Hold the Glimmer

Posts Tagged ‘struggle

 

It’s been a rough one, glimmies.  I’m sure all three of you were well aware of our absence (please just let me believe you were at least.. I need SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN right now….), but SHIT has gone DOWN in the last month and I haven’t had enough time to formulate words in to a post.  Let me rephrase that- I’ve had MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME to write a post because I am officially unemployed.

 
yep.
 
Dream company? see yuh.
 
How did this all happen?  Well, I’m still in a haze of “unclear”, followed by shock, and the inevitable depression.  I wish I could write a series of events leading up to my “departure”, but I genuinely have no idea how it happened.  I was never warned, I was never counseled, hell I was being praised on a daily basis.  I guess not being “the right fit” in a group of 40+ year old scorned women, means I’m not ready to dedicate my life to being…a 40yr old..scorned woman?  Maybe my boss didn’t like exclamation points after my “Thanks” for the 20 Lakers tickets, handful of Clippers games, soccer games, concerts, or other notable events.  Maybe the board meeting I single-handedly prepared for 4 people (that turned into 12…the day of the meeting…at the penthouse of the Ritz…) wasn’t up to par, but the grateful emails from all attendee’s seemed to validate a good job?  Maybe he wasn’t happy that I was on vacation in the desert, sitting in my car, on the phone with the travel agency for over 30 minutes, scheduling same day flights and hotel accommodations to Texas and then a quick day stop in New York? Maybe I just wasn’t good at creating an entirely new filing system on my second week, purging an entire 4 foot cabinet of unnecessary files, and filing 6 years worth of stuff his last assistant “forgot” to do. Maybe learning their expense reporting program on my own and presenting him with an expense report for a months worths of receipts ( ON MY EIGHTH DAY) that i took it upon myself to track down from various hotels and restaurants across the country because his last assistant “forgot to do one and couldn’t find the receipts”….wasn’t good enough for him?
 
Who. knows. 
 
All I can remember is an HR rep walking in to his office at 4:15, his door opening at 4:30, and a calm “Hey Tracy, can you step inside my office for a minute” from ex-bossman, followed by “you were an incredible employee and we hope you can find another position within the company, but….” Then some blah, blah, blah, and ex-bossman interrupting HR rep with “I’m really sorry, but I’m late for a meeting.”  He stood up and walked out.  I didn’t get a hand shake.  I didn’t get a thank you.  I didn’t get an “I’m sorry.”  Just like that, it was done.  The HR rep asked for my badge, my parking pass, and told me I wasn’t allowed to touch my computer “for security reasons” and to grab whatever I could off of my desk.  She handed me a parking validation to get out of my lot.  And then, I left.  Just like that.  No tears, until I turned the corner on my last walk to my parking structure, where I started bawling uncontrollably and sprinting to my car.  To make matters even more comically worse, the validation I was given was expired.  I COULDNT EVEN EXIT THE GODDAMN PARKING LOT.  I drove around feverishly, trying to find a parking attendant, who then told me I would need my original parking pass to exit.  I tried to stay calm, but instead yelled “I JUST FUCKING LOST MY JOB AND I WANT TO GET OUT OF THIS FUCKING PARKING LOT.  THIS IS ALL THEY GAVE ME.  OPEN THE GATE BEFORE I DRIVE THROUGH IT.” And she did.  And I drove home, crying uncontrollably, calling my mom, calling my friends, yelling at drivers at the top of my lungs with the windows down, being THAT GIRL on the afternoon commute home.
 
(ps writing this is totally NOT THERAPEUTIC, DUKE.)
 
I’m so embarrassed.  I’m also pretty sure that’s the reason I’ve failed to inform MANY of my friends and family.  I just……ugh…I felt so important. I felt like the coolest kid in class being able to call friends on a whim to join me at the game that night, or for a concert, or whatever AWESOME thing was given to me for that night or weekend.  I know that friendships are more than some REALLY AWESOME GAMES, but to be able to give that to somebody?  Fuck man…it was just so damn cool.  I felt like a rock star.  Every. Night. Of. The. Week.
 
and then it all just… disappears.  Do you realize how difficult that is?  
 
