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Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

Friend Dumped & How I Cheer Myself Up

In Bar Prep Problems, Friendship, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

This one is long, and I’m sorry about that. But, it’s a shout out to all my fellow ex-friends. Warning: profanity can and does occur.

Tonight, I feel lonely and a little isolated. The worst part was that I had no one to reach out to. It’s like that at two o’clock in the morning. People, for some odd reason, want to sleep. Often, I’m told, this is because they have jobs to go to. What’s up with that? At any rate, I realize now that one of the major reasons that I am feeling lonely and isolated and overwhelmed is studying for the bar.

But, I came to this realization after an hour of crying. Relax, relax. I’m cool now.

You see the first thing I did–or mistake I made (depending on how you look at it)–was to think about times in my life during which I had people around me who I could call at unsophisticated hours. And, then I pulled the Go to Jail card of sadness: why is it that I do not have anyone I can call now?

Rather than calmly explain to myself: “Hey, freaking jerk. It’s one o’clock in the morning. People have lives…jobs…^%*^ to do tomorrow.” I went there–directly there. I did not pass go. I did not collect two hundred dollars (because if I had collected two hundred dollars, I assure you I would have succored my sorrows in the therapy of Amazon).

Then, it really started. How did I lose friends? What are the reasons? I consider that I am 31 years old, living at home with my parents, slightly overweight, and not technically a lawyer at all. I don’t have kids. I have never owned a new car. I am in debt to your favorite uncle and mine (Sam). My passport has one stamp in it. I don’t have a church home. I have about 30 days to wade through a lot of information for the bar.

Jumanji cookies. Who in the Mordor would want to be friends with such a loser? [Insert adequate description of the woe-is-me-Edith-Crawley melt down moment here]. I mean, I did all types of stuff that would never make me feel better.

Presently, however, I am watching The Wedding Singer. Why? How?

Because I realized that in my bar prep-addled mind that I am actually missing have a circle of close female friends. This has nothing to do with me being 31 (even with a rat pack of compadres, I’d still be 31). This has nothing to do with me having little experience abroad (even though I am sure I would make a TON of friends abroad in Eat, Pray, Love style). This has nothing to do with me owning a new car (although, the bff of my dreams might be a car sales woman). This has nothing to do with me being child-less (although, I am sure that having to support another human being would be just what I need during my current meltdown).

I was mourning being an ex-friend. I know that sounds weird. But, I have had friendships with other women that were severed in the fashion of a break up.  And, it hurts like a break up. Apparently, I should have dealt with those situations they way I deal with a break up. Therefore, I present a rant for your consideration. Was I completely innocent in the situations? No. Definitely not. If, however, you are thinking about breaking up with a friend: here is some food for thought.

You know, what? I realize that I didn’t deserve to be friend-dumped. That is a truly shitty way to end a friendship. We end romantic relationships that way because, for those who practice and believe in monogamy, we intend to have another romantic relationship and need to start afresh. But, last time I checked: one can have as many friends as one wants.

I mean, yeah. I’m dramatic. I’m emotional. I have a crippling temper. I have a *slight* potty mouth issue. I’m annoyingly liberal and annoyingly Christian at the same time. I’m a pack rat. I’m pretty sarcastic, too. And, that can be hard to deal with in a friendship. But, I’m also funny as hell. And, I’m always down for an adventure. I also like to listen. You know those days when you wake up and wish you could have a makeover? Hunty, I never met that moment and failed to deliver. Hallelooooo!

In short, there is nothing wrong with me.

Obviously, it’s now the next morning. And, what’s left is me being angry. Angry that not one of them truly knows the amount of emotional turmoil I went through and how much I still care and how very much I blamed myself and how much my ability to make and keep and enjoy friends has been affected.

Here’s the thing: when one breaks off a romantic relationship, there are generally those moments. Those arguments. That ending statement that lets one know that the relationship is ending and, sometimes, even why. Not so much with the friend break-ups I’ve experienced. There is no way to reduce the issue down to something between me and that person. Then, there are the subsequent friend losses after the friend break-up. Mutual friends have to choose. Usually, I make the choice pretty easy. I withdraw. I shut down. My attitude can be very much like a huge middle finger.

HUGE.

Did I mention my temper? My temper is awesome. I can go from first world problems meme girl to General Patton in an hour or less. I can drill sergeant myself back up onto my feet and get ready for hours of bar prep. Remember that scene in Forrest Gump?

What’s your sole purpose in life?

To do whatever is best for me, drill sergeant?

What an outstanding answer! You must have a scooby-dooed IQ of a 160! Now, get about your day.

My own personal ignorance

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2013 at 6:59 am

I feel empathy for Paula Deen. She has been exposed to examination and ridicule for using inappropriate and disrespectful words. I don’t really care to get into whether or not she is racist or if Food Network was right. My purpose is different.

