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. 

Advertisements

Artsy Fartsy

Dreeeam Job…

Lets get right to the point. I have always said, and probably always will, that my dream job is to write and illustrate children’s books.

People will always have children. People will always read to their children. Children will always love to read.

BOOM – future set!

I remember when I was 14 years old I was in my English class and we had a project to write and illustrate a short children’s story. We were to make a little book and present to the class, blah blah blah… Anyways, I being me, wrote some story about a Siberian Husky who befriended a cat and they were awesome and happy and I got an A+ on the story, my class loved it, and my teacher was blown away by my illustrations. That was the first time I ever thought I could be happy doing something so… fun.

A few years later I had a similar school project, similar that I had to write a story, minus the illustrations. Well, for some reason that year I had a little more difficulty and I enlisted the help of my BFFL & hetero-life-partner to come up with a story. And what a story it WAS! If I have a copy around here somewhere I will definitely post it. This story was about a cat {Jacques] who was friends with a goat in France, who happened to fall in the ocean and ride a whale to a far away tropical island inhabited by jungle cats… I have no idea.

So, my dream job would look like this:

Wake up to morning sunlight & the smell of freshly brewed coffee, naturally, NO ALARM [beeep beeep beeeeeep – UGH, gross] and roll out of bed. By this time I am sure I would have a coffee maker with a timer so I don’t have to tinker around with grinding beans and filling pitchers with water or pretty much anything.

I will have my own personal space – full of natural light, pastel yellow & green decor, a nice big table, plenty of storage and work space… something like this, only with a bit more of what I described and less blinding white, less Croc’s, too…

So, I’d wake up, stretch, hang in my studio.. pump some jams on my iPod….

*NSYNC – OF COURSE – 

Id write, doodle, draw, paint, sketch, create story lines, develop characters… whatever my heart desired.

I would take as much time as I wanted for my lunch breaks where I would most likely just eat homemade mac-n-cheese while watching tv or walking the dog.

Basically my dream job is to never have to leave the house unless I want to go shopping or need to run errands. My dream job wont have me driving in rush hour traffic to and from work. My dream job will be low stress, high reward. My dream job would have lots of chocolate & sparkling water. My dream job will also have a lot of fun music.

Daily Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/prompt-money-for-nothing/

A different kind of love

If I could claim any one space as my own at the building I work in it would be the handicap stall in the woman’s restroom.

Now, that may sound weird to some, most or all, however to me, that room is the epitome of the word sanctuary.

I simply love that stall.

A part of me has claimed it on a deeper more personal level. Only a select few know of my fondness towards that stall and an even fewer select persons know of the irrational jealousy that consumes me when I find it occupied. Not a “green with envy” kind of feeling, more of an empty longing.

Its the place I go to take care of business. I consider the women’s restroom my office, that stall being my workstation.

I don’t know how to explain it.

Just like I can’t explain my bizarre obsession with Craig Ferguson, the name, not the actor/comedian himself. That my friends is simply a uniquely unusual unsolved mystery.

WHICH brings me to my next topic: Marvelous Mystery Shorts. So, a while ago I had decided to get into the habit of writing for pure pleasure mysteries. I named these mysteries “Marvelous Mystery Shorts”. To me they are pure genius. GOLD. Here is the best example of my work as of yet:

Do You Know the Muffin Man: a Marvelous Mystery Short by Maria Martini the First

Thirty two years ago today a young man was closing up shop at the local bakery he ran. When in the back alley, while he was tossing out the trash, a canister of primordial ooze fell from the 6th floor window of a mini laboratory onto his back, thus altering his genetic DNA, turning him into the notorious Muffin Man. He got a gift card to the MNHS & adopted 6 cats then trained them to do tricks so the could join the circus. Soon after he met & married the bearded lady. They lived happily ever after…… IN HELL.

Have a great life.

Blue Collar

Today I celebrate a personal/professional milestone. As of today I have received 2,390 customer reviews on our Listen 360 survey program. I am currently at a 70% satisfaction rate. That is the most in our entire franchise! Now, I know 70% doesn’t sound too fabulous but let me explain: the survey rates the booking CSR as well as the cleaning technician, so my percentage is shared with whoever actually did the work. I am very proud of myself!

