Sunday, June 25, 2017

When I first moved to New York, I befriended this awesome chick named Angie who seemed to be going through the same "what the fuck am I doing with my life" post college crisis as I was. Everyone seems to forget the financial crisis of 2008, except a) people who lost a shit ton of money and b) graduates who couldn't find a job right out of college. I knew nothing about finance or politics or the real world 9 years ago, I still don't, but i do remember graduating college, moving to New York and struggling to find a real job. This struggle l lasted 6 1/2 years.

Luckily I was the only one suffering. The only job that would hire me was the bookstore and  I was pretty disappointed but glad to be surrounded by other disillusioned people. Post grad life was supposed to be a breeze. I was going to land my dream job in publishing and move to the city and date a cute boy from Scotland (my dreams always include a cute boy from Scotland). I was supposed to be living the life. Instead, my first job was as a bookseller making minimum wage. I lived in a closet sized room at my aunts house (before she kicked me out) AND I missed home. I missed it a lot.

Things only  started to perk up a little when I met Angie. She was a few years older than me and began working at the bookstore after getting laid off from her "real world job". She was this boisterous, loud, funny, awkward, flirtatious, brilliant girl from the Midwest who I immediately got along with. She was my first real friend in New York and for a few solid months we hung out almost everyday. She lived right down the street from my aunts house, so before going home, I'd stop by her apartment so we could drink alcohol and discuss feminism, politics, books, men and pop culture.

I was only ever used to having Amanda  as my friend, I was almost grateful when Angie came around.  I didn't think I was capable of making friends because my anxiety was still very crippling at that time. And all of a sudden here was this girl who was nothing like me who wanted to be my friend. We ate dinner together and spent days off in the city shopping for books and laughing. Sometimes she would even call me in the middle of the night to ask if i wanted to go driving with her. She was a night owl, so we'd take to the back-roads at midnight and just drive around and talk about everything in our heads. It's one of my earliest and fondest memories of New York feeling like home.

During Barack Obama's inauguration, we both took the day off and made "American cupcakes" at her apartment. We camped out in front of the tv for hours, eating red, white and blue cupcakes and crying as we watched him get sworn in. We also did incredibly dumb things, like the  night we decided to rent In the Cut because we heard there was a full frontal Mark Ruffalo scene. After work, we went to her apartment discussed the brilliant book by Susanna Moore and then freeze framed the full frontal shot of Mark Ruffalo as we critiqued his penis and drank Vodka Lemonade.  We both approved in our giggly tipsy state.

Her friendship during those dark post college months made things bearable and when she moved back home a few months later, due to finances, I was devastated. Of course we promised to keep in touch and would visit but it didn't feel the same when she left. I'd only known her a few months but I felt like i'd lost something huge.

Surprisingly, we've managed to stay in touch the last 8 years which is a feat with someone as flaky and nonchalant as myself. She's made treks back to New York occasionally to attend a wedding and she always makes a point of contacting me so we can catch up. We talk every so often during the year  just to catch up and there is an ease and sustenance to our friendship that makes me happy to know her even from afar.

So when I posted on FB that i was heading to CA this summer, she let me know she is now living in San Francisco and would love to catch up! I am excited and nervous about this mini reunion, especially since I know we are now going through the same "what the fuck am I supposed to be doing with my life" stage.

I am reading this book called The Rules Do Not Apply, and so far it's the book I didn't know I needed. It's a memoir about loss. The author loses her child and spouse, and way of life in the span of a year and I think it's about how she manages to confront those loses head on. It's been on my radar for months and I finally got my hands on and spent a few nights after work pouring through chapters. Of course, her writing is beautiful and tragic and I am obsessed with every word because I relate in many ways.

I must admit, I am at a turning point in my life. It's not a crisis like the quarter-life or mid but it is definitely an apex or a fork in the road. Sure I have a full time job, money in a savings account, a car and an apartment. Sure there is the occasional outing, or dinner date, or weekend having brunch with a friend. Sure, I am comfortable and even clear headed these days but I can't shake the feeling of loneliness. Like actual loneliness. I can go days with out social interactions or plans. I have stability but feel starved of an actual foundation.

I can't shake this feeling that I am missing out on the life I really want for myself. A life that is filled with a friends and family and love. A life where I am needed and supported and depended on.

