I want to smoke the day's last cigarette. I want to remember what I said.

Tomorrow I will be 26. I have passed the halfway mark to 30 where things just change. I don't know how or why, but they're changing. I'm changing, and I have many changes to make.

I have struggled to quit smoking on and off for the past year, to little avail and with limited success. I have listed my reasons before, so I won't bother. I wanted to get a leg up on it, wanted to quit while I was still young and could not yet feel its effects on my body. Now I can see that maybe many smokers have wanted to do this but were not able to. I am not able to, not without a full on struggle with my own flesh.

I would like to believe that I simply haven't made any promises to myself in life and, therefore, I have not disappointed myself by failing to keep my promises to myself. This is simply not true. Part of it is the rage, sadness and confusion I've been through within the last few weeks, but it goes back further, to when I first moved here to New Orleans and first attempted to make a fresh start in a new place, completely alone and on my own. Being alone is part of my trick, you see. The less people I have in my life, the less vulnerable I have to be, the less I can fail. I help anyone who needs it and love what friends I have dearly (often playing a mother or counselor role because I like to listen and help others), but it is extremely hard for me to be the weak one, to ask for help, even though there have been several times as of late that I have needed it. It is a combination of pride and the need for control, and I have some clues where it comes from, but I can't seem to alleviate it in my life.

I make lists of where all my money goes. I either go hungry paying bills because I can't think ahead or, when I have a little extra money, go overboard buying things that I've needed for a long time and have nothing left over. I was like this even when my income was double what I paid in debts. I am angry at myself for not aspiring to be something more than I am now, career-wise, and I am scared to death of failure. People have to literally coax me into applying for teaching positions, and I have had a couple opportunities land in my lap that haven't panned out.

I feel sometimes I am waiting for my life to, well, start. I guess there are many people like that, and the way things are set up, you could feasibly never begin living and yet still be alive, still hold a job and pay taxes and feed yourself. The human will enables all levels of survival, but will default to the base needs when the heart cannot be stirred.

And I am sick of that shit.

My goals are to quit smoking, cold turkey, with no exceptions. When I finally get moved into my new place (next weekend hopefully) find the binder with my resumes and get the school from Sheri that needs 5th grade teachers. I need a second job now anyways, so I need to look for that too. I want to join a gym. I joined one last year for a year and lost a nice amount of weight; I want to get back into that. My body cannot (or will not soon in the future) be able to metabolize my poor diet as well as it used to. I want to write more, and more constructively. I need to seek publication, or I will go nuts in my apathy. And I need to start saving money. I need I need I want. How's it feel to want? It fucking sucks.