Looking out the window, you can see the air changing. The crisp autumn air is blowing through the leaves of the trees, dragging down several leaves to the cool ground. The rain makes the pavement sparkle, with the colored trees reflected in the water. The breeze blowing your hair in your face calls for scarves and sweaters, boots and jeans. You start wearing your hair down to keep your ears warm and to pull your look all together. Your cheeks turn rosy and your eyes water a little from the cool wind, but the smile on your face welcomes the weather with joy.
The nearby farm turns from a fun playground to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch and the weekends bring the haunted barn and corn maze. You pick out your pumpkin for carving, some apples for baking and maybe some decorative gourds for the front steps. The decorations that have been packed away get placed all over your front yard, which you had to rake earlier to get the fallen leaves into the pumpkin colored trash bags. Before you put them in the bag, you had to jump in them a few times, take a few pictures laying in the pile of leaves.
The comfort foods you eat change from ice cream to homemade apple crisp and scotcheroos. The candy corn at the store sits stale while you grab the bags of candy to hand out to the children come the end of the month. Some like to dress up in scary costumes for the children, others like to wear their own favorite character, but very few don’t dress up at all. Not because they don’t believe in it, but simply so they can tell the kids how wonderful their costume is without expecting them to say something about theirs.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes are in many women’s hands, while I usually go for a salted caramel mocha because it mixes the fall with what comes after Halloween, Christmas time. The hot chocolate flavor sits on your tongue and you smile warmly, knowing the hot drinks will keep you warm come the freezing weather in a few months. You hold the cup with both hands and pull your shoulders up to your ears in delight with that first sip of what tastes like fall.
After work, you curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and some soup, turning on your favorite spooky time movie. The windows are open and you can smell the wet leaves through the breeze that comes through the window. The fresh apple pie you made is baking in the oven, filling the house with the smell of fall. You listen to the rain hit the leaves outside the window as you fall asleep that night, the natural ambiance so soothing in your ears.
Fall is the one season that I miss seeing since moving to California. I would take drives out of town to find the biggest forested area and see the orange, yellow, red and purple trees. For me, there wasn’t any point in taking pictures, I just sat and admired the beauty that was there in front of me. There isn’t much of that here in LA, but I make sure to find it somewhere whenever I can. Fall is my favorite season and October is my favorite month in Iowa. Someday I’ll get married in October, keeping the scenery of the fall trees in my wedding pictures for life.
I’m not a beach girl. I don’t like wet swimsuits, finding trash in the sand, gross bathrooms. I live an hour from the beach and rarely go.
The ocean however…
I could sit and stare at forever. The waves crashing in the distance. My hair smelling like salt. The way I like to believe it makes my skin softer.
When I was 13, I saw a photo of Giant’s Causeway in Ireland in National Geographic. I’d never seen anything so strange and unique looking. These octagonal lava formations stacked and stacked upon each other in odd varying patterns. Standing in my 7th grade geography classroom, I vowed to make it there one day.
I finally made it to Ireland. I was 32, divorced, heartbroken seemingly beyond repair. Not where I thought I would be when I was 13. I rented a car and taught myself how to drive on the opposite side of the road, specifically so I could eventually get to the Causeway. I’ve done a lot of scary things in my life, but those first few hours on the road were terrifying.
Ireland is a magical place filled with the loveliest people on the planet. Everywhere you go, they want to know everything about you. Where you’re from, what you do, what have you done so far, and where are you going. Every time I mentioned the Causeway, everyone said it was disappointing, small, and not worth my time. Essentially how I had been feeling the entire trip. Nevertheless, I had a non-refundable hotel so I was going.
It took me five hours to drive up to the Causeway, far longer than I’m willing to drive to get to Santa Monica in LA. But I got to the hotel, and checked in at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Determined, I rushed to make it there before sundown. As I walked along the trail, the soothing feel of the tides began to wash over me. I turned the corner and there it was. The photo on the cover of National Geographic. It looked exactly as I imagined it.
