Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Figuring Out What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

It's funny that I am still trying to figure this out.  And I can't really say if that's in a funny "haha!" or a funny sad & pathetic kind of way.

Lately (maybe the past 6ish months?) my life has felt chaotic.  Unsettled.  Uncertain.  There was no place I could go and just feel safe and at peace.  And by and large, that is still how I am feeling today.

I'm thirty-five years old.  Thirty-freaking-five.  I cringe and feel sick to my stomach just typing that, never mind saying it aloud.  No, I don't think that's over-the-hill OLD.  But I don't feel that age.  I guess in my mind I am still 25, give or take.

Still allowed to make some foolish mistakes.

Still able to burn the candle at both ends without too much physical/emotional/mental toll.

Still permitted to worry only about the here and now without giving too much thought to the far off future, let alone next week or next month.

Still able to muddle through without too much worry, because there is plenty of time ahead of me.

I still feel like so many pieces are up in the air for me right now.  Lately I have felt so much anguish and frustration at work.  While I didn't exactly know WHAT I was going to be when I graduated (from both undergraduate AND graduate school), I could not have imagined the jobs I would eventually hold in my career path (or maybe it is more accurate to say my career stumble?  Path implies there is some sort of structured or charted course.)  While I know not everyone gets to feel happy or fulfilled (hell, I'd settle for just CONTENT) in their jobs, it shouldn't feel like this.  

I know I am not alone in this feeling.  But unlike some of my other friends....no one else is counting on my paycheck but me.  Yes I feel the constraints of my financial responsibilities - paying my rent and bills on time, trying to chip away at student loans before I am a senior citizen.  But there is no 30-yr mortgage to be paid or housing repairs to be done.  There are no children to be fed and clothed and cared for.  For so many others I know who have felt these same feeling I have about work, there is some comfort to be taken in knowing that part of your daily struggle/sacrifice/strife at work is at least not in vain because you are caring for others.  Someone else is counting on you.  

But it's just me.  

Is there still even time to not only figure out WHAT I want to be, but to go and BECOME it?  Some days I feel bold and hopeful that yes, there is time.  Most days I feel discouraged (either by myself or others) that that window may have closed and I just need to make peace with it, and do the best I can with what I am doing right now.  Yes, I know most days my current work is more "for now" than it is "forever."  Hell, I have real inklings that I may not even have this job in 6-8 weeks, and not by my own choosing.

I wake up in the morning and some days as I finish getting ready and am heading out the door, I feel that pit in my stomach.  And at the end of the day I feel like there is a small sliver of time where I am able to put it all out of my mind before thoughts of the next day creep into my head and weigh heavy on my mind.  

My biggest trouble lately is dealing with so many feelings of regret.  Missteps I (may) have taken in my personal and professional lives that have brought/led me to where I am now.  Too often I catch myself falling into a daze, paddling down the river of "What if?"  
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I keep hoping for and looking for signs.  That what I am feeling is normal.  That what I am feeling will pass.  That someday - maybe in the not-to-distant future - things will become clearer to me.  That I will understand the wheres and the whats and the whys.  That I will feel more hopeful and not so hopeless.  

Until then, I just feel a bit like a weird, not-quite-right-yet version of myself.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just a little rant...don't mind me

I don't know what is in the air lately, but I feel like I have come across way too many people throwing out rude, insensitive comments by the bucket and adding insult to injury by peppering me with none of your damn business personal questions.

Pic Credit
If you read the blog or know me IRL, you know I spend a boatload of time volunteering with my sorority by advising back at my college chapter.  It is mostly rewarding and at times way too stressful or frustrating for something I do for fun in my free time.

I am in the process of evaluating my time on the board, and deciding what (if any) position I would like to move to.  3+ years of advising Membership Recruitment has be burnt out and worn out.  In having a conversation about potentially taking over as chair of the board, a theme came up again and again.  I don't have kids.  I don't have a husband.  Apparently my lack of those two things equates to me having nothing at all do do with my time and no life, therefore I have more than enough time to give to the board and the chapter.

While I have gotten frustrated by this sort of thing before, I think it now has me reaching my boiling point.

Can we all just cut the crap, ladies?  Can we stop comparing ourselves and our lives to others while silently judging and measuring one another up?  It accomplishes NOTHING.  Hell, even if I DID have a husband and/or kids, that doesn't mean that my life or my circumstances would be identical to another wife or mother.  

And just as it is wildly inappropriate to ask a married couple when they plan to start having kids (maybe they aren't....maybe they are trying and haven't been successful....maybe it isn't ANYONE ELSE'S Business) it is intrusive and quite RUDE to ask someone in a relationship when they think they will be getting married.  While I know this topic always seems to come up around the holidays or other large family gatherings, and then again as a popular question to couples at weddings, I have been asked about this more times than I care to count in the past month or so.

When thinking whether I was going to continue with the board, I was asked (and on more than one occasion and by more than one person) if I was considering taking a step back because I was getting married.  And one person who said it made it sound as if my getting married was the equivalent to being declared cured of cancer by a doctor.  I was so offended I flat out told the woman it really was none of her business and walked away.

What if I don't get married....does that make me some sort of societal leper?  Should people talk about me as if I were terminally ill or lost a limb?

What if I do get married....does that make me a better person?  Does that entitle me to better treatment at work or by peers and friends?

Anyone else have a similar experience?  While I hope it isn't just me, I also hate to think that this kind of inconsideration and intrusiveness is commonplace.

Pic from 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What do you do?

When you know you are tired, but your mind just keeps churning and won't let you sleep?

