Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's Time (I Guess) To Move On?

I've had a countdown on my dashboard called "New Yorkkkkk" since, oh, the week after I came home from Florence. And right now it says '6 Days.' And for as excited as I've been for so long to get back to the city that I have truly come to think of as my home, I've begun to develop cold feet.

It started with the apartment. My lovely roommate and I found one last week that we completely fell in love with. It's in Murray Hill, an area that I honestly never thought I'd live in. Now I can't seem to figure out why. It's really quite wonderful. There's a great mix of families, young professionals, and students. Our landlords are the most adorable older Italian couple who own the restaurant a few doors down. They remind me of my grandparents, and it made me smile when I overheard the wife assure my mother that she would watch over us. Our bedroom overlooks the restaurant's garden and a ton of ritzy brownstone patios, and the rent is such that I can (at least) afford to finish out the lease after I graduate.

But knowing that I have a real, actual, honest-to-god apartment terrifies me, in a way. I took the books off of my desk shelves in my bedroom yesterday, stowing them in the closet, because I need the desk in my apartment. All of a sudden, the picture of an empty corner in my bedroom appeared in my mind, surrounded in neon lights with an amplifier screaming "YOU'RE MOVING OUT! THIS IS YOUR LAST SUMMER HOME! GET READY FOR THE FUTURE!"

And although I'm ready, and I've known I'm ready for several years now, the future still scares me. Because, as obvious as it sounds, I don't have any idea what it brings. I was talking to an old friend from high school who relocated to the west coast a while back, and I was shocked and impressed at how neatly he had planned out the rest of his life, down to what he will do to keep busy when he retires. And I realized that I can't even plan out next year yet. Grad school? I'd love to, but not unless I get a full ride, because I sure as hell can't afford to saddle myself with more student loans. A job? Once again, I'd love to, but I'd also love if the job market was slightly more welcoming at the moment. And I need to get a good job. It would be wonderful to take a year off and join the Peacecorps or backback around Europe or work for a not-for-profit, but somehow I doubt Sallie Mae would be all "Oh, well now that we know you're doing something enriching with your life, we'll defer and/or forgive your copious amounts of student loans!" I need a plan, and a plan that Pays Well.

But the one thing I do know is that this plan will hopefully involve New York. I love that city more than any of the others that I've seen, although London and Paris come in at close seconds. I'm going to stay in New York for as long as I can manage it, unless I get a job offer that I truly can't refuse somewhere else. And I guess, as far as my plan goes, that's all I can ask to start out with.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I Could Never Live Alone

So the summer is drawing to a close. I can't say I'm too upset, really. I don't really consider the last three months summer at all. It wasn't warm up until this week, and I barely saw any of my friends. It was more like an extended weekend during the school year when I just happened to come home to visit my parents.

But I noticed a slightly disturbing trend this summer. And it all has to do with me. I spend so much time alone when I'm not working, that when an opportunity to actually leave my house and do something arises, my first inclination is to say no. And it makes no sense, none at all. Because I loathe sitting around my house doing nothing. I don't watch television anymore, I don't cook, I don't do much of anything. I work, I eat dinner, I read for a bit, then I sleep. But not even because I'm tired. I'm just so, so bored. And yet for some reason I turn down invitations to do things that I really want to do, telling myself I shouldn't go, I'll be too tired to be any fun, I'll be too tired tomorrow. And then I get angry at myself when I realize that I actually did want to go out and socialize and be fun. It's like there's a little part of me that's trying it's hardest to sabotage all my efforts to be happy.

But I think this is why I love living with people my own age. If I lived alone, I honestly don't know if I would ever leave. And I would be miserable. But when I live with people, they force me to get up and get out, and I (almost) always have a good time. And even if we don't go out, then I have people to be around. Human contact is what keeps me sane.

So moral of this story is, when I say no to an invitation, it has nothing to do with you. In fact, I'm always scared that I'll say no one too many times and then people will just stop inviting me places. I'd love it if people would start making it a habit to ask two or three times if I'm sure I don't want to come. Usually that makes me rethink things. And I hope that when I'm actually around other sentient beings (my computer does not count) that I'm fun, because I usually am enjoying myself.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Home, or Now the Shit Hits the Fan

I've always hated the phrase 'when the shit hits the fan.' It's so graphic. Have you ever actually thought about what would happen if shit actually did hit the fan? Really, really contemplated it? Gross, man.

Anyways, my week in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was really fun. I got to see Minnesota family, who I very rarely get to see otherwise. We went to the Walker Museum, where I once again realized how few people like postmodern art as much as I do (Mom: "I don't get it," Me: "You're not supposed to!" Mom: "Then why see it?"). But I loved it, the crazy building, sculpture garden, and particularly the George Brecht Event Scores, which were little pieces of paper that "involve simple actions, ideas, and objects from everyday life recontexualized as performance" (some website). So fun.

We went to the Arboretum, something the adults enjoyed that I did too, because I am an old woman at heart. It was really quite interesting to learn how they've been working on genetically engineering plants that have evolved in warmer climates to survive the (very) harsh Minnesota winters.

We also saw a play about Ella Fitzgerald at the Guthrie Theater, which, despite having great music (Ella Fitzgerald, you know), had a pretty boring plotline, mostly because Ella had a fairly boring life.

On the way home, we got delayed in the Atlanta airport for about three hours, getting home much later than we thought we would. Lesson learned: never, ever fly Airtran. It's cheap for a reason.

But now I'm home, and I have to actually start Getting Shit Done. First order of business: Get a place to live. I have a date with the girl I know from Florence with whom I will be rooming with on Tuesday to go look at apartments, mostly in the Gramercy area. The whole apartment situation has been probably the hardest thing for me to deal with emotionally, I've felt so guilty and upset for the past three months. I think this is why I've been having stress dreams, all of which somehow involve Final Battles along the lines of Return of the King. I wander through these battle preparations not really knowing where I should be, or with which party I should be fighting. I wake up feeling ridiculously stressed, and frustrated too. Because I like Lord of the Rings, and I really, really want to know how the battle ends.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Long Time, No Blog?

So um, greetings.
Haven't written in a while.
Hasn't been a whole lot to say, actually.
In short, I work. I come home. I sleep. A lot. I've read quite a few books. Work doesn't suck quite as much this year as it usually does. Mostly because I don't really do anything except read and sit and read. I see a good amount of Jessica Smith.
Being at home is kind of like an extended waiting period for school to start up again. Except it alternates with serious anxiety about where I'm living next year (still not a clue, but at least I have a roommate lined up. Mini steps) and what I'm doing after college (NYU Wagner doesn't require the GREs! Now if only I could afford it...).
I'm in Minnesota this week. Mom and I came out to visit family. I like Minneapolis/St. Paul, and I'm pretty sure Mom is hoping I'll decide to move out here as soon as college is over or something. Unfortunately, I plan on staying in New York until I run out of money, get deathly ill, die, etc. Maybe that's slightly extreme, and I'm sure eventually I (might) be forced to eat my words. Well. We'll see.
But I really have been having a good time. My cousins are great, and they've been taking me around. Gina took me out last night, which might be contributing to my current down mood (the fact that I'm tired, that is. Not the fact that she took me out. That was a lot of fun).
I fit in my jeans (comfortably!) again! We'll see if I still do at the end of this week.
Question: How many days left in the summer?
Answer: Blessed few.