Picking up where I left off in November. I found a place to live in Wellington. Lodge in the City. It was an awful, awful place. Run down, full of mentally ill people and drunks. The management was absent. Worst of all: I was the management.
I made some friends in Wellington. They were an odd bunch of Canadians and Brits. I drank an awful lot. I smoked an awful lot. I remember being drunk most of November and December.
I also remember Christmas Day. It must have been in the nineties out, and of course, this shithole I lived/worked in had no air conditioning. I worked twelve hours. I managed to drink most of a sixer of beer around being an asshole to the guests who happened to need help. I also went to the beach and waddled around for a while until I got too tired to be in the Christmas spirit. I'm pretty sure I'd gained about 20lbs since I arrived in New Zealand.
My life was a fucking mess in Wellington. I went on long walks to nowhere and drew terrible pictures under the influence of entire bottles of wine and shitty K2 weed. I snuck into hostels so I could cook my dinners because the kitchen in my residence was so filthy I couldn't step foot in it longer than a few seconds. My food would get stolen if I left it there, anyway.
I remembered the moment when I realized I'd had enough. It was sometime between Christmas and New Years. I'd spent four hours sitting with a bunch of backpackers drawing more of my horrible pictures over a whole bottle of wine. Another backpacker came along with a six pack of beer she didn't want, and I drank half of it. I walked home, sick and bloated, thinking that this was not the reason why I sold all of my shit and quit my job. How did I go from WWOOFing and sustainable food to pounding cheap beer all night, every night?
January came. I stopped drinking. I looked at my bank account and I actually had money in between paydays. I lost a little weight (but not enough). The friends I was stuck with during my binges fell away, and I was bound to another. January 2013 was a prelude to the best month of my entire life.
I went on a road trip for the entire month. It's hard for me to express what that experience did to me. I can tell you that I didn't "find myself." If anything, being in that car alone for hours and hours on those two-lane highways set my soul adrift. Every day was a new adventure, filled with new people in another beautiful backdrop. I chose the destination. I chose the music. I stopped when I wanted. I passed whatever didn't seem interesting to me. For the first time since I'd finished college, I felt like I was in control. The crappy economy didn't matter, soul-crushing desk work was irrelevant, and my father's cancer was gone. Life was simple; all I had was the car and the road.
Three weeks into it, after a long, wet drive from Te Anau to Invercargill and an expensive speeding ticket, I wound up in the Catlins. That afternoon, I looked out on the crashing waves at Porpoise Bay at the southernmost tip of New Zealand and decided I wanted to go home. That was it. There was no stress or disdain for the disappointing experience I'd had. My curiosity had been satiated. I hadn't come to New Zealand to work on some farms and live like a hippie. I went there because I couldn't control things at home. Everything happened for a reason. That saying sounds like bullshit, but I'm a firm believer now. It all worked out.
The last day of the road trip might've been the best. I was looking out of the window in the lounge on the ferry on the way back to Wellington and sipping a glass of Pinot Gris. The weather was terrible and I didn't care; I had realized that everything had gone right. I'd completed this arbitrary and outlandish goal I'd set myself out of madness and grief two years ago. Sure, my time in New Zealand was nothing like I'd pictured it, but it was perfect just the way it was. All I could do was kick my feet up on the couch and smile. For those four hours, I felt incredible. Invincible.
Two weeks later, I was in Sydney, Australia. Another week later, I was watching sunsets on a picture perfect beach in Fiji.
And then I came back home. Four months later, I'm experiencing what all of those travel blogs I obsessively subscribed to didn't write about.
What do I do now? I didn't find any answers down there and I'm fine with that. I definitely don't want to do another huge trip like that alone. While it was enriching, it was also stressful and exhausting, and I still feel the loneliness from those nights in hostels and bus stops creep up on me sometimes. I still don't feel like I'm ready to have a career, though this is definitely the time for me to start that. Have I had all my fun? Should I just grow up? I'm even more terrified of that now.
I don't know if I'll ever go back to New Zealand. I'm not sure if I want to. I crave that control I felt when I was on the road in that Mazda hatchback. I wanna just go, go, go.
I thought I would commemorate the 10th anniversary of brightbrowneyes by reliving my old practice of writing multiple entries in one day. I found a list of 45 things I wanted to do before I die. I wrote it when I was 15, and I think it deserves a bit of commentary.
