Change is Coming

Have you ever been really excited and scared shitless at the same time? That’s me right now. I’ve basically made the decision to start looking for a new job. As if that’s not scary enough, I’ve also decided that it’s time I left the state of Texas after living here for 37 years. The logistics of it all is a bit overwhelming, so I’m a little freaked out, but I know it’s the right decision. I’ve never done this before. The only times I’ve moved to a new town as an adult was when I left for college and the two times my ex-hubby got a new job. This move is going to be big…new state big.

I’m currently in the Austin area and have been since 2000. I’ve established roots here. I have friends here who I consider family. My parents and brother live in Arlington, which is less than three hours away. On the flip side, I think I may know two people in Nashville, so it’s going to be a bit lonely at first. Hell, I’ve never even been to Nashville unless you count changing flights at the airport.

When I’ve mentioned to close friends about my decision, usually the first question they ask is, “Why Nashville?” That’s a valid question. Part of the reason is that I’m what you would consider a “baby bear.” I don’t want things too hot or too cold. I want them just right. I looked at the weather a few minutes ago and compared Austin to Nashville. Here, it is 99 degrees outside. There? It’s 86. In July. 86. Yeah. Nashville actually has seasons but they aren’t too extreme. Again…baby bear.

Another reason for choosing Nashville is that it’s not that big of a change from the Austin area. I’m going from the live music capital to Nashville. That won’t be too much of an adjustment there. Sure, I work downtown right now, but I’m a suburbia girl. (Again, baby bear.) I can have the convenience of the music venues without being right in the middle of everything.

My third reason for choosing Nashville has to do with my recent trip in May. I went back to Kentucky and Ohio, where I’m originally from, to visiting friends and family. From Nashville, it’s about a 3 ½ hour drive to see my aunt, my cousins, and their kids. I NEVER see my family. They don’t come to Texas except once in a blue moon, so this would allow me a weekend trip to see them…or my sister and brother-in-law who live in Ohio. I can’t tell you how good it did my heart to see them all when I was there, but a rushed trip once every 2-3 years is not what I had in mind. Sure, if I want to see my parents and brother then I could just take a Friday off and fly there instead of spending most of my weekend driving. I rarely go up there as it is, and they rarely come down here. It would really be no different in that aspect.

Finally, the main reason I’m choosing to move is for the mere fact that I need to fucking shake up my life. Growth only happens outside your comfort zone, and I’ve gotten way too comfortable here. I want to meet new people. I want to see places I haven’t seen. I want to take a fucking chance for once and see what happens. This is the part that scares me to my core. I don’t think it will be a mistake to move, but this is a different kind of lonely. I know my friends and family will always be a phone call away, but I feel like I’ve relied on them for too long and need to find my own way. I want to find a job doing something that truly makes me happy. I’m not happy in my career now, so I feel change in imperative. The fear and excitement will push me forward, so I just need to trust my gut that this is what I need at this point in my life.

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Bored Enough to Move

I am so fucking bored! Being at home and not having anything to do is fine…some of the time, but at work…it’s brutal! I’m starting to wonder if the clock is ticking backwards. I’ve had some time to look up those awesome Magic Eye pics online. Those are the ones where you have to let your eyes go all wonky so you can see the hidden picture pop out in 3D. I actually have two of those books at home. So far I’ve seen a shark, a horseback rider, some guys playing soccer, and various other shapes and forms.

Seriously though, I HATE being bored at work. I have better things to do with my time than sitting around twiddling my thumbs. If this was an Olympic sport, I’d definitely say I’d have been awarded the gold medal at this point.

My main boss is in New York right now and has had meetings all this week. Tomorrow he goes back to his home in the Hamptons until next week when he travels to Rhode Island. Must be nice to own a second home. Hell, I can’t even afford a first home. Given that there really isn’t anything I can do for him most of the day, I end each day with a recap of things he needs to follow-up on and his appointments for the next day. I leave work at 5:00 pm at the latest because the thumb twiddling can be done elsewhere. Yesterday, after I left, I got several emails from him starting at 5:04 pm. Too bad, so sad. Guess those are waiting.

I need a job that challenges me. I need to shake things up a bit. Last month I made a decision. As of Spring of next year, I’m moving from Austin, TX to Nashville, TN. The idea scares the hell out of me, but it is also very exciting at the same time. Moving from the Live Music Capital to Nashville won’t be too drastic I think, but there are other perks. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. I’ve been in Austin since 2000 and Texas since 1981. It’s time. Seriously!
  2. I’m what you call a “Baby Bear” kinda gal. I don’t want the temp too hot or too cold, but rather just right. In Nashville I’d actually have seasons but they’re not too extreme either.
  3. I have a lot of friends and family in Kentucky and Ohio, which would be between 3 ½ & 4 ½ hours away. I just took a trip there in May and realized I hadn’t been back in Ohio (where my sister lives) since 2011 when my grandmother passed away. That’s too damn long!
  4. I can start fresh with a new job and new place. I have lots of friends here, but we rarely do anything together, and…well…dating her fucking sucks! I think one of my last messages from a guy said, “You look good enough to eat!” Ewwwww!! Maybe the guys are the same in Nashville, but at least I’d have a fresh batch there. I’ve already dated some of the same people my girlfriends have and that’s just icky!
  5. I know too many people who know someone else I know in the most RANDOM ways. This can be a bit jarring at times. I’ve been known to sit there with my jaw on the floor trying to figure out why a former co-worker here in Austin lives next door to a guy I was in a single class with in college my freshman year out in west Texas. The best was discovering that a guy I was dating worked (at the time) with my ex-hubby’s wife. That was some interesting insight for sure!

