Saturday, December 27, 2003

Whenever I need a good laugh, I go here
Or here

Monday, December 22, 2003

Today is the birthday of my favorite opera composer.

I am ready to sing Mimi. Anyone need a Mimi? I'm ready!

Friday, December 19, 2003

At some point when I was in college, I realized that I had several very high-maintenance, borderline sociopathic people in my life, following me from class to class, wanting to plan vacations with me, and basically pinning their hopes for friendship on me. I was nice to them, so they thought I would be their new best friend. I realized that I had attracted people like this all my life. Once I realized how much these people were draining me, I let them go, as gently as I could, one at a time. I remember weighing the possibility of having no friends against the agony of dealing with these toxic personalities. I decided in favor of peaceful solitude.

I have never been alone one minute ever since.

Little did I know that with them gone, I would be free to pursue friendships with the people I actually admired. So... I did. Now I am surrounded by people who I generally think are amazing. Brilliant, talented people.

Now I'm the nutcase of the group.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Hard to write these days. I've turned into one of those lame bloggers who just disappears. Although, I'm pretty sure I have no regular readers, so I doubt anyone will notice. Ah, the freedom of solidtude and anonymity!

Zenchick is going through a significant period of loss. We managed to have a brief but meaningful phone call while I was en route from Nyack to Manhattan sometime on Saturday. I was previleged to have met Zenkitty. She actually allowed me to pet her once. She was truly a unique personality, very selective of her company. Part of me wished my own kitty Marge could have met her - but they probably would have hidden under furniture in seperate bedrooms. Marge would have meowed loudly from there. A funny thought in itself. So.. much love and peace to Zenkitty on her new journey. And, of course, to my girl bets.

As for me, I had a fantastic time letting my hair down at my company's annual christmas party, and spent a subsequent lovely weekend learning about Astrology, meeting some West Village Yuppies, eating baked Ziti while watching Angels in America, and in general hiding from my life. Relaxing positive weekends are, as my blog states, what I live for. Today I'm back at work and things are quiet. I'm always grateful for quiet days at the office. I'm even more grateful that I have half of next week off and all of the following week. And I'm most grateful of all for the friends who are thinking of me, who call and email from time to time, even when I don't see them.

I will miss my parents this year. It's looking like they won't be coming east, and I'm definitely not flying anywhere. I just can't handle any more traveling. I am just too tired. I am glad I got to see everyone at Thanksgiving. Right now the prospect of spending Christmas week alone sounds wonderful. I want to CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN my apartment, clean out my fridge, everything. I want to start 2004 with a relatively empty life. I'll buy new groceries, cook for myself and the stray friend who may pop by, and do some Yoga in my living room. I will likely go away someplace north for a few days around New Years - an even deeper retreat. That's all I want. Retreat. Quiet. LOTS of sleeping. Lots of sleep.

I want to blog about my relationship, but I am too nervous to state my emotions, and too afraid to admit some of them. I want to blog about my job - but I'm afraid of getting caught.

Writing has been an outlet of mine for years. I feel, however, jammed.

"There's no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves."
Darwi Odrade, Chapterhouse: Dune

I'm currently working on creating a meditation for a New Moon circle I'm co-facilitating on 12/22, the day after the Winter Solstice. I have to come up with something that will help us to visualize the things we want to manifest for ourselves in the coming year. I tried that already. It didn't work. I'm trying not to feel defeatist. That's no way to enter a ritual circle. Hell, that's no way to live.

A friend recently asked me to define the nature of my current depressed state as "relationship," "Occupational," or "Existential." I said the best word for it was "Cumulative." Too many things have been wrong for too long a time, and more things seem to pop up all the time to add to the pile of crap. As another friend pointed out to me, yes, I do still have a job, I do have a man in my life, and I Marge is still healthy and waiting at home for me every day.

It's the prospect of losing my apartment that's really killing me these days. Sure, I'll find another one. But not like this one. Not even close.

My roommate has the lease. I am a mere sub-tenant. She will move if she finds a new job that's not in convenient commuting distance. The Landlord will not allow me to take over the lease because I don't meet his minimum income requirement. If my roomie goes, I go.

I am currently living in the apartment I have pretty much wanted all my life. It's a medium-to-small sized flat on the third floor of an Upper West Side building, with a small elevator, overpriced laundry machines in the basement (hey - they're THERE!), and lots of friendly neighbors. I am 1/2 block from Riverside park. I am 2 short blocks from the Express Subway stop. I am surrounded by groovy restaurants, fun bars, organic food marts, ATM's, and fun little shops. My church is 20 short blocks away - a lovely walk in nice weather and a short cab ride otherwise. I have big windows, lots of sunlight, a nice kitchen, a large bathroom, a coat closet. This is the home of my dreams.

If I made 25K a year more than I do, I could stay. Right now, at my age, and at my level of career uncertainly, it is hard for me to picture myself EVER making that kind of money.

I have changed career directions several times. I just haven't found the right fit. According to my Astrological chart, this makes perfect sense. However, I hate it. I feel as though I have been pigeon-holed into jobs that I never chose - they were what was offered to me, and I had to survive. The jobs I want have never materialized. So I do what is needed while continuing the search. Now, I am 32 years old with a resume full of experience in things I don't want to do. I feel completely trapped and used.

I try to be grateful for my income. but these days, I see a storage cube full of my belongings and a plane ticket back to my parents house in my future. It has been too long. I am starting, very slowly, to break down, tiny piece of belief by tiny piece. I can read all the platitudes online, all the good books, I can spend al week in prayer and with friends trying to "Buck Up." I am sending out an average of 3 resumes a week. No Responses Whatsoever. When I call to follow-up, I am told basically, to quit bothering people. I am polite and professional. I am an incredibly good actress. However - I feel a hole inside me getting bigger and bigger. That hole is right smack dab in the middle of my belief in life, and in people. I don't expect God to swoop down and fix things. I don't expect the job fairy to drop an offer letter in my lap.

I think I've stopped expecting anything at all, ever, from anyone. I'm starting to have a rough time simply hoping.

Yep, this is depressing alright.

I will feel better. Something must happen. It has to.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Been gone a while. So much on my mind.

I've realized that while I may feel out of control of my life in many ways, I am able to step back from it and look at it somewhat objectively.

One of the "church ladies" at my church pretty much cornered me a few Sunday's ago and guilted me into agreeing to come early and help out with the coffee and bagel setup. Of course I said I would. How could I not? She's a dear, sweet lady and I am after all a member of 5 years.

Of course, when the Sunday morning in question arrived, I

a) completely forgot
b) was snowed in out of town anyway.

I couldn't help being snowed in. But - would I have remembered to go if I had been in town? Not sure. Would I have been happy to do it, if I had remembered. A definitive NO.

Part of me is saying "that's what she gets for trying to strong-arm people into volunteering." Part of me is saying "Why didn't I just say no?" Another part of me says "I am useless, worthless, unreliable and good-for nothing." The first part of me slaps the third part. "No you're not, you're just going through a really rough period.

It's winter. The sun is gone. I get sad every year when this happens. My job stress is pretty extreme, and to top it off, I find out that my roommate is likely moving out in the spring, and my landlord won't let me take over the lease and find another roommate, because I don't make 75K a year or more. So if she's out, I have to move.

So I'm able to look at the big picture and say "ok, I'm stressed, and hibernating, and feeling guilty for doing so. I miss the old boyfriend, am feeling guilty about the new one, and my job is such a burden to me that I'm loathe to assume ANY OTHER responsibilities anywhere else in life, no matter how small they may seem to be”

Why can’t I just STOP IT then?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

In other news....

This is the coolest thing I've read all week.

Thanks to Laurensophia for the reference!
I’m part of a women’s spirituality group called "the Weavers." As in weaving your own spirituality from many threads of world traditions, and exploring more deeply the ones that resonate most with you. We’ve been meeting once a month for a year, ever since January. As part of the program, we each complete a “priestess project.” I decided to write some sacred songs that reflect my personal spiritual beliefs. I have written a choral hymn to the Goddess for 6 women to sing. I have a cute, sweet song, more like a lullaby, to Bridget, the Celtic Goddess of the Hearth. I have an arrangement of Amazing Grace. And I have one big, long epic musical poem, basically, about the eternality and interconnectedness of life.

I was supposed to have been working on this all year. I didn’t even start it until about 4 months ago. I didn’t get anything down on paper until about a month ago. I have to present the work on Sunday, and I’m just today finishing the Big Epic Piece.

For me, this feels like being in college again! I was always the one who wrote the term paper - the one we were supposed to be working on all semester - in about 4 days - and I always got an A. I work well under pressure. And, I love writing.

Just this morning on the bus to work, the rest of my big ritual song bubbled forth from my subconscious and flowed through my brain. I've never been so disgusted for myself for not having a pad of paper handy. So now that I'm at the office, I'm scribbling it down. I feel divinely inspired. I was actually a little afraid of it. It's going to be a challenge showing this to people, I feel very vulnerable. (But then, before God, aren't we supposed to be?)

The other day on the phone, I had a neat conversation with one of my “Weaver Sisters” about creating personal rituals – which is the subject of her project. We talked about how making something specific focuses the magic and makes it more personal, more directed, and more potent.

I would encourage all of us to try and make our work somehow personal to us. Many of us do not realize that our personal needs are often others' as well. Why am I doing this project – writing hymns and sacred songs? Why did I choose to indulge (exploit?) my own creativity? Because I felt an inner pull to do so. I have since realized, however, though feedback from my friends at church and from other musicians and writers, that when I express myself musically, when I sing at church, when I share my writing, that I’m not being self-indulgent or grandstanding. People actually look forward to it, and several have told me that they felt inspired and hopeful listening to my work. I feel arrogant in saying this, but perhaps I am able to fill a small portion of a need that’s out there. A need for beauty, a need for inspiration, a need to hear someone express love and hope.

Sometimes we think we choose things in a last-minute panic, negating any thoughtful contemplation of the choice, and rendering it impersonal. I posit something more. Perhaps in panic we simply open ourselves up and let someone else do the choosing for us. Perhaps the adrenaline rush of panic is the breath of the divine.

Not always. But sometimes.

I have focused so much on this one epic piece, and the choral number, that the other songs I wrote seem trite. (I'll bring them in anyway. The one to Bridget is kind of cute.) I was frustrated for awhile, feeling that I hadn't done enough. I wanted to come in with 5 or 6 or 7 songs, with paper copies of the research that I did while writing them, so I could explain everything, very scholarly and such... Nope. Sorry. After my revelation this morning, that all just doesn't seem necessary... I'll still bring in what I have and prepare as best I can. But I somehow feel that it's incidental. The real work of this project has gone on inside of me. Something has opened. I hope I can share this in a tangible way.

My mother told me last night that I put far too much pressure on myself for the smallest things, for things that ought to be someone else's responsibility. She was sad for me about it, and also impatient with me. Well, it's not just me. I think it's a tendency that women have to nurture - to take responsibility for all sorts of things - that gets out of hand. It' not a bad thing - but it can be unhealthy if you punish yourself for not living up to your own expectations. Let's give ourselves a break this holiday season. Don't break the bank on Christmas gifts. Give yourself free evenings. Ask people to come visit you instead of the other way around. RELAX. Let the winds of heaven blow around you and though your personal space.

I am SO looking forward to this month. To seeing the work of my weaver sisters this Sunday, to co-facilitating my last New Moon Circle of the year on the 22nd. To singing in church and going caroling at Christmas. To retreating to some quiet mountain cabin just for a few days between Christmas and New Years, to just breathe. To talking to my loved ones on the phone. To the holiday party my office is throwing, and the few private holiday parties I’ve been invited to. To seeing people open my small but thoughtful gifts that I’ve purchased. To putting a red ribbon around my cat’s neck and watching her scowl at me for it.

Good feelings today. Blessed be.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Zenchick has seen "Love, Actually" and gave it a positive review:

"...we went to see Love Actually, which I can't recommend highly enough. Sweet and inspiring, and just a little offbeat, but not too schmaltzy (walks that tightrope)."

Now, this is interesting. Zenchick has some of the most sophisticated taste in movies I've ever seen. Generally, if she likes it, it's a good flick, or even if it's not to everyone's taste, it's at least a meritorious film in some way. So, this makes me want to see it.

I have another close friend who has also seen this flick and described it as:

"Sugar Coated”
In short, the movie deserves to be DISSed.

Now, this guy and I have very similar tastes in a great deal of things. If he hated it, I am inclined to think that I will too.

This makes me want to see it even more. I’m losing sleep here.

Ok, maybe not really. But it’s the most interesting conundrum of the day.