A Second Wind

October 26, 2009

Life ain’t so bad, kids.

Ever since I started subscribing to the church of Rev Run, I’ve been living by his “no risk, no reward” policy. Even my therapist endorsed it, as I am not much of a risk taker, and in plainer terms, a wuss. So I’ve been pushing myself further. I’ve honestly taken more risks in the last year than in my entire life. These last six months, since hearing the holy words of the Rev, have been particularly risky.

Those closest to me will say I have grabbed the bull by the horns, instead of the typical “there’s nothing I can do about this” attitude that I used to take. I’ve almost pulled a 180 – going from “helpless” to “overcontrolling.” But there is a middle ground, a sucessful one at that. And the risks that I have taken – the choices I have made to determine my own path – have proven sucessful so far. The only one that has failed (probably the most important one) is my risks in my employment. While I do not talk about my specific work in this forum, I will say that I have taken risk in my decision to not settle for a job that makes me unhappy or making HUGE networking risks in an attempt to find something out there that is inspiring for me. The job market is particularly horrid at the moment, and I’m still the little duckling that hasn’t just jumped into the water (believe me, I’m completely aware how fortunate that makes me) but a certain part of me has earned this time to figure it out.

I’m throwing myself to the wolves, guys. I’m trying to put my best foot forward and throw myself at any potential I can see sparkling from miles away… While a part of me just wants to quit and give up, the other is still cheering me on… weakly, like tried to start a slow clap and failed, but is cheering nonetheless.

I may threaten, but when I QUIT, when I really quit all of it, you’ll know.

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I’ve been stressed out lately. It’s not for any reason in particular, just that fate doesn’t seem to have me in mind this week. I had a pretty serious blow to my ego the other day and I’ve got a lot on my plate socially (when all I want to do is crawl under my comforter and stay there forever), For someone who seriously lacks in the self-confidence department, having this one blow up in my face was quite a devastating event… there are few things I am confident in, and this generally was not one of them, but in this case, I felt as if I had done well, and I was looking forward to a positive result.

Instead I got silence. And that, to me, reeks of failure.

There that whole “no news is good news” scenario, but not hearing back after an important interview can’t be good news. I feel as if I’ve lost a bit of my balance and direction, and no amount of social distraction is apparently going to compensate for that. Wallowing alone in my room doesn’t seem to help either (I’ve been playing Plants v. Zombies in a serious attempt to forget that I live in the real world) and I seem to have fallen out of the loop with a lot of people – friends whom I consider to be closest with have gotten bogged down in their own worlds with their own social engagements and their own professional endeavors. I am still feeling like I’m the only one that has no idea what I’m doing.

Everyone is doing their best to cheer me up. Even the people that don’t understand how my brain works the way it does. A slap to the face is a slap to the face. If you want to help, just make me laugh. Or hide me in a really dark room with a comforter; I’ve fallen asleep (sober!) on a hardwood floor before and I’ll do it again. I don’t want to emotionally eat. I’m not in the mood to be coddled. I would just liked to be distracted or secluded. I’m itchyscratchy.

Last night I figured out that I changed but you stayed the same. It’s refreshing to know that maybe it wasn’t me who couldn’t grow up.

Young People with Babies

October 15, 2009

Something I’ve noticed recently is the large number of young couples with babies in Williamsburg. Twenty-somethings pushing strollers with babies wearing ear-flapped brightly colored knit hats and rocking nike high tops or moccasins that cost more than my breakfast, lunch, and dinner combined. Hipster babies. Marshmallow babies. Babies with better wardrobes than mine, and most of the people I know. Who are these parents, and why are they pumping out chillins so young?

I’ve always acted older than I am. I’ve always associated with people older than myself and have found that I relate to them better than say, people younger or my own age. You would think that in living in that mindset that my biological clock would be all fucked up as well. Surprise. It’s not… right? Are my expectations for when I should be married and start a family unrealistic? Am I looking to the new “Williamsburg Dream” of pumping out a family of graphic designers, journalists, and fashion interns?

The one man in my life I ever saw myself having children with saw eye to eye with me on when we would have children. It was a frightening conversation we had actually had… discussed. As odd as it was, I had come to the conclusion that I wanted children before 30. I wanted to have them at an age so that when they were set free I could still really enjoy them… keep up with them. Possibly relate to them more because I will remember where I was at their age.

But that man isn’t around anymore. That boy isn’t around anymore. And that idea floats lifelessly around a lack of love letters and photographs… a life that almost didn’t exist because there is no physical evidence. I’m not sure if who I was then is the same person I am now.

What if I’m supposed to be on an adventure? What if I’m not supposed to have children at all? Let’s face it, I lack patience for most children. I was never a baby sitter, camp counselor… I was an older sister, but man, I didn’t really begin to have a relationship with my brother until he was in high school… until we were living in different states, different worlds with a common theme. I’ve come to terms with the fact that maybe I’m not meant to have children. Maybe I’m one of those random people that was mean to have a cat and maybe a true love; one that I would never love my children more than. Maybe I’m not supposed to have any of it at all. I feel like I lost what sort of life I wanted to design for myself, if I had the power to design it at all. Lately, I question if I know what’s best for myself.

Last night, I met an amazing woman. She’s the type of woman I wish I could be: confident (like TRUELY confident), interesting, funny, caring… sure, I possess some of those qualities, but I by no means hold them to the level that she did. I asked her about her children, specifically her older daughter, who happened to go to high school with a close friend of mine from college.
“She’s amazing.” She gushed. She told me what a complete person she was. How everything she did was just full of magic and life. I remember saying to my friend “I hope my mother talks about me like that.” And it occurred to me, yeah, she probably does.

I’m living this extreme life – flying by the seat of my pants in New York City… young, adventurous, and unwilling to fail. The way people talk to me after hearing about me from her kind of says it – they listen in awe as I spill juicy details of life in the big city. What a lucky, amazing life I lead. That’s what my mother always says: You have a pretty great life.

And I do. I really do. I am so fortunate to have what I do and the opportunities that I get. And sometimes I forget that I should be living in this moment, thinking less about what or where I’m supposed to be in my life, because maybe I’m not meant for any of it at all. Maybe I’m going to die in some horrific subway accident and it will all be over before I get a chance to live out anything I’ve ever thought I’d have. I discard this assumption I’ve made about my future, and demand that I live right now, without expectation and without fear that I won’t be where I want to be.

Yet, regardless of what I thought there may or may not be, there’s a tiny tiny TINY voice inside my head that says “I can’t wait to tell people how amazing my daughter is one day.”

I’m in a weird mood these days. A state somewhere between pure elation and a incapacitating stress-case that crawls in one ear and out the other. It makes me itchy – to sit still – to try to watch the blinking lights on a switch board and make lists of all the things I should be doing with my time.

You’ve got to…
You’ve got to…
You’ve got to…
Over and over. I cant stand the sight of an unchecked checklist. Just like I can’t handle having unread emails in my inbox, or looking at lonely produce in the fridge that I know I’ll never eat.

And everyone is telling me not to stress. Not to worry about all the things I feel I need to do. “You can do them next week,” they say, and sure, I can do them next week, but that means I look, I visualize an unchecked list. I could go on and on about why I think that I’m the way I am – needing to get things done immediately – call it grooming, conditioning, if you will. I create a serious level of expectation for myself in terms of performance, and I strive to live up to it. If I can’t reach my short term goals quickly, how will I ever get around to the long term ones?

Yaaaaaah. What a mess. I’ve got so much to do and so little time.

In happier news:
I figured out the way to keep myself from scratching the mosquito bites on my hands is by covering them in bandaids. With all of the bandages on my right hand, it looks like I kind of got in a fight with a pair of shredders or scissors or something.

Been working at Partizan this week. It’s been kind of fun to be back… this place is so familiar, but so foreign – like I know where they keep the pens and file folders, but it’s been forever since I’ve filled out a purchase order or balanced petty cash.

I’ve got a cool job interview Thursday that if offered, I’m not sure if I’ll take, but the opportunity sounds really cool. I feel like kind of an idiot walking into it, but I’m gonna put my best foot forward and give em the ol “Natalie owns the room” trick, through a webcam, because believe it or not, I’m having an interview in New York with the New York AND London office, via webcam. HOW CRAZY IS THAT? I love it. Fun. Scary. Oh GOD I’m a bit terrified.

Back to work. I think I need a cookie and some theraflu.

I am so nervous, I could vomit.

And I’ve got until next Thursday to feel like this.

Everybody please distract me in the meantime, and, if possible, speak to me in French only.

Merci beaucoup. Je serai mort.

I’m not a fan of Splenda. It scares me, actually. The idea of adding more chemicals to something that is already not so great for me ain’t the smartest move, you know? Let’s get real: I ain’t the healthiest horse in the stable. There are days where I justify a can of coke as a meal (eeeeee) or, GOD, totally hit up McDonalds (Shut up, I love reliving my childhood.) Yeah, sure, I’m filling my body with toxins, but something with a scary name like SPLENDAAAAA makes me quake in my boots. I feel like I’m voluntarily adding a packet of MSG to everything I eat. And I just used a Flavia machine. That scares me too. Flavia machine, Splenda… GOD WHAT’S NEXT? SOY MILK?!

I made a very important, yet difficult, trip to ikea the other day. I pushed through, after about 4 hours of sleep the night before, and rode the G train down to 9 Streets station. I blame myself, really, in the past where I’ve insisted on taking a car or that one time I took the B61 bus or whatever; the car costs $15 each way (if I call my main man, Gerry) and the B61 bus takes an hour and a half. Ugh. Gag me.

But this time I took the train. It took maybe 30 minutes (tops!) and then it was a short walk in the sunshine over to ikea – I even saw Heather Graham shooting a movie and DAYAMNNN she’s pretty hot in person. I went into ikea with a game plan… I had picked everything out online – measured it already – and created a shopping list that I emailed to myself, printed out, and took into the store… it already had all the warehouse information on it already, so I got to skip the maze that is the showroom and march straight back to the flat packed boxes that are far too heavy and should be considered illegal. It occurred to me that maybe I needed some book ends (the bookshelves I bought are kind of open ended and sometimes the books don’t want to stay in) so I busted through the marketplace and tried to find bookends.

Why am I always surprised when nobody in ikea knows where ANYTHING is? I spent the next 45 minutes scouring the marketplace section, and almost gave up… I decided this was my trip to ikea, and I needed to make it work, so I marched right up to the show room, found a book end on a bookshelf (it looked really good!) and asked someone where I could find it in the marketplace… After several more minutes of wandering looking for a sales associate, navigating the maze AGAIN, and getting back to home organization section, I found the book ends, all together in one section, and hated every single one. I bought six of the cheapest and figured I’d return them if they didn’t work out right – worst case scenario. I headed back to the warehouse, couldn’t find my shopping list, attempted to find it on my cell phone, and then found it tucked into the back of my shirt (?). I drove my pallet cart through the aisles, knowing EXACTLY where I was headed, found my shelves (easy) and then the drawer sets, which, surprise, weighed at least 75 lbs a piece.

I have definitely effed up my body trying to move that ish.
After a long wait in line – I definitely picked the one where the credit card reader was having an attitude problem – I called a car and went downstairs to wait for it… there was no way I was taking one of the cars already waiting down there… those punks will charge you $40 a ride… I sat out in the cold (I wore a tshirt and vest, smart move, nat) and waited for the car. 45 minutes later it arrived, slightly irritated because it was waiting for me in the bus lane (when I specifically stated I’d be at the taxi drop off) and proceeded to drop one of my drawer sets on the latch of the trunk, completely shattering several of it’s pieces. GREAT.
I promptly returned inside and stated I had purchased it without noticing it was damaged – this isn’t exactly a lie because for all I knew, it was damaged already, however, I still blame the driver. I got it exchanged, but it took another 30 minutes and by the time I escaped ikea, it was rush hour, and it took me 45 minutes to get home. Sigh. When I got back to my apartment, I had to haul everything up the flight of stairs by myself, which was just stupid. Absolutely stupid. I started dismantling some of the boxes, hoping if I took out some of the pieces, they would weigh less and be easier to carry. Even when I split the boxes in half, it was still excruciating, and I ran up the stairs trying not to pass out. After 6 or so trips, I collapsed on the floor, ripped off all my clothes, and started putting furniture together.

