Monthly Archives: June 2011

Facing the World

Facing the World

Omfg, my skin is breaking out like crazy, and I am flipping out. Yes, my friends try to be nice and say that “it isn’t so bad,” but holy fuck, I look goddamn disfigured! Ugh. And in the last two weeks, I’ve woken up every morning telling myself that I cannot leave the damn house looking like this. I ultimately do but it’s a tough fight with myself. All this fucking public exposure: Seriously, on Monday, I had my voice recital; on Tuesday, I went to a tech event (to further my “professional development”); and then tonight we had tickets to the theater.

I was thinking it was something from my diet, but I don’t know. The skin people say bumps on the chin are attributed to hormonal imbalances… but how can my hormones be imbalanced when they are chemically controlled with BCP?? I swear to god, I will give up sugar, starch, iodide, whatever it takes. That is how desperate I feel. I mean, at the point where I don’t want to leave the house? It brings back horrible memories from the past, and I will undergo lent or whatever if it gives me clear skin. Fucking a. But John is telling me he doesn’t think it’s food related. That could very well be true too.

I’ve been stressing out lately. First, my contract developer went MIA in April. The application he developed broke meanwhile, and now I’m fucking SOL. I’m going to Plan B now, but still it’s been really stressful trying to figure out where the hell he’d gone, what happened, whether there was any chance he was returning. It’s a long story, but let’s just say I got the police involved. The latest news on him is that he is with family on the East Coast– some family emergency. Mind you, not a fucking word from him via phone, email, or anything. Part of me is pissed, but then I try to let go: who knows how any of us would react when shit really goes down with family. I am trying to be patient and understanding. Still from a work perspective, this has been a hard lesson for me.

Then there’s my friend who keeps flipping back and forth between staying and leaving her husband. She’s one of my best friends, so I really took the breakup to heart, and in fact, I started projecting their circumstance onto my own. I suppose in the end, it boils down to whether you really believe one person can make you happy all the time. My position? If I spend a lifetime trying (unsuccessfully) to make myself happy, how can I expect that someone else can succeed? I do believe perfection exists– but it’s only out there for a handful of people. For the rest of us, there are good times and there are bad times– just like life itself. Anyway, she pointed me to an interesting article, “Are you stuck in a semi-happy marriage?” More food for thought. Interestingly, in my recent discussions with her, I’ve learned of many years of resentment, and areas where actions and words cannot be forgiven. I must admit that I am not always careful of my words– for me, it’s more important to express the true feeling rather than to filter or tweak it diplomatically. Certainly, there’s a fine line but if I’ve learned anything for my own relationship, speaking the issue at least minimizes accumulation of contempt. I’ve encouraged my friend to speak the truth, to tell him why she cannot go back to him… it’s only fair that he learn the reasons, and I hope that learning them will help him move forward. A part of me feels like she is demanding too much from him while not exactly demanding the same of herself. She doesn’t feel like he truly tried on issues/areas that were important to her. She says he was lazy– he’d let himself go. But she never empowered herself to learn their finances… should that be considered laziness too? Regardless, I suppose the lesson is that now she understands empowerment is critical for self-sufficiency and independence. And at the same time, I hope he realizes how much she’s given already to work things out.

And this is a reminder to myself to fight complacency. I’m signing up for a bunch of new activities to get back into exercising, hobbies, professional development, networking… because you never really know how life can change. I need to be ready for anything. Maybe my shitty skin is telling me to go on the fruit flush again…

Feeling Better

Feeling Better

I had an early birthday party last Friday. Luckily, I also had that day off from work, so John and I had the entire day to prepare. It was a relatively small party– only 11 people or so– but it’s still always a full day’s thing, especially because Bubs likes to make everything from scratch. The star item on his menu was burnt ends bbq beef. He got a new smoker, and we started cooking eight pounds of meat at 10 a.m. Of course, his work didn’t end there: he also insisted on making the homemade BBQ sauce plus all the meal accompaniments: guac, two salsas, asparagus salad, azteca salad (quinoa, jicama, mango ginger dressing), baked beans with bacon, corn on the cob… and people complemented with beverages, potato salad, corn bread, and gourmet ice cream (brown butter and salt/pepper!). Yup, it was a total feast.

The group dynamics also seemed to mesh pretty well– lots of people from my former workplace plus my current workplace plus oldies like G&J. By now, I think they’ve all seen the others enough times to pick up where they had last left off.

We did lots of activities too: J&J got me a red bull piñata stuffed with candy and hotel toiletries (totally up my alley); we did some karaoke (old school 80s); and then we finished the night with G&J schooling us on hip hop dance moves on the Xbox Kinect. All in all, I was really happy with how everything turned out. Even though I do relish all the soiree details, above all, I just felt happy to be amongst friends. And Bubbey really made me feel loved. Oftentimes, I feel like we struggle with expressing love (we have different primary love languages), but with the party and all the preparations involved, I appreciated his multiple acts of service. He really paid attention to the details– from cooking dishes that I love to chilling my favorite sweet Riesling, to getting my favorite cake. It was so very sweet, and I felt truly happy that night.

