Monday, February 08, 2016

I told you I was Mean

My parents got divorced when I was three and the event never had a extreme impact on me growing up because the few memories I have of my parents marriage involve my father beating my mother regularly because among his many faults...being a terrible husband and an angry drunk is among them.

This isn't to say I don't love my dad because I do. My father is the most charismatic and charming individual you'd ever meet...until he drinks, and then he is rendered something not human...but primal and ruthless. The first memory I have is of my father striking my mother after an intense argument and seeing her body crumble from the weight of his fist against her face. She managed a few minutes later, dazed and scared, to drag my brother and I (2 years old and 4 respectively) into the bathroom, where we spent the next few minutes re-enacting the violent exchange as a game...because that's what kids do.

This perhaps is the only traumatic experience of my children that I can recall vividly. My dads anger, my moms strength hidden under a busted lip and disheveled clothes, my brother clutching her legs followed by us leaving in the middle of the night to go to my grandmothers house. We've never looked back and though my mom allowed us to have a relationship with my father, I was always afraid that the man I knew as my father had another man living inside of him who could become so unhinged that violence followed.

He never abused my brother and I in any way. He was an attentive and doting father who we saw every weekend until we moved to South Carolina. But I think we always held some resentment towards him because we knew he had an anger in him that was destructive and there was always this worry that we would inherit it.

And in some ways I think that we have...not as close to the rage that my father had but in our own distinctive way. Because I was so aware of my fathers anger I learned to bottle mine up. I protected any semblance of anger like it was a secret I could not let out. I'd keep it caged because I saw how destructive it could be and for years, I convinced myself that anger was not something I felt. But of course that's no necessarily true.

My anger is often attached to jealousy, envy and annoyance I can get easily frustrated if I feel misunderstood (literally), if someone takes my words or actions wrongly. I am short tempered when someone assigns a label on me. And I loathe repeating myself, because I am so attentive to everyone words, I can get easily upset if I think I am not being heard.

I did not experience complete and utter anger until Sean came around. That boy made me angry. He still makes me angry. He was dismissive and aloof  and constantly made me compete for his affections. He was also a liar and I was often confused by the differences in our alternating narrative. He told me that I was never good enough (but I was), he showed me that I was not good enough (but I am)  and I acted out often in anger as a result of the constant discord.

With Sean out of the picture, my anger has subsided a lot this past year. I still get pretty upset over things, like any other human being, but no to the extent where I am filled with a rage that makes me want to seek and destroy.

Until this past Friday.

Kat and I got into another argument this weekend and I wonder if she is taking notes of the discord between us as much as I am. Kat and bonded over our shared attraction to unattainable boys. At the time of our friendship she was developing feelings for the married preacher at work and of course I was head over heels for Sean. Outside of this journal, Kat was my only confidant about the Sean drama and I was her confidant regarding the preacher. We actually had a lot of fun surrounding our shared infidelities and we bonded over the big secrets in our life.

Unfortunately, now that the boy drama has come to a halt Kat and I seem to have lost our ability to connect. Not on all levels of course, but on some. Now that the curtain has been lifted, we suddenly have to learn how to be friends without this drama bonding us. And honestly I am not adapting to this well because Kat without boy drama tends to be a more depressed, negative version of herself.

She got a new job about two years ago and every day complains about this new job because she doesn't like who she works with because they are old Additionally, she doesn't have fun at her job like she did at the bookstore and wishes she worked with people who remind her how cool and attractive she is.About a year an a half ago we started hanging out out after work on Fridays at my house to watch movies and eat snacks. While the majority of our hangouts are okay, we often spend the 2 hours or so talking about how miserable she is.

She has a tendency of resting her whole self worth on the people around her and if you aren't constantly telling her how great she is she becomes despondent. She'll cry and throw a mini fit and then become emotionally needy until you console her. An example of this is Halloween day. We were supposed to go to the Halloween parade in the city and at the last minute she texted me and said she felt ugly and fat in her costume and was crying too hysterically to get dressed and go because she didn't feel she looked hot.

