I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately, and while I'm not sure I'm any closer to the answers I need, I at least feel like I'm moving in the right direction. There are a lot of things going on that have been... really bothering me, really getting under my skin. I can't do anything about them. Personal issues with friends, my job.. It has felt alot lately like my skin has been peeled away, and everything people say or do irritates and angers me. It's been even more irritating that I couldn't indulge in a temper tantrum, as the people involved are my friends, and have done no wrong. Lashing out at them, while cathartic for the moment, would have very painful consequences. As my mother used to say, you can't choose the consequences to your decisions.
I have spoken at length with friends I trust about my situation, and have come to the conclusion that there's not going to be an easy fix. (Ha. Like life ever lets something be easy?) I do want to thank shiver101 for everything she's said. There are people in the world that.. leave a warm glow behind them, whereever they go. They touch lives, and forever change them. And it's such little things. A chance word, a smile.. A childlike innocence, reveling in the joy of living. I don't know how to explain it. She's just.. very special. (And I'm sure I will be the recipient of much teasing and many blushes after that. Ah well. ;))
A friend suggested that perhaps I should look for spiritual direction. This is something I've thought about quite a bit over the past few years. Last year, Bren and I went to a Unitarian service that.. didn't quite agree with us. We arrived during their major funding drive for the year, and the service was very alien to me, and very fire and brimstone (which I'm told is quite unusual for Unitarians). I think my beliefs can be summed up in the phrase "Be nice to people. Try to live well." I believe in a higher being(s), and have no doubt that Christ actually lived. Whether His miracles actually happened..... I'm not so sure. He may have simply been a great prophet, and died in an unfortunate way. Much, I fear, is lost in translation, and I haven't the dedication to study ancient greek and hebrew.
Anyway- I'm digressing. I'm not sure if I'm ready to find a religious path, or even if I should search. I've not felt a burning desire for religion, although that could be largely due to the fact that my peers aren't particularly religious, and I'm still quite young. I think.. I will just see what happens. All of the organized religions seem very... strange.. to me. And I'm sure that's largely due to my upbringing. I'm not quite ready to explore the different faiths and beliefs outside of Christianity; both because being pagan is the "popular" thing to do (and I despise people that latch onto a culture or religion without knowing anything about it), and.. I feel somehow, irrationally, that I would be casting away the final shreds of my childhood. My psyche is an odd odd thing.
I've found a lot of anger in myself, and I've wondered if that doesn't fuel my problems and make them worse. I find myself tense and growly when driving home, irritable and grouchy at work, and this morning I almost took a swipe at one of the cats because they wouldn't be quiet. It brings to mind haikujaguar's posting about angry wolves, and.. just.. yikes. I don't want to become the cynical, bitter person I see my mother slowly becoming. I don't want to be full of hate and rage. This is something I must work on. I suddenly had a very interesting thought/idea... Writing down all the hateful things that make me angry, all the things that bother me, and taking them outside and burning them. Very symbolic, perhaps a bit melodramatic, but hey.. it may help. We'll see.
My overall outlook on things has done some subtle shifting over the past week or two. So subtle that I haven't even noticed it until today. I'm slowly coming up and out of the depression, and for that, I'm immensely glad. I can tell this is going to be a long, slow process, and I have been able to identify that the majority of the... episodes... are more anxiety and panic attacks rather than fits of depression. This is encouraging, because it feels like I'm finally making progress. After all, knowing what's wrong makes it much easier to cope with and combat.
I know some of the stress I've been under will be eased once we have an idea of what our future will be. The strain of not knowing if we're going to have to pack up and move to Boston or not has been nerve wracking for everyone in the household.
