Archive for August, 2011

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.

Published by PaintingChef on 12 Aug 2011

The fact that I managed to make even THIS come back to shoes should be ample proof of my dedication and talent.

In December of this year, Patrick and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. TEN. YEARS. Quick show of hands… who thought I’d ever last that long in a relationship with such a NICE guy? Yeah…not so much. I was always really drawn to the assholes. Oddly enough though, Patrick was always drawn to the good, sweet, nice girls and look at him now. He married the biggest asshole around. YOU WIN, PATRICK!

Our wedding capped off kind of a banner year for my darling husband. He graduated from school, moved out of the bubble he’d lived in his entire life, bought a house, started a new job and, for the icing on the cake, married ME. Suffice it to say…Patrick got about 14 hours of sleep between May of 2001 and February of 2002 (which was when I found myself employed, albeit for a very short amount of time as I didn’t take kindly to being told to “go to church more” in my job review).

But one thing that did NOT happen in that time frame was a honeymoon. A fabulous, tropical, lazy, wonderful honeymoon in which I could finally make Patrick surrender to the gloriousness that is sloth and laziness and drinks on the beach and brunch in bed at noon. I was certain that he would come around to my way of thinking if only he was given the opportunity. Well. Patrick got up at 5:30 this morning to go to the gym and run while I tossed and turned in bed enduring what has become rather frequent dream in which I’m running around wondering if I forgot to take my finals, pay my rent and get a job. OBVIOUSLY we both need a vacation. Either that or those two hours I spent playing Build-a-Lot at the end of the day yesterday before I left work would probably have been better spent being productive.

It’s like a circular discussion isn’t it? I’m totally dizzy.

All evidence to the contrary, I’m not complaining about Patrick’s lack of lazy. I carry enough lazy for both of us although I try to make him believe that I’m just balancing shit out. If it weren’t for Patrick though, my life would be chaos. I think that’s pretty clear. And don’t get me wrong, if he wants to relax, he is perfectly capable of it. But in general, I think it leaves him with a cloud of guilt, like he should be doing something else and he can relax when I finally make him so crazy he clubs me over the head and then suddenly all the stress in his life will be gone and he finally put up his feet and have a damn beer in peace. If he thinks I won’t haunt his ass, he doesn’t know me at all.

Ahem. ANYWAY.

After much talking and begging and whining and negotiating and demanding and then finally just sitting down in the middle of the kitchen, sticking my fingers in my ears and just SCREAMING until he finally relented (as I am nothing if not a completely mature adult) I do believe I’ve convinced my fair husband to remedy that whole honeymoon situation.

Oh sure. We aren’t going until six months AFTER our anniversary but that’s because we want to go with other people (you know… since on top of the whole married business of living together we also happen to WORK together and that’s a lot of together and crazy shit happens in foreign countries, right?). Once I finally stood up off the floor and composed myself and regained control of my inner monologue we started having an actual conversation about this whole trip notion. It’s AMAZING how that actually works, I need to rethink my whole life strategy.

How about you… honeymoon? Anniversary trip? Babymoon (which I maintain is NOT a word!!)? Just cause we need to get the hell out of town? Where did you go? What did you love? What was… not so great? I’m pretty sure I know what we’re doing but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that the internet is FULL of good ideas. Well… that and shoes. The internet is full of shoes.