Sunday, February 14, 2010


Those who know me well are probably aware of the personal turmoil plaguing my family over the past 3 years. For those who don't, the sweetened condensed version is that my father was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery in August 2006. My father - a career foreign service officer who received countless accolades and commendations over 25 years of service, had his efforts documented in a book, and was well-respected among his peers - had all of a sudden become a poster child for government corruption.

What ensued was a crazy 3-year spiral into a legal quagmire, not to mention an incredible amount of stress placed on myself and my family as we all attempted to make sense of what happened. My father accepted a gift from someone he thought was a friend. Unfortunately what he did not stop and think about was the perception that this friend was also a user of the bureaucratic process for which my father was responsible for managing. At the end, the judge and the defense agreed to a lesser charge of accepting an illegal gratuity and my father - the man who never even jaywalks - was sentenced to 12 months and a day in a federal prison camp.

I've not talked about this in detail until now and frankly I dont know where this is coming from, but I just sat down and started typing in this moment and this is what come out.

Imagine going along, living your life as always. Going through the motions, addressing your own set of stresses and worries, celebrating the happy times.

Imagine you have hurt your arm at the gym and are on your way to the doctor's office, about to get on the freeway when you receive a phone call from your mother who is in obvious distress. "Dad's been arrested!".

Everything stops. Your head fills with static. You cant focus on the road in front of you so you pull off into a parking lot.

Then you scream:"What?! What are you talking about?!" as your mother begins to sob into the phone.

Then you realize you are still moving through the parking lot and there is someone following you. You aimlessly drive, not sure where you are going and getting really pissed off at the other driver who is still following you. Slam on the brakes and wave them by. "Mom! Calm down! What happened?!"

And then she tells you. They had pictures. And video. He lied to her about that business trip.

He went to Las Vegas with the girls and his friend, the Indian businessman with the jewelry export business. The girls...the Canadian strippers from the bar he was frequenting since moving to Toronto two years earlier. Mid-life crisis, Mom had said. t's ok. They are just friends.

The jewelry - the ruby rings. His "connection".

Friends...Reassure your mother everything will be ok. You lied. Get off the phone and call your brother in Italy. What time is it there? Who cares. He needs to know. He hears the news and says he will call Mom.

Sister needs to know, but she is working and highly stressed at the moment. Call her husband. Ask for his help in breaking the news to her. Not home. Leave a message for him to call you right away.

Call a friend. Ask him to come meet you. You dont know where you are; you cant think straight. Finally you recognize the building across the street and tell him to go there. Static. Nothing but static. Then you remember. You work with lawyers. Call one.

Called one. Then two. Then a third. Friend comes. Listens. Doesnt know what to say.

Awkward...What can he say? Nothing in life prepares you for this.

More static. What to do?

Go back to work. Try and be normal. Like nothing happened.

That doesnt happen. You go back to the office and break down. The static turns into a waterfall. A co-worker tries to console you but you are inconsolable. Where is your manager?

You need to talk to her for she is wise and can help you. She's not there. On vacation. You go home after asking the co-worker not to tell anyone. She promises.

Where is Mom? Call her back. Diplomatic security escorted her home from the Consulate and confiscated some evidence. She is lost. Doesnt know what to do.

Where is Dad? We dont know. Sister calls in hysterics. She talked to Mom already. What do we do?

Dont know. Just dont know what to do.

Calls. More lawyers. Mom finally hears from Dad. He claims it was a setup. She yells at him. He says he wont blame her if she wants to divorce him.

This was Wednesday.

Bond hearing is Thursday. $100K. But they will let him out of jail for $10K.

Sister has the money. Her husband is not working so he flys out to post the bond on Monday.

Over the weekend, you dont know how he is or what is happening to him. Just that he is in a DC jail with drug dealers, rapists and murderers. He is 60 and in poor health. Then the media gets wiff of it. All of a sudden, every single major news outlet is reporting the incident. Blogs are posted. He traded lap dances for missiles with Osama bin Laden. Idiots.

You pray your co-workers dont find out. Get in touch with your manager over the weekend and she does have words of wisdom for you. Everything will be alright. You dont have to talk about it at work. It's a private family matter and whatever help you need, let her know.

