The Real Me

So I hate admitting this, but I can be a little vain sometimes.  I hate to admit to because I’m afraid those who know me would secretly laugh behind my back, wondering what on earth I have to be vain about.  The fact is, beauty is a sore spot with me.  In the past, I blamed much of my social life failures on my looks, believing I was at best, plain, and at worst, a big-nosed freak.  I mean, look at Streisand.  It defines her.  And it defines her as “not hot” to the general population.

Not that I need or want acceptance from the men who think Pamela Anderson is the epitome of all women–I don’t try to compete with that.  And truthfully, I am at a point where I am accepting of what I look like–most days.   But I start my new job in one week and I have been debating:  glasses or contacts?

I interviewed in my contacts, of course.  See, on my path from hating my face to actually liking myself, I changed everything that I could.  I changed my hair color, I stopped wearing glasses, and I started wearing black.  (Yes, wearing all black was the beginning of loving myself :))  And if I want to feel pretty, generally I wear contacts.

But about two years ago, my eye doctor gave me some pretty sobering news.  Years of wearing hard contacts had caused my blood vessels to thicken and start to twist the cornea.  They might twist the cornea enough to cause partial blindness.  And my optic nerve is very thick at the base of my eye, usually an indicator of glaucoma.   Which could also lead to blindness.   He recommended that I stop wearing contacts or at least wear them as little as possible.

Now this is the part you can laugh at, but that day I felt like I had a choice:  I could be ugly or I could be blind.  I sat in my car by the clinic afterwards and cried.  And of course I stopped wearing contacts so much.  The damage has slowed, and later tests do not appear to indicate glaucoma.  (I get to take special tests every year now).  But the intensity of my reaction surprised me.

I thought I was over this.  I don’t feel ugly anymore, but the idea of never being able to wear contacts just saddens me.  It makes me feel like I was a 5, and contacts were the pass to get to the 7 class, but now I’m being demoted back to 5.  So who is the real me?  The 5 or the 7?  And I try to tell myself, it’s what inside that counts.

But there is a shallow part of me that wishes, just wishes that for once I could be the one to stop traffic, to make someone forget what they were just talking about, that wishes I could be really hot.  Really undeniably hot.  It embarrasses me, to be sure.  But when people with average-sized noses complain–complain!–about their “big” noses, I just want to smack them.  I want to shake them and say, “Nose?  You wanna talk about noses?  Because you don’t got anything on me bud, and let me tell you–it is not easy trying to be a pretty girl in this world when you have a damn big nose!”

Whew, sorry about that, it’s just a pet peeve of mine.

And it makes me think that though I have come far, there is a bigger challenge.  There is the challenge in learning not just how to be okay in my glasses, but to learn how to feel pretty in glasses.   Oh, and I’d like to learn how to apply makeup in my semi-blind slate.  ‘Cos seriously, people, it’s bad.

Two Weeks Left

I have two weeks left until I start my new job.  It’s a little scary, but also very exciting.  It’s just strange how inertia is so insidious.  I’ve been at my company for eight years, and it’s very familiar and mostly comfortable–but there’s no doubt in my mind that my new job will be good for me precisely because it is something completely different.   Part of me can’t believe I’m doing this, I’m really leaving.  I am very grateful that I am leaving the company on good terms, that’s a gift.  And I know I can do the job–but I have a ton of learning to do.

That part has been really neat.  Radiotherapy is such a huge field and the thing I like about it is that it is science intimately involved with the human being.  It reminds me why I chose science as my major in the first place.  I have been feeling like the little science I do is so far removed from humanity it has no meaning anymore.  And that’s my perception.  Stability studies, after all, have their place and they consist of useful information.   But this stuff is so neat to learn.  It’s great to be excited about science again.

In other news, Nova is 6 months now and we’ve introduce cereals and some vegetables and fruits.  Also, Leif has gotten her to sleep through the night.  (And there was much rejoicing)  She eats up food and just loves it, she was definitely ready.  Today we had some marshmallows and I let her squash one.  Soo cute to see those little baby hands squash a big puffy marshmallow, she had so much fun.  And she was quite mad when I finally had to clean up her sticky marshmallow hands.   We had friends over and they all cooed over her, I think she liked it.  🙂  I need to buy a new camcorder before the cuteness dissipates!

Courage

Today one of my friends said, “Good post on the work situation.  You do know that she might find it though?”  In that moment I felt a cold sliver of fear.  I wanted to go and take down my post immediately.  But then, I went and re-read it and realized I stand by what I wrote.

I’m not going to take it down, because I tried to be civilized about it, honest (but not mean) about my side.  Because at the end of the day, this is my blog and it is biased toward me, as I can only be in my own head. 🙂 The other reason I’m going to leave it up is as an exercise in courage. Continue reading “Courage”

The Long End of a Hard Road

I put in my resignation today.  In a month, I start a new position as a “Regional Account Manager,” i.e., a business development rep with a new company.  It is very exciting, but as with any big change, it’s been a bit odd getting used to the idea of leaving.

