So, winter’s finally over. I returned from road trippin’ with plans to spend the winter in Buffalo working some part-time job that wasn’t too loathsome and making the most of the weather by skating, sledding, snowshoeing, and crafting cozily indoors. I had forgotten that:
a) it can take a while to find a part-time job that’s “not too loathsome;” the ones you find quickly usually suck;
b) climate change has been making for some dud winters where snow is in short supply and the world is just dark and gross; and
c) I kind of hate this apartment.
Because I was holding out for a job I wouldn’t hate, I didn’t end up with a decent level of employment until mid-March. I started working at a beer store a couple days a week in January, and in March I started part-time at the public library as a senior page. The two jobs together have been working out pretty well. It can be challenging to balance two rotating schedules, but having multiple jobs brings to my work life a refreshing sense of variety, and the flip-side to working weekends is that I feel less stuck in the old M-F 9-5 synchronized rat race. I had been planning on traveling or WWOOFing this summer, but since I just started the library job, I’ve decided to stick around Buffalo for a while longer. I have vague plans to start a new degree here in the fall, and it would be nice to be able to hang onto a part-time job while going to school.
The apartment problem is getting solved through a fortuitous rent increase! Even though I have never particularly liked this place, I was willing to keep living here because it was stupid cheap, and I couldn’t justify giving that up for petty reasons like bed bugs, mice, minimal natural light, and an antique gas stove that shoots flames out under the oven door when lit. (We definitively got rid of the bed bugs over a year ago now, don’t worry. I’m much more willing to tolerate mice, of which I caught ten this winter. They now live in various places where people probably would not like me to be releasing live mice.) So our landlord suddenly announced that he was going to raise our rent by at least $200 starting June 1, and we figured that if we were going to be paying that price, we could probably find an apartment we liked better. And we did! R. and I are moving about ten blocks away, closer to some parks and the river and less than a block from his soon-to-be work site. For the same price our landlord wanted to charge us for this place, we’ll have a big southwest-facing balcony, windows on all sides, and a washer, dryer, and dishwasher in the apartment. I’m super stoked and ready to move right now, but I still have to wait til June. In the meantime I’m starting seedlings and planning a container garden for the balcony.
So things are looking up.
There was one other reason the winter sucked. I guess I could call it Seasonal Affective Disorder or whatever, but it’s really just the same old shit my brain always pulls when I’m feeling down. It cycled all winter, where I’d be super down for a couple of weeks, then okay for a week or so, then super down again. I wish I were better at psychoanalyzing myself. It always comes back to the little voice in my head that tells me that no one really gives a shit about me. I know that realistically people are busy and they’re all dealing with their own lives, and if they’re hard to reach, it’s not necessarily because I mean nothing to them—but that voice is always there telling me so.
I have a hard time maintaining friendships where it seems like I’m always the one to reach out and put in the effort to stay in touch. When people really mean a lot to me, I keep putting in the effort because the alternative—not having them in my life at all—is unbearable, but on some level it tears me up that they never reach out to me. I just try to bury that feeling whenever I’m around them so I don’t ruin whatever we have going. And, like, sometimes I am that person in the relationship. And I get it. We’re all busy. Everyone has a lot to deal with. But part of me can never get past the fact that we make time for what matters to us.
I crave connection with people I admire more than anything else in this world. I don’t want to end up alone in life, because that’s a waste of my limited time on this earth. And I love being alive! Sometimes—often!—I am simply flabbergasted by the amazingness of inhabiting this flesh body on this beautiful planet, of having the fortune to exist at all (of all of the spermatozoa and all of the ova, what were the odds of being?), of having the use of my senses, of coexisting with so many fucking stellar human beings. I don’t want to isolate myself by convincing myself I’m unwanted, but I don’t want to force my company on people, either. This whole mess is something I’ve struggled with just about as far back as I can remember. Even in grade school, when teachers asked us to find a partner or join a group for a project, I would sit quietly and stare at my desk because I couldn’t imagine that anyone would actually want to be my partner, and I wanted to apologize in advance to whomever I would end up burdening with my presence.
Also, a disclaimer: I don’t like writing about this stuff because I sound stupid and whiny and I also hate talking about my emotions. (It threatens my fragile sense of masculinity.) I’m sort of begrudgingly typing these paragraphs because I guess I feel like it’s my duty as a blogging human to attempt to authentically relate my experiences?