Monday, August 18, 2014

The Beginning

Moving back home is never easy. Being an adult and going off to have an adult life and then finding yourself back in your childhood bedroom, no matter how nice that bedroom, is just never a good feeling.

That’s where I am right now, back home. It’s actually quite hard to type that out - seeing the black and white text staring back at me. Back home.

So - I’m starting this blog as a project to help me keep my sanity - maybe writing it all out will help. Having an outlet, that’s healthy, right? Creating an outlet?

Where to start? First, the ground rules. There’s no way to write this without sounding pompous, which hurts me, but here goes: my family is wealthy and well known in our community. My dad places a lot of importance on the family’s social standing, so to avoid any embarrassments, and to give me the freedom to write openly: anonymous. Secondly, due to point one, all names have been changed. Thirdly, as a benefit of point one, I’m committing to total honesty here (otherwise, what is the point?); no hiding from the uncomfortable truths about my life. Also a chance for me to say the things I have to bite back in real life.

My family - let’s call us The Elliots - my mom and dad and their three daughters. I’m the middle one. My older sister Elizabeth still lives with Dad, and my younger sister Mary is married with one kid. Elizabeth and Dad are very alike. Elizabeth (insists on people using her full name, no nicknames; so I will take great joy in nicknaming her Beth here, heh) dabbles as an interior designer when clients of sufficient style, taste, and rank approach her, otherwise she spends her time spending Dad’s money as quickly as possible. (How am I doing on that honesty clause?) Beth is my sister and I love her, I just wish she was less focused on appearances and status and material things. My other sister, Mary, is married to a nice guy and has a son who is…. energetic. Mary likes attention. I’d say I get on better with Mary, but we’re hardly bosom buddies.

I have very little in common with any of my living family members, if I’m brutally honest.

Our mother died when I was 14. She was perfection - which is what you would expect a daughter to say of her mother who died so early. It’s not just my account that supports this notion, though, my godmother Lacy would agree. In my mother’s absence, Lacy has been the closest thing to a mother; she is the person I am closest to in the world. Part of the reason she is so important to me is because Dad is, well, Dad is most focused on ensuring we only socialize with those who are worthy. His lineage traces back to Very Important People, and he feels it is his duty to maintain the respectability of the family name. He is less concerned with the details of raising three daughters, it’s just not his thing.

Let’s be honest, I’m spending all this time going over the cast of characters because I’m avoiding something. Avoiding telling why I’m 27 and have moved back home. Let’s get that over with.

I went to school, studied, figured myself to be a fairly smart, capable person. “Steady and dependable” Lacy would describe me, I think. After graduating I went into publishing, despite it having terrible prospects. I love writing and books and the whole frustrating process of taking a manuscript and turning it into a complete book that people buy. I got lucky out of school and landed an entry level job at a small publishing house that published beautiful novels. I managed to work my way up to an editorial assistant position with hopes of someday being a commissioning editor. All sounds good, right? I mean, my paycheque was tiny and the hours very long, but I loved my work. Loved it. Anyway - the company went out of business. It’s just the state of publishing today, it’s hard for small publishing houses to be profitable.

I've suddenly been thrust into free time. There are zero jobs in publishing right now and a lot of competition for those zero jobs. I sold my condo and I've given myself a year (max) of mooching off my Dad to see if I can realize a dream I've had to start a non-profit focused on improving literacy among disadvantaged kids.

Turns out, I may have been very wrong in thinking of Dad’s as a safe financial hiding place.

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