I'm in quite a cantankerous mood

 I broke some of my rules today.

I had relegated myself to checking my email on certain days of the week.

Handling personal business emails - Tuesday.

Responding to social emails - Wednesday.

Today I was feeling like a contrarian and wanted to take it out on some people. Somewhere along the way I learned not to be disagreeable. So for whatever reason, it feels like a violation of a social contract when other people disagree with me. 

More and more lately it bugs me when people disagree with or correct me. If they don't have to play by the rules, why should I?

I'm always in a tangle with the person I want to be out-loud vs the person I have to keep hidden. 

This particular weekend I came to terms with the fact that the bottom of the barrel friends I was scraping up just aren't doing it for me. I don't know a simpler way to say it. I was right in my initial assessment to leave them in the past. I don't feel the way I want to feel. No one really cares that much about anything, including maintaining inconvenient friendships. I need these people to be available to me. The whole appeal of reaching out to old friends was not having to re-establish that history. But too much time has passed. 

I'm really alone. I'm recommitting to another year of solitude

The only little ray of hope was my manager. The fact that I could connect with her so easily (at least until the tarnish wore off) makes me feel like I'm not asking for too much. But the fact that it took  9 years to meet her is a little daunting. 

So this morning I sent some disagreeable emails. Someone said something that I disagreed with, and I pointed it out.  Of course on reflection, I realize what an undesirable character trait that is. It feels pedantic, when all I wanted was to feel heard. 

Poptarts, bed, and a rude show on Netflix. Off I go. 

These Are the Words I Would Say

Another week done and dusted.

It was actually not remarkably bad. 

I was actually settled in bed watching a show when Manager messaged me that she missed our Friday chats. Elated!  You'd think my high school crush was contacting me. I need to get that fixed.  And then earlier this week she said she collected some swag from a work event for me that she was going to mail me. (Ahhh! It made me think of my aunt!)

Did another week of Cousins Virtual Game Night. One of my cousins mentioned an upcoming therapy appointment but I don't know if she knows that I know the reasons why. And I don't know what the rules are when someone is going to therapy. Are you supposed to ask about it? 

This week, there were some perceived power plays from My Buddy. She has decided that we need to do quarterly audits of the call center starting 2021. Ok, fair. She called a meeting for the 4 of us - me, her, her mediocre white man of a direct report, and Manager. Manager didn't show up. 

I, who forgot I was supposed to be lying more, was like what's an audit plan - I don't know what that is. Later in the meeting, she said oh, well this is nothing to us because Mediocre White Man and I are certified auditors. 

Ok, then why am I in this meeting. So, you all have audited an MI call center before? 

Is there a support group for dealing with co-workers. 

The reason I felt comfortable even admitting to not knowing something is a combination of a couple things. First, more than a few times of late everyone goes to a meeting and no one knows what's going on but no one says anything until after the meeting in side conversations. Secondly, a few women when they feel comfortable have been able to actually question things and try to gain understanding of new topics. So then I started to feel like it was okay. Thirdly, these are my teammates - we share the same Associate Director. 

I think what I keep wanting to ignore is - when I ask a question, it's seen as ignorance; when a non-me asks a question, it's seen as a boon or a critical thinking.  When I ask, what's the purpose of this meeting - it reads as an accusation. When a mediocre white man asks the same question - it makes everyone think twice and he's lauded for his insight and direction. 

I just can't lie on the spot.

Anyway, some general lingering feelings about My Buddy.

She's lost one of her direct reports, and I don't know if she misses having an extra person to boss around, but I feel like some of that attention has been turned towards me. I had an opportunity to nip in the bud, but I chose not to. She is my Manager's right hand woman, so that's a relationship I have to navigate with care. I have to carefully think of what I want the outcome to be.  The issue I've been having is I think she's flexing some sort of authoritative muscle and I'm not sure why. I don't feel like I've presented myself as a threat to her in anyway, so that's concerning. The only other thing I'm wondering is if she's been directed by Manager to keep an eye on me in some way. If that's the case, then I'd like to know. 

So I'm just taking my wins where I can - namely in 1:1 time with my manager. 

The issue I have with the audit plan is - I fear some more frustration with not knowing what I'm doing; I fear some confusion with them not knowing what they're doing; I fear some frustration with having to call them out or hold my tongue; all in all I'm not looking forward to having to work closely with them; I'm not going to get my questions answered; we can barely get through these monthly calibrations without the supplier questioning us. So I can't imagine how us auditing their work is going to go, when my team is so quick to pass the blame back to the vendor eventhough from where I stand the guidance is inconsistent. 

