Hibernating: Erica the Snarly Bear
A strong need to hibernate has taken hold of me. Do you ever feel like everyone and everything is slowly leaching away your soul? I get like this from time to time. I have so many balls in the air that I’m waiting for them to drop onto my face and break my nose.
It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve written & a week since I’ve been in the land of technology. My laptop greeted me moments ago like an eager puppy waiting for its master. A fierce anxiety overcame me as I logged on today. You have no idea how much time you spend on the internet until you step back for a few days. I’m not addicted by any means. The hiatus made me realize that it felt like a job- a constant job. As I sat in my healing hibernation I felt as if I had something I needed to do. This overwhelming sense that I was forgetting my duties has plagued me for the past week.
It made me realize that my job isn’t keeping up with all of these pages and the people that frequent them. I have other jobs that I perform on a daily basis. The trill of my cell phone, tethering me to a constant barrage of potential tenants, is driving me insane. Between emails, notifications from all of my websites, and that heinous ringtone that rings when people without common decency call after 10 p.m. & before 7 a.m., I’m going batshit. Something has to give. I stepped away from the internet.
Even now, my cell is making a konking sound ever time I get a new notification on Facebook, whether it’s my personal page or the varying pages & group I run. I want to scream. I bet it’s made that noise 10 times in the past 2 minutes. Oh, lookie there, a bell tone for the email alert! Yes, I could silence the dang thing, but I have calls I have to receive & tenant applications being sent to me via email.
Back in January I had county Jury Duty hanging over my head. No big deal since it was 30 minutes from my home & It was only the one time. I was in the middle of a 4 book release & the holidays since I was notified around Thanksgiving that I had this hanging over my head. Always in the back of my mind when I had so very much to do, and all at once. I had a reprieve that allowed me to take a huge gulp of air- allowed me to get all that I had to do, accomplished.
Guess what the mailman delivered today? Any takers?
A Middle Court Jury Duty summons!! Yup, we aren’t talking a one-time shot. Nope, a month-long, all of April, on-call duty to the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Here is 40 bucks if you are called upon. But hey, enjoy three hours a day gone to sucking the gas from your tank. Hmm… I’ll be in the hole after that 40 bucks is spent at Kwikfill. Not to mention the fact that I won’t be working while I do this, which will put me behind schedule and in the hole even farther.
Here’s the real great thing. My parents are pissed at me.
One thing that I am highly ashamed of is the fact that I don’t drive. I have the ability & know how. I hate it with a passion. I’ll be truthful. It’s an illogical fear, but what fear is ever logical. So here is the thing. If I can’t somehow manage to get out of this shit, my parents will have to pick up for my failings- again. Guilt, shame, and disgust are filling me at the moment- all directed at yours truly.
I get to fret over this until April & then I get to fret over it every Friday as I call in for duty, hoping like hell I get the reprieve I’m looking for. I get to feel like shit if I am called in and my parents have to pick up for my shortcomings. It makes me feel out of control & anyone who’s read my writing knows what a bitter pill that is for me to swallow.
I am in hibernating mode trying to get this anxiety under control & this was dropped into my lap earlier today. So as those notifications keep clicking on my cell & the browser is flashing, I want to scream. Oh, ring-ring, the trill of my phone is yanking my leash!
I’m back- another dead-end, going nowhere conversation that I have to hold with total strangers who think that I need to converse past- you’ve got to be f*cking kidding me! Back again. Telemarketer this time on the home phone. Anyway, professional conversations are great, it’s the ones that chat with me like I’m their long-lost buddy, bleeding ten, fifteen, minutes increments of my life away. Once or twice a day would be great. It’s the days when it’s 20 or more- before you know it, 3 hours of your life is gone that you will never get back as you struggle to deal with all the sordid tales you had to ingest.
I know I’m a bitch. I get it. Hence the hibernation. But until you have a cell to your ear listening to one person’s life history while your home phone is ringing, your laptop is tinging from messenger, a person is talking to you in the living room, and the cat has lost its ever loving mind thinking it’s din-din and yowling, don’t call me a bitch.
Then it’s the showing days where you wait for hours and no one shows up. The special cases that couldn’t make it to the appointed time and you meet them off your schedule… and they stand you up. I love the ones that call me days later pretending that we never had an appointment. Photographic memory remembers your number and she unleashes the bitch-Monster by politely informing you that if you miss an appointment without calling to cancel that you aren’t responsible enough to live on your own.
I will say something that will anger a huge population and I’m going to say it anyway. One of the apartments I’m showing is high-end: 4 bed, 2 bath, 2 living spaces. I’ve had people call who are on assistance that have one child or are single (meaning once person in this apartment) and want the great state of New York to pay for this apartment. It is great for a family with two or three kids. I don’t think it would be fair to saddle the state when you only need a two bedroom at most. It’s not about the assistance, it’s that why should you get to live somewhere that far above your means, space-wise. I sleep in a 9X11 bedroom <- that’s all the personal space I get. You don’t need four bedrooms for just yourself, if you’re not paying for yourself. *gets off soapbox* This is wearing on me, hearing these lifestories that people regale me with like I’m a bartender at a cry-in-your-beer dive. This is why I can’t write. This is why the internet is throbbing like a sore tooth for me.
My whole being feels like a throbbing tooth. I’m on the verge of screaming. The phone calls, the showings, the stress of yet another f*cking jury duty summons, the constant barrage of news my father listens to that makes me feel like Armageddon is upon us, and life and its struggles are getting to me.
