Friday, September 21, 2012

Scotch, Sudafed, one line

Thinking of re-starting this blog.  Need a place to spill out the crazy.

It's the day before the pain really starts.  The day I got yet another negative pregnancy test.  When even in a month when I am not trying to get pregnant, I would be hormonally endo-rifically sad-for-no-reason at this point in my cycle.  When that fizzy hormone mixture hits when I have a reason, a reason to despair?  Take cover.

I am sipping scotch to celebrate no baby (in the grand tradition of drinking and blogging about one's personal shit).  I took lots of Sudafed today to also celebrate no baby.  There's got to be some kind of up-side, right?

My Facebook feed today: one friend's uterus ultrasound showing creepy vertebrae like she's growing a fish (with 280 likes), one much-loved friend's pregnant belly picture (I'm happy for her right right right?), one acquaintance's very pregnant belly picture, and one update from a friend about to go into labor lamenting how hard it is.  Everyone I drive by on the street is pushing a stroller.  I read someone's random blog post and of course it is about her own fruitful womb.  Then in the newspaper this morning there is a granola recipe for "those remarkable women," new mothers.  Who uses the word remarkable?  Mothers have their own special granola now?  Fuck that granola.

Having violent thoughts towards granola.  This is not good.

New job = pretty darn good.  Very thankful for that.  I have lots and lots to be thankful for, but none of those grateful attempts have much hold today.  Today I just need to be down here.  Black dog, etc., etc.

Speaking of black dogs that are not depression metaphors, we might get a real live black dog.  We can pretend it's our new child, refer to our expanding family, and divert focus from the pregnancy quest in such a way that we make carefree love and get knocked up when we weren't even thinking about it!  Wheee!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hiding places

Today was the second-to-last day at my job.  By the time I post this, it might be my last day.

In addition to finishing up last projects and creating a sort of roadmap to everything I'm leaving behind there - all written out in crisp bullet points - I went about the ritual of cleansing my computer.  This computer was with me through it all - the hope that this job would be the right fit, the bursts of stress and activity, the long stretches of boredom and quiet solitude, and the growing knowledge that this job would never ever work well for me.

Today I went about erasing the evidence of my hiding places.  Anyone with a job as solitary and dysfunctional as mine would need to develop some coping tools outside of frantically searching the help-wanted ads.

Most of my hiding places were blog addresses I had bookmarked.  Lots and lots and lots of them.  (I have not yet jumped into blog-readers or whatever it's called where you subscribe to a blog.)  I went through the list and  recorded some addresses for safekeeping, and let others go.  It's strange to follow a blogger's life for over a year and then today I decide not to keep the address, knowing I will never look into her world ever again.  

For some of them, the deletions were freeing, like getting a hair cut where you feel yourself getting lighter.  No I don't need that healthy eating Paleo runner's blog.  Or that one from when I thought I'd get really serious about weaving.  Or that blogger who is talented but keeps posting pictures of herself modeling outfits.  For others, I knew I needed to keep that connection.  For those special gems, I thought of how much I've enjoyed their stories and want to know what happens next.  It's strange but I actually care about these people I've never met, who without knowing it acted as a refuge in a strange part of my life - my coworkers in a weird job where I've had almost zero coworkers and almost zero supervision.

Tomorrow I need to finish the computer-cleansing by putting on a jump drive the files I'd created about what was to be my escape plan.  I was going to start my own editing and writing business, with its own blog.  This blog you're reading was supposed to be that, but somewhere in there I realized I just wanted to tell quirky stories - I didn't want to be a brand or run a business.  (Though wow there are a lot of people out there trying to make money off of unhappy people who want to quit their jobs and be bloggers. E-books galore! SEO webinars! The clunky word of doom - monetization!)