Fortunately for me, I have the absolute most incredible support system in the world.  My meltdown lasted all of 22 hours, followed by the best soul-searching dinner of my life with Duke (granted, we were knee-deep in Tennessee honey (ie: whiskey…keep up kids..))  Duke, being one of the wisest in my arsenal of friends, reminded me that not only do I now have the opportunity to do whatever the fuck I want, but I can also go back to school and finally get my degree.
 
So, that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to pursue my dream of writing (without three hundred run-on sentences. ((HA or triple parenthesis! (((LIES.))) Who knows, this whole blog may take a new form of Community-esque amazement? I can’t even begin to imagine my new daily character encounters! Maybe it wont? All I know is that I’m holding the glimmer, as strongly as I can.

Step in to My Office…

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One would think taking some serious time off from writing would provide an opportunity for thoughts and ideas to cultivate in the mind.  One would think…
 
I can’t say with any degree of accuracy where or who I’ve been since I last disgraced the interwebs with my complaint-laden gibberish.  Hazy snapshots come to mind, but much like a conversation with my parents – I can never divulge anything more than generalities and insignificant details.  I’d like to say that I’ve grown as a person, learned about myself and the world, gained culture and wisdom and understanding; but the reality is I’ve burned off too many brain cells to have possibly gained anything more than an early onset of alzheimer’s and a lifetime ban from… well, it’s not important.
 
Lately I’ve been wondering how much is too much?  How far is too far?  At what point do we stop pushing the limits of public intoxication and weekend warriorhood?  When do we make the jump from running-into-the-stands Ron Artest to sweet charitable goofball Metta World Peace?  What the fuck does Metta even mean, anyway?  (Editors note: I’ve decided that Metta is my new favorite word and officially a new glimmer game.  See how many times you can use that word in a day; via email, casual conversation with your boss, to the girl crying in the bathroom stall next door…you get the picture. Game on!)
 
Maybe I was supposed to cut the shit after college, but it has only gotten worse – or better, depending on your perspective.  These days I have money to party in ways I always wanted when I was a broke student living on spaghetti and Italian dressing.  Now, every year feels like a competition to outdo last year, and the result is always the same – I’m the big winner.  The best is yet to come, which is both exciting and frightening, because as I keep surpassing myself – I’m almost positive that my body is losing.  It has to be.  Something has to give at some point.  It’s only a matter of time…
 
Normal people chalk up their hazy years to youthful rebellion and move onto the long boring phase of domesticity as a result of their ensuing maturity.  They get real jobs, settle down, have kids, and everything else takes a backseat to “life.”  I’ve started a career, not a star-studded one, but a career to be proud of nonetheless.  One that requires me to be a responsible upstanding adult, which I appear to be during work hours.  I’m surrounded by nice people – friendly grown folks who work hard even on their days off, pick up their kids from school, pay their mortgages, remodel their homes, and occasionally play golf or poker if they have a couple of hours free.  Nice people – fucking squares.  Did they start off that way?  God forbid.  Was it a gradual breaking of the exuberance and spirit that once had them preaching free love and Tuesday night skinny dipping?  It seems that even the ex-hipsters and night owls eventually sold out in the name of practicality and parenthood – two concepts with which I’m entirely unfamiliar.  
 