Oh, did I mention that I reached out to my Racist Friend a few weeks ago. He responded via text but we weren't able to connect via phone. I really wish he would make an effort to be my friend again - Lord knows I could use one, even  a racist one. 

Oh! Some fun news. I stumbled upon Serena William's meet-cute story.  Even in their 30s as multi-millionaires they were both playing hard to get. She met her husband in Rome; invited him to see her play in France; he flew down there just to see her, then he pretended he was too busy. What! I laughed, I cried. It gave me a little hope and a little discouragement. I can't play those kinds of games. 


After the First 2 Peanut Butter Cups

 Did 2 weeks just pass already? 

Hmmm, it's Sunday morning and I haven't listened to a church service in months. I did not cry yesterday, so there's that. I fiddled around on the work laptop till about 5p so that helped. 

Let's just do a quick work, money, life update then, shall we!


Work

I still love slash am obsessed with my boss! I just want to do a really good job and make her proud to have me on her team and that she chose me. Mommy issues much? I'm so sad and disappointed when she doesn't pay attention to me. It's weird. 

The hot goss is that her role had pushed out this old white guy that was her boss. Now he's back! I've never been so embroiled in office drama. It's mostly exciting in the moment but easily forgettable when you work virtually.  It's funny because they like to talk about Old white guy having no call center experience eventhough he worked at the company for 22 years but yet recently hired Young white guy at the call center who also has no experience. Humans. 

I just hope she doesn't see it as an affront because I sure do.  

My "buddy" on our team sent me a nasty-gram adjacent email about how "we" should keep each other in the loop and check in with each other so we aren't sending duplicate emails. Mind you, she's the one who didn't CC me on an email. Humans. 

Twice now Manager has put me on the spot in a meeting that I ended up leading unbeknownst to me. So I think my staying quiet in meetings has either been brought to her attention or she's trying to develop me into a public speaker. I don't actually have a problem with public speaking, but I'll leave her be. As I like to say, if you keep paying me, I'll keep doing what you say. 


Money

Finally did my 3rd quarter update. It took a couple weekends. First I just updated all my balances. Investments are looking pretty good. It is pretty fun to see the accounts I stopped contributing to still continue to grow! I finally invested some of the excess cash I'd been holding on to. It's mostly the death benefit from my aunt.  At the end of the month, I am hoping to invest more out of the savings account. It was tied up in trying to get a $200 bonus from opening a new savings account, but it should be free in a couple days. 

A back burner goal is to consolidate some of these accounts, but I'm still under 10, so it's not a priority right now.  Nothing too remarkable for regular expenses.  I was letting cash stay in checking accounts to wait out the Virus and New Job. Oh I have to remember to let $5k stay in savings to pay for this hospital bill I may or may not have to pay when things return to normal. 

Other than that, my default is just to let 1.5 months expenses stay in both checking and savings.  And then invest the rest. Despite opening at least a dozen accounts this year for the sign-up bonus, I haven't found a checking account to replace my regular checking. And I'm still looking for one. I had a list of requirements somewhere. I know I would love some sort of auto-feature that would sweep money into savings if the checking balance was greater than x amount, for starters. 

Life

I ended up scheduling a weekly virtual game night with my cousins. We've had 3 so far. Meh.  I don't know what my dearly departed sainted aunty wants me to do.  Right now I just want to clone my boss and make her my friend. So that is to say I still could use a friend of my very own and someone to take care of me. That probably would need to be 2 people. 

I think that's it for now. 

Some things that happened this week

 It's Saturday morning!

And I am extremely stinky. I need to shower. I stopped shaving my underarms a couple years ago, and let me tell you those hair follicles really do their job to spread your scent. Too bad it's not mating season! 

Anywhoozle, this week.

So yesterday, I had a mostly normal 1:1 with my manager. Phew! I didn't cry; I didn't yell. And I think there was an understanding even if I didn't say it in so many words. I didn't overshare but I did manage to get out some of things I'd wanted to share with her surrounding my grief. Namely, I mentioned the loss again. How it's hard and surprising. It helped that she lost her mom 2 years ago so I had a nice segue. I mentioned how distressing (not sure that's the word I used)...concerned I was when my time with my manager was threatened - like when she went on vacation.  I'd like to think she understood what I was trying to share without me having to apologize again or bring up past moments.  I touched briefly on past managers. 