Unfortunately, it gets out at work. They read the papers, these lawyers. Manager goes around telling them under no circumstances are they to talk about it with anyone or with me. They seem to listen. But still...pity in their eyes.

Your mother is lost. You take off for Toronto, hoping to offer some comfort to her. When you get there, she is surprisingly composed. At this point, you have been running 24/7 on adrenalin. You let your guard down, sit in the exact middle of the couch and just let it all out. You have to...otherwise, where will it go but to that empty place in the pit of your soul, building in pressure until you finally explode. Best to let it out now.

More Lawyers. More phone calls. Public defender says Plead Guilty. Dad says he is not guilty. Released but with conditions. House arrest. But which house? He doesnt own a home in the US. He moves back in with his mother until Mom can pack up their belongings and return to the US. Eventually house arrest is lifted. He is free to roam about the country. His passport is confiscated of course, but then so is your mother's. What. The. Hell!?

Finally a lawyer is found. $100K retainer.

Savings - gone. Trust - gone. Dignity - gone.

Three years of stress, tears, arguments and false hope. Then finally, it comes. He takes a plea. The charge is lessened, but still - prison. He must be made an example out of.

So there he is. And here I am. And we are each healing in our own way. Our own time.Through the miracle of modern technology, I am able to keep in touch with him via email. His musings from "the inside" are introspective and thoughtful. It's interesting to read how he is going through the process of adjusting to life in prison, as well as allowing for the healing of wounds inflicted since that fateful day in August 2006 and even long before that. In much the same way, my family is healing. We all suffered greatly as a result of this unfortunate episode. We lost trust in him and in the system in which we grew up. We lost friendships and lived in fear that people would judge us for his actions. That fear subsided over time, as we came to the realization that we were not responsible for his actions and if we lost friends over it, then those were not people we should have in our lives anyway.

Lost money, lost friends, lost time.

But we are better people for having weathered such a turmultuous storm.

To be continued...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Baby Talk

June 29, 2008 -

Phew! It's a hot one today. I came home after being out all day to a sauna. My poor cat is flopped down on the floor, belly to the fan, trying desperately to stay cool. I have the window open, the blinds drawn to keep out the sun and the fan going full blast. Still, it is stifling in here. Blech…

The Pride parade was massive fun! I was even more impressed with it this year than last. It's just a big giant love fest, with huge splashes of color (on the floats and in the participants!); lots of music, dancing, stumping for good causes...I didn't even let the fact that I got hit in the head with an Obama for Prez button ruin my "gaiety"! Unfortunately gay bf was under the weather and didn't make it to the festivities. Nothing sucks more than a summer cold - feel better Snookums! (Speaking of gay bf, I have a cute story for you. Last night, I was his "plus-one" to a BBQ that was attended by my other gay bf, Al. Al was my Number 1 till he coupled off and became distracted with his own Number 1, but that didn't stop him from trying to stake his claim. Paul and Al engaged in a little tete-a-tete about who was truly my Number 1. Really flattering guys, but I really wish at least ONE of you was straight!)

I spent much of the early afternoon watching the parade from my friends' salon. This not only afforded me a bird's eye view of the frivolity, but also the opportunity to get caught up with another friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in several years. Like many of my female friends, she became entrenched with the demands of motherhood which was further compounded by her single status, as well as the fortuitous decision on her part to go back to school to study acupuncture. Although I missed hanging with her during those years (she was my concert buddy), I am very proud of her for all that she has accomplished to make a better life for her little girl. I think as a single mother, life will always bit of a struggle for her and her beautiful daughter, but am confident she has it very well in hand.

The subject of the impact of motherhood has come up quite a few times lately as my friends and I go through another round of pregnancies within our extended circle. Specifically, as I was chatting with a male friend today who made a comment about someone we knew who was not watching the parade as she was attending her baby shower this afternoon that none of us were invited to. Apparently, it was another group of friends that threw the shower for her and I think my friend was feeling a little left out as this signaled the start of many an occasion where the happy parents will likely be doing more activities with other happy parents and leaving their single and/or childless couple friends behind. Having heard myself voicing the same sentiment in the past, I sympathize with my friend who – although happy to see a bundle of joy blessed upon the parents - is speaking from a place of sadness at the possibility of losing an important friendship; or at a minimum experiencing a change in the dynamic of that relationship.

