Block 531: November 26, 2014


Wednesday, day before Thanksgiving.

I went to bed so incredibly angry last night.

Date: November 26, 2014

Crane: 531

Days Spent on Project: 646

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Today, I really want to send this Crane to…

The guy from last night: Josh B.

For the lessons learned below, and the fact that I’m just struck by how alone I feel here.

Not that you did anything mean to me. You didn’t say anything bad to me.

But, it’s interesting feeling to have this morning, to feel so embarrassed because you thought a date was happening when one wasn’t. To be disappointed in yourself, in general.

It’s not a big deal though. No worries.

Just a lot to think about.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’m listening to Kesha, especially her song “Last Goodbye.”

This song is such a strong reminder of November 2012 for me. I had just moved into my apartment in Washington Heights, I had piles of books everywhere and my clothes were arranged in stacks in the bedroom. I had an old loveseat, which also served as my drawing desk and kitchen table. My TV was on the floor, and I only used it to stream movies from my laptop. And, at the time, it was frustrating because I had just left the Upper East Side and I missed the excitement of that neighborhood, but Washington Heights was offering me more space to live in for cheaper, a better maintained building, a nearby low-key park with an awesome dog run, cheaper groceries, laundry in the building, and views of the Hudson and the Palisades. Yes, it wasn’t perfect. I didn’t have much work lined up. Hurricane Sandy had just messed up all of New York. I was still borderline destitute. I was eating trash and going out for drinks more than I should, but it was all that it was.

And that album, Kesha’s Warrior, had just come out and I was obsessed with that song. I would play it on repeat and sing along to it badly.

And it all felt like I was still in control. Even though things weren’t great, things felt like they were still in my control. Somehow, between that month– November of 2012– and July 2014– my last in New York City– I was no longer drowning. I had drowned.

It’s so interesting that this song reminds me so strongly of sitting on that plaid loveseat and sketching costumes for a show in Providence and feeling vaguely content.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I went to bed so incredibly angry last night.

And why? Why exactly was I so angry?

I went on what I thought was a second date last night; that’s what I intended when I asked this guy out. Unfortunately, at the end of the evening, he told me he disagreed.

Why was this so upsetting?

Maybe because it was one of the first “dates” I’ve been on (in a while) that made me look forward to the next. That doesn’t always happen to me/for me. Maybe it was one of the first times that someone’s been so direct with me; I haven’t been told, “I’m just not that interested in you.”

True, I do not go on a lot of dates. I just don’t. And the ones that I’ve been on usually don’t follow up with a second. And I’m usually okay with that. If no one feels the need for a second, why beat yourself up? It is what it is.

But I’ve never been so explicitly told that I didn’t fit the bill.

So my anger last night stemmed from embarrassment. I don’t normally assert myself (“Hey, how about a drink sometime?”) with guys. And the few experiences I’ve had here with them just seem to hammer the point home; no one seems interested here.

So my anger last night stemmed from fear. I’m stuck here in Portland with my dog and I work weird hours and more than 40 hours a week and usually 6-7 days a week. This does *not* rub me the wrong way; coming from freelance in New York, this is my normal. But, I’m learning that isn’t Portland Normal. I fear that my desire to work like this won’t allow me to settle into Portland. I like what I do. I overly like what I do. I fear that I’m in a relationship with my work, and I have a deeper connection to fake characters in plays that real people anywhere.

So my anger last night stemmed from isolation. I’m also learning there isn’t a real understanding of theater here. When I say “I do costumes for theater,” I get a lot of “oh?” responses. In New York, people knew that Theater was There. Granted, we weren’t desirable people to date or hang out with (Something about being an untethered “freelance artist.”), but people knew that Theater was staked in the city.

I was told last week– at the theater– that my standards were going to drop if I stayed here.


Sure, if they mean people, of course my standards will change. That happens as we grow up and meet people and learn about ourselves. The guys that peaked my interest when I was 22 aren’t the same guys that peak my interest now. We evolve as our relationships to the world, ourselves, and our community changes. It happens.

But if they mean work– and they did– NO. Just no.

There are moments when I fear– I actually fear this– that I might actually be good and that I may actually have something to say and do and contribute. I fear that I’m good. I fear more so that I won’t have an outlet for anything I’m thinking or what I want to do.

So I start projects like these. It’s something I do in isolation (You can’t sew a quilt block easily in a group) at home.

I run. I run by myself because I do it when I can fit it in my schedule.

I write. I try to write in public, but I always get distracted by people around me, so I end up not producing much.

I’m angry because at 35 I’m starting to understand that life seems to be walking me along by myself and that I’m going to have a life full of interesting things and tidbits and accomplishments, but none of those things or tidbits or accomplishments will involve another person who’s invested in me for no other reason than they want to be.

Yeah, and I know some really heavy events are happening across America right now and that there’s so much dissatisfaction, so my worries about my life don’t amount to much, but jeez.

I went to bed so angry last night, and I just feel so hopeless about it all. All of it.

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