Monday, April 25, 2011

What I Can't Do Anymore

Here's what I know. I know that every day for god-knows-how-long, I have felt inadequate. Unable to be loved by anyone who does not do so out of obligation -- even though I am told, yes, that I am loved -- I don't feel it. It doesn't feel like it can possibly true because I no longer feel worthy of it. Because I am not worthy of it, it seems.

This past Easter weekend, I took a bad fall at a friends' house (why yes, I was completely sober in case you were wondering) --as many times as I've walked down that staircase to go to her room, I was pulling a suitcase behind me and it was dark, and I thought I was on the last step and well, I wasn't.

So I spent the weekend icing, resting, elevating…the whole bit. Every night we had tornado warnings. Easter morning, I was in the bed with my sister and two nieces and at 4am, our phone rang. Tornado. We yelled for her husband and we crammed into the laundry room with the girls underneath us…the moment passed, we discovered the easter bunny came and had a middle of the night egg hunt. That was probably the best moment of the weekend, one with so many not-so-good things scattered within.

This morning, I woke at 2am. My friend took me to the airport an hour and a half away for a 6am flight, and its 10am right now and I feel like I've already put in a hard days' night and I'm ready to go home and crash. My ankle is throbbing. My feet don't touch the floor.

We had a couple of talks in the car that made me feel like a completely ridiculous person, and that bled over into me having a complete meltdown in the airport at 5am. I called her and cried and sobbed (everyone in the terminal was just dying to sit by me on the plane, I am sure). I said that I feel like nothing I do is good enough. I can never, ever seem to catch a break and just be HAPPY, anywhere. Should I move back home? Well, that's not so fucking simple. I would have to rearrange my entire life, such as it is, and find a new job and move and, and, and. And for what? What if I fail again? What if I'm not happy there, here, anywhere?

I said to her in a choked out sob -- I feel like I am grieving. I am greiving for the life I could be living; the one that feels so impossible to achieve. And it's not as if I want to become the President of the United States or even the President of a company. I don’t give a shit about that. I just want to be happy. Find someone who loves me. Have my own family. I feel woefully inadequate in every.single.way because I don't have these things. I feel as though I can't be loved fully and in turn, I can't know love myself because oh oh, everyone says -you can't know love until you've pushed out a baby. You can try. You can huddle your body over your nieces little body in a tornado; you can change diapers and rub backs and rock and soothe -- but nope, you just can't know THAT kind of love. The real true kind.

And I'm sure that's true. Why would I have succeeded at that? It just doesn't to be in the cards for me, and its time to lower my expectations -or perhaps just change them- and accept that my life isn't going to be a fairy tale. It will not be full of me dancing in the kitchen. I'm not going to have someone love me like everyone seems to have. I will learn to tell myself that things may not --will not-- turn out the way that I had hoped.

I've tried so hard. Harder than anyone knows. Nothing is working.

So here's what I can't do for awhile -- this blogging thing. I can't read every day about babies saving and changing lives. I can't hear about how days were crummy but you went home and looked at your kids or your lover, and re-found your purpose. I can't read about the myriad of ways life is complete for everyone else, thereby making mine seemingly incomplete because I feel it enough everyday. I don't read a single blog that doesn't have this underlying theme, and I just can't do it anymore. I feel inadequacy and regret in my very bones and grief has settled onto my chest in a major way. I am truly happy that everyone else has found that magic and joy and love, but I have not and I probably will not, and for today -- I have to just learn to accept that. And do what I can to protect myself --it's all I can do.

See you on the flip side.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What I Don't Want to Forget

I was talking to a friend of mine from college on the phone yesterday -- it had been an eventful day and I was outside for nearly all of it, and that always makes my outlook improve and makes me in a good mood.  This friend knows me fairly well, especially with us having been roommates after college for a year.  She's omeone I've always kept in touch with and have been pretty honest with along the way.

She is a physicians assistant, and with me doing health policy and looking at future trends and helping to craft legislation for things that will affect her five-ten years down the road, sometimes I like to talk shop with her and find out how certain processes are now and how she feels about them.  For lack of a better term, it keeps me grounded and helps remind me that I'm actually doing something here instead of convening meetings and writing papers just to convene meetings and write papers that no one will read.

Yesterday was one of those chats, and the conversation evolved into me talking abstractly about my potential next career move.  And she said -- "Well, you seem pretty happy and really liking living in DC"  I actually laughed out loud and replied "Shit, I'd leave tomorrow if I could."

She was stunned -- "Really?" You're not happy?"

"Not really," I cheerfully replied.

I am here for necessity and I love certain things about it. But this is temporary. It's not home. And by that I don't just mean that it's not Kentucky.  It's just not MY home; where I will land. Temporary is less attractive to me as I get older.

Last week (two weeks ago, hell, who can keep up) when I was flying back from SLC, a teenager was sitting beside me on the plane. He was about 14 I guess, and the poor kid had a middle seat and I was at the window.  He kept staring out the window while I was trying to read, and he was pretty close to my face and in my peripheral vision, it looked like he was constantly staring at ME. I was getting irritated and that's a long ass flight to be irritated.

Anyway, as we started to fly in low over DC, he spotted the Washington monument.  His eyes lit up and he just said "Whoa" in a quiet voice. He'd never been here before. I played aerial tour guide and ended up giving him and his entire family a list of places to eat around the capitol, etc.

I'm going to miss that.  My greatest hits list of being here is made up of a flash of moments --

Living in Arlington, with a view of Arlington cemetary from my window, and laying in my bed each night and hearing "Taps" being played softly -from somewhere- every single night at 11pm.

