feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
via [personal profile] firecat.

How it works: You comment, and I give you an age to ask about. Please let me know how old you currently are!

I was given 32. This was 5 years ago (2008). Not much has changed since then!

I lived in:
A 4-bedroom house in suburbia.

I still live there.

I drove:
A silver '05 Mini Cooper S.

Same.

I was in a relationship with:
[personal profile] kirin

Same.

I feared:
Sharing personal information with anyone, presenting vulnerability.

Same, with added fear that someone I love will die without me being able to say goodbye (including the cats). Being stuck in a rut.

I worked at:
A local health department, as a pharmacist.

I am currently not gainfully employed. I'm writing, though.

I wanted to be:
A writer.

I still want to be a writer, and I want to live in Berlin.
feuervogel: (enemy birds)
Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like if I'd been born to parents who believed in the value of education.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like if I'd been born to parents who knew what to do with a gifted child.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like if I'd been born into the middle class, not the working class.

If I hadn't had the main notion of "I need to study something that will help me get a job that pays well," maybe I'd have gone into German 20 years ago.

But I also wouldn't have had the experiences that led me to have a passion for identity, belonging, liminality, and all that.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like if I'd gotten good advice as a kid, if I hadn't learned at an early age that mom wasn't useful for advice, if I hadn't labored under the idea that I had to figure everything out for myself because I didn't know there were people who *could* help you out.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like if I'd been raised by someone who understood geeky kids, who understood that her kid's social needs are different than her own, who didn't think I was lying when I told her that smoking in the car made me cough really badly.

Sometimes I wonder what I'd be like if I'd actually gone into something I had a passion for 20 years ago, rather than doing the working-poor kid's thing and following the money.
feuervogel: (heart's desire)
As in, what the fuck am I doing with my life? And this icon is rather appropriate (and damn if the book it's from isn't appropriate, too).

Monday I'm going to the NC Association of Pharmacists annual meeting, in part to get CE (which carries over into next year), but mainly because I want to talk to the exhibitors and see if any of them are hiring. I can also find out more about the various committees, two of which sound interesting to me.

I joked to myself a few weeks ago that if I didn't get anywhere after the meeting, I'd consider going back to school.

I read a letter to the editor from one of the professors at UNC's department of city and regional planning in support of the transit referendum, so I looked at their website. It sounds really interesting, but what kind of jobs can I do with that? I don't know. (There's also a dual degree program with SPH in the health behaviors department, which is also relevant to my interests.) I love cities, I love public transit, I love smart growth; I'm not interested in relocating anywhere within the US to get a job doing that. (Which is kind of my main problem I guess.)

If I wanted to follow my interests, I'd go study history, but in order to get into the history graduate program, you have to have a background in history, which I don't. I'd want to study 20th century European (specifically German) history, though I don't know if I'd want to focus on WW1 or the Cold War. But to do that, I need (probably) to have studied modern European history. You have to write an analytical essay in your application :P

And there's no way in god's greenest hell I'm doing another bachelor's degree.

So, I'm 36 years old, highly educated, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life.
feuervogel: (crowley eternity)
I've been skipping anime club lately, partly because I'm not excited about what's on the schedule, but partly because I don't know any of the people. There's maybe half a dozen people I want to see (one of whom I live with), a couple more that I like talking with, but I don't know any of the undergrads anymore. I'm not really interested in getting to know them, either.

Maybe I'm just getting too old for that shit. What do I have in common with someone half my age? (Aside from liking cartoons, but none of the kids like any of the shows I like. They're too old, too weird, too boring.) The only young-COUPer I can get along with is G, who's 19, but I can never remember she's that damn young, because she acts a lot closer to 25. (And I'll offer her a beer, and she'll say, "I'm not legal yet," and I'll go durr.)

I haven't really enjoyed Animazement in several years, and then I mostly preferred loitering or lurking about with other old farts in the over-30 club. I'm glad that teenaged and college-aged geeky kids can hang out and be exuberant and enthusiastic about Japanese cartoons; I was probably an annoying fan when I first became one. It's a phase, and thankfully most of us grow out of it. I just can't handle that sort of energy and nigh-on obnoxiousness anymore.

This is something I was thinking about on Tuesday, when I decided to skip the meeting again (and just download Giant Killing, which holy shit you guise is totally the German National Team this year, no joke), but when I was invited to a party and was sort of meh on going even though I'm home alone and kind of bored and had the long list of email invitees read to me and recognized like 3-5 of the people as people I consider friends (or at a minimum good acquaintances), another half dozen as people I'd say hey to, and the remaining dozen or more not at all, I decided that was a sign I ought to write a post about it.

Which is another reason I'm less than enthusiastic about the beach trip this year (the other major one being SeƱora Crankypants and her diabetes.) I'd hang out with LA & D, and I'm not even sure [livejournal.com profile] shinshan is going. The rest of the people on the list? I either barely know, couldn't point out in a lineup, am ambivalent toward, or actively dislike.

I need another place to make new friends. Because I seriously don't fit in at COUP anymore.
feuervogel: (crowley eternity)
This isn't a well-formulated post, or backed with fancy words. It's not even a manifesto (I wish I were that cool.) It's just something that's been kicking around in my head that I need to get out into words.

If I figure out why I decided to go to grad school, the only answer I can come up with is "because that's what people expected me to do."

If I figure out why I decided to do a residency and spend so much time focusing on clinical pharmacy and diabetes education, the only answer I can come up with is "because that's what people expected me to do."

If I figure out why I've done probably half the things I've done in my life, including get straight As in high school, the only answer I can come up with is "because that's what people expected me to do."

But who did? And did they really, or did I just *think* they did? Some of these "people" have names, professors, mostly, sometimes my teachers. Occasionally my mom (who asked me once, "why's this a B?" 10th grade English was annoying.)

