Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"I know I promised you a badass gift, but they couldn't sell alcohol on Sundays!"

So, forty-eight hours of work down, 952 hours to go. Totally do-able. Temp jobs are awesome like that.

This weekend was amazing. I went with my group of best friends (the title of this post was something one of them told her boyfriend on our way home) on a trip for a "Bachelorette Weekend" for a friend who is getting married soon. We brought her awesome little boy with us as well since after all he's getting "married" to the guy, too! We rented a gorgeous cabin near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is full of all kinds of fun things for both adults and kids. I highly recommend it to anyone. The little guy and I quickly became best friends for the duration of the trip after I helped him dismantle his Lego firetruck, then he reminded me that the fireman would become a zombie if we took him apart, so we did that too. Did I mention that this kid is awesome? He held my hand throughout a good portion of the trip, all through town and during all the activities we did. One of the girls compared us to "Rob & Big," or at least the theme song. I saw her point. Little dude was all energetic and silly and hilarious, dragging me into all sorts of interesting situations (sure, I'd love to crawl through this secret tunnel, who cares about claustrophobia?! And please show me everything in the gift shop one more time, I'm pretty sure I missed it all the first time around!), and I was right there having fun and making sure he didn't hurt himself. I don't think I would've had it any other way! The trip just wouldn't have been the same without him.

I also experienced some warm/tingly feelings at sleeping (or at least trying to sleep) in a house full of people, which I really haven't experienced since I left home. I grew up in a big family, so I got used to trying to get to sleep (or to stay asleep) when I could clearly hear everyone else breathing, snoring, tossing and turning in their sleep, and especially the morning noises: showers running, toilets flushing, refrigerator doors opening and closing, coffee being made, quiet conversations, people moving around while trying to be quiet... Now that it's just me, the hubby, and the pets, and especially now that the hubby and I work different hours, I don't get that experience so much. I have always been a light sleeper, but I'm really stubborn about getting up. So this weekend I smiled (but stubbornly kept my eyes closed, willing myself to/back to sleep) at the noisiness of it all, enjoying the feeling that this too is my family.

I love spending time with the girls. We are all so different, and are in all kinds of different places in life, but somehow it just works. And I love the way it works. We can just talk and joke around for hours, and in instances like this we easily keep it up for days. There's so much history to remember, and every get together brings new things we can build on in the future. The inside jokes and the stories and those little moments of hilarity and depth and all those other things that stem from the happiness, familiarity, and comfort in a satisfying, long-running friendship. We've dealt with some major issues, and we've laughed at and with each other. Hard. The best times are of course the times when someone says or does something... and all I have to do is look at whoever else is around to know that they are thinking the same thing I am: "Wow. Did that just happen?" And then we start cracking up, because my group is definitely capable of saying and doing totally idiotic things on a regular basis. It's those things that you can't explain to anyone else, because they weren't there, and they are probably sane. It's that comfort with each other that allows you to totally be yourself and know that even when you're getting laughed at for saying something stupid, and stories of years-old exploits are being re-told to the same gales of laughter, you are loved just as much for your mistakes and shortcomings as you are for your particular brand of awesomeness you bring to the group. But I think that's just friendship in general. At least that's my experience of it, and it's wonderful. I've just been especially lucky to have had this group of friends (especially this large of a group) for so long. What's awesome is that we're already tentatively planning the next Bachelorette Weekend for another one of the girls, because she's getting married towards the end of the year. I can't wait to see what that trip brings, and all the stuff in between!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The good, the bad, and the terrifying.

So tomorrow (today, really...) I start a new job. New place (naturally), new time of day, new kind of work altogether, and a whole bunch of "What's going to happen next?" I'm going from an 8-4(ish) shift to a 4pm-2am shift, for at least 2 weeks. After that, I'm not sure what my schedule will be. I'm going from a low-paying but very meaningful job at a domestic violence shelter to a low-paying production line job at a factory, and I have no idea what my future there holds. And this was all my idea.

