Cold Hearted

Sometimes I wonder if people can tell that I am not listening to them. This has always been a downfall of mine, but lately, I have noticed that I am not even aware that I am doing it until they’re done speaking. I usually nod in and out of the conversation, fully aware that I am daydreaming about other things, but I found myself zoning out just to think about nothing. The typical setting for a zone out would be a work meeting or a conversation involving multiple people, there is no harm really if I am not listening or participating, because its highly likely that there is someone else paying attention. Last week, I found myself staring blankly at a wall while my friend talked to me about coffee. I knew he was speaking directly to me, we were the only two people there, but all I was concentrating on was an empty spot on the wall behind him hoping he’d stop talking soon. I couldn’t keep my brain focused on what he wanted to say. I do it while people are venting to me, sometimes the things that people let ruin their day are so insignificant to me that I can’t actually hear what they’re saying. They can vent and complain and want me to empathize and I can’t do it, mostly because I don’t always agree, but also because I probably missed a few key points in their rant. My husband often comes home from work and dump a days worth or work complain on me daily, but the problem with this is often he complains about the same thing, there is only so much I can add every night to comfort him so I occasionally just stare at him until his lips stop moving.

 

I get it, this is fucked up. Everyone read those last few sentences and thought to themselves Wow, what a bitch. For the most part I am comfortable with that, because there will be a handful of people who will read that and understand completely what I am talking about, and those are my people. I would like to clarify that I understand that venting, complaining, decompressing at the end of the night, etc., is not about me. I know that my coworkers, friends and even my husband who are upset are not venting specifically to me because they need my wisdom and knowledge to fix their problems. They are venting, because that is how people cope. They need to let it all out so that they can feel better and move on. I suppose that is what the phrase “taking a load off” refers to. Sometimes all they need is for someone to say, “Yeah, I understand,” back to them, even if maybe they don’t understand. This allows people to build up, let out, move on and be happy/content or whatever. Human connection is crucial, I guess being a good listener or having someone to go to is a part of that. Personally, I don’t think I have ever craved that. There is something off in my wiring.

 

Despite what I am actually saying, I don’t mind that people see me as someone they can open up to. A majority of the time, I do empathize well and I am good at listening. I struggle when it’s repetitive. I don’t care that you had the same issue performing a task a work, I don’t care that you are having the same fight with one of your friends that I personally feel like you caused, and I don’t care that you are miserable at your second job, nobody has forced you to be there. The problem with listening and empathizing is that you become the person who has a lot of friends that you have to say shit like “I am sorry, I know you are going through a lot right now,” to, and I hate that so much. I feel like my life and the circle of people I’ve surrounded myself with are just a lot of people who have one thing after the other happening to them.

I am being critical, however, very critical. I know that having friends means you have someone there to lean on and confide in and turn to when things are going wrong. But I have never been one to open up like that, my whole life. I am not hard, but I was never a crier growing up, I never needed to lean on my parents for strong emotional support or guidance, I had a few close friends with whom I had a great time with and shared everything with, I never had boyfriends in high school, because what was the point? I didn’t have drama in my life. End of story. My cool girl mind set has left me stubborn and closed off, which is probably why I think everyone’s problems don’t matter. I don’t like to bother people with my problems. If I am struggling I silently suffer for a while until I explode or break down and then I move on. I don’t let people in or let my guard down (perhaps the same thing?), I don’t try to connect with anyone or make plans. I overthink it, what if the plans I make are boring? What if they will think my problems are stupid? What if my ideas get shot down? What if my husband doesn’t want to do the things I find interesting? I just sit around and wait for things to happen for me so I never have to feel embarrassed or shot down, and if they don’t happen, then, whatever.

 

The hurry up and wait isn’t working anymore. Let’s circle back to tuning the people I care about out. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to be stubborn, or cold, or semi-present. I want to be fully present. That being said I would like to learn how to thoughtfully let people know that it is draining for me to listen to their habitual complaints, is that possible? I want to be there, but not all of the time for the same thing, is that a thing? That might sound like I want to filter what my friends talk to me about, but all I mean is that if I am listening to the same thing for a week straight I should learn to let them know that what they’re harping on isn’t healthy. I want to learn how to take my guard down and let other people in and share how I feel. I’d like the learn how to vent and communicate in a healthy way, so that I am not bottled up and closed off. Ultimately, I want to have good intentions with my relationships, I want to be more emotionally open and available and honest with the people I consider my close friends. I am not doing myself any favors by tuning out and not being present.

