hi 2020

I’m not sure how to begin or rather, where I should begin. I keep listening to my 2019 Spotify playlist that replays the soundtrack to my highs and lows of the entire year. I can look through my Instagram and see a catalog of my best moments. I can read through my public and private journals and feel the sadness of my worst moments as if the wound were fresh.

I consider where I was, and re-read last year’s reflection piece and wonder if I’ve made any progress. January seems like another lifetime ago, even the summer feels like an eternity from where I sit right now.

2019 became a year of intensity, at least in my version of reality. A year ago I was a cook, living with my dad and doing anything to feel some level of control over my life. It’s a challenge to move back in with your parents, particularly when they aren’t sure of who you became. The roles change and I think for parents it’s hard to accept that kids don’t always need you. I moved out.

Everything comes with a price, including the freedom to be your own person. In my case, it means I never have any money for anything at all. I moved in with strangers in an area I have been wanting to live in for a long time. It seems weird probably to live with people you met off the internet, but I’ve only been screwed over by 1 out of like 10 which is pretty good odds. This hasn’t been that 1 time.

I almost fell in love and maybe to a point I did, with smooth guitar riffs and empty words. I also learned how hard the concrete feels when you smack into it at full speed and don’t die. It was a lesson in manipulation, egos, and personal boundaries. I spent a long time being very sad about the level of disrespect I had received and wondered at length, what was wrong with me to have been so unlucky in love? The truth of the matter is that it wasn’t my fault and I’ve effectively been relieved of what would have likely been an excessively toxic relationship. I’m angry still at the amount of time I wasted on it all but not all lessons are easy to learn. This relationship taught me the importance of listening to my gut and not to compromise my personal boundaries at the expense of myself and, for the comfort of someone else. If something doesn’t feel right or a person’s words don’t add up, you’re probably right.

New York City stole my heart as I spent an entire week with old friends, wondering around that dirty, smelly city. I was fortunate enough to get pinkeye while I was on vacation in the City. It should be advised to not touch your face in NYC unless you’re in your own home and you’ve literally just washed your hands. Never touch your face after riding the subway. You can also walk down the street in a brightly colored, plastic poncho in the middle of a rainstorm and no one will pay attention to you. However, if you buy wine, the employees will be amused and ask to take a picture. I’m obsessed with the City and I replay the memories we created over and over, in my head and I scroll through hundreds of pictures that tell the story of the trip in frozen moments.

I turned 30 this year and John fucking Mayer played a concert in Detroit on my literal day of birth. It was too serendipitous to not go. No one wanted to go with me though which is the story of my life for birthday shenanigans but my best friend finally came around and agreed to go. Even though John didn’t propose to me, I still thought it was nice of him to play a concert for my birthday. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to and I honestly didn’t even listen to John Mayer that much before the concert. I spent $45 on a Hanes t-shirt though, just because I deeply enjoyed the show and wanted John’s face on my body when I slept.

Anyway, it’s getting weird now. I changed jobs a few times this past year and I’ll probably do it again next year. Life is a weird journey and I think about how much can happen in a year and how sometimes it doesn’t seem like time moves it all. 2019 challenged me for the better. I don’t know how 12 months can be an eternity ago, but I feel more sure of myself now than I have in a long time.

When I began writing about the past year, I was under the impression it had been stressful, full of heartache and depression but as I began to think back to it, the years been pretty kick-ass overall. I’m stoked for 2020, it’s probably going to be some Mercury retrograde bullshit but: bring it on bitch.

 – Neptune

hello 2019

{insert obligatory New Year Eve’s post}

Let’s set the scene before we begin. It’s 30 degrees outside and snow has covered the ground. I’m in the living room of my father’s house with the leftover vomit of Christmas and even the fake tree, looks tired. On the speakers, I’m spinning my latest obsession, Chet Baker. The lighting is cool toned because it is winter in the midwest which means it’s gray most of the time.

At the beginning of 2018, I lived in Florida. I worked in a call center, for a cable company wherein I got bitched at 90% of the time over things that are completely unimportant by people who insisted their remote, didn’t have a power button. I was consumed by TV and spent the majority of my time, sitting.

Florida will do that to you though. It’s very easy to fall into the endless lull of the summer sun. I chronicled much of my time in FL on my previous blog that you can read here if you feel so inclined.

It was necessary for me to move because I had been in a rut since college, I didn’t know how to escape from. I became directionless and wondering around life, waiting for something to happen. So I left and took an extended vacation in Florida.

I always felt time stood still in Florida. Maybe it’s because the seasons don’t change drastically or the lull of the waves crashing against the shore, but certainly an attractive slower pace. I started to die there, however. I thought I could probably maintain a decent enough life but that wasn’t really what I wanted. I never wanted an okay life, I want an extraordinary life. I suppose that’s a bit idealist and maybe somewhat naive but also, why not?

I think it’s freeing to accept we’re only here for a short time and as my old rowing coach used to say all ass or no ass,  I’ve been struggling with existential dread and depression for some 4 or 5 years now. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the realization everything matters while simultaneously not mattering at all. If it doesn’t matter, why bother doing anything at all but if it does matter, you might as well try to do something interesting.

That’s the thing of it, you might as well try to do something interesting. When I was a kid, I imagined myself on TV and traveling the world. I imagined all the adventures I’d have. I couldn’t wait to grow up because that meant freedom from subscribed rules I never wanted to subscribe to. It’s hard for other people to allow you to march to your own drum and I think most people mean it from a place a love. They don’t want

you to fail but failure is usually a good thing even if it sucks or is pretty scary at times.

I always felt I HAD to do certain things like I didn’t have a choice. It’s what everyone does and if I want to fit in, I have to play by the rules but honestly, it sounded maddening. It’s always sort of expected that you’ll go to college and then you’ll get some job and work your way up, you’ll get married and pop out kids and then just do that. No judgment if that’s the sort of thing a person wants but to me, it sounded like a death sentence. I remember having anxiety as a teenager as I inched closer to adulthood because I didn’t know I had a choice in these things. I just assumed at some point I would want these things and I kept waiting for it to happen but I’m 29 now and I still don’t. I still want my adventures.

I still get flack from people who love me, about wanting to be a tumbleweed. I am a people pleasure to a fault and it is very hard for me to accept listening to what I want and not talking myself out of it because other people will think I’m being silly/immature/irrational. Maybe I am all those things but also, who cares?

I struggle with having a purpose in life. I always feel like I’m supposed to be doing something else, but I have no idea what it is. People tell me to follow your passions but I have hundreds of passions and none of them are practical so… what do I do now? I don’t know why I’m here and I don’t know what it means that I am here. I expressed this to a former lover and he responded, but isn’t that liberating? If you had some predestined purpose, you’d have all these rules to follow and things to do, but instead, you can do whatever you want. I had never considered this thought and it was a bit profound to me although writing it out now, makes it seem so obvious.

I moved back to the midwest in July of this year. I moved back in with my dad and started studying software development at the local community college. I work at a grocery store owned by Amazon. I have difficulty accepting this season of life, as I see my friends who have really great careers going, are getting married or having kids. While I don’t want these things, I still feel a certain societal pressure that I should be in a different phase of my life or further along but I mean, I’m not really doing anything else anyway.

I think sometimes people sort of think life is like a checklist and once you’ve checked everything off, you’re done and then you move to Florida and call the cable company 20 times a day and bitch because you’re bored and you stopped living.

Once, I told a coworker in the call center I was just there until something better came along and she responded “yeah but really, what else is there?” and I just stared at her. I couldn’t fathom this mindset that a call center in the middle of the woods in Florida was all there was for me. I had made it and that was the end and then what? Just be consumed by the day to day monotony while flies pick away at my zombied eyes?

I suppose my New Years resolution is to work on trusting my own self more. I’m not following the guidelines that have been drilled into my head since I was a kid. Not everyone in my life is going to trust me in making that decision. Not everyone is going to understand it. But when I get to the end of my line and the Hags are deciding to cut my lifeline, I want that string to be full of knots of adventures, frayed areas of heartaches and failures and glittering moments of triumph and grandiose nonsense (because Leo’s like that sort of thing). Who cares, right? You get one shot at life, so you might as well just do what’s going to bring you joy and allow you the most fun because life is a lot of fun even if it’s kind of annoying sometimes.

Those are my thoughts. I’m about to go join a gym, have brunch with my bestie and who knows what else. Happy New Year, friends. Be constructively reckless and allow yourself to make some bad choices out of fun but be smart and don’t put yourself in danger (aka, don’t drink and drive).