London, London (Christmas in July)

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Here’s what I know:  I will enjoy the heck out of writing to you when and if you return.  If you don’t, well, it was a real pleasant learning experience about what I am emotionally capable of in a literary sense.  Here’s what I also know after Mr. Confusion, Mr. Rochester, and all the Misters in between…I have zero control over what you do.  Zilch.  No matter how I keen and sigh and refresh pages.  So.  Up it goes, into the boiling, hellish atmosphere to be as it must and shall.

Work has layers.  Sometimes and in some ways, utter chaos, complete implosion, infighting.  But I hear about these things, I never see them as everyone seems to laugh around me and this, in some ways as well, feels like gaslighting.  I never know what actually is beyond the fact that I freak out and end up assuaging the boss and talking about the future.  We just tramp right over the problems and say it will be fine and I think, more and more, that in and of itself is a big problem.   I throw myself over the fire and say I’m in it and then I get convinced for a while, but then, feel as though I have no idea where I stand.

So, I applied for a job.  Who knows.  I suppose that if I were, in the very unlikely event to get it, and if I were to take it, I would not find it possible to bitch here about it.  I said that before, though, and found my way.   Maybe that’s the only way to have success…to just keep throwing shit and see what sticks.  Not give two figs about the outcome.

Ah.

I am boiling over.  Broiling, cooking, squeaking, beeping.  Thinking.  Thinking about fear and how far I am willing to take things.  If the world opened up, where would I go.  What would I have?  There’s these instances of joy.  Of revelation, of overcoming obstacles.  Feeling sure I was going to panic while riding the elevator to the 28th floor, knowing the panic was because I hadn’t eaten and it was 3pm, knowing I was downtown where I always have panicky thoughts, not giving in.  Not turning around.  Handling it.  I’m quite proud of myself for that.

I sent my parents an email because I can’t seem to get over there at a time when they’re up so I just thought I’d make sure they knew that I wasn’t staying away out of some fearful reaction to the news.  That I feel disconnected, so I was re-connecting, regardless of what they’re likely not even momentarily questioning.  I was proud of that.

I needed gas in my car, and the agoraphobic tendency swelled around me, but I broke out into the much cooler and more pleasant out of doors and went and got it.  And a treat besides.  I needed to track down my college transcripts for this job application and I did.  A bear, a bother, but a point of pride that I didn’t give up even when I applied under the wrong listing and it said I was ineligible.  I pushed on this goofy, painful Monday and things will change a bit.

Until tomorrow, good friends.

 

 

 

A Woman of Negotiable Virtue

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Oh, Fallen London, you are really the swell and dandiest, particularly with your free and easy gifts of the titles for posts.

I have about ten tabs open and I am feeling more than a bit overwhelmed, digitally, and in the good old analog braincase.  Let’s do this, please.

Thoughts and feelings, thoughts and feelings!  I now, essentially, have a second job.  With the caveat that I have to explain to my current boss tomorrow that halving my hours means I need a second job and that I’ve got one, at least for the summer and I need to shift things around to accommodate it.   I think this is fine.  I can just work full days there 3 days a week and work a day and a half at the new one.  It’s stressful, I suppose, for all of us, and I’m half afraid that she’d say, oh, I intended to put you back on full-time June 1, but I don’t financially get that as even being possible, at all, so…I am looking after me. She could also say, well, that’s too much of an inconvenience for me, so goodbye you, which is not really likely, but everything feels within the realm of possibility these days.

It’s only retail, it’s only about 25 hours a week with about what you’d expect to make doing retail.  It’s a stopgap measure to keep me in food and drink and health insurance.  This is not the excitement about it.  The excitement is it’s working in my mentor’s boutique clothing store, they trust me enough that it’s was about 10 minutes of chatter before we started laying out schedules.  They also want to talk about me helping with social media/copywriting…some things that I’m interested in doing anyway.  I know these ladies and I know their vibe, I know the town, and they care about me and my life, the role writing plays, and even the fact that I’m kind of at a mental crossroads.  They get that this is rough.   I feel immediately like, oh, wow, I can’t break this.  I can just be carried by it until I get a clue.

It’s also rough because once this all gets conferred and confirmed, I can’t tell my parents.  I can’t because we’ve agreed in the great High Council of this house that they don’t need to know, the little sister, the aunt, either.  This would only lead to histrionics and heaving sighs and phone calls about if we’re going to die in the gutter and other things I am starting to believe are not exactly likely. It is, in fact, our lives rather than anyone else’s and their freak-out doesn’t change the bank balance and perhaps, it would be good to be able to say, yes, this happened, but we got it covered.

