Dirrrrty 30: The Dating Death Sentence?

the-dating-pool-in-your-30s

Now that we’ve all seen the meme and chuckled to ourselves a bit lets take a step back. This shit is ridiculous.

I asked a few friends for insight on “dating in your 30’s”…

Dating in your 30’s is like dating in your 20’s but you actually get through a movie with your clothes on. It really fucking sucks – AB

Just don’t do it, man – EO

I’m very excited because I can still do everything I did in my twenties, except now I have the wisdom and money to do them better – CMcM

Younger men last way too long but take direction very well – CS

They don’t call you on your birthday – MLH

Basically, I am finding dating to be exceptionally tiresome and I am bored with it. Bored not because nothing eventful or exciting happens but bored because it is literally the same thing with different men.

Machismo. Psuedo-confidence. Sense of entitlement tied in with instant gratification.

Its hard dating, in your 30’s, with mental illness. I mean, my god. If one thing gets in the way its my BPD. I have to deal with this every day and while it is a challenge I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Am I unique? Fuck no. Not at all.

What about dating while “sober”… meeting a guy for drinks is really decaf latte because caffeine after 4:00 pm makes me cranky. Am I 30 or 80? I know there is a perception of sober chicks in the non-recovery world. I also know, while trying not to judge, that men in recovery… sigh. I mean, talk about your baggage!!! I am a mess as it is, I do not need to make the mistake of dating a guy who is floating down the same river. [my saying is: “same river, different boat” as in people in recovery are taking a similar journey just at different speeds, seeing different things, stopping when they need to, etc.]… now, this is my own experience but… men in recovery tend to be just as, if not MORE, emotionally fucked than their non-sober counterparts. You would think that all the therapy and what not would help them come to terms with their issues… yea, you would think that, wouldn’t you? It isn’t the case. Not only are they battling with their chemical addiction they are now facing the reality of their lives…  sober. Again, JUST MY OWN experience, not the case for all… I just cant. I don’t. Fuck you.

What do men even want these days? It seems like the dating world has changed a lot in the past 5 years. Or, was I simply exceptionally naive 5 years ago?

This year has brought some funny dating fails into my life. I mean.. my most recent experiences:

1.There was the one guy… I don’t know if he was an intentional douche, hiding his true intentions, or if he is really seriously insane. Both, perhaps? I kind of feel sorry for him, though. Anyway, that was a 6 month emotional roller coaster I could have done without.

2. There were the Tinder dates. Oh. My. God. You guys… if you wont take my advice, take Eugene’s advice “just don’t do it, man”… LOL – Now, I have heard of one success story from Tinder and that was like, uh, over a year ago. But for real, Tinder is most likely where all the weirdo’s go to play and you don’t want to go there and be a weirdo UNLESS OF COURSE that is what you are in to and then, by all means, DIVE IN. I have seen *so many* unsolicited dick pics from using Tinder in 3 weeks than I have in my entire life of living, and I have been alive for 30 years and some change. WOW. I mean, wow. The conversations generally start out completely innocent – I got a lot of “hey, I like your pics” & “your bio great, it would be fun to meet you”. Then some other guys were more like… “gorgeous babe, I love you lets get married”… and then of course the “come over to my place lets F**K” … “JUST A DICK PIC”…. “I want to *** in your ***” and then I’m like, wait… what? THIS IS TOO MUCH!

And then, because these things always happen in 3’s, the home run, if you will… Him.

3. Not God, but He Who Must Not Be Named. The ghost of Christmas Past. My living nightmare, Satan, in the flesh. The serpent Himself comes slithering from the shadows of yesteryear.

Initially, in my head, I called it for what it was: harmless flirtation, foolish texting. Nothing. But then, he suggests meeting up? We did last year, and it was fine, nothing happened, nothing crazy. But why dinner, again? But then again, why not?

I am awesome.

And then I am THROWN – like a penny to a wishing well – so carelessly. I am whirled into memories of a past I would rather FORGET. This man who once used me for all he could get. This man who was so flippant with my heart. This man who I loved for no reason other than he was he.

This man who I knew was poison but, so fucking charming. So fucking handsome. So fucking dangerous… so fucking wrong. Suddenly, without warning, I am 19 again and full of this stupid fucking excitement like a stupid fucking girl.

He loads me with compliments but when push comes to shove he does not want to actually meet up. He never touches the subject again. He never reaches out. Yet he makes time to mention “you are so fucking sexy its crazy, it hurts” & “damn, you got it all, huh” or “I hope I am more good than bad in your life”… only to say… after all this that he doesn’t see us being together.

Okay.

