There are few people out there who are aware of my struggle(s) with careers v. jobs, my own personal happiness, and the beast I dare not speak of....depression. I'd say Seth and my mom are about it as far as my circle of confidants go, and I've managed to keep it that way for quite sometime (and I'm quite sorry for the yuckiness I've inflicted on them over the course of several years. - yep, years). However hard I've tried to figure out the key to my personal happiness, I've failed miserably and that's depressing and pathetic.
Turning 30 this year sort of forced me to realize I've got to get a hold of certain things in life and stop hoping I'll "grow out of them" or that someone else would fix my problems. Adulthood definitely doesn't work the way you think it does when you're 20-something and fresh out of college - it's actually poopy and makes me long for those days of sitting around the dorm with my girls talking about any and everything and laughing until we can't breathe. I've seen myself change in ways I would have never hoped to and that's scary. I have thought things I would have never hoped to and that's even scarier. But...such is life and I understand that I can not escape the life that's been given to me and go lead someone else's more fun and care-free life.
Problem 1: My job. dun dun dunnn. I've had exactly 4 since I graduated from college in 2000 and I swear it feels like a million. I majored in nothing-fancy-enough-for-any-employer-to-desire so while it is sort of nice to be able to look at jobs doing just about anything, at the same time, people tend to want to hire someone with a bit more specific of a background. I left college with ambitions of working in television or some other sort of media, but when the real world hit and I began looking for jobs, all that ambition deflated. It's hard to keep that going when you live in NC and not NYC or LA. So...I just took the first thing that paid well and stayed there for 3 years.
After realizing I could drop off the face of the earth and no one at work would notice for probably 6 months, I decided I needed to go back to school to learn a new skill that would allow me to be a part of something. Something special and creative and fun and interactive. I studied Interior Design - buuuut, then I got engaged and got lazy and never finished (I did get 1.5 years done! WOo). Then I took my current job after hating feeling like "just an administrative assistant" and while at this job I'm missed if I'm gone for 10 minutes, this is NOT the work I want to do forever. It's challenging and demanding, yet rewarding in the most twisted of ways, but I'm not cut out to take the abuse that our completely ignorant, rude, disrespectful, down-right crappy citizens dish out day in and day out. But...I've resigned myself to sticking it out until the end of this administration so I can justify the trip to Hawaii (or Italy! or VEGAS! or.. or.. or.. or.. or) as a reward for making it through. ha. (I might want to break this news to Seth before I book my plane tickets, you think?)
Problem 2: is much larger than I can begin to explain. I'll attempt to hypothesize on it's origin. Father brain-injured thanks to the a-hole heart surgeons at Duke. However, father still living. Father is being cared for by mother. Father can not be left alone. EVER. Father has hard time remembering things. Father is not the father I once knew and is essentially dead. Mother cried for 5 years. Mother doing much better now. Mother the strongest woman I know. MOTHER SUED THE PANTS OFF DUKE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER. Mother is amazing. I don't tell mother this, but I think it all the time. Kelley has lost father. Kelley lost mother for 5 years. Kelley never shared true feelings with anyone regarding loss of father. Kelley wonders how the last 5 years came to cause panic attacks and anxiety which are dangerously close to baaaaad. Really bad. Kelley does not love self. Kelley not happy for self and can not be happy for others. Kelley would give anything to have never met the father she's got now and knows that old father would give anything to have never had to be the father he his now. and blaaaaahhhhhh. I could go on and on.
There are so many things "wrong with me" that I think have explanations but since I'm not a psychiatrist/psycologist/therapist/counselor, I don't know why I behave and think and feel like I do and where the behaviors were learned. I thought for a while it was my job...and still could be in part. In fact, I'm sure it had a GREAT deal to do with my panic attacks. Having to take calls from verbally abusive individuals while having to keep your cool (and your language appropriate) during severe adrenaline rushes (think "fight or flight" response) is extremely difficult and wreaks all sorts of havoc on ones mind and body. For the last 5 years, my mom has been the one that deserves to cry and deserves to break down b/c this happened to her HUSBAND. Her relationship is not the same as father/daughter and I have felt that my breakdown couldn't happen so I distanced myself from it (which causes me to ignore my father whenever I'm around him - sounds awful, huh?) But I can't help but think my squashing of emotions about my dad has something to do with some of this stuff. I'm trying to work up the nerve to talk to someone who can help me sort it out. My mom has a masters in counselor education, but you know I can't get counseled by my momz. If only.
I sense something good coming. Something good for my insides and something incredibly personally delicious. I've discovered the awesomeness of women bloggers. Via an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay, I tracked down Amy who I'm loving. She's a mommyblogger in the DC area and while I don't know her from Adam's house cat (as my mom would say), I've loved reading her blog. It's been like a book I couldn't put down and in just a weeks time, I've read her blogs from 2005 to the present. From her blogging, I've discovered this amazing world of wonderful women writers whose blogs I've scanned and I find myself completely envious of the worlds they've created with their blogs. It makes me want to write.
I realized that I've done tons of specialized writing at my job. So...is this the something good that's going to come out of this job situation? Has it helped me realize what I'll do to be able to contribute to the world? I've said for years when asked "what will make you happy in your job?" that I just wanted to feel needed and like I was contributing something. I've also said I wanted to be able to be creative in my work. So I think after writing literally thousands (OMG yes, it's true. sheesh) of letters for Governor Easley I have earned the right to *think* "I might like to be a writer. I think I might be good at it." And then a wave of guilt crashes over me since my mom just generously paid for me to complete a one-year paralegal program. I've yet to share my wonders about writing with her - maybe I need to do a bit more thinking and wondering before I commit.
Everyone close to me knows I'm not good at committing (think: wedding plans (not the husband), house, paint colors, job, CARS! Oh, the cars!). The only things I've not second-guessed in life are 1. husband, 2. doggie, 3. engagement ring (haha. but seriously, STILL love it), and 4. wearing flip flops in the summer is awesome. Other than that, it seems whenever I make a big decision I inevitably wonder later "what if" about the alternatives and then convince myself that my life would've been better had I chosen the other. Then I long to go back and change things so I can prove that life would've been better.
See, I'm all kinds of messed up and I've now put it out there. Ick. I'll probably second-guess this tomorrow and delete it.