Category Archives: work

surroundabout

hey, remember that dream where you decided to uproot your life, move 3000 miles away from home, to live in a state you’d never visited, where you knew no one, all for a job that thrilled you in the most terrifying way? it was a great, exhilarating, MAGICAL dream, but it was also filled with those long dark hallways, the sluggish running that brings about doom, and that sneaking suspicion you’re the last person alive.

i remember it! it was february. actual february, when it actually happened. i plucked it out of my mind and forced it to create my world, inception-style, and here i am six months in to these surreal new surroundings.

things are weird, man. i don’t even know where to begin. there’s so much good and awesome and lonely and strengthening.

and i’ve been thinking so much about getting back to personal writing, not just athlete interviews and company initiatives and pieces about everyone else’s lives. i’m honored to use my voice for others but i kind of want to speak selfishly for a while.

remember when i promised more frequent writing like two years ago? i remember it! it was never. actual never, when it actually never happened.

so today, friends, i don’t promise you. i promise MYSELF. i’m packed with THOUGHTS about THINGS and IDEAS about EVERYTHING and this clarity (or at least honesty) that stems from a love/people/friend fasting. are my thoughts new to the world? no chance, but they’re new to me.

so WRITE. shut the fuck up and write already. (?)

how better to document this dream come true?

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challenge issued and accepted!

i can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since i wrote here. several of you have encouraged me to get back to blogging, and i’ve been feeling it again myself; what a happy coincidence!

it’s perfectly fitting that my last entry was just before i started my new job. and here i am, almost two years in to the same gig, and more in love with it than even i expected.

what this does, though, this sense of contentment–is that i have less of a need to self-medicate through writing. when things are wonderful in my world, i write less. plain and simple. tortured artist is a slight exaggeration, but i understand that mentality more than i used to, how people can flourish creatively through adversity.

i think of plenty of things i’d like to write about all the time, both good and bad. but whereas before, during the first six years of blogging, i was unchallenged and unfulfilled at work which led to a well of creativity that i just HAD TO GET OUT, i am so fulfilled these days that i just haven’t carved out the time to write. beyond what i do at work, anyway.

so i’m challenging myself to write more. write it all. write even when i don’t feel like i have to write. just write for writing’s sake. and there are still plenty of places in my world that could benefit from some thought and attention.

gauntlet thrown. challenge accepted. hold me accountable, won’t you?


chapter one

i’m a week and a half away from starting my new gig. so many things flooding through me – excitement! fear! sadness! anticipation! elation! it’s been a long time since starting a new job. i’m taking my own “be where you are” advice and just rolling with it, emotions and sentiments changing like the wind. one thing i know without a doubt: i’ve been lucky to work with truly amazing and exceptional souls, and i’ll miss them so much. especially my mentor, whom i’ve adored more than any previous professional, and who’s had so much to do with my growth and development and overall READINESS to take on this new challenge.

looking forward to the next chapter.


threadbare 2: the threadbarest

the big, huge, official closet cleanout has begun. my spare bedroom holds boxes and bags of clothes ready to be donated to working wardrobe. i’m down 45 pounds as of today. all good things, right? so why does it feel so strange?

when i set out last year on this journey to lose weight, i definitely had goals. 10-ish pounds still to go, in fact. but what i hadn’t really accounted for, beyond the danced-around thought of how fun/cool it’d be to fit in smaller size clothes, was what that really meant. i’m not a packrat, and i’m certainly not overly sentimental (at least that i’ll admit to). so at least in theory, i shouldn’t have a problem with letting go of these clothes.

but some of them? some of them were really hard to put in that donate pile. the amazing tweed slacks that i had tailored just for me, and which i probably only fit in four times? gone. all of my cute little blazer-jacket-throw-it-on-over-a-cami-and-call-it-good(s)? gone. the camis themselves, for that matter – ciao! most of my cashmere, my beloved chartreuse things, the items from my love affair with j. crew, all gone.

i’m getting what i wanted – i’m downsizing, literally and figuratively. i get to start fresh, rebuild. but this has been a really interesting, unexpected, introspective experience.

