Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflection... It Does A Body Good

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” - Katharine Hepburn 

I came across this quote the other day in my latest Shape magazine. However, I’ve seen it before... 

My birthday is this Saturday. Along with officially entering my thirties, I’ve already started the reflecting process on my blogging journey. As I stated in my last post, I have decided not to quit writing this blog. Part of me still wants to try and take my experiences and put them into some sort of book-type-thingie... but I just can’t seem to imagine what that would look like. 

You see, in the beginning, there was a bigger purpose to my writing adventure. For those of you that remember, I was going to live a “sin free” lifestyle for an entire year and then compile all of my experiences during the process and write about them. My great idea was to not drink any liquor, quit smoking cigarettes, limit my gambling, postpone my pot usage and live a life of celibacy. All for one year. 

As I approach my 31st birthday, I can’t help but wonder what my life would look like right now if I would’ve upheld these “Rules”. I wonder how different things would be. Would I feel more accomplished? Would I have an unbelievable book just waiting to be written and published? Would I have the friends or the boyfriend I have now? The job? The relationship with my family? Would I feel... satisfied? 

Obviously, these are questions that can’t be answered. I could easily drive myself insane trying to imagine that separate dimension in which I actually followed through with these declarations. 

I love being a non-smoker. That was one thing that I did follow through with and pat myself on the back every time I see someone light up around me. As far as weed, I definitely planned on celebrating my 31st birthday with the biggest joint I could find. After ten years of smoking pot regularly, I truly only planned on abstaining from the drug for 365 days. However, I can’t imagine going back to that lifestyle either. Discovering that life can be enjoyable even when I’m not “above it” was something I found to be quite nice. 

I also put these particular rules in place because I knew I wanted to write, but wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. In fact, after my first five posts outlining all of the rules for the next year, I didn’t know what else to say. So, I spent the next week or so writing about my 2009 trip to England. I was sort of just waiting for new experiences to start unfolding and I would write about them as they came. 

I have to say... having something to write about has certainly never been an issue since then. 

I had breakfast with my family yesterday. Tim came along... it was nice for him to finally meet my sister in law and nephew as well as have a chance to get familiar with my family and how we interact. Tim is very observant, like me, and likes to watch how people behave around each other. Plus, I want my family to start getting to know him. I am slower to enter that process lately because my last couple of relationships have been so short-lived and I get uncomfortable sometimes, pondering if my family smiles and acts friendly while thinking to themselves “I wonder how long this one will be around.” 

Then again, maybe it’s me that has this recurring thought... 

Last week, I thought I was watching the end of yet another relationship. It started out as a stupid disagreement about having compassion for others, even the assholes in our lives. Tim had made what I felt to be an inappropriate comment about Steven’s little arm and I became really defensive. In reality, he was just making a point about how having self image issues growing up - and not overcoming them - most likely contributes to being a jerk later on in life. I don’t disagree with this statement... I just didn’t agree with the way the information was presented. However, I honestly can’t even remember exactly the way he said it now - that’s how insignificant it was in the big picture. 

Unfortunately, the subject turned to me caring too much for my ex and then escalated from there. I explained that even though I know a few people in my life that I don’t care to be friends with or even associate with anymore, it doesn’t mean I don’t still have compassion for the shit that they’ve been through. I can dislike someone for the way they choose to handle things, but I can’t change why they believe they have to treat people poorly. That is completely related to their belief system and it makes me sad to know that some people are just generally mean to others because they don’t know any other way. 

Now, please understand... just because I have compassion for people doesn’t mean I find plastic bags flying around in the wind to be the most beautiful thing in the world. I believe it is absolutely up to each and every one of us to live our lives in responsibility. I don’t think it’s okay for Steven to send emails that attack and mock me, or for someone I only know through karaoke to make weekly jokes about what a slut I am, or for Justin to make fun of Tim’s teeth behind his back because they are less than perfect. I think these things are just mean and unnecessary. Eventually, it is up to us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves “am I being the best version of me that I can be?” 

