Sunday, June 29, 2008

What the hell is this? Homesickness?

My eyes hurt from crying.

You’re probably thinking that I cry about everything – parking spots, furniture, gas stations…I swear, I am tough shit, but it’s the little things that take me overboard. For example, I was perfectly composed through the whole car breaking down and dealing with the tow truck thing. But that was just one of several things that compounded this week.

After a busy Thursday with a video shoot and audition, then giving tours all day Friday, you’d think having nothing I absolutely had to do yesterday would be a good thing. But, no, it wasn’t.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a morning person and the first thing I have to do in my day is the first thing I do. So on a day I have nothing to do, I do nothing. Yesterday I slept till like noon-thirty and then dealt with emails while instant messaging with my man until two thirty or three. All of this transpired in my bed! In my defense, all I have is a small loveseat. No dining or patio table. No chairs. No where else to really lounge.

You’re probably thinking, “Okay, sounds great! What’s the problem?” The problem is that I felt like a huge loser. I know me – I’m not the motivated person that people seem to think I am. I should have reread a play and memorized a scene for my acting class. I should have been learning more material about Universal, as the busy season creates lots of “stalls” on the trams and I simply do not know enough information to cover my ass. Had I been online sooner I may have gotten some extra work with Disney, I should have mailed some follow-up postcards to casting directors, dropped off my dry-cleaning or at the very least gotten some makeup on my ugly face in time to go to the pharmacy and pick up a scrip. I didn’t even write an entry on one of the million topics I have stockpiled for this damn blog!

It’s a funny thing when self-loathing pours over you – it must take massive amounts of energy to generate the most depressive of emotions, but not a single scrap of energy prevails to actually motivate you to do any of those things you’re so tormented about not doing! I just can’t help but think things like, “To be successful in this industry, you have to be a go-getter! But you’re in pajamas at two in the afternoon…”

At three o’clock my time my boyfriend got off work and we chatted via webcam once he arrived at home. I watched my cat hop onto his lap, carelessly whipping his orange and white tail across my boyfriend’s nose. I started talking about the details of bringing my cat back to LA when I fly home for a friend’s wedding, but when my boyfriend mentioned “[the dog] will miss him,” my eyes instantly filled with tears.

Everything about relocating my cat sooner than my boyfriend and the dog is selfish. There’s no sense in taking him out of a larger home that he’s comfortable in, with an old dog who needs his companionship, only to have to give him some sort of awful sedative for the plane ride, pay a pet deposit and worry that he’d slip out the door under my roommate’s feet. The tears, of course, were not just because it’s stupid to try to bring my cat here, but moreover that I miss everything – the cat, the dog, my boyfriend, my house, my parents, my friends.

I stopped crying and we talked about something else, but a while later I was in tears again. As I dwelled on all the things I should have done that afternoon my boyfriend tired to convince me that I don’t give myself enough credit… That everybody deserves a day off. Funny; he never takes one. I do see his point, but I’m not that busy - I’m not doing that much to justify such laziness.

He showered me with love and compliments and it just caused more tears to run down my face. There was no slow build up of emotion, there was no reason, there wasn’t even anything running through my mind. There were just instant tears.

Again, I’d dry my eyes and move on to another conversation… Then the cat reappeared and to get me to smile my beau sat a shoebox on the floor. After a thorough inspection my cat got in it and curled up, because that’s what cats do. It worked – I smiled. Then I started to cry.

“What the hell is going on?” I asked with frustration, “Is this homesickness?”

I don’t exactly fit my boyfriend's definition of homesick – that being that you not only miss a place and the people in it, but that you’re so uncomfortable wherever you are that you’d give anything to be back in your comfort zone, at the place you call home. I’m actually quite comfortable here; I know this is where my dream career is, and as my boyfriend pointed out, I adapt pretty well just about anywhere.

However, this town is difficult and I’ve had a really rough week. I’d give anything just to have some normalcy. It would be easy and so much more enjoyable if I had my boyfriend’s arms to fall into every night, or even my cat to curl up in my lap purring. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I’m so tired all the time because no matter how hard I try or how much I do, it doesn’t seem like enough.

I don’t feel homesick, because I’ve known all my life that I wouldn’t stay in Ohio. I told my boyfriend, it’s more like the feeling I have when someone dies. That may sound extreme, but that’s what I feel. It’s an emptiness that causes tears to just fall from my eyes without any rationale and a desperate longing to “have things back the way they were.” That doesn’t necessarily mean to be back where I was, but rather to feel what I used to feel and to have what I used to have here with me now. I guess that could be another way to define homesick.

It really doesn’t fucking matter what word defines this feeling, it sucks regardless. It seems like I’ve been in tears consistently every hour or two for the past twelve hours and I’m sick of it. My head hurts, my eyes hurt and it amazes me that I even found the motivation to write this! I think I hoped it would make me feel better, as blogging usually does. The verdict is still out on this one…

Clearly the moral of the story is that I must stay busy as to not make myself crazy with loneliness.