I say “story of my life. Good enough to fuck with, not good enough to be with”

He says “Not true! You are good enough that’s you lying to yourself! You know the program self pity gets us nowhere”

Well. Fuck me sideways. Self pity? Did you not just say that you did not want to be with me after all that gas-lighting? I’m hurt. And I know that I ought not to be.

Q. Are my expectations unrealistic?

A. Yes – very much so. I watched too much Disney growing up and was raised by a bunch of strong women and one man-hating lesbian.

I am successful in my career. By successful I mean, I have a lot of stress and responsibility and that is accompanied by a salary that allows me to live alone comfortably when I am not blowing my cash on things I don’t really need. By live comfortably I mean I use a plastic tub of Archer Farms Raw Mixed Nuts to keep my dining room window open because its broken and my “landlord” sees no need in fixing it. I mean, its just a window, right? But, I’m happy.

I am still young-ish. 30 isn’t old. I am happy. I am confident-ish. I drink coffee. I like stuff. I am full of joy. I am caring and host fundraisers for animal charities.

I am once again wondering… why the fuck do I do this to myself? Am I a glutton for the punishment?

And the answer is, I don’t know. What is out there? A bunch of boys who talk in circles and have no intention of showing up? Is there a guy out there who wont fucking annoy the shit out of me? Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life… men speaking in code? Is it worth it, even? Do I care?

 

You know, I am completely satisfied with sitting alone in my lower-middle-class apartment decorated with empty cigarette packs & cat fur.

I am completely satisfied with random grocery shopping trips at midnight.

I am completely satisfied with finding everything exactly where I fucking left it. 

My time is spent wishing on falling stars.

Watching sunsets over the rail yard.

Taking walks with my best friend and her dogs.

Gabbing with friends about life, truth, the future, our dreams, our goals.

Watching shitty movies and tv shows… guilt free! UNINTERRUPTED!

I have a 14 day vacation planned for the end of the month and that is so exciting.

Men are of no importance to me. They are of no significance to me. I do not want to be 30 and dating because I do not want to be dating.

I am living. I am enjoying. 

 

Out of Order: Losing power & learning to love life… without AC

June 11th, 2017 – this day will go down in [my] history as “the day the AC died” – as in the entire electrical grid for just my fucking block was destroyed and I was left without power for 28 hours.

What a joke! However, the important thing is that I made it through and was able to teach myself a few things in the process.

7:00 am – Elton is zipping around the apartment – I am usually up this early on weekdays so he likes to be just as jubilant on the weekends. Yay, life. He is really having a blast, playing with all of his jingly cat toys while simultaneously doing his weird Xena: Warrior Princess cry “yeaaaaaaaaaaaaayayayayaaaa”…

It’s too early to wake up – I was up late painting the night before – and I wanted to squish into my pillows and continue dreaming of eating a veggie sandwich. I let out a soft sigh of defeat. I like sleeping. I like weekends. I like not being awake.

I sit up in my bed and stare out at the morning sky, contemplating my next move. Its just a bit too warm for me to shut my door [AC is in the LR (code for Living Room, you wouldn’t understand) but its like, the only good spot for a window unit, I swear!] to block out Elton’s battle cry, buuuut he is *so* annoying and I know it wont stop for at least an hour…

I do the unthinkable.

I shut my door.

7:30 am – Elton is now standing outside the door. I hear him tip over the adorable aqua garbage can and rifle through the plastic. He has tooth issues and chewing plastic is his thing. Apparently he does not have PICA as I had assumed but something much, much worse. Poor baby. I don’t judge him. The sound of shuffling plastic at 7:30 is better than his insane gargled cries.

My bed shakes.

What the turd?

My entire apartment shakes.

Uhnnnnnnmmnnmmnnnnmmnnnn, exsqueeze me?

I get up and peek out the window and the once morning sky is now a mossy green blanket like, literally zooming over the metro. Uh oh! There is a sheet of rain so thick that I can hardly see the cars on the street below.

I love my apartment on the hill. She is a 2nd story unit  – on a hill –  with a lovely view of the western sky and a shitty rail-yard that offers nothing but noise and most likely toxic fumes. Breathtaking sunset views, though, so whatever!

But now, while the whole building threatens to collapse from the wind I am kind of rethinking how much I *just love this place* and wondering why I didn’t go for the sensible ground floor building up the road [I know why, they wanted $950/mo for 500sq ft, street parking, with a $50/mo pet rent – wtf, MPLS?] and save myself this trouble.

Whatever, nothing I can do but watch in horror and prepare for my ultimate destruction.

Elton isn’t happy anymore. Storms scare him. Not like, scare scare, but he finds them unsettling. The way most people feel about Kirstie Alley is the way Elton feels about storms.

