Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All the Pretty Horses


There was no reason for the Texan boys to be in the Mexican prison. They were pulled in because of a 13 year old horse thief. They were sliced up as the prisoners tried to kill them. A part of their soul was taken away. The only reason they were released was that a friend bought their way out with money. There was no trial, no reason and although they told their story, it wasn’t believed.

It’s like depression, there’s a point where you look back and see the path that led you there, but there’s no way to get out of it. Aware of the things around you, but you can’t figure out what you did wrong, or are still doing wrong or what else you have to do to get better. You’re dependant on the people around you to keep you safe and hope that the universe sends you the right people and the right tools to deal with situation.

The 2 boys finally get out, covered in stitches and wrapped in bloody gauze. They sit in a cheap hotel and plan their way back to their lives; one is going back to Texas to be with his family and the other is going to try to put his life back together on the ranch they were snatched away from. There is a girl there he needs to see.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The First Song

I’ve been playing the piano everyday for a week now. The last two days I sang a little. I love having the piano by the window. I don’t need to look at the music or the keys while I play scales, so I look out at the green leaves on the trees and the cars as they go by. Even when I do need the music, I can peak out over the top to see the blue sky. There's no great masterpieces, I dug in some still unpacked boxes and pulled out my grade 2 books. My fingers tripped over each other, simple things were difficult; it’s been five years.

But the feeling when I picked the first “song” and started to remember it and hear it, a dark part of my soul lit up. I thought “I remember this” and “it’s worth starting from the begging again.” I know I’ve tried to play before and it hasn’t lasted. This time it feels different. Writing has been put to the side in the morning and my book has gone unread even though it is calling my name. But I’m playing music again.



It’s a gluten free pie. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a real pie. I would guess around seven or eight years. The pastry wasn’t easy to assemble, I had to take pieces of the dough and press it into the shape of the pie plate, and you can see the result of covering the cherry filling with the top piece of pastry. It just wouldn’t roll. I had bought a rolling pin, but it wasn’t very helpful. The main thing was that it tasted great. Thanks for your assistance Tink.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This Is You On Paper


Yesterday I received my quarterly review from my team lead. This will probably be the last time she gives me stats or work updates. I’ll have a new supervisor and new team all together. She said she’s lost three of her team this month as one has been training, one is leaving the call centre for a bank and I’m officially a QA on Monday.

She pulled out a stack of papers and began to go over my strengths and weaknesses, I blog and set goals and challenge myself all the time, but I’ve never heard anyone else set them out for me. (That would have been nice at the hotel with all the problems I was having, to be able to see and hear what my supervisors thought of my work.) I was impressed with how much I agreed with what she said. I thought it was fair and that I felt the same way she did. I spend hours in my head evaluating myself, how closely are people aware of me and watching what I’m doing?

It was interesting to be evaluated so shortly after I said I was good enough. There was a stubborn part of me that thought “new goals but I’m good enough” and part of me that accepted it and realized that I will always need to be moving forward.

There are many stats on how much a person remembers in a classes and how much they’ll take away in a process like that. I don't have those numbers to quote. The one issue that jumped out at me was that I need to improve my confidence in problem solving. This jumped out at me 1) Because I’ve been getting the same feedback since elementary school, although now when hit with a problem I can’t solve I don’t sit and cry. 2) Because I’ve noticed it in my relationship with #1; which is why she is called #1. When we take her a problem she figures it out logically, confidently and puts it in motion. In the past I’ve tried to solve big problems, and taken them to her before I put them in motion, and she’ll take pieces into consideration that I hadn’t thought of and make the plan work even better.

I remember in school when teachers tried to teach us about problem solving, there were steps and ways to think. I guess 30 years later it’s time to learn now, what they wanted me to learn then. I didn’t tell her that the last 16 years have been focused on problem solving my health; LOL, maybe that’s why it’s taken 16 years.

When I have a health problem, or emotions that I want to figure out, I go to the bookstore, or I Google it. So maybe it’s time to go to the bookstore (anytime is good to go to the bookstore) and time to Google Problem Solving and see what I get.

It’s safe to step away from my health a bit and troubleshoot for improvements at work.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Insecurities


What I didn’t realize is that coming closer to being content with me would bring up a bunch of insecurities. I’m feeling good 90% of the time. Positive, content with my decisions where I am, but all it takes is a weird glance, something I don’t understand, someone to say the wrong thing and I’m back in Elementary school, insecure, sure people are laughing about me and doing the best to stay away from me.

I know It’s a part of me getting stronger, because a year ago, even a few months ago, it would be something that I would feel all day. Just that now when it hits there’s such a dive from being happy to this low. It doesn’t stay very long, and I’ve been trying to talk to people about it, giving it less power.