I’m admitting that I have also used inappropriate, disrespectful language. Before I can engage in discussions about how words CAN hurt, I have to own and address the wrong I’ve done.

I have said hurtful and ignorant things about LGBT persons in the past. The only acceptable explanation is that I focused more on what I felt to be important differences. I did not stop to think that the words I said affected actual individuals with the same emotional soft spots that I have. I never considered that my words made room for hateful, murderous inclinations in others.

But, I learned quickly that a person is a person is a person. I am thankful for friends and colleagues who had open minds and hearts. I am thankful for forums and spaces that welcomed everyone. I am thankful for people who saw beyond my ignorance.

I learned that it’s actually none of my business who loves what person. I learned that I was being small minded by even concerning myself with another person’s sexuality. I learned that I would actually do myself a favor if I pulled my head out of my….well, basically: my ignorant attitude was not at all (to use a cliche that seems apt) an attitude for which Jesus would give me a thumbs up.

By no means am I a shining champion. I say things I shouldn’t. I still get nosey. I am not proactive or educated enough. But, that’s not because I grew up in a neighborhood where “everyone” was straight. It’s not because I grew up in a time where bashing a person’s sexuality was common place. It’s not because I was raised in an evangelical Christian church.

The reason is simple: some days, I get too comfortable with my own ignorance.

Novel: Dredging up the past

In Encouragement, Novel, Thoughts on Christianity on June 22, 2013 at 4:50 am

Here is a link to the novel that I am writing one page at a time.

I intend this story to be a way for me to walk through a number of emotions that I am trying to put into perspective and sort out. I want to write the emotions in regular words, not emotion words. I am wondering how much it will help me to forgive and contextualize if I dredge up those emotions so that I tackle them head on. Some of these emotions have been hiding, disguised as something else, in my life. Right now, I am dealing with self-loathing and self-hatred. I am dealing with loneliness and isolation.

The other day I cleaned out my car–I did a pretty awesome detail job. But, I had so much stuff from my time as a ministry worker. Forms, offering envelopes, tons of pens, worship and praise CDs, bible study notes, bible study ideas, clip boards, notebooks. There was so much stuff that I didn’t think that I would be able to sort through it all. But, I went through every bag and every scrap. Some of it I kept. Much of it went in the trash and the recycle bin. And, it was sad to see that so many things that once had meaning for my life were now meaningless. But, it also felt great to put each thing in its proper place. It felt great to have a clean and near car that has plenty of space for new adventures.

I’m thinking I can do something similar with my heart.

Why don’t I give up?

In Encouragement, Friendship, R[evol]ution on June 21, 2013 at 5:07 am

Especially when it comes to reaching out to others, I often feel discouraged. When it comes to forming and maintaining relationships, I sometimes feel that I am in a black hole. So, why not give up? Why not retire to my own Walden? Why not just shut down?

Some days, I think it would be better to do so.

Then.

Then, I think about the fact that there is probably another person who feels the same way that I do at this very moment. I think about all the people who are in the world and lonely and in need of someone to reach out to them. I think about the days when I was really down and someone–a friend, an acquaintance, a relative, a stranger–did something kind for me and connected with me. I think about that most of all.

Then.

Then, I decide to pay it forward.

Novel: Am I the main character?

In Novel on June 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Click here to read the novel that I am writing page-by-page, day-by-day.

I thought about it a long time. Actually, I haven’t undertaken to write any fiction in a while because one of the main characters ALWAYS turns out to be me. I try REALLY hard to create characters who aren’t like me, but somehow there’s always one tall drink of water who acts a lot like I do.

This time, I ignored the urge to even try. Yes, the main character is me. Well, not ME. But, she does have my sense of humor. She probably will end up looking like me. Have I tried to asphyxiate myself in my own garage? Trick’s on you: my house doesn’t have a garage. But, seriously: no, I have not. It just seems to me that so much of writing is glossing over underlying emotions for the sake of description or glossing over outward appearances for the sake of underlying emotion that I need to know WHAT I am glossing over.

While it would be great to write about a super-rich male astronaut, it would also be difficult. I don’t currently have the time to research what it’s like to be an astronaut and I hardly think it’s fair to just make something up about men, astronauts, or the wildly rich. So, I’m taking by far the easiest way out and dumping as many of my own characteristics into her as possible.

Novel

In Bar Prep Problems, Law School Problems, Novel, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 17, 2013 at 12:33 am

I’m starting a novel in what I thought was an original way. But, as there is nothing new under the sun, it turns out that other authors are also writing their stories online and doing the meta-cognitive task of revealing the back story in an accompanying blog.

I’ve never attempted writing a novel before. But, while I am studying for the bar, I want to give myself an outlet that does not require rules or form or strictures–and mostly: doesn’t require listening or memorization. Sigh. I need a left brain activity.

