Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bye bye 2005

In approximately three hours and twenty five minutes this year will be history. So many things happened it's hard for me to believe it was merely 365 days. 2005 feels like a lifetime. My health, my home, everything took a turn...At lunch, Mom asked me what my big plans were for 2006. Hmmm. I'm not sure I have any. Not that I'm a directionless slacker or anything. But what exactly do I need to plan for? I need to get a job, a new place to live, meet some new people. I'll keep buying clothes, get furniture, applicances. But that's a given. That's not a plan. I learned this year that I have everything I need and all the other stuff is just extra. Would I like to embark on some exciting career? Sure that would be great. But I have finally severed the connection between what I do and who I am. If I don't end up with an exciting career, that's just fine. I'll enjoy getting new stuff, but I'm not all wrapped in that either.
Now that I know that things could get worse, I can't help but believe that they will get better. It's all Newtonian. Now there will be an equal and opposite reaction. I guess my plan is just to take it as it comes. Just as I have been. I don't need to search out any more external validation. Not that it was working anyway. If I have peace, I have all I need.
So farewell 2005. I would say good riddance, but I won't. I have to think that, if only in retrospect, this year has been a turning point. This year has been a literal force moving me forward and onward. So for that alone, it has been a good thing and perhaps as it should be. When I'm an old lady doddering off in some rocking chair, I'll fil in the blanks. But for now, I'm going to stop navigating and just enjoy a little of the scenery for change. I don't need a plan, I have all I need for this journey...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Looking for Nairobi...

Turns out I do have a picture of my kitty. My cats were taken from our house on 9/29/05. If this cat looks familiar let me know. She is 10yrs old and between 15-17 lbs. She was wearing a black velvet rhinestone collar with a small gold tag. I miss her. She was my friend...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

More musings..

So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I was trying to get to the core of what may be keeping me from true enlightenment. Before I get to that I just want to say that what I said about the guys I've been involved with being unacceptable or unavailable was meant in relation to me. Most of them were perfectly nice guys...just not right for me. There's only one who I'd like to see under a bus, and I'm even at peace in my mind about him. I'll never see him again. Unless I find myself stranded on some unmarked road in Mississippi. Even then I'd call law enforcement or even the Klan before I thought about giving him a ring. No drunk dialing him. Ever. But even in that situation, in retrospect, I can appreciate how I contributed to that disaster. But there was no way I could have seen it coming or unfortunately prevented it.
But this is no relationship post-mortem. I just didn't want to give the impression that I'm morphing into a man-hater. It would be bad timing since I stopped knitting and don't have my kitties anymore. No, I am looking back so that I can understand where I am and if necessary make adjustments going forward. So back to that...
The common thread in the 'things I'm ashamed of' seems, in my preliminary assessment, that they are things that were outside of my control, but caused me great pain. And while I can understand intellectually that the things were outside of my control, I still cannot figure out why I am ashamed. As opposed to mistakes I've made, which I have no shame about because I made the best decision I could with the information I had at the time. I don't do regret...My shame seems tied to misplaced trust and fear of judgement. So the aforementioned Man From Enterprise, for example, I have no problems about the circumstance of our relationship and some truly scandalous things I did during the course of the dalliance. what I have shame about is something that he did in the course of the relationship that I had absolutely no control over, that I will not specify here, that I did all I could have to prevent. It was something HE did, but I feel ashamed. That's illogically. Relatedly, the other issue I'm wondering if I need to dig out of the crates is something(s) that happened that I did not do, but at most participated in before I had agency or capability...Sorry to be obtuse...So if there is no way I would hold another person responsible for these things, why am I ashamed of them in relation to myself. Why don't I volunteer them in relevant conversations? For example, you know I experienced something similar to that...Never happens. Mums the word. Except for a few bonding sessions with friends I've known forever. In bits and pieces. If I died tomorrow, it would take a team of forensic investigators to put together my biography and the most reliable sources would not be my parents or family members. Even my closest friends and consorts would realize there were huge gaps, questions, inconsistencies, etc. in their versions. And they might come together in a wholly unexpected way.
Maybe that's OK, maybe it's not... Maybe it's relevant to me moving forward, maybe not. Going back to the daddy thing and even a mommy thing. Should I, as an adult about to change demographic brackets (gasp), spill the beans to my parents about things I experienced? Knowing it would drastic change, even ruin their perception of who I've been and become? I need to dig up the past, to hurt them, to disrupt the present with all that. But is that just self-manufactured bs?
More important, how has keeping these secrets and shame affected me? Changed how I see myself and how I interact with others. So far, the few times I have revealed things to friends, I've been floored by how understanding they are and how much overlap there is in our experiences. It's made me challenge one of my youthful handicaps--now returned in different form--self-isolation, detachment. I would avoid connections because I was afraid of rejection, judgement. And back to my motley relationship crew, I hid myself from every man I've been involved with...Sometimes 90%, sometimes 10%, but always enough so that after the pieces fell, I could get up, dust myself off and say "aww, that didn't hurt so much." I wasn't really all in anyway. And that's not good for a woman, ahem, of my age. So there's the realtionship problem there. I can't connect with someone else when I have all this crap I'm keeping cordoned off from view. even if I'm good at it. When I like them, I get neurotic from trying to hide it and when they are into me, I resent that don't notice that I'm withholding. A conundrum!
So that made my head hurt.
On a lighter front, I finally read enough of the blogger instructions to figure out how to add pictures to my posts! It's on. Between my camcorder and my cellphone, no one will be safe! You've been warned...