It’s weird because I base a lot of my actions on feeling out a situation; following my intuition, and picking up on vibes. So all of a sudden, when my chest feels like it’s being tightened by a sharp piece of thread, and everything turns dark inside, I wonder if my intuition is right, or if it’s just my body playing tricks on me.

I know I’m in a good place, and I know I’m lucky to have the opportunities that I do, and I know I’m a little scared (and excited) about the changes happening in my life, I just need to understand this emotion and set it free.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Peacefrog’s Artichoke Heart Pasta


Sarah Kramer -Le Dolce Vegan

White Rice Pasta, enough for two people
2 large cloves of garlic
1 cup of button mushrooms roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped small
8 sundried tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable stock (I used water)
1 tomato chopped
“Rachel Ray” some basil and oregano
Can of chickpeas

Boil pasta.
In a large sauce pan sauté garlic and mushrooms in oil, on medium, until mushrooms soften. Add artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, chickpeas and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for five minutes. Drain pasta and add to large sauce pan with chopped tomato, basil and oregano. Toss and serve.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just Give Me Time to Learn to Crawl


Caroline had written that she realized she was enough. And I never let it sink in, I though “good for her, I’ve read about that before” and then I let it go. This morning, on the walk to work, listening to Michelle Branch, I thought "Hey, I'm good enough."

Could I be better? Yes, if I had my masters I would be a better writer, if I took more photo classes I would be a better photographer, when I get training for my new position, I'll be better at my job, but right now, I'm good enough. My poems are good enough to mean something to me; my blogging is good enough to mean something to me and some of the people that are around me. Today I'm good enough; I still want and need to crawl forward, learning as I go, but right now I'm good enough. I get it.

That actually opens me up to want to take classes and learn more, there’s less weight on fixing everything right now. Right now is ok; in the future there will be more opportunities. This is nice.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grilled Eggplant Salad


•1 small eggplant
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
•1 pinch each; basil, dill, and oregano
•salt and freshly grated black pepper
Preparation:
Heat grill.
When grill is hot, slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil and vinegar mixture.
Place eggplant on the hot preheated grill. Grill about 5-7 minutes, turning once.
I used a George Foreman grill and chopped them when they were done grilling.

Rest of the salad
2 tomatoes diced
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes
1 red pepper sliced in 1 inch rounds grilled in the left over oil and vinegar then chopped

Mix together, there is no need for a dressing, the oil and herbs from the grilled veggies works fine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Training


So it was quite a task getting into the training class today. I went to a trainer, a supervisor and yesterday I went to another supervisor who went to another supervisor and another supervisor, and I said I have to be in with the core group. I’m going to be scoring their calls; I have a chance to learn what they’re learning, I should be there.

At the end of the day HR, who was also included in this crusade, sighed and said this training was just for the phone agents, but I could still go. QA’s get trained later on. So then I felt guilty for putting myself out there.

I looked over the class this morning and many of them I consider friends, I have hung out with them, or had good chats with. They are a dedicated group of agents who care about their work and put the customer first. There was a good vibe in the room and we all seemed to move forward at the same pace.

I feel that what I learned today, with the people I learned it with, was invaluable and erased most of the feeling had gained after speaking to HR. I feel like listening to that little voice in my head and following it into this class was the right choice for me.

I was at work at 20 to 8, I usually don’t get there until 20 to 12 so W and I were the only two there and spent the first little while making sure we were sitting together and helping the trainers set up. This led to me being referred to as “brown noser” for most of the morning.

The theme of the day building a better RELATIONSHIP with the caller… Hmmm. We were shuffled around in groups most of the day and although we did get into one group of four when Tink, T and W and I could be in the same group, when it came to role playing, I had to tell W I was going with Tink and T. Tink and I have been friends for many life times and although I’m just getting to know T we have had some great chats and I felt like today we the 3 of us really worked well together. I do have to apologize to W for not being able to include her tomorrow.

I felt safe enough with these 2 people to completely flop an opening of a call, we were script free, and left on our own to create a rapport with the callers. I’ve been working with scripts and a scrunching call time for years, no really for years. So throwing that all away was frightening.

Yes, I can greet a person completely inappropriately when left on my own. I left the day leaving the word apprehensive on the wall, so much is so different than what I thought it would be. I will be listening to and scoring calls as these agents step out the same way the 3 of us in our little group did today, only live.

All around, for a training experience it was pretty positive and I’m glad I got to partake. So that’s one step closer to my new job.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Word


The word of the day is relationship. The word of the day means to know the people around me, not just entertain them. Not just say something funny as I pass them. Not just relate to them with the perception of a fuzzy first impression. But actually know them and hear them. Know their name and who they are. Decide by truths about whether to stand beside them or walk away.

