Monday, October 26, 2009

That didn't go as expected, now did it?

As I had written in my last post, this Sunday was supposed to include 30 minutes of in-the-present, focused, and relaxed "me" time.

I am sort of ashamed to admit that it didn't happen. But I think I have a good reason and really, I'm not feeling horribly guilty for not hitting that particular timeline. Maybe I am better for not caring? Who knows.

Here is what I learned this weekend:
Just because it is October, just because you *think* you know what sort of people might be attending an event, don't assume that you should wear anything resembling a Tutu to a concert in Chicago. I made this exact mistake, and BF rocked out his Woodersen costume from last year (you know, the dude from 'Dazed and Confused'?) at Saturday night's Yonder Mountain String Band show @ The house of blues. Rereading that sentence, I already see at least 4 things wrong with my actions. One, The House of Blues. in Chicago. This might be my least favorite venue of all time in the city. If you check message boards for artists' upcoming shows there, they all call is "House of RULES". That is true, as is the assumption that there is heavy consumerism and VIP action. With that being said, not a good place to wear something that doesn't involve jeans and shirt and some sensible shoes. Not only will everyone look at you funny, security might take your glow sticks and granola bar away for further questioning. The second item would be that BF was dressed as pretty much every neo-hippie's hero (It'd be a whole lot cooler if you did. .. Love those redheads. .. ) and therefore all of the neo-hippies (Yonder Mountain String Band plays bluegrass and frequents the jam band festival circuit- so there were a lot of these) could not get over seeing someone dressed like their hero in the flesh. I can say that sometimes I identify with this demographic (especially when Phish is involved), but I don't think I would drop so many "man"s in one sentence- ever. ANd worst of all, I was wearing a Tutu. The whole point of these concerts is come together, dance your cares away, we are all the same- even the guys onstage. Except I was wearing a tutu and therefore everyone started at me. This is not fun. Especially when the vegan girls with dreadlocks who only wear clothes from salvation army and only eat food from the dumpster get on their soapbox and how I am singlehandedly a jerk for destroying feminism and how could I possibly buy something like a tutu that would really be quite easy to make. *for the record, I bought the tutu at a resale shop. I had made one a few years back, but due to my lack of sewing skills, it pretty much disintegrated, so $10 for a tutu seemed like a steal to me.

So we left. Before the concert was even over. I am not YMSB's biggest fan, but I do enjoy live music and the entire scene of people and venue and ego was just too much for me to squeeze that enjoyment out. When I got home, and took off my glitter and tutu and tights, I realized that I really like me. Like I love that I left, even though who leaves in the middle of the concert? And I love that I came home and put on a black top and some skinny jeans. And I love that BF can rock Woodersen in public and do the voice and everything! IT all makes me laugh.

Which brings me back to my original point- the point of my assignment was to get more in touch with myself by focusing on something for me. Both my therapist and I had assumed that I needed total concentration and seclusion to do this. Obviously this is not completely true. No man (or woman!) is an island. Sometimes I wish I could be, but then I'm right back there.

So thank you Sarshie, for the suggestions. I sang the entire cab ride home. And then I hooped in my chic outfit in my living room when I got there. I guess those are my ways of being with myself.

(It occurs to me that I should be posting a picture, but seeing as this was written from my blackberry and I am just pressing "publish" from my office computer, that might have to come later. Apologies, because I do look pretty ridiculous/funny- but in a happy way! wearing a tutu.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blank Space? Anyone?

I keep trying to break up with my therapist. This is way more difficult than you might imagine. I have tapered it off to every other week and perhaps this schedule might pare down to once a month and then finally end. You see, she went on maternity leave this summer and I did just fine without a weekly dose of introspection (you see, I think too much already, so is this really helping?) and I was all set to be done cold turkey. But then I wanted to wrap things up (maybe I felt bad for quitting her- guilt!) and my insurance changed (making this an even more expensive weekly endeavor) so I figured I could just go once or twice and set things straight. Then she has to go and point out all of the things I SHOULD be working on (man, I must be lazy). Which is an epic list at any given point in time- the road to self actualization is long and winding road apparently. Maybe this is what the Beatles were singing about on The White Album? Who knows, all I know is that she pointed out that I don’t ever seem to take the time to just take care of me and do things just for me. There is always some sort of agenda, maybe I have created it, but it is certainly almost always serving someone else- not me.

She recommended taking 30 minutes a day to do something just for myself. It can’t be to forward my career, or develop a relationship, or improve, or maintain- it has to be solely me based and in the present. I thought about this and of course tried to do it. I lasted 30 seconds, no joke! I rang her after and told her the issue. She knocked it down to 30 minutes a week (suddenly I felt relieved?!). Half of me is dreading this 30 minutes and half of me is looking forward to indulging myself for that long. Except I can’t decide the logistical features, let alone HOW I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO PULL THIS OFF! Suggestions for what I should be doing for that 30 minutes would be appreciated. I can’t even decide what I should DO! I think it will fit in nicely on Sunday, as I don’t have a lot of immediate plans with people and work expectations regarding Sundays are quite low. Please provide a suggestion in the comments, or if you have my number/email/twitter, send me some that way- I would really appreciate it!. I am going to have to do this every week and I could really use a nudge in the right direction. I think everybody should do this too- if you don’t already that is!
Maybe there is a some big league of people that have made a pact with themselves and others that they are going to do something ridiculously inefficient and indulgent and ENJOY it too at a certain time every day or week or month or whatever? If you are one of those people, what is your secret?! Let me drink your kool-aid. . .