I just added-- I think-- a picture of our uninhabitable adobe in New Orleans...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The root of my problems...

It's going to take a long while for me to finish this one. I'm not going to try and do it all at one sitting.
Anyway after my drunken dialing, J and I ended up having this long conversation about relationships. That is, after I stopped whining and crying about what a loser I was being. I started talking about the role of fathers in all this, mothers too. But at the heart of it was me wondering if we can repair old wounds without going to the source. We all have painful childhood memories, some deeper wounds than others. It seems unfair and unreasonable to me that whenever I make some measure of progress, when I stumble I realize there's mor ework to be done. Are my edges ragged because I try to fix my shit myself? Maybe my problem is that I don't go to the source. I was saying to J that while I have been saying I don't want to pick at old wounds with my parents, maybe the truth is just that I am deeply ashamed. Ashamed of the topics, ashamed that I need help, just plain ashamed. And perhaps the shame is keeping me from growing into my own light and possibility. That instead of finding resolution with tropes from the past, we find ourselves replaying them over and over with new players because we simply haven't gone to the source. Or at the very least our parents are two people who are biologically driven to support and protect us. Yet we stop--I stopped--asking for their perspective their aid. Which takes me back to fathers, why don't ask my dad for relationship advice? He's undeniably a man. And he probably could have talked me out of the drink and dial. Which, was mostly jokey and in a perverse way, highly revelatory! But maybe daddy could enlighten me about why I seem to oscillate between the unacceptable and the unavailable. Really. No offense guys. Really. None at all. But I have undertaken dalliances with people who for either of two reasons were at the outset slated for sayonara. Why? That is what I need to figure out. Why do I waste my time this way?
I am also coming to believe that there is a significant tie-in with my professional choices as well. At the very least I am at the helm of all these decisions. Perhaps I am utilizing the same funky logic box. What are the core beliefs, fears, expectations that are driving my decision process?
I read and re-read Nelson Mandela's inauguration speech where he opines that our greatest fear is that we are brilliant.
Could it be that I am afraid of heights?
Metaphorically and literally. I wonder if my fear, no hysteric aversion, to swimming is really some inability to let go, relax and relinquish control to something larger than myself. That at my core, I feel insecure. In the strictest sense of the word. Untethered to anything solid or true.
When babies learn to crawl they venture out further and further from their parents, always returning to their central position until they are brave enough to go out sight with firm belief that their parents are where they remembered, wholly unnecessary.
If I were that infant, I would not be able to crawl away. Or at least my circles are ineffectively small. And when I return, I'm not learning the lesson that things are OK so that I can go further out.
And maybe it's because I don't ask my parents. I always hear about people who have to make peace with a distant parent or a dead one. I don't, thankfully, have that problem. I can talk to either of my parents whenever. Yet I don't. In fact, I have erected many walls between myself and them. Topics I do not broach, emotions I don't show, characteristics I don't display...