The rest of the weekend finished up well. Saturday rained all day, and we just slept in (that party wiped us out big time), but in the evening, we went to Red Rock Coffee House to catch some live music. I felt like we were finally getting back on track. Today (Sunday), I woke up and went to yoga. Sure, I was out of shape following my one-month slump, but it still felt good, and I thought that I might just get back into it again. In the afternoon, I headed to “Book Club”– my euphemism for “Craft Club”… I just like that Book Club sounds nerdier. 🙂 Anyway, a few of us work friends made lunch and then worked on our Martha Stewart piggy banks. Last year, I had made a piggy and a water buffalo. The water buffalo got fucked up in the move, so now I’m repairing him. Ultimately, it’s just a good excuse to hang out and talk shit about work.

So tomorrow is back to the office, and I feel rested and content. I hope this is indication that my latest funk is now over. Yeah, I know, I’ll have to check back at the end of the week. 🙂 Certainly things can change day to day, but I’m going to bed tonight feeling hopeful.

These pictures kinda help with that: they make me smile. Supposedly, there is also video footage of me bludgeoning my beautiful red bull. Stay tuned: more to come.

Searching for Answers

Searching for Answers

My friend whom I mentioned in the last posting, pointed me to an interesting talk about personality types. Obviously, I’ve been obsessed recently with two things: personality tests and relationship compatibility studies. When I took this test, it spit out a disappointing answer: Director-Builder. Why was I disappointed? Because the Director is supposed to be a real power player. The director gets shit done, takes care of business, manages people, is successful. Sure, I get things done on a small scale, but I don’t feel like I’m the successful, kickbutt power player. Maybe I spent too much time in the last decade diluting my natural inclinations. Why? Because I was trying to be more compromising, more accommodating. And in the process of trying to become a better person for people I love, I lost that edge that maybe would have resulted in me truly rising to something, truly accomplishing something. And the irony is, I softened all these things about me for other people, and in the end, they still insist that I’m Type A or a director or an administrator or whatever. In the end, they don’t even acknowledge me for trying to accommodate them.

I guess other people don’t see it, but I made a conscious, dramatic shift from my true nature. People say that I’m judgmental but in my earlier years, I was REALLY judgemental– I adopted a position, and I didn’t waver. I liked to view all situations– even complex ones– in black and white. That was my tendency. As I grew older, that “style” started to feel rigid, unyielding, and overly simplistic, especially when trying to relate to others, so then I tried really hard to understand other perspectives even if I had felt an initial affinity for one. I tried to be more empathetic to others, and then, I started becoming consumed by “analysis paralysis.” Where I was once decisive, I was now indecisive. I thought life was just getting more complicated.

Maybe that was true also, but I definitely proactively tried to change who I was. I thought my life would be better and fuller if I were more compassionate, more extroverted, more flexible. I thought I would be a better person, a more supportive friend or companion. And now I realize that all these changes have caused me stress. I know, because I lose sleep worrying about finding solutions and answers for other people. I feel anxious about all the elements that are beyond my control, and I only feel (mildly) better when I start to compulsively control little things that are just me– what I eat, how I look, how I go about my daily schedule… in the chaos, I grasp desperately for ways to find black and white.

At the end of Dr. Fisher’s lengthy talk, someone asks whether people can change their type over time, and Dr. Fisher asserts that these types are rooted in biology. So while people can behave and move amongst the types, ultimately, they grow exhausted if they behave “out of type” for extended periods. In other words, denying your natural type is unsustainable long term.

My friend told me that in her marriage, she had been extremely accommodating; she had lost herself in the marriage. Dr. Fisher mentions meeting a lady who admitted not being herself the entire 15 years that she was married. She divorced. I wonder if this is how my friend now feels. Could this be my case as well? Have I acted in a manner that is unsustainable? Is that why I feel so damn tired of everything?

I keep taking these tests. Why? Because I’m a Director. I want reasons, logic, rationale for everything. I want to believe there is science behind relationships and compatibility. John insists he is a negotiator-builder, which is the “right” match for a director-builder. I’m not so sure he is what he claims. But even if the results confirmed him, does that make me feel better? I don’t know. Why all this doubt?

I guess my friend’s decision to divorce has caused some inner turmoil for me. I wonder about all the things she says, and I wonder if they apply to me. I am questioning the longevity of relationships. I am questioning what it means to stay true to myself. For example, I don’t like things to drag on. I don’t like procrastination of anything– chores, tasks, life questions. I seek resolutions with extreme urgency.

Our marriage has become strained the last few years. There are good periods and bad periods, but overall I suppose things have been inconsistent and very touch and go. That has worn on me, and now, as I watch my friend walk away from her uncertainty, I wonder if I should do the same. The director values decisiveness and solutions. The builder values trust and loyalty.

John has really stepped up his game in the last month since our meltdown at the end of April. But I haven’t been feeling well. I feel tapped out, unmotivated. I’m trying to get my groove back. I’m trying to self motivate. And I keep taking these tests… I’m searching for resolution somewhere.