In My Country

Let’s see if I can distill what I’m trying to say here. I don’t have a long-term plan. I like to think of my California residency as a temporary exile, nothing more, nothing less. The more time I spend here, the more convinced I am that I should be in NYC—Brooklyn, specifically. My parents are getting especially pushy. My father sent me an email in which he actually used the phrase “puttering along” to describe what I’m doing these days. Go fuck yourself, Dad. Then my mother called me up to say that she sided with him. Go fuck yourself, Mom. I think what’s so aggravating about this is that they seem to think that because I don’t have a plan, I can’t possibly be trying to come up with one. Not half a year ago, I was flat broke, sleeping on an air mattress, and living with a roommate who was a deranged psychopath. Four months is not long enough to recover from something like that. Twenty years might not be enough, but it would be a start.

I’m starting to wonder if I should get a second job just so I can move out again. Or maybe I’m overreacting. I don’t know. Here’s what I do know: People need to learn to think for themselves. I have hopes and dreams, people. But that doesn’t mean that I know how to make them reality, and believe me, I think of almost nothing else. I had a plan back in August. I was going to furnish my apartment in Queens, find a job, start paying off my loans, and go from there. See how that turned out.

Queens

I have a lot going on with me right now. I have a book club, I’m gradually paying off my student loans, looking for healthcare, and saving up money so that I can eventually move back to New York. I asked my boss recently if my schedule was flexible enough to possibly accommodate a second job, and he said that he’d be happy to work with me on this one. So now I have to find another job. But I don’t think I’ll start right away. Because this is my decision and no one else’s, and seeing as how I’m not costing my father extra in rent and just about the only thing he’s paying for while I live with him that he wasn’t helping me out with when I lived in New York is groceries, I really don’t see how I’m being a drain on anyone by continuing to do my own thing. Should I move out just so that he’ll stop bugging me? I hope it doesn’t come to that.

There is one thing I need to make clear: California is not my home. You don’t really find a home so much as you make it anyway, and I am trying to make a home. But that takes time, and contrary to what my mother says, it would not take years to save up enough money to move back to New York on my current income. It would take a while, but I could do it by next winter if I really pinched pennies.

I don’t normally bash my family this hard on this blog. Yes, I’ve talked about people close to me before, but honestly, I’m at a loss for words. My mother is even resurrecting the old talking point about how she feels like she has to walk on eggshells whenever she talks to me, a thoroughly insulting and hurtful saw that I thought we had buried a long time ago. If all you’re doing is calling me up to force me to explain myself, you shouldn’t walk on eggshells; you should put the fucking phone down and go for a fucking walk. I have enough problems of my own. I can’t carry your worry around for the both of us.

At this point, I’m not really sure I care who reads this blog. I keep looking for the right thing to say that will convince the other person that I have a point, but I think I’m going about it all wrong. On a random note, I’m starting to think that the best way to avoid having pop culture spoiled is simply to not talk about it or read about it on the internet until you’re through with it. Believe it or not, I’m not trying to shut everyone out. I just want people to understand that the only person I really need to survive is me. I don’t need your approval. I don’t need your sympathy. I don’t even need your understanding. I used to second-guess myself a lot, but these days, I just don’t have the time. I say what is on my mind. Half the time, I don’t even know why I’m doing it, but I stand my ground anyway because if I honestly feel it, then there must be some kind of reason. You wanna push me? Fine. Just don’t be surprised when I push back.

By the way, I think Captain America could be my favorite Avenger. I am fucking pumped for this movie.

Since I feel that I should at least try to connect the content of this post to the title, I think I’ll post this song. It’s patriotism in a nutshell.

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