Category Archives: analysis

My job is the center of my world

And I don’t like it.

Sorry for the hiatus.  I’ve been overworked, and beyond stressed, so much so that it has been a chore to even check my page.  Since August, I’ve applied to grad school, dropped the one course I was taking (and costing me $7K in the process) and attempted to get funding in order for said grad school.  I almost at the deadline for applying to funding, and I feel like it’s all about to fall apart.  The one school I wanted to get into rejected me, and I’m kinda stuck until I hear from the other department at the same school.  Since my work is affiliated with the school, my thesis is sort of tied to that school and it associations with my coworkers.  If I don’t get in, then my research plans fall apart, and I may have to quit in shame.  I feel like it’s totally my fault, like I didn’t try hard enough or want it enough.  I didn’t talk to the right people, at the right time.  I did try, but some didn’t respond, and others didn’t see eye to eye.  I’m not sure how much more I could do without becoming a pushy obnoxious bitch. I get panic attacks when I try to email anyone now.

So the Boy got promoted.  Technically he’s sort of my boss now, but he manages a different subset of people and projects, so I haven’t had to interact with him in any significant way at work.  He’s even been kind enough to not be at my performance or salary review.  We both agreed, before he got promoted, that it would be awkward.  Not that our relationship isn’t awkward anyway.

Not much has changed relationship wise, except we no longer go to lunch.  I had recently learned that some of our coworkers have tried to “figure us out” a few years ago.  We were visibly friends at work, but we don’t even show affection in private, so I’m not sure where they got the idea.  I think they’re just bored and like rumors.  Either way, we don’t even acknowledge each other anymore at work.  Lunch together is out of the question.  What is really upsetting me is we haven’t “gone out”, either to dinner, or just be in public together since he got promoted.  Admittedly, we didn’t do that alot before, but it’s been 6 months and we haven’t even gone out for dinner, including my birthday.  I don’t know if its subconsciously trying to avoid running into anyone, or our relationship is just that boring.

Someday I’d like a boyfriend I can admit to having.

On other relationship news, I saw J once since the death of her brother last summer.  It was at a christmas party with too many people and I shutdown pretty fast.  I’m realizing that I have not much in common with her, and even less so with her friends.  I haven’t seen her sister in who knows how long.  It’s been so long that she’s stopped asking me to hang out.  Too many broken promises on my end.  Still, if I had really wanted to be with her, I would have found a way.  Instead I found excuses.

The only people I can “relax” or act normally around are a small subset of coworkers.  These people have graduated to friends, where I can see them outside of work.  The problem I’m having is if I ever leave for a new job, I don’t know if the friendships will stay.

Hence the title of this post.  Most of my day is at work. My only “friends” are at work.  Hell, even my “boyfriend” is from work.  Sometimes all we talk about is work.  I don’t know if those are real relationships or not.  It’s all I have and it scares me.  My free time is spent thinking about work, and worrying about what I haven’t done, or who I upset.  This is why the grad school situation terrifies me.  If I go, it will be even more time devoted to work (since they are sponsoring, and will benefit from my degree)

Sometimes I just want everything to collapse, so I can start over, and maybe be a better version of me.

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Missed Opportunities

I now have tangible evidence that my anxiety/personality/fear of other people’s opinions has stopped me from enjoying life as much as I can.

I went to a fan convention this weekend, dressed as my favorite video game character.  Turns out the company is making a new game and had a huge demo booth there.  So I was pretty popular.  I was totally fine with the crowds and people asking for pictures, because I wasn’t me.  I was the character.  It felt AMAZING to be publicly adored and not ridiculed or mocked, like I think everyone does to the real me.

Now, because of the popularity of the game this year, I’m getting special treatment at vendors.  Being able to cut lines, given free stuff, VIP access.  Even the DEO of the company who makes the game complimented me on it (although I didn’t realize it was him until he next day).

However, I was super uncomfortable  cutting in front of people who had been waiting.  This was my first time with this level of attention and I clearly didn’t know how to react.  The real thing I’m kicking myself over is that I could have been able to bypass a 4 hour line, but I was too afraid of the looks/reactions of those waiting in line.

Stupid, I know.  The CEO made a big deal about cosplayers and how much the company respects them, and that I shouldn’t have felt guilty about get special treatment.

So now I’ve been obsessing over every detail.  How good it felt to have people appreciate your work so much.  How awful I felt for not just asking if I could get what I apparently deserved.  Regret over knowing that it will never be this good again (there’s no way they’ll release another game any time soon).I regret not going back the next day for the VIP access.  Not that I was planning to, but it would have been so awesome.  If I had tried, I could have done it.  But I was afraid of my mother’s reaction.  I didn’t want to deal with her criticism.  Stupid fear of other people’s disapproval.  The extreme highs and lows have done a number on my physically.  I shook for two days (and still do when I start to obsess again).  I haven’t been hungry either.  Which is kinda of good since I’ve been overeating, but a clear sign of my anxiety getting worse.The one lesson I am taking away from this is that I have to just ACT.  Do something.  Ask for what I want.  I’ll regret it to a point of sickness if I don’t.  As much as it sucked to miss out this year, It came at the right time for me to learn this lesson.  I need it to talk to grad school people,w hich I’ve been dreading.  I didn’t want to come off as an annoying person, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter so much, as they’ll either forget you or help you.  I have to remember the reward outweighs the risk. And it will never be perfect.  I will never say the exact right things or at the right time, but I can only try.  I know I’ll suck, but the safety I feel when I hide is just an excuse.I need to take more chances.  Hell, I just need to DO something.  I over analyze to the point of deciding doing nothing is the best option.Life is for living.  Hopefully I can remember that.  At least for a while.

My Fantasy Reality

I think I’ve lost touch with reality again.  I think I just want something so much that I’ve built up this whole scenario in my head. I know I’m a fool for thinking it’s true, but I don’t know how to stop myself.  I’m seating myself up for heart break.

I don’t know if it’s the stress involved that causes me to construct a safe alternative reality, or if I’m just so delusional and egotistical that I just assume this can happen.

There are two issues, where I set myself up for unrealistic expectations.  The first is my epic return to grad school.  I went from thinking I *might* be able to get into a state school to “I totally deserve to be in a n Ivy league school, because I’m doing well in one class at said school”.  A year ago I was terrified and thought I could never handle the stress involved in the Ivy school.  Now I believe that not only would I survive, but I might even do well there.  I’m not totally sure what my basis is for the change, besides I’m focused and see others that are doing what I want to do and for once I don’t think I’m that far away from them.

It’s going to be a huge blow to my ego when I don’t get in next year.  The voice of doubt and failure in my head from last year is still there.  It’s just much quieter.  I just can’t decide if it’s putting me down or just a voice of reason.

This partially leads into my other false reality.  I believe if I don’t get in, I’m going to disappoint The Boy and he’ll leave me.  It’s stupid and extreme, but I’m not sure it’s that unlikely a result.  He went to Ivy and has been heavy interested in my return to school.  Sometimes I feel like a fake person around him, because my true self is childish and hyper and rambles to the point of incoherency.  I try to control it around him, but it slips out.  He’s still hangin out with me for over 6 years, so I’m either really good at hiding the crazy or he ignores it for some reason.  I still have no idea why he likes me.  No one has ever been my friend for this long and been so close to me.

This may be the other false reality.  To me, he’s my best friend.  I don’t think he feels the same way about me though.  I’m kept in a separate compartment of his life where I only see him in certain situations and I don’t mix with his friends (I’ve never met them, although he used to talk about them more).

This is why I need to keep writing about him.  To remind myself that my definition of an intimate/devoted relationship is not the same as normal people.  What is probably just a regular friend (even work friend) to him is a soul mate to me.  I’ve fallen in love with someone supportive, nice, smart, funny and someone who genuinely cares about me. Those are great qualities to have, but also ones that should come with a standard friend.  I think that’s all he sees me as, but I’m seeing so much more potential than that.  I’m terrified to put myself out there in fear of losing him.  There is not much worse than acknowledging your love for someone and scaring them away.  It’s not that anything significant has changed in our relationship over the past few months.  I’m just seeing his qualities in a more long term light.  I want to be with him, and imagine my life with him to a disturbingly concrete level.  But The relationship isn’t actually moving in that direction.  I just see it in my head and forget it’s not real.

I know sharing this would him would be upsetting, as this has happened to me before.  Someone who I saw as only an acquaintance had built up a whole romantic relationship with me over a year.  it became so intense for him that when he shared it with me he thought there was a chance.  It freaked me out and upset me.  I don’t want to do that to The Boy.