At the time, I was sitting on my couch in my outfit, waiting for her and her boyfriend to pick me up and I became frustrated that she was pulling this shit a half hour before she was scheduled to get me. But she wanted me to console her, to tell her she was gorgeous, to give her an alternative plan to her costume failure, to hold her hand so she would feel better about her weight and the costume. But I couldn't because I was in no mood to do this. And I told her so. But not so nicely.

Then of course the shenanigans around Christmas happened and I was damn near close to throwing in the towel because of her inability to give me space and because I felt like she was robbing me of my identity.

The last few weeks I've been trying to be more patient with Kat, because when she is in a good healthy place she can be a truly great friend. But her natural state these last few months have been super depressed, down in the dumps and needy that I don't know how to handle her. I am all about supporting my friends when they need me but Kat's malaise is an infectious disease...and when she is in pain, she wants everyone around her to be in the same dark place.

But I don't want to be in a dark sad place. I am trying to be happy or as close to happy as I can manage. Things are not great in my life but they are good. I love my home, I am making money, I have dreams and ideas. I have this tiny bit of hope and insight that things are going to be okay. I am not sure why I know this but I just know. And the only time I feel unsure and unhappy is when Kat is around to bring me down.

Lately, I  much rather spend time away with her when she is like this because she is becoming a weight. We are on two different trajectories in life, one where I am trying to figure out who I am and what I want and make those wants tangible...while Kat is indecisive and negative and depressed about everything. She'll play devils advocate regarding everything to the point where her opinions are ignorant  and often very wrong. She'll complain about people posting too much on social media and then spend the weekend updating excerpts from her weekend. She'll complain that public shamming is awful and then record two people in line having a vapid conversation. During the blizzard she was upset that people were at the supermarket shopping because 'we go shopping every week...not just during a blizzard".

And while these are all very minuet things to be annoyed by.. I can't help but be peeved by her constant and negative observations and outlook on life. It crawls under my skin and makes me defensive. It's like hanging around a constant Debbie downer or pointer outer of bad things.It's like being friends with someone whose glass is always half empty while yours is half full. 

Because I am beginning to feel fed up, I've been pretty short and argumentative with her in hopes that she'll see that she is bringing me down with her. I am a calm, rationale person until I am pushed into a corner and then I am filled with so much frustration it turns into anger, and that anger scares me.

This Friday we were scheduled to hang out again despite the fact that I wanted to cancel because she'd been texting me the whole week about how depressed and sick she's been but  I decided to follow through with plans unless she said otherwise. Friday morning, I was shocked to wake up to a bunch of snow and debated calling out because my commute is pretty brutal and it was a Friday. But I decided against it because while a lot of snow had fallen it was light, fluffy snow and expected to stop around noon. Plus. I wanted to save my snow day for more imminent weather.

As expected the commute was shitty. I had to take two buses, walk a few blocks to my job and got to work all gross and wet and cold. Surprisingly everyone showed up on time, with only a few people coming in to work in the afternoon after the snow stopped. As soon as I get to my desk, Kat texts me and asks how the roads were in my town. I tell her that the roads were terrible and that nothing was paved but that I went to work anyway because the snow was supposed to stop around noon and I saw no reason to call out.

She then  admits, quite proudly, that she called out of work because she didn't feel like driving in the snow and she wanted to take it easy because she hadn't been feeling well anyway. I was a little annoyed by her excuse and didn't understand why she was gloating and i told her I thought it was a little silly not to go in, especially because her reasoning behind getting a new car was so she could drive safely in the snow.

She gets mad defensive and starts listing additional reasons why she couldn't go in to work.
I tell her I don't care but because it's Friday I guess we'll reschedule due to her not feeling well and skipping work. And this my friends is where shit hit the fan. She tells me that she plans on still hanging out at my house, despite her reasoning for not wanting to go in to work. When I call her out on the discrepancy, she tells me she doesn't have to explain herself to me and that we are hanging out regardless.She'll meet me at my house after work.

