About Clara

Book-Profile

This is the part where I’m suppose to tell you how great I am and why it’s worth your time to read what I write (with updated information for 2018 in italics). But I’m going to tell you the truth. By the world’s standards, I’m not great.

Truth is objective but yes, it is because I’ve become hyper-aware of what the society I live in considers an “acceptable” lifestyle for someone of my age and abilities vs. what is general deemed as “unacceptable” or, more often, “sad” or “pathetic.” Why, I just caught up on all available seasons of Crazy Ex Girlfriend and even though a couple of characters struggle to leave the nest and another, during a time of difficulty, ends up moving back home temporarily, the other characters clearly see their troubles gaining independence as an unattractive mark of failing to “adult.” Josh’s mother even sings an entire song about how he can’t stay there much longer.

I suppose I could give you a short list of my accomplishments. After all, I’ve done things and been places. But so far my greatest accomplishment has simply been to live and keep living.

That was fine nearly three years ago but seriously, by now something should’ve changed.

My education and work history are hardly worth mentioning. I barely earned my Bachelor’s degree in French, a subject I’ve yet to master. After graduation, I tried to use my degree to further my career, but it turned out to be more of a hindrance than anything else. People kept asking me why I chose French as if to always remind me of how useless my university education was. I’ve tried to defend my choice and I’m sure I will again, but unless I do something amazing with my life that requires a strong knowledge of French, my major will always make me somewhat of a laughing-stalk. You’ll never see my diploma framed and hung on any wall.

I have vowed to return to France, as well. I’m calling it my “farewell tour” which you’ll understand when you read my memoir and there is a specific date I have in mind, but I’ll tell you later.

After a few years of jumping from one low-paying job to another, I left the workforce entirely. I hadn’t planned on doing so but ever since age 23 I’ve been plagued with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I mean, I’ve been suffering from it all my life, but I managed to go undiagnosed up until I experienced a major breakdown during my study abroad in France many years ago. Eventually the mental illness just became too overwhelming and the stress of holding down a regular job became impossible for me to cope with. So I moved in with my parents and sister and have lived here ever since.

I do NOT want this to be true anymore. Living at home feeds the shame. Not that my parents or sister say things that are harmful. It’s just the mere knowledge that I’m a grown-ass woman and I still can’t survive without my parents. I keep thinking, what’ve I done to deserve all this? Oh wait – nothing. I deserve this because I’ve done nothing. And it’s not like I don’t set out to do great things. I wrote a memoir. It’s not published but neither is it ready to be. I need feedback and yet I can’t afford a decent editor. Those reading it now are reading it because they want to and how can I justify giving them a deadline when what they’re doing is basically an act of charity anyway?

And what about other means of earning money, you ask? Why not get a simple day job working at a retail location or a café? That is a good question and I don’t know. Perhaps I’m afraid because I know my resume is full of employment gaps that I can’t ready explain. And where there are no gaps, there’s suspicious-looking job-hopping and at least half those jobs were at places that are no longer in business and therefore impossible to contact. It is a difficult dilemma but at least I have Medicare because the social security disability income I’m allotted.

My life is not completely meaningless, though, and that’s part of the reason I’m writing about it. I’ve been writing about it for many years but it’s never really been polished enough for publication. Of course, maybe that’s my fault. Maybe I expect my writing to be a little too perfect and, when it’s not, I think its all rubbish.

True. My life is anything but meaningless. I find meaning everywhere even if it was never really there to begin with.

You’ll learn bits and pieces of my story if you follow along. Every section of my story is part of a much larger tale that sometimes dances and becomes entangled with other people’s stories. My story cannot be told without remembering that it’s a continuation of a story that began long before I was born and will go on until the end of time.

This is also still true.

My hobbies and interests include:

  • Reading
  • Going to the movies
  • People watching
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Music
  • Browsing used bookstores and antique shops
  • Long walks (when it’s cool outside)
  • Hanging out with my family
  • Cats
  • Writing letters by hand
  • History
  • Art Appreciation
  • French and France
  • Travel
  • Musical Theater