Monday, November 18, 2013

A peak into the backroom

I’ve been meeting all kinds of new people recently, going on some first and second dates. I’ve decided that a first date is a little like letting someone into my sitting parlor. There’s a nice sitting area, a decorative but uncomfortable couch and two equally uncomfortable high back reading chairs, a nice rug, and a credenza full of interesting and beautiful pieces and accomplishments I’ve collected in life. It’s a beautifully decorated space I use when networking for my career, and while it is still a part of my house it isn’t really the space I live my day-to-day life in. Awkwardly we sit in the formal room for a time, talking about work, my schooling, where the different members of my large family live, and about the movies I’ve seen recently. Oftentimes we’ll wander together into the living room, but only after I’ve managed to shove a few untidy things in the backroom, vacuum up a little, and give the living room a quick dusting. It’s a lot more comfortable there and reveals more of my real day-to-day life, but it’s still clean and ready to receive new guests.

I’m picturing the hustle in my actual living room the hour before guests were coming over this weekend to watch a movie at my place. Just ask Jared, he came early on Sunday. We are no longer dating, but I still managed to boss him around like we still are. I had him washing dishes, wiping down the kitchen table, taking out the trash, and vacuuming the living room while I finished cleaning my bathroom/bedroom so guests could walk through and admire my clean bedroom on their way to the bathroom. (I’m afraid poor Jared will think twice about showing up early next time!) This isn’t just a metaphor. We all do it, but as an emotional metaphor it works as well.

I had had a rough time this weekend. I was rearranging things in my emotional backroom and stumbled across some icky stuff in the corner. I needed to talk about it, figure out what to do with this crap. I did something I don’t often do; I called someone I’ve gone on a few dates with (someone I would normally be trying to impress with my good taste in fine art hung in my living room). I took him back to that emotional backroom, pulled out a flashlight, and showed him what I had stumbled onto. I nervously stood there after showing him a few shelves in that room, feeling vulnerable, wondering if this kind of mess was a deal breaker for him. 

He asked a few questions about what I showed him and commented on the difficulty of keeping backrooms clean. He didn’t say anything about the state of the room or the icky nature of the mess I showed him; he didn’t even give tips on how to clean it up. We talked about how I think the mess got there, how overwhelmed I am at the thought of getting that particular corner clean, and how I plan to go about scrubbing it up. He tread gently and softly. We eventually moved back into the living room and talked about other things, but the encounter left me feeling lighter. I don't have to shove everything in the dark recesses of my backroom before letting someone new in. 

Well, except that old cardboard cutout of Prince William that represents the crush I've held on to since middle school. No one needs to see that stuff around anymore. ;)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Breaking Up Sucks

I feel like the Coldplay of bloggers, I only blog about break ups. I had all the intention in the world to blog about my new hobby of running, my Christmas vacation in Indonesia, and my one New Year’s Resolution. But it is after a break up I find myself with all this time on my hands and strong emotions that want (need?) to be written about.

The first day or two after a breakup there may be tears, but I generally feel fine. I usually reflect on all the good things that come from breaking up. I have a smaller grocery bill—good, more time for working out and getting enough sleep—plus, a chance to catch up on pleasure reading—double plus. 

But then it starts sinking in. The absence of that someone who would hold me when I felt down (or even when I didn’t feel upset), make out with me when I felt a little frisky, and feed me dinner when I was about to get hangry. Then there are the inside jokes, the daily texts, and that person who knows of and cares about the mundane details of my daily life—the annoyance with coworkers, the upcoming deadlines, the fears that scale from small to large, and all those amusing tidbits in between.  Later comes the aching, that deeper loneliness and longing that sometimes leads to long tearful soul conversations with friends that help fulfill, other times to nights of Jane Austin movies and ice cream, and occasionally to some Mormon version of one night stands.

I’m on day two. This breakup was my call. So, I’m OK, but I’ve finished reading Ender’s Game and I’m really starting to miss him. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Liann and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

What's worse than getting your root canal redone?

