Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So, I got kinda busy. And started to ignore this blog. Then felt badly that I'd slacked off after only having done it for a couple of months. Today I left a comment on a blog and didn't realize that by using my Google account to leave it, it would link to this blog. Am dumb. Now I feel obligated to update (even though no one is reading it, which is prefectly fine), and have thus fallen into the most boring trap of writing about blogging. Am lame. But maybe it's good for me to get back to this. I have too many thoughts in my head with nowhere to go, combine that with too much freetime at work and you'd think I'd be an incredibly prolific blogger. Well, I'll give it a go. This can be like an epilogue to the past year.

What happened in the year I've been gone?

I planned a wedding.

I got married.

I traveled to Egypt and Jordan.

I saw the pyramids.

My family suffered tremendous loss and difficult illness. People are doing better.

My sister is engaged.

I traveled to meet up with friends, together we celebrated a new baby.

I saw some funny movies.

I stayed in shape and continue to eat healthy.

I decided I'm ready to have a family.

I went to a financial planner and figured out how to save for retirement. Stopped feeling badly for not saving for retirement (or continue to try).

My 1988 Toyota Corolla that my parents gave me in high school finally bit the dust. I bought my first car. It is practical, but cute.

I need to blog because I'm convinced that my life is the most boring thing and that I'm wasting my youth. That is incredibly dramatic and silly, but it's how I feel. It's made it harder and harder for me to keep in touch with friends that live far away, because I feel I have so little to say. I now dread talking on the phone. The main thought in my head all the time is how miserable my job makes me but that I have no idea how to make a change. The weekends are a chance to be free from those thoughts, but then I put all sorts of pressure on myself to try to live to the fullest on the weekends, since I don't during the week. I never live up to the expectations I have for myself. I need to plan ahead more. There are many things I need to do and I keep beating myself up for not doing then. Flossing is one of these things. I need to be more grateful for my life and appreciate the simplicity of things. Simple should be good. For me, simple is a symptom of laziness. Why can't I appreciate letting a weekend slowly develop? Why do I feel badly for not trying to get more out of it? See, this is the problem. I bore myself. Here and in life. What the hell is wrong with me?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Soy Chicken

There’s a café here at my work. Lately I’ve been trying to bring my lunches, but today I didn’t have anything. I took a look at the menu, which rotates, and was excited to see they had a vegetarian Japanese dish. They had named it Soy Chicken with Udon Noodles. Soy Chicken! The café was branching out. Yeah, so guess who ate half her meal, thinking, “Wow, this is so real tasting it’s almost creepy!” only to hit a bone and want to vomit? That would be me. What idiot names a dish Soy Chicken and makes it with real chicken? Motherfuckers. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 15 years and haven’t once eaten meat, at least that I was aware of. I can’t get the feeling and taste out of my mouth. The smell is on my fingers. I just ate a whole bowl of strawberries trying to mask it all and nothing is working. I’m so angry. And I’m hungry because I only had half a lunch. MOTHERFUCKERS!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Good Day

Work continues to dominate my thoughts, which is one of the reasons I want to like my job more. I hate that my job takes away my confidence. Is it asking too much that it make me feel good about myself and what I’m capable of? I wrote a post last week about making mistakes and how much it bothers me when I can’t be perfect. Most of the time I just feel lost in my job, like there’s no way that I can do it correctly. I feel like I’m flying blind.

The difficult thing for me is distinguishing what is real from what is not, because I don’t always perceive things correctly. Last week, on the Bad Day, I was told that the Big Boss was impressed with my work. This came as a shock to me considering she usually finds an error in whatever I’m editing. So even though I feel like I suck, other people don’t see it that way. My answer to this is that they just don’t see everything that is probably wrong and therefore don’t fully realize what a crappy employee I am. I just don’t trust myself in this job.

