The following online journal entries are from October 1999.
They are taken from my written journal.
Friday. 9:02 AM. Happy Birthday, Dadi!
I called him this morning before I left for work to wish him a happy birthday. He and Judy were headed out the door to go to Falling Water, the house Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built. Thatís a nice day trip to take on your birthday.
I am at work currently. I decided that I needed to get some thoughts down on paper before they got any more confused, any more twisted in my head. Itís been a crazy couple of weeks and Iím not quite sure where to begin this tale.
Letís begin with the upside. I interviewed for a new job at the end of last month. And I started work October 1 at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management. I am the morning receptionist. Itís a great job at a great place. The Support Center is a nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits through consulting and training and publication. Itís very relaxed (for the most part). And everyone is personable and welcoming. I can dress however I like as long as itís not too relaxed and looks neat and clean. They donít care that I have blue hair or red hair or whatnot. I feel really at peace here. The first week was stressful because I was trying to learn everything. Iím at the end of my second week and I donít know all there is to know but Iím much more comfortable answering questions and directing calls. I like coming to work. I get up at 7 AM, get to work a little before 8, and work until 1 PM. Itís a nice schedule. Though, Iím starting to think that I might not be earning enough money to survive. I make $13 an hour plus medical and dental benefits. I am also eligible for a 401(k) plan in three months. Itís a very nice package. What other part-time job gives you benefits?
One of the training assistants, Scott, is leaving at the end of the month. His job is opening up and they have already offered it to me. I refused at first. I am not sure I want to work full time. And I donít know if the job is the kind of thing I want to be doing. I really like the flexibility of the reception job. But, I do need the money. Plus, the added responsibility would be good, I think. So, Iím reconsidering. I think I am going to make a decision by next week. If I take the job Iíll be making a lot more money and that means a lot more stability for me. The downside is that most of my day will be taken up by work. I havenít worked a full time job ever. It will definitely be an adjustment.
On the whole, though, the job scene is good. And it is a nice respite away from the stress of the rest of my life. I like coming in. Itís quiet in the morning. And I am comfortable here. The security and the stability are big bonuses. I get to look out my fifth floor window and watch everyone wandering around Mission Street or coming out of St. Patricks (especially when the noon bells ring and mass lets out) or enjoying the greenery of Yerba Buena gardens.
As for the rest of my life, itís all up and down. I am not sure what has happened. Something has changed, soured. Now that I have work and it is going well (a definite change from the Academy of Art days), I think I have the freedom or the burden of time to look at the rest of my life -- my personal life, my romantic life, my creative life.
Where to start? Where to start? I know I have a lot of resentment building in my life. Itís a sad state, I know. Itís all about insecurity. Itís all about jealousy. Itís all about a lack of personal connection. And I think a lot of it is getting displaced on to Sarah. I know itís unfair. And I need to talk to her about it. Part of it is because my resentment does focus on her and that is why sheís been on the receiving end of the cold shoulder. I can feel myself putting distance between us. Why? Because I depend on her way too much. Way too much. And I know that it isnít her responsibility to shepherd me into my life here in SF. And I know that she canít be my sole source of conversation, commiseration, entertainment, and affirmation. But, lately, I have been feeling like weíre becoming more like "roommates" and less as "friends."
She has settled into her life here. And thatís wonderful. Iím glad. But, I have not. And the transition is made painfully apparent whenever I spend time with her (especially when weíre with other people like the Wednesday night crowd). We have spoken about this and I donít think it will get any better. Sheís being selfish with her time, her attentiveness, and her life. And thatís fine. I would be, too. But, when sheís preoccupied (be it with work, with new friends, with Tara, with her new partners), I am relegated to the place of "oh, Ed will always be there so effort isnít necessary to maintain the friendship." I am being a bit bitter. Itís how I feel right now and what I need to work through.
Whenever Tara calls, she has to stop everything and talk to her -- even if weíre in the middle of dinner or watching television or talking. I understand that schedules are different but I will always take second seat. I am really starting to hate it. It makes me want to stop trying to spend time with Sarah. I can come home from work, do my own thing, make my own dinner, and plan my own activities.
Whenever Sarah has another "date" with one of the women sheís becoming friendly with and sleeping with, by default I am excluded. She can spend hours on the phone with one of them whereas we have been talking less and less these days. She seems deeply concerned with the well-being of Jude or Roxanne or whomever. Hasnít she know me longer? Doesnít it matter how Iím feeling? Donít I get a chance to vent and get some morale support? Do I have to sleep with her to count for more than a casual conversation?
A lot of this is overreaction. Like I said earlier, Iím coming out of a lot resentment and insecurity. I feel really distressed about a lot of things in my life. And I donít feel like I can express myself. And when I donít express myself, it gets all bottled up and mixed up. Every time I try to talk to Sarah, all I get is "I donít know what to tell you" or "I canít really help you with that" or "What can we do to make things better?" But have we done anything together, as the two of us, as a show of support for me, to help me and my situation?
When do I get to be selfish about my life? And if I am selfish about my life, whoís going to notice or care?
© 2001 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
Email the webmaster of this site.
These pages are best viewed with Internet Explorer. Open your browser to the largest viewable area.