First, this has been my month for stalkers. I have one nutbag that regularly writes looooooong, rambling, unpunctuated serial killer style letters, all detailing how interesting he is. But he is a big CSFH fan and I used to know him in passing in the Scrap Bar days so he doesn't scare me. But then he took the blog I wrote about the other creepy guy and posted it in a bulletin to the 2000 naked chicks he has in his friend list.
So I flipped out and told him to take it down because I didn't want the first freak coming after me because this freak was posting my private shit everywhere. Which of course prompted a flurry of long and completely psychotic messages about how he was a brave Native American and followed the old ways (which obviously include vast amounts of hallucinogens) and I had broken his heart by not being the badass rock star he wanted me to be. I swear this guy was typing for hours and if he could have put it all in tiny writing in notebooks, "Seven" style, he would have. I told him if he didn't stop acting so nuts I was going to block him.
Then he simmered down for a day or two, but I knew it couldn't last. He had to send one more missive which took a new but equally annoying tone: he wrote how he wanted to thank me because he had posted a bulletin about how he wasn't going to rock anymore due to the aforementioned broken heart caused by me not rocking hard enough for him by making him take the bulletin down, and some obviously mentally challenged young woman said the thought of him quitting his imaginary band made her cry. Upshot is he's decided not to quit rocking or writing insane letters so we can all breathe a sigh of relief. DELETE!
Then I have this other girl who in the beginning was regularly asking me for advice about her broken heart. I am noticing that the people who are most adamant that they need your advice rarely listen. They just want someone to hear their complaints. But I felt a little sorry for her (always a bad idea) so I answered her as thoroughly as I could, a few times I might add.
Then she became this little stalking spider on myspace. Every time I posted a bulletin she would respond within two seconds and she regularly sent me needy missives asking why I wasn't paying more attention to her. (Um, because I don't know you and I'm tired of listening to you whine?) I swear I think the girl lives on myspace, night and day. She created two nearly identical profiles for herself so she could leave double the sparkley comments and I've been trying to figure out how to get her out of my inbox without being mean. Ignoring her wasn't doing the trick.
Then the breaker came when I posted a Marilyn Monroe gif in a friend's comment section yesterday, a friend she couldn't possibly know, and a few minutes later she sent a message asking where I got the gif. It made me feel completely invaded. I sent her a response that I think she is very sweet but she is too up in my shit sometimes. She got very upset about that and says that I don't leave her comments anyway, that she is obviously not my type of friend (my type is non-psychotic for those of you who are wondering) and she is saying goodbye. So I'm free of that one now, too. What a relief. Myspace Spring cleaning!
Anyway, those of you who know me in person (and are not currently trying to boil my myspace bunny) know that I have been going through a minor existential crisis for some time now. My job has been very stressful, we renovated a new space and moved the store into it, and the ensuing bills and late hours of box dragging and people screaming at each other over box dragging has just taken its toll. But it's not just this particular job. I have been questioning my whole work career, which I never set out to have. I just wanted to have money coming in so I could do fun things on the side that would eventually pull me out of the jobs altogether. But the side has become non-existent and the work all-encompassing.
I am hyper-responsible, and lately I am looking at the less responsible people I know and they seem to be having a far better time. I've been feeling resentful, frustrated and trapped by the routine and certain tasks put upon me that are distasteful, boring, and tedious. I am sure that the Universe has a bigger plan for me than dealing with someone else's taxes and dragging file cabinets around, damn it! But this week I've been a little quieter about my frustration and am looking over all the choices made throughout my life that have brought me here. I've also been observing the choices of people around me.
Many years ago I went through a period where I did a lot of coke. I wasn't very happy, worked in an awful bar that made me even less happy, and had people handing me free packets every night. I am very sensitive to drugs, especially anything that brings energy up. The come down is too much and it makes me depressed and often physically sick. But it was routine at that point and I couldn't see past the habit. I wasn't addicted really, but I was stuck. I got along better with my druggie husband when I was equally addled, and much of my social scene revolved around it. But I was miserable, full of shame about my behavior when high and tired of feeling crappy physically. My friend Storm (who helped me through that period more than I can say and who rocks the fuck out of any song you hand her) and I began noticing that all of our cokey conversations were revolving around how shitty doing coke was. I started having dreams about giant bugs crawling all over my house and my body. Then one morning I woke up after a particularly bingey night and the first thing I did upon opening my eyes was start crying. I just wanted to die.
