The Red Threads That Tie Us…

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Archive for the tag “real world”

A Question of Planning

One of my least favorite interview style questions to be asked is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I hate that question. I hate any form of that question. I’m not great with decisions and I don’t tend to see things in black and white. I’m gray all the way, baby. So figuring out and actually saying where I will be in five years, six months, or however long is a touch distressing for me. I’ve always replied to that with “I don’t know, I’m not big on lists or plans like that.”
Or so I thought.
Then I started getting closer to twenty five. That’s a baby still to a lot of people out there, but it’s a big deal to me. Not a huge quarter life crisis or anything, but it made me realize that actually… I did have some plans. Annnnd they weren’t really happening. And I’m not really sure how I feel about that.
Here’s the deal. I want to be happily married and have kids. I have never felt any sort of rush or pressure for this sort of thing, I just always knew it was what I wanted. Great, dandy, I have plenty of time, right? Wellllllll, here’s where the plan comes in. I kinda thought I would be in the love of my life relationship at this point. Apparently the back of my mind, where all the plans are, thought I would be planning a wedding right about now. Only… I’m not.
I always thought I would get married, enjoy a few years as a married couple, and then have kids when things felt right. Worked for my parents! It’s a pretty good blue print for a happy life if you do it right. But I wanted to have kids around twenty eight. And I wanted to date my wonderful soul mate for a few years before we got married. You know, work out whatever kinks we could. Then have a few years of married life to work out whatever kinks pop up then. Finally, add kids. You see the issue? Kinda hard to shove all of this into just three years.  Especially since I was single when I started this post. (More on that later)  Doesn’t really work into this plan I didn’t know I had.
I feel stupid admitting all this. My life is pretty good right now. I’m only twenty five (nearly). I have a lot of freedom and time, a lot of paths open to me. But it feels really weird to see what I didn’t know I thought would happen slowly fading away as a possibility. It’s weird to realize I was a secret planner and only figure that out when a plan doesn’t come together.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here, feeling a little embarrassed for how silly I sound, and mapping out my next plan. Which may or may not happen. But the journey better be really exciting.

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Burst the Bubble

Would you rather know the details of something that was
awful and had the potential to deeply disturb you and stay with you or would
you rather be blissfully unaware?

I ask this because often I will learn of something that is
so awful I feel I have to share, but I know most people don’t want to hear
about it. Part of me can’t blame them. I’m the kind of person who has scenes
and phrases that will replay in my mind for years and years. It’s not nice to
have that kind of thing in your head. It’s not comfortable.

Joe used to ask why I would look at articles of animal abuse
or get involved in trying to save animals on the euthsinia list if it made me
cry. He couldn’t understand why anyone would continue to do something that
clearly upset them.

But if everyone looks away, ignores what is happening, then
who steps up? Who says “This isn’t right, there has to be another way. There
has to be a way to stop this from happening.”? I understand the idea of staying
in that comfortable bubble. I get why people want to leave things alone.

But I can’t always be that person. What do you do? It’s okay
to be in that bubble… you have to be able to work on yourself before you work
on the world. I’m just curious how people see themselves.

Hanging On for the Ride

It’s hard getting my thoughts in order and then down on the page. I’m so used to being able to write nearly effortlessly that this… disconnect has been very strange for me. Obviously, I don’t write as much as I did and things have been very stressful for the past…. year. But still… I feel I should still write as well and easily as before.

Things have been very black and white lately. 2011 is pulling a Dickens and becoming the best and worst of times. My self-confidence and self-worth have risen to a level I never thought possible. I’ve met some great people and gotten closer to others that I treasure. I find myself a stronger person. However, it’s also been a year of some serious depression and upheavals. Change can be good, but it is always stressful and plans never work out quite the way you saw them originally.

What’s all this vague blah blah blah about? A great example is the end of the July heading into the foreseeable future. My heart was filled to bursting as I traveled back to NEPA to attend the wedding of the Philosopher to his beautiful partner. I got to spend some serious quality time with some of my best friends. Shaba and I have decided this seeing each other once a year for weddings bullshit has to stop. We’re out of mutual friends prepared to make the leap, afterall.

