A Consolation Prize Life
2013-12-30, 11:50 a.m.
So, before I get to what I want to write about today, I need to make a correction. As you might recall from a couple of weeks ago, I found out that my grandma died and my relatives who basically cut us off had not bothered to notify us about it. What I did NOT know about is that a few weeks ago before I got here, when my mom was getting a new computer, new iPhone, new router/wireless, and new cable.....she also got new phone voicemail. Which apparently she did not figure out how to work or check until last night. So yes, my uncle had left a message trying to notify her. So much as I am generally annoyed at these folks, they were not the 100% douches I thought they were for that one. Mom called back when they weren't home and said we'd been out of town, but did not say that we already knew. (She pointed out that saying we already knew and hadn't called them about it came off bad. Well, yes, I can see that, so go Mom.) He called back again while we were grocery shopping and she called him back again.
First off, he asked about our vacation.
Third off, he finally said my grandma died. Okay then. I wish Mom had asked about the funeral arrangements (she forgot), but.... well, whatever. So that is that. He said she died peacefully, at least.
Oh, and I have figured out how to get Mom's wireless to work on my various gadgets. Hooray! Since after letting my computer sit for around 5+ hours trying to upload my zipped folder of Hawaii photos didn't get them uploaded, still, I have hooked up the laptop and am trying it again on a day where the laptop is just going to sit around and not have to move locations. Let's see if it uploads within 24 hours! I normally upload about 15 pics at a time, which is what my webhost allows....we'll see if uploading a zipped file actually takes faster than that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
I am actually in a pretty good mood on this vacation, even if I am pretty annoyed at having to deal with Mom's hoarding and there literally being one place to sit down on in the entire house (unless she allows me to clean out another chair). I normally would have been assy and whiny about a Christmas spent at home doing jack shit, but I was actually into it this year. Maybe that's a post-Hawaii good feelings thing going on, maybe it's not having to deal with work for 2.5 weeks of heaven, I don't know. I'm enjoying it while it lasts though because January is pretty guaranteed to be miserable as usual! (Oh god, I dread winter quarter and everyone at work being sick but me. I am trying to Not Think About This until Thursday when I absolutely have to.)
Now, onto the topic I want to discuss before Holidailies ends.
For a few years, I was all into the idea of moving to Los Angeles, basically because I deluded myself into thinking I could find another career and a more interesting life there and there was a reason for me to go there and shit like that. Turns out that guess what, there isn't! And I'm never going to! In my years of researching the idea--I have a giant online binder of links and research--I did find a lot of cool things that go down there and things I'd like to see and businesses I'd like to patronize, and I did get myself more acclimated to the idea of moving there instead of being all, "I like SoCal, but um....wouldn't be my idea to move to LA specifically." So it didn't sound so bad. But it wasn't exactly my original life dream to move there.
My original life dream from many years ago was to move to Hawaii. Ever since I first went there around 1998 and fell in love with Oahu. The temperature there is just....right to me. That is my ideal weather right there. Warm all day, no layers, no heavy winter coats, none of that crap. It's tropical. I love tropical. I love the atmosphere. I love islands. I've loved all the islands I've been to even though Oahu is still the one I think I favor the most. Heck, I even love Honolulu because it's one of the few cities I've ever been to that doesn't give me the wiggins to walk around. (That and Portland, Boston, and parts of LA and Sacramento. But the weather rules out living in the first two for me.) I like the idea of living in a city that doesn't freak me out in the way that San Francisco always has. I like the idea of taking advantage of what cities have to offer, such as more opportunities for activities, jobs, and people who are into your interests. But I'm also used to suburban safety, so figuring out how to deal with that....well, LA is kinda burb-y too. Ah well. But I am wandering off the topic.
I wanted to move to Hawaii. This is far more of a "this is what I want to do" heart thing than LA ever was back in the day. The last time I went on an island vacation, I went around buying books on how to move to Hawaii and read them. And frankly, "YOU NEED TO GET A CAR AND DRIVE IT EVERY DAY" pretty much ruled out moving to Hawaii, because most of the islands are apparently not good with public transport. So like pretty much every other dream I have ever had in my life, it was ruled out by brutal practicality. Now that I am over that particular hump of life, when I was in Kauai I wanted to get more books on the topic, or at least look for the updated versions of the ones I had. This is why I was so effing pouty about not getting to go to the one "real" bookstore on the island, but in the airport, I did find another copy of the book I do have. It was unfortunately sealed in plastic so I couldn't check how updated it was, but it was my last chance to get it, so I bought it anyway. Turns out the statistics are updated up to 2007, which is slightly updated from my old copy...but oh well. Anyway, if you read the book, it is a very hard core take on all of the bad things about Hawaii--talks about the crime rate, the difficulties of the finances, culture, people's moving stories, etc. It's very practical, which is what you are looking for....but it is also the sort of thing that shoots down dreams. And that is always the thing with me: every time I try to figure out What I Want And How To Get It, brutal practicality and reality always shoots it the fuck DOWN.
While in Kauai, it was easy to daydream. I love the idea of pulling an "Eat, Pray, Love, Hawaii Version" in which I spend three months on one of the Big Four islands (there's two forbidden ones and the other two have little or nothing to do on them, so I rule them out as a place to live). I'd run around doing both tourist things and maybe work there and see how I liked it on each one. Maybe write a book on it. And also go around interviewing people while there, because I loved talking to people about how they moved there. And then I could see which one, if any, I'd like to settle down on. I mean, it sounds like a slam dunk to me that I'd want to go to Oahu, but for all I know, Maui and their art community might be more my speed, I just haven't spent enough time there yet. Or maybe I'd prefer the bigness of the Big Island. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to live on Kauai long term because it's got about the same amount of population on an island as my entire town that I live in now, but maybe I'd be more into it if I was there for a few months and living in a more centralized location than on one of the far ends of the island. I don't know if living that far away would bother me or not. I suspect it would not because other than my mom, it's not like I would be all, "I miss my family and want to be with them! Waaah!" about it. I don't have a ton of local friends at the moment and people move away every few years anyway, so staying with a group of friends is probably not an issue. And for those who bitch about "island fever," well, try being a non-driver who can't get herself any farther out than a couple of hours away from home on public transport. I am USED to that, I don't drive off for six hours to visit state parks or anything like that. I doubt "island fever" would be an issue for me. But who knows unless you try it, right? Who's to say? But if I were a lottery player and won, this is what I think I'd love to do.
When I was going around asking people about their moving stories, It sounded like pretty much everyone I met (except the bus driver) did a "fly by the seat of my pants" type move on impulse. But even Mario the bus driver said it took them 4.5 years to divest themselves of a house and paying for college tuitions and THEN they flew by the seat of their pants and moved with no jobs and things like that. When you're there, it all seems possible. But I knew that once I got back to the boring mainland and had to think out How To Reasonably Do It, the reality anvil would hit.
And sure 'nuff.... I'm terrible at long term planning anyway, so I kinda doubt I'd stick with a 5 year plan. I honestly feel like planning more than 3 months in advance is jinxing things! If I plan to move in five years, yeah, right! Anything could happen to derail that shit! But I am not good at flying by the seat of my pants either, so.... I'm not really sure how one would handle it. Plus there is the issue of jobs, as in "what the fuck would I do for one." If I am not overjoyed with the idea of service now, how am I gonna like working with tourists all the time? (Okay, so the folks I talked to liked it, and they're not dealing with regular customers, and the stakes are less high, so it's probably not as stressful as my current job.) The books I have read basically said that you'd be better off providing your own job and being an entrepreneur, but I am not super in love with that idea even on the mainland.
So.... as usual, reality tanks thinking this shit out. I know I'm never moving. I know I'm not going to do anything different than what I do now short of some miraculous divine intervention, which probably won't occur. (We'll see about that job application in the new year, though.) This is because I am easily stymied by practical realities of doing big long term shit, and god knows I am generally low on ambition and motivation in life for anything that doesn't involve craft projects. I hate that I am like this, but.... I don't know how to not be like that either.
It would probably help if I had some kind of realistic, concrete goal for anything that I want. I always say that I do and I don't know what I want. This is pretty much true because I know what intangibles I want (true love! to show off on a stage! to somehow make a lot of money using my talents!), but I don't know how to pin them down into say, a realistic day job that someone would want to hire me for, with a regular paycheck and health insurance. It would be so much easier if I could just pin it down to a job title that exists and can be found, rather than being annoyingly vague and nebulous about shit. I love the idea of doing TED talks or a one woman show or having a Sedaris-ish career, but how does one make a living at that? Um.....I dunno..... that is far more entrepreneurial than my puny probably-dyscalculic brain is up to handling in real brutal life. I need help for that shit, but I do not count on being able to find it. So if I can't do it 100% on my own alone, it won't happen....but I can't, so there you go. Likewise, moving away whether it's LA or an island always seems too big and hard and overwhelming to seriously make a plan for doing.
This is why I say these days that I need to find a consolation prize life plan. I'm tired of trying to figure out What I Really Want when it's pretty clear by now that I am not going to be finding it or how to do it for real. I'm so lost and stumped I can't figure out a way from A to B, much less Z. I am tired of being in this mental limbo and not getting anywhere since 2007 when I said I'd finally do something about it, and daydreaming never did shit for me. Deciding that I was going to do something else didn't do shit for me because brutal reality always kicked in and pointed out that I was totally inadequate to what I wanted to try. So now I am going to stop lying to myself that I will do otherwise. I need to settle. I need to find something else I can do in this town that I am okay with and provides me money for craft shopping and the car and the occasional vacation because that is as good as I am ever going to reasonably get.. I am hoping to god the job I applied for is it, but who knows if I am what they want there. That would pretty much be my reasonable, practical, "dream" job right there.