Friday, October 26, 2012

The winter of my discontent.

Two weeks ago I finished John Steinbeck's, The Winter of Our Discontent. That book has been sitting in my gut, a simmering head stew, since I finished it.

Ethan Allen Hawley, a man of scrupulous standards, decides one day to take advantage of a process set in motion by the honorable business-crooks of his town. In order to do so, he "temporarily [trades] a habit of conduct and attitude for comfort and dignity and a cushion of security." From store clerk to rich  respectable store owner, pushed along by the gentle tidewaters of 'the way things are', it is a descent into the steaming maw of the great amoral social machine.

"Sometimes a man seems to reverse himself so that you would say, 'He can't do that. It's out of character.' Maybe it's not. It could be just another angle, or it might be that the pressures above or below have changed his shape . . . . I think I believe that a man is changing all the time. But there are certain moments when the change becomes noticeable."

Lately I've been feeling like a stranger to myself. Have you ever felt that way? Like you are neither the person others think you are nor the person you yourself think you are? You've slowly slipped away from the "you" you knew and it wasn't a result of some conscious doing...but it may very well prove to be your undoing. Because it is a descent itself. A descent perhaps initiated by one terrible catastrophe or a cluster of calamitous events but perpetuated through endless exhausting recovery.

"Men don't get knocked out, or I mean they can fight back against big things. What kills them is erosion; they get nudged into failure. They get slowly scared ... it's slow. It rots out your guts." Wormwood has found a pernicious hold on your soul and his shackles are malignantly sweeping out your insides. You have become your own doppelganger.  The sinister harbinger kind.

Dramatic? Maybe. INXS understands.

In a desperate attempt at finding the truth labeled 'ME' I have, instead, lost. I have neglected my duties to the inherently divine and fallen into the sinkhole of selfish thought. In the dark pre-dawn, comfortable in my morning bed, I have lethargically waited for someone to start my day. I'm not quite sure what it will take to exorcise my self-possessing double: resolution instead of diversion, a relentless trying, daunting tenacity, terrifying vulnerability. Above all else, the losing must come first. For, "he that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt. 10:39).

Until I can fight my way back to a better me I will preoccupy myself by helping middle schoolers with math 3 times a week. Only for 20 minutes a day though, I don't want to make that much of a difference. In addition, to prove I didn't graduate Summa Cum Laude for nothing, I got a part-time job with the Sylvan Learning Center tutoring high math. And ACT prep. Yay for math! Am I right? Am I right or amIright or amIright? Right. Right. Right.
I'm also going to start recording songs again. Until then, enjoy these numbers I recorded this spring.

Baby Mine, Dumbo
Boats and Birds, Gregory and the Hawk

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Forgive my sentimentality.

The only job I’ve ever loved has come to an end. As of Friday, I am no longer employed by Varian Medical Systems, Inc. – world’s leading manufacturer of medical devices used for treating cancer. In fact, I am no longer employed by anyone...this again? I spent one unemployed summer sweating indoors and watching as much tv as the internet could hold. I also read The Count of Monte Cristo and other short stories.

It was depressing. 

And hot. 

Maybe sometime I'll tell you how exactly I got here. But not today. Nope, today I will merely be grateful that at least it will be cooler this time around. That's a change. Perhaps I'll work for Alta again.
Remember this?
I spent my last day at Varian sort of wandering around distracting people. I had already had two farewell lunches that week and couldn't believe anyone still wanted to go out again. I felt somewhere in the middle of this-is-a-big-deal and I'm-not-sure-this-matters-that-much. Several of my coworkers were generous enough to bemoan the fact that I was leaving. "Why can't they hire you?" "This is just stupid." And I would shrug my shoulders and say, "Oh well." And, actually, I would love to get hired on there. Well, I mean, if staying in Salt Lake is my future, Varian is the only place I want to work. There and Alta. So when I left on Friday, I half expected to pause at the door, take one last longing look around, and then walk to my car with eyes brimming with emotion. Instead I felt exhilarated. Like I could do anything. Like I was free. FREEEEE!!!!

Then, twenty minutes later I realized that come Monday I had absolutely nothing to do.

Do you ever wish you could stop time so you could get yourself in order before the clock starts ticking again? I've wished for that often lately. My life in stop motion animation. I feel like I've passively let so much time slip by as I've half-heartedly tried to escape the overwhelming doldrums of my indecision. I need to move on. Be proactive. Hitch up my one pair of skinny jeans and find a place to belong. I just don't. know. what to do with myself. 

You see, there's this part of me that feels beyond restless. That part of me would pack up and leave tomorrow, if possible. It would run and escape and disappear. But I'm not sure that's the part of me I want to listen to...or rather, to which I want to listen. Another part of me wants to move closer to my family. To reinstitute Thanksgiving and Easter in my life. I could establish myself as the favorite once and for all. I would definitely take the opportunity to start claiming some of my parent's possessions. It could, and most likely would, be awesome. Then...there's yet another part that thinks maybe I should stay here. Here I have friends that know me and cousins and mountains and babies and ex-colleagues that like me and fake families and SO many singles and...and...and...Baaaaaah!!

So I vacillate between this:
and this: 
and this:
 and even some moments of this:
But, one thing is for certain: I am one confused orangutang.