Day 22: getting clear on the next steps

I’ve been talking to a handful of new and different people lately. The more I talk to people the more I realize that we’re in some really weird times in society. I’m not the only one stuck between past and future. We as a society are seemingly caught between two worlds.

I grew up in a small town in Central New York. Things weren’t terribly cheap but cost of living was a lot more reasonable. We had malls and highways and skyscrapers and what not but it was a city of about 70,000 people, so the exposure to the real world was, let’s just say limited. Like I said we had a few malls, but I had never set foot in a Nordstrom until I moved to Boston at the age of 24, nor did I know what it was. And by that time I had been to 8 different countries on 3 continents and about 25/50 states. To say I was a bit sheltered is an understatement, but to call myself somewhat worldly is also not far from the truth.

It’s here that I still feel that stuck in the middle perspective except now I live in Los Angeles and ironically feel more sheltered, more isolated and more closed off than I ever have. Maybe it’s because I don’t have cable, maybe it’s because my thoughts are preoccupied with something else. I’m not sure. But the handful of friends I have that moved away are all starting to move back because the cost of life outside the hometown is astronomical and damn near impossible to attain. We’re the new middle class. The in betweeners. The ones that most adults don’t view as adults and consistently treat us like kids, but we’re entering into our early to mid 30s.

In a world of social media we’re stunted and exposed to all the wrong things at all times. Screaming to be heard and fighting for fair wages. Yet no one has a clue what they want to be then they grow up, nor do they know if the job they want will even exist when we get there.

Trying to make a life is hard enough on its own. But what happens when the majority of people don’t have a clue what they want to do and can only figure it out by giving it a try? You end up with trillions in student loan debt and an economy that’s about to shit the bed. And here I am trying to make a life in one of the most ridiculous cities ever (by choice but I still get to say it), and the price tag on everything has me stunned to the point of leaving the country.

This was not the world I planned on being a part of. This was not the life I thought I’d live. But I’m trying to make that life. I’m trying to create that world. I can no longer do it alone. Money, time, effort, passion. These things need to learn to play well together or I’m screwed. It’s time I do the one thing I’m unwilling to do without leaving this city and that’s get a second job. Either that or I need to seriously put my nose to the grindstone and start making money with my company which I believe to be a long shot right this second. I really think it’s time to get creative.

Anyone out there have any ideas or ways they use to jump start their creativity? I’m currently injured and not able to drive – so there’s that. Ugh maybe I just need some patience, but I’ve really had enough. We’re at about 8 years of patience here. This is my not so depressive cry for help. Help!

Day 22: Problem solved… I can’t do it alone. Day 23: I’m still lost I’ll figure it out when I get there.

 

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Day 29: I can while away the hours

I swear I need to put my brain on a leash. If thoughts and brainwaves burned calories or got you in shape I’d be a marathon runner…that being said, I’m still reeling in excitement about my latest idea. Sitting at work waiting for the time to pass; I find Google to be my best friend and my worst enemy. The answers are out there in every capacity. Every side has proof. These are things I’ve said far too many times, yet it doesn’t stop me from diving into the void.

I’m trying to not freak out about any of this and clearly that isn’t possible. But to say I’m afraid of making any kind of major move is an understatement. I do however think something has to be done. I keep thinking about timing and was thinking about leaving when my lease is up in April… but I’m not going to be able to last that long in this position. Not with the daily boredom and crazy that is my inner conscious mind. I need something to change and I need it do so quickly. I almost want to see if I can make something happen by Christmas, when I’m supposed to be in NY anyway. Hustle I guess? Idk. 6 months of making the money I’m making now and not paying $1000 in rent, gives me $12,000 saved. Halfway to a down payment on a house. That’s a huge deal. To me at least.

I’m starting to see the things I want from a different perspective and see how I can potentially get them all. Trade offs. Vacations instead of living somewhere like LA. Having a house vs renting an apartment forever. Not spending time in traffic or driving myself up the wall with boredom at work vs, snow, seasons and busy-ness in any job because NY. I never thought I belonged in my hometown but using it as a hub is completely different than just being there forever. I’ve moved to other places, but this is the longest I’ve stayed away. I never get a vacation because I only ever get to go back there. I never have enough money either. I had that issue before, but I’ve made progress in my career that will give me substantially more money in NY than it would here. Remote work is entirely possible as well. It just blows my mind the cost and lack of hope here. Everyone is a dreamer chasing something and everyone is alone and stuck. I just can’t play this game anymore.

