I’m happy with some parts of my life right now, and I try to be grateful for what’s good in my life. But there are other areas where I’m very dissatisfied.

I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party. I just keep feeling like maybe if I write out what I don’t like and what I want that’s missing, I can better understand how to move forward.

I don’t have many people to talk with these days, which is part of the problem, so I’m talking to you, Internet.

I ended up where I am because I realized I’m bollocks at working a 40-hr work week and that I can’t actually do call center work without spiraling into deep depression and anxiety.

I actually like two of my part-time jobs now, but I’m constantly broke and worried about money. My sister said I don’t have to pay her for my phone bill for a while, so that will help. She just graduated from nursing school and is currently unemployed, but somehow she’s more financially stable than I am.

I was talking about how I put bills that are due the beginning of the month on my credit card until after the 15th when I will get paid again, since my rent is so much of my income. Now I feel kind of ashamed about that because I am working so hard but somehow she can pay all her bills without worrying about it even though she’s not working right now.

Shame and guilt don’t get me anywhere, though.

Ideally, to preserve my mental health, I’d like to work no more than 30-35 hours a week. I have creative projects I want and need to work on, too, which is part of the reason I wanted to quit my soul-sucking job in the first place.

But I don’t know how to keep the two jobs I like, quit the other, and find something that doesn’t require a lot of time investment, but which will still net me about $100 a week.

Also, because I’m working a variable schedule, I feel like all of my life is scheduled. Like, every second of it. After chores, cooking, getting enough sleep… I have to pencil in social engagement, let alone making time for myself.

I feel lonely and scattered. I’ve moved before, and I was expecting 6-9 months of being lonely when I came to Austin. But it’s been over a year now, and I still have less than a handful of people I can consider true friends.

Quality time is one of my most important love languages, and it makes it hard for me to feel close to people I don’t see regularly.

I know people have lives, but I miss the friendships where we had a standing weekly engagement. Maybe that’s easier when you’re in school.

I feel like so many of the social connections I make in Austin are tenuous and ephemeral. I meet someone at an event or a party, and we have a connection, but then I never see them again. I don’t know how to maintain those connections or bring those people into my daily life and social circles. Maybe I can’t. Maybe I need business cards?

Also, because I’m so busy working, I don’t really have the time or energy for hobbies. I’ve managed to keep my garden alive, but I haven’t been tending it as much as I’d like and I’m not sure when I will be able to figure out fall planting.

I finally got my mending done, but I have sewing projects I’ve been meaning to finish for over a year. I was going to teach myself to knit.

I’ve been reading books, but even that’s technically work because I’m doing it to write reviews and get paid for them.

I feel like my life’s really unbalanced.

I miss being able to go to events with people and feel like there are parts of my life that are easy and fun. Even most of the events I cover at work, I go to alone because I can’t get anyone to come with me.

I thought working part-time would mean working less, but somehow it feels like I have even less time than when I was working a traditional schedule.

Maybe it’s harder to see the time when it’s so variable. I used to know I had every evening and weekend free, but now I have some mornings, some evenings. And I usually end up filling up at least one of my days “off” with some other kind of work to get by.

Maybe it’s just that it’s really hard to not have two days off in a row. When I had weekends off, one day was for catching up around the house, and the other was for me. Now I never get a day to myself because whatever time I’m not working, I want to spend with people I care about.

I feel like I spend too much time alone as it is, but I guess it doesn’t feel as rejuvenating because I’ve just been working. Sometimes it feels like making time to have hobbies is taking time away from being with people. Unless I can find someone to do these things with me. But I haven’t yet.

I want more time to explore my neighborhood. Ride my bike. Do yoga. Work on creative projects. Develop intimate friendships.

But I also feel like there isn’t any time in my life set aside for just doing whatever I want. Sometimes it feels like adding in these things I want to do feels more like a chore than a good thing. Like oh, here’s another thing I have to make time for now, when already I don’t have any time to begin with.

I don’t want it to feel that way, and I’m not sure why it does, exactly. I feel like scheduling fun makes it less fun, but none of these things are happening spontaneously, or there wouldn’t be a problem. What’s the answer?

Maybe I can kill a few birds with one stone? If I could find people who wanted to get together once a week and ride around my neighborhood, or host a craft night at my house? It might be hard to do the same evening every week with my schedule, but something has got to change. And soon.

I’m tired of being lonely. I’m tired of counting every penny. I’m tired of being exhausted and feeling like all I do is work.

I just need a break.

I want to travel. I want to go somewhere, do something.

Will there ever be a point in my life where I don’t feel trapped?

Maybe if I can hold onto the things I want and remember them, they won’t just slip away.

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