Well, this is a lot to think about. I’m waiting until the Spring because I should get my bonus and hopefully a raise with my current company in January, I’ll get my income tax refund back in February or early March, and I can use those cushions to help with moving costs, assuming my new employer doesn’t do so. My current lease is up in November, so a 4-6-month lease should be do-able. This is uncharted waters for me, so any advice you have on starting over in a new town is greatly appreciated!!

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It’s Eating Away At Me

I’m good at it. Really good…skilled even. I’d definitely say that it’s something that has always come easy for me, and this has been the case my entire life. I’ve never understood why this is, or why it isn’t as easy for others as it is for me. Honestly, I’m jealous of those people. I hate that, with minimal effort, I’m able to accomplish it so quickly, sometimes, it seems, with just a look. Why, for the love of all that is holy, did I get cursed with the gift of being able to easily gain weight?!

I’ve never been “thin.” Sure, I’ve lost weight, but somehow it always found me again. I’ve managed to keep about 40 pounds off since 2010, but every day is a struggle. My office provides dispensers of regular and peanut M&M’s which are only 22 steps from my desk. (Yes, I’ve measured it.)

Why can’t I have a reset button that would reboot my brain so I no longer crave that which is bad for me? Sure, I exercise three times a week, but why don’t I just burn the same number of calories snuggled up on the couch watching a good movie? Mindless eating probably leads to a lot of it, but my attitude of “fuck it, I’m gonna eat that” also comes into play. I know what to do to lose weight, but damn, why does it have to be so hard and so restricting?!?!

I hear people talk about how they miss their bodies from their early 20’s. I never had that experience. I’ve never worn a bikini or been able to wear cute unmentionables from Victoria’s Secret. I’m actually smaller now than I was at my wedding back in 1996. It is interesting to look back on pictures from my 16-year marriage to see how I changed over the years. The one constant though was just how easily I could go from weight loss to weight gain.

I’m sure I’ll snap out of this “fuck it” phase, but for now, I’m going to try to balance exercise with a mostly healthy diet. I’d love to say I’ll avoid the 22 weekday steps, but realistically, it’s just too convenient. Plus, the colors are so pretty!! Ugh…I’m in hell!

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The Unseen Struggle

I am the sum of my experiences. They make me who I am. The tough times I’ve been through shape how I view the world. They shape how I react to what someone says or does. No one else has walked a mile in my shoes or survived what I have. That part of me, the part that changed me forever due to struggle or tragedy, is invisible.

There isn’t a physical scar acting as a symbol of what I’ve endured. Hell, looking at me you wouldn’t know that I’m a lefty…or Jewish-ish…or a Yankee. What’s more, looking at me you have no way to know that I’ve been through infertility treatments, been divorced after a 16+ year marriage, struggle all day every day with food and food-related issues, or am incredibly lonely. My damage is unseen.

It hides behind a smile. It takes no physical shape and does not leave a physical scar. The hurt is much deeper. It has dulled quite a bit over the years, but it’s still there. Certain things can trigger it and bring it to the surface. I’m learning to be kinder to myself and more forgiving towards others when their benign actions or words create a reaction in me that is due to years of hurt.

I’m trying to remember that if I am dealing with this kind of unease within me then so is everyone else. My battle may be very different from yours, but it’s still there, and I’m learning to remember that being kind is important, both to others and to myself. Uncloaking and revealing my wounds to someone can be very scary, but moving forward in the face of fear is what I intend to do.

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Questioning Existence

Do you ever just question your own existence? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What should I be doing with my life? These have been constant lately. Don’t worry, I’m not thinking about ending my existence or anything. That is the furthest thing from my mind. I just feel lost. I feel like I have no zest for life. I have no direction. I feel a bit like Julia Roberts in “Eat Pray Love.” Hell, I’m so bored with my job right now that I’m actually sitting here writing this blog because I have nothing else to do. I want to be challenged and look forward to going to work. I want to marvel in my surroundings both professionally and personally.

My brother is coming in this evening for a race we’re running tomorrow morning. I’m going to talk with him about this and get his input. Once he leaves on Sunday, I’m going to get my resume updated and posted online. I’m going to research getting a new laptop as well. The one I have is on its last leg and needs to be updated.