Excuse me? Asaywhat?  Are you fucking crazy?

I was instantly filled with rage, a rage I have not felt for a very very very long time. A rage for once that may or may not have surpassed any rage I have ever felt towards Sean.  It happened so quickly, I had to look around my desk to make sure I hadn't growled in fury and disrupted the calm of my office. I kept re-reading the text to make sure I saw her words correctly. I then had to clutch my phone to prevent me from propelling it out  the window or worse. Even now, I am angry at the tone,  at the assumption that she could impose herself on my house and my time because she wanted to. That she used "i don't have to explain myself you" lingo like an annoying teenager when it is my house we always hang out at. I was pissed that she'd given me another example of how things are never completely mine..but hers as well, even if I did not give her permission.

For the life of me I could not imagine leaving work on Friday, taking the bus home only to have Kat waiting for me door (in her pj's and  her own food) to let her in because it is what SHE wanted to do ESPECIALLY after calling out of work for the day. She may not have to explain herself to me when it comes to the small stuff but when it comes to invading my space she does. Especially after she spent the better half of our conversation telling me she was too sick to go to work or too anxious to drive in the snow. Would she not be too sick after work...would she not still be anxious to drive in the snow.

 I was too through with her after this text and because I was angry, I did not mince words when I responded. My anger may not manifest physically but my words are sharp and I have had a tendency of lashing out verbally when, once again, I am pushed in a corner.And because everything has been so pent up lately with her, I was sort of indignant and furious with her. And I let her know this, not so nicely, to the point where she back-peddled and said I had misread her words and she didn't mean what she wrote and that i took it out of context. Followed by...'So are we still hanging out".

It took me a couple of hours to calm down. The intensity of the anger freaked me out. For a brief moment, I was full aware that I am my fathers daughter. That anger is a much a part of my life as the good parts. And it freaks me out. That I couldn't control it despite how badly I wanted to.

Of course Kat and I have not talked since Friday (and no, we did not hang out either) but  I am trying to figure out how to move forward. A part of me wants to have a long talk with her and tell her everything that is bothering me. But i don't want to hurt her feelings, I don't want to push her too far that she breaks and I also don't want to make it seem like the discord is all her fault. Because it's not, a lot of it has to do with me. I am growing up and wanting different things and I want to surround myself with people who bring out the best in me. And while I am not saying I don't want to be her friend anymore,  I am not sure I like how draining our friendship is. And I just need something to change.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Another Place to Fall

My anxiety is like an avanlanche.

 I know it's such a cliche way to describe it but until I can find a better analogy that suffices...my anxiety these days is like an avalanche.

Lately I've been trying to get my fiances in some sort of order and because I am not a person who truly understands money or what I am supposed to do with, the idea of now managing funds is stressing me out.

A couple of weeks ago Kat told me that she sometimes thinks about getting a part time job at Le Sad Store because she misses working there. I generally I remain mum when Kat brings up Le Sad Store because she does it often enough that I just white noise the conversation. She misses working with friends, she misses laughing at work, she misses being able to listen to music and dance and behave silly, she missed dressing up for cute boy, she misses free books.

She does not in fact miss the actual work, or the annoying managers or the terrible customers and the long hours or the shit pay. She does not miss the phantom customer who used to smear poop on the windows or the teenagers who would make out in the children's department. She just misses the accessibility to friends which to me is no reason to ever want to go back to Le Sad Store. Ever.

And I told her this, because despite the really great time I had at Le Sad Store and the amazing people I worked with,  I made less than $9 an hour and towards the end of my tenure there was only working around 10 hours a week. Save yourself from doing the math, cause i'll lay it out for you: I once made $70 for a weeks work of pay. I am not sure how I paid rent or ate or had a social life because I was pretty poor. Like very poor. The University job helped a lot but, i had to work two jobs just to stay head above water and honestly I don't ever want to be in that position again.