Winter Solstice

Today, light begins increasing. We've been in Virginia three months. I've made a few adjustments. Rather than putting find a job as my first priority, I realized I needed to put taking care of myself at the top of the list. I felt so paralyzed about going back to the grind maybe because I realized that it won't work to keep skipping the step of taking caring care of my heart and health first. I've tried jumping back into the fray and hoping things will fall into place. It only works for a minute. Eventually, as I like to say, wherever you go, there you are. Which is not to say you can go lollygagging through life, but sometimes the timetables you set have no bearing upon how long it will take to make your journey. It's also not to say that you be knocked down into a fetal position. Previous down periods I've avoided going in search of myself. I felt like I needed to remain motionless, I felt unworthy of the joy of self discovery. Maybe this time I can change that.
Everything has literally been wiped clean, except mercifully for the ability for me to regroup and move on. I have, as the saying goes, all that I need for this journey. All that needs to be determined is where I will go.
I've been thinking a lot about women who, when they turn forty or fifty, feel liberated and unleashed to live as themselves. Maybe I can have that revelation early. If I am willing to really take care of me first, I can be who I really am and want to be all the time.
I've been keeping my eyes and ears open, mostly because from where I am now there is little I can do but observe, but I am starting to notice and hopefully learn. I am noticing my own body, how it changes in the course of a day. How I give lip service to treating it better with uneven results. Probably due to stress, my skin has been having a minor freak-out. The acne on my face has been replaced with dry, flaky patches and the rash on my arm that caused so much concern at the beginning of the summer came back. I've succumbed to a few cravings and I can watch my stomach expand after I have some dairy 'treat.' Some other ingredient also causes midsection to swell but I haven't figured out what it is. By some happenstance I caught a PBS special featuring that muscle-bound Dr. Perricone--he who touts skin and anti-ageing diets on Oprah and in bookstores. Anyhow, I stopped and listened to what he had to say about anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements. I looked through my natural medicine books and remembered that I had embarked on a plan to revise my diet this summer. I n fact, I was sneaking up on a fast--but never did it. Anyhow, over the past few days, I've also noticed magazine articles and newspaaper features about some of the same supplements. Last night I was in CVS and they were having one of those buy-one-get-one free sales that they often have, but I'm never prepared for, on supplements. So I got a huge bottle of fish oil supplements (Omega3 and6) and (though the research is mixed) evening primrose oil, and chromium piccolinate. The chromium piccolinate was actually something an adolescent doctor recommended - and I blew off-- to moderate my then raging hypoglycemia. This time I am hoping it will help not only with glucose regulation but also with my tentative effort to lose twenty pounds or so. The fish and evening primrose oils should help with a variety of complaints. They are said to help with PMS (which I have with a vengeance. I should be locked in a small room before my period. It's when I do 'crazy' things like I did last week. My temper flares, life seems irredeemibly bleak, and I sob like a faucet) so that alone would make it worth trying. It also helps with metabolic regulation and acts as an anti-inflammatory. The fish oil, in fact, because of its anti-inflammatory effects is said to be helpful with lupus, arthritis and similar conditions. Perricone also recommended other supplements, but I need to review the tape. I think Glucosamine condroitin (sp) and Coenzyme Q 10.
I'm not sure of the efficacy of these things. But they are supposed to improve my skin, elevate my mood, help to even my metabolism. I'll certainly report back. But if my head is clear and my body is running smoothly, perhaps I can stem some of the anxiety I've been feeling and come up with some plan that I would actually be able to act on. I'm attempting to take care of myself in preparation for getting back to work rather than vice versa.
And you all know I love retail therapy. But I am noticing that when I pay attention to my emotional needs, I can be much more restrained. Much more. Yesterday, mom and I put a minor dent on the Macy's lingerie department--getting unexciting items like a flannel robe for me and new pajamas for Gram. I did more damage at DSW--God, I love DSW!-- where I bought four pairs of shoes. The old, buy-frenzy, rationalizing was there...I think, I mean now I actually am replacing things...but I made really good choices. I bought three pairs at 80% off and one at 40% off. In fact, I limited myself solely to the clearance rack. I spent a good chunk of cash, but I got shoes I could never afford otherwise. I got a completely fanciful pair of Prada platform slingbacks and some Casadei platform pumps that are just a joy to behold --if you are a shoe person--regular retail, they'd both be a rent payment. In fact, I saw the Pradas when we first got here and couldn't afford them even at DSW. But now I have them both for less than what one pair cost on discount. Plus I have a fabulous pair of Coach boots, that my mom thought were extra --"another pair of black boots!"--but these are fur trimmed. And my Target boots are not as fly as these! And isn't it what Barbara Bush would want? For me to have the best boots ever! But I don't want any more. After we were done, I wasn't thinking about the next time we go shopping. I still have to work on the MAC jones, but I am only wanting to buy the things I need. I haven't wanted to go because--without a job-- I don't need a thing. Of course, when I get a job I won't have (as much) time to shop. But I won't need anything else until then.
The things I have bought would certainly qualify as aspirational. When we were in Port Allen, I couldn't stand going to the store for things I needed. I remember going into the store and having a full freakout about the whole thing. I ended up with a pair of khaki pants and two t-shirts. Now I have better things. In part because fall and winter clothes are better, but mostly because when my nerves settled I was able to shop for things I needed for the life I wanted rather than the one I was experiencing. So I feel a little goofy putting on my nice coat, but I can't wear my Katrina gear to an interview--that's not who I am or want to be. Flashing back to all those people who took their FEMA cash to the Houston Galleria. I completely understand. Completely! Some took it to extremes, but I completely understand that you want to get started on a new life, a new perspective so you go out and get the uniform and trappings of that life.
Today I am going to call around about a temporary gym membership or yoga classes. It is way to cold to walk the streets, I need social interaction and I need to get my body moving.
I'll keep you posted...