I just want to scream, ‘Shut the f*ck up!‘ In fact, I’ve had my characters do just that for me in the past. Regina got to scream that very phrase. If only I had preternatural abilities, ‘cuz that huge tv would be blown up via my mind the instant it’s turned on.
I need to write to have my release, but I can’t since I need total peace and quiet or screaming music. I can’t have either since I have to listen for the trill of the cell. I also need concentration. The way I’m living right now is constant, chaotic interruptions of the every thirty seconds kind- like the took a bath and have 3 voicemails kind- like the asshole who called me at 10:30 night and it was a mild-mannered girl or the dude who called at a quarter of 7 in the morning. Where were these people raised? I have a rule that I live by: unless it’s an emergency, don’t call before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. I don’t know you, why are you calling me when I’m in bed like a dang bootie-call? It was an instant automatic no on them. I didn’t give them appointment. I have horror stories of these tenants at 4 a.m. telling me the garbage man didn’t take their garbage or the doorbell doesn’t work. I shit you not!
I’ve hibernated as a means of distraction since I can’t write. I’ve been watching all the television shows I’ve missed in the past year: Shameless, Homeland, Breaking Bad, Dexter… waiting on the final season of Weeds. I’ve been reading like a crazy person as well. I need to find an inner-calm to drown out the feeling that I have 50 infants suckling at my teats.
I’m in reread mode. The comfort of the familiar. I’ve already read it before so I know what to expect. It’s just enough to keep me entertained while half watching tv at the same time. I can’t be committed to even reading new material because of the interruptions. My job isn’t 9-5, it’s whenever the hell anyone feels like bothering me. I can’t wait for this ride to be over & I hope that all 14 units are filled and happy for at least a year after this, with no failing water heaters or blown out pilot lights.
…. An hour later with multiple interruptions of chaos…. The ‘rents are home from work & brought me all the new applications. After hearing multiple, ‘Tell them to f*ck off or to drag your ass to jury duty,’ via my father because he doesn’t want inconvenienced. That scream is firmly lodged deep in my throat. Hopefully my ailing 93 year old Grandmother, who needs constant care-taking, will be a viable excuse to get out of duty. I’d do anything to avoid the rest of my father’s pissed off wrath.
Deep breath while Daddy-o is sucked back into the news that is argumentatively belting in its HD glory, & a huge need to find a one bedroom hovel and hide out for the rest of my days… A girl can dream of a quiet, chaotic-free future.
After reading through the rental applications… One lucky thing in my favor… I believe the huge apartment has found its new family. *Cheers* *Pops Cork on the Champagne* *Breathes deeply*
I found something interesting. I read on my laptop and on my cell all the time. My reread brought me back to my bookshelves. I realized something. When I read on my laptop: the email, Facebook, and messenger is right there, interrupting me more thoroughly than my cell phone. When reading on my cell the same issues impact me. I hadn’t realized how much I was missing out on until I was yanked into a paperback that couldn’t notify me every thirty seconds. No sounds, no flashing browsers, no pop-ups from sugarsync or messenger, no notifications scrolling across the top of my cell. Just me, the story, and a book in my hand. There is a huge disconnect with ebooks. I read them constantly, hell, I write them, but the ability to connect is in direct correlation to the interruptions of the internet.
This has brought me to two decisions: I will publish my works in paper & I am going to limit my time on the internet. When I return to writing in a few days, I’m turning off the notifications that interrupt me. I will be limiting my interactions on various sites. I need this to concentrate on my work, on my future of chaotic-free-ness. I will miss those friends I’ve made. I will still reply to comments, messages, and emails, but not immediately. I will limit myself to my pages a few times per week. I feel guilty over this, but I need control over my life- some form, any form, of control.
Facebook isn’t my job- Goodreads isn’t my job. My websites are my job, but not my FB pages and groups. My job is writing and fostering an environment that feeds the muse. My job is being a daughter to my parents and doing all the chores that entails, be it ignoring AI as some chick sings poorly, grating on my nerves, or dealing with vacant apartments. Something has to give when I’m torn into a thousand different directions & that something is the one that doesn’t pay my bills or put a roof over my head.
I’d apologize for my snarly bear routine, but I won’t. This is just another facet of me. Proof that all authors are humans. I remember reading status updates and blog posting of my favorite authors and being in awe of all amazing things they performed. I would rather tell my readers the truth. I am just like you, struggling through life looking for my own path.
My personality is quiet, contemplative. I am easy to laugh and difficult to anger. But my Kryptonite, my Achilles heel, is chaos & noise. It makes me feel like a wounded animal. I want to hide and lash out when someone gets too close. Today is one of those days & I fear it will continue to be that way until I can get a moments’ peace inside my own mind since the life around me is never calm.
This is my way of saying that if you’d like to chat with me via FB, GR, email, or via the websites it may be a few days before I respond. It’s not that I don’t value our conversations, it’s that I want to come to you when I’m in a pleasant mood.
Hell, in the past few minutes I’ve answered 3 more calls & a few, ‘Hey, can you do this for me?’ while listening to Nicki Minaj’s atrocious voice. I’ve called and confirmed our new tenant and tried to call back an applicant, whose phone has been shut off. Boy, that is a huge indicator, right there.
A few more weeks of this North Eastern weather and I can run outside to serenity.
I may run and never look back…