He crawls under my bed and I have this irrational fear that the bed frame will collapse while he is under there, crushing him in the process [it’s a new bed frame and completely structurally sound, I have just always had this fear since one time 8 years ago a bed frame DID collapse and while no one was hurt or killed someone COULD HAVE been, that someone being Elton, so we just barricade the bed frame off so he cant go there, and by we I mean me. I do. Alone. Because I am crazy as fuck and single and as I write this I am realizing exactly why I am single. THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT THIS STORY IS ABOUT HOW I ALMOST DIED WITHOUT AC!!] so wait… yea…

I get Elton out from under the bed and I’m all like, ohhh its okay baby just a little storm, we good. And I pet him and cuddle him on the bed while peeking out the window watching the trees flail around like those wild wavy wacky dancing men you see outside of shitty car dealerships.

The storm is getting stronger and stronger and me, being the smarty pants that I am, decide the best thing to do at this point is to go back to sleep. I prep Elton for an emergency basement run by getting him into his harness and hop into bed with him, cuddling him tightly. As in he is rubbing his face into the side of my head while I struggle to keep him away from my eyes and mouth.

I think I closed my eyes for probably 1 minute before the ominous whirring of the AC began. Its like that dying electrical appliance sound. The thing was a struggle bus. I heard my mini bed fan whirring too… hummmmmm… chumm chummm chum hummmm… whiirr whatever the fuck whirring sounds like to you, you know what I am talking about.

So like, I panic, naturally, because all I ever do anymore is panic, stare into space and eat ice cream. So I get up and start unplugging appliances. I am like, not prepared for emergency situations at all. I have always depended on others for this kind of stuff, I have never been on my own! But I am old and clever enough to know that I have to unplug major appliances so there isn’t a rush of electricity to them if the power goes out then comes back on… something, something science.

Any who… this is where my heart breaks.

I am in the kitchen, staring at my lovely, brand new, turquoise Keurig… COFFEE! I NEED COFFEE! And I go into survival mode and I am now moving at the speed of light. I never refill the water to the damn thing so I am rushing to get the water from the fridge [matching turquoise Brita water filter – I went for a turquoise theme in this apartment because it was my first apartment and I decided that I needed a theme and I just LOVE saying TURQUOISE so that’s where I went with all that] – anyway, so yea, I am trying to get this thing up and at em and the one thing I hate about this machine is that it takes *forever* to heat water and make a cup. Like, literally forever. I could die, be reborn as a new person, grow up to be a garbage collector, find an old Keurig model in a dump heap, refurbish it, and make a cup of coffee before this one heats enough water to begin the brewing process. It’s a damn shame. OH MY GOD I am so off track here! So, LIKE I WAS SAYING before I so rudely interrupted myself… I am essentially throwing things around my kitchen because I cant contain myself and desperately want a cup of joe before the day begins and I lose power…. Aaaaand the whirring gets more intense.. and then… it stops.

Lights. Out.

Goodbye, world.

Well… the story ends there for about 10 hours – nothing besides wasted groceries and a trip to the gas station and coffee shop… Well, no, I loaded up some food and headed over to my friends place with laundry as well. My joke is, I text asking if I can store food in their fridge while the power is out – show up with one bag of lettuce and 4 loads of laundry. I brought him a subway sandwich!

Anyway… got home at night after watching American Gods – I strongly recommend it – and I am sitting in the dark hallway, using my phone as a light, trying to conserve battery so I am not using the flashlight option, just the back light. I struggle to get in my door and am greeted instantly by Elton.

Its muggy. Hot. Gross. Stinky. Funny how a bit of heat and humidity can really fuck up the vibe of ones living space. *Mental Note: I need to deep clean like a mofo!!!

I instantly begin lighting candles and I am impressed with myself for having 100 on hand. When I first moved out I was really energy conscious since I was paying utilities on my own and decided I would live by candlelight at night. I did off and on, and this night was an ON night.

I have them all placed now, the candles, lighting up the my apartment, shedding a lovely rusty glow across the walls.

I shower by candle light. I shit by candle light. I shave by candle light.

Just kidding, but the shit shower shave is so standard I went with it. I didn’t shave.

I am sprawled out in bed and I am reminded of the month when I first moved out with my friends like 100 years ago and we decided that we didn’t need to pay the electric bill… well we were cut off for a month until the MN Cold Air Act turned it back on in October… lol but that is a story for another time… just know… this wasn’t my first rodeo. 24 hrs without electricity – NO BIG – I’ve done 38 days.

After some giggling and reminiscing about “good times at The Pines” I tried to get to sleep. Its actually really hard to sleep in a musty, hot apartment with no air circulation and the noise of the city piercing the otherwise quiet night.

I toss and turn.

I try not to use my phone because its my alarm for the AM…

11:30 pm – Roscoe and Angela [neighbors] decide to turn on their generator. YEA they have a gas powered generator that they didn’t even tell me about and were using it to power THEIR unit and not mine!! The nerve!