In many ways I have survived loss already. But I never imagined that loss comes in many different forms. I don't miss working at the bookstore, I don't miss Sean, I don't miss the codependency of my friendship with Kat. But I do miss what each represented. I miss belonging. I miss that feeling like never before because I've lost it. And though the bookstore and Kat and Sean especially were never really mine by choice, I miss having friends, i miss having a romantic partner, I miss being apart of a clique and crew and knowing my place.

There is a huge and distinctive loss in my life and some how in living and surviving and fighting for every damn penny, I've lost some things in the process I didn't know I needed so much. And i want them back, not in their previous fucked up form, but in the versions that I deserve and that compliment whoever it is that i am now. And i just don't know how to go about getting those things. They feel unattainable and yet also on the tip of my tongue.

So for now I am just sort of existing and going through the motions even though it's not enough for me anymore. In about a month, i'll be on my way California for a week and I kind of hope when I return I can begin setting things in motion. That I can maybe live up to my full potential (which is risky and scary and gives me anxiety) instead of just sitting on the side-lines.

Monday, June 19, 2017

nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Mondays are the absolute worst. I'd hope this sentiment was just another adult lie, like eating healthy is fun and watching your friends have children and getting wedding invites is exciting. They aren't. I want to eat whatever I want and not have to worry about gaining a ton of weight. And while I am happy that my friends are settling, I have no interest in attending so many weddings. Just stop it! 

But  every single person who hates Monday is absolutely correct. It's just the worst day of the week and though I spend most of Sunday prepping myself to have a better Monday than the last, it never fails. Monday rolls around and kicks my ass again.I can't deal.

Over the weekend, a customer sent an email to my company complaining about their website. As I am the only customer service representative in the company, my stomach sort of dropped when i saw the email. I'd never spoken to the office or dealt with them directly regarding their website but my primary job is overseeing edits and making sure IT makes corrections when needed.

So i was a little taken aback by the email. Something was on their website that shouldn't have been there and they couldn't understand how this big of a mistake could be made. I was equally confused. I checked all of my emails to see if I could have made this mistake. If I could have accidentally overlooked this technical error. But I couldn't find one piece of evidence. The mistake must have gone through another channel.

Knowing this gave me some relief if i can be honest. I am a person who takes full responsibility for my mistakes and will go out of my way to amend the mistake as soon as possible. But i don't like feeling guilty for something that wasn't my fault. I am sensitive to this sort of blame. So when i couldn't find anything that lead me to be a fault  I spent the next two days not thinking about work at all. I shopped for vacation clothe,  I cleaned my house and watched a shit load of movies.  You know, the usual care-free weekend.

But then Monday rolled around and as soon as I get to work, before I can even put down my bag I hear Creepy Guy talking about the massive error on the client's website. He says he found the culprit and then goes into my managers office and loudly proclaims that it was done by one of the IT guys per a marketing persons requests. The IT guy uploaded the wrong files and that is why the massive error was on the site BUT despite the evidence he was more concerned that "Beckett didn't catch the error a few weeks ago because you know, she should have"


I could not control my anger. Let me break down his logic.  I should have caught the error on a website that I have never worked on, never seen because an IT guy was given explicit orders to make the edit without me knowing and fumbled it somehow. I should have caught an error for a site, I was never notified was being worked on. I should have known to double check someone else's work despite not knowing this person was working on said site.

The logic is flawed and while I am pissed I am not surprised that I got blamed for a mistake that a) wasn't my fault at all and b) happened a month ago. My job is killing me. Killing me. This is not what I am supposed to be doing with my life, at all, and i am trying not to let the "bastards get me down" but I am frustrated and angry.

I try not to complain because it's my first real job and I am grateful as hell to be able to pay rent and food and clothes without having to sacrifice things. I broke my fitbit watch last week and I was able to buy a new one because I now have a savings account for emergencies (grant it, the watch wasn't an emergency but I am so used to having a fitbit watch, it was weird not having one).  I am grateful that I was able to buy a car and book a vacation to California this summer because of my okay paying gig.  But outside of my paycheck, my job is an absolute clusterfuck.

Last week a girl got fired because she got into an argument with a really annoying marketing guy. I wouldn't even call it an argument. It was a disagreement. Unfortunately, the guy she argued with has been with the company for 5 years and she was immediately let go because they thought she brought too much drama to the company. This is the same company that doesn't have an HR department to handle such disagreement appropriately One the day they let her go my boss waited until the end of the day and asked everyone to leave the office for 15 minutes so he could fire her and leave the office with no one around. I was mortified.

My job is just a mess and days like today and I annoyed that I am not doing what I was meant to do. Don't get me wrong, I have no clue what my "calling" is but I know it isn't this. It can't be, right?
I am trying to hold on until after my vacation next month. I want to just enjoy a week in California with my brother and mom and then figured out the life stuff later. Cause unfortunately, i have a lot of life stuff to figure out and it's sort of piling up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Photographic Evidence of my Existence

Sorry for the absence. Per usual, blogging is taking a backseat to general life stuff and every time I think I have the time or the energy to write something that notion is quickly squashed.

I promise I will write a real post soon. Even if it's a short update on the happenings in my life. Until then here's a pictures of my reading/writing corner. If anything, i've spent the last few weeks shopping and decorating my apartment in preparation for another hot and disgusting summer.


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

13 Reasons Why

I just finished watching Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix and of course I am now a bubbling, triggered mess of tears and puffy eyes and general sadness. I am struck by the  honest the portrayal of grief and growing pains and disconnectedness. I am struck by my connection to both Hannah (the girl who dies) and Clay (the boy who loved and lives). I am struck by how guttural my grief still is and how scared that I continue to grow and evolve around this giant aspect of myself.

This series is fantastic though it will take me days to get out of this grief funk that continues to surface from time to time.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

United States of Whatever

Our last (hopefully) snowstorm of the winter killed my car battery and I just spent an hour sitting in the lobby of Mavis while they restored my baby back to life.

As expected the lure of a snowstorm was quickly replaced by real world annoyance. Shoveling, bundling up, avoiding ice and trying to revive a dead battery. I attempted to call out of work the day after the snow storm because overnight the snow just turned into ice and I was worried about driving. My work from home day was pretty successful so I figured I could manage working from home again.

That idea was quickly shot down by my boss who seems not to like me personally but loves me professionally. It's hard to explain but as usual i'll try. He likes Patricia so much, I think he assumed no one would be able to replace her when she could no longer manage customer service and her new role in the company. Because of this he gave me the hardest time when I first started. He made snide critiques about how long it took me to learn something. He'd reprimand me via Patricia about minute details that i had little to no control over and once he got so agitated by my presence he spent 15 minutes talking to her about how i wouldn't measure up. This all occurred week one.

If you are wondering why I didn't quit then, it's because I was poor. I was struggling to pay my rent, struggling to feed myself, struggling to commute back and forth. I was sick of going on interviews and having to prove I was a competent and good worker.  Everything around me was falling apart: Sean, the bookstore, the university job, my I took the first job that was offered to me and vowed to stick it out. I had no choice. So even after that first week where I was made to look like a complete and utter fool, even when my boss treated me like I did not belong there...i stuck it out.

Of course, I quickly proved that I was a good employee but  also much better at Patricia's job than she was. My boss and Patricia tried to continually find errors in my work only to come up with....nothing. Despite my anxiety and general discomfort with people, I excel at customer service. I like being helpful, I like resolving things. When given a task, I am willing to go above and beyond to complete it. So at work, I am a champion employee.

Patricia resents this because it makes her look dumb and my boss refuses to accept that he was wrong about me while also taking all the credit for how great of an employee I am. Because of this how he treats me vs. how he talks about me are two different things. I feel like I am in an emotionally abusive relationship. I am praised for my work, I am told how much of an asset I am but he always gives me shit if I take a day off and has reprimanded me for minor errors. If i make a spelling mistake or answer the phone a ring too late he expresses legit disdain.

On Friday he raised his voice at me because I wanted to handle a client situation in a way that would provide a permanent solution not a temporary one. He did not like this one bit and felt inconveienced when I offered a solution that would require more work then he is accustomed to. He didn't chew me out or yell at me, but he definitely raised his voice and attempted to put in my place which was unnecessary. This exchange happenned the day after my failed attempt to call out. He called me 10 minutes after I sent in my "i'm not coming to work today email" and offered to pay for my cab ride to and from work if i came in. "it's better if you are here" he begged and like an asshole, I went in.

