those double-edged sword situations– you’ll have a clearer view of the world!! Oh, but also you’ll probably lose yourself. It’s a fine state of being if you can keep navigating through (and you’ve gotta) but it does feel a lot like metaphorically standing atop a freshly mopped tile floor 24/7.  Arguably it’s the only way to be, but some people seem to embrace it better than I feel I do. I guess being able to step back from this ‘clear (I guess?)’ world view is what’s important. Also, community probably helps. Community seems like a common denominator among the individuals that I have encountered who are able to expertly navigate the turbulent waters in this life. It’s my own fault, of course, that each time I develop a sort of community historically, I seem to distance myself from it. I used to be firmly of the belief that this sort of damage and healing built strength within my soul- that I’d learn lessons and cover more ground in terms of progressing through the many, many situations that human life can offer. Maybe I’m feeling defeat-y today, but is there any real best way to live? When I’m feeling proud, I like to lump myself in with historic figures who were unafraid to explore. And I’m not afraid, but it’s isolating by nature. And isolation just doesn’t always yield happiness. Happiness is all this life is about, though, is it not? That’s the only goal I’ve been able to pinpoint. But I have more depth from subjecting myself to new environments, right? Oh, also, the drama of this perspective, though uncomfortable, is definitely habit-forming. So healthy.

I think a large part of my problem is that I’m too honest these days. At least with myself. For a split second, I wanted to question my definitive statement that I have a problem but then my honesty kicked in once again. I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt and say that almost everyone has a ‘problem’ of one sort or another and that it’s a necessary component of not being dull in the realm of the written word, at least. Though, of course, my pride is too much to admit that my own struggles may be commonplace. So I won’t go that far. In any case, whatever it is that I am referring to runs deeply through my life and is cyclical/deeper as it cycles. Viewing myself with harsh objectivity is a disservice because the world is critical enough of every single being as it is, but I find it to be inevitable as I seek to only improve the lives of those around me. It is by this previous sentence that my life is both defined and wreaked havoc upon. I’m living as a sort of reduced version of who I once was, but the more I learn, the more I feel compelled to reduce. And the reduction isn’t my favorite, but through my relentless honesty with myself, I simply cannot hit the brakes. It’s something I need to fix. I don’t know how. I’ll figure it out.

I’m so proud of having titled this blog Revelations and Ramblings from the start.  I scarcely think there could be a more apt title for all of this… brain blabber, is the only other way to describe it. As always, thanks for your time.

I feel compelled to talk about comparisons. It seems to me that my many so-called revelations are not so very complex, but while simple, they have, for the most part, eluded me before I’ve come here to write about them (truth be told, even some of my past revelations require a re-read by yours truly, since it’s my timeless tendency to forget to sustain reason on emotional issues). So forgive me if my writings seem obvious and absurd, but after all, on this never-visited blog, I’m pretty clearly writing to conquer the task that is teaching myself.

There’s a bit of rhetoric out there in day-to-day life with instruction on how a person should compare: “don’t compare yourself to others” and “your only competition is yourself” most readily come to mind. To recognize yourself as distinct from your peers and thus incomparable is certainly a fair statement. Despite the fact that I think such a statement tends to inspire the exact type of comparison it’s speaking against- had said thought-process not already been present in the mind of the recipient- I’m going to go ahead and give this mantra a solid thumbs up. It is both cruel and short-changing to oneself should s/he be of the mindset that his or her experience on this planet is so closely aligned with another’s that a comparison be warranted. The second mantra, though, is something I really think warrants a discussion. Maybe not on the surface, but when given the slightest bit of critical thought, the casual observer will understand that this mantra is still preaching comparisons. A person owes it to him/herself to understand that s/he will not always be in the same proverbial ‘place’ s/he might once have been. Therefore, his or her best will not be what it might have been at another time. Whether or not the current “best” is societally accepted as improved, it is still the top output the momentary individual can offer, and there should be a lot to be said of that. This is good news, generally speaking. Multiple perspectives in each human are exactly what enable a not just tolerant, but celebratory society. That’s a win for humankind if I ever saw one. Embrace new perspectives, embrace the fact that your “best” will not always be the same, or even comparable to what it once was because it will be entirely different. Life is not a stagnant and straight developing line on a graph; thank God for small favors. There is so much beauty to being able to give your all to different situations, people, whatever, and to truly be able to give your all because you’ve never been this version of you before. Too, the versions you’ve given at other points in your life are forever gifts, unique to the scenario in which they were given and never to be taken back. Be grateful, be brave, look to the future with hope and peace for all it sends in your direction.

