11 April 2015

Sometimes we need a break. A break from writing, a break from online dating, hell.. a break from being caffeine-free. The fact of the matter is, sometimes in life, we need a break from everything, even things from which we're taking a break. Say what? Caffeine is what I'm talkin 'bout, on the real.

It's been a real rough past few months. Reallllllllllll rough. Yet, I've made it through, in one piece! Shocking. Quite shocking.

My life has done a complete 180 from last year. Let's see, I went ~8 months without coffee (quite a stretch for me), I fell in love (sorta), fell out of love (sorta), continued forward in my current job, applied to several other jobs (most recently), expanded my social network, drank a lot more wine than I ever have in my life, lapsed back into caffeine addiction, went to NYC with my best friend to see one of my fav singers in concert (J-dubz), and...have finally come to the realization that I need to love myself more, so as to stop attracting people into my life who make things harder for me.

Did I mention I joined a gym? Went gluten-free? Met some pretty damn cool arse people both in and out of work? Basically, a whole lotta ish has been happening, and I can see things more clearly now.... things are finally on the upswing.

This winter, my world seemingly came crashing down, and I fell into a realllllllllllly bad slump. Yet, I forced myself--yes, forced myself, to snap out of my funk, and get well.

Sometimes you need to push yourself to get away from things that are bringing you down, and making you feel worse.

Hence, why I have deleted my two online dating profiles.

I'm taking a break from online dating. Oh, and starting reallllllllllly soon, I'm quitting caffeine again. Realllllllllllll soon, I swear.

And, I'm listening to what makes me tick. What feels good, what doesn't, what feels realllllllllly bad. I'm listening to my body and my heart, and figuring things out, because I'm about to be 30, and ish is about to get more real than ever.

#onelifetolive

Hope this gives inspiration to someone, someone out there.

Whether you're broken-hearted and/or just broken, it can and WILL get better.

A gentle nudge from yourself can work wonders though...


05 March 2015

Finding my way in the midst of stress...

After much consideration, I figured I might as well post an update. It's been quite a while, after all, and much has changed in my life. Much has transpired, I should say.

Been through a rather rough patch in terms of dating. I'll keep that mostly private for now.

Work has been incredibly stressful. Last Saturday, I worked 12 hours to finalize my written preparation for a client review this week. Then there was the mental preparation and the rehearsing.

This week was quite the whirlwind because the client's flight ended up being cancelled on Monday and therefore, all of the preparation I did Sunday and the sleepless night (I had awoken at 4 a.m. and tossed and turned from that point forward) was all for naught. Found out several of the files for which I had completed in depth summaries (and worked the 12 hour overtime shift) were being omitted from the schedule, so that really pissed me off. 

Then Tuesday, there was a lot of back and forth about me needing to present, so I was wound up with anxiety all day, only to discover that it was off-again, by the end -- still no presentation. Another wasted preceding night of anxiety and dread. Then, we were on our way to Dave & Buster's through an ice storm -- yes, everyone in the office was headed out the door early, so as to arrive home safely -- yet my team was expected to trudge through the icy conditions to Dave & Busters. As though the week wasn't off to a bad enough start already, as I'm stuck in bottleneck traffic on a major highway on the way there, and feeling as though any second a car is going to slam into me from behind -- I then receive a call from a coworker, who tells me the whole thing is called off because the client felt it too dangerous to go there given the icy roads. Omg. They couldn't have made that decision before we already headed there in the ice?

So by the time Wednesday rolls around, I'm dead tired -- I get a shower the night before and take my vitamin D and I'm knocked OUT, and couldn't care less as to what happens or how shitty of a job I do in presenting.

It ends up going so well -- how's that for not caring? It's almost like God was trying to show me not to care, and in not caring, it all works out for the best. Sort of like the path of least resistance, if you know what I mean.

Kind of experienced a purging of the emotions, of some sort, Weds night, on my way home, having gotten through the intense stress of last week, all the way through the conclusion of my presentation.

Some wonderful coworker of mine was kind enough to surprise me with some Roscato, found on my chair the morning of my presentations. Such a pleasant and kind surprise. I seriously can't get enough of random acts of kindness. They fill my heart with utmost glee--as corny as that may sound in written form.

I realized that I really take so much personally, when it comes to my job, and I worry to an extreme, and it's really not healthy or helpful. And it's best to let go and just be, and let things flow as they may.

It did help to present with everyone in person rather than on the phone though. Something about being able to read people's faces helps put me at ease. Then again, most of my phone phobia at work stems from just performing in front of others and constantly fearing their judgment of me.

