dith.er

I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

Archive for October 2009

I Cry When I Think About Children’s Books

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the-little-engine-that-couldI thought about The Little Engine That Could the other day and I started crying. Let me explain . . .

A quote to start:

“To fail is a natural consequence of trying. To succeed takes time and prolonged effort in the face of unfriendly odds. To think it will be any other way, no matter what you do, is to invite yourself to be hurt and to limit you enthusiasm for trying.” – David Viscott

I am an emotional basketcase. But also . . .

I’ve experienced a lot of rejection this year. I’ve made what feels like an embarrassing number of missteps. I’ve experienced a lot of criticism. And felt dumb, a lot. The last few days I’ve been thinking about failure. What it means to fail? Mostly I’m trying to distance myself from the idea that failure is always a reflection of ability. Isn’t it the most natural thing in the world to assume that if you fail, either by error or rejection or just plain bad luck, that it means you, the total you, are a failure?

The other day my dad–whom I do not usually share my deep insecurities with and so would never know about my very real fear that I might already be a failure–and I were talking about my job hunt and potential for “success.” He said, “Even if you fail, you can’t give up.” Of course, he didn’t know that he was saying just the thing that I needed to hear. Or that I would apply it to all of the obstacles I feel up against right now. But it was, and I am.

I’m lucky to receive plenty of support from my friends and family in regards to my writing.  I get a lot of the “you can do it” sentiment flung in my direction. But it’s all too easy to think, “What if I can’t?”

My dad’s words offered an answer and reminded me that failure is not the marker by which I should measure whether I am able to accomplish something or not. I don’t think this particular struggle is going away anytime soon, but these brief moments of clarity are a nice relief from the unrelenting monologue in my head.

And I can’t wait until the day when I can say, “I thought I could.” Sooner rather than later would be best, of course.

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Written by ditheringmiss

October 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm

My Sign Can Suck It

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Mission Street around 3rd and 4th is a strange mish mash of high and low: Bloomingdales meets crackheads, suits meet partially naked people, etc. I know because I walk this gauntlet every evening on my way to the bus stop. My strategy: go to my happy place.

Walking the usual route, I was recently approached by a strange looking beatnik sorta fellow. He said, “I like your feet,” and pointed at my shoes.

“You like my feet?”

I was a bit perplexed. I was wearing a black dress, cream-colored tights and black pumps. My feet were not visible. But he kept pointing, and it dawned on me that it wasn’t my feet he liked, it was the way my feet looked with the tight/heel combo. Regardless, it was a strange thing to say. I offered an awkward thank you, and he stopped me again.

“Are you a Scorpio?” But he says it in a tone that implies that he’s positive I am. The feet reveal all, apparently. Only they don’t because I’m not.

“No. Gemini.”

“You like learning. You get bored easily.” He smiled. Wow, buddy. In all of my twenty-six years I’ve never managed to find out what my sign says about me. How thought-provoking of you to declare these two blanket statements about Gemini’s that no one has ever mentioned to me before.

I said, “You pegged me!” Then I offered a that’s-enough-of-this smile and turned away. I hate when people say stupid crap to me, and social grace requires I smile and nod, instead of saying, “you’re an idiot.” But what’s worse, all I could think about on the bus ride home is that I do get bored easily. I am not blessed with Gemini’s social abilities, but I’m lucky enough to get all her shitty bits. If you believe in that sort of stuff.

It’s been a curse since childhood. The boredom. How many times have I heard, “People who are bored are boring people.” I start projects, I get bored, and I never finish them. I get excited about something, and before it’s started, I’m sick of it. I hate this about myself. Although I’m much better at sticking with things now than I was as a child (only because guilt is a powerful motivator), I’m still plagued with boredom.

