Temperature Check: You’re Hot Then You’re Cold

13 Aug

Today I want to be a desktop publisher. I want to be this even though I am not quite sure what one does exactly.

Yesterday I wanted to be a creative nonfiction writer. I wanted to write articles like Mary Roach writes books. Except, you know, different.

The day before that, it was an architect … even with the extra five years of school to slog through. This from the girl who swore up, down and sideways she wouldn’t set foot on another campus for the rest of her life.

Tomorrow it will probably be small, environmentally friendly cookie business owner again. This particular future has done some evolving even Darwin would be proud of since its inception as a storefront bakery.

I belong in a Katie Perry song. How depressing.

It makes me feel like the kid I was: frantically back-peddaling to keep my sister from telling Mom about some senseless shenanigans I got kid-me into. I change my story so often I can’t keep track of who knows what version. I’m sharing the bottom of a deep, dark, scary pit with the compulsive liars among us, but I’m telling the truth every time. I do want to be an architect, baker, writer and publisher. I’m just afraid to pick one.

I’m afraid to be boxed in.

I don’t want to end up regaling friends with updates about how often my cubicle-mate picks their nose or how many times my boss steals my coffee cup. I don’t want to need a coffee cup–my coffee cup–or feel protective of said coffee cup. I don’t even want to drink coffee.

I want to be the one at reunions with tales of far off travels, or crazy interviews I’ve conducted with the people sighting UFOs over Rosewell. I wan to be the odd one out, the one who’s done all those things everyone else says they wish they had but were too chicken to do. I want to shave my head again while surfing the ice flows of Somalia. If they even have ice flows that are surfable in Somalia. If you can even surf ice flows. Then I want to come back and tell everyone about it.

I don’t want to be boxed in, yet I dream of a shared apartment and movie nights complete with chinese takeout from a place with actual white and red cartons from which my flatmate and I will eat directly with chopsticks artfully gripped between our fingertips. I want to complain to said roommate in this imaginary apartment about my nonexistent boyfriend’s latest non-flaw flaw and laugh about how dorkily ridiculous a couple we make. I want to put up photos and pick out paint chips and plan parties.

I don’t want to be boxed in. I want the life, the adventure, the friends and the guy. I want the Hollywood ending.

So I find myself unable to take a step. I pursue all options at once, hoping to see a way forward to this brightly painted life of my imagination. Maybe someday I’ll wake up crystal clear with determination: choices made, full speed ahead. Then I can really join my peers in the gritty mud of job prospect hopes dashed and miserable hunt fatigue. Then I can speak from experience about cardinal interview sins and creative cover letter writing. Then I can really count myself among the unemployed liberal artists that make up our generation.

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One Response to “Temperature Check: You’re Hot Then You’re Cold”

  1. Emily August 14, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Leslie: chocolate orange cookies can be a flavor! They are AMAZING!

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