First I have to just say that I got my best comment ever. This one is from Laurel: "That Sneaky Sausage!"
This will now be used in conversation, much like "let's fold scarves" became a staple in conversations between Emily, my mom, and I. It's right up there with "it's like, who wants to go to town with a guy who drives a rowboat?" Mucho HEARTs to Laurel.
I also want to give a shout out to Miss Jenny over at Mamadrama for the awesome review of my blog. I'm sure you're already reading her daily though right? She's giving me a big head. I'm totally hoping I can fit it out of my office at the end of the day! I heart Jenny!
This post kind of leaves me feeling guilty as well as feeling good. Yesterday, I was talking with a coworker and I said something that I never really thought about before, but that I know is true.
I have never done anything just for me.
Did you get that?
There was never any question as to whether or not I'd go to college. It was just assumed. And I didn't mind school - I actually liked parts of it. Not going was never an option. Everyone assumed, so I did it. I'm a good kid.
Along those same lines, since the time I was like 14 (at least!) my dad told me I needed to work for the State. State workers make good money! State workers have great benefits! You'd be stupid not to work for the State if you had the chance! I got a job with the State at 17. I took about 3 months off one year to work in the private sector, and then went back to the State. And here I am.
Those two things kind of go together in that, this is not the career I would have chosen for myself. Being that it's not likely that I could be paid just to show up at parties (ala Paris Hilton), I would have chosen to be a teacher. But, being that I started working for the State before I finished college - I would have had to take a cut in pay in order to take a teaching job in this city. And girls, you know cute shoes and purses are not going to buy themselves, so a pay cut was NOT an option. Therefore, I am here. In a job that is just okay, but that will hopefully afford me a great retirement, if I don't go insane before then and need an asylum rather than a relaxing retirement villa. lol
So, anyway, I was trying to remember a time where I took my life in my own hands, because goodness knows I can give you a hundred examples of when I didn't and I let life happen to me.
I can only remember one time. And it's bittersweet because it is also not my proudest moment.
In 2000 I moved to Monterey with a boyfriend (this was definitely a decision I made to get away from living at home, where I wasn't paying rent, so there was no other way to justify moving out, in my mind). I lived there for 6 months? 7? Was it even that long? Anyway, I was ready to move away from him then, but I didn't know anyone to move with. I would have stayed if I knew anyone who needed a roommate. Unfortunately, I didn't. I got him a job in Sacramento, and we moved back.
We lived in a house that my dad owned (he rented it to us) and things were not good. (they were pretty much not good immediately). To put it bluntly, he was an alcoholic. He was also mentally abusive in that his technique for keeping a woman was to make her feel so bad about herself that she wouldn't leave because she would be convinced that no one else would want her. He was very successful using that tactic on me. At least for a little while.
In March of 2001, I went to a training class for work that required me to carpool down to Monterey (yeah for Monterey!) with a coworker (who happened to be really cool and the same age as me!) and stay for a week. It was an introduction to the park system and it wasn't terribly fascinating, and there were no tests, so it was very easy to spend the nights going out without too many repercussions in the morning.
While I was gone, I met someone. I met someone who would NEVER EVER be dating material in "real life" but who was very attractive and who just happened to think I was WONDERFUL, much to my surprise. He tried really hard to get my attention and he took me out and taught me to salsa dance. My coworker and one of his friends went out with us, and she kept yelling at me, OMG you're doing it! (both she and the guy were hispanic, and could totally salsa like maniacs, so the fact that I could do it was shocking to them being that I'm kind of pastey. LOL) We started another evening with me drinking apple pucker in a brown paper bag while waiting for a taxi - and ended up almost being swept away by the current around 2 a.m. on the beach.
I had so much fun that week. I remember one moment at the club (it was super-small and hardly anyone else was there) and I was walking with the guy, and two guys walked by checking me out and said to him, "you're a lucky man" and he agreed. And I was just so tickled. LOL After feeling like crap for so long, I realized that I wasn't crazy. My boyfriend really was a jackass and he had purposely treated me the way that he did, for his benefit.
I ended up kissing the guy, and that was as far as it went that week. I felt guilty enough. I had never cheated on a boyfriend before, and it wasn't the right thing to do regardless of what a jerk he was.
When I came home at the end of the week, my boyfriend was huffy about having to pick me up. (you'd think he would have been happy to see me). We got home and I promptly said, "this isn't working. I'm done." It was very Taylor Vaughan of me, and I was very proud of myself for deciding that's what I had to do, and not hesitating. I didn't tell him about the guy because there really wasn't any point, but I know he noticed the change in me.
I continued to talk to the guy for a few months. We were mostly just friends and were able to talk about anything. I thanked him for helping me make the change. The best feeling was the difference in my appearance and in the way I carried myself.
My friends and I used to play a game where we'd rate people from 1-10, just for fun. (I think we were trying to find a girlfriend for the only guy in our little group). When I returned from Monterey and went back to school, my group of friends didn't recognize me at first. They even rated me! (and not too badly either!) (I ended up dating our guy friend too, but OMG was he needy! lol)
I think making the realization that I haven't made many of my own decisions when it came to the big stuff makes me appreciate everything I'm doing now. I chose Mark. (a good choice, I think) and I'm choosing to do things for myself. That's what Weight Watchers was about, and my commitment to going to the gym and getting healthier. (notice I didn't say eating healthier!) I'm choosing to take care of me.