But anyway. Life is going well. I'm still having trouble, but I have faith in my abilities to manage. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have made it as far as I have. For those that I owe commissions, I extend my heartfelt apologies. If you wish refunds, please let me know. I will get your art completed either way, I promise. In other art-related news, I need to work on a few pieces for the MFF Restraunt Guide. When takaza asks so sweetly, I can't say no. ;) I also need to pick up some art supplies. My money just keeps trickling away... *sigh* Oh well. I'm glad I have it to spend, even if it means I'm not where I want to be with my savings. After going for several years with having very little "fun" money, it's hard to differentiate between "I need this" and "I want this". It would seem that I'd be better at that, since I've had to do it for so long... but the temptation of having cash that doesn't have to immediately be routed to bills.. ahh. :) The idea of doing a collaborative portfolio with a friend occured to me today, and I need to broach the subject with him. I've never done a portfolio before, and it would be great experience as well as a lot of fun. The friend is wanting to broaden out into general science fiction artwork, and honestly so am I. Win win!
Yesterday was my first workout at the new gym, and.. tentatively, I like it. I feel like a cooked piece of spaghetti (or maybe a ravioli) today, but it did feel really good. (Except for the squats. Owwww. My knees are on strike.) I liked the atmosphere, and I even chatted a little with the other women there. Most of the time you're too out of breath to do much talking, as it's very very fast paced. I really liked the trainer; she was very patient, and wandered around with a word of encouragement to everyone. I think tomorrow I need to bring a pair of shorts- not because I was uncomfortable in the sweats I worked out in last night, just that the shorts are less baggy, and hopefully won't snag on all the equipment. I go three times a week, and... I feel like this is a very good investment in my health. I was very pleased to discover when I joined last week that when we move to Boston, my membership will transfer. (To the friend that suggested this gym to me, you need to go. Seriously. Don't wait til I'm there to go with you.)
Tonight, I'm going to cook a nice dinner for the roommates, maybe talk Roho into opening a bottle of wine. (I probably won't, as the two of us have alot of difficulty drinking an entire bottle before it goes bad, and Feren doesn't drink wine) I got a great recipe off of Food Network; on 30 minute meals (I confess, I love Rachel Ray). I'll try and post a review tomorrow.
I'm struggling a bit still with eating habits. The more stressed I become, the worse my diet gets. Talking with friends, this is a common phenomenon; especially in women. It's unfortunately a bad habit to get into, and one I really really need to break. Over the past year, I've just been overwhelmed with one thing or another, and haven't really been able to break free long enough to look at the big picture of what I'm doing. So what if I gained 5 lbs? I'll lose it back. I guess I finally figured out that minor setbacks are just that; minor. As long as I'm moving in the right direction, I should be okay.
We have evidence that my metabolism may finally be stabilizing. I'm hoping that with the exercise, I should be back on the right track. I'll be going back on Atkins in January, after the holidays. Jason and I were amused when we were driving down to the United Center to see Shania; we saw a little poster in a bus stop that said 'So there's nothing to eat on Atkins?' and had pictures of delicious looking vegetables, seafood, Atkins shakes, and Atkins bars. I'm amazed at how many people still feel the need to jeer and deride those that choose the low carb lifestyle. It's really sad that people can't let others make their own decisions. I'm with gen on this.. I'm very unappreciative of people telling me how to diet, how to exercise, and how to live... while they chow down on cheetos and drink Mt Dew. It drives me nuts when my mother tells me "just eat smaller portions!". It's one thing if you're in a support community and someone's asking advice, but... Christ. There is no dietary plan or lifestyle that works for everyone. Some people have enormous success with Weight Watchers. Others do great with Jenny Craig. Look at the Subway spokesman, Jared. He found something that worked for him and went with it. There is no right answer for dieting, just as there is no "right" answer for living. We all have to find the path that works the best for us, our lifestyles, our personalities.
Oh- and yes, a calorie is a calorie. But not all calories are created equal. Do some independent research on the subject. Broaden your mind and expand your horizons. Try and learn something. =)
Boy this has gotten a lot longer and more rambly than I ever intended. Guess that's what happens on quiet days at work when I don't have pencil and sketchpad handy.
I do want to extend my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to everyone that sent their well wishes over the past few weeks. Your thoughts meant the world to me. I couldn't have made it without your love and support.