A lot of my problem with wanting to meet others' expectations (which ties into my disappointment squick liek whoa) is probably related to the societal norm that girls and women are pliant and should be available to meet other people's needs. It's a lot of internalized patriarchical crap, no doubt.

Factor in to that that I was always "the smart one" growing up -- and that was my only identity. My sister? She was "the creative one," "the outgoing one." So for *years* I internalized that bullshit and denied that I had any creative talents, abilities, or desires, because that's Sis' domain. My domain was the brain. (She also got a lot of "oh, you're C's sister?" because she was only a year behind me in school. Sure, mom fought like hell to let *her* skip a grade, but not for me. Thanks yet again, mom.)

And smart girls and nerd girls don't do girly things, like wear make-up or dresses or funky shoes. Those are for the normal girls.

These are expectations thrust upon girls, from the time we're small, in hundreds and thousands of implicit ways. Smart female characters on TV look and act one way; good girls do as they're told. It's a whole lot of crap, and it'll probably take the rest of my life to dig my way out of it.
feuervogel: (do not want)
and woken up incredibly stressed an hour before my alarm, which turned into lying in bed awake thinking about how to make the continuation of this contract sustainable (emotionally, physically), and being ready to kick my whiny cats across the room, I think I'm going to have to come up with a nice way to say, "Sorry, no."

I'm 30 pounds overweight. Standing for 8 hours puts a lot of strain on my knees (and ankles, apparently, because last night my ankle became extremely painful.) I'd like to work out, because that makes me less overweight and I enjoy it (I like being strong, and I want to be fit and muscular), but I don't want to tire my legs out before standing all fucking day. And when I get home from standing all fucking day, I don't want to get on my elliptical for 45 minutes, right after dinner and right before bed.

I don't have time to take care of myself psychologically. I know most of my friends are I types, so you probably don't get this, but I need interaction with people to stay sane. It's a huge part of why I was so miserable -- to the point of seeing a shrink and going on meds -- in Oregon. When I get home, I need to interact with Ben, see how my friends in the internet are doing, and triage my email. On a day I work, I have NO TIME to write.

Which is another huge problem! I need to get this writing done. And I need to read a non-fiction book before I can get edits done on a huge section of the novel (those pertaining to IranAlpha Centauri 7.)

Also, and those of you who've been here for a while are familiar with this, I Plan Things. If I don't have something I can plan (a party, vacation, costuming, writing...) I get kinda antsy. (Hello, Judging personality archetype. Fancy meeting you here.) I have a party in 11 days and a rather large vacation in 2 months. I haven't had time to sit down and make a list of what I need to take with me, what I need to buy, make a timeline of when I need to get things done by, and all that shit.

I'm slowly going mad.

Yet here's the major problem: I can't disappoint people. I have a huge disappointment squick. I'm also not the type of person who can leave someone in the lurch. (Which is part of the reason I had such angst about quitting my job last year, aside from the income problem.) They need me, because they haven't got their full time person yet. I see it as a duty, of sorts, to cover this job until they get someone. (Why yes, I *am* ESTJ, one of whose ideal careers is the military.)

But it's costing me dearly. Possibly too dearly. I can feel myself slipping into places I'd rather not be.

But the sense of duty and unwillingness to disappoint are doing their part to keep me from saying no.
feuervogel: (heart's desire)
I grew up ... not poor, I guess, but definitely working class. My mom's a secretary, and my dad drives an 18-wheeler. (They divorced when I was about 9.)

This informs a lot of my insecurities and greatly affected my career path. Rather than study something I really enjoy (German language and literature), I took a rather more mercenary approach: there are jobs in chemistry, which pay decent money. Then after I went to grad school & learned that I suck at research-oriented things, I went into pharmacy.

This is definitely not to say that I don't enjoy pharmacy. Far from it, really. How drugs work in the body is pretty darn cool. I really don't like working in pharmacy, which is rather more problematic. (Interacting with the public? No. Working shifting hours in a hospital? Hell no. That sort of limits my job opportunities, there.)

But after I quit my job last year, I was much happier, even if I stress out over money frequently. Or at least when I haven't had a contract in months and could really use some income.

Where was I going with this? Hell. One problem with hamster-brain is that it goes in weird directions that don't always make sense.

In my quest to be financially stable and the like, I've become ... bourgeois.* I'm a fucking yuppie. I have a 4-bedroom house on 1/4 acre in suburbia. We have 2 cars in a 2-car garage. We shop at the co-op, and are owners. We buy locally-grown produce. We feed our cats the best cat food (made from actual meat).

But there's this part of my brain that worries that someone will figure out that I'm just a prole in bourgeois clothing.

*Technically speaking, petit bourgeois, since I don't own the means of production, just the knowledge inside my brain, which I use to generate income by contracting with those who own the means of production.

Warning:

8 Oct 2009 08:46 am
feuervogel: (katara judas)
I may be committing meta in the near future. I have some thoughts percolating in the back of my mind, and I want to make them whole.
feuervogel: (writing)
Research. There are too many interruptions to get any writing done, but I can look shit up on the internet.

I've been trying to figure out a story about the ghost stations in Berlin, and I think I have. It's about a Turkish girl, whose father brought her & her mother & her siblings there in 198570 after he saved enough money. She can see ghosts. It's also a story about the history of public transit, the U-bahn and S-bahn, and DB, in Berlin. I think it has a plot, even.

With this story, I'm trying something new and exciting: having a story arc mapped out before I sit down to write. I know, crazy. Everything I've written so far, fanfic, the draft of Nothing Beside, "A Game of Empire," has been written starting with an idea. I've been meaning to meta on my writing habits, so be warned. Here's some meta. )

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feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
feuervogel

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