Regardless of the answer, if you aren’t even willing to look, you and I will probably run into a disconnect down the road. But that doesn’t mean I will ever stop having compassion for humans. Being human is easy. Being humane is a little more challenging. 

A few of my early posts were very difficult for my family to read. I shared a lot of my feelings and frustrations about growing up and the struggles we went through. Some of the things I shared hurt their feelings and the wedge that had already existed before I started writing only became more prominent. And while I admit that sometimes I wrote things without knowing the whole story or out of a sheer need to get out toxic thoughts that had clouded up my head for so long... I can’t say I regret anything that I did. In my mind, I took the path less traveled. It was dark and long with tumultuous terrain and many twists and turns. But now, we know more about each other, our interactions seem so much more genuine and mean-spirited phrases are no longer part of how we communicate. 

It’s hard to imagine having the kind of relationship with my brother that Cory has with his, or hold the sibling bond that my friends Dan and Erin have with each other... but at the same time, I don’t see us going backward either. It seems like after all these years of just not “getting” each other, we have finally agreed that understanding each other means very little and that loving each other is really all that matters. 

My mom and I weren’t communicating very well when I started writing this blog. In fact, I don’t think we were communicating at all. We had an ugly fight when I was living with them (for the third time) and I moved out very soon afterwards into the apartment that I am currently living in. It was the longest period of time I can remember where we didn’t speak. My dad was forced to act as the liaison between us whenever something came up that needed to be discussed. 

When Dad asked me to stop writing such personal things about the family in my blog, I became very hurt and defensive. I know it looked like it at the time... but I really wasn’t out to hurt anyone. I just needed to be able to express myself and it didn’t seem like anyone close to me wanted to hear what I had to say. I didn’t filter myself, though, and I know that my whole family felt a little bitch-slapped in my early blogs. 

My mom pointed out recently that you can pretty much always count on me doing things differently than most... 

Tim and I were able to talk our way out of breaking up with each other last week. We are both really passionate and can be a little hot-headed. Especially when we both feel the need to be right about something. I waited for him to leave... and he did. But then he came back. We sat on the floor in my closet and worded our way to the understanding that loving each other should always be more important than needing to be right about something. 

I also discovered a few new things about myself that night. For example, feeling like someone doesn’t understand what I’m saying or looks at me like I’m crazy is actually enough to send me flying into an illogical fit of rage. This is something I shall work on... 

Additionally, I realized that I really ask a lot of people. Saying “I’m sorry, let’s just forget about this and move on” doesn’t work for me. I want to get to the bottom of everything... I want to find the source of the fight. It’s not about him insulting Steven and me sticking up for him... there’s something deeper for both of us and I want THAT to come to the surface. I don’t mind getting in debates or even arguments, but I don’t want to have the same disagreement twice. I want to know why you feel the way you do and I want you to give me time to explain why I feel the way I do. This is not about being right at all - it’s about understanding where certain beliefs come from so that we can be mindful of future interactions.  

It’s not enough to say that you expect more out of people. I want to know why you feel that way. And we will sit here until that answer comes to light. Or... you can leave. 

I never said being with me was easy. 

I don’t mean to make things difficult, I just have a desire to understand why people do the things they do. If I had the motivation, I’d probably go back to school to be a psychologist. I guess drilling my boyfriends to tears will have to suffice... 

We never learn everything there is to about life. Even knowing this, it doesn’t make any sense to me to stop trying. 

Mom and I eventually worked through that difficult time last year. One thing that she has always done, as long as I can remember, is communicate through greeting cards. When she has difficulty finding the words, she’ll send a card that says what she is thinking. 

Last year, as I was trying to find my footing as a blogger, figuring out how to handle my new “rules”, struggling with resistance from the family and having no idea what my next step was, I got a card in the mail from Mom. It hung on my refrigerator for a long time. Inside was a quick note about how much she loved me. On the outside was this quote: 

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” 

From that moment on, the words in this blog have flowed effortlessly from my mind to my keyboard. 

This year has been quite a ride, to say the least... and the reflection has been cathartic. I’m looking forward to my trip to the bay area this weekend. I’m not sure what the next year has in store for me, but one thing I know for sure is that I won’t be putting together a list of rules to follow in the hopes of creating a better life for myself. 

