Monday, December 5, 2011


Tried writing a new post on the iPad. Never a good idea. Let me just say, today I hate pointless bitchy work drama. More forthcoming if I manage to salvage my post tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm more brilliant in my head

Hey my semi-faithful readers! Did you know that I compose posts in my head at night before I fall asleep? Approximately 0% of those posts actually get written, but I assure you-- they're brilliant! And insightful! And witty!

Tragically for  you, you are stuck with the daytime-me who can barely pull a comb through my hair. It's amazing, you should ask Jedi-- I'm actually super-productive starting at about 10:30pm... but the rest of the day, forget it.

So, all that to say that I had a wonderful post all planned out about how I wanted to put my life more into balance.  Ah! Balance! Or, should I say, "Ooooommmmm" {picture lotus pose here}

Except, I might be inviting more un-balance (ok, I know that's not a word!) into my life.  Because....

..... I just got accepted into "Regional" University to pursue an Ed.D in Higher Ed Administration.

Yippee! Right? (I know you can't see me, but picture Debbie Downer saying, "Yippee" and you've got the picture.)

I mean, yes, this is a good thing. I wouldn't have applied if I hadn't wanted to go. I evaluated my options and this is really the best program for me out there. This one allows me to keep my full time job (a good thing in this economy), take courses over the internet & the equivalent of 1 weekend/month & a few weeks in the summer.  It's relatively quick-- 2 years for the coursework, 1 year for the dissertation.  It's very reasonable, comparatively speaking-- $23,000 for the entire program.

So. All good things. All things that say, "DO THIS."  And I know I will probably do this. Doing this means that I can apply for jobs that pay more money, which is a mostly good thing -(mo' money, mo' problems though... in the management side, I mean. So, I'm actually kind of ambivalent about that.) Doing this means I have more options for the future, so yeah, I should do this.

But. *sigh* on the other hand... balance. I already feel like I've taken on too much between the two-ish jobs I'm doing, the additional (unpaid! yippee) work I've been asked to take on, the church stuff I keep getting voluntold to do, the community work I do, and the after-hours student programs I do.  It wouldn't be a lot for most people, probably (Just do all that and toss a couple kids in the mix, I know...) but I just feel like I need time for reflection.

And, also, I keep thinking-- is this what I want to be when I grow up?  I mean, is it?  It's kind of late to change now, practically speaking. And I like what I do, really, honestly, I'm very lucky to do what I do.  But who, on their deathbed, has ever said, "Gee, I'm so glad I was a mid-level college administrator all my life!"  (Not that I want to be a high-level college administrator; that just leads to lots of headaches.)  It's just that I want my life to be about more than that, and right now it's not.

I keep going back to the idea of writing. But, you know, I've had time to write. Lots of time. And I haven't done it. (And, honestly, I may not even be particularly good at it, but that's ok-- I'm not trying to write a magnum opus or anything.) But I keep having this dream. And I'm paralyzed by fear and indecision.

But I think I've come to a semi-decision.  I have three weeks to accept the offer of admission, in which case I would start in January.  Or, I could defer my start date until the spring.  So, I think that what I will do is devote some serious time in these next 3 weeks to writing.  If it goes well, if I make progress, if I feel like I can keep going... then I'll defer until the spring.  That's a good compromise for now, right? Right.

Now how to find time to go the the gym? Hmmm... maybe we'll stick with only one major life change at a time, eh?

Monday, October 3, 2011

My brain is full

This, I think, is only one aspect of my general inability to commit to any one task or activity (as mentioned below.)

The real problem though is that my brain is full of useless shit.  My brain can't turn itself off and so I think about this useless shit, all the time.  I think about trivial pop culture stuff, like how I used to root for Theresa but it's become increasingly clear that she's the drama-causing nut job.  Or how Jessica Simpson might or might not be pregnant or how she might or might not just be a little fat (or both) and really, whose business is it anyway if it's either or none of those things?  I also worry a lot about things I can't do anything about.  I worry about stories I read about girls in Pakistan being "honor" killed because they were gang raped ... (I worry a lot about this, and other similar stories.  I keep thinking, like Peter Parker, I've been given a great deal in life, and so a great deal will be required of me.  But really? What is a tangible thing I can do?  I support charities like Women for Women International and local DV/SA organizations, but what else?)  I worry about the environment and I worry if I put my plastic bottle in the wrong bin. I worry about the recession (double dip!) and whether or not I"ll have a job in a year.  I worry about our condo and that I'll never be able to sell it. I worry we're going to live in 600 sq ft forever, and if we eventually have kids I worry we won't be able to afford them.

These are mostly minor worries (in my first world existence) I know.  I also know that (most) of these things will find some kind of a resolution without my help.  That's not actually the point I'm trying to get at (though I do think the free-floating anxiety contributes to my chronic depression.)  What I'm really trying to get at is the sensory overload that comes from being constantly connected-- via computer, ipad, tv, phone... etc-- means I have lost any kind of ability to focus.   For example, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read... but how often have I actually sat down to read a full-length book this year? Twice! (And both times on my kindle app!)

All this to say that I am thinking of unplugging for the month of November.  (Or maybe I should start mid-Oct?  Hell! Why not today!?)  The reason I'm thinking this is for nanowrimo.  I mean, yeah getting a go on that writing project I mentioned ... oh, a year and some months ago... would probably be good.  But mostly because I am frittering away my energy and attention on useless things... like hitting the refresh button on facebook a million times.  And for what? To find myself getting more anxious and getting less done.

Now, I know this is easier said than done-- after all, there are some studies (too lazy to look them up here) showing that there are some very true addictions to electronic devices and sites like facebook...  Facebook and email, like slot machines, work on the same pavlovian concepts that make dogs drool at the sound of a bell. Unhooking from them is easier said than done, but I do feel like I should make a real (as opposed to half-assed) effort.

The question is... on what level do I disconnect?  No non-work related internet? (Other than blogging about it????) No internet shopping? NO FACEBOOK. No browsing on phone.    I think I can do that.  I'm hesitant to say no TV, only because the truth is that I don't often watch TV... I mostly just have it on.  But, then again, that in itself is a problem.  On the other hand, I've always done my writing with the TV on in the background, so If I"m planning on writing then maybe I should leave that out of the equation.  On the other hand, maybe I'm just looking for a justification to keep the Real Housewives? Hmmm... what say you?  And, will I do this alone?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things I used to like

(written on iPad. Forgive typos!)

I have realized that I have a massive list of things I USED to like. In fact, they aree still things I like in theory, and if asked about my hobbies or things that I'm interested I would probably list any of these things... When the awful truth is that I havent done/actively participated/or read any of these things in more time than I caree to admit.

I can't say it's because of Jedi either, as you might think. I know some people lose interest in stuff when they get into a relationship, but that wasn't the case for me. I would say That I haven't had any interet in these things since about 2007 I know, it's weird that I can pinpoint it like that, right? All that happened in 2007 is that I bought my condo, started a new job, and shortly after started a grad program. I'd been blaming my lack of interest in things on the time the grad program took me, but it's now been a year and a half since I finished and still.... Nada.