In fact, the one time I can count on not being bored is when I have the least to do (in life, not work, obviously). The luxury of time guarantees that I’ll find something to do that I actually care about, that the name of the game won’t be “how quickly can i get this over with?” [ed. note: Even reading this post over I feel bored.] So yea, I’m bored. It’s very possible that it’s because my youthful whims were too easily catered to, or because I was overstimulated by Growing Pains and Full House. But maybe, it’s my sign. I know. That stuff’s isn’t real. But sometimes I think it might be. If it is: dang it.

Are you cursed with any of your signs negative qualities?? Let’s commiserate. Entertain me!

Written by ditheringmiss

October 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm

On Being

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As mentioned, recently I joined a social/philanthropic club. To put it lightly, I’m not a “joiner.” I typically shy away from anything that might require talking to people I don’t know or being in a social situation I’m not familiar with. But an attitude like this, while creating a nice safety net, is not actually doing me any favors.

Regardless of how I may feel about the majority of people in the world (they suck), it’s important to be able to talk to people (even if I think they suck); in fact it’s the only way to make new friends. Fake introductory conversations are lame, but friendships are really important to me. If I must weed through all sucktastic people who bore the crap out of me in order to find all the good people in this crazy world, then that’s what I’ll do, because that’s how good I feel when I’m surrounded by people who are thoughtful, fun and give a damn about something other than themselves.

Thus, my entrance into the club is both an opportunity to break out my shell (as in, it forces me to) and to widen my small circle of awesome people. One can never have too many awesome people in their lives.

This is all well and good. We should all do the thing that we would “never do.” But there is a problem: breaking your candy-coated shell of being may just leave you with an identity crisis. If, let’s just say, you’re the girl who would never ever join a women’s social group, like you’ve stated this many times over the years and maybe even made a big stink about it in college when certain friends said they were joining sororities (“I would never buy my friends,” which may or may not be a direct quote), and then you end up doing the exact thing for which you shamed other people, it’s very confusing. You feel like a big, fat hypocrite, since that’s pretty much what you are. And you start to think, who the heck am I? This isn’t me. Or is it? What if this is me? Or what if I was right and it’s not, and now I’ve stuck this thing onto my identity and if I ever become famous the whole world will know?? Gah. The uncertainty is nearly debilitating.

Until . . .

I suddenly have a moment of clarity: It’s terrible to be a person only defined by one thing. I don’t want to limit myself to anything. I can be a joiner and an anti-social, sucky people hater all at once. I am unlimited. What a relief!

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October 7, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Metaphorically speaking . . .

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I took a stumble today. It seems to always happen just after I find my footing. I send my mom an email on Friday gloating about the happies of my little life, only to follow it up with a teary phone call on Sunday.

Me: Why does the world hate me so?

Mom: It’s nothing personal.

Me: So it does hate me?!?

This time it was about my car (if it’s not employment related, it’s the car, always). The long and short: I was towed. If you live in San Francisco with a car, then you know the terror that is getting towed. Not only is the fine obscene — you have to pay for both the ticket and a towing fee that at a minimum is probably around $400 — but the entire process is a total bitch. This lovely city is not known for her convenience.

Anyways, the whole thing was made more terrible by the fact that I knew it was coming. I woke up this morning with a feeling of utter dread, which always means something not-good is lurking. Sure enough, the car. Gone. I’d already been moping around and tearing up during a Fox Family showing of When Harry Met Sally, so when my mood was realized with the absence of the car, I sort of had a freak out moment. Mostly I cried; there were also expletives. And I may have said some ugly things about the Avon Walk for Life ladies whose event had led to the towing. Then I proceeded to feel sorry for myself. Hence, the phone call with my mom.

She says, you’ve had a bad run of things. But it’s the kind of stuff that goes in the “nuisance” category. No illnesses, deaths, major losses. Nothing you can’t recover from.

Nothing I can’t recover from.

It’s true. But that’s just it. I feel like I’ve been recovering. I’ve been shut down. I’ve had to reboot. And now . . . I’m at the point where you hear the machine whirring, but the screen’s blank, and it’s been blank just long enough that you’re not sure if your desktop will ever appear. And you’re wondering, did I lose everything? Why didn’t I backup?

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October 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm