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28 June 2010 @ 08:32 pm
 
Life.

Life is scary. Today I had a terrible day at camp, but I knew I would have a terrible day at camp, and that wasn't the point. The point is that I feel a little bit stuck, a little bit trapped and a lot bit scared.

1) My job is alright. This week sucks because I have a camper who screams constantly, doesn't want to do anything and freaks out all the other campers. Another camper just declares everything boring and should be at some sport camp. The four girls want to do crafts. I don't know how to lesson plan for a kid with an IEP, I feel ill-prepared, I'm going to ask Mycorrhizae for help lesson-planning and will ask if I can use one of the extra staffers in the afternoon when the Discoverers have gone home. I dread tomorrow partially because of this, the fearing-each-moment-I'm-alone-with-my-campers-because-it-feels-terrible sort of thing. It isn't necessarily new to me.

2) Having a job. This is my second 40-hour, 8-hours-a-day job, same hours on weekdays of around 9-5 (8.30-4.30 in this case). The schedule of it honestly makes me miserable. I'm not able to disconnect my mind from work and the fact that I will be returning the next day, and so my weekday and Sunday nights are basically just miserable. I forget how to be myself and do Kiwi things because I just want to sit and cry. It's not because I hate the job itself (although this week, yeah) but because I hate working in this strict, regimented, predictable way. I feel very trapped.

3) My future. My brain keeps trying to convince me that this misery I'm presently feeling is a permament presence that will excist once I graduate. I graduate in a year. I will have a degree in Ecology and Conservation. I don't want an Ecology and Conservation science job. I wouldn't mind indirectly using the information. But my brain keeps telling me, in its oh-so-cutting way, that this grindstone misery is the future I'm facing - forgetting who I am, clinging to what will get me through but losing that under the smallest pressure too, dreading each day and the piling weeks behind it.

4) My friends. I have amazing friends; this is well documented in my life. Tomorrow I have a friend from ENGLAND coming - Jo, who has never been to the States before! I should be super excited for her. If I were of my right Kiwish mind, I would be. But I am so bogged down with the above that I don't feel excited. I just want to sleep.

5) Sleep. It doesn't happen. My mind won't let me sleep unless I drug it, because I am afraid and because waking up feeling nauseated to go to a job I am afraid of is plainly unpleasant. Even with a work crush (and even on an incredibly kind one who gave me a hug today because she noticed it was a hard day). I thought this was just for jobs I detested, like when I was working in a morally-questionable money-hound business owned by friends. It seems not. The nauseau and the morning/evening tears are apparently status quo for working full-time hours, until I can work out my frakked up little brain.

6) My mother. I am taking out my frustration with Life, the Universe and What I've Mentioned Above on my mother. It is easy to convince myself that she's saying The Wrong Thing. I try to express how much of the above is miserable to me and doesn't fit my idea of the future, and I get a lot of answers that I read as a sort of 'you say that now, you'll get what you think you want soon and realise it isn't and change your mind, and I know all this because I am very wise. You don't really know what you want.'

Which, granted, may be true. I am only two decades old - if I spoke to some trees, they would wonder how I'm standing and how come the wind hasn't knocked me over yet? (Answer: it has. This metaphorical wind too.)

My idea for the future: 20s - get over The College Experience. Live with many roommates, don't have a lot of money, buy clothes from charity shops, eat simple meals, whinge about living with too many people, write bad stories, work misc. jobs (with nice atmospheres if I'm lucky), maybe travel if I can scrape cash to move from place to place, drown in university debt and throw whatever money I have to keep it at bay. 30s - look into more specific communal living, look for a more steady but not overly-cagey job, hopefully fall or continue being maddly in love, learn to garden, write marginally better stories, consider publishing, travel occasionally, possibly another hip replacement, consider The Kid Equation. 40s - Formulate the answer to The Kid Equation and take action depending on the answer, if yes look into ways of making more money without feeling miserable. 50s - If not previously completed, settle more with some sort of house somewhere - the cabin in Maine, or buying an older fix-me-up house and inviting families/people/poor college students to come stay (if any of that is possible; if not, reassess). 60s - Congratulations with living that long, be silly, remember to smile, follow the flow of the rest of your life.

With volunteering, activism and peaceful time throughout. So it's not strict; it's not Doctor or Lawyer or Ecological-Consultant-for-the-EPA strict. It's loosey-goosey. I'm loosey-goosey. But pretty consistently, that's what I've wanted. I tend to take the time to reassess every year.

Crazy Christine down the street thinks that because I don't really have the desire to be rich, I'll end up somehow famous and thus rich. I think that's highly unlikely; if it does occur, it'll be time for a reassessment.

