I met up with my good friend Sarah before work today to just hang out and chat. I finished a little gift project for her last night so I gave it to her. It's basically like a friendship-themed scrapbook? With little envelopes and cards that I filled out and decorated based on prompts. It was a lot of fun to work on and it made me super happy that she was touched by it, so I hope it gives her strength. Especially in light of all the death and doom and gloom going on, it's more important to keep in touch with friends and make sure the people you care about are okay. I would hate to regret anything if they (or I!) went away somewhere.
For the first time in a long while, I don't have any plans for my day off tomorrow. Lately I've had most of my days planned out to the hour...which is great when I've got a lot on my plate, but this month is more chill overall. And work has been so stressful. It's summer, so kids have to come and buy summer reading books and since toddlers are out of school, parents bring them to our store and let them run wild. I've been working four days a week instead of three, which is a day less to work on writing and other things. That one day has really made a difference. I'm more tired than before and just a little less focused.
Actually, the more I think on it, the more I blame my awful sleep schedule. I insist on staying up until 3AM every night, then am confused when I have trouble the next day after just 4-5 hours of sleep. Like last night, all in all I slept about 4 hours. Then on my day off, I sleep a ton to make up for it, waste the day away doing that, and feel terrible about my lack of productivity. Yet as much as I'd like to sleep earlier, I just... It's hard. When I'm focused on a task, I have trouble leaving it alone and going to sleep. The unfinished work gnaws at me, goes around and around in my brain until I'm forced to get up and finish.
I've slowly started being able to leave scenes half-written and coming back to them. For years, I couldn't do that. Perhaps I need to apply that to sleep, too. I know this will catch up to me someday and the day of reckoning will be awful.
It all ties back to my working on Without a Voice, I think. It's so close to being done that I just want to spend all my free time on it. I think about it constantly. I haven't had this kind of a pure passion project since Break Chance Memento, you know? Something that I feel I really identify with, that defines me as a creator. It's a universe I wish I never had to leave.
Working on WaV is my oasis away from the rest of my life. I'm at a crossroads. I don't know exactly where I'm going to end up. I can't seem to commit. I was going to quit my job, but ended up just switching from full-time to part-time. I went through the stress of calculating and confirming my final college GPA only to stop short of submitting an application. And as much as I tell myself "It's okay to take it slow, it's okay to figure things out first and figure out what I need to become truly happy", I can't help but see those around me succeeding and thriving. It makes me feel like whatever I'm doing is not quite right.
An answer will become clear to me soon. I've been working up to this answer to a question that I'm still afraid to ask. For now, I think I'll stay in this dream just a little bit longer.
That said, today I experienced the rare customer who made their 2-year-old child put back all the books they'd pulled off the shelf instead of leaving them in a heap on the table for us to put away. They put them back with care and to the right shelves. I was so touched. ↩︎