Monday, February 1, 2010

In Which I Discover That I'm Definitely NOT a Movie Star

First, I'm going to plug my college friend

She's (among many other things) a liberal preacher's wife who makes me want to go back to church, and today she managed to write about Haiti, evangelicals and stray dogs all in one post :)

Second, and on a completely shallow level, I had the thought today that many scenes of my life are exactly like scenes at the beginning of a bad chick flick.

You know--a woman in her late twenties/early thirties, eating the same Chinese food for a week, drinking wine and vowing to make life plans (a la Bridget Jones) for change. Laying down on the couch watching bad TV with a cat stretched out on her back. Sad music in the background indicates that this is a sad, sad soul but wait! In thirty minutes, she'll engage in some crazy incident where she meets the man of her dreams and/or she undergoes a series of events which ultimately lead to her saving herself and becoming a Better Person.

Well. I am really waiting for the crazy incident that knocks my little world off its axis, but so far it hasn't happened.

Yes...I am indeed the same person who picked up my entire life, turned it upside down and shook it just two short months ago. My surroundings changed, the people I see everyday changed, my way of life completely changed. BUT--I didn't change.

In fact, I feel like I took two steps forward and then took three back. I am less sure of myself than ever before--I am cautious, wary and guarded with my words and my actions, particularly at work. I'm still learning, and I feel very much behind the 8-ball (is that even a real expression or just something weird I say?). Anyway--I feel behind it. Hamster wheel marathons for me, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get off the damn thing and start feeling more like myself again.

Last spring and summer, I embarked on a conscientious effort to make myself a better, happier person. I got in shape, I ran or walked almost everyday, made myself get sunlight everyday, spent time outside (even if it was just my balcony, it was surrounded by trees so close I could almost touch them). I swam, I ate better, and I got serious about moving.

And ta-da! It worked.

So here I am--and I've stopped working on myself. I stopped as though I'd reached the end of the line, my goals met, I can truly be self-actualized now!

But, um, no. I'm not "done" and I realized today that almost every good thing I was doing for myself has been completely abandoned. I'm slowly feeling the pounds creep back up with me, even though I walk everywhere, I walk as fast as I possibly can just to get inside somewhere because it's so damn cold.

I'm not beating myself up over it TOO much, because hell, it's winter. I can't do everything that I did until the weather warms, and I'm working from sun-up to sundown and I just don't get outside in the sun....well, ever. And I stopped taking my anxiety/anti-depressants once I was here for a couple weeks. My prescription ran out and I don't have a doctor here yet to put me back on them.

I had zero side effects from stopping, as it was a pretty low dose as I mentioned. However....I stopped moving, I stopped getting sunlight, I removed myself from my most stable support system of my family, AND stopped taking anti-depressants? Talk about a quadruple whammy to my emotional health. Putting it like that makes me wonder how I haven't tried to jump off the roof yet.

I don't know--a few months ago, I was in a position where I could walk around like I owned that joint. I was very secure with my family around me, I knew I really wouldn't ever want for anything, especially not company, with so many of them around me. Now, particularly in my job, I'm wayyy back to the starting gate. I've been called to play with the Majors in this job, and I'm having a tough time getting off the bench in my confidence.

I mean, today? I tripped while STANDING STILL in the office kitchen. I mean, like almost hit the ground. Thank Jesus I was alone in there or I would have been known as that girl for the remainder of my employment. I woke up with a two zits on my chin (my first one in a YEAR) so I especially looked the part of a teenager. I stepped on this man's briefcase strap while I was walking to the metro and we both almost fell on our faces.

Then I was slumped pitifully on the metro tonight with my head laying on the "window", looking mournfully out at the concrete walls when a reporter for a healthcare magazine that I sometimes comment in came over to say hello. Could I have looked any more pathetic at that moment?

Seriously--if my life were a movie, that reporter and I would have locked eyes, the happy music would have swelled and he'd have taken me out dancing. I would learn to embrace my klutzy side as my obstacle on the path to becoming a Better Person, and magically acquire some witty and eclectic friends that all conveniently live in my neighborhood. We would all then live happily ever after.

But it didn't, of course, because life just doesn't work that way or at least mine doesn't. I told a friend this morning that my self-esteem just seems to be taking a beating lately, and I'm going to try very hard to pick up the pieces and try to salvage what I can. Because nobody wants to be invited to a pity party, and I don't even LIKE hosting parties anyway.

I will try to remember that I'm not "done," that I should always push myself to be better, and that I don't necessarily have to be sitting on top of the world with my legs dangling free to feel as though I'm accomplishing something.

I will be gentle with myself. And wear more sensible shoes in the kitchen.


Ms. Moon said...

We all go through these times. And damn Hollywood- all those movie are bullshit but we want them to be true so bad that we keep on watching them.
Yes. Be gentle with yourself. Spring will come, things will change, things will thaw. You too.

Bethany said...

YOu totaly took care of yourself HERE, in this post. Showed that you could. You said all the right things to yourself.
You're right. That's not how real life works at all.
And it IS amazing you haven't jumped off the roof woman, with all the cold too, and then taking yourself of your meds! Sheesh.
Go easy dear.
You are funny/wity/clever and can laugh at yourself even in your pain. That's good.
Sensible shoes are good.
And enchiladas.
Give yourself a break. You have made such a HUGE shift. No wonder you're feeling out of sorts. You're working hard (and work, especially NEW work does have this effect on a person) and starting fresh. You are brave and strong and wonderful. I think the movie of your life is going along just fine.
Spring soon. You will feel better.
Do little things now that remind you of yourself and help you feel better.
And keep talking to us.

SJ said...

I almost wrote that, Ms Moon, that I was waiting for things to thaw both outside and in.

The snow is falling here again.

Bethany -I always love, and look forward to your comments. You're full of real answers, real responses and always make me smile when I read what you've written. I truly value you for that!

Angie Muresan said...

SJ, I gave up watching TV and unrealistic movies years ago. I couldn't be bothered with an illusion of love and happiness. I wanted to have that for real. And I do, now. But it is work daily. Mostly on myself, because I grew up with expectations and a tendency to be selfish.
So take care of yourself. Do not abandon that idea. It is the most precious gift you could give your body and mind.