Amy is a self-confessed geek who drinks copious amounts of tea, has a deep and profound love of the written word and wants to be an author when she grows up. She doesn't like people and she doesn't trust garden gnomes, and she avoids both wherever possible.
My face is green with makeup, and I’ve just removed all the clothing I’ve been wearing for the last five hours, sans my underwear. I didn’t get half as drunk as I planned to be at the 21st birthday I attended tonight (That being the reason I was made up and dressed). It’s hot, as Australian summer nights tend to be, and my windows are open to let in the faintest of breezes into my stifling bedroom. There is music playing from somewhere distantly near, the soulful tones of a female vocalist ringing clear through the sounds of birdcall and cicada song.
I yearn for something I can’t voice aloud, lest the illusion be broken. This mask of mine grows heavier by the day, and I can barely stand it. I ache to break free of this sameness, and from the likewise sadness, but I’m trapped within this endless cycle. I want to climb a mountain, and scream from it’s summit; release the primordial rage and emptiness that lurks below the surface of my very skin, and cast it away from me.
Maybe you understand, or maybe this all seems like incoherent rambling. Maybe I’ll regret it in the morning, when the clear head logic reminds me that I keep my emotions hidden for a reason. But now, in this cloying near-midnight, I can only pour my soul into the ether and hope that one day, I’ll smile without the strain of force and facade.
Lately it seems like every time I try to get ahead, this adult life just keeps dragging me back. I’m living week to week, barely scraping though and hoarding every cent. I pay one bill, three more arrive in my email. I can’t even contribute to the everyday living costs at home yet, because I’m just not earning enough right now. The drama lies in breaking my lease. See, I’m paying rent on a house I don’t even live in anymore, and despite the rental demand, apparently the real estate agent and/or landlord ‘haven’t found a suitable tenant’. The house, mind you, has been on the market for five weeks. Five. Fucking. Weeks.
I’ve been travelling two hours each way to this house I used to call my home, scrambling to get everything done before I had to hand the keys back. I cleaned the entire house three weeks back, and moved everything out into a storage shed two weeks ago. The yard is the final thing, and I went back last week to try and finish it. I didn’t finish it, and have no more time. So now, I have to pay for a gardener to come in and complete it. Which is another cost to add to the every growing list. And still, they haven’t found someone to take over the lease. They’ve had inspections aplenty, because they email me and text me every time they do. So I find it very difficult to believe that they haven’t found someone suitable in over a month. Personally, I think they’re just biding their time because they know legally I have to keep paying rent until someone else moves in. So I expect to be paying rent on this house until well into next year.
It seems every time I move away from my home town, things go spectacularly wrong. Things were bad when I lived in the city, things turned sour when I moved to this new town. I just keep coming back to my home town, time and time again. Part of me wonders if I’m being drawn back for a reason, and another part of me is screaming that I am in charge of my own…fate, if you will. Whatever the reason, I think it’s gonna be a while before I’m brave enough to move away again.
The truth is, I’m just feeling really disheartened lately. For a myriad of reasons, not least being that I feel like I’m being a burden to my dad, who I’ve moved back in with, and the fact that I just can’t seem to catch up. I need a break in my bad luck. I’m not even talking winning the lottery, I’d just like to be able to get some sleep instead of lying awake because I’m so anxious. Or for the real estate to email me today and say they’ve found a tenant. Or, let’s be real, winning the lottery would be kind of awesome.
It’s 10:30pm. I have my window open so I can hear the sound of the rain, and I kind of wish I could stay like this forever.
I love the rain. The smell, the sound, the taste. There’s something so soothing about it, and it fills me with a sense of calm and absolute contentment. Life has been a bit shit lately, so it’s nice to just lay here in the dark and enjoy one of my favourite things.
There was a huntsman in the lounge room earlier. He only had seven legs, but the span of those legs would have been the size of my palm. He was very active, moving from this corner of the room to that one. He came down the wall once, but I tapped the wall beside the couch and he scurried back up to the ceiling, much quicker than I expected. I’m not scared of him, but I would much prefer that he doesn’t decide to camp in my bedroom tonight. The rain brought him inside, as it often does, and I don’t mind giving the furry little big guy a warm, dry home for the night.
It’s nights like this I wish I didn’t have to get up and go to work in the morning. I’ve recently gone from two to four days a week between two stores. I know it was the right decision, as much as I wasn’t happy about having to make it. But that still doesn’t make it easier to get up and go to work! It always seems to rain when I’m stuck inside at work, instead of at home. Tonight is an exception, and one I’m very happy about.
