Taking comfort in loneliness

While the past two weekends were busy with disaster control and music at Firefly, then relaxation and romance in Ocean City, I’ve followed it up with a whole lot of alone time this week. John’s out on the other side of the country in California visiting his mom and sister for a week (and I am so totally envious), and my family has been away at the beach and the boat. That leaves me and the doggies, who have been following me around like, well, dogs with expressions that say, You are supposed to be entertaining us. Sorry, pups, but I just can’t be as interesting or chaotic as five people usually are.

Though the thought of having the house to myself all week was exciting, I was, admittedly, feeling somewhat abandoned. I found myself wishing I could just up and go somewhere, reminiscing about the days of summer vacation. It’s been a couple of years since I had anything resembling one, and I gotta say, I miss it dearly. I remember actually getting bored during summer breaks. My sisters do that now. I want to tell them (and my past self) to relish that boredom! Embrace it! Go learn how to make… stuff. Anything. These years will fly by.

But since I don’t have a summer break, here I am. I decided I’d make good use of my days of solitude, and I found inspiration from Shannon from Awash With Wonder, who wrote a really thoughtful and insightful post about loneliness and how it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, she says, it’s something that should be embraced, and I agree:

The simple solution to no longer being overwhelmed by loneliness is that you have to allow yourself to feel. 

It’s scary though, isn’t it? Who knows what we may find or who we’ll become if we stop for even a moment. We have to keep moving. We have to keep pushing forward to that just-out-of-reach point in the future where we will be whole and our doubts will be silenced. We want to silence our doubts, but we won’t listen to them first. We want our feelings to go away, but we don’t want to feel them first. We believe that if we suffocate parts of ourselves, those parts will just fall off, and somehow we will still be whole without them. Not going to happen.

Click here to read the rest of the post.

And she’s right. It’s interesting when you pay attention to the thoughts and feelings you have when your only company is a couple of panting dogs and you. While I can’t say I’ve used every moment to my advantage (I really need to stop aimlessly passing time on the computer), I did do a lot of things this week that I don’t do often enough.

– I cooked for one: myself. I didn’t eat frozen dinners or plain noodles just because it was only me. (I’ve been guilty of that in the past.) Instead, I made bowtie pasta in vodka sauce with crumbled bacon and peas one night, and tofu & vegetable chili the next. The latter was my favorite, and I have tons of leftovers. I’ll save some for my family and see if they even realize it’s not beef.

– I had dinner at my dad’s house. He surprised me with an old favorite: Roy Rogers roast beef sandwiches. Yum.

– I picked up my guitar for the first time in I don’t know how long. I even recorded myself playing and singing on GarageBand, just for fun. (I also laughed at myself, by myself, during the process.) The sensation of sore guitar fingers is one I’d forgotten about.

– I washed my shower curtain and changed the liner. That shit’s gross.

– I picked up a 5k registration form at the gym and decided I’d go for it in October. I can run a 5k… but now I want to run it fast. So I pushed myself to 6.7 mph on the ole treadmill and felt it the next day.

– I thought long and hard about my writing and how I’ve neglected it. It’s been too long since I’ve written anything for publication somewhere other than this blog. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write, and I intend to work on that. I’m also trying to flesh out my ideas for a potential lengthy, nonfiction pursuit. For now, that’s top secret.

– I did less productive things like drink boxed wine in front of Sarah Silverman’s Jesus is Magic (and envisioned her blurbing my eventual book and us becoming best friends) and the movie 13 Going on 30. I got a little choked up and didn’t admonish myself for getting teary-eyed during a silly movie.

– I imagined living on my own and liking it. It’s only been a few days of solitude, but I’m not uncomfortable with it just being me and my thoughts. In fact, I think that every now and then, it’s absolutely necessary.

Let’s say I’m unemployed because I’m over-qualified

Happy birthday, Jon Bon Jovi!

Okay, that’s enough of that.

