I finished a journal today, which is always a moment of reflection. One of my roommates in Buenos Aires gave me the journal, a tad water-damaged, salvaged from her office. It is yellow with white flowers on it, and the elastic holding it shut broke off months ago. I started writing in it a year ago. It's small; I didn't expect it to last me a year, but I guess my thoughts have been sort of repetitive and scattered, two things that don't lead to good journal-writing, or good writing at all.
The news from this front is that I came to a realization that I was torturing myself for no reason. I would spend hours every day, every week, looking for work that I didn't want, fretting when I didn't get it, and polishing the fragments of my self-esteem that I stumbled over every morning. I introduced myself to people as "unemployed." I felt sad. Sometimes I would get really into writing something, and then I would stop and feel bad, because I was wasting time pursuing a fantastical dream and not looking for real-life work. All around me, people were working.
I hit another milestone in my life journal, that of having been back in San Francisco for a year. Someone asked me, "What have you been doing all year?" I've been ironing out the fine points of a relationship. I've been looking for work. I've been baking cookies. I've been growing tomatoes. I gained a few pounds, then lost them. I'm battling with poison oak. I thought, "Man, if only I'd known that I was going to be here a whole year...I would have buckled down, written, not worried about finding a job at all. I'm not starving or anything; I'm lucky. I have savings and a boyfriend who supports me and by golly, I haven't done anything to either deserve it or take advantage of it." Instead, it was like a year of banging my head against a wall.
I took a breath and looked up; I stopped waiting for something to happen. I quit looking for work. I salaried myself out of my savings outright, for the rest of the year. I left the cycle of despair that is job-hunting, and I am writing. I am happy. For now, life is good.