Friday, October 26, 2012

Trying to write...

I’ve had a hard time sitting down to write my blog lately. I blame it on my crazy schedule and trying to finish my thesis, but the truth is someone is trying to suck the joy out of my writing and he is starting to wear me down.

I was lucky as a child. I grew up in Dublin, Texas and I had some of the best classmates a kid could ever ask for. We were a very tight group—all 43 of us. I went to school with about 12 of those classmates from the time we entered kindergarten until we graduated high school.

I say I was lucky because I was never really bullied. I’m sure my experience is different than others from my school, and I don’t want to paint a rosy picture of Dublin. But I admit that I had it pretty darn good.

I think the worst thing that ever happened to me was when someone would make fun of my glasses or my crooked teeth or tell me my family was poor. I got made fun of for not going to church and for the fact that 
Daddy had a ponytail. A few girls called me a bitch behind my back and a boy threatened to kick my ass in the line at the snack bar, but that was about it.

So, perhaps my idea of bullying is different than others, but I feel pretty confident that I know a bully when I see on.

I believe a bully is a person who tries to scare you into doing something or tries to scare you into not doing something. A bully is the kind of person who threatens you if he doesn’t get his way.

A good bully knows your weaknesses and preys on them. A seasoned bully waits until you’re most vulnerable and then launches his attack.

I want to be that person who says, “Huff and puff all you want, I’m not afraid of you anymore.” Sometimes I do. But sometimes I get tired of fighting and looking over my shoulder all the time. Sometimes I’m exhausted and sometimes I start to believe that I am doing something wrong.

What’s even worse is when the bully believes what he is saying. He sounds so convincing that you begin to question everything you say and do.

That’s why I haven’t been able to write much. I feel like every word I type is being analyzed and criticized and it bothers me. It shouldn’t.

I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve never lied. I’ve never been malicious. I’ve never harassed anyone. By the way, a writer has to do all of those things in order to be charged with defamation.

But despite the fact that I know I have done nothing wrong, that little voice in my head keeps saying, “Just delete the whole damn blog and start over.”

The part that bothers me the most is that I find myself not writing about important topics in my life because I don’t want to share those thoughts with some people, but a blog is an open forum and I can’t control who reads it. I know I can delete this bully as a subscriber, but he will continue to read anyway.

I’m going to try to keep writing and I’m going to try to keep writing about things that are important to me and to those who care about me. But a part of me feels very defeated today. An even bigger part of me doesn’t want to share my words, thoughts, and photos any more. I’m not sure what I am going to do about all of this, but I’m going to try to do what I tell my children to do—I’m going to ignore the bully and find someone who can take care of the problem for me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Turn off the voices

I had my first job interview yesterday. I felt confident about the job. I know I’m qualified and I figured I would do okay with the question and answer part of the interview.

The owner of the company told me I seemed too quiet and shy to do the job properly. “I need to you to go out and speak to the press and make phone calls and I just don’t see you doing that very well.”

I almost laughed when he said that. “I don’t know why you feel that way. I do those things all the time and I do them very well.”

It made me think about how people perceive me. I guess I do come across to strangers as a quiet, insecure person who doesn’t like to make a fuss about stuff. But those who know me realize that I don’t mind making a fuss if I need to.

I asked Robby, “Is that what people think about me?”
He laughed and said, “I definitely don’t think that. I’ve been looking for your off switch since you first opened your mouth.”

We laughed about it and he told me that the right job would come along and that I didn’t need to change to get a job.

I don’t know if my quiet nature is a sign of weakness or not. But I’m just not that in-your-face kind of person. I guess I could have walked into that job interview and pretended to be this loud, pushy force to be reckoned with, but I would have felt silly acting like that. It’s just not who I am.

I probably won’t get that job. But I’m not sure that I really want it. I can’t spend the next few years trying to convince people I am someone I am not.

