Clawing for inspiration

I made the bed before 8 AM this morning. I cooked myself the last egg and percolated a mug of strong coffee that I eventually thinned with cold water. The caffeine suppresses my appetite, which is what I want because I am too lazy to cook anything real.

I should be good until late afternoon, minus the inevitable blood sugar crash I’m sure to have around noon. I usually ignore the bout of lethargy and push through until I’m dizzy standing. I’m one of those people who forgets to eat. I suspect my hormonal imbalance is a direct symptom of that unfortunate habit. I should work on it, but it’s not detrimental enough to prioritize yet. How bad am I going to let this get?

It’s raining for the first time in months. I feel optimistic. All this rain and wind feels like home, and home is a feeling I miss feeling. Sometimes I wish I’d never left the beautiful dreary cold of Southeast Alaska.

It’s days like today when I miss it most. It’s days like today when all I really want to do is go hike in an old growth forest with a friend who appreciates silence. I don’t have a sense of smell (never have), but there’s something about the air when it rains that makes me feel happy. It’s probably negative ions. They’re natural antidepressants, thousands of times more effective than your hippie salt lamp.

Mom has been telling me to go to law school for as long as I can remember. She’s always supported all my non-law school choices and doesn’t really push anything on me, but in moments of confusion and self-doubt, she’ll casually bring it up again. “Maybe you should go to law school,” she’ll remind me.

Should I? I’m back to considering the option for the umpteenth time. One of my ex-boyfriends was an attorney and I was with him during his last year of law school, through Bar prep, after passing the Bar, and right up until getting his first job. Then we split ways before I ever heard him say anything positive about the experience.

Watching that entire process was goddamn exhausting for both of us. While he struggled to land his first job, he’d lament that he ever went to law school, citing the oversaturation of law school grads. How he should have studied programming. I vowed to never be part of that clusterfuck. But that was years ago, and cognitive dissonance has done its job and I’m starting to soften toward the idea of law school again.

I doubt I’ll go because I don’t want to go into debt (no matter the payoff), but this morning I am thinking about it as seriously as I ever have. Going into debt for an investment is different from going into debt for an expense. But would law school really be an investment? If you factor in the potentially shit lifestyle I’d get as a return, the answer is no. I have to really want something if I’m going to throw that much money and time at it.

And that’s precisely my problem. I always really want things. But briefly. I really wanted to be a health coach. I really wanted to be a yoga teacher. I really wanted to be a real estate agent. I really wanted to be a data analyst. I really wanted to be an accountant. I really wanted to be an entrepreneur. I really wanted to blah blah blah. But nothing sticks.

I have the habit of getting fucking obsessed with something for a short period of time, during which I learn everything about it, and then boom. Total apathy. That’s why I know a little about a lot. So yes, right now I really want to go to law school, but I don’t trust myself enough to act on it.

I think I must fall in love with the idea of things, or with “trying on” ideas. It’s time to find something I don’t really want to do but wouldn’t mind doing, and do that. I think that’s called realism. I need to focus less on “being” any one thing, and instead just do something. I am a lifelong learner, not what I do for a living.

My MBA starts in February and I am doing it even though I don’t really want to, goddamnit. The degree is practically free. It’ll be boring and potentially useless, but at least it’s better than what I’ve got. It feels like I have nothing to lose but the time I put into it, and to be honest I do not expect it’ll take much time anyway. An MBA is the type of degree I’ve never taken very seriously or thought very highly of. It’s just a thing you do when you don’t know what the fuck else to do. Kind of like going to law school.

JDs and MBAs are filler degrees. Things liberal arts majors without jobs do to pass the time, hoping they pay off. That’s how I see it, anyway. It’s why we have so many attorneys and people in middle and upper management, hating their lives, slaves to the paycheck, paying off student loan debt one 60-hour workweek at a time. Is this the life I’m ready to live? That just doesn’t seem worth it.

I am so confused about what to do right now. Am I looking for a job or a career, anyway? The “what do you want to do when you grow up?” question assumes everyone wants a career. But what if I just want a job to pass the time and pay me enough? When you break it down, it really doesn’t matter what you do for money, as long as it doesn’t make you totally miserable. Job or career, it doesn’t matter.

By the way, a month or so back I was all set to get back into real estate, either as a sub-agent for a successful team or as the Executive Assistant (aka Manager). Remember that? It fell through in the most fucked up way. I showed some houses (for which she did not pay me properly), completed my 45 credits of continuing education to renew my CA license, and was all set to start working for She Who Shall Not Be Named Realtor, and then she fell off the fucking face of the earth. Stopped returning my texts and calls and emails. Disappeared.

So that’s not happening. Probably for the best, but darn it. I was excited and ready to be a kickass manager for her million dollar business, in return for a healthy six-figure salary. I thought I’d finally landed on something. Maybe I could look for a similar position with another Realtor, considering how qualified and suited I am for that job, but something about the oddity of that experience totally turned me off. Reminded me how much I hate most real estate agents and the industry in general.

Mom says I should submit my writing to publications since I have all this free time. A few friends have said the same. Could be a good use of all this time I have. Too bad I don’t have it in me to write about anything remotely useful to someone else. This blog is degrading into the kind of public journal not even I would read. But I keep posting because some day, something brilliant will come of all this. Some little nugget of insight will be revealed. I never know what these posts will be about. I just know they need to be written.

Get it together, Ash! That’s what mom should really be telling me.

I’m trying. My favorite feeling in the whole world is to be inspired. I miss that feeling. I claw for it daily.

But I need to have more patience with myself. I really do trust that something will come of all this, of all my job hunting, of all this idle time that results in idea after idea of what to do and blog post after blog post about slow mornings and nothingness.

I’m stuck in that limbo where nothing is certain. Not having a paycheck is whatever, but ambiguity hurts. Not knowing my trajectory and not having a purpose. When making it to the gym and making the bed and making lunch are the day’s major accomplishments, it can feel like nothing much matters. I’m a default nihilist. I’m not working on that.

 

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Wife, yogi, and cat mama living in the SF Bay Area.

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