I want to have fun. I want distractions. I want a stable place I can call mine that doesn’t involve sharing. I think the next step is to leave LA regardless of traveling the world or not. I think that the next few years need to be spent with me traveling the world and seeing what happens. Building a business. Buying a building and a house for less than the cost of a house here. Trying to grants and fundraising to open my company. Not worrying about being the skinny, pretty, girl to get noticed. Just being me and knowing that’s enough. Wanting another dreamer to share life and time with but in a different way than I’ve thought.

I still need to slow down. I need a different pace in life, one I can actually enjoy. One I can even attempt to pull off. I know people say believing is half the battle, but I’ve never really wanted millions until I got here because that’s what it takes to succeed here. I have a similar heading but one quite different than I once thought it would be.

I’m thinking of switching my world vacation for another cross country road trip, but one I do on purpose with time at my will. To end up back in NY with a few months free of rent and monetary struggle and an exit strategy for getting out within a year.

This makes the most sense to me right now. It really does. I’m going to take the next few days and plan it all out. One step at a time and see where things go. Timeline and all. Plan of attack and strategy to move forward.

Day 29: hitting the part where I do what I do best, reel, plan and organize. Bring it on. BrainOnLeash.jpg

 

 

 

Day 20: Freedom? Uh Bueller?

The more time I spend on social media, the more time I spend bored at work, the more time I spend talking to anyone, the more I realize everyone is screaming for love, happiness and acceptance. So why doesn’t society allow for it? Why don’t we as humans allow for it?

Where did we drop the proverbial ball? When did we sacrifice the pursuit of happiness for the almighty buck? Why don’t we realize what we’re really subjecting ourselves to? I talk to “kids my age” and half of them are working full time jobs with side gigs and are hoping to either avert paying student loans or will be paying them until they die. I talk to my parents, relatives and older “boomers” and they all say the same stupid shit that usually equates to suck it up and deal. For those of you following along you know how I feel about that. For those new to the party — it makes me want to punch things. Moving on.

I’m struggling with achieving the things I want and I’m trying to reinvent my wheel to make progress personally, professionally and financially. Trying to buy back my financial freedom, gain my personal freedom from being my own worst enemy, and create my professional freedom. These are proving to be quite the tasks, albeit all of them are progressing. I assumed it would be hard, but I thought something might give at least a little – I was wrong.

I’ve been searching through articles on love, self appreciation, hope, wants, goals, desires, dating, men, women, the list is almost infinite. I’ve been trying to collect information on people because the more I deal with people the more I realize the amount of stupidity that circulates my existence. The more I read and take in, the more I see what’s going on and how people perceive life and what it should be the more I realize we’re so fucking lost and we’ve been misguided for a very long time.

Gone are the days of a single income supporting a family of four. With a home and a car and the ability to survive financially. Gone are the days people say “I do” and actually mean it to last forever, not for the foreseeable future. Gone are the days that you can go to college and figure out a career you want to have, actually get a job in that field and have the degree pay for itself. We look at everything through such different eyes than we once did. I’m not trying to idolize the 50s or any other decade, with each time comes its own turmoil, but looking back at society and where/what people have become I have to take a step back and say holy shit we’re all lost.

Trying to find my own way my own versions of love, living, freedom, and security… I’ve learned there really isn’t a right path anymore. There isn’t a way to succeed that actually pays off. Everything is a crap shot and you have to bet on yourself and prove your worth to not only yourself but everyone else. We’re competing against each other for survival, thinking if someone else has it, we can’t. That isn’t true! At least not with the people you think you’re competing with.

I’ve written about different thoughts in my head day after day for almost 3 weeks. And I feel like I’m rambling. I’m stuck in my head. My subconscious mind took back over. In a state of struggle and annoyance how do I break the chain? How do I break free? Where does freedom truly lie? Can it even come out to play anymore?

I have to believe it can. I have to hope that I will figure things out. That one day my head and heart won’t be at war with each other but rather working together to bond, to excel, to succeed in any possible way. I want to break free from the chains I lock myself into. And I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.

Maybe I’m dwelling too hard on these things. Maybe I’m just stuck in my own cycle of consciousness. Maybe like happiness is something you just have to create or be -so is freedom. So are the bonds between head and heart. Both struggling to be heard. No one wins this battle because you can’t win if you keep score against yourself.

