I tell people that I don’t want to be the one in charge. I tell them I don’t want the lion’s share of the work, that I don’t want to be the “go to” person, the example, or the one making all the decisions. I just want to be part of the team. I just want to do my job for a while. I don’t want to be important. I don’t want anyone or anything to depend on me. I tell people that, but my actions never match my words and I don’t know why.
I feel this overwhelming need to step up whenever there is work to be done. I feel the need to do my part but I’m never sure where my part ends and someone else’s begins. I’m never sure when to stop and I am terrified to get it wrong. I’m terrified to look lazy, or for anyone to have the room to say I’m not a team player or a hard worker. So, I work harder than I need to, than I want to, and than anyone is even asking me to and as a result, I fear I don’t leave room for others to shine.
Tomorrow I will try a little harder to step back and to trust that my team will let me know when to step up again.
I’m not up as early as I’d hoped to be (the story of my life) but I at least got going the moment I got out of bed. I’m spending the morning doing some more pampering—face masks, nail painting, shaving, teeth whitening—before we join all the other beautiful queers downtown for celebration.
We have a whole gay day planned. We’ll have our best gay friends with us to do some shopping, drinking, eating, exploring, and later more drinks and dancing throughout the rest of the night.
I’m excited for tomorrow too when, I hope, we’ll head back downtown again to see the parade. It’s been 50 years since the Stonewall riots, we have a gay Governor, and, for the first time, we have a pride flag hanging from the state capitol. I want to see it. I want to go and be a part of all that progress and joy.
While I agree with Marsha P. Johnson, the revolutionary LGBTQ rights activist, when she said, “As long as gay people don’t have their rights all across America, there’s no reason for celebration.” I do think we need a day to love and celebrate who we are because no one else is going to do that.
Today, we will celebrate, tomorrow, we will remember, and when the weekend is over, we’ll get back to doing the work.
I had originally planned not to go into work today but this is one of the few weeks where I can get more hours than usual and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to make a little more money. I regretted the decision the moment I walked through the door.
Things were tense at work in preparation for a big meeting with the big boss. All around me minds were working out loud to predict the conversation and plot the outcome. All wanted to tell it like it is, make an impression, and somehow someway find the dignity they’d been missing, I guess. I couldn’t help, and I couldn’t handle it, so I went home early.
This evening has been amazing! We’ve had perhaps too good of a time and now we’re off to bed early without having finished out planned self-care/home spa routine in preparation for Pridefest tomorrow. Oh well, if I head to sleep now there’s a real chance I’ll be able to pull myself out of bed early enough to write and get ready.
The weekend is here and I can already tell it’s going to be wonderful.
Today someone I am attached to professionally violated some established social norms in a spectacular and offensive way, while I was in the room. I did nothing wrong, and I did my best to keep out of the fray but though the violator wasn’t aware, or perhaps didn’t care, I felt the eyes of the room and the wave of disappointment, anger, and disapproval falling on him, and me by association.
I was mad at the violator for the outburst the same as everyone else in the room, but I was also angered by my lack of control over the situation. Suddenly the way I was being viewed had nothing to do with me. Suddenly someone else was acting and speaking for me.
My anxiety has over the years turned me into someone who moves deliberately and with forethought. I rely on my friends and coworkers to give me the space I need to control the world’s perception of me and this person took that away.
I watched, outraged and angry, as he initiated a chaotic situation and acted in ways that left the outcome uncertain. He left me with no choices. He left me with no way to reassert my place or my boundaries. He left me exposed and with no way to salvage anything for myself. This, for me, is his true offense.
Do nothing days are great when they are planned but when they aren’t they are more like feel guilty days. I’ve been having a lot of those lately.
I’m avoiding the to-do list and conveniently forgetting again and again what needs to get done. This is what I do when I am overwhelmed. I get tired. I shut down. I feel the need to rest when the reality is I desperately need the opposite. I need to get up and do something! But knowing doesn’t make it easier. Knowing only makes it more shameful.
By now the day is gone already so there is nothing to be done but to take care of myself. The rain is falling, and it’s lovely. The thunder is clapping, and it’s thrilling. I’ll lean into that and try again tomorrow.
It was a good writing day, I just wish I’d had more of it to devote to writing rather than to chores.
The goal going forward is to wake up at 6:00 AM on both Saturday and Sunday and give 4 hours completely to writing. If there is anything to do later in the day, that’s fine. I’ll have written for four hours and justified doing anything else at all for the rest of the day. If there is nothing else to do I’ll have hit the ground running and earned a mid-morning nap before beginning again.
The fitting went wonderfully. The place wasn’t especially welcoming but it was professional and sometimes that, for me anyway, is much more comfortable. She pinned everything in all over and even said the suit was cute. She said it will be a lot of work but it will be done and soon.
We’ve just gotten home from dinner with friends and I’m doing that thing again where I overanalyzing every single word I said and action I took and coming to the same conclusion again and again. I am an idiot. I am an embarrassment. They are laughing at me, talking about me, they all actually hate me.
I know deep down none of that is true. I know my friends like being around me and that any social gaffs of blunders I’m guilty of are not only understandable but completely normal! I know no one will remember that weird response or me dropping my fork. I know no one cares if I laugh too loud or make a dumb joke. I know it’s all okay.
So, why do I put so much pressure on myself? Why do I punish myself this way?
The stress is getting to be too much. Were nearly two months out now and I’m still not even sure what we are doing or what we should be doing next. I’m designing menu cards and ceremony signs and she’s putting together centerpieces but it feels like we should be doing something else, something more.
