The Charming Charmer Charmed (5/365)

I owe a lot of words.  A fair wheelbarrow full of words.  Days upon days of not telling you the cut of my jib.

I apologize and am going to start making up for it.  I came home straight away from work and took a shower, just to get my own deep and yet ever-incipient blehness off.  Or at least the top layer of it.  Really, I thought, in my way, in my way that eight years or more years of writing has yet to cure me of, I can just get by with a handful of hours of sleep. I can take the shower in the morning.  A little more time to game. A little more time in the world of make-believe.  Someone else’s make-believe, mind.

The morning, this Priestess of the Holy Dawn discovers, only entails rapture for those who drag themselves up to meet it.  And I was in no fit state to drag myself anywhere.  Just a tragic gamer mess desperate for one more hour when there wasn’t one more to be had at 6:40 in the a.m.  The girlness was incidental.  But I felt sure that as bad as the hair was, as unctuous and displeasing as it appeared, I could at least mitigate the situation with my makeup bag.   The one I regularly leave in my car for just such a purpose.

Well, clever me, clever girl, unfit but dragged down to the parking lot, the Priestess makes a second discovery: no makeup bag.   Then she and I have to make a quick decision, right on the spot.  Go back up and spend 2 minutes looking for it and possibly be a few minutes later and have to do it at my desk which is not either of our favorites…or just go and assume nobody in this vast Vampire Factory will ever turn their head in my direction.

Have you any doubt as to which the Priestess and I selected as our professional behavior for the day?  I swear, I must have looked like death scraped up and served on toast.  Just frightful.  And this is the day that so many new things and new people had to be met.

So I came home as quickly as I could and am determined to get some sort of color on my zombie face tomorrow.  The lesson to all of this is that if I don’t pull myself away to handle my shit, it catches up with me.   And embarrasses me even when I swear I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.  And the game will still be there.  Everything will still be there, I lose nothing to take care of what I need to take care of.

More in an upcoming post as to how the diet is going (not not well, huzzah!), just suffice to say that I’ve been dumb about thinking the world will suddenly bend for me.  Maybe for as long as you have ever known of me.  Maybe longer yet.  And I’m not about to wise up. But I can stop being so damned stupid.

One-Star Review (1/365)

I am on the path. I know the start weight.  I know the score.  The feeling.  The muscle memory of January 1.  This is the easiest day of the whole thing.  The simplest to find the Fitbit and get it charged.  To look up a few low-carb websites.  To add a couple glasses of water to your morning.  To eat some cheese and be distracted by the newness of it all.

This is the day for all of that to happen.

I have gained weight over this year of undocumented emotional indulgence.  The roller coaster of are they, aren’t they, will they, won’t they, do they, don’t they has taken its only just now acknowledged toll.  I’ve pretended that I feel the same, even if stairs leave me slightly ought of breath, if I feel slightly overclocked sometimes, a mind and heart racing without any particular stress to trigger it.  There are signs that are subtle and not that double orders of chile cheese fries have an impact to the body.

I don’t feel the resonating thrum around the idea of providing this page with yet another, probably annual at this point, mea culpa.  I don’t feel like a public face palm is all that valuable to me, personally.   I was mad earlier, overlooking the scale, not shocked, but disappointed that I thought that the magic in my magical thinking was hardcore enough as to invent a workaround for the Law of Conservation.    That I could eat violently – eat against imperfection – and end up perfect.  End up unmarked and not carrying all of the impact of adding dessert at every meal, of cravenly eschewing anything remotely green in color (the chile was mostly red in hue). As ever, the value to me, or to you now, is in the path forward where either we do a little better at not fucking things up, or we don’t.  I mean, as much chatter as I can provide us both about it and we all know I can chatter with the best of them when I’m of a mind, the things I do today are what the rest of my life will look like if I don’t break the chain.

I have my plans.  My flexible suggestions that I am going to be writing into law once I am sure I am not going to spend every day breaking them.  I am writing them down, but not here.   Again, not until I am doing something I can comment on.  Day One, as has been explained to me at my new corporate job, is energy and excitement and press releases and the whole embodied concept of LAUNCH! It’s important and necessary to cast your boat off the shore hard and get moving.  But it’s Day Two, it’s the realization that people – perhaps you, dear reader – have moved on.  The excitement for them is already behind them, scratched out of their bullet journals, and it is on you to design and sustain your own passion and maintain it so you can sell it back to them all the way down the road.

