Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Pride 2015


Such an amazing day. Surrounded by amazing people. In an amazing city. Celebrating an amazing time in our country. I couldn't be happier. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

That is not me in the Photograph

I repeat. This is not a photograph of me. I do not look anything like this (trust me) but I took a personal day off from work (cough, cough) to treat myself to a much needed hair cut (my hair is wild and shaggy these days) and I'm hoping my hairdresser can recreate this summer look. Look how pretty this girl, who is not me, looks. Look at her hair and beachy vibe...I want all of this today. 
So yea, I haven't really figured out how imma walk in to work tomorrow with a new refreshing look after taking a personal day but I don't really care. Work has been the pits this week and if I have to sit through another damn meeting where someone places blame and complains imma scream. 

Instead I am on the train to the city, book and phone in hand. I will get my hair done and explore city blocks and buy gelato. Those are my plans. Work will have to take a backseat :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Working Stiff

As work takes up a bulk of my day and time, I feel very Bridget Jones Diary isque these days writing from my cubicle as I count down the hours until 6 (2 hours and 43 whole minutes) and document my semi-adult happenings. All I need now is a Darcy isque suitor and other such hilarity in the mix and my life would really feel like it was on track.
While my current situation borders on Bridget Jones territory it is also a mix of Mean Girls and Office Space. While I have endured much worse than office drudgery and bitchassness, the wear and tear is inevitable. This being the first real office gig I've had, I don't think i was prepared for the atmosphere that is birth from cubicles, weekly meetings, spreadsheets and annoying and mandatory cake and happy birthday sing-a-longs. Yes, happy effing birthday caroling... in the conference room.... every time someone's birthday comes around.
Last week, well past lunch and yet way before the end of the day, we were all uniformly called into the conference room where we were forced to gather around the table and sing happy birthday to another co-worker who's birthday was this week. While I love me some cake (i love me some cake) there is nothing more mortifying than singing happy birthday off key for a person you don't really know or care for. At the end of the awkward celebration crept back to our cubicles before having to actually engage in conversation.
It's brutal. I have never worked so hard for food in my life and I am embarrassed every time I am forced to participate.
I realize now that I may not be an office person, for obvious reasons, and while I am good at my job I do hope it is as temporary as one of those tattoo's you apply to your skin with warm water and a cloth. My fear is that like Le Sad Store temporary will turn into "how the hell have i been here for six years" when I barely see myself lasting a year.
The main issue i have with working in an office, or this office in particular, is that  I am so used to being a part of a team (albeit a dysfunctional one) that the separateness drives me crazy. Though we all work in the same space, mere inches away from each other, we are 'separated' by departments and entitlement. On a daily basis it is a whose penis is bigger competition and if i can be honest no one is packing heat. No one.
Just a few minutes ago a client called with a complaint. I put her on hold and tried to get her in touch with anyone in the office who could help her. Perhaps my mistake was saying "can anyone help [insert name here] she has a is having an issue with..." Immediately motherfuckers pretended like they didn't know what a phone was. There was a cacophony of "well i can't help her because it's not my job" "well it's not my job either" "have her speak to [insert name here]" "i don't wanna help her! have her call.." this went for longer than it should. Eventually I just took a message and apologized because someone would have to return her call.
Everyone was pleased that they passed the 'buck'..I instead seethed with frustration and agitation. I know work is not supposed to be fun, I know that for 8 hours a day I am required to put in as much effort so that it appears I am doing work (blogging has helped, as the sound of my typing makes it seem as if I am doing work). But I also know this there is something to account for working with people you actually enjoy seeing 40 hours a week. 40 hours is a lot of time! I spend more time with these people than I do my friends, family and possibly even netflix! And me and Netflix spend a lot of time together.
So when my work days are long and tedious, when my head feels like it being stepped on by a very adorable but heavy elephant it is not because what i do is terrible. It is who i work with that is. And the adjustment to this has not been easy. While Le Sad Store financially, emotionally and mentally was a trying and often difficulty place to work there are moments where I would trade the stability of this job and the dreaded isolation I feel from my co-workers to be back at Le Sad Store when things were okay and my nights were spent hanging out with my best friends. It was a very small window of okay times there but dammit they were good.
I am sure the atmosphere of retail, combined with the employees at Le Sad Store contributed to our work environment being unlike any other place I have worked. When it was good, the pieces just sort of fit together nicely. We were this perfect team of work productivity and friendship. I legitimately had a friendship, or at least kinship, with everyone I worked with there and I fear that is is something I will never have again.
This office gig is just a rather static space where a bunch of people who want/need money gather for 5 days a week for 8 hours a day. I can't tell you the number of days I have gone with out uttering an actual word to the person in the cubicle next to me. It's freaking weird. Just plain weird.
So having Patricia as a sort of built in friend was refreshing, especially since also worked at Le Sad Store (tho we didn't talk much the short time she worked there). So, while I do not mind that creepy guy is too scared to even look in my direction these days yet alone talk to me, the awkward tension between Patricia and I feels like a loss. Not a huge one, but an 8 hours a day, 5 days a week loss.
Lyle is the only one who has stood by my side like a trusted confidant and sidekick. And while there is something nice and confronting about his work companionship the complete and utter desertion from Patricia in favor of Shane is freaking unbelievable. Unbelievable. I feel like a contestant on Big Brother who has suddenly gone from having house allies to having none and the shift is strange for various reasons.
I can totally understand why Shane has stopped talking to me. I actually am grateful for his cold shoulder and distance. I'd rather be ignored than asked inappropriate questions. There is a reason his nickname is Creep Master Funk, he gave off this incredible vibe of being "frustrated" and I got this sense he thought I could relieve that tension. When I was the only other person, besides him staying till six on Fridays, I asked Kat to chill with me for an hour in the office so I would not have to be alone with him. Kat immediately picked up on Shane's creepiness and also said he gave off an incredibly disgusting vibe
I have always had this fear of not being believed. Like an overwhelming fear of it. I was never a girl who cried wolf because I saw what happened to that kid. The moment he needed everyone to take him seriously, people where unfazed by his cry for help and brushed him aside. They like were 'eff you kid, we don't believe you anymore. You are forever branded a liar".Ugh, worst nightmare ever. A small part of me has always been so honest because of this fear. When it comes to very practical elements of my life I am truthful and honest to a fault.Lying is akin to being untrustworthy and who the hell wants to be untrustworthy.
With Patricia suddenly giving me the cold shoulder and actual stank bitch face attitude, I can only conclude that she thinks I lied and made the whole thing up. She believes that Shane is not a creepy older horny guy who asked me inappropriate questions. She believes I exaggerated my discomfort level. She thinks I cried wolf, something I would not and have never done. The worst part is that she has shattered my belief that when it comes down to it, girls stick together. I mean aren't we supposed to?
I can't imagine me reacting the way she has. This is not to say I wanted her to take sides and choose me because eww how freaking disgusting is it of a male co-worker to be so creepy and brazen about it. I didn't expect her to stop talking to Shane because wtf married guy with a newborn baby what the hell are you doing. But I guess a part of me was hoping that would be the outcome cause maybe I did want to make a new friend and for the most part Patricia seemed like a good candidate. 

