The Way I Think

Hey. Thanks so so much for all your comments on my last post. Sometimes I wonder why I blog, then I read other peoples blogs, comments on other peoples blogs, comments on my own blog, and…I remember exactly why. To hear I’m not alone. I love social media and I also hate it because seeing everyone’s statuses squealing about getting promotions or getting the coolest job ever, Instagram pictures that feature the hashtag “#engaged” and whatever, gets me reallll down in the dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for everyone and when I comment ‘congrats! happy for you!’ I mean it (most times), but sheesh, I hate that their happiness/success makes me feel like shit about myself. I feel angry and saddened that (it appears) everyone is moving forward yet I am like a hamster on the wheel that never gets anywhere, forever chilling on the very bottom. Being grateful every day is not something that comes easily to me. Neither does self-acceptance (believe me we know, think longtime readers of this blog).

I was thinking today about how I always dwell on all the things that I’m not and all the things I don’t have, instead of all the things that I am and all the things that I do have. What brought this revelation on was when I was at the mechanic/neighbors picking up our plentiful packages [oh the holiday season], and one of the mechanics said to me, “I thought you should know that when your package came today, as so-and-so signed for it, he said ‘Oh good, that means Caitlyn will come by today.’ We all look forward to your appearances because you make us laugh.” I was so stunned/touched by this, I think I stuttered a thank you, resorted to my standby self-deprecating humor bout how that’s the first time I ever heard somebody say they were looking forward to seeing me, we all laughed, I walked away smiling and hadn’t stopped smiling since. Whenever I’m at the neighbors, I am just trying to not be my always awkward self, and I never thought what they might see or take out of the brief exchange because I always just assume my jokes are stupid, that they’re counting the seconds until that awkward neighbor leaves. I always see the worst. I think I’m awkward, I’m always going to be awkward, but that’s not what other people necessarily see. These neighbors don’t know how I see myself.

I pout too often about how I don’t like my weight right now, but I ignore the positive changes I have made.  I was staring at my grocery cart in the check-out line the other day and I couldn’t believe that it was my cart, full of stuff picked out by ME. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you what egg whites were. Or why too much sodium was a problem. Or what almond milk was. Or what Greek yogurt was. and why it was different. Two years ago when I went to the grocery store, I completely ignored the perimeter of the grocery store. I never bought produce. Ever. I bought cookies, crackers, bagel bites, ice-cream, cheez-its, pop-tarts. All I drank was soda, alcohol and the occasional water with Crystal Light. I’m pretty confident that I never, ever, ever hit my suggested veggie intake. Now I fill my cart with egg whites, fat-free Greek yogurt, cranberries, spinach, bananas, strawberries, almonds, carrots. I think and care about things like my veggie intake everyday and make smoothies or small salads to accommodate if I realize it’s low. I pause to dwell on if I am drinking enough water – and sometimes, I even drink more water than recommended. I limit myself to one soda or one Crystal Light a week, and sometimes I go without them.

I get borderline depressed when I look at my bank account and remember how poor I am. But if I frame the situation another way,  I  feel proud that while my bank account doesn’t end with as many zero’s as I’d like it to, I’m living on my own in a new city, paying bills, and am still managing to save something.  When I moved to this city, I lived here for 4.5 months without any income. I’m proud that I managed to make it work and am still here making it work and learning about living on my own. I personally have a lot to learn about how to be an adult and live on my own.

Not only do I tend to have a distaste for where I am in my life and dwell on all the things that I’m presently not, I am guilty of pigeon-holing myself and accepting what I  let myself think I can never be. Make sense? Probably not. I know I hold myself back and don’t take chances because “well, obviously, that’s not for me, that’s for people cooler/more successful/more talented than me. I won’t be able to do that.” It’s sobering to realize I severely underestimate myself and cut myself off from fun things. Shouldn’t I be my own advocate? My biggest  cheerleader? It’s sad to realize I’m always my worst critic – and yes, I know I’m not alone in that. I’m training for a 12 miler in August (!!!!!) which I NEVER thought I’d do. Those kinds of things were obviously for runners only and I can never be a runner because .. hello..look at me, my name is Caitlyn, it’s not in my DNA, I suck at everything forever and ever amen. I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll be able to pull it off but I try to banish those thoughts and just focus on going a teensy bit further than I did yesterday.  I always thought it’d be so cool to be a half-marathoner but never pursued it because of who I thought I was and who I just accept that I am. Lazy, afraid, doomed, terrible at everything,hopeless. Yes, I’m lazy, but I can overcome that. Yes, I walked a nearly-20 minute mile in 7th grade and hated it every second, but why oh why still think about that 10 years later? It was a stupid grade school fitness test, it should have nothing to do with today, and the Caitlyn back then was most definitely not the Caitlyn of now. Thank God.