So I have done the Day One Showing Up.  I have provided myself the rationale.  I have not eaten a single marshmallow of the bag of marshmallows that have sat next to me on the couch all day long.  I have joined the hordes of perpetual failure: I have started a diet  and I hope I achieve my goals with it.  But this is the same group that is winnowed out into those who get somewhere, who do make it.  It has to come out of the pool of everyone who is willing to say, goddamnit, okay, maybe my Id can’t run me from morning to night and I have to put my foot down.  All of us tryers standing at the shore, taking the shove into the waters we know, pulling ourselves into the waters we don’t.

 

 

How to Make a Mental Leap

It’s the title I’m putting on this post and I don’t know how to do it, but maybe if I assert that I already do know, I’ll figure it out.

I know that I have to suddenly become prepossessing.  I have to be able to be in charge.  I can’t dither, or dally, or leave a comma where it need not be.  I have to move mountains and light years and I’ve been given the direction that I should really have already pulled Fuji a few feet to the left.  Bare minimum.

I know this and I know I do not know how to do it.  I have been given kindly words by kind souls who believe or purport to believe in my skills, but I don’t know that those skills actually exist.  Maybe all of the lead-up to being in this job has been some sort of fever dream and I am awoke, ass on the pavement, blinking myself awake as though I’ve just been born.

What I thought was simple is not simple.  What I think is complex is meant to be the mental calculation of a moment.  It is humbling.

So I sat in a room and described how I felt I could do things better and one of those things is improving my connection to this level of work by improving my wardrobe and getting my hair cut.  I said I would do that, so I trotted out and spent a lot of money to have hair I like (though not the sort of hair that were I financially free I would choose.) Tomorrow, because the places I went today seemed to have inadequate quality fabric (though the sort of things I’d be perfectly happy to wear were I not shopping to look like I wanted to be employed where I am currently employed), we will go out into the world and buy something that upgrades some bit of old awful that I used to wear.

In the middle of this, J. is drifting in and out of consciousness on the phone with me as I encourage him to both sleep and eat at the same time because he hasn’t been doing either in a consistent way.  And he sounds pitiful and endearing and maybe a few hours earlier he’d told me I was beautiful so I think this is a good time to ask him to Thanksgiving.

I’d been thinking about this a while, but I still couched it in tentative terms.  Like, I know it’s forever away, and it’s so unlikely and dumb, but I wanted you to know that…like, the holidays are awful and hard and I don’t even know on the getting…but you’re invited to Thanksgiving.

An immediate thank you returns my volley.  An immediate “But I have to work the day after Thanksgiving.”  I say oh, okay.  There’s a few more encouraging blurts before I hang up the phone to go find the confident clothes that are going to transform my life.

I end up finding nothing.

The Blindfolded Heroine

“She’s always blindfolded, otherwise she wouldn’t do anything.”

Integrity.

A day where I realize the new deep.  I knew this realization was coming.  The actual gasping sense of realizing you are in way over your head and you do not know how to begin to survive.

I have a plan.  I have a plan I have asserted I will do.  To survive.  I’ve smiled and earnestly said yes, oh boy oh boy oh boy, I’ll work so hard for you.  And I’ve meant every oh and every boy.  But part of the plan is me figuring out how to let myself shift into an adult mode.  Into knowing, oh, no, that’s not acceptable when someone suggests a change or states a fact.  Into being the gatekeeper.  Into doing exactly what it is they’ve hired me to do.

One must sink or one must swim.  I always thought if I just lay still, I could just float, safely on my own, but there’s been enough of a breeze these days that my tiny allotment of clever inflatables is no match and, bam, I keep hitting the wall.

And that wouldn’t be so bad, except these fancy, high-tech walls are equipped with klaxons that ring like Operation anytime you fuck-up or are adjacent to any sort of fuck-up-yet-to-be.  And that wouldn’t be so bad except you ring the bell, word gets around.  Word gets around fast, if people aren’t already with their glasses at the tip of their nose, watching you.

