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Monday, September 28, 2009


It's Sunday night - or rather Monday morning. It's past 3 and I can't sleep. I fell asleep watching a movie earlier so naturally I'm awake now, while the rest of the world is sleeping. It's annoying, but at the same time I kind of like the fact that everyone I know is safe in bed. I don't have to worry about going to street fairs or dinners. I can sit here and be alone and not worry about my phone ringing or people texting me to ask what I'm doing. Nobody is worrying about the fact that I don't want to be social. I don't want to go out with my friends or go to the stupid street fair. I don't want to do anything. Yet, I am restless. I have been for a few days. I can't sit still when I am at the bar. I can't sit still when I'm watching a movie. In fact the only time my body isn't twitching is when I'm asleep and lately I seem to only be able to sleep in spurts. Naps here or there. Not at night. Not when normal people with normal jobs sleep. Maybe 3 or 4 hours, but then I wake up from a bad dream. I woke up earlier tonight and even though I can't remember my dream, I know I died in it. I remember that much of the dream and my physical reaction - racing heart beat, out of breath, adrenaline rush - let me know that something bad happened and I died before I woke up. This is all I dream about anymore.

Last night, while my friends were out at the bar drinking, I went for a walk. I was waiting for my boyfriend to come home from work and we had decided earlier that we would stay in and watch movies instead of going out. It wasn't late - around 8 or 9 PM, but I couldn't sit still in the apartment so I went for a walk. I called a couple people I haven't talked to in awhile and left messages when they didn't pick up. Then I paid attention to my surroundings because we don't live in the nicest area of San Diego. While walking a homeless man came from the other direction and asked for sixty cents. I don't usually have cash on me so I apologized, "Sorry, I don't have any change." Then I remembered that I did have a few dollars in my wallet that I forgot about. "Wait, I have a dollar." I gave it to the man, not out of pity or self righteousness, but because it could happen to me one day. It could happen to anyone really. We get our degrees, our jobs, our houses, etc. but there's no guarantee that it can't all vanish over night. There's no guarantee that I will never need to ask for help for a stranger. Hell, as many times as I've been stranded on the side of the road it's my karmic duty to help this man out. I give him the dollar and his whole face lights up.

"Thank you so much," he tells me. "You didn't have to you know."

I just smile.

"You are really pretty," he says. "I'm not trying to hit on you, I just mean you are a really beautiful woman."

I say thanks, and smile bashfully. I don't know why I don't keep walking, but his body language stops me. He keeps a safe distance from me and for whatever reason I feel safe standing in front of a busy restaurant. He can't stand still either and moves from left to right, messes with his hat, plays with his backpack.

Randy, as I soon learned, talked my ear off for about 45 minutes. He told me about all the famous people he met in Santa Monica. How he met Sean Penn and his brother, Chris, in the hospital and how upset he was when Chris died not too long after that. "He was such a nice guy," he told me, "but he drank himself to death." He cried when he told me his mother had recently passed away and that he had started drinking again because of her death. He told me how he caught his wife cheating and asked if he was right in beating the man - almost to death. He told me how he spent a year in prison for battery charges that were originally attempted murder of this guy. He sang his favorite Guns N' Roses song and told me how he met Axl Rose and that they used to go grocery shopping together. He told me all this and more. He asked me what to do about the married woman who managed the laundry mat and helps him out from time to time. He recently decided he was in love with her. He asked me if I had a boyfriend and if I was in love with him. Eventually he ran out of things to talk about and walked away as abruptly as he had walked up to me. I walked back home unsure what to make of it all, but laughing because it was the most interesting conversations I had had in weeks.

Plans changed when Brent got home from work and we ended up going out after all. After preparing myself to stay in for the night it was a hard adjustment to put myself into a social mood. Yes, they are all my friends at the bar I always go to, but this is just how it is for shy people. Sometimes you just have to prepare yourself to be social. There was karaoke and lots of drunk strangers trickling in from the street fair and as I looked around, generally annoyed by the crowd, I realized that maybe Randy needed the sixty cents, but I was the one who needed the chat with a complete stranger. Brent asked me what was wrong and I assured him it was nothing I was just in a quiet mood, but really I was and still am just completely restless.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I feel very focused today, which seems odd considering I haven't felt focused for the last few months. I also feel very energetic today, which is also odd considering I was out late drinking. So, what am I going to do with all this energy and focus? So far nothing. It's already 1 in the afternoon and I have only been up for an hour. The funny thing about focus and energy is it can be wasted if you don't have anything to focus on. As I write this I'm coming up with a list of things I need to do and yet none of them are things I want to do today. This is ridiculous and I know that, but that's the thing about growing up - you realize there are things you need to do, want to do or will put off until the end of the world. Running for example: I don't need to go running as much as I need to work on school projects, but I like running more and I do need to go for a training run today, so I will probably run. But how long can I put off the things I really need to do by doing things I need to do less, but enjoy more? As long as I can I suppose.