However, the day I arrived, I also got the news I was dreading about the health of a close family member. It is an interesting feeling in the heart to feel incredibly happy and devastated at the same time. Then mix in some fury, since I deal with things well. We won’t even mention the stress from job concerns, since that takes a serious back seat to this.

Another layer added on to this complicated trifle of emotions was that right as all of this was happening, I was also starting something more than just an exchange of emails with a guy from one of the dating sites. The first one to grab my attention and keep it. To make my heart pound. The first one to make me act like a total girl and throw on thirty different outfits before meeting for pizza. He can make me smile from just a text and has me constantly laughing and happy when I’m with him. And I seem to be doing the same things for him (although he’d probably object to being called a girl and I doubt he put on thirty outfits before meeting me at the drive-in last night).

Of course because it’s me, he can’t be a simple guy in my mountains, just doing his thing. No, he’s a Navy man (mmm, that uniform)(also bonus points due to serious pride for my father’s Naval service) who is going through his own share of troubles. An hour and a half away from me. But if he can brighten my heart through the health issues and missing of friends and I can make him laugh despite his situation, then I think this is worth further exploration.

So my life is a roller coaster with some pretty serious dips and turns right now. Good thing I like adventure, right?

How are all of you? Screaming up and down a roller coaster or taking a turn in the tea cups?

It’s Not Always Gumdrops and Glitter

Just to be clear, life is not all peachy and perfect for me. I don’t want to give the impression that Joe and I broke up and the world became right. God, no. I have my moments of deep sadness, even depression. This weekend I almost broke down in the shower because I wasn’t able to control my two huge dogs on a walk as well as I wanted. I was so mad and sad and felt like I was failing in every aspect. But then I realized it was nearly 11 and all I had had to eat was a handful of mini marshmallows. Not exactly the breakfast of the sane and rational.

I get mad at Joe for the choices he made and I get upset when I see all the things I could have done differently. The important part is that when I catch myself doing this, I work really hard to stop. Looking back is important because we need to learn from the past, but you cannot change what has already happened. Concentrating on that leads only to madness.

I AM happier, I AM healthier, and I AM continuing to do what I see as best for myself and my loves. I’m legitimately excited for the future and what I’m going to find there. It’ll be big and it’ll be impressive, because I honestly can’t accept anything less than that. I mean too much to accept less than what I deserve.

The best part is that I’m finally learning that those words are true. They aren’t just something I’m saying to shut up a well meaning friend or family member. I am worth it. I may still get sad or angry or hate the way I look in that shirt, but at least those are becoming the rare moments in my life instead of the normal.

So I’ll forgive myself those brief moments when I want to slam a fist through a wall or want to crawl under the covers and cry. Because they are brief. And they remind me of how far I’ve come and how much more I have to go.

It’s going to be a fun journey! There will probably be fire…

Revolutionary Girl is Back!

So a lot has happened since my last post.

The Boyfriend decided that he didn’t want to try and live with me anymore. We were having issues, been feeling more like roommates than anything else, but instead of talking about it, he just quit. I was shocked and upset and hurt, but almost instantly my thought was “It’s his loss.” And it is. I’m a lot of work, but I’m worth it in the end and he didn’t want to stick it out. Some other stuff happened, but it’s not worth going into. We’re sharing custody of our two dogs, but I have them most of the time right now.

I’ve moved out, into a three bedroom INCREDIBLE apartment with my coworker and friend. I’m loving it. The apartment has such great vibes and light and Jessie is so easy to get along with. We’ve been having so much fun together.

My depression is pretty much gone. I don’t expect that to last forever, but it’s a nice break! I will always get sad and angry at times, but my highs right now are wonderful. And they seem to be lasting. A lot of my depression was revolving around my relationship and how I never felt like enough or like I was being a real partner. And we weren’t. We waited too long to really talk and try to work out our problems so this is how it worked out. I’m okay with this. I’m really looking forward to what the future brings me.