Tomorrow I’m going to try something different. Not sure what it is. But I’m gonna try.

Day 20: uh? I think I’m wandering in circles. Trying to break the chains.

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Day 14: Life flies, live it now

Life flies no matter what. Time flies no matter what. I’m 14 days into this and I feel like I just started. I’ve already made astronomical progress in what I want and where I want to go. I feel like I’ve gained a lot of clarity and feel a lot less crazy in general, but sometimes you have to admit that you are what you are and that’s okay. I’m a little crazy. I’m okay with that.

I’ve yet to really plan anything for my trips, but I feel like that has to come a little later – when I actually get the cash flowing. Emphasis on little. I feel like this is the next “something I owe myself.” This is the next dream, but I’m not yet in a position to take it. Almost.

There are certainly moments of me losing my shit and there’s certainly moments of wanting and needing more, but things seem to be going better now that I’ve started this challenge. Maybe it’s accountability, maybe it’s attention for myself. Not quite sure.

I’m not 10 years old, trying to grow up and eventually take care of myself financially and otherwise. I’m actually doing those things whether I’m doing them as well as I’d like or not, they’re happening. I don’t “have it bad” by any means, but it just occurred to me that the thought of staying here for another year in the same apartment with the same roommates and the same job…. Is going to drive me crazy and make me run screaming in the opposite direction. I feel like I have commitment issues, but I’m not going to stay in a situation that doesn’t suit me if I don’t have to.

I really just don’t want to do it. I don’t hate it here, but the boredom is killing me. The mundane of “have to” is killing me. The fact that every single person keeps telling me “you have to pay your dues” makes me want to hit them. I’ve been out of college 7 years. I’ve worked for 7 years. I’ve paid for student loans and a car. I’ve lived in 4 different states and understand the power and loss in starting over. I’ve experienced PTSD, depression and anxiety in a million different ways. I know what it is to love someone so much it hurts. I know what it means to love period. I know that I want to help people and that I want to succeed because it means others can benefit. — That moment you reread your entry and realize that helping people almost means you want to be used. 

The world and society is so ass backwards today. I really don’t understand how we got here. The people that used to preach peace and love now sit back and yell pay your dues. Uh… I’ve paid way more than you have, thank you very much. This isn’t a contest. This is my life, my world and my time. Excuse me for trying to spend it in a way I hope will make me happy. In a world where depression, anxiety, mental illness, debt, divorce, bankruptcy, class division, and necessity to follow the status quo reign, consider me a rebel. I don’t want anything to do with any of those things.

The more I try, the more I do, the more I learn and experience, the harder all of it becomes. I ask myself constantly, when is it ever enough? Then I think — conditioned response. It’s conditioned because I’ve been told “pay your dues, do what you have to do, you have to do this, you have to do that, it’ll happen in time…” the list goes on. But fuck all of that. Seriously fuck it all. I want to live a life that sets my soul on fire. I want to live a life that brings me and those around me incandescent happiness. I want a world I can be a part of and the norm is weird. Weird outside the box, non materialistic, nonconformity.

I am not ungrateful for what I have. But consistently inconsistent stability is what I have. I never know when the proverbial stool is going to be kicked out from under me. And I’m barely keeping up the balancing act as it is. Sometimes I wish I could kick it out from under myself. But I digress… I’m happy I came to California. I’m grateful of the progress I’ve made and the things that I’ve become. I want more because I was so far from ever being enough for myself before and now its the opposite.

California brought me a lot of good. But it also brought me perpetual loneliness. There are good and bad results from basically everything, but some of them are easier to live with than others. I’d almost rather have the habit of going out way too much than being constantly alone. The boredom humdrum that has become my life is exhausting. Add in the constant traffic struggle that is LA and ding ding ding! Welcome to hell. A very different kind of hell, but a hell nonetheless. I make the joke that the price of paradise is a 6 lane parking lot. Too bad it’s not a joke.

When are we going to realize that people living lives they love, people loving their lives and being able to pursue happiness is not the end of the world for those that already have too much? Life isn’t an “I’m taking this from you because I want it,” kind of game. There are millions and millions of opportunities to do and be and live in whatever way you want. Why is sharing such a hard concept? When did we become so materially self centered? How do we make progress when you can’t believe what anyone says because everyone has an agenda? Where do we go from here? We have to make decisions for our own self preservation. And we have to make change for the good of people – period. Otherwise, we have nothing. So what next? Do I keep planning for 6 months from now, or do I focus on tomorrow.

