There are a lot of complicated feelings in moving somewhere, even if you’re not moving far away, even if you’ve only lived somewhere for a little while or you never really liked the place anyway or you’ve been trying to escape since you were born.
my grandparents had these done for our families by some friend or other and i’ve always kind of loved ours
The house I’m moving out of — the place — is my home and my hometown. It’s the house my parents brought me home to after I was born and it’s got 27 years and almost five months of history for me. I learned to walk here and to talk and to read and write. I’ve made a lot of terrible decisions in these walls and a lot of good ones. The bedroom I’m typing this in right now has been mine since my sister moved out at 18. I was nine. It’s seen all my milestones.
I’ve cried and laughed a lot. I’ve spent days in this room, unable to leave, because I was too sad or angry or anxious. I’ve shared a bed with my friends and my fiancée and some people I hadn’t know that long and once there were literally 18 people crammed on it in pursuit of a picture.
I wrote my first novel in this room. I’ve written every piece of my own writing I’ve considered tolerable in this room. I have learned the most important things I know in this room. I fell in love in this room. And I shared it with the love of my life. I got engaged in this room. I’ve broken things in anger in this room and screamed in joy and fought and yelled with so many of the most important people in my life. I’ve thought about suicide in this room. I’ve come beyond wishing I was dead in this room. I spent three entire months watching Daria: Is It Fall Yet? on loop in this room because I was too depressed to do anything else. I can still effortlessly recite it word for word. I have had slumber parties in here and drunken sleepovers. I’ve stayed up for 72 hours in here and slept for 24. Where I painted and let my friends paint all over my walls, regardless of skill or intent or design.
This house is where I broke both my arms, where I’ve gotten hundreds of bruises and scratches. Where I figured out the person that I was and learned to love and appreciate her. It’s the house where I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do and be and had it turned on its head a dozen times over. Where I figured out that I don’t ever have to know what I want to be when I grow up, that it’s okay to just keep trying things that make me happy and interested.
This is the house where I had parties that lived in legend even though no one ever drank or did drugs, where inside jokes formed and flourished and crushes got the least inventive nicknames. Where I had the “cool parents” and never had a bedtime and learned how to make good decisions because I was given the freedom to make the stupid ones. Where I smoked my first cigarette and had my first kiss… and a bunch of other firsts that I won’t mention because this is a post I know my dad will read aloud to my mom and that’s too awkward even for me.
This is the house where I nourished the three friendships that have kept me alive for the last 10+ (and 19, this September) years, where I sometimes tried to destroy them. Where I turned the newest, fastest friendship I’d ever had into a my first real, important, lasting romantic relationship. (Don’t worry, I’ve spent plenty of time trying to wreck that one too.)
This house is where high school happened.
Including those 18 people and the aforementioned artwork (courtesy of the very talented Bryce and his signature ASB writing and Miriam’s lovely portraits).
This house is where friendship happened.
Where a majority of our TEN annual Christmas parties have happened, including number one, five, and ten.
Where drunkenness happened.
And where I was a baby and a child and an adolescent and an adult. Where I was part of the best family I could’ve ever asked for.
I am going to miss this house, this place where I put my heart for the last 27 years. I’ve lived in other places, but they’ve never been what this house has been to me, what this city has been to me, what this whole place is. I spent my formative years wishing I was anywhere else on Earth and now I’m going to spend the next few wishing I could get back. And that seems fitting somehow. But I know it’ll never be this house again and I know that the people who live in it next will destroy some of the things I have learned to love most about it — the creaking floors and the dated kitchen, the green bathtub, and the 1952 original windows that are a bitch and a half to open — but they’ll make their own memories in it and I think that makes it okay.
It’s in my nature to want to destroy what I can’t have though, so I’ll probably spend the next three weeks fighting every urge in my body to just start smashing things, to upperdeck the toilets, and steal the house down to the studs. But I’ll resist and try to remember it as well as I can instead because it’ll always be the first place I think of when I hear “home,” the first place I ever lived and probably always the longest. It’ll always be, in some significant way, home.
Okay, so here’s an announcement:
The girlfriend and I are moving to North Dakota in three weeks.
I’ve already posted about my parents moving there and now, for a variety of reasons that we have spent the last few months avoiding/denying/trying to fix, we to are North Buttkota bound.
We both have really mixed feelings, a large portion of which are borne of the fact that we’re moving in less than three weeks, basically. Have you ever tried to pack up your whole life on three weeks’ notice? It’s dumb. It’s so dumb. I don’t know what happened in our decision making process — we’ve been mulling this over for months basically — or if we thought my parents would change the schedule — they’re coming home to move their stuff and we’re going with them — when we decided to move or if it’s just because we were in so much denial and the final decision just came so FAST. I don’t know. But three weeks! And packing sucks so much. OH MY GOD. Packing sucks.
We’ve packed six boxes so far and they’re only books and movies and only ONE SHELF of books at that. THERE ARE TWO MORE FULL BOOKSHELVES that have to be packed. DO YOU KNOW HOW HEAVY BOOKS ARE?! WHY DO WE OWN SO MANY BOOKS?! And for the first time in my life — I’ve only moved three times before and two of those were to college and the other was to a furnished apartment for an internship last year RIGHT AT THIS SAME TIME LOOK AT THAT — I have to move FURNITURE. How does that even work?! FURNITURE! Oh god.
Anyway, I’ve been not-typing this post for the last three hours, instead dicking around on Tumblr and generally doing nothing of any use to anyone because I can’t sleep normal hours anymore, so don’t even talk to me about accomplishing anything. And also because what do I say?! I’m moving from the best place in the world — PERSONALLY, god don’t start a fight with me about how wherever you are is better, DON’T DO THAT TO ME — to the middle of nowhere! I don’t have anything more eloquent to say about it.
It’s an ~adventure~ and a chance for us to probably pay off some debt and save some money and live pretty comfortably (we get a whole giant finished basement to ourselves, I mean, that’s kind of okay even if I’m 27 and moving 1500 miles to literally live in my parents’ basement) and see some new places and try a new thing. A really new thing! Crystal and I are nothing if not creatures of habit, so, you know, trying something new is good. And it’s TEMPORARY. A year. Or two. Then back home to California where we belong.
But it still means I have to leave my beautiful, wonderful friends and family. Which is the hard part that I’m not ready to dwell on yet. So instead, I am going to focus on the fact that I have to leave all this:
And also this aka my favorite place on this entire planet:
I’m legitimately more upset about leaving Disneyland than anything else. My family and friends can continue to communicate with me and share wonderful, fulfilling relationships and shit at a distance. Me and Disneyland can’t exactly keep up our serious relationship as an LDR. Check in on me about a month into my North Dakota residency and you will find me listening to the Main Street music loop and staring at the HoJo Mattercam and shaking and crying on the floor of my new basement home.
Plus I’m going to have to keep paying my $40 a month through NEXT APRIL for my pass even though I’m not here to use it. >:(
And don’t even get me started on what a disaster it’s going to be when it SNOWS.
But I guess I have this to look forward to?
And I guess my parents or whatever. Plus the dogs are totally ready to go. (The cats are, of course, another story. And that’s who Crystal and I are in charge of. Of course.)
So wish me luck! I make no promises about blogging for the next three weeks, but I may very well panic-procrastinate a million and nine posts between now and our departure time. And I’m going to make Crystal make me blog our trip, if not here than at least on Tumblr because I had all these great productive plans for last summer and I didn’t follow through on any of them and that sucked. But, I’m stronger than her, so. No promises on that one either.
Oh yeah, two unrelated final points:
I dyed my hair! Like a long time ago. Yay.
A PSA, free of charge, from me to you: ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN NO MATTER HOW EXCITED YOU ARE ABOUT GETTING INVITED TO SWIM. ALWAYS. SPF 1,000,000. SUNSCREEN. I haven’t been burned this bad since I was a TWEEN.
Also, sunglass tan lines. >B(
I guess… no pool-related-sunburns are a North Dakota bonus?
So. My parents move to North Dakota on Saturday morning.
Wait. Go up there, back to the beginning, and read that again, please. And again. And again. And again. And again. And over and over again until it’s the only thing you can hear inside your head or feel under your skin or understand. Read it until it’s ringing around in your bones like a tiny forgotten windchime hanging in the breezeway of a house where no one has lived for a long time. And then maybe you’ll understand, like, a tenth of what I’m feeling over here in my real life.
Isn’t that ridiculous? Isn’t that the most intense/tragic/pathetic thing you’ve EVER read regarding someone’s totally alive and healthy and communicative and loving parents? It’s SO ridiculous. But that doesn’t make it not true! ALL THIS SADNESS IS DOWN INSIDE MY BONE MARROW.
» more: goodbye momma, goodbye poppa
Today I am going to ~get real~ and talk about my feelings. I like personal blogs, this is a personal blog, I am a person, the website is my name, and I want to talk about some SHIT, okay?!
My girlfriend and I have been home from Kansas City for about a month. And it has been an excruciatingly hard month for both of us. She is readjusting to a killer commute and a rough office environment and I am unemployed and mooching off of her and generally feeling like a massive, tragic pile of crap.
I liked Kansas City. A lot. And I really, until the last three weeks, enjoyed my internship immensely. It’s more complicated than the following sentences, but: I was good at my job. I enjoyed it. And then that was taken away from me very suddenly and very… unfairly isn’t the right word. Unexpectedly. Shockingly. Unbearably. And it made our last weeks there just unbearable. Really and truly stressful in a way that moving those 1600 miles had not even come close to being. And it sucked. And getting the hell out of Kansas City felt SO GOOD. But I left happy. I mean that. And I can remember the good parts of my job. And I’d do it again if they asked it of me. And/or something similar. I don’t know if I could stay there for more than a year or maybe I could. No, I definitely could. I could stay there forever. Maybe? I don’t know. What do I honestly know from second to second?
But I was so glad to be home. I am so fucking glad to be home. I missed my family SO MUCH. And my animals. And Disneyland. And my incredible friends. And California. I adapted to KC and I liked it, but I can’t imagine it ever feeling like home. Or maybe I could?