So, in no particular order, things I used to like:

- mystery novels
- Egyptology
-romance novels
- films that weren't chick flicks or Harry potter
- painting
- sculpting
- creative writing
- scrapbooking
- yoga
- swimming
- day trips to kitschy tourist attractions
- sewing
- theater... Attending, performing, set crew... Nada
- cooking/baking
- cake decorating
- book club
- writing critique group (hard when you have nothing written)
- photography club

Damn! When did I become so boring?! I don't even have kids!(kidding! Mostly...)

I don't know where my zest for life has gone. I'm actually less depressed than I was during the periods of my life I was doing these activities.

... I think there's more, but I can't think of it now.


As promised, here are a few wedding pictures...

Reception site (decorated by parents! Only cost $375! Who says you can't have a nice wedding on a budget!)

Wedding hair!

Jedi's Favorite Picture

My Blind Husband

My husband is blind, I think. That's the only explanation that I can come up with. I may have mentioned that I am of the-- um-- rotund -type body shape.  I wear a size 22... (not something I'm thrilled with, but I've learned to work it, I think.)

My darling Jedi (Who wants to go as Anakin Skywalker for Halloween, naturally) would like me to go as Padme Amidala and wear THIS as my Halloween costume:




Ok, so, it's adorable that he thinks I can wear that, right? I mean, I love that he thinks I'm totally hot.  However, I'm also pretty sure that this proves he is blind. 


Monday, September 12, 2011

Where do we go from here?

When I started this blog a part of me thought I'd be single forever. Or, at least, if I wasn't single then I certainly wouldn't marry in any case.

Well, we know how that went.  Hmmm.  I'm still not quite sure how that happened. It's kinda fun having a blog detailing it, so that at least I can jog my memory once in awhile. I'm not shutting down the blog, but I am wondering where I go from here.  No, not in the white house, picket fence, 2.5 kids kinda way... (Though I wouldn't mind the house & fence, I certainly hope the kid (singular!) is a good 3 years away.)  But, mostly, I feel my life isn't very interesting. And I'm actually ok with that. I like that!  It's comforting to have routine and that the most exciting part of my day is when I had lunch on the Terrace @ the local inn.

I sometimes feel guilty for un-cluttering my life. (Though I am incapable of uncluttering my house... grrr.)  I'm not taking classes anymore, I've stopped babysitting/nannying for the most part, I don't really make plans with anyone other than close friends, I keep getting asked to be on various volunteer committees... I've limited my volunteer work to 2 orgs which equals about 4-5 days per month.

I know people with kids who do a lot more volunteer work. Who manage to see friends every night. Who host parties and benefits and go to the gym regularly.

Me? I'd rather have time to read a book. Watch the Real Housewives. Do NOTHING.

I feel kind of guilty about that. Society makes me feel guilty. After all, I don't have kids, what else do I have to be doing with my time, right? Couldn't I take on a few more things? And the tempting thing is that these are things I want to take on. I want to work on community theater. I'd like to help with the food drive or the sustainable yard sale. I want to be a "big sister" and work on the elementary school literacy project... I DO!  I just don't want to do any of those things more than I want to have time to go for a walk or have a free weekend to take an impromptu road trip. 

According to society, that makes me selfish. Society can go fuck itself. Why is it always women who are being asked to sacrifice their sense of self and sanity for the good of others. I can tell you that none of the (grown) men I know feel this kind of conflict.  (Interestingly , I do see it more in the students. However, working for Goldman Sachs seems to squash it right out of them.)

Jedi's cousin was talking about going on a trip and leaving her baby home with his grandmother overnight. The baby was born in May.  From the horrified looks she got you would have thought she had said she was going to be leaving the baby home alone with a beer and a pizza and he could fend for himself. Somehow though that's what society expects.

Well, I'm not to that point yet, but I think it's good to start the precedent, don't you? No, I will not cook something for the bakesale, and NO I will  not bring the treats for the meeting, and NO I will not collect signatures for that petition, and NO I will not help plan that benefit, and NO I will not go to the gym (ok, that one is more laziness than anything else...), and NO I will not reconsider, NO, not even just this once.

I do my part, but that doesn't mean I have to do everything. NO. NO. NO.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hey! Guess what!?

I got married! Woo hoo!

I feel like I should write a long post about it. Perhaps I will (probably inevitable!) but not now. Right now I'm still recovering. Planning a wedding takes a lot out of you, did you know that? Two nights before the wedding I sobbed for 3 hours straight. Not because I was sad, or didn't want to get married... no, I just sobbed because I was emotionally exhausted and drained and just needed to purge all of those emotions.

The wedding was beautiful, Jedi was handsome, the weather was gorgeous, and the parents didn't make (too much) of a scene. All in all, a success. (Well, other than the fact that we didn't get to eat but 2 bites of the terribly expensive food... and that now we are so broke that when we went grocery shopping last night we realized all we could afford for the next 2 weeks is Ramen noodles and toast... (Yes, we have wedding gift money, but I'm not spending that on FOOD!)

Pictures hopefully forthcoming once I get some back from the photographer!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It rains, it pours

So, in order of occurrence of not-so-awesome things:

(Previously, as seen on "I Know Why You're Single...)

  • Grandfather diagnosed with terminal cancer  
  • Bedroom closet collapsing (under the weight of my enormous wardrobe)
(Now, let us catch up with our heroine for the latest thrilling installment!)

  • Newly fixed closet drenched in a deluge caused by our upstairs neighbor's water heater malfunctioning.
  • Clothes destroyed
  • Discovering that totally weird rancid smell that I couldn't place was coming from the closet carpet that never completely dried
  • Realizing we'll probably have to replace the carpet and drywall
  • Upstairs neighbor refusing to cover the damages or contact her homeowner's policy since it's obviously our fault for not properly (whatever the fuck that is) cleaning up the water damage when it first occurred
  • My (great) grandmother who had 2 strokes in March going back into the hospital for emergency surgery
  • Her kidneys no longer functioning after the surgery
  • My grandfather no longer able to get in and out of the bathroom alone
  • My grandmother tellling me she can't come to the wedding because of my grandfather's illness... (Which, I get... but I'm closer to my grandmother than I am to my mother, so this is a huge blow)
  • $1400 dental bill
  • Jedi's transmission giving out... (Which led to a super fun moment in the pouring rain on a back country road with no cell service and no one stopping for help and walking to a B&B only to have them tell us we couldn't use their phone)
  • Two flat tires on my car. Now need to replace all 4 tires.
  • Not being able to find students to work at my wedding (doing decor & moving furniture)... that's a pain- usually they are always looking for random work.
  • My mom causing her usual drama (e.g. I don't want your stepmother at the wedding! I only want our "real" family there...)
  • and... My great- grandmother passing away today
And what is our heroine doing today to deal with all of this? Well, right now I'm sitting on the floor of my office, crying, and stuffing my face with sticky buns and brownies. That's right. I feed my emotions.  Oh! I forgot to add "Gained 20lbs since I bought my wedding dress" to that list of awesome events.