Monday, December 19, 2005

me... Posted by Picasa

Trying to come back

So today is not so hot. Mama's snippy with me because I didn't want to take her and Gram shopping. Thing is...I haven't checked my voicemails or returned phone calls since before Thanksgiving and I promised myself I would do that today...and I still dread the idea of going out. I only have a few days to summon up enough stamina to get out of here for a few hours. I need to get gifts for Gram and Mama. It would have been nice to be able to send a gift to Daddy, but that's not going to happen. I don't have an address for him.
I'm pretty worried about the dread thing. I was feeling it before all this happened, but now I feel it physically. iwas thinking maybe I should start with a part-time job or something. I just feel nauseous about leaving the house. I posted yesterday--but I don't think it made it up--I'm trying to sort through all these feelings and get some solid ground beneath my feet. I don't know if I should give myself a deadline to deal or just ride through this.
Once again I'm thinking of taking that Sisterlocks class. There's one in Philly in February...but I'd actually have to leave the house to make a go of it. A small enterprise for myself might be good though. I could feel a sense of accomplishment again.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Back again

It's been a while. I haven't been up to posting, but I've had a hell of a lot on my mind. Having this down time has given me an opportunity to think through things. And definitely feel things. Last time I posted I noticed how I had 'planned' to relocate to NYC or DC by Fall. Dammit, here I am. Anyhow. I guess I'm thinking that it's as good a time as any to figure out where I am and where I want to go next. On the one hand, I wish I wouldn't have put my name in the blog name because I may want to go into some say sensitive areas, but on the other who the hell is really looking so wtf.
I am realizing, as a result of not really having many obligations or much motivation, that there is a list of things I've been not quite dealing with, not quite feeling, resolving, processing. I'm also thinking I'm doing pretty good with some things and not claiming the benefits of that.
I had two interviews for a job in DC, but I pretty much figure I didn't get it. Even though I have this superstition that what you talk about you lose--jobs, relationships, clearance items--I'll go ahead and air it out...especially since I figure I already didn't get it. Well, in the space of waiting between the first and second interview and especially right after the second meeting, I started having--let's call it a panic reaction to the whole idea of going back to work. I felt all clammy and jittery. Not like I've ever felt before. The whole idea of getting up, getting dressed, sitting at a desk all day and interacting with people just made me freak out. So I wasn't exactly heartbroken when I didn't hear good news after a few days and now a few weeks. The problem is I feel thatw ay about just about any job and a lot of social situations and people. I'd just rather take a pass on the whole thing. I'm not sure if that is going to pass on its own, but maybe if I could think of something I'd really like to do I could pursue that.
I spent over a week in New York on J's couch. That was fine until I got pre-menstrual and then had too much to drink at her party. Do not drink and dial, people...the phone is not a toy. Anyhow...I made an ass of myself and totally polluted an already jacked-up 'relationship' that was going retrospect no harm done there, but definitely a prime opportunity for me to reassess there as well. The whole thing involved a situation that wasn't working from about the day after I met the guy. But I've been willing, probably out of boredom and sheer lack of motivation, to go along and not put a bullet in the situation. In fact, I've made half-ass attempts to 'move on'--meaning I've dated other people in the interim--but I decided I needed to make this situation work despite a legitimate depth of feeling of connection. Complete fantasy production. Well, I totally made an ass of myself on the phone...tears, the whole nine yards...why, why, why. I was getting on my own nerves. And for what? I don't know. It seemed more entertaining than facing reality. Yet facing reality is inevitable....
Maybe I'm working up to it. Sneaking up on it. Only fourteen more days in this damn year.