Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
A couple of months ago, I made a conscious decision to refocus my energy. I realized that I was spending too much of my energy worrying/complaining about work. So, I took a deep breath and made the decision. I'll go to work, do my job as hard as I can, let all the crap fall by the wayside, leave, and live my true life. I think I am doing pretty well.
Truth is, I have been able to let go of a lot of things since I started living as an out gay man. But I have had a habit of letting work govern my state of mind. I sometimes needed to remind myself that it isn't work that matters most. Things happen at work all the time. Lots of good things. But we almost always remember the bad things. If you think about it, without judgment, things that happen at work are... just things that happen. Our job is to smooth them all out. Some things can be joyous. Some things can be disheartening. Some things can seem like it is all about to end. Some things can make you feel like you could do it forever. But, they are just things. That's all.
Not things to pull your hair out over. Not things to bring home to your partner. Not things to lose sleep over. Not things to stifle your creativity. Not things to steal away your time to live. Just things. Things that will not matter in a few days. It all passes after a while. And you realize that even those worst things were not worth the energy. Ever. Later.
Yesterday, I conquered something big. Something very big. At least for me.
When I was little, I was a husky child. Remember that term. That used to be the section at Sears where my mother bought my clothes. As a teenager, I began wearing clothes from the Men's Department because nothing from the Boy's department was big enough. Even though I was a "bigger" child, my mother still dressed me in corduroy pants and horizontal-striped shirts. Needless to say between the enhancing of my width and the theme song that emitted from my thighs rubbing together as I walked, I was traumatized. So traumatized that when I began to create my own wardrobe, I swore NEVER to wear any corduroy pants or horizontal-striped shirts.
About four years ago, I spotted an ADORABLE pair of red corduroys. I tried them on. THEY FIT!!!! And they fit well. I was so excited that I bought two pairs. I felt empowered. I had gotten over my 20-year old fear. I continue to buy corduroys. I actually love them. They are part of my winter attire.
Two months ago, the husband and I decided to get rid of some of our clothes. We went through our closet and ended up donating about four garbage-bags of stuff. I may have even blogged about the fact that I got rid of seven pairs of shoes. What I may have not mentioned was that I had gone through the husband's donations and found four t-shirts that I decided to keep. Three of them still had their price tags on. One of the reasons I kept them was because I am currently on a self-imposed moratorium on purchasing any shirts or tops of any kind. The shirts were the same style and in two colors: gray and blue. The thing was they were thick horizontal-striped t-shirts. I held on to them. I tried a couple times to wear them out but ended up changing.
Until yesterday. I wore one to work. The world did not collapse. Life, as I knew it, did not end. And better yet, I did not fell like that 17-year-old confused boy who was self-conscious and horribly aware of his "uniqueness". I survived. I wore another today. It was very liberating. I am still wearing it as I type this. I've conquered my two fashion fears. Next stop: drawstring pants. Baby steps, baby steps. Later.
Once in a while, my frozen jaded heart becomes a big melted mess. Not often. Tonight, I was doing my usual stint on YouTube when I came across Eva Cassidy's rendition of Danny Boy
. I began to sing along. It isn't an easy song to sing but she makes it seem effortless. I suddenly got hit with a wave of memories. The most vivid one was that of my Filipino parents singing this song while my father played it on his guitar. In Nigeria. In between the lyrics, I started crying.
I'm not really sure why I cried. I can probably come up with several reasons. But there you have it. I'm a mess. I'll probably listen to it a couple more times. And get progressively schmaltzy.
My parents are still alive and well. Now retired. Back in the Philippines. Traveling often to the States to see their kids. They were just here recently. I haven't heard them sing that song in a while but I can still feel my Mom singing in the candlelight while my Dad strums his guitar. Memories have a weird way of stirring up emotions. Later.
I think it's time for a new hobby. Not that I had an old one. I never really had one to begin with. So, it's time I took something up just for fun and relaxation.
Cooking isn't a hobby. I do it because I know how to. I actually know how to pretty well. Does that even make sense? Plus, cooking to me is part of my life. (I even made a living doing it) I am not a fan of take-out, since most of what we order, I can make in the same amount of time. Plus, most take-out doesn't fit my healthy food concerns. And, when something is part of your daily life, it can't be called a hobby.
