Hello, again, Stranger.

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Why, hello.  It’s been a while since I’ve been around these neck of the woods.

In fact, it’s been so long that I actually forgot my username and password. #facepalm

It has been 5 months since you’ve last heard from me.  School is out.  I survived — granted the last few weeks had lots of drama, tension, and tears — but I survived.  Now I am on 2 1/2 months of vacation and I don’t know what the heck to do with myself.  I’ve been working so hard, non-stop, that I am literally having trouble sleeping at night.  My body is exhausted, but my mind is still racing with all these ideas and thoughts about work/school, that I can’t get it to stop.  I spent 90% of the night tossing and turning and getting frustrated that sleep is eluding me.  Even Melatonin isn’t working for me.  #fml  I know working out is supposed to be helpful.  But come on.  You know that ain’t happening.

Besides getting a break from work, not much else has changed.  Except for the fact that 2 weeks ago, I turned 31.  That’s right.  I’m now living IN the 30s.  My biggest epiphany with this new age is that I literally don’t care anymore.  That seems to be the underlying theme when something comes up.  “I don’t care”.  I’m tired of caring about things that I don’t need to care about anymore.  I think that makes me even more crotchety than I already am, but it’s just where I’m at mentally.  Looking back over the last, maybe, 19 years of my life, I’ve always cared too much — about what people think, about what people will say, about what other people want me to do, be, look like, feel like, think like.   I’ve spent too much and given too much value to people’s opinions about and for me.  It’s because I listened to all the noise, that I feel like I’m in this place now, where I’m 31 and just now finding my own.  So, I don’t care anymore.  You don’t like what I’m wearing?  I don’t care.  You think I’m too fat?  I don’t care.  You think I’m too bossy?  Too old?  Too rude?  Too mean?  Too snarky?  I….don’t….care.

So…..there’s that.

I truly wish I had done a better job of blogging as things happened.  There was the “girls night out” that I should have avoided with my coworkers, where I was the designated driver as my coworkers got piss drunk.  There was the family wedding (who, if you’re a faithful reader, I did not attend the engagement of this family member) that we attended that was not as awkward and painful as I thought it would be, although it did make me sad.   There’s the fact that I deleted ALL my coworkers on Facebook.  After that hot mess of a night with the other coworkers, I quickly realized that coworkers were not meant to be friends.  They were meant to be coworkers.  I didn’t want them to know about my personal life, or lack thereof, and I really didn’t care about theirs.   I like being an enigma, sort of speak.  The less they know, the better.

So now I am left with 110 friends — all family and close friends (or people who I want to know about).  My Facebook is officially the most boring account on the planet because I get updates from said friends and family or celebrities.  It’s quite nice.  I deleted EVERYONE under the sun.  I’m sure it’s offended tons of people, but I really don’t care.  None of them were my friends in real life and if they’re upset about being deleted then I’m sad for them.  Because, what do they get from being friends with me?  It’s not like they were emotionally invested in me and my well-being.  It’s a numbers thing.

Meanwhile, summer plans consist of nothing.  Although, I do have plans to travel to Denver for a weekend, which will be nice.  My sister will be gone for 5 weeks to DC for something work-related, which I’m jealous of, but we have both agreed that it’s needed for both of our sanities.  Otherwise we’ll kill each other by August.

6 months in to 2014 and I’m still wondering and waiting for something to happen.  I’ve been told multiple times that it won’t “fall into my lap”, which I understand.  But if someone can just tell me what step I need to take next to MAKE the next thing happen, I’ll take it.  I think God and I are still on the outs, so as soon as I figure out how to fix that, I’ll get back to ya.

I hope you’ll stick around for the next couple months.  I’ll try to keep you entertained with all my wise words of wisdom.

It’s summertime, what else is a girl supposed to do?

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MMXIII

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8 hours away from 2014.

I am less hopeful and less optimistic than I have ever been before.  I used to look forward to the new year so much.  I would write pages worth of inspirational, spiritual, deep thoughts in my journal about what I hoped for the new year and reflect on the last year.  This year, not so much.  I am as pessimistic as they come.  Any hopes of something better coming does not exist in my mind.

This is not to say that God hasn’t blessed me this year, because He has.  I wouldn’t be sitting in my living room, on my comfortable couch, writing this to you if He hadn’t.  He has blessed me above and beyond what I could ever ask or deserve.  This is true for EVERY year, not just this.