I find the older I get and the more I am faced with this, it is easiest for me to initially celebrate the news of an imminent birth, but then be mindful of the fact that things will be different from here on out. I can't expect the mom-to-be to want to bar hop with me while dealing with morning sickness or check out rock shows on a whim when she should be home with her swollen feet elevated, eating bon-bons. There *will* be a nine-month period of nesting, followed by 2-3 years where I just will not see them that much. Although the news of a baby's arrival always sparks an inclination to want to meet the new member of the family, to hold them and coo-coo at them to the point of silliness, many parents would rather not have that interruption during that initial bonding period as soon as they get home from the hospital. In some cases, the baby's health relies on maintaining a semi-sterile environment so dropping by unannounced can not only be considered in very poor form, but dangerous for the baby's health. I always wait until I am invited with the understanding that invitation may not come for months. I think the most supportive thing a friend can do is to just let the parents know you are there for them, even if they do not respond or take you up on any offers; it's not something to be taken personally.

My best girlfriend in Seattle had her first child 3 ½ years ago; she had her second child about two years later. I saw her only intermittenly during that time but recently had the pleasure of an extended visit with her. Even though the dynamic had changed between us as a result of how much we had changed in recent years, I still felt the same connection with her as I did when we were both single. In some ways, her becoming a mother has strengthened certain aspects of our relationship as the natural competitive streak that exists between women of childbearing age has subsided. As a single, childless woman I feel a marked difference between my interactions with married female friends who have children and those friends that are single and childless. It's a complicated concept that I believe (without having researched the matter) stems from a female's natural inclination to meet a strong, healthy mate and produce strong, healthy offspring. Other similarly situated females are competition for those mates and no matter how tight the bond between the women, they will always be in competition with one another. Watch "Species" if you don't believe me ;-)

As I type out this blog, I have been thinking about my own feelings of being childless. I used to want children – at least two, maybe three. As I get older I realize that may not be so practical; that I am much better suited being the fabulous aunt to my brother's three gorgeous children. If I were to have a child at this stage in my life, I think the best I can hope for is one. Does it bother me that it hasn't happened yet? In my most vulnerable times, I would be lying if I told you it didn't. The strong female in me however will tell you that it's all good – whatever was meant to be will be. Does it really matter that at this point, if I were to have a child this year, I would be 50+ by the time it graduates high school? Age ain't nothing but a number…isn't it? Maybe some things are just better left unsaid. :-)

Need to go immerse myself in a tub of ice water. The good news is I understand we have some thundershowers rolling in that will break the heat.

Bring it on!

Happy Pride!


It was all the waiter's fault!

June 19, 2008 -

Now that the room has stopped spinning and sensation has returned to my face, I feel amazingly more refreshed than I did this same time yesterday. Perhaps all I needed was a few very strong drinks served by a gorgeous waiter at a bar that served a former life as a mortuary chapel. As you can see from the brief yet drunken statement below, I went to Chapel last night, to celebrate my friend Kami's promotion. Because of the traffic, I got there a little late and was gently encouraged to get caught up with my friends. I didn't even read the menu so have no idea what was in my pomegranate cocktail, other than the fact if someone had lit a match anywhere in my vicinity, I would have likely exploded in a glorious ball of flame. By the time I got out of there, I had three very strong drinks on an almost empty stomach. I had ordered the hummus almost as soon as I sat down, but the waiter neglected to put in the order until I reminded him one and a half drinks later. Having only had a rice cake since lunchtime, I probably should have been a little more mindful of how much I was drinking, but figured it wasn't every day that I can get completely wasted on just 3 $5 Happy Hour specials. Let's just say my Irish brethren would have been appalled to see how much of a lightweight I was last night.

Speaking of Irish brethren, I had this great email discourse with my sister yesterday. J has always been a huge supporter of me, as I am of her. I consider her my closest friend and ally in this world and am her biggest fan. She has achieved so much for someone who had a tendency to glue herself to her twin brother rather than venturing out on her own (that is until our much more outgoing brother ditched her for a game of pickup "insert elementary school playground sport-like activity here").

