There’s always something else, isn’t there?
This blog is a bit late to the party, given that Unlife already covered this a few weeks ago, but it felt relevant with… everything.
It’s not even something specific; everything from international politics to family drama reflects and refracts through conversations had weeks, months, years, and decades ago. They’ve all been flagged in our email, with a promise to ourselves we’ll resolve that soon, only to get a follow up message that far too much time has passed. And this can be as far reaching as world news, or as simple as my stupid apartment.
Yes, that damn thing. I mentioned it earlier, coming home to a flooded floor. But ever since signing year two of my lease, if it’s not a mouse in the house, it’s a broken elevator, a neighbor playing music at an ungodly volume at 3 AM, stolen packages, a broken laundry room for 6+ months with no rent reduction. It feels like every attempt to just take it easy is thwarted by fate, calling on me to quell the most mundane and insignificant problems in my life. I will remember the people I interacted with, not these petty annoyances. And yet, it’s where I dedicate so much of my effort, time and frustrations.
I will say one thing: ever since getting a full time job, I don’t have to blame myself for everything wrong. It’s actually nice being in a bureaucracy, knowing that there’s so much that doesn’t live and die by my hand. It’s part of why this administration, though still something that fills me with unease, has been lowered on my “things to freak out about” list. In fact, it has a lot in common with that broken sink, the constant gurgling reminder that it’s broken and the constant fear that one day, I’ll come home and step in some shit. But I am relieved to realize that no decision can be made by one person, and even once made, it is caught behind an enormously tangled web of bureaucracy, constituents, donors, and so many decisions that’s like walking a tight rope through a laser field. It actually makes you realize how spectacular it was that Obama got the Affordable Care Act passed, considering how much pushback it also received. It’s never just one person. It’s never even just one team. It’s just life and all 7 billion people who live it on this planet trying to do what they need to do.
That’s not to say I don’t miss my old office (that is, my living room). I loved my old system, my morning routine. I miss that sense of control. That ability to drop everything to take on a broken sink or a mouse and just fix it; even the ability to relax and be comfortable. I miss being alone, actually, a luxury I find myself craving more as it’s taken from me. I miss quiet. Operating originally in my fortress of solitude, now out in the world, the cacophony of sound at the school and with my co-workers sometimes too loud to even think. I love interacting with them, but I just hate trying to concentrate with all that… that… LIFE begging to be addressed. I want to do well, but dealing with the rest is just… exhausting. And a learning process.
Because being alone lets me shut out the other parts and focus on what I need. No such luck if I’m sharing that life with the rest of the world and their unique needs.
But perhaps I’m being to down on it. My co-worker Red just broke my first streak of creative writing all day, prompting me to nearly strangle him. But when I looked up to see why he’d interrupted, it was that there was pizza in the lounge and he brought me a slice.
Life can be harsh and constant and unforgiving. But it’s not all bad, I think.