The word of the day is relationship; that means with me. Know what I want and don’t want. Know who I am and what my emotions means. The sound of my voice pulling on the silence in the morning; the babble in the evening as I try to understand all that I’ve said, all that I’ve felt. The truth of self with the people around me. The word of the day is relationship and thankfully I don't think it's all that foreign to me, but it can always be stronger inside me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peek


Sometimes I check my blog at the end of the day just to see if I've done anything interesting.

I was on the phones for the first time in a month and a half. I'd tell you how I did but it would probably a security risk. I'm not bragging.

I had a good run this morning and think I have improved my mornings, but I'll go a little longer and see what else I can do. Big steps.

Saw Eat, Pray Love, I read the book a while ago, loved it, and although the movie missed one big piece of the plot, (she has a book deal to pay for the trip) I really enjoyed the story and the cinematography was fun in a lot of places. Oh, Julia Roberts, why couldn't that laugh have stayed in Pretty Woman? After all the soul searching I've done lately, and do regularly, the theme and ideas were relevant.

Her friend had a box with baby clothes that she'd collected over the years for when she had a baby. Liz had a box of clipping of places she wanted to visit. I have a box of poetry and Oprah mags. Liz is a writer, she writes (not just e-mails) for a living. What will my next step be? I'm QA for a while as I keep pulling my life together.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Awake


I went on a bit of a buying spree, no, not because I got a new job, it hasn’t started yet and I don’t know what the pay is, or if, when everything evens out, I’ll be making any more than I am now. No, it’s because I feel good. I usually feel like I have to scrape as much extra money as I can together in a sick fund, in case the world collapses and I have to move back home with my parents or spend weeks on the couch with no income. The past few weeks I’ve been feeling better and better and there was a voice that said: you want a new camera, you see the one that you want, it’s in your price range: buy it and enjoy it. My printer was like 7 years old and stopped printing pictures (pretty important thing for me) and I got a new one that does more than print 4x6’s and paper.

I don’t feel like the world is slipping away. Today I feel awake and it feels good.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stages


I like how he said “he was in the roommate stage of his life;” like it’s a right-of-passage. Like there are things you learn from certain stages in your life.

There’s so much that I learned from my roommates in university and after. There’s so much of who I am that I learned from them, that there’s no way to repay what they gave me.

There are so many things that I struggled with in my twenties. And people always say you struggle in your twenties to sort out how to be a real person. Well I struggled.

All those things I went through are now pieces of who I am. I don’t want to make any of those experiences any less than what they should be.

Every moment I’ve learned from and it is important to me. Even when I was sick and struggling, the real me was still sorting things out and learning. We need to attract people that give us positive memories and appreciate who we are today because of the experiences we've had.

I have friends like that right now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Park Bench


For a while there, I was mixing up anxiety for the need for love. I was feeling all these feelings; so sure that around the corner would be a great guy that would sweep me off my feet, that I would share this massive jumble of emotions with him. I was anxious that I would miss him; that I needed to be outside of my house, outside of myself doing things so we would meet up.

I’ve taken a breath, I’ve been single for a while and I have this feeling that I may be single for a while longer. I’m ok with that. Look at the person I am, what I can do, the friends that I have. I’m ok with being single right now.

That’s a load of anxiety lifted off my shoulders.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She said "I'm alive and I am free, but you see I have control over me"...

-Missy Higgins


When I moved home I was pretty sure it was the end of the world. I saw it as a failure of all I tried to do. There was a point after university that I said it doesn't matter about getting a head job wise I want to work at the catering job and learn socially. When I moved home I thought I lost all that. I was walking up the hill the other morning and realized it's all there safe in paper wrapping and a piece of string. I can pull it out and turn it into a beautiful dress and wear the part that I want and hem what I don't want.

Flash forward to day, when I wondered where my confidence was coming from.

The first step was to move beyond saying I have depression and recognize that I have anxiety too. And all those confusing feelings that I had given other labels became anxiety and this week I’ve been able to look at people and listen to them and hear them and see them, and accept events without so much clutter. I know that when I do something there’s a purpose behind it and a way to execute it and all, or a lot, of the white noise has been washed away.

People have confidence in me and I can give that back to the people around me. When I left the hotel I was working at a limited capacity and that frustrated me. I recognized how much I was fighting and that getting out of bed was a success, but that didn’t impress the bosses and they called me into the office every chance they could, trying to find a way to fire me. That ate at my confidence. I wondered where that smart girl was, the one that people would turn to because I could handle it. "It’s Frosty, of course she can do it."

Have I kept you waiting long enough? I got the job. I’ll be working 9-5 I assumed Monday to Friday, it didn’t matter; I’m not a weekend freak. The e-mail team is officially broken up. One of my best friends had her heart broken because she wanted the job as much as I did. And as I was talking to the team lead who left last month I almost started to cry, because I wouldn't see my friends that came to work after 6pm. We’re the *** girls. We know how to make each other laugh and cry and make the nights go by fast.

