Friday, January 30, 2009

The chair as a symbol

I jumped the gun on the chair. I got up this morning and measured my doorway and it's only 29 inches across; the chair is 32 inches at its narrowest point, so I can't even get it in my room. It's the little stuff like that, stuff that doesn't even really matter (there will be other chairs), that I find really getting me down. But it's about more than just the chair. It's hard to do things in the city.

I've been here a month now. I knew moving to the city would be hard. I knew it would be hard to get all my shit up here, find a place to live, find a job, get settled, and all that stuff. But I didn't realize, at least not fully, what an emotional strain it was going to be. Since I got up here, my emotions have been all over the place. It's a daily, sometimes hourly, thing; I never really know how I'm going to feel when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes I wake up feeling productive and like, despite being unemployed and alone in one of the biggest cities in the world, I might actually be able to accomplish what I want to do. Then by the afternoon, I might feel really depressed and lonely and like no matter what I do, I won't be able to get the job I want because the jobs simply aren't there.

And the city is just hard. It's a hard place. Not just physically, but figuratively. It's difficult to do anything, to get anything done. Last night on the way home from going to the gym and going to look at the chair, I took the bus, and we sat in traffic and got stopped at literally every single red light between 91st and 118th. Sometimes the city is just against you. It's hard to do things; at home, in the South, you can just get in a car and go anywhere you want at any time you want. Up here, you rely on others to transport you, which sometimes works out really well, and sometimes makes you want to cry because it's so frustrating.

Also, I have an interview tomorrow at the gym I told y'all I applied to. On the one hand, I'm like, "YAY! A job interview that might actually lead to something substantive and a little bit of income." Then on the other hand, I'm like, "Really? Four years of college and this is what I'm doing with my life? Hoping to get a menial desk job at a gym so I can pay the bills and afford a (discounted) gym membership? This is what it's come to?"

It's not that I'm ashamed. I have a lot of respect for people who work in service industries; I've done it before and it's one of the hardest jobs out there, at least in terms of stress levels. But I just know I can do so much more. I realize that a month is not a long time, and that in the longer scheme of things, it's essentially nothing. And I have accomplished some things since I got here--my internship at the Web site being one of them. I spent the morning applying to temp agencies and some more jobs on Craigslist. I'm trying, I really am, and I don't want to sound too whiney.

I just wonder when I will feel settled. I mean, really settled. I can't wait until that moment when I can sit down in my room--maybe in a chair?-- or sit down to dinner with friends and think to myself, "This is it. This is the moment. I have a job I love, wonderful friends, a home that I feel at home in, and I live in New York City. This is it." I feel like a leaf blowing around in the wind after a bad storm. I just want a nice place to land.

I know I can't rush these things, but I have to ask myself.
What if that moment never comes?

Until next time.


  1. Four years of college, and plenty of knowledge have earned me this USELESS degree... I can't pay my bills yet, cuz i have no skills yet, the world is a big scary place. but somehow I can't shake this feeling i might make, a difference to the human race!

    Hang in there girl. You're living the dream, even if right now you're pre- REM. :)

  2. Take it one day at a time & try to do something fun everyday. Make the most of your opportunity in your internship. Also, you might want to look into becoming a pilates instructor at a gym!