Ground Hog Year

In six days I should hear back from the last school. Irvine. I don’t have very high expectations, and this isn’t just because I didn’t get accepted into any of my other schools, but because it was my last choice school. Let me explain: I didn’t put as much effort into my Irvine application which was stupid I know because I paid them to take my application. It was that I spent so much time and effort into the other schools that Irvine sort of got the fuzzy end of the lollipop (to quote Marilyn Monroe from Some Like It Hot). Now, there is a chance I may get in, but it would have to be because someone saw something in my manuscript that they thought was worth cultivating. Of, course that’s what you need in anything you send out to strangers. People do win the lottery and my odds are better than the lottery (I think).

I’ve been noticing a lot of parallels in my life lately (if parallel is the right word). I should call this my Ground Hog Decade. I’ve been living in Portland now for almost thirteen years. It will be thirteen in August. I never wanted to live here this long. Don’t get me wrong Portland is lovely. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t have so many people moving here from all over. But, I never wanted to move here. And, I never wanted to stay. It’s like I’m in a vortex. A nice vortex which may be part of the problem, but it’s a vortex.

I had been living in Europe for about two almost three years. My grandmother was sick and dying and so I returned to the states to say good-bye. I didn’t intend to stay, but I didn’t have any money. I was staying with a friend in Chico, California when I was offered two choices. One was I could go to L.A. and stay with my friend Alicia. I did study theatre, and did want to be an actress so L.A. could offer me a chance to chase after that dream. The other choice was that I could go to Portland with my friend Sue. I adored Sue. We had met in Garmisch, Germany were I met many of my now still wonderful friends. There wasn’t anything I really wanted to do in Portland, but I had met so many people in Germany that were from the area who said it was an awesome place to work on the mountain. You see, I worked on a ski resort in Germany. I had just got my level one certificate in snowboarding to teach, and I loved the mountain, and I loved snowboarding. I thought L.A. would crush me. I adored Sue, I wanted to be an instructor, and I thought the quiet of the mountain would allow me to pursue my new artistic dream of being a writer. Besides, I was never going to be the ingenue so I thought it was best to be an old lady when I returned to the stage. Still, I wasn’t moving to Portland. I was moving to Government camp.

To make a long story short. Things didn’t work out at Meadows. I ran out of money and I had to move to Portland to find a job because I had no money. I got to teach for about a month and a half, but since that time I have gone snowboarding about five times in the past near thirteen years. I finally sold my snowboard two years ago. And, tragically Sue died six years ago. That part still hurts.

So where are the parallels? In 2003 around this time, meaning February to March, I was working toward applying to a Grad-program (not in writing), and I was living with a woman named Lisa, and I was dating a guy named Caleb who I met on Valentines day. I had just turned 30 on the 25th of February (my birthday always reoccurs crazy enough!) and I was working at a store called Presents of Mind. Over the years, I’ve had other boyfriends, I’ve had other jobs, and other roommates—oh and I didn’t get into that Grad program. Now it is 2013 exactly ten years later. I just had my birthday almost a month ago. I’m 40. You know that age when you’re 16 that you never think you are actually going to reach? That age that when you are in your 20’s seem like ages away? That’s where I am. Right now, I am living with Lisa. I live in the house that she now owns. I work at Presents of Mind. Caleb is back in my life just recently (as friends), and I’ve been in the process of applying and getting rejected from Graduate schools. It’s like nothing changed. Totally weird. I don’t know if I should be bothered about it or not. I was so tripped out about it I dug out an old journal. I’ve been keeping journals since I was fifteen years old. They are pretty resourceful for moments like these. I wanted to find out what exactly I was thinking ten years ago. What did I discover? I’m different now. I think different. Thank God. I was depressed ten years ago. I have a much better perspective, but the environment and the people in it are almost exactly the same. Even Sue was gone during this time. She was living in Japan. I wish she was still in Japan.

What am I getting with all of this Ground Hog business? Well, nothing really. It does validate my vortex feelings a little bit, but other than that I’m not sure if it means anything. I think if I’m still working at my friend’s store, living in my other friend’s house, still getting rejected from Graduate school, and still on/off again with Caleb my ex, in ten years from now, I may return to being depressed like I was at 30.

Where I am now is at an impasse which is where I think I was ten years ago. I can stay exactly where I am and things are good. Which is the problem with Portland. Things are always good. Easy. Nice. I have to force my own challenges. Which require me to apply to things and get rejected a lot. I spend a lot of time not applying to things because I don’t have to because Portland is good, easy, and nice. But, that’s my problem right?

We’ll see if in six days from now life will change because it can happen that fast, but if it doesn’t that’s okay too. My friendship with the ex is not with an ex, but with a friend and that’s good. My home life/roommate situation is good. I have a lot of friends I work with, and I work for people who are pretty much my family, and I have a great schedule, so work is also good. Everything is good. It’s also the same. And, that’s what causes me to frown—just a little.

Everything’s the same, but I have a different perspective so that is where I need to begin.


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