Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beginning of my bucket list

Thanks to a great friend, I pulled myself out of the funk I was in earlier.

You ever sit back and think about all the things you would like to accomplish in your life? Even things that are far-fetched, but you still dream about them anyway? Through some recent soul searching, I've decided to list and pursue some of these things. So here we are, in no particular order:




1. Travel to Europe
I am actively pursuing this as my boyfriend and I just booked a three-week tour for June. Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, Florence, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Swiss Alps....can't wait.







2. Travel to Asia (China for sure)
I would love to see the Great Wall and explore Asian culture. Though, the food scares me.






3. Learn photography
I looked into this one and actually emailed a professor about options for pursuing this as a hobby. I think I might actually take a class at a local Jr. College during the summer.





4. Run (and finish) a marathon
I HATE running. Yeah, I play soccer, but that's running for a purpose...to get the ball. But running for running's sake kills me. It's all mind over matter for me, I know. So this is kind of a personal challenge. I had no idea there were training programs where, from what I understand, you just raise money to help a cure for something like cancer. Sure, it's raising over a grand, but I'd totally do it. I signed up for an info class nearby.





5. Work in another country or state on a volunteer project
I'm talking building a house or helping third-world kids with school supplies. Oh yeah, this is big for me... I'm the total girlie girl who needs a shower and a blow dryer everyday. Thus, the personal challenge.






6. Travel to South America
I want to see Machu Picchu in Peru, go to the beaches in Brazil.... ah the life.







7. Take a historical tour of America
I used to hate history. But I've grown up a bit and am now curious of how things came to be, especially in my own little country. And plus, some of the modern cities would be fun to visit too.






I'm sure there are more, but this is a good start. Can't wait to do them all.

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Sigh....

Ever feel like you're on the verge of a breakdown and you really have no idea when or how it can get any better? Yeah, that's me right now. I'm so there. I think I've lost some weight, I have no appetite, I'm anxious and my stomach is in knots. I'm scared. I want to cry a lot of the time.

My only relief is that I get to go back to work tomorrow and I have my first appointment with a therapist. Well, then that actually scares me too. What if she can't help me? What if I never learn to deal with these emotions? Because I obviously have no control over myself in these instances. I can't pull myself out of them.

This is going to be a long week. A long, difficult week. Day by day. Day...by...day.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

I feel special...

Lately I've been reading blogs and people have been getting tagged. I had no idea what it was exactly, until today... when Kadi, a high school comrade who writes a hilarious (and quite popular) blog, tagged me. Actually, I still don't know what tagging is, but I'm going to follow the rules...because that's how I roll (and it made me feel sorta special....thanks Kadi).



perfectionist
loyal
sarcastic
baggage
accomplished
emotional




I'm supposed to tag 5 other people and lay out the same rules. The thing is, the people whom are linked on my blog are 66% people I don't know (but keep me laughing). The last two include Kadi and my best friend whom Kadi just tagged. So I can't continue the tag. Boo.... but if I ever find a blog from someone I know, I'll tag them for sure.

I feel like I let everyone down.... Sorry.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Starbucks....the friend to the lonely

I hate it when friends bail out on you at the last minute. Especially when they asked you to hang out so you clear your schedule (ok, so I didn't really have a schedule to clear...but that's neither here nor there) and wait around for them to call you. Only when they call you, you can tell right away that they're gonna back out on your plans. So at this point you have a choice... you can either call them out on it right away or let them suffer a bit. I chose the middle road tonight. I was going to let her suffer, but then I felt bad so I called her out.

Freakin mom duties. No offense to those that are mothers. It's a freakin tough job. I know, I get them for a good portion of my day, but boy am I glad to give them back to you at 2:38 everyday. But it's tough for me when 2 of my 4 really good friends have kids and I don't (and have no intention of having any any time soon). Ok, one lives in Texas and I wouldn't be able to hang out anyway, but still. I understand that they're just trying to be good moms, and I totally respect that. Hell, if they weren't hanging out with their kids I might have to pull them aside and tell them how crappy of a parent they are. But it's frustrating to me, an almost 30-something, young lady with no kids, when I can't hang out with my buddy because of a kid (because this is, you see, all about me). Or better yet, a husband. Seriously. And I understand if you already had plans and you told me no from the get-go, but when you cancel last minute because your husband might get mad (this was not really the case tonight, though close), I just think....seriously? It's frustrating. My loverboy is like....go, have fun. Never a, but we never get to spend time together...just as I'm about to walk out the door. Maybe it's different when you live together. But that seems odd too. Wouldn't you see each other more?