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Pre Monday Blues and Anxiety

So things are definitely awkward between Shane, aka Creepy Guy, aka CreepMaster Funk, aka Eww Dude, and I and to be honest I care only enough to blog about it because as Sunday comes to a close I am already annoyed by the bullshit of a week I will have to endure because of this emasculated pervert.

I am much too old to deal with a dude who crossed the line.I am much to old to try and cater to hurt feelings. I know for a fact had I had to deal with this situation a couple of years ago I would feel responsible and guilty for Creepy Guys action. I would have placed blame on myself, for any number of reasons, as to why he crossed a boundary with me. I know that I probably would have let it go on rather than stop it cold. I know I would not have gone to Trish out of embarrassment and irrationality (why would anyone find me interesting enough to want be so suggestive) to discuss how uncomfortable he has made me feel. I would have endured alone and I have little to no doubt that something would have happened physically, emotionally and spiritually which would have immobilized me.

 At the ripe old age of 29 however, that shit will not and does not fly. It's weird getting older. It does get better, however cliche the statement is. Things eventually get better, even when it seems like they won't, they just do. I am still very much insecure and anxious and socially awkward. I still cannot make small talk to save my life and there is and always will be dancing in my pj's on Friday nights. Always. I still daydream and feel out of touch and obsess about Buffy. I am still the same person I was 10 years ago but instead of feeling weird about my idiosyncrasies, I've just learned to accept and embrace, accept and embrace, and what a difference this mantra has proven.

