Category Archives: dating

dimly on a Friday evening

I can almost guarantee this entry will be neither thought provoking nor particularly eloquent. I’m sitting in a dim living room at the moment, looking out over two snoozing felines, listening to deep, even breaths coming from the nearby bedroom… erk! Hoping my ringing cell phone didn’t just wake said deep, even breather!

My regular phone calls home prove to me that my life is not very interesting at the moment, at least not in the conventional sense of the word. I am not fighting crime or building empires in my spare time. I am hanging out with a boy and his cats, watching a bit more TV on DVD than usual, playing (and wanting to play) Lego Star Wars on the Xbox just a little too much. Not working out enough, sleeping enough or being motivated enough at the office. It is a familiar phase for me, and it will pass eventually—this much I know for sure. But, just now, I’m enjoying it while it’s here, while I have an excuse to be starry eyed and silly 95% of the time. I’m giving myself a free pass just this once, no deep-seated, self-induced guilt trips or sudden, random dips into depression. I’m coasting. It feels good.

Now, that’s not to say everything’s perfect; it never is, in fact. But it’s damn near for me. Even as I stare at empty frozen-custard cups that beg me to pitch them, even as I grumble through a month’s overdue laundry, even as I yawn my way through a day at the office, I realize that the happiness I get to have now is worth the imperfections. When I am unhappy, life is one big imperfection, one giant blemish in the grand scheme of things. And when life IS the grand scheme of things… well, that’s a tough one, isn’t it? So I will take this near-perfect situation and hold it dear to my heart. And laugh at its occasional pitfalls and fairly noticeable quirks and tics.

In the professional world, things are the same as always, though I grow irritable more quickly with my tasks than I once did. I suppose that’s a sign of the times, both for me and for the company as a whole. Everyone is quicker to anger now, quicker to threaten walking out, even with no place else to go. We’re all on edge and we’re all a bit fed up with what we cannot change, what happens higher in the ranks than we dare to tread a single step. And that height is the very thing that causes the strife for everyone. For those who wish to attain greatness, the strife comes in the form of glass ceilings, hiring freezes, cut positions and a sort of moratorium on progress. Those who wish to remain in the lower bowl (me, for example) turn a spiteful eye to those out for personal gain, become tense when issues of clout are discussed, wish the whole system would dissolve into the disorganized heap it really is so we could start fresh and make something good out of our company again. That said, I know they’re doing the best they can with what they have… most, anyway. Those that aren’t, that are looking out for #1 and #1 alone… well, they can head out any day now, and I don’t doubt for a second they’ll never be missed, at least not by me.

This is when I quit my cushy desk job and become a waitress at a diner. Doesn’t that sound fun, kids? Take a risk, start a new life AND force myself to speak at a normal volume all in one fell swoop!

In things-that-don’t-frustrate-me news, Bryan lent me a book called Storm Front, by Jim Butcher. I’m about three chapters in and loving it so far, in spite of the fact that Butcher is still just setting the scene. I’m OK with that—I appreciate the opportunity to visualize the scene and the characters in greater detail before delving into the story. While it’s nice to be reminded as you go along what the characters are like, and add to their depth and breadth with anecdotes and revealing moments along the way, I desire a solid foundation to go on most of the time. Unless I’m reading one of those pointedly confusing books written to make one’s head spin in circles.

I am attempting to create an online resume (on Bryan’s Mac laptop, so I have no idea how to make accented “e”s or how to find a character map, if there is one at all). I really need to do it myself using HTML and CSS, but I haven’t had the energy of late. I did start piecing something together using moonfruit, which is free and sleek and lovely. But that won’t fly when I’m looking for HTML AND CSS JOBS. Ha. However, it is giving me inspiration for how to make my real site look. And if I can just figure out some fancy-looking-but-not-actually-difficult-to-implement JavaScript, we’ll be good to go.

