One of my most-used lines from a movie is in the movie Richer or Poorer, where the Amish friends ask Tim Allen if he wants to come with them to town. He's busy working on repairing a wagon or something, and he mutters in a caustic tone, "Ehhhh I gotta lotta shit to do around here." Simple, but it has stuck with me for years. I DO gotta lotta shit to do around here.
And now, after I go over my list of spring-y things, I feel the need to give a personal update. It isn't often I dig this deep and get gritty about what's going on, but when it needs to happen I don't turn a blind eye. I am hoping I can look back on this post in a few months and see that the choices and feelings I have are validated. So let's see what's going on in my public world before tuning to the Alex channel!
Good news before anything else. My friend Madi and I are talking again! She's been my best friend for years, but we got into a big fight in 2011 and mutually decided we were never ever speaking again ever. Luckily that's changed. Madi is a huge part of my life, and has been even during not talking. It was (as she described) like a bad breakup; things would remind us of each other and we'd get sad. So much to catch up on. It feels great to have her in my life again.
1. Madi and I at her 22nd birthday. 2. A photo I took at the Great Salt Lake. We found this amazing fish skeleton and dubbed it 'Godfish.' 3. New Year's 2010. My makeup is smudged because the party theme was 90's and I was a grunge kid. 4. Madi's 21st birthday, on the fun bus to Wendover, NV. We mutually agree this is the best photo of us ever taken. 5. Madi has questionable fashion taste; this particular outfit was a converted nightgown with a belt. 6. Another photo I took, this time on an abandoned train car by the Great Salt Lake.
As for the other stuff, here's an overview:
--I am getting my driver's ed taken care of after the 15th of this month. By April's end, I will be the proud owner of a license, for the first time in my entire 24 years of living.
--I'm also taking care of school this month. There are several things I still have to do, like take the placement test, figure out how much financial aid I will receive, and actually register for the classes. So thrilled and yet nervous.
--I bought a Groupon for $100 worth of yoga classes (only $39!!!) So for the first time I will be taking yoga classes. I'm really nervous about that too. I don't feel I'm ready for it, but that is the stupidest reason to not do something.
--My spring/summer travel plans include going to Portland, OR (to see Madi!) Denver, CO to see Rammstein, Norfolk VA to visit Ron, and Athens, TN to meet with my friends from many years ago. It's a little overwhelming, but just think, I've already crossed the ocean and back this year. I know this will be an amazing ride.
--I've decided to start a few features, or recurring posts, on this blog. Every now and then I jump on a linky party, but I'm not really dedicated to any one thing. They're fun and a great way to meet new people, but this is my blog and it's time I started writing about the things that matter to me. So the ideas I've picked out are as follows;
Friend of the Month: My friends are my family. I wanted a more organized way of writing about them so that I can remember our fun times and introduce the blog world to the people who mean the most to me. So I thought a fun monthly feature would be to pick a friend and write an entry about them. I'm hoping I can write each entry on the first of the month, but if not any time will do.
instagr.am Friday: Oh god, instagram for Android is out AND I AM HOOKED. I could never do the "photo a day" or photo challenges with any intent, but this is different. A week in instagrams seems like a perfect weekly feature (and one I've seen scattered here and there on other blogs.)
What I'm Painting: Self explanatory. I like sharing my creativity here.
Writer's Rant: I could dedicate a whole blog to the trials, tribulations, and rewards of being a writer, but then I'd feel really complainy and negative. Still, this post will be on an 'as-needed' basis, and it's nice knowing I can take a break from other posts in order to focus on my true passion. Probably these posts will be really vulgar and scatterbrained. Hence the word 'rant.'
Well, that's about it! I'm really excited for all these fun new things.
And now to the personal part....
Feel free to stop reading here. This entry covers a heavily personal matter and doesn't really apply to anything other than what's going on in my work world and love life. It's probably bitchy, but derp, this is a blog after all. And it's important for me to get this out of my system.
Ron and I have not been doing well. That would be the epic understatement of the year, but I don't want to get into the how and why my marriage is not meeting my expectations. He is going away soon for 10 months. A part of me will miss him, and of course I will still be sending packages and doing emails and Skype and all that stuff, but for the most part all I can feel at this point is relief. I can't deal with the emotional energy; he reminds me of the big vacuum cleaners in Ghost Busters. Except he's sucking the verve and emotional strength from me. It's not fair and it's preventing me from being productive.