 Overnight I've grown a backbone or at least the lack of patience to put up with bs. It may be the only thing I can thank Sean for if I can be honest. I was dragged around for so long by the boy, that I know now how much of a waste that is and the toll that it takes on me. Now I am a champion of assertiveness. I try not to beat around bushes, I stray from pettiness, and I lay my cards on the table.   Passivity will never escape me fully, but I now  know which battles are worth fighting and which aren't. Creepy Guys creepiness is one of them.

 Obviously money was not the deciding factor when I took this job. While the pay is great, the job that was also offered to me at the same time  paid significantly more and would have saved me hours and money on commuting. I passed on it mainly because the office was tiny and I knew i'd be alone. Despite my anxiety, I really do like working with and around people, I like being part of a team (even a dysfunctional one) and I had this overwhelming sense that i'd be completely isolated working mere minutes from my house. Isolation for me is a good and bad thing. I like solidarity on my terms, I do not like it when it is routine.

So in a crazy move, I took the lesser paying job, in favor of working with people. And for the most part the decision has been a good and frustrating one. Positive: I am surrounded by people, am always busy and there is never a dull moment at my job. There's an older woman a cubicle away from me who has suddenly become my book sharing buddy. She reads all the bestsellers and new titles and has recently started letting me borrow them after she's finished. I think we have unintentionally started a book club here, though so far we are the only members. Working in customer service is oddly enough also a positive because I am also constantly interacting with people/clients albeit angry and hostile ones but my voice has a way of soothing people and so far there are worse things to do for a living.

Negative: For someone who has worked for both a corporation and University, the lack of policies at this place is killing me. This company has only been in business for six years and naturally lacks the business knowledge of what works well and what doesn't. I am all about efficiency and meeting deadlines and quotas. I am also all about work policies that everyone should abide by. I think tardiness needs to be reprimanded, I think goals have to be given, enforced and reached and I think failure to comply to this should be meet with some form of consequence. The fact that someone who is supposed to be in at  9am can stroll in at 10:30 and no one says anything is beyond frustrating. Yesterday the marketing team went to lunch for 2 hours. 2 whole hours and they only work half days on Friday. The owner of the company (who is often never there) rarely enforces the rules because he wants to be a chill boss and because of this people are taking advantage and work isn't getting done. This week our manager, the only enforcement we have, was out of town for vacation so the office was beyond chaotic. I know from experience that when things fall through the crack it's an avalanche rather than a small decline and I, surprisingly am the only person who is not okay with our everyday is casual Friday work ethic.

The biggest negative is Shane, whose hurt feeling and subsequent emasculation has resulted in a) me being banished from the lunch group and b) complete and utter silence from him as a result. It's beyond juvenile.

The short end of it is that the moment i started there he'd ask really weird and personal questions that I was uncomfortable with.I am not sure what his relationship is like Trish. but they are definitely close and make up a two person impenetrable team, and for some reason I think he got the impression that I too would form some weird office bond with him. Just not the friendship bond.

 It started with him asking me how many guys hit on me per day, if I had any tattoos on any part of my body that were not visible due to clothing, if my coffee breaks after work were actual lingo for 'sex', if i was into the whole 50 shades of grey phenom. It doesn't sound like much but coming from a guy i've known less than 3 months it was beyond uncomfortable and it only got worse.When I started becoming friends with Lyle, Shane started saying that Lyle and I were close because we were doing inappropriate stuff together.He asked about my tattoos again but this time asked if I had any on my breast. I called out of work a few weeks ago cause I caught the bug that was affecting us all in the office. I returned the next day but Lyle had just called out too because of sickness. During lunch that day Shane made a snide comment that Lyle must have caught his cold from me because we probably were passing 'fluids'.

 A week or two later Trish and I were talking about someone we used to work with at Le Sad Store. Said person wanted to have a mini Le Sad Store reunion but some how managed to not invite me. This same person also unfriended me a few months back and this recent diss seemed personal. As I was lamenting about her and the slight, Shane (out of nowhere) says 'did you steal her boyfriend or something".

 Now I know what you are thinking, cause I too have thought it. Shane's subtle, or not so subtle, suggestions about me being a harlot has made me question what Trish has told him about me, if anything. Because unless he is just an inappropriate dirty dude, I cannot for the life of me understand how or why he got that impression unless something was said to him in passing about me. And for obvious reasons, Trish definitely knows about the ashat and I. I mean I confessed everything to her bf who no doubt told her....but from what I know of her I can't imagine me or the ashat being a topic of discussion at lunch. The only other alternative is that creepy guy is just creepy and I am his new object of obsession.

