Category Archives: anticipation

.and then everything went quiet for a very long time.

I have no idea where the last 6 months went.

I remember, about three months ago, Grant asked me why I hadn’t blogged recently and I said, “I just haven’t had much to say.  I should get back to it, though.”  And then another three months went by, and no blogging, and now it feels like I’m writing from beneath a whole lot of accumulated dust.  But now I guess I’m back.  (Warning: there may be sneezing.  Bear with me.)

The last 6 months have been eventful, but not in any sort of big, What I Did on My Summer Vacation kind of way.  That is, I’m not sure what to write to catch up.  Mostly I’m kicking myself because I don’t remember much, and if I had been writing it down as I went (the whole POINT of this blog in the first place!) then it would all already be there.  But it isn’t.

Finn and I are great.  She went to Indonesia for 2 months (last long trip for a while, she’s promised) which was… long… but she’s back and things are just really, really good with us.  We didn’t get married in the last 6 months, but we did spend an excessive amount of mental energy negotiating what our ceremony should look like, if any, and what our party should look like, if any.  We even went to therapy for a while, and paid a not-small sum of money to a neutral third party to weigh in.  And we still haven’t got it all figured out.  Mostly we’ve worked out the ceremony and celebration issues, actually – now it’s mostly a matter of timing.  At this point, we’re both so sick of it that we just want to be MARRIED already, but it’s never quite that easy…

(I’m told straight people have more wedding drama than this, even, and I’m beginning to think it’s amazing that anyone, anywhere, ever, gets married.)

Work is good.  Like most jobs, I think, it has its pros and cons.  Pros: job security, good pay, good benefits, flexible schedule, low stress, solid group of friends.  Cons: boring, boring, so so boring, and not the kind of law I really want to be practicing.  It’s the kind of job where the days are long and the weeks fly by.  My work-friends and I have learned to solve this problem with multiple coffee breaks per day, which seems to keep us in good enough spirits that we muddle through.  Despite the cons, I think I’m going to be at this job for a LONG time.  It’s the golden handcuffs problem – how can I leave a steady job that pays well and is low-stress, just because I don’t find it exciting enough?  So here I am.  And I’m grateful for it.

Oh, and did you see what I wrote up there?  Work-friends – I have friends!  Put out into the universe that I needed them, and suddenly Finn and I are surrounded by good people on all sides.  So at least that last blog entry came full circle.

On the other hand, my family is insane.  This was not a good Christmas – the first not-good Christmas I can remember (which I suppose I should also be thankful for).  Lots of fighting.  Some just normal big-family-fighting, some a little more serious.  Nothing to do with me, thank God, but I think it’s only a matter of time before shit hits the fan and things start to get messy around here.  There were definitely some things that happened this Christmas that crossed lines that can’t be uncrossed, and now we’re just kind of waiting for the fallout.  Everyone’s keeping it together for the holiday, but I’m not really looking forward to what the New Year is bringing on this front.  I don’t think it’s going to be good.

Yeah, cryptic.

Okay, so that part of next year might suck, but otherwise I do have really high hopes.  I am in a much better place – emotionally, financially – hell, with my gym membership, even physically – than I was this time last year.  I love my girlfriend, I love my friends, I love where I live.  So, here’s to a really good 2011.  And hopefully, to less radio silence and more blogging…

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Filed under anticipation, eagle death roll, Finn, Grant, love, manythanks, marriage, navel-gazing, new leaf, The Fam

.i’m okay, you’re okay.

Well, hello.  Long time no see.

About a year ago, I was talking to my mom about what I had been like as a child.  What did she remember about me?  Did she think I was generally a good kid?  Was I tough to parent?  She thought for a few seconds, and then said, “What I remember about you is that you were always much harder on yourself than we ever were on you.  That’s the kind of kid you were – you’d get a B on a test, and when we’d congratulate you, you’d burst into tears because you weren’t satisfied with a B.  With you, it always had to be an A.”

