Life got a speed boost and I’ve been pretty dizzy. My new full-time job, my 26th birthday, my sister’s graduation from high school. I am trying to process what has happened, but the happening is still happening.
I did not know full-time jobs were so draining. How do people do anything else? Nine hours a day, five days a week. I come home and collapse. How do people go back to school? I just want to sleep and eat. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained some weight.
I’ve been given my own nameplate for my desk. I placed it in front of the girl’s name who is on leave. I’m assuming she is having a baby. I often think I’m hallucinating while working. Like how the girl next to my cubicle has different hair every other day or so. Or how people say “good night” in the office when it’s only one in the afternoon. Maybe it’s the mind-numbing effect of looking up and down at the number-filled screen for so long. I try to daydream and write down notes for stories on my yellow lined paper whenever I have a moment.
On the surface, my 26th birthday was just another day of plugging in numbers and filling envelopes. But I’ve also felt a change, which is not something I can say for most birthdays. I felt like I’ve grown and I’ve experienced. I felt like this is an actual marker, a chapter complete or beginning, I’m not sure. But there is bold print and a fresh smell of new book that you want to breathe in.
I’ve been reading Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This is really my second time reading it, but the first time really doesn’t count. I first read it when I was in middle school, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t like it at all. But what middle schooler could appreciate a book about marginalization, poverty, and child abuse? I’m halfway through and I think the best way to describe this reading experience is seamless. The language is simple and beautiful. It has lines like: “I sensed a wrongness around me, like an alarm clock that had gone off without being set,” and “He closed in upon himself like a pond swallowing a stone.” The characters’ struggles are so palpable and carefully rendered, and there were several moments so far where I actually laughed out loud. It is what the grandmother calls “tender-hearted.”
My sister’s graduation was last night and it was bizarre. Not only because my younger sister was graduating from the high school I graduated from and transitioning to a new part of her life, but because of the ceremony itself. The band started out by playing songs from video games, one of which was definitely this one from the Kirby games. I wonder if anyone else caught it. Getting down to the speeches, one of the girls definitely stole stuff from “This is Water” and Daria’s graduation speech. I was kind of pissed off at the overt plagiarism, because it’s not like she was quoting it; she was using it as if it were her own material. She even ended it with: “And there’s no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza.” I was so mad. Was this the valedictorian? I sure hope not. I bet she thought she was so slick and clever, but you were caught red-handed, miss! I told my sister about it, and she said she didn’t even know any of the girls that got up to do speeches. The diplomas were handed out, lots of them, and when my sister walked across the stage, I couldn’t seem to find my voice. I told my family I was gonna boo her, but I couldn’t do that either. I just clapped instead. When she came out of the theater, I tried to make up for it with a good hug.
It’s a long weekend and I need it. I will use it to write until I finish something.