Friday, October 8, 2010

Reset, Rewind, Fast Forward

It is said that the act of sighing is the body's way of resetting its breathing pattern.
I feel as though I keep sighing in the hopes of resetting, of refreshing, my breathing, my life, the endless cycle of unknowns whirring through my brain.

I love my fiance, I do. I love him so much sometimes it almost hurts.  I followed him across the country, leaving friendships broken, stable employment, and my family.  I was off on an adventure- for love and independence and a family of my own.  I took an extended break from my education and put the rest of my dreams on hold for this boy-next-door, a cliched romance. I was falling apart in every sense of the phrase, so I packed all my pieces in a bag and got on a plane.

Those first few months were so dark, some of the darkest I've ever had to wade through. Those pieces were far too heavy and numerous for my arms to carry and he had no clue how to help me. I sat in our apartment, staring at the walls, sleeping, lying in bed, crying, going out only to take the dog for a walk.  It wasn't the life I had pictured for myself or for us at all.

Slowly, I started to come out of the depression.  I actively began looking for work and pushing myself to accept social invitations.  I tried to smile more and seem excited about his attempts to get me out of the apartment.  Eventually, we were renting a house with a friend, I was working temp jobs, paying bills, going to parties, being in love. Now, this! This was more like it!  The things I'd left behind, the sacrifices I'd made to be there didn't seem so big.  And yet, I still felt like something was gradually creeping in on that new found happiness. The more we looked to the future, the more we argued.  Adoption? Schooling for our hypothetical children? Careers? What to do next weekend? Never the same point of view.

Now here is where it gets tricky.  I recognize the need, the requirement, to compromise in any relationship.  Compromise is healthy.  However, when does compromise stop being reasonable? When is it okay to finally step back and say "I love you, but this is just too important to me"?  Do I really feel like I'm not just giving away things, but pieces of myself? Or am I just being selfish and choosing to feel like a martyr?

I took a trip to North Carolina at the end of August.  I spent 10 days at the beach with a group of highly motivated and dedicated people.  I had the days to myself to sit, listening to the ocean, and sigh deeply.  I came back from that trip knowing that while I love my fiance, sometimes that isn't enough.  Sometimes, you have to love yourself more.  Now, difficult decisions must be made.  Do I stay and try to make it work, letting time slip away? Or do I go back to my roots, put some of those relationships back together, recharge my batteries and start working on myself? It is an unfortunate fact that I don't feel I can do both at the same time.  If I'm going to really work on who I am, who I want to be, and what I need to do to get there, I can't do it here with him.  It has to be about "me" and not about "we."

As I sort through college applications this weekend, I will be telling him and myself, that I haven't made up my mind.

"No, dear, no decisions have been made. I'm just exploring my options"

The thing is, I don't know if that's true. Being here feels strange.  My body stays here, working through the necessary actions that must take place before anything else.  However, my mind is elsewhere, having already resigned itself to the facts and the difficult transition ahead. It is eagerly planning lunch dates with old friends, nights alone in my room doing homework, sitting with my mom drinking wine and catching up.

I wonder if this is really what is meant when people talk about detachment. About "out of body experiences."  My body and my love are here.  My thoughts are somewhere else entirely. And my soul? My soul is stuck between the two planes, grating against the walls.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hormones: Blessing or Curse?

This morning, after I walked into work and settled in at my desk, I did my morning rounds of the blogosphere.  Yes, I read the news and blogs while I'm at work.  In my defense, it has never impacted my ability to do my job well and mornings are often very slow.

Anyway, one of my regular sites for news, both fluff pieces and serious, is Jezebel. One of the articles today was about hormonal birth control and the detrimental effects it can have on a woman's libido-

This is an issue I can strongly relate to.  Speaking as someone who tried the Pill for a few years and has now upgraded to an IUD, I can say that finding the right method of birth control has been a struggle. When I first started on the Pill, I can say I did experience some lowered sex drive, but I wasn't having sex every day and it was rarely a huge issue.  Now that I am in a committed and monogamous relationship with S, we came to the mutual conclusion that the Pill wasn't working for me and condoms weren't right for us.

Admit it ladies, no condom just feels better.

So, we made the decision to try an IUD.  It just made more sense.  It is supposed to be more effective than the Pill and I didn't have to worry about taking my birth control at the same time every day.  I admit I'm fairly scatterbrained and was not always diligent about that.  Also, we hope to start a family in a few years and figured that once the IUD was ready to come out, we'd be ready to start trying.

While not having to worry about my birth control is a huge relief, it has come with a slew of other issues.  My skin is worse than ever, I experience more frequent headaches, and I am constantly tired.  Those things are minor, however, compared to the reduced sex drive I have experienced.