Tomorrow I’m supposed to head to the first tailor on my list for suit alterations but to be honest I don’t want to go. My anxiety is through the roof! I’m scared of being turned away. I’m scared that the suit can’t be fitted or that no matter what they do I will still look bad in it. I’m afraid of the price too. I’m fucking terrified to end up back at square one again.
To top it off things keep changing too. Sometimes it’s what we can’t do, sometimes its something we realize we have to do, and other times it’s realizing finally what it is we want to do. Staying on the same page is difficult, and the patience we show for one another, though exhausting, is only further proof we belong together.
A lovely boring little day, much like the one I had yesterday. The Mueller report is out and there’s a lot to unpack but, for me, it can wait. Today I practiced a little self-care and listened to the new Lizzo album instead.
I was supposed to go to a bookstore tonight—one of my favorite authors was in town to do a book signing—but when I got home, I just wasn’t up to it. I want to tell you that it was because I had a headache, or because I was tired, but the truth is I was anxious and I over thought the whole thing. By the end of the day I thought it was dumb to want to go which also sounds dumb.
I regret it now, but I also realize that in the grand scheme of things it’s fine. The night turned out to be a good one anyway.
Hello dear readers! Happy Sunday and welcome. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of caffeine and catching up.
It looks like my morning is starting in the early afternoon today. I woke up with an earache and exhausted bones so after making it to the kitchen to let the dog out then in then fill her food bowl; I turned back around and followed the same sleepy path back to the bed. Two hours later I was up again and through cold brew coffee, loud music, and pure determination I am moving about and getting myself and my house ready for another week.
So, pull up and chair and, please, fill up a cup. You’re welcome to the cold brew or a hot cup from the Moka pot but hot or cold all I have on hand is a light roast. It’s a nice compliment the spring sun shining through the open blinds.
Let’s talk about last week.
“When I get up early, I appreciate the quiet time to enjoy a coffee or water my plants.”
― Christina Tosi
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was an interesting one. It was educational, sad stressful, lonely, and full of tiny little victories.
On Sunday we got the sad news that my girlfriend’s grandmother had passed away. This is one of those stories that isn’t mine to tell but I will say my heart is in pieces for her and her family. I wish I could have known her grandmother, but I never got the chance to meet her. Once again we are taught the lesson. Talk to the people you can while you can because people leave this Earth every day and you don’t have all the time you think you do.
Monday and Tuesday I got the chance to attend a statewide conference for work. I learned a few things and my task now is to bring back what I have learned and incorporate it into the training we do for new and existing employees.
Much of what I saw we are already doing so what I took away more than knowledge was an emotional impact. For one, I met many people working for other districts who are doing exactly what I’m doing in mine. Until now I have felt somewhat alone in my position.
My position isn’t a prestigious one. I’m rather low on the totem pole but I’m passionate about what I do and think despite the low prestige having people in my position that care about the issue and responsibility is critically important. It was refreshing to meet others who feel the same way and do their work enthusiastically and from the heart.
I also sat in a presentation that gave me a lot of hope for the future of our schools. When I was a teenager I struggled to cope with my emotions and to relate to other kids my age. I was angry and; I know now, very depressed and back then the only way to deal with angry and depressed kids was to suspend them until you could send them somewhere else and then to keep the expectations placed on them so low that they graduated without any skills, emotional or academic.
I was lucky. I dropped out instead and found my own way, but there are so many who were neglected and abandoned by the system.
The presentation I saw was on moving from the suspension, detention, and isolation disciplinary system to one that teaches reflection, responsibility, and restoration. I was nearly in tears imagining the way a younger me would have thrived under that system. The woman who spoke told us that their aim is to make each school into a small community and to teach children how to live in it by connecting them to that community. It’s bittersweet and so beautiful.
I hope every school moves to hire teachers, administrators, and support staff that can be open-minded enough to do better by their students than was done by them.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Wednesday my girlfriend left town to be with her family and attend her grandmother’s funeral.
I never do well when she’s gone. We’ve lived together for something like 15 years, and since we work at the same place, on the same schedule, and doing nearly everything together, I struggle when I have to be on my own for more than a day. I’m just bored mostly, and I miss her a lot, and I lose most of my motivation to cook, or clean, or do anything but read and sleep. I make it sound worse than it is, really.
I did manage to get a lot of reading done since I rarely watch T.V. without her. I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, my 7th book of the year, by Friday and loved it. I’m already ready to read it again. I was thrilled by the news that Netflix is going to make it into a series. I hope they stay true to the book and include every beautiful and terrible event.
I started Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and though it’s about as far from Márquez’s magical realism as I could get it’s very good. I’m having a hard time putting it down this weekend and expect to finish within days.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the other issue I have when my girlfriend is gone is having to drive. I mentioned it last week but for those new to my blog; I suffer from terrible driving anxiety. I dread having to get to and from work or anywhere else on my own.
My girlfriend is understanding, though it is hard on her and she would like for me to be more comfortable behind the wheel, but when she is gone nothing can be done and I have to push through it. My heart was pounding, and I was nauseous with nervousness every day but I have to say, I did really well. So well in fact that I almost enjoyed it!
I’ve been waiting for some kind of breakthrough. I’ve been waiting to feel motivated not just by shame but by possibility, joy, and pride. I think I’ve had that breakthrough. Working through this fear has become something I want to do, not just something I need to do.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, my girlfriend is flying her way home to me now and that means getting I’d better go. I have to start cleaning this house out of its current sad and stale state.
I hope you had a good week. I hope you are well and that the weather is improving, and that you got to smell the spring air and feel the warming sun on your skin. I hope the new month finds you well this week and that you can meet it without regret or panic.
Until next time.
Written for the #WeekendCoffeeShare link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli.