Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm Looking for a Hard Headed Woman*

Confession that probably isn't at all shocking to you, my faithful readers: I hate it when I look like I don't know what I'm doing. Generally I avoid situations in which I have to depend on someone else or let everyone know that I am clueless. And I'm not going to lie--I don't know what I'm doing most of the time (that's life, isn't it?) and this creates issues. In my non-work related life, this all stems from my issues with vulnerability. I hate being vulnerable, I hate asking for help (and if I do because I trust you, I will feel guilty and say "sorry. thank you. sorry. thank you." until you want to kick me.), and I hate looking foolish on accident. (If I'm *trying* to look foolish, then that's a whole 'nother story) This is why I quit piano and quit clarinet: I wasn't good at it automatically and I couldn't handle it. In my professional life, I want to look as professional as possible and in my crazy little mind, that means never asking for help and always knowing what to do/say. (I know this is ridiculous and dangerous.) If I'm confused, I don't say, "Could you explain that to me?" or "I don't know what this means. Do you? Could you tell me?" or even better, "I've never done this before. Help." I pretend I know what I'm talking about and figure it out as I go along. This definitely creates issues but so far, I've survived. Perhaps even thrived??

Until now (dun dun dun). I won't go into tons of detail (I"m sure this blog is going to get me dooced at some point...) but the library is going through lots of changes right now. We're planning for the future, for a new building to be dooce-worthily specific, and because I'm the only one in my department, somehow I am supposed to meet with committees and discuss plans. These plans have been on the table for the last 10 years so everyone knows what they're talking about except me. It is horrid. Absolutely, panic-attackingly horrid. It's making me crazy.

There are two parts to the crazy... well, three if you include the fact that I've figured out how many parts of the crazy exist. Gah. Anyway. So. Crazy I: Too much responsibility now rests on my weak little unprofessional can't ask for help shoulders. There are architects and committee members who are asking for my opinion and then taking it into consideration to build a building which is supposed to serve this community for the next 10 years at least. What in crap's name do I know? I'm some little straight out of grad school twerp! Crazy II: This new building situation is like a challenge sent from God (or from the devil... how knows.) The girl who hates it when it looks like she knows nothing, knows nothing and is being called on it! Constantly!

Example of the crazy: Two weeks ago, I suggested window seats while looking at the library plans. Window seats are a lovely place for a child to read! For families to sit together! For conserving space! Today, there's a blueprint with window seats! Oh god, they took my opinion and used it! Then, a board member tells me that my idea is basically crap because window seats are uncomfortable in reality and no one sits on them, except maybe to take naps on them and we do not want that happening in the library. She visited libraries with the library design board three years ago and she talked to library designers and they would agree with her. I then have to say "That's a good point. I hadn't thought about that." Now I know that my opinions are worthwhile and that I do know a thing or two. I went to library school and at some point in some class I took, I'm pretty sure we talked about library architecture for children's spaces. But I also know that I am new to this process and don't know a damn thing about actually doing any of it. I'm having issues finding the happy medium between expressing my opinions and trusting them and not just making shit up so I stop looking green around the ears.

Okay, phew, I'm glad that's out. I'm not really asking for advice (see, can't ask for help! :))--I just needed to write this all down. Of course, if you have advice, I'm all ears...

*Is it bad that I really want some guy to fall in love with me and equate me with this song? And also perhaps She's Always a Woman to Me by Billy Joel? Yeah, probably.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Crap! What now?

This is going to sound completely ridiculous but the fact that it is 2008 has sent me into what the experts might possibly call a "quarter-life crisis." This perturbs me to no end. I'm practically gagging at the idea of being like the annoying (but awesome) characters in St. Elmo's Fire. But, I'm going through the general symptoms of malaise, freaking out about my financial instability (I should be saving for retirement!), wondering if this *gestures grandly to general surroundings* is it, and if perhaps I should have moved to Key Largo to be a bartender before picking a career. It's ridiculous, I know but I am freaked out. And I'm blaming it all on 2008.

I'm not one of those people who has their life planned out. I don't have a timeline of important events like when I'll get married or when I'll have children or when I'll buy my first home. But, I did have a small timeline when I was in college. It involved two dates: 2005 and 2007. I knew that I would graduate in 2005 from undergrad and I would graduate from grad school in 2007. Slight problem though: I never though beyond 2007. 2008 never even occurred to me! (Yes I am an idiot.) So now I'm sitting in my little town, working at my little library and wondering about what's next. I can see myself staying at my job for the next 5 years, gladly. This doesn't seem like a very long amount of time but let's do some math. I'm 25 right now. In 5 years, I'll be 30. 30!!!!!!!!!!!! Gaah! I'm not worried about being thirty but if I'm still living in this little town with no social life to speak of, worrying about being seen buying wine at the grocery store, I will be very worried about being thirty.

I want a full and happy life and in this little town, I'm not finding that. Yes, my job is great but I can't just survive on a good job. I need a social life! I have friends from college that I get to see once a week and thank god for them. But I've been living here 8 months and I haven't met ANYONE. Not even someone I could write off as being boring or stupid (yup, I'm judgmental). Part of this is my fault: I don't feel comfortable going out in this wee little town and cutting a rug. Heck, I don't even feel comfortable buying Tylenol PM in this town (really, I went to the Walgreens one town over...) And that *severely* limits the people that I meet.

I'm not really a resolutions girl (I make them and break them minutes later) but I'm going to make a change in the new year. If I was a 40-year-old man, I would buy a Maserati. In order to fix this quarter-life crisis thing, I have a three step plan:

1) Move. Currently I'm living in a two bedroom apartment in the town where I work. It's too expensive, I don't need two bedrooms and I really don't need to live five minutes away from the library.

2) Find a new gym. My gym is also located in the town where I work. I hate my gym! It's way too family oriented and they have nothing fun to do except lift weights and walk on the treadmill. I hate walking on the treadmill. And I hate that I see people from the library. So I'm not going. And now I feel like a slug.

3) Grow out my hair... maybe. This isn't really going to help. But perhaps my boredom and malaise will be cured with a new hairstyle?

So, that's that. We'll see how this plan works out. I'll keep you guys updated (finally, something to write about besides work!)