This is the year that everything will change. It has to! I can’t keep doing the same thing I’ve done all these years. My lease is up in November, and I’ll get my lease renewal in September. My goal is to have all this figured out by the end of July so I can start making plans. Let the games begin!

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Trapped & Finding My Way Out

I feel trapped. Paralyzed. I had my mind-set on going back and getting my master’s degree, and now the thought of having to keep doing what I’m doing for the next two years until I graduate is terrifying. My lease here is up in November and the thought of staying in this apartment with the fucking assholes who live in this complex is making my skin crawl. I feel like I could actually have a panic attack at the idea of nothing changing, going into more debt, and never finding something I enjoy doing. I need a change of scenery. I need to do something different. I need to go where I don’t know anyone and just start over. I’m becoming bitter, and I don’t want to be this person.

I think tomorrow I’m going to look into finding a therapist to talk to for a few sessions. Every part of my life is stuck – my career, my living arrangements, my love life (or lack thereof), my social circle…everything. I need to make a big move and I’m fucking terrified. I can’t seem to please anyone and feel like everyone thinks every decision I make is the wrong one.

My sister told me tonight that I don’t need to go back and get my master’s. I just need to network to find a new job. Why does her opinion matter one fucking bit?!?! It is MY LIFE! It is my money. She’s got her cushy job, her house, her husband, her fantastic life. Great. Good for you. What I decide to do with my life is MY business! She thinks because she gave me one little tip about looking for a job with her company that I should thank my lucky stars. I don’t want to do any of the jobs her company offers. I have ZERO FUCKING INTEREST in her company. She doesn’t seem to understand that! The truth is, I THOUGHT I knew what I wanted to do, but now I’m back to square one and feel like I just tripped and fell down into a hole that’s deeper than the last one I just crawled out of.

I look on job boards but have no idea where to start. I’m sitting here sobbing, not knowing what to even search for. I feel like one of my last bosses who I referred to as “Micro.” He was a micro-manager. He was so afraid of making the wrong decision that he wouldn’t make a decision. It fucking pisses me off that I’m feeling like that right now. I think I’m just going to find a new job and go from there. Maybe I’ll move, maybe I won’t. I’m just exhausted thinking and worrying about it all. That’s all I’ve done for the last 5+ years since my divorce. I’m giving myself a month to make a decision and move on it.

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Growing Up Too Fast

There are many things that you expect to happen as you get older. Your face shows the lines and wrinkles earned from past experiences. Your hair may turn gray. Life can get more complicated. Relationships come and go. One thing that catches me off guard every time it happens is when someone I know passes away. Sure, sometimes it’s expected, as they may have been suffering from an illness for a while. Other times, it catches you so off guard that it makes you question everything and you ask the universe why this had to happen. It is unfortunately the latter that occurred this weekend. On Friday night, a very sweet guy I grew up with and his wife were killed in a car accident when they were hit by a drunk driver. Both their kids were in the car and their daughter is fighting for her life. Their son was in the car as well, and he’s in critical condition but it seems he should recover, although he’ll have a very long road ahead. Regardless, these sweet kids are now without both their parents, and all I keep asking is why?

The older I get, the more I’m feeling my mortality. It’s sobering. I see my parents and know that there will be a day when they’re no longer with us. There’s also the possibility that I could go before them. There’s really no way to know, and that is the part I constantly struggle with. A good friend of mine came over yesterday to watch a movie, and I turned to her after discussing this with her and said, “Is this what happens as you get older? Your childhood dies one friend or family member at a time?” This was just not something I was prepared for as a part of aging.

I’ve been very blessed to have a wonderful family. It turns out that my brother is scheduled to come down next weekend for a race we’re supposed to do. I’m not sure when the funerals will be or where they will be held, but if they’re in town, I will be attending and I’m sure my brother will make arrangements to attend as well. Things like this definitely catch you off guard and can take the wind out of you.

I hadn’t seen my friend in many years, as he graduated with my older brother two years before me. I wasn’t even aware they lived in the area, but I guess that’s what happens in life. You graduate and scatter to the four winds. We’ve kept up on Facebook, but that’s just a window seat view into the lives of others. Regardless of the distance, when a life is cut short it causes you to question everything. That’s what I’ve been doing today, along with crying. My tears are for the couple who died. They’re for the children who are suffering in physical and emotional pain. They’re for their incredible family and friends who miss them dearly. They’re for the uncertainty that each day brings, as life can be fleeting.

To all of you out there reading this, please hug your families a little closer tonight. Please take a moment to send some positive vibes, prayers, and healing thoughts to this family. This is definitely one thing I hate about being single. Sometimes I just need someone to hold me and let me cry in their arms. It just breaks my heart to know that these sweet kids won’t have their parents around to do that for them. Growing up is a part of life, but growing up too quickly because of tragedy is heartbreaking.

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