Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The WTF Moment

There are moments in life where everything around you seems to be pointing towards what is going on inside of you. Like, the stories of midlife crisis seem to exactly mirror your own internal struggle -- as you sit watching reruns of Jersey Shore wondering what the fuck you're doing with your life. Trust me, I've already been through one Quarter Life Crisis, so I know how it feels. Maybe it's because Buddy Holly and I are really at this pivotal moment in our relationship, where both of us are being forced to look at what's really going on inside of ourselves that gets brought to the relationship. Maybe it's because this is the state of the world right now. It's like, "pay attention, motherfucker. Take hold of what you are -- you won't get the chance again."


So that's how I'm feeling this morning when I stumble upon this video. Seriously, take a break from Snooki-land to watch -- you won't regret it.

What if You Stopped Waiting for Permission? « Positively Positive


Here's the thing: I had my own WTF moment a couple years ago. I was in my first year of college, one that I began at community and ended in the shady part of West Indianapolis. And by West Indianapolis I mean the world's shittiest apartment with a mattress on the floor, a door that could have been kicked in by Stephen Hawking and a back lot that flooded every weekend. Oh yeah, and a car that I persistently locked my keys in and accumulated endless parking tickets -- that's what happens when you work downtown in a commuter city.


I moved to hell for two reasons: 1) based on the actions of my peers, I thought I was supposed to be there; away from home at a 4-year school working on a solid degree so I could get a solid job and pay off the solid student loans; having The College Experience and getting drunk every other night; and 2) My then-boyfriend lived not too far away. Not much explanation needed there.


Too bad I never made any friends to get drunk with, didn't know what my "solid degree" should be (that didn't stop those loans from piling up, though) and spent a majority of that summer of the apartment crying in stairwells to The Mother over the phone. I vividly remember walking out of a critique during life drawing, cowering in a corner in the most isolated staircase I could find and letting myself sob over the complete and total bullshit I had gotten myself into. I was stuck in a hole and had no idea how to crawl my way out.


The summer ended and I went home to recuperate for two weeks before the semester began again. Um, let's not even talk about those two weeks. I don't think I left the couch at all -- nor did anyone stop finding me hidden in corners weeping. Finally, The Mother sat me down and was like, "look. WTF are you doing. You're miserable. You don't want to be there. So don't go back. Do something else. Like the dishes." (I guess you can tell by now that she really likes to say that last part).


And I never did. I quit my mall job over the phone, packed the apartment up in an afternoon and hauled it all away with my father and brother and enrolled in a couple classes back at the community college. I spent the rest of that fall and winter intermittently joyous and miserable; I watched a lot of SVU and knitted way too many scarves. I beat myself up and I allowed myself to heal. And then when I couldn't take any of it anymore, I quit my part time job and any concept of school, broke up with the boyfriend and threw myself into my therapist's chair. And that's when I began to see.


A lot of things happened after that. I was fucking terrified, first of all -- but I also felt completely, totally, alive. I felt like whatever I wanted, I could have. And I do have it, for the most part. I found the job that I have now, the one that has carried me through four years worth of trial and error. I reclaimed my identity as an artist; one that had completely transformed in the period of time I was hiding it. I spent time in Europe. I played townie for two years in my apartment and realized the value of community and independence. I created a lot for myself but also learned how to lean on others for support. I experienced my own college education.


I credit a lot of where I am and what I believe now with my life falling completely apart for that period of time. That's not to say I'd like to do it again. But I can feel the shift again, that "letting go" of shit that doesn't work anymore telling me: PAY ATTENTION. Like that next step is right in front of me, but there's a wall that needs to be torn down in order for me to take it. But does it ever stop being that way? I don't think so.


Fucking life.


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