Wednesday, July 16, 2014

F1 Racer

I have a whole jumble of things in my head right now - wedding planning; the best flavour of Ritter Sport (I think it's coconut, but I can't be sure until I try them all!); how exactly we're going to get access to Community in the fall if Yahoo geolocks it for some reason; Rob Ford's relatively level of dickishness these days; all the things I would like to do with these amazing fabrics; if the kombucha I'm brewing on my kitchen counter is normal, or if it's plotting to take over my apartment in the most disgusting way imaginable.
My brain is so busy. It's nauseating. I had coffee with a friend last night, and as we were sitting outside, watching couples make out by the fountain by the park (at least I was watching, but I'm a terrible perv and also that couple was right there), I found myself concentrating very hard on what she was saying. If I didn't tunnel my listening skills down with a mighty effort, I found I would drift off on some brain-tangent ("I wonder if the shoes I bought for my wedding are too tawdry, or just the right amount of tawdry?") and lose the plot of what she was saying entirely. I feel like I spent that entire coffee date squinting at her, listening as closely as I could. I'm sure it was a little disconcerting, but she was nice about it.

At that same coffee date, we talked about the concept of going F1 - that is, being financially independent. Oh my god, just read those words again: financially independent. Are you drooling? I'm totally drooling. I'll admit that this was prompted by a recent faux-bio of, ahem, the now-adult members of The Baby-Sitters Club, specifically Mary Anne (of course it was Mary Anne), who achieved her own financial independence at the age of 29.

My brain plays that back to me like a record that has warped in the hot sun. Even though I know these are fictional biographies, it's delicious. (Once, at a party, I asked the standard cocktail party question, "What do you do?" and was flummoxed when the girl I was talking to replied breezily, "Oh, I'm independently wealthy," as if that's a thing people put on their business cards. I later found out that her family owns a national newspaper.)

Anyway, I think my brain has been going a zillion miles a minute because I'm trapped in an over-air-conditioned office all day, usually alone. I do not get paid well to work in this office. It is lonely. It is boring. It is stressful. Of course I daydream about financial independence, and having the time to make quilts, and the kombucha I'm making. Those are the ideas that keep me sane. My brain feels fried because I keep snapping back to reality (faxes, emails, files that are somewhere in the office and need to be found right away) There's tension between the lovely dream that keeps me whole, and the reality of my day-to-day life.

I am trying very hard to find a way to live in this job while I have to. I do yoga in the meeting room. I read The Toast. I find it hard to focus for very long on any given task - this might be because I would much rather be doing pretty much anything else. But because I am not F1, I am required to work and pay bills. And until I can find a job where all my hyperactive brain nodes work together, I am stuck at this one.

My mom keeps telling me to leave. And she's right. But I spent a lot of my 20s unemployed, and it can be scary without a safety net. I'm trying to get as much out this job as I can; not just the spreadsheets and the faxes and the committee meetings and the email laws, but also the muscle memory of sitting on my butt all day as my bank account screams for mercy. I can figure out how to step away and move towards the stuff that really matters: having a head that's clear enough to listen to other people talk.

Image via poetryqn via Spoonflower