Follow me! Pretty Please?

Friday, August 30, 2013


I have been thinking a lot.  Too much, probably.  Trying to figure out when I just gave up.  I gave up on love, on my friends, on me.  I somehow believed the lies my depression told me.  That I wasn’t worthy of love.  That I was nothing but a burden to my friends and family.  That I was not worth much of anything.  I wish I could pinpoint the moment I just threw my hands up in the air and washed myself clean of me. 

Slowly, I have been trying to put myself back together.  I tell myself daily that depression lies.  That those close to me never saw me as a burden.  That I deserve all of the wonderful things life has to offer me.  But the problem is that the lies are easier to believe.  They don’t come from within me, they come from some deep dark place I battle every day.  And when I tell myself the good things, it feels completely fake. 
I have been avoiding friends and family, turning more and more inward.  Afraid to admit to them that I bought into it.  I fell for the lies.  I am weak.  I am surrounded by some of the strongest people out there – what would they think of me when I admit that the reason I have pushed them away is because I believe with all my heart that I am just not good enough for them to waste their time with me.  That I have nothing to contribute to them – they are all better off with smarter, prettier, more interesting people than myself.  That I am too weak to be in the same vicinity as they are. 

I don’t take the initiative to reach out and contact people.  I am horrendous about getting back to those who reach out to me.  Because I have no right to.  How I manage to be in a grown-ass relationship is beyond me.  But it has helped me to break through the web of lies ever so slightly. 

I want to rejoin life.  I want to get in touch with everyone I have neglected over the past few years.  Myself included.  I want to believe, truly believe that I have every right to be in people’s lives.  I am hoping once my insurance at my new job kicks in that I will be able to find professional help, but for now I am slowly pushing depression away (and I mean slowly) by reaching out to those who I have pushed away.  Please do not give up on me.  I mean, I wouldn’t blame you if you did.  But I promise – I will do better.  It may not seem like much of a promise, but for now it’s all I can offer.  To you and me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Touched by an Angel

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of “Touched by an Angel”.  There’s a Christian channel that shows re-runs, and sometimes does marathons.  I TiVo it, and like to watch it before work, or sometimes at the end of a long day – it just lifts my spirits.  Usually, I like fast-forward through the commercials (isn’t that why TiVo was invented?), but sometimes I just let it play.  There are these little segments that run where people talk about how they’ve been “touched by an angel” in their lives, and it got me thinking about moments when I have personally felt the presence of God – or an angel.
                On the show, the character of Monica used to work in Search and Rescue – she’d swoop in and push a child out of the way of a car, catch someone as they fell off the roof, guide a sleepy pilot, etc.  And when I watch the show, and hear a reference to Search and Rescue, I can’t help but recall the time I had an angel on my side.
                It was fall of 2001.  Davy Jones was playing at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland.  Being a huge Monkees fan, I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale.  I even convinced my friend Erin to go with me.  I didn’t sleep much the night before – I was way too excited.  I was also, for some insane reason, sleeping in my hardwood floor.  I think I was on the floor because I was in the process of getting ready to move, so I had a ton of crap on my bed.  Or I was just in a weird phase.  Those happen often. 
                I woke up at a ridiculously early hour – like 3 am or some nonsense.  Once awake, I grabbed my copy of Shoeless Joe and read until finished.  I then decided to futz around on the internet (dial-up, yo.  Old school.), and finally it was time to go.
                I picked up Erin, and we jammed out to the Monkees from Lebanon to Rutland.  Once at the fair, we hit up the death-trap rides, junky fair food, and local artist tables.  I had brought a record for Davey to sign with me, but it wound up staying in the car because I figured I probably wouldn’t be lucky enough to meet him.  I also didn’t want it to be crushed on the Tilt-a-Whirl.
                Once the concert seating opened up, Erin and I bounced into our seats.  I was pleasantly surprised to see she was pretty excited for the show.  Not as excited as I was, but also not giving off a “forced to be here” vibe.  Before The Man took the stage, a woman came out to welcome us to the show.  She also announced that Mr. Jones would be staying to sign autographs (but not to pose for pictures) after the show.  Well, shoot.  I should have brought that record in after all.  Oh, well. 
                The concert was amazing.  Say what you will about The Monkees –they were actors playing musicians, they couldn’t play their own instruments – they are all in fact honest-to-goodness musicians and showmen, Mr. Jones not excluded.  I was thoroughly entertained, as was Erin. 
                It’s all a bit of a blur, and I don’t remember much about the show itself (aside from the spin Davey did during the chorus of “A Little bit Me”, and how we all turned into squeeing fangirls when he busted out his trademark maracas), but alas, I will forever remember what happened after the show.
                We stood in line for autographs.  His “people” were kind enough to provide 8x10 headshots for autographs at no charge.  I grabbed one, and rehearsed what I wanted to say to this man I had waited the bulk of my lifespan to meet.  I believe it was to go something like this:
                “That was an incredible show.  I’ve been a fan for my whole life, and I think it is wonderful for you to stay and sign autographs like this.  You’re amazing.”
                When I finally stepped up to the table, seeing this idol from my youth, my mind had a minor malfunction.  My eloquent, thoughtful, well-rehearsed speech turned into this:
                “Hi.  That was an awesome show.  And this is… awesome.  You’re just so… awesome.” Can you tell I’m a child of the ‘80s?  With a “you’re crazy, so I’ll just keep smiling” thank you, I was pushed aside for the next person.  I stammered a “Thank you so much!”, turned around, and proceeded to trip over the yellow rope they had put up to keep the crowd of horny 50-somethings and one crazy twenty-something in check.  Oh, how at that moment I wish there had been a “save from embarrassment” angel on my side.
                Clutching my autographed headshot and what was left of my pride, Erin and I headed to my car to make our way home.
                The straightest shot from Rutland to Lebanon is Route 4.  It is a windy Vermont highway without a whole lot going on.  On the way, you pass through a couple of small towns, including Woodstock and Quechee.  In Quechee is the famous (to New England folk, anyway) Quechee Gorge.  It’s a huge crack in the mountains with a river at the bottom.  Not as impressive as, say, the Grand Canyon, but a lethal drop down.  And pretty.  Also, popular with the suicide crowd.  A two-lane bridge is all that gets a car from one side to the other.  The gorge is usually my visual cue that I am about 15 minutes from Lebanon. 
                On that drive home, Erin dozed off while I struggled to stay alert once the euphoria of meeting Davy Jones wore off, and the exhaustion brought on by too little sleep and too much fun at the fair kicked in.  At one point, my eyes flew open, my head jerked up.  I must have nodded off for a few seconds.
                As we drove along, I started to wonder how much further I had to drive.  Surely we’d come to the gorge any minute, right?  Not 5 minutes after that thought tripped across my sleepy brain did we reach the turnoff for White River Jct. and Lebanon.  Apparently, I had nodded off for some time, for the gorge was behind us and I had driven over it unconscious. 
                That was one of those moments of faith restoration.  That night, God and his angels did not prevent me from making a fool out of myself.  No, that night they made sure that I would live to tell the story.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Big Picture Thinker