It's a longstanding ingrained fear that I'm working on overcoming.

Anyway, with the highs of having completed my presentations and feeling like I did well, also comes the low of having to catch up on a boat load of work that's been building up, given all of the time and energy I was required to devote to the extensive project of preparing for the presentations.

Today, I had to take off due to heavy snow.

While it felt like a bit of a relief to finally catch a small break, just thinking about the hefty workload that awaits me tomorrow daunts me to the nth degree, and I'm not exactly excited about it. I think I'll manage somehow though. I always do...

14 September 2014

Intuition's importance to me.

I feel weird writing about my personal life, for all the world to see. However, something compels me to write out what I've been contemplating writing in the form of a post for a while. It's about intuition, and what it means to me. To me, it's everything. You see, I'm an INFJ. This means, 'introversion, intuition, feeling, judging,' by Myers-Briggs' definition. Yes, I'm all about gut feelings. I tend to look for the hidden meaning, symbolism, and metaphors in life, literature, and film. I'm inspired by the underlying meaning, as a thing. To me, it's a powerfully meaningful thing.

That's why I quit my job of over three years this past March. The only regret I have is not having followed my heart sooner. My instinct screamed it wasn't right from me my first week on the job, but I ignored it and pressed on. Have you ever had a gut feeling you failed to heed? What was the end result? I have quite a few times continued on in spite of my feelings warning me against doing so, and the end result has not been pretty. I loathed my last work environment, and the one before that, and the one before that. Why? Mostly, because these environments were the antithesis of my introversion. My last job involved too tight cubes with a micromanaging egotistical manager, and loads of ignorant methodologies. I detested every second of it. The first sign was the fact that no one talked. When I say no one talked, think about a library, but quieter. I remember feeling so self-conscious the first time I had to use the phone in my coworkers' presence. My boss asked me, 'who was that?' as soon as I had gotten of the line. It was so awkward and uncomfortable also given the fact that I sat directly in front of him, and felt he was monitoring my every move. I later came to find that my intuition was spot on.

The feeling of 'off-ness' continued for over three years and intensified in the Spring of 2014. I woke up with the worst dread. I pried myself out of bed and cried in the shower at night and oftentimes during my lunch break. I could not get out of there fast enough. I meditated on what to do and how to experience reprieve. One Monday, toward the end of March, I did something I thought I would never do, something so against the grain of what I have been taught to do, but something my instinct urged me to do. I sent my boss an email in which I resigned effective two weeks from that date. Moments before, I had gone out to my car, sat in the drivers' seat and closed my eyes, as I often did in an effort to meditate, and asked for assistance from my spirit guides. I asked for an answer to whether this was the right thing to do. The answer I received was that it was, and so I proceeded accordingly. I will say though, that it was not a yes in the form to which we are accustomed. It was more of a build up of intense anxiety that would not leave me, that motivated me to make the move, and assured me that this was the right decision.

That night, I received an email from one of the jobs to which I had applied, asking me to come in for an interview. It felt like another sign, a reward for doing what I finally had the courage to do. Interestingly, I landed that very job, which cut forty-five minutes off of my commute as well as toll costs, in addition to providing other perks.

02 March 2014

My personal NaNoWriMo experience.

I wanted to touch upon my personal NaNoWriMo experience thus far, because I have come quite the distance, or so I think, at 19,000 words, with only half a month remaining. True to my nonconformity nature, I decided to block out a thirty day period outside of the month of November, given that for some reason that month passed me by, yet I still wanted to engage in the challenge of attempting fifty thousand words in such a short time frame. While I set out to write 1667 words per day to get there, slowly but steadily, life got in the way. Rather, work got in the way. By work, I mean the opposite of my life's calling. In other words, my day job maxed me out throughout the week and drained me of sufficient energy to press on with my initial plan of action, to conquer the 1667 word count on a daily basis.

About two and half days went by in the first week of not putting pen to paper, because I was too tired, and then I spent last Saturday playing catch up. I ended up shortening my catch up time from 2.5 days to 1.5 days. This past week came and went and the same struggles surfaced. All did not end well, with another day or two coming and going in which I could not muster the willpower to enter my writer's den and continue on, because I was so stressed out with all of the external noise and felt it impossible to get back into the groove. I feared disappointing my characters, disappointing myself, given my lack of fervor. This fear prevented me from persevering.