At one point, I thought exercising was my hobby. But, since I am a gay man, exercising is kinda routine. I would not call it mandatory. Routine seems more like it. I still teach exercise classes for pay, so it can't be called a hobby. Hobbies are not supposed to make you money. Because, then, they become work. And work is rarely relaxing.
I was going to take some singing lessons as a hobby but every Filipino's dream is to sing. Professionally. So, again, back to the work thing. Plus, I would be too anxious about whether or not I was good at singing. And, again, not so-relaxing.
So, this November, when my place of work is in full-retail-swing and my part of the company is at a lull, I am going to take some sewing classes. I want to learn how to sew. I want to be able to make my own shirts. Maybe some pants. Maybe a cute bag. I think learning how to sew will give me an outlet for my creativity. I don't have high aspirations. I just want to be able to make my own shirts. Maybe some pants. Maybe a cute bag. Maybe, by my birthday, I will be wearing my own creation. Wish me luck. Later.
Sometimes I forget that I am getting older. Or at least, I forget that I am getting too old to be running around like a mad man. On top of my regular job, I also teach fitness classes once a week, work out 5 times a week, and run my household. I never to rarely eat out or order in. I tend to cook from scratch most days. I do the laundry at home (I have issues with the way things are folded, so I do it). That, and a myriad of other things that I will one day blog about.
So, it is no surprise that sometimes, I get less sleep than I should AND that I feel rundown. On top of that, work has become draining lately. For reasons I don't feel like explaining. I also tend to forget that it is okay to just come home and veg. That I don't have to go to the gym. Or for a power walk. I can leave work, with something to cook, come home, and just veg out until I cook dinner. Eat and just go to bed.
So, last night, after the end of three draining days at work, I had to just say no to doing anything. I hated canceling my plans but because of some projects and developments at work, I was just not in the mood. And you know what? It worked. I woke up refreshed. I woke up energized. I woke up in a more positive mood.
Maybe I should start cutting back on my schedule. Or maybe I need to refocus myself. Or maybe, I should just get more sleep. Hmmmm. Later.
Let's take a look at this past summer. Shall we?
Two vacations. Both long. Both started with a wedding. I hate weddings. Still do. May never go to another one. First vacation was full of doing nothing but exercise and relaxation. Fun fun fun. Second vacation involved too much driving but discovered many things that will make the future exciting. Overall, I had a good time on both.
Work was work. It had its moments both good and bad. I did make a promise to myself to focus more of my energy on things that matter rather than work. I think I am getting there. There have been some bizarre moments. Like the Thursday before this Labor Day Weekend. Conference called into the Regional Offices to be told that my Regional superior has been relieved of her job. Meeting tomorrow to determine future and direction of the department. Not replacing her until next year. Tons to think about. Still got a raise though. Totally bizarre.
My husband is my beacon. Nothing centers me more than he does. He appreciates my vindictive idiosyncratic neuroses. What exactly did I do to deserve this man? I don't know. I could not ask for more. At the end of the day, he makes me laugh. Loud and proud.
Spent the Labor Day Weekend with my parents. At least I thought it would just be them and an uncle and aunt. Wrong. I was happy to spend time with Mom and Dad. I think I love them more than ever. My Mom has really become more understanding of who I am and what makes me tick. My father has become old. He has settled well into retirement. But in a good way. I feel that he feels he has earned this rest. I hope some day, I feel that way.
I did leave my relatives house a bit sad. After this weekend, I have decided to never go back. I have almost little in common with them. Nothing I do interests them and vice versa. I can't have an intelligent conversation with them. I tried again this weekend. Nothing. Nada. I came close to two arguments. Stopped out of respect for my parents. So, out of respect for my parents, I am never going to socialize with my relatives. My parents will visit me here, along with my sister, and that will be it. If I never speak to my relatives, it will be ok. Sad. But the alternative is not something I want to deal with.
So, to sum it up: long & productive vacations, workforce reduction, happily married & love my parents, hate my relatives. I think I've covered the spectrum. Hopefully Fall/Winter won't be quite as dramatic. Later.