State of the Aeire, 2009
posted by Aeire
(Cross-posted over in the LJ community as well)
I donít really write these things very often Ė honestly, I donít write much about my personal life in here at all, I just post comic updates and try to keep the world a little cheerier (or in some cases, more frustrated). But as Iím moving in on yet another birthday, I figure itís high time I post something again, and let you guys know whatís going on with me.
Saturday is my birthday, and it will be the first birthday without my mother, something that weighs on me every now and again like a lead weight. I used to get calls from her, on my birthday, and weíd spend a few hours catching up on news and talking idly about Harry Potter or the latest horrible thing she saw on television Ė if she were still around, Iíd probably point her at the Secret Life of the American Teenager for some truly god-awful television. Either that, or tell her about Twilight, and fill her in on the Twilight Shanty Town and resulting madness from the San Diego Comic-con.
This year, I managed to get a book published, despite everything else, and it really is an awfully nice book Ė Chris did a number on the cover layout and the page layouts, and the final product is something Iím really, really pleased with. I wish she were around to see it Ė I think she would have liked it, aside from admonishing me for the amount of swears in the book. But the dedication would have made her secretly pleased.
I donít write about the trips I made home last year. Itís still a little too painful Ė even writing about it right now is kind of painful. I imagine at some point Iíll be able to get it all out. Iíd kind of like to Ė if for no other reason than to have the comfort of a few people saying ďYes, itís exactly like that. Iíve been there too, and itís exactly like that.Ē Or giving a few people that comfort.
California has not been kind to me this year. I started out the year in a daze of not really knowing what was happening in my life, because it was so wrapped up in the end of my motherís life, and itís mostly gone downhill from there. I lost my job, and Iíve been unable to secure another one, despite looking and throwing my resume at everything under the sun Ė people just arenít interested in hiring. Or in hiring Ėme-. Iíd like to say Iím one of those people that makes a living off of my comic, but I donít, really Ė I put up merchandise to sell on occasion, but ads and the like really donít make me any additional income.
Speaking of merchandise, this year has been the most annoying, difficult, and hair-pulling experience with the USPS that I have ever had. Mail getting returned to me, mail NOT getting returned to me but not arriving at its location, mail not getting DELIVERED to me (today was the third time Iíve been notified this year that something I had been waiting for was returned to its sender, despite having the correct address on it) Ė Iím not sure what happened exactly, whether the local branch here is under new management or just got hit with a cloud of retarded, but itís pissing me off.
So bills are piling up, one by one, and Iím doing my best to pay them, but itís not really enough. Iíve got resumes in at a few different places that Iíve got my fingers crossed on, but I havenít heard back from them yet. Same old, same old Ė and on top of all of this, my roommate is moving away to England at the end of the month. I couldnít be happier for her Ė sheís really, really happy herself, and thatís about all Iíve ever wanted in the world for her. Iíve lived with her forÖman, about seven years now, and weíre really close Ė sheís like a sister to me, and Iím like one to her. So thereís that whole part thatís really happy for her, and then thereís the part thatís kind of melancholy about the whole thing because I wonít be waking up and chatting with her anymore, or bribing her with coffee, or singing Total Eclipse of the Heart very, very loudly and very, very off-key while we are driving down the highway. (There is a part of me thatís terrified sheís going to read this and feel bad about it. You shouldnít! Your life is getting awesome, go tackle it and wrestle!)
I turn 33 on Saturday. People gleefully point out that my birthday is on Talk Like A Pirate day Ė to which I say ĎHooray pirates!í and also MY BIRTHDAY WAS HERE FIRST. Pirates have hijacked my birthday. Itís not a bad thing to have happen.
Weighing larger on my mind is this Ė my fatherís birthday is one month from Friday, in October. He was born in 1929, and has seen so much more of the world and of time than my mind can really comprehend. While I was visiting home last year, I spoke to him far more than Iíd ever really talked to him in my life Ė he told me stories about my mother, and about him and what it was like when he was growing up, and justÖtalked. Talked my ear off. It was great Ė I was kind of astonished at the sheer number of things my father knows. While I was visiting home, I also got to catch up with my little sister and her family Ė all of my nephews (goodness I have a lot of nephews!), and my older brother, and my aunts and uncles and my cousins who are continually astonished and pleased that I not only know what manga is, but I can point them at good books to read. I am secretly pleased that the two of them turned out to be major bookworms, just like I was when I was their age.
I realized, in between trips to the hospital, the hospice, my old elementary school, my old high school, and the house I grew up in when I while I was in elementary school, that I miss all of it. I left my home town for Denver in 2000 with all the vigor and down and out courage of someone who god dammit was going to MAKE something of themselves, and couldnít possibly do THAT in the little town they grew UP in. Nine years later, I haveÖwell, I donít know as Iíve made something of myself. I believe what Iíve done is come to the conclusion that you donít Ďmakeí yourself Ė that implies that youíre half-finished or otherwise defective, and thatís just silly. Itís more like discovering yourself, and figuring out who that person is that you are, and how you relate to the rest of the world, and how that relating affects how people relate to you. Itís been a really, really long trip, but I like to think Iím wiser now than I was when I left. Certainly looking back on old Livejournal entries gives that impression Ė in 2001, I wrote like an idiot child that couldnít spell and put apostrophes in everything because she thought it looked charming. Really, it just made me look like an idiot. I cringe when I read the old stuff, and consider deleting it Ė but thereís a part of me that wants to keep it there, a record of how far Iíve come.
Iíve done a lot of soul-searching, these past few months, in between throwing resumes at people, arguing with the post office, and being generally frantic. Trying to figure out where I belong. I think, when it all boils down to it, that Iíve been dragging my heels because thereís a part of me thatís still that stubborn kid that wants to MAKE something of myself, who is being pissed at me for wanting it Ė but more than that, I think I want to go back there, to my father and my sister and my brother and the nephews and aunts and uncles and cousins. I miss family. I traded off living in big cities for being close to them Ė and I spent far too long working so hard to prove myself to them that I didnít bother talking to them every moment I could. That was the part that made me so angry last year Ė I should have made more time, and I just didnít, until it was too late to ask questions. There are a lot of questions I wanted to ask my mother, that I didnít get answers to, and they gnaw at me on a daily basis, on top of everything else.
I want to go home.
California has, in its own devious way, been pushing me towards that conclusion all year long, and Iíve been too stubborn to just come out and say it. But I want to go home Ė the girl that left, prideful and arrogant and determined, has pretty much come full circle at 33. You donít really realize how much you miss things until they are gone Ė and I donít want to miss anything else.
Thatís why Iíve been asking for donations over the past week. I canít afford to move, currently Ė hell I can barely afford to feed myself at this point. As I said at the beginning of this really, really long post, I donít like talking about my personal life, but I figured it was more than time for an update, and more than time for an explanation. If you do have a dollar or two, and would like to donate, there is a Paypal button just under the links section on the main page Ė you can toss it there. It would be appreciated.
I donít really know how happy my birthday is going to be this year Ė I may just spend it in my room, quietly reflecting on what Iíve done so far, and where Iím going to go from here. Iíll try to post more often here though, on my situation and where things are at for Aeire, if people donít mind the occasional short novels.
Thank you for reading Ė itís you guys that have made the past several years some of the most incredible in my life.