But for now, no telling, no facebooking, certainly not until the current boss is made to know the plans as I see them.  I feel shitty because I’m enforcing this boundary of addressing my needs rather than martyring myself – the usual act of comfort.  I also feel shitty because this is a new schedule change I have to adjust to, a new place I need to make sure I’m giving energy and attention.

Overall, though.  This is good.

The Dollop

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If I could bottle a Saturday night feeling into a bottle, I’d be the richest woman the world over.  Of course, that’s probably what you’d call a good buzz but I think there’s a bit of nuance to be had here.

A Saturday night feeling is uniquely secure.  It’s this moment by moment reassurance that you get one more sleepy morning, one more day of being a private wreck, one more day where the air can get you because you’re not platen over with masks and personae and fakery.  One more day to walk around with your heart unbuttoned.

I checked the scale this morning and it suggested on the first go and with minor verification that I had lost 2 pounds this week.  This adds up to five pounds lost for a girl who has had a fair amount of pizza in her last five weeks of dieting.   That’s…exciting.  It is not, of course, so exciting that it feels worthy of some sort of food-based reward.  It is not so great, five pounds, that I want to start trumpeting “I have this new perfect diet plan – eat pizza and lose weight!”

Instead, it feels, really precarious and odd.  Like I must have goofed up somewhere.  I’ve been reading a few different MyFitnessPal threads and articles.  Getting ideas like what can I eat to get more potassium (which I apparently care about when they show it at 21% in red) and then, of course, reading things that suggest maybe I should allow myself more food.  More calories, anyway.

And immediately, my brain starts to glom onto that.  I hear devilish little purrs in my ear.   This means a bit more butter, a bit more popcorn, a bit more cream.  This means you could eat, really, whatever.  You don’t want be to starving yourself…restricting TOO much…you don’t want to set up a new bad relationship with food.

Ugh, of course I don’t want any of that.  But I also don’t want to suddenly not know what the hell is happening and where the deep end of the pool is.

I know that I get so terrified of breaking the rules I end up blowing them off spectacularly when I set a toe outside the line.  In for a penny, in for a pound cake.  It’s odd that this is working.  I feel…fed. It’s 1200-1400 calories and then I try and exercise back my overage.   Right now, I feel a bit hungry, and I’m trying to attend to that as it crops up by tracking first, but it’s almost 11p.m. and I can probably just get some sleep and eat in morning.

I don’t know.  This is a lot of minutiae cluttering my mind on a first benchmark reached celebratory sort of day.  It’s, in its own way, resistance.  It’s a desire for perfection even in struggle.  The worry that maybe I can’t lose 2 pounds next week again.  The worry that everything is fluky and I’m going to suddenly have that weight back.  The idea that I want to succeed at this whole year-long process so well that I can get it done in a week or a month.  That sense that I need to do what is right and what works and what is documented and hit those marks and then I can forget all of it.  The fear that I am losing weight – at some level, at some pace – and if it continues, I will lose control of it, but more than that, I won’t have it lurking as this unchecked to-do.  That it wouldn’t be an excuse.  That it would free me and that freedom is downright petrifying.

None of this matters at all.

I am not changing tactics until the tactics don’t work or I find myself unable to follow them out of excessive, uncomfortable hunger.  The rest is just me trying to build a case to get out of doing this and the court is not hearing that case.  We’re not letting that one get to trial.

AND LIVE FROM MY BEDROOM, IT’S SATURDAY NIIIIIGHT!

 

Life in the Fast Lane (Theabild)

coffee-laptop-notebook-workingThis song has been stuck in my head – just the first line of the chorus and the earwormiest notes.  The worst!  (It had gone away, but I came back and read this line and suddenly, it’s in my brain again!)

So today, I was thinking that now is the time to know – if I know about 10 minutes of physical activity + 10 situps + tracking, what do I know about the needs of this blog in the coming year?

