Saturday, January 22, 2011

grace under fire

today, i rolled my ankle. i stepped out of the car, caught my heel on a thoroughly-invisible lumpy place in the pavement and went down on one knee like i'd been shot. swollen ankle, sore knee, sore hip, and weirdly, sore neck. (i strained my neck monday night - don't ask how - and reaggravated it when i fell.) i got up, reassembled myself and walked into the drugstore. good thing i was already there; i bought an ankle brace, to add to the four i already owned, then put it on as soon as i got back.

good lord, i'm in pain. but what's worse is that no one i know reacted to this with the typical level of shock that usually accompanies an adult falling down. no one said, oh my god! are you okay? good grief, how did this happen? no, what i got was, there you go again, haha. you're okay? good. damn, you're clumsy. another day, another fall, eh? sigh.

there was a time when this was funny. i know there was. but more and more, it's just getting old. i hurt myself so many times in a given day. i cut my finger the other day while sitting still in a car, holding a plastic box of salad. i do stupid damn things all the damn time, and the result is pain every damn day. i've never been particularly physically capable. i used to walk into door jambs and fall down constantly as a small child. daddy always called me "spatially gifted," which was his kind way of saying, good christ, my kid's a klutz. this is nothing new.

but what is new is this feeling of dread when i move around in the world. i should be able to walk places, do things, live my damn life without stupid little injuries. the joke on me shouldn't be, we have to wrap her in bubble wrap to get anywhere. but it is. i feel like a constant, never-ending punch line. there are other things that feed into this feeling, predominantly the new information that, apparently, i'm the most serious, joyless person on the planet (another rant for another time), but it's largely the clumsy, stumbling way i move through the world that makes people laugh at me.

i feel like a joke all the time with this. but i don't know what to do; i am already so careful that the other punch line about me is that i am the queen of the obsessive-compulsives. i don't know how to fix it. so this is my cross to bear, i guess: i lack grace, and everyone in my life gets to have a nice chuckle at my expense. over and over. forever and ever, world without end, amen.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

big-girl job

it's time for this little blogger to get serious about getting hired after graduation. i am alternately brimming with bravado-tinged confidence and trembling with crushing insecurity, sometimes second by second, throughout this process. i've seen my resume; i look impressive as HELL on paper. i've got good grades, relevant coursework, and two solid pages of educational and professional experience. (i don't care what they say about a one-page resume; i've been in college or working since 1998, and there's just no way in hell that's all going on one sheet of paper.) i am a rock star.

but how do i go about convincing the people with the jobs that i am? once i get in front of them, it'll all be OK for sure. but it's damn difficult getting in front of them. when i was a little kid, before i went to law school and got grown, i got literally every job i had except one (which was AWFUL) through some kind of connection. someone i knew worked there, that sort of thing. but in this economy, those leads are damn hard to come by.

so out i go, into the breach. head high, resume out, smile and sell it. i know things will be okay, that i'll get something, that it'll work itself out. i have a fair amount of time to make it happen. but until i have that offer in hand, set and ready to go, it's going to be a long, terrifying winter. few things scare me more than being broke, and that fear can shut me down completely if i don't watch myself. so i'm throwing on my helmet, papering the known universe with my sexy-as-hell resume (and resisting the urge to describe it as such in professional situations), and invoking every ounce of good vibes the universe has to offer.

now, to paraphrase rex ryan, let's go get a goddamned job.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

tougher than the rest

[no lyric interpretation, but here's your soundtrack anyway. sorry for the ad. god, i love this song.]

i'll tell you a secret: sometimes, i want nothing more than to be traditionally, proverbially swept off my feet, whisked away, in that really hackneyed fairy-tale way. just like peter cetera in that song from the karate kid, part II, i want him to come in like a knight in shining armor from a long time ago, just in time to save the day and take me to his castle far away.

how freaking retrograde is that? i'm supposed to be a rough-and-tumble feminist. i can take care of myself better than most people can, that's for sure. but i just get so damn tired sometimes. i spent so long being the caretaker, the capable one, in my old life. it's probably more my fault than my ex's, really; co-dependency is just as bad as dependency, in some ways. but no matter whose fault it is, that's how it was, and that's why my ex is my ex. it's beyond apparent that i can shoulder the burden all day long. but i just don't want to sometimes. i just want to be kept.

the man has always been on my side. now that we're together, he's strengthened that position in my life, becoming my biggest cheerleader. he tells me constantly how smart i am. he trusts my resolve implicitly, dismissing my doubts with a simple, hmph, whatever, you'll kick its ass. he always tells me things like, you know i'd do anything for you, and you mean the world to me. he and i fit together in ways i can't even describe.

and he does me the biggest favor anyone can do: he refuses to swoop in and "rescue" me. as i continue the amazingly whiplash-inducing experience that is post-divorce graduate school, i find myself staring down a series of challenges. the weight of my life is heavy, and i found myself desperately seeking some form of escape, some easy way out of my troubles. but he would not give it. he gives no quarter to my insecurities. and in his way, he ends up saving me from one of my biggest threats - my own self-doubt. he builds me up, he reminds me how strong i am. when i look at him as he calmly rejects my own misgivings, all i see is the belief he has in me. 

and with an ally like him, how could i doubt myself? his faith makes me tougher than the rest.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

a series of questions

the inimitable red shoes has tagged me to answer some questions, and who am i to turn down such a request? so here goes...

1) if you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
the ex has the dog we lived with in louisiana. i always liked that dog fine, i suppose, but it was clear that he was the ex's dog, no question. the ex was all about the bond, and a lot of times i'm sure he liked the dog hundreds of times more than he liked me. i saw him as an animal, a nice little companion who annoyed the hell out of me, ate my things to spite me, and often kicked me in the kidneys when we all slept in our bed. sigh.

2) if you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
i've had a few come true recently. i'm not gonna be greedy here. my dreams these days are to get a good job after graduation and keep this relationship i'm in growing. 

3) what is the one thing most hated by you?
easy. willful ignorance. i hate it beyond all reason when you show someone a series of facts, they look at them, and then, as if to spite the truth, conclude the exact opposite of what those facts show. there's NOTHING more enervating than that.

4) what would you do with a billion dollars?
oh, easy. i'd pay off everything i owe - education, personal debts, the car i still own with the ex, etc. i'd buy a nice house in the area, near where i am now, straight cash, as well as a car of my own. i'd make my parents comfortable. i'd do some serious charity work. with what was left, i'd start a serious conversation about financial and emotional readiness for the future.

5) what helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
time with my friends. a good glass of red wine. dark chocolate, preferably in the form of a mounds bar. warm weather. a nice coffee. a good lay. any of these things work. 

6) which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
sorry. if you have one of these, either way, without the other, that is not even CLOSE to a blessing. it's called unrequited love, and it eats the lover up inside. i've been on both sides, and no. just no. love only works if both parties love.

7) what is your bedtime routine?
depends. if i'm alone? glass of wine, piece of chocolate, and either blogging or sportscenter until i fall asleep. if i'm not? we crawl into bed, talk, sometimes watch TV. some nights... well, you can imagine. but always, every night we're together, we fall asleep wrapped in each other's arms. it's nice.

8) if you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
come back with me to the mid-1990s, that glorious time when britney spears was nothing more than a has-been mouseketeer. hell, i didn't even have a computer yet. we were in tenth grade, in our state's capitol at a mock legislature convention. a girl from my school had been hanging out with this boy, and she brought him to eat dinner with us that night. as we sat on the lawn of the state house, chatting about all the important things fourteen-year-olds discuss, he casually mentioned that he liked my favorite R.E.M. album, new adventures in hi-fi. do you remember how hard it was back then to be a music snob? i said to him, "i can tell that we're going to be friends." and from that point on, we were inseparable. you know the rest of the story...

9) if you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
i would kill to be able to watch warren zevon write a song. either him or tom waits.

10) what kinds of books do you read?
in school season, i read the law. mainly the internal revenue code. but for the last few weeks, i've devoured everything non-law-related i can get my grubby little hands on. i love memoirs, essay collections and good novels. i like books about sports. i like poetry, but only certain poets. i just read just kids, the patti smith memoir. BEAUTIFUL.

(hey, are y'all on goodreads? let's be friends.)

11) how would you see yourself in ten years' time?
working as a lawyer, comfortable with the man, and as someone's mama. (believe me, there's a truckload of angst coming in the next couple weeks on the whole "someone's mama" subject. stay tuned. it'll get fun. heh.)

12) what's your fear?
god, just one? it changes daily, it seems. how can you force me to choose? these days, i'm legitimately scared of the job market. the irrational fears, though, are always the same - i'll botch this relationship, i'm not as smart as i think i am, etc., etc., etc. (see also this entire blog.)

13) would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
no. sorry - exploring's cool, but i love chocolate.

14) would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
i've done married and poor. i could do that again with the right man.

15) what's the first thing you do when you wake up?
generally? curse. i hate mornings. if i'm with him, though, i usually kiss him on the shoulder.

16) if you could change one thing about your spouse/partner, what would it be?
OH no. no, no, no, no, no. this is my least favorite thing ever - you CANNOT change them. he doesn't come in customizable form; if you take him, you take him as he is. the man and i both do things that annoy the ever-loving hell out of one another. it's been this way forever. now that we're a couple, we butt heads over them and hash them out, but it's not about "change." it's about "this is what i mean when i say X," followed generally by, "oh, well that makes sense." i am not changing anything about him - who he is now is why i love him so much.

17) if you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
kinda did, didn't i? y'all know me as magnolia (except for those of you who know me as both magnolia and my real name). i love that nickname. i'm happy this way.

18) have you ever been betrayed by a family member? what did you do to get through it and go on with life? what made it better? would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
uh, i'm divorced. i'd say that covers it. as far as "forgive and forget" is concerned, though? you always forgive. you NEVER, EVER forget. you carry the wrongs against you through this life as exemplars, so that you never let them happen again. call me vengeful or spiteful for doing it; i don't care. you have to gird yourself for your future, and your armor is made up of the wrongs in your past.

19) if you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
salad. i love salad.

whew. now to share the love: i have to tag 4 people to play. here they are -
a) anna
b) PCL
c) jessica
d) the mad woman

hope y'all have fun!