Getting your root canal redone...

in two phases,
I thought I was just coming in for initial appointment. You know...x-rays, some prodding with dental tools, and a stop by the receptionist to set up the dreaded appointment for the root canal. But after poking around the endodontist said he had time to start the root canal now.  Only when he took his gloves off, threw them in the hole on the counter, slapped his knee and said "OK well, you're all done for today. We cleaned out two of the four roots. The receptionist will set up an appointment to finish the other two." did it dawn on me that agreeing to "getting started" today was a bad idea. I walked toward the receptionist touching my numb right ear wishing I had thought this through a little more.

on an empty stomach,
It was then I also remembered that in my rush to get out the door I never bothered to have breakfast that morning. Picturing myself with things dribbling out the side of my mouth and biting my tongue made me cringe. Maybe I could find some chocolate milk and a straw?

paying for it yourself,
 Luckily I had enough foresight to sign up for the more expensive dental plan because paying the 20% of the procedure was rough enough. Mom and Dad, if I never told you earlier, THANK YOU for financing my all my previous dental work.

without your mom around to baby you.
Now, my mom had 10 kids, so pampering was never part of the "getting sick" routine. But she would do wonderful things like pick up your prescription for you, buy you some fancy kind of juice, and maybe even run by Blockbuster to get a new movie or two (remember when that was a thing?) while you were plopped down on the couch in front of the TV with a bag of ice wrapped in a towel on your cheek.  Nope not anymore, instead I drove myself to the pharmacy, somehow communicated with my numb mouth what I needed, waited, paid for my Vicodin and penicillin, and headed in to work where there were managers who still needed things done COB. I couldn't even call my mom in Indonesia for some sympathy because it was too late and I verbal communication was...well, limited.

Basically it's been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. This whole being an adult thing has it's perks, but man it comes at a cost. And if you've never read the book "Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" you missed an important part of childhood.

Friday, August 17, 2012

And the absurd.

My life seems very absurd these days. The following is a sampling of the absurdity…

The temperature of my office. Somehow it has managed to feel like winter all summer. I almost resorted to buying a snuggie (turns out the Kmart in NYC is too classy to even sell adult sized snuggies). Instead I bought a fuzzy blanket, drink tea regularly, and bundle up with the few cardigans I (luckily) thought to bring in the move.

Recent podiatric injuries. I always feared these revolving metal “doors” in the NYC subway, but about 3 weeks ago I was walking through one of these on my way to work:

With classic NYC impatience, the person behind me pushed “the door” faster than I was going and my heel then came in contact with this part of the revolving metal cage of death:

I got up most of the stairs before I looked down to find a much bloodier version of this gash on the back of my heel:

I dug out some tissues from my purse, hobbled over to the nearest drugstore, bought big Band-Aids, Neosporin, and some ibuprofen, did a little surgery on the side of the street, and headed to the office. When I realized there was no way I’d make it home in the pair of flats I wore to work I limped through the department store below my office during lunch and bought two pairs of flipflops.  Absurd! Absurd I tell you! I’ve been walking around the city in those two pairs of sandals for the last 3 weeks. So much for my fashionable NY summer!  I finally tried on a pair of tennis shoes and went running earlier this week, which leads to the next absurdity.

Impulsive goal setting. In a fit of…who knows what…I managed to find my way to a half marathon website. Thirty minutes later I was plugging in my billing info to pay for the half marathon in Annapolis on December 1st.  “What were you thinking Liann?” You ask. Well, I’ve wondered the same thing. Upon reflection I realize this crazy decision may have something to do with:
·         a longstanding envy of my running friends (Jess and Christine you are so sexy!),
·         my upcoming 10 year high school reunion (I will have something interesting to talk about!),
·         peer pressure from my current roommates who are training for a full marathon (I can do anything you can do…),
·         and a recent shopping excursion (wait, I can’t even pretend to fit into Old Navy’s generous size 10 pants?!?).
Nonetheless, I’m so glad the impulse came. The first week of my training schedule has felt great. Like impulsive shopping, I’m sure I’ll have a little half-marathon runner’s remorse come October and November, but this first week of training has been great and I’m look forward to giving this running thing a go!

Impulsive trip planning. A friend of mine emailed me with an invitation to come to his parent's place in Martha's Vineyard while he's vacationing there this September. I got so excited about it I bought plane, shuttle, and ferry tickets the next morning. Never mind that I am moving back to DC the weekend before this trip.

A friend still in need of money. After running a food truck in DC for years, the husband of a friend of mine is starting a restaurant! They have one week and are halfway to their goal to raise $30,000 for the unexpected, but necessary repairs to the building. So I’m making a shameless plug for them. It's absurd they haven't met their goal. Help change that by making a pledge on (and if you aren’t around for the goodies I can help with that! J). 

Anyway, I'm just looking forward to getting back to a little more normalcy in DC come September. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One more plug for Canada

I walk past this bed and breakfast near my apartment almost every day and often I think, "If this is the American dream I think I'll move to Canada."

Monday, August 13, 2012

The time has come...

Dear Facebook Friends,

Some of you are friends from high school. Others of you were coeds with me at the old BYU. When I think of many of you I have memories of commiserating together over our single lives. But clearly, many of you have moved on.

Now your wedding photos were cute and sometimes even inspiring. I could stomach the obscene amount of pregnancy updates and baby photos because I knew they were meaningful to you. Funny quotes from your toddler and recaps of their crazy antics were totally welcome (they made me laugh and feel instantly grateful for my life). BUT PEOPLE this recent deluge of first-day-of-school photos are really starting to get to me.

I know I'm way past my "Mormon prime," but come on! I'm not even thirty yet and here you are with a kindergartener! Wait, no, a second grader AND a kindergartener! Bah! I hate to break it to you, but it might be time for me to hide your updates from my Facebook feed. This was intended to be a medium for  witty banter, stalking of potential boyfriends, viritual flirting, and the occasional showing off of my recent bad ass vacation. You and your adorable backpack clad kids are really starting to cramp my style.

Your Truly,

P.S. Oh and you overly religious, outspoken anti-religious, or overtly politically minded friends this doesn't mean you haven't fallen off my radar. I have an "unsubscribe from status updates" button and I'm not afraid to use it. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My other birthday

When I first moved to NYC my roommate explained that people in NYC have two birthdays: the day they were born and the day they moved to the Big Apple. She said that transplants to the city will celebrate their New York birthday with friends more often than their real birthday.

Apparently I didn’t have a life until I moved to New York City on Saturday June 2nd, 2012. Since I’m not planning to be a full time resident of NYC, I wonder what I’ll call the day I move back to the DC area in September. My death day? Silly, the whole thing is slightly silly.

But I have to say this summer in NYC has been beautiful. As silly as it sounds, it has brought life back into me. There has been something about it that I can’t quite pinpoint. I think it has something to do with the time I’ve been able to spend with my brothers and sister in law, the inspiring theater I’ve seen on and off Broadway, and all the yoga classes I’ve attended for myself (rather than for my teacher training). I have spent many solitary hours exploring the city and re-found a curiosity for life that feels reminiscent of my travels in India. I suspect it all has a lot to do with this foreign thing called “unstructured time,” evening hours and weekends that I haven’t been able to fill and fill and fill with all the busyness I found in DC. It has been a beautiful summer of renewal.

I’ve debated and debated about starting up this blog since moving here. My birth in NYC brought a return of an itch for creative writing. But what is the point of posting it on a blog for all to see? While I haven’t figured out that answer, I do know my mom still reads my blog and would love to see new posts. So here’s to you Mom—thanks for your part in my first birthday and your support through my second (love you!). And let the blogging begin (again).