Rainy Days and Mondays…

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I’m sure someone out there that does the hiring for the places I’ve applied for has found this blog. And they most likely think that I am some depressed, oppressed being. But in fact, I am not.

Now that I think of it, I dont really think that my current cover letter (all custom tailored to the jobs I’m applying to, of course) really convey how awesome of a worker I am. So here’s a new version that I hope some HR rep finds and gives me a gold star (or better yet, a great job) for:

To whom it may concern:

I have recently come across your posting for a position that made me sit up a bit straighter, tuck in my shirt, spit out my gum, and stop twiddling my thumbs. You see, for the last two years, I have been working a job that has not challenged me, repressed my creative side, but has allowed me ample time to wikipedia the royal family and occasionally read news blogs. So, to know that there are better careers out there for me obviously catches my attention and makes me dream of the awesome potential there is in work.

I wont bore you with what I know. I promise you that it is standard. I can type, create, file, answer phones with a smile, and send out countless emails. I also know my way around cameras, sound equipment, and industrial sized printers. I’m willing to fix things when they are broken, and when I dont know how to do it, I can read a manual. I’m willing.

But there is much more to me. I am creative! That description is general, I know. But let’s just say that I like to think outside that cubicle. I research, analyze, color scheme, and design until things are perfect. I obsess over details, but I’m flexible to change. I take criticism for my work personally, but in a way that inspires me to want more. When I work with students, I want them to know that I am there for them, that I care about them, that I want them to succeed. Because them succeeding is me succeeding. And who wouldn’t want that warm, happy feeling? I guess you could say that I am passionate. Part of me is political and the other part is full of this need to make sure that I can do as much as possible in this short time we have in the office. I believe that all humans, even office slaves, are entitled to good. And I want to work my butt off to see that happen. To wrap up my skills: creative, obsessed, passionate, flexible, and empathetic.

What can you do for me? Well, I’m young enough and without child, so give me long hours. No, seriously. GIVE ME LONG HOURS. I like to bring my work home. Challenge me. Give me tasks that will take a long time to do. In fact, give me impossible deadlines. Everyone needs stress. And if I dont get it from time to time, I do stress. Ask me to travel or work outside the office (bonus points for sunny locations). Again, I’m at the point in my life where I can and want to do both things. Weekend work? Sure! Event planning? My specialty? Assisting you with an overseas project? Let me download my translator ap and pack a carry-on.  Like I said, I want challenge. I get joy and ownership from finishing projects, especially if they are tough and/or depend on my involvement. When I dont do well, I want honest feedback. Dont threaten my job, just let me know what I can do better. You, I am assuming, would be my boss or supervisor. Please treat me like I want to eventually be you. Show me the ropes, give me advice, occasionally force me to see reality. I want that. Really.

This job search is hard. And I am sure you have 100 applicants just like me. But I hope you see my earnest want to work, learn, and grow with you. I hope that you have a sense of humor to enjoy this. It was done out of a passionate need to feel like I am going somewhere in life- to settle down with a true career that will last me a lifetime. I dont want to go anywhere soon. And I believe that makes me a pretty unique 20-something. If you agree, you have my contact information. Please feel free to ask me questions, send me flowers, or send my correspondence to your spam box.

Thanks,

Michelle A.

Birthday Ideas

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B got angry with me because I couldn’t straight up tell him what I’d like to do for my birthday. He suggested that I make a list. So here it goes:

How I’d like to celebrate my 25th year of existence (3 months from now):

  1. Pretend that I have friends who know it’s my birthday. Throw myself a surprise birthday party. Actually be surprised when more than my fiance shows up! Dance horribly till 10pm.
  2. Travel somewhere exotic and pretend that I look great in a swimsuit covering only a quarter of my body- obviously a shout out to my “quarter birthday.” Attempt not to burn. Burn anyways. Slather myself in green goo to help sunburn. Wear hipster sunglasses (birthday gift idea: Ray-Bans).
  3. Go camping. Get stung by wild insect and develop blisters. Fight off ant infestation of sleeping bag. Have lasting nightmares about ant infestation. Forever be paranoid about ants.
  4.  Be nostalgic. Eat pop rocks and nerds. Play original Nintendo games. Reenact scenes from Power Rangers. Get kicked in face by much larger, Black Power Ranger. Complain that this only happens to the girls of the show. Fight sexism.
  5. Learn how to play poker. Go to the casino (preferably not in Gary since I do want to live past my 25th birthday). Lose money. Win money. Lose money. Lose money. WIN MONEY. Lose all money.
  6. Buy groupon for skydiving. Not make it home.
  7. Sit in the audience for The View. Mock Barbra Walters. Not make it home.

