2006-02-06

Vicariously, I Hated You

I have DEVOTED myself to making more money, which is good for me. I used to not really care and I used to be kind of cute and quirky that I live in a hovel and drove a 1995 Saturn. I cannot emphasize enough how difficult it is to move across the country by yourself. I completely underestimated the adventure and the result was spending two and half years trying to figure out where I fit in this strange new world. There have been cultural challenges, physical challenges, and obviously, emotional challenges. Add in the minor tragedies of being a living adult and life?
She is not easy.
And one thing to note about Tucson is that itís very transient. People com here to get out of where they were. The restore and then they move home or they move on to something bigger. A lot of times when you make friends with Tucsonans, they move away.
I had sort of planned to do that, myself and was deluded a little by Rakers and then by myself that I would go home after a year of finding myself and get on with the expected.

ClearlyÖ the expected doesnít fit me anymore and I now need to focus on what does, namely, Juicy Couture dresses and sweats, Hollister tees, and trendy Chuck Taylors.
Right now, I need to make more money in order to manifest the Reformed Expectations Act of 2006.
Unfortunately, I am at the point where I can't stand that I have to really plan for trips to weddings and that I have to budget my tax return for paying shit off instead of for a desperately-needed new bed.
And a laptop, Christ I need a laptop.
No wait - Mom?
I need a laptop.
Life was easy before I started to acknowledge my internal insistence on things not purchased at Target.

At the end of 2005, I realized that while my leisurely lifestyle was at least endearing, it certainly wasn't filled with enough eccentricity to be the type of life where people on the street would stop me and go, "You're Sarah? You have the COOOLEST life! I TOTALLY admire you for what you are not doing! Awesome! Keep it up!"
I realized that I want a wardrobe that includes not just designer going-out clothes, but designer weekend wear. I am sick of avoiding places like Aveda and if I made the money that I should be making at this point in my experience and my, ahem, post-graduate level education, I wouldn't blink at walking into Aveda EVERY time I am out of moisturizer instead of how it happens now:
"Shoot. I need face lotion." (Looks down at the dog.)
ďWhy do you have to eat so much? Hell, why do I have to eat so much? Why did I ever start feeding you organic feed-store food? We need to talk." (The cats walk into the room at this point, rather nonchalantly, thinking that thereís going to be a good show while I direct my stress toward the dog.
They are wrong.)
"And you two..." (They look at each other: Moi?)
"You two are ridiculous. You have gained a total of 11 pounds between you this winter and let me tell you - I SEE how much you eat. You two could so easily be contributing to this household by catching your lunch once in awhile, after all, we have a courtyard FULL of birds and yet every single day, you traipse in here and expect your little yellow bowl to be brimming with kibble and every single night, you wait for me to come home and when I walk in, you two disgrace your kitty pride by begging for soft food. Really, Maggie and Grace? It's getting a little pathetic."
"I'm not done with you Rosie. Your little underwear habit is unacceptable.
Changes
are
being
made."

Namely, I am going to make more money, which means that for the foreseeable future, I am resigning myself to having to fight the urge to cry every time I feel the weight of Responsibility, which is pretty much every time I walk though the front doors and take what I have come to think of as my last real breaths each morning while I enjoy the four or five seconds of silence and unflorescence riding the elevator up one floor to my office.
One floor?
Shut up - I do it for the peace.
And only in the morning when nobody is around to see me do it.
And never if there is another person doing the same thing... I could never forgive someone invading my pre-battle quiet time so I give the same respect to abused-looking 9-to-5ers who, like me, are most likely enjoying those last few seconds of guaranteed peace and quiet before the start of a long day at work.

And I like my job.
Iím only pointing out the reality of working Ė itís stressful, even when you love your job, your company, and the people with whom you work. You donít know what's going to come in a day, you don't know how the people with whom you work are going to be feeling for the day, and you don't know what phone call will come to you and have distinct panicky undertones that are only actually crisis-level in the context of Corporate America.
That's cool.
Like I said, I like my job.
But I'm not blind to the fact that working sucks and that ideally, I would be running a household full-time. I'm built for cooking and cleaning and fretting over things like school science projects.
In my current arrangement at work, I am setting myself up to be able to work from home, or at least part-time in the next three to five years should God smile on me for fucking once and I meet someone who doesnít have a violent temper or a problem with ego-mania. I mean, at least I know that I am pretty focused on myself and letís face it Ė admitting you have a problem really is the first step to betting over it.
Yourself.
Whatever.
I know... thank you... yes, thank you... okay, that's enough applause.
One more, okay, thank you...