Image

I LOVE COFFEE! I recently moved my Mr. Coffee coffee maker into my work “pen” so that I can drink it 24/7. Let me just say “EFFF YEA!” It’s probably the greatest thing I’ve done in my 3 years here at ZEROREZ. A few people have complained about this move but I really do not care. I still share my coffee, it’s just closer to me now! YAY! Now I can live out my fantasy of being a barista. In the past I applied for 3 different barista jobs, two corporate coffee shops and one local, and was turned down at each for being “over-qualified”…. AS IF!!! I have absolutely no experience whatsoever. I was in this phase where I thought that I really wanted a part-time job to supplement my shopping habits. So to me I figured the best place to hold a PT job would be a coffee shop since I love customer service and delicious, sensual and aromatic coffee. Well, that phase did not last too long. I am now looking to supplement my shopping habits by becoming employed as a Tattoo Shop manager. That would be fun too! Interesting and fun. Busy busy busy.

Can I just say that I am somewhat upset that we’ve been having a couple almost too warm days here in Minneapolis? Not that I hate summer with a wild passion and wish to live in a frozen tundra, I am just a fall person. I enjoy the summer and the warmer temperatures when I have free time to sit at a beach or in the shade… or in my living room with nothing but my underwear on and an ice pack on my neck. I tend to over-heat. A lot. I am also a sweaty gal. Very sweaty. Warm temperatures and I just do not mix very well. It is very hard for me to dress comfortably in the summer as well. I love the fall. I love not having to worry about melting at my work-station or while out and about at the dog park or grocery store. I love being able to drink hot tea out on my patio while watching Elton pounce around the yard. I guess I am just saying I am ready for the leaves to change and for a nice bonfire. That is all I want right now. I do not feel that its too much to ask.

Thank you.

Fin.

On Going Back

I am not the kind of person to hold on to regrets. Anger, resentments, grudges, any slight grievance… those things I will generally bottle up and hold on to longer than the average person.

At this time I do wish I could go back. I’d say it was just over three hours ago, so I’d like to go back 3 hours and 15 seconds in time. I would tell past Maria, “no, put that down, you don’t really want it” and I would save myself from my current troubles.

About four cups of “Handful of Everything” trail mix [thanks Target] I am ready to explode. I would say I ate about three cups more than any single person should in a sitting. But I did. And while I’m not necessarily proud of it, I am somewhat shocked that I actually managed to eat that much trail mix. So now I sit, hunched over in agony while what feels like a fifty pound boulder is slowly tearing a path from my intestines to my freaking chute.

I am somewhat uncomfortable, to say the least.

My kitty Elton is laying at the end of the bed pawing playfully at the dog. Rocky [dog] is circling the bed almost like a vulture would looking for the quickest way onto the bed without be caught by the sharp claws of Mr. Snuggle Bum. Rocky is at the door now pretending to sniff the ground while obviously staring at Elton. Elton is just staring back. A DUEL! It is pretty safe to say that Elton is King of the Bed at this point. They get along just fine, this is just play time for the boys. Naturally Elton is hyphy – it’s 11:30! His nocturnal instincts are telling him to go wild and to attack the dog, but his insatiable desire to cuddle has won him over and now he is reduced to nothing more than a cuddle bear.

So, this is my life right now.

Today I spent another glorious day in paradise at work and put myself to the task of finding my favorite coffee mug. I do this thing where I compulsively purchase coffee mugs and bring them with me, well, everywhere. So, I have mugs for coffee or tea wherever I may end up. I brought one of my most prized Monopoly themed mugs to work and haven’t seen it for a good 2 weeks now. SUSPICION! I have had mug thievery at work in the past and typically get over it real quick by replacing any missing mug with one of the 30 I have floating around central MN. Well this one is different! It is super cute with a pair of dice on the inner ring with “LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL” printed there as well. Uhm… FUN! Love that mug. Definitely brings a smile to my face in the am when I’m all droopy eyed and practically hung over from my crazy nights watching NEXGEN and drinking Sleepy Time tea. ANYWAYS – my secret mission while allllll the managers are out of the office for the next two days is to stalk the entire premises, leaving no desk completely ransacked and upturned until I find my precious.