I’ve also noticed a few things I’ve been missing in my life lately. But then I look at what my life DOES contain and wonder how on earth I’m supposed to wedge it all in. Maybe I’m too shallow and one-dimensional. Maybe I need to hone my multitasking skills until they can slice hairs without even being in the same room. There are NPR shows I want to listen to, movies I want to see, books I want to read, places I want to visit, languages I want to learn, games I want to play, experiences I want to have just once to say I did, foods I want to eat, laughs I want to share… There’s just so MUCH to be done and seen and FELT in this world. I feel like I’m still fresh and warm from the womb with about a million miles to go before I reach the first summit of what I expect will be an endless mountain range of life experiences. And that’s great, I love that—I just don’t know where to begin. That indecision breeds laziness and stress, which then makes me drop out of the race completely and return to base camp without even donning all my gear.

I need to start with one thing. One. Just one. Not one thing to get to another. It CAN be one thing that eventually leads to another, but I need to keep my eye on the thing, not the other. If I want to learn to knit, I need to focus on learning, not on producing the World’s Best Scarf Just in Time for Christmas, Which is Three Weeks Away. No, no! See how that breeds failure? If I want to volunteer my time more, I need to focus on finding good places to volunteer, choosing one and trying it out. Not choosing seven, trying to volunteer at all of them and stretching my resources so thin I have nothing left to give anyone at the end of the week.

What one thing would you suggest? Or what’s one thing you’ve been wanting to learn or do lately? Or that you are learning or doing as we speak? If nothing else, it would be nice to read about others’ plans, others’ triumphs. Or failures—either way. I’m usually a happy-endings kind of gal, but I can revel in tragedy with the best of ’em!

That is enough drivel for one dim Friday evening. I’m going to see if the heavy breather is still breathing and maybe flip on a light or two.

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Filed under books, dating, fun, happiness, jobs, recap, thoughts

I’M UPDATING. LOOK AT ME UPDATE. SHOCK & AWE!

OK, first? I am thankful for having a (tiny) blog following, but seriously people? You are all my close friends. So if you want an update on the mundane details of my life, PICK UP THE PHONE.

Ahem.

/rant

There is way too much to tell now that it’s been 3 weeks since my last update. Now, the synopsis will be short, but the details overpowering. So here’s the synopsis: Everything is the same, ‘cept now I have a boyfriend.

Is that sufficient?

No?

OK then. His name is Bryan and he’s a super-cool dude I met through various social media channels and one key contact in Memphis. He has two wonderful felines named Pete and Nancy that I may actually like more than him. ;) We’ve spent quite a bit of time together in the past month, eating dinners, going to movies, playing video games, going to Murfreesboro for 4th of July weekend. It’s been a good time thus far. Hopefully will continue to be for a while yet.

Otherwise, almost nothing is new. Work is still as crazy-busy as ever. I am now an official Tennessee resident. My apartment is working out fine. I am working out as well, though not as much as I should be. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, so you should follow me there because you’ll get 30+ daily updates that way. Much easier than blogging. And I’m lazy, so it’s fitting.

The Memphis weather has turned sweltering, shifted back to normal, sweltering again and now a bit chilly with storms rolling through all of last night. I am surviving, though my electric bill may kill me yet. I use almost no energy otherwise, so it’s sad to see my bill double due to increased A/C use.

What the heck else… I have met some new friends/acquaintances through Bryan. They’re all really cool people, and I’m hoping to see more of them over time. His bff, Nick, is a great guy and we spent the Murfreesboro weekend with him. Nick’s girlfriend & Bryan’s good friend, Erica, is an awesome, sharp-witted chick who propelled the potential “thing” with Bryan forward and recently acquired a pink scooter, on which she zips around town. I may get to hang with her tomorrow night, so I’m looking forward to that.

I’m not hating Memphis anymore. I’m really not. And I fully intend to write a series of posts as to why, but that’s not happening today. I’ll also post some key photos from my escapades of the past few weeks…later. Tonight I’m going to see the new Harry Potter movie with Bryan. I am gleeful about that, or at least will be once the workday is over.

I do appreciate all your patience with my blogging-ball droppage. I will get back into the groove soon. Cross my heart. For now, please enjoy this photo of Bryan’s cat, Nancy:

nancy

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Filed under animals, blogging, dating, friends, fun, memphis, photography, plans, recap, twitter

when she bars the door and strikes a match

I am speechless. I have no idea how to express to all of you the realization I’ve now come to about myself: I am insane. I am honest to goodness loco, people. And all it took for me to see that was an empty 1-liter bottle of Mountain Dew.

Said bottle was labeled in black Sharpie, “Matt’s from the first day we met—6/12/04, Rivertown Crossings Mall.” This empty soda bottle was from the first day I met my second boyfriend, in 2004!

This was not the extent of my unearthed crazy however. I had an entire box filled with notes, greeting cards, ticket stubs, Pizza Hut placemats, crispy roses, wrapping paper bits, USED BIRTHDAY CANDLES IN A LABELED ZIPLOC BAG. This was just one relationship of five, so you can imagine how the memorabilia adds up over time.

I swear I paced around my bedroom for 10 minutes after discovering this trove, wondering aloud how I could’ve thought these things were worth saving. The sad part is, these items mean nothing to me now. I remember almost nothing about the events associated with these mementos. The things I do remember don’t require bits of paper and plastic and extensive cataloging to stick in my memory. Though I will say I’m happy to have found my hand-painted “My First LAN” T-shirt. THAT I will wear again. =)

Even as I scoffed at my hoarding, some of the items also gave me pause. It occurred to me how my memories of people, places and events do not always accurately convey the reality. I remember this boyfriend and the surrounding circumstances a certain way, but those items revealed a different reality. And maybe what drove the reality was silly and stupid, but it’s just so strange to realize how little I recall now of the emotions and exchanges and actual relationship. What I remember are the really bad times, the hurt, the confusion and the stupidity (mine). I remember the time spent on the road, the stress I felt over the circumstances, the cold water. But there was something good in all that—there had to have been, I suppose, or we wouldn’t have been in the middle of it. It’s just so hard to see through the shroud of negativity I’ve placed on the situation now. It has nothing to do with the person himself, but everything to do with the situation and the timing. And me.

I just can’t believe what I’ve found in these past two days. I spent years collecting bits and pieces of memories, most of which were other people’s. I have programs from plays/concerts I wasn’t in, yearbooks in which my picture did not appear, photos taken from afar. What were these items meant to remind me of? The fact that I never truly lived and instead chose to live through the feelings brought on by others? That’s all I can think of now when I reflect on these yellowed, tattered remnants of bygone years.

What I note as I look back is that my best memories (those that are truly mine) have almost no physical manifestation today. There are a few snapshots scattered throughout my boxes, but what remains are the mental flickerings of middle school and high school with Mandy and Carla. College with the former. Even the days of pursuing unrequited love.

I’ve cried and laughed several times as I’ve looked through all these pieces of my life, amassed in the basement of my mother’s house. And, even more often, I’ve sneezed. But the lesson I’ve come away with is that these things aren’t me. They are things I want to remember, things that helped shape my personality along the way. But they do not define who I’ve become. I am so much more than these dusty boxes, empty soda bottles and coupons that expired in 1988. I am ready to rise from this rubble and start the next phase of my life. AND NOT KEEP ANOTHER DAMN THING, NO MATTER HOW SPECIAL THE EVENT. Good grief.

mountainDew

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Filed under dating, home, lessons, moving, thoughts

landmines

It’s utterly depressing to be offhandedly browsing your favorite online dating site and come across your ex-boyfriend’s profile on page 3. He’s still a 94% match. Funny how that doesn’t mean anything in the end. Funny. Or heartbreaking. Take your pick.

Believe I’ve reached the second “D” now.

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Filed under dating, depression

keep it ashy

Much to report since last time, though it’s been only a few days. It’s a mixed bag, so bear with me…

My first therapy session was at lunch on Monday. I can’t believe I’ve managed to stay away from therapists for the past 24 years—I’ve been needing to visit one since well before high school even started. I think my counselor was pretty aghast at that, too, but she kept her facial expressions under control.

Session one was mostly an overview, an intro to my crazy, so she’d be familiar with my background and history. I filled out a questionnaire beforehand, so she referenced some of my answers there, asked about my family, etc.

The funny thing about me: I know a lot about my mental issues. I not only recognize having them, but also can point to where I’m being an idiot about things, what I should be doing differently, what may have caused the issues initially, etc. Basically, one part of our conversation went down like this: “So, you realize that (x, y & z) behaviors not only caused problems in your past relationships but also ended up driving away your significant others completely, and you want to stop this pattern from repeating?” “Yes.” “Well, that’s easy—that trims a couple days from our schedule!” What can I say? I’m an easy therapee.

In the end, it was just nice to talk through some things without feeling any sort of guilt for dragging someone else down. My friends and boyfriends have never indicated irritation at being my sounding board, but I feel guilty nonetheless. Even if that’s “what [they’re] there for,” who wants to be in constant contact with Miss Wet Blanket 1997 – 2009? I wouldn’t. So having someone there who not only understands some of my neuroses but also is being paid to listen to them and help me solve them? Awesome! Session two happens next Monday at lunch.

Monday night held the first meeting of my new Bible study at … wait for it … St. Louis Catholic Church! (Yes, I know. Leave me alone till I can come up with a good explanation.) It’s a 10-week study on the Mass and the Eucharist, topics I feel I’d benefit from knowing a lot more about. So I now own a Cathecism and a workbook and have a daily reading/Q&A assignment. Very exciting! I’ve learned a lot already and we haven’t even had an official “study” session yet.

Basically, Mondays are going to be sweet from here on out. How many people do you know who can say that?

I participated in Ash Wednesday mass today at St. Louis CC as well. As of last night, I was under the impression that A.W. was not for non-Catholics (or those Protestant denominations who don’t find it necessary), but I was wrong. After reading a bit about the difference between a sacramental and a sacrament this morning, I hopped in my car and headed for the noon mass. I was nervous about what would be expected or how it would work, but it was a piece of cake. I even saw three female co-workers there!

The rest of the day, I’ve experienced strange looks but no questions. I was kind of hoping for questions, as I feel I can answer them properly, much more than my high-school classmates could back in the day when asked. That has always been my biggest thing: I do not want to misrepresent. If I’m going to wear ashes, I want to be able to explain their significance, in history, to the church and to me. If I’m going to label myself a Christian, I want to be living a lifestyle that reflects my faith and my obedience to God. Which is why I rarely label myself: I’m not always great at keeping up with things. And not just appearances—realities. I want to truly be who I claim to be, not just look like I am that person.

The boyfriend (hereafter referred to as Dennis, because that is his name) and I are still laughing at each other’s jokes and talking way too much on the phone late at night. We talked last night about a wedding in April that’s taking place on the beach in Gulf Shores, AL. I managed to weasel my way in as his plus-one, so that’s something about which I’m really excited. He narrated the website of the condos rentable at a discount to wedding guests, but that may still prove too rich for our blood unless we can get some roommates, so we’ll see. There is talk of an early arrival on Friday and staying at a seedy motel so we can spend the day on the beach together. Hopeful!

My sister, BIL and niece are planning to visit on Easter weekend! Before my niece’s traveling soccer season starts up and just in time to try to relieve some stress over my BIL’s job-loss fears at Ford, they’re hitting the road and planning to stay at the nearby RV park in Memphis for a few days. I’m looking forward to attempting another tour o’ the town! And considering the rift that once existed between my sister and me, it’s a pretty big deal that they’re coming here. I’m happy about that.

Well, tonight was to be trivia at the local pub (ashes and all)… and apparently it’s still going to be. Peace!

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Filed under dating, faith, happiness, health, plans, recap, therapy, travel

positivity

After what seemed like two weeks of hell on earth, I am feeling quite a bit better. It was a combo platter of too much stress (external and internal), PMS, varying levels of anxiety and a dip into the old vat of depression. As soon as Flo came to town—Alabama guy too—I began feeling leaps and bounds better.

This weekend, Birmingham came to Memphis from Friday night to early this morning. I was a little bummed when I heard the Sunday departure would have to be at 7 a.m., but I managed to get past it, especially when Saturday was such a good day. I fed him leftovers on Friday night, phase two in my “best meal ever” (though definitely not as good reheated): baked bbq/garlic chicken thighs; skillet o’ potatoes, asparagus tips, mushrooms & onions; hickory baked beans with bacon. My landlady was so kind about having him come visit—it makes me feel so guilty for how hard I am to get along with on a daily basis. I’m never openly rude or horrible, but I’m unresponsive and weird. Anyway, it was nice to have him here and have it be a comfortable, not-awkward situation.

We didn’t get out and about till midday Saturday, but it was worth it to lounge around in the morning together. We had lunch at a sandwich shop, where I may or may not have picked up a random duck-hunting stalker by asking him where he got the duck ringtone on his cell. I thought, I’d like to get one of those for my phone; I’ll avoid being a wuss and ask where he got his. Well, that turned into his calling his daughter to find out where she downloaded it, not getting a hold of her and then asking for my number so he could let me know when he found out. My hope is that he’ll be another well-meaning forgetful person who never remembers to ask about it or call me back. I’d be OK with that. Of course, boyfriend was jokingly aghast at the idea that I’d given my number to another man while he was sitting nearby. I am such a dork. =P

Anyway, I took him on a rainy walk at DU in the hopes of identifying a group of ducks that were definitely not mallards. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get close enough, then ended up getting hit with some sleet when almost back to my car. Needless to say, the remainder of the daytime hours were spent drying off on a driving tour of the city.

I wasn’t sure how skilled a Memphis tour guide I could be since I’ve seen very little of the city myself and know pretty much nothing about its history. Plus, with cold, rainy weather, I knew getting out and walking around would sound less-than tempting. I think we probably could’ve gone off on foot, but I’m saving that for a warmer, drier weekend in the future. For the time being, we stuck to the road. And somehow I managed to show him pretty much all the sights! I have to thank Garmin for that, since I would’ve been going around in circles near the end without it. We drove by the FedEx Forum, Autozone Park, the Pyramid, the Peabody Hotel, the Lorraine Motel, Beale Street, the Mississippi River… We drove onto Mud Island, parked and watched a barge go by on the dimly lit river. Then we went to the Cooper-Young district (Memphis’ Ann Arbor), where I showed him The House of Mews (cat adoption center in a regular storefront); we browsed “New, Used & Rare Books”; we had mochas and he tried to teach me chess at Java Cabana. By then, the rain had ceased, but the evening temperature drop made for a chilly return to the car. We did pass by some lofts that I had found on the Internet that sounded neat, and they WERE literally a few steps from Cooper-Young, but the drive to work would be about a half-hour, and it would involve property purchasing instead of renting, so… meh.

My “lame” idea for dinner was to buy Chinese food by the pound from the local Tasty China buffet. I had considered taking him for Ethiopian (still on the list for a later date), Indian or something else semi-exotic, but I felt like relaxing after a day afield and in the rain and cold, so we went lame. Seriously, though, had I known I could get so much decent Chinese for so little money, I would’ve gone there sooner! It was $4.49/lb for take-out buffet, which ended up being a great deal because I made rice at home and we stuffed our boxes full of various chicken, beef, veggies and side items, all for around $15. It’s nice to have that variety, especially if you don’t know which dishes you prefer. We ate way too much while watching a “House” rerun on TBS, then went into Scattergories battle mode.

The bet was that whoever won would get to choose who went where for the next weekend visit. That visit will not happen until the second weekend in March (sad), as he has basketball tournaments and 30-Hour Famine the next two weekends. After that, though, we will have “Watchmen” to see and much lost time to make up. =) So, we fought hard on Scattergories, even though the prize was not all that significant. Both being of writing backgrounds, we wanted to reign supreme in that game. He held the lead throughout, but I started closing the gap in the last few rounds. I think we determined that the deciding factor was my “Liar, Liar” answer to Movie Titles, when he didn’t have time to come up with anything. I figured he’d pull out a double or triple on that one, so when he didn’t, I was able to make up ground and end with a two-point lead. However, I’ve definitely met my Scattergories match. He is far more than a worthy opponent, as he said he’d be. I’ll never tell him, but I knew it would be close—all my smack talk aside, I thought there was a chance he’d beat me even before we got out the boards, the timer and the letter die. Looking forward to the rematch…

His departure was early this morning, after which I went back to sleep, though I didn’t really feel the need. I did, however, want to feel somewhat rested after the weekend, and two nights of fitful slumber meant I hadn’t accumulated a ton of rest. So I dozed till noon-ish, then arose to shower and look online for a new church to visit this evening. I found a handful with evening services, so I’m planning to check one out at 5 or 6.

