Weekly Whining: Maybe I Need a Confidence Boost

So I know that a majority of the posts that I write here talk about how I’m in a funk and can’t get myself out but basically would do anything to get myself out because it sucks. And this post is really no different, so let me warn you now.

Life hasn’t been bad? It’s been pretty ok, actually. I mean, minus the part about me being in a terrible rut. I just recently got promoted at work, which has been feeling bittersweet if I’m being honest (I’m being honest). I’ve worked so hard and for so long to move up in the company I work for and it’s finally happened for me. And instead of feeling overjoyed about the fact that this has happened, I feel a little underwhelmed. It’s like this is all I’ve been working for and now what? I don’t feel fulfilled and that’s never good, especially when it comes to something you’ve wanted for a year. I guess maybe it’s just a sign that retail is not my life path. That this is only a means to an end. So maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t feel satisfied? Maybe feeling satisfied means that I’ll stop trying for something more? Whether that more is within the company or whether that more is outside of the company. So maybe I shouldn’t be looking at this negatively. I should be thankful that I’m feeling unfulfilled; be thankful that I know in my heart and mind that I need to keep moving forward. I need to keep moving toward something more. (Wow, ok, I worked that out much faster writing it down than I ever could in my head because I’ve been feeling really down on myself for not being overwhelmed with excitement that this has happened in my life,)

Another positive thing in my life is that my boyfriend was visiting about a week ago (it feels like forever ago) and it was a wonderful time. But I guess even that is great and terrible. Great because I hadn’t seen him since July, but terrible because now he’s gone again and I probably won’t see him until February because working at a mall has some negative aspects aka holiday aka the time between November and January. He recently interviewed with the company that his friend works for in Houston so naturally if he gets it he’ll have to move to Houston, which works better for communication because he’ll only be an hour behind me, but also it means that he’ll still be long distance. But I told him that if he did get the job and moved down there, I would go with him. I mean, not right away, but eventually when he had his own place and I stayed a least six months at my new store/in my new position. (One of the mall’s many perks is that basically I can transfer wherever and still have a job, which is always nice to know.) But then I was getting nervous that I was turning into the girlfriend that would just follow her boyfriend around wherever he went and I definitely did not want to be that type of girlfriend. But, at the same time, I definitely am tired of being the type of girlfriend that is long distance so I guess you gotta be one to not be the other and I have to change my idea of the type of girlfriend I want to be because I never thought I’d be in this situation. (Although I did always want to be in this situation.) So fingers crossed he gets the job in Houston and, if not, fingers crossed he gets a job anywhere because I just worry about him sitting over there feeling down on himself because he’s not working and doesn’t have money to do much of anything.

Ok, but now I’m going to talk about my real problem in my life right now and that’s my lack of focus on basically everything. I’ve been reading more often as of lately, but not enough to be like “Wow I’m reading so much again!” I can start a book and I can usually get pretty deep into it and then I’ll have one bad day and I revert back to my old habits of sitting around all day doing absolutely nothing productive and that one bad day will cause me continue doing absolutely nothing for basically weeks until I write a post about how terrible I am and then I’ll start up again. But the cycle never ends. This is an ongoing problem. And I never realized the power that one bad day had over me and that’s an issue. I’ve basically stopped writing altogether, whether it’s in my journal or creatively and that’s awful because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life. My reading habits are on and off. I don’t play my piano. I haven’t exercised in a month. Things are bad. I know once I get myself into a routine, it’ll be easier to keep that routine. And I know that it should be easy to just get myself into a routine because I’m here telling you all how terrible it feels to be this terrible, but it just doesn’t feel that easy. It feels so difficult to pull myself out of this rut. Someone please help me or I’ll be doomed for eternity, probably.

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Not A Confidence Boost

Before I say anything, I want to make this 100% clear. I am not trying to give myself a confidence boost. I am definitely not trying to kick my confidence while it’s down, but this isn’t going to be one of those posts that I write about how much better I am going to be. What I will do is just try to give myself a kick in the butt to do anything really because basically I’ve done nothing about my life in way too long. It’s time to be proactive. And this time I mean it. (I think.)