So yea, in an ideal world I wish I had a job that I loved, working with interesting and diverse people, making a comfortable amount of money but that just isn't the case yet. Until it is, I'd much rather be gainfully employed at a job that guarantees 40 hours a week with a stable paycheck. I am too afraid of returning the alternative.

But now that I have settled on this course, i am struck by how little I had in my previous life as a bookseller, especially now as I try and create more financially stability. I must admit that I avoided and ignored some things in the past just so I could have a home and eat a little. I cut corners and duck and dove and scrounged as best as I could to survive, which definitely attests to my resourcefulness but maybe not to my maintainability. Post holidays, i've been trying to get my finances in order (how lame does that sound) so i can buy a car and visit Canada this summer...because i am able to all of a sudden. But now that means I have to save and put money away and make conscious decisions about money so that i can have money. It's all very bizarre and foreign to me.

The other day I impulsively ordered a bench from target, because I love where I live and until I am at a point where I want to lease an apartment instead of renting a studio, I want to make this home as homey as possible. When I first moved in, I had only a mattress and an old desk a friend gave me. Slowly, i've been able to purchase legit furniture and have created what can only be described as my first real home, in the first real town I've ever really liked.

But for the first time after hitting the glorious purchase button, I felt guilty because I could afford to buy the bench and yet also could have equally used the money for something else.  Do i really need anther piece of furniture in my place? I am supposed to be saving money, not spending money. I could have used that money towards my car or some other erroneous house expense. Speaking of... why do I all of a sudden have expenses? Did I always have a grocery expense, and a commuting expense and a life expense. And if all this money is supposedly going somewhere why do I feel so broke even though I have more money in my account than I have ever had. Am i adulting right? Does me even asking this question mean that I am an adult!

This circular thinking went on for the rest of the fucking day. So much so that the damn bench hasn't even arrived yet and I already hate it (and secretly love it). I am not used to feeling such anxiety over things not boy or people related and even that has given me anxiety. I told you, it's like an avalanche. It's crescendo of snow billowing towards me until I am smothered whole.

Anyway, the weekend is here and outside of a hair appointment I have in the city, I plan on spending the rest of it indoors and reading. I used to write and read all the time but over the last few years i've done so less and less. I have this crazy idea to read all of Annie Proulx's books because it was Marie's favorite author and I hope I will be able to find her in the pages. It's dumb but it's just this journey I want to go on to stay close to her some how. Depending on how long this hair appointment runs i might hit up the library this weekend, grab some books, flirt with the uber nerdy but cute librarian and chill at home.

And make space for this damn lovely bench i spent a bunch of money on






Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snowzilla

I survived the blizzard, though i must admit my home bound weekend watching HGTV and eating soup under the warmth of blankets and pillows was not unlike my usual winter weekend shenanigans if i can be honest.

Because of my car situation, I am glad there hasn't been much snow this winter. So i wasn't particularly thrilled with sweating on Christmas Day because it was 70 degrees outside but I thankful that I have yet to face commuting from this job to my apartment on a wintry snowy day. My boss is still super sketchy about me taking any time off and I am under the impression that he holds my attendance to a much higher standard than everyone else in the office. Or I'm just paranoid as hell and afraid of taking a day off unless I absolutely have to. I called out once a few months ago because my mom was in town and I wanted to go with her to the airport to wish her goodbye. I got a frantic email from my boss saying that he needed me in the office and would pay for the uber cab from Manhattan to our office if it ensured I was there on time. He's a strange guy.

While, I have not necessarily missed winter, I was super excited about the blizzard this weekend...mainly because it was on the weekend which allowed me to enjoy a  proper snowstorm in the safety of my home without feeling guilty about avoiding responsibilities. It was a win-win situation.

The snow didn't start until Saturday morning, so Kat and I resumed our weekly activities of food shopping and watching tv at my house. The supermarket was a mad house of course and our trip was very short lived because a fight or two may have broken out over shopping carts and celery. I wish I was kidding. Needless to say, we purchased whatever food we needed and left in a hurry.