You know what else I’ve had enough of? Unemployment. It’s been fun and all, hanging out in my sweatpants for indefinite amounts of time. But now it’s March, and suddenly I’m all like, “Crap.” 2011 is established in its existence, and the only thing I’ve established is a newfound sense of worthlessness. And though I know I’ll soon enough miss these lazy days, I need more purpose in life. Or at least structure, because I’m the type that if given too much free time, I don’t make the best use of it. Sad, but true.

I’ve already sent countless emails and resumes to potential employers over the past several weeks. I’ve sent out ten this week alone. At first, I was picky about what listings I responded to, and then I started browsing other Craig’s List categories. (No, not the adult section, ha-ha badumching.) Now, I’m applying for everything from waitressing jobs (kill me, I thought I’d never go back) to salaried positions. What do I get in response from these people? Anything from “hai you be personal assistant” to nothing. Mostly nothing. WHY, people, do you post ads only for me to respond, only for you NOT to respond? What logic is there in that? I know I’m qualified. I know I’m superbly normal. And I’m on TOP of those ads. I check job sites daily –hourly?– so I know I’m often one of the first to respond. Maybe my eagerness scares you off. Maybe you should die.

It’d be easier to take if I did make better use of my spare time. That is, when I’m not on the hunt. Besides hoping to save money, I have other, more creative goals that have no better time to be accomplished than now. Every day I think, Now would be a good time to start that novel or I should really clean out my desk and instead, I distract myself with meaningless, time-sucking activities. This COULD be a recipe for fatness or alcoholism, but luckily I do not succumb to such things. Yet.

I’m more willing now than I was before to suck it up and take a job that might not be the most desirable or career-oriented if that’s what it takes to start putting a reasonable amount of cash in the bank. And I know that any job always has the potential to lead to something even better. My real fear is that my tentative and yet-to-be planned European trip will keep getting pushed back more and more until it doesn’t even happen this year. I know Europe will always be there, but sometimes people tell themselves that at 21, and before they know it, it’s 20 years later and they’re fat alcoholics who still tell themselves Europe will always be there. I just refuse to be one of those people. But, you know, in order for me to get overseas, maybe I should take the time out of my busy coughnotreally schedule and get a PASSPORT. IT’S NOT LIKE I HAVE A JOB OR ANYTHING.

But I can’t be too hard on myself. I’m looking, trying, going for it. And at least I’m living rent-free, which is a beautiful thing. But there needs to be something else to fill my time with other than Facebook and sit-ups. So I’ll work on that. Because I cannot accept being one of those people that inspired the phrase “youth is wasted on the young.”


***On an unrelated note, I finally installed Google Friend Connect on my blog, making it easier to follow me. By easier, I mean you have to click one less button. Lazy bums. But since Google Friend Connect is the popular way to go, I’ve done this for you. And to hopefully get more followers. If you read my blog, please click the follow button so it doesn’t look like I’m uncool!

WTH?!? Wednesday

There are plenty of things in our daily lives that make us question our sanity, the intelligence of society, the infrastructure of the government and the well-being of unicorns. It’s why I’ve decided to start a weekly column appropriately titled WTH?!? Wednesdays. I adapted the idea from Rach at How Fickle is Woman, whose version is called WTF Wednesdays. Sometimes, saying “WTF” is indeed more satisfying than “WTH,” but I figured I’d make it my own, nevermind the fact that, in addition to being the convenient acronym for “what the hell,” it also matches up quite nicely with my blog name. WTH > what the hell?!? > Witty Title Here. Bam.

So, let’s get to it. I’d like to dedicate my first WTH?!? Wednesday to spam comments. WTH?!?

Surprisingly, I get a lot of spam comments. It’s unfortunate that I don’t get as many real comments as I do spam comments, because I’d appear to be really popular and successful. I could add lack of comments to the list, but I won’t today. As for spam comments, they range anywhere from seemingly thoughtful words to utter nonsense. Examples:

From Physical Therapist:

  I was very delighted to find this web page.I wished to say thank you to you with regard to this excellent examine!!! I certainly enjoyed each tiny little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to examine out new items you post.