He'd hover around my cubicle like a fly that I couldn't get rid of. He kept asking if we could hang out after work near my house. He never once talked about his wife or newborn baby but he would ask me what 'fun' i had planned on my weeknights. And while I'd hate to compare this to anyone who has actually experience sexual harassment at the work place, I will validate that Shane made me uncomfortable, his questions/remarks were inappropriate and I was beginning to feel unsafe around him.

Before I even went to Trish about my concerns, I stopped responding to Shane on all levels. Outside of a hi in the morning, I ignored his gchat invites, I stopped attending lunch everyday with them so as to avoid him, I made sure not to prolong conversations that could steer in the wrong direction and I refused to be alone with him...ever. I think he sensed my cold shoulder because instead of respecting my space he got more snippy and aggressive with me. Remind you he is not my boss, but he started nitpicking little things that made no sense. One time he offered to help me out with a project and then got annoyed that I asked him for help (which I did not do). He'd see Lyle and I talking in the kitchenette and make some comment about how close we are (grant it, Lyle and I are blooming work besties but that's it). On Fridays, everyone leaves early, but he said I can't. That I have to stay until 6pm and of course guess who stays with me...him.

 The kicker came when he told me I wasn't allowed to eat lunch with our lunch group anymore because he noticed that i only went to lunch with them 3 times out of the week instead of five and if that was the case I didn't need to eat with them anymore and would have to take my lunch at another time.

 Da Fuck.

Da fuckidy fuck.

When I was 17 or 18 years old my mom took my brother and I to visit our Great Aunt Tit. The name alone should give you some insight into her personality. She was this small, wiry, masculine, vivacious and haughty women with a raspy voice and hard lines. I think I fell in love with her as soon as I ascended the porch steps to her house. I, of course had bad hair, a sullen attitude was chubby and boyish and had no interest in being social with family members foreign to me. Aunt Tit caught on to this quickly and instead of letting me go inside with my brother to meet cousins with similar features but little else in common, she asked that I stay on the porch with the women of the household, who have a tendency of talking on the porch for hours.

 As I sat in the corner sulking I would catch Aunt Tit looking at me from time to time with a curios expression on her face, so much so that I thought she too was criticizing me silently in some way (insecure 17 year old me was AWFUL). After a few glances my way she announced quite cryptically "you, you are going to be trouble for boys. just wait". And because i was gross and 17 and insecure and had a cowlick that never wanted to lay down, I didn't believe her. Instead I suddenly disliked her because I thought she was making fun of me. But now at 29, I think my crazy Great Aunt Tit might have been on to something.

 I know that I can't make generalizations, and honestly my dating life outside of Ashat has been pretty uneventful but there is something in the water with the boys who tend to like me. Damaged, needy, all consuming and possessive by turns equally dismissive, aloof and in ashats case cruel. While I am not everyone's cup of tea in the small pool of guys who like me I am 'cool' 'refreshing' and a 'concept' because of my nerdy interest. But the moment I assert an actual opinion, desire, request, personality uniquely different from the person who caters to making people feel comfortable...I am a bitch. I am needy. I am immature. I am no longer a commodity.

 In Shane's case when i went along with his weird questions, and didn't get all offended by his 'suggestions' I was awesome! The moment I shut the shit down, I became a problem and his only way of fixing it was to cast me aside. He came up to me in front of everyone and said I could not eat with them anymore. He gave some bullshit excuse about their being no one in the office at a particular time to answer the phones, so I couldn't eat lunch with them anymore because it was a conflict of productivity. I rolled my eyes, called bs on the whole scenario and said I was fine eating alone but I would take my lunch whenever I wanted to, regardless. Over the weekend I couldn't let the lunch shit go. I also couldn't understand why Trish had not done much to protest. I know we aren't close friends and all but isn't there like an unspoken girl code or something that says 'sisters back each other the fuck up'. She did not get that memo, she is the worst girl friend ever.

Regardless, I decided to talk to her about Shane and admit that he'd said some pretty inappropriate stuff to me and that is why i'd been distant. She was shocked and a little appalled by what he'd said but as the days have progressed she too seems to be pulling away from me. As if I have exaggerated the incidents and am a sensitive girl crying wolf. After our talk on Monday Trish barely said two words to me the rest of the work week and a line in the sand has definitely been made: an uneven line.

