Friday, May 23, 2014

And Then There Was One

I'm the lone single woman on this blog, and that likely won't change any time soon. As the lone single (single lone?), it's hard for me to come up with things to write about that don't sound like complaining or that don't dismiss the struggles of the new parent and new wife on here. However, I've recently figured out that, if I think about it, there are a lot of topics within the overall subject of singleness. I just have to, you know, think about it.

Since there are heavy topics and light topics, and since I'm tired and worried about other things right now, I'll start with a lightish topic: isolation.

Really, isolation could go either way, and can be very heavy, but this recent experience with it is more of a "well, that's how it is" moment than a "oh, I can't do this anymore" moment, if that makes sense. I'm currently serving in the Primary presidency of my ward--we are in charge of the Sunday activities of the children from 18 months to 12 years old, and we also concern ourselves (in a limited way) with their home lives. I am the oldest in this presidency and the only single, childless member. The women with whom I serve have all dealt with weird pregnancy issues--one lost multiples because of a uterine anomaly, one has health issues that prevent her from having anything other than C-section births--and they talk about them. That's fine. I think it's good to talk about these things so others know they're not alone and are prepared for the strange things that can happen. I don't really mind hearing about all the blood tests and appointments that come along with high-risk pregnancies (after all, I'm automatically high-risk just because of age) and I don't mind hearing about all the strange and wonderful things that go along with being a parent.

I just feel out of place when the topic moves that direction. I don't have anything but second-hand experience to contribute, and sometimes I get the feeling that my friends feel a little awkward discussing things to which I can't personally relate. I joke that I pay attention and take notes so I can be a better mom someday, but lately there's the mental undercurrent that I may never get to be a mom and the joke is losing its ability to make me feel better about my situation. One night after a meeting, the three of them started talking about hospitals and obstetricians and I had nothing to contribute to the conversation, so I politely excused myself and left.

Like I said, these moments don't make me despair (most of the time...), but they're still a little new and raw. For years I reasoned that I could deal with them because someday I'd be a mother, but now the impending loss of fertility and introduction of menopause are staring me in the face. Not that I'm going to really hit menopause until I'm in my 50s, but I'm almost 40 and my chances of having a child on my own are very, very slim, even with modern medical technology. No one in my family that I know of has had a child past 35. I don't know what to expect, but I do know the odds are stacked firmly against me and I just have to deal with that like I deal with wrinkles and cellulite. Wrinkles and cellulite are just part of life, and there's not much I can do about them, so I try not to get hung up on them. It's the same thing with being single and almost 40; it's literally a shrug of the shoulders and an "oh, well!" because there's not much I can do about it on my own.

It is what it is, and while it feels odd to be isolated in this way, it's not really disturbing or distressing. Most people don't understand, and that's ok. It's not their fault. This is just how life happens, and you either freak out about it and waste a lot of energy, or recognize that it's out of your hands (for the most part) and shrug and move on.

What's interesting, though, is that I almost feel like isolation bubble is protecting me--it's not unfriendly or threatening or sad, it's just different. And if I can't contribute to a conversation, it's ok to excuse myself and be alone in my bubble for a while.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Move on already!!

She basically stalked him, making sure no other girl dated him for long, if at all. She would buddy up to them and convince them he was weird or moving too fast or whatever she had to do to get them to not talk to them.

She tried it with me. It didn't work. Then she tried threatening me. She yelled (literally) at me during a church meeting. And when she found out we were getting married, told him within 5 years he'd realize how mean I was and divorce me. And she blocked us on Facebook.

Until she was getting married herself. Then she sent both of us friend requests.


We both ignored the request.

And now she's following me on Pinterest.