Here I am, back at it. It’s been an extremely interesting year. Damaging in a few ways, deeply healing in others. My faith in the Universe is always growing stronger. This is not to say that I don’t doubt myself and feel like conceding from time to time, but only that, from a rational perspective, I find it so incredibly impossible to not feel that everyone’s life is divinely influenced. We may wander from our path, and we’re allowed to without causing it irreparable damage, but we’ll always end up back where we belong; our progression may be accelerated or decelerated by our choices, but there is objective comfort in knowing that ultimately a person will not change what is meant to be.*

I am going to start writing a lot. Writing and communication, those are my strengths. And I’ve been allowing them to weaken. I used to have a stronger, broader vocabulary, and phrasing, even, used to come more simply to me. I’m a bit upset with myself for having slipped, but when you consider my perspective, I think my lax approach is better understood. It’s hard to write things like this and feel like I’m not making excuses for myself. This is something that the world is ready to see from anyone who navigates life differently than they do, because it is human nature to desire to be above someone (the more ‘someones’ the better, to be honest). Well, here’s the deal: everyone is different, everyone experiences like-encounters differently. I don’t know what works for other people, but that isn’t my task; it’s obviously hard enough for me to figure myself out so that’s probably all I should worry about. So let me lay out why it’s been (and is still) so hard for me to put my nose to the grindstone when it comes to developing my natural writing/communication abilities: while I studied (at first Creative Writing) English in university, I have a really hard time coming to believe that these skills actually count as skills. This is a multi-faceted problem. It stems, I think, predominately from some embarrassing inadequacy issues I’ve got. As it is, I can’t separate myself from feeling that communication is just legitimately not a skill which is why I can’t appreciate that it’s my strength. However, when I think about this more broadly, I don’t think there’s anything I could do that I would be able to just uniformly praise. So that’s pathetic. I’m not sure where this is rooted in me. But I think it’s there, even though I really really hate to admit it (I am aware that this probably doesn’t seem like much of an admission if you’ve ever met me). Anyway, folks, there’s nothing I’m about if not growth. So I’m biting the bullet and trying to recognize that I’m *maybe* not actually just a pile of useless flesh. And I’m going to start writing. And writing. And writing. Because while it’s maybe garbage, communication is the foundation of our society and is the means to everything. And though humans are arguably trash (sorry, that sounds pretty harsh), I am one. So even though I’d rather not partake in… anything, really… if I don’t want to die on the streets, I gotta join in this absurd circus.

In conclusion, I’m going to be writing about hella topics. And maybe after I’ve written about 100 posts and feel this weird and gross post is safely buried along with the others that are all emotional and enough to make any self-respecting person *vom*, I’ll share this blog and maybe someone will read some of my work and discover that I’m competent enough to hire. If nothing else, I’m shamelessly more fun than at least 60% of the population so that alone makes me worth hiring (in my unbiased and humble perspective). Anyway, buckle up, kiddos. Can’t wait to ride this thing until I can’t ride no more. Serious eye roll emoji. See ya ~*real real*~ soon.

*Or maybe I’m totally off and this is belief is just something that seems true for me because I’ve been too weak to alter my path. This thought doesn’t feel correct or true in my heart, but I have a great love for disclaimers (read: safety nets), and thus would hate to not provide it to show that the thought has occurred to me.

I haven’t written in a while, but obviously the kind of craziness (or objective truths?) I’ve been writing about all along is always on my mind. At the base of everything, as far as I can tell, is this: virtually everyone I know is deeply emotionally scarred. People manage their damage differently, but I can’t say for certain that any one way is better than another. In my experience, expressing issues from time to time is an okay route in that you may eventually solve some of your problems, but at the same time, if you can push the problems away from you almost entirely, you’ll very likely be doing your functioning self a favor.

I think, for my own purposes, I need to select this route. A person can’t take what most people do or say personally; they’re seeking to fulfill their own needs. My own needs involve helping other people and feeling like those who I have helped are appreciative of my work. Looking to others to fulfill my needs, though, puts stress on them very unfairly; I need to take responsibility for my own happiness. This is easier said than done, and is a long journey, one which I will be on continuously for the rest of my life because of my inherent emotional issues, I’m certain. But this journey is so imperative for me I can’t even explain it to you. In a world where all you’re worth to others is what you provide them, parents jokingly disown you, people leap at opportunities to argue, and the distribution of hugs is considered to be an imposition, all there is for me is to separate myself from the hurt, constantly distribute love, and reward myself. Again, I can’t stress enough how severely I fall short in living these ideals, but at least I know they’re there. I need to take the path, and I will. And, though I will hope that my presence provides goodness in the lives of those I encounter, I will learn to release my concern with whether or not I am perceived well and will kill my desire to find approval in the eyes of those I love. It doesn’t matter if it’s there or not, and it is certainly not there when you seek it.

From these thoughts, I am roundaboutly brought back to my favorite Bible verses. I do not consider myself to be traditionally religious at all, but Matthew 6:1, 6:2, and 6:3 have always really spoken to me: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So, when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as [they] do… in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Basically, be good and kind and generous because that’s who you are, not because you want or expect recognition. This is what I have always been trying to implement in my life, but am going to focus on even more as my life continues. It does occur to me that it is contradictory to write about this pursuit on the Internet, which could be accessed by anyone. My only rebuttal to that is that no one views this site, and if someone were to, I find it would be very unlikely that they care about my personal goals. Anyway, that’s all for now. 🙂

Isn’t it challenging when you have convinced yourself of things that may or may not be true? For example, it is a concern of mine that my personality is one with which those I love most will tire. It is hard for me to imagine that I will be a positive part of a truly long-term relationship (10+ years). I think deep-seated insecurities like this cause me to behave erratically from time to time, and thus attempt to become some form of self-fulfilling prophecy. This concern of mine is not unrelated to much of what has been my overall concern for self-improvement recently: I desperately want to become a more positive person. I am able to achieve a fair amount of positivity when making a concentrated effort, but am often still not at the level I hope to someday hold and present naturally. I want positivity for my own benefit, of course, but in the interest of avoiding dishonesty, I must also admit that I want it mostly for the benefit of those I hold and will hold nearest to my heart. Again, I am not yet at my goal level, but I strive to touch the worlds of my immediate family (present and future) in a way that radiates genuine kindness and is uplifting. Again, I know I, too, will benefit from fostering positive thoughts, but the thought of helping my someday husband and children to feel positivity innately is the most satisfying of all. In my own life, I expect I’ll continually fight my own tendency toward dark streaks. The battles are decidedly challenging, but it will absolutely break my heart if I allow my own personal issues to burden those that I value more than the oxygen in my own lungs. If I’m not strong enough to help myself, I don’t believe I have the right at all to attempt to help anyone else.

There is so much negativity around me. I almost feel like identifying negativity as such is somehow projective. It’s almost like those crazy kids who brag all the time about how they ‘don’t like drama’ even though you know damn well that it would be shocking if they, themselves, were not a large contributor to the ‘drama’ that they find so notable. In any case, I find that there are a lot of instances of pessimism and touting the self as superior to specific others or society as a whole in my daily life, and that is something I need desperately to avoid. I realize that ignoring the less-than-ideal traits of others will not change the fact that they exist, but I believe there to be a time and a place to address these issues. These should not be daily and/or hourly conversation topics. At this semi-fragile time on my hopeful road to positivity it’s too easy to latch onto the bad parts of people and/or the world, and I need to be sure I don’t fall into the ravine. I guess, for now, the best advice for me is to remember that I’m my own best friend on this journey, that it is a journey and I need to be proud of myself every step of the way, and that this is a beautiful and limitless undertaking. With my positive outlook and deep, deep love that has rooted itself in Kyle, I will share the most invaluable gift (even if it only has a small influence) I could ever hope to give to the world.

If this is disjointed at all, please forgive me. I am not a nighttime person, it turns out. hah 🙂 Thanks, as always, for your time.

I am insecure in many things, but one thing I never doubt is my intellect. I am so unabashedly confident in my brainpower that I sometimes feel pretty certain that this is one of my faults. I am not much of a self-starter. I really, truly, want to be, but I just am not. I need to be held accountable to someone or someplace. When I am held accountable to a task for which I am qualified, my work is equal to or better than the work of any other able person. I’m sure you get it; I have sincere confidence in my work. Please don’t misunderstand: I don’t boast too often, but I do feel genuinely as though I am very able in the things I do and the work I produce. Why, then, have I encountered such periods of utter uncertainty lately? It can’t be that I didn’t have logical thought processes, right? The only reasonable explanation I have invented thus far is that I must have been/am experiencing the quarter-life crisis. It’s kinda bad news that I’ll only live to be eighty-eight, but what can you do? I’m taking the time to note my quarter-life crisis’ steps because I didn’t recognize that I was entering this mania when I first began.

It was January. I was working in a job that was a terrible fit for me (by this point I had given up hope that I might become qualified and succeed in my position). I was enrolled in the last college course I needed to fulfill my Bachelor of Arts degree. I had been living in the same small town for 2.5 years. I was feeling restless.