I am dreading Monday morning and walking into work because suddenly I am the pariah. I am the heretic and i'd be lying if I said the whole situation hasn't gotten under my skin. I took this job because i wanted to make friends and in turn I managed to possibly lose a potential one along with gaining an enemy in a creepy older guy who now is being a douche. I just can't win. I always manage to cause a little trouble whenever I am.

Le Sigh.

For now I won't worry too much about the shenanigans bound to occur at work. I had a hella successful Ikea trip this weekend and I am so happy with the small changes that have been added to my place (a new bookshelf, a dresser and a kitchen cart). I spent all damn nigh building the furniture and my whole body aches but my life and self worth outside of work is only getting better. So i'll worry about perverts and mean girls and being a pariah tomorrow.

Right now I am going to order a big ass pizza pie, grab a cold cider and marathon Sense8 on Netflix. Right now i'm going to focus on my priorities.


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

'Murica

That awkward moment when your order from Urban Oufitters arrives and you have no other choice but to spend the next five hours tacking it up to your wall because you didn't realize how big the actual wall map was going be or that it would require more man power than one person. 

I'm pooped but I do think it looks okay. It's much bigger than I excepted but now I sort of have an accent wall in my studio and a makeshift headboard cause I sleep weird (sideways). 

Time for bed finally. The last two days at work have been busier then ever and putting this damn tapestry up has exhausted all my energy for one day. All in the name of decorating I guess.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Cubicle Life and Other Musings.

I am not going to lie...having a full time job is freaking weird. Having a full time job in a office is even weirder, if that's even possible. For the last 3 months I have been gainfully employed by a start up company thanks to my good friends gf, Trish, who saw an job opening at her job she'd thought i'd be good at. 

Seeing that i'd just quit Le Sad Store around this time the offer was made and as my hours were being slashed at the University (because the school may be going bankrupt), I was more than eager at the opportunity. The months preceding my new job were not great. While I absolutely love my new place (more on that later) moving sucked. I had actually been toying with the idea of moving long before my landlady broke the news to me. She didn't like when I had guest over, it was tough having to share a bathroom with three other women one of whom was a pre-teen who just discovered Bath and Body Works. I was concerned about my lack of freedom as well. While I had free reign of the whole house when no one else was there, I felt confined to my room because it was the only place that was really mine and off limits. There also always seemed to be this awkward tension between my landlady towards the end of my stay there as it became more and more aware I was just some person renting a room in her home. 

Oddly enough this discomfort of living there was made evident when Sean came to visit last Summer. He'd come over so we could argue some more and as we were leaving the house when we passed my landlady on the stairs and she gave a look so disapproving I felt ashamed, as if having a boy in my room was a rule punishable by banishment. When we got to the car Sean said 'you really should think about moving soon, there is definitely a problem here".  

So when the prospect of moving occurred,I was not at all pissed about having to leave, I hated the suddenness of it all, I hated being forced to leave because my landlady sold the house without giving me proper notice. I hated not being able to take the cat who loved me best of all along with me. I was attached to the memories of living there and leaving in some ways felt like I was leaving them behind as well. I wasn't prepared. After the move to my new place, I felt sort of alone and out of touch with everyone and thing. I quit the Le Sad Store soon after because the commute (which up until then had never been a factor) and my general dissatisfaction/discomfort of working there was overwhelming. Saying goodbye to the drudgery of retail was easy, saying goodbye to the extra dough and memories was hard. 

Unfortunately I quit right around the time my University sent a mass email revealing that they'd up and lost $2 million dollars of our payroll expenses and part time employees hours were to be cut immediately and a hiring freeze was in effect until the money could be 'found'. This bad news was only compounded by the fact that I partially quit Le Sad Store because I had an interview with the University right before the announcement of the freeze and was a shoe in for a new opening on campus. When it became apparent that that was not going to happen the move and quitting the book store suddenly seemed like huge mistakes. 

By Christmas I was all but through with everything and spent the holidays broke, depressed and seriously contemplating moving back to South Carolina. At the time I had less than $100 in my bank account, had lost so much weight because I could not afford to feed myself and pay for rent. On top of that Sean was home for the holidays..I will not go into detail about all that transpired between me and that asshole. It was not a fun time in my life. 