Yesterday, J and I got into a discussion about my writing. She had read my insomniac ramblings and decided that I should really have a column in Cosmo entitled "Sleepless in Seattle" and be the real-life "Carrie whatever her name is" (J was married throughout the whole Sex and the City craze and never watched the show as she felt she couldn't relate). I said something about "how cool would that be" and she proceeded to tell me that if I wanted to do it, I shouldn't let anything or anyone stop me. Her exact words were far more profound:

"If you would love it...pursue it and stop running away from what makes you happy! Women are always looking for a commentator who says it real...the inside voice that we hide. You really could do well and I totally support your pursuance of it...Please remember that you are talented and that you can be a commodity all your own as your own rock star writer or artist."

I do get what J is saying. As a female, I believe I was taught I couldn't do anything that could potentially paint me in a bad light; I needed to always be aware of how it - how I - looked to the outside world. Our mom has often told us that she doesn't understand my sister and I, why we do the things we do and how can we do them without thinking through potential consequences (in spite of the fact we are both high-performing individuals who have experienced much success in life and rarely fail at our endeavors).

My grandmother tells me almost every single time I speak with her that she doesn't understand how "Mike's Kids" (my dad) can think nothing of flying here and there, all over the world like we are just running down to the corner store. When they make those comments, I don't know that it is so much criticism as maybe more of an acknowledgment that this this is a very different world from the one in which both of them grew up. It also demonstrates the kind of influences we had growing up. Ironically, if it wasn't for the contradictory influence from my father - the "adventurous one" in the family - J and I would probably both be living the Happy Housewife routine, only getting on a plane once every two years to take the kids to Disney World! Truly not my cup of tea, but props to those who do it because being a mother has to be the toughest job there is.

And when it comes to my writing, I oftentimes feel it is contrived and superficial. My friend once told me that I should worry less about eloquence and more about making a connection to the reader. Again, that wasn't intended as criticism but rather encouragement to look deep within myself and find that nexus between my mind and my soul and express that in written form.

For years, I've had ideas floating around in my head for novels, but I haven't been able to find it within myself to really pull those out of my head and to put them down on paper. That is why I started this blog in the first place - call it practice. A place where I can go and force whatever words and free-flowing ideas are rolling around in my head, out to the universe. I am fully aware that I tend to hold back any sort of artistic inclination that I have - and have a dozen theories as to why I do that - but we'd be here all day if I went into it now. The best I can do is to keep plugging away at it and hope that eventual genius will strike and I will be unstoppable. Until then, I have to believe in my abilities and not let negative energy inhibit those creative talents.OK - enough practice for one day. I must heed the call of the Advil bottle and a big glass of water to ward off the hangover demons.

Happy Thursday!


Go Fish!

June 23, 2008 -

Busy weekend! Between making friends with potential roadkill (see below), watching naked painted people riding uni- and bicycles at the Summer Solstice Parade and pre-celebrating my friend's 40th birthday, not to mention spending most of the day with the best gay bf a girl could ever ask for on the sunny shore of Alki Beach, I'm pretty much worn out. For the first time in a long time, I sat on my couch last night with my feet up, watching the Simpsons and eating the last of a pint-size container of strawberry gelato from Gelatiamo. Considering I am usually outside getting myself into trouble or otherwise planted in front of my Mac, I never just sit in front of the TV and veg out. A rare treat indeed.

Yesterday, as my gay boyfriend and I were coming back from the beach we started to talk about our favorite topic – boys. Specifically, why it was some guys tended to be intimidated with a partner who is more financially stable than they are. During the course of our joint sharing session, I was reminded of a comment that a friend of mine made a couple years back in reference to another friend who had a habit of chasing pretty boys that were all cast from the same mold and who do not reciprocate her affections. This other friend was not a conventional beauty and most people would probably consider her on the fair side of average. The comment "she should just fish in her own pond" was both superficial and profound at the same time.