I realize I’m ready for it. I’m ready for a change that will place me with a different team stretching across three provinces and 2 time zones. That I will be separated from my friends and create new ones and there will be new opportunities and challenges. I’m excited and scared. It’s good. Congratulations to me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

For Tea


I walked by the furniture store I and smelled all the fresh furniture; the new couches and new chairs. And there was a sprig of hope that maybe someday I would have my own house and I could choose brand new furniture for it. I’d be able to pick out my own designs and put them in my own house. Invite people in for tea. Maybe next time I won’t be afraid to walk inside.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

As We Are

I hold out my hands
And in the palms play out
The adventures I go on everyday
Present the world and the words
Inside my head
And I ask you
If you were ever offered a journey
Into my mind
Would you accept
Just for a day

We could trade
With each other
And see what our worlds
Are really like

You could run through the clouds
Of my imagination
And feel the pull of my dreams
However distant
Exhilaration of my passion
Shake hands with those who came before
Who made us who we are today

The day would end in the park
With bread and corn for the ducks
Safe inside our own minds
Fully in love with ourselves
As we are

Friday, August 6, 2010

Real People

We’ll hear Monday or Tuesday. I’ve released it though; I’m not going to let it own me. I will talk to Boss on Monday; tell her I’m still very interested, as I’ve been mute all week. I was trying so hard to believe that the outcome doesn’t make a difference to me, but it does. Something was triggered something was pushed, something that tells me that changes are in the future. I know I want more.

I can’t control what the universe will bring forward, and life is twisting into a completely new experience from what I’ve known before. I feel like something will come out of left field that I’m not expecting.

This past week I’ve learned to appreciate my friends even more, they’ve all been there for different parts of me that I’ve needed help with. Laughter, friendship, worry and someone to talk to. Domer began to talk me about stress. I deal with words like, depression, anxiety, fear and anger: stress was not one of them I used. Short of the past month, I didn’t see how stress could be a part of my life when it was just me. It’s been a while since someone came to me and told me what they had learned. It sparked me to think about things I don’t usually think about.

I didn’t realize that the real people I turned to weren’t going to be Dr’s and physiologists and psychiatrists but real people in my life, right now. (See Thursday, July 29, 2010 "Go Home")

Alone came up again this week (see “questions” on August 3rd and Wednesday, May 26, 2010) and that’s what most of today was about, too raw to write about in the blog, but I feel like I faced many fears and many truths.

And I began to realize that I’ve been using the tools to battle my depression that I gathered 10 years ago, in the last year alone, my whole self has changed. So maybe my tools need to change. I looked up processing emotions after Tink told me I just needed to chill. Oh yeah, I didn’t fight the mornings this week, when I got up I played with photos, wrote in my journal, listened to music, read poetry, got for a few runs. I just needed to balance it a bit as it took a huge pull on my emotions.

There is so much more to say, and so much safe inside.

That's a Week

Luke: I don’t believe it
Yoda: That is why you fail

Finished the work week off with a movie and some chocolate. Empire Strikes Back, of course. Couldn't have made it through without my peeps.





I'd tell you if I got the job; but I don't know yet.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Wait

You know when you reach a call centre and just before you get a human a voice comes on and says; “This call will be monitored for quality purposes.”? That’s what I interviewed for, to be a monitor of calls. 3 of us were interviewed and there’s 1 position.

My body has run the marathon of emotions one does when you go through a job interview. “What if I get it and let everybody down? What if I don’t get it… did I let myself down? Why do I want to step out of my comfort zone? Is my body ready for this?”

I’ve learned immensely from it. My team lead let me listen to a call and it sparked a whole bunch of questions about my confidence and the ability to give feedback and “grade” someone for their calls. This grade, this feedback, will affect how they approach their job and how a supervisor ranks them. It’s a big responsibility, but I’m up for it and want to take it on.

My confidence on a whole has been heightened, and I feel like if I get the job, there will be a greater pull for me to put down roots for a while. It makes me think less about moving back to the city, and more about staying put and relaxing for a little while. This is the other reason I want to take it on.

I wanted to write about it before they announced who got the position, so I could remember the feelings without being swayed by the decision. But I’m anxious now. It seems mean to do a job interview on the Friday before a long weekend. The wait builds up so many more “what if?” and "what next?" questions.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Water Guns

I woke up this morning, laughing. My dreams could have been stressful, babies being born as tea towels because the father was a “towel head” and cats attacking the house on motorbikes with water guns (of course cats would have water guns).

I was reliving moments over and over again. I knew what happened the first time and I wanted to have control over it; do it right the second time. Instead, I ended up making a new moment and I didn’t have any more control the second time as I did the first.



not my image or quote