But having my feet swept out from me before the end of the internship has left me inconsolable in a lot of ways. The internship fell together so easily, so simply, and everyone spent so much time assuring and reassuring me that it was meant to be (because I am, like all creatives, eternally my own worst critic) and that I deserved it. And I left feeling a lot like I really hadn’t deserved it and a lot like I’d failed, even if failing isn’t why I left. Even if no one ever used the word failure. Even if my co-workers threw me a wonderful going away party and gave me cards and food and gifts and sent me away feeling warm and fuzzy and appreciated. And even if coming home is what was best for both me and my girlfriend.
I have anxiety. I AM SURE THIS IS SHOCKING AS SHIT TO EVERYONE IN THE WORLD, NO REALLY. And I experience immense, heart-heavy periods of depression when I feel like things are out of my control, when I feel I’ve failed. And the last month has just been that. A train wreck of misery and sadness and bad hygiene and being broke and frustrated and embarrassed and disappointed. I have taken it out on my girlfriend and my family and I’ve tried to hide from every single human being on Earth.
I haven’t looked for jobs because my blood pressure spikes when I think about going back to work, when I think about interviewing, when I remember how fucking awful it was the LAST TIME I was looking for work. People were constantly telling me I was overeducated and inexperienced and now I have an additional degree (a terminal Master’s!) and very little additional experience! And when they weren’t saying that, they were questioning why I would want to work so far away from where I live (I LIVE IN A SUBURB, THESE ARE MY ONLY CHOICES) or looking at my fat body and thinking that meant anything about how good I would be at a job or who I was at a person or better yet, telling me how I wasn’t the right representation of their office. THIS WHOLE PROCESS JUST SOUNDS GREAT, SO GREAT. I CANNOT WAIT.
And my girlfriend has been wonderfully patient and kind and takes incredible care of me. But I have to get a job. I want to work! I want to contribute to my household and to the world at large! I want to be upstanding! I am able to work! I am a capable, intelligent, competent person! I can work! I should do it!
But I fight with looking every day and every night and I hate myself more every week and the anxiety gets WORSE AND WORSE and I have more nightmares where my internship manager tells me how much she regrets hiring me and where I lose a house I don’t even own in real life and where planes crash and I fight with my friends and things break and I can’t pull myself together to handle any of it.
And I know writing this out won’t solve it. I’ve been talking this stuff out with the girlfriend for weeks and it has done little to ease the aches and pains and agonies and tensions in my brain, but it’s down anyway now and it’s loose in the world.
This week I am going to try to take hold of myself and apply for jobs. I’m going to work at that proactive thing. I’m going to shake myself out of this bullshit. Because that’s something I know I can do. Because I’ve done it before.
So check in with me in a week and it’ll either be resume sendin’, application fillin’ superchamp Ash. Or I’ll be in bed passed out in the fetal position surrounded by garbage and dog hair with a pizza box from Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza between my knees and a 22 of Wyder’s Pear Cider clutched in my fat fist as I cry into a wad of filthy paper towels while watching Drake & Josh. Only two options.
Or I’m going to knock over some sort of financial institution and head straight to Vegas. Three options.
Also, I groomed my eyebrows today (pluck pluck pluck) and didn’t overtweeze for the first time in maybe my whole life. NEW CAREER PATH?! j/k j/k I would rather touch someone else’s poop than the meaty end of their freshly plucked eyebrow hair.
So I have tried writing a post about this at least four times. Once when it first happened, then at 60 days, then 30 days, then one week, and none of those attempts has really captured exactly what I am ~feeling~ adequately. But now I am out of time and have to write SOMETHING before it’s too late.
Tomorrow, my gf and I move 1600 miles to Kansas City, Missouri so that I can spend three months doing my dream job at a paid internship!
This is both exciting and terrifying! Exciting because: dream job, adventure, all that. Terrifying because: dream job, adventure, brand new place when I’ve lived in southern California for my ENTIRE LIFE.
The gf and I are trying to treat the traveling to Missouri portion as a fun and exciting road trip vacation extravaganza! We have to take both of our cars, so we wanted 9 hour driving blocks to keep from exhausting ourselves. I LOVE ROAD TRIPS. And I’ve never been through that part of the country (save Las Vegas, ’cause duh) so it is extra exciting to me. And terrifying. Because when we stop at the end of the road trip, I have to live there.
I also graduated from my MFA program on Saturday. After endless hoop-jumping to get my thesis approved by our idiotic graduate studies department and two years of feeling like I was constantly missing a step on a long, long staircase of both misery and joy, I AM DONE.
Right now I am really excited to be done with school, but I know I’ll be itching to go back in a year or so. I probably won’t, but I’ll WANT to.
I’m not going to miss my program. Or at least, I don’t think I will, not for a long time at least. But I am going to SEVERELY miss my classmates. Even when shit was bad, they continued to be awesome. I am going to miss them and my longtime friends and my family and WHY AM I MOVING 1600 MILES AWAY?!?!
Oh, right, adventure. Or whatever. Opportunity. Dream job. WHATEVER.
LET’S DO THIS!!