I feel like it's okay to know what doesn't fit me, even if it's what most people do in every day life. I know a lot of people call me 'selfish' because they happen to acknowledge that it doesn't fit most of these people either, but that they do it because of their priorities: kids, houses, cars, wanting things. Perhaps I am selfish for those reasons. I don't want other priorities to force me into a lifestyle that I don't want.

I guess I feel I don't fit the systems. The capitalism, the consumerism, the family-solitarianism, the limited spectrum of traditional relationships, the fitting of star-pegs into societal square holes. I'm not requesting anyone else avoid these kind of lifestyles, even if both of us acknowledge they don't necessarily fit. And they do fit some people - I am thrilled for them! Go you, for having found what fit!

I just don't feel very supported in understanding that maybe this isn't for me. Or, as the case is more often, I feel belittled. Many of the comments from people sound condescending. That this is just the little hippie voice in me speaking out for freedom and groovy living, and that I'll grow some sense later, fall into the groove. When I know what it's like to not have much money, live with other people, fall in marriage-monogamous love... That I'm in a phase and life on the other side, waiting for me to fall out of it.

Maybe I'll fit this stuff I see better later on. Maybe the 9-5, 5-days-a-week schedule won't drive me to misery some day. Maybe I'll love the idea of settling into a house with just my own family. Maybe I'll fall somewhere between my hippie-esque envisionied lifestyle and America's renowned (or notorious) Picket Fence Dream. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll surprise everyone, or myself, or both.

But regardless it seems like belittling my present ideas, raising an eyebrow at using the experiences I'm gathering now to glean an understanding of how I'd someday like to live and generally treating me like a silly will-of-the-whim teenager is counter-productive. Not that there's any inteneded product; it just doesn't seemed productive in a positive way toward anything.

But, then, that isn't really what anyone is meaning. I'm just ridiculously sensitive within the little cage of my work-week misery. Oh, negative cycles, you slay me.

Today was the hottest day of the summer thus far. I took sleeping drugs. I want to sleep, but it means waking up tomorrow, and that makes my stomach turn and my eyes fill with tears. It is giving up house of awake miserable time for mindless, nightmared or failed sleep time. None of the options seem pleasant. I suppose I am back in This Place. I'm back in the Waiting Place, but I don't know what I'm Waiting for, because previously this is what I was Waiting for, of course. Isn't that generally the case? And is also what I fear in Life - grasping grasping grasping for an external, situational Happiness when it's already somewhere inside, waiting for me to take a deep breath and clear out the mind-driven misery so I can find it.

That's my life right now. I don't think I should be a teacher.

But Dragonfly gave me a hug today. And smiled at me, and told me I was doing a good job, even though I feel like a failure. That made things better.
 
 
Current Mood: anxiousAnxious.
 
 
 
Wishalight_cascades on June 29th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
Kids with IEPs are tough. It's hard to cater to them without the others feeling left out--especially when you're on your own with the kids. Because my camp isn't geared toward education (we teach them stuff, but it comes in passing, there aren't lesson plans), it's tough for me to help you, because we don't have IEPs, in fact, the parents could pretty much lie to us and say that their child is fine (and maybe they think they are) but the kid comes to camp and is uncontrollable. It's up to us to kind of figure it out--what makes them tick (avoid it) and what calms them down and keeps them focused (even if it's a chat about their favorite animal, or pet... that usually does the trick). Don't beat yourself up, though... you're not supposed to magically know these kids inside and out after a week of being with them. Kids are tough to deal with and handle. I would be lying if I said that every child has listened to me and I've never had to discipline any one.

I guess the best advice I could give with the kid with an IEP is to make sure everything is absolutely clear to him/her with whatever activity you happen to be doing... hopefully he can find something to focus on to keep him/herself interested.

As for the kid who should be in sports camp... well, I feel bad for those kids, 'cause they clearly do not want to be there. It's hard to bridge the gap between where they want to be and where they are... I guess try to focus on similar interests--if there is any way to connect the two. :/ Those children are not my forté, sadly.
Kiwi Crocus: GA's || Robbins || Displeased fishface.cranky__crocus on July 8th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Thankfully I was able to deal with him pretty well! Mycorrhizae told me it was a good week of camp for a week he was in. So I suppose I did an alright job!
(Deleted comment)
Kiwi Crocus: Seasons || Summer.cranky__crocus on July 8th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for backing me up! It always makes me feel better when people do.
seabookmongerseabookmonger on July 1st, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Ohhh loved summer camp. So intense. And the campers. Bedwetters and all.