Archive for the 'Inside my Skull' Category

Published by PaintingChef on 01 Mar 2012


Are you ever afraid that you are getting boring? That you suddenly have nothing left to say and that you will somehow kind of just disappear and become irrelevant? Not even a footnote in someone’s life? Just… kind of a brownish area (with POINTS!) where something quasi-interesting used to be?

For the majority of my life, I think I’ve floated from identity to identity trying each one on praying that something would stick, that something would fit. The jock. The party girl. The artist. The writer. I keep expecting one particular thing to fit like a glove and it never does and when one thing becomes difficult I usually shed it and move on. Because I’m a wimp like that.

So what do you do when you realize that the writing doesn’t flow like it used to but this place, this little corner of the internet has kept you sane for years and been one of the singe coolest and most gratifying parts of your life? I refuse to give it up. I need it to much. I just feel so neglectful. It’s not that there aren’t things that I want to say, there are SO MANY THINGS. I just… I don’t know where to start.

So bear with me. I’m trying. I promise. I’m just incredibly out of sorts.

And if we’re being totally honest… kind of covered in a fine layer of flour and powdered sugar. So in the meantime go buy some damn cookies, mmmkay?

I love you internet. I still love you so very much. Let’s not break up, okay?

Published by PaintingChef on 06 Feb 2012

Showering with Pitt and Clooney. Again.

Is it just me? What is it about standing in the shower that makes for some good mind-wandering? Introspection… the kind that you start having some imaginary conversation with whoever it is that is going to interview when you suddenly become relevant and then next thing you know, the shampoo is dripping down over the mud masque that hardened to an impenetrable crust on your face making you wonder if this is what Botox feels like, the water is inexplicably cold and your husband is knocking on the door asking you if you’re still alive and then you’re all.. “Oh, yeah honey. Fine. I was just practicing my interview for Diane Sawyer when I do that thing with the guy in the place” and Patrick is all “I’ve never been to Belize.”**

Oh wait. That was Pitt and Clooney. Those scamps were in my shower again, weren’t they? It’s getting old boys…

In all honesty, it’s about 50-50 that these mental spirals are going to end with. It’s either Pitt and Clooney in the shower or me wondering which left hand turn I probably should have avoided.

Do you ever wonder if you fucked it all up somehow but that maybe it’s okay? I have to start this with a fact, not a tooting my own horn or anything, but just a fact. The fact is that I’m a smarty. I have an IQ above 180 and other than mentioning it right here, its uselessness is only surpassed by the broom that lives in my garage. I have a complete and total inability to focus on a project and it is a minor miracle that I made it out of high school, let alone college, because to this day, I do not know how to study.

But what I usually end up wondering about, in relation to this, is this… Had I mastered this studying business and actually made an effort when it came to my grades, would it have been enough for me to have found myself at the Ivy League schools that I now secretly dream of attending? (Where I would, hopefully, receive some serious instruction in the art of grammar as this is turning into a train wreck at breakneck speed…) Would that have been enough or would I still have fucked it all up with my love of those bad, bad boys?

And in all honesty… would I have been willing to give up what I learned from all those relationships for a Gilmore Girls-esque college life in Boston or New Haven where I would have shown up with a head full of smarts but no actual life experiences? And furthermore… would I have still ended up right where I am had that happened? I’m inclined to think that I would have ended up somewhere differently and I think I don’t like the idea of that… I LIKE my life. Sure to some people it might seem simple and unfulfilled or whatever. But I’m actually HAPPY. Oh sure, I’m probably a trainwreck waiting to happen, that’s a given. But the scenery is nice and the company is good so… maybe that’s alright?

What if I did screw it all up? What if that first boy, the one in the long line of assholes, was a misstep that sent me reeling? Does the fact that things are good NOW make up for that? Or do I really need to just showering by myself because it’s too much time for me to be alone in my head without adult supervision…

Yeah. That’s probably it. I imagine showering with a friend is probably the answer to a lot of life’s little problems. Glad we could work this out together.

How about you guys? Is there a one moment or decision that you wonder how your life would be different if you’d taken the other path? Where do you stand on not-exactly-regrets-more-like-what-ifs?