12:30 am – Roscoe and Angela decide to “crack some cold ones” and have a gay ol’ time out on the front porch chatting about God knows what.

1:00 am – Roscoe and Angela are listening to some music now

2:30 am – I decide to give writing a go. Found my journal, and the idea to come up with a “survival list” during power outages came to me. So, I sat by candlelight and penned this list… I hope you enjoy it, find some use out of it, and that someday you too will have a similar life-altering experience.

Tips, Tricks, and Things: What I learned during an Electricity Crisis

[because this was a crisis]

  1. Battery operated everything. I wish I had a fan right now. Cory has a fan, battery operated. I should have asked to use it. There is a battery operated lantern in my car right now. I don’t need it, I have candles.
    1. Buy a flashlight or two
      1. Don’t lose either of them
    2. Have extra batteries
  2. Candlelight is my friend
    1. I should take more selfies by candlelight – it is incredibly flattering lighting and I feel really good about my life choices right now
    2. While burning the hibiscus, orange blossom, Tahitian sunset and bergamont scents intoxicate the senses… unscented is the way to go for emergency situations. Burning together is basically an unholy nightmare, second only to a day in Bath & Bodyworks.
      1. Buy one or two packs of unscented tea lights and some pillars
    3. Its fucking hot
    4. Thank God for gas water heaters. I only wish I had a tub. Don’t get me wrong, showering by candlelight was awesome but like, a tub would have been an escape from reality. People often take candlelit baths to relax and enjoy themselves… my candlelit shower felt more like… squatter chic than anything.
    5. I need a big ass cooler – buy a big ass cooler
    6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
      1. Sure, I will have to throw away hundreds of dollars  worth of food that I JUST bought but at least I didn’t get any hail damage to my car! Did I really need all that ice cream anyway? I bought milk & cookies on accident thinking I picked up two pints of Ben & Jerrys Half Baked. Bummer.
    7. Elton is happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
    8. I too, am happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
    9. Back up chargers are GOLD
    10. Keep a spray bottle of full of water* at your bedside table for: a) Misting yourself as you lay sleepless and sweating in the stagnant dead of nighTo drink from when your Poweraid [purple] is in the other room and you’re too tired to go get it but too awake to just fall asleep
      1. Turn on “jet” mode and spray your cat when he decides to wander around meowing about dumb stuff that NO ONE cares about

*In this order: smartwater, Aquafina, Dasani – just don’t use sparkling water!

  1. Take more selfies by candlelight – you can never have too many flattering photos of yourself!!
  2. Make sure you have medical [vet] documents handy so when you need to call 4 boarding facilities at 7:00am you are set to answer all their vaccination questions.
    1. Also – make sure your pets are vaccinated
  3. Don’t hide chocolate all over your apartment as “surprises for your future self” because they will fucking melt at 80 degrees FOR SURE & you will have to clean it up
  4. Own some light-airy sheets
  5. Make sure that said sheets are clean for a cozy/hot as fuck but still clean & airy sleeping extravaganza!
  6. Turn the power outage into a true test of friendship & see who is willing to come to your aid … thank you, friends!
  7. Don’t have a big sweaty piece of shit boyfriend who is a mouth breather/snorer & hogs the bed – this is very important if you are a light sleeper like me – no amount of melatonin or ear plugs will save you from the horror of an obnoxious asshole who says you aren’t a normal person because you sleep with a fan and refuses to let you use one in his presence… SLEEP AT YOUR OWN FUCKING PLACE, ever think of that?!?! You fucking pig… [is what I could have said if I were still dating said turd]
  8. Use this time to reflect on past relationships & work through your anger * resentments with nothing but the sound of your Pentel Arts Sign Pen gliding effortlessly over your paper – or the clickly clack of your laptop if you’re smart and keep the bad-boy charged
    1. Its important to reflect on life – figure out where you went wrong, make a mental note of it, put it in your back pocket and MOVE THE FUCK ON!
  9. Pick out your outfit for the next day… for real. You want to do this. Doing this saves time in the morning, and you will know already that you will SLAY the day. Just do it, it’s a general “best practice” and I typically always do it anyway. Mainly because I am lazy and dislike thinking and doing in the morning. Waking up at the butt crack of dawn, while its still dark out butt crack, you will NOT want to be rummaging through closets and drawers for socks with a cellphone flashlight.
  10. Just don’t wear socks if at all possible – unless of course it is necessary.
  11. Be happy – be comfortable in your own skin.
  12. Try not to judge your neighbors for being *so fucking loud* all the time
  13. Appreciate the times you did have electricity & reflect fondly on those memories.

FIN

Pizza for breakfast: why men cheat and how meditating is driving me crazy

Men cheat because they fucking suck. 

