Monday, June 29, 2009


Yesterday I was driving to Silver Falls, OR, to meet some friends from my time in Japan. It was gorgeous out and I had the sunroof open and my favorite tunes on. I was thinking through everything, like I always do, and specifically about the next few weeks, and this exactly phrase spontaneously ran through my head: Sometimes I feel like my life is one dream-come-true after another. 

Now, I find that so strange. I'm 38, single, barren, unemployed, and rapidly depleting my entire life savings. I live 3,000 miles from my best friend, my seestor, and despite having lived in Portland before, I don't have that many friends here. But right then I felt a pinch-me, is this really my life? kind of happiness. And I genuinely don't feel that all the time, or even often, but I felt it intensely on Sunday. Maybe it's just an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I don't know. It felt good.

I have my second surfing lesson on Wednesday. I'm so nervous! I'm scared that I'll be terrible, that I'll totally fail, that I'll break surfing for everyone. I'll be so bad that no one, anywhere, will ever be able to surf again. That is my fear. I hope I have the guts to go through with it. I hope it's a good experience. 

I started a DreamWeaver class at the local CC last week. It's exciting. I like the tiny bit of HTML that I know, and I thought that class would be a neat way to see if there is even an ounce of creativity left in me, or if 15 years of banking has killed every right-brain impulse I ever had. I was so excited to get the book and the software and start on our first assignment . . . and I couldn't figure it out. It completely stumped me. The task was an HTML review and I screwed around with it for several hours over several days. I was really getting down about it - surely I wasn't up for the class if I couldn't do the first assignment. I e-mailed the instructor and didn't understand her reply. Ugh. The whole time I had a feeling my problem was with the extension on my saved file, but I couldn't get anything to work. 

Well, I'm still doing my One to One Apple sessions (and will be for the foreseeable future - there's the cutest Genius at that location, at least 6'6" and totally gorgeous) and I had an iMovie session last Thursday. As we got started, I took a chance and asked the guy if I could be so bold as to ask for help with my homework. He was incredibly, incredibly cool about it, and we spent at least 30 minutes working on it together! He really enjoyed the chance to work on something different, and, even better, the problem was with my extension! I was so stoked. So maybe I'll do ok with this new adventure. I'll check out my next assignment tomorrow.

Three weeks ago I started jogging at a local high school track. I'm really trying to lose weight. Not a crazy amount (although I would be fine with that), but enough to make throwing myself around on a surfboard a bit easier. I also find that running is the one exercise that I don't completely hate and I might even like it a little. I have pretty intense shin splints and always have to come home and throw bags of frozen broccoli on my shins, and I think I will ask my doc about them just to be sure, but this guy kicked the shit out of me using them as an excuse to not go. I started out running in the mornings but have lately switched to evenings, and I'm having a great time running at 9-ish each night, watching the sun set and the moon rise. The field is gorgeous and the sky feels huge around me. I look forward to it every day. 

I don't really know all the implications or what this exactly means, and it comes and goes, but I'm realizing that I feel less stress right now than I think I have in the past ten years. Maybe twenty. I have times of intense fear about what comes next, and what if nothing comes next, and what if, what if, what if. The potential for this story to end in a bad way is probably pretty high. But for the first time in so long I don't experience the Sunday night anxiety about starting a new week, and I don't have my mind race with meeting details when I'm trying to sleep, and I don't have even one tiny piece of my brain dedicated to office politics or bosses that I hate. It's truly a new feeling for me. I think it's what I've always tried to cram into a weekend or a week-long vacation somewhere, but it never really works. I think I'm refueling in a deep way. It feels good.


  1. Lovely. I wish I could bottle that feeling of life-happiness. I know those moments so well and in the dark times I wonder where they went. If I could just take a shot everyone once in a while it might help my anxiety about the "what next".

    I wish I liked running. {Sigh}

  2. An Apple guy would make a lovely partner - can you ask for an iHug as part of "one-to-one"? I'm jealous. I got my MacBookPro but didn't think to stop and pick up an iDude. You're so much more thorough.

    I'm so grateful for your description of those feelings of contentment and healing that you're describing. I think the modern workplace is just so unnatural and traumatizing and the more sensitive of us do occasionally benefit from a complete detox, however scary unemployment may be. Meeting friends on a fine summer day - that's what Life should be about.

    Have you thought of taking a Life Coaching course? It kind of sounds like you're building your own syllabus.

  3. I love this post for many reasons. Having that "pinch me" feeling is great and I'm so glad you've got it! You're totally LIVING right now. Having a job does not mean you're living in my opinion and I appreciate the reminder. You have a zest for life and adventure that I really admire and aspire to.

    I feel similarly about my dance class as you do about surfing. I what if all over myself and think worst case scenarios like being not perfect at something right away is going to blow up the universe. I like to think I have that much power! Ha.

    Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

  4. I LOVE this post. After reading it, I felt so good about some of the changes I want to make in my life (like quitting my god foresaken job).

    And how about those Apple guys? I swear, it's worth it to get a Mac just for those people, they are so awesome.

    Things you are doing with your life is where I'm hoping to be going by November. Thank you for inspiring me!

  5. Silver Falls! As in the State Park?? We love that place. We try for once a year or so. Looking forward to coffee SOON.

  6. I've never been to these parts of the US, but it must be beautiful.

    Just popping by to say my ususal hello.


  7. Wow. :)

    Keep on keeping on in that, it sounds like it is working better than anything ever has, let it take you where ever it takes you.

    ??? What I really mean is that I would love to feel what you are describing. I think many people would. You are very lucky, hold onto that (the feeling.) I am glad you took the time to write it down.

    ps YOU CANNOT BRAKE SURFING FOR THE WORLD! You CAN, however write a totally hilarious post about how it goes. Good, bad or ugly we're here for you!

  8. Awesome post. I occasionally have those moments, had one yesterday on the MAX, then realized I was grinning like a loon and people were staring at me. HA! (Maybe that particular moment was just a moment of crazy? Whatever, I'll take it.)

    RE: your shin splints. Contact me, it's what I do. I'll give you some home tips, no appt required. :)

  9. i just know that something good will come out of all of this current turmoil. it's hard to be unemployed. part of you is grateful for the luxury of so many endless possibilities and part of you feels like a utter loser who is milking off the teat of society.

    BUT dude. you put in your time. AND you have savings you can use for this. that is what savings is for. it's rough. it's a struggle, but hopefully a new you, with a new life plan will be born out of all of this.

    re: shin splints. i imagine you're not stretching correctly. when i was in boot camp i got HORRIBLE shin splints to where i couldn't walk anymore. the dr showed me a stretch that i've used ever since and haven't ever gotten them again. i wish i could show you, but i bet if you google stretches for runners or stretches for shin splints you'd find it.

    whew. that was a lot of run-on sentences. sorry.