Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is it awkward yet?

I talk a lot about feeling awkward, being awkward, awkward situations and sometimes how I overcome the awkward. I make random noises when I get nervous or strange faces when I'm not sure what to say. If you put me in a room with an ex boyfriend, clown and fundamentalist Christian you would see a series or seizure like movements that hint at a combination of shrugging my shoulders and straightening out every piece of clothing that I'm wearing while tucking my hair behind my ears. My head would explode because in my head I would be having ten different conversations all related to making the situation less uncomfortable. I worry too much about how other people feel at times but then just sit in silence because I'm not sure what to say, cue the contortionist use of my facial muscles as I search for the right expression. I put my foot in my mouth or sometimes say things that are totally off base or inappropriate because my line of thinking or sense of humor is somewhere else completely. I was put in one too many of those situations this past week. 
This week I seem to remember a lot of working and not a lot of earning. I received my first paycheck from Americorps and I then remembered what it was like to be back in college. I don't want to be college poor again. I just need to keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it as I make ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the next month at the same time growing an ulcer in my stomach lining the size of a golf ball due to financial worry. Ugh. "You don't know what you've got til it's gone." Sing it Cinderella. Not the Cinderella that gets the Prince, the 80's glam band that my Mom used to listen to on the home stereo. And you wonder why I act like I do, I grew up listening to cock rock and glam rock those can't be good for a developing child's brain. 
Anyway, I digress. I pretty much feel like I'm a bit of a rockstar at work or my boss may be lulling me into some false sense of security and will then attack when I least suspect it. However, I was offered an opportunity to make this 8 week job into a 12 month job starting at the end of my term in August. This I must think about for a few days considering what else will be starting up in August and financial stuff. It was a bit flattering though when offering me the position she told me she thought I was 'great' and I 'fit right in.' This is a feat considering hours earlier I was attempting to stifle my laughter when the Substance Abuse presenter began talking about 'Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.' Now apparently this is what happens to people that huff or sniff things like dusters or aerosol cans. Reread that name and tell me that is not ridiculous. So in a room full of 40 people all intently listening I was sitting next to my boss biting the inside of my cheek in order to keep myself from audible giggling. She saw it and kind of chuckled and when I later brought it up she laughed. At the time, awkward. 
The rain off and on all week kept me from being able to skate. I did go running a few times and danced around my apartment a bit. Laziness won. Resaling and drinks happened. I'm feeling disconnected from people and that makes things awkward for me. I wonder if I'm the only one that is thinking those things though. I miss the boy and sadly I won't see him for a few more days. Today I saw my friend's band play their last show due to two of the band members moving. It was cool to go to a show and chat with people and have some familiarity with the scene. There is a certain person however that continues to be a thorn in my side because he just can't seem to let go of shit and insists on making things awkward. I prevailed and was comfortable around everyone else and made conversation with everyone else. I will continue to try to settle things.
So I am all packed up for my work trip to Columbia, South Carolina. I was asked last Wednesday if I would go, all expenses paid to a conference. Duh, yes I will get out of the office for an entire week. I'll be returning on Wednesday night or Thursday morning and won't go back to the office until July 5th, woot. 
Have a wonderful week. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