Day 14: The immediate future happens first. What decisions are we going to make to make sure we get where we’d like to be?

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Day 5: Mindfucking myself

Maybe it’s because it’s Monday or maybe because that’s just how I am at times, I’m currently screwing myself over. Remember people: a mind is a terrible thing to use against yourself.

It’s days like these that remind me about depression and anxiety and how real they are. Not wanting to get out of bed. Reeling until you can’t find anything good to land on again. Dwelling on the shit of what if and making everything worse for myself. Hard to explain to everyone and it doesn’t show up the same way all the time. Right now I’m contemplating my next move because I really don’t have what I want in life. I spent the last few months searching for a job and a way to stay and now that I have it, it’s not what I want. Life is hard at best, but this has been insane.

I don’t want to start over, but at the same time I do. I don’t have the life I want and I don’t exist in the world I want to be in… so yes, I want to start over. I want to have friends and fun and I don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel any time things don’t go the way I want them to, but when is enough enough? I feel like there’s nothing here for me anymore. I feel like I’m driving myself up the wall when I know this isn’t working.

I really think it’s time for me to leave. Not in a forever and ever I’m not coming back kind of way, but a this isn’t right at this point in my life. At least it doesn’t feel right. I want my own place. I want to have fun. I want to feel alive and like I’m actually living my life on purpose. I’m starting to repeat myself but it is what it is.

The problem becomes…. where do I go next… I guess that’s the next problem to be solved. A heading. Times like this I’d love that compass that points to what your heart wants most. That and to stop mindfucking myself with all the crazy that just really doesn’t need to be. Stay, go, hate it here, nothing I want… too expensive, love it, can’t ever get ahead, too many issues. Too many irrationalities and they’re all starting to kick my ass.

Day 5: starting to gain clarity but being my own worst enemy

Los Angeles Chronicles: Being Lost is Relative & so is Being Found

Here I am a year and a half into the “life I always dreamt about”… I’m without direction and fairly sick of looking to the past. Needless to say this experience hasn’t been what I’ve expected it to be – then again nothing ever is. In some ways it’s been a million times better than I could imagine and in other ways it’s one of the most life shattering situations to be in.

I am in love with Los Angeles. I love California in more ways than I can describe. The feelings of contentment and fullness. The clarity and the head space have both completely improved within. Yet, I’m so lost. I never expected to start a new life and end up with the job of my dreams, the love of my life, and a big fat bank account in a year. Honestly I’d barely expect that in the next five years (mostly because I’m realistic). But this entire experience has left me with one major thought — what do you do when you’re feeling completely lost, yet you’re finally feeling okay with who you are again?

Okay, wait a minute – hold that thought. Rewind…. I lost my job back at the end of May. I’ve been attempting to find my way since then, but I’ve been coming up short. I’ve gotten multiple interviews and have had call backs on second rounds, yet this time I can’t seem to seal the deal. After three months of agonizing over my next step and whether or not I get to stay here because of monetary responsibilities, I realized I’m just as lost as I was when I left, but now I’m a person I want to be.

I’ve come a long way from the person I had become when I left my hometown for the third time. I took a giant risk because I owed it to myself. I have given a lot and I have done what I have to do. Yet here I am worse off than I was when I got here. Feeling like a failure because I have nothing to show for this last year, but what lies within, I realize again…. being lost is relative. I may have found myself in a lot of ways, but when you’re lacking direction what do you do? I chased a dream to get here. I took a leap of faith and it initially paid off. I’m in a position to have to do whatever I absolutely must to stay, but I also have to admit to myself I absolutely do not want to leave.

All of these things come back to our own ideals and expectations of where we thought we’d be at this age. I have nothing I’ve ever wanted, yet in the last week I’ve been happier than I ever have in this country. Yes – this country. Some of it is letting yourself be. Some of it is realizing set backs happen, things don’t always fit, and it’s okay to feel what you feel. The difference is admitting the shit exists, but realizing that you don’t have to let it consume you.