I wish her well. But I also wish she'd just disappear.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Starting Again

Wow.  My last post was nearly a year ago; a lot has changed.  One of the reasons I didn't blog more here was the depression resulting from my job (which just got worse) and that sometimes I feel like I don't have much to say as an "older" single adult.  I just live my life.  Besides, who wants to hear from a single woman in a miserable job, driving an old car, and trying to learn new things? :)


I was laid off from that awful job a couple of months ago.  I feel like it was a direct answer to many anguished prayers.  I still don't know why it was the right thing to accept the job to begin with, and the right thing to deal with all the badness that came in the last half of my time there, but I am confident that it WAS the right thing, somehow, and that, even if I don't get the answers to my questions about it right away, I will eventually.  Or, if I don't get answers, I'll at least be blessed with understanding.  I didn't realize how depressed I was until after I met with HR about severance and 401k stuff and felt a lightness I hadn't felt in months.  I even stuck around my last few days and cheerfully cleaned my desk and finished or handed off some projects.  I even got emotional on my last day talking to a few excellent colleagues (could they be the reason I was supposed to work there, I wonder?) after they took me to lunch.

The first half of my time at that job was great.  I was treated as an equal and contributing member of a team with ideas and thoughts worth hearing.  I was respected and trusted.  If I was honest in my shortcomings, I was not made to feel stupid.  The last half...well, we've already discussed it and I don't really want to talk about it except to say that it took the first several weeks of unemployment for me to figure out that I had actually been depressed.  Not just sad or worried, but probably depressed enough that I should have sought help from a mental health professional.  The stupid thing is I should have seen it, having gone through some major depression (to the point of contemplating suicide--yikes) over a decade ago, but I didn't recognize it for what it was until after I'd been laid off.  I just figured things were weird and would get better.

(Incidentally, one of the weirdest things was that I was given no instruction or direction from my actual boss for how to handle closing my accounts and for taking care of my computer and other equipment.  I had to call several departments on my own to make sure I did things right.)

Since then I have said many prayers of thanks for getting me out of a really bad situation.  And, although the stress of not having a job has been wearing (there have been several weeks where I just let myself sleep until 11 AM and didn't really do anything until 1 PM), and I'm still working through some depression issues, it's been so nice to just be home.  I have been reminded that, if my single situation changes soon and I have the opportunity to stay home and raise children, I will be very happy to do so.  Very happy.  I have hope that I'll be able to do that.

I've been on several interviews since, but nothing has panned out.  My savings is getting low and I'm getting worried so I really hope I'll have something in the next three or four weeks because I don't know what I'll do if I don't.  Overall, however, being laid off, while stressful and sad at times, has been a blessing.  I look at it as God giving me a little bit of a break from work, and I figure as long as I'm doing my best, He'll tell me what to do next.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Trying Harder

It's very early on a Friday morning.  In fact, it's so early that it was Thursday less than an hour ago.  I should be sleeping, but instead I'm worrying about work.  There is so much going through my head that I can't express or even sort out enough to make sense of.  What I know is that I'm so unhappy at work that the thought of going there in a few hours almost makes me cry.  The clearly defined position I accepted last year has turned into one of nebulous responsibility, resulting in frustration, discouragement, and a general anxiety that I'm doing something wrong at any given time.  I very much dislike feeling this way. 

When I took the job, I felt very strongly that it was an answer to many prayers over several months.  Everything happened so quickly--I took all those events as a sign that it was the right direction for me and I should accept whatever they offered.  Several months later, I find myself doubting that decision nearly every day.  I don't know why I'm there, I don't know what my job actually is, and it's starting to wear on me so much that I'm not sleeping well and I dread walking into my building.  Despite my uncertainty and doubt, I definitely know that staying at my previous job would have been very bad for me, so I'm trying to stick it out without complaining.  Another friend is suddenly unemployed, which makes me feel worse for disliking my steady job with good benefits.

I don't even know what to do or how to start feeling better about everything.  I keep looking for other work, but I know my chances at a better job are slim right now.  Unlike the other members of my team, I did not go to school to be in this industry.  I have no desire to get an MBA, and a degree in business administration makes me cringe.  I'm stuck here, though, and I have to figure out parts of my job to like or I'll become even more depressed and anxious about it.

If God wants me to be happy, and He guided me where I am now, why am I so miserable?  Why do I feel like calling in sick all the time?  Why do I fantasize about getting in a car accident or slipping on the icy sidewalk and missing weeks of work?  Why am I told to do a project, but not given enough information to do it correctly, and then get scolded for asking clarifying questions?  Why, when I'm encouraged to ask clarifying questions, do I feel like I'm being punished for "pushing back" when I DO ask them?