The look on the faces of people seeing the monuments for the first time.

Lunchtime walks circling the Capitol building, looping around the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Not knowing there is a landing strip inside the Pentagon and the horror I felt watching a Blackhawk helicopter lower itself into it --I was sitting in my car at a stoplight and had pulled over and waited for a crash. This was 2003. We were all tense.

Getting too close to the White House when trying to avoid a group of tourists that were standing in a clump on the sidewalk. I was in a hurry, so I stepped over the small rope on the sidewalk and tried to dart by them. Security officers grabbed my arm and hauled me right back over that small rope. Like I said...we were all tense.

My cousins, breathless with excitement, coming in to the restaurant where I was waiting for them to have dinner with me when they were visiting.  "We TOUCHED the White House!" I offered to buy the entire restaurant dinner if they had actually touched the white house. They insisted. After dinner I had them take me to the alleged white house. They'd taken a whole series of pictures with their hands on...the Treasury department building. In their was dark. And that IS a pretty impressive building ;)

I don't know --it goes on and on. Things that someday, when I'm somewhere else and doing something else and maybe even living a life completely opposite to this one I'm leading now....someday, I'll feel a twinge. And for a moment, I'll be homesick.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Next Thirty Years

I think I'll take a moment
Celebrate my age

The ending of an era
And the turning of a page

Now it's time to focus in
On where I go from here

Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

In my next thirty years
I'm gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less
Laugh a little more

Find a world of happiness
Without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I'm doing here
In my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life.

(It's gonna be good.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's Snowing in Salt Lake City

...but everything else is the same.

Well, it's really not. At least, it's not at all the same as when I was here last time. Last time, it was August --hot, sticky, sweaty August and I was in the midst of what I can easily describe as one of the worst periods of my life if not the worst. I'd had a terrible incident just a few days prior to take-off, and being here brings back memories of frantically tapping out emails on my blackberry trying desperately to defend myself and my decisions to a now former "friend," which resulted in the cruelest things ever said to me in my lifetime. This was all happening while simultaneously feeling like I was treading water while preparing my first big all-day meeting that I'd run by myself. 

It was a tiny bit of hell on earth, in this town where a giant temple sits on a hill with a golden angel blowing his trumpet over all the land.

Today, eight months later and about eight years worth of reflection and new perspective, I am back in this city that I actually kind of adore in its quirky way. The locals are fun, and whenever we're here, we have to stay for days at a time since flights in and out to DC are limited in our price zones. 

I didn't run another meeting today, but I sat around the conference room table and was reminded once again of how lucky I am to be right here, right now. In this job; in this field.  It's hard as hell sometimes -and far and away the most challenging job I've had. 

Tonight, we'll celebrate my thirtieth birthday. It isn't until Monday, but we're leaving tomorrow and we figured we'd kill two birds with one stone.


Wham, bam, damn -these trips around the sun are going fast.

Friday, April 1, 2011

When it hasn't been your day, your month, or even your year.

I've had a week that's zinged me out, clear from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.

On Monday, I woke up feeling like the day was somehow going to kick my ass just because it could. And oh, yes it did. I woke up to a bad text message from a friend, and I was feeling super emotional over this. Then, I had a meeting with our accounting people to clear up a few questions I had about a brand new process they're implementing. I haven't been talked to so rudely and insulted so much since my shitty job in 2004. I went outside the building and sobbed my eyes out.

(Random aside: I've noticed that a crying person on the sidewalk is the equivalent of a homeless person on the sidewalk. People glance at you quickly, see that you're in some sort of need, and rush away as fast as humanly possible. Don't look at the person who many need something from me! I have enough problems!)

Anyway, I called my old friend Tif and she talked me down from the ledge. A true shout-out has to be given to her--she's been a rock to me ever since college and talking to her everyday keeps me centered.

Monday night, I put on pajamas and ate comfort food and did everything I could to calm down. I re-evaluated everything from why I'm in DC, to why I'm in this job, to what I'm doing with my whole damn life.

That was a low.

Tuesday was awesome. My day was much better, and then I got to have dinner with Betsy, the amazing sister of Katie Granju and we had a long talk about how I can help Henry's Fund, and all kinds of ideas on how we can grow it and what the future can hold. Their entire family has been through hell on earth this past year and I feel honored to be able to help in whatever way I can on a real basis. 

We bonded over a beer and a shared sense of humor, of politics, of basically everything.

That was a high.

On Wednesday, a shitstorm exploded at work and then I got lost coming home from a meeting I had in Alexandria thanks to new construction patterns. It was crappy weather and I ended up in a bubble bath for two hours with a book.

On Thursday, I went to Alexandria again for a meeting.  I had to drive there, and I passed the motorcade on the way to get it --I have to park it like a half mile away.  I always like seeing the motorcade.  When I got to the meeting, I had to put my car was on the meter and I only had quarters for an hour. So after an hour, I moved it again. In the rain. I went to a parking garage which was full. Which I found out after I circled every.single.floor. Then I came out, put the car on the side of the road, and got fined $40 when the meter ran out. Which I found after I got soaked. Again.

This morning, i found out I left my purse in the car overnight. Luckily it wasn't broken into and everything is okay. But doing that made me lose a half hour of my morning since I'd parked the car about a half mile away and had to walk there, walk back, walk to the metro, walk down the broken metro stairs, ride the metro with 300 high schoolers here on spring break, walk to the office.

After all that walking, you'd think I wouldn't have gained two pounds this week. Ah lah.
The high highs and the low lows, all in just a week.

Sounds like life to me.