Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grizzbabe's Life: The Cliffs Notes Version

It’s been over six months since my last post and even longer since I’ve updated you on some of the details of my life, particularly on the job front. So here’s a quick synopsis of everything that’s been happening in Grizzbabeland as of late.


After getting laid off from the non-profit agency back in 2011, I went to work for a temp agency and was placed in the communications department of a Fortune 500 company for 11 months. The work was different than what I had done before (I was providing administrative support directly to a manager as well as her team) and I loved it! My supervisor and teammates loved me too, but because of a weird rule that limits the amount of time a contract employee can spend at the company, I was let go after my contract ended in August 2012.

In January of this year, I landed a job at one of the most (if not the most) prestigious non-profits in the city.  This is a permanent position that pays slightly more than what I was making at the other non-profit organization and has great benefits. It’s a wonderful opportunity that I almost didn’t get.

As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Although the company I work for is a non-profit, it is essentially a financial institution, which makes doing credit checks an appropriate part of the evaluation process. Of course, the bankruptcy showed up on my credit report and in any other situation, it would have been cause for me to be dropped from consideration. But because I worked for 11 months in the Communications Department of the previously mentioned Fortune 500 Company with several people who were either former employees of my current company or who had worked closely with them, I was able to get the kinds of recommendations that put me ahead of the competition. In addition, because of the strength of my references, it was  determined (correctly, I might add) that I would not be a financial risk to the organization.

Isn’t it weird how things work out? I mean, what are the odds?  I randomly go to work for a company. While there, I have a great time and build up an excellent reputation.  I leave the company and apply for a job at an organization that (unbeknownst to me) is closely connected to my former co-workers and they end up giving me rave reviews and helping me land the job.

Ok, now that I’m reading it in black-and-while, it doesn’t seem all that fantastical but it certainly feels that way, like the Universe was moving favorably on my behalf.

Anyway, after 2 years of uncertainty, I’ve finally settled down into a permanent position and I have to say it feels good. It feels good to belong to a tribe once again and to have a work place to call home.

Did I say I was going to give a quick synopsis? Well, let’s break this up into several sections. Part 2 will come soon.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Rainy days and Sundays always get me down

I don't know what it is about Sundays that always sends me into a depression. I've cried almost every single Sunday for the past year. For some reason, on that day, the imperfections that permeate my life (a challenging first year of marriage, no permanent full-time job, financial struggles, etc.) gets magnified by a 1000%. The other days of the week, I guess I'm too busy/distracted to focus on how difficult my life feels.

I think part of the reason I get so depressed is because Sundays is the only day of the week I don't work and by the time the last day of the weekend rolls around I'm tired. Very tired.  Only I can't rest because I have to go to church where I have responsibilities and what should be a time of spiritual rejuvenation turns into just another thing I have to do.

Lately, I've been skipping the actual church service in favor of just showing up to fulfill my role as a youth group leader. But honestly, this just intensifies the depression problem. Without the encouragement I receive from church attendance, my problems seem to get even bigger, making the bouts of depression even more unbearable.

In a move of desperation, I went to church this past Sunday. It was the first service I'd attended in months. In  a weird stroke of providence (or simply coincidence; you be the judge), my pastor's sermon  was based on Matthew 11:28-30 in which Jesus says:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Jesus invites the weary and the heavy-burdened to come to him for rest. But notice how the text does not promise that we'll then be free of all burdens. No, it says that we'll be given a new burden, one that is presumably much easier to labor under.

The point of the sermon was this: We will never be free of burdens or responsibilities. Life is inherently fraught with them. But what we can do is choose which burdens we take on – the heavy ones or the lighter ones.

Theologians will fight to the death over their interpretations of what Jesus considers a heavy burden and what he considers a light and easy burden. But for me, a heavy burden is a problem in which I have no control over the outcome. That pretty much describes the vast majority of my worries.  In my mind, a light burden is an obligation that appeals to my higher self, like feeding the poor, going to church or being a youth group leader.  Maybe even writing would fall into this category.

I plan to spend this week testing out this principle by ridding myself of the heavy burdens I carry and taking on some lighter ones. I am under no illusions that I'll be anything more than mildly successful at this but maybe that will be enough to make my Sundays seem a little less gloomy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Married Life

Being a newlywed, I often get asked the question, "How's married life?" And my answer is always the same, "Married life is going really well. Thanks for asking."

And it is. Going really well, that is. Of course, I could be saying that because we're still in the honeymoon phase, but even so, I couldn't ask for anything more from my first 2 months of marriage.

For instance, yesterday, we had the best day together. Lots of laying about and overindulging in holiday leftovers with a little hanky panky thrown in. Marital bliss!

Don't get me wrong. As the previous post indicates, we're not perfect. But generally speaking, I love spending time with my husband and I'm thankful that after all these years of dating long-distance, we finally can enjoy each other under the same roof.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Husband Masturbates In Bed And We Almost Didn't Get Married Because Of It

The most haphazardly written but most revealing post I've ever made.

Ok, this is the post I promised you some months ago. And now that life has settled down a bit, I can finally take the time to write it. But it will be one of those posts where I inhale deeply and spit out what I have to say very quickly so that my words don't carry over into the next breath. I'm not going to labor over this post like I normally do (which is a deterrent to writing for me). I'm just going to allow the words to fall off my fingers and see where it takes me. Here goes.

After a few months of living together, I decided to confront my then fiance about his night time masturbation habits. Not because I have something against masturbation (I actually find it quite hot) but because all the jostling of the bed was waking me up. Every. Single. Night. I was tired and cranky and I needed sleep.