Really I get so angsty about how I’m not where I want to be, but I don’t stop to think about where I am, compared to where I  have been. Sure it’s not as fast and the results aren’t as sudden as I’d want them to be, but they are there. The littlest of results. Things – good things – will happen if I keep chugging along. Even if it feels like I’m getting nowhere. Good things are there. I just have to pay more attention and readjust what view I’m looking at.

Five Facts Friday, 2

I liked last weeks so much I’m doing it again. This works because a lot of times I have stupid things to share but don’t because blah that’s not worth a whole post and how do I tie it into the other stupid thing I feel compelled to put on the Internet because they don’t “go together” at all? I take things too seriously and I like this format. Plus, my love for alliteration makes sure I keep this somewhat short and weed out the really stupid anecdotes. So away we go.

 

1.  I still haven’t decided whether I like “fitness fund” or “muscle money” better which makes it really sad that the month is [practically] over.  I made myself $25. Yeah! I meant to take a picture of my wonderful jar full of dolla dolla bills y’all but I forgot and it’s at home and now I’m at work and I know you’re sad that I’m starting your weekend off by denying you such a joy. I don’t go to the gym on weekends usually because I like to go the one near my work, and not the one near my house, BUT my DVD player now works and last month I bought myself fitness DVDs that I’ve been doing on weekends so that’s why my number is so high. I liked this jar thing, except it took me  awhile to get going as I kept forgetting to put $1 in as I never have any cash on me so I had to keep writing “IOU” notes to myself. I think I am going to reward myself for all my hard work and go get a manicure or something. My nails are atrocious. I was drunk one night and saw how chipped they were and so I “filled them in” myself and it looks like a two year old did it. I’m embarrassing.

 

2. I’ve been talking about going to BodyCombat forever but I haven’t done it because the only time it was offered was inconvenient and got me to work too late. BUT…the location I go to is now offering it Wednesday nights! I am so, so, so excited. It goes to show that if you take absolutely no action and complain about it enough inside your head, things will happen. I think that’s the mantra they advocate in The Secret or something. It’s offered at night, which throws a wrench in my schedule because when you get off work at 3:30…and the class isn’t until 6…there’s not much to do. Refresher, as I live downtown, and work 25 minutes outside of the city and the gym location I like to go to is near work because it’s so much less crowded and the people are nicer. It makes no sense to go home, then drive back and get stuck in rush hour with all the commuters leaving the city. And the pool has closed so there goes that option. So I’m going to have to figure out my Tuesdays too because no way in hell am I giving up my fun Zumba and the adorable teacher.  I’m probably going to go to all of the wonderful shopping in the area [yay! uh oh?] or just make Sarah hang out with me. O hai gurl.

 

3. The Baltimore Grand Prix is this weekend and I can’t hear the sound of all the newspapers and all the interviews from city officials spouting off about how wonderful it is for Charm City’s PR and how lucky we are to be “chosen” and be in the spotlight over the reality of how effing inconvenient it is. They closed alllllll of downtown and it makes getting in or out of the city mission effing impossible. I loathe it with the passion of a thousand trillion suns. I hear Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy) is participating or something so the only way this is acceptable is if he finds me in my house and offers to give me a bunch of money he doesn’t want anymore. Otherwise, if anyone needs me I will be locked in my house this weekend with a pillow over my head [in an ideal world i would be asleep beneath it but], whispering “come and get me when it’s over!” Dramatic party of one? maybe,  but it really is the worst ever ever ever ever.

 

4. You know I love to read. It’s like my full-time job.  I made the mistake of reading Gone Girl [by Gillian Flynn] last year on a 5 hour car ride to New Hampshire to visit family friends, which in hindsight, was a terrible error. Because I was miserable all weekend, you know, being social and stuff with people we haven’t seen in years, when all I wanted to do was be left alone on my air mattress so I could readreadread and figure out what the hell was going on and how it would all end. I know people are “eh” about Gone Girl but I loved it because the plot [to my eyes] was so original and fresh, and I really had NO clue how it was going to end. Nada. SO…where is this going…I’ve been looking for a book similar to that and haven’t found any but my boss Sharon introduced me to Jeffery Deaver and the Lincoln Rhyme series. I am obsessed. I’ve torn through 7 of them, and they are lengthy. This is a blaring signal that I need a life. My two favorites are “The Vanished Man” and “The Cold Moon”. Buy them. It’s not the kind of series where you need to read them all or even read them in order. You think you know what is going to happen, then you’re wrong and you think this is going to happen, then you’re wrong, then you think oh! I’ve got it! THIS is totally going to happen, then you’re wrong, then you think okay the book is almost over this is totally how it’s going to happen and you’re fifty shades of wrong.  Then the end comes and you’re still surprised. So….get them.

