Sep 23, 2009

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

- Steve Jobs

Sep 21, 2009

Another weekend, another wedding

Austin, TXSo we were in Bend from Friday-Sunday for Kellen's little brother's wedding. It was a fantastic wedding, replete with karaoke, swords, and hurricane force winds. (Actually, that last one might be a slight exaggeration...but only slightly.) We had a great time. I only wish that every time someone asked us, "So when are you two getting married?", they had handed us a $1 bill instead. If they had, I could've afforded to take a recuperation day off from work today!

Only one more wedding to go, and that's not until next month...and it's in Austin!

I don't know if I've mentioned here or not that Kellen and I are finally making a pilgrimage back to longhorn mecca, but my friend Charles is getting married and I promised I'd make it back to town for that. We're super excited and have so many plans. I don't know how we're going to squeeze everything in to a single weekend, and I really wish I could stay longer (*siiiiigh*).

Have you ever had a place you love so much, your heart squeezes into a tiny fluttering knot whenever you think about it? That's how I feel about Austin.

Sep 17, 2009

Little Miss Goody Two Shoes

That's me.

I've always been sort of compulsively well behaved. I was the kid who always got perfect marks for behavior, who followed the rules, who lectured the other kids when they broke the rules (or even thought about breaking them.) I was the kid who never caved to peer pressure, who was an incredibly judgmental teetotaler until I was almost legal to drink, who never did drugs or anything even remotely close to drugs. I can count on one hand the number of times I played hookie...which is far less than the number of times when I attended all of my classes when I probably should have stayed home because I was so sick. I always pay my bills on time, and I always make good on any loans given me by parents or friends (though I honestly can't remember the last time I asked for one.) I have always been respectful, responsible, and the kind of kid parents always wanted their kid to hang out with and be like, but which no kid ever wanted to be with or even be seen with.

It's not like there was ever much I could do about it. I liked coloring inside the lines. I liked the positive feedback I received for doing the right thing, hated the negative feedback I got for anything wrong, and generally speaking had a strong enough belief in my own awesomeness that I never really had a hard time following through if I thought a certain action was right. I credit this for a lot of the success.

At the same time, though, as I get older I realize that sometimes always wanting to color inside the lines can be a drawback. I am the opposite of a risk taker. I don't like to be put in a position where I might not be able to do many of the things I feel that I, as an adult, am expected to do, and expected to do independently. I tend to make safe choices, and I also tend to take the path of least resistance. I like to be liked and approved of by my peers and superiors, and when I don't meet their standards, I work doubly hard to exceed them...whether or not their standards are in keeping with my own personal goals.

I'm a good kid. I always have been. But sometimes...I wish I were a little less good. I wish I could risk maybe not being able to pay all of my bills one month. (This is an idea that literally gives me heart palpitations.) I wish I could risk not having health insurance, or risk not having a "normal" place to live, or risk maybe not being exactly the sort of person I think everyone wants me to be.

"Well-behaved women seldom make history," or so the saying goes.

I want to make history, and sometimes I get the distinct feeling that behaving myself all the time is just getting me into bigger trouble.

Sep 11, 2009

The fear of failure is eating me alive

Last week, I had this really horrible nightmare that I went back in time and every single thing I had ever accomplished since I was in junior high, I managed to somehow screw up and not accomplish. I'm not even kidding. I didn't graduate from college. I didn't make straight A's in high school. I didn't make drum major in band or the cheerleading squad. The thing is, it's bad enough when you go out for something or you try to do something, and you fail. But knowing that I had already achieved these things once and was no longer capable of doing it? Ouch.

It doesn't take a psychologist to tell me what my problem is or what that dream meant. I'm having some epic issues with fears of failure and rejection, fears of inferiority and inability. I'm worried about applying for new jobs (something that is becoming imminent, as Kellen's job search rapidly expands beyond Portland), because I worry that I won't be good enough, that I won't have the right skills, that no one will want to hire me. I'm worried about trying to learn new things, branch out to new areas, maybe even change direction in my career. I'm worried that somehow, I just won't be able to do it. I'll just fail.