S is fairly understanding when I tell him I'm not in the mood, but that's just it! I want to WANT to "get down." I want to fuck, to bang, to grind parts. But when it comes time and he's raring to go, I feel like it's a huge inconvenience, push him away and I get annoyed.  This makes both of us feel terrible.  Neither of us is getting laid and I have a really hard time explaining that I'm so very attracted to him, but I just can't bring myself to get in the mood.  I feel dead down there and it makes me feel unsexy, un-womanly and prudish. 

That all being said, some of my friends tell me I shouldn't complain.  We still have an active sex life, one that sees more sex on a weekly basis that most relationships at our point.  But, I will complain, dammit! Why should we have to trade sound body for a sound mind.  Sure, I don't freak out that I might be pregnant whenever we have unprotected sex, but I shrink back when he tries to touch me? Neither is positive or healthy.  I suppose common sense should have made these risks apparent.

One of our key biological functions is to have children. To expand our families.  Hormonal birth control tricks our bodies.  It tampers with one of the key instincts that furthers our existence. Of course, we would have lower sex drive! On the most basic level, sex is for making babies.  If you're not planning on making babies, wouldn't it make sense that your desire to fornicate dwindles?

An unplanned pregnancy at this point in our lives has the potential to wreck our relationship, but so does my lack of lust.

What's a girl to do?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feeling Good

Okay, so quick review of my work situation:

I started working for a major healthcare organization in our area in February. I started as a temporary employee with a contract to end at the beginning of May. I am filling in for an employee who was on maternity and has since announced that she will not be returning.  Since I started here various "higher ups" have assured me that I will be offered a permanent position, something I thought would happen now that the coworker has decided to extend her leave indefinitely.  Well, instead of offering me the position, they posted it to our job site as well as to the site of the staffing agency I got the job through. I applied for both, but I have this sinking feeling in my stomach that boss lady is not going to offer me the job.  I have felt, more or less since I started, that she is not a fan of me.  I would hope that that would not impact this decision as I have yet to receive any criticism and I do my job well, but I could be wrong.
These particular kinds of situations often lead to unbridled rage and crankiness, but they also provide me with an opportunity to overcome... and for exchanges like this-

*talking about the situation*
Me:  Whatever happens, happens, right?
S:  Yes. I will be sad if you do not get it though
Me:  I will also be sad. But I will be okay. I will find another job. I always do. I have the really important things in my life and that is what matters.
S: Yes.
Me: See, I am trying this "positive" thing on for size.  I like it, I think.
S: It looks good on you.  Especially if you aren't wearing anything else.

Ooh la la! Scandalous!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm not quite sure when it started, but at some point I became an overly anxious person.  Mind you, it isn't an all-the-time occurrence, but at the slightest whiff of bad news my brain starts working in double time.  If someone says "I need to talk to you" in a tone that is anything less than cheery all the possible things I could have done wrong start whirring in my mind.  It's a constant track of "Beware. Be prepared." 

That being said, I rarely am outwardly distressed and often am well-served by this tendency.  It allows me to work through the many possible angles and outcomes of a situation so often, the end result rarely surprises me.  This in turn causes others to perceive me as being cool as a cucumber in scenarios that would otherwise have someone running around as though the sky is falling.

It's a trade off, you see.  A compromise between internal anxiety attacks, sometimes of extreme proportions, and the outward ability to be a pillar of support and strength.  I wish there was a way to be the latter without mental freak-outs, but it seems that I am resigned to being slightly neurotic for the rest of my adult life.

Mind you, this was all sparked by a phone call from my parents house at 9:30 this morning... the only person who would call is my Mom, but she knows I'm at work.  So why? I won't know until my next break at work when I can turn that blinking notification light off and listen to my voicemail.

In other news, my future sister-in-law did have her baby yesterday evening. A beautiful baby girl who is still yet to be named.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blogs, basics, and babies! Oh my!

Well, it seems that I have been absorbed into the blogging community as so many before me.  It seems like a perfectly legitimate way to vent and let the ol' thought patterns air out. Seeing as I have no idea whether others will be reading this, I suppose it would be prudent to provide a bit of background, so here it goes:

I am 20-something living with my fiance, our dog, and a few roomates in Portland, OR.  I originally hail from our nation's capital.  Employment status varies from month to month as the current economic state, as well as Portland's growing popularity, has made jobs scarce.

Okay, formalities... check.

Received word that by the end of today, my fiance's sister will have her baby. Gender is presently unknown and so our household is eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new niece or nephew.  While I already have 3 nephews, this will be a first for my fiance (who will be referred to as S from here on out). 

Staying tuned...