I’m going on my fifth year working at the mall and, while it pays the bills and it’s super terrible, the mall is not somewhere I imagine myself for much longer. I’ve always given myself an age limit. By 25, I need to be at least getting ready to get out of the mall and 25 feels like it’s rapidly approaching which is not good for me because I feel nowhere close to getting out of the mall. My dream job would be to just be able to write and (hopefully) get published and so life wouldn’t be so terrible while I’m spending all my hours writing. But I know (at this moment in time) that’s not a practically lifestyle, so I’ve always been “ok” with the mall and the “security” it provides. And recently, I’ve really uncovered this love of fashion and clothes and visual merchandising and so I’ve been looking into doing more with that until I can pay for grad school. But even with that, I feel such a lack of confidence and experience that I’m nervous even to apply sometimes. This happened when I was thinking about going for publishing internships. I feel so under qualified because of all my years spent on a clothing store sales floor. And I know I basically shouldn’t feel under qualified when it comes to applying for visual internships, especially when they’re internships for the company I presently work for, but something makes me so nervous. I don’t even know if I’m nervous that I won’t get it. I think I’m more nervous to get it and then to have to start over. It would be like the first day of middle school or something. Will you fit in? Will you find something you’re good at? Will you make the impression you want? I think the mall, for a long time, has been a comfort for me. I know what I’m doing there and people know that I know what I’m doing and those people respect it and acknowledge it. I feel safe there because of it. But the more years I spend there, the more I realize that, while I’m good at what I do, this is never what I imagined my life to be.

I don’t think it helps that I haven’t written in basically forever. Even after deciding to set up a creative writing coalition with my undergrad comrade Julia, I still haven’t written. I’ve journaled, yes, but I actually haven’t sat down and just written something. Anything. And so I know that hurts me. I know it hurts to think that the mall is all I’ll ever be good at. Maybe if I was writing more and submitting more pieces to magazines and contests, I’d feel a little less awful about myself and where I’m going with my life. Maybe if I was working on a portfolio for grad school (something I’ve told myself to work on for three years now), I’d feel more confident in my ability to get into grad school for creative writing.

It also doesn’t help that now there’s a new added goal to my life: getting my long distance relationship to be not long distance. So, while for a long time, it’s been me worrying about how long it was going to take me to get to where I want to be, I’m now in a spot where all I do is worry about how long it’s going to take to get to have an actual relationship again. Neither of us have the funds to support ourselves at this point and I understand that. But I also feel like no matter how much I work at this mall, I am still nowhere close to even starting to work toward being together again. So that’s another added fear where I think I should just apply to internships across the country, but then it’s not only starting over in a job, it’s starting over in a new state. Which is cool, but also terrifying, considering that I already feel under qualified. Am I ready to move across a country and start over? Maybe I would be if I had an actual job and not a part-time mall job? Life is hard.

I guess it sounded a lot like me kicking my confidence when it’s down and I really didn’t intend to make it sound that way. I guess I just thought if I wrote it all down it would give me more fight. Now that it’s out in the open, maybe I’ll kick myself into high gear to just start being more proactive. I complain a lot, I do. And I know that the only person who can make any real change in my life is myself and so I think it’s time that I start doing that or else I’ll keep complaining and all of you innocent people will continue to have to deal with it.

On Life: An Update

It feels like I’ve been home forever. Like I’ve always been home. Like I never left and never returned. It’s been about two months since I’ve been back and I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I was, at one point, 1,500 miles away from it all. At the same time, I can’t believe that here I am, sitting in bed, writing about the same subject that is Texas. I guess I mostly only ever still think about Texas because of the people in Texas that I left behind. It’s not everyone I met. It’s not even half the people I met that I think about. It’s the three or four coworkers I connected with on such a level that I didn’t think I would. Things like that are weird to me. Friendships, that is. Especially these ones. Friendships are weird because you start off strangers. At a certain point in all of our friendships, we were strangers. Not wondering about the other’s existence. I never would’ve thought about the people in Texas. Never would’ve thought that anything would’ve brought us together. But something did. And now something is keeping us together. And I wonder if this was all Texas was supposed to be for me. A way to connect me with these select individuals. It’s almost comforting to know there are forces out there that drive us to the people we are meant to be around and the things we are supposed to doing with our time. Also like super super terrifying.

Friendships are also weird in the sense that you can get into an almost disagreement with someone and disappear from each other’s lives for a year and somehow return to a place where you were before it all happened. Reconnecting, reuniting. I say this because it’s something I did with someone who was my best friend for three years leading up to my move to Texas. And something in the few months before I left dragged us apart. Her boyfriend, my job. Her inability to accept the fact that I was leaving. My inability to accept the fact that I was leaving. Yet here we are. Trying to reestablish the friendship we had created and it’s as if nothing has changed. The year we didn’t speak didn’t happen. The five months I was in Texas was not a thing that kept us separated.