I know I've been super hard on Kat these last few weeks and I am trying not to let the consistency of our relationship bug me. Maybe, consistency is not the right word because it is definitely not something I would ever tire of. I love that she is the most loyal dedicated person I have ever met. She is constantly in touch and checking in and making sure that I don't get lost in my own head. But i guess I worry about my own tiredness with routine. I worry about us running out of things to talk about or do because we've known each other for so long.

Outside of Marie and Heather, Kat is my longest living friend which in and of itself is a weird thing to write. Perhaps my discomfort and distance these last few weeks has more to do with my fear of loss. We've been friends for a super long time and to be honest I am so used to her being around, I am so dependent on her companionship that I am aware of how devastated I would be if I lost it or her. My natural response to this fear is to push her away, isolate myself, convince myself that i need to be less close to her instead of admitting that I just don't want her to tire of me, I just don't want her to leave and worse.

Stupid, silly fears. I wish i could shake them.

Anyway, I am trying to be a better friend. I am trying to learn how to settle into something or one for the long run because this is not something I am used to doing. So on Friday, the night before the storm, we had a pretty chill hangout. We ate salads, watched The Affair on showtimes, discussed our work week and gossiped. She admitted that she really looks forward to our Friday nights and maybe secretly I do as well, even though I often want to rebel and do other things.

I spent the whole weekend safely inside my house during the blizzard. After Kat went home on Friday, I hunkered down in preparation for the storm: which honestly involved me building a pillow fort. Having weekends off are the flipping best and I can't lie, I had no qualms about staying put. I made corn chowder in the crock pot, utilized my amazon prime subscription and watched some crappy movies. I napped, cleaned, danced and gave an hourly photo update of the storm to my mom. It was complete and utter bliss, made only more spectacular but the beautiful crisp snow outside my window (that of course is now disgusting grey slush).

Kat has been bugging me about my birthday and how I want to celebrate it this year and she gave me the task of coming up with birthday ideas during the blizzard. I am generally not a person who frets about getting older but I must admit there is something gnawing at me about the big 3-0.I feel both incredibly old and yet also very  unfinished. I can deduct huge chunk of years away from my current age with a full memory of who and where I was, yet I can't imagine that same chunk of time to be added to how old I am now. I have no idea who i'll be, where i'll be or if happiness is what i'll finally found.

Because of my current existential crisis surrounding 30, i have not put much thought into my actual birthday. A part of me wants to go home and visit my mom, brother and nephew. My nephew is now 5 years old, he is adorable and sweet and kind. When I was home for Thanksgiving, he went to the kitchen grabbed himself two juice boxes and offered me one because 'i was pretty and nice'. I want to know this kid and see him continue to grow and I wish I could spend a few days in march celebrating with him and the rest of my family.

With work and life, taking time off is damn near impossible at the moment, and I spent the weekend not coming up with any ideas on how to spend my birthday in New York. Kat suggested we see an off Broadway show starring one of my favorite actors and hitting up this place called the Meatball Shop which has sort of become a tradition. Naturally because I love this actor so much I agreed (followed by squealing and on-line shopping) and we have tickets to see this show the weekend of my birthday. I am also thinking of taking the day of and after my birthday off from work because...ew, who goes to work on their birthday.

For whatever it's worth, for however devastating and drag out hard it was, I am proud of my 20's and also equally ready to continue on the trend of good energy and growth well into my 30's. I just hope I continue to look as young as I do for a while, it's like the only thing saving me from having a complete 'how they fuck am i turning 30' freak out.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Prepardedness

There's a snowstorm coming my way and I am super prepared. More prepared than I should be considering the short notice. This has been a pretty disappointing and long week. While Kat and I have recovered from the disaster that was Christmas, I am still a little disappointed by that we seem to have settled into a boring and complacent routine. Last Friday she picked me up from work and we went to my house to watch TV like we do every week. She complained about having cramps, ate some food and then went home an hour later. It was 7pm. I am starting to resent these hangouts because I wish we were doing more and she seems okay with things being as they are.