In January, I began talking of my need to move. I needed to go live in a concrete jungle (probably not- I find concrete mostly fun to visit but getting well-acquainted in the past hasn’t served me perfectly). I needed to explore. I felt antsy. I felt almost free (from school, I guess? In actuality I have been free for my entire life). I’m not super wise. It was a recipe for disaster. I stopped my job in March. Why? Because I needed to not work there anymore. Why didn’t I get another job? Because I was going to be moving to some crazy (beloved) place like NYC so soon that it would be impractical to get a job. I pride myself in being extremely employable and didn’t want to quit a job after only a couple of months (that’s fair, I think). Also, I was going to write and travel all summer (currently I am involved in the traveling I had planned). So, here I am. It’s June. I have changed my mind over and over. Though I must appear as though I am a total loon as I switch plans sometimes twice in one week, I actually think I’m working my way out of my mess. I think I understand now that I need to switch up my surroundings more frequently than I had been, but this doesn’t necessarily mean I need to move. I need to be far busier and be unafraid to busy myself. I need to live a life that is simple yet satisfying. I need to delve deeper into my connection with the Universe. And that’s all I need. And it’s possible and it will happen. And even though I don’t write as often as I should, even though I change my mind, even though I am not quite what some people wish I were or could be, I’m fine for me. And I will become better and better for me. Life is and should be a constant journey. Never stop growing.

Sometimes, I fancy my own human experience as one which must be distinct from most others; I mean, we all tend to think we’re so unlike the others around us. The reason I mention this idea is that it often drives me away from wanting to share pieces of advice that I have found to be practical. My self-opposition when writing pieces like this comes from the desire to not come across as though I, by some miracle, have vast and profound knowledge of how to best live a life, and also to provide information that will be useful to those reading. So, if that makes any sense, on to my point: I think we’ve been societally taught to love improperly.

It seems like we engage in romantic love selfishly. We expect material items, affection, attention; we expect people we love dearly to proclaim their returned love for us. It seems natural, because that’s how it has been taught to us (not that I have found anyone has consciously tried to pass their understanding of love to me). Love, until my recent (bizarre – I’m not really sure how it happened) epiphany, seemed kind of ambiguous, kind of elusive. They always say ‘you’ll know it when you’ve found it’. Okay, maybe. I knew, before I gained my new understanding, that I had and have serious love for my boyfriend. But just because you know you’ve got it doesn’t mean you know how to manage it. Love is a gift. It is a strong bond between (at least in the scenario I am discussing) two people. If you’ve got it, does it really make sense to put pressure on it? To ruin (and maybe dissolve) it with rules and requirements? That isn’t how it grew. That’s how it’s killed. Your options are, as I see it: A) Do your own thing completely: pay for everything, clean everything, endure everything, have no one to share your experience with. B) Do mostly your own thing: pay for most, but not all, things, clean some, but not all, things, have someone to share trials with, have someone to discuss life with. C) Be expectant (heck, it might even be unspoken expectation): expect the one you love to carry much of the total load concerning money, chores, emotional issues, and push them so that they have no desire to share their life with you (your harbored resentment is sure to guarantee that you won’t want to share your life with them, either). Option A leaves you to yourself. Option B leaves you in a partnership where you don’t keep tabs on expected returns on your investment, but instead keep tabs on happinesses and memories you’re collecting with someone you love enough that you live with and see them constantly without (ideally – and in my case) being annoyed. Option C leaves you feeling slighted: like you invested in a stock that is not dependably increasing in value (although it probably is increasing more than you think if you remember to look). Option C makes you combative and unhappy and will likely leave you estranged from someone you were once able to see for hours each day, every day, for months and years on end without becoming so sick of them you never wanted to see their face again. Take a moment to realize how impressive and special that bond is: in my experience, when I had a friend spend the night in my youth, after about day four – despite the fact that they had done nothing wrong – I was ready for them to be out of my line of sight immediately. That doesn’t happen when you love someone romantically. We forget to make this comparison when we are loving with expectation.

True love conquers all. Love that is forgiving, generous, honest, and expects nothing is a gift with true magnanimity, and that is the only love that has a place in a serious relationship. That’s the only way to make it work; if you choose this path, you keep yourself, your partner, and your family’s happiness at its highest. It’s a difficult concept to master, definitely. We have been taught to practice self-preservation, and with that comes some selfishness. Self-preservation is fine, but it has no place in a relationship where your objective is to become one with your partner. Self-preserve together against the world, but not against one another. It’s taken me a long time to learn this, as I’ve mentioned, and I’ve acted completely out of congruence with what I am preaching today in the past. All that we can do is manage the present; I am striving daily to make the changes within myself that are necessary to reach this achievable level of perfect love that I’ve recently come to understand exists. It is a journey that I expect will never be complete: I will always strive to become more of what I need to be to make my current love a perfect love. I am grateful that I have this opportunity and pray I’ll keep it.