Hey Guys! (Said in my best Beauty Blogger voice which goes with my heavily makeup-ed and posed picture you see to the left) No apologizing from me for why I haven’t written in a long time. Truth be told it’s not like I haven’t had the time to sit down and write a blog post, but I’ve been announcing my every move on Facebook for the last 3 months and have left very little to the imagination about what’s been going on since our move to Milwaukee, so I didn’t think I really needed to “update” the world on more Milwaukee stuff… I’m doing a pretty good job of over-doing it on a daily basis.
Anyhow, we’ve so far traveled back home to Michigan 3 times and have decided we won’t make the trek home until autumn and winter have definitely settled in. Going back and forth a weekend at a time for a journey that sucks up 16 hours of your time really isn’t the most convenient thing in the world.
The euphoria of moving has definitely worn off. For the first 2 months every corner I turned was a new adventure. There were new things to see, new things to experience and just new everything… Whereas everything is still brand new to me, the “shininess” of it all has really dulled down. Life in Milwaukee is the same as it was in Bay City – and is probably the same as it is anywhere else in the world. You work your ass off to have the things you want and you go to bed, wake up and repeat. Its not a bad thing – don’t get me wrong – But it sure would have been cool if the newness of it all would have lasted longer than it did. I didn’t expect it to – I just wanted it to. Waking up excited every day sure does beat the drudgery of real life – don’t you think?
I’m in a little bit of a funk (yes dad, I lie to you on the phone). I don’t like to admit it, but its true. Making friends isn’t easy and I’ve been making any and every excuse I can to justify not finding anyone I like. Finding people who I am comfortable enough to be around to WANT to call my friend is foreign to me. I’ve never had to try. I always just made friends, and if I didn’t make friends at least I wasn’t shy about being myself around them………NOT HERE. Not sure why. Could be age, could just be that it’s a weird, new place.
It wasn’t till I went home for my friend Jamie’s wedding in July (see all my goofy friends pictured below) and spent a lot of time with them (it was an intensely packed 3 day weekend full of friends, drinking, friends, dancing and friends) that I realized that I’m very fortunate and lucky to have people in my life that I can completely be myself around. They tolerate me, if not even actually like me, when I’m at my worst. That’s really, really hard to find and I haven’t found anybody like that here yet. To be honest, I haven’t really looked or tried out being myself around strangers here. I’m afraid they’ll give me the side eye. I’m realizing that new people scare me. I don’t really know why because usually I’m the person who scares others – but if faced with a situation to be outgoing and meet someone new here I shut it down in favor of hiding out with Fred. He’s comfortable. I don’t need more than that, right? I don’t get it – it’s not me and I’m a little disappointed for allowing myself to become a reluctant shut in, but here I am… Wasting away the summer sitting in coffee shops alone with my laptop writing woe-is-me blog posts instead of being outside meeting people. My inner goth is strong these days.
I met one girl I liked – the girl who sold us our new sofa. She’s cool as hell (even though she’s a vegan). I really wanted to hang out with her. We had stuff in common. We emailed back and forth a little bit and then she tried to sell me $200 pillows…. And I was done because I didn’t know how to say “I just want to be your friend, I don’t want to buy pillows.” Meh.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time alone. I go to a lot of coffee shops. I write a lot of letters. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and talk to my cat too much. Being here kind of reminds me a lot of what it was like for me in High School – solitary, alone, caffeine comas in a coffee shop on every corner, broody and weird watching late night TV and living every song I hear on the radio like it’s a biography of my life. Yet, I’m still happy and content and not slitting my wrists about it… Because life, you know. It’s cooler than being dead.
The only difference from 1992 to now is that now there’s Internet. Yay Internet. What did I ever do without you? You show me what I’m missing…. Damnit.
So needless to say I need to find a hobby – a hobby that’s less Pinterest (AKA I’ll post about how much it looks like fun and then never do it) and more “real life” oriented. Fred says I need to find an outlet to take my anxiety out on (yes, I still have quite a bit of anxiety – Work is work no matter who or where you work for/with) and I often wake up in the mornings still not wanting to get out of bed and put on makeup and do my hair and sit behind a desk for 10 hours.
It’s weird, it’s like every time I turn a corner here I hear a Portishead or a NIN song that seems to speak to me saying “Its OK to be a downer, Amy. Depression is cool. You used to thrive off of it when you were younger. Cultivate your inner gothic princess back out from the recesses from which you pushed her into so many years ago. She wants to play… SHE wants to come out and play.”
I no longer look good with pale face and black hair. Sorry inner voice.
No, thanks – Been there, done that – Where as a good portion of me will always be a dark and broody girl, I just can’t let it overtake me like that again – ever. Being happy is so much nicer than being sad. Being genuinely happy is so much easier than pretending to be happy but really being sad inside. However, its such hard work. I am looking forward to the short days and long nights of autumn and winter in Milwaukee… Cold weather has always been a good excuse for me to shut myself in and not feel guilty for being antisocial. People don’t find me as unusual when it’s not as acceptable to be outside. Come on autumn! Get here! (this is how my mind works you guys – this is how I cycle in and out of moods… See, people who know me KNOW this already. It’s hard to “teach” a new friend that this is NORMAL for me.)
Laying on the couch seems like such a better idea some days. But, it’s expensive to live here and I do have a job that relies on me – even though they have changed my title 3 times in 3 months (which I refuse to go in to – I’m not doing that whole love/hate thing with my job on the Internet anymore) I continue to go to work and wait to see what happens….
Fred has adjusted well to finding things to do – the king of keeping himself busy, the only bad days he has are those when our shitty Time Warner Internet service goes down. Otherwise he’s over at the Milwaukee Makerspace doing weird things with molten metal or is tucked in the back room playing video games with Erock and Kara and Alex… If he’s not doing that there no boredom for him that a good martial arts flick can’t solve… So I don’t worry about him keeping busy, but there are only so many loads of laundry and sweeps of the vacuum I can do to our tiny little apartment before I lose my mind.
Growing up in a festival family… No, let me rephrase that to what I really mean… Growing up with my dad in my life I have really been burned out on summer festivals. So needless to say moving to the city of a new festival every day really isn’t as exciting for me as it may be fore others who come here to Milwaukee for the first time. We have hit up a few and they’re all pretty much the same. Street vendors, street food, make-shift musical entertainment, over-priced bottles of water and a lot of people walking around sweating and wondering why they’re doing that to themselves.
I prefer to discover the weirdness of Milwaukee, and although I have never been there I am constantly comparing Milwaukee to Portland – it’s like a Midwestern version of strange-land. There are so many unusual things I keep running in to here that keep my interest piqued. For example – Today Fred introduced me to the “flip boxes” of the downtown district which both amused and bewildered me. As I mentioned in Facebook, these little gems hanging out right on the side of the road in one of the busiest and most populated areas of the downtown business district transplanted me back to a time sometime in 1992, probably about 2 in the morning, as I was watching MTV’s Liquid Television. There’s something about these little surreal findings that keep me searching around this weird city for even more unusual things that make me feel all warm and cozy and screwed up inside.
Random blurb in the middle of the post that means nothing but I want to mention it anyway: One day last week I heard Sour Times and then Hurt (yes, the Johnny Cash version which I challenge you to tell me is not even MORE depressing than the original version) and then Everybody Hurts on the radio all in succession. It was like the depression Gods were seeking me out through my eardrums. Maybe it’s just a musical resurgence of all that depressing as shit 90s alternative music that I love to indulge in. Maybe its just that the radio stations here play better (that’s an objective better, of course) music then they did in small-town-USA called Bay City. Dunno, don’t care – at least it’s not 102.5 WIOG that I (unfortunately) grew up with. Anything that isn’t booty base is OK with me. (and even that’s ok sometimes, too)
Local music here is awesome. A great find thanks to a couple of folks my BFF Mike introduced us to was the discovery of the Polka Floyd show. Granted, PF is from Toledo – but they were here in Milwaukee in June (and apparently make several stops here throughout the year) and we partook in some pretty damn good Polka-refashioned Pink Floyd music at the Estabrook Beer Garden. Weird, huh? But really, really entertaining and satisfying. We drank, we danced, we smiled, we drank some more… We cheered and paid too much for our Hoffbrau – and then we mailed a check to the city of Milwaukee for a $40 parking ticket we got for not really parking in a valid parking spot. That makes 3 tickets since I’ve gotten here.
Next post…. Why I need to give up my car but probably never will….
Until then – Don’t drink and drive. Or something.