Couldn't think of a cool title…

December 27, 2010

wandering back to a blog is helpful in times of powerlessness

Filed under: Best Niece Ever, Melancholy, Personal, Sister — me @ 2:57 pm

So my Brother in Law is in the hospital. The doctors told Sister last night that he was “300% drunk” and wouldn’t be sober until this morning. The last I was told is he would be there until Wednesday. That’s really all I know. BestNieceEver is with my parents, who are reeling from the news in a denial ridden helpless way. It’s happening.

I’m relieved in a way, that a light is being shined on something I’ve ached over for 5 years. The pain my family is struggling with now, and has struggled with thus far, continues to weigh on me. I don’t know what will happen next. I’ve spent a lot of today hiding, watching Scrubs on Youtube and pacing. Crying and then feeling numb, lonely. It’s a dark and scary time, I’m just hoping that when it is all over there will be light and blessings for those who are so dear to my heart.

September 3, 2009

Job Lost Made for a Crummy Week

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 10:10 pm

Kind of had an up and down week this week professionally. I applied to teach at my old high school and didn’t get the job, and I REALLY should have. I know the teachers they have there and I know what I’m capable of, and more importantly, I know how my credentials stack up by comparison. I also know that two people who left positions there specifically told him that I would be their first choice to take over their classes. So that leaves the interview as the apparent dealbreaker. I was interviewed by someone whose known me since I was 14 or so. Did that make me approach the interview too casually? Perhaps, or perhaps the fact that a LONG list of people were assuring me I would get the job so that made me complacent. (In my defense, the person interviewing me was barefoot at the time. Not exactly a cue for formality. But that’s petty I suppose.) My “spies” on the inside tell me that the only clue as to why I was not hired was a comment that I was “too vague” with my ideas. I’ve been feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, and sad about this all week. I originally made contact about the job early in the summer but the interview wasn’t until August. I did not get any notice whatsoever after the interview, only knowing I didn’t get the job because school started. I’m upset because I deserved at least the professional courtesy of notice, as there were other positions I did not apply for because I was unclear if I was still under consideration. Obviously this adds to the financial strain inherent in my starving artist lifestyle at the moment. But more than that I thought that the relationship I had with this person was such that if I didn’t get the gig and it really came down to a problem with my interview or something, that he would give me some feedback– “Look, we decided to go in a different direction, but I thought you should know…”– something.

So I’m annoyed with him because I feel strongly that he’s come to incorrect conclusions about my abilities, and I’m even more annoyed with myself– because somehow after all this time knowing me he wouldn’t think I would be good for his program. I know most of the people who encounter this blog at all will know that this isn’t a matter of my ego or something– this was a job that I was more than qualified to do, at a time when they REALLY need well-qualified people due to the particular mix of students they have  this year. So it’s all well and good for me to say “Fuck him,” — but if under these circumstances he didn’t see my potential then I really didn’t demonstrate it to him. And if someone who’s known me as long as he has doesn’t see that, how am I perceived by people who are just meeting me?

Interviewing is a skill, and maybe it’s one I need to work on. But more than that, I think I stumble a lot in putting myself  “out there.” I remember several years ago some work I did for a company got my name in the paper. And the head of the company, where I’d been working for three years, came down the stairs one day and said, “I saw that article. I didn’t know you were looking for a career in this. We should talk about that.” And it occurred to me how ridiculous that was– that I’d been working there three years, in and around this man who had a lot of connections that could be beneficial to my career– and he had NO IDEA that I had any particular aspirations of interest. There are a lot of people in my life, people I daresay have less to offer the field than I do, who would never have let something like that happen. And it’s all well and good to complain that “nobody notices me,” but what have I done lately to get noticed?