Unfortunately, some would say, I chose to leave the person that I would most likely have married. I not only left him, I set up shop in a fifth wheel trailer at a super-shitty Tucson intersection and eventually moved to a sort of shitty Midtown address.
Critics might say that this was not the best decision I could have made.
Critics could also be ignoring the fact that I was, essentially, headed toward a life of obesity and alcoholism, of sleeping in separate bedrooms, and of never having to grow up in my relationship.
Critics would be fooling themselves into thinking that leaving dysfunction is less functional than the actual constantly breaking, but at least extant, structure that I had.
When people tell me that I should go back to Illinois, I think of them as good-intentioned but unfortunately unenlightened. I am so much happier with a West Coast vibe of open-mindedness, sunshine, and ďmanana, mananaĒ that I can ill-imagine going back to feeling like a weirdo who has to explain every kooky detail or who blushes because she brought home-made tamales to a BBQ instead of Miller Lite.
Well, okay, WITH Miller Lite.

Supporters, on the other hand, would say that I did not make an easy choice, so the point totals could be skewed in my favor. Supporters would argue that yes, I have been a financial disaster and that sadly, there have been times when it is NOT clear that I come from a very good family. They would go on to say that because I chose the more challenging path, the payoff is going to be much greater than the guarantee of a house and babies in Springfield, IL. They would also be wise to hedge those bets by saying that Sarah Wides?
Not a gambler.
This decision wasnít made with the intention of making a better lifeÖ it just so happens that years later, Sarah Wides stumbled on the fact that her life out West is probably much more organically suited to her and luckily, itís really fricking healthy except for the nasty addiction to laying out and to the aforementioned Juicy Couture.

And those people would be right. I didnít exactly know what I wanted when I left and honestly, Iím not 100% sure of what I want now, except to be rolling in hundred dollaí bills, yíall.
I didnít look at moving across the country as being the gamble that it was. Probably because I've never rolled the dice in my life. I've never even played Bingo at a church or played the Lottery. I haven't paid the Lottery because, besides the fact that it is a sad scam on po' folks, I would buy a ticket and probably throw it away with all of the other receipts that I donít want to look at ever again because of the feelings of guilt and over-draft fear that they illicit.

Anyway. Iím really super-focused on raising my personal wealth and in a strange turn of events, itís WORKING.
I know, Iím not used to getting what I wish for without having to throw a tantrum of epic proportions and without justifying to the Wish Grantor with complicated and circular logic, the kind of speeches that only work due to my superior intelligence and/or the Wish Grantor getting so sick of hearing me lecture on why I should be given this or that that he or she gives in.
And I can make myself cry, a tool which has served me well.
Oh come ON.
Lighten UP.
We all have our ways and at least I admit mine. Iím certain that you are a low-road-traveling asshat, too sometimes. Letís all admit that weíre people and therefore sometimes act like jerks to get what we want. Seriously. Just own it. Like the War in Iraq. Just tell me that weíre protecting strategic resources and Iím on board. Keep lying to me about freedom and shit and Iíll roll my eyes so hard that they pop out like the little eyeballs on this skeleton model my friend Marc gave me before he and Lovely Melody moved to South Carolina.
But donít lie to yourself and think that you are always acting in the best interest of the Greater Good. We all have ways of getting what we want and I would way rather be around people who have perfected and admitted their ways than the sneaky, self-deluded people who might look down on me for trying to get what I want.
Iím American, for Crissakes.
Itís my birth rite to have a sense of Manifest Destiny, whether itís toward a laptop, a strategic stash of oil, or an ostentatious delivery of flowers on my birthday.
You knowÖ
If there was such a person who would do that in my life.
And there isnít, which is different essay on a different day.

So whatís the point?
The point is that I struggled A LOT on moving. It fucking sucked. I hated myself for at least 9 months. Vicariously, I hated you, too. I had to find some area where I could write a long-term plan that had nothing to do with other people. While there is a possibility that I took ďaloneĒ too far, making friends and finding boyfriends has never been a challenge for me.
Making money is a challenge and the plan I needed was to succeed in an area where I traditionally failed, while at the same time, not sacrificing quirky originality and the eccentricities (menagerie) that make me interesting.

arizonasarah at 10:56 a.m.

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