At the time I made the never-launched website for what was to be my "business," I didn't know what the next chapter of this story would be.  I was poking around in the dark, trying to find the way forward.  Now I know that, at least for now, this is the next chapter: I am not starting a business. I am not pregnant (yet). I am quitting my job.  I've gotten a new job, as a grantwriter, fairly similar to the job I had before I went to grad school.  The job promises to be non-solitary, and the impression I have so far is that there will not be time to read multiple blogs per day.  This could be really good for me.  I hope I like it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Box of Rain

Dream last night: I'm in a grocery store and my first-ever boyfriend sees me and asks if he can put me down as a reference for a job he's trying to get as a school-teacher.  His voice and the cadence of his speech is spot-on to real life.  I notice in shock that he only has one arm - his right arm ends below a thin bicep.  I don't ask how he lost an arm.

The book I'm reading this morning - Wild, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed (excellent so far) has a chapter called Box of Rain.  And I remember that old phase of my life, when I knew all the words to a song like Box of Rain. When it seemed significant that the Allman Brothers had a song containing my name.  When I wore long skirts and burned incense and dated the much-older hippy guy who thought so many things were beautiful and said so.

Yesterday the ring I've worn every day since 8th grade (minus a brief re-sizing at the jeweler) broke as I was doing laundry.  The prongs caught and the garnet gemstone rocketed out and has not been found.  It left an empty socket of a ring with only prongs.  It looked like a weapon, or a sea creature.  The ring was a gift from my grandmother who's been dead for many years.  In eighth grade it was the nicest thing I'd ever been given, and I felt like a princess wearing a real gemstone.

I had feared the gemstone got displaced when I resized the ring and they persuaded me to buy a new stone.  The old one was too scratched, they said.  The new gem was a garnet like the old, but the ring looked different when I got it back.  I had asked the jeweler to look at it again and make sure it was secure, and she told me it was.  I knew it was not secure.  I could have taken it in to get fixed but I never did.  Do you want to know how absurd women's relationships with their bodies are?  In the midst of a wave of terrible thoughts about The Ring Incident, I had a flash of self-hatred where I told myself that if my fingers and whole damn body hadn't gone and gotten so big and fat since eighth grade, I never would have had to change the ring and its stone would have been secure and I would still have it on my naked finger that I keep touching in distress that something's missing.  I quickly reminded myself that it is absurd and sad to think that anyone would or should stay the same size they were in eighth grade.  My right hand is smooth and strange to me.

Two more days at my current job, and then a whole new phase will click into motion like a new gear on a ten-speed bike.  I kind of want to buy an opal and put it in the old prongs.  Maybe it's time for something new.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance makes me cry

It hasn't been taking much to make me tear up lately.  But man, some of the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance just - bam! - make me start crying.  It's just so beautiful.

Is there any other show that highlights real art and beauty and compliments people for the gorgeous thing that just came out of their soul?  I can't believe what people can do - how strong and gorgeous people are - how they hold the pose just one beat longer because they know it will break your heart.  Sometimes I think this is the most spiritual show on television.  I mean, it's stupid and silly and contrived too, but when it's good, it's good and there are these gorgeous moments that don't even feel right on TV. 

And you have gangbanger-looking tough kids doing art that makes the old, white judges cry and cheer and swear.  It makes me love young people and the diversity of this country. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wanting and knowing

Had a dream last night that I've had before and which highlights an odd thing about being married.  I am somewhere, and there's some vague guy, and I just know he's into me.  I can feel it in the air.  He wants me, and I know it, and he knows I know it.  It's those moments before anything at all even happens when it just hangs in the air like when you know it's going to rain.  And that's the whole dream. 

I wake up knowing that I am happily married and remembering that that is a feeling I've had in my past.  I don't get that feeling any more, ring firmly on increasingly-chubby finger.  I'm thrilled to not be dating.  But it's kind of nice to visit that feeling in a dream.  Few things are like that feeling.  Love is stronger and more important, but it doesn't feel like standing on that precipice.

The last time I had that feeling in real life was on my first date with my husband.  If this were a fairy tale, we would be having these dreams about each other, but I guess that's not the way it works.


