Things Are Happening
1) This week, I started my self-imposed 90-day drawing project. It’s actually going well so far (of course, I’m only 6 days in); I’ve been able to focus, to actually sit down and study light and shapes and colors in images I’ve seen a hundred times before. It’s an interesting learning experience already.
2) I finally emerged from blissful denial and sadly realized I may have to move. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my year alone in this castle, crafting in solitude, sliding down the hall in bunny slippers. But even with the new job, I don’t know if I can support this palace on my own anymore.
I’m very accustomed to controlling all the closet space and DVR settings, so I think I’ll have to keep living solo, but in a more practical, cottage-type dwelling instead. I’m bummed about it, because I have a lot of sweet memories in this giant mansion, but we can always have the beer pong tourney somewhere else. Right now, it’s most important that I can pay rent AND be able to afford to go out in the world and meet people. Enough’s enough.
3) Friday would’ve been my dad’s 60th birthday. I didn’t really tell anyone, since it’s not something you can go around the office talking about. “Hey coworkers, just FYI, I might cry a little at my desk today, but don’t worry about it. I’ll have that report done by 4, no problem.” On most days, I’m fine talking about my dad. And it doesn’t really hurt (anymore) to hear about other people’s dads. But on April 4 and September 6, I’m more prone to sudden tearbursts, so sorry if I avoid any/all conversations. Some years it’s worse than others, and I never know how it will be until the days come around again. This one was a doozie.
With all this in mind, I’ve had a moment of clarity: what my dad would advise is to simply never give up. Keep to commitments (to yourself and others), work hard, and make the best of what you have today. He would tell me to keep drawing, keep writing, but also maybe go outside.
I just have to remember: whatever I do, wherever I live, I am the daughter of a wise father who taught his children to be creative, kind, and silly.
So that’s what I’ll do. That’s who I’ll be.
One Year Later
It’s been a year since I became Unemployed on Purpose. In that time, I did major writing, crafting, drawing, cleaning, driving, flying, talking, and thinking. I traveled to visit loved ones, had deep heart-to-hearts with incredible friends, and cried a lot (for both happy/sad reasons). I’ve discovered new, personal truths behind classic concepts like “credit card debt is bad,” “don’t bottle up your feelings,” and “suits suck.” I’m proud of myself for figuring out a bunch of Life Stuff this year.
But I’ve definitely made mistakes, too: I hurt people’s feelings, admittedly caused a moderate fender-bender, and recently made such a scene in a bar yelling about Frozen that it took three girls to whisk me out, in attempt to avoid further embarrassment for the boy that [I assume] was trying to flirt with me. Sorry.
But mainly, there’s been real progress: I have a full-time job again, at a cool, modern company, with delightful coworkers who surprise each other with daily Nerf strikes. My apartment is comfortably nested; since my roommate moved out (also a year ago), I painted the main space, survived a bed bug nightmare, and created the craft room/office that Ten-Year-Old Me always dreamed about.
So, now what. To start, I’m embarking on a 90-day journey of illustration, which I urge you to join, with whatever project you want/need to tackle. For me, it’s a way to look back on what I’ve written this year, and find another level of perspective about it, now that I’m Gratefully Employed.
My fellow 90-day challenge-taker James Sie asked if my intended project is “like Julie whatsername going through every one of Julia Child’s recipes.” I guess it’s sorta like that, except I’m selfishly studying my own writing, not the work of a legend, and, sadly, Chris Messina is not my husband. But that’s a whole other issue.
Anyway, to appropriately celebrate the big anniversary of the stupidest/best thing I ever did, I hunkered down at home. Like I did on my first official day of unemployment, I woke up naturally, only to stay in my jammies all day. I gave myself a peaceful Sunday to write, draw, and watch weird weekend TV. I ate leftover pizza and did laundry. I spoke to no one but the Ralph’s cashier who rang up my shampoo and Lucky Charms. It reminded me of when I held this routine daily… and I’m really glad it’s only on the weekends now. A day like this here and there helps one relax; nine months of days like this turned me into a 3am-barbecue-chip-eating zombie. I’m not doing that again.
At least, not on purpose.