Monday, January 19, 2004

A Very Long Post: The Weekend, Etc. ...

Tonight after counseling I had leftover Legal Seafood that Brian and Jenny thoughtfully brought back for me. M and I talked about how busy I’ve been, about my recent post on boundaries, etc., and how I’ve been feeling in general. Overall, I’ve been on the good side of okay. Yes, there are moments of sadness. Yes, I’m anxious and fearful, though Tef being home really helps with that. And yes, I’m confused about what I am doing and what to do with my life. But I’ve been able to handle all that with some grace and some venting and some weak moments and some strong ones. As for the reason I started going in the first place, I’m in a place that I can’t discern. I really don’t know where I am in regards to that. I can’t force myself to be angry and there is still work to do. But I don’t know what I need to accomplish or how. I told her it was sort of like I was in a sort of limbo, knowing there were more places to go, but not knowing what those places are or what I need. M let me know that she calls it reaching a plateau, which is a much better way of putting it. I’ve been seeing her for over a year and she let me know of all the progress I’ve made. I can see it, too. But I am at a point where I’ve leveled out for a little while, and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to take a step back from the healing process and process and take time to see what is next. So we are going down to once a month for the next time, and then we’ll see. We may keep it that way until things start going again for me, or we may go back to twice a month. I’m okay with that. I’ve only just started writing again and I think it’ll give more time and motivation to work a little harder. Although she did make the point that it’s like with weight-loss plateaus: sometimes you work harder and still don’t yield results. But at least I know that this is a normal thing to go through, that I’m not defunct or stuck forever; and that at some point when I’m ready, progress will start again.

This weekend was busy and good, what I was talking about when I said how much fuller my life is. I find myself feeling more comfortable going out in groups, not as shy and not as timid about integrating myself. Several of us met for dinner at John Harvard’s Brewhouse, including Brian B, Kelly, the women from down the hill, Dave, and a few others. It was crowded and we had to sit at different tables, but I still got to sneak a few bites of Dave’s chocolate dessert. Brian B, Elizabeth, Kamber, Kelly and I all went over to the moviehouse to meet up with a few more people who were meeting up just for the movie. All told, once we were all there, there had to be about 20 or so of us. Cuteboy was there and I think he’s into a certain woman that was there. Again, I just have to say, it’s nice to not be all flustered with him. And to realize that any awkward conversation or stiltedness is not me. Honestly, I tried to talk to him, he was hanging with Brian and I for a few minutes and it was just difficult to hold a conversation with him and he apparently doesn’t find me funny at all. Thing is, most people do at some point, so I’m pretty the strangeness is him and not me being a terrible dork to be around. It’s nice to be able to really think that. I’m sure if he was interested, our interaction would be different. Or maybe he is afraid of me thinking that he’s interested, but either way, I’m fine with it. I’m glad to not be all spazzed about him.

We saw the movie Big Fish and it is excellent, I highly recommend it. The way images are presented, the stories presented, the meaning behind them, I loved it all. I’d see it again, as a matter of fact.

Anyway, that was fun. It was nice that the women down the hill drove me. It’s nice to not be the chauffer. And one of them met someone new to them and hit it off and has a date for this weekend. Most excellent.

Saturday I went and got my hair cut and of course now I’m bummed that my hair will never look the good until my next appointment. How does she do it? I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought provisions for Sunday dinner and for possibly making lunch Saturday (stuff for homemade pizza, how fun!).

Brian and Jenny got here around 12:30 or so and we hung out at the apartment for a little catching up. It was very random to get an e-mail from him, but I’m glad I did. I realized that when I explain my life and my job and activities to many other people, they somehow make me feel inferior. They make me feel like my job isn’t interesting enough or that I’m boring or that the other things I do aren’t important. Brian and Jenny, among others, are able to see value in my life as a whole and understand the reasons I have my job and see me as valuable and good and I guess I just like the affirmation. I spend so much time around people doing these truly amazing things and sometimes literally changing things in the world. I don’t begrudge that at all, I think it’s wonderful and I wish I was good enough for all that, but sometimes they can make you feel small and blah when you talk to them, especially when they just don’t understand what you do or care for that matter. Maybe that’s the key, actually caring and that is rarer than I’d like.