What I initially thought was going to be a quick conversation ("Hey look, could you ease up on the wanking a bit so I can get some sleep?" "Aww, my bad. No problem.") turned into the biggest disagreement we've ever had because The Fiance ended up denying what seemed to me to be an obvious conclusion derived from the evidence.

Now, in The Fiance's defense, I had not actually seen him masturbating. I had only felt and heard things that sounded like masturbation -- the rhythmic moving of the bed, the moans, the grabbing of the headboard, the slick sound of semen being rubbed on Mr. Happy. These are all sounds with which I'm intimately familiar and, for me, they pointed to an undeniable conclusion. Except The Fiance denied that conclusion. Over and over again.

Honestly, I could care less about the masturbating itself. If you like to jack off on a daily basis then do it. What's the big deal? If you have a fetish for masturbating while your woman is laying asleep next to you, then just tell me and I'll indulge you from time-to-time. What I don't like is being lied to, repeatedly.

And it wasn't just the lying that got to me. What was also disconcerting was The Fiance seeing the emotional toll this was taking on me but still refusing to come clean. And even more disturbing was when our pre-marital counselor made me out to be a crazy woman who was reacting to the stress of wedding planning and being unemployed while The Fiance sat silently in his chair and watched. All of this made me wonder what kind of crazy, psychopath was I about to marry?

During a solo session with our premarital counselor, I was offered some sage advice: Don't base the totality of your fiance's integrity on what he does with his penis. There could be a million reasons why The Fiance masturbates and doesn't want to own up to it, and none of them have to mean that he's a pathological liar bent on destroying me.

And with that revelation, I peacefully walked down the aisle to marry my groom.

I must say that nothing has really changed. The Hubs still jostles the bed on occasion, though not as much as before, and he still denies that he's masturbating. Nothing that I've seen or heard from the other side of the bed has dissuaded me from my original conclusion. In fact, there have been some things to occur that have strengthened my opinion. So we're still living with the same set of circumstances but my perspective on them has changed, which makes for a happier marriage and a happier me.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Art Of Keeping It Real

One of my favorite bloggers to read is Stephanie Klein of Stephanie Klein's Greek Tragedy. She's one of those amazing writers who managed to turn their blogging into a book deal.

One of the things I love about Stephanie is that she's not afraid to keep it real. She puts all her laundry out there, clean and dirty. She doesn't hide the fact that she and her husband, Phil, have been struggling for quite some time, been to counseling, etc. And she frequently details those struggles on her blog (sometimes with her husband joining in) for God and everybody to see.

Maybe she does it because she is an attention-grabbing exhibitionist. I don't know. I like to think that she's performing a service for society by reminding us that maybe we'd all be a lot better off if we stopped pretending that life is a fairy tale, because it's not. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes it sucks big huge donkey balls. And we're all just trying to find a way to deal.

I admire this about Stephanie. I admire that she's not afraid to shine a light on the complexities and sometimes the ugliness of marriage and relationships. Some of her readers, on the other hand, have a difficult time with her openness. They remind her that skeletons were meant to stay in the closet and that she shouldn't be discussing such things in a public forum.

I don't know why raw honesty makes people uncomfortable, but it does. Maybe it's because we spend so much time and effort covering up our own skeletons that whenever we see a femur sticking out we start to blush as if we were on a nude beach.

I've said all of this to say -- I have something to talk about. Something that is extremely personal and might make some of you blush or feel uncomfortable. I'm not bringing these things up because I'm narcissistic and need attention (even though I am and I do), but rather to break the cycle of hiding the imperfection that is my life. There's shame associated with hiding and honestly, I have nothing to be ashamed about. This is life. This is the stuff that many of us deal with and maybe if we talked about it more often, we'd find better ways to cope.

So, in the next few days (probably over multiple posts), with The Fiance's blessing, I will be sharing some things we have been struggling with lately. I will be revealing (and admitting) that despite my best efforts, my relationship is not perfect and I will explain how I'm maintaining my sanity through it all.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

In Lieu of a Regular Post . . .

I am posting a link to a guest blog I wrote for my friend, Em. Check it out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Laid Off. Again.

OMG! Has it been almost two months since I last posted?

Wow. Sorry guys.

A lot has happened in the past two months, namely I got laid off from my job at the non-profit agency.

I was completely shocked, though I shouldn't have been. With the signing of the recent budget agreement, President Obama and Congress completely eliminated one of our the agency's programs, causing a $400,000 budget deficit. That funding shortfall had to be dealt with somehow. I just didn't think solving the agency's budget woes would involve eliminating my position.

And I didn't handle the whole getting-laid-off thing as professionally as I would have liked. I cried in the office of the CEO, who did her best to be compassionate, but she's done this enough times to know that being overly sympathetic doesn't make eliminating someone's livelihood any easier. I was given a tissue and then promptly sent on my way.

So here I am, at home, jobless and living with a man who uprooted his entire life to move across 3 states to be with me so that I wouldn't have to leave a job I enjoyed only to have me be laid off from said job 2 months later.

Can you say ironic?

Oh, and speaking of ironic, I was laid off one day after I did a photo shoot with a local newspaper for an article a friend of mine did on people who found work through volunteering. That previously scheduled photo shoot bought me one more day of employment, otherwise I would have been let go on a Monday instead of a Tuesday.

I have no idea what's going to happen now but I'm open to any and all possibilities.

I've been keeping myself busy by taking a cake decorating class at my local hobby store. After posting some pictures on Facebook, someone has already asked me to make a cake for their kid's birthday in September.

Again, I remain open to all the beautiful and wonderful possibilities life may hold.