So, I’m turning to the paper. I have a new, crisp, and overly expensive composition book. I have some awesome pens. And, I have an idea.

Pushing Back Against Anger

In Encouragement, Friendship, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 11, 2013 at 4:16 am

Anger will come like a flood through the weakest section of the retaining wall that protects your life. Something will happen that needles that weak spot and next thing you know: the anger, the tears, the self-doubt, the pity are all rushing through covering and obscuring the fertile and green places in your life.

But, maybe that’s just me.

So, maybe I’m talking about me. I have a weak place: my personal relationships. My friendships have for years been a source of stress. To be honest completely honest in a highly public forum (yikessssss), one of the reasons that I was deemed to be a good candidate for group therapy was my lack of long, close friendships that lasted through the various transition phases of my life. To translate that out of head shrink (c’mon…I kid, I kid) speak: I reach a milestone in life, and my ability to hold onto friendships takes a nose dive.

In this age of social media, everything needles the weak place for a person who sucks at keeping friends. People are talking to each other everywhere. All the signs point to most people moving through life with a circle surrounding them. There are tweets, status updates, instagrams, and four square check-ins that seem to underscore my weak place.

My point is this: most people (I’m thinking all people, but I hate making blanket statements) have a weakness. Maybe you have one. Maybe, like me, you get angry when that weak place is poked. Today was THAT DAY for me. And, usually, days like today turn into a 3-day funk involving me beating up on myself. But, this time I am choosing to push back against that anger and hurt.

First of all, I am going to consider that there may be a purpose for my weakness. In fact, I do believe that there must be a purpose for my weakness. Whatever the reason, when I drift away from people I am forced to do some reflection and enter a period of quiet. I often get back in touch with the direction that I am meant to go in. While I have lost many great friendships, I am sure that I have also been better off for losing contact with some people. Also, my own loneliness has made me particularly sensitive to loneliness and sadness in others. This means I’m a huge sap, but I also get the blessing of knowing how to reach out to others.

Next, I am not going to focus on the thought that there must be something wrong with me. There need not be anything wrong with me. Hard things happen in the course of life. I’m not the only one with this issue. This step is going to be difficult. Traditional logic will tell me that I must be the common denominator and that I must be doing something wrong. Be that as it may, but focusing on that will not fix it. Focusing on that is doing nothing more than encouraging me to give up on me.

Finally, I am going to promise myself that, no matter what tomorrow feels like, I am going to face it and remain true to myself. I am not going to lie to myself about how I feel. I am not going to allow myself to have a free pass to feel sorry for myself all day. I am going to love me and take care of me tomorrow. Bit by bit, I am going to shore up that weak place. Ironically, I know that’s work I must do alone.

Body Love Angry Woman Rant

In Encouragement, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 7, 2013 at 12:03 am

At the risk of revealing my true and absolute identity, thereby making me totally unhire-able in the big law world: I have an AWESOME board on Pinterest. It’s called Body Love/Self-Love. I pin pictures of people–especially women–of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, ages, abilities, heights, nationalities, and weights to it. 

Many of the people in the pictures don’t look like me. But, I think each and every picture is remarkable. I can literally spend hours trolling Pinterest and the internet for pictures of people who don’t look like anyone else I’ve pinned before. Why? Because I believe that no one should ever feel alone in her body love struggles. Many women have body love struggles. Women who YOU don’t think should have body love struggles do, in fact. No deserves to feel that her situation is so unique, so bad, so different that no one can relate.

I believe that every person deserves to be seen. Of course, the internet showcases the worst of humanity, but I hate seeing comments upon photos in which the commentator says the person in the photograph should not be seen until some change occurs in his/her body. Usually said change involves “eating a sandwich” or “losing weight.” No person is perfect; no body is perfect. The point is: perfection is not a prerequisite for presence.

I believe that every person deserves to understand that the world is larger than one’s own neighborhood. I like looking at Tyne Daly’s salt and pepper hair; I like checking for Rosie Mercado’s latest fashion statement; I like the bow-shaped elegance of Emma Watson’s lips; I like the roaring glory of an aging Josephine Baker; I like Marilyn Monroe’s bathing suits. No one else has to like those things, but EVERYONE else should know of and appreciate the existence of those things.

I believe that a body does not necessarily equal sex; and, a picture of a body does not necessarily equal sex. Looking at a body–especially a female body, but the male body has also been dangerously over-sexualized–does not necessarily require you or me to be “turned on.” Thus, the comment “this isn’t sexy” is pretty much meaningless.