I broke down before I even stepped foot on the Causeway. I cried for the strength that I had to make it all the way there. For the courage to dissolve my broken marriage. For all of the decisions I had made along the way that had gotten me to that very moment.
My feet felt like sand as I walked closer to what is now my favorite place in the whole world. No one else was there. It was a travel miracle. When I reached the edge, I finally felt free.
I sat in my solitude and watched the sun go down with serenade of the waves crashing in the distance. Being alone is a power that very few people can handle. That day I saw myself for who I truly am. Whole. I have never been happier in any moment in my life. I knew that 13 year old me was beaming inside.
It’s a humbling feeling to feel so small and so seen by the universe at the same time.
Beaches are lovely. But give me an ocean with depths and a jagged shoreline. This girl? She’s gonna be just fine.
Funny how 10 years can fly by. How appropriate it is to reminisce about days gone by; to look back at all the possible what-ifs.
It was the summer of 2009, and I was just in between my second and third year of community college. I was still feeling the sting of being denied my transfer to Cal Poly Pomona. It would be my first of three attempts in pursuing a potential career in Civil Engineering; I would never end up attending.
Every summer since high school, I enrolled in extra classes when I should’ve had fun and relaxed. Every summer, my skin would kiss the sun in a never-ending sweaty embrace. Every summer, I wished for something to happen to me; anything out of the ordinary for that matter. I never had time for myself for those summers, every summer living the same basic life.
I met Jessica in my chemistry lab. I initially didn’t take notice of her since my main concern was my studies and bearing with the searing summer sun. We both were paired up to experiment on the acidity of hydrochloric acids. We both were 20 years old at the time; so attempting to maintain our focus on balancing equations was about as easy as learning to play a piccolo. I can recall our casual banter ranging from the heat outside, to the death of Michael Jackson, to just getting to know what makes us tick. What we found was that we both followed the same tick.
Andy, at 20 years old, was a timid, sheltered, unconfident, anxiety filled wreck; the anxiety is still a bit there. Jessica was a near perfect match to lower then-Andy’s steel-enforced walls; she was more willing to be vulnerable. There was a healthy boundary between us; when we exchanged numbers, we would talk about academics, when we met up we would discuss our aspirations, and when class was dismissed, we made it a point to walk together out of the lab and straight to the parking garage. We kept it low key, we kept it from change, we kept it nerdy; for the first month.
We slowly began to dip our toes into our personal thoughts and opinions. When we texted, we began to slowly share funny photos and funny glimpses into our family lives. When we met up, we began to schedule times to grab food. When we would leave lab, we would lightly flirt which brought my double thinking anxiety into overdrive.
I believe this was the first instance where I began to learn how to get close to somebody. It was confirmed only when we both peered into our elongated flasks bubbling with chemicals, we leaned our bodies together against the table, shoulders touching, hips placed in sync. I blushed Mars red as I turned my head to her; her eyes laser focused to mine. Her expression was indescribable. We both were thinking the same thought: are these chemicals on the table about to explode?
It was a daunting task to fall asleep those nights. Who cares about studying for the midterm when there is a need to not fail at a potential, let’s call it, extra credit opportunity. The human mind is truly a cruel place for the imagination; so many scenarios, so many probable futures. Who is to say that any of them could possibly come true? One Friday August afternoon, I found my answer.
I realized as we continued to talk, something was off, something was missing. Let me put it to you this way: when a guy who has never felt the feeling of being wanted by a girl all his young life, his pathetic mind attempts to explain it as “I wish somebody would love me”, “why can’t I find anybody”, or “I’ll never find anybody who wants me for me”. Said-guy is desperate, he doesn’t believe in himself or that he deserves to be happy. In relationships, when you know somebody is the one, there is usually a confirming feeling, a spark if you will. In this particular instance, said-guy learned self-respect, he learned he doesn’t have to take the first treasure available to him, he learned there was no spark, despite all that has transpired.