However, there is one element of what I do that I feel okay about. Part of my job entails design work. I find it challenging and fun. More often than not people compliment me on what I do for them, and I get really excited by that. The thing is, expectations are low for what I do and it’s not high quality work, yet I like doing it. This makes me wonder if design, not editing, is what I should be doing. I really don’t think I have the artistic talent to be a designer. And the idea of going back to school is horrifying to me, as is the idea of starting a new career now. Again. But there was a brief moment last week when adrenaline was pumping through my body as I figured out a design solution to a problem that had been vexing me. The end product resulted in hugs and cheers from the people I was making it for. Now THAT was a good day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

We Are Family

Have I mentioned recently that work has been really busy? Well, I think things might be slowing down a little; I actually don’t feel so panicked that I’m unable to write a blog entry. I try to avoid turning on a computer when I’m home (since I’ve spent my entire day in front of one), so if I don’t write at work, I won’t write at all.

Yesterday, before I left work, I sent out an e-mail to all my friends and family asking for their help in raising money for a Cystic Fibrosis (CF) fundraiser I’m participating in in a couple of weeks. In December, close friends of SH and I had a baby. After a series of complications following the birth, they discovered that she has CF. That was devastating news. CF is a terrible genetic disease that has no cure and very few treatment options. It generally affects the lungs and digestive system. Many children with CF spend a lot of time in hospitals and most people don’t live past their 30s. It was a real kick in the gut to have close friends facing this situation and the diagnosis made everyone we know feel really helpless. The enormity of things that can go wrong with having a baby has weighed on me ever since. But I decided I needed to be proactive and wanted to do something to help. So I joined our friends’ team of walkers and am helping to raise money to fund CF research. When I came into work today and checked my e-mail four people had already donated. It actually brought tears to my eyes. My friends and family have never met my California crew, so they were just giving money out of the kindness of their hearts. I was surprised by how emotional that made me.

I have been blessed with a great family and wonderful friends. Once I left home for college (3000 miles away), I never moved back. I’ve lived in different parts of the country and the world and I’ve always managed to find really amazing people to be friends with. In each city that I’ve started over in, I’ve found a new family. Without them, I would be totally lost and unhappy. SH and I have been in LA for almost five years now and we have established a solid life with people we love.

As we get closer to getting married and having kids we are being forced to consider where we might want to spend our lives. The thought of starting over somewhere new is no longer appealing. In the past I used to love the idea of continually mixing things up by moving to a new city and starting over. I just don’t want to do that anymore. I like the security of having a support system, knowing people so well that I don’t have to explain myself over and over, seeing friends through important milestones, knowing I can call on someone to help me when I really need it. I’m at the point where I like these securities.

BUT. We live in LA and this is not an easy place to have financial security. Most likely we won’t be able to buy a house here. The public school system isn’t the best. Sometimes I get tired of big city living. Our alternative is moving back to Oregon, where I grew up. Portland is a nice city, it’s more affordable than LA, I have a network of friends there, and my family is nearby. These are appealing things, yet I like my life here and I don’t feel ready to leave. No one is pushing me to try to make a decision now, but sometimes I have to wonder whether delaying a move will hurt us in the long run. I feel like I need to plan ahead because houses are still affordable in Portland, the place where SH would most likely work is on a hiring spree, and it’s less complicated to move when we don’t have kids. But I’m not ready and I hate the idea of leaving my LA family.

Connected to all this is my desire to travel, to see the world, and to live in foreign countries. Travel is my only passion. It makes me excited. I dream about it. Travel energizes me in ways that nothing else in life can. I basically measure the success of my life on the amount that I can travel. It’s not a competition with other people, it’s more a competition with myself. I feel like so much of my life is made up of routine that the only way I can feel good about who I am is to do things that make big memories, memories that will stand above the routine, that provide excitement and good stories. I want to be able to tell my grandchild about things I did in my life and have them look at me with wonderment and excitement. “You lived in Africa?” “YOU played rugby?” “You traveled across the country with a band?” “You met the Vice President and the Secretary of State?” “That’s so cool!” I need adventure. I need to keep mixing things up. I can’t live an ordinary life. We only get one shot at this and I want to do it right.

So there’s a piece of me that really wants to try to live in other countries. SH could easily get jobs in New Zealand or Australia because of his work connections. I want to do that. It makes such a difference to live somewhere rather than just traveling there. You get to know the people and the place and have so many opportunities to see different things. Plus, it gives you a different jumping off point in the world to travel to different countries. But. I don’t really want to start over again. I don’t want to leave my family. And there’s the part of me that argues with that: You only have one shot! Just go for it!

