Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Round and round in circles.

My life is very typical and boring. When I was a teenager, I told myself that by now I'd have traveled to several countries, moved out of my parents house, established myself in the beginnings of a career and maybe even found a Mr. Right.

So far - none of those hopes apply.

As I've grown, I've watched one hope after the next fade further and further into the "someday" timeframe. And it's not like I've sat on my ass for the past several years doing nothing and bemoaning myself instead. Nope. I've finished college, I've completed several internships. I even partook in a very serious relationship. I held down work for two years - part of it before even finishing my degree.

Yet here I sit on my couch...make that my parents couch...wondering "what now."

I have been starting to wonder lately, just what makes up a life? I've given everything my best effort to advance and move forward. Yet for all my efforts, I'm sitting in the same room as I was 10 years ago at 15 years old when I started to think about all those things I mentioned above. Ten years have transpired. I've loved, I've lost, I've gotten lost, found myself, and gotten lost again. I've moved 1,000 miles and yet not an inch.

Who do I become as the years continue onward? When do I get my moment? When do I get to say "ok, I can financially support myself, I think I'll move out". Or "yes, I think he's the right guy for me, I think I'll start thinking more conciously about OUR future and not necessarily MY future." When does the cycle end? When does my record stop skipping? I've sung this verse 10,000 times more than I care to remember.

I know I'm young. I've tried so many times to take advantage of all those wonderful "opportunities" others envy me. I've applied to a lot of study abroad, volunteer, Americorp, distance living, you name it, cool things that people in their 20's are supposed to do. No. One. Wants. Me.

So here I sit.

I can feel myself caving in. I can feel myself giving up.

Sometimes I wish I was a lot older, so that I could cut to the chase already. My life so far has been one big disappointment after the next. How many more bullshit deadends do I have to "work really hard for", just to be totally disappointed again?

It is for all these reasons, that another thought has re-entered my mind. It is nothing new. When I was 6, I first started asking myself about entering religious life. SIX, yup, 6. As I grew up, I kept thinking things like "if I were a nun, this wouldnt happen", or "I wonder if I could do that if I were in a convent." or "I should probably keep that option open, just in case I enter the convent in a few years."

Thus, I've decided to test those waters for real. For a few short days in Feb, I'll be staying with a nearby group of sisters at their retreat house. I'll be talking to them, listening to them, eathing with them and taking part in a sampling of what their life is all about.

Whether or not that life is the life for me, I cannot escape the gathering feeling that there is deff an element to this current life that isnt for me - thats for sure. I'm not sure how I fit into the world yet, but I'm very much aware that something is amiss that I simply cannot see.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pending Travel

Music: The Kill - 30 Seconds to Mars

This week I really need to focus more on finding new internship/volunteer work. It's amazing how quickly time goes by. It's already the second week of January. I'll be leaving for Spain in several weeks. I still need to find a hostel first. Yeesh. I hate how fast this trip is comming up. I hope to get more into the excitment of planning this week too. I want to stay positive about going, but I feel like I probably should've waited. Although, turning 25 and having never been to Europe before, I felt like I just wanted to go and say I've been. I am determined to become a world traveler, one step at a time.

I'd like to think that each year will bring another trip. I'd like it even more of my trips got longer and longer each time. I've always dreampt of working in another country, really immersing myself in another culture.

Heres to hoping!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


On Wednesday I got hired as a teller for a local bank. I feel two things. One: a sense of relief that I now have a job - part time - so that I can earn health benefits, maintain a paycheck, establish myself in a position so that later on I can move into full time.

Two: I've put myself back in my comfort zone. Which isnt good. Cus once I'm in my comfort zone, I tend to just settle for things. Like - not put as much time (any) into following my real goals. I tend to "hide behind" my jobs once I get them. Floating along, as if time isnt passing me by to pursue what I really want. Suddenly graudate school and a job in public policy seems "not that important".