One of my colleagues (from Jordan, I believe) said it's considered good luck in middle eastern cultures to have bad luck before your wedding.  With this kind of bad luck I think it's only fair that you should expect to hear of me winning the Powerball on my wedding day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Name Change

I'm not taking Jedi's last name.  Either because of my feminist convictions... or because I'm too damn lazy to do the paper work.  You'll just never know...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All over the place

My emotions have been all over the place this week.  Poor Jedi. He tries so hard to be patient and understanding. 

Sometimes his patience and understanding make me want to scream at him.  Sometimes I just want to have a fight, you know that feeling?  Like, you're angry at the world for no particular reason and you need to take it out on whoever happens to be close by.

I don't take my anger out on Jedi. But sometimes I still want to.

Jedi doesn't really ever fight.  He's usually very even-keeled.  Other than general cheerfulness pretty much the only other emotion he exhibits is pouting. (Is that an emotion? or behaviour? We'll just go with it.)  Mostly he pouts when he really, really, really wants something (like, yesterday, a Kindle) and something (like, money) stands in his way.  At that point, nothing will make him happy again other than getting his hands on the object of his desire.  Yes, sometimes I think I'm marrying a 5 year old.  (But hey, I have my own 5 year old tendency to throw tantrums, so we'll overlook it.)

Anyway, all this to say that my emotions are all over the place at the moment.  The most annoying thing is that I can't figure out whether my emotions are real or hormone induced-- (Which, I hate to say, but it's true. I become very ornery right before my period.) 

Usually when it's hormone induced I KNOW that's what it is so I'm able to take a step back and regroup and be calm(er).  However, I'm pretty sure that the last pack of birth control I took had something wrong with it.  I get it in packs of 3 months worth and usually skip my period. The past 2 month my BC has ... i don't know... konked out early, and I've gotten my period when I'm not supposed to. (On the plus side that means I'm not pregnant. On the minus side-> birthcontrol not working like it's supposed to = scary!)  I only realized when I got my period that it was probably THAT reason-- the hormones not working-- That had given me killer migraines and horrible can't-get-out-of-bed depression the week before.

Grrr. and *sigh.*

It would have been helpful to realize the depression was caused by the hormones and NOT because my life is worthless and horrible and the only course of action is obviously/logically to jump off a bridge.

So, there's that.

But, there is also lots of stuff that IS causing me stress and sadness and depression...

Like, my grandfather's failing health and cancer fight.  My gandmother (who had a stroke in March) going back into the hospital for emergency surgery yesterday to remove another blood clot.  My dad's house being foreclosed on.  My dad's diabetes getting worse, and he doesn't have insurance.

And then the petty stuff...

Wedding flowers are costing $450. WHAT THE FUCK is that about!? And we're doing CARNATIONS! The ugliest flower ever! And we're arranging them OURSELVES!!! Why does it cost so much?!  So, now I don't know if we should just skip flowers all together. And it's stressing me to think about it.

I can't find wedding shoes.  I've tried every shoestore in the tristate area.  I've spent over $1000 ordering shoes from Zappos and Bluefly and whatever else. (No worries. Getting money back when I return them.) NOTHING fits. NOTHING is the right color/heel height/style.  Everything that would work is either out of stock and on a 15 week backorder (NO JOKE.) or only comes in sizes 5-8.  This does not help my BIG FAT FEET.  Apparently I'm looking for the holy grail of wedding shoes... Ivory, less than 1inch heel, size 10.5... and, oh, yeah. STYLISH.  That last one seems to be the big problem.

Gifts for people who have helped with the wedding.  I actually got some really great gifts for cheap at a going out of business sale... but I found out that to customize them it will be $160.  Which, still brings the gifts to $9 each... but... that's about $140 more than I had budgeted.

People who haven't RSVP'd.  Seriously!?  don't even get me started on this.

... and on and on...with stupid wedding details... that are NOT important, but that still need to be thought about/taken care of.  *sigh*

I know I brought this on myself, but I'm just lacking the will or energy or anything to care about what happens to the wedding stuff... and at the same time I can't stop being anxious about it.

On the (small) plus side, I decided to take a leap of faith 2 days ago.  I have an artistic project cooking that is making me feel hopeful... so, well, hopefully that project will have wings.  If it does, I will be sure to share it with you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Some days I love the work that I do.  Other days I think, this is NOT worth the mental energy it takes to fight off ignorant and willfully inflammatory remarks. Oh, did I mention I work in a women's center?  Yes, I think the education we do is valuable, yes, I'm fighting the good fight, yes, I want to make the world a safer and more equitable place for ALL people. (Contrary to popular belief, Feminisim does not mean stepping on men to get to the top. Really.)  But, well, remarks from people like that are to be expected, and it's part of our continuing outreach.

Sometimes though, the people I work with, who are supposed to be allies in this fight, are so fucking pedantic and self-righteous I think it would just be easier to give up and become a Michelle Bachmann acolyte.

What am I angry about today?  Well, I was contacted by a community member who wanted resources on reaching out to a recent immigrant family that was planning on "circumcising" (aka- Female Genital Mutilation) their young daughter.  The community member worried that she, as a white person, would come across as imperialistic or colonialist and imposing her view when discussing this with them. She didn't want the message about the extreme health risks to be lost just because she was the messenger.  Thoughtful, yes?

In reaching out to my list of contacts I stated that I was looking for someone who was themselves an immigrant member of that ethnic group or an American of that descent... who was also knowledgeable about FGM.

Apparently that last bit was terribly difficult to comprehend as I got back a snarky email telling me how offensive it was that I was asking for someone who was an American descendant of that ethnic group to talk to the family. I was told that it was compared to asking a German American to explain Naziism. (Really? Isn't that a prime example of Godwin's law? But I digress.)

I wrote back, politely, explaining that I wasn't just looking for ANY RANDOM PERSON of XYZ descent, but one who knew about FGM.


It just annoys me. I feel like it's people like that who drive away fledgling allies to progressive causes.  (e.g. "Oh, you're supportive of transsexual rights? Really? Because calling them transsexual is HORRIBLY offensive, you bigot. Why don't you go back to watching FoxNews."... I wish I could say that was an exaggeration, but that is actually the condensed version of a conversation I overheard not long ago.)

It just makes me want to give up all together. You're damned if you do, and damned if  you don't, right?