But, this year has been a disappointing one, to say the least.  I’ve had lots changes, difficult ones, when it comes to friendships.  I’ve had to let go of a lot of people and it wasn’t an easy decision, but a necessary one.  And, although years from now, I may wonder if I made the right decision, I can say with full confidence that, right now, I am happy that I let go. I’m sad to say goodbye, but ready to fill my life with people who want to be a part of mine.

My job, as rewarding as it is, has been challenging to say the least. I’ve been pushed to take on more than I ever thought I could and I still find myself second guessing my abilities to do it.  But, clearly, God knows more than I do about what I can and cannot handle.

My passion to sing and lead worship has wasted away, which if anything, devastates me the most.  I fear that I’ve lost the talent and ability to do it anymore and I don’t know where to begin on how to fix that. Every day I wonder if I screwed myself up when I quit the worship team at church, because work was becoming too much.

I traveled more than years before.  We went to Cali for a couple of weeks and then to DC for a weekend. I hope 2014 holds more traveling opportunities for me.

I cussed a LOT more than usual.  The F word becoming a daily staple in my life.

I lost weight and gained it all back, successfully.

I spent WAY more money then I should have.

I’ve tried new styles in clothing.  I’m trying to stop dressing myself like a lesbian lady over 40.

I’ve realized how incredibly selfish and unforgiving I can be.

All in all, 2013 is a year that I’m willing to forget.  But, I’m not going to hold my breath for 2014.  I’m too old to keep hope alive for something that has disappointed me time and time again.

BUT…for you, my faithful readers (real and BOTS), I wish you all the best in 2014.  That all you hope for and aim to be, comes to pass this new year!

Refocus.

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I am off from school for 9 whole days. I am embracing these 9 days with open arms and praying that it will drag on forever.  I look forward to sleeping in and letting my brain take a rest from going 100 mph every day.

I last left you a month ago (that’s how busy life has been).  Last weekend, I was a bridesmaid in my first wedding. (Hopefully my last time, too, I’m not cut out for bridesmaid duties).   I didn’t enjoy a bit of it.  The makeup, the hair, the dressing up, standing in front of people, walking in front of people in a formal attire….none of it.  Most of the time, when I attend weddings, my sister gets stuck as a bridesmaid and I am asked to be the singer.  I used to hate that I would get overlooked as a bridesmaid.  But now I realize why I had it so much better as a singer.  Sing a song for 3-4 minutes and then your job is done.   You don’t have to take pictures, you don’t have to do anything.   I can handle that.  I’m happy for the bride and groom, but selfishly, I am happier for myself that it’s over and I don’t have to stress about it ever again.

Like any wedding I attend, I took extensive mental notes about what I wanted/did not want for my own “big day”, if that ever happens.   At this point, the number of attendees is starting to get smaller and smaller that I may have to just settle for a court marriage.  But such is the life of a loner like me. 😉

I ran into my childhood/college best friend and her new husband there.  Okay, no I didn’t run into her.  I saw her there and she was clearly avoiding me like the plague. I was unable to attend their wedding two months ago, although I had RSVP’d as a confirmation. I had emailed her about it and never heard back.  I assumed she was pissed off.  Her avoiding me basically confirmed that.  It’s okay.  I’m not sad about it or even worried about it.   If that’s the way the friendship ends, that’s how it ends.  I can’t beat myself up for that.  And to be quite honest with you, I don’t regret missing her wedding.  I thought I would, but I don’t.  I am a firm believer that there’s a purpose for everything that happens.  She was my best friend for a time in my life but I’m not the same person I was then and we have grown apart. No matter how many futile attempts were made to maintain that same close friendship, it didn’t work, and we both have to accept that…..really, I have to accept that.  So I have and I am moving forward.

The truth is, there are good things happening in my life, but I am so busy looking at all the bad things that I can’t see them or focus on them.  I have to change what I’m staring at.  I want to beat myself that I am not married or that I am not leading worship like I’ve always dreamed.  But, I have to accept that my life is on some kind of trajectory.  I have to also hope that God is steering me on whatever path I am on and trust that He’ll lead me to my destiny — whatever that may be — in His perfect time.

