9/4

Today I found that my former landlords had spitefully dumped some of my old furniture at my job. I don’t give a shit about the furniture, but I’m pretty fucking annoyed that they crossed the line into my professional life. Good job, grown ups.

I went to get burritos but the place was closed. Settled for some bullshit shawarma. Spilled it.

My phone went crazy again and froze. I lost all of my apps again and a fair few numbers. Luckily it was so recently that it last did this shit that I hadn’t even yet had all of the stuff back on my phone that I normally use. I’m just pissed off that I lost a few specific texts. Again. Good news: angrily checked the date I was eligible for an upgrade and found that it was three days ago!

I have a mango margarita date with my new roomie and a date to the fair with another good friend this week. I just need to stop being so fucking tired. And as soon as I’m done being tired I can write some actual posts and that will be nice.

9/2

Holy shit. Today was trying.

I took some seriously shit care of my body the past couple of days. I’ve felt sick for like five days and on Friday night I pretty much spent the evening lying in bed instead of packing because every time I was upright I was hit with a wave of nausea that brought me to my knees. I hate being sick.

My arms are bruised worse than a junkie’s and my back is tender and tight. The bruises I don’t mind; they’re almost like a confirmation that I worked my ass off this weekend. Visible physical proof.

Work sucked horrendously. I’m terrified I won’t be able to lift a tray tomorrow. I think a table stiffed me, i got just above 10% from my party of ten, and my last table left me a dollar on a $20 check. I like my morning shifts better. My manager spoke to me as though I had only been working there a week and the cooks were relentless in their comments. My arms were so weak I nearly dropped a tray of food. The diner was at its worst tonight.

Can I win the lottery or something? I have other places to be…and other people to be with. Christ.

Crazy

I have spent a very long time in my life feeling pretty abnormal. I know: most people have at one time or another. Growing up, I suspected my family life was unusual and I developed a hearty sense of shame regarding it. When you’re young you can’t quite put your finger on it. Or really, you can’t quite put your tongue on it. You don’t know how to articulate it. You don’t know the words or even the concrete thought. But you do know that your other friends live with their parents. And even if their parents are divorced and their home life isn’t as straightforward as some of the other kids, you know that they aren’t living at their grandparent’s house like you are. And you know that their mothers aren’t cleaning their grandparent’s house for extra cash before going home to God-knows-where. An old drug buddy’s floor. Or bed. Who knows. In any case, when you are a child you’re never sure of the details and the words always escape you. But you have your suspicions.

So much of feeling abnormal is, as seems obvious, a direct result of your surroundings. I don’t mean that you are simply born as a black sheep. I mean that you are pointed out to be different and made to feel that way again and again. I was the one in my family who loudly questioned politics. It was the first time I could find solid evidence that I truly did not fit my family’s mold. I questioned the religion my mother had lazily raised me to accept and I broke my grandmother’s heart. My mother and I fell into a years-long cycle of psychiatric medication and empty threats. I cut myself. I was certain that my mother was unreasonable and that she could even be downright cruel. Sometimes I felt that I must be crazy. But I was a child; I had no rights and I was easy to overpower. I probably am crazy to some extent. It can’t be helped; it’s in my blood. At least for me, it doesn’t manifest itself in ways that cause me to be willfully destructive. I’ve learned to focus my energy. To wield it.

My crazy shows up differently. My crazy causes me to decide to fly 6000 miles by myself to spend time in a city I’ve never before visited. My crazy is staying in a hostel with four girls I don’t know and wandering by myself in an unfamiliar place and deciphering signs I can barely begin to read. My crazy is the utter fucking elation I feel when I am an ocean and a half away from any place I’ve called home. It was crazy to consider someone a friend when I knew them almost solely online. It was crazy to meet him late one night, my legs burnt and blistered from an overzealous day at the beach, in the back of some coffee shop called Loveat. Our connection was crazy and the sun was crazy and the smells and sounds and tastes were crazy. And more than anything, my inability to let that whirlwind of a week fade from my person is goddamn crazy. But as it is, I think about it daily.

I’m so tired of vague acquaintances from the restaurant ask me why I’m going back so soon. Everyone asks me pointed questions about the existence of some Israeli future-husband. I can never convey the momentousness of my experience there. I can never convince them that there are larger reasons for me to return to a country so far away. It wasn’t just a vacation. I can’t explain why I work 55 hours a week to return as quickly as possible. Their small smiles and looks in their eyes that say they know better make me feel like I’m crazy. It infuriates me and makes me feel small.

When I was 18, I was initially rejected from all the colleges to which I’d applied. I had a coffee with my guardian’s husband and told him that since I couldn’t do the normal next step, I wanted to do something amazing. I never did, though. But I’ve gotten braver and now I’ve taken the plunge. Maybe for me, “amazing” has always been synonymous with “crazy.” Either way, I have seen pure batshit crazy, and I am not it.

I prefer the term “adventurous” anyway.

:)

20 days until I leave for Israel

18 months until I quit the diner and the US

3 1/2 years until I have to renew my passport

No obligation to attend any family holidays this fall and winter. Or any thereafter. I can breathe.

I have a plan with forward in my eyes. Let it come.

Things I’m doing to not feel like utter shit

1. Trying to go to bed at the same time on nights before my early shifts. 10:30 is tough with fun neighbor friends, but I feel less shitty.

2. Eating delicious greens! I love those bitches. Thank god it’s growing season and I have an endless supply of local veggies.

