My Blog__ Is This Real?

December 21, 2010 | By

In between the cheap wine, punk shows, early work days and company Christmas parties (fueled by free booze and awkward small talk), I have not had a lot of time to write. Furthermore, every time I sit down to work on any personal writing ("I feel" writing) every sentence is forced and I end up punching the "delete" key until the screen goes white. I tried to figure out why this was and I guess it's because I don't really know how I feel right now.

In the last few months I lost my boyfriend, my job and a lot of my confidence. My whole routine was tossed out the window and I was forced to deal with an empty bank account and empty bed. So, I dwelled. I read a lot of books. I tried to get to know myself. I asked my friends for help. I focused on my new, barely paid job at the magazine where my editorial skills grew and I felt so happy to be learning every day. I interviewed chefs, business women, actors and wrote stories for intellectual yuppies about new cooking products I didn't understand. I got depressed, a lot of the time, and I did things to myself that I probably should not have done. It was just how I was able to cope with my single, white girl problems. It's a funny thing when you can't even feel sorry for yourself. These aren't real problems, I kept telling myself. You have nothing to feel sad about.

When I interviewed Julia Wertz, her publisher sent me a copy of her new book. On my way home from another long day at the magazine, hung over from a show the night before and starving because I was late that morning and couldn't make myself a lunch of what little garbage I had kicking around in my fridge, I managed to find a seat on the bus and read the introduction. Julia wrote,

"Because while this is my story, it's also the story of everyone who's moved away from home, rented an overpriced room in a dumpy apartment, and been hired, fired and bounced around with no foreseeable respite. It's just par for the course of being in your mid-twenties, prone to bad decisions and even worse outcomes."

Then I caught my reflection in the mirror and noticed how tired I was. I thought about my dwindling bank account, my unpaid Visa bill, the missed calls from my phone company, my empty cupboards, my student loan and my seemingly undecided future. I thought about how I was really good at pretending everything was okay because I didn't think I deserved to feel depressed. The weird cycle of depression, hatred, denial and guilt cycling in my head like an unnecessary tornado.

I have a friend who contracted a lifelong sexually transmitted disease when she was in her mid-twenties. She got it from her boyfriend at the time. He got it from a hitch-hiker. She stayed with him for years because she thought she was in love and more over, she was scared that no one else would accept her for disease. She finally left this guy and entered into the dating world. She was terrified and the first few relationships she had ended because the men she met were shit scared when she told them about her STD. She felt damaged and disgusting after constant rejection for something she could not control. However, being the optimist she is, even though she felt defeated and scared she always had hope. One day she randomly went on a dating site for people with STDs. She met a guy. They started a relationship and now they are in love and happy.

I don't have real problems. I just have the same problems that we all do and problems are relative, sometimes. I'm not addicted to anything (besides cigarettes). I have good friends. I'm not dying. I'm just broke, young and trying to figure my life out. Who isn't? Really, who isn't?

Merry Christmas.

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