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Crab People (Introverted vs. Extroverted)

31 Jan

People drain me. Physically, emotionally, figuratively… they suck.

I’ve read in several articles about people with introverted characteristics that this phenomenon isn’t unusual. Introverts can be socially outgoing, but we are inwardly super self conscious. For example, I LOVE to share or answer questions in my grad classes. I dont shy away from that. However, it may take me several minutes to formulate thoughts, to feel out the room, to make sure that raising my hand wont be construed as me being “pushy” or “dumb.” At parties, I’ll be fine (if not a bit of a background character), but I’m often full of dread in the car ride over or I will spend days in advance thinking of talking points and reviewing my friends.

It’s all soooo much to do and take in.

That’s why introverts lose energy from other people.

That's pretty accurate.

 

It doesn’t help when you are in a serious relationship with someone who is so clearly an extrovert. B, a great guy and all, is a bit clueless on my little introverted quirks. He doesn’t understand my need for space, privacy, warmth, and time outs from the world.

Most of all, he doesn’t understand that I process the world in solitude. I dont share, partially because I am terrified of being a burden. The other reason is because I know how much my own problems can overwhelm me, so why would I want to share these experiences and emotions with someone who is not actively involved?

When there is an issue to be dealt with, I go through stages: 1.) Outwardly emotional. 2.) Inwardly emotional 3.) Inner reflection 4.) Conclusion 5.) Resolution. If there is no answer to a question or problem, then I skip over conclusion and get to resolution. And from there, there is nothing left to be said. It’s done. The problem is that all but one of these steps is accomplished internally. So I often cannot address the reflections or resolutions I have made.

And it’s a communications break down from there.

I worry. A lot. I worry that I am unable to verbalize what emotions I have and when I have them. But I am even more worried that because I have built up this wall where people know I process emotions internally instead of externally, when I do verbalize what I feel… well, it’s not trusted or understood. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Here’s another analogy: You’re the popular girl at high school and you’ve made wearing pink the “it” thing to do. Everyone expects you to come to school in pink. One day, you decide to wear black and while friends see that you are wearing black, they think you are still wearing pink socks under your black pants or that you are wearing black as some joke on the goth kids. The point of you wearing black (to show that you are diverse in your choices or to get a point across) is lost because you chose to wear pink every single day since freshman year of high school.

 

Poor B has to deal with me flip-flopping on how I address my emotions. One day, I am sharing every bit of my day with him. The next, I am locking myself in my bedroom or sitting in my closet so I could have a moment alone.

(And this is when I tell you the horrible story about how I once laid under my bed for six hours straight after a particularly long day at work. Nothing was inherently wrong. I just wanted to lay under the bed and soak in the quiet and dark.)

But, the truth is that interactions drain me. Right now, if someone was asking, I’d say my stress level was at an 8 out of 10.

Look like Crab. Talk like people.

Why so high? I HAVE NO IDEA. All I can say is that my time around people has increased. And while none (except for a few dim moments) have been negative experiences, being around people for an extended period has turned me in to a complete crab-person. I’m emotional and uneven tempered, and I really just want to sit in my shell and listen to dance music (yes, I know…) till I feel better.

So, fellow introverts, how do you deal with your extroverted love ones? Are they soul-sucking hell beasts, too? Or are they understanding, lovers of crab people?

 

Knitting a Prayer Shawl

7 Jan

Early on in my Christmas shopping, I decided that I wanted to knit something again. Last year, I knitted a very simple scarf for my aunt. This year, I wanted to get more ambitious. I instantly thought of my grandma, who is constantly complaining that someone or some animal is stealing her favorite shawls and blankets.

I found a pretty simple pattern and picked out four balls of yarn that matched the colors of her living room furniture (tan and burnt orange). The day I brought home the yarn, I noticed a different pattern on the back of the yarn ball. It was for a “prayer shawl.” As many of you know, I am not religious… at all. However, my mom is.

My mom has been through a TON this year. But she’s made it out and is doing dramatically better. I know that her new found faith has played a big impact in her life. So I decided to revamp my original plans and use the yarn to make my mom a genuine prayer shawl. It would take a LONG time (3 months, to be exact), but I finished it.

The pattern was pretty simple:
Tie on 84
Knit 4, purl 3
I measured it out around myself and then added a little bit more so it would fully wrap around the shoulders.