3. Drinking an absurd amount of water. (And only 1 coffee a day)

4. Going to both therapy and acupuncture as regularly as I can manage.

5. Making myself get out of the house.

6. Writing and reading more.

7. Watching movies in other languages, even though it’s a bit bittersweet and makes me feel a little restless.

8. Holding standards for relationships I maintain and sticking to them.

9. Thinking about going to the gym and accepting that I’m going to feel shitty about myself at first.

10. Paying my goddamn bills on time.

11. Feeling less attached to my physical belongings and more attached to the positive connections I have with people.

12. Reminding myself that I have proven I am able to do amazing things and that finding enrichment is feasible with my resources.

 

I’m thinking about an 18 month plan to be done with the diner and the US for a while. Seems realistic.

Homesick

I cannot remember a single time that I have felt legitimate homesickness. Not in my entire life.

I recently was told (numerous times) that I am cold and unfeeling. These traits are news to me. But maybe my inability to feel strongly about a place I call my home is a result of my alleged coldness. Or at lease an illustration of it. I’m not so quick to buy this.

I have felt a deep and heartfelt longing for places that I have not yet been able to call home. Maybe this is my real crime. Sometimes I feel as though it is my aspirations that have damned me.  My family has condemned me again and again for reaching farther than they ever have, and worse yet–succeeding. I am arrogant because I have found pleasure and enrichment in what my work can afford me and I am selfish for indulging in it. I offer no apologies.

Perhaps it is because I am still here, but I cannot see myself getting all choked up about Western Mass. I think of the cornfields in the summer, the farmers markets, and the ice cream from the local dairy farms. There are streets I can walk down and restaurants I can enter where everyone will smile at me with familiarity. I know woods and towns and buildings like the back of my hand. And in recognizing this, I can smile. But my heart is not sick.

The first time I ever remember feeling like I truly belonged somewhere was once when I drove into Manhattan after being away for many months. I felt the way one feels after they’ve forgotten their hunger and take their first bite of food. The hunger is sudden and insatiable. So I’ve felt that…but never homesickness.

And now, when I think of Tel Aviv, I feel something similar. Something stronger. I am certain that when I next step off that plane I will weep. For weeks I have dreamed of the fine white sand and the orange juice, freshly squeezed and warm, available on every street. I hold this city the same way young girls hold their lovers. There are days when I feel infected by it. It is in my blood now and I cannot shake it. I will walk those summer streets again.

So, no. I have never felt a longing for my home. I get feverish only at the prospect of other places. But I cannot help what touches and speaks to me. If my desire to pursue the things about which I am passionate mars my slate, so be it. I will live my life in hopes that at the end, my slate will be so far from clean that it will be destroyed entirely. I owe nothing.  I will be selfish until the day I die and I may never even go home. If Tel Aviv is scab that I can’t help but pick, then I will do so earnestly because I have chosen to.  I do not expect to be met with understanding.

Memoir.

I know that I have wanted to write a memoir for years. I think I have been infatuated with the idea of telling my story before I even had one to tell. And here I am now: my life is a far cry from either typical or amazing or even terrible. Its patchwork has positioned itself solidly in limbo. And who wants to read that story? There has been a sudden influx of memoirs in the recent years. My childhood was vaguely similar to all those tales of neglectful and mentally ill parents, but since those stories have been told, where’s the need to tell it again? Where’s the interest in reading that again? Thinking my life is any more fascinating or special than what’s already written is unadulterated arrogance.

When we read biographies we are interested only in drama. And to us, that drama has only two acceptable places from which to stem: from the life of someone amazing and with whom we are already starstruck, or from someone with a past so ghastly and horrifying that their very survival is what amazes us. I fit neither of those. Even if I were to become known because of my past, I would have to do something spectacular in order to draw that attention. I am still in the midst of my young adulthood. And as my experiences prove again and again, leaving my home or my town or even my country never provided me with an escape from my problems or my mother’s mental illness.

Nobody wants to read about an unfortunate child and her unfortunate life. Not when she never finds success or well-deserved good fortune or even consistent happiness. America needs happy endings. Maybe we as humans need happy endings. In any case, mediocrity and stagnancy do not sell, even if you do use big words and a bit of charm.

Israel

I’ve been speaking to a friend about this. Bear with me; I’m buzzed.

 

(But not so buzzed as to not use a semicolon! Or to properly structure the previous sentence!)

 

I remember sitting on the couch in my friends’ living room. I was sweaty. Exhausted. My hair was frizzy and unbrushed. I wept. She told me I looked the prettiest she had ever seen me.

There’s something to be said about the me that I was when I was in Tel Aviv. It’s not that I was different than I am any other time, exactly. But I was at my best, to be sure. I am certain that I exuded confidence. I know that I offered no apologies for who I was and that I owned every single piece of myself. I love feeling like that. It’s a step down from arrogance, which is a thin line I walk most of the time.

I think that I’m really close to being like that while I’m at home. The problem is that at home there are habits. There are people and stagnancy that prove difficult to shake. When  you fly over 6000 miles you can let all that go. And then what’s left? Just me. And I was satisfied. Unfortunately, I’m back in MA and the habits are here and the relationships and the expectations are here. I’m making wise choices in terms of my person and my self preservation. But let me tell you: it’s exhausting.

6 weeks and $1400. Then I can experience that freedom again. And I make these things happen for myself. Who else will?

 

Can you tell I’m totes drunk? Not that this post isn’t legitimate. I just dont trust myself to articulate.