Someone suggested a while back that I might have ADD. Don't we all? To be so busy keeping up with the Jones', twittering, posting, emailing, blogging, facebooking, myspacing, calling, texting, and really interacting with people- how can you not have focus issues?

I used to self medicate by reading all of the time. Except most of the reading I do know is either “I need to go to grad school so help me god I must write good essays and pass this test” reading or “I have already read this book and I have always said I like reading so I’m just going to do this because it takes up time” or “someone suggested this book to me and we are hanging out this weekend, so I had better plow through this whether I like it or not so when she bring it up I don’t look stupid” reading. Not a lot of that “get lost in a book and go on an adventure in your head” type of reading that I truly love so much. I mean, how are you supposed to get into it with all of the noise and things going on and things you may be missing?

I suppose what I NEED is this: “got a blank space where my mind should be”. Where did that blank space go? Did it disappear with the Phish Summer Tour season? HELP me find it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. . .OR- Reality Bites

As a result of not sleeping all weekend because I was in Las Vegas and sleep is just not an option there, I seem to have acquired a nasty little cold. Just in time for it to SNOW in Chicago, apparently, so I guess it is fitting. So here I sit, at my desk, with a snot Niagara Falls coming out of my nose. Not exactly what I had in midn for my return to the office (think bronzed skin, cute little highlights, hydrated skin and face from a day of rest post flight), but at least people are keeping a wide berth. That means a little bit less busy work dumped on my desk:)

I had a great time. I actually forgot about life for awhile- I mean, Phish and music festival style. Obviously Vegas is a much different scene, but the feeling of escape is still the same. Except of course, when it is time to come home. Recovery is much more difficult and the stress level of not having any alone time, or bonding time with those that you are close to is enormous.

So what I'm say is. . . I feel like I have post vacation depression. Hopefully it is temporary and will pass shortly. BF was very kind to me when I got off the plane and that helped greatly. The airline managed to lose one of my bags- but found it! Then I couldn't go to sleep and BF stayed up with me- until 5AM (my inner clock is waaaayyyy off!). Last night I tried to go to bed early, but it didn't go so well. I woke up with this lovely upper respiratory awesomeness and so goes the day. I'm pretty sure some of the other ladies are feeling as good as I am right now.

But at least it IS chicken soup weather :)

Going to get some chicken soup for my soul and my throat.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Quarter Life Headache

I am on the edge of the life decision cliff right now- do I stay at my job that I can't stand but is very secure (and in a city I can't afford!), or do I strike out and try for another somewhere else? The biggest issue is the somewhere else I think. I desperately want to go back to school (thats right, throw some more stress on the pile!), and the graduate program I am interested in isn't exactly offered everywhere. This narrows some places down. Also, my family really wants me to be as close or closer to them. I don't think I necessarily agree with this, but it hurts to not agree with my mother on the phone, so I can't imagine what it would be like to call and tell her I'm moving to Oregon or something. Which brings me to my next point- where would I fit best? Weather, culture, job availablity, compensation, cost of living, accessibility; these are all factors too. Plus there is the BF card. . . .I am not sure if he is factoring in me when he is job hunting in other locales, but I am factoring in him. Obviously, after 5 (on and off) years together, I can't just forget about someone. All things I need to think about. No wonder my head hurts. Its enough to make me want to pack a backpack and hop the next plane to wherever!

BBQ and Beer with?????

I have been writing for The Local Tourist here in Chicago. This takes up some of my spare time, yes, but I really like doing it and it is my first "real" blog. I have been making my fair share of mistakes while doing this, don't get me wrong. Having a day job is proabably the first one. . .closely followed by tons of technical errors. Lets just say I'm glad I'm not getting scored figure skating style! Anyway, tonight is the North Neighborhoods Meet and Greet. This is basically a chance for everyone to come out and meet new friends, hang with old friends, and of course meet me. Sort of a debut party for me being the host of the North Neighborhoods. I am really hoping that any of you in Chicago come by! I like to meet new people and really like seeing old friends and people I have somehow managed to drift from.

To be honest, this is the first time I have helped "throw" an event that wasn't just an all you can drink boozefest for a friend's birthday. I didn't approach businesses very well for "sponsorship" because no one seemed very interested. They all asked if this was for a charitable cause and I pretty much had to say no, even though all donation monies for "swag bags" go to the Local Tourist herself, Theresa Carter, to put towards a goal of raising $20,000 for pedatric aids. She is even climbing Mt. Kilmanjaro. Then I just sort of shut down. I guess I am sort of shy sometimes. If you come up to me, no problem; but I seem to have issues coming up to you and spouting off what I have to say. So I think I mucked it up. Theresa has been very understanding and is a great mentor for all things social media. Me, I can't even seem to figure out how to work the google spreadsheet. Suffice to say, this event is turning into less of the multi faceted marketing, advertising, charitable, social networking awesomeness I had originally envisioned, and more like one of the birthday fests described above. Except that Sheffield's is actually nice and previous birthday fetes have been at complete dives. And Theresa did very well with the whole marketing thing- there are sponsors.

So please come- and donate to the cause if at all possible. $25 online at this link gets you
BBQ Buffet
House Wine
Oktoberfest Beer (this is why I love Sheffield's)

and good company:)

It is $30 at the door of Sheffield's, one of my favorite bars in Lakeview/Wrigleyville (it rides the line between your favorite pub in college and a grown up pint).

Starts at 6:30PM and goes to 9:30PM.

Please come! Tickets here.

I am really hoping lots of my friends (that would be you) come so I don't look like a total loser. Plus I can only eat so much BBQ without exploding and it isn't good leftover. Neither is leftover beer.

Surviving and Thriving in Chicago as a Twenty Something Gal