I spend forty hours of my week trapped inside a bright, yet uncomfortable office. The chairs have long passed their replacement date, The desks have wear marks where the arms of my predecessors sat, and it often smells of old leftovers. The air conditioning only lives in extremes, either blasting the room with frigid air, or leaving us dying in the heat. Conversations rarely run normally. Either we spend a few short moments talking about the weather or someone gives a quick and outspoken review of this weeks office gossip. If you held us at gunpoint and forced us to give up information about each other I’m sure that only a handful of us would make it out alive. Maybe this isn’t strange, and this is just typical office behavior. But I find the lack of personal connection to be nothing short of disturbing. When did we give up on our humanity and settle for a robotic version of ourselves?
I don’t know what to write. I have been numb to the touch of the keypad for months and I’m aching for some form of inspiration. There is nothing that I want to put on paper. There is nothing that I want to say. I am exhausted. My days flow together into a confusion of sameness. Work has become nothing more than a flow of income as it slowly pulls the joy out of my day. At home there is not much relief. I live on the defensive, covering my tracks and building a wall around what should be a guaranteed place of safety. Few interactions are pleasant. Most leave me constantly questioning the state of their reality. Of course, I could write about that, and I’m sure that I will. But it’s better to wait to avoid any matter of offense, although some deserve to be offended. It is possible that it is the environment that has diagnosed me with this serious case of writer’s block, and it is the idea that I am most likely to blame. How is one to create when they are surrounded by so many unhealthy distractions? I have yet to find the answer to this question.
I am exhausted.
A resignation letter sits in the mailboxes of the different individuals that I had grown to admire. Up until that point there was nothing but excitement in my bones about the upcoming events, but something else had begun to fester. A moment of heartbreak rushed over me as I saw unexpected emotions displayed across the faces of my peers. I had spent so much time complaining about my surroundings that I had forgotten about the relationships that I built. How selfish of me to not take their feelings into account.
It comes a point when one must move on from every part of life. A truth that I sometimes have a hard time swallowing. Some experiences, such as this one, are shorter than originally expected. Because of this I have spent a lot of time questioning if I was making the right decision. How can an experience as short as this one hold any real weight? I have in fact only been with the job for a handful of months, and in the city less than a year. Is leaving so soon a decision made to hastily? Am I missing out on opportunities that only this city can offer? And the relationships that I have built here, what does it mean if I just desert them so abruptly?
The feeling of sadness is heavy in the air. However, it does not reside in the moments of confliction, nor is it fueled by the thoughts of separation. It exists solely as it is supposed to, right now, in this moment. It is true that in a couple of weeks I will be far away from a job where I was secure, relationships that I care for, and a city that I had grown to love. But it is also true that something new awaits right around the corner. Those new experiences, no matter how good or bad they may be, will be nothing less than the next chapter in my life. I do mourn the distance between now and then, but I now understand how much fondness distance brings and how valuable even the shortest experiences become.
Moving forward is inevitable. The worst thing one can do is try to stop it.
I raise a glass to the past, and a bottle for the future.
It was, by all definitions of the word, a Monday. I woke up from a rest that was shorter than intended. This was of course my fault, as I had become lost in technological trance the night before. I had made the attempt to to participate in my daily ritual and listen to a political driven podcast on the way to work, however my mind had other plans. I spent the better part of the forty minutes in traffic daydreaming about the days ahead, and relishing the ones past. Suddenly I found myself in the parking lot at work, and cutoff my friend Jon Lovett in the middle of one of his famous advertising riffs.
I eventually want to write a piece dedicated to the people that I have met in this city, but since that list has so many different personalities I fear it is far from publication. Instead, just for a moment, I want to remark on the a common trait I have noticed in a number of fellow colleagues. Where I come from, there is a lot of opinions of Los Angeles and the people inside of it. One of the most popular comments on the entitlement of the people who live here. I have met many different individuals in this city, and this trait applies to few of them. But the ones that hold this value, hold onto it with their lives. There are some that survive off of the idea of entitlement, even when they have no name to back it up. It is in this moment that I can’t help but picture the Evil Queen from Snow White, with her chin held high and her eyes glaring down at all that she sees beneath her. The act of entitlement bothers me. I spend a lot of time wondering what they are thinking and what pushes them to act the way they do. Maybe they believe that those thoughts will force their dreams into reality, or maybe they are just afraid. I’m confident that each offender has a different reason for their actions, but my desire to understand still pushes me to question the very nature of the act. One thing I know for certain, acts such as these carry weight, and the few that commit these acts create the label for many.
My research will continue, but until then I will stay away from bad apples.
I have spent a lot of time toiling over the first line in what is often considered Gombrowicz’s finest work. Although I have only made my way through the first few pages of his “Diary” I already fine myself obsessing over each new day. As a native of Poland during the rise of the Second World War, Gombrowicz was face to face with some of history’s most dramatic moments. I must be honest in this moment and say that I do fear that I may never get to have such experiences. Not that I wish for war or an environment that reflected the streets of 1940’s Europe, a request of that nature would deem me sick and cruel. But writings that came out of times of deep struggle are often unmatched, and as a writer I cannot lie and say that that isn’t appetizing.