On the job front, my only office buddy is away on vacation. Without her in the office, I spent the bulk of my week being ignored by my co-workers or worse engaged in conversation with Creep-master-flex. I don't necessarily hate my job, but I wish I was around more people I could have a social life with outside of work. I sometimes resent my friendship with Kat because I find it isolating and then I come to work, which should be a place where I can meet friends and I have yet to do so and honestly do not think I will.

To top off the crappy week, one of my managers approached me the other day and said his dad was selling a car and because he knew i was in the market he would let me buy it for super cheap if I was interested. Of course based on the amount he was willing to sell it for, I had a sneaking suspicion the car was a clunker. My manager is a decent guy but he also works in the sales department and is a pro at presenting you with something that seems like a steal. I immediately texted my friend Heather and asked if she could drive me over to my managers dad house so I could see the car.

We went after work this week and needless to say the car was a mile away from falling apart. It had several key marks, dents and rust stains. The odometer lights did not work nor did any of the lights inside the car. After viewing the car, I was surprised that my manager asked what I thought and would I want to put down anything to buy the car. I nicely told him I would continue my search, for the time being and then Heather and I howled with laughter and mortification at the whole ordeal.

So yea, I am a little excited about a few days of seclusion, even if i have a blizzard to thank for it. I want to try my hand at making Corn Chowder this weekend along with appropriating my time between reading books in my homemade blanket fort, marathoning shows and researching nerdy interior design stuff ( a new hobby). Kat's picking me up after work and we are going to try to find a super market that hasn't completely been emptied of food. If not, my Chowder plans are squashed and it looks like I'll be making homemade pizza's this week. I am equally okay with this. I'm pretty okay with a lot of this actually. My introverted self looks for any and all excused to escape the world and this week is a better chance than ever. 


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Trajectories

Happy New Year!

 I can't tell you the amount of times I have already typed 2015 instead of 2016 at work but I am glad that as of today that is my biggest adjustment to 2016.

I spent the last two days of 2015 at my aunts house, making lasagna rolls and watching an inordinate amount of shows on the Disney channel thanks to my cousin. The lasagna rolls were delicious and I think i may have a future as a home cook because so far all of my pinterest inspired recipes are coming out well. My aunt, who is a picky eating, went back for 3rds and even my cousin, who barely eats, could not contain her appreciation for the dish. ::pats on back::

We stayed up until Midnight to watch the ball drop and then immediately went to bed around 12:05. I woke up super early the next morning so I could head home and enjoy my long weekend in the comfort of my apartment. My aunt seemed disappointed that I couldn't stay around longer to make more food and babysit my cousin but there is something about being in my own home, indulging in my own routines that I cannot get over. It's seriously a luxury.

Unfortunately I got pretty sick the day of New Years and spent the bulk of my weekend nursing a pretty awful stomach ache while watching a Law and Order marathon. As I approach 30 (yes, I will be 30 years old in march) I am slowly realizing that while I look like a high schooler on the debate team, my body has demanded I treat myself like a woman approaching her 30's. All the greasy food from the past two days, combined with my restlessness and lack of sleep, mixed with a few life anxieties caused my body to shut down come the weekend.

If anything, I am going to have to take it easier on my body these days. Or eat healthier, especially if i want to avoid feeling as awful as I did this weekend. Despite my weakened state, I half-heartily made up with Kat this weekend and also tried my hand at car buying! Both were semi disastrous ventures.

On the Kat front: She came over this weekend so we could finally exchange presents and 'air our grievances' about the last awkward few weeks between us. In general our hangout was nice. She got me some awesome gifts and seemed pleased and surprised by my presents to her. Of course, once the exchange was over we painstakingly went through why we hadn't talked in so long,  only to agree that we handle things differently and need to communicate better.

I had planned this big speech about needing our friendship to evolve and for us to grow as independent people who are the best of friends who don't need to depend on each other in an unhealthy way. But Kat seems petrified by change (opposed to it actually) especially when it involves people close to her. And whatever baby steps I want to take for my own life will just have to be done quietly and without her knowledge because it will only be met with resistance .