This has been a strange couple of months for me.  I have grown increasingly dissatisfied with my job, and doing a lot of soul-searching (a term which I am beginning to tire of).  This past week was the RA selection season at my alma mater.  It’s weird being entirely removed from the process.  I started to think about my time as an RA, and tried to figure out where it all went so terribly, terribly wrong.  I came to the realization that I was a horrible RA.  Indeed, I totally sucked at it, and the fact that I thought I could continue in that line of work is astounding to me.  But, why was I so awful at it?  Was it because I cared so much in the beginning that I let myself down?  Was it because I had the wrong idea of what my position was?  Was it because I was too old?  I think it was a combination of these things.  Then there was the other factor: my perfectionist curse.

I wanted to badly to be the best, I never tried to be my best.  I wanted to be the best RA ever, and never took the time to truly evaluate my strengths and weaknesses, to be the best I could be.  I never made the position mine, I just kept pushing myself to be that ideal I had in my head.  What I wouldn’t give to start over.  But, short of installing a flux capacitor on my car, that is not going to happen.  So, I move on. 

This need to be the best extends to every other aspect of my life, as well.  I keep telling myself that everyone has that one thing that they do better than anyone – baking, cooking, writing, drawing, listening to problems, math, science, you name it.  I feel like I’m just adequate at a lot of things, but not the “best” at anything.  When other people I know cook or bake, I see it as instant competition.  And I am terrified to share my stuff with them because I know it will fall short.  I don’t like sharing my writing because there are so many better writers out there.  Hell, I have a hard time playing video games with my boyfriend because he’s amazing at it, and I am so not

I had all these resolutions this year, all of which were skirting the main issue – I need to accept my imperfections, asses what can and cannot be adjusted, and really focus on being the best Beth I can be.  Whatever that means.  I cannot continue to focus on this idea of perfection.  I am incredibly stubborn, and so used to seeing myself in a certain way, it will not be easy to change my way of thinking, but it has to be done.  It is going to be a slow and painful process, but I am blessed to have wonderful, supportive people around me to help guide me through. 

For those of you who were just hired/given an alternate spot at KSC, let me give you this one piece of advice: be the best RA you can be.  Acknowledge the influences of past RAs (either the inspirational “I want to be like them!”, or the “I can do so much better”, which I’m sure former residents of mine probably think), but don’t let it dictate who you will be.  Don’t suck at the job because you didn’t allow yourself to find your own way.  Basically, don’t be like me. 

I am throwing away my resolutions.  Except for the one I made to write a page a day.  That’s a good challenge.  And I’m sort of following through.  But rather, I am focusing on the whole person, not just a few areas in desperate need of improvement.  I always was a good big-picture thinker.