This year (I'm talking past-12-months year, not calendar year) has really been, as we say in The Business, a "doozy". As I am someone who A.) grew up privileged in WhiteBread USA and B.) is only recently emerged as a financially independent adult, perhaps you can see how a year that involved one attempted and one successful apartment break-in, one positive pap smear, a couple of months spent suffering spectacular medicinal side-effects, two emergency root canals followed by countless oral housecleanings, two freak-accident occurrences that left my car's front bumper detached on both sides and myriad miscellaneous odds and ends has left me a little wary.
There's really nothing I can do without worrying about how it will affect my teeth in six months or whether my apartment will still be un-molested if I leave the deadbolt unlocked while I'm gone for five minutes. I am on emergency stand-by 24/7.
I spent one heady summer, when I moved into my first apartment (the one that got robbed, which I no longer inhabit), riding around the neighborhood on my bike. I would go for miles and miles, from one neighborhood to another, watching as the houses changed from ramshackle burnouts to beautifully restored family homes. On my ride to work (which was down the street) I passed more than one person who sat on their porch talking to themselves on a daily basis, but I loved it anyway. I knew where each and every one of the crazies lived and I felt like I owned the place.
Now, in my new apartment, which backs up to a quiet, middle-class neighborhood full of ranch-style houses, I hesitate to go out walking for fear of...I don't even know what; adorable puppy attack, I guess. Today, unable to defy the allure of beautiful weather, I found myself out, traipsing (a.k.a. speed walking for exercise) around; and while I took the liberty of exploring a few nooks and crannies, I still checked over my shoulder time and again when I heard the keys in my fanny pack (yeah, I wear a fanny pack when I exercise...suck it) jingling.
It's just...sucks, you know? It's a real tribute to how happy I am in my relationship and with my life in general that I'm not pulling my hair out screaming because some other ridiculous thing has gone wrong and ended up costing me $800 out of the blue.
The more this shit goes down, the more that I realize that me and my meager salary are more-or-less alone in this big blue world, the more fortunate I feel, in an under-this-steaming-pile-of-crap-there's-actually-a-beautiful-shining-pearl sort of way. There's a whole load of stuff that was given to me in life - the very fact that I have emerged from my undergraduate college career without a penny of personal debt says that I've got something that precious few others my age have placed in their lap - and I'm just...fortunate. There's no other way to say it.
So I'm not sure all this lousy stuff going down is just my share of shittiness coming due or what, but I'm still thinking I'll muddle through alright. Already I have renter's insurance and live in a neighborhood that's not addled with gangs; I've also got one clear Pap smear (and one more to go until I'm in the clear...God, there's nothing so pleasing as going to the gynecologist every six months), a birth control that doesn't make me feel like barfing 24/7, at least one side of my mouth that's not rotting out and some insurance money on the way to help with the car troubles.
And so to Life I say, it could be worse. But I better not see you try.