Friday, February 29, 2008

Openness to Feelings

Week 7: I am becoming more willing to express all my own feelings and to receive those of others, including fear, joy grief, and tenderness. I am practicing ways to share anger nonviolently, in ways that are not abusive, threatening, blaming, or out of control.

Interesting thoughts from Everyday Commitments for week 7 (I think I'm behind a few weeks! Life's been busy.) I am definitely becoming more willing to express my feelings and am even becoming more comfortable in doing so. However, the author (David Richo, in case you were wondering) doesn't stop there. He adds the part about receiving expressions of others feelings.

As I drove home today, I wondered to myself why I don't let others love me at times. For as long as I can remember, I'd have interest in a guy and as soon as word got out (either via others or my own acknowledgement), I shut it down....nip it in the bud before anything can progress. Is it the thrill of having a crush that I enjoy so much so that once the cat's out of the bag, it's gone? Or is it that I avoid the possibility of rejection, which at the same time keeps me from the experience of anything more. I think I'm unlovable sometimes. If I was lovable, wouldn't there be someone to love me? This isn't just about the male species. I know my parents (all 4 of them) love me, but I didn't grow up hearing that or really knowing that, which makes me wonder what 'being loved' truly looks like, even in a non-romantic kind of way. Granted, I didn't really see romantic love between my parents either, which makes me wonder what I have to model a loving, healthy adult relationship/marriage after. Damn...I'm so screwed! =)

As for practicing ways to share anger nonviolently, I'm doing really well in that area. I did have something come up a few weeks ago that really made me angry, but I was more angry at myself than anything else. I don't usually blame others. It's a waste of time, in my opinion. Get over it and move on. Try to offer help or suggestions or remove yourself from the situation, but no need to place blame. If the person is truly at fault, they probably know that already.

Alright...I need to go to bed. Got to be up early to head to the airport. I'm hoping to post at least once a day while I'm in Florida. I've had lots of things running around in my head the past few weeks and just haven't had the time or energy to post. I need to and want to, so this is one goal I have for the week. Posting each day and enjoying my time down there!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm sure it's nothing

I'm waiting to see if it will go away and am trying not to freak myself out. Usually things like this don't bother me and my usual response is to wait it out, which is what I'll probably do this time. I'm sure it's nothing, but it's made it hard to concentrate on other things this afternoon.

I found a lump in my breast yesterday, different than the 'normal' ones. This one's small and round, like a pea.

I keep checking to see if it's still there...and it is. I figure I'll give it a week or two to see if it changes at all.

I'm sure it's least I hope so.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Getting mental

I just completed my last student conference with my job and will be meeting with all of our staff next week for our annual meeting, which will be my last time with them. Wow--tearing up a bit as I type this.

As excited as I am to move on to a new and amazing opportunity, I can't believe how much I've grown and how far I've come since I started my job almost 4 years ago. It hasn't always been easy and there have been times I didn't want to get out of bed to face the day of work ahead, but I don't think I would've changed any of it.

I'm starting to mentally prepare myself for my time in Orlando. It's going to be great (nice resort, hanging with friends, a day at Disney) but it's also going to signify the beginning of the end. It's going to be hard.

My boss isn't one to express himself with words. Last year, as he presented me with an award (which I didn't expect at all), he couldn't even say anything...which really showed me how much he thought of me. I really don't look forward to hearing what he has to say. Funny, I even tried to talk to him this past weekend about when I'd finish my time and he said we'd play it by ear as it gets closer. He's been a great mentor for me and I really respect him.

I've missed posting lately, but life's been busy and internet has been limited. This week is going to be crazy, but I've got a few other posts that I hope to push out. Good things that have been running through my mind lately. It'll be good to get them out into words, to reflect and process.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Checking in

I left my last post on a negative note. Have been super busy as I leave tomorrow morning for conference 2 of 4 over the next 5 weeks. A few updates:

**I'm really digging website. I am so intrigued by what makes me (and others) tick. Just read a great article on Opening up to Happiness. Good stuff and I look forward to digging around there more!

**I feel like I've been working, working, working all the time. It's to be expected and after this week, things for the full-time job will slow down A LOT which will allow me to really vamp up for the LA conference I'm planning. I can't wait to see that conference come together. I've put a lot into it and am really excited about it. Yes, there's still LOTS to be done!