I felt an overwhelming feeling of shame. It felt like I lead this person to believe in an idea, and an emotion. I began to distance myself from her; slowly, then gradually climbing out of the hole I created. The chemistry class eventually concluded, we both said we would continue to keep in touch. This was before the term ghosting became a huge thing, but that’s bullshit since ghosting has always been a thing.
If I want to leave you with anything, it would be on how not a day goes by that I don’t revisit the memory. If given the chance, I would probably apologize to her for what could’ve been, on the time lost and for ghosting her. What I wouldn’t apologize for is in finding myself during those days in the summer sun. I learned love is reciprocal. Love has to be shared between two people. You are worthy, you are beautiful, and you don’t have to settle for somebody who isn’t meant for you. Shoot for the stars; make mistakes because it’s how we grow. It’s how we drown out the what-ifs.
"I don’t really see anything romantic between us."
This is what her text said in April after having spent a Saturday together. Well, to be honest, I don’t remember the words exactly, and I can’t fathom going back through the mountain of texts we’ve exchanged since.
That would seem to be the end of that. We met from a dating app in January, talked occasionally through March before going out once more and then, I got that text. She said she wanted to be friends, which is what you say to soften the blow and you’re supposed to take it for what it is: a nice sentiment. I mean, how often do you keep up with people you've met from a dating app that you DIDN’T end up dating. We weren’t in any of the same social circles and we lived in different parts of town. In LA, that’s enough to separate you from someone entirely. A simple, “Happy birthday!” text two weeks later started off a text conversation that continues to this day.
At first, a lot of it was pop culture based. We had lots of thoughts to exchange about the last season of Game of Thrones, not to mention Endgame. These weren’t just casual exchanges of thought. These were chains that were fifty texts long with in depth thoughts, analyses, and speculations.
Soon the scope of the conversation expanded. I told her I needed to talk to someone on a late night drive and we had a Friday night phone call that lasted over an hour. The second, third, and fourth time it was even longer. We talked about everything from family, to school, to traveling, and more. I tried not to fall deeper into it, but I couldn’t help it. She’s the funniest person I’ve ever met and so engaging to talk to- I can and have talked to her for hours.
Like a ticking time bomb, I kept waiting for something to mark the end.
Maybe the conversation would start to bore her?
Maybe we run out of things to talk about?
Maybe one of us would meet someone and there wouldn’t need to be a conversation?
But it’s been
We texted when I went to a wedding out of state. We texted when I went to the east coast for two weeks. It may be spread out over a few hours, but it’s everyday. No matter what we both come back to it. We have had at least three more phone calls all over and hour, one over two and a half.... I don’t get it.
What we are has not come up in the past, (hang on let me count)
FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS.
Some of my friends (and my therapist) recommend having a conversation with her about
“It’s not fair to either of you to waste each others’ time!”
Any friend I explain it to can’t comprehend it.
“Why is she keeping this up if she’s not interested?”
And I shrug, because... again, I don’t know.
Phone calls that go past one in the morning, competitions against each other to write more, actual rap battles (over text) that went on for a week. I didn’t know that’s what I would have wanted out of anyone ever, but here we are. I sent her a picture of a hideous Hawaiian shirt asking if I should buy it and got thirty of the most creative insults peaking
"THIS IS THE OPPOSITE OF BEING QUEER EYED. LIKE STRAIGHT
(She put it in all caps...)
Last month the two of us went to a movie together. It was the first time we had hung out since April. About time to bring up what’s going on, right? That’s what I though despite some resistance. We saw the movie and got dessert after. We talked and talked but not about us. We talked about our families, we talked about our jobs, we talked about the ridiculous names she wants to name twin boys (but I’ve been sworn to secrecy), but not about us. You can say I was scared, but it didn’t feel right to bring it up. The night ended with us going separate ways and our texting resumed as usual when I got home. So where do she and I go from here? Does this go anywhere? What is it between us? She
"I don’t see anything romantic."
How many two hour phone calls have you had with someone you met on a dating app this summer? In some sense it plagues me. This state of denial? Or limbo? Or being just friends? But more than that, she’s the person I want to talk to the most.
And right now that’s enough.
I sneezed and now it’s the Fall.
It wasn’t that long ago that I gazed upon a calendar with an imminent June, thoughts of sunshine and wildflowers swirling, when I turned to my partner and said “What if I just got shredded this summer lol”.
It’s Summer Optimism™.
We’ve all been there. We putter through the winter slog. We inch our way across spring. At the same time, our Instagram feeds gently…gradually….ever-so-subtly start increasing in saturation. The group photos start shedding layers. #BacheloretteParties start popping up like zits. Flip flops creep their way out of closets and feet creep their way out of close-toed shoes. The days grow longer, magazines start to choke on bikinis, and Summer Optimism™ kicks in.
It’s that feeling of “This is going to be the best summer of my life”. And it’s easy! All you have to do to have a great summer is to just do it. You grow nostalgic for memories you haven’t made yet. Before summer, were all just pre-skinny. Before summer, we’re hiker-adjacent. Before summer – hell, we’re not even in spring – we’re before summer. Glorious Summer Optimism™. It’s a Mean Girls world where “the limit does not exist”.
And then we sneeze. We do a giant, collective group sneeze and it’s gone. And we’re left missing what was, zooming in on our photos to ogle at our own tan lines. We don’t understand how it went so fast. We think, “shouldn’t I remember every single moment of every single day of summer because in my head it was going to be this transcendent time of year that put my hopes and dreams into a string bikini and strapped them onto a rocket and blasted it to stars? Why did it feel like…a regular 3 months?”
Because the thing we love most isn’t summer, it’s the time pre/post summer. Those 9 months of Summer Optimism™. Living in the moment is one of the hardest things on earth. While I want nothing more than to be the type of girl who can go sit on the beach, day in and day out, reading books, listening to waves, growing more and more radiantly sun-kissed…. My dark secret is that even then, I’m looking to the future. I’m already on my couch, at home, pantsless, my boyfriend and Halo Top next to me, playing The Sims.
So maybe I can’t enjoy the summer while I’m in it. Maybe none of us really can. Or maybe I’m the only one. But you know what? At least it’s always summer in The Sims.
9:30pm. Standing in what could only be described as the “Geriatric Wear” aisle of the Rite Aid
on Franklin, I held concealer in my hands.
Brand: Covergirl. Shade: Fair. The blue twist top. My most desperate necessity. Curse my
haggard, thin-skinned undereye for its perpetual darkness. I could not go a day without it. I could
sacrifice literally all other make-up tubes and tools if I had to. I could never curl my eyelashes
again. I could let my brows be the color they actually are. But not this. For the sake of looking as
I wasn’t on the cusp of literal and actual death, I needed this damn tube.
Not the highest quality of concealers, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t qualify what I do to my face in
the morning as a “regimen”. No. It is a face regime. I engage in skin warfare. The way I start to
apply my moisturizer is sick, rushing at a pace as if I’m being timed. About halfway through
application, my best friend (skin care magician, beauty guru) Ranna’s voice echoes through my
head: “Anna! Slow down! Your skin is your friend!”
What came first – the washing of my face, or the friend who told me to?
None of it matters in Rite Aid after dark. And yet some wave of rebellion washes over me. I
looked at my basket, full of beauty products I’ve purchased for years, brands and shades and
colors and things that were unattached to my identity and yet required for my presentation. I
balked at the weight of that basket. We carry the weight of femininity, the burden of
performative womanhood, and it is heavy!