Thanks, physical therapist. I was very delighted to hear from you. Maybe I could come to you for examine advice.

From appotthagg:

I’ve in any case deliberating it would be good to have those not ring true sport shoes for when I do out of doors sports such as canoeing and dragon boating. These uncommon sports shoes pander to to water outside sports in fussy because of the facetious adam’s ale thick material it is made of. When I go canoeing, I in use accustomed to to either communicate with with my undecorated feet or slippers, but was forever having problems with both. Being unclad footed meant that I influence get gloomy close to any debris that may summarize when I walk on the sand or in the water while getting in or gone from of my canoe. When I damage slippers, again it as a matter of fact gets in the technique when my feet expire in the slime during common tide. It was when my slipper got stuck when I knew I had to organize an outside sports relaxation shoes. I pronounced to deliberate on of it as a stupendous investment as it would agency better and cleaner feet. I don’t know why I didn’t assume of getting such show off shoes in the first place. I conjecture it was because my impression of show off shoes was unceasingly for meet, and not in requital for other outdoor sports.

 …You get the point. The comment continues on for another two paragraphs of equal length, but I’m pretty sure he/she is talking about these, which are awesome:

From guy:

I am glad you said that???

-Warm regards,
Guy

I’m glad you said that you’re glad I said it. Wait, what?

And finally, from adult search engines:

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, xgrd s zesumrbp b lesvyr rh nasp rzg.

azg ez bjf.

…Someone had to say it.

These spam comments might be the reason for my blog’s seemingly high traffic. I relocated to this domain just this past August, and already I have close to 90,000 hits. Huh? That’s really great if those are real people stopping by, but I suspect that I’ve been entered into a spam system in which robots communicate with one another and tell them to check out wittytitlehere.com in exchange for robot fornication. To which I say, “WTH?!?”

Paging Dr. Cassie

In my almost twenty-one short (or long, depending on what mood I’m in) years of life, I’ve received a lot of advice. Most of it has been given to me without my even asking. Some people are really thoughtful that way. Some of it has come by request from me, only to be completely ignored and for me to do the opposite of what has been suggested. Example: “Cass, don’t jump off your bunk bed.” “Leave me alone! This is the safest and most rewarding activity I could possibly partake in!” Five seconds and one nearly spine-shattering landing later: a potential back problem that will likely set in 10 years sooner than it would otherwise and me screaming bloody murder.

A lot of the advice I’ve received, such as the above mentioned, has come from my parents, because that’s what parents are supposed to do. Much of their advice, when first given, was wholly unconsidered by yours truly, occasionally followed by an eye roll, only for me to later deem it worthy of my attention. I’ve certainly received a fair share of advice from other loved ones such as friends, and it’s sometimes so the opposite of what I’ve expected or just simply wanted to hear, that I disregarded their guidance, too. Example: “Cassie, that outfit is hideous. You should change.” “No! Lime green spandex pants are totally in right now!” Five minutes and four little giggling middle-school twits later: a wounded ego and a several-year-long exploration of what kind of clothes are flattering for a young girl to wear.

Every now and then, I’ll get a life lesson from a stranger or someone who hardly knows me at all. This type of advice is sometimes of the most value—a stranger can have the most objective outlook on your situation of anyone you encounter. Other times, it’s simply the most maddening, i.e. “Who the hell do you think you are to give me your idiotic, unwarranted advice?” Because, in reality, most people are just dumb.

Why do I even bother asking for advice?

Despite these flaws, I’ve learned a lot from the people around me, whether I realized in the moment just how valuable their guidance was or not. And I know I’ve had several people confide in me with their problems, and each of them has told me what a good listener I am. They also know that they can trust me, because I would never share their problems with another soul.

