40 Days: Smokescreen

I’m not sure if I should say this because I don’t have 40 of these, but I feel like I’m setting up this theme of “Katie’s uncomfortable secrets.”

Every now and then, if I have a particularly bad day or if the mood strikes, I smoke a cigarette.

I still remember the first time I smoked. I was in my friend’s car, and he had bought a pack of these black clove cigarettes. At the time, I had no conception of the social stigma against Goth kids who smoked these cigarettes. I also had no conception of the assault on my senses that one smoke would be: the utter delight in the smell, the sweetness on my lips, the tingle in my skin.

I remember that first smoke with more detail than I remember my first time having sex.

Some people know I smoke occasionally. Many don’t. I’m not certain why I’ve always felt like this was some kind scandalous deceit. But it was. Sometimes, I feel like it is.

And sometimes, I am just embarassed by the fact that it’s a signifier that I am having a bad day at work.

It’s hard to actually be okay with my Day Job (except when I’m not) for the first time since before I graduated from college. I have a brilliant mind, and I am damn good at most things I am exposed to for any amount of time. See? Uncomfortable secrets!

It used to be that if I wasn’t working towards my goal of full-time, hippy-dress-wearing writing, everything was just a waste of my time.

Now? I feel supported in my workplace. I accept and enjoy that I can comfortably pay my bills and yet also persue my writing once I’m clocked out.

That said, what I am even more okay with now is the realization that my Day Job does not define who I am. “What do you do?” is no longer a question that makes me scramble for qualifiers. I say, firmly, steadily, “I am a writer.”

As a part of that, I started reading “The Artist’s Way” today. I am very excited for the promise it holds.

I am always anticipating a few less bad days.

Gratitude of the day: I thank God that I am lucky enough to have a Day Job, and the occasional bad day to keep my appreciating all the good ones.

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