I've had this livejournal for nine years and eleven months now. Let's just call it an even ten.
I remember when I was fifteen and I was browsing for NSYNC fanfiction and I stumbled upon livejournal. In those days, you needed a code or a paid account to use the service. I asked my mother for a paid account for Christmas and $25 later, here I was.
The phrase "bright brown eyes" is from "Senorita," the opening track on Justin Timberlake's debut album. I was really into "Justified" when it came out. I was in 10th grade then.
I updated this thing several times a day until well into college. Most of them were ramblings about homework, SAT prep and college applications. Livejournal was a hub for a lot of my high school friends. At one point, most of them had one. I even met some great friends at UCSB, some of whom I'm still close to.
I stopped updating regularly around the end of my junior year. I think I was going though some kind of slow nervous breakdown at that point. And in the summer of 2008, I discovered Twitter. My livejournal became less convenient to update.
My friends list is usually an open tab on my browser these days. Most entries are from Oh No They Didn't, though. Most of my friends probably haven't gone to this website in months or years. I hadn't updated since July up until now. A lot has happened since then, but if you're reading this, you already know.
Every once in a while, I like to read a random entry from a 5-6 years ago to see what was on my mind at the time. I'm glad I put a lot of stuff down from my time in London, though much of it was just ramblings and were not descriptive enough for me to really understand what I was doing. I remember being tired a lot that year. I had so much work to do.
I'm keeping a paper journal about New Zealand. I'm afraid of losing it because I think it has some neat stuff in there. I've been trying to learn how to draw so I have some sketches of people I meet and things I've seen. Journaling is actually quite a nice hobby, now that I think about it.
I'm not sure where this was going. I'm in a hostel in Wellington trying to figure out where to live at the moment. For some reason, I thought I should stay in this random, tiny city on the opposite side of the world for a few months. It's one of the fun parts about being an adult. The less fun aspects - surviving on the money I'm making, finding a clean and safe place to live - are around too.
I'll wrap up. No, I'm not deleting. No, I'm not pledging to use this more often. I just thought it was important to mention this milestone and reflect on the last 10 years (more or less). So see you whenever.
Hi livejournal. I am going through what I would characterize as "growing pains." I've looked at my life and everything I've done: school, traveling, working, friends, and family. At first I thought I felt empty because I had peaked in 2008 (ie the best year of my life thus far). Now I'm thinking that I'm just transcending all of it. As I approach 25 (SHIT) I'm going to say goodbye to adolescence/young adulthood for good.
I don't want to say goodbye to my sullen-loner-angsty-whatever. I think it's just happening. It's like when you like a band and then you don't listen to them for a while and you listen to them again and you wonder what was so great about it in the first place. That happened to me with The Academy Is... and Bloc Party. Sad, but true.
I still don't like sitting on my ass in an office for 8 hours a day and I don't want to get married and start shooting out children. I think I'm just... growing up. Or something. I want a good job and a comfortable home and a group of friends. I want my life to be like Friends. I've never watched Friends, but I assume it's about single 20-somethings doing whatever in a city. That sounds like something I'd like to do.
I've been listening to "POWER" by Kanye West a lot lately. It's a really great song. People say it's tainted with Illuminati/Satanist imagery but I don't really see it or care. The song says to me that Kanye West is a character that conveys the egotistical asshole that people love and hate. It's not really him, but he feel so powerful because he can say whatever the hell he wants and people will still pay attention to him. He's amazed at how ridiculous pop culture is and he will continue to milk it as long as this act works for him. He thinks he is truly talented in other ways but because the entertainment industry works the way it does, he will ride the asshole waves until he's a burnt out nothing.
I forgot where I was going with that. I feel like I can relate to this song somehow. I feel like I live outside of the fringes of culture and I look in and understand it all, but I'm just not apart of it. That really doesn't make any sense. I'm going to be everything I was meant to be soon. You'll see.
About the growing pains - my heart aches. It always does, but this is a different kind of ache. It's nothing that watching hours of Supernatural can fill. It's nothing that crocheting or reading beer blogs will fill. Oh man, I don't even know if traveling will fill out. I am becoming someone else. I am different from the 22-year-old who announced she'd go to New Zealand. Fuck. Why didn't I anticipate that? I have a plane ticket. I don't know what's going to happen with that, to be honest. I banked on not being here after September but good God, maybe it's fear, maybe it's the uncertainty, but all of the sudden I want to change everything. EVERYTHING.
