first world problems, personified:

i wanna write you an email because i like chronicling my days, but at the same time i am hesitant to put my daily goings-on on paper {or on keyboard…} as they are not at all impressive or important in any way. 
 
i feel like i live my life with the only companions being the background noise from basic cable – kelly & michael @ 9am, anderson cooper @ 10am, the view @ 11am et cetera – and i judge my productivity based on at which point in the show queue i leave the apartment and stop piddling around on my laptop, half doing work & half reading crap on the internet. 
 
for the past few days i have had the worst, most pervasive throbbing headache at the base of my skull. i am not sure as to its origin; it could be a nagging mild allergy to cats {i had horrible migraines until i moved & left for college, so cats would explain it}, or it could be from staring at the computer/ipad/iphone screen 98% of the time, or it could be my body’s reaction to detox {after eating junk containing soy/devil’s piss/corn by-product material while at home, i have only eaten good & whole foods for the past two days – vega one protein smoothies for breakfast, salad with fish protein for lunch, juice for dinner – and haven’t had any coffee either}. 
 
so that’s probably the most significant thing about my recent routine. i literally just read blogs, read news posts, and daydream. i need to escape technology so badly. 
 
i got a message from a farm in north carolina inviting me to apply to work with them this season. it would be 40-50 hours a week, room & board included, $100/week stipend, april 1st – october 1st, possibly time for a small job on the side {leading me to think that i would have time for drill}. obviously that timeline isn’t exactly ideal, but if i could somehow get the va loan to cover that time period i would be able to afford to do it & i think it would be a healthy dose of reality albeit a somewhat impractical one. i don’t know what i would do with the apartment but i’m sure we could work something out with a storage unit! 
 
ugh. i don’t know. i’m just so unhappy in my meaningless day-to-day of going through the motions. i know, it’s selfish of me to complain about this monotony & worthlessness when 1) i’ve been dissatisfied with my professional life {or lack thereof} since bolc was over and 2) you’d probably prefer my meaningless routine here to afghanistan. 
 
i embody the first world problem. i really do. it’s horrible, but i almost envy the third world. all they need concern themselves with is finding food, water & keeping themselves protected from the elements and other people. they don’t feel a need to pursue any higher meaning, all they focus on is merely surviving. 
 
why is it that our society has developed in such a way that we are constantly striving to be busier & consistently more productive and somehow equate that with being successful? 
 
i think it is my rejection of that basic premise that led to my fascination with arab culture. here is a people that value the importance of family and quality time, preferring to take luxuriant breaks at midday, leave work early, and spend all day on simple business transactions just for the pleasure of the other person’s company. most americans take that behavior for laziness, but i admire it. i for one value my relationships with others over my relationship with this stupid laptop. 
 
this post by one of my absolute favorite bloggers {and upon which i stumbled earlier today in my blog perusal} has an interesting & similar take on the issue. 
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23,146 miles.

IMG_1578

yep, that’s how many miles i have put on my dear hyundai elantra {emma kim, if you were curious as to her name} since i purchased her in august of 2011. when i bought her, her odometer read a respectable 3 miles {all of which was from my test drive}.

do you think it’s ridiculous that i have driven 23,143 miles in the past 16 months?

well, so do i. it is mainly because i am an idiot and refused to join a national guard unit when i moved 500 miles away from my original unit {& original platoon} in virginia. ergo, i find myself driving just over 1k miles once a month.

that, in addition to a number of distance car trips and my day-to-day driving {which, to be honest, is generally just from my apartment to my favorite cafe & back}, has somehow amounted to that astronomical number.

i’ve gotta admit, at first i really enjoyed the extensive commute. it was an excuse to be alone with my thoughts for seven hours at a time {lots of daydreaming potential, & we all know how i love a good daydream or two} as well as a great reason to enjoy north carolina bbq twice a month {once for lunch on the way up, once for lunch on the way back}.

however, it’s really starting to pain my soul:

i am tired of my heart racing // stomach dropping every single time i see a highway patrolman perfectly positioned behind a thicket of carolina pine running radar.

{even though i’m rarely going more than 5mph over the speed limit, i have never ::knock on wood:: been pulled over, so am irrationally afraid of it. ugh.} 

i am tired of spending 1/4 of my drill pay on gas + food.

{um, any double digit monetary expense is significant to me these days. sad but true.}

i am tired of wasting such a great deal of time just on travel.