I don't understand what's happening, and I wish I could figure it out.  No one likes someone who can't do anything but complain, and I'm afraid I'm turning into a constant complainer.  I feel somehow guilty for feeling like this, but I don't know how to fix it.  I'm praying that I'll find things to be happy about, and that I'll be able to be consistently cheerful and kind no matter what is dumped on me.  It's exhausting, though, and I hope I can figure all of this out soon.  The light at the end of this tunnel is very, very dim right now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I could remember my pains no more

When I was lonely and single, especially when I was hurt and sad and angry and frustrated, whether at an individual or the whole single situation, I knew, somehow, that whomever I ended up finding and marrying would be worth the wait and the hurt. That, like Alma in The Book of Mormon in Alma 36:20, I would be able to say: "And oh, what joy , and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!"

I experienced this while Roscoe and I were dating and engaged - I was so happy and knew that happiness would grow for the rest of forever that it already made up for everything I had gone through while I was waiting for him.

What I really hadn't considered was verse 19: "And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more." Alma couldn't even remember the hurt.

Last night, Roscoe and I were watching TV together and a main character was breaking up with his girlfriend, who has been a supporting character this season. She'd done nothing wrong, he'd just realized he was in love with someone else, and so he ended it.

Watching her cry, knowing I'd been in similar situations of being blindsided by a breakup, I realized that if I'd been watching that episode a year ago, I probably would have been hit with at least a twinge of how much that sucks and hurts.

This time, sitting with and holding the hand of my husband of five weeks, I felt nothing. I was sad for her (though, admittedly, happier that this character was going to get back to his real love), but I felt nothing for me. I ran through some names in my head of jerks in my past and nothing, no hurt, no sadness, just peace and happiness for the life ahead. I truly "could remember my pains no more."

Of course, I paused the show, told Roscoe about this and just how happy he makes me. He's amazing.

It also reminds me of the Atonement, which is why Alma could no longer remember his pains. It's not just about the pain of sin, but of the pain of disease, injury, and even heartache. Jesus took that all on Himself so that we could overcome them and continue on our path of eternal progression.

It's an amazing blessing and I am feeling very grateful for it today!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Never thought I'd see that

A while back we were out running errands a lot longer than we thought we would be and needed some food before starting the long drive home. We stopped at a Jack-in-the-Box for salads (they're good!) and followed a young twenty-something couple in.

Both of us needed to use the restroom, but the couple in front of us needed to as well. My husband headed to the men's room (which was one of those single room types not the multiple stall types). I saw the couple in front of us both head towards the women's room, and I thought that was weird. And then I saw the guy get the door for the girl. And I thought that was a odd type of chivalry (getting the door for me does have limits). And then I saw the guy follow her in. And I was blown away. Seriously?!

We ordered our food. We got our food. We started eating our food. We saw an employee go to the bathroom, see it was locked, and leave. Then a few minutes later we saw another woman go to the bathroom, see it was locked, knock, and then stand there and wait. She was surprised when the door opened.

The couple started to head out when the guy suggested they get something to eat. How nice of him. Till I noticed that she was the one pulling out a wallet and not him.

Later just before we left, when I was finally using the bathroom, my husband overheard a snippet of conversation between the couple. He heard the guy say "she's trying to revoke my parole."

Yup. Classy couple there.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Doppleganger Problems

We like watching the TV show "Parenthood." It has started a lot of conversations as we examine where their conversations went wrong, what they maybe should've said, what we'd say in that situation, and how we'd handle the problems that come up. But I've had one rather large problem with the show - one of the actors is a dead ringer for an ex of mine, and that ex isn't a happy story.

Seeing Jason Ritter, who thankfully plays a medium role rather than a large one, when he has facial hair, is a haunting ghost of my past.

To add to my cognitive dissonance, the character he plays is real stand-up respectable character who is thoughtful and mature. And while the ex had moments of that, overall, the experience was the opposite. So seeing that look with those qualities is just weird to me.

Anyone else have doppleganger problems like that?