A Conundrum of Contradictions

The musings of one born in the wrong decade

One more step June 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 6:37 pm

I needn’t point out how long it’s been since I last wrote – longer than I intended. Much has changed and the speed has rapidly accelerated; time to see if I can make those brave words about doing things differently and living more thoughtfully into reality.

The glimmer I wouldn’t mention has become the flame I prayed for, if it was the right path for me. I wanted health care more than I wanted free from the traditional chains of working for the Man. So I accepted the offer when it came to be reinstated with full benefits – made it by 3 days. Unfortunately, and fortunately depending on the moments perspective, June arrived and became the bullet train we can’t get off. Living thoughtfully for the moment is remembering to eat, shower every couple days, and sleep just enough to be functional the following day. I can’t wait for the end of June.

July promises to be better, heavy with opportunity and hope. Normally I wouldn’t voice plans that feel so fragile, but we’re so committed I will anyway: we’re going on vacation in Thailand before the year is out. I don’t really remember our last true day off and the only thing close to a real vacation was an 8-day fishing trip where we both got stomach flu. I need this and damn it, we’re gonna have it. There’s no point busting ass if what you have to look forward to is more of the same.

And I turn 30 this year. I’ve just about figured out who I am and what I want, and now with clear direction, I’m going for it with everything I’ve got. I’ve been mostly talk for a long time, thwarted by circumstances, myself, or both. Its time to live the life I want, not the one I’m being allowed. Cuz frankly, if my life sucks its my fault.

I don’t want it to suck.

I’ve been in a bad pinch before – homeless in Minnesota winter was no picnic – but this one is different. Don’t know whether to say is or was since we may not be through it yet. Then, as now, its been a test of character; we’ve grown instead of crumbling. I can dig deeper and push harder when there’s no other choice but quit. We both can. I think its a testament to a solid loving relationship that we’ll do more for each other than we could for just ourselves. May and June have been prime examples, for him and me, respectively.

So here I sit, on the brink of manning up to all my idealistic talk, ready to charge in with 15 years worth of angry determination. Hopefully I can channel strategic brilliance instead of bull in a China shop. Its a small thing perhaps, but I’ll know if I’m not writing here it better be because I’m busy making moves for a better life out there. I’ll take all the luck I can get, so send it my way if you’ve any to spare.

Till next time, I’m going for it. I wish you success if you do the same. Its the motto from work, corny but true: once you think you’ve done enough, go one more step.


Then and Now May 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 2:12 am

More parking garage musings…did you guys miss this? I kinda did – no better place for some uninterrupted writing than a deserted garage, and I’m parked in a space marked "alternative fuel low emissions vehicles only" right beside a red Ferrari. I couldn’t make up better irony.

So I’ve encountered a person about my age who’s stuck in a life phase several steps behind me: the one where she wants to impress everyone with her knowledge but it comes across condescending, she wants to relate but one-ups, she desperately wants attention and is incredibly insecure. I’ve also noticed a certain amount of spin, where the truth is perceived in such a way that it actually becomes bs. I find that last part disturbing.

I remember being young and stupid, vomiting my entire life story on strangers, thinking they wouldn’t truly understand me without all the gritty details. Usually it crossed the line of appropriateness and in some cases became very uncomfortable (for me, as you can imagine it was already uncomfortable for them) because I suddenly realized this person knew too much. I finally stopped all that nonsense, quit trying to be ‘likable’, whatever that is, and tried keeping my mouth shut. I learned my mouth can do all sorts of damage or make an excellent Cheshire cat smile that left people wondering. Maybe more importantly, I learned diplomacy and tact. Combine that with a fair amount of self acceptance, and you have what I am now: easy going, confident, genuine and grounded. I wonder now how anyone put up with me then. It must have been exhausting!

And so I find it, with this girl my age who seems not to have benefited as much from her life experience, and requires mental bracing on my part. It’s exhausting and irritating. I wish she would just be herself and drop all the salesmanship – this isn’t an interview, for heaven’s sake. Trouble is, I think it took someone repeatedly pointing out to me that I was being a fool before I got the hint.

In other news, I’ve bumped into a sensitive subject where I have vastly different views than another person: the subject of depression and how its treated. Having had depression for several years and never seeing a professional about it, I see things differently than someone who’s on multiple ‘anti-‘ medications and swears there’s no other way.

– This guy just about crashed his Ferrari into the wall. That’s what happens when you fire it up while in gear without your foot on the clutch. He saved it by inches –

Depression, in my experience, is in your head. It affects everything else: how you feel, respond, react or don’t react, engage or not. I battled through mine, without drugs, with the undying support and often tough love of my husband.

