Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And the award for most worried about career choice for the longest period of time goes to...


I think I'm still a kid. Or I want to be. Friends are getting married, moving in together, having babies, getting job promotions or salary increases (in no particular order), and I've found myself sitting in the newly renovated Barnes & Noble on 86th and 3rd feeling like I was transported back to college.

I wake up everyday utterly unconvinced that I am doing the right thing by entering counseling grad school and abandoning education, the prospect of medicine, or the idea of being a writer/artist. What keeps me from being certain is the fact that I am financially strapped. I'm on loans, and it's really hard to imagine SIX to EIGHT more years of it. I feel like I am faking living. Like I'm a fraud. I'm living on only loans. When I buy you a drink at the Halloween Bar Bash, it's a lie. I will be in serious debt, and then graduate to make the same amount I did as a teacher. It'll take approximately 44 years to pay back what I take out. I might be exaggerating. I hope I'm exaggerating.

I walked over to the Careers section and picked out a few books. "The Book of the 300 Best Careers" made the cut. I started flipping through it. It had headings of job areas, like "Social Services," or "Health Professions," and underneath it had a long list of what it's about, what prerequisites you need for the job, the average and median earnings nationwide, and how lucrative it was.

The layout and information in this book looked all too familiar. A wave of nausea washed over me when I realized that I was still the same 18-year-old I was nearly 9 years ago, crossing the palm tree'd lawn at UF to get to the career counseling center. This was the same freaking book I looked at in my first year of college. The same. Exact. One. And this book did as little then as it did now.

I am nothing if not consistent in my Award-Winning Indecision and Best-Supporting Anxiousness. Thank you. Thank you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Look at me!

My best friend in California just sent me a link to an article about the Balloon Hoax, and how these people had a taste of fame and praise on Wife Swap and needed some more.

It's funny, because she and I often talk about the need to feel important, recognized, obsessed over by others. Especially in younger generations. I just told my therapist 28 min into the session ($35.89 later) that I often like to come across as well put together to others, even when it is a giant freaking LIE. I don't know what the hell I'm doing at any given point in time, but that's not what's important. It's deceiving everyone else to think that I know what I'm doing. Don't most of us want that?

That's what makes me laugh at Facebook, but totally out of love. I am not separate from the offense of seeking the perfect profile pic. It has clearly been cut out of the picture that Melissa sent to me from that one unimportant night out on July 26th, when my hair still look freshly blown out and my smokey, sultry eye makeup was on top of my lids instead of in the crevices underneath my eyes, and the flash hit my teeth that made them appear capped and bleached like a celebrity. And now there is even some tool that cuts out my face for me from the group of people I was faking being excited to be with, leaving only Joey's arm around my shoulder and Anjali's drink next to my left pushed up breast. And when people look at it, they will think, "This girl has her shit together because she always must look this fabulous."

Are you laughing at yourselves with me?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fulfilling Airport Fantasies. Rated G.

I just saw a monk wearing Nikes pick up his techno-ringing cell phone. That’s why I love the airport. It’s a little fantasyland where people are whoever they are, you only know of them what they show you for that second, and then they’re off to some place where you most likely will never see them again. You can break whatever rules you want, you can be whatever the hell you want to be, without the years or price of actually having to do it.
It makes me want to live out my dream of trying every single profession out there. I could suddenly be a resident thoracic surgeon who studied at Oxford, and actually treated Prince Harry once. “It was really weird,” I would tell the random guy at the Terminal CafĂ©, because it was during that time when there was tons of publicity about him wearing Nazi paraphernalia. Oop- there I go breaking HIPAA code again. Forget you heard that.”
Then there’s the opportunity to test out one of my fantasy favorites, which is working for a company that manufactures faux electronics, such as televisions and computer (and now even IPODs!) to be placed in various furniture stores around the continental U.S. “We’re looking to expand to Alaska and Hawaii by 2015.” When I think of people who actually do manufacture faux products, like building that fake giant-ass flat screen TV, I consider how exciting and then immediately disappointing it must be. It looks real, it’s complete with little fake rectangle buttons and everything, but it will never actually turn ON. That is sad. One time, I actually asked someone at Room & Board Furniture about the imitation gadgets and he goes, “Yeah, it’s actually kind of weird. People steal the styrofoam IPODs all the time.” I imagine someone’s apartment filled with all kinds of deceptively real-looking home equipment, and it spooks me a little bit. But in a good way.
If I happened to meet an Indian family in line at the duty free shop, it might be fun to go with one I’ve rehearsed in my head for a while. “What’s that? Oh- yes, yes I am Indian. Actually I’m living in Salem, MA, right now. You’re familiar? Yeah, it’s a great little town. I’ve been with Witch Way walking tours for…wow…has it been 4 years already? Moving up the ladder, though. I just got promoted to Purple Cloak, and if you don’t mind my saying, it’s only a matter of time before I get the Warlock’s Walking Staff.” And then, I get to walk away having done a good deed. Their 18-year-old daughter who is disappointing them by wanting study art history instead of medicine has no longer marred their lives in comparison to this poor, nearly-30-year-old, childless ghost-tour guide from Salem.
What can I say? I’m a giver.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The sPiRit of understanding.