January 6, 2009

This is it

Filed under: Melancholy, Talks with the Doc, The Old Job — me @ 12:53 am

This is the week, one way or another, I need to move on. My Replacement starts tomorrow and I’m handing over my keys. There are a million stupid loose ends, projects half-done that I feel guilty leaving in her hands– but she is, after all, being paid for it and I won’t be. I am sad and resentful, and I’ve shouldered the worry about that place for so long it’s very hard to release it. I don’t regret quitting, I just regret the sadness I feel over it and the fact that I couldn’t change what I wished to change there.

I saw the Doctor today. I feel like I had the same conversation with her that I’ve been having for the past 15 years– the wtf is wrong with me conversation. I am ashamed– honestly, ashamed–  to be in this stage of life and never had so much as a boyfriend. It feels with each passing year that the shame in this intensifies. I want more. But my fear has always gotten in the way. Or that’s what She says, anyhow. With the Job slipping away and the Holidays over, I have more time to think and more space to feel, more space to notice my unhappiness. She seems to think if I could just get miserable enough I would take on that fear, take whatever risks are required to change my situation. She guesses that, outside of my very close friends no one would even see that I am “looking”– maybe I don’t know how to admit I’m looking because I can’t handle the chance that looking won’t make a difference, in the way that I can’t say I want to go to the gym more to lose weight because I can’t handle the commitment of saying that’s something that matters to me. I don’t think I was raised to want things for myself. I was raised to want things for other people. And to look down on anyone who wanted things as superficial as to look attractive, to get felt up, or to have attention. I’ve spent my life acting as though I were too fulfilled by so many other things to care about what wasn’t there. I don’t know how to invite anyone else in. If it all comes down to fear, why has it so paralyzed my life? And what possibility is there for it to be conquered?

So yeah. I have a little time on my hands now and it looks like wading through some pain will be part of it. I’m hoping some insight and change will come of it all, but I guess we’ll have to see.

January 2, 2009

A new year. And maybe a glimmer of stage 4?

Filed under: Melancholy — me @ 5:31 am

Coming down from all the holiday-ness now. My replacement at the Job has been officially announced, so at long last it is SINKING IN. January will be a tight month financially, so nervous about that, but mostly just trying to sort out whatever it is I actually WANT now. Maybe my New Year’s Resolution should be simply to figure that out.

December 29, 2008

Stage 3

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Workaholism — me @ 2:01 pm

I seriously just had an epiphany. This thing I’ve been doing? It’s bargaining.

November 18, 2008

Moody Tonight

Filed under: Bad Patient, Melancholy, Personal, Workaholism — me @ 2:21 am

So my ear doesn’t hurt as much but I still have this weird sensation of being underwater when I talk. I’m coughing up my lungs less often– very much looking forward to being UnSick again. Workaholism and Depression probably get me sick more often than not, and they don’t interact well with sickness when it does arive. I get less done when I feel crummy, which then makes me feel more lousy, which then makes me push myself more, which then drags the physical-me down further. I’m not surprised I got sick, it’s a tradition of mine when I hit a particular marathon’s finish line (I bet a lot of you Theatre Folk out there caught a fever after Tech more than once…). It hasn’t really been the Finish though, its just been the Beginning of this strange period of having one foot still in the Job and one foot drawing away– working “part time,” at least on paper but not (yet) finding the consuming nature of the work lessening in my thoughts. It is almost as if, since I don’t have an obligation now to go into the office as much, I’ve been freed, paradoxically, to spend that “lost time” on the phone, on the internet, and wrapped up in paperwork in my pyjamas. I know this is not Not Working. And I know these habits are a cross between the Unreasonable Demands that Meant I Need to Leave in the first place and the Unreasonable Workaholism that Kept Me Here So Long.

I imagine to most of the people in my life, it must be pretty tiresome when I talk about where I’m at these days emotionally. I hum along fine and then suddenly it’s like tonight, where I’m back at square one, grieving this thing I’ve called My Job and trying to figure out what direction it is that I am to go in Next.