Anywho, around my birthday I was determined to turn things around because I was starting to feel desolate and without hope. Depression is like being on a really long slide, it gathers more momentum towards the end, so i awkwardly placed my feet against the sides of the slide before I hit the bottom. I had no choice but too.  Oddly enough keeping positive and optimistic was a big help but luck and sheer fortitude were also huge factors. My mom gave me money for Christmas so I could furnish my apartment, pay rent and purchase groceries (she continued to help me out financially until I got this job). I deleted every trace of Sean from my life and went from feeling crazy to sane in a days time.I also began sending out a ton of job applications and got a lot of responses back and after 3 months my friends gf offered me a job where she worked and I decided to take it (despite some other offers) because a new start involved getting out of my comfort zone. 

And so far the last three months have proved interesting both monetary and socially. Going from having no money to steady income has been an...adjustment to say the least. I did not realize how a) underpaid and b)poor I've been until I got my first paycheck. I am only making an entry level salary but the steady income is indescribable...well coming from someone who has never had a steady income. I am able to purchase basic life maintaining things without immediate guilt that I have spent too much money. I mainly spend my money on things I need (and from time to time things I don't: like home decor stuff) but have up until now been unable to afford...like a vacuum, an iron, a first aid kit, a toaster. I can also afford to buy food. Let legit food. The other day I made meatballs in my crockpot. Meatballs that I used to make a meatball wedge. 3 months ago I could barely afford groceries over $20 and my dinners consisted of cup of noodles. If they ever need me to be a spokesperson I am the girl for them because I will be forever grateful for their cheap and delicious meals.

 Coincidentally not being stressed about money has allowed me to adjust to my new place and town. I cannot tell you how adorable my town is because you wouldn't believe it. It is the Stars Hollow of the Tri-State area and I am adjusting well. I am decorating, buying furniture and cooking/baking (it's a studio so there isn't a stove but crock-pots and toaster ovens are god's gift to the universe). While I still have a lot to do before I am completely satisfied, my place feels more like home in the short time that I've been there. When I am not spending time at home I am hitting up the local overpriced bookstore, grabbing food from the various mom and pop eateries and dodging college students (it's a college town). 

I am buying a bicycle soon, so i'll have wheels to explore the colonial houses and tree lined neighborhoods on the weekends (it'll have a basket so i can carry my books should i decide to read by the pond near my house). Oh and on the weekends there is a farmers market with food vendors and flower stands. I have attempted to go several times only to be distracted by yard sales. I remain friends with a few loyal people from Le Sad Store and from time to time we all go to the bar and reminisce about the good times and catch up on our ever evolving lives. Kat and I are still madly deeply in best friend love and every Friday we marathon shows on Netflix (in pj's) and laugh while we complain about work and getting older.

 I am thankful everyday for my apartment and neighborhood and social life/routine so much so that I often get this overwhelming sense that I am in a dream i do not want to wake up from. I am fearful that it will all slip away some how because that is what happens you know. Things just slip away. I try not to dwell on this fear for long however. While my home life/social life is blooming....work is another story. 

The dynamics of working in an office closely mirror that of being in Elementary school: For 8 hours a day I am confound to a building where I sit at a desk (which, naturally i decorated with things from home), take imaginary notes, daydream about going home and complain about being there with my co-workers.This is not to say my job is terrible or what I do for a living is awful, because this is furthest from the truth. To be honest I am not completely sure what I do for a living, I work for an IT firm that specializes in managing website for big companies. I am the firms secretary/customer service rep/phone answer-er which means I have the least important job at our company. 

Outside of my friend's gf, I've only made one other friend at work named Lyle who everyone hates because he's uber nerdy and has a boundless amount of information that he loves to share (whether you want to hear it or not). He also talks about his gf all the time who he met on OK Cupid. If is not talking about cars, electronics or atheism, his gf is the main topic of discussion. While everyone else finds him annoying I think he is adorable and endearing. I also like not having to carry a conversation. I once sat through a whole lunch hour listening to him talk and it was comforting. 

