Hello tumblr audience,
It’s been some time since I’ve really spent time on the internet. For the past year or two, I have been ‘working’ ~40-60 hours a week and doing a lot of IRL things. Recently I went on a week-long vacation to New York City (arriving a day before the hurricane hit) and then came back to Ann Arbor to find that I had lost my job at American Apparel and that the smoothie place (I also work at) isn’t doing very well.
Usually, when things seem to be going badly, I try to maintain this ‘nothing matters’ attitude, I talk to my friends, and everything seems fine. But now I am finding myself with about 40 extra hours to kill, which is great, but where are my friends? At work/school. Instead of interacting with them, i am reading more, am sleeping more, am writing more, am watching more movies. To fill this social void, I have been befriending people on the internet again, as I once did very eagerly in high school (HS being the last period of my life that I had this amount of free time). In the past, my opinion on relationships via the internet has varied wildly. I have had very good relaishies and v v bad ones via web. For the most part, I feel that they have enriched my worldview. IRL has also enriched my worldview, but not as immediately, and also not as inconsequentially. IRL —especially as a working highschool grad in a city like Ann Arbor— can become repetitive, boring, and, ultimately, disappointing. People IRL are cruel, sentimental, and passionate about their relationships. This can be bad for someone like me, who is just trying to be honest with everyone/myself. So in a lot of ways, I feel really excited about being able to spend real time on the internet again (as opposed to lazily scrolling through the feeds of people I follow and ‘liking’ things without learning about them more deeply).
Have also been rethinking my stance on college in america. Used to be very passionate about not going to college. For a time, I was surrounded by people that were 4 or more years older than me, working in the same position as me, attending the same parties as me, and seeing the same movies/bands/girls as me. Unlike me, however, these people were in a lot of debt, and may also’ve been living with their parents. These people attended a 4-year university and came out doing exactly what I was doing at 18 and fresh out of high school. This was 2010; I felt very excited, sad, meek, but had an inner confidence.
These feelings lasted until about October 2011, when my room-mate at the time punched me in the face after I had sent him an email regarding his ‘noise complaints.’ and his mother evicted me (and my current room-mate) out of her and her son’s home with 2-days notice. This was the first time I actually realized that my thoughts can have a strong effect on people. I say ‘thoughts’ and not ‘words’ or ‘actions’ because, up until I considered this event, there were no thoughts I had that didn’t actualize themselves into words or actions. I thought, and still think (but to a much lesser extent), that anyone who would get hurt by anything I said is worthless. I thought that everybody should have every action that warrants a response, backed up with a well thought-out justification. If someone ever said negative things about me, I had already thought of that thing they are saying. I saw every potentially ‘negative’ aspect of myself and incorporated the awareness of that into my persona. I already had a justification for what I was doing that would defend myself against any haters. I thought all people thought this way. They don’t. Most people don’t. Most people in Ann Arbor don’t.
Increasingly it is brought to my attention that people say that I make them nervous; that I am ‘judgmental’, mean, ‘cold’, etc. I don’t want that. My room-mate said that his friends sometimes act differently when I am around. He says that I ‘intimidate’ them and that that makes them say stupid things that they wouldn’t say otherwise, if they were comfortable.
Anyway, now this is all dawning on me and it always seems to come piling on all at once. So now I am realizing that I am, (this is a huge blanket statement here:) known but, largely, unliked by a sizable portion of Ann Arbor’s creative youth. That being said, there are only a dozen or so persons left in this town (many Ann Arbor greats have moved away) to which I feel a deep affinity / admiration for (some of whom I have yet to become close with). Of course, I’ve been thinking about moving for a while now (am not planning on renewing my lease in the fall; have been sitting with the ideas of Chicago, Montreal, and Brooklyn as places to try and make a go of it at).
The past few autumns of my adult life have been incredibly bleak, and they usually involve me feeling a need to change myself. This fall, I am worried about the jobs I’ve held. For the first time, I am working solely at a place that I actively dislike. It’s do-able, but it’s making me rethink my views on college. If I am already working at a job I hate and it is do-able, should I just go to college for something that also bores me but will ensure an equally loathable but significantly more profitable position for me? It’s a serious question I’ve been having.
I realize now that not everyone can work at a used book store or a record store or an art-house movie theater or a ‘loosely-managed’ retail place where all of your coworkers are engaging and interesting. My 2010 self would’ve been contented to work at a little art-house theater for $9/hr for the rest of his life. “I can just do this, pay my bills, have fun at work, and then do all my creative stuff on the side until that gets to be something profitable,” I might’ve said. I see now that it is a bit of a luxury to actually enjoy the thing you do for a living. Not sure if college is what I want. Going to school for something I actually am interested in seems like a waste of time / money. But maybe if I go to school with a goal of becoming some sort of mediocre salaryman, I can achieve financial comfort and then also the free-time to write my screenplays and cook my meals and use twitter and take girls out on dates.
I feel that if had an extremely wealthy family that I wouldn’t really think at all about any of this and I would literally feel comfortable doing whatever I wanted to do with their funding. Ideally I’d be traveling constantly and I’d own a car and a lap-top and a bunch of clothes and an apartment in a big city. These things are very aimless and that seems nice to me.
This all seems unnecessary to post on the ol’ zzellers tumblr here (which, by the way, is over 5 years old), but I feel like I wanted to clarify some things and provide an updated voice for this tumblr presence. I get a lot of ask questions that are just like “Why are you still in Ann Arbor?” or “What are you doing with your life?” or “Who are you?” and they’ve kind of haunted me for a while now. I wrote this post while listening to Pharoah Sanders’ ‘Karma’, Philip Glass’ ‘Glassworks’, and finished with Scott Walker’s ‘Tilt’. I was texting one person frequently, Skyping periodically with 2 others. I read over this once and did not change anything.