**The shoe thing...I've come to the conclusion that I've bought so many shoes lately because I'm ready for winter to be done. I want to wear my cute, open-toe shoes and sandals, which means that Spring is here! Yeah, it may be a while...

**I haven't given up, as I posted recently, but just realized things weren't meant to be. The relationship is not really what I wanted and would much rather have the great friendship that's developed. Getting the feelings out there definitely helped me realize what was going on. I do care and always will...but as a friend.

The next few days will be crazy, starting at 5am tomorrow morning, but it just means I'm a few days closer to vacation in Orlando and a move to CA!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cause I've Had a Bad Day

Today's been tough emotionally. I've been weepy now for 2 days and think a lot of it has to do with the weather. Here again, we got snow and ice last night. So bad that a lot of the city's shut down...again. Normal snowfall for a winter is 59 inches and we've had over 80 inches now. YUK! Here's a view from my balcony:
I've got to get out of this funk. It's effecting me in too many ways and is not good. I'm excited about a lot of things going on (conferences, headed to Orlando in 2 weeks, new job, moving), but the funk is clouding all of that over and is keeping it at bay.

OK...I'm going to try to stop writing try to do something about this. Too much to do and I've wasted enough time this weekend already.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I'm angry, hurt, pissed off, scared, broken, but most of all....I'm done. I give up. I don't have the fight in me anymore.

I want to turn my emotions off. Stop caring. Stop encouraging. Stop loving. Which in turn I hope will make me stop hurting.

I should've seen this from a mile away. I knew it was coming and just arrived, first class...straight to my heart. My heart finally gave in to my head and they finally agree. And it hurts...bad.

I'm done. I give up. I don't have the fight in me anymore.

TO DO list

I love lists. Something about having a picture of what needs to be done, not the mention the satisfaction of crossing something off of the list and seeing it completed.

Lately, I've neglected my list making time. This is crazy as I'm balancing 2 jobs, trying to have a social life, maintain my apartment (I'd be so embarrassed to have people over right now!), planning a move and trying to keep my sanity overall.

When I think of all that needs to be done for work (either job), it becomes completely overwhelming and I end up losing time being scattered. My new system at work (which I love!) is to write tasks on individual post-it notes. I stick them on my shelving area right in front of my face and above my laptop. I line them up in order of importance and can easily move them around if a new task comes my way. I also get to toss that post-it once the task is complete. So fulfilling!

For the other job, where I don't have an office (unless you count my desk at home), I have a planner with Sunday-Saturday where I write out tasks. Yes, I have the Blackberry that I could easily list tasks on, but for some reason, I prefer having a paper list. I think it's just easier to see the big picture that way.

I have to make lists to stay on track and make sure I'm getting everything done. I just ordered a few books that I can't wait to dig into in order to prepare for the new business endeavor, talking about structure of an organization (thanks R!), but need to limit my time working on that, until other things are done. When something new/exciting presents itself to me, it's easy to push that to the top of my list and other things get ignored. Thus...another reason to have an actual written list so I can write in new, fun things where they need to be on the list of importance.

So...was posting on my list today? No, but I did limit my time to 10 minutes to get this out. Now...I'm off to putting away my Christmas tree.'s been a while since I've had an "around the apartment" list. ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008

"If we keep hanging out like this, people will say we're dating."

He said this to me almost a year ago. We hadn't really hung out just the two of us, but we were leaving a function together (I came with someone else) and we made plans that evening to spend two entire days watching basketball together later that week (I'm a sucker for March Madness). We had great conversation about dating (in general, though there were some hidden agendas), life, career and what our dream life might look like (individually, not as a couple!) I overheard him say to a friend that he loved how much I got into college basketball. The following weekend, he even gave me his apartment key to go watch the games at his place, even though he had a seminar he had to attend. **He has a sweet HDTV!**

Anyways, I haven't seen him in months as he's been busy and I've been busy. He called a few months ago to see if I was around so he could return a DVD. We talked for a while, catching up, but missed connections for the return of the DVD. The connection may be made tomorrow.

