Monday, September 19, 2016

Busy nothings

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”
- Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Wow! Where have I been?

The short answer to that is, "Absolutely nowhere." I've been busy, but I also have been doing nothing, which makes absolutely no sense.

Perhaps a more accurate explanation would be that I've been busy doing things that no one else would consider important. I'm not working and I'm not working out (yet - looking forward to going back to powerlifting next month!), but my daughter has started school, and I'm still trying to figure out what I want out of this new life, and that takes time and energy. Even though I have decided to take this giant pause in my life, the world is still spinning around me, and I have to make sure that I don't allow myself to spin off into nothingness.

As I've said previously, I feel a little aimless right now. I am someone who NEEDS to keep busy, even if it stresses me out to the max, because without all the routines and time schedules and responsibilities, I feel absolutely adrift. And I'm a little isolated here - I have Portland-area friends, but in truth, I'm not ready to be social yet. (I haven't even worn makeup in the last three weeks, if that gives you an idea of how not-myself I've been lately.) I've left the house mostly just to run errands, and otherwise, I'm just inside all the time. I know, it's not healthy, but my inertia has completely changed.

But like I said, I'm "busy" too - just, not busy doing anything of consequence. I'm trying to take advantage of this opportunity I've been blessed with to finally get to the things I've always wished I had more time to do.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Idyllic or just idle?

For me, actually "nothing" is quite impossible
I'm feeling antsy.

I told myself that this would be a good time to take time off, to let the dust settle and then figure out what I want to do with myself (whether that involves teaching or not), but the truth is, I have a very hard time sitting still.

I know that I have in the past overloaded myself to the point of stress tears and exhaustion, but in truth, I feel much better being overly busy.

Case in point: I am much more prone to bouts of depression when I'm injured/sick and can't work out or even leave the house. It was so hard for me to work full days and then show up at the gym or derby practice (or wake up early the next morning for a run), but if I'm being honest, that's when I was the least unhappy. I may have been exhausted beyond belief, but at least I felt like I was DOING something. I felt like I had some sort of purpose to my day.

At this point, we haven't even been here a month yet. We still have lots of unpacking and cleanup to do, and yes, I should go do that. But this whole "being unemployed" thing does not sit well with me. I know that any normal year, I would be at school right now (literally, right now - I'd be on campus at this particular second), wishing that it was still summer. Except that this year, I technically AM still having summer, but I can't shake this nagging feeling that I should be doing something.

I'm not complaining that I have nothing to do. I have LOTS to do, and I'm not bored. It's more like, nothing that I AM doing right now is satisfying my need to "serve a purpose," if that makes any sense. I've lived my adult life with this relentless need to fill up my calendar and push forward, and at the moment, I don't have any goals or endgames in mind, so my planner pages and my days feel a little empty.

I'm sure I sound like a jerk, and that there are a lot of people who would trade places with me in a heartbeat so that they can have a chance to relax and do nothing. I don't know what to say, other than I apologize for being a jerk, but I am profoundly unable to relax and do nothing, at least, for extended periods of time.

I'm even terrible at vacationing. My parents like to take relaxing tropical vacations fairly often, and I haven't joined them since I was a teenager, because after the first day, I get restless. Actually, it doesn't even take a full day - after about 15 minutes of sitting in a lounge chair, I have to get up and go walk around or explore or something. (And also, I don't like hot weather or direct sunlight.)

When I think back to any trips I've taken in the last five years, they've all been centered around athletic events or they have been to busy places like Disneyland. Even when I've come up to Portland over the last few years, I've had to jam-pack my days or else I would start to feel antsy. As much as I've complained about needing a breather, I honestly don't know how to sit down and breathe.

This is a rough space for me to be navigating right now. I'm uncertain of my future professionally and even athletically, and not having the pressure of work or training for an event is actually more pressure than having them.

So why don't I just find a job then? Why don't I find something to train for and start doing it? Believe me, I've been having fits of panicked job-searching. But I'm also trying to remind myself that I haven't even been here a month yet. We still have boxes to unpack. Jolie hasn't started school yet. I should take a damn breather and slooooooooow down. I know logically that I should treat this time as the blessing and the privilege that it is and take full advantage of the fact that I can take time off, but it's hard to change who I am, someone who has kept herself REALLY busy for the last decade, who has suddenly found herself in a whole new life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy Esther Day from the Pacific Northwest!

Happy Esther Day!!!

Esther Day, in honor of a young woman named Esther Earl, is a day to celebrate love - specifically, the non-platonic (read: non-Valentine's Day) love between you and your friends and family. I'm going to be honest and say that I always forget to celebrate Esther Day (because it's the day after my daughter's birthday, and I'm usually super pre-occupied with that), but I wanted to make a special point of celebrating it this year because we just moved from California to Oregon a week ago and now I am hundreds of miles away from the people I love whom I've been spending time with on a regular basis. 

Things have been hectic (which is why I haven't posted in a while), but I wanted to take the time to tell my friends and family back at home how much I love them and miss them. There's a lot that I love about being up here, but obviously there are things that I miss about the Bay Area, the biggest thing being my squad - my MANY squads, of people I know and love from work, from derby, from running, from powerlifting, from all the schools I have attended in my life, and of course, my family. 

I love you. I love you. I LOVE YOU. I unabashedly, unashamedly love you, from the very depths of my heart. 

I don't know who I would be without you. I don't know WHERE I would be without you. I am the luckiest person in the world to have such an amazing squad of friends, colleagues, and family. 

I have spent the last few weeks visiting people and saying goodbyes (to the best of my ability - I'm sorry that I couldn't see everyone!), and it never fails to astound me how many people are just... IN my life, who show up for me, who are there for me. Y'all are amazing, and you inspire me, and I LOVE YOU, and even though I'm far away, I'm going to try my best to be there for you too.

I love you, and I miss you, and I hope that I will get to see you again before long. Thank you for being a friend.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Looking ahead and looking behind

Source unknown
I know, it's been a while since I've posted!

Still here, still alive. I can't even claim to be too busy, since I'm on summer break right now, and if you're friends with me on social media, I've definitely been posting there. I guess I've been preoccupied? by a lot of other things.

So what have I been up to? At the time of my last post, I was in the middle of jury duty, and it was kind of an intense criminal case. Then I developed an eye infection and a really bad cold. And then I got better and went to Disneyland with two of my dear friends, a grown-ups only trip (since my trips over recent years have always been with Jolie). I've been reading and writing and knitting and sleeping and thinking a lot about the current state of the world and listening to Hamilton.

And now? We're two weeks away from moving. TWO WEEKS.

Am I excited? Totally. Am I nervous? Yup, definitely. Am I daunted by the sheer amount of THINGS that need to be packed up/thrown out/given away? ABSOLUTELY. I've been thinking about this in abstract for the past year, and now it's time to actually put things in motion. It's GO time.

At this point, I feel like what I'm looking forward to even more than Oregon itself is just finally taking the step forward. I feel like I've been living on the cusp for this past year (especially this past month), where things have to be halted and put on hold. A lot of things are up in the air for me right now, and lately I feel like I'm standing at the starting line for race, perpetually waiting for the gun to go off, but it just hasn't yet. Like, I've been holding my breath and waiting for an entire year.

Well, I only have two weeks more to wait, I suppose.

I've been trying to say my goodbyes and wrap up my business. Like, June was full of an onslaught of medical appointments, squeezed in before my work-covered insurance ran out. I'm trying to see as many friends as I can, visit as many of my favorite spots as I can, and just generally soak in California-ness before I go.

One thing I haven't been doing enough of is lifting. (Seriously, I apologize if you started following my blog or social media because of my lifting videos, and then got... nothing.) After my competition in March, I went straight into running because of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in May (and not doing much of either since), and this is pretty typical of the inner pushing and pulling that I feel, between these two sports, between past and future, etc.

The more I try to get back into the running, the more I've realized that I really am just not capable of it right now - not until I lose some weight to alleviate the impact on knee, not until I've fully internalized the fact that I just can't do high mileage runs anymore. I would love to be that person who says "Screw medical advice!!!" and actually proves them wrong, and maybe I actually CAN do that, but I can't do that and ALSO expect to be able to squat heavy. Right now, I HAVE to choose.

And I've decided that I'm going to choose lifting. Even if I do get around to losing weight, the truth is that my running trajectory has been capped - there's only so far I can go at this point (literally and figuratively), with the damage I've done to my knee. I'm never going to run a faster marathon (or even run another one, period). I'm probably never going to complete an ultra. I know I could try to improve my 5k and 10k times, but to be honest, those are not distances I'm interested in dedicating myself to. There's nothing wrong with them, and certainly there are AMAZING elite runners who stick to 5k and 10k races, but for some reason, my heart has always belonged to longer distances. It's just what I love.

But powerlifting... it's still new to me, and I feel like the sky is the limit. I don't feel like I've done nearly everything that I'm capable of in powerlifting, and it's exciting to think of how far I can go. I have this crazy idea in my head that I could compete at USAPL Nationals someday. (And maybe it's not such a crazy idea, because I think my last meet total, if I had done it at a sanctioned meet, would qualify me NOW.) Just to GO and compete would be such an amazing accomplishment, and I really think that I can do this.

Looking ahead, of course, I have already found a powerlifting gym near-ish to our new home that already trains lots of competitive lifters, so all I need to do is, you know, GO...

But we still have two more weeks. And so, I'm still holding my breath. Waiting.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Let me tell you about Jimmy.

I talk about a lot of aspects of my life, but one thing I generally refrain from talking about much is my long-time relationship with my boyfriend/the father of my child, Jimmy. Mostly, it's to respect his privacy. He's a very private person, even more so than I am, and I know he would not appreciate my sharing every little detail of our relationship on the Internet. But it's Father's Day, and I have let many Father's Days pass without talking about this person who has been central to my life for so long, so I'm going to do that now.