A Year Underwater

Today, right now, it feels like I’ve emerged from something – a cloud, an ocean, or whatever – to the rest of the world. As if the entire past year was just a compressed acquisition of nothing, the submerged part of an iceberg that I can no longer see. What happened and where was I?

Life comes at you fast, I guess, because it seems like no time had passed between this summer and the last. What the fuck.

I was scrolling through facebook to find that the girl I used to be best friends with all through elementary and middle school who got married without my knowledge that she had even been dating someone (for three years) until a few days later has been married to this person for an entire year now. Oh, cool.

It seems like just yesterday that last year had happened. I had been home from LA for a few months so I could get better from TMI. It was right before I found out my roommates would kick me out and my life would be obliterated by pure nonsense and happenstance. Then, once healed, I would come to hate the life that I had because I had come to find that everything I had worked for for years had slipped out of my hands like filtered sand, that I was back to square one living with my not-so-nice parents in my not-so-nice (and very boring) middle-of-nowhere town.

For so many years, I had dreamt of leaving this horrid place with these horribly boring, judgmental people, and I had. I did it. I moved on. AND YET – back to square one.

It seems like the entire year was me stuck to the bottom of a fish tank with my leg strapped to an anchor, trying to swim away and get some kind of air. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t leave. Everything I tried to do led to nothing.

It’s still led to nothing. I am unemployed, stagnant, bored. I am confused, and yet reaching towards something unknown. I am a hamster running around in one of those wheels because at least that will give me muscles to maybe eventually climb out of this glass cage, but at the same time, it feels like everyone’s looking in and watching me, like no one even cares a bit to help.

I am screaming in a damn tank and no one cares to listen.


Although it feels like nothing has happened at all in the last year, I am forcing myself to remember that things had happened:

  1. July 2016: Working on Food Network show, hiked in San Gabriels on off-days, had weird tension with shitty roommates about me not being home enough to do chores, but I always picked up after myself, so why does that matter? I work 12 hour days?, whole body started to go numb
  2. August 2016: Bedridden and unable to move for most part, sought medical help, but doctors were like ??? until one was like “yo it’s probably this” and he was right, flew to NY to escape shitty LA doctors and have parents take care of me. Start paleo diet.
  3. September 2016: Still really sick, shitty roommates kick me out of house.
  4. October 2016: Still really sick, but less so… officially move out of shitty house, cool former roommate/friend opens up a cool store, leave boyfriend, move back to NY with parents. Chronic headaches are gone and depression lessens, thanks to diet.
  5. November 2016: Still really sick, but I made Thanksgiving dinner. Worked remotely as video journalist.
  6. December 2016: Started working as a ski instructor again, skied. Still somewhat sick, but not really. Continued to work remotely.
  7. January 2017: Trump becomes President and I have constant panic attacks, symptoms of PTSD start to seep in, quit remote job because it was the cause of many of these panic attacks. Starts seeing a guy I have no connection with, but think he’s attractive and nice.
  8. February 2017: Continue to work as ski instructor. Better.
  9. March 2017: Continue to work as ski instructor, but bitter about it. Visit friends in Utah. Pay off medical bills.
  10. April 2017: JK a few more medical bills to go. Reads a lot. Start working as a plant associate at the co-op, learn a lot about plants as a result. Seriously thinking about going to med school and acting on it by completing application to pre-med program.
  11. May 2017: Gets into pre-med program and turns it down because after freaking out about it I realized maybe freaking out is a sign not to do something so intense so impulsively. Also it was extremely expensive and I had no money. Starts existential crisis about working for minimum wage at a grocery store and doing nothing with my life. Reads a lot.
  12. June 2017: Realizes connections with people at co-op are very important because these people are awesome/make me feel less alone in my life confusions. Starts to appreciate loved ones way more. Considers future creating spaces like these where community thrives. Studies how to do that. Reads a lot.
  13. July 2017: Temporary position at the co-op ends. I am without a job, but I get many interviews for “real” jobs. Finds out that millenials are hardcore stereotyped in the workplace and I don’t get many of these jobs because of my age. Start another existential crisis. Considers other business ideas. Break up with guy I didn’t have a connection with in the first place.
  14. August 2017: Crises continue, but starts goal to hike many spots with the dog, which leads to happiness and temporary fulfillment. Options to move away look better, decide this may be the new goal. Work different film gigs and enjoy all of them. Considers this. Still working on self.

 


And yet, many of these things do not seem like real things. It feels like my life was on pause, or something. It feels like nothing significant actually happened although in reality, I had been working on myself the entire time. This whole year has been me taking a break from my life and working on myself, whatever that means. Where will this take me? Hopefully somewhere positive, but I don’t know. Where do I see myself in 5 years? Well I’m still confused that my life is the way it is right now, so I have no idea.

I’m taking this time to reflect and be confused and just “be.” I’m following where the river flows and maybe that’s good. Maybe not. I just don’t know what else to do.


Photo Credit: fotoegraph

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