I'm feeling much better! My mind isn't speeding around crazily (except when I have caffeine, which I've cut down on a lot) and I'm feeling more stable. I got a long list of instructions from Patricia, most of which I try to follow, but some I haven't gotten around to yet. She also taught me a form of meditation where I'm supposed to repeat a special mantra she and her meditation teacher gave me (in a sweet little ceremony) silently in my mind for twenty minutes, twice a day. I haven't had time to do it twice a day yet, but I think after this weekend things may slow down enough where I'll at least have time to do it once a day. It helps you release stress and makes your mind able to focus a lot better. Honest to goodness, it works. If anyone is interested in learning this method, contact me, and I'll put you in touch with Patricia.
I started a new job last week, working at a call center for a popular credit card company. I often find myself trying to keep from laughing thinking about it, but I've had so many different kinds of jobs over the years that little surprises me anymore (ask me how I know how to clean an entire bathroom in under ten minutes, or how to make two lattes, one cappuccino, and hot chai all at the same time). But this new job includes three weeks of training on credit, which has led me to look at my finances and say, "Oh shit." So now I understand why this happened. The Universe took me by the hand, sat me down in a chair in a basement classroom in Idaho, and said, "Here Inga. We're paying you by the hour. Now it's time for you to learn how to handle money responsibly." So if I wondered why I was sent to this place for the winter before I get to move to Iceland, it's so I can pay down my credit card and my final remaining student loan. Lots of fun. But at least I'll have a fresh start.
The other people I work with are mostly kids ages 18-22. On our first day my teacher could not pronounce my name (first or last) and a guy asked loudly from across the room, "Were you born in America? Or... somewhere else?" I told people to just call me Inga, or Kelly if that was easier for them, and now the running joke is that my name is Kelly. Despite that I have to say, they're actually a really friendly bunch. It reminded me that I should try harder not to judge people without getting to know their situation first, I guess. My favorite thing about the kids at work is that they all thought I was the same age as them, haha. One of the guys who's 20 has a friend who already works at the company, and a bunch of us were sitting around together on break and he said to his friend about me, "How old do you think she is?" and the guy guessed something ridiculously young. I promised to write them both into my will, whenever I get anything worth leaving to anyone. But don't worry, they balance out their compliments by calling me things like "old lady" and "grandma," and joking about how much sleep I must need since I'm "old". I try to tell them that there is life after 25, but so far none of them seem convinced.
Idaho continues to surprise me with the new depths of boredom I can achieve. No, really, it's not that bad. (Yes it is.) The only problem is that I'm not one of those people who experiences boredom as an opportunity to get all kinds of things done, like taking up golf or macrame or balancing my checkbook or starting a cake decorating business. I'm one of those people who gets bored and turns into a puddle of ooze on their bed, reading poetry and thinking about all those wonderful fun times they had when they weren't bored, and wouldn't it be nice to frolic around in a big pile of leaves, if only there were anyone around who felt like doing that, etc. I know, I disgust even myself. A big part of the reason is that I'm living in just a little bedroom, and really the only place to sit is on my bed because I have clothes and books piled up on the only chair. And it's almost impossible to sit on a bed, you really have to kind of spread out and lounge, and then oh no look what happened, I slipped and fell under my blanket. And then I rolled over and my face landed on this book of poetry, and it opened to a page I really love, so now all I have to do is turn my head a little more to read it, and... the cycle begins again.
But starting this weekend there will be no more excuses! I'll have a brand new shiny paycheck and I'll be moving into my friend Jeff's house because he's leaving for the East Coast until the end of January. So I'll be able to get out of bed in the morning and, you know, leave my bedroom. And I'll have a kitchen again! I'll be able to cook actual food! I'm going to celebrate by making eggs for breakfast every day for a week. And I'll have the space to do yoga and work out at home, and my wonderful stallion of a car will be kept in a garage for the first time in eight years! (I love my car. I sing songs to it about how wonderful it is. We have the special bond that comes from driving across states with names like "Kansas" together.)
Anyhoo. That's about all that's going on. My dad is planning to visit me in November, and if you know me in real life, you should come visit me too! We can do... lots of things... I swear. No actually, we could. There are lots of hikes and outdoorsy things to do. And they do have liquor stores here. I would go hiking more by myself, but this is America and I grew up watching shows like "Unsolved Mysteries" and seeing movies like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," so I'm terrified that if I go by myself there will be nine serial killers and a rabid mountain lion in the woods waiting to rip me to shreds. Or something. But if I bring a friend and a can of pepper spray we'll be ok! Honest!
Oh, I almost forgot! Saturday I finally sent my essay application for this fellowship in Iceland I'm hoping to get. It took forever, I ended up writing seven drafts, still editing and revising it right up to one hour before the last pick-up time at a tiny little post office in a town close to here. It felt like giving birth to myself in essay form (minus the blood). The post office I went to had their final Saturday pick up at 4:30, and I had it paid for and ready to go by 4:22 or so. That particular post office is inside a store that sells Christian children's books and school supplies. There was an old man working there who looked so feeble, but still had dark hair all combed back with pomade, and a deep and sonorous voice. He sounded a lot like Garrison Keillor from "The Prairie Home Companion" when he talked. I told him I needed to send an envelope to Iceland, and explained that I was a little nervous because I was applying for a fellowship there. He asked me if I like reading the Sagas, and I said of course, and he said that he did too. It turns out he's of Swedish ancestry, and he wished me luck and said that he hopes I get it. So okay, I'm officially apologizing to the Swedish Americans of the world for all the sh*t talking I do about Swedes. There, I said it. So anyway, I really appreciated his kind words, and I would also appreciate any spare good vibes you might have lying around, if you feel like sending them toward me getting that fellowship. Inga in Iceland 2011! Tell you what, if I get it, I'll write much better blogs about trying to live on my own with the vocabulary of a two year old and delicious pastries. Plus, Iceland is a much cooler place to visit! (No pun intended.)