I know I’m lucky to have so many choices and to have lived a good life so far. I shouldn’t even complain. It’s just that I want to make the right decisions. I want to plan the course of my life well. I don’t want to regret not doing something. Sometimes I just don’t know when to push myself and when to just be still and appreciate what I have for as long as I can.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

At Goal

The last two weeks at work have been ridiculously busy. Not 14-hour day busy, but the kind where you look up and realize almost the entire day has gone by and you haven’t eaten lunch yet, the kind of day that leaves you feeling sort of stunned after you’ve managed to stay on top of the constant stream of e-mails and phone calls. I’m feeling so exhausted right now. The thing is, I’ve been craving days like these for months. I’ve been so bored by my shortage of work, that I’ve dreamed of feeling so busy that I don’t even notice the clock. I thought that if I was busy I might like my job more, that the responsibility of taking care of a lot of projects would make me feel engaged and invested in my work, that I’d be energized by my job. That has not happened. I’ve had so many balls in the air that I dropped a small one today. There was no lasting impact, but I made a mistake. I don’t handle mistakes well. I react emotionally to them, I call my intelligence into question, I start believing that I don’t belong in this job at this place where everyone has a PhD. I wonder about my ability to do anything. I learned a very important check to this line of thinking at my last job, where I was overworked, overstressed, and overly emotional. I decided that any mistake that I wouldn’t remember in six months was not worth worrying about in the moment.

The problem is that I’m an editor. It is my job to find other people’s mistakes. I’m the goalie of the publishing world. I never wanted to be the goalie. There’s so much pressure. You screw up and that’s it, goal for the other team. No matter how many players one mistake went through before getting to you, you are the one that has to stop it or game over. I consider myself a perfectionist. You’d think being an editor would suit a perfectionist. It doesn’t. When it is your job to be perfect, not being perfect causes self-implosion.

I was hoping that being busy again would make me like my job more, but it didn’t. I hate having to be perfect and never really living up to it. I’ve asked to be put onto the highest level project available to me to see if that would make a difference in my overall happiness with this kind of position. But I don’t think it will and that scares me because I’m out of ideas. I’m basically on my third career and nothing has really stuck. I’ve never felt passionate about my work, I’ve always felt underpaid, and I’ve never been motivated to try to excel beyond just being “good.” These are bad things for me, The Perfectionist. I want to excel at my career and I want to be interested in it. I’m constantly trying to push my life forward with different choices and plans. Right now I have no ideas, so I’m essentially pushing myself, but towards nothing. I know that maybe what I need to do is to try to be comfortable and relaxed with where I am in life without trying to find a way out. Maybe if I just accepted where I am, some new ideas would come to me. I just don’t have faith in that. It feels like I need to constantly be searching for what’s next or I’ll just stay where I am forever.

I know a lot of this comes from a fear of ending up like my father. He had the same career his entire life and he hated it. The job made him miserable. But he stuck with it to help support a family and then later to get his pension. I don’t want to be stuck in life, yet no matter how hard I push and pull, I just am.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Like I Was Saying

I feel like I didn't get to finish my thoughts yesterday, so here's a little more on the topic of abortion a la why can't we all just get along. Like I said, I know that there are people with opposite opinions that feel just as strongly about their viewpoint as I do about mine. What bothers me is that there appears to be no room for compromise. Everything has to be black and white. If say, we could agree on outlawing abortions after a certain point in the pregnancy, save for those cases where the fetus or mother has a fatal condition, I could probably support that. But it should be between the mother and the doctor and all abortions up to the agreed point should be legal. However, that will never happen because prolifers are determined to outlaw every type of abortion, no matter the circumstances, which makes people like me hyperventilate with rage. So we all scream and yell at each other and become terrified as soon as the opposite party comes into power because there will never be a compromise--it's all or nothin'. What bothers me most, and I'm going to try to get this out quickly because I could go on forever, is the hypocrisy. Bush claims to support a "culture of life" yet is just fine with guns and the death penalty. These things just don't line up with a "culture of life," if you ask me, especially in light of this week's events. Maybe we can all strike a compromise, no late-term abortions (unless there are fatal circumstances), I won't take away your guns if you put tighter controls on them, and we all just agree not to murder anyone in prison. Oh, and can we please end global warming, stop the war in Iraq, and improve our education and health systems? And don't forget about social security! Things are sure a mess.