Working at the mall is still what I find myself doing and a lot of the time, it’s ok. It’s only when I get a day off when I feel like I’m a useless human being. Maybe it’s because I sit around a lot and do absolutely nothing so I guess that’s my fault. I’m interviewing to become a full time assistant manager within the next few days and that seems pretty cool. It’ll be pretty nice to take on some more responsibility and show everyone on a corporate level what I’m capable of. The company I work for is really cool and also has a really awesome marketing campaign going on and I feel like I connect with it a deep level, which is a little weird for me. If you asked me five years ago if being a full time retail manager was something I’d be doing, I would laugh and tell you that you are drunk. This is not something I ever imagined, but maybe I should run with it? Maybe I should take the chance to see where it leads?

I guess my only concern with it all is that I haven’t been writing lately. Again, that’s my fault. I am the worst at keeping any sort of schedule for myself (writing or anything else for that matter). Sometimes I feel like as I’m following this dream I lose sight of everything I had worked so hard for. Everything I’ve always wanted. I guess as long as I keep acknowledging that writing is my passion, I’ll never truly lose sight of it, but I know actions speak louder than words and if I want to be serious about all that I’m typing right now, I need to start showing myself and my brain and my heart that pen and paper is where my true passion lies. I 100% need a better writing schedule. Better writing schedule, sleeping schedule, reading schedule. The only positive to being full time is that I think I’ll have a more regular work schedule, so hopefully I can start setting other schedules for the rest of my life.

And if you were wondering, my long distance relationship is still very much a thing, but I’m not here to whine about distance and talk to you about hard everything in life is. It’s an incredible thing to finally realize that stressing is for nothing when someone 3,000 miles away chose to be with me and continues to choose me everyday he wakes up and every night he falls asleep. So somewhere deep inside of my being, I have been much more accepting it all. Distance is just a milestone. It’s a stepping stone to where we both need to be in order to be together. It’s an obstacle, but I think it’ll be the hardest obstacle we deal with for a while. Everything else seems like cake.

It’s weird being positive about something that I am 100% not ok with, but, at the same time, I’ve been feeling relatively more positive the last few days? I saw on the news that cynicism leads to health problems so I guess this newfound positivity came at just the right time? I’m not saying I’m going to be the most positive / happy go lucky human being on the face of this earth, but I am taking things one day at a time. Maybe it’s because I’ve been enjoying work? Or maybe it’s because I’m being recognized for all my hard work? I’m not sure, exactly, but I don’t hate it. I guess I realized that a lot of the things I was stressing about aren’t worth the time. It’s all a means to a better end.

Also, I’m going to leave this here because it somehow embodies my newly discovered positive side maybe???

On Dating: Long Distance: Continuing to be Something I Don’t Want in a Relationship

I know I’ve complained about this topic in the past and I also know that I am not the most idealistic human being to discuss relationships, but I just got back from visiting my actual real life long distance boyfriend and now I feel the need to talk about it almost constantly to everyone I know and also don’t know so brace yourselves, ok. 

Long distance is a weird time. It’s a weird time because a lot of the time you are very much alone, but you never actually feel that way. Deep in the back of my mind, I am always reminded that someone else is there with me and for me. The physical presence is lacking, of course, but the lingering connection two people share never actually stays away. Maybe that’s the weirdest part of it all for me. Some days I feel lonely and some days I want to feel alone, to remind myself that he’s not here with me–to remind myself that I need to work at this if I want to keep it going. And that’s dumb, because I don’t actually need to do that to remind myself of these things. But it’s also the hardest part, because the days I do feel lonely, I remember that I am alone. That I can’t call him up and see him in five minutes and be cured of all the loneliness. And that sucks, but also I don’t think this is making much sense at all and that sucks, too, because I am trying really hard to make these sentences real sentences with real meanings. 

My old manager dated her now husband for six years long distance and I can’t even imagine being able to do that as a human being, especially as a human being in love with another human being. It’s been a total of eight months that I’ve dated my boyfriend long distance and that is eight months too long for my taste. So props to all those who have been in or are currently in a long term long distance relationship because you are better people than I am. Or, I guess, maybe I’m just not used to it, but I don’t know if that’s a thing that I’ll ever be. ANYWAY, my old manager dated her now husband for six years long distance. She told me that you have to teach yourself to be ok with loneliness. She almost told me that you have to be comfortable with it. And, for many years of my life, I was ok with loneliness and ok with being alone forever. But there’s those two words and they are not synonymous. Everyone always used to say that you could be alone, but not be lonely. You can be totally single forever and never want a human companion for all of life but that doesn’t mean you’re lonely. And I guess you can even be lonely but not be alone and that’s sad to be with another person and still feel lonely, but I guess that’s where I’m at. Because I am with someone but I am so lonely because he’s not here. What am I saying?

