Todays marks my 3 week anniversary of not working.
(if you stay with me, after i have waxed poetic about being jobless, you will be treated to a listicle of what the hell i do with my time. also, every time i say the work listicle I dry heave.)
When people find out I quit my job, I get a variety of responses ranging from “Where are you working now?” (No where) to “I hear _____ is hiring!” (no thank you) to “WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE A JOB WITHOUT HAVING ANOTHER ONE LINED UP? WHAT ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE? ARE YOU INDEPENDENTLY WEALTHY, YOU PRIVILEGED FUCK? WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN??” (this last one is mostly me talking to myself about what I’m afraid other people are thinking when mostly people are just happy for me.)
I do feel a little bit like a privileged fuck. For the first time in my adult life I have some money saved and I got lucky that my tolerance for standing behind a counter ended just when I had a little cushion to land on. It’s not much money. It was money I was trying to save for a down payment on a house. I wanted so badly to just get through another year at my job so I could have the bank look at me and go “By god, look at you and your financial security and ability to work at a job for a handful of years in a row. You are SO stable. Here you go! Here’s some debt for a place to live!!”
But then I realized I didn’t want a home that badly. At least not right now. What I wanted more than anything was freedom with my time, very few obligations to other people and most of all (::long squeaky fart noise::), I wanted to pursue creativity. Listen, I’m not a person that has a lot of energy. I get pooped out really easily, emotionally and physically. I’m not someone that can work 8 hours a day and then come home a write a shitty blog post all while feeding myself and catching up on my shows. I have always put work first because that’s what I was taught. Get a good job, get a benefits, get a 401k, get a house, maybe take up jogging or sudoku, and do it all real quick and then die. I don’t even have the time to think of the life electives like having children or stocking a nice liquor cabinet or finally combining all my socks in pairs. I am sure you are familiar with some form of this list. Except may you were taught that you have to wear make up everyday to be a real person or you have to earn dessert or making anything less that six figures is unacceptable. To me, these expectations say: Only the stable are worthy of a nice, clean death.
We are taught stability is something to strive for and it really is a nice fairy tale. I love it. I love it the way I love the fairy tale of romance and the American dream and Ikea. I suckle at the teet of stability! I build alters to stability! I make lists everyday just to prove that I’m doing something with all this time off. I make sure to chastise myself if I’ve been too lazy, just for good measure.
But I also revel in doing absolutely fucking nothing. I fucking love doing jack shit. I love waking up and making coffee and just staring into space. Nothing better, my friends.
So if you are curious how one fills their day when they have no obligations, here is a list for you!
- I sleep until double digits, bitches. I prefer not to because it just seems too luxurious, like eating shaved gold on a 5 lb truffle and throwing away the left overs when you are full. I truly always thought sleeping late was for the pubescent, that I would eventually grow out of it. But it turns out, my body needs a solid 10 hours of sleep and who am I to argue with it? (though last week I did wake up at 4am and wrote a 10 page stand up comedy bit I will probably never perform, but that might have just been a little mania peeking out. mental illness can be cute sometimes.)
- I freak out every other day about my life. It’s a nice balance. 24 hours of freedom and gentle solace followed by 24 hours of rampant anxiety and self loathing. It’s like fucking clock work.
- Everyday I battle with my social media demons. Someday I feel like I’m making love to the world. I giggle and freely make Facebook comments and tap the app on my phone like I’m playfully tweaking the tip of Mark Zuckerberg’s nose. I am so grateful for the connection and the people I know and every time someone likes my status or a pic of my cat I’m all Sally Field girlish glee, YOU LIKE ME YOU REALLY LIKE ME. Other days it’s like I’m working at a brothel in Nevada just trying to make enough money to get a plane ticket home. I tap the Facebook app hoping for a taker even though I’m sore and I’m tired and I JUST DON’T FEEL SEXY ANYMORE OKAY. I close it out, seconds later, I reopen it. No takers. Let’s try Instagram. Alright alright. Another inspirational meme, another yoga pose, another sped up food video. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME. WHY ISNT THIS SATISFYING. I Snapchat filter my face. Make me beautiful, Snapchat! (And for crissakes will you just get rid of that dog face tongue licking filter already. WE ARE ALL OVER IT.) I’m smoking cigarettes at this point, I’m snarky, I feel hated and I hate everything. God what if Trump wins? Should I be more politically active? Oh dear god, I feel nothing.
- I’ve developed new relationship heights with my mild (self diagnosed) agoraphobia. My home is safe. I have all I need. I have Amazon Prime for the things I don’t. The outside world is scary. I’m too ugly to be seen in public. I’ll go out tomorrow.
- I don’t nap the way I thought I would. I don’t nap at all. This makes me feel good.
- I like being around people more because it’s my choice.
- I write! I write! I write! I never thought I would ever write consistently or confidently and now it’s all I think about or want to do. And when I don’t want to do it, I don’t. And I let that be okay as well.
- I mock my cats. I laugh at my cats. I have long conversations with my step dog, Eda.
- Sometime I just lay on the floor.
It’s great, it’s all great. Seriously. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now.