It has taken me many years to figure out who I really am. I am secure in the fact that I can be forceful and aggressive when I need to be. After all, I’m that lady who cut down trees in the middle of the night to protect my children on the street. That example probably wouldn’t have gotten me the job though.

I don’t know what example I could have given at the interview to prove to him that I am not some shy mousy wall flower. I guess I didn’t feel the need to go out of my way to prove him wrong, because I’m tired of trying to explain myself to people these days.

I know I do the best I can and that I always try to do the right thing. I also know that some people will never see myself the way I see myself. They just see what they want to see or what they expect to see.

I try to be okay with that, but there will always be that part of me that wants to show people they are wrong about me.  There will always be that part of me that kind of believes what people say about me. There will always be that voice in my head that says, “you suck” and “you’re stupid.”

Hopefully I can continue to move forward and not dwell too much on the negative words that continue to come my way from job interviews and people in my personal life. Hopefully some of the those voices will just go away and give me some peace and quiet for once.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dream job, where art thou?

Focus…focus…focus. I keep telling myself to just focus and get my work done, but my mind has been in a million different places lately.

Some of it is worry—I still have no job so I spend most of my free time scouring the internet for new job postings. I am running out of money. Luckily I’m thrifty, but someone has decided not to pay me the money he owes me so my small stash is almost on empty. Haven’t even started to think about how I will handle that situation—just add it to the list of things I have no control over.

Some of it is the fact that I have so much to do that I can’t decide what to do first and I waste time going from task to task instead of focusing on one task. My head seems to be in the clouds all day.

And some of it is because I’m focused on writing. Maybe this is what it is like to be a writer. I find myself daydreaming about how I should have written something different or what needs to be added or what needs to be cut. I guess it is better than writers block, but I know my children have got to be feeling a little left out these days.

So, then that adds guilt and now I am a complete overworked mom who feels like she is getting pulled in a million directions and I haven’t even mentioned my husband yet.
Robby is supportive as always, but I can tell he is starting to feel the pressure as well. Tread lightly seems to be his new catch phrase—kids, tread lightly, your mom has had another bad day.

Yes, I need to focus. But on what? Family, work, money, sleep, eating, cooking, cleaning, getting kids to do homework, feeding the dogs, finding work…

Sometimes I feel like I am my own worst enemy. I set myself up to be too busy. Yesterday, I wondered if I did it on purpose. Perhaps I did—maybe a little? I guess I was trying to distract myself from something that was lurking in the back of my mind.
When I decided to go back to school and get my masters, I promised myself that I would reach for the stars and that nothing would hold me back from my dream job. I thought my dream job was working for a magazine company in New York. I even pictured the apartment the children and I would live in and how we would need to live close to a park where we could walk the dogs. We would go to museums and shows and ride the subway. I wanted to give them an amazing life.

Last night I went to a job presentation by Conde Nast magazine corporation—they are the premier magazine publishers in New York and publish some of my favorite magazines like Wired, Vanity Fair, and The NewYorker.

I printed out my several copies of my resume, publishing lists, and writing samples. I grabbed a handful of business cards and put on a killer outfit. I made the decision to go for it. I knew Robby would never want to leave Savannah, but I had to find out if I could do this.

Everything went as planned until they began to play the promotional video about working for Conde Nast. I slowly began to realize that I have no interest in moving to New York. I have no interest in becoming one person in a sea of other writers and creative professionals. I have no interests in traffic, apartments, commuting, or uprooting my family.

For the first time in weeks, I became focused. I realized I don’t want to move. I want to make it big right here. I love this city, I love our home, I love my friends, and I love being a writer here. It may take a while to find that perfect job, but that’s okay.

I have a husband who adores me and probably would pack up and move to New York if that is what I wanted to do. For the first time in a long time, both of my children are really happy with their lives. And when 
I’m not distracted with my wants and wishes, I’m actually very happy with life here, too. And if I stopped moping around long enough, I realize I have the perfect life right now.

I got my focus back today. No telling what I will get accomplished now.