Sometimes I think I forgot how to write. Like I’m creatively handcuffed – stuck in a routine that I can’t seem to break out of. Which, in a sense, is a total tragedy as writing has become my own version of a security blanket. I still find myself writing all the time in my head – but when I look at a computer and try to articulate my thoughts into actual words – I almost feel like there’s nothing left to say. Sometimes I feel like I’ve given every part of myself out to so many people and I don’t have the emotional capacity to put the pieces back together again.
I’m writing this right now on the train, as I stare out the window and give the guy across from me a sympathetic smile every time my leg brushes against his in the tiny section of seats that we’re sharing. Parts of Southern California fly past me: Northridge, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale – places that are so close to home but so disconnected from my regular conscious in so many ways.
Right now, since I grabbed an earlier train than usual, I get to watch the sun as patches of it flicker on the seats and blind people who are trying to make the pilgrimage home on the last Tuesday night of February. I’m slightly out of breath, as I frantically ran through Union Station to make the train after having an incredibly frustrating day at work – where I’m quickly learning that no matter how creative and out-of-the-box that you want to be, there will always be the threat of glaring red tape that comes up out of nowhere.
I keep telling myself that this is all part of the process. That’s become the mantra. “Trust the process. You have to fail to succeed.” And as I’m sitting here – on this train, surrounded by so many of my fellow exhausted-looking humans – it’s taking every bone in my body to not scream at myself and just say – “Your mantra is a piece of shit.”
I’ll never understand the people who just get what they want, when they want it. Those who get their dream job on the first try. Those who don’t have to work reception and customer service and every other entry-level job to start paving the beginning of the road to a potential career. The girls who post one video and whose lives go viral on their social media channels the next day. The young adults who don’t have to worry about rent or gas or dinner since their parents have it covered and will spot them for the rest of their lives.
I’m not bitter. My back hurts, but I’m an old pro. I’ve been here before. I’ve done the two-hour commutes and ran through the train stations and sat in the endless traffic. I get that we’re all in this together and to some degree, that idea helps. But there are moments when I’m physically and emotionally exhausted and my social life is shit and I just want to look up and yell – COME ON. To who, I have no idea. To the universe maybe? I feel like I’ve become jaded to daydreams and the “what-if’s” of my “younger days”, cause in my world, right now, the only way things can be truly achieved is if you break yourself down till there’s almost nothing left, and then start all over again the next day.
I think it’s safe to say that this is a transitionary period. Things are changing at an incredibly fast pace and it’s a matter of holding on and experiencing the ride. My job moved, I’m traveling more than I can comprehend and on top of that, I’m finally (FINALLY) taking the jump and moving away from the ghosts that still haunt my hometown; finding a new beginning to develop and grow into a less sleep deprived human who has some semblance of a life outside of work. Plus, the dream is still New York – so I’ve just get to keep pushing until that hope presents itself as a reality…and this is one step closer to making that happen.
I also decided to book a trip to Europe. One of those massive 7 cities in 2 weeks backpacking trips where you put yourself through hell to try and find some answers. I leave for London on May 12th and, although the official itinerary is still up in the air, I am so anxious to just hop from one beautiful place to another – just cause most of the time, that’s how I could live my entire life. How beautiful life would be if I could just leave at the drop of a hat. It’s a very Hemingway-esque way of life. Just existing wherever the wind takes you and relying on a pen and paper to support your extravagant wine habits.
My boss keeps looking at me and smiling whenever he brings up the trip, calling it “the trip of a lifetime” and encouraging me to throw all my outside focus into the travel details and to not waste time on guys or dating until I get home. I guess I’ve taken his words to heart, as even my hairdresser said: “Maybe you’re just at the point now in your life where you don’t NEED a relationship anymore.” Which is ironic cause after almost two years of being single, this has been the first time in my life that I FEEL like this is the case. My focus is, for the first time, elsewhere. In this year, so far, I’ve cancelled more dates than I’ve been on.
At this point now, as the train pulls into my station, I just have to keep on keeping on. Work through the fact that my back hurts more than it has in a long, long time. Push through the fact that I have blisters on three different parts of my feet. Remind myself that red tape is just tape and, ultimately, remember that as bullshit as I think my mantra is half the time, it’s still what has gotten me this far and I owe a hell of a lot to it.
Above all that, I’m making a promise to myself to write significantly more. Because it makes me happy. And because I desperately can’t wait to write about all the good in life that’s on the horizon.