It reminds me of a fundraiser I organized for cancer research when I was in high school.  It was in honor of two classmates, both of whom died of cancer, but only one of the classmates was a friend of mine.  I BEGGED the friends of the other classmate to help me organize the fundraiser, but none of them wanted to put in the time.  After the fundraiser I sure got a lot of hell though! I got hell because people didn't like the type of fundraiser it was, (a dance. Too joyous apparently, given that they had both died.), the music played, (the other classmate didn't like that artist, didn't I know that?), the specific charity money was given to (the other classmate didn't die of that TYPE of cancer, didn't I know that?)... etc, etc, etc.  In fact, I never got more criticism-- from people who refused to help or give input-- than when I put on that fundraiser.

Flash forward to the present day. Sure, I now give money to causes, but I haven't volunteered to help run a charity event since.  No wonder, right? Who would after that previous experience.

Today's little exchange just makes me want to throw in the towel on doing diversity/gender education.  WTF is the point when even the people who are supposed to be on your team only criticize instead of help?

I fucking hate everyone today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


*(or should we go with Han Solo/Princess Leia Bride & Groom?)

*Edited to Add:
When I asked Jedi the question above, he answered by saying:

"No, I don't think of myself as Han Solo. I think of myself as Corran Horn and you as Mirax Terrik Horn But, because they are from the Extended Universe of Star Wars, people will not know who they are."
OMIGAWED. I am marrying such a geek! But I love him!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mini Pity Party

This is a super mini pity party.

The dates got mixed up for my last dress fitting so my future MIL can't come with me.  My stepmom can't come with me. Npapaya can't come with me...

Which leaves me with no one to help me get into my dress for the fitting (cause the seamstress wont' do it for some reason.)

Now, I know that everyone has good excuses... but I feel like I don't have a single friend. Whaaa!  (I do have other friends around here, but none that would be appropriate to ask. It's a small wedding... so I'm not going to ask a friend I haven't invited to the wedding to help me try on the dress, yanno? I feel like that would be weird.)

The last person available is ... gulp... Jedi.  And he can't see the dress before the wedding!

I'm going to have a little pity party... because if I can't find anyone else I have to ask my-- gulp-- stepsister. And that's not a good idea unless I want my dress to smell of booze, dogs, and cigarettes... (and other "mystery" odors.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pet Peeve

What's with telemarketers these days calling up and then when you answer they ask YOU to "Please Hold"?

F that. Yeah, I don't think so.


Stress Dreams

Anyone good at dream interpretation?  I keep having random wedding nightmares.  For example, last night I dreamt that Jedi had an affair with my mother.  He then also had an affair with 2 other people.  I proceeded to clear out our joint bank account and changed the locks on the condo while he was out. (and then, for some reason, sent his parents a big tub of cashews.)

I also dreamt that we had a baby but I kept misplacing it in places like gas stations and shopping malls.

What does it all mean!?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Again, remiss

I should probably stop apologizing for my lax posting schedule, huh? It's a too common occurrence.

I've been spending a lot of time with my family lately-- you may recall that my grandfather is not doing well. He had a biopsy last week that only confirmed the initial diagnosis of 2-3 months to live.

Jedi & I thought about moving the wedding up, but my grandfather insists he'll be there.  If he can't we have a plan to live-stream it, but fingers crossed.

My dad is taking it pretty hard. I think it's not just that his dad is dying, I think it's because it's a passing of the baton in a lot of ways. My dad will be the patriarch... life goes on.  I think he feels a heavy responsibility.

It's kind of weird for me not to be the kid anymore. I mean, I sure as hell FEEL like the kid. I don't know if that ever goes away-- older & wiser folks? Does it ever go away? Maybe when one has children?

It's weird to realize-- oh, yeah, I should probably pay not only for my dinner, but for my parents' dinner as well.  When, after all, I've spent the last 25 or so years letting them pay (you know, those lean-after-college-no-money years. I can't be the only one.)  But I'm a grown up now, even if I don't feel like one.

The wedding is slowly creeping up on me. Only 45 days to go! Crazy, huh? As I've mentioned before, I really don't talk about the wedding to people other than my in-laws & Jedi, but as we get closer it's all anyone seems to want to talk TO me about.  Not that I mind talking about it, I just feel like I'm constantly disappointing people with my reactions. To wit:

Random person: "So, the BIG DAY is almost here, huh? Are  you excited?"
Me: "Sure, I guess.
Random Person: "What do you mean you guess?

And what do I mean? I guess I mean that while I'm sure it will be a fun day and all-- and i'm excited for cake!--in the end, it's just a nice party.

The whole, "I commit my life to you forever & ever" deal? I feel like I did that a year ago when Jedi & I first talked about getting married. Boom. Done deal.  For expediency's sake we've been referring to ourselves as husband & wife when dealing with strangers-- like the cable guy, the car shop lady, etc.  (It also has the added benefit of forestalling the whole, "When's the big day? What are your colors? What does your dress look like?" conversation.  Again, not that I mind talking about it, really, just that I find it so BORING and I feel like I've repeated it a million times and I'd just rather not do it again.) So, I really do feel like my life is not going to change drastically. The commitment is already there. (I will add though that newly married friends all SWEAR there's a deeper level of commitment and feeling of security that comes with being married, and that it took them by surprise. So, who knows. Maybe it will surprise me too!)

But, people tend to take my response as some sort of sign of cold feet (which, as you know, I've had-- but not in a "I'm going to run away" manner, more in a "Whoa, this person can pull the plug on my life support, and that is a BIG DEAL" manner.)

But I love Jedi. I'm sure he's the one for me. Even when he drives me nuts, he knows just what to do to make me laugh, and he's always so thoughtful and sweet. So, yeah, I think I'll keep him for the long haul.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Has it been a week already?

I guess it's time for another Random Thought Tuesday since I can't get my act together enough to actually write anything of any substance.

1) My grandpa is dying. This sucks. Went to the doctor for a cough, found out he has cancer in his lungs, liver, brain, everywhere. Nothing to be done. 2-3 months.

2) My grandma is stronger than she looks, but I'm still worried. My grandpa took care of everything-- she doesn't even know how to pump her own gas or pay the bills.

3) I have WAY too much bureaucratic paperwork to fill out. I have been procrastinating for 5 years to register with my local consulate, but I can't avoid it anymore as my passport is almost expired.

4) In perusing the consulate website it appears that I need to fill out paperwork so that my marriage is legally valid in France and that needs to be done 60 days before the wedding.... which is 7 days from today. Sweet!

5) I got my performance evaluation back for the year and it was all good, very complimentary... but is it wrong to be miffed that on a scale of 1-5 I was ranked a 4?  It's probably petty I know, but it makes a difference in whether or not I get that .5% raise!

6) I am freaking out about children I don't plan to have for another 3+ years or so.  Like, how do I get back to France to have my kids so that they can then go to a french immersion school in the US that the French gov will pay for? And where should I be looking for jobs (presumably 6+ years from now) so that they can go to kindergarten near where I work?

7) I think not having kids would give me more free time and money. This is a delightful proposition.

