Thursday, April 30, 2009
So I've been thinking about the idea of labels - what they mean and how they affect us. Namely, I've been thinking about how I label myself and its effects on my well-being.
Independent - I pride myself on being able to take care of myself, provide for myself and being able to be the person that others come to for help. After hitting whatever's underneath rock bottom several years ago, I made up my mind that I would never go back there, never allow myself to get that beat-down (metaphorically) again. I crawled my way back up and found my smile again, along with a very solid resolve that has served me well. I know now that it does not in fact kill you, you do in fact get stronger.
However, does being independent mean that I can't ask for help? Does being strong mean I'm not allowed to be vulnerable? When and why did I impose these restrictions on myself? It's like having a cast - sure you're protected but leave it on too long and you start to wither inside. But the thing is, sometimes when you get up the courage to begin to remove the cast, I find that others aren't willing to let you. 'But you're the strong one, what are you doing showing weakness? You're independent, you don't need anyone, remember?'
It's so hard to allow myself to shed the label that I chose. I feel like because I chose it I'm not allowed to be anything but that.
Serious - It's no secret - I'm a direct speaker and I prefer the same from others. I tell you exactly what I want when I want it so there's no need for confusion or interpretation mistakes. I'm not a psychic and I don't expect you to be. In that same vein, I'm not a huge fan of sarcasm - I think it's an ineffective form of communication and more often than not, it's hurtful. However, as serious as I am I'm also playful. I can tease and throw out witty remarks and make jokes too. I'm not always buttoned-up and stiff upper lip. But because of it, I sometimes feel like I don't have permission to be playful, like I'm not being true to myself if I say something 'out of character'.
Predictable - I take the same way to work, I know what kind of food I like, I know what kind of movies I don't like and I have a pretty defined sense of style. So it's really hard to give myself permission to try new things. I do it out of fear - fear of looking silly, hurting myself, messing up or negatively affecting someone else. Most times I'll say no to a new experience the first time and then I'm locked into that 'no' forever. I shut the door myself and mostly out of pride I won't go back on that 'no'. But I'm not always that way and with a gentle helping hand I can find the courage to branch out.
Girlfriend, attached, committed, etc. - Girlfriend is different from single is different from married. When you're one of these things, you can't behave like you're something else. If you are a girlfriend, some of the things that you did while single no longer fit. However, just because you now hold a different title doesn't mean you unilaterally give up everything that makes you you. I don't go to yoga nearly as often as I used to when I was single and that's okay because I'm a girlfriend now and I have different obligations. But that doesn't mean that I can't ever go again. When did I decide that for myself? My relationship won't wither away if I go two nights a week - and if it does, that's a completely different cause for concern. How does giving up a passion make you a better person for your significant other? 'I'm a girlfriend now, I can't do that.' We're not talking about dating other people, it's a yoga class. When did I let that happen?
I could go on, but my point is that while I believe in the comfort and the stability that naming things and putting things in their place provides, we don't have to stay in those boxes. These labels aren't handcuffs, they aren't casts. Yes, I'm independent but I could not survive without my loved ones - my boyfriend, my family, my friends. Yes I'm serious but I can joke and play with the best of them. Yes, I'm a girlfriend and I hope to have the honor of also wearing the labels of wife and mother but I'm still Desiree.
I'm all of these things and more and I must give myself the permission to get outside the box, color outside the lines and whatever other metaphor you want to throw in. When I'm told 'that's not like you' I will understand that it's easier for others to categorize and judge but I will not obediently go back into that box, resign to wear that label and silence those parts of myself. I will be compassionate and understanding but not meek.
Multi-faceted, three-dimensional, complex - Yeah, that's me.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The jig is up.
Yup, just like the cliche, I'm lost and I've only made a further mess of things by trying to figure it all out by myself.
So, like a string on my finger, a postie on my desk, I'm putting this here to remind myself....
Yo, Desiree --
God has known your story since before you were a thought in your mother's head. You're a smart girl, who would you place in charge? The one with all the knowledge and experience or some hothead who only has a piece of the story?
You're not alone - you're never alone. Everything that you're going through and will go through for that matter is for your benefit. Decide now that you will learn the lesson and become a better person. Shaking your fist at the sky is pointless - you know this.
Release the need for total control. You are not in the driver's seat, you don't have all the information. Trust that God will not lead you to a challenge and then abandon you - you know it doesn't work that way.