I am frustrated by my job. It's is a poorly run, disorganized place that just happens to pay well. I am anxious to work anywhere else, especially since my skills are sort of exemplary. I like working, I like being useful, I like being good at something and because I am not so great at a lot of things, being a great employee has to suffice for now. But I am worried about the economy, I am worried about health insurance, I am worried about being laid off, I am worried about making a big change in this 'climate" and having things come crashing down suddenly.

I live in a perpetual state of real world anxiety. I am finally providing for myself and strengthening my skills. I am finally on the path to a healthy, stable life. But that seems up in the air now. I want to find a new job, a job that will turn into a career for me. I want to buy a home. I want to be in a committed relationship. I want to travel and see the world. And I can still do all of these things, sure, but it isn't without a level of complete and utter dread.

I never really understood how closely my quality of life was related to the stability of my country. But now I know and strongly believe that it is. I am afraid to make any moves in any direction because I am fearful of: war, economic collapse, isolationism, populism, racism. It's absolutely insane and yet here I am...unable to move. Paralyzed partially because of instability.

This summer my mom, brother and I are going to California. We've been planning this trip for a year. The tickets are purchased, the hotel booked and plans solidified. I am excited but also terribly nervous. I keep talking about the trip as if it isn't going to happen. As if some calamity will prevent us from heading out west in a few months. I hate that I live in this state of preparedness. That things are so bad I a) cannot appreciate the good (i'm going to California!) and b) that I am expecting things in the states to get worse.  Worse than they already are.

I have to find a way to channel my anxiety because right now it is paralyzing me. I am unable to take any of the big steps I finally feel prepared to take because of what is going on around me. But I want to miss out on opportunities: growth, love, adventure and hell even a new job because of things that are out of my control. I have to find a way to breathe and live while the world I know and love unravels.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


I am working from home today because, well, I live in the northeast and after months of complaining that we have yet to have a proper workday snowstorm...bam, a blizzard in the middle of the March. Sorry, everyone. Finally my prayers to the snow goddess worked.

My dad says I'm officially a New Yorker again because while snow is beautiful and meditative, I tend to favor Fall and Spring. I am only tolerate of snow the weeks leading up to Christmas. After that, the idea of shoveling, bundling up, avoiding slush and of course the dreaded "yellow" snow makes me resent the soft yet thunderous flakes.

With snow everything is only beautiful and peaceful when it's coming down and we are all tucked inside. It's only truly magical untouched. Sans footprints, or car tracks or worse when it begins to dissolve. Snow, for me, is only beautiful when it covers everything and stalls time.

I feel a kinship to Snow. I had Scarlett fever when I was a baby and almost died and a snowstorm saved my life. My mom tells this story all the time because I enjoy listening to it. Her seeing me blue lipped and unresponsive. Her freaking out and crying because she thought I was dying. She wanted to have another child (me) because she decided to leave my father. She didn't want my brother to grow up alone. She felt she could survive leaving my father as a family of three not two. So when she found out she was pregnant, she decided after I was born that she would leave my dad.

When she found me unresponsive that night, she had no clue it was because of Scarlet Fever. She just knew I was suffering. She called the ambulance who were on their way to us but she was frantic and instead of waiting in the house she decided to take me outside in a snowstorm. Her family is from the south, from an Island off the Coast of Charleston that is full of superstitious people. I can only imagine that in her moment of sheer terror at losing the child, she thought nature would save me. Or at least that the snow would reduce my fever.

So she carried me outside. Knelt in front of our house where the snow was already 3 inches or more high and she used the snow as a blanket around me. When she tells the story, it always sounds like she buried me in a shallow snow grave. She covered my whole body except for head and feet until my fever resided. She says I didn't move for a few seconds but then suddenly jolted back with a cry, not of pain but maybe of life. And when the ambulance finally arrived we were both covered in snow while cradled me in her arms.

So I get snow. I understand it. I am thankful every year for at least one big snow storm to jolt back me back to life. Sure, I am elated about Spring and flowers and sunlight and skirts but I am always grateful for a little snow. It always seems so restorative and quiet because everything for a brief moment is untouched and stilled.