I woke up early again this morning. I am not a morning person and tend to roll over as much as my schedule will allow. I usually get up feeling very groggy and unhappy. But the last few mornings I've woken up early and felt entirely awake, like it was 3 PM. I can't get my mind quiet. Yesterday it was about Virgina Tech and today it was about a friend. She and her boyfriend had asked us to go to a show with them. We basically said maybe then finally said no yesterday, two days before. We probably should have said no earlier, but didn't. We got a pretty terse reply back and now I feel horribly guilty. Guilty enough that I was lying in bed at 5 AM wide awake. Even though I was probably in the wrong, we did get back to them and I don't like the feeling of being spanked like a child. They are really good friends, but it felt weird. And now I can't decide whether to apologize, which I don't really want to do, or just let it go, which is what I want to do because I don't feel like what we did was really that bad. And who knows, maybe the e-mail was interpreted incorrectly by me. It's just that it's been a tough week in the world and it's affecting me and I just didn't have the energy to be the perfect friend this week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's Personal

It’s been my busiest week of work in 2007. Every kind of project I’m involved with somehow had to be worked on and finished this week. It’s making my brain hurt and I’m tired. Normally I’m bored and have too little to do. This is different. It takes me back to jobs of yore. Why oh why can’t I find a job that has the perfect amount of work? Something that keeps me interested and engaged in what I’m doing, but doesn’t require me to work a single minute of overtime? Something that makes the day fly by but that I don’t think about when I’m at home? It’s always been feast or famine for me. My life is like “The Three Bears” and I’m ready for my “Just Right.”

Combine a heavy workload with what happened at Virginia Tech this week and it’s been my worst week of blogging (you know, since I started it way back in March). Events like Virginia Tech are tough for me to talk about, yet I feel like they should be talked about, even though I know everyone else has already said it better. I guess I fear letting it sink in too much because I ultimately end up in a pit of despair about what humans are capable of doing to each other. It starts with VT, spins to the pain we’re causing children and families in Iraq, spins to everything happening unchecked in Darfur, and then lands right on the Holocaust. I start to feel like we never learn and that the world is never going to get any better, only worse. Which then leads me to wondering why I would want to bring a kid into all this. And eventually I sit wide awake in bed, like I did this morning, thinking about what it would have been like to have been in the VT French class as the gunman walked down each row just shooting people. Bad bad bad.

So I try to keep away from the news and think about other things. Thank god for the distraction of other blogs. I know a lot of people feel strangely about writing things they might consider trivial in the face of the VT massacre, but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to read about something else.

I thought I was doing a little better until the Supreme Court went and announced their judgment in the “partial-birth” abortion case. I’ll put it out there: I’m really liberal and I’m proud to be that way. I’m also very invested in politics and find myself frequently upset by what’s happening in our country. I take things very personally. Now, I also realize that there are people on the exact opposite side of the fence from me, and that they feel exactly the same way about their politics as I do about mine. I don’t think of [all] Republicans as idiots and I don’t think the Democrats always get it right, but I do know what it feels like not have any of my interests represented by our elected officials. I vote in every election and yet for the last 6 years very little of what I consider important has been worked on, while so much of what I disagree with has been pushed through. I’m sure there were Republicans who felt like this during the Clinton years. It sucks and I get really pissed off thinking about how only half the country at a time is getting what they want. It just doesn’t seem right. I could easily go on a tirade about everything that the Bush administration has done that I disagree with, but I don’t have the energy to go there now. But I do take it VERY PERSONALLY when the government starts telling people what they can do with their own bodies, whether that be abortion, euthanasia, or medicinal pot. I find the idea of abortions in the second trimester very upsetting, but there are rare cases when it might be necessary. This is a decision for a woman and her doctor to make. I can understand why people are disturbed by the idea of abortion. The thing is, it’s their choice not to have one. Everyone should have that choice. This ruling by the Supreme Court makes it clear that John Roberts has no intention of sticking with precedent and every intention of chipping away at my rights. This is as personal as it gets.