While I didn't type out what I was going to say, I think I did well getting out the basic bones of the things I wanted to say. I think typing it out would have made it forced, although complete, and I would have felt worse if I didn't get  chance to say it. 

What I got out of the meetings was just a refocus on business problems and stop paying attention so much to relationships with other colleagues. I found myself getting frustrated this week with perceived slights from other co-workers. 

She shared how 3 of her coworkers were her family and really got her through the passing of her mom. Unfortunately for me, one of those is people is my co-worker and her direct report. For me, that's an unbreakable bond that I can't penetrate. So I'll always be on the outside looking in; that relationship will be prioritized over anything we might share. And each of them have their own families so I'm like 88th on her list. Sad. 

I just wanted someone for myself. I guess those days truly are gone. It's going to have to be okay. 

I'd never craved being in a relationship until these moments as of late. I just want someone to look after me. 

But I know that won't happen even if I found someone - I'd be the default caretaker by virtue of being born female. Womp, womp. 

So remember, last week I prayed about finding a message in my inbox of someone just for me. Well, I had a pretty successful game night with my cousins virtually. And one of my other aunts that lived overseas sent me an email. And my mother forwarded me some chain emails.  So there's that.  But I already know those people, and I know they have other priorities before their relationship with me. 

The last time I made a fast friend was my roommate from undergrad (in 2004). I think before that - just the purity of early childhood where everyone you met was a friend. And the most recent was my manager, but my charms just aren't enough. She's vocalized who her close relationships are and I've seen for myself that the connection was one-sided, the feeling is unrequited. It's going to have to be okay. 

Again, I can only think if this is how my aunt felt in the days, or months, or years before her death, I am deeply regretful. It pains me to know I could have brought joy and affirmation to someone else, but I didn't. Ouch, it hurts. It really, really hurts.

No matter, even if I'm just a passing ship to my manager, I choose to be glad that for however long, the connection I felt helped distract me from my grief. In those moments, I was not this sad little girl stuck in this cloudy, sticky, prickly, suffocating grief. 

On to other things, I think I'm backing up a little from calling the three people that answered - Other Aunt, Professional School Roommate, and Cousin. I need to learn to just go back to my single, sad life. This yearning for more just keeps getting me in trouble. I'm not in the mood to take anymore emotional risks. For now, I'll leave channels for communication open, but I don't see that lasting forever.

Oh, the other thing that came up this week - going back to work! My office site is apparently encouraging people to go back to the office. Womp, womp. My manager plans to be onsite one day a week. She said to think about it and let her know what I want to do. Ugh, I already know what I want to do - not move there. I don't plan on bringing it up. Especially if no one is going in 5 days a week, I think I should be okay. 

My thought right now is - I don't enjoy this job enough to move. I'm done with all these false starts and new starts and hope. Not only do I not enjoy it enough, I think having to interact with any of the people I've met so far on a regular basis would be a detriment to the experience and would probably accelerate my dissatisfaction. 

So I guess if we're looking on the brightside - I'm 100% happy I didn't move for this job!

I guess I'm not sure how that conversation would go. If I say, I'd be just as effective working remotely, and she says no. What's the middle ground? 

I’m not waving, I’m drowning.

 I’m not waving, I’m drowning.

My last post didn’t save – stupid internet.

It mostly talked about how reconnecting with a few people over the last 2 week was successful in distracting me from my grief. It was not successful in feeling the range of feelings I so desperately desired to feel. I went through the motions but couldn’t quite get there. Mostly, if I’m not guaranteed to feel better, and often feel worse in the long run- why continue?  I’m leaving the door open, though. We shall see – that probably won’t last long.  I give it two weeks, she said cheekily.

Then I talked about some generic advice I heard from Deepak Chopra on OWN. He told a grieving woman that grief is usually 1-1.5 years. After 6 years, she probably lacked meaning and purpose in her life. Duh.

Then I mentioned addiction and tried to coin the phrase negative-addiction to avoid saying the other word. I just refuse to believe this is that. The point I was trying to make is- many addicts’ story start with I tried dope, and it was the best feeling I ever had. It was everything I thought life would be. Wow, right.

On the other side of the spectrum is what I feel- where every slight or hurt is the worst feeling I’ve ever had. This is nothing like I thought life would be.

I went on to say that often times, I believe, when people hear that someone chose to end their life, there is a belief that this was some sort of impulse decision.  People wonder what might have happened in the moment right before this.

I’m here to tell you that the answer, for I would venture to say most people, is nothing. The decision to end your life is likely a seemingly lifelong series of moments right before that.