I saw him tonight as our group of friends got together for dinner and a dance function. I knew he was coming and was excited to see him. We ended up sitting across from each other, catching up and then decided to car pool to the dance. I had just told him about a new CD I got and had in my car, so we listened to it on the way. We had really good, honest, deep conversation in the car about things going on, which was awesome. It was very comfortable to fall into real conversation with him, even though it's been a good 4 months since we've seen each other.

We had a great time at the dance and I was flattered when he grabbed my hands to swing dance. I'm not a big fan of swing and with something that fast, it's hard for me to follow. He was doing a great job, but me with my passion for dance, I try to lead, which doesn't make for a great dance partner. Besides, swing...not my favorite, but it was fun. I laughed the whole time as he was doing fancy turns with me and dips. Fun...very fun.

This guy is great...funny, cute (but not the 'type' I usually like), smart (ummm...he's a freaking surgeon!), thoughtful (he's borrowing my CD tonight, bringing it to me tomorrow and burning one for me that I don't have) and all around great guy. However, he has two strikes against him:
1. I interviewed for a position I *really* wanted about this time last year that was at the hospital working with Surgery Residents, but not his program. Because of his connection, I asked him lots of questions. I really had my hopes set on this position. He gave me some positive encouragement, but when I found out I didn't get it, there was nothing from him. This hurt...he told me that he didn't know what to say and knew that I really wanted it, but the whole time didn't think I'd enjoy it at all, yet didn't say anything to me. His reasoning was that he didn't want to sway my decision in the whole thing and if it was meant to be, I'd be offered the job and accept it and who knows what might have happened. **Honesty is a HUGE trait that I value. Yes, it may not have been easy to tell me that, but at least it would've been honest. I trusted this guy and would've taken into consideration what he was telling me, but would've made my own decision. I was more hurt that he didn't say something than if he had.**

2. He has the 'ideal' and 'perfect' thought for a wife and I'm obviously not it. This guy doesn't date and I'd bet money that the next girl he dates will be the one he marries. Sad that we connect on many levels, but in all honesty, I don't think I could marry him. He's a little too laid back for me. I want someone who will get fired up about things, whether I've pissed them off or if it's just something he's passionate about. This guy...loves what he does (we've talked about this many times) but he's just doesn't outwardly get super pumped about it the way I do about things. I need someone who can spur on my passion and get me excited about things as much as I do for him. was a great night. We'll have conversations about music, life, career and faith, I'm sure. We may even dance again. For once, it feels really good to know that this won't go anywhere before it even starts and to be OK with that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Valentine's Day

Today...nothing much happened, but after out. I've already had 2 glasses of wine and am ready to finish off the bottle if I have to. I have a feeling I may have multiple posts tonight. ;)

Let's start with the playlist for the evening (I'm listening to this right now):
Cry Me a River by the Cliks (Yes, it's the Justin Timberlake song, but it's much better!)
I Need More Love by Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Ridiculous by Musiq Soulchild (He may be one of my new favorite artist!)
Betterman by Musiq Soulchild
B.U.D.D.Y. by Musiq Soulchild (yeah...I really like him!)
Feedback by Janet Jackson (Strum me like a guitar, blow out my amplifier!)
Music is my Hot, Hot Sex by CSS

Yeah...good times will be had tonight. ;) More to come...

Let Love Rule

**My thoughts have been so strong that I had to get out of bed at 4:30am to write this. Hate that!**

I definitely have never been 'lucky in love' and more times than not, I've put it out there, taken a chance, only to have nothing in return. This burned me so much to the point that I shut down and tried to ignore the feelings I had for anyone. This definitely isn't a way to live life, but it was a way to save from heartache and disappointment.

Just this week, I put it all out there...again...for the second time with the same person. And you know what, it felt good to be able to be completely honest and open about what I'm feeling. I was embracing those feelings of, dare I say it, love, and was hoping for something in return. Honestly, I don't know that I want to have feelings this strong for this guy as it could be bad as we're great friends and even doing some work together. Has potential to be a disastrous combo.

I told him I wanted him to respond on his own time, and I do. I didn't put my feelings (or this post) out there in order to guilt him into feeling anything for me. At the same time, I've been very close to being done with it up...saving face and closing off my love to him and the world again. This is becoming a struggle for me because when you think about it...that's a HUGE passive/aggressive move, isn't it? "Fine, if it's not going the way I want it to...then whatever. Moving on!"

