Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Question from a Non-Mom

Back in March, I had a really great day… great mostly because I left work at an actual normal/decent time. I got to see this thing everyone had been raving about enjoying after work these days — daylight. I mean, daylight savings time or not, it is usually DARK when I finally get around to leaving work each day. Anyway, it was great and lived up to the hype. I was also in a good mood because my roommate was itching to go out for St. Patty’s and I was happy that I was getting out of work at a time that would allow me to join in the fun. We ended up celebrating at an Mexican restaurant where I was likely the most Irish person there, but we did order guacamole as something green to mark the holiday.

Anyway, coming back from work, I exited at my end metro stop, buoyed by the daylight, the promise of fun times and a solid series of good songs from my ipod’s shuffle selection. That all came to a halt when I crossed the street and saw something so disturbing to me I could not turn away. There is a little rotunda by the metro exit -- I guess you could call it a rotunda….a few benches on the perimeter and a circle of grass with a tree in the middle, raised up a bit and surrounded by some decorative stonework. In the middle of this grassy patch is a woman with a young girl (about 2 maybe?) The woman is literally yanking this little girl’s pants off and motioning how she should squat down so she could pee. Basically a plie in second position for those of you former ballet students.

I was appalled by this — is this normal mommy behavior? I could see this maybe on the side of I-95 if your child has to G-O and can’t hold in until you can pull off at a rest stop or something. But this is a public place, a completely open space with high pedestrian traffic…and there are a Potbelly’s and a Cosi about 50 feet behind her! Could you not just tuck the kid under your arm like a football and make haste for one of those places? Is this some freak thing that as a non-mom I cannot understand? Seriously, a week after, and even months later I am still completely weirded out by this situation. I don’t think this girl needs to learn the “I can pee anywhere” skill until she is at least in high school and living in suburbia where kids drink out in the woods. Not that I ever did that of course :)

It's not me, it's you

All of the relationship catchphrases that get thrown around had me thinking a while back about how they fit into my own life. Yes, I have read “He’s Just Not That Into You” (most times I wasn’t that into him either — just bored and enjoyed the distraction for awhile) and even once ended things with someone because “They deserved better” (and so did I, as in better than him.) But I keep coming back to that classic “It’s not you, it’s me.” The grandaddy of them all.

Honestly, lately I view things the other way around. As in, it’s not me….it’s you. It has taken me a LONG time to get to this place, but I don’t think I totally suck. I will admit, it was a little hard just typing that…but I did it! People (esp women) can be conditioned to automatically think that a situation being hard or something going wrong has something to do with them and everything is just their fault somehow. And a feeling of never being ENOUGH.

I am trying to be less harsh on myself and cut me some slack — clearly no one else in my life is going to. So I am officially stating for the record, it is not me….so most likely the problem is you.

Like the coworker who yelled at me. Honesty, she got so angry about everything it was almost a growl. How horribly unprofessional. I know you may think it was okay because your boss just stood there and watched and did NOTHING. Maybe she was as shocked as I was that you were having a total meltdown. I am sure you have a hard life outside the office full of bitterness and angst..but get over it. Please be mature enough to not lash out at me because YOU don’t like your crappy life.

When you try hard to be pleasing and make sure others are happy and cared for you can totally lose track of yourself. I actually think I picked this habit up from my sorority stint. You learned the power of group think and putting others thoughts/wants/needs/feelings before your own…and it is so freaking easy to get sucked into it. So while it may have taken me awhile, I am finally dissenting. So with all due respect, chances are it’s not me, it’s you.

Take two...

Trying this whole blogging thing one more time - and carrying over some older posts from the old blog to this new one, so bear with me! Blogging was good times for me before and I kind of let it fall by the wayside. I guess by kind of I mean totally dropped it for awhile. So I figured why not give it another go....typing to myself makes me a little less crazy than talking to myself, right?

I would not ever call myself a religious person, but I think I can be spiritual. Or at least know that there is something/one out there looking out for us. A cosmic checks and balances. Karma, kismet and all of that.

So I hit a rough patch a few months ago, things got very hard for me. Too much stress at my job and work days that ran late into the evening can leave you with a depleted sense of self -- like I don't know who I am outside of the confines of my office. And I don't even really like the person I am while I am there. I had made attempts to set up plans with the friends I still have in the area. Often those calls or emails go unanswered. Sometimes I can't make good on plans that I do end up making because I tend to get stuck working so late. These situations can get can get a girl feeling really low, blue and alone.

And the universe can sense those sort of things -- like when my snazzy coffeemaker blinks to tell me it needs water. I was blinking, big time.
I have been able to reconnect with some old girlfriends recently on Facebook and it has been gratifying beyond words. People I have not talked to let alone seen in years and years. And the resounding recurring theme is that I have truly been able to talk to them like no time has passed. It's wonderful for two big reasons for me.

1. I have laughed more than I don't know when. And god how I have needed to laugh like that. The good laugh til you cry kind of laughing. Some of these friends I feel like I can literally hear them talking to me through the email and all of the sudden I remember all their personality quirks and sayings. We are back to sharing old inside jokes that I had forgotten but somehow, some small part of me remembers and recalls it immediately. Wonderful big laugh with your whole body kind of laughs that are better than any drug, drink, food, sex......well maybe not better than ALL of that, but you know what I mean. Really freaking good.

2. I have has some periods of feeling kind badly about myself lately. I think it can be attributed to a combination of the people I work with and the people I am around in my outside of work life. All of them are often in agreement though -- they like to bully and belittle me. Unprovoked, usually no good reason. Apparently picking on me is something you might be able to medal in in 2012 and they are all trying to make the US squad. Let me tell you, there is some stiff competition out there and they are all united in a common goal -- making me feel like I should be sorry for even having the nerve to leave my bedroom every morning. But these dear old friends...well their emails and conversations have made me feel validated. Like nope, I am not total crap. Maybe that might sound totally far fetched or maybe it sounds like I need to spend some time watching Oprah and getting in touch with my feelings. I know receiving some emails from old friends might not sound like much, but it means a lot. It has literally given me the strength to keep pushing through on some really tough days.

A combination of the brain and the heart recalls all the subtle nuances of the wonderful people and the beautiful friendships I had long ago and that maybe never really went away. Maybe you can truly save some friendships for a rainy now. Boomerang friendships -- cast out or aside for so many reasons, but they find their way back. One person was cruel when it may have been that they just had some growing up to do and needed the time and space to do it. You might have just drifted apart because one moved to a new city or another got married. You may have had hurt feelings that you weren't ready to forgive. Maybe you may have put other friendships first that turned out to be the wrong ones to devote your time and energy to. No matter the reason, they were friendships that got cast out or faded out and they have now beautifully bounced back into your present.

When the universe could sense I was really low and down on my brought back some people who I hope with all my heart will stay around for many years to come. We have lots of catching up to do and new memories to make. That, and I also have blackmail pictures that I am sure they don't want their coworkers, kids or husbands to see.