I think I’ll just keep doing the things that interest me...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Can I Get A Side Of Gratitude With My F-Bomb Special?

The meeting started at 1pm. I crept in just before the time switched over to 1:01pm. I grabbed a seat at the end and listened quietly as the ass-whooping began. 

I wish I would’ve had a tape recorder. 

I think my General Manager probably used the word “fuck” about... hmm... maybe 58 times? I did lose track but I think that’s a pretty decent guess. He had called this meeting earlier this week for all of the bartenders as he was fed up with the behaviors that were getting out of control. Specifically, drinking behind the bar, before and after shifts and in general, making complete asses out of themselves. 

I knew I didn’t need to be there... 

The reason I WAS there was because the meeting was supposed to apply to all bartenders, including the ones that worked on the patio bar. Although the other patio bartender wasn’t in attendance... sigh... even when I don’t really care, I have a good work ethic. 

I’m not really upset that I had to go. It’s part of having the kind of job that I have. In fact, my GM made more than a few good points during the meeting, one being “when you all become owners of your own restaurant, then you can make up all the rules you want. Since you aren’t, you get to listen to the man.” 

Or something like that. 

And he’s right. I drove 25 minutes to go to a meeting that I knew was not going to apply to me, collected half an hour of minimum wage and now am sitting at a Starbucks waiting to go back to work (because going all the way home when my shift starts at 4:00pm just isn’t efficient) all because I know that this is what working for the man is all about. 

I also know that it could always be worse. 

On Mondays, I work the patio bar. Typically, Mondays are not a big night for drinkers. I made $15 this week during that shift. Awesome. And I thought last week was bad when I walked with $20. Anyone wanna bet $10 on what I’ll make next Monday? 

I try not to stress out too much about those nights. A few weeks ago, I got destroyed on the patio on a Saturday night and clocked out nine hours later with $300 in my pocket and people still wanting service at my bar. Those shifts are helpful for my stress level. 

I am most definitely NOT complaining. I work a job that requires little to no brain power, just good time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks in an efficient manner. I work four days a week and rarely have to work longer than six hours per shift. My immediate supervisor is one of my best friends and most of the people I work with are actually pretty cool. Our only busser is a five foot tall bundle of adorable and when we have special events and parties (which is more often than I expected), I get to exercise my banquet skills, which I thoroughly enjoy doing. 

For someone who dislikes working as much as I do, I am grateful for these things. 

I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to “be somebody”. As if my own self worth was determined by how much money I made, what kind of career I had and what my life looked like to outside spectators. It seems the older I get and the more jobs I have, I start to see how ridiculous this idea is. For me, at least... I’ve mentioned it before, I’m sure - but I just don’t see the point of putting on a suit, sitting behind a desk and working a phone all day long. Especially if the job itself has little to no meaning in my life. 

I’m always envious of those people who love what they are doing. I’ve been looking for a job to love ever since I was fifteen. Actually, I did love my first job... I worked at a Subway. It was fun to prepare all the vegetables every day and I loved seeing how fast I could make a sandwich. Plus, people have some pretty crazy ideas on what makes a good sandwich (the dude who ordered the footlong meatball with double meat - 16 meatballs, mind you - and topped it off with a vinegar soaked piece of white bread comes to mind...) and it was a wonderful way to bring me out of my shyness as a teenager. I worked there all the way until I went away to college. If I would’ve stayed in Washington, I might own that particular Subway by now... 

I’ve had jobs since that I’ve been thrilled to have been hired for, but never actually “enjoyed”. Working for my next vacation just seemed... awful. Besides, vacations were just filled with back of mind thoughts of how full my in-box was going to be when I returned to the office. Not to mention all the catch-up I was going to have to play to try and make my numbers. 

A Case of The Mondays. Wednesday Hump Day. T.G.I.Fridays. Sunday Night Blues. I’d like to pass on all of the above, thanks. 

