I had my first guest post on The City That Breeds, which is somewhat of a Baltimore cult classic site. The creator and editor had read this post and liked what he saw, so he said if I ever wanted to write something up for CTB, I could shoot it his way. I was really excited at the prospect, but also nervous because I tend to lock up when faced with writing something for someone else. I had a few fleeting ideas that I couldn’t quite flesh out; the Charm City Circulator (it’s time for the percolator), Baltimore’s free bus, has been great fodder for amusing facebook statuses in the past (like the time I sat in someone else’s pee, or the guy in the purple pimp suit who vomited into a newspaper) but I wasn’t sure how to string all those random occurrences together. Then, during one of my many nights of 3 am insomnia, an idea came to me. I jotted down notes on my phone’s notepad before falling back to sleep. The next evening, I got to work.
You can read the post for yourself, so I won’t summarize it. I will say, that it’s written in a different tone than what I find myself using on this blog, but it needed to fit with the overall feel of the site which is full of snark and sarcasm. I feel pretty happy with it as a first stab into the world of guest blogging. I was told I was welcome to submit other content, so I’m working on developing another story. I started writing up a piece about couchsurfing one day at work and have the general background foundation laid. I just need to work in little stories here and there featuring my Baltimore couchsurfers and the strange things we’ve done. All but one, Van Surfer, who never actually set foot in my house, were cool — but even his story is a funny one (feminists had ruined his life, and the reason why is beyond absurd). All in all, this is a good opportunity to get my name out there and associated with my blog. As the written content section of the site is revitalized to its past glory days, I can hope to get more hits and hopefully a couple people who think my writing is sort of rad.
Plans for Ireland are chugging along. I’ve just about finished the financial aid packet I need to submit, along with the accompanying paperwork, and I paid the deposit last week. As for my cash flow sitch, they extended my contract at work until the end of August AND gave me a raise. I was originally planning to leave mid-July, mainly so I could bum around Europe for a month and a half, but practicality and my grandma’s 82nd birthday have caused me to reconsider. I’m thinking I’ll leave the first week of August now. I’ll still have a month to kick it before school starts which means some time in Madrid to catch up with old friends and guapos and also enough of a head start in Dublin to find a ridiculously small studio that fits my price range.
I’m happy that I have an end goal to keep me going, because despite the positive things going on, I feel like I’m floundering again. My move to Spain helped me to reevaluate the way I was feeling and how I was reacting to a worsening loss of control. When I came back, I felt I had learned more about myself; that I was better equipped to understand the shadows that slowly form in my mind, like a sunset giving into dusk. I managed to create a balanced ecosystem within my head and seemed happy again. But as it seems to go, that one aspect of life coming unhinged causes the rest of the pieces to tumble down with it. I recognize that now, and know I need to take steps to isolate and recenter myself. I think focusing on reading and writing will help with that. Recently, I decided to reread Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and feel I can relate to it now more than ever. I have the habit of dog earring pages that contain passages I find profound and/or relatable. I’ll end with a conversation between Esther and Buddy:
“Remember how you asked me where I would like to live best, the country or the city? And I said I wanted to live in the country and in the city both? And you laughed and said I had the perfect setup of a true neurotic…? If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.”
When faced with this revelation, Buddy tells Esther, who is mostly based on Plath’s own life, that he will fly with her. But, as both Esther and I know, this is a journey for which you need to fly solo.