You are loved - you are a child of God, stand tall! Hold your head high and walk with purpose. Know that you have the strength and guidance of God to make your steps sure. Trust in that - God is not in the practice of letting people down, you included. All His love, acceptance, compassion and rules apply to you too. You didn't get left out, you are never forgotten. 'Behold, I have carved your name on the palm of My hand' - ring any bells? He's talking about you. You've got a VIP seat in the heart of the most loving being and that's major. Remember that.
Face forward, eyes open and trust that God will not let you fall. You are protected and provided for by an unwavering, never-ending, never-failing source of all that's good. It doesn't run out, it is never denied to you, that's what it's there for. Take comfort in that, seek it out and be thankful that you can. You have the greatest source of peace at your disposal, remember that. Use it to calm you, use it to guide you, it's yours.
Release your fear, you don't need it. You have the biggest baddest protector going ahead of you and He's made sure that the way is safe. At times it won't be easy (like now) but it's safe. Trust that the path you're on is the right one for you at this time in your life - it has been written.
Breathe deep kid - it's all going to be just fine.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This is Drew with the check that he took to the closing Monday morning. We're set to move in May 1st and I can't wait. I'm positively fantasizing about unpacking and putting things away and getting a sense of normalcy back in our lives. It hasn't been easy for either of us and truth be told, there were a few times that I wondered if we were going to make it. Stress is a monster, it is real and it is destructive.
I fully take a lot of responsibility for the drama that I've caused. I thrive on being in control - but only over myself, not others. Routine comforts me and I like doing my part to ensure that I know what's going to happen next. I'm sure that's why I did well in school - you do the work, you get a good grade. It makes sense and there's comfort in that order. Even when I waited tables, I knew approximately how much money I would make given the section I was in that night. I always knew how much money I had at a given time and I rarely overdrew my checking account. I'm a pretty predictable person; I take the same way to work, shop in the same spots, and every now and then branch out. It's the exception though, not the rule.
This house has pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone and beyond. I didn't know what was going to happen, I didn't know when we were moving, when the normalcy was coming back. And there was nothing I could do about it. It was terrible. I crave order and I didn't know how bad it was until all this happened. There was no set timeline: you look for a house, find one, submit paperwork, write the checks, get the keys, all taking a set amount of time with each step with few or no variations. I wanted it that way because that's nice and neat and I don't have to have a panic attack to do it. Yeah, it didn't happen that way with us.
But the lesson learned is that I survived. Do I now embrace chaos? Hell to the NO. I like order and routine and that will never change. Having things just so will always make me feel better than not. Having a routine and/or a timeline that I can easily follow and makes sense to me will always comfort me. Having the safety and stability (perceived or otherwise) that those things give me will help me find the courage to branch out and try new things in my own way and on my own time.
I thank God for teaching me this lesson and I know that I'm being prepared for the things that are coming in my life (children - the ultimate routine breakers) and I know that with time and grace I'll be able to handle the challenges that come my way.
But can I have a minute to straighten the cabinets first?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
However, most rational human beings know that avoiding things usually just makes it worse. Your friend upsets you, and instead of saying something right then and getting resolution we steam until we blow up for something totally unrelated with disastrous results. I know I've done it, and every time I feel like garbage after because I know it didn't have to go that far.
I was reading something about words being energy, that they don't simply disappear once they come out of your mouth. I remember when I used to wait tables we'd have our 'daily commitments' drummed into our heads at each pre-shift. One of them was 'words matter'. It's so cheesy, but it's so true. What you say impacts people both in a positive and negative way and we have the power to decide which way we're going to go.
But the flip side of that is that nothing is forever. The phrase that comes to mind is 'taking your medicine'. When you've done something wrong, you stand there and get scolded, without saying anything and then it's over. Take your medicine. But that's another reflex of ours - passing the buck. 'Well, I wouldn't have done/said that if it wasn't for...'.
If you read what I write, you know that my biggest peeve at my job is that no one picks up the phone or returns phone calls. Since I'm the receptionist I'm required to, and since I'm the only live person they get I frequently get it with both barrels. It happened today - someone came to the office all kinds of p*ssed off and the person they needed to talk to hid from them! Since I can't hide, guess who got it with both barrels?
What I don't get is this person knew they had messed up and they were simply being held accountable for their actions - take your medicine, let them vent/get it out and fix the problem. That's all anybody wants - most people don't like to cause trouble or make waves and therefore rarely speak up until they explode. But hiding?
When I called down to her to let her know that this lady wasn't leaving without an answer and was she going to come up and deal with her, I got a noncommital flustered non-response. Are you kidding me?
