I went out to dinner with some co-workers tonight. We finally got around to celebrating a couple of contest winners at the fashion shop. I won a contest for selling the most shoes in the period. Another girl one for selling the most outerwear. Our managers treated us out to dinner at TGI Friday's. I ran into a girl that I used to be cool with a couple of years ago. She dated one of my neighbors -- actually, two different guys sharing two different apartments in the same house (scandalous, I know) -- and we forged our own get-along. We were variably cool and close. She's not originally from Lexington, and she's trying to do school and finish up stuff so she can move back east and continue with a job or education. Like other servers, we share this strange rut. We make okay money, but life doesn't seem to have enough going for it. She's trying to move on. I verbalized something similar, and, tonight, something kinda clicked in my heart. I think I've got an okay plan. Some of you know that I just went to Los Angeles, and I've been checking out graduate programs for next fall. Maybe a couple of months ago, I was pretty self-satisfied. All I would have to do is apply for schools, maintain working, and try to get my finances in order so that the move could happen. Then, I would start talking with different friends I have across the country, and make this fancy battle plan to spend one month on the road and visit everyone and have a good time. Between that inner yearning for freedom and feeling rather dissatisfied at working this same grind for over a year now, I think I'm losing it a little. I'm not as happy as I think I should be. I'm not happy here. I think I'm really pissed off that I'm uprooting from my apartment. It's for my own good; I don't have to put up with my roommate's annoying dog anymore, for starters. But still, I gotta pick up and get my shit out of here. If I don't, it'll just keep getting more antagonistic and I already lived that way once. It's a nightmare! And it's hard. The instability is rough. I don't like being in this city. I'm really different, you know. I can get along with people, but I'm not getting a lot of stimulation. I work way too hard at the health clinic, and I'm not all about being super nice to people. I'm getting drained at the fashion shop, and now I have to consider a careful night job change because the restaurant tips aren't there like they need to be. I love school; I hate that it's a year out from now. And sometimes the reality sets in that I'm 27, that I'm not all that far from 30, and I really still don't have much to show for it. I'm lagging behind the curve, and I keep feeling like I'm always hustling my way forward and it's pretty psychologically demanding. I can't drop out, though. I know some people just throw their hands up and say "fuck it," and as tempting as that idea sounds, I have to keep supporting myself. The world isn't going to go away just because I want to get away from it. I spent way too much time building good credit. I'm sorry, guys. I feel a little emotional this evening. I don't get like this very often. I'm usually a rock, and I don't find myself feeling very vulnerable. I'm just a little tired. My room is a wreck, and I haven't committed to throwing away all of my crap just yet. I sold some stuff. I got a little misty-eyed when I typed "I feel a little emotional..." I'm unhappy because I'm trying to hustle. I've been asking myself what's the best way to come up with more money, and I'm already tight on hours. I've been thinking of swapping jobs, how to be direct about it if I talk to other employers. I've also been thinking about California and how awesome it would be to find a decent gig out there and just pack up the car too. I'm a little off-kilter. I just need to pick a path already.