On the car front: Well, my friend Heather took me around to some dealerships the other day and I found a few cars I am interested in. Car buying is akin to speed dating I imagine. We spent the bulk of my car buying experience walking around some lots, making general first impressions about certain vehicles and then when there was one I liked, i simply asked if could test drive it...you know, to get to know it better.

I found a car I love but college loans will haunt me forever and I didn't qualify for a proper loan (financing is the way i have decided to go) to walk out of the dealership with a car. I am a little sad because I desperately wanted to be in a car this week especially as the weather has plummeted to single digits. Test driving the vehicle I ended up liking was an amazing experience. I haven't actually been behind the wheel of a car for a few years, but as soon as I was the freedom of being able to go where i wanted, when i wanted confirmed why I have been so on edge about getting a car and ridding myself of the public commute life. 

Heather has agreed to help me keep looking and hopefully by the end of the week, I will have wheels. If not, i will continue to be a very unhappy Beckett, who silently curses out her always late bus driver. Literally, he showed up ten minutes late today (and I cannot give him the benefit of the doubt because I am his first stop in the morning) and when I got on the bus, he was casually sipping a Starbucks coffee. It took all of my strength not to pry that coffee from his hands and toss it on the floor and dance on it with my freezing feet.

All of my strength.

I am not one for New Years Resolution and the passage into this year has not been fraught with this desire to make any big or meaningful life changes.BUT i must admit that i am very excited about new beginnings. Things are going well, I am doing okay and I am okay with the trajectory of life at the moment.I am thinking about starting a memory jar, so i can keep a track of all the small and big moments I am proud of this year. I was in such a bad place this time last year, that I am only just beginning to realize that I am taking valuable steps to better myself.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Normal

I survived the holidays! thank gawd cause it was looking real iffy in the emotional/mental state and health department if I can be honest. I am not sure why this December was so taxing. As soon as I got home from Thanksgiving break I was so excited about the beginning of the holiday season. A week later, once the decorations were up, the presents ordered and the Christmas playlist created...I simply felt I had nothing else to look forward to and spent the next few weeks sulking.

Despite the sulking and melancholy, the last few days have not been that bad. As expected I left work Wednesday afternoon to avoid attending the holiday office party. Around noon that day, everyone just stopped working and casually meandered around the office because it was our last day before the holiday and faking busy can only take you so far. I asked my boss the day before if I could leave early since I was 'unable' to attend the after work party. He said it was fine and the whole day I was counting down to my moment of freedom. I am not sure anyone even noticed when I left my cubicle and jogged out of the office. I am pretty forgetful at work which does and does not bother me much these days.

I ended up spending Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day at my aunts house. It was inevitable, there simply was no way I could get out of spending the holidays with family. I was super surprised by how grateful she was that i was there. After our disastrous D.C trip, I am very cautious of my aunts intention. She can at times be very shallow and nit-picky. But the last few months she seems more tired than anything else and maybe this has soften her a bit. It was kind of nice being around her and my now preteen cousin this year. We literally just baked cookies and drank hot chocolate and watched campy Christmas movies. It was nice.

After two days with them, I headed to back to my little oasis and celebrated a belated and solitary  Christmas. From my previous post you can tell why I wanted to remain home all day. My mood may have been very un-christmas like this year but my apartment was cute as hell. Maybe all of my Christmas cheer went into my decor because I spent the remainder of the holiday weekend in my own little world full of Christmas cookies, pot roast and video games.

With the  New Year just around the corner, life has or will return to normal soon. Hopefully a new normal and I am very grateful for this. Kat and I sort of 'made up' before Christmas but there is still stuff unresolved between us that I hope we'll be able to discuss like adults. I knew I was going to be unable to give her her gifts before Christmas, so I asked her again on Christmas Eve to please drop by my house and pick up her gifts. She refused. Curtly, she explained that she wouldn't be able to pick up the gifts because she had other things to do and I was just going to have to wait until we could plan a day together  to open them.

