I've found that I've picked up a really awful habit...I'm freakishly happy at church. Big smile, everything everyone says is hysterical, bright eyes, cheerful laughter, breezy gestures! It's ridiculous!
Because it's all a fairly transparent act. See, I happen to know that I'm being watched. And I want to be sure that anytime he get's a glimpse of me, I appear to be deliriously happy! And I'm not necessarily unhappy, but church is not causing me to live in euphoria...pride is. I want him to regret his distance and crave to be near me and somewhere in my sub-conscious, I decided that this was the right tactic.
I thought my goal to go on one date a month was shot when my two top potentials both turned up out of town this weekend. I've been benched the last 2 weeks with this lousy sickness...so I was panicky that I was going to finish February dateless...and depending on who you ask (Patti), I still did. But, I did spend the evening with R.A., who is an All-Star bachelor, at a fantastic performance of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Loved, loved, loved it! Can't believe the theater wasn't packed. I'll be doing my best to talk all of my friends into seeing it next weekend. Talented cast, witty script, I laughed to tears a few times, tried to imagine a PG rated re-write for my ward, and now my mind is racing with questions and ideas that might get me involved in something similar sometime soon. I think the comedic irreverent scripts might be my forte...and this script is nothing if it isn't comedic and irreverent. February Date - Check(ish) Great Night at the Theater - Double Check(no ish)
I just ran through my 2011 goals and this has been a ROUGH month for me. I am worse off at the end of this month than I was before all of the successes I thought I had in January.
Of all of my goals, there are only two for which I am still on track...the acting and voice class, and the giving up of my former favorite sin. So maybe I'm not quite as bad as where I started the year, but wow! have I lost focus!
I've heard that February is statistically the most depressing month of the year. Leaving my job (and to some extent, my identity) as well as getting knocked on to my backside with a wicked flu hasn't helped me to get out there and make a difference!
So I recommit today! No excuses! No waiting! I'm shaking off the "F"ing month and moving on!
I've been really, really, really, really, really lucky about my living situation. And until this afternoon, I had no idea.
I have an open mind and a collection of friends from nearly every walk of life. I invite their differences into my world because I think it brings color and perspective and I feel such a high level of security in what I choose for my life, that I never feel threatened by the choices of my Motley Crew. But when it comes to my home...my roommate...I guess I'm not so open. I've never really given it much thought and have just naturally found myself with rental options to live with conservative, like-minded friends.
Background - I've been in my current place just over 3 years. My roommate and I first lived together back in the college days and when she bought her home, I rented 2 rooms from her. We're friends, share a list of mutual friends, and still have enough of our own thing going on that there isn't much suffocation. She's starting grad school in the fall and in an effort to save some cash before it begins, has decided to move in with her dad (rent free) and rent out her entire home for a price far outside my budget. I knew it was coming and had a great destination picked...but lost that option earlier this week. I quickly found another option with a friend closing on a home at the very end of March. Then this afternoon, my current roommate let me know that she had a potential renter and wanted us out of here ASAP. Given my current employment situation, I've got plenty of time available to me, so I fired up Craigslist and started a search.
I quickly found that my "open mind" wasn't open enough. I appreciate the candor of those who posted the ads for roommates. Far better to know the intimate preferences and recreational drug usage of your prospects from the very beginning than have to deal with a messy breach of contract later...but wow!
As I looked through nearly 600 listings, I wondered, "Where are my people? Why aren't there more single/female/30-something/conservative/prude yet fun/affordable roommate seekers?" Why? Because those girls got married and currently have a husband and 5 non-paying roommates...they aren't looking for a pal to rent an extra room.
Lucky for me, I was able to talk a friend who had graduated to living alone into humoring me for a short while. I think it will be a fun arrangement. She has plenty of space for me and my things...including a spot in the garage - Hallelujah! It's a decent commute, but until I can figure out an employment situation...well it will be a short commute to my laptop and the Want Ads for work...maybe?
When my friend Deepthi (an Indian nobel) heard that I was quitting my job, she was quick to offer her advice: "You must take this time to find a husband", she said. And she meant it. She is convinced that my social status is 100% caused by my hyper-hypo work ethic. She's equally convinced that if I were to channel that dedication into the pursuit of a spouse, I'd be married by fall. I was quick to attribute her attitude to our cultural differences. In India the process of courtship and marriage are approached with a very similar strategy to business development. You find a list of possible ventures, you evaluate each thoroughly, yet quickly, and then you pull the trigger. Simple. Hahahahahaha! Simple!!! But I'm beginning to wonder if maybe she doesn't have a point? Maybe I'm hopeful that she's right? Clearly, there's something inside of me that wants there to be a simple solution. To my immediate left is a bookshelf with the following titles screaming out to me: The Secrets of Winning Men, A Single Voice, Find a Husband After 35, Mars and Venus on a Date, Kissing a Frog, Better Than Beauty. And I've read them all, some more than once, expecting to find that magic component that I've somehow missed! I've signed up for eHarmony and accepted every blind date that has been arranged. I've dated men longer than I wanted in the hopes that something inside of me would suddenly switch and I'd find I'd been swept off my feet. But the reality is I'm mostly skeptically and occasionally mildly humored...but not really convinced that I know how to make anything happen. I need a merit badge, or a hunting license, or any kind of instruction to understand what it takes. I know that I'm far from perfection, but I bring enough to the table to be considered decent bait...so how do I get my "buck"?