On the surface, some may think that comment unfair and catty. I mostly agree with that sentiment but can't help thinking there is a thread of truth to it. Human beings will often judge first on external appearances and draw incorrect conclusions simply because we are programmed to believe that we see it, therefore it must be true. An example would be my prior relationship with a man who was about 5 inches shorter than I (I'm 5'9"). The relationship ended due to other factors that had nothing to do with difference in stature. However, come to find out later that another friend of mine was routinely going around and making comments to other people in my circle: "How does THAT work?" (Need some Meow Mix, Fluffy?!) How that "worked" was completely moot and not relevant. In his mind, the two pieces of the puzzle were not physically compatible and therefore could not work out in the long-term.

The same principle holds true for people involved in a seemingly mismatched relationship. If the so-called "weaker party" does not have a strong sense of self, they may be inclined to consciously or subconsciously sabotage the relationship in order to avoid the potential embarrassment of being judged by others. In any relationship, it takes two to tango; if both parties are not completely onboard the boat to relationship bliss, there is a risk they will sink into the abyss.

With respect to fishing in one's own pond, I personally feel that can be limiting and potentially unsatisfying. Gay BF is always telling me I need to open myself up for the possibility of love. That doesn't mean that if the homeless guy on the corner hits on me, I need to take him up on his offer. The way I interpret that is when someone is presented to you by the cosmos as a possible love interest, you should just jump in feet first with arms wide open, embracing the possibility.

Cast your net wide…you never know what you are going to pull in – an old smelly boot or a rare yet beautiful specimen.

Just don't fall in and drown.

The Joy of the Crush

August 26, 2009 -

When you get to be a certain age, there are expectations imposed upon you by society that if not adhered to can change the way you are perceived by others. Women like me – 30-something, career-driven, financially independent and otherwise emotionally stable women - are not expected to develop secret celebrity crushes on “unattainable” men. That sort of behavior is generally reserved for tweens & teens, maybe the occasional late-blooming college co-ed. But once you are of legal drinking age, it is fully anticipated that you would have moved on from such frivolous endeavors. And if you dare go down that path, you run the risk of being labeled “Obsessed”, “Immature”, “Unstable” or the shame of all shames - “Stalker”.

All over the world – or at least all over the world wide web - there are thousands of women just like myself who have developed Secret Celebrity Crushes, or SCCs. The objects of their affection are many - rock stars, actors, athletes, models, artists, authors, politicians, motivational speakers, TV chefs, televangelists…anyone of the opposite sex, or indeed the same sex…who is a person of note the admirer feels drawn to.

My "crushee" is an actor – a Villain-cum-Alien. If you know anything about me, this is interesting as I don’t watch TV nor am I much of a movie buff. My previous admirations were generally reserved for musicians and athletes. I have not seen the TV show my SCC currently acts in, other than fast-forwarding through a couple episodes on Hulu, nor have I seen any of his previous endeavors. He first came to my attention when I took myself to see the requisite summer blockbuster that everyone was raving about in which he starred as part of an ensemble cast. Even after seeing the film, I didn’t really give him much notice until someone asked me what I thought about the movie. In doing so she mentioned that she spilled her soda on her husband as soon as the leading man came on the screen. The leading man is not my type at all, but I did say that I thought his co-star was interesting. That prompted me to go out and figure out who that actor was. Click after click, I finally found my way to his official website and was reading some of the articles. It was an article he did in Playboy that really grabbed my attention. Something about the no-nonsense tone and the references to Carl Jung really got to me. I realized then that I had stumbled across an exceptional person, both in talent and intelligence. And not bad to look at either. I’m a sucker for brown eyes!

I was hooked. And slightly embarrassed! Why at my age am I developing a SCC on someone that a) I didn’t know even existed a week earlier; and b) would likely never know that I existed. It was highly illogical, to borrow a quote from my SCCs character.But I soon realized that I was not alone in this world. Within a couple weeks, his official website added an Online Community. As I quickly signed up to join the community as member #471 (thereabouts), I thought how cool it would be to connect with some of these women and get a feel for who they were, and in the process maybe learn more about myself. All of a sudden, I was part of a group of like-minded women – and the occasional man – who were experiencing similar feelings to my own.

Certainly, if they saw the same thing in this person as I did then we would surely have much in common!


Not quite.

Admittingly, since joining my SCCs Community I have been an active participant, replying to posts, joining in on informal polls, rallying in the effort to promote our mutual SCC. After all, we are all here for a common cause.


