Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm moving forward, doing the best that I can

I know it's kind of cheesy to reflect on 2008 but here I am nonetheless. I look back on this year and honestly, I'm suprised that I got through it as well as I did...

Jan 2008 was somewhat anti-climactic for me. I had just graduated college and was embarking on my first foray back into the working world. Being a flight attendant, while work, isn't the same as going to an office every day, sitting in front of a computer. My age and the inconsistency of it lent itself to more of a temporary situation rather than a career. Besides, everything I did up to that point was just until I went to college. Well, then I went to college and experienced that profound 'now-what' syndrome. I went to an amazing school, known for their alumni network. I sincerely thought all I'd have to do at an interview is name-drop SMU and I would be in. Definitely not the case and I was lost because of it. To that point, I'd had a grand total of two jobs in my life, neither of which I really had to work for. Becoming a flight attendant was a matter of filling out the application and moving to Dallas. After that, waiting tables was just another application. All temporary because 'I was going to college!'

I couldn't wait tables one more second but I had no other options so when the opportunity presented itself at my yoga studio to be the manager, I jumped on it. No questions asked. Not the best move. Note to self: When working for friends, remember to treat it as a JOB and stand up for yourself no matter that they're friends. It's still business. That was February.

In March I met my lovely Drew and he is flat out, A-1 wonderful! I do love him so much! April and May were good months; I was working at the yoga studio, Drew and I were in our courtship bubble and all was right with the world. However, as bubbles usually do...

Working at the yoga studio was not paying the bills and I was running out of room on the credit cards paying the difference. I was working morning and night and still coming up short. The stress of not having enough to meet the essentials coupled with the disillusionment I felt at not being able to work my passion caused some very unsettling emotions to simmer. I hit a rolling boil with the start of WWIII with my dad. It was ugly, I cried and felt pain that I had hoped never to feel again. That would is still open. June and July was somewhat of a blur of pain and numbness with spots of brightness to keep me sane. Nothing is ever all good, nothing is ever all bad...

August I moved in with Drew. This was a major milestone, as I had lived alone for four very full years. I established and treasured my independence and mourned its perceived loss. I was moving to HIS house, we weren't moving to a new place together. I gave up what was mine and I was sad about that. I knew I wanted it and I was happy about it but it still hurt and frankly it was scary. If we fought, where would either of us go? We no longer had separate residences, this is the first step.

Additionally, I started my first office job. That was a change as well. I adjusted to everything from wearing shoes to work once again to learning how to operate Microsoft Outlook and the copier/scanner/fax/x-ray machine/printer/spaceship. That thing was ridiculous. I was in over my head, but I was confident that it wouldn't be that way forever. It was great - I had a big girl job, I lived with my boyfriend in a high-rise in the city and we were tossing around the idea of marriage. Cool.


One month after I started, I was fired. Even typing that still hurts. I've never in my life been fired. All the little and big jobs I've had since I was 16 have all been positive experiences for the most part. I have always gotten along with co-workers and bosses and this. was. devastating. I cried for hours. My wonderful Drew got me drunk that night - he's the greatest! The next morning, my ego was still bruised, I had a bit of a headache but I was going to be all right.

We decided that I would not jump back into the restaurant business as he has a 'civilian' job and I would have to work nights and weekends and neither of us wanted that. My wonderful Drew provided for me while I was out of work and between temp jobs and cashing in a small 401k I was able to stay afloat, even though my nose was the only thing above water!

What I didn't count on was the depression. I felt like such a loser, not working! For the first time in my life, I had zero jobs. I was unable to contribute and I did NOT like it! My self-worth plummeted; I never realized I had attached it to being able to work and provide for myself. I began to question myself and question Drew's feelings for me. I felt like he judged me because I was of course judging myself. More fights, more tears.

The second half of September, October, and November I wrestled with these alternating feelings of uselessness, resentment, fear, and disillusionment. I'm smart, I went to a good school and I'm a hard worker - why am I sitting on the sofa watching the 5th hour of the We channel?! Would I ever find a job? I felt guilty for not contributing and sought to 'earn my keep' around the house by keeping it clean. Of course, this added to the resentment as I did not wish to be seen as the maid - poor Drew got an earful if he asked whether or not the laundry had been done. 'You think just because I'm home I'm SUPPOSED to do your laundry? I'm not your maid!' *sigh* It was never about the laundry....