So now that my time at my current job is coming to an end, I feel like I can finally talk a little about how it unraveled.  I didn’t want to discuss it while I was still working there and I’ve frankly debated talking about it all.  What’s done is done, after all, and I don’t want to wallow in negativity.  But because I was so afraid of retaliation, there’s a lot I never spoke about, and I kind of want to, at least for myself.

Continue reading “The Long End of a Hard Road”

These Happy Golden Days

I have to tell you, I’m feeling pretty grateful these days.   I wake up in the morning and go to work and feel happy for no reason.  I get home and see my family and feel happy for every reason.   Today, Nova got me up at 6:00, but she let me put her on the floor and wriggle around for quite awhile.  Enough to let me make a cup of tea and peruse a book catalog.

In a way, having a child is very much an act of selfishness.  There are plenty of people in the world, it is true.  And much of these earlier years will never be remembered by our children.  The other night, we put on Labyrinth and Rowan really enjoyed it–but did not remember ever seeing it before.  There was a spate of quite a few months when she was two or so when she wanted to see it over and over again.  And now at six, it is all but forgotten.  But for Leif and me, we still remember.  We remember her soft flyaway hair and her in her toddler shorts, throwing rocks in the stream.  We remember singing along to David Bowie and walks in the park.

And I look at Nova and feel so thankful.  She will never remember her soft belly with the puckered belly button, or her big pink tongue with the blue vein underneath.  I love to kiss her in the crook of her neck, for all those times later when I won’t be able to.  I am very aware that this is my last baby.  I may get grandkids at some point, but that is not a choice I get to make.  So I am enjoying, very much, these last baby days.  I am blessed, fortunate, and sometimes I wonder how I can pay it forward, for I feel very rich these days.

Feeling Good Today

This morning I was feeling restless and it was beautiful out, so I put on my shorts and sandals and took a walk with Nova in the Baby Bjorn.  I even put her one little green sun hat on and off we went to the coffee shop.  I am always required to bring back cookies for the other part of my family, the members who have teeth.  So I stuffed those in my satchel and took the long way back, through the park.  The breeze by the stream was lovely, and Nova takes deep breaths, like she’s taking it in.  We passed by a lady with a big brown lab, who was eager to be friends, but I told him that I couldn’t go pet him, because he was a lot bigger than my baby.

I have a wandering mind, and it made me think of how, long ago, I used to be afraid of dogs.  When we moved to my childhood home in CT, there was a family at the end of the block that had a big German Shepard named “Bear.”  At eight, this dog terrified me.  (It didn’t help that the mother snickered at me for being afraid of the dog–lessons I have learned on how *not* to be as an adult.)

Shortly after this my family got a puppy.  She was a Welsh Corgi, and though she was not a big dog, she was quite the jumper.  And I have never really been afraid of dogs since.  Especially the big ones, it seems the bigger they are, the bigger their heart.

After that, my mind wandered again.  I had never thought about it, but I am glad that I am no longer afraid of dogs.  Generally, being afraid of anything limits you.  And I quite enjoy petting the occasional slobbery goofy canine.  And I guess it’s really due my parents, who chose to get the dog.  And then I thought that Father’s Day kind of came and went, and I never really did much for it.  (I did call my Dad, in case you were wondering).

So kind of randomly, I wrote my Dad a letter.  I told him I was glad we got a dog when I was a kid.  I found out I really enjoyed pets.  And I’m glad I got to eat a lot of ethnic food, and really good food in general.  And that I really, really appreciate that he paid my college tuition in full.  Though we don’t always see eye-to-eye, and sometimes I’m a disappointment (mainly because I am not Christian, and I know it pains him), I have a really great life.  He defined me, in a lot of ways.  I like who I am.  Some of his lessons were hard to learn, but now I am choosing to see the good.

Feeling Girly Today

Today was a good day.  We got to leave a bit early, as it was the holiday weekend.  Of course, no one really wanted to work and my friend Jake brought in a cheesecake so we all ended up in a dessert coma.  I am traveling for a wedding this weekend, and after leaving early I headed over to Target to get some batteries and a card, and I ended up getting a dress too.  I am not usually into dresses but I haven’t bought new clothes in awhile and I wanted something nice for the wedding.  Plus they had nail polish in chartreuse!  I have been wanting shimmery chartreuse nail polish, and couldn’t find it.  Either it was too green or too yellow.  It will go well with my electric blue toenails.

In other news, last night we did a little crying it out with Nova.  Over the weekend, she was sick so I slept with her.  Then on Wednesday, she was fussy again so I thought I’d sleep with her.  It was one of the worst nights’ sleep I had in awhile.  She nursed constantly, and kicked and fussed to boot.   I can’t keep doing that, and I can sleep through a lot.  Getting Nova down at bedtime and 2:00 am was a pain, but she slept well after that.

And I have to say that though having a baby is sometimes challenging, (and Nova is more challenging than Rowan was), I am in so much of a better place now.  I am coping with the change to my life in a much better way.  And it helps that my kids are cute.