Here’s the thing about having a blog – when I ignore it for a while, I feel guilty.  I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do.  And then blogging becomes this thing that I should be doing, a chore, instead of something that I do simply because I want to.  This, of course, leads me to… ignore it even more.  All of which is ridiculous, I know, because it’s not like I have all that many readers in the first place, and the ones I have are mostly friends who couldn’t care less whether or not I’m regularly updating my blog.  But it doesn’t matter.  I started this blog to keep a record of what was going on in my life, because I have a terrible memory and I’d like to be able to look back and see what was going on at various times.  So I’m not satisfied unless I’m doing it often, because I set a goal for myself, dammit, and I’d like to see it through.

This tendency to have high expectations for myself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  For instance, it pushes me to work hard and distinguish myself at work.  It motivates me to write and re-write and revise and write some more, even on days when I don’t feel like writing.  This characteristic is why I get shit done, and I can recognize that that’s a good thing.

The problem is, I’ve been wielding this aspect of my character like a mallet, when it’s really best handled with laser precision.  I’ve been demanding perfection from myself in everything, even things that don’t matter very much (such as, yes, whether or not I post regularly on my blog).  But it’s not just that.  I’ve been beating myself up recently over the fact that I don’t have more hobbies, don’t have more friends, don’t have a cleaner house, don’t have my debt paid down.  That I’m not more successful, more motivated.  That I haven’t published a book or learned Spanish.  That I don’t network.  That I haven’t done, well, anything of note in my life.  That I’m not the best at anything.  That I haven’t distinguished myself at anything that matters.

I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test a few months ago and came up an INFJ, which could not be more right-on.  (For those of you whose Myers-Briggs-speak is a bit rusty, INFJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging).  Here’s a pretty relevant part of the description of your average INFJ: “INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments.”

Huh.  Y’don’t say.

So.  In light of the guilt, and my recognition that it’s so often unnecessary… I’m going to try something new.  I’m going to try and use my own high expectations for myself like a laser instead of a mallet.  I’m going to give myself the freedom to be imperfect.

I’m going to give myself permission to be tired and overwhelmed sometimes.  I’m going to let myself sleep in on a Saturday without tempering my enjoyment with guilt.  I’m going to cut myself some slack on the hobbies, the friends, the debt – or at least from feeling like I need to address them all at once.  I can try and work on a few things at a time.  Everything does not have to be running at 100% for me to be okay, be accomplished, be a worthwhile human being.

I’m going to try and use my perfectionism to my benefit, instead of letting it guilt me into inaction.  Turn it on a few things that really matter and motivate myself to work hard and well at some things, rather than shining a giant, judgmental spotlight onto my whole life and berating myself for coming up short.

So yeah, I haven’t blogged in a while.  It hasn’t been a priority.  And that’s okay.  I’ll try and write more often, because I really would like to have a record of what I’m doing.  But if I don’t, I don’t.  AND THAT’S OKAY.

So, with the navel-gazing portion of this post over – on to the actual what-when-where that I intended in the first place.

Not that I need an excuse after everything I just said, but part of the reason I haven’t blogged in a while is that things have been so effing busy!  Mostly in a good way.  I’ve been working late basically every night for the last couple of months, banking credit hours which I can then use to take days off when we have guests.  And oh, have we had guests.

First, Finn’s parents came into town for a week at the end of April.  (I had just purchased a new camera, so brace yourselves for an illustrated post.)

We hitched Ophelia onto her leash and let her out onto the porch to play.  Finn’s parents were a bit dubious of her at first, but she really grew on them.

Ophelia, checking out birds in the rafters of our porch

The weather was gorgeous while they were here, so we went on lots of walks.  Before they left we threw them a big party so they could meet some of our friends, including Finn’s midwifery partner, her husband, and their FOUR BOYS under the age of NINE.  (Great, great, wonderful, adorable kids, and absolutely insane.)