Muppet of a Man

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I feel like I should really be singing this song:

I’ve been dreaming about this stage in my life for so long. Finally, I am:

  1. Living in the big ol’ city with big ol’ city things happening.
  2. In grad school and actually doing ok!
  3. Working a job that doesn’t pay me peanuts and offers me nifty grownup things like health and dental insurance (and something called a 403B, which sounds like a seedy motel room off the interstate)

    This is seriously what popped up when I google searched "403B"

  4. Driving a fancy-shmancy new car around
  5. In the best physical health of my life. I may not be the size I imagined myself, but I ran a freakin’ half marathon in a somewhat decent time. And I can finally do a pull-up after years of crying over my failure to do them during the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge
  6. Learning a whole bunch of new hobbies… like swimming, knitting,sketching, etc.
  7. ENGAGED. I was never really wedding “obsessed,” butI will admit to fantasizing over what it would be like to plan a wedding
  8. With a guy who does truly care about my well-being, and even after I present my craziness, he still does care.
  9. Away from the drama that was college and high school. And confident enough to know that those years were “dark” for a reason.
  10. Can afford things. Like real food, gym memberships, and netflix subscriptions!

And seriously, I could go on. My life has a lot of fulfillment in it. Yet, I often find myself behaving a lot like this:

… Actually, screw a picture. It feels like all this good isn’t that great. I am a literal shell of the person I once was. And I dont know if it’s because I lost a part of me a long time ago that could tolerate what scares me now (crowds, strangers, speaking in public, performing, going out late at night, etc), or it’s because I’ve genuinely changed and this is how it is always going to be.

All I know is that I wake up every morning with my heart racing in anticipation of how many panic attacks or emotional breakdowns I may have. I am totally strung out with emotions.

A guy on the L literally made me cry this morning. What did he do? He looked at me and snarled. And for some reason, this man (who looked like he was on his way to the crack-pot convention) and his snap, facial judgment of me made me lose it. And oddly enough, this reaction isn’t even uncommon anymore.

Hear a U2 song? Pull over the car and sob.

Cant find workout socks? Scream in to pillow.

Boyfriend call your clearly childish actions… uh, childish? Throw Ipod cord.

Loud noises? Run out of room.

Realize you went 10 points over on weight watchers? Punish self with constant mental put-downs for hours.

All of these things have happened to me in the last 2 days.

… I want to be better. I really do. I want to feel braver. And stronger. And less manic all the time. I keep thinking that this is a symptom of the weather and me working in an office with no windows or outside facing doors. Or, it’s because I stopped running outside over the winter. Maybe it’s the major life changes coming. Or maybe it’s the lack of them. Whatever it is, I’m just not getting X, and it’s making me act like Y.

I’m starting to believe that this is an unsolvable problem. Or, that I’ll hit rock bottom in the immediate future, and it will force me to give up and get the care I need. Wow. I must be pretty low already if I am actively hoping that it will actually get worse

And I really dont know how to end this blog. So, I am going to take a cue from someone much stronger and wonderful than me, Miss Maggie W., and say “Every Rilo Kiley lyric ever.”

