The Post-Holiday Slump

So I promised you all a bunch of posts when I got back from my trip to London. I’ve now been back for a week and a half, and what have I given you?

Nothing.

This is literally the first time I’ve even opened up a new post to start writing. I just haven’t been able to think of words to put down on paper. It’s not easy, translating all of the amazing feelings and experiences into words.

But oh boy, was it an amazing experience.

The truth of it all is, I’ve been in a post-holiday slump. I haven’t wanted to work on anything. Not my job, or my novel, or even this silly little blog. I don’t want to knuckle down and deal with reality, because I just experienced a surreal ten days that were so unlike anything I’ve ever known. Everything was new and fresh and exciting. Even just getting up in the morning was fun – and that’s saying something, because I am not a morning person.

I walked down cobbled roads through buildings older than my entire country. I wandered through the Tower of London and saw Buckingham Palace at sunset. I lived in a culture so different from my own, a world of royalty and history. I shopped in Covent Garden and saw a play in Piccadilly Circus.

After all of that, can you blame me for being a bit grudging about coming back to the real world?

The thing is, I have to come back. I have to embrace the fact that my holiday is over and it’s time to move on. There are bills to pay and exams to study for, and all of the drudgery of real life is crushing in on me. I’m home and it’s done.

The memories, though, well those are what make even this horrible post-holiday drag worth it.

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Daily Prompt: Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves

What’s the household task you most dislike doing? Why do you think that is — is it the task itself, or something more?

———–

I HATE doing the dishes. Out of all of the chores that need doing around my house, there is nothing I hate doing more than washing up the dishes. Hell, I’ll clean the bathroom before I’ll wash dishes.

When I lived on my own, doing the dishes was nothing. I was the only person eating, so I just washed up my dishes the moment I finished eating. There was no time for the dishes to get gross and smelly.

Now that I’m living with my family again, they have a different idea on how dishes should be done. The plan around here is heap everything in the sink until it’s full, and then load the dishwasher. So by the time anyone gets around to loading, the dishes are soggy, stinky, and covered in a congealed mess of everything that’s been eaten by anyone all day.

Needless to say, not the sort of thing one wants to stick there hand into.

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Paternal Holes

Bastard. Bastard. Bastard.

Although I had only heard the word directed at me twice in my twenty-four years of life, it had followed me long before I even knew what it meant. In my early years I had never suspected that there was anything strange about my family. My mother, my grandmother, and myself lived a comfortable life in a spacious house far more than big enough for the three of us. We had food on the table, I had plenty of clothes and toys, and we were happy.

It wasn’t until I started kindergarten that I first suspected that there was something missing. The other kids in the class would be talking about their parents and I’d tell them about my family. They would always ask me about my father but I always told them I didn’t have one of those.

“But you gotta have a daddy, everyone’s got a daddy.”

“I don’t. I never had one.”

For weeks the other kids’ words haunted me. I had never known a father in my life. Did everyone truly have one? I never even dreamed to think that I had a father somewhere. Finally I made it a point to talk to my grandma about it.

“They told me that everyone has a daddy. I told them that I don’t but they don’t believe me.”

“Well of course you have a daddy.” My grandma’s response shook the foundation of my little child life, tossing everything into a sudden chaos and uncertainty. My young mind had difficulty grasping the concept.

“I do? Then where is he? Why isn’t he here?”

My grandma’s face was suddenly a little sad. My grandma was never sad. “He has some problems, your daddy. He had to go away.”

It would be years before I finally learned the truth of where he went. My father had been an alcoholic and my mom had sent him away because she was afraid he would get drunk and hurt me. He never put up much of a protest and has never again made any attempt to contact me.

“What’s his name?” I managed to ask hopefully.

“Bill.” Bill; a faceless, empty name that is always hovering in the back of my consciousness.

Bill. Bill. Bill.

Bastard. Bastard. Bastard.

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The Eternal NonConformist | An Original Poem

Time; the eternal non-conformist.

No matter how you will it, it always does exactly the opposite.

Its food determines its speed.

A steady diet of joy, excitement, and desire for eternity stimulates it and causes the hands to turn rapidly, pulling those precious moments out from under you like a rug, leaving you stunned, wondering where they went.

As the complete paradox, a helping of apprehension, nervousness and fear can cause time to drag on monotonously, like a horse run too hard, slowly trudging forward, losing momentum, until it collapses to move no more.

No matter how you will it, Time always does exactly the opposite.

The God of non-conformity.

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Ignorance is Not Bliss | Daily Prompt: You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

What is your least favorite personal quality in others?

To put it generally, I hate stupid people.

That sounds horrible, but like I said, it is a generalisation. Honestly the thing that I hate most in a person is ignorance. In my mind, ignorance isn’t so much just the lack of knowledge on a subject but a refusal to learn anything about it. The majority of the greatest social conflicts in the world come from close-minded people refusing to even consider the possibility that there is more to a subject than what they already know.

(Let’s be specific here: I’m talking about subjects that have a definitive right or wrong. I acknowledge that there are some subjects where it is purely opinion and no one can know, for sure, either way – i.e. the arguments of religion.)

I will admit that I have biases of my own. There are some subjects I am less informed on. I don’t understand the majority of what goes on in the world politically, and that’s my choice. My concerns are far more fixated on the social world than the political one and there’s nothing wrong with that decision.

