Wednesday, March 26, 2014

19-Years A Slave

Writing has become like a gym membership that is never used.  It is paid for, month after month.  It is referenced, I talk about writing like I talk about doing squats or dreaming about a beach-body.  I want to do it, like I want to go to the gym.  I know it will be good for me, like I know a beach-body will not magically replace the soft doughy parts of me without some significant time on the treadmill. 

And working as much as I have only widens the gap of time since my fingers last struck the keys of my laptop in any real and meaningful and creative way.  

I've felt adrift.  I've felt purposeless.  I have this new project started, loads of ideas for it, plenty of experience at researching and drafting and compiling.  But I haven't started doing any of the work.

I wonder, so often, what was the point of going to college.  Nine years.  Ninety. Thousand. Dollars.  And I'm still doing what I did when I was fifteen - working in a restaurant - working myself to death.  I am envious of people that have the savings account and cushions and families and jobs and partners who provide security for them.  It is my own, harsh reality knowing that I have dug myself into this hole. I have put myself in this place of 60-hour work weeks because I wanted to go to college.  I wanted to go to grad school.  If I didn't have student loans to pay back, I would work four days a week - no doubles - and I would write.  I would have a savings account.  I would have new clothes and shoes.  I don't buy new things until it is absolutely necessary.  Partly because I've become pretty minimalist in my mid-twenties and partly because I can't stomach forking over several shift's-worth of cash for shoes or jeans or anything else because what I have is working out just fine for right now.

It's pretty fucked up that I went to school to learn to do something that I don't have time for BECAUSE I have to work to pay for those lessons those years those classes those experiences.  It makes me want to scream.  It makes me want to go back.  It makes me wish I could have a do-over.  Or at the very least, have picked a double major that would have gotten me a better job than this one.

And yes, yes few (if any) readers out there, I am aware that I am qualified for some things - thing I might even love.  But I can't afford to work there.  I can't afford to relocate.  I can't afford it.  Sallie Mae and ACS Education Services and Grand Valley State - they own me.  I am their indentured servant for the next 19 years.  "19-Years a Slave" will be the title of my collected essays.  Essays about the tragic irony of receiving an education only to realize it will do nothing for you - for me.

So I am off again, headed to work,again.  When I all I want to do is stay home and write, stay in and research, try and find motivation to live creatively beyond the sick desire to write the next Gone Girl so that I can pay some things off, take a break, not work so much when I should want to write only for the joy of it.  

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