I got asked today what was going well and was hard-pressed to think of anything, as I was so aware of the bad feedback and needing to correct it.  So desirous to be perfect, gleaming.  Spotless.  And it used to be that my perfectionism was painful because it existed outside of reality – it was my own standards I couldn’t meet.  Now, it’s everybody else’s.

So I need to focus.  Take time and figure this out.  Get my hair cut and look more professional (I suggested this, but was not dissuaded from my view.)   Be willing to spend some portion of Sunday working and picking nits.  I have to lay down on the paperwork and let myself find the rhythm of it.  I have to build flash cards and flow charts and checklists and make notes to staple to my forehead and in the midst of all of that…

I realize how much of me is taken up with other things, other desires, to be writing, often, or to be connecting with J. is another,  or thinking about something to share with my friends, or just to be laying somewhere just not-ting for a while. and how I thought I had all of those curious, distracting thoughts locked down.  That I was working hard at work.  But there’s a lot of needing to not push through and instead, feel the soft touch of one of these kind places and I don’t know how to cut that cold turkey because it’s kind of where my soul is.

But like it or not – and I don’t – something’s got to be done.

Pink in Eureka

Certain forms of hysteria have taken hold.  Perhaps because I made the step to get the blog running in some sort of functional form, I have begun to think I am smart about certain things.  This is not the case.

This is day two of going low-carb.  Low-carb = traditional Atkins, 20 carbs or so for the first two weeks, then, we evaluate how shit is going.  I feel better in a lot of ways already.  The scale, as ever, is fucking with me, but it says I lost 3 pounds (yes, we can hear the yelling of WATER WEIGHT from here) overnight.  I don’t know…I do know that it mattered to me to just start this.  To just do it so here I am.  Having had more vegetables today than I’ve had in eons.  More water.    And less food overall.

I still feel weird and tired (again, the shouting of transitioning and detoxing groggery can be heard for miles) and I have done bare minimums in terms of exercise.  But I did do it.  I did do it with nary a complaint.  I will do it again tomorrow.

I keep thinking about what I want.  That is one thing that my new job has really helped with.  The courses I’ve taken have impressed upon me that I need a plan and I need to work the plan. Goal setting and moving in slow, steady steps towards the future.  That you can actually say I want this big, overblown, challenging result and if you mete it out into little, manageable daily contributions, it would happen.   That’s the issue and that’s why I’ve spent so much time avoiding finishing any of these little, manageable steps.  So that I don’t end up somewhere I don’t want to be.

I’ve done this instead of deciding where I want to be and working really hard to make that happen.

I don’t know if I’ll write this way all the time, but I like that this all has just started and it isn’t January 1 and it isn’t a Monday (not yet).  It’s not a perfect takeoff (I don’t imagine I could even recognize it if it was), but it’s like how with every paycheck, I’m adding to savings, already it feels significant.  If I continue on, the possibility continues on.  If I keep clapping, Tink still glows.

So.  What I want is to be with him.  Not…necessarily in terms of trying to have a partnership on a level that demands that one of us move to where the other one lives, though that doesn’t faze me as it once did, but I want a weekend. I want a day of shared space.  Of mutual presence.  Of figuring out if the shit in my head is anything more than shit in my head.   Not putting carts before horses.  But this, all of this, tells me, I gotta keep on this diet on track if this is really what I want.  And I keep testing it and realizing that it is.

 

 

 

 

 

You could feed me all of your fears

red-rose-1634975-639x426

And if there was a magic cast, it was a wild magic, so that it did not land precisely, and where it landed, it did not do what it was meant to do.

I am contemplating this job.  The job would be back in the same town I grew up, working with the same circle of people, albeit from a different perspective, as the job I spent eight years struggling at before leaving before this new job that has been so wildly detrimental to me and my life.