Becoming a server was one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life. Mostly because it has given me the opportunity to do something on a daily basis that is so important to me: sleep in. Plus, being in Las Vegas, working the night shift does not necessarily have to interfere with my nightlife. And with the rare exception of the complete asshole who has never had to wait on anyone in their whole life and thrives off of making YOUR life hell by pointing out all that is wrong with his entire dining experience, I don’t usually take work home with me. 

When I first started working at Chili’s, I felt like I was kind of a failure at life. Okay so I spent two years and just under $35,000 on college so I could ask you how you want your mediocre steak cooked? But, the longer I was there, the more respect I had for the food industry as a whole. Besides, before serving, I had a career in hotel sales and hospitality. Ever since 9/11, that has been one of the most difficult and unrewarding industries to be in, besides the mortgage business, I think... and I did that for a while too. 

Once I got behind the bar, I started enjoying what I was doing even more. I could be creative and enjoyed the responsibility that came along with serving alcohol. I’ve always been a better server than bartender because I’m not much for small talk or putting up with advances from drunken idiots... but I’m also more trustworthy than most bartenders so management loves having me behind the bar. It’s a decent trade-off. 

When Jeremy told me I was wasting my time and talents at Chili’s, there was part of me that was offended, even though I knew he was right. Of course I’m capable of doing other things... but the idea of enjoying my job always took precedence over something that society considered “more valuable”. 

Obviously, Jeremy was mostly saying that I should be focusing all of my energy on becoming a writer because he was so impressed by what I wrote about and how I expressed my thoughts. I knew what he meant... believe me, if I could find the motivation and desire to pursue a writing career, that is exactly what I would be doing because it is something else that I thoroughly enjoy. 

It’s nice not to be working at Chili’s anymore. There is a lot of bullshit one has to put up with when they are simply an “hourly”. I experienced that today with my new job at Roadrunner. Sometimes, you have to attend meetings in the middle of the day and get told to “go fuck yourself” if it means being able to pay rent with one of the easiest jobs in the world. 

I still have hopes, of course, that I won’t have to work as a server forever. I dream of the day that someone will read something I wrote and be willing to publish it. I certainly have the hopes that it won’t take more effort than what I’m putting in now because I’m just not sure it’s in me... 

My birthday is in just a little over two weeks. I’m changing my mind again... I love this blog. I love having a place where I can always be myself. Beginning this blog has been one of the best things I have ever done. I have been given unique opportunities because of it and it keeps me grounded in a world where it is so easy to just... drift away. 

Plus, if there is one thing Jeremy has taught me (and there is more than one, by the way), it is that rules only impede us and that I have a nasty habit of setting boundaries for myself that may not actually be what I want. Sure, I would love to write a book - and if it happens, that’s great. In the meantime, I’m already doing something I love. So... why would I stop? 

Tim and I celebrated one month of being together on Tuesday. He was so cute and excited about it and I was inspired to get him a card and write down all of the things he is to me and how grateful I am to have found him. As I was writing, one thing that came out was how being with him has really made me embrace the “what is” in life instead of the “what if”. Instead of worrying so much about whether or not this job will work out or if I will ever make it as a successful writer or if I have what it takes to make this relationship work, etc... I’m starting to really understand the beauty of just being in the moment. 

I work. I write. I love. I’ve managed to overcome every obstacle that has popped up so far... no sense in worrying about future ones that may or may not arise. 

Taking life too seriously has been my downfall in the past. Feeling happy with the “what is” has given me the opportunity to focus my attention on the things in my life that are working. And gratitude, along with love, has the highest level of vibration in terms of energy, attracting the most positive response from the Universe. 

So, in case my General Manager ever reads this - my smirk during the meeting today was not because you were dropping F-bombs like they were going out of style, but because I was actually grateful to be there. 

Go fucking figure.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Scarlet Letter Takes On A New Meaning

“Uh Oh.” 

For the record, these are my two LEAST favorite words to hear after sex. 

I closed my eyes and waited for the bad news. Sure enough, the condom had broken. 

I’ve had slip ups before... mostly along the lines of the condom coming off on the way out and having a bit of spillage as a result. I’ve never actually had the entire tip ripped in a way that all the boys were able to get out and were now in the process of insanely racing their way through my nether regions. 