It occurred to me, as I sat sweating in my underwear with the fan on full blast, that I have a gift: putting together Ikea furniture. I think I should start some sort of assembly business, that for an extra $50 or something, I’ll put it together in my underwear. I think I’d need a body guard, but everybody wins, I suppose. I should ask my mom about this – she’s very business savvy sometimes 😛
Furniture assembled, I began to destroy my room… I got rid of a lot of stuff – which is always hard for me to do – and I think my room looks MUCH better. People who come see it might actually think I’m a tidy person. Little do they know…

But okay, here’s what grinds my gears: after all that hard work, and the reward of my room looking off the heeeeezyyyyy, I am incapable of moving. My back is so sore that lying down even hurts. My butt and upper thighs feel like I was kicked by a horse, several times. And my arms, holy balls… my upper arms are just laughing at me screaming “Natalie YOU JOKE YOU CANT CARRY THAT ISH” while my wrists and right in the center of the palm of my right hand (where I pressed down with my palm to get maximum pressure on the screwdriver) hurts like the dickens. My entire body hates me. A lot.
I think that’s where my entire ikea story was going – how much pain I’m in and how much I just want to go home and curl up and DIE. Thank GOD this coffee is kicking in or I’d definitely be a puddle on the floor.

There’s one more thing I want to address before I wrap this up:
This whole David Letterman thing. I like Dave, frankly, this whole “slept with an assistant” thing doesn’t really change the way I feel about him. I think the fact that everyone is up in arms about it and some people are calling for him to get fired… whatever. This ain’t the first time something like this has happened, and it certainly ain’t the last. I think everybody has got to keep in mind that it takes two to do the naked horizontal floor tango, and if he really paid for her to go to law school or whatever, everyone should be giving them both high fives and moving on. Sure, I feel bad for his wife, but I think at that time, she was only a girlfriend, and it was HELLA long ago. For all we know, they were going through a rough patch then. I give Dave props for coming clean and trying to move past it. I’m so on team Dave. Woot.

Alright, let’s make one thing clear from the start: last night was amazing. I am horrible with odd social situations, but with the wonderful miss Anna, I somehow turned last night into a debaucherous shit show. And it started with the patron shots (bad Anna) and the fucking stupid $30 card tab minimum and the actual felon on the roof that shared a delightful story about his trip to Rikers. Yes, it was such a ritzy place that it involved a massive minimum and somehow a dude that went to Rikers for getting in a fight with like 17 guys. (At least that’s what he said.) I told him I was a big fan of Law and Order and they’re always talking about Rikers so I’d love to hear about what it was actually like. Shit.