Does that sound believable?

#bossmanBing

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I am not going to lie to you.  I like being in charge.   It’s not because I want the limelight or the glory.  It’s really because of my control issues.   I know it’ll work out the way I want if I’m in control.   It’s not because I want to manage other people or control the way they do things — it’s just that I need them to do it the way that’ll work for my OCD tendencies.  Do you know what I mean?   I don’t like being bossy (and I hope I’m not).  I like that people come to me for help, because it makes me feel needed and validates this need in me to know that I what I can say/do is of some value.   I like all that.

But what I hate is feeling like a wet blanket.   Like Chandler feels in this clip of Friends.  I don’t like being seen as “Boss man Bing” — being seen as “uncool” or “unlikable” because I’m the leader.   That’s how I feel right now.   Sure, people like me.   They laugh at my jokes once in a while, but I’m not sure people see me as much more than just “team leader” who makes all the decisions, makes all the schedules, organizes everything, and tells everyone what to do.

I didn’t realize that being a team leader meant I’d end up being that person. You know, the one you don’t invite to go out to eat with the rest of your coworkers because you want to talk about them.   Or invite them to fun outings, because they’ll be the Debbie Downer of the group.   The worst part is that I’m NOT Debbie Downer!!  I’m a ball of fun!  I’m hilarious and I love to let my hair down.  I sing really obnoxiously loud and imitate people inappropriately.  I’m not serious 24-7.  Guys, my 1st language is sarcasm!  I’m freakin fun!

…….It’s just that no one wants to give me a chance to see that side of me.

Nowadays, if my phone is being blown up by texts it’s about work and helping them with something or answering questions.   And deep down inside I want it to be texts from people who want to just hang out with me.  “S, are you busy tonight?  Let’s go watch a movie!” not “Hey, what Math lesson are you teaching this week?”  or “How do I login to our website?”

The truth is, it’s not that I want THESE people to be texting me.  I’m okay with keeping my coworkers, just that.  I don’t see myself being friends longterm with any of them.  They’re all younger than me, married  with/without children, or engaged.   I can’t relate to them and they can’t relate to me.

So what’s my point for all this whining?

Ugh.  I am just lonely.  I want some friends my age.   And unfortunately, my career doesn’t allow me any time to go out and meet people.  The one day off I have is spent grading/lesson planning/or laying in bed trying to recuperate from the week I’ve had. There’s no desire in me to go out and about.

I’m in a huge rut socially and I don’t know how to fix it. Any suggestions?

Seasons

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I teach seasons ever year.  Emphasizing that when one season begins, the other has to end.  Seasons can’t coincide.

The old saying that friendships are like seasons has never rang more true than right now — this very moment — for me.

Boyz II Men were right, it is hard to say goodbye to yesterday.  But saying goodbye is what I need to do because I’m ready for my new season to start.  I should have said goodbye to this season a long time ago.   I held on to it for too long.

It’s like I wanted it to stay winter, even though spring is better and right around the corner.

So this is my goodbye to winter.   I won’t say goodbye, without saying thank you for what you gave me.   You were what I needed, when I needed you — back then. But, I don’t want to hold on to you anymore.  I’ve outgrown you, winter.  Just like you may have outgrown me.  I was too loyal to let go.  But my growth as a person outweighs my loyalty.

I’m ready for spring now, and the adventure that awaits for me there.

Facebook Cleanse.

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I’ve always harped on how much I hate Facebook, yet somehow, I always get sucked into it.  I hate it for multiple reasons and I gripe about it all the time.  I hate the emo teenagers who post statuses about how much their life sucks because the store ran out of Orange Juice.   I hate the adults who use their statuses to gripe about people who have done them wrong.  I hate the newlyweds who are “so in love with their hot spouse” and are 5 seconds close to detailing their intimate secrets of the boudoir.  I hate those people who travel all over the world and do amazing things, because they make me hate myself and my life even more.  Or people who post some political BS that clearly sounds insane (but to the crazies, it’s not, I guess).  I hate everything about it.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided I was going to make Facebook what I wanted it to be; what it was SUPPOSED to be.  A social networking site.   At my highest, I was at approximately 450 friends.  Today, I am at 159.   Yes, that’s right, I deleted close to 300 “friends”.  Why, you may ask?