The thing is that I guess despite my level of hate for the long distance separating myself and my boyfriend, the distance has made and strengthened my relationship and I can’t say that I would change it for anything. Not even the seven months that kept us apart the first seven months we were talking. We decided within a ten day period that we wanted to see where this connection would take us. And, so, we spent seven months apart, with only text messages and video chats to keep us in contact. We spoke every day. We skipped the having to get to know each other. We skipped the awkward first date conversation. We got to know each other based on things that were most important to both of us as individuals. We skipped the honeymoon phase because we had both already decided that this was what we wanted to work for–that this was what we wanted. There was no question that, no matter how hard things got, we weren’t giving up on each other or on each other as a unit. That’s the most gratifying part of it all, I think. I know all couples hit a moment when they decide that this is their forever. But we’ve been through tough times and knowing he’s 3,000 miles away and still continuing to put myself and our relationship before all things is a wonderful feeling. (Not a wonderful feeling that you can’t spend time with the one and only person you want to spend time with, but you take what you can get.) 

(This post was going to go in a completely different direction and now I don’t know where I am or how I got here.)

On Dating: Long Distance Relationships Are A Thing I Don’t Want Anymore

When I say that for a really long time I thought the only thing I wanted in a relationship was some type of long distance, I really mean that. I had no attraction to almost any of the males I knew at home and so I was convinced that my soulmate was somewhere across America or the world patiently waiting for our introduction. And this was okay. I, like I’m sure many other hopeless romantics/literature majors taking a Jane Austen class, found something super romantic about a long distance relationship. Two individuals sharing such a deep personal connection that transcended distance and time. How great, right? What could be better than knowing that no matter the space between you and the person you felt closest to, you always felt closest to them. 

This was extra appealing to me because for a long time (aka this might still be a thing today) I was really uncomfortable with all aspects of any sort of physical intimacy. So, I mean, hello, are you understanding what I’m saying? I could have a relationship without constantly having the obligation of providing some sort of physical contact. We’d be apart for a certain amount of time and then we could visit whenever we felt we needed to. I didn’t have to be constantly showing affection or constantly receiving affection, which was something that made me uncomfortable because I’m weird. 

It all sounded really great. And now that I am 22 and basically in a long distance relationship for the first time, I am coming to realize that everything I had thought about them was absolutely wrong. Ok, relationship gods. You win. I was wrong. 

(Disclaimer: you’ll have to excuse me in this post because I will be 100% too dramatic for anything on this earth and for that I am deeply sorry.)

Maybe I was just wrong because now I am in a LDR (I’m going to use this acronym because it’s too much work to type out the whole thing every. single. time) with a boy that I would very very much like to be in an actual relationship with, so that is kind of a bummer mostly, no? I know it’s only a matter of time before I can be around him on a regular basis but it’s all very weird and uncertain to me even though it’s not at all weird and uncertain. When I said I was basically in a LDR, I meant it. I’m not actually in one. But I mean, basically. So, in saying that, I can be around him and he can decide he hates my guts and then all of this was for nothing except sadness and tears. 

Everyone just keeps reminding me about how great it’s going to be when I’m actually able to see him on a regular basis and I believe them. They are 100% correct. Because I visited him about a month ago and it was probably the most perfect week of my life. So, yes, everyone on this earth, you are correct. Except once you leave that perfect week it’s back to being half a country away and it’s like nothing ever actually happened. Ready for cliches because it’s all like a dream. You start to wonder if it even happened because now it’s the opposite of happening. It’s not at all happening. Nothing is at all happening. 

So kudos to you, folks in LDRs because you’re great and less dramatic than I am.

I think my biggest problem, though, with the LDR is the type of crazy person I’ve become. And not even crazy clingy. Or crazy annoying. (I like to keep the crazy to myself, you understand.) It’s become an insecure crazy. An almost jealous crazy (but not quite). I have never felt so insecure before in my life and I can’t even understand why because he is a perfect specimen and he has promised to be mine while I am here and also when I get there so why self, why? He watches football every Saturday and literally disappears for all of eternity and I just get so bothered by the fact that he isn’t paying constant attention to me. And not because I’m mad that he has friends and I do paint by numbers on Saturday nights, but because I keep thinking that he’s going to be out somewhere and meet someone and realize that he doesn’t need to be waiting around for some girl that is half a country away. How stupid is that and am I? So stupid. It’s the stupidest thing I feel like the stupidest thing. 

How do people even do this because this is driving me up a wall but in a good and bad way because I think this is going to end up being the most perfect relationship but also I’m half a country away from it all.