(I know the photo is a little racy...but I didn't want to google "topless photos" and we all know that I love janet...so I thought I'd pay homage to my (fingers crossed) future employer as well as spare myself the xxx google results)
I mentioned in this post that my life has felt like an ill-fitted shirt for quite some time. I knew I needed to change into something more comfortable?...more flattering?...more me?...more something?...but I didn't have anything to change into. So I stalled. But it didn't help. At all.
So after a lot of pressure and surprise decisions, here I am...topless of sorts.
And it feels...amazing! I've never thought of myself as a nudist kind of girl but there's some kind of euphoria and freedom in the lack of a wardrobe. It's uncharacteristic for me to not have a plan, not have a definition to live up to. I'd thought that being in the wrong shirt was better than being in no shirt. But not so far.
I recognize that my being "topless" is probably uncomfortable for a lot of other people. My parents certainly can't be thrilled about their middle aged, single daughter having no direction. I went to dinner with a group of artist friends recently and it was clear that I have a reputation for being one of the reliable or stable ones. A good friend was completely floored by my mention of looking into collecting unemployment.
And, in all honesty, it can't possibly be comfortable for me long-term. Topless people must get cold eventually, right? And there are so many places with the "No Shirt, No Service" signs. And my ability to express a sense of style or accessorize will be greatly limited!
But I'm going to enjoy it for now. And I'm going to try on a few shirts before I commit to one. Perhaps some haute couture?!
When your vocal coach tells you that a tonic of 2 tsp of cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar will help you feel better quickly, what she meant to say was that you are about to die a quick and painful, fiery death!
It was so intense that I lost my mind and my sense of humor. I emitted some demonic sound from my belly and then began breathing in a crazed rhythm. I frantically gulped milk and shoved handfuls of TUMS down my throat. The feeling that Satan had given birth deep in my gut probably only lasted 5 minutes, but it was a very dramatic 5 minutes.
I have to laugh at myself for so blindly trusting Bonnie. Maybe it's a case of hero worship? All I know is that I still can't breath, but my fatigue has suddenly disappeared...I am WIDE awake!
I can't believe I didn't take a photo of Owen and I for our private 1 year birthday party. Just the two of us playing cars and laughing and dancing to the Backyardigans! The year has gone so fast...it really doesn't seem that long ago that I was sitting in Kristy's pre-labor room waiting for him to show up. And then I stood outside the nursery watching my baby brother with his new son...it's definitely a favorite memory. So O and I played and celebrated until he wore out and I got to tuck him in and be grateful for how lucky our family is!
I got to go to the temple in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, and not worry about the calls/emails/meetings I was missing! It was glorious!
I told my bishop tonight that this feeling could be confirmation that I've made the right choice...or ignorance that I've done a very stupid thing. But until I know for certain, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it!
I am loved. Friends and family and more recently, my new boyfriend who had to be out of town today since he "drives truck" and all. He sent me a "flext" this morning. I don't know...he might be the one!
I don't hate Valentine's Day. I don't love it either. I've only had a boyfriend to celebrate with once before and we weren't super serious or in love. I don't mind that romance swirls all around me. And I appreciate the gestures that come from friends and family. But I have no expectations for romance in my life just because it's February 14.
But after the February 13th I have just had...I might start to get a little demanding. Today I heard the best line of my life. Sergio was introducing himself to me today after church. He was charming enough and I gave him my phone number, but I had people waiting for me and needed to leave. I told him that I wasn't blowing him off, but that I really did need to leave...he responded with "You aren't blowing me off, but you are blowing me away!"
Maybe crush isn't the right word...I don't want to date her as much as I wish I were her...maybe I don't want to be her as much as I wish I had her talent and style...whatever the right word is for this level of adoration, I really dig my voice teacher. She so great that I almost think I might have a little bit of vocal talent. If I spend enough time with her I might find myself with enough confidence to lay down a karaoke tune someday!
The countdown begins...only 3 more days...I haveno idea what comes next...I should be in a dead panic...and some moments, I am...but mostly I'm relieved. And I'm curious to see the reactions of my co-workers and see if there's any fall out...that part is just narcissistic, but honest.
How do you make a blog post from a day like today:
-it took me 90 minutes to talk myself out of bed and headed to the office -i spent the entire day in meetings (2 of which were employees venting about how unhappy they are with the company...neither are aware of my upcoming change) -did a quick, uneventful temple stop where i offered the same prayer i've been offering for a year and a half -ate scrambled eggs for dinner
Sari invited me to come see her High School's production of Phantom...I was scared. A High School production?...of Phantom?...yikes! But the recent rebirth of my love for all things "stage" was more powerful than my fear of bad HS acting/singing/dancing.