I could be your state and I could be your nation

So today is Father's Day. I'm not a Father so I'm not really sure how they actually feel about having a day dedicated to them. Most men don't like cards, or at least care for them. I sent my Dad a card. Oops. I also sent him a picture of my sister and I to replace the one he's had of us on his truck visor since 2007. I don't talk much about family unless it's my sister mostly because I don't see my family much anymore, which is kind of a bummer. I called my Dad on the phone today to wish him a 'Happy Father's Day' even though I knew he wouldn't know it were Father's Day unless my Mom reminded him. My Father is a man of few words. We rarely speak on the phone and all the important bits of my life are usually relayed through my Mom. She enjoys talking anyway so I'm really ok with that. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have lengthy conversations with my Father about anything but it really just doesn't work like that. He jokes and tells stories but that's when there is an audience. Part of me feels like he's having a hard time with the idea that I'm a grown up. I think if he had his way he'd still be replacing the clutch on my go-cart for the 6th time and telling me he's not replacing it again (though he always did) or dragging our asses outside to go work in the yard because then he wouldn't have to worry about me. I swear I heard a stifled sob on the phone the day I moved away for college though he would never admit to that. I can always count on him to wrap up a phone call with this single question, "is your car running ok?" To which I always answer, "it's doing great." He gets midday phone calls from me every so often asking him what a noise my car is making could mean or if its normal that my car makes a grinding noise when I turn the wheel. The questions always makes me smile because I've realized that it's his way of making sure things are ok for me. He can't control the things that are going poorly in my life because no one can but damn it if my car is acting up you better believe he'll figure it out and fix it. We don't talk about feelings we talk about fenders and oil filters. He may be a man of few words but the things he does say always mean something to me. After moving out of Yale and onto college and then out of state I knew I could always count on him more than I realized when we lived under the same roof. Even when keeping things short and sweet he doesn't forget to tell me he loves me at the end of a call and even though that doesn't seem like a lot I didn't grow up in a house where that was verbalized much so it's growth.
Anyway, I could go on about the shit my Dad says but apparently someone already had that idea. I'll go on with my weekly events.
The new job got a bit more interesting this week and I was able to make some headway on the two main projects I am assigned to complete within those 8 weeks. I also realized that I think I just have one of those faces that makes people want to tell you everything. Sometimes that is a great thing, it's awesome. Other times its off-putting and inappropriate. This week it was somewhere in between. My boss took the opportunity if me being alone in my office to come in an vent about her employee. Like seriously vent likened to that of a dam opening. Though somewhere in the venting I was paid a pretty awesome compliment about being mature and driven without that being the point of her conversation. It was kind of funny because once she had finished you could see relief but also a little embarrassment for being so imprudent. I just sat politely and nodded my head though some of the things said about my coworker (mostly tactful) I completely agreed with though I remained neutral. No point in stirring the pot if I'll only be there 6 more weeks.
The week also included some skatepark action, seeing X-Men and then of course I headed to Louisville. It's a bit ridiculous to drive for three hours nearly every other weekend to spend time with someone but it is totally worth it. The man friend and I spent the weekend see-sawing between laziness and bouts of energy. The energy resulted in learning how to make ice cream (which was delicious!) seeing Super 8 and spending a ridiculous amount of time in a thrift store (his idea which makes me super happy to find someone that loves resaling probably as much as I do!). We also helped his friends get their house ready to be moved into which just involved painting and light sanding on my part and helped a random guy out by jump-starting his car. Laziness involved eating said ice cream and watching lots of 'Its always sunny..' I made dinner on Friday night which involved a lot of preparation and crossing my fingers it was edible. It was edible as were the leftovers. I even made dessert though I can't take credit for the shortcake part of the strawberry shortcake, still very tasty.  Saturday involved some board games and beer. Sunday was super lazy and super awesome. Somewhere in there I ate the best Mexican sandwich ever (note; this was my first ever also) which sparked some food envy. Hehe.

Have a fantastic week :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And keep my protest on the inside of my mouth.

