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

Posts Tagged ‘Sadness

Lost: Knack

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Only two and a half years ago, I was at a job that I hated. Every morning was like waking up to the worst day of my life. I was queasy all the time; it was strange not to go a day without crying. It was like a bad Lifetime movie, only it didn’t end after two hours. It just kept going.

The self-pity was thick enough to spread. It was ugly.

But somehow, in the midst of all that, I was able to apply to grad school and start a blog (not this one). I wrote all the time — I wrote my blog at work (heh), and I scribbled in a notebook the rest of the time. And when a genuine writing job came along, I applied and got it.

I wish this is where the story ended. I wish that I could say, “See! See what happens when you follow your dreams and take a leap of faith!”

Unfortunately, life, which we know is no Lifetime movie, had other plans for me. Fine.

Here’s what I’m pissed about: I’ve lost my ability to write with abandon. I’ve lost my passion for blogging. I’ve lost my knack.

What I haven’t lost is the desire to write.

I think of it as — excuse the dramatic metaphor, but I’m in a mood — having a phantom limb. Even though the genuine article is gone, I can still remember what it feels like. In fact, the memory is so clear, sometimes I still try to use it, only to realize, for the 100th time, that it’s gone.

I’m tired of waiting for it to grow back. It’s time to learn how to stand on one leg.


Written by ditheringmiss

August 18, 2010 at 11:05 am

Posted in Writing

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How to be a stay-at-home girlfriend

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The past week has brought on a shift in mine and Mike’s relationship. This is how the last three years have gone down:

We both had jobs.

He became a stay-at-home boyfriend, while I continued working.

We both entered the dismal world of unemployment.

I got a contract job; he went back to being the stay-at-home boyfriend.

He’s working, and I am now (*shudder*) a stay-at-home girlfriend.

I know that there is at least one person reading this who’s thinking, “Gee, that actually sounds nice.” But the thing about being the one at home while your other half is out in the world is that a. you are bored and b. you are expected to do stuff, like domestic stuff.

Let’s look at this a bit more closely: One might suppose that if you’re bored, the natural thing would be to keep yourself busy with said “domestic stuff.”  It’s completely logical. Only it doesn’t work that way (at least not for me). Instead, you consciously avoid cleaning, cooking, errands, and then, then the guilt sets in. Now you’re not only bored, you’re lazy and guilt-ridden. And it’s really dawning on you why your parents always told you how important it is to establish your independence, particularly as a woman.  And you’re thinking that you never thought you’d be here at 26, but you’re like, “Where did I think I’d be?” And the truth is you have no idea, because you never really thought this far ahead. And then you might, if you’re in a particularly sad mood, start wondering if you’ll ever be able to get married or have children, because right now it doesn’t seem like your life will ever provide you with the stability, financial or otherwise, to make either of those things logistically possible.

It’s a classic case of the I-Suck-Spiral .

Only this particular spiral is a tad schizophrenic, because in the next minute you decide to blast your iTunes and have a solo dance party in your living room just because you can. And you think, I am alive.  And you think, what does stability provide me anyways? A false sense of security? And you’re reminded of the Madeline L’Engle quote you heard last night:

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability . . . To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

So maybe you already are the grown up you’re simultaneously terrified of becoming and not becoming. And maybe you need to get off your ass, get dressed and go through the motions of living until you get it down. And while you’re at it, try forgiving yourself because at least you are aspiring, which is more than you can say for most people, and remind yourself that you are loved. You are lucky.

There is still hope for you, yet.

Written by ditheringmiss

January 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

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A year ago at this time things did not seem so good. Any illusions I’d had of having my life together had completely vanished. I  made a vow to myself then that if things weren’t different in a year I would do something drastic. But then a month went by and two and three and now it’s a year later and it seems nothing has changed. But of course, something has because I feel different, completely so and not different at all, too.

Sometimes I feel like every door has been slammed shut in my face, while others seem to find endless doors to walk through. Wide-open windows they jump through without looking, only they don’t fall. They fly. I see them from my spot on the ground, where there are only windows you can’t open and doors with great big dead bolts.

Sometimes I find a crack in the door. If I take a chisel and hammer to it I can bust it open, make a hole just wide enough to look through, to see what’s on the other side. It’s the best view I could ask for, even if it is only a view.

And sometimes, when the air is just so, and the right song is playing, and my chest feels full in a way I can’t put into words, I feel like the luckiest person I know. And that’s why I won’t be any making drastic changes this year–life makes enough of those without my help anyways.

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living ev’ry day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

from Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now


Written by ditheringmiss

December 10, 2009 at 6:00 am

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.

Written by ditheringmiss

October 20, 2009 at 9:50 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?

Written by ditheringmiss

October 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm


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I’ve never had my own dog. I begged my parents my entire childhood, literally, and they never gave in. Then, when I was fifteen, my mom rescued a dog and gave her to my seven year old brother. Her name was Kitty. She quickly became mine, or at least more mine than anyone else’s.

Imagine a dog with the triangle face and sweet brown eyes of a black Lab, but with the short legs and long body of a Basset Hound. That was Kitty. She was an awkward looking mutt, but her eyes, they were dearly expressive. Many people claim that their dog is the best.

I won’t make such claims.

Kitty wasn’t the most well-behaved, the best trained, the smartest, the most active, or the cutest, and she was painfully stubborn. But . . .

she had the heart of Saint. Truly.


As my mom said, “our family lost a great soul.” And we did.

At fifteen years old Kitty had to be put asleep on Friday afternoon. I would like to say that it was peaceful. I would like to believe that she was happy in those final moments. But the truth is she suffered. Her last few days were dark. She was very sick, and unbeknownst to my family, she was also in an extreme amount of pain.

I am relieved that her trial is over, but knowing that she’s gone brings me no comfort.

I miss her so.

It seems strange and even silly that we can get so attached to pets. But they really do become family, don’t they?

via Jonathan Gill

Written by ditheringmiss

August 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Changes, Family, Thoughts

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