Honestly, I’d Rather Be a Caterpillar.

“I have an existential map. It has “You are here” written all over it.”

Steven Wright

If you have ever had an existential crisis, then you know that you can look calm and serene on the outside, but there’s really an unstoppable fucknado going on inside your brain. I’m going to be fairly candid in these Wednesday blogs because, it’s hump day and who doesn’t like to just spew emotion before the weekend? It’s all a part of my cleansing routine. Inhale deeply, scream like a pissed off rage monster for 30 seconds. Repeat.

I’m in the midst of a year-long existential crisis and dodging the debris of self-doubt, frustration, and boredom is getting very exhausting. I am making progress, though. I’ve finally found a large and very general target to aim my mental arrows at. 6 months ago, you might’ve found me sprawled out on the floor of my Slovak apartment, clinging to a jar of Nutella and sobbing uncontrollably over the death of my college career. Well, it’s not really death… more of a cozy retirement. I graduated. Cue the unenthusiastic cheer of “Hazah”. Now what the hell do I do? That was the big question. Now what? And I can’t tell you how much … HOW MUCH I hate it when other people ask me this question. I hate it so much because I am constantly asking myself that very same thing.

And I still don’t know the answer.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog on a different site of mine about climbing a mountain. When I made it to the top a-huffin’ and puffin’, I was so proud of myself. I felt as if I could conquer anything that was put in front of me. Any challenge. It was so disheartening to size up this mountain before I climbed it. I really didn’t think that I could make it to the top. Obviously, I did (because I’m a boss) and I got to have that amazing, empowering feeling of accomplishment. However, my celebratory experimentation with absinth at the top of this mountain wasn’t planned very well so I spent the entire trip down trying my hardest not to fall face first into rocks. This is where I’m at right now. I climbed and conquered the mountain of teaching overseas and now I’m suffering through the drunken hike down.

Now, I have a new mountain to climb, only this one isn’t as easily defined as the other. At first I thought this mountain was named “Unemployment”, but the more that I evaluate my issue, the more I realize that its true name is something closer to “Inexperience”. Yes, I am unemployed. I could have a job, though, if it didn’t matter which one. I could be a janitor, but the problem is I don’t want everything that I spent 4 years learning and will spend 10 years paying off to go to waste. Let’s face it. My extensive knowledge of the writing styles of Ernest Hemmingway and Flannery O’Conner are not going to bring me any closer to understanding how to get shoe scuff marks out of tile floors. According to society, I’m over qualified for jobs like that but under qualified for the jobs that I want.

Continue rolling on the floor in misery.

Wait. Stop. Despair is for people who have NO skills. I have skills… they’re simply underdeveloped, damn it! Realistically speaking, I can’t just sit around in my parents house, eating Chef Boyardee and doing the dishes so I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Jobs are necessary for survival. Thank the Heavens I have a wonderful family that will help and support me when I am in need.

The more that I think about it, though, the more I am convinced that things would be so much easier if I photo(6)-001were a caterpillar. If life were like caterpillar life, then I would just inch along in my wriggly state of ignorance, go into my cocoon of college, then emerge fully trained and ready to fly off to my first spectacular job. Alas, I am not a caterpillar and I didn’t emerge from my college cocoon fully trained. I came out confused, blinded by the stupid sun and very aware of all the predators that are just itching to chow down on my fluttery flesh.

So what to do? I know I’m supposed to be a damned butterfly, but I missed getting my corporate wings. The obvious solution here is to grab some duct tape and toothpicks and fashion my own.

That is essentially the reason for this whole blog. The only time I feel sane and like I can keep my brain from reeling off into a supernova is by constantly reading and writing. I like being sane (most of the time, when it doesn’t deter my creative genius), so the obvious thing to do is to keep reading and writing. This is my pledge to you, Internet. I plan to USE you to make the biggest, prettiest, and best fracking wings ever seen EVER.

Bring it on. Let’s do this. And all those other cliché one-liners that fictional heroes use.

No more fucknado. No more Nutella misery coma. No more cocoon of fail. Time for awesome.

Much love and inspiration,

Sarah

***If you have any experience with existential crises, or are suffering through one right now, share your pain and your plan for butterflyery. I’m curious to see if I’m just crazy or if this is a common post-graduate thing. Safe circle, remember? No judging. So comment below! I like hearing from you all.***

Writing Prompt #1

 “This is the journey of an aspiring writer. Her ongoing mission: to discover strange new writers, to seek out new poetry and new literature. To write boldly what no woman has written before.”

At least the Trekkies are still reading.

Welcome to Dog Ears & Bookmarks. Each day of the week I will post something different. Some days these posts will be long pieces of writing, other days they will be short assignments. Mondays, for example, will be writing prompt day. I will try very hard to not steal the prompts from the NaNoWriMo page. So bust out your pens, keyboards, tablet and chisel, whatever form of writing you prefer and start a-scribbling.

The purpose of a writing prompt is to test your skills. Writers need to be flexible with their subjects. Whether you are a fiction writer, poet, biographer, or non-fiction enthusiast, you need to be able to write about a variety of subjects. These prompts can be used later in your writing if you find a purpose for them. Who knows? Maybe one of your prompts is the beginning of a juicy new story or an award winning article! Or… maybe it’s dog poop. There’s no way of knowing until you tap your fingers to exhaustion.

I’ll also be writing entries for these prompts, though I won’t be posting them on here for your greedy little eyes to read. However, if you are interested in sharing entries or want help refining your story, please send them to me! I’m looking to boost my proofreading skills in exchange for references! And yes, that is shameless advertising. Everyone needs practice, right? No writer is perfect and everyone has to start somewhere. I’m not ashamed of my lack of experience! So there’s no judging here. Safe circle. And if you do decide to share your writing with me (and I with you), I will not share it with anyone unless I have your permission. I expect the same from anyone I share my writing with! If you share it without my permission and I find out, I shall hunt you down Deadpool style and stick thumbtacks on all your chairs for the rest of your life (because I’m a ninja like that)! Muahahaha.

Back to business. The writing prompt for this week is this:

You are on your way to an important meeting. This meeting can be work related, friend related, anything. It doesn’t matter. On your way there, you discover that your typical driving route is blocked. So instead of turning right for your normal drive, you have to turn left. While you are driving, something unexpected happens.

Write as much as you can! I’ll see you next week with your prompts!

Much love and inspiration,

Sarah