I've never really felt like this in my life. I've always been fairly convinced that I'm an awesome human being. I am, above all, one smart cookie, and have always been able to do pretty much anything I put my mind to, with the exception of sports. I have always previously done a great job of impressing my employers and coworkers that I am hard-working, highly capable, and professional. Generally speaking, there's no reason why I should feel nervous or apprehensive about trying something new or pushing forward.

...but I do.

I'm not sure if it's because I've struggled so much in my current position, where nobody except those who work in immediate contact with me think I'm valuable. It's been incredibly hard to feel like, no matter how hard I work, I'm not really gaining ground with some of my supervisors who don't have intimate knowledge of my contributions to my team. And...sometimes I just get everyone else's ability and skill worked up in my head that I can't imagine how I could possibly ever compete.

I've got to get over this nonsense. If I'm having dreams about it, clearly I'm letting it affect me way too much. I know I'm awesome. I also know that every time I have failed, I've always been able to redouble my efforts and make significant improvements. I've never said, "I can't do that." (Except for sports, but really? Who cares if I can't throw a softball in a straight line or more than 10 feet?) Because I've always known that, if I tried, I could. I might not be the best, and I might not be perfect, but I could do it, and I could even do it well.

I'm just going to have to throw myself into the snake pit, and stop worrying about how afraid I am of the snakes.

Sep 3, 2009

Someone get me a cookie, stat!

I finally paid off my credit card!

That's right. Every last penny of the debt that has been hanging over my head since my flight attendant days, when I was putting milk and bread on Visa, has been paid for in full...and then some. Now to keep that balance at 0.

Sep 2, 2009

Aaallll byyyy myyyyssseeeelllllffff...

So Kellen's been out of contact since Sunday. He's at Burning Man, where they have no cell reception and the nearest phones are a shuttle ride away and apparently shuttle tickets aren't easy to come by. I won't lie. While I really like having the house to myself, I'm going a little crazy without contact. I finally got an e-mail from him this morning, which is good because now at least I know he is alive and hasn't run off with a band of crazy hippies. We haven't been out of touch this long since, well, since we weren't speaking to each other several years back.

I got a call from his mom tonight. She wanted to thank me for being such a supportive girlfriend. And to check and make sure I was still alive without two big strong men in the house to protect. (My mom has been checking up on me more frequently than usual, too. Just to make sure no one has broken into the house to try to get at me, as we all know how irresistible I am.) I felt kind of bad about her saying how supportive I am, when five minutes before I had been thinking, "IhateBurningManIhateBurningManIhateBurningMan."

Sometimes, it's really hard to maintain separate identities and separate lives in a relationship, to avoid becoming one of those obnoxious codependent couples that can't go to the bathroom without needing the other one to hold their hand while they wipe. (Pardon the crudity, but you've probably known one of these couples.) Considering that I have talked to my boyfriend every single day for the last 2 years, even when we were 2,500 miles apart, it's really hard to go 9 whole days without talking to him. This is the age of internet and cell phones...and internet in your cell phones. I mean, seriously, it is insane that in this day and age someone could be out of touch for 9 whole days, right?

I think it's worth it though, because I personally think it's an incredible experience (even if my "ewww dust and trance music!" pretty much guarantees I will never go myself), and I know how much he wanted to go and how much he appreciates that I "let" him go. I can't imagine telling him not to go, anyhow. Who does that? Crazy girls, that's who. Plus, I get to be all smug about how independent and awesome I am at the end of all this.

So for now, I'm sitting around watching movies that I have a hard time getting Kellen to watch with me (and doing laundry, but that's not glamorous or cool, so we'll ignore that.) Tonight, it's The Sound of Music. And you might be surprised to know this, but I'm also downloading Bridget Jones and Chocolat, and despite this movie being nearly 40 years older than either of those, it downloaded about a thousand times faster. I'm so excited. I've had "The hiiiiills are aliiiiive," stuck in my head for days.


I'm off to be alone and independent and super cool some more.