So today's noteworthy event was my sister chasing away the evil spirits that live here with us on the 30th floor of a high rise. I know...things are reaching a new level of absurdity. Who would chase away evil spirits before Halloween arrived?

We were making pursed-lips faces like Cliff Huxtable while listening to 88.9 Jazz FM this evening. Both of us felt better about our days spent outside of the apartment instead of allowing anxiety to fester in the apartment. We felt like contributing members of society for that moment. Then my sister pulled out a bundle of sage, lit it on fire on the gas stove, and waved the smoldering sticks in every area of the house.

And then suddenly, we realized that it stank. Like disgusting. It was so familiar, but we couldn't define it. My sister quickly admitted she had never tried this keeping away of evil spirits before and lurched to open some windows. At that moment, our employed roommate who leaves the apartment no later than 5:45am and returns home no earlier than 8pm walked into the room. And that's when we quickly identified the familiarity of the burning sage was just like pot. Nothing I've ever tried but am quite familiar with the scent thanks to living right behind Fraternity Row in college.

Our roommate walked in to find two sisters, at home, with zero employment between them, on a weekday evening, with a cloud sitting in the middle of the room. What a scene.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The clouds are parting, and I'm seeing the light. Oop, no that's still the LED tube in my tv.

The settings on this blog are almost as hard to find as the "deactivate" button on Facebook. I tried to edit my first post before I published it, but there it went public with grammatical mistakes and all. The teacher in me pooped her figurative pants. It's ok though. Because I realized that there are people who actually love me enough to have read my blog, embrace its errors, and even tried to comment. But of course, it appears that the latter was in vain as I unknowingly neglected to press a hidden button to activate that feature.

But I'm getting it. It's like my life. Everything is there, but I just need to look through the tabs and figure out what to turn on and what to turn off. How's that metaphor lit by the candle of enlightenment? Thank you Frasier, (9:00/9:30 Eastern on Lifetime). I love how a show about psychotherapy is on the Television Network for Women.

I guess I made the switch to grad school in counseling for the same reason that Frasier is on Lifetime. Women (and women who still refer to themselves as a girl, like myself) are a little crazy and are more self-reflective than any other being on the planet. We question everything we do because we have the best intentions for a bright future and making everyone around us happy. We need a little psychoanalysis now and then (on weekday mornings). Like just when I try something new in life such as graduate school in counseling, I question, question, question if it was right to leave what I had before. I wish for the past and long for a better future. It's ridiculous. I'm treating myself to the safety of something I know and sometimes get bored of. for now, I am treating myself to the present. I will not change the channel. It's you, Frasier, and nothing else.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

First Blog. A triumph. Even if it's meager.

I'm in the living room listening to Stephen R. Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People while my sister is listening to some spiritual-find-yourself-radio online in the next room over in our NYC apt. And we haven't left all day. The only outing that was planned for me today is to head to my therapist.

It's not that we don't have anything to do. I just quit my job teaching for the second time in 5 years. 27, and have officially resigned from the NYC DOE twice. Hence the name, Ms. Indecision. My college psychology professor named me that, and I can't tell if I resent him or respect him for it. (>cue drum/cymbal<). Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all night. I mean, hell, I've already been here all day.

I'm thrilled. I just looked at the date and time that will show up when I click "post" it says 12:22pm. It's 3:22pm here on the East Coast, but it makes me look even more go-getting than I actually am. people made this whole thing so easy to begin that you can set the whole thing up in a little under 5 min. I, of course, have found a way to take 6 years, 28 days, and 4 hours. The last four hours have been excruciating as I sat there and debated what title and url to choose. When I finally came up with it, it had already been taking. Let's just say, Plead Sanity wasn't my first choice, thanks to Mr. Temporary Sanity blogger. No, it's fine. Plead Sanity is almost as clever.

Why did I start this thing? It's because I saw Julie & Julia and suddenly thought I'd be a famous blogger, too. That's actually not totally why, but I can't lie that I left that movie feeling ready to take over the world. Oh, you know you thought the same thing. Meryl Streep is amazing in that movie. See it for her if you haven't. She makes me believe in a "life's calling." That brings me to why I started. I carry a journal with me like it's my emergency flotation device when my mood starts to go under. I've filled so many since the age of 7 that I can't even keep track of them. I'm sure my curious Indian mother can, however, as I've found a few of them in her dresser drawer. "Nosy relatives," she claimed, "could find them in my closet while staying as guests in my bedroom." I'm as bad at lying as she is, but I know that we both mean well. As I continue into year 27, I realize that I am still journaling, and still sketching, and think maybe another person facing moments of crisis will relate to the rhythms of sanity and sanity that pop up in my blog. I'm not sure of my life's calling, but I don't think I'll come close to finding it if I am to scared to answer to anything. Enter Blog.

No better place for me than a blank page (or screen) before me, where I can open that duality of my self, and tell myself what I am feeling or thinking and later respond to it. Today's blog start is a small triumph for me. But we should be proud of initial steps, as they are the wobbliest, the most unsure, and the most gratifying to walk once we gain our balance. Stephen R. Covey, eat your heart out.