Wednesday, April 5, 2006

I talked to my mom on the phone just a short while ago, and I was already a confused, emotional mess before talking to her. Even more so now, after talking to her. You see, I have no job, no money, which is nothing new and which doesn't entirelly worry me, but it leads me into thinking about jobs and careers and about what I am going to do next month once I get this month's rent, and then also the next month's, and then the next year's - that I have no long term plans for myself, no long term goals. And to be honest, not even any noteworthy short term goals, aside from somehow scrapping together enough money to pay my rent. I look at the jobs online and while I would do them, while I have applied to them, none of them are things I'd really like to do, and then there is that awful problem which I have never known the answer to, what it is I would like to be doing. For a very brief time, around tenth grade, I wanted to be a journalist. That is the only time I have ever had a desired profession in my head. Later in high school when we had to take various personality and career tests and talk to our guidance counselers about our goals, even then, I was a confused mess who obviously had no desire to work and my counselor, I believe his name was Mr. Tillman, told me that I should join the merchant's marine.

I disregarded his advice as I have tended to do when most people give me advice. But I am thinking about him right now and thinking about my mom, who has now decided to take up his role and try to help me out with shaping my life. For the past couple months, each time I talk to mom, she has a suggestion for me. The first one was that I should work at Starbucks. She has suggested this for years and I finally convinced her to quit suggesting this, that is throughougly depressing to hear your mom tell you should aspire to be an underpaid barista shelling out overpriced espresso drinks to bougie assholes to line the pockets of a gross corporation that exploits coffee farmers. And she would always say that they gave you benefits and treated employees really well, surely something she read in some business magazine at some point and which has always stayed in her mind. But I am aware that she loves me a lot and that her proddings are the proof, the form her love and concern vocalizes itself in, that she doesn't want me to be unhappy and poor and wants to see me doing something with my life.

About a month ago, her suggestion was that I should go to cooking school. I explained to her how gruelling a job being a chef is and how I would not want to work those hours in a hot kitchen all the time. Aside from that fact, there is the even more basic one that I don't even like to cook that much. It's cute, these efforts of hers and they do show me that she is thinking about me, but they also force me to ask similar questions, about what I would like to be doing with my life.

Today, her suggestion was that I should study graphic design, by far her least objectionable suggestion to date. She told me she would pay for me to go to school, that she just wants me to succeed. Oh, and before she started this thread of the conversation, she told me that her sister, my aunt Carol is really sick and has some rare blood disorder where her red cells attack each other and she has been unconcious and receiving transfusions for the past week. This news already made me emotionally upset, fearing that another person close to me might die, and then this thread of This is Your Life really scared me, that the threat of sickness and of death made me realize that I am living my life right now, that it is not too long and that I don't have time to dilly dally, that the news that I am sick isn't too far into the future being told to someone else.

Seeing yourself through your mom's eyes is the worst, especially when you feel like a look of worry or disappointment is what is crossing those eyes. My mom never says anything to make me feel guilty or tell me what I should be doing, that is all self imposed, she is just trying to be helpful and trying to start a conversation to help me. This, I realize. But since she has two masters, and my sister is about to finish her Fulbright and will probably start work on a masters this fall, I cannot help but feel like a total fuckup, getting kicked out of school, never returning and not having a job, doing nothing with my life. I really have to get myself together. What the fuck am I doing with myself?

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