I believe that health has two facets: physical and mental/emotional. I believe that the two facets do NOT exist independent of one another. Although, I do believe that the emotional/mental component (as the part that we each live with all day: the voice in your head, the dream in your sleep, the conscience in your actions) takes the lead. I don’t believe that commenting that someone looks “unhealthy” or that someone’s body is necessarily “unhealthy” has any point. Perhaps it make the commentator feel better. If I’m overweight–does anyone honestly believe that my doctor and I don’t know that? If I’m underweight–does anyone honestly believe that my doctor and I don’t know that? Thus, “you’re so overweight that you’re at risk for diabetes” and “you’re so thin that you look anorexic” comments do nothing more than to perpetuate body hate.

Every person is more than a body. I am emotions, thoughts, and actions. Each picture represents someone who is more than a body. No one should have the power to take that one facet of a person’s existence (the body), reduce a person to that one facet, and then make that person disappear based on the body. Perhaps you think you have that power. Spoiler alert: you don’t. Perhaps you have given other people that power over you. Spoiler alert: Shut down the power company and leave the shareholders to their own devices. Take back your power.

Church Foul Balls

In R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant..., Thoughts on Christianity on June 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

It’s been around two years since I’ve been in a church. My desire was to draft this entire post with a positive spin on my perceptions and beliefs. But, I still have so much hurt surrounding the issue of church that I am going to give myself permission to be hurt for a minute in the hopes that I can get closer to healing.

The reason I can tell that I am hurt is that when I mull this stuff over in my mind, the word “fair” comes up A LOT. In my heart, I KNOW that “fair” has very little to do with reality. Fair is something I think about when I don’t understand what’s going on or when I don’t want to think about what is going on. Fair and unfair are temporary labels I slap on thoughts.

I think about how it’s not fair that church involves politics. I think it’s not fair that I can’t be broken and in need of fixing. It’s not fair that I can’t be honest about my flaws and weaknesses. It’s not fair that my weaknesses can be thrown back at me. I think it’s not fair that the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus is thrown around and misused to inflict pain. I think it’s unfair that my time is not valued. I think it’s unfair that I am supposed to put myself second. I think it’s unfair that it should hurt so much that I decided to leave. I think it’s unfair that I haven’t discovered a way to process these losses.

And, they are losses. I left behind the people I had come to love and care for. I literally just walked away and never came back. There is no way to explain, hey…this is what is going to cause the least damage in the long run. It was unfair to them. But, the greatest loss? I am no longer certain that there is a place for me in ANY church…ANY gathering of Christians. It’s unfair for me to walk into a church with that big of a chip on my shoulder. So, I haven’t. Maybe I never will again. Maybe I will this Sunday–I rather doubt it, though.

My inner psycho b#@*!

In Encouragement, Love and Romance, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on June 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I love The Good Men Project. If you don’t read it, give it a try. I read a well-written post there by Vironika Tugaleva entitled “Confessions of a Former Psycho Bitch from Hell” that said that women are rarely willing to admit to being a psycho b@!#* from hell. Well, I’ve been one with strong chances of smaller, repeat performances.

“A LOT of people took a fairly decent crack at ruining my life. Let’s not put it all on one person.” And those were the last negative words about the situation and about him. I was responding to a statement from my mother about my ex.

It dawned on me that I could have, and possibly should have, said something like that years earlier and I could have saved myself a world of hurt. For those who know me and know him: this is the post in which I relate my part in the tale. Others played roles that I do not seek to undermine or ignore or excuse. This is just my way of telling my story.

I was too busy being a good girl to be a good woman and good partner. There is a difference. A good girl is too concerned with good grades, good PR, and being proper to consider the gray areas in life in which some things go lacking for the greater good…and that greater good includes the romantic relationship to which she’s committed herself.

I was in college, so I don’t fault myself for looking to grades. But, I know now that I wasn’t mature enough to know and embrace the fact that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Furthermore, I did not yet know that there exists more than one type of anger. One is a response. The other is a controlling force. By no means am I saying that my parents were cruel or abusive. I am saying that I lacked the strength to stand up for the love and the man I was then committed to.

I now recognize that I am a being completely separate and different from my parents, and there is no requirement that they fall in love with the man I fall in love with. I did not know that then. Instead, I needlessly subjected the one I loved to some very trying situations and I expected HIM to make everything better. That’s a lot of weight for a young man to carry.

But, the psycho part is that I would bow to anger habitually and wonder why I wasn’t getting what I needed and wanted in my friendships and relationships. I would fold into deep depressions of silence and numbness. I would cry to my friends that no one understood me. And, that was true. But, it was true because I was hiding myself and asking people to love me on layaway: if you keep loving me, I’ll show you a little bit more of myself at regular intervals. It was hell for me and the people who loved me and cared about me.

Have I learned? A little bit at a time. But, there are times when I can still go to that place of self-doubt and emotional closed-ness. Except now, I know why am I there and I know my way out.