Friday, May 30, 2008

Everybody's working for the weekend

Damn straight they are. Seriously, i pretty much start counting down to the next weekend of as Monday, 9am. Not that i ever do much incredibly exciting on my regular weekends, but even the promise of a Saturday morning sleep in and Sunday afternoon nap is enough to keep me going throughout the week. And guess what? Its Friday night, the official beginning of the weekend! Want to see what i'll be getting up to this weekend? Here's a list of five things i will definately be doing:

1. Shopping for underwear - yes, thats right, i will be buying new bras and knickers tomorrow morning. Don't get too excited, i'm not exactly talking Victorias Secret lingerie ( lets face it, i have no-one to wear it for anyway ... ) but more cute, comfy, girlie underwear, the kind we girls secretly slink around in on our days off when there are no boys around. Every morning during winter, after having a shower and smoothing on the mandatory moisturiser, i love to slip into my underwear, pull on a pair of knee high ugg boots, and turn the radio up so i can dance around in the bathroom while i brush my teeth. Dont look at me like that - its a girl thing.

2. Visting my neice - and, by proxy, also either my brother, my sister-in-law, or both. I cannot get enough of my neice, she's one of the shining lights in my life right now. She's two and half and, i dont mean to be the proud Aunty and boast here, but she's verbally advanced for her age. Its really great to have a conversation with her, because everything is so random and innocent and it doesnt matter if it doesnt make sense. For example:
Neice : " Amy, whats your number ? "
Me: " I'm 24. How old are you ? "
Neice : " I'm 3. "
Me: " No you're not, you're only two and half "
Neice: " Two and a half ? "
Me : " Yep, two and half "
Neice : " Georgie-a-girl is 3, i bought her a ballerina "
Me: " Did she have a birthday party ? "
Neice: " Yep and we had lollies and cake. I like cake. Do you like cake ? "
.....see, from their it went on to delve into chocolate is nicer than strawberry, rain comes from the clouds and Georgie-a-girl is not the same as Georgie-a-boy. Why ? Because one is her friend from her babysitters house and the other one is in her day care class ( see, not because one's a boy and one's a girl.... thats not important ).

3. Spending two hours at the gym - yes, two hours at the gym on a Saturday afternoon. Dont call me crazy - i know you're thinking it - its just something i do. I like it. I do an hour of cardio and then an hour of yoga. I'm working my way into liking the cardio ( i've just recently decided i actually like the rowing machine ) and it benefits my yoga ( which we already know that i love ) because i'm already warmed up. Being really warmed up helps you to be extra stretchable. If i can get me some extra stretch in there, if i can improve my postures even a centimetre, i'm a happy girl. And yes, i'm kind of in love with yoga. Truth is, i keep harping on about it because i'm trying to convert you all....

4. Travelling to Wellington to watch my brother play soccer - its not exactly an exciting roadtrip or anything. For starters, Wellington is a small town only half an hour away, and secondly, i'm going with my parents in their car. But its getting out isnt it? And it isnt sitting around DubVegas is it? Sure, it might be cold enough that i could potentially freeze my arse off, but for the sake of " doing " and " participating " it will be well worth it. Plus, i'll be there supporting my brother and he's mature enough now that he shows his appreciation for things like that. That always makes me feel good...

5. Going grocery shopping - ooh, excitement plus! Amy does groceries! Seriously, i know its a completely mundane activity, but its something i will definately be doing , so it deserves to make the list. I mean, if i didnt do it, my sister and I would run out of food and that cant be good. You know what else isnt good? Trolley rage. I'm a big sufferer of road rage and thankfully i dont suffer fully from trolley rage yet. Maybe if i shopped on a Saturday lunchtime - when every single other person in the goddamned town seems to be there - it would be a different story. But, being the smart cookie that i am, i shop on a Sunday lunchtime when its calmer and quieter and i dont have to wait so long for a checkout. Clever me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I know it wasnt meant like that, but...

I had dinner with my best friend and her parents this Friday just gone. My best friend lives around four and half hours way, so any time i get to spend with her is great. Plus, i like her parents. I still find it hard to call them by their first names rather than Mr and Mrs, but thats just the way i was raised. I'm happy to have a chat with them, be irreverant and joke around. So its nice when i get invited to dinner at her parents place while she's back home - its nice to be included. However, i'm not so close to my best friends parents that we can be totally open and honest with one another.

See, whilst we were waiting for the dinner to cook teh four of us were sitting around the dinner table having a lovely conversation when my best friend asked me if i had any gossip on anybody in town to share with her. I said that i had not been out since her hens night ( the night that was ruined for me ) and so no, no gossip for her at all. To this her mother says " well, if you never go out, how are you ever going to meet anyone ? " . I dont know if my face dropped or it was just the look in my eyes but my best friend turns to me, then turns to her mother and goes " oh mum, stop it.... dont nag " ( or something to that effect ). Seriously, if we had been eating, i probably would have choked on my food. Its not that what she said was offensive or overly insulting in some way, but rather that it was too " intimate " a thing for her to say when she doesnt really know me all that well. Of course i know it was meant in a kind, motherly, i'm-concerned-for-you kind of way, but to be truthful - it kind of hurt.

I know that if i dont go anywhere, i wont meet anyone. I'm not an idiot. Unless Prince Charming shows up randomly at my front door, i am not going to find him by staying at home. I know that, but it doesnt make the " going out " part any easier. The very innocent comment hurt because its not easy for me to just go out, especially on my own, and my best friends mother has no idea why. She doesnt know about my depression, or anxieties or any of that crap - or at least i dont think she does. I think thats why my best friend tried to shush her mother, to help me - its not like i can just sit up at the table and say " oh yea, i get that, its just my social anxieties prevent me from going out and meeting people. Frankly, doing something like that on my own scares the BooJesus out of me. ".

Its just not something you bring up in polite dinner tabel conversation:
" So what have you been up to Amy ? "
" Well the usual work and the gym four times a week.. oh, and i was recently rediagnosed with depression and social anxiety disorder and am now back on meds and seeing a pyschologist ".
I mean, you dont just say that do you? I suppose its not really something that needs to be hidden, people these days should be relatively tolerant, but for some reason i feel the need to NOT tell everybody. Like my best friends parents - even though i know they like me, they're interested in what i'm doing because i'm a part of their daughters life, i dont feel like they need to know that i have complex and confronting issues going on.

Also, i dont like harping on about it all the time. Even here, in my own blog - it must be incredibly boring to people to reading about my concern for myself all the time, like i have nothing better to discuss. I promise that i'm trying to make more frequent entries, and less entries about my personal problems - frankly, i'd much rather discuss a social issue, or moral dilemma, or hell, even how awesome its going to be when NSW beat Queensland in the State of Origin this year ( thats a reference for Sonny, if he's reading.... )

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I must stop sabotaging myself

Seriously. My sister is kind of helping but thats not her fault - she just has a fast metabolism and can eat crap all day and it wont make an ounce of difference. Literally. But me ? I need to get all the junk food out of my house. I do not go to the gym four times a week just so i can eat icecream and chocolate and put on the calories i just burnt off. Thats not how it works.

I dont think i've actually put ON any weight thus far, but i would have liked to have taken some OFF in the last 6 weeks and i dont think i have, because Picnic Drumsticks are just too tempting. However, i had this rule before my sister moved in and i think i'm going to have to go back to it: if it isnt in my house, i cant eat it. Simple. That is, if there are no Picnic Drumsticks in the freezer, or hazelnut chocolate in the fridge, i cant indulge in any of it. And i am far too lazy to get dressed, put some shoes on and drive all the way to the supermarket just to buy a block of chocolate. So if its not there, i cant be tempted.

So from now on if my sister is craving icecream - which is pretty much every day ( lucky skinny bitch.... ) - than she's just going to have to buy something i dont actually like eating. Like peppermint icecream, or bitter dark chocolate. Just keep the Picnic Drumsticks away from me...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Excuse me, but could you please shut the hell up?

I know we all have pet hates. In fact, most of us have more than one - those things that really bug us. That really make our blood boil. Those small things that, if we become President of the Universe, we would completely outlaw. You know what i would outlaw ? Talking in yoga class.

Yes people, i am serious - i CANNOT stand people talking during yoga. Unless you are the instructor, your mouth should be shut and you should be focused on your breathing. You should be focusing inward - you should not be talking about whether Karen dropped by or not, how much this stretch is hurting you, or how ridiculous you feel balanced on your shoulders with your legs flipped over your head. If you feel overstretched, ridiculous or concerned with Karens whereabouts - please leave. I came this close during class today to rolling sideways off my mat and smacking someone upside the head. There were two women there, who i've never seen in any other class, who, for the first 15 minutes, would not keep quiet. I know that i'm supposed to be focused and calm, but its very hard to stay focused ( and calm ) when all you can hear is people nattering away on the mat next to you. Have some God damned respect people!

I mean, this peeves me so much that i even dislike people talking BEFORE yoga class. Maybe i'm the Yoga Nazi, i dont know, but when i get to class 10 minutes early, its for the express purpose of pre-class stretching and inward focus on breath. I cannot get into that head space when middle aged women come in, plonk themselves down, and decide to have a good old chat. If you want to chat, put your mats in the room and go outside to talk. Its not even as if they were talking about anything important, or even yoga related. Do you want to know what they were talking about ? Their preference in music, what songs they want played at their funerals and one womens particular food allergies. Do you know how i know that? Because i heard every word of their bloody conversation! If you want to discuss music, moves, politics, religion or food allergies, why dont you go for a drink AFTER class and get right into the discussion ? Dont burden me with the fact a specific John Denver song makes you cry or that you cant eat watermelon, not even in summer. I dont care.

And this is all, i've had my gripe. But do you notice how i did it here and didnt rave on it about in yoga? Its quiet time people. QUIET TIME. The next time someone messes with my yoga, we may just be hearing that Andrea Bocelli number at their funeral....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Can i just ask why? Seriously - why ?

My sister, my flatmate, is away tonight, babysitting with a friend. She was away last night aswell, which means i have had the two weekend nights by myself with nothing to do. Last night was ok - i watched some trashy reality TV ( i know two people on the current rotation of Australian Big Brother! ), read a magazine, and generally just hung around by myself. But i didnt want to do that tonight. I didnt want to be stuck in the house, a 24 year old woman home alone doing absolutely nothing on a Saturday night. I knew that there was a local derby of rugby union on, last years installment of which i really enjoyed. But who was i going to go with ? I've got nobody - not just nobody interested in the rugby, but just flat out nobody. So you know what i did? I sucked it up. As the rugby boys would say, the cure for all your troubles is to take a cup of cement and harden the fuck up. So thats what i did - branched out, and i rocked up to the game on my own.

I didnt start out too badly. I found a few people that i know, not exactly friends but acquaintances, and ended up sitting next to a teenage boy who happens to be friends with my sister. He's a sweetheart - a real goose, but a sweetie. But then he had to rush off home and i was left sitting with these kind-of, sort-of friends, all of whom had other people there that they were more interested in talking to rather than me. But that was kind of ok too - i didnt really mind taking in the football whilst only getting the occasional one line of conversation from someone. It was going well. Sure, i still felt a little awkward, but it was better than being at home by myself.

But then Mary showed up, and i internally fell apart. You remember Mary right ? Yes, well in she trots with two of her friends, done up to the nines, completely inappropriately dressed for a rugby match. Yes, she is probably going out after the game and was saving herself some time by getting dressed for the evening before the game instead of after, but i digress. So she saunters on down, walking right past me as i was sitting in the aisle, and doesnt say a word. She smiles, and laughs, and sits next to a guy who i thought was a mutaul friend of ours. However, seeing as he also saw me, looked directly at me numerous times in fact, and also didnt say anything, i'm thinking maybe he is not my friend anymore. But, again i digress. I cant believe it. What was she doing there? The rugby is my thing, she's never even mentioned a slight interest in it before, and here she is on the night when i am trying to do myself a favour, showing up to " my " thing, looking better and happier and more confident than me.

Thats when i lost it, on the inside. It was going alright when it was just me, there, watching footy and just being with other people, regardless of lack of conversation. But now it was me, and the girl/woman who shattered part of me, and she was living it up. Suddenly i felt like i was completely alone in a crowd of people, people who loved Mary and thought i was a loser. At half time i made a quick escape, whilst the two acquaintances i was sitting near were having a smoke, so i wouldnt need to make an excuse for why i was leaving. I bought some dinner and headed to my parents place. I was in need of company and didnt i promise in an earlier post that i would make an effort, i would tell someone when i was upset or hurting? And guess what? They werent there. I pull up and let myself in to a dark, empty house.

Just like dark, empty me. So contrary to my best efforts, i have spent the last 3 hours of Saturday night lying on my lounge, under a blanket, willing myself not to cry and trying to turn my mind off.

Its not working....

Friday, May 9, 2008

The land of the free....

.... and the home of people i miss. Yes, i speak of the United States of America. Or, more specifically, of Summit, NJ. 07901. See, yesterday i received an email from my old host mum, completely out of the blue, and it really was a lovely suprise. I know i've been home for almost two and half years and still i find myself randomly missing my boys. And my surrogate dog, Miles. And my converted attic bedroom. You get the picture. The family i lived with, and worked for, the Mullers, just treated me so well that i really did get attached to them as a second family. I wasnt just the nanny, the au pair, the babysitter - i was like an older sister, or maybe a young aunt, somebody simultaneously authorative and responsible, yet fun and cool and a loved part of the family. I really did feel that way. And i really did love the boys - i know a lot of girls ( and guys, i suppose ) who work as nannies say they get attached to their charges, or conversely that they couldnt stand the little brats, but my boys were honestly fantastic. Sure, there were times that i wanted to wring their little necks, to cry and yell and throw a tantrum right back at them, but those times were few and far between. Most of the time it was just hanging out with some great kids.

But its not just the family i miss. I miss the place too - i lived a half an hours train ride from New York City and you would not believe how much i miss being able to just buy a ticket, take the trip, and instantly have something to do. Its really true that NYC is the city that never sleeps - i'm pretty sure you could find something to do, and someone to do it with, at any given moment of the day or night. Also, I miss the friends i made, only one of whom is still over there. Flavia was a Brazilian girl who originally worked as a nanny, did her year, went back to her home country and one of her charges missed her so much that he had to call her in Brazil every night before he went to bed. The host family asked her to come back as a combined nanny/university student and she accepted. Flavia was great . She helped show me the ropes, little insider tips, the best place to go for dinner with the other girls, and always invited me to parties at her boyfriends house ( insider tip for all of you - DO NOT drink home made Russian vodka that is being served to you by the Russians who homemade it. You WILL throw up.A LOT. ) As much as i love the very few friends i have here sometimes i just wish i could be back in Flavia and Tomas's tiny living room, eating Brazilian party food and hanging with the all the other non-Americans we knew.

But you know what i sometimes miss? Sometimes most of all ? Who i was over there. Or maybe who is not the right word - maybe i mean how i was. I was a different kind of me. Going to the US was the first major thing i had done post-depression. I had literally only been out of counselling and off medication for a few short months, so shipping myself off to another country, to a place where i knew not a soul, to start a job i had never really done before - well, it was really forcing myself to either sink or swim. And i think i swum. Awkwardly at first i suppose - it was more like a drunken dog paddle, like i was in there, i was making the effort, but it was hard. By the end of my stay however it was more like Olympic butterfly - still not overly easy, but i was in there making waves and loving every minute of it. I was the au pair all the new foreign girls came to. My area mentor, the women who looked after the welfare of all the girls would ring me and say " Amy, Olga/Celine/Kwame has just arrived from Russia/France/South Africa - why dont you give them a call and take them out for coffee ? " or " Amy, Ling/Rosita/Haley has just arrived from China/Mexico/England and i told them to give you a call. You're always so good for the new girls ". I loved that - i loved that i had turned from wallflower to the go-to-girl. I was proud. I want to be that again. I want to be that version of me again.

The Olympic butterflying go-to-girl. She was good.

I'm just thinking i might have to start out back at drunken dog paddle first....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Things I Have Asked Myself Today

1. Why did not i wear sunscreen to the soccer yesterday ? Now my forehead and cheeks are ever so slightly sunburnt, i have a vague " racoon-y " thing going on from wear my sunglasses were and every time i scratch my forehead, it stings.

2. Why do the same horrible customers keep coming back to haunt me? Last week i had a phone call from a man, in regards to his glasses. During the course of the very one-sided conversation, said man - okay, now said bastard - made me cry. He made me cry last year too. He is a horrible, horrible, nasty person. And today a woman who told me i was a disgrace to my bosses business and that i was the rudest person she had ever met came back into my store, preceded to give me the evil eye but didnt say a word. To me, anyway - she thought it was okay to bad mouth me to a colleague.

3. Is it possible to learn to love a song again if it reminds you of someone that hurt you, or an event that didnt end so well? What i mean is, can you forgive a song for the memories it carries and learn to love again, simply because its a good song ? What if its a song that reminds you of someone you lost, or who broke your heart, or who ruined an important event ? But before this person or event you loved the song simply because it was great - can you love it again without the memories ruining it ? I think you can.

4. When is the best time to fill people in on a secret? Not a super huge secret i suppose, but i need to tell my work colleagues my diagnoses from the doctor. I dont want to dwell on it so much, or have them feel sorry for me, or whatever, but i will be needing to take regular time off to see doctors so i have to let them in on that. I've already told my immediate boss and she was very understanding, i just need to tell at least two others. All in good time... as long as its before the end of the week.

5. Why cant i have a nap in the middle afternoon ? Seriously, i could just roll out my yoga mat at work and have a cat nap under the desk. I've been yawning since 9am, the evil-eyed mean woman has been and gone and made me all nervous, and i have a headache. It feels as if a tiny little drummer is marching back and forth, from temple to temple, across my forehead and banging a huge stick againt the inside of my head. I'm sure if i could have a little sleep he would kindly piss off.

6. That is all. Yes, i know that isnt a question. You can stop reading now. Really.