I am an idiot.
I just want to be a different person. I don't really want you to know me anymore. I even started fantasizing about leaving California, which sounds completely insane. I love California. I don't know where else I'd be. I could go anywhere. I'm free. But I just need to meet new people. Traveling won't be permanent. I don't know. I really want to travel. I really do. I want to go. But not like I thought. I feel like a ridiculous flake.
So it's 9:07PM and I have nothing else to do. I don't want to read any more fanfiction. I'm SO SICK of reading that. People suck at characterization and honestly, I think I've read all the best of SPN fanfic. I've been reading it since October - I've probably read a couple novels worth. I'm reading one where Dean stays a vampire (season 6!) and wants to turn Sam into one and it becomes some kind of weird sexual obsession (all of Dean's obsessions turn weirdly sexual and that's why I like him). Anyway, it's by this writer who everybody says is DA BEST in the fandom and she sucks. Like. Wow. She's written a whole lot. But everything I've started by her has been unreadable. Good for her for having a hobby, even if it is writing about brothers putting their peens in each others' poopers (yes, I ship Sam/Dean, don't judge me, Jared and Jensen are not really brothers IRL they're actually married to ladies but whatever I love them and I don't get Destiel because angels seem asexual and I can't imagine Castiel wanting to have sex with Dean although I can imagine Dean totally lusting over Castiel because, like I mentioned, every one of Dean's obsessions becomes weirdly sexual). And honestly, you can't ship them after like season 4 because they're so pissed at each other and it's just a mess. Reading this crazy incest shit makes me shudder, but I can't stop reading it. COULD YOU FUCK YOUR BROTHER? I couldn't. Could NOT. And what writers add in there, like when Dean calls Sam his baby brother and shit when they're fucking. WHAT. NOOOOOO. But I can't stop reading. It's all so hilariously wrong. And like I mentioned in the parenthesis, they are not related IRL (or fucking) and I don't read RPF (real people fic) because, as I also mentioned, they're married and whatever and I find it weird to make up sexy stories about two actors who are human beings with families and bills and hopes and dreams. The Supernatural fandom is a beast and I've seen the gates of hell through it (if you think incest is the worst thing a fandom can glorify, you are wrong, wrong wrong!) but luckily I won't dive in head first. Too fucking crazy. Thank you for putting up with my parenthesis abuse.
I started that paragraph to let you know that my upstairs neighbors are hanging out on the patio and having a good time and I'm fucking jealous because I'm so lonely. I don't even want this apartment anymore. It's not a bad place, it's just that I'm in the worst location ever. I'm an idiot for renting in Santa Clarita. I need to get out of here. Christ.
Well, I'm tired of writing this now. Here is the point: I'm a changin'. I just wish y'all would stop graduating and getting married and having babies because I'm nowhere near that. Not like I am dying to do that, I feel like I'm losing people to big life events. Soon enough, I won't have anything in common with anyone anymore.
I'm keeping this one brief. I've been under a lot of stress lately (what's new?) so I thought I'd write some positive things.
Here are some goals for Summer 2011:
I need to be in nature more. Ideally, that would mean hiking and going to the beach, but I'd prefer not to do those things alone and most people don't have time to go around on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For now, I'm going to hang out by the pool behind my house, run on the nearby trail, and lay out at the park near my work at lunch time. I need to get into much better shape if I'm going to be galavanting half way across the world too.
Cooking (and other domestic things)
I really need to learn how to cook. I can do a few things without poisoning anyone, but most of my attempts to make something even remotely special don't work out. I'm taking a cooking class now and it's really fun. It would be even better if I lived in LA or had a normal work schedule because their classes are offered on weeknights after 6pm or on weekends. I'm doing my best to work around that.
I also need to tighten my cleaning and organizing game. Sometimes I wonder if I have too much stuff, but I realize I haven't bought much of anything except for books since I graduated from college. Maybe I need to go back to an apartment instead of living in a bedroom, haha. In any case, I need to do a huge purge of my meager closet and try to sell or give away most of this junk.
Letting Myself Relax
I've been so caught up with all of the terrible things that have happened this year and trying to make things happen for myself that I just need to chill the fuck out for a moment. I am so lucky to be heading to Disney World in July and I've already started planning to take long weekends here and there. I want to use up all of my personal time and vacation by the time I say sayonara to my job anyway. I have a feeling I will have decent summer - I really need to, anyway!