{i got things to do, yo. things that DON’T involve sitting in a car for 14 hours/month.}

i am tired of feeling guilty about leaving such a large carbon footprint.

{okay, maybe not really but i still feel obligated to say so. whatever.}

i am also immeasurably pissed off at myself for not finding a unit closer to where i live sooner. i am such a fool. after an exceptionally frustrating drill weekend this month, i actually bothered to put forth the effort to search for an mp company near me.

fancy to know what i found?

why, yes! as a matter of fact, there is an mp company located a mere fifteen-minute-drive from my house.

wanna know the best part?

they deployed in october. 

please, let that sink in for a moment.

they deployed in october.

{!!!!}

do you know what that means?

it means that, had i gotten off my stubborn high horse ten months ago when i was in the process of moving down here, i could have deployed. i could have avoided all those pointless miles of frustrating commutes, all the creepy late night nap breaks at sketchy truck stops {don’t even ask}, all that wasted money on fuel + food, AND i could have solved my money problems {deployments = $$$$$} AND i would have been deployed at the same time as the boyfriend.

seriously, i want to punch myself.

oh wait, i already did.

right in the figurative balls.

when i chose not to be silly and stubborn and cling to ideals of robert e. lee-esque proclamations of “oh no, i am a virginian! i shall defend virginia! i shall forever remain a member of the virginia national guard!”

… seriously?

what is wrong with me?

:: AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH ::

i will be over in the corner lamenting my poor life decisions if you need me.

confession:

i am horrible with confrontation. as {ahem} bitchy and cold as i can occasionally be, for some reason i find it hard to approach others about something that could (/will) upset them.

current case in point: quitting this damn job. it really shouldn’t be that difficult for me to just stand up and say,

HEY! :waves hand: LOOK AT ME! i just graduated from a not-so-shabby university, am a commissioned officer in the united states army, and have a lot to offer the world! i don’t deserve to sit here twiddling my thumbs for eight dollars an hour while you bitch at me about washing towels! i’m done!”

(sorry, that was a lot of exclamation points – all caps is just too abrasive for me right now)

why/how is it so hard for me to say that?!

ARGH.

a big part of my problem is i want to do it at the perfect time (doesn’t exist) and in a way that will preserve my relationship with my boss(es), who is a cool girl with a huge network of local small business owners {mentors} that will help me immensely in my {imagined} entrepreneurial future.

as my bff would say, i need to {figuratively} nut up & do it. this morning, i’m going to do it.

even though i don’t have a second job yet.

{well, aside from wedding planning… and national guard… umokayfine i have a few jobs, just not full-time ones}

even though bf is bugging me about paying for rent and assorted other bills which are all due soon. 

{i made more $$$$ during two weeks of national guard training that i would in two months of this job. depressing? hells yes}

even though i still haven’t gotten my hair done for free. 

{what kind of a girl works at a hair salon for 4+ months and never gets her hair cut/colored/anything, even though it’s gratis? i’m clearly a disgrace to womankind}

!!! خلاص  {enough! i’m done!}

BOOSH.

&& this ridiculous picture from halloween 2010 encapsulates how i feel
&& this ridiculous picture from halloween 2010 encapsulates how i feel

words of enlightenment (thank you, gt’s kombucha)

as i sit here gearing up for my first day back at work since leaving for national guard annual training three weeks ago, i’m trying – seriously trying – to motivate myself. while i am grateful that i have a job of sorts to come back to, i just know that i could be doing so much more with my life.

it’s ridiculously depressing to go from being in a relative position of power with control over an entire platoon of Soldiers to working as a receptionist/office manager at a salon (doing essentially the same job I did five years ago in high school) for hourly minimum wage.

i mean, really. 

so seeing this particular bottle of gt’s enlightened organic raw kombucha (more on that deliciousness another time) and its “words of enlightenment” on the label had particular meaning for me this morning:

“and the day came for the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud

was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

– anais nin

hm. well, there’s something to think about. yes, it may feel more secure for me to have a job for the sake of having a job at the moment, but is it really worth it if it’s keeping me from reaching higher? from having loftier goals, from becoming the person i was meant to be?

i may have a job when i come home tonight, and i may not. it really just depends on whether or not i have the guts to quit (or at least put in my two weeks’ notice) today.

i’ll let you know.