Sometimes I wish I could just live in a little stormy bubble. It might sound depressing to some, but I’ve always been one to chase the rain.
Everyone is scared of something. Clowns, spiders, penguins….it takes all kinds, as they say. I have to confess that I am not particularly fond of moths, with their propensity for flying at my face at full speed, and their general creepy demeanour. But the thing that really, truly scares me is mediocrity. The idea that I will spend my life never getting to experience anything beyond mundane, everyday average-ness terrifies the absolute hell out of me.
I know you have all heard this story before. Twenty something working in a boring job just to pay the bills, seemingly the only single person in a world filled with couples, struggling to save for nice things whilst elsewhere, people are buying houses and travelling the world and living their best lives. They’ve literally made movies about my exact predicament, and mostly those movies are shit. Though, in the Hollywood way, most of the protagonists in those stories have some kind of life changing experience and they all live happily ever after, blah blah blah.
Look, it’s entirely possible that I’m being a little dramatic, and largely unrealistic. Am I, perhaps, putting too much faith in the idea that I am ‘on the right path’? Am I overlooking the fact that life itself is messy and unpredictable? Am I spending too much time simply wondering when my life is going to start, instead of realising that it already has, and that I am entirely responsible for my own happiness? The answers to all of these questions is a resounding yes. See, I have this infallible tendency to overthink, and then overreach, whilst simultaneously doubting myself. The result has never been anything less than a spectacular failure, which in turn leads to a rut that I find harder to climb out of each time.
There are so many things that I want to do, to see, to learn. My brain is like a sponge, wanting to soak up as much as I possibly can. I want to curate a life of experiences so that when I die, I can say that the time I had was well spent. Is it morbid to be thinking about my death at the ripe old age of 26? Probably. The thing is, I often find it hard to remember that there is plenty of time and opportunity ahead of me. I need to stop beating myself up about the fact that I am here, when I want to be over there. More importantly, I have to learn to be kinder to myself, which is not an easy thing when the only pet you’ve ever had is the proverbial black dog.
The thing that scares me above all else, is the notion of existing without actually living. It is a kind of underlying, insidious fear that permeates every little aspect of my life. But, in the same way I overcame my fear of spiders a few years ago, I know I can overcome this too. I just need to take things one day at a time, go slowly, and remember what Dimmu Borgir taught me;
“The keys are in your hands. Realise you are your own sole creator of your own master plan.”
It’s official. My life has finally become a bad comedy for real.
Yesterday my friend got married. I was invited to the wedding sans a plus one, because I don’t have a significant other. But I knew that another couple from our old work place were invited, and I always got on with them very well, so I knew I would have someone to sit with, and talk to.
So when yesterday arrived, I got myself dolled up and drove an hour to the venue. I got there and gave my friend a hug (I’m not usually a hugger, but I made an exception because it was his wedding, duh). Then he said the words that made my heart sink. Our other work friends weren’t coming. I didn’t know a single other person besides the bride and groom. I was very much alone, in a room full of strangers. Aaaaand cue my social anxiety.
The ceremony was fine; short and sweet. The bride looked lovely in a simple, yet elegant dress of tulle and lace. The venue itself was a school camp, and despite my initial thoughts upon hearing that, it was actually quite a lovely spot. During all that talking, it was ok to sit there quietly, alone. Afterwards, whilst the bridal party did all the official stuff, another guest came to sit with me and we started chatting. As it turns out, her cousin actually runs the networking event that I attended a few months ago, and we had a laugh about a few remembered moments from the night in question. She was quite a character, and I enjoyed talking with her. But when it came time to go inside for dinner, she and her husband were seated far away from me, and I was put on a table with a bunch of middle aged strangers.
The meals were brought out – a serve yourself kind of deal, with roast meat and vegetables – but my stomach was churning and I was unable to eat. Which of course only served to draw unwanted attention, as people questioned why I wasn’t eating, and then cast sideways glances at me while they all conversed. I could read the looks on their faces, and practically hear them thinking how strange and rude I was. I attempted conversation with a few guests at my table, but none were particularly interested and I fell into sitting in silence.
My friend did come to chat to me a few times, but it was his wedding and he had many other people to talk to, so I didn’t want to monopolize his time. A couple of the groomsmen also came to chat a little, but for the most part I sat there very much alone, one of the few single people in a room of couples, and groups of friends. Am I glad I went, to celebrate the wedding for my friend? Yes. Did my solo presence stick out like the proverbial sore thumb? Absolutely. Was I acutely uncomfortable and anxious? You bet your ass I was.
Weddings are not traditionally events that one attends alone. They are a celebration of the very nature of being in a relationship. And there I was, sitting like the loser in every bad comedy you’ve ever watched. The only difference is that my actual life doesn’t come with that story arc and happy ending!
Honestly, it was a lovely wedding and I’m so very happy for my friend and his new bride. But I don’t think I’d be in a hurry to repeat the experience.
I’m awake. Which would be fine at a reasonable hour, but it’s 2:45am, and I’ve already been awake a while at this point. Why am I awake, you ask? Well, for two reasons; gardening, and finances.
Moving house is a time consuming and expensive process. It is even more expensive when you’re breaking a lease. As some of you may know, I moved six months ago to a new town for a job. Things were looking up; I had money saved, I made new friends, I was finally out on my own again. Then it all pretty much went south. I no longer have that job, but for a while I was managing fine. Until five months passed, and still no one would employ me full time. Which brings me to November.
Finally, I had to concede. I emailed the real estate to inform them that I regrettably have to break my lease. I said it was due to a ‘change in circumstances’, which is a polite way of saying I am broke. I’ve hired a storage shed for my stuff (cost) and started to move it over. The constant back and forth travel between the two towns requires having to refuel my car weekly (cost). I had to pay an advertising fee (cost), and will have to pay an additional cost of one week’s rent, plus what the real estate called a pro rata fee (whatever that is) that can only be calculated once the new tenant moves in. Then there’s going to be the truck hire to move, and fuelling it up on return (cost, cost). So with all of this piling up, plus my usual expenses (car repayment, bills, food etc), you can understand why I’m awake at an ungodly hour.
And then comes the second part of the equation; gardening. I’m not an outdoorsy person. I don’t have a passion for gardening, and in the three houses I’ve rented away from home, I’ve pretty much never set foot in any of the respective backyards. But this time that’s coming back to bite me. As normal when you leave a rental property, you are required to leave it in much the same state as when you moved in. This includes the gardens. When I moved into this house, I mowed lawns for the first time in my life. That part, not so much the problem. But the garden beds (or weed beds, is perhaps more accurate) are a whole different beast altogether.
Annoyingly, my temporary town has the right combo of sunshine and rain. The result, of course, is a wild, knee high jungle of various grasses, and weeds, and little stabby plants that leave barbs stuck in my fingers, despite wearing gloves. Every week since giving my notice, I’ve been pulling up weeds and trying to make the place more presentable, but that shit is hard. Especially when I’m going up against Mother Nature herself! I’ve made progress over the last week, and whilst it certainly looks better than it did, the yards still look untidy. My mum is coming to stay next weekend so she can help, but I’m still stressed about it, partly because people are starting to inspect the property next week and the pressure is on.
I’m sure this all sounds very boring to you and frankly, it does to me too. But since I’m awake and all, I figured I’d vent it out anyway. *sigh*. Financial woes, and weeds. This is what my life has come to. And I gotta say, if this is what being an adult is all about, I quit!
I feel strange. I’m not sure if it’s the change in the weather, or my pending move, or something that will simply reveal itself in time. But I woke this morning with a curious feeling that I cannot quite put a name to. I feel as if something is coming; a shift of some kind. As yet, I’m not sure whether this is a good thing, or bad. I’ll just have to wait and see how everything progresses.
Frankly, there is something about this time of year that makes me reflective. And I don’t just mean because the year is waning, and drawing ever closer to it’s end. Time seems to be slipping away from me faster than ever before, and the list of things I want to do grows ever bigger and seemingly more unattainable. I can’t help but feel like I’ve wasted the opportunities this year has given me, and yet on the other hand it feels as though the Universe is conspiring to drive me constantly back to the same places, both literally and figuratively. If there’s a reason for this, I’ve yet to discover what it is, but I no longer have the energy to fight it. Perhaps this has been my problem all along. Fighting against the tide only works for so long, before you must resign yourself to the fact that perhaps it is better to just let the current take you wherever it intends you to go.
I have to believe that whatever this change is that I can sense coming, is going to be for a good reason, even if that reason is not immediately apparent to me. I have to remember that there are some things I have no control over, and try to just go with the flow, whatever comes.
I can only hope that this shift brings with it something positive. I’ve had quite enough negative for this year, thank you very much.