So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Monday, February 28, 2011

the space between

"Matthew, what are you doing here?" a familiar voice squealed from across the bar at the cafe where i've been working since leaving the job from hell.

i looked up to see Claire, one of my law school classmates who i hadn't seen for months.  maybe a year.  i explained to her that i quit my firm job and am now enjoying working at a bustling cafe.  i love when friends come in to visit.  i make some mean drinks and am always eager to show off my skills to Philly people who didn't know me back in my Starbucks days.  

despite the busyness and clamor of a coffee shop that seemingly never sleeps, Claire and i were able to catch up.  it turns out that i'm not the only one who had to escape law firm life.  Claire quit her job and moved to another city to go back to school to get her Master's.  that explains why i haven't seen her walking her dog in Rittenhouse or jogging along the river.  Claire was in town for the weekend and wanted to spend the afternoon in the cafe, which used to be her neighborhood go-to spot.  so we chatted.  we shared our war stories.  we agreed that, five years ago, we never would've guessed that she and i would be a student and a barista, respectively.  we also agreed that life was good and that we were happy, despite plans not always working out the way we, um, planned.

i've been spending my days smiling at customers, helping old women make up their minds about their soups and salads, and generally being quite happy and energetic.  it's nice to smile at people and to not have to fight and yell over a phone or a courtroom.  i've been spending my nights reading again and sleeping like a baby.  it feels so good to be physically tired after a day of work, rather than being mentally and emotionally worn down.  maybe it's the farmer gene in me, but working hard on my feet for 8 hours agrees with me much more than sitting on my ass in an office all day.

i'm not sure how long this transition period can last, but i'm enjoying it for now.  thank Buddha. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

quote of the week, thus far

"You were a lot of work."

confused, i looked up from my phone and may have even looked around the restaurant to find the source of those words.  they certainly couldn't have come from the mouth of the ex-boyfriend who was sitting across from me.   

"What?!" i asked, with a sharp, tight T that barely pushed air between my tongue and the roof of my mouth.  it was more like, "whaTT?!" i was confused: how did this subject suddenly come up?  maybe it had organically. i'm not sure.  i had already forgotten what we were talking about, because his statement was so jarring.

"You 'have a lot of feelings,' you've said it yourself."

i just heard my sassy black girl readers (please tell me i have at least one) exclaim, "Dayyyummm," while shaking their heads in disbelief.  i know what you're thinking, and oh YES he DID. 

i'm sure that you all agree that to hear such a soul-punching, knife twisting pronouncement would be jarring, but add to this the fact that, while we were a happy, stable couple, this ex and i had what was my most successful and content relationship. i was far from "a lot of work" in that relationship.  and if i am so tiresome in a relationship that is generally fun and happy, what kind of torture do i inflict upon the poor, unfortunate souls with whom i have rocky relationships?  yikes.

i could blog here before you and attempt to derogate my ex's harsh words by telling you that he's never had any other serious relationship; therefore, he has no one with whom to compare me.  i could also explain to you that the end of our relationship got rocky and ended somewhat dramatically (don't they all?), and at that time i really did have a lot of feelings. but i won't make excuses.

rather, i'll take this lemon and try to turn it into a lemon drop shot (i'm not a huge fan of lemonade, or any citrus without vodka added to it).  i'll take it for what it's worth.  every relationship should be a learning experience, and my horrible habit of keeping ex boyfriends around as close friends, a habit for which i am notorious, should serve to edify me and make me better for my future husband.

relationships can be a lot of work, especially during rocky periods.  we each have unique expectations about what should  happen in a relationship.  do i, personally, expect a lot?  do i complicate what should be simple?  i never thought so before.

it's clear what i need to do now: systematically poll the hundreds of other ex boyfriends with whom i'm still friendly... i'll report back with my findings.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

outta my, outta my head

the absurdity of what at first sounds like your average lover-to-lover, high-fructose love ditty but, upon closer attention to the lyrics, is a ridiculous fantasy about a stranger, is not only stuck in my bed but has me inappropriately swooning and cooing and wishing for a complete stranger to cross my path and to spur my unhealthy obsession and/or stalking.  yeah, i could really go for some sick fixation that causes me to stalk someone.  

i know, i know -- that so not right.  but it would surely brighten up the rest of the winter.

that real-life-lovers-sitting-on-a-couch thing works every time.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

winfrey says...

Everybody has to make choices based upon what you feel is best for yourself, and if you start buying into “I cannot fail,” buying into “I’ve had so much success,” then it makes you not willing to take a risk and not willing to grow yourself to what is and should be the next level for you. And if it means that the next level is not as successful as where you were, then it means that’s supposed to teach you something because all of us are here to become more of who you really are.
And my life pattern has been — everybody has patterns in their lives, and knowing the pattern will tell you what your purpose is. So my life pattern has been, whenever I have outgrown a circumstance or a situation, I move on regardless of whether I know what the future holds. I always say “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future,” the power greater than myself.

from the big O's much criticized press conference at which she announced her plans for her OWN network.  i thought i'd give us all some time to forget how weird the speech was before posting this.  i really appreciated these words. 


Sunday, February 13, 2011

my afternoon smile

took a long, meandering walk around Philly today.  saw this sign at a random bar in Olde City.  chuckled.

the attention-grabber worked for me.  good job, random bar people. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

season of love

the best valentine's day card.

from a very dear friend.

made my week.  thanks. XOXO.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t regret making any of them. Because if I hadn’t made them, I wouldn’t have learned how to make things right.

-timely wisdom from the timeless classic, "13 Going On 30." it'sembarrassinghowmuchilovethatmovie.


Friday, February 4, 2011

reactions from the friendosphere

because i'm still processing what i did and how i feel about it (mainly relieved and happy, but of course also uncertain about the future), i'll share other people's reactions to the news that i resigned from my job last Friday:

T: "I'm proud of you."

Tall Brett: "You finally did it? Congratulations."

Cassifrass: "Omigod! What the fuck?!!"

Shaunice: "What about paying rent?"

a cute psych major with whom i went on one date months ago and still chat: "Good for you. Too many people stay at jobs they hate."

Bryson: "Uhh, I guess, good for you."

Ma: "Oh, dear... You're gonna have to quit shopping."

my BFF, D: "Haha. I already heard."


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

quote of the week, thus far

paralegal at my firm, to me: "We were discussing our 'types' and I told them, 'Matthew is totally my type.'"

me: "Well, that explains why you're single." 

paralegal: "It also explains why they laughed."