Which brings me to my next point. This is another deeply personal thing, but I've come to understand that my biggest fear is not reaching my potential, namely when it comes to writing. I know I have the ability, and I know a lot of hard work is in store, but my mind-numbing horror that I will be one of those women who is 40 with three kids and says "oh I used to want to be a writer!" or "I should've written a book, but now I don't have the time." It's a bit of an irrational fear because I am a hard worker and I get a lot done, but it's a fear nonetheless. But that fear and insecurity paired with all this emotional bullshit is too much.
For the past week or so I've been waking up in a melancholy mood. I usually only get about 3 or 4 hours of sleep at a time, and when I wake up I'm usually either groggy, or bushy-tailed, but not sad. I realized yesterday (rather, the slave-driving micromanager inside me realized) that I needed to cut down on complications so that I can focus on what's important right now, which is being productive in several areas: school, writing, getting my license, saving money, and being healthy/keeping up with all my therapy and appointments. In a rather quick, intuitive decision I cut one of the most important people in my life out. This was really hard for me to do, but logical, because this is a friend whose friendship I also put a lot lot lot lot LOT of emotional energy into.
Thankfully, being the good friend he is, he seemed to understand my reasoning, though I wasn't really the best at explaining myself at 3am while blubbering and crying and trying to type on my phone. Immediately after this foul deed was done, I decided to have a little talk with myself. It probably sounds crazy, and I've been called that and worse, but I just needed a way to vocalize and deep talk with all parts of me: the micromanager, the overemotional ten year old, and that little pathetically small logical voice I have that lurks in the shadows of the realms of my mind.
The conclusions that I reached were actually profound. I am being far too hard on myself when it comes to work. I'm the worst boss ever because I'm a huge bitch who doesn't reward herself for anything, and seems to never be satisfied with anything I do. This leads to feelings of inadequacy and an almost crippling notion that everything I do is pointless. I've decided it's in my own best interest to stop being so hard on myself, and produce a healthy amount of discipline, instead of the reign of terror that goes on in my head.
I also decided that the feelings of worthlessness themselves are pointless. The people who love me, love me for a reason. The people who hate me hate me for a reason too. Sadly the only people who actually do hate me are my family, and they hate my drive, independence, and will to never be satisfied with the ordinary (or what they consider ordinary, which is absurdly skewed.) I respect my loved ones more than any role model or idol that's ever existed...yes, even Till....and I realized that I need to put faith in the fact that they appreciate me, and obviously see something that's worthwhile. When you're your own slave driver it's hard to acknowledge at face value that people love you because there's some good in you, but it's true. Not just for me, but for everyone.
Another decision reached was that I can't expend this emotional energy on Ron, either. It's not fair that I had to cut off someone who in no way ever antagonizes me, yet I give buckets of attention to someone who abuses my feelings on a daily if not hourly basis. So, for the rest of the time that he's here, I simply can't engage him in any way. It's kind of harsh, but our fights take a much worse toll. That's my plan, and since he has less than 90 days left before deployment, it's entirely feasible. I have no long-term solution for anything. All I know is that I can't wait to get on the right track of being productive. The one where I'm not demeaning and traumatizing myself day in and day out.
Being a writer is hard for a lot of reasons, but I think the most difficult thing is finding the balance in being your own boss. Perhaps entrepreneurs can relate more than anyone else. That balance takes its toll on you; you have to be supportive of yourself, disciplined, you have to have the faith that this unfinished work is going somewhere worthwhile, and if it isn't you have to stop, change your course of action, and you have to do all of this entirely alone. It helps to have loved ones around you (and can be impossible without them) but at the end of the day, it's all you.
That takes a lot of strength, and character. I have both, but I'm just recently learning how to utilize them.
I feel positive about my work. I miss my friend. I am angry at the unfairness of losing a friend for someone who doesn't appreciate me. I can feel the change in the tide now; I'm moving forward into a very successful time in my life. I feel loved. I feel creative. Everything will be just fine.