Monday, September 26, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I don't want to put too much thought into this post. I'm tired... I just turned down popcorn, for crap's sake. But I still want you all to know what happened to me today, on this, my first day back at work in the suchandsuch year of our Lord. 

1. I arrived forty minutes early because I was afraid of the traffic on the beltway. I'm still afraid. The east coast is just trying to fool me.

2. I mentioned Kansas only three times, and it was not obnoxious. It was cool, like, "So, Kansas... How about that?"

3. I said "Yeah, OK," like ten thousand times, but only understood a tiny amount of what was tossed at me. 

4. I ate a can of tuna in my car on my lunch break. And read the last book of the Twilight series. I'm not sure which of those things is worse. 

5. I had some free time, so I donated blood. 

I WHAT!?!?

Yeah, today was a day to donate, so I climbed onto an American Red Cross bus, I kid you not, and donated blood on a weird bussy bed with the ceiling a foot from my face. The bus was old too, which seems safe and sanitary. 

This is not what my bus looked like, but it is a bus.

6. I got texts from some of the nicest friends in the world, wishing me a great first day. 

7. My husband was even happier than I was to know that people were nice to me. 

8. I'm in a cubicle. I don't hate it. 

9. There was no traffic on my way home from work! I'm still not buying it. 

10. Eventually, I'll get paid. 

So, there you go. I'll try and keep you posted as the week progresses and things develop. It's weird to go into a place, knowing it might be temporary. 


Friday, September 23, 2011

To Almost Be and To Not

This is how badly I need to do dishes: I just ate cereal out of a mug with a 1/2 Tbsp.

Shameful behavior.

And this is how badly I just need to publish a blog post already: I have a draft written for every day since my last post and nothing to show for it. Let me tell you what you've been missing.

9/16 I wrote about how much I love dancing like Steve Martin.

He's so glorious.

9/17 I talked about how Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  is, despite common opinion, not that great of a movie. Now you know.

9/18 I confessed that looking for a job is about as fun as the most un-fun thing ever. 
It's so easy, in the process of finding a job, to feel unsure and inadequate. I know those are the opposite of the things I should be feeling, when I'm trying to market myself. I need confidence, I need to assert that I know exactly who I am and what skills I possess that make me the perfect match for their needs. But oh, it's hard. It makes me feel needy, like a girl who isn't sure where a relationship with a guy she likes is going, afraid that it isn't going anywhere.

9/21 I listened to Randy Newman's "I Think it's Going to Rain Today" and wrote about how much I miss Manhattan, KS.
I want to tell you about the great things and the great people. And maybe, if I tell you, you will be entertained. But also, maybe you will remember those most precious people in your own lives. The ones who put a cold washcloth on your forehead after your 21st birthday, when you thought you had the Scarlet Fever, but really you just had Tequila. Or the friend who bought a cinnamon roll to share before Spanish class, or the time you cut class with your kindred spirit to sit in the grass and talk without words. 
I even had picture after picture ready to upload. It made me cry, writing that post.

So the question remains, why didn't I ever get around to posting anything? And I think the answer is a combination of things like: No matter how inspired I am by Steve Martin's dancing, it's darn hard to write a whole post about it. Long live the King of Tut. But also, sometimes thinking the thoughts and writing the draft is all that I need to do to know that a story has ended and I need to let it.

Now I'm in the middle of this new story called How I'm Trying to Live Big on the East Coast. It's about how I start a job on Monday with a printing company and how I'm going on coffee dates with new friends. It's also about how I got my derriere out of bed and washed those damn spoons. Because I will NEVER eat cereal with a Tablespoon again. And I will no longer wallow in the belief that what has happened already is better than what is happening right now.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hope is the Thing

Scientifically speaking, there is a twenty degree difference between "just OK" and "complete bliss". I am in complete and utter bliss right now, and I don't care who knows it. A cloudy day with enough chill to give me goosebumps, enough reason to wear pants and pour a cup of coffee. And then pour a cup of tea. If I'd had somewhere to go, I would have worn a scarf.

...I don't know what to make of this post. I don't want to sound like a writer with fluffy things to say about feelings and seasons. Today, I want to write something with pointy elbows and dirt under the finger nails, something altogether human.