In order to be a prayer shawl, you actually had to add the prayers. Since I dont believe in a conventional God, I sent out good thoughts, my hopes for her, and my hopes for her family after I finished each row. This took a bit of time, and after 100 rows or so, you really run out of ideas for wishes and prayers… but I made it.

Here’s what it looked like:

I'm a HORRIBLE model, so I cut my head off of one shot.

The shawl took a ton of patience, something I do not have. But it really made this Christmas a more spiritual one for me.

In other Christmas recap news, I ended up with some pretty awesome stuff… engagement ring included. But I did end up making two big purchases for myself. One of them was a new computer, which I just got on Thursday, thanks to B’s brother. The second one was an Xbox. I’ve been wanting one FOREVER! I ended up getting Portal and Fable 2. It was a pretty exciting holiday, to say the least!

Now, it’s on to wedding planning. We think we’ve got the location down (just have to sign the contract) and I’ve asked a friend of mine to be my Maid of Honor (a sort of shared title with my sister, who is my Matron of Honor). I’ll share both of those details soon.

A Proposal and How to Conquer Disney World In 3 Days (part 1)!

22 Dec

Now that I’m home from my Disney vacation, I can finally talk about what I’ve been waiting for… the proposal!

On the day we left for Disney, I couldn’t sleep. I was just too excited. I even woke up Brendan, who spent the last two nights at Wilco concerts. After breakfast, we struggled to find ways to pass the time before our car came to pick us up for Midway. I suggested we play Monopoly. Monopoly is our FAVORITE game. We probably play it once a week. And ever since he found out that I knew about the impending engagement, he has been teasing that he had hid the ring in the game box. Every time he’d tease, I’d open it up thinking… “well, maybe this time, he’s for real.”

I wasn’t falling for it on Saturday. I refused to open the box, but he was insistent. Eventually, I stopped protesting, and inside the box were two pieces of chocolate. I turned around to yell at him for tricking me again, but instead I found him on his knee, proposing. I’ve read so many engagement stories where they say it was a whirl, and that everything stops. It really does. And even though I knew it was coming and he knew what I was going to say, it still shocked me.

Oh, and the ring was GORGEOUS. It doesn’t look like any ring I’ve ever seen, which is what I wanted. It’s very modern without being too showy. And it just feels me. He reallllllly got it right.

  

After the proposal, we changed our facebook status, called and texted everyone close to us, and grabbed our bags for our trip. B had rented a limo for us, which was such a nice touch! We landed in Disney about three hours later.

*Let me just stop here and say that we CONQUERED Disney World, as in, we did EVERY SINGLE RIDE on our wishlist (which was pretty extensive, plus some). I did a lot of research beforehand on how to maneuver the parks, and it really paid off. The next part of this blog is a recap, in addition to a how-to-guide:

Our first night was spent at the Boardwalk. It’s a beautiful little area meant to look like 1920s seaside town. We wanted to enjoy it, but we were overwhelmed and tired. We did have a drink at the Atlantic Dance Hall and munched on some fries at the ESPN Zone. Either way, it’s great if you are a group of adults looking for something to do when most of the parks and shops are closed.

Our second day was at Hollywood Studios. For our days at the park, we followed the magic hours perk we got as guests in Disney resort hotels. Even though we could use the park late, we insisted on getting up early, taking the Disney buses to the park about an hour prior to the park opening, and waiting in line for the “rope drop” (the official opening of the park). Our goal of the day was to do three things: ride Rock n Roller Coaster; Star Tours; and Tower of Terror, take a class at the Animation Academy, and see Muppets in 3D all before we had to go back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko in the late afternoon.

We started by lining up behind the rope drop nearest to Tower of Terror. As soon as the rope dropped, we walked quickly to the fastpass line and grabbed our first fast passes. Then we headed to Rock n’ Roller Coaster where the line was about 10 minutes, if that. We hopped on without fast passes.  When we were finished, we rode Tower of Terror. It was B’s first time and he loved it, so we grabbed another fast pass on our way out to ride it again. At this point, it was only 9am, so the park still wasn’t crowded. We shopped, then headed to Animation Academy where we learned how to draw B’s favorite, Donald Duck. The class was actually a TON of fun. And it killed 20 minutes of our wait for Tower of Terror, which we then rode a second time without waiting.