With much reluctance, I did some calculations last night and determined I was quite a few more laps behind. Rather than give up, I re entered the plot and although the overall flow was a bit disjointed and I obsessed a bit too much on the word count than what my characters were trying to tell me and where they were going, I at least made up for some of the lost time and am now a mere 6,000 words off the mark, which is only a day further behind than I was last week, which isn't too shabby, considering had I not forced myself to commit to making an effort last night, I would have been berating myself even more forcefully, making it all the more difficult to begin again.

24 February 2014

The day I almost cried... or flipped out

Today was a horrific day. I almost put in my notice at work, that's how bad it's gotten. The guy next to me, one of three who surround me, who never utter a word to me -- ever -- with whom I attempted conversation, didn't really reciprocate much, which  made me feel sorry for even making an effort. I swear, every time I even try, it never amounts to anything with these coworkers. They're all dead pan and void of any emotion, I swear. Then I had to deal with said coworker's slamming of the keyboard and intermittent smacks of the left mouse button, which had me on the verge of flipping the f out. I wavered between screaming 'SHUT THE F UP,' to slamming my hands down on my desk, to telling him in as polite a manner as possible, 'would you please.... allow me to purchase you a rubber keyboard from Staples, so I won't have to stop what I'm doing and sit still, too infuriated to move, because your typing has that much of an ill effect on me.' I cannot escape the loud typers, I swear. I thought the guy I sat near before was bad, this guy is ten times worse. The previous one would merely type frenetically and at various speeds, while my present coworker not only hits the keys with what seems like intentional exaggerated force, but he'll slam the key as if in exclamation, at certain ending points, before resuming his frenetic, loud pace. The same goes with the smack of the mouse pad. It drives me crazy. Literally, makes me want to scream. I can't take. it. anymore. For real. So I then passed another coworker, no sign of recognition. In preparing food for lunch, a coworker came into the break room to fill up his water, again not a word. This is the same coworker who greeted me with cold as ice attitude before a company luncheon. They're all icing me out, and it's making me want to throw in the towel. So bad. I almost reached the threshold. Scratch that. The threshold has been breached far beyond this point. It's just a matter of time, of how much more misery I can tolerate. How many more blank stares I can receive. I have gone out of my way to be nice to them. I've tried communicating, I've handed them documents that were near the printer. In response, I get nothing but blank stares and cold hard silence. It makes me sick. There's at least one guy who is kind of goofy and is friendly toward me, but he talks at such a fast speed that it makes me dizzy, and therefore it makes communicating with him a struggle. I'm already stressed in this environment. All I need is this guy on speed to wind me up even further. Okay, so maybe I'm being harsh with him. I think it's my perfectionist self, my high standards. Even I annoy myself. How can I expect others to ever satisfy me? Take for instance, this morning, when I vowed to myself that I would not, under any circumstances, get ahead in my work, or rather, strive, by any means, but rather, I would take it nice and easy, no matter the consequences, because I realize I push myself too much to an extreme, and it's not good for my health. Well, whaddya know? As soon as I show up and have my coffee, I start rushing through everything in an effort to minimize the amount of items I must complete. It's like my brain is hardwired to plow through everything as quickly as possible. Then I start to worry about incoming calls and outstanding tasks, and that really puts my anxiety into overdrive. It sent me over the edge today and I had one panic attack after another and was rendered hopeless in my car, contacting a former psych who was there for me three years ago. Needless to say, when he didn't get back to me with immediacy, I became self critical and really wanted to crawl in a hole and just be left there alone, to mull over my own self-inflicted misery. I feel like I can't win. Nothing I do helps. I meditated last night. I took a magnesium pill. I'm still depressed and wanting to sleep all day. My job is what forces me to get up and out, but it fills me with such dread. If I just allow my negative thoughts to be, they inflict upon me the worst kind of pain. People don't know anxiety unless they've experienced it to the extreme. It feels like life is over and you might as well not do anything, because your being uptight puts a wedge in everything anyway. Take phone calls. I stood perplexed by the phone, unable to make or receive calls, because I was panicking inside at the mere thought of others hearing me. At home, I'm able to communicate in the most relaxed manner, and I try to carry that over to work, but I'm like Pavlov's dogs. Their salivating is my panic, at the mere thought of work. Being in the office environment is pure torture. I can't escape the feeling. I tried blocking it out, reading a book on anxiety last night to comfort me, and I didn't feel too bad this morning. Progressive relaxation helps, until I'm in full fledged anxiety/panic attack mode. Nothing seems to help then. I tried telling myself, you're fine, 1 hour left, you do this every day, you've done this for the past few years and survived. Nothing bad has happened. Yet I can't stop but remember getting yelled at and embarrassed by coworkers, clients, bosses. Being there is a reminder of the humiliation I felt so intensely those past occasions. The panic attacks I experienced so intently. They can't be undone. The remnants linger. The after effects subsist.