I totally went off and what I really wanted to discuss tonight was my alone-at-Starbucks-on-my-computer cherry being popped. I always see people doing it and I think, that's cool. They can be alone, drinking their coffee, hacking away at their computer, or reading a book, and not feel alone. So instead of sitting at home by myself tonight and driving myself into an anxiety frenzy, I thought I'd get out with people and be by myself. But at least I'm out. And not in front of the TV, getting caught up in season 216 of America's Next Top Model. My god, that sucked me in today. I felt like the little girl in The Poltergeist that couldn't get out of the TV. Mommy??

So I had dinner at Pick-Up Stix (way good food that's way too expensive) by myself and now I'm at Starbucks with a single grande nonfat caramel macchiato, sitting alone at my computer hacking away. Ha! I love the freedom. And no one is even looking at me weirdly. Or maybe they are, I just haven't looked up to see. Plus I have my headphones plugged in so I can listen to my iTunes. Gosh, I'm brilliant. I brought papers to grade, a book to finish reading (Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone.... I'm finally giving in and reading the series), and some things to type out for next year's program. I'm a busy little bee. Notice not one of those things involved blogging. Hey, it's all work. I have to clear my head first.

Alright, I guess it's time to work. Yippee. I...love...work....especially the work that I bring home on my Spring Break. Awesome. I'll let you know how the rest of my night goes later. Maybe someone will come up and talk to me. Or better yet, hit on me. Ok, don't tell the loverboy I just said that.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Therapy in session

So I've recently decided that I have a problem large enough that I can't solve on my own. I've had a number of supportive friends that have all told me that I can call them whenever I need to vent about this problem. I've used those friends a few times in situations where I drive myself into an emotional frenzy and it's been great. However, it's not helping me to get over the issues that I have.

So I've decided to go to therapy.

This has been a difficult decision for me to come to. I've had plenty of family and friends that have gone to therapy and speak nothing but fantastic praises of it. But I've never thought that I would have a problem deep enough that I couldn't solve on my own. But I do and I'm ready to move on from it.

I'm not going to lie and say that I'm totally comfortable with sitting down with someone I don't know and sharing my issues. But this is how desperate I've become. I'm tired of being that person and I want to feel better.

So let me make a list of my fears....

1. The therapist will suck and I'll have to search for another, thereby prolonging this process that I want to end.

2. The therapist will tell me that my problem is stupid. Ok, I know this really won't happen, but seriously, I hear of friends' and family's problems and I feel like mine is so lame in comparison.

3. The therapist will think I'm a crazy emotional freak. Because I am. I cry at the lamest things. And the fact that I'm nervous and embarrassed will probably make me cry alot more. Great, I hope there are tissues.

4. The therapist will want to put me on meds. No thank you. I'm not depressed, I swear. I don't need meds to calm me down. Well, maybe I do in the situations where my anxiety about the problem gets the best of me. But I'm not taking meds. No sir-ee.

5. The therapist will tell me something about my life (read: my relationship) that I don't want to hear. I promise, there's nothing that I can think of in my present relationship that is causing my problems. It's all me. It's all from the damage done in my previous "relationship," if you'd even call it that.

6. The therapist won't be able to help me. I know it's their job, their study and all, but maybe I'm the one case that they throw their hands in the air and give up. I kid you not, this is real fear of mine.

7. I was fearful that the ones closest to me in my life were going to think me doing this was stupid. But I've managed to throw it into a conversation with most of them and all are supportive. Whew.

8. The therapist is going to be lame. Ok, maybe this goes under #1 but I don't want to hear lame, psycho-babble bullshit. I want you to really get to the root of my problem and help me fix it. Be real sucka, be real.

I know, it's crazy. But these are real fears of mine. I cross my fingers that all of the above-mentioned things do not happen and it is nothing but a positive experience.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

A night at rehab

Last night I went to an AA meeting. No, I'm not an alcoholic, but my uncle is. He got his one-year chip last night and I wanted to be there to support him.

