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Monday, June 05, 2006

Over The Radar

"I'm leaving, on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again..." -Peter, Paul, & Mary

You can't run away from your problems. Everybody knows that.

Sometimes, though... I want to drop everything and evaporate, carried away by the interstate. I wanna sink into the clean empty air that sweeps over corn fields, far away from urban streetlights and smothering exhaust.

But that's not true, either. As much as I enjoy visiting the quiet places in between, the places that comprise the majority of America, I sure as hell don't belong in any of them.

I'm twenty seven years old, I'm unhappy, and I'm afraid of what'll happen the day I turn thirty. On that birthday, I'll realize I've just spent fifteen years miserable, never having really tried to shoot the moon, never tried to live a dream, never taken a real risk. I'll have spent the so called best years of my life scraping by, keeping my head down, just living. Getting by. That's all.

That's not good enough for me.

My generation? We were all raised to think we could grow up and be rock stars, that we 're special, that we deserve something flashier and more glamorous. We all think we deserve to be famous. We're a bunch of spoiled little cunts, all of us crashing brutally into the ugly median of mediocre banality, doomed to be unsatisfied and angry about the stifling normalcy of our lives, our bathroom mirrors mocking us each and every morning.

I know how quixotic it is to think I could duck my Chicago world, dive under, and surface again in Los Angeles. Today I entertained the notion of leaving my every last family, friend, and posession behind, silenty, and take a bus. Away.

Just like an idiot teenager.

Having the life experience of paying bills, stuggling to get by, etc., I know I'd be stone cold broke within a month. I know I'd burn every bridge back home. My co-workers, many of whom I consider good friends, would look upon me with contempt. My family would be hurt and confused, unable to comprehend my ability to let them think I was dead. My roommates would never let me live down leaving them hanging with the rent, and they'd be loathe to consider extending the hand of friendship to me ever again.

That part about my family ain't true. I couldn't go without telling them, especially me mum. I love them.

It would be an ugly thing to be alone and zeroed in Los Angeles. It would test my mettle, break me down, crush me into rubble, and maybe even kill me. It would be a fire. But for once, I'd have made my stand. I'd have put myself in a position where everything mattered. Survival. My comfort zone would be a distant memory, obliterated. I would test myself, and I'd thrive or perish. I would find out if I'm worth a damn. My life would have meaning. I would truly be alive. For once.

That appeals to me. I have an itch to jump from my cliff and try to fly. Regret is an ugly horrible beast, and that motherfucker is sitting behing me, tickling my back, biding his time before he peels my skin away and chews through my guts.

The clock ticks.

I feel so tired today.

I'd better go buy and read a copy of Into The Wild and try to measure my heart before I go pulling any dumbfuckery.

"Picture me rollin'..." -Tupac Shakur
9:49 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


June 06, 2006 8:26 AM, Blogger Anonysis said...

I feel that sometimes, and funny enough, its usually when things are too comfortable, I don't have enough to complain about or enough to be proud of. Its an ugly middle, its what I call getting a case of the "gotta-go's." Its a defense mechanism, when we feel we don't have the guts to quit that job, or tell off those friends, etc. When those things seem either useless or just to hard. Sometimes you have to forget whats swirling all around, and somehow get back inside yourself, and make that call! Its cliche, but no guts, no glory. Remember in life that whatever happens, you'll deal with it. Your imagination is sometimes scarier than reality. And in your case, probably always.

June 06, 2006 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anita said...

Ah, listen to the prophet Anonysis. For she is wise. You know how I feel about this. Go soar. And your bridge will never be burned with us.

June 06, 2006 8:46 AM, Anonymous jamie said...

la is crap. try a different city.

i totally hear where you're coming from though. i was just thinking about this, and 30 is much closer for me. i like to call it the quarter life crisis. it sucks.

June 06, 2006 10:37 AM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

Yeah, the clock is ticking on my 29th year, and I have not yet reached enlightenment.

If you really feel called to do something different, then I encourage you to do so. I kind of wish that I had taken more risks before settling myself into this bourgeois existence.

But keep in mind too that once you get to LA, it would be about finding a place to live, making money to live there, going to work day after day...everyone who's not into starving on the street winds up having a humdrum routine of some sort.

Maybe you just need some travel and not necessarily a permanent move. Put some money together, see if you can get some extended time off of work and take off for parts unknown. The one place I feel that I really got to spread my proverbial wings was when I had a six-week study program in London. All kinds of crazy shit happened to me, and I wound up dead broke at the end of the trip, but I'd give just about anything to relive those days.

June 06, 2006 11:57 AM, Blogger Nobody special said...

I once up and left everything. My home, my friends, and my daughter.
Call it selfish because it was, but I did it. Once I was alone, I learned more about myself than I ever wanted to know, and I knew, without a doubt, what it was that I really missed and wanted back, and also the things I just didnt care about anymore. I have spent the last 5 years trying to make up for what I lost. Like you said, not everyone welcomes you back with open arms. I'll never get that time back and it hurt a lot of people, but in all honesty, and as selfish as it sounds, I am a better person for it.
Without my family, friends, job, and possessions, I got a good look at me. The good and the bad. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I faced me at my worst.
I was faking life before (I was so lost I didnt know what I wanted), but now I know for sure what I want, and I'm living life genuine.

Probably more than you wanted to know about me, but your words struck a chord.

June 07, 2006 9:43 AM, Anonymous red said...

I agree w/ Jamie...I too suffered through a quarter life crisis (at 26 yrs old-2 yrs ago.), I left a relationship of 8 years, bought myself a Harley, and started anew. I couldn't be happier about the way things turned out, you really need to do what your heart is telling you to do... you won't be happy otherwise. (However, i'm scared to death of where my mid-life crisis may lead me)


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