Tag Archives: my crazy ideas

Busy Bee or Drama Llama?

Ever feel like a star shape not fitting into a square hole?
Ever feel like a star shape not fitting into a square hole?

It seems I have been slacking with posts again. I am often thinking about this blog and what story to tell next, or what issue to discuss. Sometimes I think it would be cool to have a way to transmit thoughts directly from my mind into the computer, but then again, that could be pretty freaky. Plus I guess that’s what fingers and keyboards are for. Or microphones.

I am always hesitant to say I am busy or overwhelmed, because I feel like I don’t have the right to complain about stuff like that when I don’t have kids and I don’t have a high-stress or even a high-importance job. The truth is, a lot of the stress and anxiety I feel is in my own mind. I feel pretty overwhelmed most of the time, but if I step outside my mind and look at my life I am kind of embarrassed to see that from the outside it doesn’t look so bad.

I mentally carry around all these projects and these tasks that I want to do, but the truth is, my time-management skills pretty much suck. Maybe it is the curse of being an INFJ that I get too wrapped up in my own head, and the way things feel to me, rather than seeing things as they really are.

Here’s something I wrote in my notebook during a particular angsty lunch break the other day:

Most of the time I feel like a star-shape not fitting into a square hole. Maybe in the grand scheme of things I am being too picky and too spoiled. I mean, I know there are people a million times worse off that I. Like the poor people in Bangladesh who are losing their land daily thanks to rising ocean levels. They literally have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and here I am feeling sorry for myself because I have to spend 8 hours a day in an office in front of a computer when I would rather spend 10 hour days in an art studio or writing stuff that I want to write, not some boring business mumbo-jumbo. I realize I make more money in one hour than those poor people make in a month. But it’s not all about money! I mean, of course living here in CT, a lot is about money and I did just buy a new car and am planning TWO trips outside of corporate-paid travel. Plus medical expenses.

I think that is my curse in life… I feel like the fear of unforeseen medical expenses is what keeps me tethered to a “real” job. It’s not like I think I will have cancer or an accident. It’s the stuff I KNOW will happen, thanks to EEC. I’m already dealing with trying to get my dental work updated. My eyes require constant care and will likely get worse the older I get. My ears, despite all the surgeries, will need life long maintenance. Even if nothing else goes wrong, just my normal medical maintenance schedule is quite pricey.

So is it just an excuse I use to keep up from trying something that scares me? There’s that expression I like about how outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. What if I never try for fear of going broke or being let down somehow? All I know is that I can’t live life in complacency. I want to SOAR. I want to live! To be creative and express my passion… and to GET PAID to do that!  

So yeah. That’s where I’m at lately. This is a pattern I have seen multiple times in my life before, but I think it is time I do something different to resolve it. Despite being easily frustrated by petty things in my current position, I am in a place where I can plan ahead and figure out what I want to do next, rather than just leaping headfirst into the next opportunity that opens up. I think my past issues with job dissatisfaction resulted from my tendency to just take whatever job opened up next, rather than really saying “does this suit me?”. Ok, there was that one time I turned down a job where I’d be working for a certain helicopter company near here…

Well, that’s enough rambling for now. I actually do have a lot of “real” stuff to do today, and tomorrow I am off to the New England Vegfest.

Hopefully I can pull myself together next week and post some new and exciting blog posts!

I’m a sparkly star shape and I don’t fit in!

The Umbrella Story

What super power would you have? Why, invisibility, of course! Sure it would be nice to fly, or shoot lasers out of my eyes, but to be invisible . . . now that would be really cool.

umbrella boy

One spring afternoon in Music class, we were learning a song about the rain. On the handout there was a drawing of a boy walking through the rain with an umbrella. As I often did, I doodled on the drawing, beginning with shading his rain boots. Absent-mindedly, I continued embellishing the drawing until I came up with an amazing idea. Imagine an umbrella with curtain-like sides, so you could be completely hidden from view while using it! I could picture myself taking a walk through the park, strolling along in my own private room while passersby were completely uninterested in looking at me.

That afternoon I leapt off the school bus and ran to the house, eager to build the prototype. In the mudroom, I located the big Mary Poppins-style umbrella, grabbed a roll of duct tape and the rag box – which had some old bed sheets in it. I brought all the supplies out into the yard and painstakingly taped the mis-matched, paint-spattered sheets around the umbrella. I taped each sheet together to ensure that there would be no gaps through which I could be seen. My friend Chrissy came over to see what I was up to, determined I was nuts, and went home to watch Saved By the Bell.

I wasn’t the only one with this idea.

About an hour later, my umbrella creation was ready for a test run. I climbed under the sheets and hoisted the heavy contraption up off the ground. I’d failed to consider how I was going to navigate under this thing. After a few cautious steps around the yard, it was determined that an adjustment was needed. A section of sheet was removed and replaced with an opened-up black trash bag. The bag was transparent enough for me to see through, but not so transparent that anyone would be able to see me inside it. Brilliant! By then, it was time for dinner, so I closed the umbrella-contraption and tossed it into the mudroom, feeling accomplished.

A few weeks later, Joanna was visiting for the weekend. As usual, we spent much of the time lying around complaining about how incredibly bored we were. Then I remembered the umbrella. We decided to take it out for a walk around the park. It was big enough for the two of us to walk side-by-side in it, but it was awkward trying to coordinate our pace and not tread on the sheets which billowed around us. We made it across the parking lot to a bench near the tennis courts, where we sat down, still inside the umbrella.

Two teenage boys had just finished up a tennis game. They had probably seen us approaching the bench, like an enormous drunken jellyfish. They exited the tennis court and began walking towards us, their curiosity piqued. Joanna elbowed me in the ribs. “They’re coming over here!” she gasped, “let’s get out of here!”  I grabbed her arm, “No! Sit here – let’s see what happens!” For some reason, I didn’t expect them to actually come over to us. But they did. One of them tapped the top of the umbrella with his tennis racket. “Hello? What is this?” he laughed. We sat, paralyzed with a mix of excitement and fear. The other boy pulled back one of the sheets and peeked in. “There’s a couple of chicks in there!” he exclaimed. The other pushed him aside to have a look. “Naw, they’re just kids.”

As soon as they turned and began walking away, we leaped up from the bench and began running back to the house as hard as we could. If walking in a coordinated fashion had been difficult, running was proving to be impossible. The heavy umbrella wobbled uncontrollably in our hands. Joanna tripped on one of the sheets, ripping it from the umbrella as she fell. I kept running, still holding onto the umbrella as the remaining sheets flowed out behind me like a horse’s tail. Joanna kicked her legs free of the sheet that had tripped her and desperately continued running. Breathless, we reached the safety of the yard, where we collapsed into a screaming, laughing heap of sheets and mangled umbrella.

So much for that invisibility cloak.