I am no good at this adulthood thing. It's like climbing a buttered rope hand over hand. First off, I have no upper body strength. And secondly, who the hell came up with buttering a climbing rope in the first place? I have the job, the apartment, the relationship, the closet full of daily costumes, the body full of shine, the food to fill a fridge and the pans to cook it in, the places to run away to when I fell broke down and suffocated. But no spark left at the end of the day. Why is that? After all the struggle of kicking my own ass through college, getting out into the big, imperfect world early and sinking my teeth into all that mess, I am still exactly where I was before. When do I get to exhale that deep sigh, look at myself in the mirror and say this is it?
When I'm handed a forty hour work week, I am grateful for what it affords me. But at what cost? Why does our country, our culture, hold wealth so high on the list of things to desire that rest and good company and creation suffer? I do not want to be rich. I have never wanted to be rich. I might even go so far as to say that I hate rich people because of how distant they are from their own humanity, but this is a broad generality and not targeted at people specifically so much as the symbology at play. Money means only what we let it mean. There are ways to live that cost less than how I choose to. I could move to another city where the rents are lower. I could go back to the kind of work that I feel in my body at the end of the day. Maybe I'm dissatisfied because the only thing I feel in my body about my job is the cloying presence of industrial fluorescent lighting and the migraines I get from looking at computer screen for eight hours a day.
I saw an article on the Atlantic's website the other day that said that office workers burn the same amount of calories as hunter-gatherers. How stunning. Which work is more essential?
A text message from a friend showed up during my mid-afternoon slump today, and I realized I haven't seen him in nearly two years. We live in different cities, met while I was on tour too many moons ago, but I still can't believe I've gone this long without hearing his voice. Our meeting was so essential to the way I ushered in the new phase of my life. This one sans the structure of college. But what seemed so whole and holy when it was just starting out has fallen into a new structure. I am now a slave to an alarm clock, a social schedule, the pressure to keep trotting out my writing for journals and magazines that will not have it. What kind of goals are these? It seems nearly impossible to have any kind of spontaneous day. Perhaps that is the cost of stability.
Or maybe I can shake myself out of this like a snow globe, let all of the pieces fall back down and rearrange themselves in a way that makes me smile. I don't want to cut anyone, or anything, from my life. I love my family, my friends, my city, making art (in whatever form it arrives). The world just feels so small and limited. It is time to start saving up to travel, to hatch an escape plan. I am so thankful for the fact that I can afford to survive. But I want to do more than live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my days. I want the world to feel as big as I know it is, and for there to be places that seem impossible to reach so that I can drive myself hard enough to reach them.
When I finished school, my writing had never been published. I am already so far from that person. There is a new kind of adult I want to be, one who doesn't sacrifice hunger and wonder for the sake of satisfaction.