Now, that is a tad biased and not based on any scientific fact or research. That statement is my simple understanding of how the world spins. 

In other news… 

Meditating is a lie. It’s a damn lie! I am sure that no one knows how to really do it, just like I am convinced that no one really knows how airplanes fly. Great mysteries of the world.

It’s just so frustrating because I am such a novice it’s not even funny, and I struggle immensely with the act of just being… 

So, my understanding is that everyone starts out feeling this same way, on some level. It’s this whole “getting out of my head” thing that traps me. My mind is always racing. It’s as if there are always things a-goin-on up there, sometimes it feels like thoughts on top of thoughts! Can that even happen?

I am a perfectionist of sorts, and I just want to be able to do it NOW! I know it takes time, practice, “honing in on a skill”…. but I’m a whiney baby and I want what I want when I want it and I want it now! 

Example: I was a small girl, like 5 maybe, and my mom took me to my very first ballet class. We danced and did our things and had fun and then class was over. All the girls went to their moms and were being bundled up to go home while I stood there like “what the fuck is happening”… I was pissed! Why were we being sent away, we weren’t done! My mom says she tried to explain to me that this was just the first class and that we’d keep coming back. That wasn’t good enough for me, I was throwing a tantrum because I wasn’t a ballerina yet!!! She had to soothe me somehow and convince me that this was indeed how life wield as that you can’t just be a ballerina like *that*.

I want *THAT* 

I am such an inpatient woman – and I know that learning the art of meditation will alleviate so unnecessary stress in my life. It’s really just about taking baby steps to get there. Enjoy the journey or whatever cliche line yoga ladies like to use. Not that I have anything against yoga ladies but FR FR FR – a lot of them are pretty weird, but more power to them, but FR……. I LIKE YOGA, yoga is fun and sexy and makes me feel like a limber sun-goddess libra warrior princess – BUT some yoga people smell like fart. 

How to harness my restless energy, tame the impatient beast inside ALL WHILE CLEARING MY MIND? That’s what I don’t get.

Lol like, what kind of game is this? 

Intriguing.

I try breathing exercises and that totally (kind of) helps (me fall asleep which isn’t the goal but napping is nice) and has me feeling really positive about the path I am on. 

My favorite would be where I imagine myself laying on the beach, at the ocean, Waimanalo to be exact, and the tide is slowly coming in.

I close my eyes and I lay there and tense my WHOLE body – basically flexing every muscle and then take a deep breath. Hold for a second, then I imagine that with every exhale – 8 counts – the tide is rolling out – relax body. With every inhale the tide rolls in and I flex one part of my body – 6 counts – it touches my toes first… relax, 8 counts out. Deep breath in, flex toes and feet – tide rolls back in and hits the top of my feet. Relax… 8 counts out, its rolling back in and hits my ankles… 8 counts out relax… and so on until the “tide” reaches my crown. Does that make sense? Did I explain that well enough? Do I care?

I have made it “all the way” a couple times – usually I make it to the sternum and I’m sleeping. So I do that before I go to bed now since it works well for that.

I have been honestly meaning to try out the meditation center however I am also struggling to grasp the concept of time management! Another topic for a later time. One of these days it will happen for me!

It seems that more people (like me) have greater success at achieving their meditation goals with the help of a guided class or an instructor of sorts. I have attempted some videos on YouTube and different cds but they seem to only work as much as I want to work them. Having the ability to simply turn them off does not keep me engaged or feel like I’ve actually committed to something. Which is also why I kind of fear online college classes! 

Anywho – right now all I can do is commit to doing what I can. I am holding myself accountable and actually attempting the goals I set for myself each week (no matter how small some of them might be I always feel incredible after accomplishing them and CROSSING THEM OFF THE LIST) as well as making sure I am taking time out of my day to day to reflect on some good shit. Like Elton, because I love him.

Or random sushi dates followed up with scrumptious cupcakes, macaroons & a documentary about escorts with Eugene! 

OR…. DRUMROLL…..

This 14 day European vacation booked for the end of July! I have yet to determine my alter ego but I will have a name and a solid backstory by the time we land in Amsterdam. 

Stressed and Sweaty: Summer in the City

For the past couple of months I have been lurching through life with an ominous [internal] black cloud floating over me. 