The other night I tried something completely outrageous and out-of-character.  It was despicable, unforgivable; my parents would be proud.  I stayed home, and did nothing.  Actually, I stayed in my hotel room.  I’m living at the Marina Del Rey Marriott right now, not that it matters or that you care – it’s just a detail to flesh out the story.  So, on a weekend night (it was Thursday, but I had Friday off), I sat in my hotel room, ordered room service, and watched my view of the pacific ocean with its sandy beaches and docked sailboats.  It was quiet, serene; just lovely.  I remember thinking, which is already a big deal for me… “Maybe I can do this – mellow out and step back from the edge.”  I’ve always been attracted to the locomotive lifestyle of monsters and rockstars.  All my heroes had the grit to push their limits, and as a result cranked out some incredibly profound bodies of work.  But, then again, all my heroes are either dead or in rehab.  Perhaps there’s something to this simple life of sobriety.  It seems a moment can be enjoyed without slurring obscenities over loud music, or offending patrons at late night diners.  Of course by 10pm I was absolutely bored with the view, the television, the room, the book I brought, and myself.  I hit the 8th floor for some free concierge Chivas, and the rest of the weekend was a blur from that point on…
 
Some might call that a failure in abstinence.  Clearly I’m a little off when it comes to prioritizing my free time.  My idea of fun can range anywhere between high-fiving dancing midgets to looking into the very face of God (sometimes in the same night).  In the middle of a year when I’ve lived harder than ever before, asking to stop and smell the proverbial roses is a tall order.  In all honesty, it feels like the only time I have to reflect on this hellish existence is the thirty minutes after pouring myself into my desk chair, before the calls start coming in and the meeting notices pop up for the day.  Break up the monotony of work through play – earn the right to play through work, and sleep when necessary.  Sounds great, but every system or schedule heads toward chaos.  A wrench in the machine, or a week or two off the grid might be just the necessary break it takes to perpetuate the craziness and keep the plates spinning in the air.  Hah, a week or two… I could barely stand four hours.  Like any exercise though, one can’t just max out right off the bat.  You build up.  So my four hours can be expanded to an entire evening, and eventually a weekend, and then a whole week.  A whole week… I can feel the neurons regenerating at the thought.  It sounds like madness comparing relaxation and sobriety to working out, but I suppose some people have to try to eat more pizza, watch more television, and remind themselves what a sunset looks like through fresh clear eyes.   
 
So I do admit, a holiday (that’s English for vacation) from the insanity is in order, but I don’t plan on slowing down permanently anytime soon.  This year will pale in comparison to next year, and that’s just how I like it.  How far is too far?  We’re not there yet.  Taking a break gives me the chance to reflect on the good times passed, and plan bigger and better ways to conquer the night.  This has nothing to do with rebellion, or having trouble appreciating myself, or running away from any deeper issues.  I know what I’m looking for – to fulfill a dream – the American Dream, the fucking Global Dream.  The dream of participating without restraint in the human condition.  To use up the body I’ve been given tasting the fruits of life all over the world.  The operative word for the unattainable here would be balance.  Personally, I don’t believe in it.  If everything is in equilibrium and you’re feeling comfortable, you’re probably sleeping too much.  At our age, only the flounders feel any consistent level of comfort.  Monsters thirst for more – not as an indulgence in gluttonous bullshit, but as a quest for the kind of experiences mere mortals only see with their eyes closed; not to repeat the same fun and games until we grow tired and give them up, but to challenge ourselves to break out of the box we live in and truly feed our souls.  When my time is up, I won’t be looking back to say I missed out by sitting on the sidelines.  What would be the point?  To live in consistent boredom until the end of time, in hopes that heaven will make up for everything that passed you by on Earth?  Sounds a little uncertain to me.  Because when I finally do settle down – it won’t be because I was too scared to find what I really wanted.  In the meantime, I’m going to test my tolerance for discomfort by taking deep breaths and experiencing some calm.  And if you see me sitting there obnoxiously tapping my feet, it’s not because I’m fiending – it’s just to remind myself the ground is still there…
 

This is my life

 