But, the only thing I can do is resolve not to be that person. If I mess up, I'm going to take my medicine, let whoever it is vent and then get to solving the problem. I will take responsibility for my contribution, I will not pass the buck and I will waste no time feeling sorry for myself before I begin to set it right. Nothing lasts forever; sure, I'll feel about an inch high for a bit but it will pass. I'm no wimp, I'm stronger than a little tongue-lashing.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I'd love to be able to put a patch over my eye, all pirate-like and work it out that way. Or I could wear my sunglasses indoors. Could you imagine walking into our lobby and the receptionist is sitting behing the desk in dark shades, too cool for school?
I want to go home and put the covers over my head. *sad face*
Update: According to WebMD I have sinusitis, specifically sphenoid sinusitis. As House would say, 'the diagnosis fits'. I'm going to get some sinus medication after work and see what that does.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
It's kind of like church - you don't have to go to a specific building on a specific date and time wearing certain clothes to connect to the Divine. It's more to be around people who share your passion, who share your views and beliefs. I think the clothes are a gesture, showing that you recognize that you're doing something special - kind of like a date with God. I like that idea - you're all excited and you get cleaned up to put your best foot forward because it's a special occasion. I think that has gotten lost over time and it would be nice to get it back. You feel different when you put on different clothes and they called it 'Sunday best' for a reason. I feel the same way when I put on my yoga clothes - I get excited for what's coming and I welcome the warm fuzzies that come afterwards, the same way I feel when I come out of a good church service, although it's been a while. *blushing*
Anyway, for me a spiritual connection can happen anywhere at any time. Just like I don't need to go to a yoga studio to practice. I'm an instructor, I can practice in my apartment, in the gym, or anywhere there's enough space for my mat. It's just nice to check in every now and then, to feel the energy of your fellow practitioners and leave all warm and fuzzy.
Whether it's a good class, a long dinner with my girlfriends, a great sermon, I invariably leave thinking, 'that was awesome, I should do that more often'. The satisfaction I get from connecting has no comparison.
Is it 6:45 yet??
Monday, April 6, 2009
That night, we went out with a friend of my mom's who was in town for a conference. We had such a great time and I was really proud to introduce her to Drew and it made my chest all puffed out when she said she liked him. We took her to the new house and had dinner at a wonderful restaurant. Afterwards, we took her to our hang out spot and got her drunk, hee hee!
Sunday was appropriately a do-nothing lazy day. We got up late, made our way to lunch and even laid out by the pool for a little bit. I'm not sure why, but it was more difficult than usual to get out of bed this morning. And while I'm on it...
I have to be kidding myself that I was going to take a 6am yoga class. I need to quit lying to myself that I can make myself a morning person - I'm just not, straight up. I like to sleep and the less I have to do in the morning the better. As for my fitness goals, yeah they're pretty much non-existant at this point. Going to bed late and getting up early is not a winning formula for me. And you know what? I miss my yoga classes - I miss the instructors, I miss the way I feel during a class. I'm getting a little prickly-eyed just thinking about it. I stopped going when we got more serious with our relationship - it was nothing he did, it was all me. I felt like I needed to be there when he was; I needed to be available to him, especially in the evenings. And I wanted that - I love nothing more than cuddling with him on the sofa watching tv or just sitting there, holding hands, not needing to speak.
But I think that we won't suffer if two or three nights out of those five I go to a class and get a little bendy. It makes me feel better and in turn I can be a better person for him and for myself. I have to stop lying to myself - I don't like the gym and no amount of positive self-talk will change that. I don't care that there is a fully equipped nice gym in the building, I don't. like. gyms. I like yoga studios. I prefer the serenity and the quiet strength I gain from a really good class. I love the way I feel afterwards, all sweaty and calm - I feel connected to my body, to those around me, even to the earth in a way that just doesn't happen for me from twenty minutes on the stairclimber.
I've been pushing it down, making do and it's finally come to the surface. I need to get back in the studio, I need to get back to me.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Crazy hair from the back So this is what it looks like today - ignore the retardo headset. I can't figure out why the right side is practially straight at the ends.
Tonight I'm going to try to style it and put rollers on the ends and see if that does something. I want to get some shea butter - apparently that's the greatest thing in the world for moisture. But you know what?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
It has been hurricane-windy here lately, which has been wreaking havoc on my hair. Tuesday I co-washed with my Pantene Relaxed and Natural and put a little olive oil on the ends. I can't do that anymore - my hair was a crunchy, frizzy, slightly greasy mess. I don't really understand what I did - I've put olive oil on my ends before with no problems. I think maybe because my hair was still a little damp. At any rate, because of the wind and my hair's weird state, it's been in a French twist for the past couple of days.