This post turned out long-ish. Good job on making it this far.
I saw Eclipse last night. Yes, that Twilight movie. I agreed to see it because the first two were unintentionally hilarious. I mean, the whole movie-going situation seemed like a prank. They call all of that blinking and stuttering acting? And I paid for this? It was the kind of joke that I was apart of. It's healthy to laugh at yourself often.
But Eclipse left me angry. It was fun to laugh at how utterly unreal those emotions were and the fact that the actors didn't seem to give a shit in the first two. This one seem like it was trying to be a movie on it's own and it failed. It wasn't a "so-bad-so-good" situation. It was just bad, period. I didn't even appreciate Taylor Lautner's body. He just looked like sqinty-eyed jailbait. Meh.
My boss thinks I love Twilight. Every time she catches me on ONTD, I'm scrolling past a huge picture of Robert Pattinson. Or that Ronaldo guy. You know, the Portuguese football dude. It's really embarrassing.
So I took the GRE and I thought I did well until I looked at the average scores for the grad programs I'm applying to. I'm not shocked - standardized testing is like my achilles heel. It shouldn't stop me from applying anywhere, but my heart just isn't in it anymore. I mean, I definitely want to go back to school at some point. I just don't know exactly what I would like to get a graduate degree in. That shit is expensive, and you can't eat, wear, or live in diplomas.
I'm thinking about trying to find a new job at the end of the summer. I know I just started my job, but I figure it'll take a year or so to find something else. I've learned that I'd rather not spend most of my day in front of a computer. I'm dying to work in the arts or entertainment, but I know that's going to be a tough nut to crack. I promised myself that if nothing shows up in a year, I'm preparing a Plan B. I'm working on that one - it's a crazy idea, but it's probably the best I've ever had. We'll see if I chicken out of that one.
Over the past week, I've been experiencing a sporadic prickly sensation in my legs. It feels like 1000 pins are digging into my skin. It's not debilitating, but it's irritating to say the least. I asked Dr. Google what it's all about and it's something that comes with an anxiety disorder. So that's coming back. Cool.
With this realization, I decided to live and let live. I've been trying so hard to resist my current situation, spent so many hours of my life stressing about "getting my life together" or whatever.
You know what? I have a home and more comforts than I can count. I have a premium satellite package. I have a little bit of money and I get to sleep on a couch in Santa Barbara every few weeks. My computer still works - I don't need a new one. Why do I take so many things for granted? Things will fall into place in due time. It's not like I have a fucking plan, anyway. I never really did.
Maybe life isn't as complicated as I thought it was. I was a history major because I liked history. I don't like my situation right now, but if I were doing something I liked, I would be happier. But I don't know what I like.
I mean, I do. But I don't know how to turn what I like into a career without going back and getting a second BA. And I'm so not doing that. Well, whatever it is, I'll figure it out at some point. I'm not planning to have kids or anything soon, so I've got time to just do whatever.
When I was in school, I always thought of myself as one of those type-a, go-get-it people, but in my heart, I know I'm not. I don't think I'm lazy either. Okay, maybe I am. I'll come out with it. My inner lazy is finally showing. But is doing things you like lazy? I was good at school because I liked it. And I liked school because I was good at it. Maybe I'm too lazy to find other things to like...?
So what does this have to do with the prickling sensation moving up and down my calves at this very moment? It seems as if I should learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.
I have to keep this thing going, so I'll update before March ends.
I still work at Joann, but it's more an afterthought now. I definitely don't love it, but I guess I don't hate it either. It's just something to do while I figure my life out.
Running is going fine. I have a bunch of crazy tan lines from being outdoors so much. That seems like it's a good sign. I'm thinking about doing another 10k in Santa Monica in May but I don't have anybody to go with and it's $70 freakin' dollars. In a different world, that kind of money would mean absolutely nothing to me. I'm already committed to doing the Disneyland Half Marathon in September for $120. We'll see what happens.
I had a job interview last week. I thought it went really well, but I didn't get the job. I think it's a good thing though - when I met the owner of the place I'd be working for, I got very bad vibes from her attitude. So there's that.
I haven't read anything good. I'm really desperate for a good book. I go to the library two or three times a week and end up checking out manuals and other educational books. I read a decent anthology of essays a few weeks ago, but I haven't had such luck since.
That's it for now. Now you really know my life is boring.