Sometimes in the morning i am petrified and can’t move
Awake but cannot open my eyes
And the weight is crushing down on my lungs i know i can’t breath
And hope someone will help me this time
Your mother’s still calling you insane and high
Swearing it’s different this time
And you tell her to give in to the demons that possess her
And that God never blessed her insides
Then you hang up the phone and feel badly for upsetting things
And crawl back into bed to dream of a time
When your heart was open wide and you loved things just because
Like the sick and the dying

And sometimes when you’re on, you’re really fucking on
And your friends they sing along and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in its absense
But you’ll fight and you’ll make it through
You’ll fake it if you have to
And you’ll show up for work with a smile
And you’ll be be better you’ll be smarter
More grown up and a better daughter
Or son and a real good friend
And you’ll be awake and you’ll be alert
You’ll be positive though it hurts
And you’ll laugh and embrace all your friends
And you’ll be a real good listener
You’ll be honest you’ll be brave
You’ll be handsome you’ll be beautiful
You’ll be happy

Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below
Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
And you’ll fight it. You’ll go out fighting all of them…

Black Cloud Cartoons

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What my mind feels like

 

What I look like to my loved ones

How my foster dog sees me

What I really want to do...

But what I'm doing instead.

What I need to get better

 

But what I wont do.

Because I’m stuck in a:

That’s really my own:

And I dont think I’m coming out any time soon.

So, please:

And

I’ll be back

I hope.

And I promise to be a better:

Why Didn’t I Learn That?

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One year, B took me to a somewhat local music festival. Like all camping fests, it included its fair shares of dirty hippy people doing dirty hippy things.

Now, I get the whole, peace/love/free expression vibe. And man, some of their fashion was pretty awesome. But, besides that, I draw the line on my love for hippy culture. I respect you if that’s your thing, but dont expect me to join in our uncoordinated drum circle anytime soon.

But there is one thing that I do appreciate from pseudo-hippies. And it’ so odd that I dont even know if I should share it…

Ok, I will. Because I’m blogging and I can say whatever I want without total repercussions or judgment.

Man. I want to learn how to hoop…

Hoop, as in HULA HOOP!

Mind blown, futuristic hippy lady.

First of all, this looks like a fantastic workout. And since my hips certainly do not belong to Shakira, I’d love to find a great workout for them. But, there’s an issue.

I. Cant. Hula. Hoop!

I’ve tried countless amounts of times to learn. Friends have spent hours (nay, minutes) trying to teach me. But as patient as they may be, my inability to make perfect circles with my hips has ruled the day. Sometime around college, I came to the conclusion that I would never, ever learn how to hula hoop. There was obviously something wrong with my body since it felt like I was the only girl in the world who lacked the ability to swing a plastic colored ring around her torso.

It’s so alienating, let me tell you.

Now that I am older and have been experimenting with fitness trends like Zumba and the occasional strip-tease class, I think it’s time to spread my wings and give this one a go.

But where do I start? I HAVE NO IDEA. Do I just buy a hoop and spend hours in my locked bedroom until I get it right? Or do they have classes where adults like me learn the basics of hip movements? Worse so, if I do find a hooping class, will it be filled with 10 year old girls who have already mastered the neck hooping?

I think this is just one of those things where I am going to have to learn it on my own, at least to save potential embarrassment and finger pointing from little girls.

The next time I go to Target, I’ll buy myself a hula hoop and dedicate some time to learning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, I suppose. And I wasn’t able to run a 5K the first week three months I tried.

Maybe this will become a metaphor for my life. It seems like a lot of fitness stuff does once I get good at it. Heck, half the time in spin class, I remind myself that every spin is a journey… or some BS like that.

Maybe every turn around the hoop will be one more daemon from my childhood leaving me? Nah. Too dramatic. I’ll work on it.

Any suggestions on how conquering hooping can be a metaphor for my life? Bonus point if it uses a pun.

Crab People (Introverted vs. Extroverted)

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People drain me. Physically, emotionally, figuratively… they suck.

I’ve read in several articles about people with introverted characteristics that this phenomenon isn’t unusual. Introverts can be socially outgoing, but we are inwardly super self conscious. For example, I LOVE to share or answer questions in my grad classes. I dont shy away from that. However, it may take me several minutes to formulate thoughts, to feel out the room, to make sure that raising my hand wont be construed as me being “pushy” or “dumb.” At parties, I’ll be fine (if not a bit of a background character), but I’m often full of dread in the car ride over or I will spend days in advance thinking of talking points and reviewing my friends.

It’s all soooo much to do and take in.