Today there was a meeting where a gathered committee discussed the various resumes that have come in and decide which are worthy for interview as my replacement. I wasn’t a part of the meeting, except to rudely interrupt with a question for my Boss as I was on my way out the door. But it scratched against me a little, the way fingernails scratch on a chalkboard, and I hadn’t expected it.

I’m trying to figure out why this all affects me so deeply. My Job made me feel special, it gave me purpose. It gave me something to do that I was uniquely able to do. I loved my Title, my Office, my System of White Binders on the shelf. I was in love with the potential my Job had, and enamored with the idea that I could Make It what I wished it could be. I wanted to redeem an Organization that had meant a great deal to me as a child. And when things fell down because there wasn’t enough funding, or staff, or lead time– I took it as a personal failure, thinking that if I had Just Worked Harder, if I hadn’t been So Tired, if I hadn’t let OldBoss get me down, and if I could Just Be Patient… it would be different.

In a way, I grew accustomed to whining while in this position, a tradition carried over from my time working for the StageMotherSchool. Whining is usually about being Righteously Annoyed, not Angry really. I was surrounded so often by behavior and situations that others might have gotten Angry about. But I never really owned Anger here. I couldn’t be angry in the disgusted way outsiders who came along were. I loved this Place so much. And I had worked so much to make It better– to be disgusted with It was to be disgusted with myself. So I would whine, to those few who both listened well and every now and then add fuel to my whining– it got that frustrated energy released, my ego massaged, my view of events affirmed. Of course it got old to listen to sometimes, and even the most patient in my life would wander into the “So Why Are You There?!” territory and I’d scuttle away emotionally– knowing I had complained a few moments too long. It was okay if I was the noble victim, if I could garner sympathy and support for my mistreatments and still go back in to work the next day. But I couldn’t handle the implication that I was pathetic, attaching myself to a situation that a grown up would– should– walk away from.

It is this that I was afraid of. This sense of What The Hell Am I Doing. Who Am I if not this Title. More than that even– Who Am I If Not The Saving of This Place.

Maybe I’ll find Somewhere Else to Save. Maybe I’ll be Special in a million new ways to come. Maybe there will be Someone To Come holding my hand, and I’ll realize I never could have given to them or gotten from them if I hadn’t taken this step. Maybe I’ll find a way to value myself highly with or without a current Great Project. It’s scary to step out into a whole lot of Maybes. I guess the one thing the Whirlwind of my Job always had was that– the Constancy of that Whirlwind could always be counted on. When the Whirlwind stops suddenly there is a whole lot of empty space for thinking about the things that make me feel inadequate, the finances I’m not sure I will conquer, the strains within the love I have for my family. Sometimes I have more pain in me than I would like to acknowledge.

October 12, 2008

Moving into Stage 2, I think

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Spirituality, Workaholism — me @ 9:38 pm

Looking back on this past week through the lens of the grieving process, I realized that I denial was a huge part of my experience. I couldn’t handle talking about the situation, and I certainly wasn’t making preparations for the future, or experiencing any kind of relief. Mainly I was (and in many ways still am) just kind of mortified to be here right now. In the midst of all this sadness and impending displacement, I mean.

But something new has been popping up, which I suppose confirms that this really is a journey in mourning. I’m angry. It hadn’t really occurred to me that I was angry at first. Around Thursday I stopped in at my church and talked to one of the ministers there. I felt like I wanted to talk to someone totally objective who might be able to help. I talk to my friends but I worry a lot about boring/annoying them. I feel a lot of the time that they can’t possibly grasp what has happened for me. I want to be a champion of my own courage, to brag about this move and its symbolic power in closing a chapter of my life that included a lot of distress. But instead I have felt distracted, foggy, at times miserably sad. Underwater even. I know from experience that you can’t float up out of the lower limits of depression on your own, so I reached out. He is the one who brought up that I was probably angry.

