Right now it is 3:00 am on the nose, and aye, look at that, another full moon! Somewhere off in the not-so-distance a siren is howling and coyotes are howling back all while my dog dreams at my side. I wish I knew of what, but it’s a treat to guess.
I named this blog “sicknotes” because when I finally manifested loose and drifty thoughts onto this digital paper, I a) was “sick” from work and b) I had been, and have been, in a state of total wonder over my relationship to my mother, to all women, to my own womanhood¹, and I’ve long made a cognitive synaptic leap from my fascination with words to my mother’s hands, her writing, and, with particular clarity, the words she’d write on sick notes that’d release me from school as a kid.
Re: reason A – I wasn’t actually sick that day. But I hated my job. I fucking hated it. And sure, I recognize the privileged position I’m in by my sheer ability to hate my salaried and degree-related job in a creative start-up agency, one which works almost exclusively with non-profits and labor unions and all that cool, ideal, save-the-world shit, but I also recognize the damage done to my sense of self upon sitting in an office, at a computer, surrounded by stress and man-made problems for the majority of my waking life. At least at this job, the ends to our work was to help promote socially progressive agendas, and not to necessarily sell bullshit and manipulate people into thinking they need that which they MOST CERTAINLY do not. One needs very little.
But alas, despite its noble social objectives, this job still bore the mental/emotional languish of tedium, and of, again, man-made bullshit problems that needn’t exist in the first place if people just fucking took a moment to remember, in the midst of all our created and perceived chaos, that we’re all just a bunch of beautiful sub-atomic vibrations with the gift/burden of consciousness wrapped in (mostly) mobile flesh bodies with EVERYTHING WE NEED (AND MORE!) provided by this planet, which we should thus very obviously prioritize tending, tenderly, with reverence. YOU GUYS. We’re just a bunch of babies who were born against our yet-to-be-formed wills to literally rocket through spacetime with ever-morphing and decaying bodies until our consciousness goes out like a candle and we die.
And as that is the basis for all I think and feel on a moment-by-moment basis, it became obvious that my staying home “sick” from work was symptomatic of a broader, more general illness, or offness – that is, I was too closely enmeshed with systemically-perpetuated bullshit to think clearly, and so, in act of purification, I quit my job. And now, I serve, wait tables, “table guide,” or whatever fucking verb you’d like. It’s humbling. And it’s bliss. Serving is bliss. What funny words for my fingers to tap out. But it’s true.
Now, I find such overwhelming joy in what I do, how I live, and in those I have the privilege of spending all of this time I am alive and conscious with. I work with people who encourage burning sage before shifts, who laugh at the absurd and the surly, who go outside to look at and honor the moon with me and who emit such wonderful/warm light into the world, and who, in doing so, really do make the most profound impact on this planet and all who share it. I get to communicate with all forms and manners of people, at their bests and worsts, to learn about them and from them, to learn about our species in general, to study how we interact with the spaces we spend time in, and so much more, every day, in each moment. I am now at peace with all that I am and have. And what a new and incredible peace it is. No fear, no tension, no ill-will, no self-doubt. Or rather, less – less of those things. My self-destruction is at least becoming a familiar beast and thus one I can understand and put to an ever-more permanentish rest. For now, it’s a light sleeper. I must be patient with myself.
My parents were very disappointed when I told them I had left that job to wait tables again. They thought it was an amazing opportunity, a leap forward toward a career in which I’d find meaning, and stability, and health insurance. And so it was. I understand their disappointment- I have well over $150,000 in student loan debt, with no savings account, no trust fund, no outside source of financial support or income besides that which I make in tips slinging spicy food and cocktails. And I owe them so much, as they’ve sacrificed their own financial stability, their comforts, their security for their futures, everything, for my and my brother’s upbringings. Gratitude is an inedible flower.
My university degree is just a piece of wine-stained paper, but I have learned far beyond that which I have yet directly translated to monetary gain, besides waiting tables. I am fine, more than fine, beyond fine, living with just a few bits of matter and no concrete answer as to where I will be in a year, or 5 months, or how I’ll afford food or rent or anything if my car breaks down and I can’t commute the 50 miles to work, or any such question. I am fortunate to live in a place and time where I do not constantly fear for my life or safety, and in which I was able to attain an education; and I am fortunate to have been brought up by unconditionally loving human beings, who sacrificed so much and who allowed me to grow any which way I wanted. Because of all of this, and so much else, I will always find a sense of home, and peace, as I continue on. And I will always find the means and fortitude to continue on. This is apart of the clarity that has been restored.
Now, I am content. I am deeply aware of and moved by each passing moment. There is so much to learn, so many narratives to tangle and braid into my own, so much to explore in both the physical and metaphysical that I am pretty constantly overwhelmed and in a state of near-ecstasy over all that was, is, will be. Maybe soon I’ll buy a plane ticket to somewhere far away and try to survive off of little-to-nothing and learn through that particularly cleansed perspective again. Maybe I’ll build a chicken coop and sell eggs at a farmers’ market. Maybe I’ll try to actually blog about something “niched” and make a dolla on it. For now, I’m content staying up and pouring myself out into dawn. The sun’s up, but the moon’s still there, out of sight. My pup’s still dreaming.
And I’m actually sick.
- Re: reason B – WOMEN! WOMEN! WOMEN! Next blog post about WOMEN!