That’s why introverts lose energy from other people.

That's pretty accurate.

 

It doesn’t help when you are in a serious relationship with someone who is so clearly an extrovert. B, a great guy and all, is a bit clueless on my little introverted quirks. He doesn’t understand my need for space, privacy, warmth, and time outs from the world.

Most of all, he doesn’t understand that I process the world in solitude. I dont share, partially because I am terrified of being a burden. The other reason is because I know how much my own problems can overwhelm me, so why would I want to share these experiences and emotions with someone who is not actively involved?

When there is an issue to be dealt with, I go through stages: 1.) Outwardly emotional. 2.) Inwardly emotional 3.) Inner reflection 4.) Conclusion 5.) Resolution. If there is no answer to a question or problem, then I skip over conclusion and get to resolution. And from there, there is nothing left to be said. It’s done. The problem is that all but one of these steps is accomplished internally. So I often cannot address the reflections or resolutions I have made.

And it’s a communications break down from there.

I worry. A lot. I worry that I am unable to verbalize what emotions I have and when I have them. But I am even more worried that because I have built up this wall where people know I process emotions internally instead of externally, when I do verbalize what I feel… well, it’s not trusted or understood. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Here’s another analogy: You’re the popular girl at high school and you’ve made wearing pink the “it” thing to do. Everyone expects you to come to school in pink. One day, you decide to wear black and while friends see that you are wearing black, they think you are still wearing pink socks under your black pants or that you are wearing black as some joke on the goth kids. The point of you wearing black (to show that you are diverse in your choices or to get a point across) is lost because you chose to wear pink every single day since freshman year of high school.

 

Poor B has to deal with me flip-flopping on how I address my emotions. One day, I am sharing every bit of my day with him. The next, I am locking myself in my bedroom or sitting in my closet so I could have a moment alone.

(And this is when I tell you the horrible story about how I once laid under my bed for six hours straight after a particularly long day at work. Nothing was inherently wrong. I just wanted to lay under the bed and soak in the quiet and dark.)

But, the truth is that interactions drain me. Right now, if someone was asking, I’d say my stress level was at an 8 out of 10.

Look like Crab. Talk like people.

Why so high? I HAVE NO IDEA. All I can say is that my time around people has increased. And while none (except for a few dim moments) have been negative experiences, being around people for an extended period has turned me in to a complete crab-person. I’m emotional and uneven tempered, and I really just want to sit in my shell and listen to dance music (yes, I know…) till I feel better.

So, fellow introverts, how do you deal with your extroverted love ones? Are they soul-sucking hell beasts, too? Or are they understanding, lovers of crab people?

 

Budgeting

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Last night was my first (real) class of the winter quarter. My one class is Budget and Financing for Higher Education Administrators. In other words…

Ok. Actually, it isn’t that bad. While my personality type demands that I should never be handed over a bunch of cash and asked to manage it, I do occasionally dabble in the purchases of my office.

It’s rare.

At least the professor is interesting. He keeps it very open and more of a forum discussion. Having a debate over if tenure helps or hurts university budgets was actually… uh… fun.

What wasn’t fun was after a 10 hour work day + 3 hour class, I came home to find my lovely, wonderful, amazing fiance wanting to talk about budgets.

To make matters worse… we’re talking WEDDING BUDGETS.

I really, really do not mind talking wedding budgets. I’m not so indoctrinated to the wedding dogma that is TLC that I am calling platinum wedding shots, but really…

I love you, my darling, but I just spent an entire day staring or thinking at everyone’s money, but mine. Let’s not start.

That might have been harsh. While we have a vague understanding of how much we are going to be spending (*cough* too much *cough*), we do need to set aside a time to look at what our priorities are.

Do we want a house in 5 or less years? How about longer travel? What about kids?

All valid questions that we need to sort through, I suppose. But dear God, not when I just came from a budgeting course.

At this point, I think it would be more productive to throw money at a couple wedding vendors and tell ’em to run free with it. Ugly chair bows? WHY NOT. Overexposed photos of posed drunk family members eating friend chicken off of paper plates? GO FOR IT, REDNECKS!

At least I wont have to deal with a budget.