8) sadly, I think I would regret not having kids, so I continue to obsess over where we will live and how I will pay for them.

9) I am avoiding wedding stuff because I don't want to plan anymore.

10) next tuesday I'm doing a trial run for my wedding hair (had to plan that or I would be screwed...).  I think that as long as I'm going to get my hair done, I'm going to go and get my passport pictures taken the same day. Ha! I will have awesome passport picture hair! (However this means that I will probably be forever stopped at the border when the guards compare the picture to my actual-bedraggled-while-traveling-self.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I think there actually is a Random Tuesday blogpost thingy that is an actual thing, but I'm too lazy to look it up, so we'll just go with my generic version.

So, here are a bunch of random things that are on my mind:

* I want a chapel shack update!

* I had a pretty good time on Saturday at a random party hanging with someone I'm pretty sure hates me for a reason I've never really been able to discern.

*I'm really hoping a friend gets a new job so that she can revert back to being the upbeat person I knew 2 years ago. (oh, and I want her to be happy & find fulfillment in what she does too, OBVIOUSLY... But, selfishly, it is hard to keep trying to cheer someone up for 2 years.)

*We were playing a board game and Jedi, who is a History Education major, didn't know who Lenin was. I was terribly embarrassed... for him... and, I admit it, for me.  "How can you not know?" I asked him several times in the car on the way home.  Finally he turned to me, exasperated, and said, "I don't constantly dwell on your faults, do I?"

Well, that shut me up right quick. Yup. It's true. Not only does he not constantly dwell on my faults, he never points them point to begin with. I have more than my fair share of faults, I think, and he only ever makes me feel like I'm perfect just as I am.

*A friend announced she was pregnant. I admit it took me a few days to work up a "Congratulations"-- not because I'm not happy for her, I'm just exasperated by these smart capable women I used to know falling into traditional roles. That, and I'm jealous of her house.

*I alternate between thinking I should go back on Atkins and thinking that bread is delicious and why would I be so foolish as to give that up.

*My ever-growing waistline tells me I should give up bread again. And cereal. Which is sad, because toast and cereal are what most of my meals consist of.

*Jedi makes an awesome Reuben.  Yeah for hidden skills!

*I have this overwhelming desire to take lots of naked pictures of Jedi so that when he's 50 I can remember how hot he was.

*My office is a disaster and I'm procrastinating by writing this post instead of cleaning.

*I need a nap.

*Every time I play the lottery I am genuinely surprised that I don't win.

*Our space is too small and I think we can get a mortgage for a slightly larger place, but I'm not sure how long we'll be here... 3 years? 10? 20? I can't decide if we should actually look for something else or just hold our in the cramped space for a few years.

*It has been raining here for 10 days straight. Now, it could be worse-- at least we don't have tornadoes-- but this is also totally depressing.

* If I didn't have an appointment at lunch today, I would totally take a nap.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I think I love my life

1) I got out of jury duty this week. Phew. It would have been a 3 week trial about an hour away from my house, so I would have had to live in a hotel for 3 weeks.

2) My fabulous (temporary) Admin Assistant's (Karen) contact was going to be up in July. One of the other AAs from the central office was going to come down (and I'm not too fond of her.) and take her place, and my AA was going to be out of a job. Fortunately, we just got word that one of the central office AAs is going to retire which, leaves the slot open for Karen, and we get to keep her! Yippee!

2a) Karen just came into an unexpected inheritance! Yeah! 

3) We're interviewing people for the position of my future boss. So far we've seen 2 out of the 4. One of the candidates was so-so and the other seemed great. Keeping my fingers crossed because she seemed like someone I could really work with well.

4) I discovered I have 17 days of vacation I have to use before July 1. Relaxation, here I come!  (I was hoarding my vacation days this year because I wasn't sure if my job would be permanent.)

4a) I have a job that gives me 22 days of paid vacation a year + 2 weeks off paid at Christmas.

5)My friend Npapaya got a job interview.

6) I discovered the dining hall carries not one, not two, but THREE hereto undiscovered flavors of Ben & Jerry's icecream. I have now tried them all.

7) I got an ipad. I am in love.

8) I am in love. With Jedi. I don't actually say it all that much because it sounds totally schmaltzy, and I disapprove of schmaltz.

9) we've had perfect weather here for the past week.

10) My students call me at 11pm at night. Now, that isn't the awesome part-- the awesome part is that when they got great news I was one of the first people they wanted to share it with. I'm glad I've been able to make connections with them.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Musing of the day

The torment that so many young women know, bound hand and foot by love and motherhood, without having forgotten their former dreams.  ~Simone de Beauvoir

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

See why I love him?

Jedi wrote me a poem. He said I could share it.

Je t’aime

In the morning I adore you,
When you are getting ready for work.
Your red hair up in the style that I like so much
I sneak a glimpse of you in front of the mirror
When you don’t think I’m looking.
I know you think you need lipstick or eyeliner,
But you look breathtaking without their help.
My life has changed dramatically
Since you came into it.
I don’t know if it was serendipity
Or divine intervention,
However we found each other
I am very thankful. 
When I see your smile after I make you lunch,
It brightens my day.
And after a long and tiring day of work,
I know that I get to curl up
With you on the sofa and just relax
And I can tell you what happened. 
Tu es mon tout

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'd rather have a kid than a doctorate. I think.

I went to visiting day at one of the schools I'm applying to yesterday. I'm applying to two programs at the school-- one an MA in counseling and the other a PsyD.  (At a different school I'm applying to an Ed.D.)

One of my HUGE motivating factors in getting a degree in counseling -- whatever that ends up being-- would be to open up a private practice so that I can have a lot of flexibility in my life.  One of the reasons I want so much flexibility is because I want to be able to provide for my (potential future) family while still being able to spend time with them.

After going to the visiting day, hoping it would provide some clarity -- really thinking that I was leaning toward these two programs, but not sure which one-- I now am more conflicted, but finding myself leaning away from these programs and leaning toward the Ed.D.

One the one hand I felt good when the admissions people told me I'd be a good candidate for the PsyD program (This is not true for MOST PsyD programs ... it's complicated, but essentially my academic background isn't in Psych and so most schools wouldn't consider me since I don't have the pre-reqs.  This particular school specializes in adult learners/non-traditional students so their reqs are more flexible-- but it's still accredited & all that.)  I liked the school, I was impressed with the faculty I met & the facilities.

One of the reasons I was originally drawn to the school was because of their flexible program model-- a full day of classes 8am-7pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.  My hope was to continue working Wed-Fri, and it sounded like my workplace would be flexible with that.

Well, after talking to students who were there, it turns out that you have to do 20hours of practicum during the week-- and those are during business hours.  There's really no way to work a traditional office job doing that. The other students I talked to either lived off their loans (Gulp! all $200k of them.) or worked flexible jobs like waitress.  Essentially, that ends up being pocket money/gas money, because there's no way to support yourself on that. A lot of the students had spouses who worked full time and were able to support them.  *sigh*  It's nothing against Jedi... but I know that's not a possibility for us.