The problem is I don’t know if I should be moving one to someone else.  I feel close to him and attempting to be close to someone else feels like a betrayal.  However, he may be more romantically interested in others.  I have no idea.  He doesn’t talk about his friends anymore, and never mentions any other girls.  I wish would just so I can have closure.

I want the story in my head to stop playing.  I’m afraid I’m going to act on fabricated information.

Walking the Tightrope

I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post.  February just disappeared on me.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I’ve been busy.  My initial plans to start taking night courses at the local college fell through due to gross incompetence.  On the plus side, I applied to and was accepted to take one class at a very prestigious university.  It’s incredibly time consuming and starting to affect my job.  Mostly because the class is int he middle of the day and I have to leave work before lunch, drive to the school and then drive home to work for the rest of the night.  I really don’t get much work done as I am just exhausted from all the people interactions and context switching. I’m living in 3 different worlds now (home, work, school), and the stress is finally getting to me.  The first week of this schedule was horrible, and I nearly quit, but thinking about all the people who helped me get in was enough to shame myself into continuing, even if I flunked.  After a while, I got used to it, and was excited by it.  But now I’m just constantly exhausted, and my grades are suffering, which is sending down the spiral of self hate.  I’m hanging on for now, but the tightrope is getting thinner and thinner and any light breeze (read: failure), will send me tumbling town.

Not only am I stressed about just one class, but I feel as though I’m wasting an opportunity.  People would kill to be in a class taught by these professors, and I have no idea how to interact with them.  I would love to someday be one of their grad students, and this would be the perfect forum to introduce myself.  I just can’t find a reason to do it.  I feel like I’d be wasting their time, or I would just show them how stupid I am, and thus ruining my chances of working with them.

Plus I still need someone to write a recommendation for me for grad school next year.  The plan was spend a year with the same professor at the local college, and get a semi-decent recommendation.  Now I’m in a class of 250 overly ambitious people and I don’t know how to stand out.

So far, all I’ve learned this semester is ambition = stress.

I waver between giving everything I have or just saying “fuck it” and go hide in a hole.  I hate screwing up.

The really sad thing is I like it at this fancy school, so I’m going to be even more heartbroken when I don’t get in for full time.

I’m not even sure if I have what it takes to survive there.  A year ago, I would have said no, but after being here, I feel like I belong.  I may just be overestimating my abilities.

I’m failing at work, as I don’t understand the assignments anymore.  It’s just stuff I don’t want to do.  I’m a code monkey for a lower ranked co worker and it makes me feel like shit.  I’m hanging on for grad school, but if that falls apart, I’m going elsewhere.  8 years in the same (and only) place, is just too long.

And the tightrope gets thinner…

I suck at my job

Although, it would help to know what my job really is.  I call myself a software engineer, which is sort of vague as it is.  I write code.  Application level code.  At least, that’s what I’m best at (best being a relative term.  Other people are better at me than this, but compared to everything else I’ve tried, this is the one thing I’m competent at).

Today proved my skill set is not meant for the job I do.  Since my boss left, I’m the highest ranked person (of two people) for a system.  The details of the system are technical and not software based.  I can’t explain why things work the way they do.  I can tell you about the software to turn stuff on and off, but that’s it.  People are trying to use this system and integrate it and try to assess tradeoff, but I feel so useless sitting in the meeting.  It “my” project, but I know nothing about it.  A technician knows more about the details than I do.  I feel so useless, and I’m supposed to be in charge.

And that’s just one example.  Everything my group produces is nothing I can take true understanding of.  Software is a support tool.  I was ok with that when I started working (yay job!), but now that I’m being ranked against my peers who can contribute in much more meaningful ways, I’m afraid I don’t have a future. Or if I do truly want a future there, it won’t be in work that I care about or really understand.

Problem is, I’m too afraid to leave.  What if I get a a job at a software centric place and find out I’m just not that good?  Then what?  Am I stuck with no career goals or opportunities?  I’m timid as it is and any serious criticism would probably break me.  At least here, I’m good at what I can do, but what I do isn’t important.

I hate fear.  I wish I didn’t care.

There’s something wrong with me

Something in my brain is broken.  I don’t understand basic human behaviors.

At the suggestion of a coworker, I read Lean In, a book by the COO of Facebook about why there are so few women leaders.  The beginning was good and made sense, which talked about gender stereotypes and cultural bias.  However the bulk of the book was bout being a mother and the questioning of a women’s dedication to her work, and the societal expectation that women are meant to be mothers/nurturing.

Sadly, this part of the book did not apply to me, and I don’t think it ever will.

I have never wanted children, and I don’t understand anyone who does (male or female).  I don’t see what the benefit it.  I did some research to try to find out why, but all I got was that people wanted someone to love them and to love them back.  That they just “wanted” to be a parent.  I understand perpetuation of the species and primal desires, but humans are an intelligent race of beings.  We move past our innate desires all the time.  The desire to fight, to eat, to fuck.  We all keep it under control (well, most of us anyway).

I feel nothing when I think of parenting, like it’s meant for someone else to do.  I know there is nothing wrong with my choice, but I wonder why I feel this way.  My mother had me, obviously.  She did however, instill at an early age that sex was bad, having a relationship was bad, and getting pregnant would ruin my life.  To this day she’ll judge a pregnant women, when she herself was one twice, and once by choice (I was not the choice).

Maybe it is conditioning.  Maybe by living in that environment, I know that I don’t want to end up like her, alone, poor and bitter.  I wish someone could give me a legitimate reason for having a child. There’s not guarantee they’ll love you or care for you later, or even be healthy.  All I see is risk and work for nothing.

Maybe I’m just a horrible child myself.

Commitment vs Passion

What’s this?  I have a blog?  Oh, yeah.  Again, I apologize for the lack of updates.  I’m sure some of you have forgotten you’ve subscribed to my inane dribble.  This brings me to one of my character flaws: Lack of commitment.  I’m one of those people who can get very excited about an idea, but only for a short amount of time.  I will become obsessed with a topic/activity and try to learn everything about it.  But once I reach a point of diminishing returns, I just can’t bring myself to work on it anymore.

I have two levels of dedication: The research and the first try.  There are so many things I want to do, and I research and research and make plans and imagine how things will go, but I never follow through with any of them.  For example, while on vacation last week (I’ll come back to that), I saw some people paddleboarding.  Which I thought looked like peaceful fun and was something I could do on my own.  I looked up rentals and lessons, but never got past the research stage before it was time go leave.  I could learn to do it back home, but I fell too quickly back into my old routine and fearfulness.

The first try, as I call it, is I actually follow through on a plan and  accomplish something.  I did this with a kinect sensor that I bought last year.  I researched it, bought it and even made a couple cool programs with it.  But now that I’ve learned all the fun things and done the basic stuff, it just sits there, staring at me, covered in dust.  I don’t have the drive I did when I first got it.  Where I would stay up until 2am programming, eager to accomplish something.

I fear my lack of commitment is holding me back in ways.  Maybe I’m afraid I’ll miss out on something I can be even more passionate about.  I may have just had my 2 year anniversary blogging, but I’ve only written 66 posts.  That’s barely once a month.

This brings me to Karen Cheng. She recently learned to dance in a year.  Her passion+commitment to accomplishing something really hit me today.  Her success made me want to be passionate about something. It’s not success like selling a startup or being promoted.  It’s accomplishing something you set for yourself.  You can make yourself happy by doing what YOU want.  I’ve heard that line before but didn’t get it until I read Karen’s blog.  I suggested checking out all her blog posts, or at least her story on how she learned to dance: http://www.karenx.com/blog/i-learned-to-dance-in-a-year/

Karen is partly why I writing this post. It’s not only that she did something for herself, but she was able to share it and inspire others (like myself). I think the reason I’m really posting now is to try to connect to people again.  Like I said earlier, I went on vacation for a week, to my family’s house.  I was excited at first, but it really ended up being stressful while I was there.  Like always, I’ll just remember the good parts so I’ll be excited again next year.  However, vacations do always stress me out.  I hate traveling, I’m stuck with my mother for the duration in a tiny house, my routine is completely thrown off and I am rarely alone to reset my anxiety.  The upset routine is really what bothers me.  I know vacations are supposed to be a break from the routine, but I just felt isolated and lost.  I wanted to go home after 2 days but I had no way of doing that without offending alot of people.  Plus my body is so sore from the 40 year old mattress and constant lookout for bugs crawling on me.  I hate bugs.

Back to the point: I want to find a more permanent passion.  With focus I think I can get my anxieties and life in order.  I need a goal that doesn’t depend on others.