Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Lately I have been having a big ol' pity party.  I have this really fun, really productive system when I'm feeling down that involves telling no one just how wrong I really feel while simultaneously convincing myself that no one cares.  Pity parties by nature are pretty exclusive.  Even when you know you're being ridiculous. 

I know that everything will eventually be okay, but I've felt lately like everything is going wrong and I have no control over any of it.  Everything stems from the job situation, which is the biggest piece of the wrong puzzle.  Being home all the time and being cooped up makes me crazy, which leads to general crankiness and more bickering with Joe.  Our situations have switched.  In Pennsylvania, I had friends and a life and he didn't know anyone.  Here, he has his whole world, and while I do have my two cousins here, this place is not my own yet. 

I'm worried about money if I can't find a job soon, even though we're okay for now, and it's hard not to be scared and anxious whenever money is involved.  I keep wondering if maybe I should have stayed in Pennsylvania.  Maybe I shouldn't have moved yet.  Maybe it was stupid to trust that everything would be okay.  Maybe I was wrong to plan for the long-term when the short-term is so up in the air.  Maybe I'm an idiot and don't know anything and my life is now a mess because of it. 

It's not just mental.  Physically I'm all out of whack too.  I'm out of shape and feel like a schlub most of the time.  I want to feel like I can do anything, and I feel like my body is holding me back from being who I truly feel like I am.  I don't like feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable or limited in my abilities.  Feeling sorry for yourself while sitting on the couch thinking about how you're out of shape is really very helpful for this, let me tell you. 

There's been a running diatribe of all of the above and more filtering non-stop through my head lately.  This is wrong.  Everything's wrong.  I'm wrong.  I can't control any of it.  I'm just unhappy.

Then over the weekend, something finally clicked.  I don't know what triggered it exactly (I wish I did!) but the logical, rational, doing part of my brain finally came back from vacation and kicked my pitiful and pathetic ass.  Pity party's over.  Yes, there are circumstances right now I'm not happy about, but as for feeling out of control of my life, that's bullshit. 

I did some Googling for walking trails in the area, since I loved the one by our apartment in Pennsylvania so much, and discovered that the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge is only a few miles from where we live now.  It's a 1.3 mile long bridge for walkers, runners, and bikers that spans the Hudson River.  The breeze over the River from that high up is perfect for outdoor summer workouts, going gets me out of the house, clears my head, makes me feel so much better, and it's FREE.  The view isn't bad either.

Yesterday I went to Starbucks (I had a free drink coupon) like it was my job and set up camp.  I spent the whole day e-mailing, making phone calls, rewriting cover letters, reviewing writing samples, and following up on leads.  It made a such a difference to get out of the house, away from distractions and my moping couch, and just focus on making things happen.  More productivity happened yesterday than has happened in weeks.

Then my cousin Laura came over last night to go walking with me and before we left she said, "so be honest, I was talking to my sister, and we both think you seem sad."  And my goodness, I needed her to say that.  She busted me open.  I poured it all out.  All of it.  All my frustrations and fears and anxiety and all the stuff I haven't wanted to talk about.  I cried.  Then we went for a walk across the bridge and back, ran a good portion of it, and then that crazy chick had us doing lunges across the last bit of it too, and oh my goodness, that felt good.

I've always been the type of person who keeps it bottled in and buttoned up.  I don't laugh too loudly in public or cry in front of people or show much emotion one way or the other when I'm having a conversation at a dinner table and I'm always quick to reassure everyone that everything is FINE.  Because I always care what everyone thinks.  Always.  If I'm stopped at a red light, I'm ever-conscious that the person stopped in front of me can see me in their rearview mirror.  That kind of always, people.  I want to change that.  I want to laugh more boisterously and easily and tell people who love me how I'm really feeling.  I want to let the people I love really in and...I want to sing along raucously to a song I love at a red light even if someone can see me.  The gall, you guys. 

So turns out, there's a lot I can control.  I do have a lot of choices that I can make everyday.  A lot of right now sucks, yes.  But a lot doesn't.  I can still be happy.  In the still, calm eye of this tornado of unknowns, I know exactly what kind of person I want to grow to be.  I am in control of that.  I know that seems obvious, not very profound at all really.  Except that right now that little realization right there clicking into place feels pretty damn huge.


LWhits said...

I had many many days like you're describing during my few months of job searching. Getting out of the house, even to walk around the block can force you into a different frame of mind, and a real exercise session always does the trick. And as soon as you do get a job you'll feel better for about 2 days before you again WISH you had all day to watch TV!