To speak up or stay quiet

Yesterday was a bit of a fiasco. When put in situations where I see something happening that is wrong I say something. Not always immediately and it depends on the severity of the offense. A lot plays into this because it’s a risky move and it almost never ends well for me. I cannot sit back though while certain things are taking place in front of me, I feel as though I am going against myself.

Let me give a few examples of what I am talking about.

Watching a coworker get bullied by another coworker. – In this case I speak up, I have on multiple occasions when put in this situation. If I am friends with the bully I talk with them privately about it and try to stop the behavior that way. If I am friends with the “victim” than I speak out immediately while it is happening.

Being present during a moment of infidelity. – I will always say something but the key detail here is if I AM PRESENT. If someone is cheating blatantly or getting ready to and I am there I will say something but if it is just something I hear about from someone else that changes things. Word of mouth = none of my business but if I am being exposed to an action then that is a problem for me.

Abuse. – No question, I am speaking up. Verbal, physical, emotional or otherwise, it is not to be tolerated.

These are bigger examples of what I am talking about just to illustrate my point. Something to keep in mind in all of this is how subjective it can all be. When I say bullying and cheating cause me to speak out I am talking about my definition of bullying and cheating. Abuse is a little more black and white however.

Another example as a way to clarify, instances where I have opened my mouth about infidelity involved someone (a friend or the significant other of a friend) kissing someone other than their significant other. I am also not saying that I run and tell on them but I will say something to them about it.

The thing is my friends know this about me and it’s a not a concern at this point in my life because this kind of thing doesn’t happen.

Todd’s friend and I were talking about this while she stayed with us recently. She said I am a defender and am constantly running to the defense of others, she said she noticed this in me not long after she met me years ago. I don’t think about it much but I know this is an accurate assessment.

This was the case yesterday. I sat by at first while someone I love was getting a hard time but that’s not something I can do for long. I spoke up but of course it just made matters worse. It is hard because I have this inner struggle about what the right thing to do here is. If I know that by speaking up I could just make matters worse do I just not say anything and let the action continue?? Or do I take a stand the hell with the consequences? I don’t want to make things worse for the person but I cannot just sit by and watch someone I love be mistreated.

On a side note but some what related can I just say how much I detest passive aggressive behavior. Say what you mean or get over it. Snarky remarks, loud sighs, notes etc to me are a cowards way of handling an issue. If there is something to talk about, lets talk. That’s it. I will not allow myself to be pulled into that nonsense.

Anyway, things leveled off yesterday but I was certainly stirred up for a moment. I just hate being put in these kinds of situations because I do what I feel is right and then question myself for hours after.. “Did I do the right thing?” “What was my part in this?” “What is this person’s perspective that would have made them act this way in the first place?”.. It’s a lot of inner monologue and it is exhausting. Introspection can be a real pain.

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Tuesday morning Coffee

sunroom1

The morning is green and beautiful as I sit here looking out at it from my sunroom. I stayed up incredibly late last night without the intention of doing so. It has been difficult to shut down my brain lately, so much to be excited about. Unfortunately for me my body is used to waking up at the same time every morning now whether I have a reason to or not so I am unable to sleep in to make up for what I lost. That is what good coffee is for I suppose.

The Live Oak in our backyard looks stunning in the morning sun, I love sitting out here watching the squirrels chase after each other.

I am going to give myself a little while to enjoy my coffee in this quiet but then I have to start my day.

My parents and I will go to the venue we are looking at to get the guided tour. I have laundry and a few dishes to do and when Todd gets home tonight we will pack.

Coffee with an old friend

I met my ex for coffee tonight. We do our best to keep in touch but of course life seems to always get in the way. We text every 6 months or so just to check in and make sure the other is doing well and have managed to meet for coffee at least once a year since our break up. I wanted to see him face to face when I tell him that Todd and I are engaged, I did this with all my other friends and wanted to do the same with him. It was great to see him. He was very excited for me and had all kinds of questions. I am so thankful that we have been able to keep some level of friendship since our split.

One of the things we talked about is how much we have both grown since our relationship. With every parting of ways in a relationship there is a measure of knowledge you gain, that is the bright side to break ups. He seems so self aware now, as am I. He was asking me about Todd and what my favorite thing about him is. That’s hard. I tell Todd all the time, a few times a week before bed usually, the specific things I love about him. Last night he said something that was so significant to me..