Sigh just doesn’t quite cut it this time... 

I went on birth control pills when I was fourteen. Like many girls just starting out with their periods, I had a very irregular menstrual cycle that was easily corrected with a low does birth control pill. I, however, was also planning on becoming sexually active with my high school sweetheart and informed my doctor that if it was all the same, I would like to be put on the higher dosage pill. No problem, of course. 

I stayed on the pill for almost ten years. I became very obsessive about my ritual and can probably count on one hand the amount of times I missed a night of pill popping. 

For some reason, I can’t remember exactly when I stopped taking it... I think it was when I moved to Las Vegas and I believe the original reason was because I didn’t have health insurance yet with my new job and the $30 per month for a refill instead of the $5 or $10 I was used to was not appealing to my wallet. Plus, I had moved back in with my parents and didn’t think I would be jumping back into sexy time in the near future. If so, there were always condoms. 

A couple of years ago, I worked for a few months as a Chiropractic Assistant. It was during this time that I learned the most about my health and the things I could do to ensure that I was allowing my body to do all the things it was designed to do. Specifically, stay off medications that cover symptoms and, instead, keep my body in alignment and give it the chance to heal itself. 

Living in a society that can’t wait to prescribe the next financially backed pain pill or cut into you to repair something that could probably be fixed with physical therapy, diet and exercise, the idea of living a clean life and seeking holistic remedies for any ailments seemed like a much better option for me. Plus, just like my feelings on Universal Law vs. organized religion, this approach to health simply made logical sense to me. 

I tend to take a bit of an extremist approach to things that I am passionate about and, therefore, a few years ago, I gave up on pills completely. I can’t remember the last time I took an aspirin. I keep ibuprofen in the house for emergencies (I had a bad fall off a horse a few years ago and with a pain level of a five out of ten, the doctor prescribed Vicodin. Really?? A few ibus will be just fine, thanks). I don’t take any cold medicine (in fact, I think NyQuil is pretty much the devil... how many symptoms can we mask before your body is so confused, that your immune system just shuts down completely?) and I figured while I was at it, I would go ahead and stay off birth control pills as well. 

I have had pretty significant allergies since moving to Vegas - every four months or so, like clockwork, when the temperature makes any kind of drastic change. Over the last year, my symptoms have lessened and lessened and now, I am almost completely acclimated. For someone who doesn’t take allergy medicine, this is huge for me - no more runny nose, red eyes and sore throat to deal with while trying to happily serve people food and drink. I attribute this to allowing my body to adjust naturally to its environment. Although it may have taken longer, I believe very strongly that the effects will be more permanent and, overall, I just feel better for being clean. 

Okay, that’s enough of my soapbox... this is a lifestyle that works for ME, not something I normally preach about. Except pain pills and NyQuil - everyone who knows me well knows how I feel about that... 

So, back to the Uh Oh... 

I always thought about the irony of life and how all of these women who want children more than anything try and try to get pregnant and can’t. They see specialists and take pills all in the hopes of fertilization. For someone who has never wanted kids, the condom breaks one time in fifteen years and nine months later, she’s standing in line for diapers. Where was that line in Alanis’s song? 

We didn’t talk about it much that night and he was off to work early the next morning. I woke up with a head full of thoughts that I couldn’t quite sort out. The “what ifs” were driving me mad. 

I wanted to blog about it that morning but had my concerns. After all, there would be a decision to be made if I were pregnant and the A word is quite controversial. Even I, who doesn’t fear expressing my thoughts on controversial subjects, thought it might be extreme to document the process. I emailed Tim back and forth and he convinced me to wait until at least he and I had a chance to sit down and really talk about it before I made a decision to write anything. 

Oh yeah, there’s someone else involved here... duh, Tina... 

By the time we met up that night, I had chilled out a bit. I decided that writing on the subject would only make me think about it ALL THE TIME and, as Tim said, it was more likely that there was nothing to worry about. 

However, over the next few days, so many thoughts went through my mind... 

Would I make a good mother? 

Could I afford a child? 

How would this affect our relationship? 

Where do I even get an abortion? 

Am I too old for an abortion? 

Ugh, I don’t want to be “that girl” that uses abortion as a form of birth control... 

I don’t even have health insurance. 

If I’m pregnant, will my mind automatically change to wanting kids? 

If I did choose abortion, would I be haunted for the rest of my life by my decision? 

Would he leave if I kept it? 

I tried not to be consumed with these thoughts all week. I had this weird “worried without being worried” kind of feeling which I can’t really explain. I feel like I’m really in touch with my body and, especially after talking things out with Tim, I was pretty confident that he was right: I had nothing to worry about. 

I’m surprised by how many people I know who have had abortions. I know some that have had multiple, in fact. I’ve always been pro-choice and don’t place judgment on those who choose to have abortions. I think the only thing that sits wrong with me are the girls that do nothing to prevent pregnancy, live promiscuous and irresponsible lifestyles and put their bodies through hell because they know that, in the end, they can fork over some money and “get it taken care of”. This idea disturbs me... 

Obviously, that’s not me - with the exception of not being on the pill, I did take all necessary precautions. I’ve been irresponsible in the past but a few bad test results from the doctor and a couple lessons in learning to love myself has changed that behavior. In all of my years using condoms, I’ve never actually had one break before. So, I certainly wasn’t beating myself up... just doing the typical “what does this mean” thing that drives me crazy. 

A little over a week later, I got my period as scheduled and the voices stopped. 

At lunch with my mom a few days ago, I told her about all of this. She asked me if I had been able to come up with a decision on what I would’ve done had I actually been pregnant. The truth is, no. I don’t think I can make any kind of choice like that based merely on speculation. I would definitely need to be facing the decision head on. 

And honestly, I'm kinda hoping I don’t ever have to. 

So, since realistically, abstinence just isn’t an option for me, I guess I’ll have to ask him to just double up from now on. 

Because THAT’s realistic, right?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

They Should Probably Rename it Fat "Spare" Tire

Time to look at life a little differently today... after all, life has suddenly become... different. 

When I posted this as my status update on Facebook this morning, I had a very specific purpose for it and it didn’t entirely relate to me. I had written it for someone else in my life, hoping that maybe my words would be able to help them through a hardship they were dealing with. 

Of course, I realized quickly that it is also extremely appropriate for some things I am going through in my life as well. Funny how it always just works that way... 

I think about how quickly my life changes and it sort of blows my mind at times. Right when it seems like I have found my footing on a new path, I’m faced with another change in terrain. I think about my life just a few months ago, my friends, my activities, the things that I was “into” and compare it to what I’m up to now and I can’t help but wonder if anything will ever smooth out. Will my life always be this full of change and different circumstances and scenarios? Do I thrive off of this constant diversity? Will I ever really be content with what is? 

It’s hard to say... I know that part of me will always want to be trying something new. I always want to have a new place to visit, new friends to meet and new experiences to remember. I’ve never much been a fan of the “rut” and lately, I felt like I was caught up in a bit of exactly that. 

I’m overweight again. Dammit... It’s so frustrating to always worry about working out, eating right and drinking lots of water. Why can’t I just eat whatever I want, drink all the beer there is and work out only on occasion to have the body of my dreams? Better yet, why can’t I be comfortable with myself regardless of my jean size? It’s such an overwhelming battle... for the last two days, every thought in my head is clouded by how uncomfortably tight my clothes are and what the scale read last time I stepped on it. The thought of losing enough weight to be happy with myself in San Francisco is annoying when I think of the effort involved in making this happen in such a short period of time. 

My body wants to be a fat girl. Why don’t I just give in already? 

Because I know that I will never be happy if I don’t stand up for myself, my health and my mental well being by ensuring that I am doing everything I can to be the best version of me. 

It’s this same reason that I have decided to let a few of my friends drift away into the vastness that is my past. If a relationship that used to be good has suddenly become toxic, tragic and one-sided and I allow it to continually frustrate and hurt me, the fat girl wins. I don’t know why I allowed myself to stay so long in a situation that wasn’t healthy for me. That’s not the kind of person I am. In fact, I frequently advise others to remove themselves from those kind of relationships. Effort has to be given on both sides and when it isn’t, what’s the point of hanging on, really? 