Postscript on my recent "Invisible" post:

I go home, act like a freaky jerk to my husband, he thinks I'm mad at him and he can't figure out what he did wrong (since he did nothing wrong), we're weird until finally I cry, explain that I don't know why I'm upset, and then he's really, really nice to me.  The end.

In the midst of me finally crying - which I had been needing to do all day - it was revealed to me why I was so upset.  *snot-gasp-sob* "I feel like I'm shaming him..." *wah-boo-hoo-snot*.  It's amazing how sometimes you need to let yourself break open to discover what the truth is.  I've been feeling that, even though of course I have the right to quit my job, it seems like my leaving has exposed to others what really goes on here.  I feel like I'm revealing a secret about my boss to the world and that it is shameful.  He may be dysfunctional, but he's also been very kind to me, and I guess I feel bad about this.  My subconscious is volunteering to torture itself on his behalf to compensate.  Healthy!


This morning I discovered that I have a two hour conference call related to volunteer work that I need to participate in when I am supposed to be on vacation.  boo.  This is the worst-planned vacation ever.  We still have no idea where we're going or what we want to do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Bad thing: This morning at the college where I work for exactly five more days, the coffee shop was closed.

Good thing: My boss volunteered to drive to Starbucks and buy me a coffee.  (Okaaaaaay, thanks.)  Internal monologue: Is he acting weird because I'm leaving, or is he just being nice?

Weird thing: He returns with my very nice coffee.  He ran into someone there who works in my hallway but not my program.  Turns out, this guy - a man who I have said hello to each time I've passed him in our hallway for over 12 months - never knew that there was another employee working in this office.  That feeling I've been having here, of invisibility? It is not an illusion. No one even knows I'm here! 

I remember my first week here, when I was waiting for my boss to take me around and introduce me to everyone in the hallway.  Slowly, it dawned on me that he was never going to introduce me.  After more than a year, I still do not know most of the people in my hallway.  And now I'm leaving, and they will not even know the difference.

Good thing: When I email a woman who had been hard on me in a previous meeting to let her know I will be leaving soon, she replies that she is truly sad I am leaving, hopes we can still work together somehow, and was impressed with me.

Bad thing: I realize that when I thought she was being hard on me in that meeting, she was really just being wary of my boss, who she knew previously.

Bad thing: Spent lunch break bounced around in the robot phone system of my health insurance.  Told them my birth-date and address six times.  After 25 minutes, when I was near tears, I was told that I need to ask H.R., not the health insurance.

Bad thing: Realized the one month of COBRA I need to buy so there is no gap in my health insurance is $330 more than the already-high cost I was anticipating.  I think I need to just suck it up and buy it, but spending money makes me feel crazy and out of control.

Bad thing: Realized that if I had tacked on two more days to the day I declared to be my last day of work here, I would have had insurance coverage with no gap and no extra cost.  Those will be an expensive two days.  We were supposed to go on a trip.  We still might, but on Friday my husband has an unexpected day-long meeting that is screwing everything up.  I'm stressed out about trying to plan a trip this quickly.  We can't decide where to go.  I made a chiropractor appointment and have already cancelled once.  I think I need to cancel again as we shift our travel plans back another day.

Good thing: Had a meeting with someone who gifted me a book she wrote, which is something I am interested in reading.

Bad thing: She only gave me the book to smooth over the fact that she was backing out of the project she had agreed to do, which had been her idea in the first place.  Nothing gets done around here.  Nothing.

Bad thing: I'm having this gloomy feeling that I am doing leaving wrong.  That I resigned wrong, am inquiring about insurance wrong, etc., etc.  This is stupid, but it's there just the same. It's that part of me that likes to feel like everyone approves of me, and I feel like I'm being a bad girl in quitting my job.  Oh, this damn guilt, will it ever leave me be?  I deserve this, I know I do. 

Yesterday, my boss told me he had thought our program would run itself.  That is absurd, and really validates that of course I need to move on.  A whole new thing awaits me.  I'm sipping the cold Starbucks coffee from this morning, wondering what lies ahead.