I have been off Zoloft for a while now – I ended that relationship in March due to the hurricane of emotions I was hit with every ten fucking seconds. Am I depressed? Sure… do I need a mountain of prescription pills to sustain life? Jury is still out on that one… are the feelings I am experiencing only here because I am not medicated? I am thinking no, confidently. 
No, this feeling is less “empty jar where my heart should be” and more like marbles rolling around in my stomach, bricks on my chest.
Work. 
Sigh.
Work.
It is like this weird game that I am somehow just realizing I am a part of. Sometimes I love it, and I live it, and its this thing that consumes me and I am it, and it seems like I cant get enough! Other times I am drained to the point of no return. Honestly, I am ashamed with the amount of time I spend thinking of hiding under my desk just to escape the noise.
Its like I am two different people all at once. Work Maria loves the chaos of the day to day, the busy-bee queen feeds off the high pressure environment, the ringing of the phones, the stupid customers asking stupid questions. I cant explain the satisfaction felt after assisting one of my team members with a difficult situation or completing a daunting task.
The other Maria, the one I am still struggling to get to know and understand, she is afraid. She knows she is not indispensable, she knows she can be replaced. She feels like she is juggling machetes, and that any second one will not be caught and artfully tossed into the air, if you catch my drift. She feels like she does not belong, that she is not capable, she feels her shortcomings outweigh her abilities.
After chatting with my therapist for some time I have come to the realization that in both my personal and professional life that there is this underlying need for not only acceptance but a need for being needed. 
I guess on some level I have always known that because I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to feel needed? 
Boundaries.
That is my problem. I take work home with me. Literally. 
Thing 1 : Mission to Mars – a select few of us were chosen to partake in the first ever mission to the future. What this means, I have no fucking idea. I was tasked, along with my fellow astronauts, to read a book about a ship [not a shark, as I later discovered after asking everyone about the “shark book”] and to bring back discussion topics for our next training session. 
Okay. That isn’t so bad. I like reading, books are cool, they smell good, and this one could potentially help advance my career and instill a new level of leadership I didn’t know I had. Cool. Bring book home. Read book in spare time. 
Thing 2 : EVERY-FUCKING-THING ELSE!! 
THE TEXT MESSAGES – THE EMAILS – THE PHONE CALLS – THE ANXIETY OF KNOWING I LEFT WHEN THINGS WERENT COMPLETED – DID I LET MY TEAM DOWN – SHOULD I HAVE STAYED LATER – SHOULD I HAVE COME IN EARLIER – SHOULD I HAVE TAKEN A LUNCH BREAK TODAY – DID I TAKE TOO MANY BREAKS TODAY – DID I SWEAR TOO MUCH TODAY – DID I DRESS PROFESSIONALLY ENOUGH – DID I – DID I – DID I – SHOULD I – SHOULD I – SHOULD I …. FUCKING JESUS A CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!
See, I don’t know how to walk away and leave it at that. I don’t know how to leave work AT work, leave all my shit there so I can pick it up the next morning when I return. Do people actually do that? I do not believe that I am the only person who gets into their car and instantly starts panicking about “what the fuck just happened today”, “what could or should I have done differently/better/more[or less] of/this/that/20 other things”… I know I am not the only person who does this and yet… I know for a fact that the one thing that me and my fellow panic-ers have in common… we probably aren’t too happy. 
And then when the texts or calls come in, man, that triggers a new level of panic for me. Why have I failed my team? If I was better they would have the resources needed to answer these questions on their own and get through the day without having to call me. Or have I bred a culture of “neediness” where I wasn’t actually giving my team the tools required to excel, but only giving “just enough” so my team felt empowered but really, I was only crippling them enough for them to not notice how much I needed them to need me and I secretly and subconsciously created these crazy fucking roadblocks where people HAD to go through me for approval and answers???? 
WHAT DID I DO? AND… did I actually do this???
We are in the process of this Mission to Mars where we are learning more traction-y ways of being a leader/boss and going through LMA sessions. Now, this is not my first LMA rodeo, I have sat through the videos, read [skimmed] how to be a great boss, and filled out one of the LMA questionnaires for my boss, Scott. 
We sat down in a conference room on Tuesday, me and this new group of astronauts, and we watched the video – first time for some, second or thirdsies for others – and discussed. Scott rambled off some stuff about things and we went through the LMA questionnaire again. AND HOLY SHIT – I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE RIGHT THEN AND THERE.
I COULDNT ANSWER YES FOR ANY OF THE QUESTIONS. I was a no for all categories. 
And that made me cry. Not for myself, even though I have been known to be exceptionally selfish, but for my fucking team. Like, lord, what? Honestly, I know this last year has been somewhat of a blur both in my personal life and at work, and I knew that there were aspects of my work life that I really needed to narrow in on and re-group/re-focus on. I just didn’t realize how far off course I really was until I sat down and read that stupid fucking piece of paper. 
Aaand queue more waterworks. 
For those of you not familiar with LMA its basically like this: Leadership + Management = Accountability… and something like if you are a good leader and can manage shit your team will be successful and happy and respect you. The questionnaire asks things like “do you make time for your team and give them what they need”… 
So, based on my really shitty explanation of something a bit more complex than that I am sure you can understand why I was [am] so upset. 
It all makes sense now. This needy culture WAS created by me, my absence as a LEADER created a black hole. These people are just looking for someone to help them out and I was too busy being a raging ball of BITCH to actually give a serious damn. I gave a half-hearted damn, I was going through some shit, okay? 
Excuses are like assholes but whatever, that is all I’ve got.
How long can someone be “going through some shit”before its just “my life is shit”… and when do you know when you have crossed the line from one to the next? How will I know if I am succeeding? 
What does success look like?
When will going to work stop giving me anxiety? When will being at work stop giving me anxiety? When will leaving work stop giving me anxiety? When will sitting at home on the couch watching shitty TV stop turning into thinking about work and getting anxiety? When will a text message from work stop giving me anxiety?
Is it my job – or is it me? I am quite certain it is both.
I don’t know – I am not a mental health professional but at the same time I don’t trust half of em, so whatever.
I just want to be fucking happy. I cant remember what it feels like to be genyinely happy, and that makes me even more fucking depressed.
I feel like a damn idiot, going through the motions every day. 
Cheesy-toothy grin and a wave “hi hello good morning” “how are you? Oh me, I’m fine thanks for asking!” “Love your shirt today” “INSERT LAME STORY ABOUT ELTON THAT NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT BUT HE IS MY LIFEBLOOD”… cry at desk, cry in bathroom, cry while smoking, cry in a different bathroom…. think about eating. 
WORK
GO HOME
MAYBE SEE FRIENDS – joke and joke and joke – touch on one serious topic and go deep into self realization that I am shit, I know nothing about being a person – back to jokes and jokes and maybe food eating
GO HOME
MAYBE PAINT
LOOK AT ELTON
ORDER DELIVERY FROM PARKWAY PIZZA – SEE SAME DELIVERY DRIVER – FEEL LIKE SHIT FOR ORDERING TAKE OUT AGAIN
LOOK AT ELTON
SLEEP FOR A COUPLE HOURS
HIT SNOOZE *19* FUCKING TIMES BECAUSE I SET MY ALARM FOR 6 AM BUT CANT WAKE UP UNTIL 745
STARE AT ADULT ACNE IN MIRROR AND CRY
GET READY FOR WORK
PANIC WHOLE WAY INTO WORK – WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO
PANIC ALL DAY AT WORK – WHAT AM I FORGETTING TO DO
PANIC WHOLE WAY HOME FROM WORK – WHAT DID I FORGET TO DO
*repeat every day for 9 months with the exception of a handful of days
I am tired. 