29 January 2014

Routines.

Let's talk routines. Do you ever feel maddened by routines? Routines suck the life out of me. Like a vampire. Particularly those routines that surround work. You get up, maybe hit snooze a few times (if you really try to prolong the agony like me) before getting up for REAL. Then you drag yourself into the bathroom to take shower, before the mind racing and adrenaline rush sets in and takes hold. You then go downstairs, cup of water in hand, to take synthroid (skip this step if you still have a thyroid). In the remaining moments preceding your exit to the garage, you race here and there for random oddities, like... hair pins... lunch.... oh wait, there's the scramble to pack because we're just too unmotivated and lazy to do that the night before. It has to be spontaneous, never forced, this day's preparation. You then grab a few pieces of fruit, which you know you'll bring home later, but you try to save face in the health department. You contemplate fitting in a ten minute meditation session before condemning yourself for hitting that snooze button and making it now past the time when you were supposed to leave. Out the door it is to continue with the race to destination work. The most undesirable destination of all time.

10 January 2014

Moving forward with my coffee-free resolution.

I am so much better off since having given up coffee...... for good this time. Oddly, I haven't been craving it. Okay, scratch that. I did have a rather nagging craving this morning. I had smelled it and the thought that said, 'I have to have it,' surfaced and repeated itself, nagging me and begging me to go to Wawa. After all, I still have the gift cards. Fortunately, I just accepted the thoughts for what they are...... thoughts, and nothing more. Just because I have the thought that I need coffee, doesn't mean I have to act on it and get coffee. It becomes easier for me when I think of the other options available to satiate my craving for a warm drink, the most useful of which at the moment is chamomile tea and warm water. I do think the fact that I had chocolate chip cookies last night as well as the night before may have prompted the return of the caffeine cravings. Thankfully, they aren't all that overpowering.

For me, the removal of caffeine from my routine has many benefits and they far outweigh the temporary high I get from sipping on a hot cup of coffee.

I am less compulsive and am not spending an excessive amount of time on social media sites. I've only been on facebook two times today and only for a few minutes each time. When caffeine was rummaging through my veins, I had no motivation to get off the site even if I was just looking at the same pictures and there was nothing of interest or of use to me on there.

I am more restful. I can doze off easily and sleep restfully. When I am consuming caffeine, it feels as though I'm on high alert at all times and it's very much a strain to relax and decompress, even when I long for sleep.

My appetite has returned. I'm nourishing myself with healthful foods rather than constantly obsessing over when I have my next fix and focusing on coffee as my primary motivation to get through the day.

I'm calmer than normal. Yes, I'm still anxious and panicky as hell at work. However, outside of work, my sense of calm is much greater than it was before. My thoughts are not racing uncontrollably (on weekends). I can sit still and feel comforted by the silence of my mind.

My stomach is not as disturbed. I feel my digestive system is not as irritable as evidenced by the lack of stomach noises heard throughout the day and at night. It still acts up when I have gluten, but not in the same way as when I consume caffeine.

Thoughts of coffee are becoming less and less prominent and it's not my main priority to consume it anymore upon awakening. When I reflect on how a caffeine free existence will benefit me, I regain strength to persevere with this goal. While I won't beat myself up for a few transgressions like the chocolate chip cookies, I do realize that coffee is the ultimate downfall for me and especially at this stage in the game, since I am only five days out of the gate, it would behoove me to maintain my distance and not 'treat' myself to even a cup at this point, as it could lead to a relapse as far as resuming my habit of having it each day, in increasing quantities. Abstinence is working for me and I think it's the best way for me to beat this habit.

I feel more hydrated and better health-wise, when drinking more water. I have more thirst for water when off coffee. My dry mouth symptoms still linger, but I hope with adequate water intake, this situation will improve.

Other good habits, or at least intentions, are resurfacing. I'm reminded of certain goals I've let fall by the wayside a bit, such as working on my novel, exercising, yoga, and meditation. These are no longer taking a back seat to coffee.

Therefore, I would say, I'm continuing to make headway in terms of quitting my coffee addiction and I'm proud of having made it five days, marked by today. I'm getting closer to the one month point, day by day, and am just taking it one step at a time. Slow and steady wins the race after all, no?