Additionally, I realized that even after I would graduate (assuming it took me 5 years, though it takes many students 7 or 8) I'd still have a 6th year of supervised work to get licensed and then at least 5 years of working for the government to pay off loans... That's 12 years from now.  Which would make me 42.  Not exactly prime childbearing years, huh?   Oh, sure, I could have a kid in the middle of doing the program... after all, as another student pointed out, there was a student in her class who was pregnant! With Twins!

Oh god. Kill me now.

Sure, of course it IS possible to do that with kids... but would I want to? NO THANKS. Plus, I know there'd be no way I'd graduate on time if I did that.

(So do the MA, you may be thinking... well, it turns out the MA is not really as flexible as advertised either. Sure, classes are on Tues & Wed... but  you have a practicum on Mondays.... and then the second year you're expected to do the internship full time, during regular working hours.  No way I could keep my job under those circumstances.  The students I spoke to also advised me to do the PsyD over the MA if I chose to do any of the programs.  The MA also requires a full year of supervised internship before being licensed... so essentially 3 years of earning no money)

In the case of both programs the admissions folks and professors were pretty clear that their graduates don't go into private practice in most cases, and those that do do so 10 or 15 years after they start practicing (working for clinics) and have built up a client base.  I.E. Not the flexibility I'm looking for.

I know other people are able to make it work-- my friend supergirl for instance is one of those women who can "have it all." But! She's also a freaking genius, has a husband with a great job and salary, has a 2 previous degrees in Psych, and was able to get a full scholarship + stipend.  I'm really happy for her for all those things-- she made decisions in her life that allowed her to do that.  If I could turn back time I perhaps would go back and get a degree in Psych (which would make me a more attractive candidate, which would potentially mean more scholarship $$) and fall in love with someone who earns good money . But I obviously can't change my undergrad major and I wouldn't change Jedi, because if he hadn't been living with his parents when we met, we never would have met.

So, all that to say, what is the answer?  I'm now thinking that the Ed.D makes the most sense and offers me the most flexibility.  It's a really tough because I think I would really enjoy the PsyD and that I'd be good at it.  If I won the lottery tomorrow and didn't have to worry about money, and could go to school and get a babysitter as needed-- absolutely. And don't they say that's how to measure what you really want?

But at the same time what I really, REALLY want is flexibility and to have a kid (not now, but like 3 years from now... but certainly not 12 years from now.) And for those goals I think the Ed.D might be a better fit.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Keep the old

This article from Salon touches on something I've been meaning to write for awhile. Though the author of that particular piece seems a little blind to her own privilege (money, college, nuclear family, following convention in marrying college sweet-heart at 23) that led to her relationship with her friend drifting apart, I recognize how painful it is.

I was never the type of girl who put whichever guy I was dating ahead of my friends. (Partly because I never dated anyone for long/seriously, I admit).  However, this was still a VERY conscious choice. I saw firsthand in my parent's divorce that friends are there for you when the "love of your life" isn't.  I swore I would never put myself in a position where I depended solely on a "significant other"-- I'd seen often enough how those types of relationships ended up. The woman ended up both without a relationship and without any friends.

I also swore that I would never cancel plans on my friends because some guy came along. I promised myself that I would continue to make time for my friends-- after all, they'd been there for me long before some guy came along, my first loyalty was to them.

What a hurtful surprise it was to realize that my friends would make those choices for me, and start cutting me out of their lives.

Not all of them, but some I considered a very good friends. And it hurts. 

We used to talk for hours on the phone, hang out, go to movies, shopping, dinners out-- the usual. We were at the same points in our lives We would commiserate over jobs we didn't particularly like, over school work, but especially over being single and what crappy dates/choices we had.

We graduated from school. One particular girl struggled to find a job in her field of study. I got a new job I love. She's been on bad date after bad date, and had several short lived relationships. I met Jedi. She's bemoaning getting older and being single. She didn't acknowledge my birthday.  Her phone calls come less and less. She doesn't answer when I call her. I find out later that she made plans, to something she would know I'd love to do, with friends I introduced her to, and she didn't include me. I find out this happens a lot.

I made a point through all of this to continue to invite her to things, things she would blow off. I would be very conscious of asking about her life, talking about things that were important to her, mentioning Jedi only incidentally, never talking about the wedding. When I do talk about my own future plans I can see the pursed lips, the barely contained eyerolls, the judgement.  It seems she's no longer the person I became friends with.  There's a way to disagree with my choices, (as supergirl has done), while still being supportive.  This friend and I used to support each other. I wanted to continue to support  her. I don't feel like she feels the same.

It makes me supremely sad. Female friendship went beyond the bonds of male-female relationships for me. It was supposed to transcend them. That's what I was taught, and that's what I always believed, and that's what I was prepared to show.

I wasn't always nice to Jedi as a result of this. I made it clear that he took second place to my friends. I was wrong to do that. They should at least have been at equal footing. I know there are those who say I should have/should put Jedi first.  That still makes me really uncomfortable... but I recognize that if Jedi were "just" a friend, and not my partner (key word there), he would have proven himself to be the most loyal friend in the world, over and over and over again.  Why then would I put a friend who has proven herself to be unsupportive ahead of him, regardless of our relationship status?

There's a song I remember singing in girl scouts-- "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold."  I desperately wanted to keep the old. Who knew that it would be them who would shut me out?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I am inordinately fond of my hair. This is probably because, as my sister would say, my "hair is [my] one good feature."  I would say that it's also the only feature I feel confident about as it's something I get complimented on at least a few times a week. This has been going on since I was in middle school-- people used to just randomly come up to me and start petting my hair.  Having grown up feeling fat, ugly, and just generally harassed about my appearance since I was in 7th grade, I always knew that at least I had good hair. (And my otherwise gorgeous & skinny sister didn't. Bonus!)

So, all that to say that my hair is as important to me as my dress. I've been obsessing over hairstyles and I have yet to find anything I'm in love with! So frustrating.  I had originally wanted my hair up, but I've been told that it should be down for a variety of reasons. I'm compromising I think with a half-up do... but, it's surprisingly hard to find a half-up-do that doesn't look like "prom" hair or super trashy with stringy tendrils that are supposed to be romantic yet look like someone just as an awkward case of bed head. I really want something that's more structured than not.

Here are the contenders so far: (And if you have any suggestions, please feel free to send them my way!)









(Now, it is very hard to judge without taking the attractiveness of the models into account... ;-p... so, just picture me, who has a very round (slightly chubby) face, wide forehead, and reddish hair.)

Which do y'all like best?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feeling groovy

The past few years were kind of rough. (Job uncertainty, crummy job, crappy love life...) Most of these things were not just for me, I know, but for the entire country. Hopefully we're on our way to better times?

