Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lesser than...

My competitive spirit can at times be a blessing.  It pushes me past that first wall of "I can't" and tells me that many others can, so why don't I sack up and become one of those.  It makes me want to excel at work and be the best in my job that I can.  It makes me want to be the best daughter I can, so that I will continue to be the favorite, over the dog and cats (who have much easier jobs, lower expectations of performance and cost a lot less to feed than I do...  And yes, I am so neurotic that I do have sibling rivalry with the parents' pets.)

But sometimes, that urge to compete just leaves me with the overwhelming feeling of having the wind knocked out of my sails.  Sometimes, no matter what I do, I can't help feeling like I can never tow the line being set by those around me.  Every "not good enough" button gets hit and I collapse, defeated.

That's where I am these days. Mired in "not enough".

I understand that "not enough" is the bane of most human existence, that we all battle those demons regularly. I comprehend that there are many "tools" to help fight those feelings.  Writing, talk therapy, meditation have all been suggested as healing (although the last one is a mine-field for me.  I suck so badly at meditation, stilling the monkey mind chatter.  When I try to meditate, I fail so miserably that it only exacerbates the "not enough".  I begin to focus on how completely inept I am at meditating, and it becomes an exercise in self-flagellation. )  So here I am, writing, in hopes of performing some exorcism and coming out the other side with a sense of self again.

Of course, I fear that these words will be used against me.  That my ex will read these pages and use them as some bolster to his delusional "holier than thou" attitude of pity he has towards the fact that I'm still angry at him (and thus in his mind, a lesser person, incapable of healing and moving on.) I worry that people whose opinions I do care about will read this and thing "Jeez, that Teece is a pretty fucked-up little cookie.  I had no idea she was so broken or neurotic. Seriously?  Sibling rivalry with pets?"  I am concerned that my mother will read this and try to put band-aids on gangrenous soul wounds by sending a sappy and well-meant text message about how much she and my father love me.  (Seriously Mom, don't.  I love you, thanks for the thought, but don't.  Ok?  Thanks)

So why am I writing here?  In the blogosphere where everyone can read this?  Who am I writing for?  Me.  Then why not just journal?  I did... didn't help.  Why put it out here?  Because, I cannot hide.  Writing words where only I can see them is tantamount to covering my feelings in a veil of shame, and it leaves me ... hollow.   I am who I am and while I may not always love it, I sure as shit don't want to get in the habit of hiding it.  Because demons, like mushrooms, grow big and bold when left covered in shit and hidden in the dark.  And I am a fan of neither demons, nor mushrooms.

This is part seasonal-depression.  I know that, on some cerebral level.  It happens every February and has for decades now.  Hell, all of January - May can be a fairly toxic time for me, but I've been working on it for years, and I've usually got it shortened down to just February, maybe March.   It also doesn't help that work is becoming wretched and that I feel stalled out, if not completely thwarted, in pursuing my career.  Add to that the fact that the extreme cold and precipitation have kept me from exercising outside as much as I would, and I'm now dealing with more (and nastier) migraines as well as an uncomfortable layer of wintery body fat.  This is a perfect storm of feeling crappy and lesser than, and since I have the ability to see that, I should (in theory) be able to say "Fuck you emotional black hole, I will not fall into you."  But that's not how black holes work, people... they have an intense amount of gravity sucking action and avoiding them is damn near impossible (unless you are on the USS Enterprise and Scotty is in the engine room, in which case, you have just the last minute burst of speed to be safe.  Darn you Sci-Fi for building my unrealistic hopes of redemption.)

So what do I do to combat the "lesser than" of my everyday life?  Well, when I finish writing this, I will take my ass outside where it is lovely and sunny and the hiking is incredible.  I will try to fill my quiet moments with nourishing food and loving thoughts, or at least interesting books.  I will look for new jobs and try not to be overwhelmed with the reasons why I probably can't have them. And I will just keep showing up, I guess.  At the journal, at this blog, at the daily occurrences of my life. It is a damn slow and boring way to move forward, that has no magic, no instant gratification, no "great transformation."  It leaves me feeling ordinary and unimpressively human, but it is the only tool I have right now, the only way forward I can see.

I don't know when I got so boring, so mundane.  Somewhere over the last 7 years the powerhouse giggling magic girl disappeared, and I miss her so fucking much. If she were here, I think she would know what to do.  So I guess, I'm just going to go outside looking for her.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Time Marches- a general FYI update

Been missing my blog, and so I popped on to re-read and was horrified to see when I last wrote.  How have this many months gotten away from me?

Since last I dipped into these pages, life has incurred the inevitable ups and downs.  I will try to briefly sum up.

Ups:  I found a job working at a vet's office in a little college town in the "high country".  Was able to move out of my parents' basement and into an adorable little place of my own. It's two bedroom/2 bath, built into the hillside of a mountain in a beautiful but tiny resort town that is only a few miles away from where I work. This is all just right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the hiking is stunning.  I am currently experiencing my first Winter ever of living in a land where it snows... often.  The cats have coped well with the move, and enjoy being able to watch deer and bunnies feeding in the yard.  There is light in my windows, fire in the fireplace, and gorgeous scenery outside.

Downs:  The vet's office job is not really highlighting my skills, teaching me anything new or completely paying all my bills (I still have so much debt from my life in LA that I'm trying to pay off, on top of all the new costs of living.) Additionally, the office has a lot of politics and is getting to be pretty uncomfortable.  I'm still strapped for cash most of the time and were it not for my incredible parents' generosity, I'd be starving most weeks.  Snow, while beautiful to look at when it falls, is not always fun to drive in, and when it begins to get slushy and muddy, it's just plain nasty to deal with.  Plus, a large part of my job is walking dogs during the course of my day... which means being outside, in temps that have gotten as low as -45 ("real feel" temp with wind chill factor.  The actual temp that day was only -12, if I remember correctly.)

I have made one real friend here.  She too has a love for marine mammals, has an interest in educational outreach, is terribly over-degreed for the job we share (she's got a Masters in Marine Bio) and has spent time living in Hawaii. Not to mention that she has a wonderfully dry sense of humor, and a fondness for paranormal romance novels, wine and margaritas.  We keep each other sane at the office.

After 6 months of celibacy hiding out in my mountain retreat, I also figured it was time to stop avoiding all men and put myself back out in the scene.  I began attempting dating again.  I really was just trolling online for my usual cougar fodder, but ended up meeting someone quite unique.  He was raised in So Cal, shares my intense passion for the ocean, and he's *gasp* older than me. That's all I'm willing to say on the matter at this time.  Given my history, I'm playing this hand closer to the chest... but I will say that I'm smiling more, and enjoying being wooed.

In short, I am in all ways, back in the game.  Moving forward.  Seeking strength in self and the energies of the dark winter forest that surrounds me.   May 2014 be a year of positive changes and re-imagined dreams for us all.