I am learning about my hair though - it does not like manipulation while wet. This however, is a problem because it takes forever to dry. I can do a wash and go in the morning and there are parts in the back that are still wet by 5p! I don't want to wash and style at night because that would mean two showers as I prefer to shower in the morning to help wake me up. I stil have to figure that one out.
I also have a relatively loose curl - if I braid my hair I have to secure it somehow otherwise it won't stay. Without putting it in rollers, my ends are completely straight - I don't know if that means I have to cut them or what. I've asked Drew to cut my hair for me but he's too chicken. ;-) I'm going to try doing it myself over the next couple of days - how hard can it be?
Famous last words, I'll keep y'all posted...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Now I know what addressing wedding invitations will feel like - the Marketing department is having an event and thought it would be super cool if the invitations were hand-addressed. With the decent handwriting that I have, I of course said yes when they asked me to do it. I just finished hand-addressing 150 invitations. I will either have 10 people at my wedding and I'll just call them or I'll pay the money to have them printed with a pretty font. My hand hurts!
If one more person calls telling me that the person they're trying to reach isn't there/won't pick up their phone/won't call them back, I'm going to lose it. These people are not chained to their desks and it is the law of the universe that you will call at the precise moment they are out of earshot and on their way to the bathroom/breakroom/someone else's office. That is not my fault.
It is so very very rude to keep people waiting - you don't know what's going on in their lives or how tightly they've scheduled themselves. When I was a yoga instructor I heard this: You start on time to honor the teacher, you end on time to honor the student. I can't stand it when a certain person in my office has appointments and keeps people waiting! For what? Are you trying to psych them out, make them nervous? I tell you they're here and you're expecting them, why do you consistently come out fifteen minutes late or more every time?! So unprofessional.
We're going to Paris in 21 days!! I'm so excited and I've started planning to make sure we see the things we want to. I just want to lay on the grass and look up at the Eiffel Tower - I don't even know if I'll be able to stand it. I may just burst with happiness. However, I'm not looking forward to the flight - I've never been immobile on a plane for that long. When I was a flight attendant, I worked a flight to Sydney, but that's so different. I'm not big on sleeping pills but it may be necessary.
I'm sensing a transition within my family where we're becoming adults and they're reverting somewhat. Spending as much time with them as I did when my uncle passed really highlighted this change. I find myself becoming very protective of my mother, telling her not to worry about things, that I'll handle them when I used to demand that she take care of things for me. Gawd, a house, a dog, taking care of my mother - unmistakable signs of being a grown-up! I wonder if everyone at this stage feels this way, like you're stepping into shoes that are a little too big but will fit soon enough. I don't know if I want to be ready for this.
I'm still not talking to my father - it still bothers me, but more like a back of the mind annoyance rather than a full-out disruption in my life. It's so sad - Drew and I are talking seriously about marriage and I've been going over and over who will walk me down the aisle. My mother? Possibly. My brother? I'm uncomfortable counting on him. Alone? All eyes on me, wondering where my dad is - don't know if I want that. I don't seek to replace my father and I feel having someone else walk in his place would be doing that. However, I can't stomach 'playing nice for company'. I've never been good at being fake and that's definitely not the occasion to try - I can only pray that we arrive at some resolution before that day comes.
I haven't been to a yoga class in forever - Drew gets up early to work out and I just had a lightbulb mid-sentence! Ok, so I prefer to work out at night as I am not a morning person. However, if I go to a yoga class at night that eats up all our together time so I've been going down to the gym with him in the mornings when I'd really rather go to yoga. My lightbulb is that I'll just go to a 6a class and that way I'll be able to spend time with him at night and not have to sacrifice my yoga classes. I love blogging! Sometimes you have to type it out to find the answers - it can get kind of crowded in my head ya know?
I think I want to try to go back to school this fall - I've been looking into nursing programs in the area and the more I look into it the more I want to do it. I bet I'd be a good nurse. Additionally, that will give me time for this company to transfer/promote me. You can't go anywhere for your first six months and I'll have mine in June. If they don't do anything or there are no open positions that I'd like I think nursing is a good plan B.
I found this amazing blog of this woman who has an $800 annual budget for her family - I had to link to it to find out more. She's all about the coupons and strategic shopping and I want to see what this is about. If she can do it, we can too. Right now, I'd bet we spend that in two months. I've already printed out some coupons for our shopping trip tonight...
Okay, the day is almost over and I have no more invitations to address, no more Easter (I mean spring) eggs to cut out - gotta love corporate America and their political correct-ness. I'm ready to close it up and get on home to my honey!