I have decided, and hopefully will stick with the idea, to follow in the footsteps of Gombrowicz and document my daily life. Although my prowess is nothing like that of the great Polish writer I find that these documents will prove something. Not that I ever intend to release them as a publication, as they will better serve as a means of self-reflection. As a writer I find myself often struggling with words. These moments of stagnation can last hours or they can last weeks, and the judgements against myself become more intense. It is possible that something more will come out of these journals, but for now they will serve as nothing more than a tool of reassurance.
Thank you Gombrowicz, for providing a means of therapy even fifty years after your death.
I don’t have any good excuses.
I haven’t posted a journal and over a month and I’m sorry for letting you all down (and by all of you I mean my mom, because she is the only one that reads these). This past month has been one of the busiest and most stressful months in recent memory. I spent a week in Colorado, which was followed directly by a friend visiting in LA, followed by Black Friday and what is largely considered the worst week for retail employees. All of those are just poor excuses of course, because I have had plenty of free time at home that I have wasted on something else (I’m talking about you Skyrim VR). In the past month I have opened my laptop maybe a total of ten times, and that was mostly just to pay bills. I usually open my laptop more times than that in one day, so you can see how this has been a weird month for me.
The truth is I have been exhausted. Not just physically exhausted, but mentally and emotionally exhausted as well. Living in Los Angeles has taken a lot out of me and has tried its best to tear me apart. The distance between family and friends has taken a toll on my heart. Due to the separation from my normal support I have been forced to output my emotions in different ways, which has led to me keeping a lot of things bottled up (unhealthy I know, that’s why I am addressing it). Due to the already present physical exhaustion and the new wave of emotional exhaustion, my mental health has not been where it should be. This has caused me to spend a lot less time on my work and a lot more time on escaping (With video games mom, not with drugs).
I am guilty of always over-thinking everything, because of this I am always looking way too deeply into every situation that I am in. This constantly causes me to question the choices that I make and if they are the right ones. Imagine going to an ice cream shop and ordering ice cream. As they are making the ice cream you are asking yourself if you made the right choice, maybe the chocolate chip was better, you have always been a fan of Oreo’s, your best friend said that Rocky Road was the best thing he ever had, what if I’m missing out on the flavor of a lifetime because I’m comfortable with Reese’s Pieces? That is how my mind works in almost every situation, so by the end of the day my brain is typically swarming with questions that I just want to drown out. In those moments sometimes the last thing that I want to do is write because the idea of embracing those thoughts terrifies me, so I turn to something else to escape it.
Although this past month has been draining and has caused me to question my entire existence it has also been one of the most eye-opening experiences. I don’t know if I will stay in Los Angeles, but it has taught me more about myself than I ever could have learned back home. I would go through this past month over and over again if it meant I would learn more about who I was, because finding yourself is what all of this is about isn’t it? Let’s not get too philosophical.
What a beautiful life.
I hate dating.
First dates in particular are more of a talent show than a date. Each party spends the entirety of the date trying to put on a show in order to impress the other. It’s typically an awkward mess that doesn’t make it past the first round of judging (like when that guy tried to sing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” on American Idol). I’m not really a fan of talent shows.
Dating websites/apps were originally considered to be the last resort to the dating community. People often resorted to these as a “last ditch” effort to find the “love of their life.” They have now become one of the most popular ways to find a date (or more commonly a one night stand). Apps like Tinder and Bumble have made it possible to meet people without the stressful work of actually meeting them. I have both of these apps.
I sometimes like to swipe through the variety of different contestants that the apps have to offer. Usually this ends in boredom or disgust which results in a short hiatus from the dating app world. Occasionally I put the five perfectly lit photos and baiting bio aside and I actually go out with someone. This usually doesn’t end in anything more than a story, but they are always interesting stories nonetheless. Today was one of those stories.
I recently met a girl on Bumble and after a week of spread out messages we decided to hang out. I use the term hang out because what we did was the farthest thing from dating I have ever experienced. Since I told her to pick everything we were going to do that day I had no idea what was on the evenings itinerary.
The majority of the date was spent in Griffith Park. When I think of Griffith Park my mind usually wanders to the Observatory, or the millions of trails behind it. This is not where we ventured to on this Thursday evening. We instead spent a number of hours on a playground near the outskirts of the park, surrounded by about twenty small children. This would typically seem like a strange place for two twenty-somethings to hang out, but being that I am a child in a mans body it worked for me. I will never be the person to complain about swinging on a swing-set.
The next part of our illustrious evening took place in the living room of her surprisingly large apartment. At this point most normal people would find this a prime opportunity to “make a move”. I however see this as a prime opportunity to play Nintendo 64, which is exactly what we did. Not much is better than two hours of intense Pokemon battles on Pokemon Stadium. I am a twelve year old.
We ended the night at the bar with a couple of her friends, and it was as awkward as expected. Typically the awkwardness would come from the fact that we are going out with her friends on the first date, but I am pretty good at faking being an extrovert. Instead the awkwardness came from the fact that she was on a customer service call for the entirety of the night. Not just any customer service call, but a customer service call for the Squat Magic she just ordered. Please go look up Squat Magic and you will understand my pain.
I left before the night could progress any farther because honestly once you play Pokemon Stadium it’s all down hill from there, and the Squat Magic was just the beginning. Although the majority of the evening was entertaining there will be no second date. I am rarely attracted to people and I’m almost never interested in pursuing anything more than a Pokemon opponent, but more on that later. I’ll spend the rest of my night with Netflix, my true love.
Side Note: She had heterochormia (two different colored eyes), and that deserves some form of acknowledgement.