So about forever and a day ago, LostInTexas posted an alphabet meme, and I
I suspect that Lost assigned me “C” so that I’d write about Catholicism. I’ve let that subject drop after my previous post. Partly because I’m still sorting through how I feel about the issue of spirituality and religion. Partly because I’ve had so many other things on my mind: moving, grad school, Rowen’s refusal to pee, overdue book reviews. I’m in a spiritual limbo at the moment---craving some spiritual connection or direction but not sure what I’m seeking or where or how to find it.
Of course, perhaps if I took more time to seek that spiritual direction, I might not be so Confused. I feel like everything in my life is up for grabs at the moment, and I’m very confused about what I want versus what I’ve been told to want versus what I think others want from me. I’m not sure if the decisions I’m making are the right ones. Do I really want to get a degree in anthropology? Should I be going to library school? Is grad school even the right choice? What about writing? What do I want to be when I grow up? Will I ever grow up? The questions go on and on.
Thinking about all this is making me seriously Cranky. That’s been my default mood for months. I don’t want to deal with anyone or anything; even my dear, sweet Rowen has been on my last nerve lately. I’m cranky about other drivers, about work, about the people at the grocery store, about the cost of groceries, about the people who try to answer the above questions because I’m very, very tired of hearing what everyone else thinks I “should” do. I just want to stay in bed and eat cookies and ice cream.
But unfortunately, I do have bills to pay. And those cookies and ice cream have serious Carbs, which I’m trying to avoid. At least until after The Wedding. It’s not even my freakin’ wedding. But I’ve put on some weight since buying my bridesmaid dress, and I need to lose at least 5 to 10 lbs for it to fit well. I can get it on; I just can’t breathe in it. Those few pounds are just the tip of the iceberg, though. Since moving to Austin two years ago, I’ve gained about 45 lbs. I’ve gone up three dress sizes. And I’ve tried everything short of a clinical eating disorder to get those pounds off. I’ve tried training for a marathon (but pulled out about two months before the mary due to multiple setbacks including two bouts of bronchitis). I’ve given up processed foods, high-carb foods, high-fat foods. I’ve gone to a physician, a therapist, and a nutritionist. I’ve had endless people tell me all about what worked for them, which is all well and good, except that guess what? I’ve tried it and it didn’t work for me. And I’m not you. So shut up. (And there’s the cranky again.) But having been called fat in private by my mother and in public by my sister, I’m making one last-ditch effort to drop a few pounds before the wedding. And, no, I’m not doing it in any way that could be at all construed as healthy or maintainable. But I don’t really care.
Let’s see if we can keep this joyfest going. What’s another word that just makes me squee with glee? I know: Celibacy. Let’s talk about when I last went on a date. Or not. Because I don’t think I can count that high. I only have so many fingers, people. Suffice it to say, it’s been a long time. As in years. Guinness just called and I officially have the World’s Longest Dry Spell. Admittedly, an overweight cranky introvert with no direction in her life and an inability to commit to a zip code probably isn’t the girl of most guys’ dreams.
But I do have my redeeming qualities: I can knit a mean scarf. I have a cute dog. I don’t mind if a guy wants to spend his Sunday watching football games (so long as he doesn’t mind me cross-stitching while I watch!). And I’m getting better at Cooking. I’m not a naturally good cook, but I’m learning. Cooking just makes me very nervous. There are so many things to pay attention to and so much that can go wrong. And I’m terrible with the timing thing. If I’m making three items---say fish, rice, and a vegetable---one thing will be done way too early and another right on time and another way late so that I wind up with soggy rice, dried-out fish, and an undercooked vegetable. I’m usually too tired when I get home to want to deal with all the prep and the clean-up. I’d much rather nuke some soup or pick up sushi to-go. I’m trying to improve, though. I’ve got a couple of dishes down well-enough that I’d feel comfortable serving them to guests, and I’m practicing some others.
I’m just not the domestic sort. I don’t like cooking. And I really don’t like Cleaning. Especially the bathroom. A confession: I once hired a housekeeping service to clean my one-bedroom apartment every two weeks. I justified it because at the time I was working at an intense job where I averaged 60-hour weeks and traveled several times a month. And even though I know it’s a ridiculous expense, I would do it again.
The one “domestic” area that I do enjoy is Crafting. I picked up knitting and cross stitch during my year in Africa. I needed something to occupy me during the evenings and weekends, time I once spent watching television, going to museums, hanging out with friends and now was spending in hiding from my housemates. I also got a sense of accomplishment---a feeling of having done something well---that I wasn’t getting from my volunteer work as a teacher. I was a terrible teacher. I don’t have the disposition---the patience, love, and humility---for it. Then, when I first arrived in Austin and I didn’t know a soul and I didn’t have a job, crafting was a way to pass the time. I kept knitting and cross stitching, and I also took up papercrafts, primarily book making. I’m not the most artistic person, but I enjoy learning new things and I like to imagine that I could be artistic, so I keep taking on new projects. I, however, seem to have developed some sort of adult-onset ADD so I have a growing pile of half-completed and “someday” projects! I’ve been feeling inspired to learn how to sew, mostly by the beautiful creations of Crystal and Amy, but I don’t know that I have the patience and skill for it (I can’t do anything in a straight line!).
Speaking of domestic issues, let’s chat about Children. I like children. I enjoy spending time with children. I think children are a blessing. But I don’t want any of my own. I’m quite happy to hang with them for a few hours and then send them home with their parents. I’m too selfish for children. I’m probably too selfish for marriage. I like my space and my quiet and my routine. I like being able to watch whatever goofy thing I want on the television. I like being able to decide that I’m too tired to cook so I’m having cereal for dinner. And I like being able to leave the dish in the sink afterward. I like going to bed when I choose and I like sleeping through the night. I don’t like being woken up for any reason short of a natural disaster or death. I don’t adapt well to changes in my routine, especially those imposed on me by others. I get frustrated to the point of tears when Rowen won’t go potty so I can go to bed; I was a wreck the first week that I had her because she cried all night every night that week. I’ve heard all the lines: It’s different when it’s your own child. You say that now, but you’ll change your mind. You’ll regret it if you don’t. And perhaps I will regret not having children. But I’m 30 years old. I think I know myself enough to know that I don’t want children. And if I ever do reach a point where I feel like I could be a good parent or I strongly regret not having that experience, there are other options---becoming a foster parent, mentoring a child, and such. So, sorry Mom, no grandkids from me!
Well, this turned into quite the long post! Are you still with me? I still have one more word and it’s going to be Comments. I live for them. I’m needy and insecure. I crave validation. And I’m not above begging for it. So leave a few thoughts of your own.