FROM THE ARCHIVES: 9-to-5ing
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About a month ago, I got a job offer (miracle in itself that anyone would even consider me for any position…). And I reacted the way I normally would: I ran away.
Actually, the trip I was going on had already been long planned out, and it just so happened to fall on that very same weekend. Since my favorite activity is ignoring all responsibility, it couldn’t have been a more perfect time to go. I won’t get into how obsessed I am with traveling considering I feel like I do this in every post/somehow find a way to bring it up to total strangers I meet in the grocery store, but there is a certain clarity I find that I never knew how to find here, the way I toss and turn all night at home but sleep straight until morning when I’m anywhere else. To me, wanting to see and do so much and knowing there are boundaries to that is heartbreak. Maybe the biggest heartbreak I’ve ever known.
Coming from somebody who feels suffocated in a turtleneck, I was not about tying myself down to anything. I can’t even buy a pair of shoes without feeling like I’m signing a contract with myself. There was no reason not to take the job really, since I spent all of the past year buying Tostitos and wine and was in no position to pass it up. But I wasn’t ready to give up the dream of traveling/writing/starring in my own television show, with the “I don’t belong in khakis and I want to be free” mentality.
Speaking of khakis, it took me hours to decide between two nearly identical pairs of pants as I was sending pictures of them to my mother in the store. And speaking of indecisions, I live my life on them. I couldn’t decide between schools, between choices, between what I thought I wanted and what I knew I needed. And speaking of my mother, that woman deserves a Congressional Medal of Honor for dealing with me, and I typically write almost every day because a) she is so beyond over my six-hour-long-Girl, Interrupted-like vent sessions (rightfully so) and b) because I’m convinced that the only advice that you’re ever going to end up taking (maybe the only advice you ever should end up taking) is your own.
Unfortunately, coffee costs money, and after a while your father gives you the “we’re taking you off the car insurance” threat, and a girl has got to eat, right?! So I took the job and decided to move into an apartment because I knew that these decisions were so completely unlike me in every right way that I had to make them, that I had to try to peel myself away from who I once was. But there are so many things about her that I want to find again, the ability to be carefree and fearless. And I realized that why I’ve never been so afraid when I’m somewhere else the way I am here - over everything and nothing all at the same time - is because there was a part of me that didn’t want things to change, wanted to be able to know they would be here, constant, whenever I needed them again.
On her birthday, Ally (and I’m so grateful that she started this blog and always finds a way to keep me inspired) told me that she “couldn’t stop buying plane tickets,” and then I thought about how easy it was, how nothing is absolute, how the ties that you feel so bound by are often the ones that you double-knot yourself. And maybe you have to be content with having absolutely no idea what your next move is, because maybe that’s the only way you’ll make any moves at all.
So experience, adapt, change. Let go. Seriously though, let yourself let go. And khakis actually match with a lot of things.
[This post was originally published on October 19, 2015.]
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