After that, we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, seeing the Muppets (really no line, which shocked me) while waiting for our Star Tours fastpass, experiencing the cheesy joy that is the Great Movie Ride and Backlot Tour, and getting a free hot dog from a vendor that spotted our “Just Engaged” buttons. *If you are celebrating ANYTHING while in Disney, tell a cast member. They will give you a button or two that your whole party can wear around the park. Cast members and other vacationers were congratulating us left and right, and we got a couple little perks to go with it.

Late afternoon, we headed to Jiko in the AKLodge. The Lodge was gorgeous with a ton of animals roaming the grounds. They, hands down, had the best lobby of them all as well. And Jiko… omg…. I am not over exaggerating when I say that Jiko had maybe the best food I’ve ever had. Jiko is also overlooked compared to the other AKLodge restaurant, so it isn’t crowded. But mainly, I picked Jiko because of the full vegan menu. But for us meat eaters, I tried the duck, which was cooked perfectly. After dinner, the restaurant gave us free creme brulee made out of spices. It tasted just like pumpkin pie. Yum!

When we were done stuffing our faces with the best food ever, we jumped on the bus and headed back to Hollywood Studios for the Osbourne Family Lights. Basically, a guy in Arkansas decorated his home in millions of lights. Eventually, his neighbors complained about them and the crowd it was drawing, so he was forced to remove them. Disney bought the display and added it to the movie sets. From Thanksgiving to the New Year, you can walk around and watch the lights dance to music and see fake snow fall. It was gorgeous. Here’s a video I found:

We made it back to our hotel around midnight. So, here’s what we learned about how to conquer Hollywood Studios:

  1. Head to the big attractions first, either Tower of Terror or the Roller Coaster.
  2. Grab a fast pass for at least one of them and then ride the other without the fast pass. My personal opinion is that the Roller Coaster will most likely have a shorter line each time.
  3. Kill time for Star Tours or the other main rides by taking in one of the shows or doing the drawing classes. You can also meet a ton of Disney characters in the Animation area.
  4. Avoid the entrance for Indiana Jones and Star Tours if you are in a hurry. Go through shops or walk around through the fake town instead. The place gets congested fast, especially in the afternoon.
  5. We didn’t realize this, but the biggest wait was for the new Toy Story ride. So, if you have someone that must ride that ride, head there first and get a fastpass ASAP. By the time we headed to Pixar, the wait was 3 hours and the fast passes were all gone (by 3pm!).
  6. You can only get one fast pass per hour, so read your ticket carefully and prioritize.

… So that’s it. Tomorrow, I’ll post on how to do Magic Kingdom (aka, the holy grail) in 4 hours and EPCOT in 2. HA!

 

 

Mouse Ears

28 Sep

It’s time to follow the bouncing ball and whistle along (unless you are me and are unable to make any kind of whistling noise):

 

God, I used to love those sing-along videos! We had at least 10 of them growing up.

We also had Disney story time records, like this one:

We were, obviously, the most annoying kids EVER.

 

And, as a kid in the 90s, who didn’t dream of getting the Michelle Tanner treatment or having Jon Stamos and his fake band sing to you?

 

I have been to the actual Disney World twice in my life. The first time, the only thing I can remember is that my three year old sister got lost at our hotel (spoiler alert: we found her). The second time, we were reluctant teenagers who secretly loved it until a creep-o in a Donald Duck costume “accidentally” felt us up as my mom snapped pictures. Either way, I’ve been dying to go back as an adult.

And now, with the help of a very patient and cooperative boyfriend, I get my wish! But I’m not just going to Disney World… I’m going to Disney World during the Christmas season! Yes, I realize that the crowds will be nuts and that I am going to be spending a ton of money on vacation when I could spend it on lovely readers like yourself. But when I see pictures like this:

And videos like this:

I just cant help but ignore the price tag and the potential screaming kid/annoying tourist/pushy picture takers in favor of this experience.

To curb costs, we are staying in the value resorts (meh) and are planning simple breakfast and lunch combos that will have us avoid expensive cart or restaurant food. I’m also purchasing all Christmas gifts way in advance (as in, I may have already bought one or two of them). Our big splurge will be dinner at the restaurant Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Resort, and I’m working on some Disney-esque surprises for B. Besides our Summer Camp misadventure, this will be our first vacation together in the two years we’ve been dating and living in sin, so I’m going to try to make it extra special!

And yes, we did discuss going to Harry Potter World, but it’s not worth the price to pay for admission and logistics from our Disney World resort to Orlando Studios. Some other day, Hedwig.

I realize that this post has NOTHING to do with my weight loss (I gained .4lbs this week- read about it in my weight loss page) or running (treadmill runs will dominate this rainy week). BUT with the insane stress I am under and the emotional week I’ve had, this is my mental health post for the week. Only 80 more days till we land!

Hand Holding

22 Jun

This morning, while walking to my L stop, I saw maybe the cutest old couple walking hand in hand. It was 7:30 in the morning and I was still dreaming of gnomes eating my brains (true nightmare), so I really think that the lack of sleep mixed with the lobotomy performed on me made my heart flutter a bit more when I passed them up.

Maybe it was because I kept replaying that Zales commercial (shout out to my mom who works there) in my spinning head. Have I been that commercial exposed that I now look at two old people strolling as a sign that I need to get to the nearest jewelry store and spend 2 months salary on myself?

God. I hope not.

I could easily write about engagements, but I will spare you that for at least another 2 years. Instead, I’m going to present an ode to holding hands. Even though the Beatles beat me to it, one of my favorite movies mentions it, this article proves it scientifically, and Shakespeare made it famous, I still feel that nothing express romantic interest better than a good hand holding:

Oh, fourth grade love…

The kind that bewilders and excites.

How do I long to press

My fingers with frail might.

It’s your sweaty palm, dear

That conjures mental mess

The way your eyes begin to peer

And how your arms will steer

Your dirty digits

To my lotioned fidgets

Embracing one last round.

A perfect fit.

A witty quip.

We walk hand to hand

Ground to ground.

Now, I will admit that I hate writing poetry, but that did incite some little tingles of remembering the first boy I ever walked hand in hand with. We strolled through the mall, rocking our arms back and forth wildly, until we reached the movie theater where our hands didn’t depart unless to grab more popcorn.

As I’ve become older, my hand holding has become more meaningful. I’m one of those girls who will linger until the other one pulls away or falls asleep. I believe in reading palms as a romantic gesture, even if it is just jest. I get goosebumps when someone offers theirs to mine without me going in for the kill first. And frankly, holding hands turns me on much more than a steamy make out session.

Plus, you cant fall down alone when you hold hands. The reciprocated either has to catch you or take the fall with you.

Daddy-Daughter-Everyday

21 Jun

Like I mentioned in my other posts, I am sorry for my absence. I’ve been exceptionally busy with the transition from one home to another. Now, I am all (sorta) moved in and adjusted. It wasn’t without its own drama. For example, the original plan was to move in on Tuesday, but my leasing company (Chicago Apartment Finders) couldn’t get the paperwork to go through fast enough. I eventually signed my lease on Wednesday and I began personally moving boxes on Thursday night after work.

My ammmmmazing dad had pre-arranged to come help me move all of my stuff on Friday night. But we soon realized that if we were to move everything on Friday, we would be making about 10 trips until about 4am. He took the day off and I leased out my younger cousin to help him move. B was supposed to contribute but he had an emergency car repair and couldn’t make it. So while I was working a very dangerous graduation ceremony and attempting to keep up with the World Cup action at work, my dad and cousin Kyle were roughing through storms, flooding, and the unpleasant parking conditions to move almost everything in my old apartment in to my new one.

When I got off of work, I ran through a lightning and hail storm to my new pad only to find that we had lost a much beloved member of my furniture family. I recently purchased an amazingly cheap, but still a splurge, mattress set. B struggled to pull up the boxspring by himself so I figured that would be the WORST part of moving. I was so right. My dad and cousin spent about 45 minutes until they broke it and gave up. Now I am sleeping on the mattress alone. I’m not going to lie, it sucks. Hopefully I can find a quick and easy solution that will get me up off the floor asap.

But really, I have nothing but thanks for my father. This is a man who has moved my growing amount of crap at least 10 times in the last 5-6 years. From tiny dorm rooms to 4th floor transition apartments during major baseball games, my dad has done it all… often with little to no help from this weak armed party.