what i hadn’t counted on was looking like a schlub for most of the past year. bumming around in ill-fitting clothes, because i couldn’t go down a size yet, but i didn’t quite fit in the previous one. trepidation over buying replacements, some financial and some knowing (hoping?) that they’d only last a few weeks. a sense of waste, getting rid of some unworn items, and some which were only worn a couple times. but then also a sense of happiness – donating some really nice, good-condition professional clothes to a great organization that helps women look and feel their professional best. and because of that schlubbing around in old or ill-fitting stuff? i better understand the importance of that.

i’m a very lucky, grateful girl. i’m getting what i wanted in more ways than one. and i’m appreciative of it – every pound, every size dropped. but this other, unforeseen side was a real surprise.

the dark side of the closet.


sidebar:

linking to my old blog in that previous post made me go visit it, and i totally miss cinnamon & arsenic! why did i change spaces? is it cool to go back? i don’t know the rules for things like this. discuss.


wanderslut

i know i wrote an entry on my previous blog about wanderlust. it was a while ago.

it’s gone beyond that. the only thing i could think of beyond sheer lustful lust is slut, which is conveniently made of the same letters. coincidence? maybe. clever? not really. is it the widmer talking? likely.

get. me. out. of. here.


she, myself, and i

d’you ever have those out-of-body experiences where you’re almost looking down at yourself, watching yourself in a certain situation? this rarely happens to me – but when it does, i pay attention.

i went to portland last weekend to stay with one of my besties and her family. lots of quality girl (and chrissy/elliot) time, playing with pups, taking tons of epic walks.

there was a moment where i had this out-of-body thing, as i was chatting with alexis and chris on one of our walks. i don’t even remember what we were talking about, but what struck me was my genuine enthusiasm and happiness. the me that hovered above myself, observing this, immediately called bullshit and accused myself of being fake. “since when do you talk like that?” i asked myself. “that’s not you.”

and then it hit me. that enthusiastic, happy me? that’s actually the real me. it’s just been so long since i’ve seen her that i kind of forgot about her. my first reaction was that she seemed fake – that quiet positivity and confidence that i haven’t seen in myself in ages.

that’s heartbreaking. i’m living in a place that’s so inauthentic, i can’t even recognize the rare glimpses of the me that i know i am.

i thought i was at the bottom a month or two ago, and then i learned that it was actually two weeks ago. and now i know that it’s today. and i’m trying so hard to just let myself be here until i don’t need to be here anymore, so then i can get to where i need to be.

just she, myself and i. i’d like to welcome back the me that i know and like, since we’re going to be together for a while.


arrogant bastard

he wasn’t the first person to call me arrogant, and he wouldn’t be the last.

it popped into my head today, years later, causing me to delve into some serious self-analysis. how do we define arrogance? what makes somebody arrogant? and do i really do that thing?

i think i’m pretty self-aware. i can easily rattle off some of my worst qualities to you: i’m selfish; i procrastinate; i’m kind of sloppy; i’m a worry-wart; i have hypochondriacal tendencies; i’m commitment-phobic; i really struggle with change. plus, in my personal life (though for some reason, not at all professionally), i’m virtually incapable of making a decision; i have been known to spend 30 minutes in a shampoo aisle trying to choose a brand.

but surely, self-awareness isn’t only knowing the worst parts of yourself. isn’t there something to be said for knowing the good stuff, too? everyone has things they excel at. everyone has a particular bag of tricks that they bring to the table.

the first accusation of arrogance that i really remember came during a rocky relationship. he practically spit the word at me; there was definite intent to wound. and while it didn’t exactly hurt me, it did make me think. the accusation came after a particularly heated disagreement (of which there were many) which ended with me saying something about being smart, having a good head on my shoulders, and being able to make up my own mind. he accused me of being arrogant because i thought i was smart.

i guess that deserves a little bit of background: the truth is, i’m smart. i do have a good head on my shoulders, and i feel lucky for it. i feel lucky that i have parents who encouraged me and bought me books and read to me since i was small, who sent me to good schools and supported my goals. i embraced reading and school and extra work – i studied hard, took honors classes, went to a great college.