I'm happy to report that it was the best HS show I've ever seen (at least from the audience :)!
And it was a great opportunity to evaluate how I've been approaching my roles. I'd notice something about the kids that seemed awkward (I know! I said it was the best HS show ever, but it was still a HS production) anyhow, I'd notice something awkward and then realize that I do something similar and then I'd think about how it should have been and take a mental director's note. I'm going to see as many performances as possible over the next few months!
The best boost to my self image these past weeks has been this morning's trip to the dentist. The praise given to my gums and lack of plaque and general dental care makes me feel like I still have some control over my life and I'm actually finding success there! It's currently the only thing in my life that I have any confidence in...
I can't decide if that observation is coming from a "glass-half-full" perspective ;), or from a sad, sad, sad place!
It's not the first time and most likely won't be the last!
I carry a leather journal with me almost everywhere I go. There are no rules about what I can jot down...recipe, driving directions, notes from a meeting, ideas for the future, feelings I need to sort through. Much of it would be uninteresting to anyone who found it...but the thought of it being read! Oh man!
The only consolation is that I always know exactly where it was left and have been able to retrieve it without too much effort. Tonight's recovery mission only required a 90 minute commute through off and on white out conditions! Come on girl!, get it together!
I have heard that when you have something weighing heavy on your mind, a therapeutic exercise can be to write a letter letting it all out. I just learned that there are many benefits:
1.) You can get it off your chest 2.) You can see your off-chested thoughts staring back at you 3.) You can decide if the off-chested thoughts are mixed up and crazy 4.) You can evaluate what you wish your on-chested thoughts to be 5.) You can re-write that letter to reflect how you want to feel 6.) You can adopt that re-write and make it your sincerest on-chested thoughts
So the exercise was a huge personal success! I now battle the decision to mail the letter or let it die off having served it's personal purpose.
For the acting class, I'm playing the part of Holly from "Anna and August". I had never heard of the play before today. But I'm pretty excited about the roll of a self-absorbed 9 year old girl who is very concerned with all things superficial. While I don't think that exactly describes my niece Kyle, I feel fortunate to be able to channel her occasional sassy attitude. I think I can get a nice eyeroll and "whatever" look from her! It's a very fun and funny part! However, I am feeling a little sensitive about art imitating life when it comes to my final line.
For my voice class, I have a solo that is much, MUCH bigger than my current confidence. "This Is One Of Those Moments" is fast and long and high! I am a very comfortable alto. I get anxious around an A and tend to drop out at a C so I have no idea what the extraordinary Bonnie Wilson Whitlock was thinking when she assigned me a song with multiple visits to an F! But try as I might, I couldn't convince her to change her mind. I have six weeks to grow the size of my confidence big enough to not completely fall apart during our showcase performance. I am certain that as a teacher, she's good enough...but as a student, well, we shall see.
I've been obsessed with the soundtrack from Yentl. It's not entirely random, my musical theater class will be doing a medley from Yentl for our showcase performance. So I've been listening every spare (and not so spare) moment. I hope I get assigned one of my favorite....who am I kidding? i love them all! Can't wait to get my assignment tomorrow!!
I always spend my birthday evaluating where I am in comparison to where I want to be. It seems that with each year I find myself further and further from my target. So at my last "evaluation", I made the conscious decision to give up hope for my target.
See, when you have hope, the disappointments of life are painful. Sometimes they're so painful that it's enough to distract you from all of the good things that are happening simultaneously. Theoretically, giving up hope removes the pain of disappointment and allows me to shift focus to the good happening that can sometimes be forgotten...A few weeks later, my bishop had a short chat with me and said he felt impressed to encourage me to continue having hope...timely, eh?
So, in response, I recommitted to hope...I even bought the Hope Bracelet as a reminder. I set goals and got all "Rose Colored Glasses" on my life! And I had beginners luck! And I thought the world was my oyster! And I was such a fool, because those tiny wins weren't sustainable. And here I am a few weeks later and I feel like I have nothing sure...only uncertainty.
So I ran to my sanctuary. And I had a bit of a cry. And I grasped on to the hope again...
Hope - that being a good girl has benefits. Hope - that God doesn't forget his obedient daughters. Hope - that all of my poor decisions pale next to the good decisions I've made. Hope - that there is a purpose to my life. Hope - that I'll be shown the next steps. Hope - that I'll be given the courage to take the next steps. Hope - that there is love in my future. Hope - that when I sit down in 11 months to evaluate, I'll actually be closer to my target.
One of my all time favorite memories is watching a short movie shot on my brother John's cell phone. My little nephew Austin (age 9 mos, maybe?) was sitting at the computer and rocking out to The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. Every time I hear the song I smile big.
So today, in honor of the retirement of The White Stripes, enjoy! (I just wish I had the original cell phone movie to share as well!)
I haven't done a hard core workout in a very long time. HA! I didn't do a hard core workout tonight either!! But I made a great effort and at least showed up. My body is sore, but I'm glad to have made a good step in the right direction. These beginning strides are always difficult. There is nothing to show for it, but it's the hope of what's to come that is motivational...hm...