If I relieved myself of this “burden,” what would be improved?  I would not experience those brief, but real mental wrinkles I have every single day when I wonder about how I need to stop everything and Summarize! I would not have to stop everything and gather my brain into one spot.  I would not need to pull myself out of games and reverie, where I have spent another day idling, pleasurably, but yet, idling.  I would not be able to say that this, this daily blogging thing, is a thing that I do and have committed myself to.  I’d have to say, if I was asked, that I stopped because I found those fifteen to sixty minutes tiresome and I prefered to think of myself as a successfully non-writing writer (which is still the very edge of the qualifications I can affix myself with.)  I would have to, I assume, find a more haphazard schedule with which to approach the page – any page – and relieve the writing bug, jones, need, addiction.  I would have to assume I would even if I know, five years ago – nearly six – this habit was started because I was failing to do just that.

I don’t want to give it up.  I don’t need to.  No one is making me.  I just find myself keenly aware after having written posts beyond counting about this keen awareness that I can spit words like nobody’s business.  Just words. Not well-curated, elegantly crafted, viciously pertinent language.  Without editing and a trajectory, this becomes just like anyone’s life – not that there’s anything wrong with good ol’ Anyone’s life, but it isn’t my dream.  It doesn’t feed me and make me a stronger, more able writer.  It is sugar.  You can live on it, but only just, you goddamned humming bird.

Do better, you say?  That should be the answer.  And in it lies a greater truth than perhaps we either of us realize.  I am willing to step forward and write puff and fluff and call it good day after day.  Because it takes nothing of me.  In all of these areas, success is about me not accepting bare minimums anymore.   More not less, forward and not away, not giving up because the way has greater resistance than we first envisioned.  I need the pumping up, I need the daily reminders, I need this, but better.  I need this, and more.

So next year.  500 words, but I need to incorporate the diet side.  A real check-in, every day as to what I’m doing with my goals.  And the other writing on top, beyond, more.

Sounds plannish.

The Quaintrelle

Oh, goodness.  This is going to be hard to accomplish in 30 minutes.  I will try, though.

I have 29 minutes to review the day’s events both for you, dear reader, and myself before I return back to reality and bring myself to face the evening and the new day which follows.

Suffice it to say, therapy = yes.  Equals good.  Equals helpful.   I didn’t let myself think much about it and basically snuck away five minute before the session and turned up with everything kind of a blur in my head.  I felt like I have all these separate quadrants in my life that needed assistance and once I found her office, I tried to organize these thoughts as I sat in the waiting room.  As I sat there, I heard a woman inside possibly crying, possibly just exerting some sort of strange noise and there was the smallest doubt that perhaps just having made this attempt at finding the office was enough to spur me into complete self-renovation.  That I really didn’t need to pay to cry about it.  These were brief, cabbage butterfly sort of thoughts and as soon as the woman and the therapist both exited the room (the woman not seeming to have actually cried, but looked sort of nervous and exhausted, but in one mental piece) I gathered up my coat and marched in, determined to be serviced.  To get my head officially shrunk.

And it wasn’t quite like that.  She asked me just a few brief questions, and I started just rolling with everything, mostly work, but in answering the question, avenues of thought started to kind of open up and I could see and hear my blockages, whatever, in front of me.  I felt like an hour was hardly any time to say anything, so I keep talking and finally, when I trail off, she looks straight at me and just says “Breathe.”   And that’s when I started to cry.

Because it was incredibly hard to just sit there in the moment with all my stress and anxiety and wanting her to help me and feeling like she couldn’t possibly actually help me at the root where I’ve fucked things up so deeply.  But that’s just what were going to do.  Sit there with it.

And eventually, we talked more about work and writing and feeling trapped and unable to complete things and that I start projects and feel like there’s no point in finishing them because they’re not perfect.  We talked about the fact I was perfectly dispensible and this was a good thing because maybe my leaving means something wonderful for someone else and just as I was preparing myself to move into what will be a great job and new phase for myself there’s someone out there who is training and working and hoping for the providence that having my job will bring them.  And I loved that thought.  That they were just waiting for me to get out of the way.

And at the same time, we talked about the fact that it is okay that I am not ready to leave right now.  That it was a process and we’re learning and I’ve got some little steps to do and I don’t know the timeframe when I’ll be ready to leave.  I can just be where I am right now.  I can just be here, where I am, right now.    And then she showed me some techniques to help me with my state of mind, tapping, and whatnot and I left, really high on the possibilities.

Work pretty much threw me back down the pit, but I am excited that in two weeks, I get to talk to her again.

So, hopefully, I’ll write more about this tomorrow when I’m not exhausted from trivia, but wow, who would have thought?

 

Don’t Listen, Lupita!