i tried to clarify with him. “so let me get this straight: it doesn’t matter that my whole life, people have labeled me as smart. i’ve been raised to believe that i have a good head on my shoulders, and for the most part i’ve proved it. but for me to simply acknowledge it makes me arrogant?”

yep. that’s exactly what he thought.

i hadn’t bragged about anything. i wasn’t prideful about it. i didn’t say i was smarter than anyone else, him included. there was no sense of measuring myself against someone. it was simply me, observing a quality about myself.

another time, after a discussion with a coworker about proofreading: he said it was arrogant of me to say that i’m good at spelling and never use spell check.

but i am good at spelling! it’s actually a measurable thing!! why is it arrogant to know that about myself after years of having demonstrated it?

it seems like simply acknowledging any positive quality about yourself makes you arrogant. and that’s so disappointing. if that’s really the world we live in, how fundamentally sad and small of us. it seems like the world and the workplace and everywhere in between would be so much more positive if people were allowed or (gasp!) encouraged to recognize some of their positive qualities.

there’s a huge difference between that recognition and being a braggart or taking credit for things you shouldn’t. there’s a huge difference between knowing some of your better qualities, and that knowledge making you think you’re better than others. i’m not perfect, and i’ve totally been guilty of that at times. do i think i have a better sense of humor because i love things like arrested development and the league, rather than two and a half men or everybody loves raymond? sooooooo guilty. and i’m sure there are other places where i toe over that fine line between self-awareness and arrogance.

but it’s disheartening to think that you can’t ever say anything positive about yourself. does that mean we’re all doomed to this half-life place of waiting/wishing/hoping someone will say something good about you, because you’re too afraid to ever acknowledge it yourself? does this mean we all live in this space where self-deprecation, false modesty and fishing for compliments is the norm?

even if no one else will ever understand it, i’m happy that i am in a place where i know that there are good things about myself. it took me a while to feel comfortable in that place, and ending that rocky relationship was the biggest step toward self-awareness and happiness that i’ve ever taken. not because he was such a bad guy, but because i realized that the things he didn’t like about me were things i really valued about myself.

if that makes me an arrogant bastard, so be it. there’s a beer for that.


the man bash

there’s an interesting thing that’s been happening in the world for the past few years (maybe longer; this is just my radar) – the man bash. it’s become totally acceptable, and even somewhat encouraged, for men to be portrayed as total idiots in the world of pop culture, advertising, and even somewhat in our real lives.

maybe this came about as a byproduct of feminism. in order to boost women up to the same level as the fellas, the faster track found us elevating the ladies while simultaneously knocking the boys down a few pegs.

the past decade or so of television has been ripe with man-bashing. hugely popular sitcoms like “everybody loves raymond,” “king of queens,” “according to jim,” “home improvement,” and countless others have made millions (and made millions laugh) at the expense of guys. the bumbling guy who somehow lands the superhot wife, has a couple kids, and becomes a laughably incompetent father, barreling and fumbling through this thing called life, to the delight of audiences (interestingly, both male and female) around the world.

advertising winks knowingly at moms, seemingly assuming that dad isn’t responsible for much to do with household or kids, and that even if he was, he’s too dumb to know the right brand of peanut butter to buy. ragu came under social media fire recently for a spammy twitter campaign that targeted dad bloggers and then proceeded to directly insult them with their video of what it looks like when dad has to make dinner. (adam singer has a great writeup of this whole disaster over at future buzz).

even among real world people, there’s this underlying current of “he just doesn’t know what he’s doing.” women i know (even women i know and love) often insult the men in their lives, sometimes explicitly and sometimes thinly veiled or through pointed and public jokes. i know for a fact that many of these women would be devastated if their partner spoke to or referred to them in the same way.

so why is it ok to man bash? ladies, haven’t we reached a better place of equality, a level where we don’t need to man bash to create or advance our own success? guys, aren’t you tired of the man bash lurking around every corner, where your real and valid contributions as a husband, father, provider, and a generally competent human being aren’t constantly being questioned or overlooked?

equality is a double-edged sword, and wielding it properly means acknowledging that it’s not ok to consistently marginalize, mock and ridicule half of the population. maybe it’s all in good fun, and maybe it’s not – but at least in my world, it’s totally last call for the man bash.