The View from Purgatory

A very talented and brilliant friend of mine recently pointed out to me that “writing is always the answer.” And so, as I sit here in the bedroom where I slept as a child, under the roof owned by my parents, feeling a creeping of déjà vu and the beginnings of displeasure at my new (old) living situation, all I can think to do is write.

But the problem seems to be, I have nothing of great use to say.

A sorry, sorry excuse for a blogger, I am.

Look, here’s the thing: for the past year and a half, as I struggled with living in “limbo”–having no career, no financial safety net, no health care, and no idea how the fuck to change any of that–I told myself repeatedly, “Well, at least you don’t live with your parents. But, lo and behold, here I am, living with my parents. If I was in limbo before, what is this now? Purgatory? (And no, those two things are NOT the same place. Ask the Pope.)

You know, it may have only been a few days, but I can say so far it’s not all bad, mooching off the people who spawned me: I get to hang out with my brother more, which is awesome because he is the coolest person I know; I’m saving loads of money on food and cable (that I barely ever watched anyway); I don’t have to rush home after work to do my “womanly duties” anymore (cooking, cleaning, being pretty, etc.) so I have more time for yoga and running and anything else I damn well please; and Wednesday the Cat is my new buddy. But it’s just the dignity of the thing. I was out! I was free! I would come home drunk without judgement! And now, well, I’m living like I did back in high school, and I fucking hated high school.

So even though there isn’t anything inherently wrong with living here, for as short a time as it may turn out to be, it makes me squirm. There is just a certain amount of anxiety that comes with me simply being in this house. Maybe it’s some of the less than stellar memories, maybe it’s because it is a cluttered mess around these parts, maybe it’s just because I’m not totally in charge anymore, but I instantly feel a little more stress being here. I had a migraine today, and while the weather could definitely be the culprit, I can’t help but wonder if it was parental-unit-induced. I’ve had fewer and fewer headaches since leaving home for college, and now I’m thinking maybe it was simply because I wasn’t freaking here.

But I need to cut myself a little slack. I couldn’t just keep living with my ex–even if it wouldn’t have been the worst thing, it certainly would not have been sane or healthy to do so. And I simply can’t afford to jump right into an apartment lease. Not only monetarily speaking, but also, logically speaking. I’m looking to move out of state. I’m applying for “real jobs” (and allowing myself to have faith that I will land one of them). I’m using this sudden life-change as a jumping off point for even greater and more positive changes. I’m starting to believe that this sudden singleness is a cue for me to get myself out of limbo and into the next phase of my life. If I signed a lease in Southeastern Michigan, I would be condemning myself to at least another year of floating aimlessly, wishing for something more but being held back from achieving it. If I keep 50% of my boxes packed and only think of my stay here as a brief stop on my travels to somewhere not here, then it’s not so bad. I’ll get a little rest, let someone else cook for me for a change, and take a month or two to figure out what the fuck to do next.

Now, I’m going on a brief trip to Chicago in less than two weeks, and I couldn’t possibly be more stoked. It’s my birthday present to myself: two nights in a hotel with a king-sized bed all to myself a la Home Alone 2; two days worth of eating out at restaurants I can’t afford; one concert (actually, many concerts, seeing as it’s an all day festival headlined by none other than my favorite trio…you guessed it, 30 Seconds To Mars. I’m starting to feel like Penny Lane from the movie Almost Famous, except I’m not following the fictional band Stillwater around the country, I’m getting my fill of Jared, Shannon and Tomo); 48 hours of just me, myself, and I spending some quality time together. I’m hoping that over that short span of time I have some sort of epiphany. Maybe I’ll realize that Chicago is where I’m meant to end up and I’ll just up and move there. Maybe I’ll love my solitude so much that I’ll decide to live out of my car. Maybe I’ll realize that I need to go get my PhD in Entomology. WHO KNOWS? I’m just letting myself believe that by treating myself to a little adventure that it will give me some idea of what my next great adventure should be.

Or maybe it will just be a really fun trip and I’ll come back and hang with my parents for another 3 months.

But I’m really hoping it’s the former.

So, yeah, I’m about to go to sleep in a room with walls stenciled with butterflies and daisies (I kid you not). It’s a sort of surreal feeling, but, hey, what’s life without a little surrealism?

Dali is so proud of me right now, I can tell.

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