Anyway, time with them was very blessed. We walked down to Davis Square they very generously treated me to lunch at Anna’s. Again, we lingered over good conversation and what they were doing in their lives. I took them to CD spins and we all came away with fun goodies. I got a Satie compilation, as well as Walking Wounded from Everything But the Girl, which I had specifically thought I’d get if I could find it that day. From there I took them to a used bookstore that Brian wanted to check out. Goodies again! I found a copy of Little Woman almost exactly like the one I had when I was little, whose edges got chewed by a sister’s rabbit. I had to get it for nostalgia’s sake. I also found a copy of a great book I had borrowed from Nina, Fugitive Pieces. It’s a beautiful book.

We walked back up to my house, stopping at Mr. Crepe for yummy dessert crepes and more great chatting. I love that we could get past silly small talk and really talk about our lives and what we are hoping for and want to do. We got back to my place and rested, playing a little speed scrabble. Now that is a fun game! Someone had given them the means to treat themselves to a nice dinner, so they left their car at my house and I directed them to a few places downtown. That way Jenny could see more of the city, which is lovely at night, and they’d have their pick of restaurants. Hence, I came into the Legal leftovers.

I hung out, watched a movie, baked some peanut butter cookies. I hadn’t seen either of those two in about a year and a half, having only met Jenny once for a minutes. In a way, she reminded me of my sister-in-law, simply because they are both young and very close to their families. Jess is younger and is living away for the first real time in her life; and Jenny will be doing the same if she and Brian end up moving for him to attend the seminary they came to see. It gave me some good perspective, Jenny acting almost as a surrogate that way. They got home late and dropped off things and I sent them on their with fresh cookies.

Sunday I completed my assignment from Natalie: I had Brian B, Dave, and Elizabeth over for Sunday Dinner. Each of them had asked if they could bring something when invited, so I actually did assign things (or gave them the choice). It did make a little easier for me, especially since I had to have dinner a little early. I made a simple honey-mustard chicken and roasted herb-y potatoes. Dave brought a yummy cake with a layer of raspberry-chocolate, Brian brought a middle-eastern salad that was delicious and Elizabeth saved the day and brought drinks. It was so fun and easy and comfortable. We ate with my new crimson placemats which looked lovely against my white place settings, and my red holiday goblets. We finished dinner, having had good conversation, from summer internships to the perils of dating in a closed environment. While Dave frosted his cake, I broke out the coloring books and crayons at Brian’s request and we all colored while having dessert. See, age-appropriate whimsy! We also had to check on the score of the football game, of course. Brian delved into my music collection a bit and chose to listen to some Dar Williams. Around 6, Elizabeth had to leave and the guys stayed to watch the end of the game. It ended just on cue, just as I had to leave to pick Tef up at the airport. Hugs all around, and the guys left. I hope everyone had a good time and enjoyed the food. They did really dig into the potatoes.

Tef is back and that is good. I did have to watch Alias in my room since she was into her movie on cable (there’s no cable in her bedroom). But I’m much less anxious at night (i.e. now) and she is all jazzed up for her dating-dude to be home tomorrow. She had a great vacation in Ecuador as well. She brought me back a traditional clothe poncho, very different from the rain gear you are used to seeing, in the most beautiful, pure shade of red. I can’t wait to figure out how to wrap it properly. I gave her a second present I did not have the chance to get before she left; a pack of Tibetan paper stationary, handmade with different designs and colors. She also gave me Deb and Jason’s gift of this amazing home-made stationary that I want to use immediately.

So, Sammie and everyone, that is all that. Whew.

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