So I called my mom and said, "I'm doing all of this coke and I hate it and its making me depressed and suicidal." And my mother, who must be a genius, said, "Well, stop doing coke."
Um, duh...okay, never thought of that. Seriously, I was so lost I never even considered that particular choice.
So I followed her advice. I refused all offers that night and every night after that. I felt uncomfortable socially for about two weeks, and then it became clear to me how much easier it was to hang out without being all tweaked out, and though my life still had a lot of holes in it, I felt a lot better. I don't have anything against anyone who likes coke (though I will openly mock you for my own entertainment if I notice you're gacked and defenseless) and I am not above partying in other ways on occasion. This story remains remarkable to me not because of drugs but because it was the first real moment where I realized that I actually did have the power of choice over my own world.
Two days ago I watched my boss (not Pat) have a total meltdown (one of many) over a garbage can because she consistently chooses to work too many hours and is totally fried out. She feels powerless and frustrated and drained. Yet I can see from my viewpoint that although the nature of our particular beast (no, still not Pat, I mean the business) does involve many moments where she and I are forced to do things we don't want to do, she is regularly making choices about the time and energy she spends there. And her choices have direct and obvious results.
I have felt powerless and frustrated lately as well, but watching her freak out over something so minor became another light bulb moment. It is such a life lesson to watch someone else do the same things you do. But I can see now that I don't have to stand anywhere that I don't want to, as much as I think I'm supposed to, that its the responsible thing to do, that it is the right thing to do, that I need the job--whatever the motivating factors are, it's still my active choice whether to show up or not.
I have an ex-bandmate, who shall remain nameless, who always lived on the scrambling, squatting side of things. This person refused to get a job because they wanted to be a rock star and felt working was beneath them. It was annoying: they were always broke and regularly had some sort of financial or living crisis going on that they needed help with. While I, being the polar opposite, barely had time for band stuff because I was so busy working to make sure I could pay my rent and have beer money leftover for my moochey broke bandmates.
I look back now in sadness at times with the Sluts when I got mad because photo sessions went late and I had to go to work. How nuts is that? Why did I care? How could I choose some crappy job over getting my photo taken for a magazine? But I did. I was completely panicked out about making sure money was coming in, about not falling into some kind of imaginary hole that loomed right behind my just letting things go for a second. So I was always the one running to work and it's caused me to miss out on all kinds of events and adventures and to not live completely in the moments when adventures were happening. And that sucks.
I didn't know I had a choice then but I can see it very clearly now. I have consistently chosen to work hard. And I'm good at the jobs and I've managed to get myself to the point where I can get the kind of work that other people would really like to do. I don't hate what I do now, the lingerie part of it brings me actual joy. But I can't help feeling that there's more out there for me to do, and maybe my choices haven't served me as well as they could have. I have a friend who flies by the seat of her pants financially and has published two books now. Ditto from Gutterboy is getting a movie made based on the book he published! And that moochy ex-bandmate went on to form a band that has a substantial following and tours regularly, plus some kind of amazing apartment achieved by sitting on a waiting list for housing for people with no cash.
But the idea of being totally broke and worried about paying bills just makes me depressed. I like getting my nails done and going out to dinner and purchasing the occasional pair of completely unnecessary shoes. New York is expensive and it costs money to look this cheap! So I haven't quite figured out what the choice is. It's always obvious what other people should do but when its your own life its not as clear.
I've decided to just sit and observe and think about it for the time being until I can figure out how to have the time to write and have a real life without being completely broke. I don't have a bad job, so it's not like I need to run screaming from it this minute. And my mother, who as I've already illustrated is worth listening to, wrote this to me this week:
"Because the energy level of the planet is increasing so fast, be careful what you create for your self. The word 'I' means God, and is very powerful. If you say; 'I have a crappy job', you create that for yourself."
So I am walking around saying things like, "I have all the time and money I need to live a creative, fun, exciting life." I suggest you do the same.
And if you want to write long, crazy messages about how your father was a Native American and taught you that the white man was to be feared but you still are a rock god of the highest order because 2000 myspace hookers can't be wrong, you know where to find me.