Sometimes I look back, remembering myself in middle school and high school, and what I see more than anything is the way my younger self was constantly looking forward. I was a part of a youth group that urged us to desperately and wholly seek God. How many times did I squeeze my eyes shut and ball my hands together, begging God to divulge details about my future? It was consuming, and there are many good things that came from it. To be a part of a community that so strongly pursued Christ is irreplaceable. But also, it has left me wanting. Now that the majority of the hormones and naivety of my youth are fading, the outward expressions of my faith have changed to become much more reflective. The things that fueled me before, the dancing and crying and talking, are being replaced.

I do not think I know more than I knew then. I know things differently. I am learning and unlearning and relearning. And still, I am looking forward. I have an interview tomorrow and it makes me wonder about what I'm meant to do on a grander scale. How will I live this life? When will it ignite? I keep expecting an explosion, but maybe it is more like a steady flame, sometimes dimmer and brighter.

In the truest sense of the word, Amen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tying up Split Ends

Today I got a haircut and I feel fine. Goodbye inches, hello smooth shiny hair!

The best thing about going to the salon is that, if all goes well, you leave with your hair looking better than ever. The worst thing is that I know my hair wont look that way again until the next time I leave the salon. No amount of blow drying, round brushing, begging, and sweating ever turns out for me like it does for them. Is that why they all wear black? Because they are some freak, magical sort of hair ninjas? Well, bravo.

I also got a phone call from Kelly (the temp agency) saying that I have an interview Friday morning. This is good, people, very good indeed. TWO big things in one day is almost more than one girl can handle. I'm liable to start running around like the Jim Carrey in The Grinch when he finds out he's been nominated as the holiday cheer meister:

It's poor quality, but you get the idea.

And tonight, we go to see the Oriole's play. Baseball. It's supposed to be a beautiful stadium with delicious BBQ around the corner. As far as I'm concerned, tonight we're ALL winners!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Are you my mother?

I exercised today, which is french for: I showered.

Le sigh.

At the risk of being graphic, allow me to paint a picture for you. I removed my pajamas at 2:00pm, showered, and put my pajamas back on. Whatever, I don't care. Then I began the exhausting task of brushing my hair, which is when I was interrupted by the doorbell. Who could it be? I wondered, shamed to be caught in my jim-jams (British for pajamas) well after lunch time.

I considered ignoring the door. I considered putting on a bra. I answered the door.

Is Taquisha here? The lost child asked.
What? No. *smile* No Taquisha here. Sorry... I answered.

At which point I expected the little girl standing on our cock-eyed doormat to leave. No Taquisha, no dice. End of transaction. But she leaned there for a moment longer, suspended between her left foot which was leaving and her two eyes which were staring at me.

Could she see right through me? Did she know I had eaten both a cinnamon raisin bagel AND an ice cream sandwich for breakfast? I saw her brain, framed in puff-ball pigtails, perceive the situation and she pitied me. The damp, shaggy woman, with no Taquisha to call her own.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It has been 20 days since my last confession.

The beginning is always the hardest and, for all my trying, I haven't been able to begin a blog post... And so, I haven't been able to finish one. Every day I tick through a list of things that haven't changed or haven't changed enough to be exciting news for readers. I am also lazy and easily distracted.

My basil plant is dying -my sage and oregano plants are dead- and I have no idea why. I bought them, watered them, re-potted them and observed while they flourished for a week or two. Then, all my little plants lined up in a row in front of our sliding glass door started to brown and drop. I am the saddest about the basil, which I was using to make a kick-ass cinnamon tea. But also, when I watered the basil plant, the skin of my fingers would brush against the leaves and I'd have the scent of basil on me. It made me forget that I'd been in an apartment for endless hours; maybe I had just been in a forest?

Gah, I need to get a life.

We have been here for two months now, which is enough time passed to need to empty the vacuum cleaner and re-organize the fridge. It is also enough time to go through two boxes of popcorn. But it is not enough time passed to put away the GPS, have a girlfriend, or a desirable job. Two months is also not enough time so that when I walk by the halloween aisle at TARGET, I am not homesick for my parents' porch.

I've been feeling like a child here. My birthday is coming up and I'll be twenty-three*, which is nothing to anyone over forty, but honestly it's even more nothing to me. I know so little about functioning as a sure-footed adult in this world. Let's be honest, I don't know how to fill out a W-4 form; I'm pretty sure my days of being exempt are long gone.

Pray for me, friends. Think of me and only laugh a little when you picture me throwing pity parties in my pajamas. At noon.

*shameless birthday plug