The reason I bring it up is because I'm actually feeling pretty happy and content these days, which is a novel feeling.  I couldn't ask for anyone better than Jedi-- and amazingly, he seems to feel the same way.  I have a job that I like with coworkers I like. I feel like my job makes a difference, and I feel like I'm not only pretty good at it, but that my contributions are appreciated.  I'm feeling hopeful for the future.

Thinking about applying to school has been stressing me out. Thinking about not getting into any programs I want to get into has been stressing me out. Thinking about how to PAY for school has been stressing me out more. I've decided to stop letting it. Yup. Just like that.  Don't get me wrong, I still plan on applying, but I've decided to stop letting it be a barrier.

Hell, I'm not a senior in high school wondering if my life will go kaput if I don't get into schools A, B or C.  My life will be perfectly fine if I don't get into any schools. That's kind of a liberating thought.

I had a conversation with a great colleague the other day and I was expressing my anxiety around having a new boss.  My greatest anxiety was around the fact that I've successfully pulled of lots of big programming this year, which my current boss has seen and appreciated.  That means that I've kind of got "credit" in the bank with her-- e.g. if my next project goes kaput she won't say, "Well, see now-- I knew Hypatia was an incompetent idiot. This just proves it."  Instead she'll say, "Hmm, this isn't typical of Hypatia, this must have been an anomaly."

THAT I think is the most stressful part of having a new boss. (and I've had about 13-16 in the past few years depending on how you calculate it.) Always having to prove yourself again, and again, and again, and always being on your guard.  Phew.  No wonder I want to work for myself! Hopefully one of these degrees I'm applying to will let me do that. Fingers crossed.

What my colleague said to me when I expressed this anxiety was kidn of liberating and eye-opening in a Duh-Moment (no Aha- Moments for me!) kind of way.  She said, "Even if your new boss thinks you're an idiot, that doesn't mean that you are."

Oh. Really? Oh. Are you sure? Really? Oh.



That's pretty profound.

Even if it is kind of glaringly obvious.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Personal statements

I fucking hate personal statements on school applications. I hated them 11 years ago when I was applying to undergrad. I hated them 3 years ago when I was applying to grad school. I hate them even more now that I'm applying to grad school again.

Look, I get why people ask for them. I've read admissions forms. I know how indistinguishable candidates can be from one another when the grades and coursework are pretty much the same.

It still sucks though.  How can you be "authentic" (and still tell 10 different schools that they're your number 1 choice!)? How can you be original (and yet stay within these strictly confining guidelines)? How can you give an exhaustive accounting about yourself and why you're passionate about this particular degree (in only 500-700 words!)

These things SUCK. SUCK. SUCK. SUCK.  And I have 4 different ones to write and the questions/programs are all just different enough that I can't really recycle the answers.

And I'm totally procrastinating about it. And I should have finished a week ago.


We're going on a honeymoon!

So, I have been chided for not keeping up with posting. I won't even try to defend myself-- I'll just say, "Yeah. I know. Lame. Super Lame-O."

One nice update I do have is that Jedi and I are going on a honeymoon! Whee!  Really didn't think it would be possible because, have I mentioned?, we have no money! Whee.

A nice aspect about where we live is that while it is nowheresville, it is also prime vacation spot for the good-ole-USofA. Tourism is one of our main industries. One of the super annoying things about this is that it makes this nowheresville super expensive to live in, but we also have some great vacationing options close by.

Not needing to fly anywhere is a nice bonus (as is not getting groped by overzealous TSA agents) and a money saving highlight.

"So where are you going", I know you're just dying to ask!

We're going here:

Not bad, huh? My most important requirement is that I be near a beach.

We got a good deal on and are going for a week for only $1000.  (Ha! "only"! Well, a week's vacation for 2 people, $1000 isn't bad... but it still makes me wince a little!)  Sure there will be incidentals, I'm sure, but I'm guessing overall we can do it for about $1400 total including gas to get there.

Fingers crossed for nice weather!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


It's all well and good that I have this new life plan, right?

Yeah, except that of the 50 or so accredited programs in the country as I'm checking the admin recs, for most of them one is required to either a)have a bachelor's in psychology or b) have a master's in mental health/psychology and c) have classes in stats on your transcript.


Fortunately, the program I MOST want to attend doesn't require those things (it requires the psych GRE as most of the programs that are more "lenient" and not requiring a masters in psych do. Which is still a PITA, but not as much as asking me to go back in time and change my undergrad major.)

Well, good thing I still have the EdD as a back up. Not that I've actually gotten into that program yet, but it seems like I've got a much better shot at getting into it than any of the PsyD programs. But, well, at least I'll have tried, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Yup, I sure did

I just traded dinner making for sex. Yup. I sure did.
Totally worth it. Jedi makes good sandwiches.

Clean house and a clear(er) head

Have I mentioned that I love my therapist?  I got a good one kind of out of sheer luck. After essentially having a nervous breakdown due to the horribleness of a previous boss (see post below) I asked a friend for a recommendation, and voila! Good therapist.

I've had a fair  number of bad therapists in my life, such that it's kind of surprising I would go see a new therapist at all. But I did, and I've been seeing her for 5 years now. Kind of hard to believe it's been that long! I've been seeing her for so long that my insurance company cut me off from sessions because I'm "not getting better" apparently. They'd prefer that I try drugs. Less expensive, yanno.

But I AM getting better-- I know that much. Yes, it's slow going, but after 5 years I can confidently say that I wouldn't be getting married in August without her help in working through my issues. I still have a bunch more issues to unpack, which is why I still go and see her, but I know it's helping.

When I saw her last Friday I shared some of the issues described in the two previous posts. In one of the stories I shared about my frustrations and anger with the two women at the training session I'm participating in and how these two women are probably the least qualified people I've ever met and they are training to be therapists. Part of the reason it made me so angry was because I felt like they were doing something that I couldn't allow myself/give myself permission to do.

After all, on paper it makes much more sense to do the EdD program.

EdD            vs         PsyD
3 years                    4-6 years
$21k                      $100+k
Part time                 Full Time
Not moving             Probably Moving
Jedi keeps his job    Jedi probably needs a new job
Easy App Process   Difficult App Process
Potential future earnings for both about the same

But what seems clear on paper is less clear when one factors in emotions. And I was getting really emotional/tense/anxious without really knowing why.  And when I identified that I was really angry about other people doing what I wouldn't allow myself to do I suddenly felt much more at peace.  My therapist and another friend both said that my entire demeanor changes when I talk about doing one program versus the other.

I realized also that one of the things that is very important to me is being able to have control over my work environment and time.  I love my current job (most of the time.) My boss is great about being flexible if I need to go to an appointment or need a comp day. I have great vacation time (22 days!) I have good benefits... (they were better last year before budget cuts... grumble...)...

But, at the end of the day, I really have no control over who my next boss will be, if my benefits will be cut further, if my new boss will be flexible with vacation time... etc.

