Monday, January 19, 2015

The Bad and The Ugly

So...this is a blog. A personal blog, at that. And I intend to use it as such. Therefore, it'll not always be me farting rainbows.

I've been attempting to actually review my year, my 2014, because I wanted to look back and feel positive about my progress.

Every time I sit down to do it, it seems, the recent troubles that have been brewing get in the way, and I end up wanting to write...well, this, instead.

So, because I'm finding out that the only thing that makes me feel better is writing in a lot of instances, we are.

Again, there are no floaty hearts, rainbows or fuzzy kittens in this post.  It's a cleanse, kinda like you do at the beginning of the year to try to pretend you're going to make things better and get a clean start. Only I need to get serious and actually get a clean start.

On the up side, at least I had an appropriate photo for this post.

I failed a lot this year.
I think I was fine until October, when I got laid off.

Every time this happens (which has been way too often since getting to Illinois from New Mexico), I say I'm not gonna let it drag me into depression or the "not good enough" or the "failed at life" mindset, and it seems to creep in and get me regardless. And I spiral, regardless, and withdraw, and think that's the answer.

Well, this time, it's affected everything, my relationships too, and it's not okay.

I was fighting with the state for 80 days for money I really, really needed. I was in the office all.the.time. trying to get that to work. I got hired for a new temp job, which turned out to be a curse because of how often I'd have to try and get out of coming in to go deal with state stuff I couldn't ignore. Consequently, I'd have my recruiter and the new office team and managers thinking I was a slacker or liar or whatnot. It doesn't feel good.  I finally, out of desperation, brought in every one of the letters from unemployment and a full record of all my contact to them.

It was not a little. It was an inch thick.  My phone habits were this:  work as a temp making outbound calls all day. Get in the car to commute home. Call unemployment, be on hold the whole way home only to either get disconnected, or to talk to someone new and get a whole new story.

It wrecked me. Suddenly I felt completely wasted when I got home.  My Chicagoist work fell off, as much as that's the thing I want to do the most, the direction I want to take my career in. I felt crazy, and I felt unheard.  At one point the state kept asserting that I had an out of state ID.  This point in time I'd already been to the office 3 weeks in a row, WITH my Illinois ID. I'd sent tons of emails. I'd faxed the copy of the ID three times. And I was getting letters near daily saying I was denied for being from out of state.

I quit Wind Ensemble. I don't regret that choice right now except that I know how much music makes me feel better and more human. I made that choice because I wanted to focus on my significant other, my Chicagoist work, and other aspects of my life that I felt like were already being neglected in one way or another. I wanted to make myself more available for that, and I felt like if I gave myself more breathing room maybe I could do that. I just felt like I couldn't really give it my all, and I have been sick of not giving things my all. When I join again, I want to join a strong member of the group, able to really contribute the way I wanted to.

I was fighting for the money partially to be a part of a friend's wedding, but somewhere along the way, in lots of stupid misunderstandings and too many phone numbers, emails and facebook posts, I dropped the ball. I caused a huge rift I'm still not sure has healed. I was glad to be able to be at the wedding at all, but as much as I try not to have regrets, watching the bridal party give speeches and dance and be a part of that day like we always said we would be for each other, I can't help but feel like a really shitty friend. I hope I can find some way to make it up to her.

I've been trying to figure out what friendships I've dropped the ball in and upkeep them. I keep feeling pressured to introduce everyone to my boyfriend, and I want to, but not as a way to prove I really have one, and I end up feeling resentful even though that might be the reason, and I don't want to have to explain why it hasn't worked yet.  I think about it sometimes and feel like it's a silly pressure to feel, considering in a lot of cases, I didn't meet a friend's significant other until they were married, or if i did it was a quick wave.  I have a boyfriend, we have a lot on our plates, we love each other, and we make it work. If we aren't able to come out and meet and greet, that has to be okay, and when we are, I'll be glad to.

I know there are people that wanted to do things with me that I withdrew from, and I hope they don't feel like it was because of the boyfriend, because I should be the one to blame for that. Entirely.
I was feeling like I just needed to breathe and like I was under pressure and like I was drowning. I should not have been so out of touch so long, and if you are reading this and felt hurt by that, I accept full responsibility. It's my fault, and I will do better.

I'm coming into the New Year (capitals?) with more regret than I wanted to carry, fearful that I've been a bad person, a bad friend, and that I'm consistently jeopardizing my relationships with the people I love the most. I come into the new year wondering who I am, and if it's a much worse picture than the one I had of myself, which wasn't a Rembrandt to begin with.

And that's the real story.
I want to do better.
I will do better.
Words don't mean a thing, so I guess you just have to decide if you'll be around when I do better or not.

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