Tag Archives: growing up

Changes

Change is constant. Change is annoying. But change can be good too. You can change your life at any age and I try to remember that. Whether you’re in your 30’s with kids, still in college, or retired and starting a new chapter.

Last year my Dad decided to change his life for the better. After a long time struggle with alcohol, he decided to go to rehab. He’s getting on in years, he’s almost 62 and I love that he was willing to make a change. It makes me infinitely proud. A few weeks ago he was given his one-year sobriety chip at one of his regular meetings. My mom, sister and I went, beaming with pride. I hope that he’ll continue to be sober for the rest of his life, but even if he falters I hope he’ll start again with the same resolve and have the kind of life he deserves. He’s a cute and hilarious Grandpa, generous beyond belief and a loving, protective father. I often think about the courage, the drive, the vulnerability that it took for him to get help – it took guts.

My Mother also went through a major change and retired at the end of last year. A much-deserved retirement from a field that is often underfunded and underappreciated, but one she cares so much about. But now that she’s retired, I worry about her. How will she fill her time? What will she do? Don’t’ get me wrong, she keeps busy and she’s still working part time right now, but I think about her health often. My sister and I have encouraged her to attend yoga regularly or get out walking. Do whatever form of activity or exercise makes her happy. Now that the warmer months are coming, I hope that she will. I’m actually writing it in this blog to emphasize to her (hi Mom!) how important I think it is for her to get active. I want her to live to be 100. My almost 3-year-old daughter refers to her as Bama and as my daughter gets more energy and becomes more active, Bama’s going to need to keep up.

But I get it, change is hard. Last year I signed up for a sewing class all hyped up to learn a skill I’d always wanted. I thought about buying a sewing machine and all the cute blankets, etc I’d make for my daughter – but as it turns out, I’m not very good at it. I had a really hard time keeping up and I hadn’t anticipated that. When I think about all the people I know that have gone back to school later in life for a new course or a new program, even to simply expand their skill set – I don’t know how they do it. It’s been so long since I sat down and formally learned something that it’s difficult to try again. My husband recently decided to make a change and start taking an online course. He’s wanted to expand his horizons in his field of nerdy technology. On top of working and helping with our daughter, walking the dog etc, I must confess his free time is very limited and yet, he’s determined enough to do it. To learn more and want more that he’s willing to find the time and squeeze it in, which to me is just amazing.

While I await the decision about my job as my company merges with another, I wonder if I’ll end up back in school in an attempt to find a new field. As I’ve said in previous posts, I like my job and would really rather stay in this industry. But the reality is I might not be able to. I wonder about what courses I’d take. Ideally I’d love to take photography or short story writing, I also wanted to edit movie trailers for a living – but I doubt that I’d end up taking anything so creative/exciting. But whatever the outcome professionally, I’m trying to be open to change because that’s when the best things can happen, or so they say.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Formative Friendship

lets_bee_friends

As I was putting my daughter to bed last night she told me I was her best friend. Those are the moments parents live for, and it got me thinking about the different types of friendships I have / had. Feeling nostalgic, thinking about memories both good and bad.

Making friends hasn’t always been easy for me. When I was a kid my parents had a trailer in a seasonal trailer park. We’d go every weekend and for weeks during the summer. I knew almost everyone and they knew me, as family all camped there too. I loved it through my younger years. But when I was about 12 the friend group I spent every waking moment with decided they didn’t want me anymore. They carved mean things about my weight into a bench. After that they’d ignore me, but I had a part time job cutting lawns so I had to continue to go up each and every weekend. It was torture, whenever I saw them they’d go the other way, no one would talk to me. It was a constant reminder that I was no longer good enough in their eyes. I’m not even sure the reason behind it to this day. Looking back I don’t feel angry about what happened, but I can still feel that hurt and melancholy when I think about it. That stays with you.

But one thing that experience gave me was appreciation. For every new friend I make, every person I’m nice to or bake cookies for, it means more. I value it more. A few years ago I was welcomed into a group of coworkers/friends who lunched (and now do dinner) together every month or so. Even though this group existed long before I came along, they accepted me and that is something I think about often.

 In my later years, things were (and continue to be) much better. I’ve had a best friend since high school that is the best, I could tell her or ask her anything without judgment and would is there for me when I need her. I think about the high school parties we went to and the crises we had, that seemed so crucial at the time. Back then we walked through snow storms to the LCBO, met at the bus stop in the rain with one of us in tears and the other carrying ice cream. While our crises have changed as has the physical distance between us, I’d still get in my car right now and drive to her place if she needed me.

 High school is what it is with its raging hormones and rampant insecurity, but I had fun friends and I am still friends with or in touch with quite a few of them now. There are some I haven’t seen in a few years that I still like to drop a line to every now and then and social media (primarily Facebook) allows me to see how their doing and how their lives are changing: growing families, new relationships, new jobs. I know there are a lot of people who gripe about our constant connectivity and the awful things about social media – and sometimes I agree, but I’m glad to have a forum to see how people are doing.

 I think about the better high school memories, the one house we always partied at, the people I was close to and shared everything. The friend who mentioned me in his yearbook graduation write up that I’ll never forget as long as I live. A close friend I wrote notes to every day that has moved across the world, but technology allows us to keep involved in each others lives.

