Archive for the 'Melodrama' Category
I think I’m having something of a quarter-life crisis. At almost 27 years old, maybe it seems a little late for this to happen, but I think that’s part of the problem. I’ve only been doing programming work, which is what I always thought I wanted to do, for the past two and a half years or so. Before that, I had assorted tech support jobs to pay the bills since I couldn’t find programming work.
And my last job, which was also my first long-term programming one, was a work from home thing that never felt like the real deal. So in some ways, the job I have now feels like my first “real” job — doing the kind of work I want, on a salaried basis, with benefits and everything — but you know what? It’s just not that great. I do enjoy the work that I do, for the most part, but sometimes, it’s mind-numbingly boring. This is true of most jobs, and I understand that. I was also hoping to be more part of a team in this job, which really isn’t the case.
I’m stressed over the large amounts of debt I’ve managed to accrue, which at this point I’ve whittled down to only student loans — but I’m still looking at paying them off at something like $200/month for the next 10 years. And that’s for just over two years of college; I didn’t even finish. And I still hope to go back to school sometime in the nearish future, but that would be at in-state IU tuition rates — a hell of a lot cheaper than Northwestern.
I just feel incredibly stifled; I lived a pretty sedentary lifestyle for a few years, including when I worked from home. All of that has changed since I moved back to my hometown this summer, got back into outdoor recreation, and got this “real” job. But now I realize how great the flexibility of working from home was, and that I didn’t take advantage of it nearly as much as I should have. These days, if I’m lucky, I can fit in one of the many things I want to do.
All of this is leading me to question all kinds of things. Do I really want to be a programmer? What would I do instead? Should I have bothered going to Northwestern in the first place? (That just seems like a real waste of money at this point.) Am I really as smart as I always thought I was? What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything? Will I ever amount to a hill of beans?
I’d really like some answers.
I quit smoking a bit over 3 months ago. It’s been very difficult, but it got a little easier after a month and a half or two months. However, the past couple of weeks, it’s been getting harder again. I’m not really sure why, but I think it’s mostly stress-related. Stress about my immense debt due to student loans that only paid for two years at Northwestern — which in some cases I’ve forgotten about and never contacted to make a single payment until it’s been handed over to a collection agency.
Then there’s stress related to missing my grandparents; this holiday season is particularly hard because it’s the first one without either one of them, and the first one after I moved back to my hometown. I wish I’d moved back sooner, or they’d held on a little longer. I really could’ve used a year or two of seeing them weekly or more often. I’m also not good at dealing with grief; I deal with it for a while, set it aside in my mind, and wait for it to come up again (it always does). I doubt it’s the best way, but it’s the only thing I know how to do. Of course, there are other stresses, too, some other family-related stress and work stress.
Not only that, my main coping mechanism — riding my bike — has become damn near impossible lately due to the weather. I need to get out and do some road rides, because the trails aren’t in good shape right now, and I miss that outlet. I miss the exercise and the complete focus on what I’m doing. I miss the way the rest of the world seems to slip away, out of mind, leaving me feeling peaceful — even if only for a couple of hours. I miss the feeling of freedom I feel when the bike moves naturally beneath me and I float over the terrain and obstacles and around turns.
Last weekend, I cheated and smoked a cigarette. It tasted absolutely disgusting — but in all honesty, it felt great. I was extremely upset, and it was the only thing that could calm me down. I’m not making excuses, just being honest. I still shouldn’t have smoked that cigarette, and I wish that I hadn’t, but damn, it felt good.
Of course, the flipside of that is that not smoking has gotten harder since then. I crave cigarettes more often, and think about giving up, even though I won’t let myself do that. I can’t. The biggest reason not to give up is that I’d have to go through this all over again, and I just don’t know if I could do that.
I had a nightmare last night. I dreamt that I was at a summer camp, or something similar. There was a natural disaster, I don’t remember what, maybe a fire or a tornado. Most people got out safely. I was trying to help this girl in a wheelchair get to safety, but I couldn’t carry her. I felt like I should have been able to, she wasn’t terribly big, but I guess I was just too weak. Later on, they found her body, clutching a pair of origami cranes like I used to make as a kid. I’d make them as two cranes, joined together at the wing — hers was just like this. At the funeral, one of the other people there said “They found her with this,” and I explained, “I gave it to her. I wanted her to feel comfort as she took her last breath.” I placed it in her coffin, and it was over.