There’s something about my upbringing that makes me apologetic at the notion of being angry. At any rate, when he said it, and I thought about it, it was clear that it was true– if hiding deep below the surface of all the wanting-to-hide-under-the-covers-ness, it was definitely there. I’m angry at the ways I feel I was badly treated. I’m angry at feeling “forced” to leave a job that I in some ways felt born to do. I’m angry at the misinformation already spreading about, regarding my reasons for leaving and my abilities in my position.

Minister said I should read some Psalms. In my denial/anger state I didn’t take the suggestion very seriously, but really I don’t know what I was expecting. Of course that is what Minister would say. And it certainly can’t hurt. He said what’s great about the Psalms is that they’re filled with the voices of people who’ve felt let down or abandoned, people who often aren’t necessarily thrilled with God. I have clung to God throughout the process of getting to this point– first trying to discern what it was I ought to do, and then praying–begging really– that I might have the courage to go through with it. My spirituality has always been a friend to me when there was no one else to make something happen but me. It definitely got to a point where there were no more conversations with friends to be had, no pros and cons lists– just action needing to be taken. But while His voice was there for me as I made the decision I guess I haven’t really been able to key into that yet since the decision has been made. I know I’m not alone, and I know making it through this journey will certainly be easier with a faith that I’m taken care of and going where I need to go. But I guess I just haven’t been ready to really… be spiritual… in all this unhappiness. It doesn’t frighten me, I know my religious connection will be there for me when I am ready for it, but I guess sorting out my feelings has been a bigger priority thus far.

There have been times in depression that I feel alone with my God, in some ways closer to Him than ever– underwater and yet with a witness at least. Other times are like this, when I know He is there and will be there, but I kind of ignore– almost avoid– that part of myself because I feel like I need to re-align. I’ve always said I would be a mess without my believe in God. But sometimes WHEN I’m a mess my belief in God, for better or worse, becomes a bit of an afterthought. Maybe, like those Psalmists, as I see myself moving away from denial and into more anger, if nothing else I’ll have more to say to Him.

April 9, 2008

Sick Day

Filed under: Bad Patient, Melancholy, Workaholism — me @ 8:52 pm

I have a cold. I’ve been in bed most of today and have hit total boredom. Ever the workaholic, I’ve checked my work email a few times today, but managed not to do (much) actual work since I did after all call out.

My job is sort of a nightmare these days. It has often been that way, so I can’t even say that its more or less so than many other times in the past three years, but right now I’m at a low point in my ability to let things slide off my back. I know I need to leave, but I don’t know how, I’m struggling with when, and I’m absolutely terrified of what it will mean for my future– financially, career-wise, everything. It’s clear that the people who care most for me will probably want to throw a party when I finally find a way to walk away– but I have not yet figured out what it will mean for me. I find the whole situation utterly heartbreaking. I define myself by my work and for work to be such a constant source of anxiety is frankly tearing me apart.

I need a break.

February 3, 2008

I Hate That So Much of What I Have to Say These Days is So Negative…

Filed under: Melancholy, Workaholism — me @ 3:50 pm

I am a “Director” in my little sometimes-struggling NonProfit, meaning not a “Manager”. I’m the senior staff member, and in this long strange “transition” I’m the only one of the now 3 full time staff who’s been here longer than a month. There are 3 part time employees 10-20 hours a week, the longest standing of which has been here since end of July.  And then there are a variety of independent contractors that provide services to the company but are basically around on a per-project basis. This is my third boss in four months, and it’s fair to say I’m grieving the other two in one way or another, but most particularly the most recent of them.

Yesterday was a pretty lousy day. NewBoss is angry with me because… oh it’s a pretty long story. But among the highlights are that she feels I have a bad attitude and that she feels “taken advantage of” by the fact that I’m in and out of the office as much as I am. My hours are odd at times and a strategy I’ve had against my Workaholism has been to try to keep track of my hours and “make up” extra time as it comes up. So, for instance, when I got called in for my supposed day off this week, I worked less hours one day later in the week. To this point, flexible hours has been one of the few benefits of my position and all the stress it causes me. I’ve been lucky to be in a job where I can schedule a doctor’s appointment one morning and not have to jump through hoops to clear it, because everyone knows that I will work several hours “overtime” in the long run. This isn’t working for NewBoss, which is her right to determine I suppose, but her intense reaction (considering we’ve never had a discussion about my hours or her expectations in general) and a few things she said greatly concern me.