I don't like being in my comfort zone. I seem to prefer that starving, anxious feeling I get when I know that the steps I'm taking are going after something a bit more impossible. Because when I feel that, I know I'm going after what I want, and not just whats safe.

I'm trying to find a volunteer position with Americorp. I'm also going to speak with the program director of a TESL program. Short of that, I'm going to use my time away from the banking line to continue with the volunteer/intern endeavors I've already begun.

I'm trying to follow my dreams.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Music: Valerie by Amy Winehouse

Finding volunteer positions is a lot harder than one might think. I've even found volunteer stints that you had to submit a resume for. A resume! There have even been some that I was asked to interview for. Commute into Boston, interview with management and then wait for a call back. Sounds like a job to me. Here I am offering my assistance pay free. What kind of crap is that?!

My friends and I have had similar complaint rants with each other, venting our frustrations about the way our professional society works now-a-days also. The fact of the matter is this: A college education is not what it used to be. Applying for work with a Bachelors and sometimes even with a Masters - is simply not enough. You can't JUST be a college graduate, you must also be able to show several years of related internships, volunteer work and/or professional work just to qualify for an interview. Then MAYBE, MAYBE they'll send you for a second interview. And good luck to you in finding the time to have done all of the prerequisites if you had to work while in college. And when you think about it - the jobs my peers and I are after are not the upper echelon, its mere entry level, usually not enough to live on, and if it is, you're likely scraping by. Throw a few $30,000 loan debts in there and you're screwed well into your late 30's.

Is that the dream I been hearing so much about?

I've noticed the little ticker that counts my blog views has been hopping, so obviously theres traffic here, albeit no comments yet. But, if you are reading this - is there anyone else out there that has run into this, or knows someone who has? Does anyone else feel that our society has set the ladder of success too high off the ground for anyone to be able to reasonably grasp hold of it?

I am all for the idea of hard work - but honestly, one can make a pretty good argument that - given all the time spent going to class and volunteering/interning your time for free....theres no time left for actual "work". Just making the cut becomes a career all its own. And the great laughing stock is that for all the hard work....there are no jobs out there right now. Everyone got laid off. Well...10% anyway...

Sunday, January 3, 2010


There is a stained, empty wine glass on my desk and a copy of Tennysons Complete Works sitting next to my lap top right now. I bought the wine from a small package store, it wasnt any good, but at least I made an attempt at enjoying Reds. I still don't. The book however, I do enjoy. I bought it from a bookshop in Plymouth. It's an old book. A handwritten note from the previous giver of the book reads: "Flora Williams from L.I.W, Christmas 1891" Its funny. I bought the thing several months ago, thought the note charming, and then stood the volume on my bookshelf to return to it later. While I am already a huge fan of Lord Alfred Tennyson, I hadn't taken much time out to read this particular copy. I have so many books - though not as old and marvelous - that I haven't taken the time to read yet.

Considering I have all the time in the world these days, I've put myself on a reading schedule, trying to work my way through the many neglected pages of the stories others have written and that I now posess. That I own such a book as this - to have someones handwritting from one hundred and nineteen years ago - makes me feel honored. I feel like I'm the keeper of something special. These people: the giver and the reciever of the gift the note adresses, they lived in a time that is SO far removed from the time that exists today. They are gone. Yet here is their handwritting, here is the book they exchanged. Now it is mine. And the poems within - they existed even before the book was printed, or the note written, or myself purchased it. Its a dizzying concept - to think all of that can come from a littel note if one feels so inspired as to think that way. Luckily, for the situation, I happen to think that way - especially when my thoughts are prempted by an empty wine glass.