I'm doing it again. I'm looking for things to give rise to problems. What problems will arise? I'm looking for ways to control what's going to happen in the future. Not the steps I take but the things I know there is no way to control. I'm stocking my bomb shelter. Maybe I just can't allow for things to go the way they should whether they be positive or not. It's possible that I just prefer to feel certain ways and then point myself in that direction. The funny thing is that there are no problems to attend to or solve. There are no great dilemmas that need to be dealt with right now. Can I not just be content with feeling at ease? I'm getting all of the things I thought I wanted but now I'm questioning those desires. Once I realize that's what I'm doing then I start the self loathing. It's cyclical. So what comes first the chicken or the egg? Do I stay positive and happy only to allow myself to fall from that and stay comfortable there on the floor until I decide it's time to pick myself up again? I honestly don't know.
Some people seem to have an easier time staying and being positive. It's a matter of choice. It's a matter of the things you say to yourself. You can choose to look at things in a positive light or you can choose to be negative and unhappy. I sometimes think about my former self and the person I was two summer ago. I was constantly unhappy, constantly negative and completely lost. I don't want to go back there. Sometimes though I just look for ways to start conflicts. It's selfish and childish. I haven't done that yet but I feel like that's what is going to happen. To keep that from happening I've just been biting my tongue and internalizing. I know that's not a healthy way to cope with things but to avoid creating a mess in something that's not messy that's what I choose to do.
Fucking self fulfilling prophecy.
I need to just bombard my brain with positive thoughts...starting now.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Well that wasn't so f*cking courteous, was it?

Do you ever have weeks when you just wish you weren't a grown up? Those were the kind of thoughts I was having this week like, "why can't I just hang out in the toy aisle and play with the bouncy balls?" or, "do I really need to mail out these bills because I really would just rather go swimming?" Nothing about this week said, "start your new job, make a good impression and kick some ass." My ass felt like it had been kicked and I had very little motivation to do much of anything. My answer to that every morning at my new job was make and drink an entire pot of coffee. I just wound up jittery and distractible. On top of that I just really wanted to eat ice cream and be lazy because the heat and sun were just not agreeing with my body.
Anyway, the new job should be and will be discussed. So here's the gist of it, over 8 weeks I am expected to research and develop three "outcomes" that are a result of the efforts of the court appointed special advocates (CASA) in the state of Tennessee. Basically I need to find three relevant statistics that justify the funding and support that CASA gets from the government and private funders, easy right? Also my job entails learning the computer program used to collect data and notes from the advocates so that I can compile data and make it into some sensical piece of information that can be generalized and then published in order to promote the program. The first week involved me browsing the internet for information and trainings about the program which could be done in about 8 hours, I was given 40....yeesh. Needless to say I learned this week that sitting in an office at a desk for 40 hours isn't something my brain or body like very much. In fact my body rejected that idea for about 30 of those hours and I was constantly bouncing, readjusting, tapping my foot or getting up out of my chair. My coworkers probably think I have ADHD or an addiction to meth. Obviously I have neither I'm just used to being able to move or chasing kids for 8 hours and those things make the day go much faster. Eight hours at the new job FEEL like 8 hours for sure. It's made me start to worry about my career path and concentration in grad school because I will be more geared toward an office type setting rather than working directly with clients. Hmm. My coworkers are really nice and since I only have two I have less people to worry about looking like an idiot in front of. My boss is nice, very relaxed and seems pretty no nonsense which I always like. Unfortunately I do need to make sure I keep my language in check unlike with the last boss. I'm practicing replacement words to my favorite word, frick being the most commonly used. I will say that the office setting makes me feel very grown up which again, I don't really like. We shall see.
This week was CMA fest week which means I was in charge of the pup considering this is the busiest work for my sister and her boyfriend. Most of the week after my workday I hung out with the pup and went to the gym or the skatepark. For the weekend I had planned to hang with friends and see my friend Brandon's band at rocketown. I still did all of those things with the addition of a very attractive boy in my presence. Friday I got a phone call that came from a fortuitous opportunity making it so I wound up in the middle of downtown Nashville meeting my visitor in the thick of it all. The people watching for CMA fest would have been like an eye-gasm for me had I cared about it at the time, I was a bit distracted though with the surprise visit. So we took care of the pup and drove out to my friends for some drinks and games. The concoction of champagne and flavored vodka (I recommend water and lots of it before sleep) then led to adventuring the my friend's very closed and fenced in swimming pool. The boys jumped in the pool and I attempted to taunt from the outside with a squirt gun but ended up getting more soaked than they were. So those of us that weren't swimming played a rousing game of Skip Bo (which was the choice game of my great Grandma) next to the pool. Skip Bo at 1 a.m. makes it much more scandalous. The fun soon ended when a female "courtesy officer" scolded us like children and chased us out. None of us were rude or being assholes but she felt the need to ask rhetorical questions and be a dick. We left without making it an issue knowing full well that we shouldn't have been out there however her attitude made me want to be a dick right back. We're grown ups, ask us to leave and we'll go, don't be an ass about it. Saturday we played with the pup, went to Grimeys
Work this week will hopefully be a little more stimulating since it will involve me visiting different counties with the CASA program. 7 weeks of work, two weeks off and then I start graduate school....not that anyone is counting or anything.
Have a wonderful week :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Holy socks! You're so wise!