When all you want to do is be back in college or some other younger days, when on a night like this, friends were just in the room next door, down the hall, or a phone call away?

When you are scared that something has gone on too long and you don't know it can be fixed?

When all you really want to do is hide away for a week or two -- just to run away and stick your head in the proverbial sand somewhere hoping you will come back and it will all be different/better?

When you feel like you are faking things more than you are being authentic?

Maryland, My Maryland

A win over Duke is ALL you need for a great weekend.

Add in a day off on Monday?  Amazing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thoughts on Valentine's Day (a day late)

As seems to be the norm in my day-to-day lately, I am just a little behind on things.  Better late than never?

I don't really know where I stand on Valentine's Day.  It's nice to have one day specially set aside to let those you love know how much you care.  But there is also the intense pressure to get the right card, pick out a meaningful gift, have the romantic dinner.  FWIW, I started giving MVP gifts as they arrived in the mail (I am notoriously HORRIBLE with waiting to give gifts...and this also saved me the trouble of wrapping them) and last night we had a nice dinner at home and watched Nashville and The Americans.  Tres romantique, non?

But I found myself reflecting a bit yesterday and last night, and still this morning.  I've gone two years since the worst valentine's day ever.  Still not a story I can share on the blog, but take me out for dinner and give me a few glasses of wine and I am sure I would have you doubled over laughing over it.

The last two Valentine's have been spent with MVP, and that's amazing.  I am thankful every day for him and his love and support, and feel lucky that I can call him my best friend.  But I don't feel 110% comfortable saying that everything is sunshine and lollipops and that my life is better.  Because to say that, would mean the 30+ years lived until meeting him were worse or bad.  And I don't agree with that statement.  Things were different.

Life then had different obstacles and challenges.  Different joys and celebrations.  Different social life and different people in it.  Wasn't better....wasn't worse.

I think I struggle with the notion that once you find the right guy (or girl, whatevs), that everything will just click into place.  Maybe that is true for some, I'm not one to judge.  But I just can't get on board with it.

Being with MVP is wonderful, just want to make that clear.  But at times it has not been easy.  Especially in the last (now almost) year of living together some times it has been flat out hard.  Sometimes we argue about difficult things.  Most times we argue about stupid stuff (as in I will kick you in the shins if you put that dirty glass into the sink and not straight into the dishwasher).  Some days I am excited to go home and spend the evening with him.  Some days, I want to go home and just be by myself.

As far as I am concerned (because I honestly don't know any better) these are all feelings that are totally normal.  I think it's hard in this very over-sharing kind of world to be oblivious to everyone else's relationships and not let them occasionally make you think about your own.  Yesterday was the perfect case for that.  If an over-the-top Facebook status update about how much the man/woman in your life means to you is how you see fit to celebrate the emotion or the occasion, I shouldn't judge.  For the record, I give everyone a free pass on Valentine's Day, but the couples who OVERshare ALL the time.....yes, I am judging.  Maybe that makes me a horrible person, but so be it.

I guess the long and short of this meandering post is.....I don't think I am a better person because I am part of a couple.  Yes, at times it makes my life a bit more meaningful.  Or in my case, easier when I can't reach something on a high self or need a picture hung.  My life is certainly different today than it was 3 years ago.  But there are still struggles and challenges.  That's just life, right?

Please tell me I'm right.....

Friday, February 8, 2013

T to the G to the I to the F!

Oh good GRIEF, I am glad it is Friday.  This week has been....woof.  I had a personal day on Monday to recoup from all the craziness of recruitment advising.  I mean, I think last weekend I had a total of 6 hours sleep, so I would have been worthless at work anyway.  It also gave me a chance to head back to the chapter house one more time to see them greet their 41 new members.  Even as old as I am, I still feel a little tug on my heartstrings at moments like that.

Tuesday was back to work and things were crappy business as usual until I was pulled into a "quick meeting" with my boss' boss, who announced to me and the two others in my department that as of that morning, my boss was no longer with the company.  Just when I thought things couldn't get any more crazy at work....so the rest of the week has been, um, interesting?  Is that the right word?  Meetings after meetings after meetings.  So I am even MORE excited than usual to see Friday finally get here. I def need a few days away from the stress and drama.

Anywhoozle.....after spending SO MUCH TIME over the past few weeks with college-aged women, I was starting to feel old as DIRT.  It's hard not to think back fondly to my younger years....fewer worries and stresses....so much ahead of me....lower number on the scale :)  You catch my drift.

But I came across this hilariousness today that pulled me back to reality right quick.  Not everything about your twenties is awesomely fabulous -- in fact, there are parts that flat out suck.  So cheers to having successfully navigated through my twenties and enjoying the here and (who I am) now!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Stay safe and warm Boston area peeps!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday

What I'm Loving Wednesday
This.  If this doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy than you may be dead on the inside.  Or a robot.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monogram Maniac

I am a self-professed monogram maniac.  If I can put my monogram or my name on it, I do.  Tote bags, clothing, cups, you name it.  I have a monogram on my car.  I have a monogrammed hoodie sweatshirt, for pete's sake.  It's crazy.

Today I stumbled across Pretty Smitten's shop on etsy and pretty much want one of everything.  I am especially loving the items below.  I may need to send MVP a link to Pretty Smitten for his future gift-giving needs :)

A set of His & Hers lucite trays -- great shower gift!

iphone case -- loving the subtle addition of the name on the Greek key design

mouse pad -- you spend too many hours at work to not  make your workspace as pretty as possible!