You see over the years, from time to time, I have been told that I am too sensitive or emotional or empathetic. (Usually by someone who is deliberately being hurtful. But it is). It’s cutting to hear that. I am an INFP and lead with my feelings, this is something I love about myself. I am deeply moved by things that to others may seem ordinary. I read a quote once by Tyler Knott Gregson that had to do with being brought to tears daily by the magnificence of life and the realization of how insignificant we are in the grand scheme. I relate to this so well. Maybe not daily but certainly weekly I am moved to tears by people and places and books and situations and almost anything really. It’s not sobbing tears or emotional outbursts. It’s a tear, a glaze over my eyes, a knot in my throat. It’s just gratitude for this life and an understanding of how precious things are. Sometimes I feel.. (notice when I am expressing myself it is almost always “I feel” not “I think”).. I feel things so deeply and am so affected by everyday things I worry that no one could possibly understand what it is like.

.. So last night as we are drifting off I am telling him my gratitude for him and what I love about him and the way he is. As he is reciprocating he said to me that he loves how considerate, empathetic and sensitive I am (in his own sweet words that meant so much I don’t want to share them, I would rather keep them just for myself). It made me feel the knot and does even now as I recall it. He has told me this before, he tells me all the time. It means more to me than I am able to form into words that he not only understands this side of me but that he wholly embraces it and has fallen in love with it. I have control over my emotions and sensitivity but they are there and I allow myself to feel them. I am glad he does not ask me to edit this or any other part of myself.

This man understands me on a level few people ever have, as I do him, and I know we are lucky in this. I am thankful.

President’s List

I finished my last day of summer classes today and am excited to add that I am pretty sure I made the President’s list as I recieved straight A’s this semester. I am thankful to have a few weeks off to decompress before my next batch of classes begin. Thursday evening Todd and I depart for Chicago. I am looking forward to being away and all the bands we will see at Lollapalooza but one of our friends has decided not to go after all so I am sad we will be missing her company. However, we will be staying with her while we are in the city so we will still have opportunities to spend time with her.

I am really looking forward to just turning my brain off for a little while. I’ve been buzzing lately with school work and constant thoughts about the wedding, I just want quiet. I lave the few weeks between classes because it also gives me a rare chance to read for fun. I haven’t been reading novels as much as i usually do since being back in school because it distracts from my required reading. I have picked out World War Z. I bought it for Todd as a congratulatory gift after his recent promotion at work and since he just finished it I can start. He liked it a lot. I am sure I will too I am just hoping it is not too graphic as I have a very active imagination.

While in Chicago we are talking about staying an extra day after Lollapalooza to visit the zoo. Every time we visit the city we do something new (new to me at least as it is not my city). I love our days in the city together just the two of us. We wake up early in the morning and walk to the train station from our friend’s house. Then we ride with the morning commuters into the city. When we get to the main station in the city we have breakfast in a cafe and watch the sun rise through the buildings. It is beautiful.

Another exciting report, I have lost close to 10 pounds so far. I feel great. Who knew how big a difference it makes when you cut out a big portion of dairy and carbs. To clarify I have not completely cut out either, just limited my intake to specific things. No cheese but yes to low fat yogurt. No white bread, pasta etc but yes to small portions of brown rice and whole grain options. I have focusing mainly on veggie’s with meat on the side. I have also started jumping rope again, I love jumping rope. I make it a competition against myself to see how many times I can jump with messing up, I am always trying to increase my number.

I also went to my first bridal shop and tried on a few dresses. What I found, I do not like what I thought I liked. Funny how that works out. I had this idea in my head about what I thought would look good on me and then after trying on a few dresses discovered a completely different style that I liked better. I have a ways to go until I am ready to dress shop in full force but it certainly gave me something to think about.

Today I am going to clean up around the house a bit, do some laundry, and bake some fish for dinner. It’s nice to have a day to relax. Tomorrow I will start packing for Chicago and I am going with my parents in the afternoon to look at a possible wedding venue. Then we will have one more day until we leave. What a busy summer it has turned out to be.

Flooded

I experienced a new emotion this past weekend, one that I cannot describe with words. For the first time in my life I fully understand the expression, “my cup runneth over with love”. Todd asked me to marry him Saturday evening as we watched the sunset from a sand dune on the beach. The best I can do to express what I was feeling in that moment is to say I was flooded. My brain turned off as a wave of emotions swept over me and everything poured out of my heart. I do not actually remember him asking the question, “Will you marry me?”, he got as far as Jill Elizabeth.. and then my brain shut down from emotional overload. When we tell the story I am able to tell it up to that point and then he has to take over and tell the rest. Deep down a piece of me had felt for a long time that I would never be here, I would not meet someone who fits into my life-like the missing piece everyone tries to make you believe you are missing. He is that piece though. Knowing him has changed my life and has changed me. He saw in me a person I could only dream of but that I never had the courage to be. I have known for a long time that I am lucky but now I feel it. This is just the next twist in my journey as a returning student, now I will be planning a wedding while taking my classes. We are shooting to get married November 2014 and I can’t wait to hold his hand and say I do.

