Monthly Archives: May 2010

pretending

I just said goodbye to my niece, the oldest.  She’s twelve and the two of us have a pretty special relationship.  When she was little, she was just as close with her other aunt, my sister, but she now has kids of her own and a lot less time to play the doting aunt.

So the niece, who can be a bit of a Whirlwind (ADHD will do that), spent the night last night and we had a great time.

I realized, at some point, that when we’re together alone, I imagine what my life would be like if things were different, if she were my kid, not my niece.  And I ache a bit for that imaginary life, both for me and for her, as her needs fall through the cracks quite a bit in the real world.

At the same time, I know that raising a child is not the same as borrowing one for the weekend, and that with all my notions of how I could parent her better, I also know that there’s no way to know that—it is possible I could mess up way more than has been done so far in her life.

But Miss Famous and I sure loved having her around.

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famous friday: you can’t see me

Ever had a day when you just feel like sticking your head under the dust ruffle and pretending no one can see you?

Miss Famous has them a lot.

Either that or she just hates my taste in music.

getting schooled

Back when I was in college, I really wanted to learn to speak Spanish.  I knew the grammar, I could understand written Spanish fairly well, give me a pen and paper test and I would ace it.  The problem was, I couldn’t speak it worth a snot.  In fact, I couldn’t really understand it when others spoke it, either.  So, what’s a monolingual to do?

My school had a 5-week exchange program with a university in Mexico, so, of course, I was all over that.  And it helped.  After 5 weeks of not-quite-immersion (there were 10 or so of us, and we had a lot of fun together—but, um, that’s a story for another post) I could at last understand, but the speaking was still coming slowly to me.  So what’s a monolingual to do?

My university did not have a semester-long or year-long program in place for study abroad (at least for Spanish students), but my adviser was the department head, so he let me wing it, and told me not to worry about getting approval for the credits.  So I decided on a city, found a language school that offered home-stay, and I was off on my great adventure.

And I learned Spanish.  The thing I noticed pretty quickly was that if I ever made a mistake in conversation and was corrected, I never made that mistake again.  (At the same time, I could say something correctly on my own a number of times, and later say it wrong.)  I can still remember several instances in which I suffered great embarrassment (granted, it doesn’t take much to embarrass me) due to some slip of the tongue, or not knowing a word, or using a word incorrectly—but the correction has stuck with me, while the embarrassment hasn’t.

I was thinking about this today as I was noticing how much I’ve learned in the last couple of months about my job.  I wasn’t really trained that well (“trained by wolves” is the phrase that was used, I believe), and it’s only been very recently that some important pieces (of paperwork or procedures) have slipped into place.  A few weeks ago, a couple of my files were audited by my boss’s boss, and it was an, um, enlightening experience.  I won’t say that I’ll never mess up a file again, but getting marked down on a number of things pushed me up the learning curve in a way few other things could have done.

I have spent so much of my life trying to avoid outing myself as a person who makes mistakes.  A big part of my learning the last couple of years (and a big part of why Mr. X and I fell apart) has been about accepting myself, not holding myself in such a tight grip, being okay with my imperfection.

And the lessons have started to stick.

I’ve had to allow myself to be the person who doesn’t have her shit together, (frankly because I had no choice, I really didn’t have my shit together) in order to learn that the world does not fall apart if I gain fifty pounds, or don’t do a stellar job at work, or don’t exercise for months, or don’t call anybody back, or spend every free moment watching television, etc. (I could go on, but I think that will do.)  I don’t think I would have ever learned that lesson, however, if I hadn’t had to, if I hadn’t been a complete mess for longer than was very fashionable.  As someone who has always scrutinized herself for any shred of unacceptability, any smidge or smudge that could lead me to be criticized (my own personal hell), this feels like the journey to freedom, though I know there are still miles to go before I sleep.

The biggest mistake I can think of in my life has been choosing to be in a relationship with Mr. X.  No, the way he treated me was not my fault, but there were some pretty major red flags pretty early in our relationship, and I never enforced appropriate boundaries with him.  He is responsible for his piece, and I am responsible for mine, and my piece is that I got into a serious relationship with, and later married, someone who did not accept me for me, someone who did not respect my boundaries, and someone who made his love conditional on my living up to his fantasies of the perfect partner.

And I don’t think I would have learned how much more I deserve, nor how much I want to change the patterns of my past if the ending hadn’t been so spectacularly bad, if I hadn’t been through the pain of knowing that when it came to choosing my partner, I chose very poorly.

But now I’ve learned, and am learning how much I deserve, and I’m learning to change those patterns of self-preservation that have turned into patterns of self-destruction, and I’m learning to nurture myself as I never have been before.