Tomorrow at lunchtime I have an appointment with a therapist at Memphis Mental Health Resources. This will be the first time I’ve seen a psychiatrist in my life (outside of one epic-fail visit to the counseling center at MSU, where the therapist wanted to help me write out a schedule for my day, with my bagel condiments being of the utmost importance—I didn’t go back for a second session) and I’m kind of excited for it. Less excited about the $80 fee, but I am still hopeful it will be of help to me. With the past two weeks of crazy mood issues, I fear the depression of yesteryear sneaking up on me without my noticing, something that I cannot allow to happen. My current road is not without deep potholes and ruts, to be sure, but it is so much less hazardous than the roads of my youth, which were often impassable and washed out by heartache, depression, fear, anxiety, stress, self-consciousness, self-loathing and pain. I want to stay off that earlier road at all costs. I don’t know what it will take—just talking to someone, implementing self-help exercises in my daily life, getting on medication—but, whatever that is, I want to do it. I want to feel my definition of “normal,” or at least have some steps in place to keep me from getting too abnormal again. There are many reasons for doing this now, but the past two weeks scared me, and that was the main thrust behind it. Costs aside, it needs to happen. It needed to happen when I was 16, 18, 20, 22… but it didn’t. So it’s happening now. I hope it will be beneficial for me and that’ll I’ll be patient enough to let it work.

All right, time to make a move toward accomplishing something today. Sorry for the blog silence, faithful readers. I’ll do my best to write more now that I’m about to be a full-fledged psycho. =)

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Filed under dating, depression, food, fun, health, plans, recap, therapy

exhaustion breeds… well, nothing

I slept for a total of three hours last night. I have absolutely no poignant, interesting or even coherent thoughts to share with the blogosphere this evening. However, it’s been days since my last entry, I took half the night off from activities to wind down and there’s no good reason not to brief you all on the past few … days? weeks? I don’t know where I left off anymore.

I returned to Birmingham (I can’t bear to say ‘Bama when referencing the state and I use B’ham as sparingly as possible) this past weekend. What can I say? I find the draw of hilly roads and hot men irresistible. Sue me. There was s’mores-making, some mild intoxication, my first encounter with “Heroes,” an amazing pizza that satisfied my month-long lack of cheesy/doughy/saucy/toppingsy goodness, a good bit of swoony behavior and a visit to a very bohemian restaurant called The Bottle Tree. I have pictures that may actually find their way off my camera at some point… maybe.

Since then, I have been getting too little sleep and walking around in a half-haze most days. I’m hoping to remedy that at least a bit tonight by going to bed within the next half-hour. I arranged to meet a northerly co-worker for a very early breakfast at the local Perkins before he heads back to MI, so I’ll be up at 5 for that.

Anyway, back to the week… Been working a lot, attended a Social Media Expedition breakfast this morning at the University of Memphis. It was pretty awesome to sit in a room filled with people passionate about Facebook, Twitter and other avenues of social networking going on today. Sort of like a Star Trek convention, but a different kind of nerd. =) (Well, some were probably the same kind, but I don’t like to generalize.)

Tomorrow night is beer night (I hope) with the co-workers. I don’t particularly need to unwind, but it is a social gathering I look forward to now that we’re going on a month with the tradition. I haven’t decided if that will be followed by a trip to the gym, returning things to Target or retreating back home to lounge, watch TV and sleep. Any of the three sound like decent options right now. Except the gym.

It is time to rest my eyes and my head. Hope you’re all having a great week. Plan to provide a real update sometime – maybe this weekend? You may commence holding your collective breath.

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