 

Where do I even start? How?

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No Fun January

This month my body is craving a reset. I am not a resolution type of person, as you know from my last post when I posted once a year just to do it, but I have a January goal of letting myself rest and while doing so I am learning that I don’t have to accept every social invitation to go out. From the week before Thanksgiving until a couple of day after New Years I was a wild woman. By wild woman I simply mean BUSY. My in-laws came into town for Thanksgiving, spent the whole week, and from then on I continued to go out and celebrate the holidays. I went to bars, I went to parties, I went out to eat, I had my best friend come visit, I flew home to California for one night to watch my sister’s surprise wedding (more on that another time), I worked a lot of four AM shifts let I didn’t let myself get enough sleep for the night before, and I drank more than body could handle. I HAD A GREAT TIME. But I am little too old for that, I think.

By the time that Christmas came around I got sick. I had that weird flu/cold thing that everyone seems to be suffering from and it took me until yesterday (TWO WEEKS!!!) to finally feel somewhat normal. I wish I could say that I took it easy for those two weeks, but it was Christmas and New Years, I still ate and drank and would rest up just to go out during that time. So physically, I feel like absolute shit. I hadn’t seen a proper vegetable on my plate in a month, probably had had a banana here or there, but my diet had been heavy meats, snacks, and bread for the last portion of 2017. I had barely slept five hours a night consistently for that month, let alone eight hours, which is problematic for someone who works four to five times a week well before the sun comes up.

In addition to the neglect my body has been feeling, it’s been so fucking cold in Chicago. I spent last winter here and never felt this cold, everyone told me it was a mild winter last year and I thought they were being dramatic, I was so wrong. I have never been more wrong. We went two weeks straight just living in the negative temperatures with wind chill. The exposed parts of my skin for short walks would burn and feel like they’d crack off of my body. I get it now, I am so very sorry to anyone I doubted about the cold in Chicago. But, never being this cold IN MY LIFE didn’t increase my chances of feeling better. And for those of you rolling their eyes, even native Chicagoans are complaining, most of them are doing so more than I am.

 

So let’s do some math….

 

Carbs+Fat+Alcohol+Sugar+Red Meat+Sleep Deprivation+Early Mornings+Late Nights+Severe Cold Weather+Flu Like Symptoms X Five long holiday weeks=FUCKING MISERABLE. Like, fucking miserable.

 

Alright, so now that we have the physical aspect of my misery covered, let’s move on to the social/mental aspect of my misery. I won’t include anymore math equations, promise. I am a bit of an introvert who is dying to be an extrovert, but always remembers that she doesn’t actually want to be an extrovert when it’s all over. I am the first person to admit that if I spent a month alone on my couch passing the time alone I would thrive. I love deep cleaning my apartment, I love listening to music I want to listen to, I love watching whatever I want to watch, I love eating whatever I want to eat, etc. It’s amazing that I am married for the amount of selfish thoughts I actually have. Conversely, I am also the first one to accept an invitation to get a drink or attend some sort of social gathering. Extrovert me suffers from severe FOMO. But once extrovert me comes home at night a little drunk and a little full with a little less money in her account she feels terrible. I spent this month enjoying the hell out of the people I have formed close relationships to here and it was the perfect holiday season, but along with that came a lot of mental burden. I listened to a lot of people complain about a lot of things and gossip about a lot of things that just don’t matter, myself included. I just feel exhausted and overwhelmed at this point. I don’t want to spend anymore money, I don’t want to drink anymore, I don’t want to gossip about the people that care about me and regret it later, I don’t want to wake up the next morning and panic about whether or not I should feel embarrassed for how loud I may have been at the bar last night. I just want to feel good.

That leads me to No Fun January, which sounds negative, but I think it’ll be just what I need. In No Fun January, I politely decline social invitations, I meal prep, I don’t go out to eat, I save money, and I sleep enough. Chase and I are going to New Orleans at the end of No Fun January and I want to feel alive and alert and healthy while we are there are not tired and miserable. We haven’t been on a real vacation in over five years and I want it to be perfect.

My goal for January (since I am not a resolution person) is to complete twenty-one days of no added sugar or refined carbs, to not drink any alcohol, to learn to say “no” when asked to go out, and to let my body REST. Twenty-one days started yesterday, I am hoping this post holds me accountable.

 

It isn’t like posting has ever held me accountable before though…

Annual resolution post…

It’s about time for my once a year New Year’s post. I figured I would get a jump on it a little early this year. Previously, I have made goals for myself that I have not achieved, 2017 was no different. I never figured out who I was or found a hobby or even tried to contemplate what I bring to the table. I wanted to focus more on writing and really have a head start in pursuing that, which I also didn’t do.

I have lived in three different states the over the last seven years and I am never quite sure when I will be leaving each state. I have let this looming unknown dictate how I run my life. I have passed up promotions, friendships, vacations, etc., because I am never sure how permanent my situation will be. Recently, like yesterday recently, I learned that my husband has been doing the same thing. He doesn’t want to start anything too long term in the states that we have been in, because they aren’t our home. Hearing him say this out loud initially upset me, but I realized I had been doing the same thing. I have even told people that ask me why I haven’t moved up in the company I work for that it is because I am waiting until we move home. Well, in 2018 we will be moving back “home”. We will be surrounded by our family again and trying to lay roots of our own, finally. Travelling has been incredible and I have learned a lot, but it will be nice to make a little more money and maybe go on some vacations, oh yeah, and achieve previous goals I have set. I have been setting goals for myself that I somehow knew I would not reach, because deep down I wasn’t ready to start pursuing them. That being said, I will not be setting any work or hobby related goals for myself this year. I just always end up disappointed this time of year.

Now, to take a complete one-eighty from work, I would like my goal this year to be to find out what body positivity means to me.

I hate myself. I get depressed every time I see a candid picture, getting dressed in the morning is a struggle, I am fully aware at all times of the food I am putting in my mouth and how it will negatively affect my waistline. The anxiety of obsessing over my meals and what is healthy and what isn’t healthy is becoming an all-consuming constant in my life and I would like to murder that obsession and throw into a lake.

I joined a gym a little over a year ago and Chase and I really threw ourselves into it, we had a great routine that lasted about a month and half. Then Chase hurt his back and I had no motivation to go on my own. I started to work at a new location while all of this was going on and my walk to work went from five minutes to over two miles there and back each day, which I was considering a perk since it totaled over thirty minutes of walking. Somewhere along the way I began to confuse my stroll to work with real exercise and treated my diet that way as well.

At the same time, I tried to embrace body positivity, which I don’t fully understand, and I challenged myself for a week to put on an outfit and leave it on, no matter what rolls were showing. This was liberating. It was the easiest week I had in a while. I threw clothes on, smiled at myself, ate what I felt like, and went on about my day. I liked it so much that I extended my weeklong trial into almost a month, until I realized that I was gaining weight. I was heavier than I was when I started and my clothes were starting to look less flattering than they were before. I noticed new rolls on my stomach that hadn’t been there two months before. This sent me over the edge. I started stressing about my outfits again and I couldn’t stop constantly thinking about AND eating food. I haven’t been able to recover.

So this year, I want to work on a healthy relationship with food, I want to stop OBSESSING, and most importantly I want to learn to love my body. I understand that being body positive doesn’t mean you just let yourself go and love it anyways, it means loving yourself enough to nourish it and take care of it, with some wiggle room. Well, actually as I stated before I don’t understand body positivity at all, but I am going to learn.  I assume it also means when you slip up and cant get it together you don’t shame yourself, you allow yourself the slip up and learn from it. I don’t know. I hope that I am not the only one who doesn’t get it.

 

Goodbye 2017, overall you were great, but I need a real health check for 2018.

(maybe a little minor goal will be to close out blog posts better…)

 

Making it about ME

This past year, I spent a majority of my time just getting by. In fact, I have spent most of my adult life just getting by. 2016 was a wonderful year. I moved to Chicago with my husband and we are living life and embracing this new experience. However, we have faced the reality that Chicago is expensive and perhaps we don’t make enough money to support our desire to live here. He has a job that he loves which makes his wage worth it, regardless. I have a job that I kind of like which makes my wage less worth it. I have more potential and I know it, I am terribly afraid of branching out and failing, though. I always have been.

He has been pursuing his passion of cooking for years now it is his dream to open a restaurant of his own one day and this is a dream that I stand behind. I, however, have no idea how to pursue my own dreams. I am currently a barista, which is fun but is by no means my dream job. I have had opportunities within the company that I work for to move up, but because of my lack of desire to stay with the company FOREVER (even though it has been six years already) I have turned them down. I have searched for other jobs or career paths, but I have no idea what that looks like. I don’t know what I want to do.

It was brought to my attention during a visit home in 2016 that everyone in my family and in his family think I am great for dropping everything and following my husband in pursuit of his dreams. They think it is incredibly supportive and brave. I love to support him and admire the moves he makes everyday, but it hit me hard that I DON’T DO ANYTHING FOR MYSELF. Next time I go home I want my family and friends to praise the things I am doing to better myself. I never imagined that I’d get lost in what someone else was doing.

So, this year, I hope to make it year dedicated to myself. I need to do things out of my comfort zone, say yes to the promotions, take time to do things I enjoy, make decisions that aren’t solely dependent on how I think my husband will respond to them, etc.

I hope that by this time next year I can look back on the previous year and reflect on the things i did to better by myself. via Daily Prompt: Year

Year

A Typical New Year’s Resolution

I am writing this post before the New Year as a jump-start to my New Year’s resolution. For most of my life I have wanted to be a writer, but never pursued it. When my fiancé and I made the decision to move across the country everyone told me that I should blog about my everyday adventures, but I didn’t. The story of my life seems to revolve around a list of things I haven’t done. I have previously written about how I am tired of procrastinating and lazy, but I still haven’t done anything about it (go figure). For 2015, I really hope to improve my lifestyle.
My fiancé, Chase, has a tagline for his life which is simply the word “lifestyles,” this has taken on new meaning to my own life over the past year. This word started as a bit of a headache for me, but quickly became something I embraced. One of our favorite things to say is “that is SO lifestyles,” I have no idea how to explain what this even means to someone who isn’t around us, but it works for us. My life will be lived to the full potential of lifestyles. I need to begin by improving my health. Chase and I both have slipped away from any form of a healthy lifestyle. Neither of us work out, we don’t eat well, and we have a very unhealthy sleep schedule. We are often tired and lazy and we are becoming fed up with feeling this way. We have decided together to become healthy for 2015 and I am very excited for the adventure.
Secondly, I would like to start using this blog more often. Last year (well, this year), I had a lot going on in my life. I am engaged and across the country from anyone in my family trying to plan a wedding. My family and Chase’s family are very close, so both of our mothers have strong opinions on how this wedding should go which I am thankful for, but also stressed out about. It’s nice to know that I have the support and excitement from two separate families, but it is so hard to appease everyone in the process while trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Anyways, it would have been nice to share the ups and downs of planning on FaceTime, text message and Google docs in real time. In addition to wedding planning, there are plenty of other things going on that I wish I could document and ideas I want to share for either myself or anyone who cares to read.
Thirdly, I need a second job of some sort. Financially we are comfortable, but we have no wiggle room. So the third goal is to either learn how to save money better than I do now or to get a second job. I barely see Chase enough as it is so I am not sure how working two jobs will fit into that equation, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, right?
I know that none of this shit makes sense and that I ramble and that my thoughts aren’t necessarily complete, but I’ll figure it out. My priority is to blog more, it’ll make my life seem more exciting. The first step is blogging again within the next 20 days, that’ll be a record for me! On that note, I hope everybody had a great 2014!

Bring it on, 2015.