View from the porch, where most of the party happened – photo by one of the 4boysunder9, all of whom wanted a turn with the camera


This is the table at the party, loaded down with food.  Please note that when I say we threw a party, I mean that Finn’s dad, who is an AMAZING cook, cooked us a ton of food, which we promptly snarfed.

A few days after her parents left, Finn’s friend Gina and her 2 year old Chester came for the weekend.  I won’t put pics of them up, because that seems weird, but we had a good time.  I re-discovered that toddlers love me.

The weekend after Gina left, Olive came into town for a few days.  She was doing her final pre-ordination meetings and vote before she becomes ordained as a minister in the UCC church.  It all went well, and so she’s getting ordained in 2 weeks! I’m so thrilled for her.

The day after Olive left, Finn’s brother and sister-in-law and our niece came to visit from Hawaii.  They were here for about 7 days, and I was able to use up 3 days worth of the credit hours I’d been saving up at work to hang out and play with them in the middle of the week.  We went on lots of walks, visited the Children’s Museum, went window-shopping on the main street in our lil neighborhood, hung out at the pond near our house, and spent quite a bit of time at the playground down the street.

Learning about tools at the Children’s Museum


Finn’s brother and the kiddo at the pond

This weekend, we have no guests and no responsibilities.  We’re probably going to the beach tomorrow, and then out to dinner with some friends.  Oh, and later this week we’re going to a baseball game, which is pretty rad.

Next weekend I’m off to a funeral for my aunt, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last week.  I’m still not really ready to talk about that.  The weekend after that, Olive is getting ordained, and she and her sig other, KC, are staying with us for the week.  Then the weekend after THAT, my brother and his girlfriend are coming into town for a week.  Annnnnd that gets us til the end of June!  Phew.

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Filed under anticipation, anxiety, crazy cat lady: ur doin it rite, eagle death roll, Finn, love, navel-gazing, new leaf, Olive, pictures, The Fam, type A personality: check, vacation all i ever wanted

.out of the darkness and into the workforce.

Yup: I am, once again, joining the ranks of the full-time employed!  As those of you who have followed my sad little unemployment saga know, this is a HEE-YUGE relief.  March brings us to Month Seven of my unemployment, and it was beginning to feel like I would never get a job… I was okay at fending off discouragement most days, but I’m not sure how much deeper that well of optimism ran.  Suffice to say, this is awesome timing.

I’ll be working for the federal government, which will be an interesting turn for the girl who has only ever done legal services work.  It being the Fed, I probably won’t give too many details about my job, but I think it’ll be interesting work that keeps me challenged and interested.  (Now if we could just get Congress to overturn DOMA so that when Finn and I get married she could be on my health insurance, that’d be greaaaat.  Obama’s executive order stopped just short of that, and I am not happy.  You hear me, Mr. President?  Not.  Happy. At. All.)

But today is not the day to let discrimination rain on my parade.  I am employed, it is a job I think I’ll enjoy, and I no longer have to live in a state of constant fear that I’m not going to be able to pay my bills.  It’s a good day.

Before I go, I’d like to give a slow-clap shoutout to everyone who helped keep me emotionally afloat the last 6 months.  (In particular, I’m looking at you Finn / Rev – particularly with your well-timed reminder of J.K. Rowling’s discussion of the benefits of failure / Cali / Rala… I don’t know what I would have done without you.)

Yay!

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Filed under anticipation, Cali, Finn, if you call it "funemployment" i will smack you, manythanks, new leaf, Obama, ohmygod i'm a lawyer, queering the binary, Rala, Rev, righteous rage

.the final countdown.

Finn is home tomorrow!!!

After 64 long. ass. days. she is returning.

Yay!

 

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Filed under anticipation, Finn

.we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for a freak out.

Tomorrow is my last day of work.

Two days after that we’re moving.

I found out yesterday that I didn’t get a job for which I was incredibly well-qualified.

I also found out yesterday that a guy I went to middle and high school with died very unexpectedly.

In sum, I don’t like change and there has been a lot of change, upheaval, disappointment, and facing of my own mortality and that of the people I love, all within the span of about a week.  Oh, also the cats are panicked and peeing all over everything.

I try hard not to wish away my days, even the bad ones, because every moment is so precious.  I try hard not to feel like a failure when I don’t get the things that I want and work hard for.  I try not to waste time worrying – obsessing? – about whether and when and how the people I dearly love will pass away.  I try not to want to kill my sweetly tyrannous baby kittens.

And yet.  I am ready for this week to be over, I am ready to be moved in, I am ready to have said my goodbyes at work and shut the door on that period of my life, pleasant though it was.  I am ready to stop being anxious so I won’t fall prey to my mega-anxiety-producing-triggers (unexpected deaths being a major, major trigger for me).

I’m ready to let go and let myself be happy again.  I’m ready to take responsibility for my own joy.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends and I both kept small notebooks with us at all time.  We called them our Happy Books.  They were filled with an ongoing list of things that made us happy – pictures, inside jokes, people, events, memories… I’m sure half of it wouldn’t make sense to me now, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been as content with my life as when I kept a Happy Book.  Seems like it might be time to start that back up again.  So for tonight…

10 Things That Make Me Happy Right Now

1. My shiny new apartment

2. Numbered, color-coded moving boxes

3. The fact that my haircat loves me so much that she hates that I’m typing this right now, because she really wants to be sitting ON ME

4. Brunch with Rev

5. Victory over The Man: Comcast gave me an amazing deal on cable when I called to tell them I had to go to basic because I’d been laid off.  Everything I have now for half the price.  Ahmazing.

6. Finn’s freckles

7. Air conditioning

8. The story that has been floating around in my mind, waiting to get out

9. Living one train stop away from Cali beginning Saturday

10. The possibilities that await me now that I’ve got free time again…

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Filed under anticipation, anxiety, Cali, crazy cat lady: ur doin it rite, Finn, memories, new leaf, Rev, type A personality: check

.ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Apologies if this post ends up being erratic and/or making no sense – I’m doped up on percocet but figured I’d give the blog thing a go anyway.

So.  Where were we before I fell off the face of the planet?  It felt for a while there that everything was floating around and no decisions were ever going to be made about all the things I was waiting on, but I’ve finally got some concrete plans!  First, I was finally given my official layoff notice, which was actually rather anti-climatic considering I’d known it was coming for so long.  That said, I found out that my employer is going to cover the cost of my health insurance premiums for 2 full months after I leave, which I had no idea would happen, so at least that’s a little of the weight off.

Second, I had a job interview a few days ago.  I can’t say too much about it, but I walked out feeling like it went well and I at least knew I did my best.  From there, we’ll see if I happen to be what they’re looking for.

…I just fell asleep at my keyboard.  Good drugs.

Right, so, I am feeling good on the job search front thus far, but of course there are always so many factors that go into why an employer hires one person instead of another (or in this case, one person instead of any one of the other 400 applicants) so I’m trying to get myself into headspace where I won’t beat myself up over not getting it if I don’t.

Third, Finn and I are officially moving at the end of this month.  We are super excited, our new apartment is very close to the city, public transportation, and our friends.  Living in the ‘burbs for a year was nice, and I think it was good for Finn to see that she wouldn’t end up killing herself out here.  There are definitely some things I’m going to miss, like the awesome library 5 minutes away and having a yard (even though we didn’t really use it, since the weather has been so rainy/muggy all summer) and a driveway (no fighting over on-street parking!) and a garage (no shoveling snow off the car!) but like I said, the new place is gorgeous and convenient and overall I’m really excited to be back in the city.  It’s also cheaper (not the rent itself, which is the same, but heating and cooling will be cheaper, we won’t have to pay for yardwork, we won’t have to take our own trash to the dump, we won’t have to shovel our own driveway, etc. – saving us money and time).  Plus, Cali is moving back so she’ll be right around the corner!