Not to mention the fact that he has seen me through three cars, three major boyfriends, and three major life changing career moves… My dad is amazing. And I, of course, now have unobtainable expectations of what a man should and shouldn’t do. But most of all, he has given me life lessons. These are just six of them that I take with me in my every day life:

1. Be kind to everyone you meet.
2. Trash talk and gossiping behind one person’s back only leaves you open for them to do the same.
3. Create your own opportunities and never be afraid to say yes when possible.
4. Find a good man that will listen to you when you are sad and share in your joy when you are happy.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
6. Good movies can include Meg Ryan.

Oh, and listen to plenty of Paul Simon. Daily.

Another great man in my life is B. I spent most of yesterday out in the country at his family’s home in celebration of the Solstice. It was a beautifully bright day, and I again loved meeting his family. They are such a wonderfully open group of people. And the kids are just adorable! Hearing little Logan tell B that he knew that his beer wasn’t “big kid’s pop” was hysterical.

Today, I woke up with to B moving and unpacking most of my stuff. He apparently got up and couldn’t sleep, so instead of waking me up or just turning on the tv, he spent the majority of the morning unpacking, and organizing my desk. Later, we went out for lunch, saw Toy Story 3 (A+++++++++), and then watched the Guild while eating pita take out. Yummy weekend!

Anyways, I will make sure to pick up my blogging as I unpack and get acclimated with my new neighborhood. Hopefully I will have some time to check out the beach, see some of the shops, and learn the L line a bit better. Pictures to come!

I'd Like To Thank You All For Nothing

15 Jun

Today has been nothing to write home about. Work is getting a little less confusing as projects start pouring in. And I finally got my netID so I could set up an email and access the systems without my supervisor logging me in every time I accidentally “x-ed” out (which happens a ton).

I’m grateful that my supervisor is also totally in to soccer, like me. We were both talking about the World Cup and streaming today’s games (WTF ITALY!) on our computers. He even suggested that we both “accidentally take the day off” on Friday to watch the US play Slovenia. I agree with him- it only happens every 4 years, so we’ve got to enjoy it now!

About half way through my day, I got a phone call from HR about my papers not being processed correctly, so I was sent on a 1/2 mile hike to their office building. It was such a dreary, foggy, rain-filled day that it was almost surreal. It gave me time to do a little reflecting on some problems that have popped up unexpectedly.

But really, the rain made me think of one of my favorite Wilco songs, “Misunderstood.”

Well you’re back in your old neighborhood
The cigarettes taste so good
But you’re so misunderstood
You’re so misunderstood

There’s something there that you can’t find
Honest when you’re tellin‘ a lie
You’re hurt but you don’t know why
You love her but you don’t know why
Short on long term goals
There’s a party there that we oughtta go to
Do you still love rock and roll?
Do you still love rock and roll?
It’s only a quarter to three
Reflecting off the O.C.D.
You’re looking at a picture of me
You’re staring at a picture of me
Take the guitar player for a ride
Cause He ain’t never been satisfied
He thinks he owes some kind of debt
Be years before he gets over it
There’s a fortune inside your head
All you touch turns to lead
You think you might
just crawl back in bed
The fortune inside your head
You know you’re just a mama’s boy
Positively unemployed
So misunderstood
So misunderstood
I know you’ve gotta God shaped hole
You’re bleeding out your heart full of soul
So misunderstood (x4)
I’d like to thank you all for nothin
I’d like to thank you all for nothin‘ at all


I take the lyrics to be kind of sarcastic. It reminds me of my friends who complain that there is no one that gets them or appreciates them. It also makes me think of those awkward times when you revisit done and over friendships and relationships. You’re constantly gripping at strings, trying to get back what once was.

I dont think this song really describes me, per say. We all feel alone in this world, some more than others, and I’ve always been a bit independent with my feelings. I’m ok with being alone, dealing with it in my own way, finding other portals to vent. But when I need it, I make sure I get it.

This song has come up in my head over the last month because I have been struggling to get back to the independent side. I’ve become less emotionally sufficient than I once was. And instead of just moving on, I’m holding on to grudges or issues a bit more than I would like to. My goal for the rest of this month is to do some more meditation and get back to the point where I can feel less lonely in my own body and less reliant on the boyfriend, best friends, and phone contacts for companionship.