Posts Tagged ‘self’

The First Step

Do you think after the first step, I'll just be able to ride on up to the next level?

Escalators courtesy TeddyBear[Picnic]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomorrow Night (yes, capitals) I am going out with not only one girl friend, but two!

I know, everyone is very proud.

I’m having supper with one, and then meeting the other at a bar where more of our friends are playing (they have a band).

I’m a little nervous.

I mean, it’ll be fine, totally. Except that the last time I saw the one friend, I ended up crying about the state of Dashing and I in the middle of a restaurant, and the last time I saw the other, I offended her by being, well, me, and not thinking about the words I use while speaking (another plus of blogging!).

Mostly I’m nervous because when I get around people, I get excited. And when I get excited, I tend to get a little, um, EXCITED. I chit-chat-chitter away, speaking without filter, and then I end up spilling all my secrets (I can keep other people’s secrets, just not my own), which leads to crying. I cry. I’m a cry-er.

I didn’t cry for something like ten years, and now, I cry. Most often when angry or frustrated.

But anyway, I’m nervous about getting EXCITED and crying. Again. And talking too quickly and offending people. AGAIN.

But these are my friends, right? These are my people, the community I’m trying to preserve, right? We are there to support each other, and they know me. They usually find my quirks endearing, refreshing, even… right?

But what if…?

There’s a lot at stake, and I have to trust that it will get easier. The first step is always the hardest – it’s why I talk myself out of it so often.

Deep breath. Wish me luck!

How do you get over the hurdle to take a first step? Is it easy to trust your friends? To trust yourself? What do you think?

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How to Keep Friends: A Social Experiment, Part I

What's wrong with a little social experimentation?

Blue And Red Flasks courtesy posterize/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK, I’ve talked about how little I know about this here, and here.

But here comes the social experiment part. I’m going to list five methods I’m going to try to reconnect with my existing community, and I’ll let you know how they go.

1. Facebook

I’ve talked about how exhausting it is to come home after staring at a computer screen for eight hours and feel like you have to look at another one just to contact, oh, anyone… but since I’ve actually managed to blog fairly regularly lately (yay, me!), I think I can manage a couple of hours per week of skulking into my friends personal lives to figure out what they’re up to. So my goal is to go onto Facebook at least once a week, and to not only creep their lives but to change a picture, update a status, poke someone to let them know that I am alive and reaching out.

2. Engaging Phone Conversations

I’ve talked about how I hate the phone, and I do. It’s very useful as a tool, but for contact, well, it’s a cold, plastic box.

So, my goal is to move beyond my hatred, and when people call me to engage them in interesting conversation, instead of my usual “OK, got the info, gotta go” routine.

This is actually really huge because it will force me to think about my day and come up with interesting things to say, instead of feeling like nobody’s interested because if they were, they’d already know what my day was. Which, bullsh*t. Really.

3. Organizing Outings

My hope is that eventually these will become more routine so that they take less organizing and so that others maybe think to invite me out once in awhile.

To start, at least once every two weeks I will go out, for supper or drinks, or to watch the band, with at least one of my friends, and in this instance, Dashing does not count (because I would go to the moon every day for that man, it’s embarrassing, really).

4. Holiday Cards

Nothing says reconnection like the annual catch-up of holiday cards. I’ve never done them on a large scale. This year, I will, to all and sundry. I’m talking researching mailing addresses, old-school letters enclosed, stamps and envelopes Holiday Cards. I should probably start in the next couple of weeks.

5. Downtime

For a lasting change, I can’t just do a complete 180 and hope it sticks, like I’ve done before. So if I need a night or two (or five) to myself, that is OK. If I miss calling someone back, that is OK. If three weeks go by and I haven’t gone out at all, that is OK, but I should start thinking about it soon at that point.

This part is the trickiest, because while it is important to take time to oneself, for a hermit like me, it can be oh so tempting to live there. But friendship is a two-way street and I have to have faith that once my friends know I want more time with them, that they’ll be happy to oblige. I have to give them the chance, and trust that they’ll come through for me.

Those are my five, for now. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but I think it’s a pretty good starter list.

What do you think? What would you add/take away? If I manage to achieve these goals, what should be on my next list?

The Soundtrack of My Life…

I think acoustic guitar features in my soundtrack

Acoustic Guitar courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So when Dashing and I were just barely thinking about courting, I made him a mixed CD. Full of songs that I liked and was listening to at that point in time.

We’d been friends for awhile, and were both getting out of long-term relationships in pretty messy ways. Mine I spoke of here, and his, well, his marriage was ending.

So I’d been listening to a lot of Matchbox 20 and Dusty Springfield. And I thought some of the songs might speak to him too, so I made him a mixed CD, and instead of labeling the song and artist, I wrote down who or what the song made me think of most.

I think I labelled Matchbox 20’s “Bed of Lies” as You and I labelled Dusty’s “I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten” as either Me or Us, I can’t remember how bold I was feeling at the time.

I made him cry. And then I made him blush.

Music has always been a huge part of our relationship, and a huge part of our individual lives.

For me, I grew up singing motown and rock and roll with my Daddy, and gradually included the Cranberries and Great Big Sea and other assorted artists from the contemporary era.

But I was never the kid who knew what music was in at the time. I didn’t listen to top 40 radio stations, and the songs were usually new-to-me at school dances. It actually took me until university to learn the difference between Prince and Michael Jackson… And they say people don’t learn anything useful at university any longer…

Now, I feel like the media surrounding a person really speaks to and about that person. When I read Lucy Maud Montgomery, I speak and think like Anne Shirley. When I read non-fiction I get introspective and then turn those reflections out onto the world. When I read Sharon Creech, I long for travel, and stories from grandparents. When I read A Practical Wedding, I’m inspired to journal my thoughts and feeling and channel them into cohesive, creative viewpoints for discussion.

When I listen to the ’50s and ’60s, I’m at home. I’m comfortable, and I want to party and reminisce. When I listen to classical, I usually have something on my mind. When I listen to jazz or musicals, I want to perform and invite drama in. And when I listen to modern music that is new to me… well, it does depend on the song, but usually it’s pretty love it or hate it, and mostly, I just want to skip it.

But I’ve been expanding my reading base, going back over classics I’ve wanted to read or to be able to say that I’ve read. So I felt I should expand my music base…

So I bought the Burlesque Soundtrack CD, and two Grey’s Anatomy (Season 1 and 3). Burlesque has Cher, and Grey’s I already enjoy the snippets of music in the episodes, so I figured, baby steps, right?

So while I don’t enjoy every song, I have found Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Falling or Flying to be interesting. I’m looking forward to cultivating more music around me by artists who are still producing, because as much as I love that which is familiar, I, like all people I know, am constantly changing. And the people and things and art we gather to us should reflect that.

So to one who is fighting the stagnation of her radio, what modern or contemporary artists would you recommend?

Break In Suspense

Image "Coin Flip" courtesy Chris Sharp/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Would I truly let this determine my fate? Actually, maybe.

OK this one is all about Dashing…

Dashing loves me. And I am so very in love with him.

That right there, that says everything.

I do truly believe that he and I may end up together. But we are taking the scenic route for a lot of reasons, which I’m not featuring today.

I believe that he and I could be very happy together. I know that I would love to have his children, and to live day to day, and have adventures, and experiences, and disappointments, and arguments, and making up, and flowers, and chores, and finances, and taxes, and growing old together. I want him. I want us to live together – and I don’t mean co-habitate.

I have no idea what our life together would look like. I see flashes. An eighties montage of varied possibilities and they all could be true. But I truly have no idea, because I don’t have his input.

He is afraid. He doesn’t want to make a mistake again. He doesn’t want to disappoint me. He believes he can’t envision his own future, and so shouldn’t be tying me down to create one with him.

I just want him.

I do also want a home. But I don’t care if it’s a city townhome, or a country cottage, or a suburban cardboard box, or a highrise apartment. Alright, I have my preferences. My very opinionated preferences.

I do also want security. But I don’t care if I have to work corporately to support us, or if he wants to work to support us, or if we both have to work to support us. And let’s face it, I’m so frugal and careful that we could probably both be un-employed for six months before we really had to start cutting back on, like, internet usage.

But he says he may need a break. To figure out what he wants. I am all on board with this idea. It’s the word may that I’m objecting to.

See, I don’t always know what I want, but I usually know what I don’t want. Dashing is swayed. Back and forth like a swing. He knows what I want – uh, the grocery clerk, the dentist, and the construction worker on the corner all know what I want. And he wants to deliver – but is it what he wants??? He says he doesn’t know. So please, I say, please by all means, take a break, take all the time you need. And he says, he’ll think about it. And I say, OK let me know when we’re breaking.

And he hasn’t let me know.

We’ve talked about it a couple of times since then, and … nothing.

It’s like every time we get together, every time the phone rings, I’m just waiting for him to say “Yes, now, break time.” And he doesn’t. But meanwhile we are in this weird limbo. Because he also hasn’t said “Break unnecessary. Pshaw, to you, Break!”

And so I wait. And I worry. Because it is important that he call this time out. It is important not only that he take it, but that it be on his call. I worry that he is so scared of hurting me, that he won’t do what he needs for himself.

So he calls, and asks what I’m doing, and if I want to do lunch, or how is this night for date night this week – as if nothing has changed. As if we are still working towards building whatever life together we were working towards. And I can’t say no, stop, wait, do you not see how this is hurting you, and hurting me, and not helping anything.

Because I gave him all the power. I told him what I want, and how I feel, and that I’m willing to wait in the background until he figures things out – but this waiting in the foreground thing is killing me.

If I knew we were on a break I could distract myself, because I assume he would call less. Because he would be figuring out what he wants out of life. Because we wouldn’t have weekly date nights. Or weekends to organize. Because he would be experiencing life without me, so that he could be sure that he really wants life with me. Or that he doesn’t, and that’s OK too. As long as it’s what he wants.

I can be his friend. It will be hard, but it’s how we started out, and eventually we’d find a new balance.

But in the meantime, I need him to decide. To choose. To flip a d*mn coin already.

To take the break. Because nothing will change until he does. He won’t know if he needs it until he takes it and goes “Yeah, I needed this” or “What was I thinking?”

Enough with maybes. I may be (ha!) a woman of extremes, but I’ve tried walking the middle path on this one, and it sucks. So rip the stitches, strip off the bandage, drop the robe, open the door, jump off the cliff, and then… ride the wave home to whatever shore you find.

*I wrote this post Sunday. We spoke at the wee hours of Monday morning. We had date night Monday night. We officially started our break Tuesday morning. I’ll let you know how this social experiment goes…

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

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