– Security just road by, made a face about my Yukon being parked in a "fuel efficient" space. Shouldn’t those people have to drive further by virtue that their cars are more efficient? –

We couldn’t accept my (then) present state and knew that if I sought help, which I couldn’t afford, they’d just prescribe me drugs. Refusing both meant having to accept that I’m fucked up and living with it, but living was required as I wasn’t doing much of it at the time. I had a genuine desire to get better, and told myself I was sick of being miserable. Now this other person has a long list of reasons why she needs drugs. Ultimately, I think she can’t deal with her own shit and is using it as a crutch – everything unsavory is somehow related or a result of her illness, and therefore can’t be helped. I don’t buy it.

People are not meant to live on drugs, to not be able to function without them. I’ve been reading a lot on natural hygiene and natural healing – the body wants to be in balance and is constantly trying to regain it. Generally, we get in the way. I really believe we can do better. I’m proof that depression can be overcome. I’m getting it together to work towards healing my other issues.

I guess it’ll remain a difference of opinion. I just won’t accept that drugs must be a part of my life. Some people will. I want to be better than that. Hopefully you feel the same to some extent. Luvs


The Other Side May 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 12:26 am

I never realized how much there is to do leading up to the actions we planned. I’ve been busting my butt, doing a fair bit of busting his, and still we prep and plan and position. That glimmer I mentioned had a flare, but I’m going to wait for something definitive before posting with reckless abandon. I’ve moved easily into waking up without an alarm, spending time in my budding garden (two little troughs where I scraped the rocks away and planted seeds), living at my own schedule and pace. I’ve kept the stress at bay.

The trouble I’ve discovered with the whole thing…is dreams take money. It takes money to make money, and despite wanting a slower, simpler life, getting there, getting set up for it, takes a considerable amount of cash flow. With my last check dwindling fast, it’s something to think about. How exactly am I going to pull this off? We all have the "one big idea" – I often refer to them as evil plans, and multiples are best. My biggest evil plan got some serious work put into it today. A little backtracking and redesign are necessary, but tomorrow is another day, and hopefully a productive one. You never know, my evil plan could become the next big thing. So could yours…this may be my journey but nothing says parallels won’t appear and that we can’t learn from one another.

It’s midnight here. I’m tired but not sleepy; alone but not lonely. I can see what people mean when they say "life moves on" with that far away look in their eyes. Even in the midst of crisis, stop and just tune it all out for a minute: the sun still shines, the clouds still move, time passes, and people still go through the motions of everyday life. Things keep going whether you want to participate or not. I’m trying my hardest to participate, maybe more so than I did before. As I’ve aged I realize my priorities are different, often completely. ‘Career’ is a four-letter word of the unsavory nature, depending on the context. I used to be all about plans, continually revising and editing them; now I rarely make them, just kind of keep a general goal in my sights and meander that way most of the time. God laughs at our plans anyway. Trust me on this.

If things come around closer to "normal" again I’ll do things differently. Less waiting, more urgency. The dreams are still there, waiting, hoping. If given the opportunity to work for the Man again, with a steady cash flow and a shot at health insurance, I hope to make better use of it than I did the last time(s). I took it for granted, got comfortable, then couldn’t grasp what had happened when it did. Caught me flat-footed, wounded my spirit, had me spending too much time searching for what I did wrong (it was irrelevant you know). Now though, the possibilities are endless. The dreams have color and in some cases, taste; they’re so close. You and me both – Reach with everything you’ve got.


A Matter of Perspective May 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 6:32 pm

Everything lies in perspective and whether we like it or not, whether it makes sense or not, how we respond to various circumstances is based on that perspective. I have a habit of quietly chastising people for fearing or responding poorly to change. Then I got that phone call that changed the game in mid-play. Now my perspective has changed. Its no longer "well you just do this…" in response to someone else’s crisis; now it’s my crisis and the answers are harder to come by with the cloud of panic threatening. So far, I just try to accomplish one or two small steps a day towards the looming Now What. So far, so good.

I’m not putting too much hope towards a transfer, though it’s theoretically possible. And assuming it does happen, I could bet my car there will be another 90 day wait for health insurance. In essence, possible salvation is three months out – minimum. So the next best option is move forward, not worry about health until I can’t ignore it any longer. The goal is to follow the dreams in all this newfound free time, not just scrape out a living. I always say there must be a better way, something other than work till I’m 67 and then, if there’s any energy or money left, live the dream.

That’s arrogance on an epic scale. Call it cliche, but tomorrow is not guaranteed. Its assumed, often at great loss. SO, the plan is to find the courage, despite the fear, to vibrantly live right now all the dreams I’ve ever had. Can’t think of any better course of action, can you?


My Crazy Life May 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 8:42 pm

Seemed like yesterday that everything was swimming along just fine, steadily going in the right general direction. And then today came. Well, more accurately, Tuesday last came and the world did an inward one-and-a-half without warning me first, and voila, here I am now: without a job, no health insurance at a crucial juncture, and wondering not only what the hell happened but what to do now.

