Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Liquor in glass bottles is for rich people.

I have said so many bad things, I want to tell you about all of the good. Because I am doing well and I feel like if you read this blog, you probably think that I am in a partially condemned building crying. That is only half true. I'm not crying.

Last night Earl called and asked if I wanted to hang out. So, we hit up happy hour at the local restaurant we can only afford to drink at during happy hour, then headed to the gay bar for Monday night Karaoke. I told no one where I was going. Just hanging out with Earl. By the end of the night, every single friend I have in the neighborhood, and a few from other neighborhoods, had wandered in and joined our table. What started as two of us, ended with about 12 friends laughing and hugging and having a good time. 

If I get stuck at work, I simply have to sound the alarm and there are 6 different people willing to let out the dog.

When I get home from work, or even on my day off and just need to see a friendly face, I simply sit on the stoop with a beer and wait. Someone will walk by and sit with me. 

One of the guys on the street is getting evicted for stupid reasons that you all don't care about. We rallied around him and he moved in with another friend, I rented a UHaul (I am the only one on the block with a drivers license) and helped him move.

I drive people to the laundromat and the grocery store. They make me dinner when I am too broke or too lazy to make it myself. 

All of these people have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years and are a big, mismatched family. And they adopted me. 

Last night at the bar, my next door neighbor looked at me and said, "I hope that when you get back on your feet and can afford a better apartment, you will stay in the neighborhood. Because you are one of us now." I almost cried. I can't tell you what that feels like. To just know someone is always there. Sure, I know my friends are there for me. Absolutely. But they all have lives. And work normal hours. And live far away. This is easy. We are all right here, supporting one another. 

Towards the end of my relationship with the boy, I got very lonely. It is hard to explain feeling lonely with someone in the next room, but it is the worst kind of lonely. And I was terrified to be alone again when I was already in kind of a bad place. But our little family is all single and all get lonely. They understand when I knock on the door and say I just need a hug. I usually get a hug and a drink and sometimes even dinner. And when they show up on my door step and just need a hug, I happily let them in, hand them a beer and give them a hug.

And now for the really, really great news. I got a new job. With FREE benefits. You read that correctly. I pay nothing for medical, dental and eye coverage. And it pays me more than I am making now. And it's salary. And it's my own kitchen. AND I GET TWO WEEKS PAID VACATION. It is sort of my dream job. Seriously. I have been wanting to work for this restaurant group since before culinary school. No, it's not a chain. Just a bunch of locally owned places under one umbrella.

So. Good things are happening. I have found myself a little family in the hood and a job that means I can afford to actually do this. I am burning all the Ramen and buying a bottle of bourbon that doesn't come in a plastic jug.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I had some friends come over last night and they were the first to officially see my tiny shit hole apartment. I expected very poor reactions. I expected them to gasp in horror then run screaming back to their gorgeous houses in the suburbs. They didn't. They were supportive and awesome and said the sweetest kindest things that I didn't even know I needed to hear. Because here is the thing about being single at 32...it kind of sucks. And I know I am not the only person that has done this and I know that other people have found the one later in life. 

But I want to be single. I don't want to find anyone for a long time. I probably will not have children. At least of my own. The next person I do date will probably be divorced. Or have children of their own. Or be younger than me. I sit and think about these things with zero emotion because I have no emotion to give them. 

People say things, like, "I could never live somewhere without a washer and dryer." or "God, the second floor? All those stairs would kill me." or "You have to walk the dog EVERY TIME he has to go outside. Ugh. I could never do that." or "If I were you, I would have looked harder for an apartment that was nicer and allowed you to keep the dog."

Guess what...this is my reality. Mine. These are my choices. And dwelling on all the negative and all the bad puts me in a place I can't afford to be in. Because then I don't get out of bed and walk the dog. I don't go to the laundromat to clean my clothes. I don't hand wash my dishes. I lie on the couch and feel sorry for myself. 

I find myself saying this phrase all of the time. This is my reality. It's hard and messy and sometimes super shitty. But, it's how I live now. It's who I am now. I am safe. I am happy. But I am doing this. I am living this life and I can't dwell in a negative headspace and fall into a hole I'm not sure I could pull myself out of.