Whereas my interest lies more in the "cerebral endowments" of my SCC, clearly many women are more attracted to his lithe, muscular body particularly in the torso region. Tummy Porn, they call it when posting the numerous photographs and screen captures they seek out from the Internet and photoshop to their liking.

OK – so I admit, I did notice his tight abs, strong shoulders, his aforementioned warm brown eyes, like pools of luscious dark chocolate, and seemingly lack of male pattern baldness.

I didn't really sign up for Tummy Porn.

Yet even though the motivation behind some others’ interest differs slightly from my own, I still appreciate these women. I don’t always understand all of them, all the time and question some of what is considered to be humorous. I still feel a commaderie, knowing that at 30-something, I am not alone in the world. That I should not be afraid to allow myself to feel an attraction towards another human being, regardless of how distant or how many degrees of separation exist between him and I (one, by the way. So close - yet so far!).

Carl Jung once wrote:

"Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.”

Rather than being unstable or obsessed, I believe now that it is a healthy outlet for people – women and men – to indulge in the occasional fantasy now and again. If that happens to involve someone of note - a celebrity - so be it. This is part of what makes life interesting and keeps us engaged with each other. I’m glad in the knowledge that I really am not alone in this world, and am far from being "obsessed".

The idiot stick figure has procreated

May 14, 2008 -

Ladies - you know those men in your life that you love to hate with all your might, but you can't bring yourself to do so since you did, at one time, really care about them? I have two of those - J1 and J2 (J2, for purposes of this blog, is not up for discussion).

J1 was a guy I knew in college who was this tall, lanky, socially awkward fellow that for some odd reason I developed a crush on in the latter half of my sophmore year. We had the same major, lived in the same residence hall, were in Student Government together, on the Executive Cabinet together and were constantly crossing paths with each other. I didn't pay him much attention at first because I had heard he was a little....INTENSE. I can't exactly remember what drew me to him in the first place, but at some point I decided I just had to have him. So - I made my intentions known - in a sweet little "hey I like you, how's about it?" note that I placed in his mail slot. And because I am always drawn to those that are ever so slightly emotionally defunct, he not-so-nicely declined my offer of "more than friendship" and acted like I was a leper to be avoided at all costs. Naturally, my feelings were hurt and I let my emotions get the best of me. So I did something very childish and immature...I "relocated" his keys to the back of his mail slot in the student government office.

Oh yeh - he was an RA, and his key chain included the master keys to every single dorm room in our 7-story residence hall. When he couldn't find his keys, it became a bit of an issue.

Well....long story short, I got busted. So J1 decided to use the school's "administrative handling process" to get back at me. Two weeks before finals, he managed to convince the Residence Director of our Hall that my actions proved I was obsessed with him and I needed to be removed from the premises immediately. And I could not attend Student Government meetings anymore and was to stay a certain distance away from him at all times. Her decision was unilaterally made, without following the correct due process set-up by the school. I appealed, got a proper hearing and eventually came away with 4 hours of community service for "displacing" the keys, and he was told to get a life.

For the remainder of my uni-time, he and I engaged in this elaborate "there, but not there" dance around each other, treading lightly so as not to make the other think that we actually gave a shit about what had transpired between us. For me, the extremes that he went to push me away - after all, I only told him I "liked-liked" him - had a profound impact on my ability to place any trust in any man for several years after that. I'm not sure what he ever really thought about the outcome of the whole episode, but I was always catching him out of the corner of eye, glancing at me in class or - even more blatantly - staring into my ground floor apartment window as he walked by.

I haven't seen J1 in years, but since he is such an *involved* Alumnus, I have read about him in our uni's periodical from time to time. When his marriage announcement came out, I couldn't help but google his wife (they are real estate agents and both have pictures and profiles online - "Team J1" - barf). It is with some sort of twisted satisfaction when I saw she looked like a Stepford clone - cold and frigid. Like a frozen, dead fish. How'd you like to sleep with that?
Well - this month's issue of the Alumni newsletter had birth announcements. His daughter's among them.

I am ashamed to admit I had a fleeting moment where I was ever so regretful of what happened between us; what could I have done differently to ensure I was having his baby, and not the Stepford drone? What made her so special? Why not me?