And I realized that if I do the EdD I am essentially saying that my life will be a life spent doing one thing, under the control of someone else, forever.  And in some ways it's not bad-- there's some security to that-- But what I want most of all is to be free and in control of my work life.  I want to be able to say that I won't take clients from 2-5 when my (hypothetical future) children are coming home from school. But I can take clients from 5-7 when lots of people with non/flexible jobs might need someone.  I want to be able to scale back my work load when my grandmother is sick so I can have more time to take care of her... etc.

Additionally, while doing the PsyD means that I can go into private practice, it certainly wouldn't prevent me from continuing to work at a school or college. I could potentially have the best of both worlds.

I'm also much more interested in the topics covered by the PsyD program than I am the EdD program.

After much thought and soul searching I realized how much freer and easier I felt at the thought of doing the PsyD program. In addition to all the factors mentioned above, I think I was just scared to try. I mean, what if I really went for what I wanted and I failed. Gulp.

I talked to a good friend-- Megan-- (i think I had given her a nickname on here at one point, but we'll go with Megan for now.)  She just got accepted to a similar program with a full scholarship & stipend (yea!) and she was giving me hints for the GRE/Psych GRE... (She got a perfect score... not surprising, knowing her... though she claims to be bad at standardized tests.) She's going to send me her resource books and everything, which I very much appreciate. Maybe someday-- if I get into a program-- we can even start a practice together, which would be amazing.

I also decided that I'm still going to apply for the EdD program. My application is already 3/4 complete and if I get in I can always defer until next year (2012).  That way I can go through the long, painful application process to the other programs but still potentially have a back up in case I don't get admitted to any of the PsyD programs. Which is possible. I may utterly bomb the tests and the applications.  But unless I try I don't think I'll be happy with myself.

There's one program I'd really like to get into above all others about an hour away because it means that I would probably be able to continue working where I'm at part-time, Jedi could stay in his job, and we wouldn't have to move. Fingers crossed for that one!

As for Jedi? Well, he's completely supportive, as always.

And, amazingly, these newfound revelations and the peace it brought me led me to give my house a thorough cleaning yesterday. ahhhhh..... My house hasn't been this clean since my mother came to visit last June.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've started to think that part of the reason I have all this free-floating anxiety, and these panic attacks (under control now through therapy), this tension and stress, my be a mild form of ptsd.

Now, my intention is really not to make light of ptsd, please don't take it that way, because I certainly haven't experienced war or daily beatings or a mugging or something that one would traditionally think about as causing ptsd.

I was at a training today about how to provide support to survivors of sexual assault and rape and one of the interesting things I took away from that session was when they presented research (forgive me for not having citations!) that said that women are 2x more likely than men to report symptoms of ptsd and that this is due to the microagressions that women are subjected to on a near daily basis.

In thinking on it, since joining the working world after graduating in 2004, between then and Oct 2010 I only had one job (for a period of one year) that didn't make me contemplate quitting it every single day.  While in some cases the direct supervisor was good/ok, I've had 16 supervisors since 2004 and only 4 jobs during that time. You do that math... It's enough to give me whiplash.

Out of those 16 I had FOUR good supervisors, supportive supervisors, encouraging, caring, thoughtful, fair... I am forever grateful to them. In some cases they were great supervisors in bad positions and the office culture was supremely fucked up.

In my first job the supervisor was a somewhat more malevolent version of Michael Scott--racist, sexist, abelist-- you name it.  He was also a religious fundie with 9 kids, each a year apart, and liked to pontificate about how insurance shouldn't cover things like HIV meds or pregnancy care for unwed mothers because those were lifestyle choices, and why should he have to pay for that?

That job sent me to the hospital for panic attacks.  The only good day on that job was the day I quit, but somehow I did last for 2 years. (Actually, I know how I survived-- my awesome direct supervisor, Bon-Bon! She shielded me from a lot, but she up and quit about a year after Michael Scott II came on board. I didn't last much longer after that.)

My second job was GREAT. 2 Great supervisors, interesting work. Mostly nice co-workers. (One shitty one who could have been Debbie Downer's sister...)

Why did I leave that job? OH, you know... more pay, a promotion... sigh. It was probably a good thing because my awesome supervisor only lasted 2 years at my second job because her boss was a whack-a-loon, but she'd managed to shield us from that. (noticing a trend in what great supervisors do?)

Third job... started off ok, except for my awesome supervisor up and quit about 3 months after I was hired. Grr.  Which left me in a shitastic mess of a situation with a quick succession of 5 shitty supervisors in less than a year, each one more insane and controlling than the last. But, no need to go into that now...

Then, layoffs! Fun, fun...

Fourth job... managed to get another job in my same department, which I was grateful for, except that my new boss was a heinous bitch and incompetent and a micromanager (the trifecta!).... and then the office went through another round of layoffs a year later ... (I was spared, but the ax was over my head)...

All that to say that of the past 7 years only one has been a good year at work. Only one year in which I didn't want to pretend to be sick every morning so that I wouldn't have to go in. Only one year in which I didn't wonder, "What am I going to get yelled at for today?" Only one year in which I  wasn't held responsible for things I had no control over.  Only 2 out of those 7 where I didn't worry about losing my job due to downsizing. Only 1 year in which my workspace wasn't moved or reconfigured without my input or opinion. Only 1 year in which I wasn't subjected to sexist remarks at least once a week.

So, yeah, while I haven't experienced "trauma" in the textbook sense, I certainly feel traumatized by some of my work experiences.  I'm not the only one, for what it's worth-- I'd say at least 90% of a workforce of about 4,000 feel similarly if the people I've come across in the past 4 years here are any indication.  Always waiting to see if you're the next one to get the ax is not a great way to spend your time... hearing that there will probably be more cuts in the future is sure to keep you on your toes.

And aren't I a pretty pretty princess for complaining about a job I still have? I know it. Add "survivor's guilt" to my list of anxieties too.

So, I've talked about my past jobs, but what about my current job?  It's great. I enjoy it. I find it meaningful. I work with kind and supportive (and enlightened!) colleagues.



It's all going to change in the next 6 months.

Sometime in those next 6 months I'm going to get another new supervisor. I'm going to get a new colleague who will share the functions of my job. My assistant's contract will be up and we don't know if it will be renewed (harder on her than on me, I acknowledge.) The entire department I work for is likely to be split up, reconfigured and report to someone else in an entirely new structure as well as change physical locations.  The office I work directly in is likely to be split off from my current department and join a completely different department, cut off from the colleagues I'm currently working with.

So. Yeah.

Don't really feel like I can get too settled or too comfortable where I'm at, and that scares me.  While I feel like I'm in a supportive space I know all too well how quickly that can change, and that it's very likely to change, and also that there's nothing I can do about it. (A lack of control over one's situation is also a trigger for ptsd, we learned today.)

So, yeah... I don't really know how to let go of this anxiety and stress. After all, I might need it again shortly.