West Coast Adventure 2016

A summary of our 2016 friends trip from MPLS TO Portland, OR to celebrate Mandi and Eugenes BDays! 

Wishing I could be on Cape Mears – in Tillamook – but now I have something to look forward to! 

Left MPLS on Saturday June 25th – only 1hr late- left at 7:30am. I drove from MPLS to Jamestown, ND. Boring drive but safe! Roads got scary in Montana! We Stayed in a Buddha house on top of a hill with mountain views in Livingston. Took us like forever to find the house, that was embarrassing. Tested my vegetarian morals with tons of beef jerky temptation. I took a small piece (size of a broken pencil lead and chewed it and spit it out. I’m still a vegetarian. 

No coffee creamer at the first place to no coffee in the am – drank chai tea on the balcony staring at the mountains. Ate great pizza & brunch in Livingston, MT @ Gills Goods! Got a Birkenstock tan. Saw The Garden of 1,000 Buddhas. Got a free rock there. Saw a deer poop in a field outside of Billings, MT. 

Decided 1/2 way to Spokane that I need a pop up camper & that I needed to take Reed across the country with me. The mountains in Idaho are scary as hell – “just because the speed limit is 80 doesn’t mean you gotta go 80” – pretty but scary. I used a nasty dirty rest stop potty. Used a lot of hand sanitizer. Didn’t see any: deer, mountain goats, bear or other wildlife. 

We stayed in a cozy house in Spokane. Shopped for groceries at a discount market with mostly almost expired food. Met a puppy and a cat. Took some fun pictures and passed out while the gang played monopoly deal. Someone made breakfast & had coffee before we drove off through the mountains – we made it without accident (whew).  

Left my glasses in Spokane 😦

Got off track after a random rest stop and ended up getting routed through a mint farm – we rolled down the windows and enjoyed the wonderful smell! Drove through Portland for our next rental, in Cape Mears/Tillamook, it was fun to get a sneak peak. 

We had a drive through Tillamook State Forest to get to Tillamook which was gorgeous and like an hour drive. Wanted to hike a bit wish we could have. 

Tillamook is the cutest place ever. A lot of cows of course so it smelled like manure which both Cory and Eugene agreed smelled aiiight. 