I am dancing around the chore of beginning this post.   It’s a chore, it’s a blessing, it’s a tool, it’s a relief.  It’s a lot of different things to me all rolled into one.   We’re coming up on three years of daily blogging.  And I think I’m thinking hard about what that means or what it could mean.

I am thinking about if I wanted to gather the best bits over five years or ten years of blogging and compile that into a publishable book, that’d be all fine and dandy, but what’s the theme and what’s the point if I don’t change through the telling? What would anyone get out of it?  What’s the actual struggle to have someone learn from if I can’t suss it out and instead, march along the same rut with occasionally different wallpaper?

So, 2013 has to involve me doing things and reporting on things and pushing envelopes and  learning and making big change like losing as much excess weight as the year will allow, maybe doing everything I need to do to quit my job and find a new one that will let me be happy all the time and not just when I force myself to relax so I don’t get an ulcer.  I mean, I really feel like taking it on as a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, and annual quest will keep the pieces small but the overall goal in front of me.

In the interim, as I wait to not get eviscerated at work before the end of the year and for the calendar to flip over, I’m feeling all kinds of crazy.  Obviously, in 2013, I want to essentially give up binging.  Which is necessary even if I don’t change anything else about my diet.  But what that means is that right now…I am a bit three sheets to the nutritional winds.  Or…whatever.  And it’s obvious that food can completely devastate your brain, your mood, your physical sense of self even on an hour by hour basis.    Letting myself eat whatever I want is all well and good, because I’m telling myself, last chance, last chance.  But ugh, ugh, no more Whippets.  No more marshmellow, eggs benedict anything.

I just always feel like I could eat something which is actually “I could distract myself by eating something” and those are two different things.

So I’m trying to get a grip, deal with the stress I have and not lose my mind in the process so that I can be on something of a firm footing when I make 2013 happen.

I was going to talk about what we did today, the nice breakfast we had, strolling around Boulder and going to a bookstore which naturally made me think of people, watching the Broncos win as though I had something to do with it, hanging the decorations on the tree, or even just trying to reconnect with a few of my favorite people.  But I’m sort of running out of space for that.  I’m just gathering myself up and continuing the voyage.

 

The Nobility of a Flea

NPR did amazing things for me today.  And now I feel like a fountain of words.

I had to photograph our parade today.  When I arrived, there was a note on the desk that the camera’s battery was low.  This is fifteen minutes before the parade.  So, I plugged it in for as long as I could and then grabbed my phone and headed out and did the best I could once the battery died about halfway through.   It just became frustrating and I hurried myself out of there.  Hurried so much that I didn’t stop and shop and think about Christmas presents like I planned.

On the way home, my Christmas CD started to grate, everything started to grate, so I flipped over to NPR and ended up in the parking lot of the complex listening and crying to a story about military dogs serving in WWII.

Finally, I forced myself to go inside and eat.  And the rest of my plans sort of went by the wayside as well.  And I drifted into a frustrated, hair-tugging sort of nap.

So, after lying listlessly on the couch,  watching an exorbitant amount of wedding dress shows, I thought about how I needed to go to the grocery store just to get some things but I couldn’t make myself get up.  I couldn’t, I couldn’t, I couldn’t.  That went on for a while.  Then, after texting to my sister and realizing she wasn’t coming home until 8:00pm, I got myself up and I went.   These are small things that somehow become big in our minds.  In my mind.

Once, I got to the store, Garrison Keillor said a critical thing as part of his Prairie Home Companion monologue tonight.  He was talking about this revelation that older people have that the easiest way to do something is to do it.  The easiest way to wake up is to get out of bed.  That you could stay in bed all day and still be achey and tired and exhausted and irritable, or you could just get up and get at it.  It was helpful, an organizing, galvanizing sort of thought.

So, I think all of this calls for an update on the plans for 2013.  I have some.  I am building some.  I struggle with allowing myself to say I plan to be involved with someone by the end of 2013.  That feels both jinxy and frightening.  Immediately putting it on “paper” makes it feel like it either won’t happen or would necessarily happen in an unsatisfactory way.  But I feel like the nebulous nature of my life has to stop.  The kick the can way I deal with things is leaving me bereft, languishing on couches alone, eating Pinwheels (when they don’t have Whippets).   So me losing a lot of weight next year, a significant, lots of clothes sizes, getting healthy and regular is central to this plan.   I mean, day one, I am giving it a big go.

This makes me happy to think of.