I’ve dealt with depression for most of my life. I fight my own demons daily just to get out of bed. Sometimes I look in the mirror and realize hey the demon is me. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I scream internally “you fucken got this stop doubting yourself.” And sometimes I fly without a net hoping for the best because uncharted territory and the unknown have taken over my life. But I digress…

It’s been a pretty great week for me so far. The month of August is turning my world around and all of it is happening for the better. The culmination of the last two months doesn’t define me. Nothing is set in stone and this is NOT the end. I need to remember to let myself have what I want and let myself be happy when shit hits the fan. I need to remember that school’s over and the “right path” in terms of life really doesn’t exist. Never having an answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” I’m still searching for a career but maybe the issue is I haven’t invented it yet.

We are the creators of our own worlds. We have to take the good and the bad. When we feel we have nothing to show, we need to find small ways to prove it to ourselves. When we feel lost, we need to do something that makes us found in the space in which we exist. When we doubt our abilities sometimes we just need a friend. And sometimes we just have to play the game and play in general. Thus realizing that life doesn’t need to be so serious and that everything in life is temporary. And sometimes – I need to take my own advice and realize that life is good. Sometimes we all need reminders that we deserve to be happy and just let ourselves accept them.

Lost Angeles Chronicles: Internal struggle in a >political< world of uncertainty

I’m finally at the point in my life where I seek information on a daily basis. Whether by curiosity or need, I spend most of my time reading. I can never seem to take enough information in and there is always more out there. The issue isn’t what is available – as Google does most of the work when it comes to searching – rather that who tells the truth, what is real, what is not and how much shit do I have to dig through to find it? And even sometimes, why is the satire just so damn true?!

Anyway…

There is a lot going on in this world, good and bad at any moment. People are up in arms about politics worldwide and people are doing everything from predicting the world’s end to ignoring that we’re even in trouble. What troubles me… what makes me fight myself internally… the future of it all. I sit here trying to plan for my future the best I can and now everything I thought was once possible is shifted. Everything I once wanted for myself seems so out of touch with reality. I find myself thinking, “holy shit I must be American because this whole thing makes me want to strap on a gun and rush the battlefield.” Yes, this is hyperbole, but anyone even somewhat like myself should totally understand where that’s coming from.

I try to go on with life “as usual.” I try to go through the motions and ignore what is out there because I know that it only ends up with me being angry that so many people are  entirely against others that they know nothing about and are so quick to call them terrorists when the United States has pretty much been the biggest terrorizer in the world since it was “born.” /run on sentence

But damn. How the fuck did we get here? Why?! What are we doing to ourselves and others?! How do we sit back and let people take over within our own country with views and beliefs that aren’t just opposite ours, but totally against everyone who isn’t them?! How did we become this completely divided among ourselves? When you wake up everyday and the threat of an attack in some form is now in your backyard, what are you supposed to do? This isn’t about being “safe” it’s about actually being able to live the life you want to live for yourself. Yes, safety plays a role but fuck man. At the end of the day our lives in the U.S. aren’t hard in conventional ways )#firstworldproblems is definitely the best way to describe it) but look at our government. We were supposed to be the system that was by the people, for the people…Now… The party that claims they want less government is the party that wants to take all your individual rights away by government mandate. The party that is supposed to be for all is totally split due to self righteousness and arrogance. And those that actually want to change for the greater good are being left unheard and walked on. So, where the hell do we go from here?

Again, I sit here and think about my future. The prospects of love and happiness, a potential family and house to raise them in. Not only are those things becoming harder and harder to attain because of the way the American world functions, but now I have to fight people off to have rights to my own body. I start thinking…”WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE” followed by, “How do I change the world around me?!” Why do I sit here in the midst of superficial shit screaming for change and no one pays attention? Am I the only one that wants to give up all my childhood dreams and figure out how to join in the political fight and change this from within? Why aren’t people more outraged? Do we not know how to ban together because we really have drifted so far apart?

Yes, my future has always been uncertain because time, unlike life is in fact linear… but the question, “where do I go from here” seems to have so much more attached to it now. As I fight for what I believe in, in hopes of a future actually worth having, do I have to fight myself too? I know this is a fight worth fighting, I know this is a risk worth taking, so why does it seem like so much of a leap of faith and why does it seem that my future is lost to me in a way it never was before? Why do I contemplate the real meaning of what comes next with such emphasis when in my proverbial yesterday  it didn’t seem as daunting? Who and what are we becoming and what do we have to do to change? Is anyone alive out there, can anyone hear me?!