Category Archives: Psychobabbling
I started a new job recently.
I’m incredibly grateful for it. It’s been a bit since I’ve had a meaningful job. This job could really be something. Not only is it in my field (marketing) it’s working for an organization I whole-heartedly support. It’s awesome, but it’s also new. Newness scares me. New means unfamiliar. New means uncertainty. New means unknown expectations. This generally sends me into a frenzy of perfectionism wanting to know everything I can before I can move forward. I let it make me a micro-manager and doubt. Not a good space. Read the rest of this entry
The other day I was teasing Jordy that he was silly. The very first response out of his mouth, through the laughter, was “I’m not silly, I’m awesome.”
I just laughed it off. After all, Jordy does not have a problem with his self-esteem. He is a star and he’ll tell you so. But later I was telling Mike, my brother/Jordy’s dad, about it and he said something that has stuck with me. He said, “Don’t you wish we had the sense to do that in our lives, to refuse to accept what other people say about us that isn’t what we know to be true.”
She was a princess and duchess. She lived in the palace with the Queen of England. She had her prince. She had a fairytale life.
Sarah Margaret Ferguson seemed to have it all. But she lost it and for the past 15 years she’s known more for scandal than being royal – topless photos, a divorce from her prince, ballooning and shrinking weight, amassing large amounts of debt, and trying to sell access to her former husband, Prince Andrew.
How could that happen? How could someone squander away their royalty, be so gullible, lost and seemingly crazy? It doesn’t make sense.
My cousin Lacey suggested a show for me on Hulu called Being Erica. The story is about Erica Strange, a 30-something highly-educated, underemployed, single, frustrated woman who doesn’t know what to do with her life. Sound familiar. Yea, I thought so. No wonder why she thought I’d like it.
Erika is stuck in one dead-end job after another. After getting fired, again, her family subjects her to yet another “pep-talk” that goes no where. It just makes her more frustrated, she knows she’s in a rut. She knows she should be more. She knows her life isn’t working. She even goes as far as jumping out of her bedroom window to get away from their “encouragement.”
However upon her escape she meets a therapist who says he can help her find herself and fix her regrets, “results guaranteed.” Since she has nothing left to try she gives in. But she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into. This isn’t ordinary talk therapy. This “therapist” has the ability to send her back in time. She gets to and has to relive pivitol moments of her life that got her where she is today. Yikes, can you imagine. There are part of my life I do not need to see in 3-D again.
I do love stories about time travel. There is something romantic about it. It also gives a sense of redemption. When you can go back to right what went wrong, gain understanding and clarity, you can recover what you lost and find a new perspective on yourself. For Erica, going back as an adult helps her see what was going on that she couldn’t see with her childish eyes and heart. Sometimes the choices she made the first time around are validated and it gives her more confidence.
I think that was the first thing I learned from her. One of her big regrets in college was whimping out of the intiation to join Literati, a secret society on campus. She was one of the few asked to pledge that year and after a brutal first assignment, requiring her to trash the competition in a verbal assault, she felt uncomfortable and left. She saw it as a failure that prevented her from getting ahead in her life. Erica thought if she could go back and go through with it she’d have more options.
So Erica went back to the day of her invitation to join and got to re-write her history. She was ready to kill in the first and all other rounds of initiation and she did. She made it. She was in. Then she learned that Literati published an unofficial slam paper everyweek and to stay in the group she had to dig up dirt they could publish.
Fixated on future goals she did, on her best friend’s girlfriend, knowing it could destroy her relationships. She became the worst version of herself to fit in with them. So for the second time she decided to quit Literati. Her instincts were right. She wasn’t meant to be a part of that group. It wasn’t going to help her become who she wanted to be.
Quitting twice didn’t radically change her life. She was still stuck but more sure of herself. It gave her confidence that she was true to her values and her beliefs. This also ties into the notion that there is a story God is weaving through our lives. The choices we make contribute to or distract from that story. How in touch with are with this narrative really depends on how in touch we are with God and ourselves.
That seems very philsophical but it really helped me take stock in my life in a different way. I have lots of regrets and wonder what I missed out on because of choices made. But if I could go back and re-do it would I end up making the same decision again? Maybe, maybe not.
But if I look at a string of decisions I’ve made. a picture does emerge about who I am and what I want. Sometimes the picture isn’t pretty, in my 20s it drove me to therapy. In my 30s what emerged was more of my true self, I was becoming more of who I wanted to be. Now the hard part is to stay true to my convictions and to have the courage to take necessary risks out of the new found sense of security.
I’m watching all three seasons of Being Erica, so I see more lessons forthcoming.
In many ways I viewed coming back to Southern California, coming home. This is where I lived for 15 years. This is where my closest friends are. This is where I feel most like me. In essence this is where I grew up. This is where they have wonderful non-chain restaurants.
Yet, coming back has been wonderful and more difficult than I thought. A lot has happened in the last two years. I’m not saying you can’t go home again, but I wasn’t prepared for the adjustment.
Ah yes adjustment, that could be why I keep dreaming of fake weddings which are ironically about death, the end of an era so to speak. That is definitely the case for me.
Coming here is a great new beginning, not just a continuation of the life I longed for while I was in Ohio. That life is over. Friends move on, get married, have babies, move away, or you just have less in common. It happens.
So this is a new beginning. With new beginnings comes awkwardness, uncertainty, fear, exhilaration, nervousness, and risk. Yet there is also much anticipation for what will be and what I am becoming.
One of the great things about this time, before I find a job, is that I am having a chance to reconnect with people that weren’t as big a part in my old life. I had coffee with a friend I haven’t seen since college. It was great. I’m also meeting new people and am actually going to church. I’m having a chance to reconnect with God, outside of the bubble that is my family and all of the baggage that entails. I like it when its just me and God. I am finally able to reconnect with his love for me. I couldn’t feel it there for a while.
All of this means that I am slowly getting back to me and coming back alive. I feel like I’ve been sleeping, surviving, and enduring, that is not living. I’m scared out of my mind about many things but I’m finally getting some traction and moving forward. I am grateful for this time of reflection, healing and rejuvenation. So much to process. So much to decide. So much to absorb. While I’m starting to worry about finding a job, I know this time is sacred. I wasn’t ready to jump into a job when I first got here. I’m getting there.