Well, it’s been about two weeks since my last post, and over a month since my last real update about my shenanigans. I guess things on my side of the crater of life can best be understood by looking at the weather in Ohio this summer. My romantic life isn’t as cold as it’s been in the past, but it certainly isn’t as hot as last summer. It’s a comfortable mid-80s average–a hook-up here, a hook-up there, a delusional he-loves-me, he-loves-me-not crush on a co-worker. There’s been a couple of pretty rough emotional storms, the kind that rip roofs off city hall and topple brick walls. The sirens went off and people were warned to stay inside, but they blew over in the end, as storms often do. The sun is out; the ground is moist. There’s a present, fuzzy happiness swaddling a deep, persistent sadness, and that gradient is what’s making me feel human for the first time in almost a year. I’m neither an optimistic alien or a gigantic human bruise. My contentedness is not robotic, and my depression is no longer omnipresent. I’m still responsibly reckless. I’m anxiously happy, firmly rooted and floating aimlessly. But the sun’s in my eyes, and what’s so terrible about wearing rose-colored sunglasses every once in a while?
So, here are a few things that have happened recently that are worth remembering on the next rainy day:
1) I am 23. Taylor Swift’s famous 22 no longer incites me to go 37mph over the speed limit as I sing my solidarity at the top of my lungs. Wearing Forever 21 clothes feels more and more like stumbling upon my own fountain of youth. Most importantly, though, I had a great birthday. A dear friend took me out to dinner at this specialty grilled cheese place in Lakewood. When we came back, I opened the door and even more friends surprised me with so much unexpected joy I forgot I had ever been sad. They even came the next day to celebrate again, and I baked one hell of a blueberry cake. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t cry on my birthday. I wasn’t broken up with. I didn’t feel a more-than-friendship dying. I wasn’t mocked for being childish. I didn’t feel too old, or too young. And, most importantly, I didn’t feel like a burden for not wanting to be alone.
2) Jobs, jobs, jobs. I did start a new job at Hale Farm & Village in Bath, OH. It’s a living history farm & museum, which basically means that I dress up and interpret historic buildings on the museum campus for families that decide to drop by. Yes, I am costumed. Yes, I do farm chores. Yes, I do historic crafts. Yes, you are jealous. If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted about it extensively, it’s because I don’t have a digital camera and I want to have good pictures and good info. I want it to be my best blog post yet, but since I’m impatient, here’s a little preview:
Unfortunately, Ohio weather dictates that, in about a month, my hours will be cut dramatically and I’ll probably have to find something new. The good news is that an old professor sent me a link to a position doing local history work in Ohio through AmeriCorps. The even better news is that, should they not want me for whatever reason, I am perfectly fine with that. I’m actually really excited to not have a job or any potential jobs in the oven. I’m ready to fully commit to running away from home. I want to go to Europe for a couple of months and spend (almost) all my money. I’ve been saving it for a rainy day, and this whole year was a rainy day. It’s time I use it to just use it. I’m only 23 for twelve more months, anyway.
3) I’ve got a green thumb. My garden, despite a few setbacks, is exploding. (Perhaps that explosion is one of those set-backs–too many plants!) I harvested three zucchini today and there’s more on the way. Even though a creature has twice decimated my swiss chard, I’ve gotten at least five good harvests out of it, and I am confident that it is on its way back again. My basil is still kicking, which is surprising because the zucchini plants have completely overrun it. The mystery plant that I rescued hoping it was a pepper plant is not a pepper plant. At first, I was sad and contemplated killing it so that I could have more space, but I’m no fan of planticide, so I let it chill. I’m ever so glad I did, too, because I now have pretty purple flowers gracing one corner of my plot. I’m anticipating tomatoes soon, and I will definitely have more cucumbers than is physically possible to eat in a few days. I’m not going to lie and say I’m an expert now. Much like my existence in the kitchen, I like to garden when no one is watching to witness my many blunders. But the fact that I have a place to nurture new lives into existence, something I can mother (even if it is just a bunch of photosynthesizing green things), is pretty darn nice.
4) All your awards are belong to me. This weekend, I was in Columbus for the Clann na nGael summer feis. I volunteered last year, and it rained all day. Now, this being an outdoor competition, that was rather problematic. This year, we were lucky enough to have a bright, sunny day. Mom and I woke up with the birds and headed out to the venue to volunteer with the feis set-up. Nine hours later, after baking in the sun all day, I finally was allowed to check in for my first dance. Needless to say, I was completely sun-drunk at that point. My mouth was too dry to swallow, the inside of my dress was a lake of sweat, and the music was coming to me like I was watching Netflix on a really slow Internet connection. Somehow, and I’m honestly not sure how, I managed to rake in three silver medals and a first place trophy. I suppose it helps that I’m older and I know how to play a ruthless game. I definitely staked out my competition and placed myself where I needed to be in the line-up so I wasn’t dancing with anyone who was leagues better than me. I was goofy and let my personality shine through to the judges. It paid off, and I was terrifically surprised, but I do feel a twinge of guilt. You can’t pay Peter without robbing Paul. Beating fifteen-year-olds at Irish dancing is a bit like stealing candy from babies. Then again, like one dance mom told me on Saturday, I “don’t look a day over thirteen.”
5) You can call me The Scribbler. I have been writing a lot of letters (and getting a few in return, too). There is nothing more relaxing than shipping off a short missive and some doodles in a hand-made envelope to someone you care about, and nothing compares to having that sentiment reciprocated. I currently have three penpalships that have made it past the initial letter. My letters are all goofy and superficial most of the time, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending like I’m a young girl in the American Revolution about to stumble upon my political voice. It’s all thanks to this awesome squirrel stationary an old co-worker sent me from when she was in Japan a few years back. Ah, just thinking about it makes me want to tear off a sheet and jot out another one!
So, there. A boring post without any point other than to let you know that I am still alive. Things aren’t good, and even if they were, I don’t think I’d ever admit it for fear that it would be taken from me. But, you know, even though I broke my phone last week by crying on it, things aren’t too shabby either. A girl could get used to this.