In the technical vernacular it’s called ‘position elimination’. In common terms, it means the boss called on my Saturday, right after Fruit Pebbles and in the midst of a knitting project I’d been dyeing to start, to say they were changing the gallery hours (again) and three full-time positions were being cut, and one of them was mine. I asked about the decision process, since with the exception of one wardrobe incident I was basically the ideal, if not (dare I say), perfect employee, yet somehow I was out on my ear. She gave me some trivial BS answer. Needless to say it fucked my weekend. That crucial health insurance juncture was scheduled for the coming Thursday; we’d been waiting over a month for it and it was essentially a critical turning point – one that we missed.

So now…Life is in a jumbled pile that’s supposed to resemble right side up and moving forward. Part of me is thankful – judging by Saturday (my last day) I’m grateful to never have to see that over-priced junk again. The “White Box” will torture me no more. The other part is determined to make it no matter what as long as she can keep from freaking out completely. I’m essentially self-employed, which may be the answer to me always saying ‘there’s got to be a better way’ when referring to working all your life for the Man.

I’m not ready. Truth is, I may never be ready and sometimes to get on with it you need a push. I’m trying not to think about it too hard, do as much as I can every day, just act, and remember to breathe. There’s a small glimmer of hope for a transfer, but it’s two weeks out at best. And it’s a glimmer not a guarantee, so I’m busting tail in case the answer is no.

We’ve taken on that roommate we initially considered and then didn’t have, same person no less. Her life fell apart too, but in a different way, and we’re in a unique position to help each other. We’ll see how it goes. All that talk of having my own business and making my own hours, doing my own thing, living the life I’ve always wanted…it’s not longer talk, it’s all prep, research, and action now.

I hope I know what the hell I’m doing. Pray for me.


Trip to Zion April 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 1:33 am

This may be a bit messy – I’m riding in the backseat of my roomie’s car heading home from Zion Nat’l Park. This won’t post until I get reception.
So…we took a day trip, leaving at 6am. Had breakfast at the Bumbleberry Cafe. If I can reach my pack I’ll write for you what they said a bumbleberry is – believe me though, its some acid tripping nonsense. Anyway, the river was high, part of the trail had washed away, and the Narrows hike was closed, but where you would normally walk into the river lots of peeps had built stone cairns, one nearly 4ft tall. I built a small one on a ledge. There was a woman there with two little girls and a baby; the girls thought it was funny to knock the cairns over. Mom didn’t say anything, disrespectful bitch. I think an older photographer lady said something, but not sure.
Had lunch at Oscar’s Cafe – still awesome! I had fish tacos. We wandered around the shops in town to kill time till sunset. I bought a deck of reflexology cards and a card for my gf in Florida. My ear piercings could be affecting me, don’t know yet. Gonna practice on myself first.
Had dinner at what used to be an amazing restaurant called the Spotted Dog. Four years ago I had nothing but good things to say; today it flat sucked and I feel bad for taking my roommate there. The service, food, everything – just awful. We won’t be going there again.
My feet and/or ankles will probably hurt tomorrow but it felt good to get out and do something far away from Vegas. Hopefully I fixed my farmers tan too.
Speaking of Vegas, Honey had this epiphany last week: he wants to move away. Back to Portland, but definitely away. He said we’ve given 30 years… That’s ‘ouch’ even without wincing about revealing my age. Yeah, so more to come on that as it develops.
I think its my turn to drive, gotta go.


Who is that talking? Oh, it’s me March 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 2:21 am

It’s odd…I was just telling my husband how my voice annoys me. Not the sound of it – I find the sound quite pleasing, not too high, not to husky, perfect for telemarketing and automated recordings, it’s just the way I use it of late. It’s back to that lack of middle ground issue. You see, I don’t just voice an opinion. I preface it with some sort of disclaimer phrase like “I think” (my most popular) or “just my opinion” and so forth. I work with someone who just blurts out her very strong views and I’ve been inadvertently offended at least twice because she has no idea where I’m coming from. I try very hard not to be like that. Unfortunately, now I sound like a pompous twat.

It’s an odd thing to think of oneself as a goodie goodie two shoes. It’s either salty sailor mouth or ubber geek extraordinaire. As you can imagine, neither is appropriate in all settings. And with that in mind, I’m working on talking less and smiling a lot. Remember me mentioning that glitch I’d like to build into my brain-to-mouth filter? I’m not sure if having more time to think before speaking would be better or worse for the high brow side of me that does the most talking. Quite possibly worse.

It might seem a bit like I’m over thinking this. I mean, for heaven’s sake, we’re talking about talking. Everyone puts their foot in their mouth occasionally; I just notice I do it often and am obsessing slightly about trying to stop. I also notice that I use the word “try” or “trying” entirely too much. Like Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try”, which means I’m not doing a whole lot because I’m too busy trying! Insanely frustrating it is.

Does anyone else have this problem or am I once again the only crazy person in the room?