Stayed in a beach cabin on the ocean at Cape Mears. Decided the beach is ALWAYS the place to be. Used a wood burning stove to warm up the house. Cory became the worlds best lighthouse operator. Played games all night and chatted about stuff. Cory and I shared a room. I had a funky lopsided bed and slept with the windows open while listening to the ocean. The air was salty. It remained in the low 60’s during the day about low 50’s at night so basically my kinda weather. “Sweather weather” according to Cory! 

We all sat on a bench outside of the ocean our first night and listened to the waves. We discovered that Cory would make an excellent lighthouse with the flashlight his mother got him.

Had some great coffee from Seattle with breakfast – cinnamon rolls – dropped one on the floor and Eugene ate it anyway. Drove up the coast on the PCH —Amazing drive, peaceful and serene on the PCH – 101? – awesome views of cliffs, oceans, bluffs, hills and forests. Visited Cannon Beach where we screamed “Goonies Never Say Die” with the sand in our toes and splashed in the freezing water. Saw a starfish. Had fresh seafood in Astoria. Drove over a lot of bridges. Had a bonfire on the beach and listened to Prince and the Beach Boys while making smores and laughing. Got scared on the beach. Danced down the street in the moonlight with flashlights listening to Robyn. 

Woke up and cleaned up and had more cinnamon rolls on our last day in Tillamook. Adventures the beach and found a fort made of driftwood. Saw a bunch of jellyfish. Decided that Reed would love Tillamook and that we will go here someday. Seymour chased a bird into the ocean.. It was scary.

Stopped at the Cape outlook to see the octopus tree and lighthouse. Never saw the lighthouse but saw the big octopus tree and wandered the edge of the cliff to get pics of the bay. 

Went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and had amazing cheese curds and grilled cheese. Bullied a little boy about the souvenir penny machines. 

Drove to Portland and saw a scary screaming man on the side of the road in downtown, obviously mentally disturbed and or high on drugs. Discovered Oregon is pronounced “OR-eh-GUN”. 

Went out on the town while the van was running and unlocked for over two hours. 

Ate some great food and laughed.

Had a great ass brunch at The Waffle Window (10/10) … Watched GOT season finale. Went thrifting and got cool stuff (KILL sweatshirt!) went to an art festival and saw giant bubble blowers. Ate two dinners, one at a rice shop and one at home – veggie hot dogs.. We stayed up late & played “The real game of LIFE” and Eugene won – I almost won! Didn’t sleep well! 

Slept in and Eugene made French toast for everyone, and coffee. It was delicious!! Bummed around. Walked to get coffee and tea and bakery tasty stuff (Eugene got a Bavarian cream filled popover from a bakery owned by an intergenerational gay couple). Eugene and I explored the neighborhood and picked out houses we’d want to live in. 

Went zip lining an hour away from Portland and saw 2 waterfalls on the way. Laughed at Eugene for trying to zip when he wasn’t suppose to. Bummed around some more when we got back. 

Went out to dinner and got amazing French cuisine at a small Portland bistro (Petite Provence) we all shared our dishes – fries, marrow, salads, salmon, shrimp, pork, steak & some other fish, a ton of amazing amazing desserts) got an after dinner cappuccino to pair with my Black Beauty triple chocolate cake. Ate too much and had to hold my food baby while walking 6 blocks home. Left my favorite jean jacket (got it when I was 16) at the bistro and our server ran two blocks to catch up to me to return it. 

Laughed a lot. Got upset because I was too full to eat Corys homemade guacamole. 

Picked poems out of a collection of Shel Silverstein books to read aloud – we recorded our poetry. Laughed more. Packed – took pictures and looked at pictures. Stayed up way too late and finally crawled into bed around 12:30am. Got up around 1:00am to tell Cory and Eugene to be quiet and then just stayed up even later gabbing with them. 

We all overslept and got a late start to get on the road! Well Mandi woke up but decided to go back to bed! Stopped for gas and breakfast an hour out of Portland and some guy was upset that we were blocking a gas pump.Oh yea, it’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon! Whoops.

Stayed on the Missouri River in Montana for a night. Took a bunch of pics of the sunset. The house was next to a street called “old woman’s grave road”, not creepy. We watched an episode of friends while eating garbage pizza and gummy bears. Smoked a cigarette by the river with Eugene and let a ton of bugs into the rental. Slept very well. 

Got a late start in the am and spent hours on the road. I drove 86mph for 2.5 hrs into North Dakota. Listened to hot JAMZ and laughed told stories. Texted Bre a bunch. Watched fireworks in the country during the drive. Stargazed while listening to Lou Reed. Almost hit two deer on the side of the road. 

Made it home around 2am on July 4th! 

XoXo