So, what else is sitting lonely on my unread bookshelf? I'll give a sampling. Great Expectations by Dickens. I purchased that a year ago, read 20 pages and got distracted by something less important than a Dickens classic I'm sure. There is The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. Two in the Far North by Mardie Murie. The Complete Works of H.G. Wells. (I bought that in a moment of lofty idealism of owning the classics while back in highschool). Then there are texts I've always found compelling which I had to purchase for college classes. I was a history major, so many of my books for those courses were fascinating. I havent parted with many of them. Forgetful of their Sex by Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg. A History of the Modern Middle East by William Cleveland. Then there are my poetry books. But you get the picture. Right now I own a bookcase that is COVERED, as is the shelves in my desk. A small column has recently advanced onto the wall shelf under my windows. It's a disease I think - to purchase books faster than I can read them. But thats ok. Considering the plethora of aillments out there, I will accept my affliction of bibliophile with gratitude.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

These Winter Nights

Lately I've found myself staying up into the early hours of the morning. I find it to be a time of great peace and quiet. I am the only one awake in my house. Just me and the stillness. The atmosphere of snowy winter nights only helps to amplify that feeling of reflective silence that I've seemed to crave more and more in recent months. There is something poetic about knowing that snow is falling silently just outside my window. A string of winter storms has brought no shortness in the availability of snowfall. Cold tempuratures and constant dustings have kept each tree branch highlighted in a soft layer of snow. Each bare sprig stretches and twines in the sunlight and the moonlight with equal beauty. When I stand just beyond the open door, under the eave of the roof - I can hear the hush of a million tiny flakes fluttering from the sky. I like to stand there for a while, before I get too cold, wrapped in a blanket, staring out into the white dark night. The winter sky is almost always clear in its coolness. The icy air around me makes me feel like I can almost tell what it feels like for the stars high above in the frigidness of space. They seem as though they are little diamonds tossed across a great black scarf.

I view the snow like a great white tapestry. A great thick blanket that subdues all sound. Even in the daytime din of the nearby highway, there is an underlying stillness that permeates from the background. It is for all these reasons that I so love winter. I can hear the silence that the snow brings. I can feel the snap that the air brings. I can sense the sparseness of vegitation that won't return until the spring. However I think that it is the knowledge that the spring will return which makes winter so beautiful. Because there is always the assurance that for all its cold, stark and terrible splendor, it will always fade away with the same certainty in that it will return again. Unlike the years of our lives which come and then depart, never to return - I can relish in the comfort of starlight and falling snowflakes over and over again, until my days are spent.

It is good to know that some things are certain.

Friday, January 1, 2010

So what now?

As I drove home last night from the bar at which I spent New Years Eve, I let Coldplay play loud out of my speakers. My corolla's small interior heated up quickly against the cold air swirling outside. Inside, Chris Martin's voice sang about life, lessons, love, memories, and all those other softhearted topics that make you want to hit the repeat button over and over. That the world around me had been transformed into a crystaline winter wonderland only helped to enhance the mood of tranquility, nostalgia and - most importantly - possibility.

I like to think that 2010 holds new possibilities for me. I very much hope I am not wrong in my assumption. The only thing I have on my calendar thus far is a trip to Spain in March. I bought the tickets on a whim in November - my first step in this personal endeavor to propel my life forward. It's a ten day trip, and I haven't booked any rooms yet, or planned an itinerary. I promised myself I wouldn't let myself worry about the money or planning involved until after the holidays. Well, the holidays are come and gone, so starting tomorrow, I get to allow the anxiety to take over.

I have a lot to be anxious about, trip planning aside. I am constantly on the hunt for employment, not to mention the internal argument I've been holding with myself about going back to school. My recent LSAT score came in too low for me to feel that that pursuit is worth trying for - at least for now. So now I've moved on to other areas of concern, a teaching certificate being one of them. In the sate of Massachusetts, gaining a teachers liscence is just about equal to a Doctorate in Partical Physics.

The bottom line of my anxiety is that I know I've been handed a golden opportunity in my young life. I have the ability to do anything, anything at all. And I feel that I'm wasting it fast. By the time of my trip in March, it will have been 9 months without employment. With each month that passes, I feel more and more that I've wasted this opportunity. That I've been hearing that same sentiment from others does nothing to encourage me forward. I can't shake the soul crushing feeling that I've failed myself.