career · courage · self-pity · self-support · uncertainty · work

worker bee.




I’ve been funky and introspective lately. A little unmoored.
After all that excitement in April of the trip and offering my own job proposal/promotion, and getting flat
results from it, the job at least, it’s felt like I’m back at square one again.
Back at the crossroads where it’s my turn to figure out what I’m doing with my
life. What I should do, what I want to do, what I can do.
And it feels disheartening—I guess that’s pretty entirely
how I feel. A little flat, a little steam-less. My friend told me yesterday
this too shall pass; even though that makes small comfort when you’re “in it,”
she is of course right. But once again, folks are suggesting ideas for what I
should do next, and nothing seems right.
Do I stay at the job I have with a salary and
responsibilities that don’t reflect what I can offer? Do I stay here because
it’s stable, because my boss said he’s willing to offset some of the costs for
a non-profit management certificate course? Do I stay because it’s “easy”?
Though, is it? Is it easy to feel so small in the work you
do? Is it easy to know you can do more but stay put? Is it easy to accept the
minutae and banality of office clerkness? NO. Of fucking course not.
This is not the
easier road, but it is currently the one I’m standing on, and the one that is providing
me a livelihood. And when I come to consider it, it’s a decent, if on the
meager side, livelihood. Do I stay because
other people have it worse off, and struggle harder?
Haven’t I learned the foolishness of martyrdom?
It’s not like I’m not trying. I’ve sent out two resumes, one
rejected. And assume I’ll send out more. But my heart is not in this. I guess
I’m just disappointed at the moment – having put a lot of energy into offering
my job some ways to increase their success and my own, and was told, “Not now,
and probably not for at least a year, if then.” Do I hang on for that??
I need more clarity from my job about what that really
means. I want more clarity around if this is just going to be me languishing
for another year—and also, if I am owed that annual cost of living increase
that my coworkers receive. And if that bit is worth it anyway?
I pulled the 4 of Cups this morning, the card of
self-absorption, apathy. They really nail me sometimes.
Introspection can be a healthy habit, when it’s accompanied
with outward action. But when it’s just mental masturbating, or emotional, then
it’s not really effective.
It’s hard to pull yourself out of the mire though. But, as
my friend said, this too shall pass. More will be revealed, the cloud will shift
from in front of the sun, and I will know what to do next.
Much of it starts with asking the real and hard questions to
my boss. If this is really worth my while to stay, to build toward what I
offered them, then I really need to know that in more than
empty promises of someday. That doesn’t work for me.
Is that too much to ask? I don’t know, because I haven’t
I was brave enough to ask for what I want; having been told,
“Not now, maybe someday,” am I brave enough to ask for what I need? It’s not like I have other offers rolling in.
But, the answers to my own questions and to my boss’s will help
determine whether it’s time to seek those offers or not, and I can stop feeling quagmired again.
Life is way too short to languish in “maybes” that you can
get a clearer answer to. 

