Ok, everybody. This is real now. After a while of procrastinating and putting this off I am just gonna go for it.
What have I been doing the past few months?
After officially withdrawing from my school in june I got a job at a warehouse through my sister. Working for a bit over minimum wage, I processed orders on a typical 9-5 for a few weeks. It’s the kind of job where you get into a hypnotic rhythm. You put your headphones in and in about a week or so you’ve gone through your entire music library, Serial, and half the archives of This American Life. It was a solid job, but I personally found it very draining and isolating at times. Every night I came home feeling dull and gray. I have a deeper appreciation for what full-time career employees there may deal with.
While I was working there I knew this is not the kind of lifestyle that would sustain me. I started looking again and got a job at a place I will call Sexy Pizza. At Sexy Pizza I am a server. For about a month in transition I cut down on my warehouse job hours to part-time and supplemented the rest working nights at the restaurant. At the beginning I really enjoyed it. There was a little disorganization and chaos but I enjoyed the people and felt that this may be a chance for me to finally cultivate a little bit of social life to get through the mentally/emotionally strenuous parts of this year. I started with a few days a week, but it soon ramped up to 5 or six days a week.
Working two part-time jobs had me about 60 hours a week. The paper was flying, my feet were in a constant state of low-to-mid-grade pain, and almost every waking hour was happening with some kind of stimulation. I realized at this point that I was neglecting my unpaid internship, I was also supposed to be writing… I could have maybe also been balancing other aspects of my life better.
In any case, my warehouse job started to taper out at this point. I really didn’t like it and I felt like it ate up so much of my time half of the week. “I’ll replace it!” I thought. Then I would just be left with this cool pizza gig and this neat little life I was building for myself.
ALAS! Shit started going down at the pizza job. The manager who I liked quit, then the bartender quit, then the host quit, then the other server quit, then a driver quit. Like a terrifying stack of dominoes the work culture that I was beginning to acclimate to was vanishing before my eyes. Depressing!
It was really a cool situation before. There were the Brazilians, Mexicans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorians, and USAmericans; an exciting trilinguial mixed salad of cultures. Then the long-term workers who actually had investment in the place were replaced by short term people who didn’t care, and I realized that my search may not be over.
Here I am now with one job, instead of two. One job whose paychecks regularly bounce and whose terrible management means that I have to juggle a million things at once while dealing with (legitimately) angry customers on 4 different phone lines at once who have been waiting 3 hours for pizza delivery. I have to lie to them about our shitty service, I have to lie to them about our fake ginger ale. “Yes, why we do offer ginger ale! Ginger ale is exactly what you are drinking right now!” On the upside, I’m much better at MPTPL, or in other words “maintaining professionalism through plausible lies”. This is a skill I am sure I will need to utilize in my adult life.
I tell myself that this is good life experience and that I am not wasting my time. I’m definitely learning things. I feel like I have developed a new suave confidence that comes with dealing with more of life’s bullshit. Honestly it is also nice to be making money and saving it for a change.
Sometimes, like yesterday, I am driving along the beach at sunset watching the hazy silhouettes of people on the sand against the orange sky and ocean waves. I’m blasting some music in Portuguese that I found on spotify and feeling like everything is going to be alright. I can taste the life that I am imagining for myself. I feel connected to it.
There is so much more out there! This time may feel all-enveloping, like a suffocating blanket of time, but its not. It’s temporary, and if I make it through mentally and keep myself motivated then I may find myself in an entirely different reality. One that makes me feel inspired and alive instead of lonely and depressed. IT IS POSSIBLE!
Other times I am sitting on the same couch from my middle school years with no friends, questionable employment, and the expansive threatening shadow of free, empty time spreading out around me, weighing down my heart and mind like a vat of pizza grease. Then its just me feeling worthless and lonely, wondering how I am going to make this work and if it will even be worth it.