But see, the place where I’m different than other people is that I know that I know nothing about politics, and because of that I don’t engage in political arguments. I never go into a confrontation unless I know that I can discuss the topic with at least a basic understanding of both sides.

So what I really can’t stand are close-minded arguers. People who don’t understand the intellectual side of a debate and merely want to make their opinions known. (My dad is one of these people. I try to have a fun debate and it turns into a knock-down-drag-out verbal brawl. Drives my mom mental.)

C’mon people, learn to use a little civility in discussion, could we? It’d make my world a little brighter 🙂 Please. It’s Christmas, after all.

Stagnant Freedom

Have you ever had those moments where you just take a good, hard look at your life and realise that there’s nothing interesting at all about it? I’m having one of those days. I feel – stalled. Like my engines are raring to go, so ready to move forward, but then I get stuck. Putter out.

The early twenties are such an awkward phase in life. It feels like you’re balanced on a precipice, teetering, so close to something more. You’re not a kid anymore, not a teen with a cheap, minimum-wage job and high school drama. You’re not an adult yet, with mortgages and retirement plans. You just exist. Clawing your way towards something better than what you’ve got, all the while fearing perhaps that this is as good as it will ever get.

Some people have it easier than others. Some people have the finances and support systems to do what they want, to make the most of the liberation of this early adulthood. They study and travel and expand their social lives. They take on internships and build resumes and study abroad. They enjoy and they live.

Then there are the rest of us who are less well off. Those of us who have to work for a living and scrape our way through school. Who have exhausting schedules and little time for socialising. Who can’t take on internships or extra study opportunities because we have bills to pay and need the steady income. Who have fewer opportunities and are forced to settle, at least for the time being, for mediocrity.

That’s where I’m stuck.

And I hate it. Like genuinely hate it. As I discussed before, I’m a restless person. I need movement and adventure and experience. My life dream is to do things. To travel and try new things and meet new people and live different things. I’m twenty-four and I’ve spent my entire life doing the same thing, living in the same place, and even vacationing to the same places. I’ve worked boring, mind-numbing jobs that I can’t gain anything new from. I don’t have the experience to get the jobs I want, and I can’t get any jobs to provide that necessary experience.

I want to travel the world and I’ve never even left the country before. I’ve only visited ten of the fifty states, for God’s sake.

I suppose that’s why I’m so determined to be able to take my trip to England this spring. Not just because I have a friend there who I’d love to finally meet, but because I need to feel like I’ve done something with my life. To have at least begun the journey of my life. I need to get away and experience something new and different. To feel alive.

Because right now I am stalled. Stuck in the open world of the young adult.

Stagnant and free at the same time.

But then again, aren’t we all?

I Hate Black Friday

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I f***ing hate Black Friday.

*breath* Okay now that that’s out of the way, I can talk about this a bit more rationally. Hopefully. I can’t promise that I won’t turn into a giant squid of anger by the end of this though, so be forewarned. It could happen. It most likely will happen. I can almost guarantee it.

So just a quick summary in case you’ve been living under a rock or you’re one of my lovely international readers who don’t have any idea what the hell I’m talking about. Black Friday is an American “holiday” the day after Thanksgiving when all of the stores have massive discounts so people stand in lines all night and then trample each other to death to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not, and that’s the problem.

I’ve always disliked the idea of Black Friday. As a kid it was simply the confusion of why people would stand around all night in the cold just to get a few cheap toys, but as I’ve gotten older it’s become more than that.

To break it down simply: The very day after we are all so thankful for the things we have, we beat each other to death trying to get more.

Does that seem like hypocrisy to anyone else, or is it just me?

And the biggest problem, sadly, isn’t just the blatant hypocrisy. It’s the fact that I’ve been using terms like ‘trample’ and ‘beat’ and I’m not just being overly-dramatic. People genuinely do fight to the death over these Christmas gifts. When the doors open, there are shoppers and store workers who get trampled by a crush of eager bargain hunters. It has become something of an accepted norm. People just shrug and say, “It happens.”

That’s disgusting.

It’s disgusting that we can keep condoning something that causes people to turn into stampeding wildebeest, crushing everything and everyone in their path. It’s disgusting that we can turn a blind eye when a woman pepper sprays a crowd that included children just to get her hands on an Xbox. It’s disgusting that there are people shooting each other over parking spaces. And it’s absolutely revolting that people don’t stop to help, that when emergency services show up the shoppers continue to fight for their presents and impede these people trying to save lives.

Did you know that one Black Friday rush back in 2008, in one Wal-Mart in Long Island, that not only was one worker trampled to death and several more injured when customers broke down the doors early to get in, but they also jostled one eight-month pregnant woman so badly that they caused a miscarriage?

How do we continue to allow these things to happen? Are we that greedy that we feel the few dollars saved on a present are worth people’s lives? Has human kind really sunk so low?

I am feeling particularly anti-Black Friday this year because of a new thing that’s becoming widespread and common. A majority of stores are opening, not at midnight on Friday morning like usual, but on Thursday evening. That’s right, they are actually opening up Thanksgiving night.

While we’re supposed to be home, visiting with family, indulging in turkey and wine, and enjoying all the wonderful things we have been given, there will be millions of Americans this year out fighting in the cold to save a few bucks on toys and clothes. Not only that, but this means that stores will be staying open, forcing millions of employees to work among these deadly crowds while they should be home with their families.

So much for the spirit of the season, huh?