If I can allow myself to float past the idea that on its face, I don’t have the precise requirements they are looking for and just move into the idea of what it would be like to be in the job itself, it is hard to imagine myself as capable of doing it.  Sort of.  I don’t know.  Each individual piece is part of a puzzle I was working on, too.  I know the acronyms, the faces, the area, the issues, the struggles, the gossip.  I know the bitchy complainers and the people who pitch in and help wildly. I have friends in most directions.

However, I know that there’s some poisoned relationships I’d now be on the opposite side of.  I know that in the years since I’ve been gone, my job has been vacated twice and people are grumpy and displeased with my boss’ replacement.  I would be working in concert with the person in my old boss’ role, the person who has been spending the past few years trying to get things organized after my time of struggle and learning.  I don’t like the idea of sitting across the table from people who have not had an easy time of it and that’s because of me.  I ran like hell to get out of that situation.

I guess I feel a little bit like Typhoid Admin, that every job I exit seems to have increasing levels of desperation associated with it when I go.

Each individual part of the job feels like I could do that.  But in sum total, without the degree in the field, just my 8 years effectively standing with my foot in the door, maybe that’s just asking to fail.  It’s a job where I will have to be assertive, a self-starter, a person in charge of other people.  Can I do that?  Today, today, I think I can.  It feels in my mind like what I would say when I feel pressure to please regardless of whether or not it’s true.  But everyone says that it’s only for me to set up my qualifications and say I’m a fast learner and ready to go.

And for that money, a comfortable place to work and get to, health insurance, where I don’t have to start from square one.  It’s worth a shot.  It’s worth getting laughed out the door.

+300 words elsewhere

Presence

victorian-mansion-tower-1256768-640x840

A post on MFP:

I honestly don’t know how I found myself back here tonight.  I think it has to do with the power of Sundays over me to try and reset, improve, recalibrate and start anew.

I have been away for at least three months, probably, away mentally for five or six.

This has been, I believe, the hardest year of my life thus far.  My last post here on MFP referenced my grandfather’s passing which still leaves a wake of pain and this was directly followed with the loss of a family pet, very recently the loss of another, and my mother’s cancer diagnosis after 21 years of being in remission.  This has been on top of a strangling and depressing job and financial situation which has ended up with me taking on a second job, working six days a week, and having my anxiety flare up just as I had begun to get an arm around it.  I’ve had somebody fly into my life, a hummingbird in terms of weight and speed, only to fly right out of it doubly fast.  Most recently, I’ve been grinding my teeth to the point of severe pain.

I’ve been lonely, distracted, angry, put-upon and for the most part floating about five feet above my body.

I think, actually, I ought to have gained a hundred pounds.  I ought to be unable to sit in this chair.  I ought to have tumbled headlong into food and at the very least, I can say that I haven’t broken new records in terms of catastrophic consumption.  Perhaps this can only be attributed to the fact that I’ve been too broke to assuage my problems with all the french fries that the local fast food establishments can find deep fat to fry.

This is not to say that I haven’t gained weight, that I haven’t been mindless and destructive in my eating habits, that I haven’t scared myself with my outright refusals to take care of myself in a way that counts…in a way that is more important than buying a girly lotion or making sure I put a little rum in my Diet Coke to settle me down.

But I have thought about how good a walk might feel (once I got past the sense that I might have some sort of panic attack), I have thought about how good a plate of green apples and cold water and something nutrient rich and steadying like spinach and hardboiled eggs might be.  I have thought from time to time about if I could have some energy again, I might find myself in a different position.

I don’t want to say that tomorrow I will track anything because I don’t know what I’m having for breakfast.  Starbucks is the first thought I’m having and I don’t want to say what isn’t the right answer, but I honestly don’t know the way from here to the shining city of not needing food for emotional succor.

What I know is that getting there…getting anywhere…it will be a fight.  I have a lot of briars to machete, a lot of walls where the mortar has set brick upon brick between me and the simple idea of giving a damn again.

But my mom is doing okay – great, at least in terms of what is visible and knowable to us here on the outside.  Even going back to work tomorrow for a few hours.  I have a whole two day streak of not drinking soda.  I have people in my corner.  I have all these ideas about maybe, and if we, and shall we, and oh, lets that are piquing my interest.

I just thought…I could do something for this body that scares me so much.  I could do something more than nothing.