I. Shit. You. Not.

 I honestly am  quite bored with Kat and I's co-dependent relationship. This isn't to say I don't appreciate her friendship. Because I do and hope we will be friends for life. But in order for this to occur, our relationship will need to adapt. I, like most of the people in her life,  cater to her wants and interests before my own. She is super sensitive and takes things personally and to avoid melt downs, I find myself just agreeing, succumbing just to avoid conflict. It's exhausting. In this case, we hadn't talked in weeks and I wanted her to have gifts from me to open Christmas day. She told me this was out of the question because she wanted to see me open my presents.

I couldn't rationalize why we needed a whole day or evening to exchange gifts, since we've never done it before.I may have said in passing that a traditional gift exchange would be a nice thing to do, but as someone who changes her mind based on the situation, I quickly saw no reason to go through with this plan based on how uncommunicative we've been. But Kat regardless of our recent rift still wanted to come over to my place, drink hot chocolate in Christmas pj's, open presents and watch Christmas movies all night because it is something she wanted to do. It was something that would fulfill her idea of a wondrous Christmas.

It did not matter that I expressed a strong aversion to this. It did not matter that her gifts are now apart of this awkward stalemate between us, STILL sitting under my tree with wrapping paper that has started to wear thin. It did not matter that in holding her gifts hostage at my house she was preventing me from having my version of a wondrous Christmas Day: opening presents from the people I love at home and at peace. Vice versa.

She went on to say she thinks our friendship is one-sided cause I never text first or ask her how she is doing. She thinks in getting rid of her gifts I am also trying to get rid of her. That it is unfair that my mood changes often. That she was only being overwhelming these last few weeks because while i tend to turn off  from the world and take time for myself when i am going through something...she cannot. That she didn't want to disappoint her brother and that's why she kept hounding me about plans. And that she thinks I resent our friendship because of my desire for independence.

I. Shit. You. Not.

I did not and do not know how to respond to this. How do I? Because honestly this is not the kind of adult friendship I want with someone. Especially not with Kat. She hates change and I know if she could have it her way, we would hang out every Friday at my house watching Netflix and eating food (she actually wanted to incorporate another day hanging out at my house so we could play video games and eat food). When not at my house, I know she would love me to continue providing companionship to her brother during our monthly group outings. I know she would love for me to be the person who tags along to the book expo's and concerts she wants to attend. I know she would love for me to be the person who always hits up the exhibits she wants to see and the stores she wants to shop out.

In being this person, I am losing my own sense of self. Oh, and I am bored,  incredibly bored. I admit, I don't text first, I admit that I am moody, I admit that instead of bombarding people with my own shit, I internalize and retreat so i can blog about it instead. I do not think this makes me a bad friend. I just think it makes me a different kind of friend she has ever had and her need for control in all aspects in her life has bled over to mine. She loves consistency, and routine and order...all things i freaking loathe and being her friend means that I have sacrificed a bit of myself just so we'd be on the same page.

But I am drained. I feel like one of those puppets controlled by string. All my actions are influenced by someone else and I want to cut the strings. Just so I can roam freely and try something new. I love my place more than anyone will ever know. It is my escape from the world, but the last place I want to be on a Friday night is on my couch watching netflix. I have my whole life to netflix and chill. And when Kat is there all we do is watch TV, and eat and talk about our week like an old married couple. It's nice every once in a while but every week is isolating.

I'd be cool with going to the gym, or taking a class or bowling, even bowling on a Friday night instead of sitting up in my house doing nothing. And maybe I have not been as vocal about this as I should have. Maybe this desire to try new things and meet new people has little to do with Kat and our Friendship. Maybe this is just something I need to do for myself to feel okay about my life, and because I often feel restricted from branching what once was enjoyable has quickly turned to resentment. I feel caged and I just want some freedom. A little.

And if this year was all about Moving On, I hope that that the next year will continue to be about Growth and Independence. I hope I can create a new normal for myself that continues to surprise me.


Friday, December 25, 2015