I did get out of my pajamas and walk to the grocery store but I forgot the cookie dough that I went there for! I realized it half way back to my apartment as I sipped my Starbucks vanilla-mocha… So I guess I got my sugar fix anyway, but in terms of emotional comfort food, it was not at all the same.


Amber said...

Abby, thank you for being open and honest about the things in your life. I can only imagine the heartache you are experiencing in LA, and while I cannot say the same for myself, I can tell you that sometimes here in IN/OH it is not much better. Fleetwood just layed off 300 people. Thunderbird is expected to make a large layoff at the end of July (where my husband's sister works). And Tu-Way in Rockford is cutting hours and jobs also. I have an undergraduate and a graduate degree from BGSU (both business-related) and right now they are absolutely worthless. I have a job with a company in Celina that is automotive-industry related (your bf's company is probably one of our thousands of customers) and I work a split 11-8 shift at a job I absolutely hate. I go home many nights tired, upset, and wallowing in self pity that I went to college for 5 1/2 years with nothing to show for it except a pile of debt. When I graduated for the second time, I narrowed my job search because I did not want to move out of the area. Although my husband was extremely supportive of the option of looking for employment elsewhere, I didn't feel it right to deprive him of being near his family. I also wasn't sure at the time that I was ready to leave mine. I graduated in December 2006 from my master's program and it took me 6-7 months just to find the job I have now. It doesn't pay all that well, and quite frankly 95% of the people in my department have no post high school education. I'm not blaming everything on the fact that I chose not to leave the area, but that's where a majority of my problems started. It takes a lot of balls to do what you did, and for that I are courageous, talented, and someday I will see a movie or tv show and say "hey, i know her" or "hey, we were in all state one year" or "hey, i used to play for her voice lessons in college". Like the lyrics from a famous gospel song, "you'll never walk alone" have so many people rooting for you - you can do this and you'll do great. God bless. AM (AL)

Anonymous said...

I was watching a rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond" last night and his sister-in-law was in the kitchen eating cookie dough out of the plastic tube. hahahaha
I've done it as well=choc. chip.
As for crying, #1 After you reach menapause, it won't happen so often as this tends to be cyclical.
#2 I am touched that you miss your pets so much (and your boyfriend too) because I work with a lot of animals and one of the benefits is helping people who love animals and receiving their gratitude. Living without people and with pets has convinced me that life is better and easier with animals.
#3 Everyone has these ups and downs and if it doesn't go up, you can come home (your mother told me to say that--ha ha not really).
NM xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Hey Amber,

I know what you mean about feeling like your degree is worthless; we just have to keep telling ourselves that one of these days we'll be glad we gave the time and money to get them... hopefully.

Just today, my boyfriend told me that Chrysler in Toledo is taking a SEVEN week shut-down instead of the usual two. His dad works there, but is luckily not effected.

The economy is rough right now, especially in smaller communities. I suppose in some ways I'm lucky that my career goals took the guess work and difficult decision making out of my hands - I always knew I had to leave.

The good news is you're young, and if your husband stays supportive, who knows where you'll end up! I heard from an old friend I graduated high school with (EW) who recently packed up and moved to Seattle!

Anyway, thank you so much for the confidence and encouragement! I really do appreciate it... That's the funny thing about moving away, you almost become more connected to both your family and people from your past. Or maybe that's just a result of having a blog. Either way, thanks and it's great to hear from you!


I can not begin to tell you how much I miss my animals, not to mention the backyard birds I used to photograph. All I get on my balcony here are doves and pigeons. As you know we have a Great Dane and quite frankly, I scoff at little dogs; they annoy me. But, to my surprise, I miss my dog so much, I even find myself fawning after other people's little dogs on the street! LOL!

My boyfriend originally wanted me to bring the Dane with me for several reasons - she's old and the warm weather would be good for her bones, she was very attached to me and he doesn't feel someone who works his hours should really have a dog by themselves. However, since I didn't have a place lined up when I moved, it didn't work. Plus, it would have made the trip more difficult, she wouldn't have a yard anymore and we had no idea if my schedule would end up being better or worse than my boyfriends.

Now that I'm here I've found most apartment buildings have a freaking weight limit, if they allow dogs at all. Although I'm in a year lease, he's trying to sell our Ohio home and I'm constantly asking people with big dogs where they live!

Anyway, like you I have always had a deep connection with animals and I feel such a void in my life right now. To make matters worse, when I think of my dog and cat, I am more frequently also thinking of our puppy that died unexpectedly last year... To try to help, I registered as a volunteer with the Human Society, but haven't heard anything from them yet. :( Hopefully soon!

As for coming home, it would be my dad petitioning people to convince me to do that! My mom accepts that this is the reality. lol!