My uncle has always been the "cool" uncle. He was the closest one in age to my cousins and me and was always the one who took us to Disneyland or bought us cool stuff. I think he was 18 when I was born. He's my dad's brother and is second youngest in the line-up of 6. He never got married and has no kids.

I always knew him to be a drinker but within the last 5 years, it was really bad. So bad that he started to shake all the time. So bad that he didn't really eat, he just drank. So bad that he was skinny and unhealthy looking. So bad that I would avoid being around him when I was there or talking to him when he called. He was grumpy and unpleasant and he could never speak clearly. His eyes were always red and he always had a beer in his hand, no matter what time of the day.

So around this time last year, I got an email from him saying he quit his job and that he was going to take a vacation from work. I later found out that he actually got fired from his job because of his drinking problem. He was found drunk at work too many times and his boss (and good friend) had to let him go. When the family found this out, they decided to do an intervention.

I didn't go. I couldn't. But I hear the first attempt was unsuccessful. He basically blew everyone off by saying he'd think about it. The family gave him a week and approached him again, this time with a professional to help them through it. Apparently this was the time that he finally gave in, though not willingly. He tells us today that when he asked if he could take a shower before leaving for detox (at this point, he wasn't showering), he went into his room, grabbed a bottle of hard alcohol, and downed the whole thing in the shower. He said he figured if he was going down, he was going to get his full fix. The amount that he had drank should have killed him. It would have definitely left anyone else with at least alcohol poisoning. But luckily it didn't.

We didn't hear from him for awhile, but the interventionist kept us posted on his condition. He was in detox for about a week. He tells me today that detox was by far the worst experience of his life. He didn't think he was going to live through it. He made it out of detox and went to a rehab center for a few months. During this time, it was my family's turn to realize how they had contributed to his disease. I think it was most difficult for my grandma and grandpa to realize what they had help create. They vowed to have a dry home from then on. This, you need to understand, was a HUGE thing. It made many family members upset, which in turn made those supporting my uncle upset because of the lack of support.

During these first few months, my uncle was very angry and spiteful. It got so bad that no one wanted to visit him in rehab. He's had to unleash a lot of demons through this long process, but he's managing to get his life back together. He got a job (as part of the requirements for the program) and managed to also get his old job back as well about a month ago. He's now living in a sober living house (a kind of halfway house) and each chip he's received, he's given to my grandma. I'm not really sure if he's past the issues that caused him to fall so deeply out of control, but he has managed to stay sober for the last year.

Attending his AA meeting last night was for me to let him know that I was proud of him. I didn't expect to get up and speak but when it was his turn, they pretty much forced us to go up. I got emotional but I wanted to let him know that I was proud of him. It's actually quite interesting how the meetings work. The person who makes the milestone date goes in front of the crowd (and a fairly large one at that) and starts off exactly as you would expect... "Hi I'm ______ and I'm an alcoholic/addict." "Hi _____." And then they are asked how they did it. They go on to explain how they became out of control and why they finally accepted help. Some people were 2nd or 3rd timers, most were in their 20s and had started their downward spiral at the sad ages of 11 and 15. Then they are asked what has changed. They go on to explain their reasons for wanting to stay sober (God, their kids, their family, etc.). Then family members are allowed to come up and speak about the addict. This is where I came in. I started off with what everyone else did, "Hi I'm Brandi." "Hi Brandi." I told him that I was there to tell him I was proud of him and that before this all began, I didn't like to be around him. But now, I was glad that he did this and that I was proud of him. Then everyone clapped.

After family is invited up, peers (other addicts) and his sponsor are invited to speak. Finally, the guy that runs the rehab/meetings spoke. It was interesting that everyone that spoke about him called him a miracle. They all admitted that they never thought he would make it as far as he did. It became completely evident to me at that point that he really was close to death. If we wouldn't have stepped in, he would have died. And at the rate he was going, it would have been within the next few weeks.

I'm glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of that experience for a number of reasons. The most obvious, to show my uncle how much I support him and am proud of him. Secondly, the age of addicts is ridiculously young. I think I was older than all but 3 of the people that spoke last night (one being my uncle). It just goes to show how jaded and sheltered my life is. Third, not everyone makes it. There was actually one guy who got his 90 days who was a sponsor that relapsed. Which leads me to my last realization... this disease never goes away. These people struggle with their addictions for the rest of their lives. I cross my fingers that my uncle stays sober and continues to stay strong.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What a great song

Le Ann Womack, I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance..
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)


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Friday, March 7, 2008

Release

Ok this post ain't gonna be pretty. So if you're offended by horrible language and all out put-downs, please don't read this. It's gonna be raw because I need it.