 

5. Al, the maintenance man who works in our office building is the cheeriest, nicest guy ever. When I started at this job, he asked me my name and I said, of course, “Caitlyn” and he nodded, and said okay. He then started addressing me as “Hey Hayden!” At first I assumed I had heard him incorrectly because I spent my teenage years blaring my i-pod on the loudest possible headphone settings and my hearing ain’t so gewd. Then by time I realized no, he really is saying Hayden, I didn’t know how to politely correct him because though I am awkward, I do try to at least be polite.  So for months, he’s called me Hayden whenever he sees me. I figured it wasn’t a huge deal if some man I see every other day or so calls me by the wrong name.  Then on Wednesday I’m waiting for the elevator with my company president, and of course, who walks up but Al. “Hey, Boss man! Hey Hayden!” He sings out. I turn scarlet red and suddenly develop an intense interest in counting the dots on the ceiling tiles. The president turns to me and says “Hayden??? Really, CAITLYN? You are something else.” He chuckles for a long time. I sheepishly turn to the maintenance guy and I’m like “I’m so sorry I didn’t know how to correct you!!!” Al thought it was hilarious that I let him call me the wrong name for so long. I was mortified. I feel really bad. I wasn’t trying to be deceitful or anything (although I do like giving out fake names at bars). Blah. I haven’t seen the company president since but I am really hoping this doesn’t turn into some kind of inside joke where he  calls me Hayden. Le sigh.

Navigating the Office Social Scene

I just started my dream job a month ago and while I love what I’m doing, I feel as if I’m completely failing at successfully integrating as a culture fit. My company has 75 employees and while my supervisor took me around to each wing and introduced me to every employee on my first day, when I see them in the kitchen or they stop in to talk to the girl I share my cubicle with, for the life of me I can’t remember their name. This bugs the hell out of me as I like to be able to put a name to a face and I want to start being friends with these people, and first step to that is obviously knowing their damn name.

I sit protected in my cubicle by a big wall, so unless people come looking for me or the girl who sits behind me (named Christine), they won’t see me ever. And I have no reason to go wandering around the office (I have a printer, the kitchen is just down the hall, the bathroom is just outside the exit door closest to me) and running into people, so I’m also not seeing many of them. I won’t be going to any inter-department meetings for another month. So unless HR creates a photo roster (highly unlikely), I’m not sure how to resolve this problem besides just drifting along in time and hoping they understand. And I hate it. I feel like an ass for not knowing names yet. I’m usually pretty good with names, but not this many.

Also just within my department, I feel horrendously awkward and have no idea how I’ll fit in yet. There’s 13 of us, all female, and I have their names down at least. 10 of the ladies are over 40 and these are the ladies I’ve found to be so incredibly nice. They have all worked together awhile and have a great rapport. The other two are: Christine, 29 and Jenna, 23. They’re incredibly tight. I share my cubicle with Christine. They’re politely friendly, but have shown zero interest in anything beyond that. Jenna is my age, which I was so excited about! However, she’s been the most withdrawn with me. She’ll come into my cubicle a few times a day to gossip with my cubicle-mate but they drop their voices so low I can’t hear them and attempt to engage. It’s maddening. Are they talking about me? Why can’t I participate? Why aren’t they being more friendly? I’m the first hire in a year and a half (since they hired Jenna) so I feel like everyone in my department’s watching closely to see how/where I fit myself in. It’s miserable.

This is an amazing (albeit, low-paying) opportunity with room for growth, so I want to be here for a while and I want to be friendly with these people, in my department and out of it. Within my department, I don’t know how to fit in. I know it’ll take time, but it’s been a month already and I’m no closer to figuring out how I fit. I’m friendly, I smile, and I try not to act too desperate. Do I wait it out and hope Jenna and Christine’s icy exteriors will eventually melt and they’ll let me into their circle? Or do I cling to the 40 year olds who’ve been so nice, even though I can’t participate in their conversations about child-rearing, etc? With our department holiday activities coming up, I’m beginning to dread it.

I’m not a social butterfly by any means, but I can start up a conversation and engage in one, I’m just not sure how to successfully cement a place here.

Anyone out there go through something similar and have any advice?! I’m at a loss here and would love to hear from you!