Never Assume

I am not happy with myself this morning. I logged in to my class website to check my grade on a recently submitted assignment and found that my pristine A has dropped to an F! After calming down from the immediate panic attack that followed this discovery I started investigating what went awry. Come to find out I missed an assignment landing me a big fat zero. Now, I have trouble believing that my momentary lapse could be so huge as to completely destroy my grade so I emailed my professor to schedule a meeting. I know now what happened and accept full ownership for my misstep but am hoping that I am still able to come back from my error. I also feel quite embarrassed. I do not want my professor to think I do am not taking her class seriously or that my action was deliberate. Either way, this my mistake to own and try to correct. Bummer.

You have heard the saying, “When you assume it makes an ass out of U and ME”, I feel as though I have been hit over the head with it for the past few days. When will I learn? I assumed I knew exactly what was due during our 4th of July break from class so I did not check the website, that was poor judgement. I have also been working under the assumption that the grade forgiveness policy at school allows for the repairing of all previously earned grades, wrong again friend. You are able to repair grades that were not passing but any C or higher remains “as is”. This is unfortunate news as my plan for next semester was to turn some Cs into As. No such luck.

With my school plans now changing for the 6th or 7th time (I can hardly keep up any longer) I have decided to return to the work force temporarily. My plan is to take a class fall semester and a class spring semester in order to finish repairing damaged grades and work hopefully fulltime while doing so. I contacted a previous employer to see if they will need help in the next year as I think it would be easiest to work somewhere that requires minimal training and where they are already aware of my work ethic. If this does not pan out I will have to see what is out there.

I am not real excited about the most recent change of plans but it will give me an opportunity to put some money aside for school.

I am but nervous about class today, I feel like I will be walking in with my tail between my legs. I think my biggest fear is that the teacher is going to look at me like every other student who does not do the work and is full of excuses. I have no excuses, I made a mistake and just want a chance to redeem myself and my grade. I also just don’t like the idea of someone having the wrong impression of me, I would like to fix that and hope I will get the chance.

Career before kids or kids before career

I have never questioned wanting to have a family. Although other aspects of my life I may have been uncertain about at times on this subject I have always been resolute. It’s not just that I want to have children though, I want to have children when I am ready, I want to have a plan. I am starting to question my plan.

Now that I am back in school Todd and I have discussed waiting to have children until I am finished with my masters. I have been comfortable with this decision, even with the concerns raised by some about my age becoming an issue (I will be 34 when I graduate). This morning Todd and I were watching the news while getting ready and they were talking about some of the student loan interest rates doubling. This got me thinking. I already know I am more than likely going to be taking out a student loan to help pay for school once enrolled in the program but I guess I have’nt given enough thought to what happens when I graduate. Naively I thought, I will graduate and then Todd and I can get pregnant and I will have our first child before entering the work force. The reason this made sense to me was because I would finally be finished with school and I thought it would be good to get out of the way before starting back to work. I don’t know what I was thinking. The truth is when I finish school I am going to have to start working immediately to supplement Todd’s income and start to pay back my student loans. Then it’s not like I can get pregnant and take a maternity leave as soon as I start with a new company.

Then I started thinking, Ok well maybe we could have our first child while I am in undergrad. The course load should be lighter than when I am working on my masters and I would have a little more flexibility in my scheudle to balance being at home with an infant and working on school work/going to class. Wrong again. I won’t be working which means Todd will now have to pay for everything he already does for our household plus my medical bills (through his insurance) and a baby. That is a lot to put on him financially. That doesn’t seem fair.

This is what led me to where I am now, sitting on my couch waiting for Todd to come home so I can bombard him with my anxiety about our future. Luckily Todd is an expert at untying my knots ( he must have been a boyscout or something). It’s just that when I made the decision to go back to school and finish my degree I knew it would mean waiting to start our family, I dont want “waiting” to turn into “sacraficing”. I am afraid of losing our chances at a family if we put it off too long. Everyone has heard or read the statistics about the risks involved with women over 35 having children. I don’t want to be a statistic.