Dear Ex,
This is the thing. I can't get over what you've done to me. You hurt me and damaged me more than I ever thought was possible. You have scarred me for any future relationships and I don't think I can ever forgive you for that.

The thing is, I always made excuses for you. I always thought what you were doing was something that you couldn't help. I thought you really had issues with commitment and that's why you couldn't manage to stay with me for a long period of time. I loved you no matter what you did to me because I never thought it was something that you meant to do. But what I've learned is that you meant to do all of it. You liked to control me. And I let you. I f-ing let you. You left when you couldn't handle being in a relationship. When you couldn't deal with your issues. And you made me feel like it was all my fault. Every single time. You told me that my feelings of fear were crazy, like I was the one with the issues, and it was all my fault that you broke up with me. You made me doubt my intuition each and every time. You made me feel like my feelings meant nothing. You made me feel like I was going crazy. You made me fall so deeply and totally in love with you that I actually believed all of these things that you made me feel about myself. You made me lose myself. I didn't even know who I was when I was with you.

And now you're f-ing up my relationship. Don't get me wrong, my boyfriend and I are in love and together and strong. But I don't know how to be in this relationship without dealing with the scars you left. I am an emotional mess. I'm scared to tell him when something's bothering me because I'm afraid that he's going to leave me, or call me crazy for feeling that way, or get upset with me. So I bottle it all up until I can't hide it anymore and everything blows up. I overanalyze everything because I always think that there's something going on that I don't know about. Because that's the way it was when I was with you. I can never feel totally and completely comfortable because I'm waiting for it all to come crashing down. Because it always did with you. And I never knew when to expect it. You've made me feel like I'm never going to be good enough. When the truth is, I'm good enough and then some.... but you probably already knew that. That's why when we together last time we were so obviously living two totally different lives. I had grown up and moved up, and you had only grown up. You still had the same problems, the same addictions, the same failures. I'm so glad I left you.

I am a strong person. I am a confident person. But in relationships, I am an insecure person. And I hate that you made me that way. How dare you make someone like me doubt their own feelings. How dare you make someone like me not trust because you kept secrets from me, how dare you break me down. I literally despise you for that. I used to feel sorry for you. I used to feel like you couldn't help doing the things that you did. But I don't anymore. I think what you did to me was cowardly and controlling. You broke me down into someone I never wanted to be. I have baggage because of you and I don't know how to get rid of it. And it's affecting my relationship now.

My boyfriend has been nothing but patient and understanding about the shit that you left with me. He loves me unconditionally and doesn't make me feel crazy when I tell him how I feel. So why is it that the damage you did to me is still haunting me?

I will get past this. I will move on from this someday. I am stronger than you ever believed me to be. I am not going to be that girl you made me into. I will not give you that much control over my life anymore. I've given you way too much credit in the past. You get nothing from more me.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Is it over yet?

I..... am so cranky today. Literally. My poor students got to be first-hand witnesses to that. Eckgh. I didn't sleep for poo last night, my stomach has been a mess since last night for some odd reason, I'm totally having a fat day (that could have something to do with the fact that I haven't gone to the gym in 3 weeks), report cards are due on Monday and I don't know how I'm going to get them done......I'm just ready to go to bed and make this day go away. I think it's PMS. But like a week early.

I'm supposed to hang out with the boyfriend tonight but I doubt that will happen. Which makes me more angry. Great. I better stay away from my phone too. Can someone give me a happy pill?

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Apparently RSVP doesn't mean sh!*

Tell me this: Is it rude for someone to back out of something that they RSVP'd for about a month in advance, knowing all the details ahead of time? Backing out, not because of an emergency, but because they can't afford it because of other events in their life that were also known of at the time of the RSVP'ing?