The rest of my co-workers range from much older so I find it hard to relate or people my age who I find it hard to relate too and adjusting to them has not been easy. Anyone who works in a bookstore obviously have traits i generally thrive off of and gravitate towards: socially awkward, nerdy, imaginative, free spirits, oddballs. The pool at my current job is nothing like that. At our firm we have three teams of employees:

The IT Crowd: do you remember the SNL kit where Jimmy Fallon plays that overwhelming, know it all, curt IT guy, welp that pretty much sums up the handful of guys who make up our IT department. I once said hi to one of them and he didn't even look up from his cubicle. He just stopped typing, grunted a response and waited until I awkwardly walked away before resuming work. 

The 2nd team consists of our Marketing Squad: They are young, attractive recent college grads who hang out after work at the bar down the street and brag about the newest thing they bought. I wish this was an exaggeration. I once sat through a conversation of the guys of the marketing squad talking about cars and fitness competitions. There is only one girl in the marketing group and she is beautiful and nice. They are a tight group and I have been hesitant to approach them white flag style.

 Then there is the Support Group: I am a part of this group. We are a mixed bag of the leftovers on Thanksgiving Day, we don't make a whole meal but we do just fine individually. While the marketing team is close and social, the IT Crowd; standoffish and aloof, the Support Group seems to exist solely to work which can make the day drag. I have gone the whole day without saying a word to anyone on my side of the office and this appears to be a normal thing.

 Because I am so used to working with my best friends and making the best out of shitty situation, I often get nostalgic for Le Sad Store especially during my dull and uninspiring interactions at work with my co--workers. We are required to go to break in small groups (or alone if we choose) and immediately I joined my friend's gf group to eat lunch with. The lunch group consist of me, Lyle, my friend's gf, Trish, and her super closed friend at work who I have deemed Creepy Guy. 

Because I know Trish outside of work, I was keen on befriending everyone she is close to at work, you know, by proxy. I assumed whoever Trish was close to at work would be cool and nice and i'd make fast friends with them. I quickly realized that Trish doesn't really have a lot of work at friends except for this one guy named Shane. Shane is in his mid 30's, married with a newborn kid and constantly talking about how much water he drinks in hopes he'll lose weight. I kind of got a weird vibe from him the first couple of days but pushed them aside because Trish and him are super close at work. 

Then he started asking me really weird and inappropriate questions when no one else was around: like if i had more than one tattoo, specifically on my breast or lower back, or if when I say i am grabbing coffee after work is it code word for 'sex'. I made the mistake of allowing him to drive me home once and his reaction upon seeing where i lived was 'great! now I can stalk your house at night'. Really creepy shit! 


At first I didn't say anything because in front of everyone else he seems completely normal and harmless and I thought I was being too conversation. But no, I definitely know creepy when i see it, and for some reason I happened to bring out the creep in a lot of people. I started to shut down his advances a few weeks ago by being unresponsive to his attention. Instead of deterring him it seemed to anger and frustrate him so much so that he would reprimand me for stupid shit: like taking lunch by myself. 

We all used to go to lunch together in the beginning but I stopped going every day with them because Shane was giving me the creeps and outside of Lyle everyone else spent the lunch on their phones, making no attempt to socialize. When he noticed that i'd take my lunch at the same time  but would read or write during it instead of eating with them he revoked my lunch time invite(if i decided i wanted too) Yes, he said this too me in front of everyone. I was not allowed to eat with them anymore because too many people were taking their lunch at the same time and to resolve the issue, I, would not be allowed to eat with them so that at least one person was in the office to answer the phone "plus you're too busy to read to join us for lunch most of the time any way"

 It was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard and immediately I knew it was a petty and immature response to my cold shoulder and rejection. Today I actually pulled Trish aside and told her everything Shane has said and how uncomfortable he makes me and that I am not above bringing my claws out if he continues to cross the line with me. Trish was shocked that he'd said those things to me and apologized, we then hugged it out and went back to our cubicles to do whatever it is we do for 8 hours. Shane didn't say anything to me the whole day, he didn't even make eye contact, which makes me think Trish said something to him. Hopefully he gets the picture. 

Of course, It's hard to sum up the last three months of my life in a post but those are all the major points. I am okay, I feel happy and things are falling into place....slowly but surely. I have this stupid app on my phone that stores my pictures and notes off of my room as little reminders I can look back on. Every day it asks "do you remember where you were a year ago...let me show you' and then it pulls up pictures and posts I made a year ago from my phone. I hate this fucking app. 

