I had hoped that when I’d see you again
you would smile all the way to your eyes
and reach out for my weathered skin
draw me in and paint my tongue with yours
and whisper those sweet words in my ear.
But something about the way your strong arms
playfully draped around my freckled shoulders
and the way you didn’t hide your fearful eyes
when you told me that it wasn’t anything more,
wasn’t what I pleaded for with wide eyes,
something about your inability to be what I wanted
made me want you more.
When I scroll through tumblr, I realize it is not because I want to. Not because I need to. Not because I even care. But because I am trying to occupy my life with something… and scrolling is easy. Even if it never gets me anywhere.
So I guess it’s really just a distraction. Just as bad as any. Drugs, alcohol, sex, sleep, daytime television, midnight gaming, worn-out novels, slit wrists, sheer panic, and love. Just a distraction. Just a way to escape for a moment or two, to stop wondering why we’re here. And to stop being disappointed when we come to the conclusion that it’s for nothing. And so I scroll.
But sometimes I scroll when I’m awake for once. When I’m alert and alive. How strange it is when that happens. All at once I notice all the terrifying distractions we mask ourselves with.
Things we “need,” labels we crave, designs we “would die for.” Photos of other distracted humans. Because none of us want to live this. None of us want to do this. We didn’t ask for a life that was so empty and pointless. So we just scroll away the pain for another day. And hope that tomorrow we won’t have to scroll so far.
Oh yeah, and I also fell in love.
I don’t know how or when, but I did.
I’ll be leaving for New Zealand in a week and yesterday was my last day working at Toys R Us. I suppose it’s time for a periodic update of my gap year, more for myself than anyone who might actually read it.
This year (so far) can be summed up simply: I have learned the value of family and the price of everything. I’m fortunate to have my family’s love and support (emotionally and financially) and it wasn’t until I stubbornly struck out on my own for a few months as a self proclaimed wild and free spirit surviving off of anything cheap that could be smothered in peanut butter, that I realized how important that was. I guess you really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
As of yet, it hasn’t been the adventurous, picturesque gap year I originally envisioned for myself, but the lessons have far outdone my expectations. Loss and acceptance, work ethic and finances, independence and accountability— I have learned more in the past 6 months than I have in my entire life leading up to them.
I am balancing precariously between deep gratitude and mild bitterness. I am in awe of the people I have seen working day in and day out, but also enraged by it. The Malibu Times Magazine taught me of overwhelming stress in the “real world” and made me rethink what I want out of life. Toys R Us taught me injustices in the corporate world but also the importance of the people under its reign (I will miss all of my coworkers dearly). Nannying teaches me that troubles arise at every age and that we are not all so different— we all just want a friendly face to remind us we’re all tackling life together.
Sure, plenty of days pass without much desire to keep them alive; wake up, drive the kids to school, go to work, try to fall asleep at night. But at the end of them all, I’m glad to be who I am, where I am.
I am, however, even more glad to see those days behind me. The lessons will stick, but it’s time to move forward. New Zealand is the first adventure (of many, I’m sure) for some well deserved Father/Daughter bonding. We’ll be gone for three weeks, with a fairly unplanned itinerary, leaving an open door for spontaneous opportunities.
And after that… well who knows? (aside from getting my tonsils out in March ugh) The possibilities are limitless.