Haven't written in a while. I'm feeling restless, itchy, uncomfortable in my own skin. I've been singing myself lullabies (interesting how all the songs I sing to myself in this state are either angry or sad, or both). But I suppose even though I'm singing other people's songs, it helps me to find my own voice to sing them. I can't sit still for more than 10 minutes without my back getting uncomfortable. I think it makes me look shady, shifty. Caught someone staring at me in a meeting today. I just wonder was he really staring at me, or was he looking unwittingly through me? I think I'm still in my sleep mode from having a week off - go to bed later and later each night, get up only slightly later and later each morning.
I think I'm a bit out of sorts because there's a bunch of weirdness in my life right now. Things with my mom are on an even keel. (That's unusual.) I dropped my other crushes, and think I may have a new crush but have no idea how (or if) I should pursue that. And I have a crush on a completely inappropriate person (what else is new?) and am trying to wait it out and hope it goes away by itself. (Do I do this to myself just to have some drama to entertain myself, to remind myself how to feel?)
Things at work are all wonky because the two bosses in my management chain that I respect (hell, that anyone respects) will be leaving. One has been there longer than I have, and the other has been there almost as long. It'll be like losing the floor of my house, the anchor on which this phase of my career was built. And it's the holiday season. While I've gotten past one, I'm not sure how well I'll be able to dodge the rest of the bullets. Some part of me regrets the way I spent my week off, but the other part of me can't figure out what I'd have done differently.
Had a weird dream this morning. I was on a houseboat trip. I took a small motor boat (like an inflatable raft with sides and with a small outboard motor) out on the lake. It was choppy and the water was all stirred up and muddy. I sat in the boat for a little while in a little protected area (there were pylon-like things marking off the area - like telephone poles sunk into the lakebed, sticking out of the water - as if to protect a swimming area), just watched the small whitecaps, felt the breeze, watched birds, etc. Then I decided to go to a channel that I'd gone down before (in the dream). As I cut across part of the lake to get to that channel, some small waves swamped the boat - it was starting to fill with water. I made it into the channel, but the boat was filling up with water. I keep trying to go on a bit further, but realized I was in a river or some sort of channel where the water was flowing in the direction I was going. I was afraid that if I kept on in that direction that I wouldn't be able to get back, and my friends wouldn't know where I was or to come get me. So I headed back upstream. I realized that I'd have to stop and try to get some of the water out of the boat. So I found a little alcove where I could pull the boat over and turn it sideways to dump the water out. And in the bottom of the boat where I'd been sitting were a bunch of snails. I knocked those out, rinsed the boat out, got back in and made my way back upstream. I made it back to the houseboat with my friends. Throughout all of this it had been sort of overcast - the dream was sort of sepia-toned (the hills around the lake were the late-summer brown grass color, the water muddy brown, the sky sort of a non-color of overcast clouds). When I got back to the boat to tell my friends about my adventures, everything was in color again, the day sunny and warm and no breeze. Weird. There are lots of possible interpretations - we'll have to wait and see how things pan out.
I had a thought today about laughter. I'm really missing laughter. The thing I think all of my relationships of any duration had in common is that we made each other laugh. They were in totally different ways, but I remember lots of laughter. And I feel out of touch with that - both with how to make other people laugh (although I know I can do it), and what makes me laugh (although again I know how to do it, and try to do it as often as I truly feel like laughing - at work, in the car, at the TV, etc.). I feel like I don't know how to connect with anyone at that level (anyone new that is). You see sappy love stories in the movies or tv and it looks so easy - they just fall into relating to each other, and revealing yourself while scary ends up being easy. But it's not like that in the real world, at least not for me, and especially not lately. I've gotten so self-protective that even when I want to let down the walls and barriers, I don't know how. It's almost as though other people are behind a wall of cobwebs - so close I can feel them, and I should be able to push aside such a gauzy, indistinct barrier, but when I try to do it I just get entangled and held back.
Oh, and since I didn't do it already, I do want to give thanks, even though this was an unusual Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for so much more than I can capture here, but mostly it's for friends, for the myriad opportunities I've been given (even when I've been too dense to capitalize on them), for the bounty that is at my fingertips at every turn, and for the wit to realize all these things. Thank you, merci, danke schon, grazie, gracias, cheers, salamat, mahalo, toda, bedankt, agyamanac.
I've figured it out. The secret to reading more is to A) not have so many social engagements (even if you have a tivo queue to distract you, you will now have time to read); B) read a children's book (currently Chronicles of Narnia - all of them in one edition, yes I'm reading them in published order not "preferred" order); C) have stuff you have to read for work but don't want to, so you end up reading a children's book; D) have time on your hands between work and appointments such that you have time to go sit at Starbucks with a grande chai and read; and E) have to get up for an 8:00 class tomorrow (who's stupid idea was that????) such that you need to fall asleep, and use reading as a soporific.
