When it comes to food, I feel like you can have it cheap, tasty, or healthy. (Pick two.) I’ve been thinking about this more and more lately. There is a grocery near where I live that sells food that is a little bit more upscale than what you can typically get at Trader Joe’s. A few weeks ago, I bought some Mediterranean almond cookies from this lady who was selling them there. They were delicious, but went stale in two days. This makes me wish I had somebody to share them with (sniff). There is a place next to that grocery that sells the most expensive frozen dinner I’ve ever seen: mac & cheese for $16. That’s…more than some restaurants will charge. Obviously, I can’t eat this stuff all the time, but I’m trying to find a balance. I’m not a health nut, nor do I pig out on junk food. In that respect, I like to think that I got the best of both of my parents. My mother eats four grams of granola every morning, then goes swimming for about six hours. (I’m exaggerating.) My father loves KFC, Jujyfruits, and potato chips. There is no harm in eating ice cream and cheeseburgers in moderation, but everyone has to watch their health. I’ve never given it much thought until now.
I had a list of movies in one of my old notebooks that I wanted to watch/rewatch. Over the course of my one year-plus in New York, I watched most of them at the university library. For whatever reason, I couldn’t bring myself to get them from the public library or obtain them in any other fashion. They had nothing in common besides that, running the gamut from documentaries to foreign films to cult oddities to canonized classics. Since returning to California, I have not watched any of them, even though I still have a few on my list. I guess I really do need to return to New York. But I don’t think that’s going to happen this year. When I left, my plan was to spend six months to a year here working and saving up for my return. It looks like it is going to take longer than that. There is a shopping center near where I work where I think I should seek out a second job. For some reason, I seem to focus on location first, job second. What will I do when I move back to New York? I have no fucking idea. But I will return someday, don’t you even doubt it.
This week was more stressful than normal and I’m not quite sure why. One reason is obvious: I complained to my manager that I was not getting enough hours, and he gave me more. Quite a few more. Next week, I’m working more hours than any non-shift leader at the coffee shop. And they’re all morning shifts. I am a morning person, but my body still has not learned to adjust to getting up at 5 am, which means that I can go to bed whenever I want, but my brain won’t shut itself off until it’s good and ready. I used to almost never remember my dreams, but for the past four and a half years, I’ve remembered them almost every night. I think someone’s trying to tell me something.
Change is happening, and quicker than I would have wanted. My mother is moving back to California. She has a likely prospect for a job, and since her job in Arizona is ending, she’s decided to move back in with my father after years of their being awkwardly separated. Good for them, I guess. They assume that I’ll still be living with them, and as God is my witness, no, I won’t. This puts me in the awkward spot of having to find a second job fast. I have enough saved up that I should be able to pay first month’s rent plus security deposit on one of the cheaper apartments in my area, but if they want last month’s rent up front, we could have problems. Odds are that even after I’ve moved out, I’ll still need a little bit of financial assistance from them. It’s funny. As long as I’ve lived, I don’t think I’ve ever actually liked them all that much. They’re nice enough, I suppose. My father can be a bit of a bully and my mother can be passive-aggressive as only Catholic mothers are, but they’re not terrible people. All the same, I need to put some distance between myself and them right fucking now.
It is my belief that nothing would make the world a better place than getting rid of all the bullies. So I tend to fight bullying wherever I find it. I don’t speak up unless I really have something to say, which might explain why people at work sometimes see me as closed off or hostile even though I usually just don’t have all that much to say. I’m trying to push hard enough that the screaming voices in my head will back off a little. They say your brain isn’t fully formed until somewhere in your mid-twenties. I doubt that has much to do with my current problems, I’m just throwing it out there.
I’m working on finding ways to cut my expenses. I still eat out way more often than I think I should and spend money on stuff I either don’t need or won’t need for a while yet. Hopefully, I can find a second job by the end of the month and an apartment by the end of July. Hopefully. After nine months of living with my father, another chapter is coming to a close, and as always, it’s only sort of my decision. Maybe that’s my problem here: I still can’t quite get the world to face me on my own terms. I’m not lying awake in bed sobbing all night, but I still spend a lot of time on YouTube. It’s the internet.