Because the truth of the matter is, they weren’t my friends.  These aren’t people who I want to keep in touch with.  These aren’t people who I want to know about.   I hate that Facebook forced me to invest in people, whether they knew it or not, and what do I get in return?  Self-loathing.  And the other thing is, that none of those 300 people will even notice that I don’t exist.   (Blogger Note: To make sure they didn’t see I deleted them, I also blocked most of the 300, there were some that I wanted to make sure they knew I deleted them).  

Can I tell you how much better I feel?

I feel like a whole ton has been lifted off my shoulders.  I don’t have a care in the world.   The people I’m friends with are all fellow educators, so my statuses are all about school or being tired, and I don’t feel like I’m trying to keep up with the Joneses.   I also kept a few relatives, although some of them are on the verge of also getting cut out.  And, of course, I’ve kept friends that I actually like and want to be associated with.

No fuss. No drama.

Facebook has actually become BORING.

And I LOVE it.

I highly recommend all of you do some “spring cleaning”.  Why keep people in your life that don’t add to your existence?  Who don’t increase your worth as a person?  Who aren’t invested in you half as much as you are in them?   Why keep people who you don’t share the same ambitions as you?

For YEARS, I was so worried that people would label me a bitch, a diva, or selfish — so I always tried to appease everyone.  Even then, I was labeled a bitch, a diva, and selfish.  Well, screw that!  I have every right to be a bitch, a diva, and selfish.  Because after YEARS of bending over backwards for people, for nothing, I have a right to choose who I want to keep around me and who I want to be rid of.

Peace out, all 300 of you.  I never knew ye.  And now you’ll never know me.

A Letter.

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Dear 19-year old Me,

I thought of you recently and re-lived some things that you are going to encounter. Some of the stuff is funny and some aren’t. Most of it you will learn lessons from right away, some you’ll only learn years later. Which is why I write this to you now. There was one incident that I remembered and I want to tell you about, so when you sit in your  room at night, staring at your ceiling, wondering why people treat you this way, you’ll understand.

There will be a time where you will go to someone’s house, because your friend, S, wanted to go. You aren’t comfortable with the idea of going cause this person is not a friend of yours. But, I know that you just want to prove that you are as good and loyal a friend as this person is to S. You’ve always battled with feeling inferior to others – you weren’t as fun or rebellious, and not because you couldn’t be, it just wasn’t In your nature. As you get older, you’ll realize that your role in S’s life was never as close a friend as you held her to be in your own. I know it’s hard for you to grasp that now. But that’s why I want to warn you about this incident.

When you arrive at the house, you’ll hang out and try to be a part of the conversation. They’ll share inside jokes and you’ll force a laugh, like you know what they mean. They’ll talk about the crazy things they did together, and you’ll start to feel like a loser because you couldn’t relate. As the evening goes on, S and her friend will leave you in the living room, while they go into the room.  For hours, she will leave you alone with people you barely know. People are wondering who you are or why you were even there. Looking back now, I wonder if S didn’t want you to come at all. What if she felt like she had to babysit you? I remember how you felt sitting there, as people walked in and out of the house while you just sat there — unnoticed and forgotten, awkwardly watching something on tv. I remember how you felt when you asked to go home, and she made you feel like crap because you wanted to cut her night short.

This won’t be the first time she does this. She’ll do it again, except this time you will be on a trip out of state – for what you thought would be a bonding trip — but actually that’s when you should have said goodbye.

The relationship you had couldn’t withstand the test of time. But, oh, how desperately you cling to it, hoping that the memories will be enough. But it isn’t. She won’t accept your honesty — although in her defense, you had a sucky way of sharing your honesty.  She wanted a friend that would accept all her choices no matter what. You wouldn’t be able to do that. And she won’t like it.  That heated conversation will change your relationship forever. What you thought you were expressing as love and concern for your friend, she misunderstood, and probably took it as you throwing her under the bus. And maybe you were. Maybe you were tired of your diminishing role and wanted to get her attention. Maybe, just maybe, you were tired of feeling like an itch she couldn’t get rid of. You didn’t want to get pushed out without a fight. And you got one. And she won. Sometimes, I wonder now, if she was always looking for a way to get you out, but just didn’t have the heart to. This time, you just happened to provide it.

But even despite all these red flags, you still hold on to hope that your friendship will be that of legends. You were inseparable. You believe that will remain true.

But it won’t.

Because the truth of the matter is, her expectation and definition of your friendship is far different than yours. You may consider her your friend, but she doesn’t you. You are a funny, chubby sidekick. You’re the “Waldo” to her “Eddie Winslow”. An afterthought. And if you stick around long enough you would be living in the shadow of someone else.

You weren’t meant for a shadow, beloved.

This is why you always fight these perplexing feelings about your friendship with her. That feeling you get where you wonder why she is so secretive around you, or so willing to leave you behind? Where you are left wondering why this didn’t seem deep and meaningful? That’s the red flag, beloved. The moment you start wondering and questioning someone’s role in your life,then you have to know your conscience is telling you to let it go.

You felt like the third wheel, because you were.  You felt out of place, because you were.  You are a round peg forcing yourself into a square hole.

And I want to try to stop you.  I want you to know the person you are.  That you don’t have to be angry at the world — the people around you don’t understand you because the dreams you have aren’t meant for them to understand.  And what they don’t understand, they don’t like.   You will never fit in with them.   You’ll never be the cool girl, you’ll never be the pretty girl, you’ll never be the girl that gets all the guys.

And that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay.

Because you’ll grow up to be an independent, strong woman. You’ll learn to define yourself based on your own findings not on other’s opinions.

And all those people you so tirelessly chase after and give pieces of yourself to?  They aren’t a part of your life now anyway.  Nope….not even her.   All gone.   Chalk it up to life, love, and other mysteries (Yes, that Point of Grace lyric is still valid in 2013).  You have grown up to see that those relationships weren’t feeding you.

Don’t give another piece of yourself to them.   You will be left broken, bruised, and battered.   They will return those pieces you have so loyally and willingly given them, used-abused-and worn out.   And while you sit and stare at those pieces, wondering how to put yourself back together, you will give up on yourself.   You will drown yourself in food and other unhealthy habits that destroy you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

And I want you to know, they’re not worth it.

They’re not worth the self-loathing, the pain, or the mutilation that you will put yourself through.  Beloved, you are not defined by your relationships.   You don’t need them to define you.   YOU define YOU.   You choose the trajectory that you want your life to take.

She will move on with her life, without you playing a part in it.  Be sad. Mourn the loss of what could have been. Then stand up, dust yourself off, and remember that every season must end and change. Learn what you can. Remember what you want.

And know that one day she will be on the other end watching the life she could have been a part of if she had just given you the chance to be her best friend.

Comfort Zones

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I have one year.

That’s the goal I have set for myself in terms of changing things and becoming more proactive about what’s happening in my life.  To keep myself accountable, here’s one of my goals:

I want to have met new, non-Indian (specifically people within my small community) people.

There was an interesting fact that I just uncovered this past weekend while I was talking with some friends.

When my parents had my sister, they were not around (in other words, bombarded) by the Indian community.  Sure, they had some Indian families and cousins around, but it was nothing like it is now.  They encouraged my sister to be friends with kids outside of the Indian community, and go to their houses to hang out.  She grew up with a healthy upbringing of becoming friends with other people, beside just Indians.

Then, my parents moved here.

They moved here for the sole purpose to be around more Indians.

And, boy, did they get that.

Currently, in my parent’s housing edition alone, there are at approximately 10-15 families within walking distance.   2 of which live directly across the street from them.  My cousins live two streets away, while three other families live in a neighborhood across the street.

Yeah.  So, you can imagine how differently I was brought up.

I grew up thinking that I should ONLY be friends with Indians.  When I was young, I was allowed to play with my neighborhood friends, but to go to their house?  Hell no.   Sleepovers?  Not unless they were our cousins or my Indian best friend from church.   All my life I carried that with me.   So while my sister has easily made friends outside of the community, and struggled to find her place within the Indian community, I have easily made friends with the Indian community and struggled to make friends outside of it.  Even in college, I lived with the aforementioned Indian bff, hung out with Indians, went to church with Indians, and like Indian boys.   It wasn’t until I entered the workforce was I able to befriend people outside of the Indian community.  Granted, I had friends in college and high school, that was all good and well, but none of whom I could really call lifelong friends.  My sister has allowed me to tag along with some of her friendships that she’s made, but how long can that go on?  I feel like I’m Ramona while she’s Beezus and all her friends are Henry Huggins. Not that she, or her friends, have made me feel that way.  They’ve been nothing but kind and open towards me.   But I think I need to start standing on my own.