So, I’ve decided to try something fun and different. I’m starting an advice column here at Witty Title Here. I want you to send me your issues and dilemmas. Absolutely anything that’s going on in your life that you need a second opinion on—well, you’ve come to the right place. Want to know what you should wear for your first Friday night out as a singleton? I’ll clue you in. Need advice on what you should do about your boyfriend who wants to explore no-strings-attached relationships with other people? Uh, I’ll let you know exactly what I think about that. Can’t decide whether something is black or navy? I’ll help you figure out that life-altering difference.

Whether it’s mundane or truly serious, send it on in. You can choose to remain anonymous or not—it’s up to you; I won’t reveal your identity. Remember, though, I am not a certified advice-giver. This means the advice you receive might be ridiculous or unsatisfactory. You cannot hold me responsible for whatever potentially disastrous things happen as a result of my uninformed counsel.

 Post your questions as a comment here (use a fake email address if you don’t trust me), or if it’s really private—in which case, I’m not sure why you’d send anything to me in the first place—you can email me using the “Get in Touch” page above. Just remember to include my blog name in the subject. Give me some good stuff, and gimme everything you got! The more questions I get, the sooner you can see the wacky results. This should be fun.

Bored to soul-eaten death

There is something wrong with me. Something seriously and disturbingly wrong with me. I am done with the semester (and have earned a pretty nice looking GPA if I do say so myself), and yet, I am not excited, I have not responded to this accomplishment with utter joy and happiness, and I am already bored to tears. I have no idea how to entertain myself! When did this happen?
For the first ten years of my life, I was an only child and therefore learned pretty quickly how to enjoy spending time on my own. I usually did this by pretending I was a lion or a deer or something, and I would literally live in that imaginary world for hours. And I never got bored! What creativity! I have always considered myself to be a pretty creative person. So why am I suddenly wasting the day away waiting for inspiration to hit?
I have been looking forward to the summer for quite some time now. True, I’ll be very busy soon enough: I’m taking two summer courses throughout June and July and will be continuing my nannying gig for most of the summer. Still, I’ll have plenty of down time, and the main reason I’ve so been looking forward to these summer months is because I’ve been planning on USING that down time to work on my writing and actually get some fiction written, for Pete’s sake! I’m sick of talking about it without actually having anything to show for it.
But what happens when I sit down at the computer, the story I started WEEKS ago sitting in front of me, with tons of time to spare? Nothing.
Absolutely nothing.
Yes, I’ve heard of writer’s block, thank you, but I refuse to use those dirty little words. Because saying you have writer’s block certainly doesn’t fix the problem. Of course, you could say the same thing about any complaint. I know I can be good at complaining sometimes, but I know that whining “I’m tiiiiired” repeatedly really won’t help me be un-tired. Sigh. Sigh, indeed.
It doesn’t help that today has been a pretty blah day weather-wise, and all I’ve really done is go to the doctor, call Comcast, and eat some soup. Picking up the guitar was just a vain and disappointing attempt at creating something.
Probably one of the main reasons I’m in such a despondent mood (glad you’re reading this, aren’t you?) is because Justine, my roommate and friend of three years, left this morning to go live on silly Long Island with her friends and family for the rest of the summer. And because I’m moving back to my mom’s when the lease runs out, this was our last day of living together.
This is Justine:
Oh wait, no. THIS is Justine:

You are jealous that I got to live with that for so long. To quote Monica from Friends: “It’s the end of an ERA!”

So, yeah. Back to living in this huge apartment all by myself.

Which is precisely the reason why I can’t let myself waste my time any longer. Because if I do, I’ll start to become paranoid and imagine that a soul-eating demon thing is trying to break into my apartment at night when I’m eating Fritos in my Snuggie while watching reruns of Frasier. Or something. This is how my imagination will compensate for the lack of written word.

Nothing like fear as motivation!