She wants me to have more regular work hours (9-5 or 10-6 or something) no matter whether there was a late night meeting or event I was required to go to or not. She basically said that telecommuting isn’t really “doing work” and that if I have to “do some typing at home” its on my own time. The implication is that if I was using my time well in the office I wouldn’t have work to bring home. And that as a “Director” if one of my staff calls out on my day off and I have to cover for them all day, I still need to put in the additional hours above that.  I am a salaried, at will employee. So my question becomes, if salary means I don’t get overtime and am expected to come in above and beyond the traditional “8 hour day plus a lunch break,” is there no upper limit to what could be reasonable hours or workload?

One of her other issues is with one of my two assistants, J, who has a young daughter and is currently sharing a car with her husband because she has to save the money to get her car fixed. I hand-picked this assistant because she is nothing short of amazing and helps me out in innumerable ways. She comes in when she is sick, and she goes above and beyond with the tasks I assign to her. When I ask her to do something, I do not worry whether it will be done or done competently. But there have been times where her child care has fallen through, and so she has called me to see if there are possible tasks she could do from home, or in two cases brought her daughter to work with her. The other day it was raining and she was driving to the office from a mountainous area where it was more slippery than in Office’s City, and she called to say she was a little delayed because of traffic and safety but that she was on her way. NewestBoss has serious problems with all of this because it did not “look that bad” outside, and because she “raised two kids while working and never had any trouble.” I care about J and I’m protective of her in a way, but mostly the tenor of NewestBoss’ objections is what really bothers me. It seems like her view is that there aren’t other priorities in life, and that it’s reasonable to expect that J would choose to put her family after her job.  And when she says to me that the 50+ hours I worked last week aren’t that big of a deal, and that in fact she doesn’t consider time I spent subbing for an absent staff member, making phone calls on the way to the office, having business related lunches with potential partners, or typing up multiple reports on my laptop at home count as work done– that in fact she feels I’m trying to get away with something by NOT  WORKING ENOUGH… well, its been a difficult thing to process.

She wants to structure my hours, fine. She wants to define her expectations, fine. She thinks her lifestyle choices have worked for her, fine. But suddenly my struggles to create a life outside of work seem to have another obstacle, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.

November 24, 2007

Checking In

Filed under: Melancholy — me @ 4:38 pm

I keep meaning to post and getting swallowed up with living. Some highlights: I finally broke down last Tuesday and handed Transitional Boss a letter saying if I didn’t get the assistant I was promised 5 months ago I would stop coming to work– it about killed me to do it, but it appears that squeaky wheels do occasionally get oiled and I can hire an assistant next week. Also in letter writing news, I wrote the Dept of Consumer Protection about the fact that I’ve waited since April for a functioning washer-dryer– I  don’t think it will help but it felt good to do it. What else… I got into a fight with someone I thought was a good friend who I’ve been blindsided to find out has a rather patronizing view of me. I upset Sister by asking the wrong question at the wrong time. I played with BestNieceEver on Thanksgiving. My Christmas friends are in town again this year and they have encouraged me to drink more glasses of wine over the past two weeks than I’ve had all year.

It’s been a rough week or two. I haven’t been getting enough sleep and I’ve often been so wrapped up in my unhappiness over one thing or another that I’ve gone back to just saying “I’m hanging in…” when people ask how I am– cuz “fine” seems like too much of a lie. I’ve been surrounded by people who really care about me, which has been nice, but I guess I’m in a wilderness place again, and I’m just hoping to find a clearing there by Christmas.

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