I've been noticing that a lot of people go to work like 8 hrs a day and have weekends off, and other than the occasional raise or promotion, do not seem to have "career goals", nite school, or too much going on @werk. How do you do it? Been trying to remember what living that way was like. I have to crank the memory stack back abt 20 years to do so, before I went to night skewel myself (ugh) (can I say again, ugh, necessary but UGH). I had no desire to or intentions of ever, ever going to school again at that point (that's just so hilarious in retrospeck) and not much motivation to "get ahead" in my "career" either, as long as I could get an annual raise at or above COLA and not get laid off.
So that raised issues of wot I was going to do with the rest of my "free time". I wish I could say I spent it bopping around some urban area meeting kwl ppl and having awesome adventures. Sometimes, once in a while, I did. Mostly though, I remember I'd come home, turn on the idiot box, read the mail. I'd get about five mail order catalogs a day, I read them all and circled things I wanted to buy, maybe about 1/3 of which at the most I got because I wouldn't have money and the thing would go out of stock by the time I did. Sometimes I'd read magazines, find more things to want. I'd think abt things I wanted to eat which was everything cuz I never ate then. Going anyplace interesting meant I'd have to drive for over an hour on congested roads in rush hour by myself, then find a place to park. I wasn't good at driving and parking then (still not good at the parking) and I'd usually feel too physically and mentally tired to deal with that.
Usually Ted would come over tho not always. He would make me a coffee with my espresso machine that I never learned to use because the machine bugged me and because I liked it better when Ted made the coffee, just like I liked it better when he made or brought the food. (My mother was always making coffee or food and she hated having to do it and I hated eating anyway.) The coffee, which had to be done just right, would pretty much be the highlight of my evening, because it tasted good, didn't have calories, and the caffeine etc. (Sometimes I put liqueur in it, sometimes just sugar) would turn off my crappy feelings for an hour or two.
I remember one activity that was really fun: going out to Kmart and buying a box of chocolate cherries or Toffifay and then going across the road to the used bookstore and buying like six true crimes, and going home and eating the entire box of candy while reading tales about nut bags and cheating spouses shooting and stabbing and burning and disposing of bodies. I barely have time to read those books now and when I do, it's not as much fun cuz for some reason they aren't as well-written anymore and it's like a busman's holiday for me now that I can and do read much the same stuff in appellate opinions any ol' time.
Sometimes I wrote stuff or made stuff. It was hard to do because there didn't seem to be any point. I made myself a dress once, during a relatively exciting time when I was dating some new jerk who liked the idea that I was making a dress. I get so annoyed at myself when I think how much of my life was spent in limbo waiting for prince fucking charming to figure out I was around. I knew I was wasting myself away like some sort of Chrissie Hynde "English Roses" character and I didn't seem to be able to get off my ass and do anything about it.
I would go out to shows and not talk to anyone except polite remarks to the door guy and bartender. If someone talked to me I would talk back, this happened sometimes but either they'd live out of town or they'd be with other people, nothing came of it and I wasn't the type who went home with ppl from the bar, I had to get to work in the morning.
Most of the time back then before grad skewel, and even after grad skewel, I felt like life was going nowhere. Sometimes I'd get all fired up over going to some show and would work on putting a special outfit together or buying accessories, get all psyched up for it esp if someone "special" might be there. Then I'd go and see the show. It would (often, not always) be fun and then it would be over. (If it was a show in Cleveland in those days there was an 80 percent chance of No Fun, and I don't mean Iggy. What pains me is how much I'd look fwd to those shows for literally weeks, and then they would suck so hard.) A lot of times no one would talk to me. I don't usually knock myself out talking to people now because I spent so many years going out in a "cone of silence" that I got used to it.
When I got too old to go to shows the big excitement in my day would be buying a People magazine and some caramels to go with my coffee for lunch. Or reading a biography of Bob Marley on the test lab lawn for an hour. Actually now I think about it that wasn't bad. I don't think I've laid around on a lawn since. The trees were pretty and shite. But it wasn't exactly a thrill a minute.
I can't imagine what it would be like now to go back to working some punch-the-clock 9-to-5 gig and spending most of my time in a boring ass outer-ring suburb. Obviously it would be all different naow I kan haz intarwebz all tha time & there are friends of mine on there and all kindsa stuff 2 do. And since I'm still not the type who's ever, evar going to be hitting bars n' parties every nite of the week and hooking up with ppl (sex or odderwise) in any sense of thee word (thee word is "ugh"), if I knocked off work @5 every day and on weakeneds, I'd have to start a home bizness or something just to fill in all tha time I used to spend laying around and moping. I could sew, I could make crap, I could run a bizness, I could do all those things now. I wonder why I couldn't do them then.
The best answer I can come up with is, sometimes you look up at the mountain and it's just *too* high. So you sit down right there. And you cry. And you wonder why everybody else doesn't even seem to see that there's a mountain, let alone think abt wanting to climb it.