February 24, 2009

It starts and ends with palm trees but that is pretty much the only evidence of coherence...

Today I am pining a bit for my L.A. life. The days where I would work a full day, be off by noon, head over to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, park my car, grab my new US weekly and a Blended from Coffee Bean and head over to the grassy knolls and watch the waves crash. Sometimes I went by myself, sometimes I was lucky enough to be in the company of my cousin Kelly (and THANK GOD! because she would assure me that we were not going to get killed by a tidal wave that particular afternoon and always brough good trashy magazines). Most of the time I would just sit and relax, people watch and think about what my life would be like in the future because, heck...life was incredibly simple then (though it seemed SO COMPLICATED at the time) so full of possibilites and I was surrounded by beautiful people and things and I really didn't have any major responsibilities. All I had to do was live in the moment and do exactly what I wanted when I wanted.

Whenever I have a lot of chaos in my head I go back to those years where I was living on my own in a city where I could drive around every day and discover something new. I wasn't attached to anything and it really was All About Me All The Damn Time (Ha! Those were the days). But the ups in life are always punctuated by the downs and most often we don't always appreciate the present. It wasn't always the best of times down there, I remind myself-- I was constantly wondering why I hadn't met Mr. Right, I hadn't completed my degree which was hanging over my head like some major unfinished business, and I was working in retail and just KNEW that I had something else in me to give career-wise. So whenever I pine for that time, I try to remind myself to be present in my life now because what seems crazy now, will just be tomorrow's nostalgic memories.

God, I don't mean to sound so ominous. I mean, in general, my life is really good right now -- especially compared to the awful tales that you hear everytime you listen to the news or read anything on the internet. I have a job that I am ::knocks wood:: not in danger of losing, I have found a partner that loves me for all of my crazy quirks, and we have built a life together that brings me so much joy on a daily basis that it's silly. I wake up laughing, I am always ready to come home after a long day of work and the two of us are making plans for the future that involve big, exciting life changing things. We are only responsible for ourselves right now -- we don't have kids, we don't have mortgages -- but holy hell, sometimes deciding to forge a life with another person can feel like such a huge deal.

I didn't make a lofty list of New Year's Resolutions this year. For me, this year it is really important that I prioritize my own stress management. I guess you could call that a resolution, but really I'm sort of staging my own intervention. Part of being a good life-partner in my opinion, is knowing how to manage yourself long before you go and trying and join a team. I want to do my best to make sure I am taking care of myself, so I can be there for Garrett when he needs it.

Last year I took the Myers-Briggs Assesment as an assignment for work and discovered I had an ENFJ personality type. Honestly, the depiction is pretty much right on par with me as a person. Especially the part where "[ENFJ's] get excited about possibilities for the future, but may become easily bored or restless with the present." The way this manifests itself in my life is that I am constantly on the go -- planning, doing, seeing, producing, exploring -- NONSTOP -- until I get to a point where the inertia of my life is overwhelming that I am forced stop. Everything sort of falls to the ground and then when I get bored and restless I pick up the pieces and start juggling everything over again. This is obviously not a good long term strategy and I'm trying to figure out how to cope -- especially this year of all years.

There are a million things changing this year: Garrett and I are taking the plunge and moving in together, we are mapping out our future, I am taking on a new professional endeavor, and OMG have I mentioned, I will finally get to see Hawaii?!?!? I have been bitching about my parents promising to take me there when I was 10 for like two decades, so I really can't believe that I am actually finally getting to go, and we are spending just about two solid weeks relaxing on Maui and I absolutely can't wait.

But all these things? I want to be present, ya know? I need to be present. They are all too important to just be another ball I'm juggling.

I guess I'm babbling about all of this because it helps me feel accountable. I know we all have days when we long for a simpler time in our lives, but I want to work on trying to enjoy the complexity of my life where it's at right this moment. And sometimes that might mean slowing down -- but that is hard for me. Everything worth figuring out in life seems to be a bit of a challenge though, doesn't it? My hope is that those strategies I'm working out now will bear fruit for me and of course our lives in the future.

And I'm not totally positive, but it think it might be of Pineapple and the Passion Fruit variety! Here's to hoping...

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