There have been so many major changes in my life in the past couple of years, and that is a big part of my need to start this blog. I was just about to add "both good and bad" before the comma in that previous sentence, but as I sit here right now I realize that it's ALL been for the better, big picture-wise. I worked with some truly amazing clients at the shelter, and the staff I worked with were just as amazing. I made some wonderful friends working there, and I will be forever grateful for the lifeline they provided for me during all that craziness. I feel like I have really grown as a person, and I'd be a fool to insist that my age has nothing to do with that. It doesn't help that I was working "the frontlines" at a young organization supporting a powerful movement that is honestly changing lives every day. I went from being terrified talking from my seat in classes to being comfortable(-ish) standing in front of classrooms, church groups, board meetings, fundraising events, and civic groups talking to a bunch of strangers about something I was and still am passionate about. And having people come up afterwards and say, "Wow, I hadn't thought of it that way before. I want to get involved. How can I help?" I feel awesome knowing that I have a slight ability to get people fired up about something, and to get them wanting to be involved in such a worthy movement. (...Of course, I would only be there because someone cared enough to invite a speaker from the shelter in the first place, but that fact doesn't do as much for my self-esteem in my frequent weak moments.) I went from not having the slightest amount of confidence in my ability to handle any sort of major decisions or managerial issues to being the go-to person for the one who became the Executive Director to bounce ideas off of and troubleshoot with. I went from being a part-time sales associate at a clothing store to being part of a "team" of supervisory staff, responsible for overseeing other staff members and changes to the program.

However, I also went from being confident enough in myself to think that I had effectively dealt with some of my major issues without resorting to substance abuse, prostitution, or any other kinds of majorly or minorly destructive behaviors to realizing that just because I knew and accepted that devastating things have repeatedly happened in my life doesn't mean I had really dealt with it. To sum up, I went from confident and proud of my resiliency to a STRONG resurgence of the major depression I've dealt with (undiagnosed, of course) since my preteen years. And it was so much worse than it ever had been before. But. I went from that extreme level of misery and apathy to the realization that it really is okay to follow my own advice and seek some freakin' help. After years of struggling, I finally had someone who knows what they are talking about say "This is Major Depression, and we can do something about it." Then the changes just kept a-comin'. I knew I needed a change of employment if I wanted to keep my sanity and not get totally burned out on something that I would like to return to. So I left. Now I am battling the feeling that I gave up, am wasting my degree, and will never make up for this. But all I can do is go for it and see what happens. After all, you don't get paid to re-evaluate the direction of your life while sitting at home (and we gots to make the money!), and you can't begin to re-evaluate if you are too stressed and frustrated to think clearly.

In the meantime, although I am definitely not where I want to be right now and not doing what I want to do, I know that I'll get there. Or I won't. Or those things will change. Either way, although it's terrifying to not know what's going to happen, it's exciting to make changes. I'm just going to keep on constantly movingthinkinghopingtalkingwritinglearningreadingquestioningevaluating. And loving, and most definitely laughing. Because you can't get through anything without that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is what marriage means.

I am very good at keeping secrets. Most of the time, anyway. But just about everything gets run by the husband, in all honesty. So it's slightly more difficult for me to keep things from him. But it can be done.

About a year and a half ago, he was off somewhere and I was at home watching one of my DVD sets of House. I had the windows opened up because there was a nice breeze going, but the blinds closed because it was dark outside. (Actually the blinds are just about always closed, because I immensely enjoy being nude.) So when the knock at the door occurred, it was too late for me to pretend in good conscience that I wasn't home. Luckily I was clothed. I paused my show and cautiously opened the door to a politely smiling but out-of-breath young man. The first thing he asked was, "Has anyone else come by here?" I of course said, "Noooo..." and would have raised a single eyebrow if I was lucky enough to have that ability. I did, however, have the ability to keep the door mostly closed to this probable rapist/burglar/mass murdere, so I did do that. Should've closed it all the way, but he just would have knocked again. I'm too nice. Apparently, his church youth group had a contest going through some company where whoever sold the most magazines would get to go on a vacation of some sort. He had the cool book of magazines and all.

I know, I know. But again, I'm too nice.

I bought a 2-year subscription to Spin. (We're big music fans.) On some level, I considered that money totally wasted at that point, and was resigned to just forgetting it ever happened. This was before the young gentleman had even left my driveway. On foot, might I add. Yes, I know. So first thing I did after this "event" was google the company that was supposedly sponsoring this contest, and guess what... Everything that came up said it was a scam. My next move bordered on overkill: I called our local police department to let them know that someone was selling fake magazine subscriptions door-to-door. The poor dispatcher told me the sheriff (our one officer at that point) was out on patrol, and that she'd let him know what was going on. She probably just could have yelled out the door and he would have heard, our town is that small. So my NEXT move definitely took the cake for crossing the line into "overkill." I decided to go out myself and find either the one cop in town or the gentleman scam artist and get my money back. I don't know how I was planning to go about doing that if I found him, but I was determined. After driving around aimlessly for a few minutes I realized how stupid this was, all of it, and returned home. When the hubby got home I didn't say a word about any of the night's happenings. Again, I was already considering that money wasted. So for the next few months I didn't think about it.

Then the first magazine came in. Imagine Hubby's surprise when a random music magazine starts showing up in our mailbox. Then his feeling of suspicion and confusion and fear appeared as well. Still, despite my almost equal level of surprise, there was no way in hell I was going to admit to my part in this. I mean, how embarassing would that be?! I gave money to a random stranger at our doorstep for a magazine subscription that I knew good and damn well was never going to happen! So the first month we passed it off as a fluke. Then the second magazine came in, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh, and I held firm that some random person in our life, perhaps a friend or family member, knowing our love of music must have gifted us a magazine subscription. That was why my name was on the address label and why we never received a bill or anything. It was indeed strange that we never got anything saying that we were receiving this as a gift, or that nobody we knew had told us that they were gifting us a subscription, but hey, why look a gift magazine in the mouth? We were just lucky I guess. Then I vaguely remembered that one of the guests at our wedding years ago had mentioned that they were going to be gifting us a magazine subscription of some sort, maybe they had forgotten about it and just now remembered! Of course, our screen door didn't have as many holes as those stories, so I would always end those conversations with a shrug and a flabbergasted head shake, saying "They'll stop coming eventually, I guess!" Hubby would walk away muttering to himself, still obviously confused. Then one more magazine showed up in our mailbox, and he finally hit the roof. "Why are we getting these freakin' magazines, where are they coming from, and most importantly, AM I GOING TO GET A BILL FOR A MAGAZINE I DIDN'T ASK FOR?!?!?!" The poor guy. He had no idea when he married me that this is the kind of thing he'd most likely have to be dealing with for the rest of his life. So I came clean, sort of. I told him that I had bought a magazine subscription off a suspicious door-to-door salesman and didn't say anything because it was most likely a scam and I didn't want him to be mad at me if it didn't ever come to anything. And when the magazines started showing up I didn't tell him why because I was astounded at my level of idiocy. He agreed it was indeed an idiotic sequence of events, but *sigh*-ed and let it go. He's awesome and understanding like that. This is why I married him, and any time I feel like I could stab him, these are the kinds of stories I remember. Besides, he does the same kind of stuff to me all the time, usually involving car parts ordered off Ebay or Craigslist. Except his general M.O. is to either order stuff without telling me and then something random gets brought home, or he asks for permission AFTER he's already ordered it. This was my first and only major "secret" purchase.

That dear hubby of mine doesn't necessarily think I need a blog. So for the mean time, my personal information, such as age, general location, and names of myself, the hubby, friends, family, and even my beloved pets will not be used. I'm sure that a super-determined person could still figure it out, and if you have that much interest then more power to you, but... I'm trying to wait a while before revealing this to at least the hubs. We all know it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.   

He still doesn't know to expect the magazine to come in for two full years, though. I still shrug when he asks "When will we stop getting this??"  Who knows?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And I'm barely even a nerd.

Unfortunately, at this point I must assume that *This is not the blog you are looking for.* Perhaps at some point soon I will have something of interest to offer. But I'm going to be completely honest... I'm sure that once I do start regularly posting, it will still be disappointing.


In the meantime, please enjoy this:

(I could so easily do a Rick Roll here, but I'm classier than that.)

Perhaps I should rethink the title of this post.