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I've been finding it increasingly more difficult to maintain some semblance of my former-self. Former-self is probably a misleading term, but I'm not sure how else to put it. Perhaps as Ashley (oh and pretty much the rest of my "known you forever" crowd) has noted, there are two Jocelyns. There is the more common face - the glowing, bubbly me that is all smiles and hugs... happy to see everyone, ready to race into the night and see what it holds in store. And then there is the "i'm here, but I'm kind of not" Jocelyn. And lately, I've been that second girl who really isn't much fun at all - and so I've been trying to put on the trappings of my other self, but I'm just not feeling it. Of course there are stints of true enjoyment dotting my evenings, I'm still enchanted by the music, glad to see friendly faces. It's just getting harder to keep it up to stay "on" all night, when half the time I just want to be home, in bed, where I'm not so painfully aware that I'm grasping at straws in the distraction department.

It has recently occurred to me that both "me"s are distractions from my life - which it seems - is rapidly whizzing by. And whether I run out to Manhattan every night, filling in every spare moment, or I cower under my covers getting lost in celluloid dreams on the small screen, my life goes on. My life which it seems is running wildly out of control is careening ahead in my periphery. And I can't even begin to imagine how to lay hold of it at all, much less get it moving in a direction and a manner I can maintain.

I know. Melodramatic, to say the least. But even if I'm overreacting, it's true. I have let things, LIFE things, slide. Among them various financial obligations, laundry to the point of ridiculousness, dissatisfaction with my career, my education, my salary and my living situation, mail items with possible legal implications, and last but not least, timely maintenance appointments for my car. Currently, the latter item is landing me in a shitload of trouble - and the rest are looming about my head in the shape of a giant black cloud. And there is a certain amount of self-loathing involved once you determine that your life is falling to shit because YOU let it... so really, I don't want to have fun. I'd prefer my escapism to be fun-free. There is enough guilt in my system at the moment without the added stress of knowing that I'm out, spending money I don't really have and having a good time when I ought to be home, straightening out my life and atoning for the sins that got me off track to begin with. Mea culpa, mea culpa!!

This morning the tow truck came to take the beetle off to the dealership to investigate the possible "engine damage" that I may have done inadvertently when I added oil in accordance with my oil light flashing (which it turns out in a VW means "check oil pressure" and not "low oil level"). I actually got choked up as they drove it away. I am so devastated over what I may have done to my car... it might border on the absurd. The problem is this. I got behind on my service appointments. I never took it for it's 10,000 mile check up, nor did I have the oil changed religiously every 5,000 miles. Turns out these kinds of things can negate your warranty. On say, things like your ENGINE. I couldn't sleep to save my life last night. I chewed my fingers down to raw stubs. All I could think about was "the call" I'll be getting later today from the dealership telling me how fucked up my engine is, and demanding to see service records that I can't supply them with. I was up until 4 at least, woke again at 5:30, and then got up at 7 to make the call to the tow company. I'm brutally tired which i'm sure is adding to my emotional state, but I can't seem to find joy in anything at all today. Even when my mother tried to console me this morning, telling me it was only money, and that thank god I wasn't waiting on medical tests or something to that effect. And she's right. things could be SO much worse. But i found myself unable to hold back my tears anyway... it's just the worst feeling to know that I could have saved my self all the hassle and aggravation by just keeping up with these things that, I KNEW, I should have been doing. Things that I blew off for one ridiculous night out or another... nights (or hungover days) that are interchangeable by now, and in the scheme of things, not in the least worth these consequences. Not to mention that while the money IS just money... I still don't have much of it, and this kind of projected expense has the potential to set me back for months and months to come.

The Yankees losing the pennant is NOT helping my mood. Nor is the fact that the Sox have the series up 2 games to none at the moment... I just feel like I can't hang on to anything I thought was real. And it's funny, because the night before my car succumbed to the check engine light, I was driving around thinking about the rest of my troubles, and actually remarking to myself, "thank god I have this car... I can deal with whatever else as long as I have my baby car." And then it was gone. And I was shocked by the instant imprisonment - it had been my outlet, my ticket to freedom. It was the one place I could go to feel free, to feel at home in my own skin no matter what else was going on in my life, it was the simplest way I knew how to clear my mind, to renew my own faith my own sense of hope for my life. Again, yes, I'm being dramatic, but it's true. Living where I live without my own car is suffocating. Simple things like running over to the store to make a return suddenly become monumental events that require planning.... And while a night out with another driver may mean I can tip the bottle all i want, it also means that I can't bail on the evening when I'm just not feeling it.

I'm feeling a little like Ashley Simpson right about now: exposed, and really embarrassed to obviously not have been exercising any real control over my own life. You know, kind of like I've been living a lie. Which, I suppose, I have been.

I'm still waiting on "the call" - every ring makes me jump a mile in my skin and my stomach is resembling something of a haywire elevator at present. I know that in the past I have been TRULY lucky in achieving / receiving things that I didn't necessarily earn - and that I certainly don't deserve that kind of miraculous luck right now... Here I am, forehead to the floor in abject contrition, begging, pleading to whatever deity might hear my prayer that this situation doesn't become the catastrophe I've been imagining.