Friday, October 17, 2008

And an island never cries

I'm in a pretty big funk. You might call it depression (but funk is hipper). I don't feel like eating, and for a couple days there, I just felt like doing nothing but crawl into bed and cover up my head. I felt spaced out at work and ignored people at home. Tuesday night found me hugging myself on the floor in my room crying my eyes out and trying not to be loud enough for my coworker to hear me. It's numbness and sadness I've only felt a few times in my life.

I feel like I've failed on account of my loneliness. I was supposed to live and work at this house for single mothers for a year, and I expected it to be hard, but I wasn't prepared for how trapped I would feel. I'm not required to be at the house all the time, and I'm not even required to be there all the time that the residents are there, but some fights have happened when I haven't been there, so I'm paranoid to leave my coworker home alone with the residents. As a result, I don't get to see my family very often, and I've hung out with a friend once since I started working in July. So I'm quitting in January or as soon as we can find a replacement. I want to move back to Springfield and be available to my family and friends again.

Last year, I felt like my family demanded a lot of my time. I did a ton of volunteer stuff, and it seemed like my grandparents wanted me over at their house any time I wasn't doing something. Now I miss it. I had a night off a few weeks ago, and I spent it on my grandparents' couch after the presidential debate. Last year, my grandpa drove me crazy with his cranky attitude, picking on me and my grandma and bashing of my religion. Now he doesn't ever want to leave his house except to do the same things he does everyday, ride his bike and see his sister in the assisted living place. All the other time, he sleeps on the couch and reads the paper over and over.

Most of my friends don't know what I'm doing. I can't go to nighttime events because I'm stuck at the house. I'd invite people over, but I'm always afraid that something crazy is going to go down, plus it's not very exciting here. My church is going to start gearing up soon (we've been in an antsy stasis phase for a while and I'm itching to start doing stuff instead of talking about it) and I want to be available to help out.

Maybe I'm running away. I guess I'd rather be a chicken than keep working and be bitter and lonesome. I don't know how I'm going to afford moving and board was free while I worked here, but I was also only working my school job part time, so I'll be bringing in about $600 a month until I find another job after I move out. Which means no apartment complex will take me. Which means I'm going to have to either find a room in a house, possibly with strangers, or try to get into affordable housing through St Vincent dePaul. But I'd rather worry about money than not be able to help my grandparents or see my new baby cousin or have a Fairytale Theater marathon with my best friend or fix the ceiling in the tiny maybe-church space.

I was all about jumping in and serving God with people who are different than myself. But it's not very fulfilling when the nature of the service is to be cut off from your community. Maybe some people are Lone Rangers like that, but I can't function that way. I hate to admit that I NEED.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Project 40: September

“Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin” by Myra Friedman
I’ve wanted to read a biography of Janis Joplin for a long time, since I’m a big fan of her music. I love that she wasn’t traditionally beautiful, but still made it as a star. This was about as good and detailed a biography as you can get. Myra Friedman was a personal friend and publicist to Janis, so she saw everything that went on while the band was on tour, as Janis went on and off of drugs, in and out of love, everything. She doesn’t try to make Janis a victim of drugs or fame or a bad childhood or anything. She recognizes the places where Janis chose to act a certain way towards people and chose to be involved with destructive behaviors over which she had a great amount of control. The whole book shows a Janis Joplin who needed to be loved, a very insecure young woman with a lot of talent and a lot of fear. The book got a little colloquial at odd times, but I was ok with that. A-

“Lost Horizon” by James Hilton
I had a bit of a hard time with this book. It wasn’t badly written; it was just kind of boring. Four foreigners are kidnapped and taken to the Himalayas, but they don’t seem too bothered by it. Then they come to the city of Shangri-La, and it’s all well and good. Oh, but they can’t leave. But only one man knows that. The story of the city is kind of interesting, but I expected the whole book to be a little more spectacular from what other people have told me about it, and I was super disappointed in the ending. C+

“The Bonesetter’s Daughter” by Amy Tan

I think my friend who recommended the chick lit books also recommended this one. But I actually liked this one! It’s told in two parts, the first focusing on Ruth, a Chinese-American woman trying to handle her aging mother, LuLing. Ruth thinks that her mother has Alzheimer’s Disease; she gives her wrong age at the doctor and pulls out a picture of her childhood nursemaid and claims the woman is her mother. While searching her mother’s apartment, Ruth finds a stack of memoirs, written in Chinese by her mother. She has them translated, which becomes the second part of the book, the story of LuLing’s life in China. I picked this book up at just the right time, as I’m trying to figure out my part in my aging grandparents’ lives. A