I don't want to live my life that way. Do I care about this guy? Yes. We have an amazing friendship and connect on a personal level and I'd much rather have that than nothing. However, I don't want to build up a dream that 'something's' there if it really isn't.

So how do I continue to love, unconditionally, and embrace that without getting too involved and potentially breaking my own heart in the end? As a friend, I want to love others unconditionally and think I do this pretty well. It's something that's important to me in friendship and is how I want to live. But when it comes to relationships with guys, this area becomes gray with blurred lines as to what's ok and what isn't.

My heart's fragile enough as it is, but life's too short not to share the love with others. For so long, I've felt that I haven't experienced love and I wonder now if it's because I've been too scared to allow myself to love others first. Should it be a give and take? I think a point. I think when you don't allow yourself to love others, your heart becomes cold and numb to any love someone tries to show you.

Love is a funny thing. It's what makes the world go round. It lifts us up where we belong We're told love is all we need. So what's a girl to do?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Freedom from the Grip of Fear

Week 6 I accept the fact of fear, allow myself to feel my fear fully, and act so that fear does not interfere with my life choices.

The kind of fear is the one we sometime feel with reason. As the book, "Everyday Commitments" puts it, "Our guesses and fantasies about what might happen keep us afraid of events and experiences that may never befall us." Over the past few months, I've had a chance to really throw caution to the wind in my decision to move to CA for this new job.

Just last night, I saw someone I haven't seen in a few months. She's more of an acquaintance than a friend. She asked if I was still moving to CA and I said yes and she said, I'm so afraid for you. What's that mean? First off, why would you be afraid for someone else if they're not? Second, as I asked her if there was an option in her life if she wasn't accepted to PA school, she said no. That was the only option. This is so not me. She has her sights set on one goal and nothing else. Hate to say it, but this is her third year of applying to PA school. It may be time to think about something else. =)

As I'm talking to more and more people about my move, the most common response is, 'Wow--it's expensive in CA. Are you making good money?' Ummm....what I'm making is no one's business AND do they think I'm dumber than a doornail and haven't checked these things out? Truth be told--I don't know exactly what I'll be making yet, but that's not stopping me from moving forward with the decision to do this. I'm not letting the fear of how much I'll make interfere with my life choice to do this.

The book offers advice to use the "Triple A" practice of Admit, Allow and Act. Check it out:
  • Admit Admit to yourself and someone you trust that you're scared, rather than calling it something else, like cold feet, worry, uneasiness, etc.

  • Allow Allow yourself to feel the fear. This is often the hardest part. Don't find ways to avoid it--drinking, drugs, distractions, etc.--fully allow yourself to feel it. Use that person you admitted your fear to to help with this.

  • Act Act in such a way that the fear does not drive you to do something or stop you from doing anything. Think of all the missed opportunities in life because you've let fear keep you from doing it.

Fear thrives on powerlessness, the belief that we have no options. WOW! That's a mighty statement, but absolutely true when you think about it. Don't give in to the power of fear. Stand up to it. Realize it. Admit, Allow and Act. The chapter closes with these words of wisdom: In doing so, we are less likely to be devastated by fear and it gradually becomes so ordinary that it loses its capacity to throw us off course.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sometimes it sneaks up on you

Crap--Valentine's Day is this week.

As I watched this, I realized I could've written many of them.
I *heart* Postsecret.

What's keeping me up at night

I went to bed around 2:30am last night and was up around 7am this morning. Some may blame it on the coffee I had at 10pm, but not me. I think the culprit are all the thoughts running through my mind.

  • Hung out with a friend last night who is toying with the idea of moving to CA with me. See, I'm not the only one crazy! As we talked, she said she's sick of the weather/snow (can I get an AMEN?) and is ready to do something different. I told her, you know...this whole thing with me may not work out, but I figure why not try it out. I have a back up plan...actually, I have a few, so there's a bit of a safety net, but I'm actually pretty confident this is going to be more than I ever dreamed. Super excited at the thought of having someone move out West with me. Really hope it happens!

  • She and I started looking at places to live. Whew--draining, especially as we don't know the area very well. I've lived in pretty bad places and want to make sure I'm in a safe neighborhood. Costs are double to triple what we pay in Madison, which is scary, but I hear ramon noodles are pretty good, right?

