A Disturbed or Uneasy State
There are these moments where my mind starts to tornado with the thought of my identity. This weathering storm asks who I am and what’s so special about me that I should not feel guilty taking up space on a planet that is already so overpopulated. . . ?
These moments would come when I was younger as well. For a good eleven years or so, I could easily coax the tornado into a calming breeze. Yes, before I turned 21, I was the Identity Tornado whisperer. I was training to be a professional tennis player. Friends of family called me “The Tennis Player,” and I took pride in being a middle child who had fought her way to earn a title all her own that singled her out from her other five sisters. No one else in the family was the tennis player. It made introductions so easy: "This is Jade. She is the tennis player. She plays tournaments all over the world. She’s lost count of how many countries she’s been to!”
30. Well, at least 30. After 30, I actually did stop counting. But I don’t say this out loud. I would just say, “Yep. I’m the tennis player,” and plan on bragging about my travels and pursuits of athletic professionalism somewhat later on in the conversation. I didn't like to name drop countries I’d been to until the new friend started first. I liked to hustle new acquaintances that way.
…But not so much anymore.
Now I don’t mention it as much. Waking up early for a specific activity to achieve a specific goal to accomplish an even bigger achievement…Seems so far away from what I do now. Living a life where everything I absorbed: food, information, pain…It was all for one thing. One purpose. And even if that purpose was as straight forward and seemingly impossible as “Be the number one tennis player in the world,” it gave me life.
Now i don’t have that purpose, but I still have this life. Just... I feel like I’m cheating now. What business does anyone have living if some mornings they wake up and wonder, “Why am I alive?"
Today I found myself dabbling on my blog because I feel a little lost, a little worn. The “has-been” spirit is wearing on me, and I try to bury my tennis rackets and strings under “normal things” like Friday nights, blogging, and coconut charcoal juice cleanses. I know that sounds a little “why me?” I know I sound a little whiney. Self pity never got me anything but maybe a blog post or two. Really, i’m generally a pretty happy person. If you know me, if you see me, if you ask me how I am. You probably know that.
So don’t get me wrong. I have some things that I think many people lack. And i’m grateful and even excited on some days for what I have. My family. My health...My job is a great example. How many people could tell you they like their coworkers? Nay, love their coworkers? How many naturally work their asses off because they just truly care about what’s in front of them each day?
For 95 minutes out of 100, I love my job. (Those 5 minutes of pure hatred come from the customer that tells me I should be ashamed of myself for not making coffee for those who truly love and appreciate coffee but only for those who just like caffeine after I tell her her that, unfortunately, we don't have decaf on drip. Lady, you can go to hell where i'm sure they brew up plenty of decaf.)
Still. My job pays the bills, gives me a sense of responsibility and pride, and brings me happiness.
Now. Back to my hardcore whining.
"Coffee Barista" isn’t necessarily the job title that you look at and nod and say, “Ah, that Jade Frampton. She was training to be a professional tennis player. But now she’s moved on to making caffeinated beverages…and at only 23! Damn. Guys. That’s when you know you’ve really made it. Jade Frampton. A coffee barista. I’m fucking jealous. What a brilliant young woman.”
Yeah…I don’t know who I’m quoting in the paragraph above. My college peers, the fellow graduates of 2014? Fellow failed tennis professionals who are all struggling to understand losing is okay? Friends who are playing on tour who understand losing is not okay? Grumpy rich business men who have given up on hoping their second marriage will be their last?…Or maybe the quote is from a voice I made up in my head, because…in each of our own heads…Everyone’s watching, right? Everyone’s talking, right? Everyone’s being entertained by our failures, stand stills, and triumphs:
“Janey got fired today.”
“She left Billy for Bob.”
“He’s still bagging groceries?”
“They’re engaged and he got a promotion on the East Coast.”
"She's the money. He just coaches highschool basketball."
Or is the truth really that no one is watching, and no one worth listening to is talking about it? Maybe we're all too busy forecasting our own Identity Tornado...
Well, I'm busy forecasting it. Tonight, the Identity Tornado crashed hard into my apartment.
Like a ghost hovering over my bed, it asked the tough questions:
Who are you?
I’m Jade. I love the color green more than I love anything. I write in my spare time. I like puns and dad jokes more than I should. And uh… I have short hair now. That’s a big change…Does that go into the “who” category? Do I get points for finding out I have a disease?
What have you done lately?
Um… After work yesterday, I bought my boyfriend a candle that we both liked the scent of. I split a donut with a friend. Oh! and I also gave my shower/bathtub in my new/ish apartment another scrub down. A few more power-scrubs by me, and I might feel like it’s clean enough to actually take a bath in. Cleanliness is Godliness, right? Oh, and I did some crunches on my kitchen floor since…you know, I don’t have a living room or space in my bedroom to lay out a yoga mat…
Where are you?
Salt Lake City. Four hours north of where I was born. Funny, right? Over 30 countries, and I’m right back where I started: Utah. I can actually SEE the Salt Lake City temple from my street. Some would say that’s impressive. It’s pretty to look at on my walk to the coffee shop. More specifically this apartment I have consists of zero roommates. To be fair, it’s smaller than the mini coffee shop I work at, and I have to open my front door and step a few feet up and out of it to see if it’s raining or sunny or soon, snowing. The heater is broken, there don’t seem to be any smoke detectors, and my fridge froze my bottled root beers so cold that they exploded over my hot Tillamook cheese, spinach, and plain yogurt. But let’s not focus on my apartment. I sleep and shower and write in it. Other than that, I am outside in the world, forgetting about my little ba tcave and day dreaming about the houses in the upper Aves that boast of all of the charm and space and thick walls and washers and dryers and room to throw down a yoga mat for some mid afternoon stretching that anyone could ever imagine.
...I usually like to end my blogs on a positive note. I think that's why it took me three days to actually finish this...rant...because I know it won't end conclusively upbeat. I'm about to turn 24 years old this month, and I feel like I have not accomplished much. I could turn that into a positive, say, oh I don't know, that this is what keeps me hungry. That not feeling that I have done enough will push me forward. That being content would only allow laziness to set in. That could be true. I hope it is. I hope tomorrow, I feel that way.
But today. Today I end it with one unsettling line of unrest.
Today I am [only] here.