Let me explain.... I'm organizing a bachelorette party/outing for a friend of mine that I work with. The girls at work couldn't afford her real bachelorette party in Vegas, so I decided to have an outing for the girls from work. About a month ago, I asked for opinions about the place, the cost, etc., etc., etc. All were aware, all were down to do whatever. Mark your calendars is what I specifically told them. I even went as far as sending out invitations. Very few RSVP'd. So, without assuming, I went directly to each girl, asking if they were in. All but one said yes, but assumed that I already knew that because they said yes when I was in the beginning stages of organizing it.

Well, miraculously enough, 2 girls backed out today. TWO!!! The gathering is on Saturday. And these are two of the girls that were totally into it in the beginning (one going so far as having one of her students send a funny note to my class about how excited she was). Both claimed that money was an issue. Both had events (that they already knew about when giving me the yes about a month ago) that were going to drain their accounts.

The catcher is that I told the place (that I made the reservations with, that I put the deposit on) to expect a certain number of us. Now we were 2 less than that number. And the details specifically state that we must pay for all the spots that are reserved. So now, I'm not only 2 down, I have to figure out where I'm going to get the money to pay for their spots that they promised would be filled, but now suddenly aren't.

Both could have cared less when I told them of this small glitch. One actually told me that (basically) that's why you should get the money when you get the RSVP. B!*%h. I told her it was the principle of it all, and that it was rude and inconsiderate for her to back out at the last minute when she knew the details ahead of time. Needless to say, she and I probably won't be on speaking terms any time soon. Whoopsies.

So I've learned my lesson. I will not be the one who organizes another event for these ladies. And I will be very leery about any other event I decide to organize in the future where payments are involved. Even if the idea of organizing something sounds too good to pass up.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Random schtuff

I have a few things to talk about and can't lump them all into one category. So this post is a splatter of my last week.

1. On top of this pesky ear infection I've had all week (I still can't hear), I had the worst allergy attack on Thursday. Seriously. If you could have seen me, you would have felt sorry for me. Even my kids were like, "You sure you don't want to go home? We can take care of ourselves." Riiiight. I suffered through the day and laid in bed all evening. Even Friday was touch and go, though not as bad as Thursday.

2. My trip to New York was fabulous. Even though I was sick and slept through one of the conference days, I still managed to get a feel of the city. I've decided that I love it. Everyone walks (therefore, no one really struggles with a weight problem there...at least from what I could see), it's so diverse, and there's so much going on. It's everything you see on TV and movies. Buildings (tall buildings) are on every street, taxis are everywhere, horns are honking, people are walking....it's just amazing. I had to go to the pharmacy on the last night there and I felt so "in" (and grown up) because I walked the 4 blocks all by myself. And the subway. Are you serious? I want one here! I would so move there. That's how much I loved it.

3. The site of the World Trade Center buildings cannot even begin to be understood until you go there. And even then, there are no words to describe my emotions of seeing 2 large holes in the ground and in the city sky-line. I cannot begin to even imagine what it was like that morning, seeing the destruction in the city that you call home. Holy crap, what a devastating blow to NYC and to America.

4. I have the most amazing boyfriend. We did not get to celebrate Valentine's Day because he had to work and on our 2-year anniversary, I was in NYC. So we decided to celebrate both yesterday. And the last two weeks have been all about him bragging about the gift he was getting me. He knows I hate suspenseful gifts because I suck at just getting clues. So of course, it's all I've heard about for the past 2 weeks. Last night I finally got my gift. And what was it? A new MacBook. He bought me a new computer. Freakin a. I didn't think I'd get a computer until September or so because I couldn't afford it until then. But my fantastic boyfriend bought me one because he knew how much I missed downloading music, sharing my pics, and blogging on my own computer. Seriously. He's the best. And on top of that, he made me dinner while I sat and played on it yesterday. Sorry, he's mine. Sigh.....

5. I f-ing hate sinuses. I mean, I'm sure they are important for breathing and hearing or whatever, but I hate them and I want them to die. Ok, maybe not die, but at least go back to not disturbing my everyday existence. When they are inflamed, they suck. I've felt things in my face, throat, eyes, nose, teeth (that's right, I said teeth), and ears in the last 3 days that I've never felt before and let me tell you, it sucks. I've been known to say in the last few days that my head feels like it's going to explode out of my ears. I'm not lying. I need my hearing back and I need my sinuses to relax. Please.

That about wraps it up. I think I've covered it all. Hopefully next week will be better.

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