dating · health · joy · passion · sex · uncertainty

Craving Cupcakes




For reasons unknown by me, I came home the other night and
while in my closet, took down the book He’s Just Not That Into You. It sits in a pile of books I own that I’ve taken to
the bookstore to sell back to them, but they’re not having it – it shares space
with the
Twilight saga – and for
further reasons unknown, I haven’t just put these books out on the street or
donated them yet, and so they’ve stayed for several years.
Taking down Not That Into You, I read the chapter titles that at the time I bought the book I
imagined I would sneer at and laugh at in obviousness, but that on reading, in
fact, offered a swift kick upside my besotted brain. For example: He’s just not
that into you if he’s not asking you out; he’s just not that into you if he has
a girlfriend/is married; and my personal eye-opener at the time: he’s just not
that into you if he only wants to see you when he’s drunk.
But what struck me the other night as I perused the chapter titles was
the one added on after the first printing, the one entitled: Life after
He’s Just Not That Into You.
I flipped there, and the female co-author writes about the
typical stages she’d seen in herself and in those who’d taken the book’s
message to heart.
First, there’s empowerment: YES! I Get It! I see that these
mixed messages are just smoke-screens, I’ve stopped waiting by the phone, I’ve
stopped accepting “Let’s hang out” as an acceptable “date.” My life is awesome!
Then there’s loneliness: Great, he’s out of my phone and out
of my life, what do I do now?
Quickly followed by temptation: Okay, so if I know that he’s just putting up a smoke-screen, and I get
that this isn’t a relationship – then I’m in full knowledge participation, and
it’s okay, right? Then I can’t really get my feelings hurt, right, because I
know that this is not what either of us really wants, right? Besides, the door
isn’t breaking down with guys asking me out on real dates, and I’m lonely,
horny, and just give me a BREAK already!
I called this yesterday, over lunch with a friend, the
cupcake moment.
We all know this temptation. I’ll set it up for you:
It’s someone’s birthday at the office. They’ve brought in a
dozen of the most delicious looking cupcakes from the 4 dollar a cupcake place
with the clever name. Everyone stands around this offering and awkwardly sings
Happy Birthday to the person of honor, and you feel a little proud, and a
little separate as you gouge the cupcakes out of their container and hand them
to your coworkers, expressing that, No thank you, you’re not having one.
You know how you feel after you’ve eaten one, you know they’re not actually as good as they look, and it’s
not worth the calories or kicking off the sugar addiction. You’ve had SO MANY
afternoons where you’ve had half a cupcake, only to return for the other half,
another whole, and maybe, another half or two.
You know that to put one bite of this thing into your mouth
is to set off a series of woeful and painful head moments of debate,
self-derision, and self-pity.
So you’ve been so good. It’s been weeks, or maybe months
since you’ve let yourself fall into the pattern. And sometimes, it’s so easy to
say No thanks, and be on with your day. The cupcakes don’t whisper at you. The
longing doesn’t bite at your throat.
And then you find yourself in the moments when you say, I have been so good – and what the hell good is it doing
me, anyway? What kind of a martyr, saint, ascetic am I, anyway? What am I
proving and to whom?, the thoughts run. …
What kind of martyr or saint am I?
What kind of pleasure-avoiding, overthinking, “principled”-living dullness am I?
So, you stand at the cupcake moment. You’ve seen the outcome
of this moment on both sides, and you don’t know which path you’ll go down. You
stand equally torn toward “health” and “pleasure.” And you haven’t enough
experience yet to know that sometimes health and pleasure are available in the
same situation. And remember, it’s been SUCH A LONG TIME since you’ve had that
kind of pleasure, anyway. That kind of solace.
The final phase of “Life after He’s Just Not That Into You”
is Balance.
The book says, “Life, love, dating—it’s all a process. There
will be highs and lows, disappointments and temptations, and it all might take
a while. If you are just so lonely that you simply have to get into a less than
ideal situation, for God’s sake, get out of it before the guy makes you cry or
mope in bed all day… No matter how long you end up being without a
relationship, you will always be worth it.”
I stand at a cupcake moment right now. “Sometimes I think
‘health’ and ‘reason’ are the great enemies of ‘passion’ and ‘love,’” he wrote
me. And I think he’s right. However, though I don’t have much experience with
them being aligned, I do believe they can be.
Will our heroine submit to the temptation and luster to sink
into the arms of comfort and human affection? Will she turn away from the
alluring embrace and continue to march the lonely path toward an imagined ideal
of a less complicated entanglement?
Tune in to find out!

dating · fear · fortitude · integrity · love · uncertainty

Drowning in a sea of pearls

It is unclear if things have devolved in 25 y.o. land, but I
get the sense from his flirtatious texts that perhaps our intentions are not
aligned. It is unclear yet if I will bring up what mine are, ask him his, and
accept what comes of that. Sitting in the ambiguity is uncomfortable. It is
unclear whether sitting in the ambiguity is supposed to be my lesson, or a
lesson here. It is unclear if saying: 
“I don’t know yet if I like you but I
would be interested to find out. If that’s something you want to explore, then
it would be nice to go out again. If not, that’s okay too.” 
is too forward or
just right. Is it pushy, clear, honest, forthright, demanding, off-putting, or
too soon?
I get Goldilocks’ dilemma.
And I have a hard time letting go of the questions. Even
with my full life.
One of the things the male co-author writes in It’s Just a F***king Date is that not every date works out, and then
asks, did I get my heart broken? Sure, but not as much as I would have [if I
didn’t remember it’s just a date].
So, am I heartbroken? No. I don’t even know whether I should
be – what this is. Which, perhaps, is an answer. But I don’t like that
“perhaps” hanging out there like a scab of uncertainty. Am I sad? A little.
But, like above, not nearly as much as I could be. I mean, it was two dates. I
went a little bananas, as we all read, and then I came back to center,
remembered I’m awesome, and went about my awesome life. If this is someone who
wants to join me on my path of awesome, great; if not, as above, “That’s okay
too.” Cuz it really is.
Should I erase that name from my date book, or not?
I mean, I have read He’s Just Not That Into You. I do know that if someone isn’t asking you out,
that has a meaning. I do know that sexy texts (which I’m replying neutrally to) are not a pathway to romance. But
I want him to fucking say it. If that’s the truth, if you’re not into me, if
you just want to fuck me, then say that. It saves me a lot of headache. If,
because we had a very intense make-out session, I’m now relegated to the
“hook-up” file in your own date-book, that’s fine too. Just let’s me know, once
again, that the heavy necking should be better left to a time when its earned
There’s nothing wrong with heavy necking, making out, or
having sex. Don’t get me wrong. But, having recently been very clear with
someone what my casual intentions were, getting those casual needs met, and
closing the casual door behind him as he left, I got to see that although
I acted with integrity, asked for my needs to be met, felt proud of my behavior and was very happy with
the result, I also got to see that what I really want is someone who spends the
night. I want to be that person for you too.
So, hooking up is all well and good, and it is also not yet
decided that if the 25 y.o. says ‘I don’t want to date’ if I will go forward with
something casual, since the previews indicated a blockbuster movie. But, I want
to find out first if there’s an art film playing here, before I buy a ticket
for Bourne 17.