Now that I’m older, I feel like I’m drowning in Indian people. Not that they’re all bad, please don’t think that.  I know the more you read my blog, the more you’ll think that I hate my culture or hate being Indian, which both couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I am, in fact, VERY proud of my culture and VERY proud of being an East Indian woman.  But, I’ve grown up in this smaller subculture of Indians all my life and the people within this community can be very…..stifling. Suffocating?  Overbearing?   Cliquey?  Judgmental? …. all of the above.

So I’m forcing myself to get out of it.    images

One way I’m doing that is by joining a Book Club here in the city.   I tried to figure out how I could meet people and make friends — and after beating my head, refusing to befriend coworkers (that’s a whole ‘nother soapbox), and even GOOGLING it (yea, I sure did), I finally came across a meetup of avid readers.   So in a couple of weeks, I’ll be meeting up with random women to discuss a book (that I still need to finish).

I’m nervous.  I’m uncomfortable.  I’m worried.  I’m really anxious.  But, I need to do this.  I have to try.  I can’t keep whining about not having friends and not having opportunities to meet new people if I don’t put myself out there.

What’s the worse that could happen?  I don’t meet anyone interesting?  I don’t like the book club?   At least I can’t say I never tried.  Trust me, since RSVP’ing to the meetup, I’ve tried to come up with several excuses about getting out.  But if I keep doing that, I’ll never do it.  I don’t want to be here, six months from now, making excuses about my life.

Add or Subtract

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A big lesson I’ve been learning, especially in the last 6-7 months, is about the quality of friendships.

For most of my life, I’ve looked at my life and considered myself “fulfilled” when I had a LOT of people in my life.  I always looked at the quantity of friends I had, never thinking about the quality of it.   It wasn’t until a season in my life where, literally, my only friend was my sister.  The people I had surrounded myself with had all gone on with their lives, or had found other people to hang out with, so my sister and I (who share lots of mutual friends), were sort of left by the wayside.   Back then it was a hard thing to go through, but now, looking back, I can say that I am glad that it happened.  I don’t think those friends “left” maliciously, it was a part of growing up that we had yet to experience.   Unfortunately, we experienced it all at once, at the same time, and it hit us like a ton of bricks.

After that season of our lives, my sister and I learned to become a lot more meticulous about the people we chose to surround ourselves with.  Although there were people I wish we never encountered, it was necessary for us, because it was just another lesson learned.   But we never prided ourselves on having “LOTS” of friends.  We were just looking for a few GOOD friends.

Now, the lesson I’m learning is, even with a few GOOD friends … are these the people I want to surround myself with?  Are these the people who will be down with me for the long haul?  Do I see myself growing old with them?  Having them over for play dates with our kids or dinner dates?  Are these the people who will come over when something tragic happens?   Are they the ones that will pinch hit for my family and I when we need them?  Are they the ones that will be praying for us and defending us?   I think about that a lot.   Not just what they’ll do for me, but what am I willing to do for THEM?   What makes this harder is that the “friends” I have now are in a completely different season in their lives.  They’re either married, getting married, have kids, pregnant, or dating someone who all of those things will happen with.  I, on the other hand, am not even in the same time zone as those areas of my life.  I feel like I lack anything in common with them now.  I can’t relate to them.  And they can’t relate to me and what I want for myself. So, unfortunately, my questions are going unanswered.

With unanswered questions, comes lots of feeling of being unfulfilled.  I am grateful for the friendships that I’ve made along the way, but a part of me longs for friendships that are challenging, uplifting, and encouraging.  Not that the friends I have weren’t those things — they were — THEN.   But in this exact place in my life, I don’t feel that way anymore.   I find myself asking, every time someone comes into my life, “Is this person adding or subtracting to my life?”   I’ve had too many “friends” who have subtracted from me, too many that I gave my all to, and never reciprocated and I”ve had too many “friends” that never really added anything, even though I convinced myself they did.

So, here I am at 29 and 7 weeks til I’m 30, still looking for my inner circle.

Now taking applications.