So I held that concealer tight in my hands. My grip became tighter until the plastic seal burst
from the paper backing and the tube slipped out. I checked my 6:00, I checked my 12. No one
eyeing me. I slid the plastic cover into a tub of women’s slippers. I walked into the alcohol aisle
and slid the branded paper backing between two jugs of Carlo Rossi. And in a moment smoother
than any I’d had previously, the tube of concealer dropped into my purse.
No one the wiser.
I did complete the rest of my purchase of makeup goods, totaling some 87 dollars and change.
But I DID NOT pay for the tube. And that was satisfaction enough.
I’ve noticed your bizarre gestures
Upon this adventure
Into this city of angels
So please, allow me to indulge knowledge upon you
First, always be ready for the new
New hair, new shoes,
New low paying jobs, many bills overdue
Often, you must chose on what is right and what is easy
Enjoy crowded spaces to live in
No privacy, no dignity
I’m only teasing
If you find it pleasing to be with others
Who couldn’t be bothered
To care for one another
Then decipher my words carefully
You see, people prefer belonging
Appearing as widespread loving
Secondly, toughing it out through paradoxes
The things you will do
Regrets you will set
Upon this list, you’ll check off most of it I’ll bet
Prepare to run red signal lights
Keepers of angry groans
Because on one of those nights
To avoid any fights
Tardiness can be blamed on the tight work schedule
You had to pull off miracles
Maybe you couldn’t pay that extra tip to that waiter
Perhaps you had to gamble under that table
Labeling the rent as collateral
Being literal to your elongated fable
Of why you had to lose your fingers
Coming out of that sketchy bar
The one with the one eyed gangster
Who prefers to be paid on time for this troubles
You body narrowly missing being within the gravel
Such a travel in the middle of the night
Might not look right to your boss
Who you happened to tell to fuck off
When you had enough calls on your Tuesday dress code
Knowing you had a long yesterday
Sitting at your desk, defeated, saying
“I fucking HATE Mondays”
Lastly, even with all the illegal possible activity
The most of them all
Is the amount you could steal
Not from the rich who couldn’t be inched to care
But from those that do
Who always knew you
Those that were there
The ones within your heart
You decided to part ways
Always paying their dues in energy
Spirited souls only wishing for loving
You no longer phased, now plummeting farther
Don’t bother filling what might not be there
Do not steal from those treasures
Because beyond measure
The pressure will always be there
But those tears are temporary
The hear heals consistently
Knowing the sun will brighten and rise
On those darken days
As you begin your journey
I wish you the best of luck.
I don’t know what went wrong. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was my insecurities reaching up through the cracks in the cement, pulling at my ankles. I felt it dragging behind me every time I left my apartment, locking my door behind me. In the shower. Every time I looked in the mirror. I felt it clawing up underneath my skin-tight jeans, sinking like a rock in the pit of my stomach, burning until the smoke rose into my lungs, eventually grabbing at my throat. It grew hands, like claws, ripping, suffocating me.
I’d heard of something like this. I’d heard that it was something like a nightmare. That it was possessive, addictive. That it acted like a friend.
I didn’t know that it was like an onion, layer upon layer, doubling in intensity the deeper it got, burning my eyes the closer I looked.
I made a wish one night, as I sat on the front step, alone in absolute silence, that I would be unafraid to know myself. To know what I was capable of. To see myself as I actually was. Then, as I stood and turned to look and see, really see, whatever was behind me, whatever was looming, whatever was clinging, whatever was clawing, whatever the fuck it was that kept me stagnant, I saw that it was something, someone I had seen before, someone I had known, I reached my hands up to grab its neck, to strangle, to sink my nails into and rip the skin, to claw through its flesh. My hands grasping its neck, I watched it writhe, I watched it suffocate.
It was only after this that I recognized my hands had turned into claws. Boney, grotesque. They were connected to me in an unnatural way, a way that didn’t feel real, but now I could see that the neck they were wrapped around like a snake was attached to a jaw with a scar on the chin that I knew, a scar from when I fell from the roof of our plastic car when I was 8, from when my chin hit the cement, when my knees and elbows scraped against the cold, hard driveway. I laid there.
That was when I first met this thing. When I first welcomed this thing into my being. I began to inject it into my bloodstream. It grew like a weed, infecting new growth, killing whatever fresh, green grass I found myself standing on.
That was when the nightmares started. When I would cry to my mom desperately trying to describe this feeling, this creature that was clawing at my insides.
This should be illegal.
This is a piece written by Emily Dorsett, one of the core-members of It's Personal.
What does loving yourself mean to you? Having the courage to forgive yourself? Doing what you love? That not everyone will love you and that’s okay? Loving yourself before loving someone else or expecting them to love you? Or is it understanding that the way you appear doesn’t make you any less attractive than anybody else? Every negative part of these questions have gone through my head over the past several years. Between a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to love and being single in a city so full of beautiful people, I have had to ask myself each and every one of these things about myself.
Let’s start with forgiving yourself. Have you ever done something or been ashamed of something in your past that you haven’t ever been able to forget? I have. There are things that I have said to family members in a moment of weakness or anger that I wish I could take back. If I brought it up to them, they had either forgotten about it or wondered why I brought it up again. But I had to ask them for forgiveness for my own consciousness. Now, have you ever gone against your own morals and done something you think someone in your life will judge you for? Truth is, they will still love you for you and being honest with them will only make them love you more. If they walk away? You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Those things that you’re ashamed of are all in your head. Forgive yourself for those moments and live where you are now in life. Most of the things holding you back are either unknown or forgotten by the people in your present. You are the only one holding yourself back and you need to let yourself be forgiven so that the walls you’ve built up will not prevent you from having strong relationships in the future. The walls I’ve built around myself are because of my past relationship and things that I said or did to make sure he still loved me, things I was ashamed of. I stepped past my own boundaries and morals to see if that would make him love me more or be more attracted to me, and I have had a hard time forgiving myself for those mistakes.
Moving on to doing what you love. Now, for some people doing what you love is more of a hobby than a career or a lifestyle. But if it ever comes down to the choice between doing what you love or submitting to someone else’s expectations that are put on you, what would you do? I can tell you right now that I chose the latter in a past relationship. Some people do that with significant others, sometimes a friend, sometimes their parents. Those are the people that they want to please. The plans those people have for you aren’t always what is going to make you happy. In my past relationship, my ex knew that I wanted to do something in film and possibly act on the side or something. I was still in college when I first started dating him and when he wanted to dive deeper into our relationship, I moved back home so we could be together instead of moving to LA. To anyone who asked, I would say I was putting one dream on hold to pursue another. But I should have moved to LA. Hindsight is 20-20. Once I moved home he tried to get me to pursue a different career so I could live anywhere rather than having to live in a specific location (LA) for a job. He suggested nursing, I chose massage therapy instead. That did not make me happy, but it made him happy that I had something else to make an income and now we could go wherever he wanted to live. It was always about him and what made him happy. So when I decided to move to LA on a whim, things fizzled very quickly, and I’m now here and single in a beautiful city that I love.
What you see in the mirror is not all people look at for attraction. Also, beauty is different from person to person. You must understand that not your weight, nor your hair color, nor your choice of clothing or the funny way your stomach rolls when you sit make you any less attractive. These are all things that we see in the mirror everyday and we are our own worst critics. Life is funny that way. I am beyond blessed to have friends who tell me I am beautiful almost every time I see them. They encourage me in ways that I cannot even fathom sometimes. I changed my hair color so many times to improve how I looked and now I just do it for fun! I would wear heels and dresses because I looked prettier and thought boys would notice me more, but when I decided I wasn’t comfortable in those clothes, I changed my style to what I am comfortable in. I love changing up my style just to see what I like on myself but I only do it for myself, no one else. I have struggled with the idea of being too fat for a very long time. I have never been skinny. The lowest number I remember seeing on a scale is 165. That was probably in high school. My weight has never been something that I am happy with and that’s another thing my ex tried to control in my life. That’s probably what made it so bad for me. As for stomach rolls, I’ve always had those. Even as a kid. Every girl does. It’s because our bodies are flexible and they bend and conform to the way we are bending it so that we aren’t uncomfortable. I’ve learned to love my body shape and know that I am working on being healthier rather than just skinnier. Everything I want to change about myself is just to make me healthier for my own mental stability and I’m not doing it for anyone else. Because if they can’t accept what I look like then they don’t deserve to know me past that. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say that you need to love yourself before trying to love someone else or before they can love you. This is something that I really struggled with for a long time. I never felt like I deserved the love that other people had to offer. When someone tells me that they love me, I question it. Every single time. I don’t care how many times they’ve told me, it’s still a doubt I have in my mind. My ex said “I love you” first. I couldn’t say it back right away. It got caught in my throat. It didn’t make sense to me. Because I didn’t love me. I thought I was weird and didn’t fit in, I didn’t belong with someone who had their life so put together. I wasn’t worthy of being loved by him or anyone. I wasn’t as pretty as his ex girlfriend or as put together with my life. I didn’t know what I wanted in life or where I wanted to go. I was “lazy”. But once I moved away from the normalcy of what the midwest was, I found out that I am definitely weird, but I love that part of me. The people around me are weird and thrive in it. I don’t have my life together but people my age don’t really know what they’re doing either, that doesn’t mean we aren’t successful or won’t be in the future. Being lazy was a choice and I made the conscious choice to change that about myself and get out of the house and go to the gym and hang out with friends or get coffee or write stories, make the connections that got where I am today in my career choices and friendships. I was able to look at myself in the mirror and see the beauty that others always told me I have.I love the person I am becoming and who I am striving to be. I still have things that I struggle with from time to time, but I do love who I am and where I’ve found my worth. Because I am worthy of love. So are you.
Kelsey has been in a number of It's Personal shows, including the current show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Check it out!
Weekly, I grieve.
Always the same. Sunday night. Around 7:30pm. I grieve.
I look at my love, making dinner. I look at my home, warm and comforting. I look at myself in the mirror, wearing only a men’s t-shirt and thick socks.
This is right. This is life! But this is a weekend. A thing, by design, meant to end. My heart weeps for Sunday, even while I’m in it. The end of Sunday means the beginning of Monday, and that means the dawn of a new week of work. The grind. I could wax poetic on the beauty of a weekend. The toil of the day job. But I have nothing but love for the day job.
I worked a day job when I first moved to LA. A job where I had to wear a uniform designed only for men and wear OSHA-compliant shoes. A job that paid me $10/hour to work in 112 degree heat. It was unglamorous. But steadfast, I showed up to work.
And as I look at my now OSHA-defiant footwear, at my very own desk, next to a phone with my name on it, I think…I am forever indebted to the universe for that day job.
My first day job led me to a day job that led me to a job that led me to the beginning of my career.
My first day job led me to a day job that led me to a job that led me to meet the man I love.
My first day job set in motion a chain of events that included officiating a friend’s wedding, finding my own apartment, planning for my future in a real way.
Everything I have right now is a product of where I was. But I don’t owe it to that day job. The day job didn’t give it to me. Everything I have right now, I owe to leaving my first day job.
So don’t do it. Don’t stay. Make the change. It’s worth it. Even if you don’t know what’s on the other side. Life is truly too short to stay in a uniform that requires orthopedic shoes. Because gosh! You might find yourself, four years later, in your own home, in love, in a t-shirt that says “Pizza Power”, eating broccolini. And it might very well be the best day of your life.
Anna Snedden strikes again! Check out her previous blog posts.