This is a mid-post edit to say that I’ve started writing like Hemingway in that I like to link sentences together with “and” and then just ramble. So sorry. Please think of it as an homage to a great writer (debatable) and don’t think I’m someone who’s taken very little time to write lately.
I walked again today, choosing a route that would take me down the main streets that head north to south to the immediate west of the lake. It’s strange to know that you’re so close to one of the largest bodies of water in the world and yet you can’t see it, can’t feel it, don’t really know it’s there. If it weren’t for all of the apartment building advertising lakeside living, you’d never know you were int he vicinity of a lake.
The city was hot today. It smelled like trash and water and people and hot concrete and exhaust and laundry and cooking food and everything I love.
I walked and there was chaos erupting around me and I went through it and away.
Elderly people ran across the sidewalk out of shadows to flag down a bus that didn’t stop, driving past them up the road.
An old man holding a big cigarette of some sort walked past me at an intersection, obviously annoyed by my presence in his walking lane. He wore the white Reeboks so popular in his generation and those headphones that aren’t attached to anything, but instead must be a radio of some sort. He smoked, he walked, he passed me and then I passed him, wading through the crowd of smoke and then I was gone and he was behind.
I walked and I walked and the sun shone down on me and the city moved around me and I moved in it. (This is where the above mid-post edit came into being.)
I’ve been alone lately and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I like it, but I’m not motivated, so I think I’m still just absorbing the alone time. I’m like that. Sometimes the decompression takes me a lot longer than I think it will. Sometimes I just need to do nothing (this includes not cleaning) to right myself in the world. Today I made some chicken salad with cranberries and apples and then did some dishes. I looked into applying at a temp agency in Chicago and then promptly got scared. Not quite the productive day I was hoping to have, but one I can live with.
I’m going to ask Madeline tonight how the process works to hopefully alleviate some of my fear. It’s the fear. I just need to get over it. I need to get a nice business outfit, go on a few interviews, and find an office job doing ANYTHING. And then I’ll feel comfortable and be more confident with my work ability.
Dairy Queen was a great job but it was also wildly detrimental to my professional development. I never had to interview, Todd hired me on the spot right after I turned in my application. The “interview” he gave me was basically asking me where I went to school and when I could start. I will never forget how terrified I was my first day on the job but I also got really comfortable really quick. My assimilation into the job was complete. Five years later, I still sort of worked there and now I”m finding myself without a lot of interview experience.
I often return to the interview I had my sophomore year of college at a place called Kim’s Cupcakes in downtown Chicago. I didn’t get the job. I often wonder what I did wrong, and I’m sure it was many things. But if I couldn’t even get that job (selling over-priced cupcakes to rich people), how am I ever going to be able to get a legitimate professional position?
People always ask me what kind of job I want. I have no idea. I don’t know job titles. I don’t know positions that I qualify for. I don’t know this or that or anything. And then I get scared. And the fear prevents me from taking a deep breath and realizing I’m just as qualified as anybody for anything. (not really, but you know what I mean, hopefully)
Tomorrow, I’m gathering up all of my gumption and marching down to the City of Chicago offices and demanding that they release me from the bonds of my ticket. I’ve been negligent and they’ve been assholes, and while that won’t be my principal argument, it will weigh heavily on my mind as I shove my registration in their faces and make them read the plain English stamped on the back. “30 day grace period” will echo through the room and the heavy sound of justice being handed down will ring throughout the room, shocking everyone there. I’ll walk out triumphantly, wearing a smile of patience and the city employees will remain behind, shaking their heads apologetically, as though my inconvenience was of their creation.
In reality, it won’t be like that.
It will involve me practicing deep breathing techniques. It will involve me trying not to yell. It will involve dissolution of the ticket, though, no matter how hard I have to work for it.
While I was home, the neighbor drove by while I was vacuuming Simon and asked me what I was doing [with my life]. As has become my custom, I lifted my shoulders in the universal, “I have no clue” gesture and responded that I was taking some time off. “Not going to law school?” he asked. I keep forgetting that I spent a good portion of my life with the intentions of being a lawyer. (And by good portion I mean like a decade and a half…I’m flashing back to my third grade Halloween costume right now…Mom’s graduation robes and a gavel) “I have too much of a soul for that,” I said. He laughed and then agreed with me.
Wealthy is as wealthy does, and I might be too nice for all of that.
But part of me wants to take the LSAT and see how I do, just for kicks. Maybe I will. It’ll be practice for the GMAT.
Also, Mike and I have decided South Africa. And for Mom, who will be wildly worried the entire time we’re there, I read an ad about Verizon now having service over there. So we can hook up our cell phones. Yes!! (not about the cell phones)
I’m going to South Africa!