Now all of this makes very little sense even to me which goes back to the beginning ... I am very focused with nothing interesting enough to keep me focused for very long. Sigh, it's going to be a long afternoon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I still wake up every morning at a normal hour. Sometimes to run. Sometimes because I can't sleep in - I've always been an early bird. Lately I don't even want to get out of bed. Really there is no point to it. This extended vacation has given me an opportunity to reexamine my life.

I know if I get up right now and run, the chemical changes in my body and brain will elevate my mood as if I took an antidepressant. My energy will soar throughout the rest of the day thanks to these chemical changes. I will be upbeat and pleasant to my friends. I will smile at strangers in the store. If I don't, I will sit here for an hour looking at random jobs online and slip into a trance of guilt and pity. After looking at jobs and concluding that I have no applicable skills, I will move on to the few things I have tried to write in the last few weeks. This will push me further into a trance of loathing and pity. Around noon I will completely give up.

The world - 1 Libby - 0.

So what do I do? Do I give up now because I know it will inevitably happen? Or do I go for a run and wait for the serotonin and adrenaline levels to keep me upbeat the rest of the day and push hitting rock bottom until later? It's going to happen. It's just damage control at this point.


I went running. Like I said I would, I feel better. I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica, which made me miss the military and daydream about an incident that would almost wipe out the entire human race. As one of the few survivors I would rise up from the ashes and be the hero in our questionable future. After I'm done daydreaming I will work on an essay that is going to be the narration of a YouTube video for a project I'm helping with (I'll post more later). I'll go over to a friend's house tonight for homemade pasta and meatballs. I'll push the negative feelings out of my head a little longer and live in the moment for the rest of the day. I'll forget all the self-imposed pressure to do something grand and exalting with my life. I'll keep the sweat pants in the bottom of the laundry basket for the day that I do call it quits. Not today. Today is going to be a good day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday Blues

I love birthdays. It's your own, individually wrapped, national holiday. OK so you're not a dead President and nobody takes off work to celebrate with you (unless it's on a weekend or they are just awesome). But birthdays should be celebrated big and loud and wonderfully no matter how old or young you are.

Today is not my birthday. It's two stupid days before it. It's as about as significant as the day before Christmas Eve. I did the same thing I do everyday. Got up, went for a run, came home, took a nap, showered and all by noon. I don't have much money as a consequence of being unemployed and on unemployment (which barely covers the bills, but DOES cover the bills), but I do have time.

Time is a tricky gift. When you don't have enough of it you'd do just about anything to get more of it. When you have too much of it you'd do just about anything to fill it. On any given day I spend too much time looking in a mirror - a luxury I hardly indulged in when I had to go to work everyday and wear a uniform. Today I spent a long time doing my hair and make-up (only to take a second nap and ruining my efforts). I wasn't planning on going anywhere, but I knew that if I tried to write today I would end up drowning in a pool of self loathing. I know myself well enough to know that when this swan dive took place I would start picking myself apart starting with my imaginary weight problem, moving on to my weird eyebrows, then the fact that I don't have any clothes because I sold, donated or shipped them home and on and on and on. To combat this I spent a little extra time on my hair and make-up so when the breakdown over a blank computer screen pushed me to the edge I'd look in the mirror and at least feel pretty before my evil twin took over my thoughts.

I'm supposed to go hang out with friends this evening and at least my hair and make-up is somewhat done (as done as it's going to get anyways). I haven't written a thing other than this post and I successfully avoided a complete breakdown by not opening a blank Word document on my computer. Instead I took a second nap, talked to my Pops, sorted a stack of papers on the table and wrote this post. Tomorrow is my Birthday Eve, which is as every bit as fun and exciting as Christmas Eve. I will again try to avoid self loathing thoughts of all of the million and one things I have not done with my life, because they are not nearly as important as the million and one things I have done with my life. I turn 28 again this year (had a problem with math last year) and I will spend the day with wonderful friends and an amazing boyfriend and put off all feelings of failure and self-hate until Monday (Sunday is a day of rest after all). On Monday I will have to do my hair and make-up only to sit at the table by myself. I will have survived one of the hardest days of the year - the day before the day before your birthday when it's too early to celebrate, but not too early to think about your life. I will muster the strength to take on the second hardest day of the year - the day after my birthday. The day after the celebration and excitement. It's the day of letting go and acceptance. On Monday, after I run, shower and nap, I will have to look in the mirror, as naked as the day I was born, and accept myself and my life for exactly what it is and not what I want it to be. Then I will have to dig down deep and find the courage to change it and make it the life I want it to be before next year's birthday.