A year ago today Sean was here on leave for two weeks. It was the first time i'd seen him since his graduation from the naval academy. We drove around for 3 hours while he told me I was immature, worthless and did not deserve him. He told me he would never change for me and that I was the one who had to work harder to prove I was someone to stick around for. And at the time I think I believed it. I thought he was as good as it was going to get. 

But what a difference as year has made. In a year I have proven him and myself wrong. Things aren't perfect and I am still adjusting and trying to figure shit out but....but things are better than they've been in long time and I am proud of how far I've come despite everything. I am happy. I am confident I am on the right path. I am free of self doubt and heartache which has in some ways allowed me to flourish and prosper one step at a time. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Status: Blog On

So I know i've been away for awhile and the absence is even starting to get to me. This blog is an  outlet for my everyday nonsensical thoughts, feeling and reflections that I can't (or am unwilling) to readily share with family and friends.  With out journaling I feel sort of cranky and cantankerous because whatever is on my mind feels like it's been stewing in a crockpot too long.

When I started this blog almost 10 years ago, I addressed my concerns about privacy and anonymity head on. I feel comfortable writing freely, honestly and intimately here only because this space is so separate from my real life. My family and friends have no access to this blog, i have used pen names for every person i've written about, and I've had to implement creative licence in splicing events together as to keep my location and real life existence as private as possible. 

Remaining anonymous  for the most part was easier 10 years ago because social media was different 10 years ago. Facebook was a platform only for college students, Myspace was like HUGE and Youtube was an experiment in video sharing that was unheard of. 10 years ago 'sharing' your organic life with your social media one was like the first season of  MTV's The Real World before it got unreal and overproduced and explotive. Social media was a way to share, in the purest sense, your experience with like minded people. 

I think the problem now is that social media has exploded and the idea of sharing your life over the interwebs is as normal as brushing your teeth in the morning. We live in an age of 'oversharing'. I literally read a fb post by someone regarding the number of sexual partners she's had (7) and if that made her a slut (the comments agreed it did not because YOLO. excuse me #YOLO). Oversharing has created a culture where everyone feels inherently connected based on the small insights they get from seeing someone's digital presence on Instagram/ Twitter / Facebook / Youtube / Flickr / Vines/ FourSquare  /Pinterest...I can keep going. 

And I admit I too am guilty of oversharing. I am that annoying person who takes pictures of her food and then instantly has to Instagram it. I'll tag myself when I am out an about at a cool location that I think will make me look interesting and cultured. I love selfies. But in those cases it is because, like most of us, I want to be seen and heard. I want the likes and the affirmation. It's not vain or selfish, it's just being a person. 

However that attention, affirmation and desire to be seen does not apply to this blog. My public self is Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest. My public self is Tumblr and Wordpress. This blog is my Private self and if I can be honest my private self is much more important and invaluable to me. This is not to say the two differ that much, I don't want to give the impression that I am leading too very different lives but  I do not express myself as fluidly in person as I do here. The cure for my anonymity in public is that i never talk about myself; I am a listener, I ask questions to avoid answering them and I dread being seen because I fear criticism and rejection. 

Here, it's different, i've always felt I can write whatever I want, whenever I want without fear. This is the only place I am fearless. And I never expected anyone to ever read this blog and connect with my words and thoughts so much so that you've kept reading. I never thought i'd make such awesome connections with people who I now consider friends. You've always made me feel comfortable sharing my life because it's not an exploitative thing I set out to do and you've respected my privacy all these years.

Obviously this current absence has much to do with a breach in that privacy. While I know no harm was meant by Adrian's comments the fact that we live in a culture  where what I share online gives anyway the audacity to be so crass about it freaks me out. Like a lot. I have not shared anything on this blog with the intent of being entertaining or seeking 'followers' or 'fans' who want some insight into my life. I have not shared anything to gain attention. I continue to share because I have had difficulty connecting my thoughts and feelings cohesively and the only time I am able to do so is when I write. Writing is everything to me. 

So, yea, I am going to give this a shot again but there is obviously an unspoken rule that everything I write here is personal and not to be degraded in any way, shape or form. There are plenty of other blogs and individuals you can read elsewhere who will put up with that shit but I am not one of them. If you have nothing constructive, supportive, helpful to say please just save it for trolling on youtube videos because this is not the space for you. 

For everyone else,who has reached out and wondered how I am doing, I thank you and am always grateful for your support. I'll be back to regularly blogging this week sometime.

Until Then, 

Beckett Amelia Hughes