Then I came to my senses and realized just how much better off I was not being part of "Team J1". I would not have had nearly the number of life experiences that I have had since college, nor would I have had a chance to develop my own identity.

And I'd probably still be living in NH - cold and frigid.

Like a frozen, dead fish.

Congratulations to the Happy Family.


Divine Intervention

June 13, 2008 -

I've been feeling really "mopey" about my job lately – just general boredom and apathy. One thing you should realize about me is that I am a Class A Workaholic. My last job required 16-hour days, round-the-clock conference calls, meetings, travel, constant interruptions when I was in the office – and I loved it. What I didn't love was the baby attorney that was assigned to "manage" me. I really wish lawyers would just accept the fact that just because they went to law school, that alone does not qualify them to be a manager. In fact, most of what they teach you in law school is contrary to the principles of sound people management in that you are taught how to look for loopholes in order to keep your client out of prison – as a result, that requisite sense of accountability is not engrained in you other than ensuring you keep your own ass out of hot water and not land in front of the ethics committee. The best managers I have had in my career have all had a strong sense of personal accountability that drives them to effectively motivate and lead their team.

In any event, I left my previous situation because my manager was inexperienced and immature, and I personally felt was a liability to my career advancement. Predictably, he wrote what was an overwhelmingly positive transition review for me – with several petty barbs sprinkled in here and there that served no other purpose but to let me know the feeling was mutual. No one who gets two gold stars in a row, and stellar reviews for 6 years straight deserves to be told she doesn't "play nice with others". I mean – this is me…I love everyone!

But back to my current situation – for someone coming out of such a stressful environment, you would think I would be a little more appreciative of my 7-hour days and lightened workload. Instead, I find myself bored and a little uneasy. I was walking into the executive building today head down, thinking "oh woe is me, what am I going to do about this ridiculously simple job of mine?" when I looked up and saw a woman walking towards me that I have known casually throughout my tenure here. She said "Is that Elizabeth? I don't have my glasses on". Although I was in a hurry, I stopped to exchange pleasantries. It turns out, my former co-worker was laid-off in January after 10 years with the company and was now working in another group across campus as a $10/hour contractor with few benefits. As I was listening to her very sad story, I couldn't help thinking to myself how this has happened to me before – I will be going along feeling sorry for myself and someone will be placed in my path as a reminder to me that I actually have it pretty damn good. Not only do I have a good job, but one with benefits that I don't have to pay for and the security of a reliable paycheck.

There have been so many examples in my life where I have felt the Higher Power has definitely been looking out for me…S/He has my best interest at heart and wants to make sure that I know they are there for me. I've blogged about this before; at my lowest points in life I have put my faith out there, into the hands of a Divine Entity and was pulled up out of the quagmire of despair. The challenge that we all face is to keep in mind no matter what our Faith is, what we do or do not believe in, or even know if we believe in, life has a way of working out for the best. Going through life feeling sorry for yourself, thinking you are trapped, that you will never be happy is bond to only make you feel bad. Having faith – believing that things will get better – will pull you through. I am a very spiritual person…without my faith, I believe I would be a lost soul, destined to roam the world unhappy and alone.

Stay positive…


Stream of Thought

August 28, 2009 -

It’s 8:10PM on a Friday and I am laying here on my bed doing nothing. Feeling a yearning for something more in my life. Part of me desperately wants to be with someone right now. Part of me wants to never be with another person as long as I live. Too much has transpired over the years. Too much hurt. A bruised heart. More damage than any soul should ever have to bear. Am I damaged beyond repair? Not sure. I guess I will not truly know the answer until the time comes when I no longer feel the yearning to be half of a pair. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe I am missing half a soul. The Russians believe that a person is not whole until they find the other half of their soul. Hence the term “soulmate”. Where is my soulmate? Is he here, in this town? Is he elsewhere? Is he even in this country? What does he look like? Do I already know him? That psychic told me years ago that I already know my soulmate. I’ve already met him. But that was at least 10 years ago. Did I lose him? Did he lose me? Maybe we are both lost, doomed to wander the planet alone, each missing half a soul.


Maybe only a day longer. Maybe I will meet him tomorrow. Maybe next week.

Maybe...Maybe is a powerful word.

Maybe not…