Finally, I got a job December 1st! Thank God! It's not what I expected but it's a job and there's room for growth. I'm thankful I have it in this economy and Thursday marks a month that I've been here so I've almost made it past that hurdle! :-)

And here I am, New Year's Eve. Drew and I are entering a new phase in our relationship, one where I look at him as a potential husband and not a boyfriend, one where he does the same with me. We will talk about our future, our goals, our plans, and I will see us as part of a whole, no longer two individuals sharing space. We will create the foundation for a family and it will be scary and hard but it will be worth it. We won't give up.

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Melancholy Bittersweet

I can't believe the weekend is almost here; time is going by so quickly, it doesn't seem like Christmas is next week. This is the first year that I have purposefully spent Christmas away from home. In years past, I have stayed home less than a handful of times and it was due to a lack of funds. However, this year I made a concious decision to stay here in Dallas. It was a somewhat difficult decision but I feel more grown-up for it. My best friend calls me Peter Pan because even though I'm quite responsible and grown-up in most ways, in so many others I'm still quite immature. Not in the tantrum-throwing way, but more 'the world revolves around me alone' way. I am aware of that, I own it and I'm addressing it, but it's not easy.

Drew got me a Christmas tree and it was wonderful decorating it and it brings such a smile to my face every time I plug it in at night. I've never had one before because I was never really home for Christmas. But now, I have to say it warms my heart and makes our apartment feel like home. We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our place as well and it was a really nice feeling. I enjoyed having the boys over and going to pick out a tree and spend the evening decorating it. The only difference is that I was the host and it was our tree, not my parents. I find myself with conflicting, bittersweet feelings about all that.

On one hand, with the new job, a real boyfriend, and doing all these domestic things I truly feel like I'm entering that grown-up phase in my life. On the other, I feel like I'm no longer and will never again be that young girl needing protection and shelter from her parents. It's been months since I've spoken to my father and while I'm definitely upset about it, I'm not as broken-up as I thought I'd be. It's actually relieving not to have the daily drama. But I wonder at times if this is how it's going to be - stilted, short phone calls on birthdays, dwindling away from even that to nothing at all.

Additionally, I know that this leaving behind is what you have to do to take a step forward. Namely, I will embark on creating a family of my own. That's a scary thought! Although Drew and I are something of a family of our own already it always becomes real when you make it legal or bring a child into the picture - and that's the road we're on.

On a lighter note, my cousin decided that we should do something creative for my mother and aunt for Christmas. In theory, it's a wonderful idea but in reality, I am not in the slightest bit crafty. Drew regularly teases me that I'm a man with breasts because I'm not given over to overly feminine displays of anything. I can't cook, I like simple food, I don't like flowers, chocolate or teddy bears and I'm not super-tolerant. However, I counter him saying I like clothes, shoes and jewelery to which he responds that I'm a gay man. I shrug my shoulders to that one.

However, I have the craft project sitting on the dining room table because it's still unfinished and turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. Regardless, I'm sending on Saturday - that's the goal I've set for myself because I want it out of my hair. It's stressing me out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rambling Random Thoughts

Drew left for the weekend to go skiing with Milton. They're going to the governor's ball in Santa Fe, NM. I gave him permission to be a good wingman, although I'm secretly hoping he's not that good, nor does he enjoy it too much...

It is so cold outside and I'm so thankful that I walk in the underground tunnels to work! With the exception of the fifteen seconds that it takes to exit my building and get to the escalators leading underground, I am completely free from the elements! Of course, there's the dry-cleaning I have to take somehow. I guess I can suck it up for a block - it's nice living downtown, almost everything is within walking distance. I'm such a city-girl, I dread the inevitable move to the suburbs...

I completely sympathize with people that call our office looking for their money. I remember the day that I nearly broke down talking with the unemployment lady because I was so scared about having no money and no prospects. And no sooner had I gotten off the phone and had a good cry that the staffing company called and told me I got the job. I was so emotionally spent that I couldn't even be happy about it. But God knows, now I am! So my heart just goes out to the people that call looking for their security deposit - I know that feeling. They just want to talk to a live person and get a solid answer as to when their money is coming and I don't have it. The answer I mean.

I wonder what happens to the calls I transfer away - do they get a live person or yet another voicemail? The ones that bother me the most are all the vendors looking for their money for services rendered. In some ways, I feel like they're talking to me. Bill collectors have always made me nervous, although I am getting better about it. My thought is, if a service was rendered why wouldn't you pay for it? I honestly don't get that. I'm not debt-free, but I have always paid my bills on time (for the most part). I've just never been severely late on bills, such that collectors need to contact me - I pray that I never do.

I can't wait for 2009 - I'm so hopeful and optimistic, more so than I've been in recent memory. I think because I've finally hit my stride and it's a good feeling!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin