Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An evening in the bitter barn

Oops! Do you ever finally hear what you must sound like to other people? Last night, I caught a glimpse of how other people might be perceiving me. It's not what I'd planned. But I'm glad I noticed, so I can work in a little image retouching.
Here's what I mean. I was talking to several of my girls in a ritual we like to call "Van Time." They are so good to let me spout off, but I feel pretty bad that I've been so surly. After thinking back on my venting, I realized I've fallen into that super-unnattractive category of bitter girl. Or as a lady at the YSA conference in Carlsbad put it, "One of those girls." How and when did I turn into the very sour-faced Mormon girl I'd ranted against in a brilliant (if I do say so myself) and funny article just a few years ago? But here I was, expressing my anger toward a particular boy in terms of the ways I'd like to do him in. I'm not a violent person, but hitting him with my van sounded really nice last night.
And I'm mad at myself for going out with guys I know I'll never like-- not in a real way. It's just a way to ward off loneliness. Isn't that just stupid?
The thing is, I'm completely, blissfully happy with about 95 percent of my life. I really am not a bitter girl, but I've been acting like one for a little while now. OK, consider this my new leaf turned over and flipped and preserved in gold and put on display in the Rachel museum. And if you catch me acting bitter, come up and flick my ear or something.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting Personal... Again

So I was thinking about this last night, and I said to myself, "Sego, you're so boring these days!" And I'm not all about appealing to the lowest common denominator or writing really insane stuff, but darn it! This whole being sensitive and discreet is oppressive. I'm breaking free.
Of course, there's not that much to say. These days I'm a little frustrated. Sometimes you give all you can, but you just don't get the results you want. Sometimes things just don't come together. That's probably why it's important to teach our kids that trying our best isn't always enough. An "A for Effort" is nice, but an "A" for results is better... know what I mean?
Take me, for instance. As it is merely January 28, the resolutions are still fresh in my mind. I'm happy to say that in lots of ways, I'm making some real progress. I've had a habit I've been trying to break, and so far, I've not given in to temptation once this year. Every day, I put a little check mark in my calendar to show that I made it through the day. Also, I'm doing better adding some good things into my life. Also in my calendar, I've got another little mark for every day I get a good workout in, for example. On that one, I'm probably only at half of the days this year. It's not bad, but it's not where I want to be yet. And because I'm only giving 50 percent effort, I seem to be getting 0 percent results. Oh, I'm sore all right, and I'm upping my resistance with the weights and with the bikes and ellipticals and treadmills. Major calorie cutting while still meeting general good health guidelines? I'm on it. I'm conditioning for sure, but I'm still not seeing one bit of difference in the way my clothes fit or the number on the scale. Still, am I stopping? Nope. Not at all. I think sometimes we need to remember that we won't necessarily get rewarded right away. It's like the time my friends and I were talking about some comedy bit by Chris Rock or Dave Chapelle (sorry I can't remember who it was, though I do remember the embarrassing fallout from telling someone this story-- parenthetical explanation to follow)-- whoever said it was talking about how kids today say, "But I deserve this reward. I mean, I've never gone to jail!" The point, of course, is just because you haven't been to jail doesn't make you particularly deserving of some grand prize (and for the record and to clarify to my friends who have been to jail, just because you go certainly doesn't mean that you are a lost cause or not a good person). Anyway, this rambling just amounts to me saying I've got some things (lots of things) I need to work on. I'm on it. It's slow. It's painful. It's embarrassing and I wish I were already perfect in these areas. I may never get there, but I also will never stop chipping away at it.
Another thing I'm working on this year-- not worrying so much what people think of me. Of course we all want to be liked, but for whatever reason, sometimes it doesn't work out. Once in college, I knew this guy who told me that the very thought of me made him want to vomit. Ouch, right? That's right up there with the guy who told me I had the best personality but I'm just not physically attractive. Part of me still wants to drop-kick these guys, but you know what? They taught me a lesson. That some people have really warped ideas and bad taste! Just kidding. But that you can't please everyone, so you at least ought to be true to yourself. When I asked the former subject just what it was that repulsed him so much about me, he said that I couldn't take a hint, and that the meaner and ruder he was to me, the nicer I was. Well, ok. I'm dense, but at least I'm generally nice. I'm at peace with it.
So how does this translate to the current Rachel life? Well, take my latest pseudo-relationship, for example. I gave it the old college try. I really thought that hey, maybe this will work a little better than all the others. And it was good, and I'm far enough from it now that I've got some good perspective. But the bottom line was I couldn't fix what was wrong with the guy and I couldn't make him like me enough by changing myself. So am I sad he's phased me out? Yeah. But that doesn't mean I'm not getting back in the saddle.
Another thing that's a little hard-- trying to do things that require other people's help or participation. I had these big grand plans to go on a trip, but for very good reasons, my traveling companions have nearly all backed out. So now I'm stuck. BUT you know what? Sometime I will go on my trip, even if it means going alone. Is it what I pictured for myself? No. But I'm learning to picture new possibilities. Last night, I had a dream where I was in a situation I'd never imagined, with people I'd never considered. It was eye-opening-- the kind of thing that could be life-changing. Or maybe it was just a nice dream. We'll see how it all shakes down. Regardless, I'm still carving out an extraordinary life, and I imagine the trials will be footnotes in my lifestory, burried in the chapters of adventure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Exciting 2008

OK, so far, so good. 2008 has been rather magical.... Or at least, I plan for it to be magical. There hasn't been too much news in my life, but my friends have made up for it. Reuben is married, as are Casper and David. Anna had a baby this morning. Ashley got a puppy. Ben and Skye gave me a niece. Me? I'm kicking around the idea of going to a Willie Nelson concert. We can't all have everything. Some people will never get to see Willie live.
No, really, there are plenty of other things to look forward to, and soon. My aunt called a few minutes ago and invited me to visit her on an upcoming weekend. I really could use a little trip, and I haven't been to her house in over a year. I love it there, and it could be just the breath of fresh air I need (I mean, if you can consider air in Artesia fresh). Also, it would afford me the opportunity to visit Carlsbad Caverns... another place I've been itching to go for ages, but haven't seen in a decade and a half.
Beyond that, I'm planning on going on my first cruise this year in May. I'd been quite worried about how I would top my excellent birthday last year (thanks again to Hunter and Company for pulling that off), but I guess rooting around Pompeii is as good plans as any. Maybe I can round up some birthday gelato or something.
But I'm also just excited about the little things-- planting grass in the spring, putting up pictures this weekend. I'm resolved to dance more this year and meet some challenges that have plagued me forever. And though he's no Bob Dylan, I'm pretty excited to see Willie Nelson.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Alanis Could Relate

Happy New Year, Chumlies! I hope it's off to a good one and that all the resolution making proves successful.
My own last few days have been all at once magical and a little rough, with a good trace of irony. Christmas, of course, was wonderful, and the New Year should be excellent, as I expect to be an aunt in the next few hours. Poor Skye. All through dinner we timed her contractions. While most families were discussing what they are grateful for and what they resolve to do in the coming year, we talked about centimeters dialated, mucus plugs, and a bunch of other stuff I know nothing about. Of course, there was quite a distraction when A PIECE OF MY MOLAR BROKE OFF!!! It's terrible. I was just eating and my bite felt a bit off. I went to floss my teeth, but didn't get any relief. Then a few minutes later it just came right out as I did the dishes. It's simply awful. It's in a tooth I had a filling in (the only one in my adult teeth-- and probably one I had filled when I was 12 or so) and now there's this jagged little spot where about 1/5 of my tooth is missing. How embarrassing! I pride myself on my oral hygiene. I brush my teeth about 6 times a day on average. And yet, here I am with a sore jaw (from holding my mouth differently). And worst, my dentist doesn't have an answering machine so I can leave a message and get an appointment for as soon as possible. Knowing my luck, I'll have to live with this for several days. However, I'm going to stop complaining about it today because it could be worse-- I could be in labor like my poor sister-in-law.
Anyway, there have been a few other little adventures over the past few days worth mentioning so at least y'all can have a bit of a laugh. A minor embarrassing moment: yesterday I was at Macy's buying some under-clothing. See? I'm too embarrassed to even say much about that. Of course, there was no one around in the lingere department, and as I walked to the cashier in the children's clothing department, she left. Anyway, I trudged over to the housewares with my unmentionables, and made small talk with a very nice gay man who showed me his bed-in-a-bag deals. That was a little funny, but not embarrassing, because I figured the man didn't care. But who showed up in line behind me but the very man of my dreams! And ok, I didn't know his name, but he was a red-headed Irish boy from Cork. He needed directions to Best Buy. And I guess it's not a big deal, but I know I blushed to whole time.
Anyway, the other thing that's been a little difficult is my pressure tank developed a leak or something, and I was getting no water pressure. So I called my well guy-- a nice little fella who looks a lot like Ichabod Crane-- and he told me I needed a new one. Well, here I was thinking my sixty dollars solved the problem, until I went to take a shower last night and had NO WATER. What makes that funny? Picture me in one of those green mud masks. Yep. I had to drive to my parents' house to bathe. Still waiting on water, still wishing I could talk to my dentist.
But, on the whole things are really nice. I had an excellent time dancing the night (and the year) away, and I now am the proud holder of the Kissing Kitty Award yet again. Thank goodness the tooth incident happened today instead of yesterday! Hahaha.