I hope The Boyfriend and I can be friends, good friends, because that’s what we’ve always been. But I’m leaving that ball in his court because he doesn’t seem to want to be around me and I’m sure as hell not pushing. I went that route before and a one sided friendship is just awful. So The Boyfriend is now just Joe and we’ll either be friends or just civil when we pass the dogs off to one another.

I followed ChelseaTalksSmack’s idea for Valentine’s Revolution to a certain extent. I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, single or not, and this year my roommate Jessie and I were both single, so we planned an awesome day! We bought salmon and rice for dinner, a bunch of spa things to treat ourselves with afterwards. We ended up spending a lot of time building a tv stand and putting up a curtain rod, but we still managed to make and decorate two heart shaped cakes, one for us and one for the office, putting on masks, and enjoy The Proposal, which was hilarious! Very sweet, too. It was a wonderful day, and I’m really looking forward to more days like it.

So how are all of you?

Dedicated to Chico and Dad

Okay, I know you’ve been inundated with animal posts lately (try talking to me, oy…) but this will be the last mention of a pet for at least a bit. I just have to mention it.

My sweet, wonderful, six year old family guinea pig Chico died Tuesday. He led a long, happy life and gave us a lot of comfort and joy along the way. He had a massive infection in his bottom teeth and my parents did everything, from getting him emergency surgery to syringe-feeding him gruel morning and night. Even my father helped out, and he never had pets until we came into his life.

It was Daddy who called and let me know. I could hear the tears in his voice and it really brought home to me what kind of man my father is, and how lucky I am to have him. Dad grew up with no pets because his father hated them. So he didn’t really get it, but let Mom slowly bring animals into the house. And he loved them all. As secretly as possible. Our guinea pigs lived in luxury because my Mom always had big cages and my Dad didn’t like the idea of them having little homes. So he would either build or make sure they had the biggest cages possible. He doesn’t understand my obsession with fish (“they’re just fish, darnit, what’s the big deal?”) but when Henry the Chinese Algae Eater committed suicide, Daddy got out of his comfy chair and came all the way upstairs to hug me.

Dad was the one who made the decision to pay for surgery for our elderly, free guinea pig. It was worth the money to make his animal as comfortable as possible and as healthy as possible. I don’t know many people who would do that for their dog, never mind a guinea pig.

My father is strong, compassionate, and incredibly loving. I think the world would honestly be a better place if more people had fathers like mine. It would probably be a sweeter place if more people had pets like Chico too. I hope he finds a warm lap to curl up on in Guinea Pig Heaven.

A Mouse in a Lion Suit

It’s always disappointing when you expect yourself to roar like a lion and all you hear is a little mouse whisper.

I got my butt patted by a client the other day. He came up behind me and BAM! Hand on my ass. I was so shocked that I was literally speechless for a moment. That right there is upsetting. I would have hoped that my pseudo-confident, feminist, positive sex self had taken over more of the shy, scared little girl than that. My response to something like that in my head was always either a slap/punch (let’s face it, I’m violent) or an immediate “Don’t EVER touch me again!” said loudly. Instead, there was nothing.

Luckily, another client, a sweet older man, immediately spoke up. “Hey now! We don’t do that kind of thing!” Thanks, old man, for speaking when I couldn’t. I’m glad that someone could, and doubly glad it was someone of your gender and age.

Sadly, my mouse voice continued even further. Once I was alone with the client, instead of speaking in a confident, strong voice, I quietly told him that his actions were completely inappropriate. Quietly. It obviously had no effect on him, since he made two inappropriate comments during our time together. Yes, I again let him know this was unacceptable.

I ever APOLOGIZED to my supervisor when I told her about it. As if it were in any way my fault. I apologized multiple times because of the hassle she would have to go through because it. She never made it seem like a hassle, in fact had a really great response to it, which makes me feel good. Too often things like this are swept under the rug. However, I feel almost trained to apologize for something like this because I’m obviously at fault. I’m a woman after all.

