Archive for July, 2006

I don’t think I like challenges.  I like things to be effortless.  This is a terrible, terrible trait of mine, especially since I know from experience that when I’m faced with a challenge and meet it, I not only gain new skills but I end up feeling Awfully Good About Myself.  I’m from the school of thought that life should be like a beach vacation, with yummy cocktails that come with little umbrellas and delicious views of the ocean.

Alas, life is not like that, except in certain moments when one is actually on a beach vacation, or has just won the lottery.  I’m ashamed to say it, but I really do wish that life could be breezy and gay, with no speedbumps or roadblocks.

It’s not that I don’t want to grow and evolve as a human being, but struggles with self can be kind of exhausting.  My own personality gives me no end of trouble, particularly because it harbors a lot of conflicting energies – a tendency to melancholia for one, a high-powered introspective gaze for another.  When I’m stretched in abilities, for example, as I am being now at work, I welcome the increased responsibility and absorption of new things, but I whine and moan internally about how I am not a master of this new stuff yet and whyyyyy don’t I know how to do this already???  This strain of unreasonable expectations of myself comes straight out of my childhood and parenting, but I don’t reflect on this with any degree of self-pity (boo hoo hoo, poor Chanelbaby!)  What occurs to me when I realise this is how this character trait gets in the way of actually meeting the challenge happily and enjoying the ride as I improve myself.  It keeps me from ever resting in the State of Things As They Are Now and sucking the marrow out of life (which, by the way, ewwwww who came up with THAT metaphor?) while I’m living it.

I always used to think that people who wouldn’t take risks or stretch themselves out of fear of failure were big dumbasses.  There is that marvelous line from Chariots of Fire when the handsome athlete playboy says to his gf "If I can’t win I won’t run" and she returns swiftly "If you don’t run, you can’t win."  Well, welcome to the Dumbass Line, because here I am at the back of it, just hanging out.

And I have to say, that for the most part I don’t duck out of challenges out of fear of failure.  I just allow that fear of failure to consume me while I am meeting them, and it interferes with my quality of life and saps some of the benefit of the outcome of that challenge.  Today I asked myself what that fear is really about.  This is all when I’m commuting home on the metro, I have to say as an aside, and hellloooo? get a life!  But I looked at that fear from the opposite side and wondered why the hell I care if I fail at something at work?  Or give a lecture at the Theosophical Society and lose my train of thought and look like an idiot?  Or enter a poetry contest and not even get a mention?  Bartender Dude will still love me!  There will still be really good food to cook and books to read and (eventually PLEASE GOD CAN I GET SOME BENEFITS HERE HURRY THE FUCK UP) vacations to take.  I’m sure I’ll still have a million times where my friends make me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts, or have a conversation about Who Is Cooler, Spike or Angel?, or find those perfect strappy gold heels for 90% off.

My life is not about work or successes, not really.  I realised, after asking myself about this fear of failure thing that I’m not even that afraid that I will fail. Not really.  In fact I’m not even thinking about failure at all, little stuck-up princess!  I’m just afraid that things will not turn out exactly as I want them to and as I think they should.  Is anyone else thinking what I’m thinking?  TYPE A CONTROL FREAK YOU SILLY WOMAN!  (Oh, you weren’t?  God bless you and send you cake.)

It is attachment that is my problem.  Attachment to outcome.  Whenever I project myself into the future along the lines of what is happening in the present, I decide, unconsciously and in a split second, exactly how that future should turn out.  And then I start to get panicky because OH MY GOD WHAT IF IT DOESN’T TURN OUT THAT WAY?  I AM SURE I WILL DIE AND THE UNIVERSE WILL EXPLODE (in that order, of course) AND NOW I MUST BREATHE INTO A PAPER BAG AHGHGHGHGHG.

That is nuts, kiddies, and I want to stop doing that.  Must. Stop. Attaching. To. Outcome.  It is so zen of me but also so true.  Some people don’t have personalities that require this kind of lesson.  Bartender Dude is SO unattached to outcome I swear he would leave the house without trousers if he could get away with it.  Du-u-u-de.  "All we are, man, is dust in the wind."  But clearly I do.

SO.  There you have it.  What a strange post.  Oh my lord this is great I’m going to learn this great lesson and be an ascended Bhudda master with the everpresent calm of a monk.  And THEN, then I’m going to write a book and make a million dollars and donate all my money to charity and just be happy all the time and life will be breezy and gay.

HA.  Just kidding.  Onward and upward.  Further up, and further in.


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I am currently feeling extremely unmotivated. I don’t know if it’s the heat, which is
oppressive, or the constant interviewing for jobs, which is fatiguing, or the
lack any offers, which is depressing, but I come to work and can’t seem to
muster up the energy to do anything other than shop for lipgloss online and
play Solitaire. (Note to anyone who
happens to be reading this from the marvelous organization that employs me:
ABOUT. Really, I am working my ass off
on all these top-level important projects that will, I am certain, soon reward
me with a permanent job.)

I have thus far interviewed for five internal
positions. FIVE. It has been like running an obstacle course
weighed down by big bags of flour strapped to my elbows. Don’t get me wrong – I am eternally grateful
for all the interest and opportunity to put myself in front of as many folks
who can hire me as possible. But I have
had no offers. NO OFFERS YET. I can’t tell you how much this has indisposed
me. I AM SEVERELY VEXED. I hate to wait. I keep putting myself out there and putting
myself out there and. Nothing. Is. Happening.

I realized on the metro the other day that I do, in fact,
possess a sense of entitlement of which I was hitherto unaware. I am shocked! (To Bartender Dude, however, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.) I don’t have that kind of sense of
entitlement that expects to have a fabulous life without working hard, or
striving to be good, or getting things I haven’t paid for. It is a sense of entitlement that comes from
the inner princess (here my friend the Cartographer is choking on her soda—or,
well, her fruit smoothie with wheatgerm—“INNER???? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WHAT DO YOU MEAN INNER?”), the inner princess who believes that all I need do is show up,
display my fabulousness, and that fabulousness will instantly be recognized!

[Hiring Person]: Well, I can tell from the articulate manner
of your expression as well as the experience on your resume, your warm and
friendly manner, and your exquisite taste in jewelry, that you are the perfect
candidate for this job! Please come work
for us and we will pay you a million billion dollars.

[Chanelbaby]: Why thank you. I happily accept.

I hate this waiting. It is driving me nuts. It has
been over a month since the first interview and I’ve heard nothing. I AM NOT PATIENT PEOPLE.  I am not patient in any area of my life.  I am an impatient cook (which creates some
interesting results let me tell you, and by interesting I mean “raw”), an
impatient fiancée to be, an impatient we-will-paint-the-flat-this-summer-uh-huh-my-ass
girlfriend, an impatient writer.


Fuck it.

So I leave you with this recent pic of me and my
beloved. This was taken in Chicago, where I accompanied him to a kind of family reunion.


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