  • I'm debating getting a new bed and have found the perfect one. It's beautiful, REAL wood, super good deal and I've even seen it in person as a girlfriend just got it. My current bed is not going to make another move so I thought, well, I'll just wait until I move to get a new one. However, at this good of a deal, I'm afraid I may not find something as good when the time comes. I'm really thinking about getting it...yeah, I'm going to get it!

  • Saw "Juno" last night. Cute movie with lots of life lessons in it, including:
    --Relationships are confusing.
    --Doing the right thing isn't always easy.
    --Sometimes you have to be completely honest with those you love, even if it hurts.
    --How many times can you run away from love before you let it tackle you?
    --When someone stirs up something great inside of you, don't confuse the new 'life passion' with passion for that person.
    --"In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with." True dat!

I have lots of things I'm working on now and each day I'm getting more and more excited about the new life that will start in a few months with my move to CA. It will be here before I know it and I can't wait! ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I have an addiction

There's something about shoes that make me feel sexy. Wait, not just shoes...heels. I bought a few more pair this week and thought I should document this, in case I become a recovering addict at some point:
I'm going to have a hard time finding an apartment big enough for me and my shoes when I move West. And no, I will not part with my shoes. I wear them all and am a great bargin shopper. Three of the pair I bought this last week were under $10 and are GREAT shoes. At that price, I can afford it. Besides, the confidence it brings me when I wear them is priceless!

I've also done some shopping over the past 2 weeks as my clothes aren't fitting anymore. I've dropped 1-2 sizes and want clothes that fit and fit well. Again, I'm a bargin shopper and won't give away my secrets (at least not publicly), but check out this dress. What do you think?

Dressing well just makes me feel better...more feminine...more confident. Jeans are definitely a staple in my wardrobe, but I'll wear a dark pair with a cute top, jewelry, blazer, heels and a great purse. I'm trying to not wear my tennis shoes except at the gym/on the tennis courts and even have a 'cute' pair of casual/tennis shoes. Think retro. Those are the ones I go out in, not the real tennis shoes.

Accessories is where I need to explore a bit more. I wear the same earrings EVERY DAY. I have a few rings that I switch between. Wear the same watch, though I'm ready to get a new one. I like getting the 'fashion jewelry', you know...the colorful beaded necklaces and bracelets. What's nice about this is they are inexpensive, so you can get more and mix and match. The other accessory that I love is the purse. I just got a great white one for $15 (ask me where) that I know is going to last me a while. Yes, it's white, but here's the secret. Accesorize your purse by tying a scarf to it. You've seen it in all the fashion magazines, so you know it must be right. Everytime I do this, I get compliments out the wazoo, from strangers and friends!

I declare 2008 the year of the fashionista! Granted, it's hard to be a real fashionista when I'm in below freezing weather, but once I'm in CA, watch out world. The fashionista is here to stay!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Not what you thought...

I'm a romantic. What girl isn't? I think deep down, guys are too and it's great when you find one who's able to express that and be secure in it. I'm a sucker for a great love story and was reminded of one that goes down in the books for me. Has to do with one of my favorite staff who lives in San Diego. Check this out...

She works with college students at 3 different universities in San Diego. About a year ago, one of the male students approached her and asked her out. She politely declined as she wasn't interested, not to mention he was a student, and dating a student is frowned upon (though it happens more than you'd think). This guy was persistent though and every time he saw her, he asked her out. Every time, she declined. Finally, one day, she gave in just to get him to stop and told him to ask after he graduated. A few months later, on graduation day, he called her to ask her out. She felt obligated and said yes, even though she didn't really want to.

They went out and she didn't really feel a connection, but he pursued her. He asked her out again, she said no. They hung out in groups over the summer and she finally started to let go of the 'no' in her and decided to give him a chance. The next time they went out, that was all it took. She fell for him and realized he was 'the one'. They just got married a few months ago and as I saw them last weekend, I can tell that their love will last for ever. He truly loves her and she loves him as well.

Makes me wonder how often we shut down something that could work. My friend had her mind totally made up about this guy, but he persisted...he chased her (not in a creepy way). He made his feelings for her known. She had to let go of her ideas that he was too young (there's a few years difference), that she didn't like him and finally gave him a chance. And when she did, she realized her love for him. Amazing!

Are there things you've shut down that you should maybe give a chance? A new career? A new love? A move to a new city? Why are you shutting it down? What would be the worst if you moved forward and said 'yes'? It may not look ideal to begin with, but what if it grows into something you never dreamed of? Are you limiting your dreams by shutting people/opportunities down? Good things to ponder...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It hurts so bad

No really...I have the worst migraine I've ever had. I can't do anything but sleep to try to relieve the pain. It's my entire head...from the front, over the top and down to the base of my neck, making me sick to my stomach. I'm on the verge of tears because I don't know what to do to try to feel better. =(

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sassy and sexy

I'll be kicking off my 9 day vacation in Orlando in a few weeks and I can't wait. This will be my final time with my staff as I move on to the new job in a few months. I also can't wait because they're talking about a foot of snow in the next 12 hours. Seriously...can't wait to be done with this crap!

Of course, I had plans to lose weight and tone up before going to Orlando. And though I haven't stuck to a plan, it's working. I've lost quite a bit of weight and even today, had 2 people tell me I look great and I'm so skinny. (I even had horizontal stripes on!) I am working on getting those abs of steel back so I'll be bikini ready. I had a 4-pack a few months ago, but not so much anymore as I quit working them.

As I've been losing weight, of course, my clothes are now too big. I love clothes and fashion and am enjoying getting some new things. Just yesterday, I got 2 new dresses that hit me above the knee. This is a big deal for me as in the past, I've always made sure they were covered with longer skirts and hardly ever wore dresses because I had some hips. Now, bring on the dresses as my hips are smaller, but still curvy.

I'm loving my new body and am finally becoming comfortable in my skin and the way I look. I've always been embarassed about my breasts as they've been large. They're still big, but are more proportional to my body, which I love.

My confidence is boosting as I'm getting used to the new me, including straight hair. Watch out for the new sassy and sexy me! ;)

Too much common sense?

Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common-sense.
— Helen Rowland, journalist/humorist

Monday, February 4, 2008

Committed to the work

I am not perfect, but I am sincerely committed to working on myself.
Week 5 in Everyday Commitments is the very thought behind this blog. It says, "Our goal is not perfection, only commitment to ongoing work on ourselves." It goes on to say, "The work is that of addressing, processing and resolving issues that remain unfinished from our past or are stressful in the present." The chapter has suggestions of themes that this type of work revolves around. These are great themes that have been listed and I'll add my comments after each theme, in order to process. ;)

  • We explore our childhood and recognize how it now impacts our adult relationships and our self-confidence. In grad school, I did a research paper on how adult children from divorced families views on dating and marriage were different than those from non-divorced families. I think I was trying to figure out why my dating life is null and know, trying to blame my parents. Isn't it interesting how much our childhood impacts who we are as adults. However, I do believe that since my mom/parents never really encouraged me or praised me, I don't thrive on that from others. I'm very self-confident in what I do and think it's a result of the lack of it growing up.

  • We look at our fears, addictions, self-criticism, and obsessions. We notice whether we are comfortable with feelings. We consider whether guilt or shame inhibit us. I think I've just recently become comfortable with my fears, self-criticism and feelings. It's freeing to be able to recognize these areas and process them and then move on as needed. I don't let those areas rule my life, which is an area I've had to work on and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, I'm sure.

  • We look at our ego with its need to control others or to act from a sense of entitlement to special treatment. This one really hits home. I used to think I was 'owed' or 'entitled' to a lot of things. Maybe because I worked hard for it or because someone told me it would happen, but now...I realize it's not about me. Just this last week, I've been going through something where I could easily let my ego get the best of the situation and could believe I was owed some things. Instead, I know that the situation is not ideal, but again, it's not about me (I can't control this person's decision) and it'll all work out in the end.

  • We ask ourselves if we are assertive rather than passive or aggressive in our relationships with others. Again, just this week, I made my feelings known. Was it pretty--not at all. It was honest and raw, but a true expression of what I was feeling. This is a HUGE step for me. In high school and college, if I got mad about something, I'd literally leave the situation. I mean, get in my car and physically leave because I couldn't express without being aggressive what I was feeling. I hated being that way and it's taken years for me to be OK with really express what I'm thinking and feeling with others. There's no shame in feeling hurt, angry, upset, etc. but to be passive/aggressive is usually worse than expressing any of those other things.

  • We look at our intimate relationships to see how contented, fearless, and loving they are. This is one that's getting me into trouble, to be real honest. It's great to have intimate relationships, but I'm trying to figure out how intimate you can get with a friend without crossing boundaries. I have to agree that it's absolutely wonderful to have someone I can be honest/fearless with and know that I'm cared for. This is a gray area that I wish was more defined. :(

The closing of this chapter in the book says all that needs to be said:
"After addressing these five areas we process what comes up from each of them. We do this by feeling fully whatever they arouse in us. We pay attention to how they hook up to past events and relationships. We notice if we have built in defenses against knowing about all this. This attentiveness to our own story leads us to resolve the issues that have made it so dramatic or inhibiting. As a result, we can restructure our lives in ways that raise our self-esteem and make us more compassionate toward others. Our psychological work is balances by our growth in spiritual consciousness, which is preciously the theme of the commitments and practices in this book."

Wow--I hope this has been as encouraging to you as it has to me to really take the time and think about how past events have shaped who you are, how to learn from them and how to be a better person because of where you've been.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Blast from the past

This morning, he stared into my eyes and saw into my soul. J, who I thought I would never see again was standing before me and I know I lit up. I wonder if he could see my pleasure from inside of seeing him while we talked.

J and I met via email a few years ago as he was a student contact for his campus for the conference I plan. I was immediately impressed with his leadership and organization, not only for his fraternity, but also for his entire campus. This is a guy who recruited 50+ people (mostly guys) to come to the conference. People loved and respected him.

He was heavily recruited to come onto staff but ended up deciding to do missions overseas. I was sad to hear this as I had developed a little crush on him. To get involved with a student was a huge no-no, but if he was on staff...fair game! He is at least 7 years my junior. That was a little young for me.

So here he was, standing in front of me, telling me about what he's been doing the past year, how he was in Africa doing missions and actually got kicked out of the country. He may be able to go back in a few months, but is thinking he may stay in the states for a few years. Get this...he recruited his mom, dad and brother to come over to Africa to do the same thing. They're still there while he's back in Indiana. Interesting.

His story is amazing and his passion for those in Sudan is highly visible when he speaks about his work. He's a caring and loving guy who wants to help those in need. This spoke to my heart and sparked that interest again. I even tried to recruit him back to staff (as did many other current staff who walked by and stopped to say hi!)

Will anything with J happen? Probably not. It felt good to hear him say he was coming to find me, to see if I was around. I was flattered that he was seeking me out. I told him that it was my last conference and that I was moving to CA. He asked a lot of questions, including one that I'm still thinking about, and was really interested in what I was doing. He's still 7 years my junior, but seemed so much older today as we talked.

After exchanging an awkward hug/handshake (damn, if I had known he wanted a hug, I wouldn't have offered my hand-awkward!) we exchanged email addresses. He did talk to my boss who maybe talked him into joining us in Florida for our staff conference, as we'd love to have him on staff.

What a way to start my day. ;) I really need it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Support in a time of need

I've been working for 16 hours straight and am ready for bed. Today was the day that I've been working the past 6 months for. It's been long hours and lots of work and today is always my worst day of the conference (registration/arrival) and I was really hoping for a little encouragement from my friends who know how hellish this time is for me, and I got nothing. No phone emails saying, "Hang in there. I'm sure you're doing great." No kind of special encouragement on a day I needed it the most...and that hurts.

I've just recently started hanging out with a girl and we've been talking about a lot of things going on in life. I sent her a brief email the other day...something to the effect of "it's been a hard day as I did something that was very hard for me to do (emotionally)." You know what she did? She called 11pm to see how I was doing (I was still at work). Friends who care don't have a time limit on checking in. She recognized that I needed support and was there for me. Wow--that was a great feeling.

I don't think I need a lot of attention or coddling, but there are times when it's nice to know that you're being thought of, especially in times when you're working long hours or are away from home. You know...just to know you're cared about.

I'm sad about this. Should I be? Am I being a baby about this and expecting too much? I should just stop my whining, because really, what good does it ever do. Tomorrow will be a better day as it won't be nearly as crazy as today, even though there will be lots to do. *I just remembered that I didn't eat dinner...not hungry anyways.*