I’ve been told at times that when I get mad about something someone might say to me, my wall flies up. There is most definitely some truth to this... however, if I feel like I’m being attacked, why would I just stand there and take it? 

I’ve been told that I am too sensitive and that it would behoove me to get a tougher skin. But, if allowing others to make jokes at my expense is what that statement actually means, I am perfectly fine being a crybaby. I really like me. I like who I am and I like what I’ve done to get here. I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow people to disrespect me because they aren’t in tune with the same humanistic beliefs that I am. 

People aren’t defined by their image to me. They are defined by what they do and who they are to those in their life. 

So, when I look in the mirror and see the fat girl smiling her cocky ass grin and waving in her condescending kind of way, why do I let it burn me so bad? Why do I let my image define who I am? 

Time to look at life a little differently today... after all, life has suddenly become... different. 

Ah yes... I did write this for me. 

So maybe it’s not about having to be the skinniest girl in the room. And perhaps it’s not about having to fit amazingly into a size 2. This is not about looking perfect... 

It’s about following through on my commitments to myself and what I believe to be the most important aspect of all human relationships, including the one we have with ourselves: respect. 

If I don’t have respect for myself, it is unrealistic to expect others to have respect for me. This would definitely explain why I’ve had a few too many disrespectful interactions the last few weeks with people I used to consider my friends. By not embracing and respecting my own health and emotional well being, I’ve allowed others to attack parts of me that are vulnerable. 

So yes, it may simply look like hitting the gym, preparing a few more salads and throwing in a light beer here and there... but it does mean something deeper to me. I have to treat my body the way I would like people to treat me. A consistent message to the Universe gets a much quicker response. 

Don’t get me wrong, everything happens for a reason and I am happy to be rid of negative asshole bullshit. But the bigger meaning behind everything is always what I’m more interested in. No victims here. 

It’s never too late to look at things differently, to make a change and try something new. I definitely know that I deserve to feel beautiful, both inside and out. I’ll do my part, you do yours. 

Otherwise, you can kick rocks. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Save Me, San Francisco!

Don’t you just hate it when you think you have things somewhat figured out just to realized that you still don’t know shit? 

That seems to be the story of my life. 

I posted that last blog and almost immediately afterwards, had a day full of anger, frustration and miscommunication. And I was feeling so positive when I hit publish... 

Steven and I finally decided to have the hate-mail exchange where he basically informed me of my need to be right all the time, the fact that I put a wall up whenever things get difficult and that I take pleasure out of making other people feel like garbage. Throw in a couple of “lol”s in there and it was one of the most cynical, condescending and self-righteous emails I have received. And then he un-friended me on Facebook. I’m still trying to decide between feeling really bad about this or celebrating the loss of some incredibly negative energy. 

Additionally, I’m still having miscommunication issues with my family. I really just feel like there’s not much I can do that will fulfill their expectations of the kind of daughter I should be. Sometimes, it seems like my efforts are not good enough. Maybe it’s because they aren’t. I’m the first to admit that sometimes, I make plans to hang out with my family because I know it’s been a while and it’s “just time”. Plus, I feel like if I don’t make the effort, I won’t get it in return and the unspoken animosity will simply grow bigger and bigger. 

I wish they could understand that I feel this way towards almost everybody. 

Whether it’s Steven, my family or my friends who are currently sitting at a separate table from me in a restaurant that we used to go together all the time, I simply feel like people just don’t “get” me. I feel like when I talk, they are trying to find out what it is I’m actually trying to say. Or when I respond to a question in an email, I get kickbacks of “what did you really mean by that?” 

Just for the record, my communication style consists of the following: A) I say exactly what I feel without making anyone guess what I actually mean or B) I don’t talk about it at all. 

Option A is what I use with my friends and, most of the time, my dad. I worry less about being judged from these two groups. I mean, my friends judge me all the time, but it doesn’t really bother me as long as I don’t have to hear about it. I know that when I speak and share my opinion, it’s in complete honesty. I think I do a pretty good job of pointing out my shortcomings and taking responsibility for things that I find myself complaining about. Sure, I am fully aware that I can come off as righteous. But, come on... that’s a hard thing to overcome when people look at me while I’m speaking as if I’m using a different language. 

I’m not right. I’m just different. Get over it (that goes for me just as much as it does for you)

With my dad, I mostly just don’t feel judged, which is why I’m comfortable enough saying exactly what’s on my mind. Plus, he doesn’t get defensive or offended if I say something out of frustration, anger or simply just with a strong opinion. At least, he doesn’t let on to me that any of that takes place. 

Option B is what I find myself using the most often with my mom, brother and friends of mine that I do easily offend. I seem to have a harder time saying what I feel without creating ill feelings. And then I get defensive because I have to change who I am in order to be around them comfortably. This displeases me and creates a sort of vicious cycle that I find myself jumping out of for periods of time so I can gather my thoughts and energy before diving back in. 

I’m often left asking myself the question: “Is all this effort really worth it? Wouldn’t it be easier to just be myself and let everything and everyone else take what they want from it, even if it makes them mad?” 

I guess I haven’t come as far as I want when it comes to communication. And here I am, hiding behind my laptop again, taking aim at those that have frustrated me this week. 

Who’s a tough guy? 

With the exception of my standard go-to comrades who do seem to speak at least the majority of my dialect, I am also finding an unbelievable amount of solace in my latest connection, Tim. 

Tim. Timmay. Timothy. Brandon. Whatever his name is, one month ago, this man walked into my world and decided to change the game on me. 

It’s not just about liking the same movies, relating on song lyrics and finishing each other’s sentences. This is a whole ‘nother kind of connection. It’s 100% engagement when I speak, making note of all I think and believe in and conversing with me in such a way that any holes in communication I may have experienced with others are nonexistent. In fact, they are filled with the way he listens, responds and shows genuine interest in where my head is at all times. 

We have this awesome word that we use when something gets lost between us - we call it a “misfire”. Instead of bowling over it and moving on to a subject less touchy, we go back, dissect what the miscommunication was and identify where the misfire took place. I love this. Mostly, because by doing so, we ensure that we won’t have the same misstep, but also because it shows me the high regards in which he holds our conversation and connection. 

When he looks at me, I am the only person in the room. When he talks to me, I am the only one who is listening. 

And he is so goddamn polite and nice to others, it makes me want to cry sometimes out of sheer relief. 

So, when he found out he was going to be in San Francisco visiting family during my birthday, he was devastated. Luckily, I had planned on going out of town for my birthday weekend anyway. I was actually considering going back to San Diego to do a sort of “full circle” kind of trip to wrap up my blogging adventure. However, I was having concerns about this because I wasn’t really in the most comfortable place emotionally last July when I spent that weekend in San Diego. I had so many thoughts racing through my head and felt so lonely. I was afraid that going back to that same hotel and sitting on those same rocks looking out across the same beach would just remind me of how I felt last year. Instead, I wanted to feel accomplished and proud for what I have done over the last 365 days. 

What better way to do this than to spend a long weekend in San Francisco with the one person that knows how to make me feel anything BUT lonely. 


I made a joke with my manager and friend, Beau, when asking for the time off at work that Hawaii had gone so well, why not book another vacation with a new boyfriend? Yes, kind of a cheap shot... but most definitely a joke. Already, there is so much more going on with this relationship than I could have imagined possibly in such a short time. It really seems like I have been getting closer and closer to finding my perfect match and this time is no different. 

Except... this time... he fucking GETS me. 

One month. One month ago, he came into my life. One month from now, I’ll be turning 31 and something tells me that I have a brand new journey waiting for me. 

As far as all of the other relationships causing me grief at the moment, I don’t know... I’m sure I’ll just keep plugging along like usual and do my best to make the most of each interaction. I’m happy to drop some dead weight and will see what other changes I can make to encourage better communication with those that I don’t want to disconnect from. 

The work never ends... but it is nice to know that I’m not alone right now. Could it be that I’ve found him? Perhaps I’ll find the answer up north...