The sound of (not) settling

img_0742So, there’s these moments, right? Little snapshots that remind you of something bigger. Weird little tipping points that are actually nothing, but can be applied to exactly the right situation to linger just a bit. Things that make me wonder why I’m not always as impossibly happy as I look trying to hoola hoop, and why I can’t look this candid on purpose. Silly example aside, I guess you could say that I’m sensitive to these things–which is just to say that I am sensitive in general and also trying to be a writer so I have notebooks and notebooks full of moments–which I desperately try to string together to prove that life is purposeful and connected. Sometimes songs or offhand comments can be convenient vessels for said moments. A long parking lot conversation with a coworker about how our boss and our students largely don’t care so what we do for a living is functionally useless ends with the melancholy demo version of “The Sound of Settling” by Death Cab on shuffle as soon as I start the car. Sometimes, it piggybacks onto very different moments. I’m at a music fest in Vegas with my best friend looking for french fries to soak up the entire bottle on Riesling I’ve happily consumed when I realize this is the first time I’ve had consecutive days off in months, and instead of appreciating that I’m genuinely having a good time, I’m thinking about work. See where this is going?

Eventually, this happens: moments accumulate until something small–I leave early and, thanks to rush hour parking, still end up in the dirt lot a 10 minute walk from our building–is met with a disproportionate amount of rage. The kind of thing that makes you say something like, “This parking spot is so bad that maybe I should just quit. Like, right now.” The amount of dread when I realize that this impulse is not something I should act on helped me determine that this was an actual problem. Here’s where I stop talking in hypotheticals and just say what I’m getting at: I’m 23 and I have a degree and all I do is work and get anxiety and anxiety related ailments. Sometimes I have fun, and that gives me anxiety too because I’m thinking about all the work and life things that didn’t get done in order for that fun to occur. I have been late to or left early from every family gathering this year, even the ones I was the guest of honor for. After a so-cal summer, I am vitamin D deficient even though I can get that from THE LITERAL SUN. These are all the moments and realities that combined and festered and made me realize that maybe I don’t need to work like 50 hours a week.

Basically, I resigned from Chaffey College. Tutoring is kind of a dream (I literally get paid to correct grammar) and I’ve learned so much more there than I ever thought I could. It really cemented in my life plans and made me feel like teaching at the college level is where I need to be one day. I hope to come back one day, when I have another degree and one less job. For now, though, I am transitioning into the life of a one-job-lady after years of two or three. I am so excited. Will it be weird knowing that I am no longer “using my degree?” Yes. Maybe I don’t necessarily love being asked what I’ve been doing since college because answering, “Oh, I’m a waitress…” doesn’t feel so safe from judgement.

But of course, there’s other kinds of moments. And those moments are because of people who make you excited to go to work and want to hear about what you learned in church and think taking time to get ready for grad school is awesome and tell you you’re a good supervisor even when the restaurant is basically on fire and it’s all your fault and send you to the freezer when you’re going so crazy that you literally need to cool down. A guest asked for a manager just to tell me that she will always come back because she can tell this crew genuinely loves each other and I totally cried. Sometimes good choices don’t look like the right choices to other people, and that just can’t matter.

The things that do matter to me right now are going quite well. I’m currently sore from Zumba with my sister and surrounded with Fall scented candles that I’m not allergic to (harder to find than you’d think) and kind of freaked out from watching AHS with my Dad and a new writing project is in the works and I have a new bible-related book that I can’t wait to start and I’m finally off my post-PLL blogging hiatus (sorry Fam) and after working 16 days straight, I had 4 WHOLE DAYS OFF. I’m like a whole new person, basically. Anyway, all is well. *And that’s what you missed on GLEE*

xx, Tab

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