Had a lovely weekend, thought I should check in and let people know that not only am I not dead, I'm alive and kicking. ...
It's been busy the last couple of weeks. While I'm enjoying it, I also enjoyed taking a bit of time with friends but also a bit of time for myself this weekend. This last week I watched the elections with folks on Tuesday. (Nothing worth commenting on there that others haven't already said and that doesn't make me want to stick my head in the sand for the next 4 years.) Wednesday I had S+A over to watch some stuff queued up on Tivo. Thursday I had dinner and watched a movie with a friend. If I'd been thinking I'd have brought my bathing suit to try out his hot tub, but maybe next time. Friday I tried Taiwanese food for the first time, and finally met RCP in person (yay! she totally rocks!). Other folks went to see a movie, and while I'd like to see the movie at some point, I was happy to go home and curl up in my chair with a book and the tv on for background noise. Saturday I went up to the city with friends, got to be part of something special, had a great meal and a fabulous evening. Sunday I had brunch with the gang and then went home and got stuff done around the house. It's amazing how satisfying it can be to get little stuff done, there's a nice sense of accomplishment.
Random stuff I learned in the last week: I have really awesome friends. (I knew this all along, but some things bear repeating occasionally.) My friends have really cool friends too. It's amazing how you can be both very similar to and very different from the same person. Your friends can help you learn things about yourself not (only) by the questions they ask you, but in really listening to the questions they are asking themselves I can learn a lot too. I am a scarily moody bitch - thank god no one was around for me to inflict myself on last week. Being the 3rd wheel/5th wheel (whatever the damned phrase is) sucks; it sucks big time, hard core. And there's nothing to be done about it but feel shitty and then feel less shitty and then feel like you can cope and then like it's just the way it is. Being hyper-aware can be bad (makes you paranoid if you think everything that's going on around you is related to you), but it can be good too - you see things that other people don't (like the changing colors of the leaves as I drive down my street every day, like little interactions between people). For someone who should know better, I'm a sucker for free stuff (nothing is free dammit). Comment spam sucks.
Other thoughts - I hate dating. I hate the whole idea of it. Ok, not the whole idea... the butterflies when you're excited about a date and the little chill you get when you hear his voice when he calls you or the big grin you get when he emails you and especially the thrill when he leans in for the first kiss - those are great. But there are not enough of those moments to make up for the sheer angst of waiting for the phone call, wondering am I doing things right/saying the right things/saying enough/not saying too much, etc, etc, etc ad nauseum. I see other people do it, and it looks easy and fun. And then I try to date and I feel nothing but terror and nausea and gut-wrenching doubt and fear.
And I hate feeling like some social reject because I'm single - that everyone invites me to stuff so I don't pine away in my little spinster room with my 87 cats. I know my friends are concerned and love me, but I hate feeling like they only invite me to things out of pity to keep me from withering away by myself on a Friday night. If they are inviting me because I add something to the gathering that they miss when it's not there, then that's great because that's why I want to be there. But (at least with one or two friends) I feel like some people just invite me so (especially with the holidays approaching - can I just hide in the mountains in a cave for the next 2 months?) that they can assuage their guilt about being happy couples, or they can keep me from staying home with my head in the oven. (Ok, I'm done ranting, sorry about that, needed to get it off my chest so that I can approach the holidays with something approaching good cheer - even if it's just the idea that I can grin and bear it through another social event my making snarky observations in the privacy of my own head. And I hope no one takes that to heart - it's not about anyone that reads the blog.)
I don't remember dating being such a pain in the ass with the people I was in relationships with. Then again I didn't date that much, and the relationships I was in were a million years ago. I remember with all of them a lot of laughter - not only that they made me laugh, but that I made them laugh too. And it's so weird - for someone who is actually pretty funny, there are people that I hang out with that I don't laugh with at all, and it feels like I'm a different person around them. Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose there were the butterflies and the "what if's" and the "what should I do's". Ok, maybe it's always this hard.
And now, to distract me from my presidential depression, something cute and pink.
I concur with everyone's general depression, anger and disbelief that the people of this country could vote that sub-standard, holding with a stupid course of action until hell freezes over so as not to be seen as a flip-flopper, stupid sack of shit back into office. I'm sad that in doing my civic duty (which people across the country did in record numbers), my vote means nothing and it pushes me back to apathy and not bothering to vote. Pretty clearly I'm going to have to become an activist for the things that I believe should be saved that George Bush is going to rape and pillage over the next 4 years - abortion rights, the environment, not going to war over stupid, testosterone-driven bullshit. KWC, thanks for draping the blogs in black, it matches my mood.