   Here at HTG (Hold the Glimmer…see how I did that…we already have an abbreviation!!!), we have an interest in keeping you entertained, maybe even mildly amused.  While there has yet to be and most likely never will be a rhyme or reason to any of this blogosphere madness, we are genuinely interested in making this site a worthwhile click in your day.  In the last few weeks, we’ve realized there may be more than 4 regular readers, and while that’s close to the most awesome thing I’ve ever experienced, it also scares the shit out of me for two reasons: 1.You may actually enjoy the site, meaning I have to follow through with commitments and write, and 2. Well…ok..so there is only one reason.  But, I’m a people pleaser.  Do you see how well this relationship is working out already?  We have every intention of keeping this site awesome, and welcome any and all feedback, comments, knock knock jokes, even a little inspiration at holdtheglimmer@gmail.com, not to mention- we’re on that twitter thing @holdtheglimmer! And with that, Hold the Glimmer has the distinguished honor to introduce you to one of the finest degenerates Los Angeles has to offer, my good friend and HTG’s new feature writer, Duke.  Hold your applause, please.

 

     It seems like every great author started off composing stories about drunken struggling writers – themselves.  Hemmingway, Bukowski, Thompson – drunk, drunker, and druggie – all started out writing about how lost in the world they were as failed journalists and story tellers.  No wonder I identify with these degenerates so well… as a drunken struggler, I also fancy myself a writer, or at least someone with the gift of linguistic artistry.  But a writer without a topic is like a painter without a picture in his head or a naked muse on his couch – he’s just another alcoholic.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shortage of subject matter on which to pontificate these days…  Our political discourse is crumbling.  Our international relations are falling apart.  Our heroes are dead or making GAP commercials.  The prospect of finding true love in our society is about as real as Charlie Sheen’s respect for women.  And, it seems like the Earth is trying to swallow us whole after years of getting raped and abused by the big dick of industrialization.  Jesus H. W. Christmas, are you as depressed as I am yet?  No wonder there’s nothing to write about – every time I try to put a pen to a paper I have to go searching for a tissue!  I start off thinking to myself, “tonight I’ll have a drink and do some writing.”  Then a drink turns into four or five… I watch the news for some inspiration… lose all hope; take an ambien and go to sleep. 

 Then, one morning, a dear friend asks me to write a piece for her blog.  No problem, right?  Well half a day’s work goes by (the day goes by, not the work, it’s still there) and it finally occurs to me!  I bitch about not writing because I don’t have the inspiration.  So, I’ll start where my drunken forefathers started – with the struggle.  See, the only real difference between someone striving to write (me), and a normal person, is that a normal person doesn’t feel the need to make excuses or hate himself for not writing.  In the last year, I’ve written as much as this cup of tea I’m drinking.  That kills me inside, because I know I have the ability.  I look at the world around me and note some astute observations, but just as soon as I think I have a grasp on some concept, my point alludes me and I’m back to staring at three dots at the end of a sentence…

That’s when you search the bottom of your scotch glass for a quick tangent.  Speaking of which, The Flintstones WAS Liz Taylor’s last movie (or as far as I’ve seen, her only movie).

My favorite part of telling people I’m a writer though (fuck you, don’t judge me – sometimes you have to lie to be interesting) is when they ask me, “What do you write?”  I usually say children’s books about drug safety and proper usage of profanity.  Then when they settle their feigned outrage, I admit that I just scribble philosophical musings and fiery political rants on the back of cocktail napkins and TPS Reports.  Hey, I may not have a strong audience, but right now it’s more about keeping sane than about getting published. 

I guess it’s not so much that I’m a writer, at this point I most certainly am not.  I’m more like an observer of life and the world.  Sometimes those observations amount to lengthy pieces I aspire to turn into articles and books… and other times they sum up to a twelve word status update that nobody comments on (assholes).  The point, if there was one, is that – no matter what keeps you up at night, be it lack of creativity or the presence of strong drink – we all start out with the struggle.  And this is where mine begins…

 

(Glimmer- held.)


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