**Ocean’s Eleven. I watch it every time it’s on TV. Don’t pretend you don’t.

Published by PaintingChef on 24 Oct 2011

Touchy-Feely with a side of Zack Morris. I’m all about making your Monday a little better…

I would, without hesitation, describe myself as a “touchy-feely” person. But what I mean by that is that I’m going to hug you when I see you and when you leave. I’m going to put my hand on your arm when you’re talking if I am feeling compassionate or if I’m telling you something really juicy. It does not, however, mean that I’m not going to tense up a little if you hug me back. I’m one way touchy-feely unless we’re family or you’ve seen me naked and I remember it and don’t regret it. I feel comfortable putting those parameters on my comfort level with you putting your hands on me.

But this has always been because of me, not you and I think it has something to do with feeling comfortable in my own skin. For this reason, I’ve never been all that great at things like massages. (Yes… ALMOST naked but life is all about exceptions, right?) I love a good facial, facials are my crack. (Crack of the very addictive illegal drug variety as opposed to the ass-feature.) I love to lie there and relax and have all the goo cleaned out of my skin and my head rubbed (my eyes just rolled back in my head a little) and just be totally pampered. I can deal with that. But a massage? That’s harder. There is lots of rubbing. On places that I kind of do my best to keep camouflaged under cute dresses and tights with built-in spanx. LOOK BELOW THE KNEE! I HAVE GREAT CALVES AND CUTE SHOES!

Ahem. Sorry. I got kind of scream-y there for a second and really all I’m trying to do is set the scene for my weekend epiphany.

Patrick went out of town for the weekend on some sort of man trip that involved a Winnebago and football and beer and I’m pretty sure some fire. Being the good wife that I am, I sent him with 40 dozen chocolate chip cookies and used every ounce of self-control I could muster to not dye them pink. Just for fun. (Which now kind of explains the 5 hours I spent on the couch Sunday afternoon watching the entire first season on “Franklin & Bash” while drinking an entire gallon of Honeycrisp apple cider and realizing that Zack Morris is still TOTALLY hot. No self-control left. I feel better now. Less slovenly.)

BUT. I decided that I was going to spend Saturday morning at a spa and engage in a little pampering. A facial. A pedicure. And then I decided that I was going to give this whole massage thing another go. I hadn’t had one in almost 10 ten years. No really! Isn’t there a foundation for that? (I kid. I’m an asshole. I know.) In scheduling everything I decided to do the massage first, that way I could get it over with if it was awful and have everything else to look forward to. Yes. That was my philosophy.

And then the masseuse came in and she was so kind and gentle and she started asking me questions before she getting down to the rubbing and suddenly I was crying. And telling her I hadn’t had a massage in almost a decade because I wasn’t good at being touched but that I had lost a lot of weight recently and I wanted to learn to be okay with being touched and loving myself and honoring my body and the whole thing was kind of wonderful. It was like this release of a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding.

So while I was laying there allowing myself to relax and feel pampered and being okay with my body, I started thinking about the imperfections we have and the way we try to hide them. I kind of meditated on the aspects of myself, physical and mental that are my imperfections and how I don’t like those things about me. But maybe it’s alright to love those things because they are just part of me. I’m messy. I’m rude. I’m not so good at working through a list of things to do. I’m impatient with myself when I can’t figure something out. I get irrationally upset when my husband interrupts me or talks during movies.

But those things are part of me and if I’m going to put so much effort into learning who I really am and LOVING that person, can I really just pretend those parts of me don’t exist? They are okay. Really. Yes, I should work on them. But I should also own them and honor them. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to allow yourself to be pampered and rewarded even if you aren’t perfect. You don’t have to be a complete and total package to allow yourself good things. I think I’m getting it…

Published by PaintingChef on 12 Sep 2011


Today I am thirty-four.

I am a woman. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Granddaughter. Mother of animals. Friend and probably foe. Artist. Baker. Reader. Writer. Collector of mermaids. Shoe enthusiast. Avoider of housework. Lover of wine. Planner of parties.

I am a recovered drug addict. Rape survivor. Infertile woman.

I am a fighter and a lover and strong as hell.

I am loved by many people. But above all I am loved by me. Not in spite of who I am but because of it. This is my birthday gift to myself today.

Who are you?

Published by PaintingChef on 31 Aug 2011

No worries… it doesn’t make much sense to me either. But it was either this or a scathing review of the “Forever Lazy” commercial I just saw on ESPN-U.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I can’t tell you how many different ways I’ve answered that question over the years. A broad range of answers too, no theme, no underlying plan. My plans have ranged from (and I quote) “driving a motorcycle and drinking beer” to “a corporate bitch.” I blame the latter on an ill-advised love of the black mini skirt suits so prevalent in the various catalogs from 1993-1995. As for the motorcycle and beer bit… well, sometimes a six year old will just say whatever he daddy asks her too. Although I will tell you that those Asian exchange students at the church thing my mom had drug (dragged?) us all too were none too amused. Luckily for everyone my sister wanted to be either an archeologist or an “arthur”. I think even then, my parents knew who the achiever was going to be…

Even when it came to school, I started out in journalism and while I finished in marketing, I did that by way of Greek mythology, psychology, business, interior design and photography. Not necessarily in that order. I don’t know that I would call it floundering, per say, let’s be kind and call it… searching. Committing to a single plan for however long it was going to be was kind of overwhelming. And when you break it down to the bare bones, the fact is just that I’ve always had trouble envisioning my life beyond about a month from right this second. That seems like it should be something significant enough to talk to a therapist about but I always just choose to let it make the future be a pleasant surprise.

I figured that at some point that would stop. I would feel like an adult. With a plan and a path and for whatever reason, that path has always had something to do with my occupation. The problem is that I still don’t know what I want to do. I want to write. I want to paint. I want to bake. I want to be a photographer. I want to own a bookstore. And a bakery. And a concierge service. I want to be a mother and an actress and a goddamn rock star. But I’m not most of those things. I’m an office manager. And I’m a fine office manager. I run that company well and shit. Gets. Done. I love my job and I’m happy doing it. I actually enjoy working for my dad and with my husband. I find concrete construction fairly interesting in a sick sort of way and I really find some value is feeling needed.

But obviously I wouldn’t be writing about this if that were all there was to it, right?

I think that I always felt like everything I did was sort of… temporary? Nothing felt like it was going to stick and so I never felt stuck. Settled is probably a better word. I got so accustomed to things kind of flaming out after a few years that I knew there was always a new adventure around the corner. Hell, I even figured that Patrick would have had enough of me after a few months of dating (I assumed I was his adventure of dating against type) and move on but he managed to stick and here we are almost 10 years later.

But this most recent (as in almost 4 years) career move is, by default, much more permanent. You don’t flake out on your family. And I’m not saying I want to; I kind of think the simple fact that I AM happy in what I’m doing and content and not searching for something else is what is scaring me the most. It’s not that I find myself looking for something else to do, it’s more that I think I’m afraid that ship has sailed. If the big adventure WERE to present itself I no longer feel like I’m in the position where I could jump up and go.

I’m happy. That much is clear. That’s not up for debate. I’m deliriously happy where I am. I think I’m afraid that that’s not alright. There are people all around me having such huge adventures. Whether it’s having children, starting a business, or picking up and wandering around the country for a year with their family, they are out there grabbing it by the balls, so to speak. My spot here is safe. My world is safe. And I think safe scared me more than anything.

One of my favorite people in the entire universe is potentially picking up and moving to a foreign country for 3 years with her husband and her new baby. They don’t speak the language. They don’t know the culture. But they are meeting this one head on because they looked at each other and said “If not now, then when? If not, then WHY not?” And as I sat and listened to her talk about the plans they were tentatively making, underneath the huge swell of love and excitement I was reeling in for them I felt this little twinge. I realized that I wasn’t exactly envious, it just dawned on me that this wasn’t an adventure I was likely ever going to have and that kind of hit me hard. (I’m sure that all the wine had nothing to do with it at all…)

I’m so afraid that the choices I’ve made have taken that option off the table when I didn’t know if I wanted it on the table to begin with. I don’t want to run, I’m not searching for anything (I don’t think I am, anyway) and I’m not unhappy or unfulfilled. I just… I don’t know. Am I afraid to admit that I like my life the way it is? That I like the routine I have and the world we’ve built? I think I’m afraid that I’m mourning a life, or at the very least an adventure, I didn’t even know I wanted.

And then the “Forever Lazy” commercial came on ESPN and I realized none of this shit matters anyway because obviously humanity is doomed if we feel the need to purchase adult fleece onesies with front and rear potty hatches to wear out in public and to various sporting events. Google it. For real. (I refuse to post a link) That shit ain’t right.

« Prev - Next »