Lately I've been having a lot of conversations with myself (inner monologue not schizophrenic ramblings) and other people about past relationships, boys, the challenges of relationships, blah blah you get the drift. Yesterday I spoke to my ex about relationships, expectations and feelings. It was an extremely productive conversation and it resulted in a therapeutic sense of release. It wasn't even awkward. It was calming to speak to someone that knows me very well and get some insights on how I work as a partner (or don't work in that case).
So today while at work I was chatting with my coworker after leaving the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce to scope out an area to host a training (my job is so grueling- I know). I have a total of two coworkers and a Director so it's a pretty small crowd. My coworker, we'll call her Frenchy (cos she's been talking about her latest vacation guessed it, France) was talking about her boyfriend and their relationship. She's been married and divorced and has no intention of remarrying or cohabitating with anyone else possibly ever. Then she pointed out that you look for people that fit your means, what you want out of them. That makes perfect sense of course because if your intention is to one day have kids or get married you're going to date people that are 'marriage material' or at least hope they are for your sake. She asked me about my relationship and if I thought it would go anywhere. She then said something pivotal and epiphany-esque that I felt the need to share it. She said that in her marriage and other relationships in the past she looked at the man's potential. She said 'it's great if a man has the potential to be successful or a great person or really smart but I was dating that person not the person that they will be in the future.' My brain imploded because I knew precisely what she meant by that. I am a repeat offender of that crime. In the past I always looked at a boy and said, "he's so smart and has so much promise or potential" and then I expected that person to come around and become those things I thought that they could be and then was disappointed when they didn't fulfill my expectations. DUH! Of course they aren't going to become those things if they don't have the drive to do so. I have the potential to be a lawyer or insanely thing but I'm not going to be those things because I don't have the motivation or willingness to do those things at this point in my life. How could I expect someone to be something if I don't have the desire to be the things they may want me to be. So it completely clicked. It was there in my head all along but until someone else spoke those words and explained it in that way it was just pieces floating around my head. Frenchy is a fucking relationship genius. That conversation made my day. EVERY single person I have dated in the past followed that line of thinking and now I understand why it didn't work (for good reason). They have all contributed in some way or another to who I am as a person and how I respond to relationships which for that I am thankful. I respect and appreciate all of them. 
Along those same lines I was thinking about my current love interest and realized that I'm so happy with how things are going because I'm not expecting or waiting for him to become this amazing person. He already is an amazing person and if he didn't change at all I would be totally happy with that or if he decided to change for himself then I would support that fully. Thankfully I think he is on that same page with that. He likes me for who I am right now. 
I am totally done talking about boys and relationships for at least the next thirty minutes ;) 
Anyway, I hope that this made sense to at least one other person because I think that is an excellent piece of information that I learned today. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

All that sass.

Tomorrow I start my new job, actually in less than 8 hours and the chances of me falling asleep soon are slim to none considering the level of anxiety I usually have when starting new things. On top of that I've been having some pretty strange and terrible dreams. So much so that I was told I sounded like a 'scared animal' whilst dreaming early Saturday morning. I don't recall at this point what they were about but I do remember a villain. I was probably fighting the ultimate battle of good versus evil.....or my subconscious is trying to tell me something. I hope for restful sleep at some point this week.
The last couple of days were spent completely enjoying being 'unemployed' (for like 6 days so I don't think that counts). Wednesday was my first day off and I spent it sleeping in and getting my apartment in some sort of working order considering cleaning has been significantly neglected over the past few weeks. I'm not a dirty person by any means but I was disorganized like woah. My closet looks like it exploded into my bedroom, bathroom and even part of my dining room. Suffice it to say I spent lots of time picking up and cursing myself for having so many clothes. After cleaning the next logical step was to go shopping (I need dressy summer clothes for the new job!) Luckily I didn't really find anything and I was annoyed that there is not really any good shopping within a 25 mile radius of my apartment. (Ahem....H & M I am still waiting for a store in Nashville....get on it!). Thursday I had a meeting for the new job where I had to get sworn into Americorps...a bit strange but hurrah for tradition. I then interviewed for a part time job and realized that I am in no qualified to work at a restaurant in the bible belt because a) I have no prior serving experience and b) I have gages and facial piercings.  UGH.  I understand looking presentable for a job (even a minimum wage job) but how I do my job is in no way effected by the size of the holes in my ears. If anything a 1/2" gage creates a larger surface area thus a bigger area with which to receive sound waves when the customer speaks. "What large ears you have" said the girl, "All the better to hear you with darling." Moral of the story, I'm good with people, I'm a hard worker, someone give me a job! 
Thursday I saw Kung Fu Panda 2 by way of an incentive for kids at the community center in Louisville. It was fun and was so cool to hang out with kids that aren't forced into participating in things, so they actually enjoyed it. One of the girls reminded me of myself when I was a teenager, sassy. I think no matter what I end up doing long term as far as work goes I still very much want to be involved with teens. That way I can still go see movies intended for children and not look like a weirdo old woman at the theaters. Friday I spent the day out and about in Louisville. I finally made it to the skatepark there, which is gigantic and pretty amazing. I'm not sure what it is about that park that makes me a lot more ballsy but I swear when I skate there my inhibitions are lowered. (When it comes to skating that is) There are always two settings that I have zero issues talking to strangers. Live music venues and skateparks. Everywhere else I am an awkward ass and have trouble conversing but those places I will reciprocate or even initiate conversation with strangers. It's weird. Friday I also got to catch up with a good friend over the phone. I miss that kid and it felt good to know that we're still important to each other regardless of distance or circumstances. It's weird how much things have changed and how fast time has went since last August for the both of us. It's nice to have someone in a similar position with changes and experiences. We talked about how it seems like everyone has paired off and begun mating and it's rare to have a friend that's single anymore. I know it's an age thing because thats just kind of the cycle of life but it feels good to know I'm not the only one weirded out by it all. 
Saturday I spent several hours outside sweating profusely in the sun and hanging out with a ton of kids at the community center festival. I wanted to help out and see how the center worked. Mostly I realized how ignorant I was/am to the refugee population not only in Louisville but Nashville. I can't imagine moving to a completely different country to start from scratch and not even have a real grasp on the primary language or knowledge of the politics and bureaucracy that surrounds integrating yourself into a population. The good thing was that the kids really seem to enjoy the adult attention and interactions and were not shy around me. I wanted to take some of them home with me they were so frickin cute. I resisted after contemplating the whole kidnapping thing as well as not even being able to keep plants alive. The world festival overall was a great experience and I'm glad I sacrificed my time and a sunburn to be a part of it. I'm really proud of the person that roped me into it. 
Needless to say today I was quite sore and tired from all of the sun and running around the previous day so it was wonderful to just relax and be lazy all day until my drive back to Nashville tonight. The drive gave me time to think about things and appreciate the things that I have right now. I may complain about money or jobs or the terrible drivers around here but all in all I'm happy and have been basically since making the decision to leave Michigan. I just didn't realize how happy I could get considering my circumstances. 
Have a wonderful week :)