I had my wisdom teeth out this morning.  I had been ridiculously nervous about the process – I am not one for letting go of control, so the idea of getting drugs that were going to make me so loopy that I wouldn’t mind that I was having 4 teeth ripped out of my head scared me more than the actual procedure itself.  (Though it didn’t help that people kept telling me horror stories either – what’s up with that, people?  So uncool.)  But it went fine, I actually LOVED the drugs, and I just dozed and listened to my ipod (“teethout mix”) while he was doing his thing.  The groggy, bloody aftermath wasn’t so fun, but once I got home and Finn tucked me in, drugged me, and made sure I was covered in ice, things improved.  I proceeded to sleep through 3 movies, and now I’m actually feeling close to human (though still resembling a hamster, no worries).

Oh dear, I think I’m rambling.

When I add up everything that has/had to be done this month, it’s a little overwhelming: I have to get all of my cases at work ready to transfer to other attorneys and do all the million other closing-out things that need to be done when one leaves a job; I have to go on interviews and really get into the job search process; I have to pack up the whole house (and may I add that Finn is out of town at school for 2 weeks this month, so who do you think is going to be doing most of the packing??) and move into the new place; and I had to have a scary chimpunk-face-transplant surgery.  Maybe it’s more than the drugs making me so tired right now.

I wish I were still at the beach.  That trip deserves a proper post of its own, really.  I had so much fun, it was so awesome to see Rev’s place, meet her pup, and traipse around DC with her, and then road trip down to the beach.  There I turned slightly more flesh-colored (didn’t even burn much – score!) and got to hang with the family (and especially with my brother’s girlfriend’s son, who’s 3 and LOVES me) and spend quality time with everyone.  I slept and lounged, read, played on the beach, ate about 3 times more than I normally do of heavy, greasy, delicious southern foods, and really just quite enjoyed myself.  Told my siblings about the engagement and they were thrilled, which was sweet.

Seriously rambling.  I can’t think of a way to end this and I’m feeling too woozy to bother reading it over.  Oh, wait, here’s a good way to end – this applies both to my whining about my teeth hurting and also about the million things I have to do this month.  As my Grandma would say:

deal, dammit

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Filed under anticipation, anxiety, Cali, Finn, love, Rev, sickyface, vacation all i ever wanted

.i build each one of my days out of hope.

I’ve had the line stuck in my head all day:

“I build each one of my days out of hope / and I give that hope your name…”

Oh, Ani.  Way to transport me back to college.

It’s fitting though, as I have been thinking a lot lately about hope and the future how to build the life I want to have.  This fit of introspection has been prompted by ye olde impending layoff, of course (you tired of hearing about that yet?  Because I’m tired of talking about it…) as well as the prospect of possibly moving, and more generally, the feeling that some Major Life Changes are shifting into high gear.  And while I would suspect myself of being the type to – how shall I say this – freak the fuck out about said Major Life Changes, I’ve surprised myself with the attitude I’ve so far adopted: somewhat zen Buddhist, a quiet acceptance, que sera sera and all that.  I’ve done all I can do, the rest is out of my hands.  In a way, this is freeing.  It’s not so bad, this whole letting go thing.

In fact, surprisingly, it feels like a moment brimming with opportunity.  How often do we get to start over?

Don’t get me wrong, not every day has been filled with this let-the-world-take-me-where-it-may feeling.  But overall, I have felt rather… hopeful.  I am convinced that I’ll end up where I ought to be, and I will learn from that place, and then I will move on.  In the meantime, I will try not to ruin this day with worry.  I will be where I am, and I’ll enjoy it while I’m here.

And really, the view could be worse.

::  we negotiate with chaos for some sense of satisfaction

if you won’t give it to me at least give me

a better view

come here

stand in front of the light

stand still

so I can see your silhouette

I hope

that you have got all night

cuz I’m not done looking

no I’m not done looking

yet.

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Filed under anticipation, quotables, the beauty of the in-between