NO! That’s so wrong and I hate that I feel even one iota of that. I want so badly for no female to ever feel it’s her fault. Or man who gets harassed for that matter.

So. We’ll see how it goes next time with the client and if even one thing makes me vaguely uncomfortable, I’m done. He can go to someone else. I refuse to put up with that behavior, especially when it has nothing to do with his symptoms. At least I know I’ll be supported there.

I’ll run back into a burning building for a friend, but I apparently won’t speak up for myself. This is a problem. And one I promise myself I will work on. You should too.

Please don’t ever lose your voice.

I share it with a serial killer and video game.

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! And payday, so that’s good too. Obviously I view this as a national holiday. Not only because it’s my birthday, but because birthdays rock over all.

So far I have had a very nice one. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast, cards and cake from my coworkers, flowers and a balloon from The Boyfriend’s mom… yeah, good day. We’re going out to dinner so I don’t have to clean up and then MORE CAKE!

My cake at work even had little plastic animals on it. As my mother said, clearly these people know me.

So anyway… have a wonderful day today. Because today is AlexMac Day and I decree that all must have a sparkly good time. Or at least try, dammit.

Start A Revolution. Or At Least Fix That Damn Leaky Faucet.

I have a sort of blindness. If I become passionate about something, I don’t understand why others don’t become passionate about that subject as well. It’s not that I feel whatever I’m interested in is the most important thing, it’s just a sort of child-like lack of ability to make the connection that not everyone cares about the same thing.

Obviously I understand this on some level, but there’s always this little piece of me that saying “Wait, how can you just walk away from this? Isn’t this important to you too?” Okay, maybe I completely understand how not everyone is as interested in my obsession with food, or how not everyone thinks Vin Diesel is amazingly hot, sweet, and kind.

But we have a bunch of feral cats running around my office. Most of the time they do just fine, but sometimes they get really sick, or die, and frankly, they breed like hell which makes things less healthy for EVERYONE, including the cats. Apparently, people have been complaining of this problem to the local shelter for over SIX YEARS, but no one ever did anything. The shelter doesn’t have the space or manpower to trap ferals and the locals didn’t care enough.

If it’s bothering you or you’re worried, why aren’t you doing something? I guess a small group was, but it wasn’t very organized. I talked to shelter, got us a trap, a reduced rate to fix and treat any cat we bring in, and got all of this taken care of in a few weeks. Very little actually effort there. And we’ve already caught and released a cat.

If something is bothering you or if you’re passionate about something, stand up and DO something about it. Bring a little revolution into your life. By no means am I a true activist, always fighting for my passions and beliefs, getting things done. But I feel that if you really believe in something or if it’s something that bugs you and is easily fixed… why not move forward and take care of it.

That’s what I’m going to try for in my life. To be a little more of Revolutionary Girl. (Which is the title of my favorite poem by my friend Shelle… Also a reference to one of my favorite animes because I am a nerd. You love me anyway.)

Help!

I’m a in a rut, kids. I don’t have a ton of time to make delicious things, and I’m trying to eat healthier and save money. Sadly, most of the lovely cooking sites I gather recipes from are time consuming, full of expensive ingredients, or… the most damming of all… full of things that The Boyfriend won’t eat.

I should probably add that he’s strangely picky. Most herbs? Hates them. I tend to cook mostly with herbs. Pasta? Should only be served with red sauce in his mind. I, on the other hand, adore cream sauces, herbed sauces, wine sauces, any sauce for the most part. I also enjoy my pasta with just Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. It is very sad.

I tend to think about what I’m going to have for dinner while I’m eating breakfast, occasionally even days in advance. Not The Boyfriend. It makes planning kinda difficult.

We have some tasty staples, and are open to trying things (wink wink) but I want us to be healthier and more prepared when it comes to eating. So, internet loves of mine, any suggestions?

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