Enjoying these dog days of summer without needing to work right now. Just spending them healing, relaxing, resting, recovering. I think people are picturing me sitting on a porch fanning myself with a magazine, listening to the buzz of the cicadas and watching kids amble by on their squeaky bikes in the sticky heat of August. I also probably have one hand tightly wrapped around a Freeze Pop in their maginations. All of this is true; this is actually as close to what I do on a daily basis given I normally have my hand wrapped tightly around something edible, my apartment is hot as fuck and the cicadas are mating like idiots right now. But instead of enjoying this, the whole time my mind is just like balls. balls. Baaaaallllls. I should be looking at more jobs right now or applying to every school on the east coast.
Instead, each day is a vicious cycle of guilt, panic, and procrastination. Panic that I won't find a job anytime soon, that I'm not prepared to work, with my foot which will just lead to chronic injury if I go back too early. That there won't be any grad school that starts in January, or whether or not I'll even be accepted into any of them. That Nursing isn't really what I want to do for the rest of my life. That I'll never figure "it" out. I'll never figure myself out. That I'll just circle the drain, somewhere in between, in a constant free - fall of disaster.
And then the guilt comes....guilt that I'm on disability. That if I have an hour where I am actually relaxing, that I shouldn't be, that I should be figuring out what my dream career is and promptly reaching for the god damn stars already.
And then the procrastination, because honestly... what do you do when you don't know what to do? Nothing.
At the very most I shouldn't be buying coffee, when I am broke. But I do.
And certainly not watching TV instead of doing ankle exercises. Which I do excessively. Still injured enough to not work, but not injured enough to feel like laziness is an acceptable existence.
There's this weird pressure to lose a bunch of weight and get healthy while I'm off; to "figure myself out", discover my career path and my life path all at once. Like this is some caterpillar-butterfly moment where I'll emerge from this terrible experience stronger, resilient, beautiful, with all my goals laid out nicely before me, as though they just came to me while I was laid up on bed-rest. I think people often assume that after disaster emerges something amazingly well-crafted. Like everyone is expecting some soul-journey story to be the result of this trying time and I'm not fully prepared to disappoint everyone with the lackluster ending to this story. (what the eff is a 'soul journey' anyway?)
I feel like shouting I'm not an Oprah magazine article! I don't know how to make this my shining moment where I figure it all out. Did somebody write a book on this yet? I obsessively check my bank account, wondering when the money will run out. I take career quizzes and sit in Barnes & Noble hoping maybe by osmosis I'll absorb a grand idea or plan on how to create "the life I want", as all the self-help books advertise. Too bad there isn't a prequel called "i am about to give you all of the answers. all of them."
I want people to say: "well that injury and layoff was the best thing that ever happened to her! it led her to insert awesome life-changing experience" instead of "she moved into a trailer and the only coffee she could afford was the stir in kind. I mean the girl couldn't even buy a pumpkin spice latte for fuck's sake." seriously, people, what goes in the blank up there. or instant coffee is in my imminent future.
Injuring myself and consequently losing my job because of it has not made anything more crystal clear than it was before. If anything it has muddied the waters significantly. At least before I felt I had no choice; I was locked into a job whether or not I liked it, but it paid the bills and allowed me several days off per week. It forced me to revolve my life around sleeping, eating, and work where little decision making had to be done. I mean, I'm the girl who will suffer through a one-page menu, terrified of food-regret. Now, I have numerous life questions that kind of matter and not-a-one of them do I actually know the answer to.
I'm groping blindly in the dark feeling like I have 3 months to decide what to do with my life. And the more I spin in circles, the more lost I feel. It probably doesn't help that all I keep hearing in my head is the quote from Home Alone 'this is it, don't get scared now.'
Maybe I should write "the book."
It'll be titled "I Think I'm Supposed to Enjoy This."
The cover will just be a picture of me, holding an ice pop, sitting on a porch. Panic-free.