And I’m learning that screwing up teaches me so much more than making the honor roll.

blue skies

(Hey ICLWers—this month’s intro post is here, though you’re welcome to read anything you want. ;))

The great med switch of 2010 appears (so far) to be going well.  I’m starting to feel normal again.  I was even able to sit and (mostly) focus all day Monday and Tuesday at a training.  Chalk one up for the good guys.

It somewhat feels like I’m starting to wake up after being mostly asleep for several weeks, like walking out of a fog into clear air.

It feels much better.

There was the whole spiral of “why don’t I feel better?  what’s wrong with me?” and now it seems pretty clear that the problem wasn’t me, it was those little blue pills I was taking every morning.  Huh.

There’s a couple of more substantial posts that I keep hoping to write, but the writer’s block has me in its grip, so I decided to stop waiting for the perfect post and just write something.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get those posts out of me and down on paper (so to speak) soon.

Until then I’m just enjoying being awake.

dream deferred

(ICLW stuff is in the previous post, or here.  Welcome!)

This is take three of this blog post.

I got back a couple of hours ago from a stressful afternoon at my parents’ house, and apparently am unable to be very eloquent about it.  (Everyone is fine, just chaotic and stressed, and there’s some extended family stuff, and plenty of babylust triggers for me.)  I trashed a couple of posts that I just stopped writing after a few paragraphs due to hating every word I wrote.

What I was trying to say is something about being a mom…right now there are few things that feel farther away, and few things that I want more.

At the same time, I greatly appreciate the freedom I have to just be a mess, to take this time to let myself heal from the awful divorce and even more awful marriage.  I appreciate the privilege of being able to focus on myself and no one else, to not have to take care of someone else when I don’t have the emotional energy to do so, and  to work on healing my stuff that got me into that marriage to begin with.  If I had a child now, well, that wouldn’t happen, or it would happen very poorly, and the result would be not the kind of parenting I hope to be able to do someday.

But that someday feels awfully far away sometimes.

ICLW May: where has the time gone?

It seems like just a couple of days ago I was getting a post together for ICLW April.

And it seems like just a couple of days before that I was missing out on all the ICLWness in March.

But here we are, already the waning days of May.  Now I’ve become one of those people who talk about how fast time seems to be flying by.  🙂 Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere.

Mr. X and I went through a bit of the infertility maze, back before I realized our “stuff” was more than the usual, and was verbal/emotional abuse.  I speak the IF language, even if I’m not in the thick of it right now.

My homework assignment last week for my divorce recovery class was to make a list of 20 things I like about myself.  It was a bit like pulling teeth, I must say.

Things I like about me:

  1. I speak Spanish.
  2. My sense of humor.
  3. It’s usually pretty easy for me to talk to just about anyone.
  4. I have little problem talking in front of people/large groups.
  5. I have seen a lot of places in the world.
  6. I’m good with kids.
  7. I’m a good aunt.
  8. I can be a lot of fun.
  9. I see the deeper meaning in things.
  10. I can usually find something to like about people.
  11. I’m dependable.
  12. I’m usually on time.
  13. I’m good at organizing.
  14. I know a lot about Judaism (my chosen religion).
  15. I have a strong desire for social justice.
  16. I’m different and continuing to change from the person I was growing up.
  17. I’m a good dog owner.
  18. I love to read.
  19. I’m a good writer.
  20. I care about people.

And one last thing…I have the cutest dog ever:

Oh, and one last last thing…I also have a pretty cute nephew (and the dog is patient):

So that’s a bit about me…what do you like about you?

sundries

  • I am fatigued with a capital T-I-R-E-D.  The good news is that I no longer think it’s because something essential is wrong with me; I’m pretty sure it’s because of being on the wrong meds, and now because of the effects of stopping those meds.  So I’d like to sleep about 15 hours a day (and the doc confirmed that my thyroid is A-OK, so it’s not that), but I’m hopeful that I’ll perk up soon.
  • Today’s the third day off the old med and on the new, and I’m feeling much less anxious (just tired), so that adds to the hope that things will be noticeably better soon.  Right now it’s feeling primarily physical, which isn’t fun, but is less crazy-making than the other stuff.
  • I promise, I’ll stop hashing out my medical history soon.  I know things have been boring around here lately.
  • I’m having dinner with a friend who’s here from out of town tonight.  It feels a bit weird calling him my “friend.”  He was my realtor before the whole foreclosure debacle.  The weirdness is because he’s a person from my life with X.  He’s in the Jewish community back where we used to live (where X was one of the congregational rabbis) and I’m sure the conversation will center on people and things back there.  I’m not dreading it, but I have a feeling it may be a bit strange, particularly because I am so disconnected from most of those people now.
  • It isn’t just blogging that I’ve been doing the minimum—I’m basically getting by on my looks at work right now (and, um, yeah).   But we’re hopeful, hopeful, hopeful, dammit.  I will feel better soon, whether I like it or not.