While a confidentiality agreement I signed keeps me from telling you the whole story, here’s a story from last night I CAN tell you, and it’s about my new Turkish friend Censa. (By the way, the way you say her name is not even close to how it looks.)
Anna and I were at the bar early. When people were milling around trying to decide which empty table to sit at and taking pictures out the floor to ceiling windows of the view from the top. We were bring watched (being the only two girls in the room at the time) and as crowds started to shuffle in, a very lonely looking Censa sat down next to us. Perched on the edge of the seat, I looked to Anna and said “Let’s befriend her.” Thinking that getting in with another group of people at the Rivington might score us some bottle service; yeah, okay, bad motivation, but I made up for it. We start talking to her and hear some HORRIBLE story about her long distance boyfriend who broke up with her to be with another girl and she’s going back to Europe and blah blah blah. Anna and I then promised this girl we would find her someone at this bar for her to make out with so she could rub it in long distance boyfriend’s face, and possibly gain a little confidence boost.
“You point out the guy,” I said, “and I’ll make it happen.”
An hour or so later into the night and we run into her again.
“Find one?” I said.
“That one is kind of cute.” She told me. She pointed out a pretty cute guy, one that I had even eyed earlier.
“Consider it done.” I said.
I marched straight up to the guy and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Excuse me?” I said. “Hi. You see my friend in the red boots over there?” The guy smiled and let out a little laugh.
“Yeah. Behind the pole?”
“Yeah! Well, she’s absolutely lovely and she thinks you’re really cute.”
“Oh really? It’s pretty dark in here. She’s probably wrong about that.” Eff. Not biting. I pushed harder.
“What? You’re adorable. I’m just saying, maybe keep an eye on her.” I winked and walked back to Anna and Censa, who looked like she was going to die.
“Don’t even worry about it.” I said. She proceeded to hike up her boobies, and walk back into the crowd.

We ran into Censa again a few hours later, who had made no love connection with this cute guy (he was SO cute), but I saw him at the bar, and Censa’s drink was low, so I pushed her to go stand next to him and order another drink. She got too shy, so Anna and I walked over with her, thinking if he recognized me (believe me, it was hard to miss me last night) he would see her and maybe say something.
Suddenly, I look behind me, and Anna is talking to the cute guy. Censa looks like she’s about to barf on my heels and I tell her to relax and order another drink.
Anna suddenly grabs me by the arm, and like some horrible dream I keep reliving, she pulls me aside and said the two most popular words about boys I think are cute:
“He’s gay.”

—-

There were a few things from last night I’m trying to forget, and I guess what happens at the Rivington is going to stay at the Rivington. Too bad Anna said we’re going back next Wednesday. (And I’m not so secretly looking forward to it.)

PS: Anna, I love you.

Snapshots

October 2, 2009

I’m a bit lazy to get too much into detail about things at this point because my brain is a little squirreled and I probably couldn’t tell you North from South anymore…

– There has been a SERIOUS lack of work for the past week. Yo film peoples, if you need a PA last minute (or even in general), I am SO there.

– Been working really hard on my art. Spent yesterday on a serious mission to find felt and did a pretty good job. Newest project is looking like one of the better ones I’ve produced in awhile.

– Saw Jason for lunch yesterday, which was crazy because sometimes we fall SO out of touch. But one of the things I love about my relationship with Jason is that we can fall off the planet for awhile and still meet up and have a great time catching up. It’s almost more fun if we’ve got shit to gossip about 🙂 It was funny to realize that for the first time in a long time, we were both in really good places mentally. Sure, we both have stressors (mine being the, oh, lack of income), but for the most part, we’re happy. I haven’t been able to say that in awhile.

– Had some sort of crazy ridiculous breakthrough with my therapist recently and then fucked it up going back to old habits. I think I’m clinically insane. Like, I’m making mistakes I’m not learning from, so I’m making the same mistakes again. I thought I had learned from them, but it appears instincts lead me elsewhere…

– Getting SUPER excited for the MJR retreat at the end of the month.

– I am getting constant bloody noses lately. I know, gross right? I think that thing that happens on Lost with the time jumps is happening to me. If I just like collapse and die one day from all the time travel, could somebody make sure to find a subletter so my roommate isn’t in a pickle? Thanks.

– I need another bookshelf SO bad. I’ve already picked them out from Ikea, I just gotta get my shit (and my moneys) together so I can buy themmmmm…

– I love that it’s fall and I finally get to wear a jacket. This snuggly weather is AWESOME.

– I feel like I have been doing a really great job recently of not spending money on superfluous things. That’s huge, considering I’m such a compulsive shopper.

– Might be going to visit lil bro this weekend. Might be the first time I drive on the East Coast. This is another situation where I might die, so someone take good care of my roommate… and my mom.

– I still think if you haven’t already you should check out THIS if you haven’t already. (And tell your friends… I’ve been “hired” to promote 😉

– I want breakfast.