this way out

Something just happened. It’s minor, but illustrates a larger point. It’s been a bit warm this past week. I got up for work very early in the morning, leaving the windows open and the fan on so that the air would continue to circulate while I was out.  When I got back from work, I saw that the fan had been switched off. Two people have now done that to me so far: my psychotic ex-roommate and my father. I’m not saying that my father is a psycho, nor am I saying that he is a terrible person to live with. I’m just saying that that was none of his damn business. The perfectly sane dude that I lived with in Manhattan for the spring and summer before moving in with the psycho in Queens would never do that. I know because I left fans blasting 24/7 during the sweltering New York summer and he never complained at all. Yes, I know that it increases our electricity bill by a little bit. But if you’re my roommate, you can leave the AC and a disco ball on all day in your room and I still will not set foot inside there (though I might bring it up when it comes time to pay my share of the utilities). Why? Because it’s not. My. Fucking. Room. So in case I needed a reminder as to why I have to find my own place, now I have one. Moving on…

It’s been my experience that friends rarely just drift away. Yes, sometimes you lose touch with somebody you were previously very close to because life is just getting in the way, but for the most part, the people who want to see each other will find ways to see each other. I still plan on returning to New York someday, but I’m starting to think that I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. When I left, I was hoping to be back in six months to a year. It’s been almost nine months now, and I’m not close to being ready. I have more money saved up in my bank account than I have since before I moved in with Psycho Queens Guy back in August. So that’s nice. But as regular readers will know, my main struggle these days is moving out from under my family’s shadow. Funny thing is, the more I think about it, the less moving back to New York has to do with working in my chosen field. When I was a child, I wanted to be an inventor or engineer of some sort. (Before that, I wanted to be an astronaut, but I’m pretty sure that the brief bout I had with asthma in middle school would disqualify me.) Maybe there is a mad scientist in me fighting to get out. It’s probably too late to go back to school to study engineering, but I definitely feel that I need to start exploring avenues for amateur scientists.

Speaking of something that has nothing to do with that,  it’s so nice sometimes to have absolutely nothing to do. The emotional state that I was in when I moved back here made it difficult for me to work up the attention span to even watch a movie all the way through, and these days, I’m not in a hurry. I notice that a lot of people my age seem stuck in a state of perpetual adolescence, essentially reliving the struggles that they went through back then because they made it through that, and if what they’re going through now is basically the same thing, it means that they can make it through this, too. But what they’re going through now is not the same thing, at least not exactly. It’s similar, but a little bit less solipsistic. When you’re in your teens, you’re so racked with anxieties over your own growth and so surrounded by people telling you what you need to do that it’s usually all you can do just to get anyone to listen to you. Well, I still feel like that sometimes, but I’m a little bit more willing to call people on their bullshit. I’m less inclined to say, “Well, if that’s the way it has to be…” when accepting something I don’t like and decide that actually, no, it doesn’t have to be that way. People who want to believe something often skew the facts to support that belief. Even if called on it, they act like it doesn’t really matter. It does.

I try to be as unpredictable as possible in my own life. Please note that “unpredictable” is not the same thing as “crazy”. I could travel the world, shave my head and become a monk, or change my name and start performing drag in a random Midwestern town. But I’m not going to do any of those things. Because that would actually be less weird than what I do right now, which is to try to figure out how I can balance all of my interests and crazy desires in the healthiest way possible. I remember going to the library as a preteen and checking out books on how to make paper airplanes or flying saucers out of Styrofoam cups and paper plates. Some of those proved to be surprisingly aerodynamic. I also had a kit that allowed me to make basic electronic devices like a rudimentary burglar alarm or a transistor radio (I could never get that to work, but never mind). If I’m a bit old for that now, I really should try to find the adult equivalent. I’m getting a little tired of the humanities.

I’m learning more and more these days to tolerate people I don’t necessarily like. Some people aren’t evil, just really, really hard to get rid of. And some people mean well, but lack the courage to do anything truly risky. I hope never to be like that. And the tradeoff is that I might have to take some hard knocks along the way. Let us hope that I can handle it. More importantly, let us hope that I find the strength to speak for myself.


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