Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Would You Know Me Without the Mask?

There's nothing quite so soul-emptying as trying to convey something to someone else and having them suddenly realize the version of you they have always thought was you is, in fact, only a hidden door which you just opened up and now suddenly they find themselves faced with part of you that makes them wonder if, perhaps, you're actually a little crazy.


Yes.  I am crazy.  At least a little.  I tend to get fixated on an idea or concept that fascinates me and need to talk to someone about it.  I just need someone I trust to bring up weird stuff with and have them actually respond somehow.

Do you have any idea how hard that is to do?  Do you have any idea how many texts, emails, letters, notes I will never send?  Do you have any idea how hard it is to be locked up inside yourself because you are pretty sure that if people really knew who you were or what interested you or lit you up or confused you that they would think you're joking or crazy or maybe they'd decide they didn't want to know you?

You probably do.  Because, if we're being honest, we're all pretty good at hiding who we are or what we think or feel depending on what we want people to think of us.  It's tiring isn't it?

I just want to sleep.

Favorite things of this very moment (8:48 PM CST):

  • "So At Last" by Butch Walker
  • A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman (I also kinda hate this book)
  • Knowing tomorrow will actually start the hiring process for Pinecrest and that I should, barring incident, have a real job soon
  • My fan
  • Unsweetened ice tea in an old QT cup (nice to have bits from all my homes and travels in one place)
  • The feeling of success from making eggplant Parmesan for the first time ever this evening 

I Need Sleep. I Need Sleep. I Need Sleep.

I need sleep.  I find myself repeating that phrase.  I need sleep.

And it's true - I do need sleep, but at the same time, I don't want to.  I keep thinking of this week as the last week during which I can get away with going to bed late and sleeping in.  This isn't a bad thing because it will mean that I have successfully gotten the job at Pinecrest, but it does mean rearranging my sleep schedule which seems like a strange joke since my body and brain have rarely agreed on when I should been sleeping in years.  I'm one of those great people that suffers from insomnia and depression intermittently, and this makes sleep a hilarious challenge at times.  My big hope is that work will make me so tired that I will just crash.  If it doesn't work that way, I'll end up burning out quick.  It will work.  It will be fine.  I'll learn to sleep.  Or at least fake it enough that I'll be alright.

Fake it till you feel it, right?

My meeting to go over the offer for the job is Wednesday morning.  Lots of people know about this.  I probably sound goofy to a lot of them because I keep putting the "if" in front of getting hired.  I keep saying things about how "as long as" this and this and this work out...I'll have a job.  People keep saying things like "You clearly have been hired" or "As soon as I heard I knew you'd have the job" or simply congratulating me.  While this is all great and I am pretty sure I will have the job, I am struggling to feel like it is mine yet.  This isn't even a huge fancy job.  It's just a needed job, and I'm happy to do it.  I just really don't want to be completely excited about it, and then to have something fall through.  That could be overly pessimistic, but if you'd lived my life for the past couple years you'd feel this way too.

It makes me feel a little insane to be afraid of being excited.  I don't want to be in this position in my life where I don't trust life to work out even if everything points to things going smoothly, but I am.  In the past 8 years or so rejection, failure, disappointment, and unexpected things always seem to show up.  This isn't to say everything has been bad.  Sometimes the rejection has cleared a path for something better or the failure has caused change or the disappointment has helped me learn lessons, but all of these things hurt at some point.  

I guess right now I'm just incredibly wounded and incredibly vulnerable.  I'm just not willing to believe fully that this good thing, this job, will really be mine until it is completely settled.

So here I am waiting.


Good things come to those who wait though, right?

Favorite things of this very moment (12:44 AM CST):
  • Making a new mix for a good friend
  • Butch Walker singing me to sleep and telling me to "think about the good things no matter what they say"
  • New yoga/sweat pants while crazy soft lining
  • Having removed a certain small black & white kitten who shall remain nameless (hint: starts with "M" and ends with "ulligan") from its spot under the bed where said mini monster was apparently trying to use the bed as a scratching post
  • Cookbooks with eggplant recipes I'll finally have an excuse to try since we've been given eggplant
  • The box sitting next to my bed with all kinds of wonderful gifts from Nik (I swear these boxes are always like Christmas)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Needed: Real Hobbies

I miss feeling.

For the past few months I've been trying to decide if I wasn't feeling anything for anyone because I was depressed or if it was just because there is no one to care for or hope for.  To tell the truth, I am still not sure of the answer.  I'm leaning towards the second, but sadly that always circles right back around to the first.

It's been a couple years since I felt something was right and that I was certain.  Everything inside of me would tangle and dance and scream and explode with joy and anguish and hope.  How I miss that.  I guess the reality is that I miss the certainty.  I miss believing in something.

Nights like tonight I wonder if I'm destined to do this life alone, and if I am, I wish I could come to terms with that and keep going.

I need real hobbies.  Maybe I'll take up gardening like Nick Miller...Ha.

Favorite things of this very moment (11:26 pm CST):

  • John Mayer
  • NetFlix
  • My Amazon Wishlist
  • New & old books newly purchased to read
  • Cooler weather
  • Forrest's willingness to kill the far too large for comfort spider that showed up in my room this evening with a plastic ninja sword because I hadn't been able to kill it with a Kleenex box and was refusing to get off my bed after watching it crawl under my dresser (seriously though...where the heck did that monster come from?!)
  • My new job on the horizon
  • Good things truly being on the way

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Popcorn Jellybeans

This summer has been unusual.  To be real honest, I'm extremely grateful it's finally coming to a close.  I got quite a bit of traveling in, saw first hand what the benefit of having a grief counselor at camp is, brought home a new kitten, junked my car, resigned from my dream job, and moved back in with my parents.  I've developed new scars on my ankles, feet, and hands; given away about a third of what I own; and finally started reading the copy of Catch-22 that my brother gave me; and I've tried to be more honest with people about my feelings.  I've read more books and watched less NetFlix.  I got to spend some time playing with my nieces and nephews (though there's never enough time) and learned to write cover letters.  I toyed with recipes, hung out with friends, continued a long-standing word game, and even vacuumed behind my bed.  It's been a different kind of summer.

The past couple of weeks I've felt like I was losing hope, and I've been spending more time awake worrying and overthinking than I'd like to admit.  There's nothing better than trying to do math at 4 in the morning because you're trying to figure out what you have left in your account and if you're going to be able to make it till you find a new job or (which should just happen) someone finally pays you what they owe you for work you did earlier in the summer/spring.

But God shows up.  In my depression and doubt, I've been struggling to pray because I just didn't feel like I had anything to say that would be any different than anything I've said before.  I've dealt with depression before, but usually I find comfort drawing closer to God.  This time I just felt like I was in O'Hare where they keep moving my gate and delaying my flight with no end in sight.  Thankfully, even though I've been feeling like everything is pointless and my life is starting to crumble about the edges, my friends and family stepped up.  Someone was always there to remind me that they loved me and had my back, and just as important, they were praying for me.  My friends, my family, my church...they kept praying.  They kept reminding me that someone good was on it's way.

Today, after getting stung by a bee, bit by a beetle, not being able to find job postings, and being told there was no longer a job opening at one of the places I was trying to apply to, I finally got a call back about a position that I really was hoping for.  I go in this coming Wednesday to go over the details of the offer and start the hiring process.  I could not be more grateful for this opportunity.  It's going to make me have to learn to flip my sleep schedule completely since I will be going to work extremely early in the morning, but I will be able to walk the 3 blocks to work from my house and by November I will have real health insurance.  This answers so many prayers and I am so grateful.

God showed up.  I need to start remembering that just because I don't think it's possible or am feeling like things are a lost cause, I am not the final say.  God can make it happen, and He's not going to abandon me when I need him most.  He will show up and He will come through for me.  I hope you can see that too and find your own popcorn jellybeans.

ps.  Favorite Things of This Very Moment (1:45 AM CST):

  • John Mayer
  • The Cat Who book series
  • My Hawaiian Breeze fan
  • The fact that the temperature seems to be dropping
  • Knowing I get to go to Rockford with my family in the morning
  • Major League (the movie)
  • Handheld Tetris
  • My large and wonderful hospital water bottle that keeps things cold for ages and ages
  • That I'm actually tired and should be able to fall asleep pretty close to instantly after I get off this thing
  • Recycling

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Use to Play Bass for the Proper Villians

Lately life has been a strange mix of beautiful and suck.

I had a really great interview last Monday with a nonprofit that is located 3 blocks from my house.  THREE blocks.  I could walk to work every day.  Plus I'd have insurance.  Actual insurance.  These are dreams of mine.  A job where I'd be doing something good (in this case taking care of a kitchen in a nursing home); I'd be getting paid every two weeks (without fail...no excuses or exceptions); I'd have real health insurance (which I still desperately need and am still too poor to afford); and I wouldn't need a car (which would be helpful as I currently don't possess or have access to a car).  They said they'd let me know at the end of last week if I had the job or not, but I've heard nothing at all else.  I actually called them on Monday, but it was a holiday so no one was in the office.  I called Tuesday and gave them a couple of extra numbers to try getting a hold of my last employer with (as she is notorious for not having her phone on, with her, charged, or checking her messages), but they said nothing at all about the position.  If I haven't heard back tomorrow, I'm calling again.  I need a job, and I had really hoped this one was the answer to my prayers.

The thing is, if it's not, I have a couple other places to apply, and a nice woman with a mutual friend put in a good word for me with her boss at another local business here in town.  It is also within walking distance.  I am, as I said, frustrated, but I'm also not without hope.

An old family friend recently asked me if I might be interested in tutoring/babysitting for her grandson who, as it turns out, is autistic.  Having a younger brother with Asperger's, I think this might be a challenge I could handle.  The only challenge will be trying to find a way to and from the house.  Thankfully they're close and it appears I can make my own hours.  I'll be contacting her before the week is out to see if I can have a trial day with the little boy to see if he will let me work with him.  If he does, I will hopefully have found something I can do, at least part-time to keep me afloat for awhile.

I've also taken a renewed interest in baking and cooking.  I'm honestly looking forward to the cooler weather (fall has always been my favorite) if for no other reason than I'll be able to turn the oven on and work in the kitchen without feeling like I'm going to die.  I will never be a summer person.  In the past couple of weeks I've made a couple of cheesecakes (one which I made up using leftover experiment cookies as my crust), some cookies, and pie.  In the process of trying to completely unpack (yes, finally), I found all of my cookbooks, and I'm beginning to think I may have to start trying out recipe by recipe until I go through all the things I've collected over the years.  It will be a good way to get rid of stuff I'll never use again and hopefully find some new favorite dishes for the family.

On top of this, I've been creating notes all over the place about books to write.  God only knows what will come of that, but I've got a couple of really good ideas for kids books.  If I can get myself to hold still and type some of this up (or scribble it out on paper or at the typewriter), I might have something else to try and publish.  Plus I've started trying to pull together poetry I've written over the years.  I may have something to try for there as well.

Beyond all of this, I have found myself, once again, grateful to have the library across the street.  I have been checking out books and reading everything.  I'm finally going through the last of the books that I own but have never managed to read.  I may actually finally have everything read through by the end of the year.  It won't even take that long if I don't find more work soon.

Like I said, it's a mix of beautiful and suck.  At least, through all of this, I have good people on my side hoping and praying right along with me.  I am not sure what I want to do or where I'll be in the next year, but I continue to hope that I'll be smart enough to greet it as it comes and enjoy where I'm at in the meantime.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Intramural Sports for Porcupines

Hoping I find myself
dreaming of intramural sports
among 300 porcupines
instead of closing my eyes
and seeing you