 In University I didn’t make many friends, the extreme downside to living at home and now in residence, but during my post grad college year, I made up for that in spades, so many awesome people who I wish I saw more often. I miss you guys.

 There are also the friends that aren’t part of my life anymore. I don’t have many but there are a few, one that was even a bridesmaid at my wedding. And while I think about that friendship often, miss it and wonder about it, I try to remember the good there too. Camping trips, crazy youthful drunken adventures, and so many laughs that even now I don’t try to forget. Would I change out situation now if I could? I’m not sure, but some things aren’t up to me and I try to be ok with that.

 I just wanted to take a break from the lamenting about parenthood, money and the stress of the uncertain employment future to reflect. I guess what I’m really trying to say is thanks to you guys out there, for hanging out with me: past, present and hopefully future.

Tagged , , , , ,

The Art of Making Friends

I appreciate the potential of a blank page. I can just blurt out everything I’m thinking and feeling, leave it all there without judgment and it’s pretty nice. I guess that’s what I love about friends too; being able to unload on them (and vice versa) without fear or judgment. They accept you, good and bad and I try to practice the same.

Over the last year I’ve lost contact with someone who I considered to be one of my very best friends, one I certainly planned to have for life – and it weighs on me. Without going into an emotional sob story as to why this situation occurred, it leads into an issue I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: how does one make new friends at this age?

A few years ago I moved to a new city and it’s been a tough transition. My husband, outstanding guy that he is, has done anything he can think of to make me feel better when I feel far from my friends. At times it’s felt worse than others, just like anything else.

But, a few weeks ago, I started a new job and left somewhere I’d worked for five years. I worked in a lot of different departments and made a lot of friends, and I miss them. It’s just not the same not to see them everyday – in the hall, for a lunch date, whatever. Don’t get me wrong, the people at the new place are nice, and they’ve done everything to make me feel welcome – but I haven’t made any friends. It feels solitary at work and sometimes, at home. I can’t remember the last time I went out on a weeknight!

It just feels like when I was younger, in school or working part time, I went to parties, met new people constantly and my friend group grew wider and wider – but as I get older I feel like its shrinking beyond my control and I hate it.

This passed weekend we had a bunch of people over for my husband’s birthday party and I had such a good time, it occurred to me after I couldn’t remember the last time I had so much fun and felt in the company of such good friends. I don’t want that to be a selective feeling in my life. I’d like to get out more, preferably locally, but how?

I’ve met a few people recently that I’ve thought were really great and wanted to get to know better, but it all seems so strange. How do you approach someone you hardly know and attempt to strike up a new friendship with them without seeming like a weirdo?

I feel a lot like Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) in I Love You Man, looking for friends as an adult and feeling ridiculous. I don’t know how I got here, but I know I’d like to fix it. Problem is, I’m not really sure how. How do you make new friends at this age?

Tagged , ,

From Interviews to New Jobs: That Nervous Feeling

When you were a teenager that feeling never seemed to go away: parties, dating, and friends – all of these could evoke that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. As an adult I find there are very few things that make me nervous. Aside from walking down the aisle last year, there have been few and far between circumstances where I am consumed by nerves, that is until recently.

 Over the last few weeks I have been actively job searching. My current role is contract and fixed with an end date when a co-worker on maternity leave is set to return. In attempt to be both realistic and practical, I updated my resume and set my sights on the job boards and combed them on a daily basis. That in itself is also not nerve wracking. It’s what follows.

The interviews. Out of practice for a few years is nerve wracking in itself but I also find the formality of the situation intimidating and my nerves get the best of me. My mind races, my stomach churns, all while I attempt to show none of this on the outside. I hope they won’t notice how dry my mouth is how I’m trying not to ramble, appear poised and professional while hoping this job is a good fit for me, and I’m a good fit for these potential employers. Now I admit, I’ve been on a few now and the more I get into it again, the more at east I feel – to a point. But that gnawing stomach, frazzled nerves feeling remains.

Then you wait for the phone call to find out if you’ve been accepted for the next round, given the job, or discarded all together. I always thought it was commonplace and more importantly, common courtesy for companies you’ve interviewed with to let you know either way if you got the job. But it seems that is no longer the case, most places don’t call and let you know – not a gentle e-mail, nothing. As a matter of fact, this happened to me only a few weeks ago and while I understand I might not have been a right fit for the job, where’s the respect for your applicants? Why not just let them know instead of leaving them wondering, curious as to how long they should hold out hope in hearing something?

But back to the nervous feeling, it comes back again unexpectedly, when you’ve been offered a position. I was offered one recently completely outside of the corporation I’ve worked for in the last five years and it will be a big change.  I’ve made some close, wonderful friends at my current job, and when I think about not seeing them every day, it makes me sad. I know it’s for the best and that this job holds so much potential for my future, but it’s a lot of change and quite frankly, it’s freaking me out.

I keep thinking my first day of work is going to feel exactly like the first day at a new school. I won’t know a single person, nor have a single friend. I won’t know who is mean, who is nice or who to trust. I won’t get to go out to lunch with the same group I’ve been dining with the past while and they’ll go on without me, maybe even forget me.

When I think about arriving at this new place for my first day, the nervous feeling in my stomach returns and I feel like a kid again.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,