Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Don't forget your life jacket

A few weeks ago, I texted something to my sister and she responded with, "Sometimes I wish I could dive into your brain to see how it works." Oddly,enough, she isn't the only person to have ever expressed this sentiment. Truth be told, I'm not sure even I know how my brain works. Sometimes (lots of times) I get the feeling that I exist on a completely different wavelength from everyone else. And I really don't think it's a bad thing. I was reading my horoscope yesterday (no, I don't believe in astrology, but sometimes I get sucked into those silly Facebook apps and it was pretty much a one time thing) and was suprised to see a fairly accurate description of me. People think I'm a little strange, pretty quirky, very eccentric. (Eccentric is the word I prefer to use, others may have other ideas...Phyllis, stop it.) I happen to be very amused by me most of the time, and if I'm lucky I amuse others too. Sometimes in the "I'm shaking my head and patting you on the head" sort of way, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

Anyway. In a similar fashion to that "25 Random Things About Me" fad that went around Facebook months ago, I am going to attempt to uncover some of the mysteries of my mind for others out there. This will be in no way comprehensive, since there is no way I can possibly type everything out and still get some cleaning done tonight, and also because I am continually learning new things about myself. I am trying to peer-pressure Phyllis into guest blogging in the near future with her views on my brain, since she apparently has MANY opinions. We'll see how that turns out. So. On with the show.

~I am very sarcastic. Not only do I speak in sarcasm, I also hear almost everything in a sarcastic tone. I believe this is why I have a hard time taking compliments. "Wow, you did a great job on that," turns into a snarky judgment. "You look nice today," makes me second-guess not only the outfit/hair I am sporting at the time, but also makes me think back to how I must look other days in order for someone to make that comparison. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying it is.

~Let's get this out of the way right now. I think waaaaay too much. I read into everything, and actually have to talk myself down sometimes. Not literally "down" like I'm on the verge of doing something crazy, but I have to mentally beat down certain thoughts that keep popping up. What did she mean when she said that? Did I say the right thing with that client? Is she avoiding my call or is she really not home? Seriously, it's annoying. Different from hearing voices, because it's my own voice and I can control it, but just as distracting at times.

~I'm pretty sure in my chosen profession I have no idea what I'm doing. Don't tell my boss. (HI, Amanda!) If anyone reading this doesn't know, I'm a family therapist. I currently work with punk teenagers, and I actually sorta love it sometimes. Teenagers are hilarious. However, why on earth would a teenager listen to me? Let alone his parents, who have been raising this kid sometimes for almost as long as I've been alive. Yet somehow, change happens. One of my supervisors told me the other day that the result of therapy is 50% therapeutic alliance, 25% method, and 25% outside factors having nothing to do with the actual therapy. I guess if there's one thing I know I'm good at, it's connecting with my clients. Sometimes all they need is someone to listen and believe that they aren't bad kids/parents. The least I can give them is that.

~Even though I've chosen to be a therapist, I also want to be a writer and a book editor and a marine biologist and an ice skater and a photographer and I want to be in a band. Sometimes I wonder if I chose the safe route, if you can call an almost completely subjective profession the "safe route." I decide approximately monthly to change my career. However, I feel so stuck sometimes (by student loans, education, lack of opportunity) that it never seems realistic. I want to do something that takes me to exotic places, but I am terrified to leave my family, not to mention my comfort zone, behind. How can I want to be far away and stay here all at the same time? I have no idea. Thus far my opportunities remain where I am, so here I stay.

~I am a fiercely loyal friend. I also work very hard at keeping in touch with friends. This is one of those things I have to talk myself down about, because I tend to take it personally when friends don't keep in as close contact with me as I do them. I know (really I do!) that it isn't personal, and that my friends love me as much as I love them (maybe more, I am very loveable, after all), but man, when I don't hear from people for weeks/months it makes it hard! This is made worse by the fact that many of my closest friends live far away, so seeing them face to face isn't at option. Good thing I'm a phone person and a very persistent stalker;)

~As much as I love my friendships, and have several friends I am convinced will be in my life forever, I am terrified of committment of the romantic sort. I think I have reached the point in my life where two things have happened. Number 1, I have gotten hurt in the past. And seriously, that shouldn't even be an issue because most of the hurt was my own fault for not speaking up. Does that change me speaking up now? Of course not. I'm too scared. Number 2, I have gotten very comfortable with my life as it is. I'm not good with change, and even good change can be uncomfortable. Do I want to be married and have kids? Absolutely. Am I sometimes ridiculously jealous of my friends who are doing just that? I'm ashamed to say that I am. Not that I'm not ecstatically happy at the same time. It's a very strange dichotomy of emotions. It's going to take an awesome guy pursuing me to convince me the change is worth it...even though I already know it will be...it's okay, I still don't understand me...

~I talk to inanimate objects. No, I don't think they talk back (mostly), but when you live alone, it's hard not to strike up a conversation with the microwave. A couple weeks ago I was home for five and a half days straight with walking pneumonia. The time was fairly void of human contact. However, you'd be amazed at the conversations I had. I also talk to other cars while driving. Not to their drivers, to the cars themselves. I used to have some major road rage issues. Now it's more road annoyance. I mean, really, a car should have its lights on if the fog is so thick you can't see five feet in front of you, right? I thought so. Silly cars.

~I constantly make up stories in my head to keep myself entertained. Anyone can star in them. Sometimes it's people I know, sometimes it's people I've heard of, and sometimes the characters are completely made up. Some of these stories have the potential to turn into novels, but I need to finish the two I'm working on before moving on to any of my other ideas.

~I have the strangest/funniest dreams. And I almost always remember them. One of my all time favorites is the one where I was a green M&M in the M&M army and they didn't know I was a spy who was planning to eat them all. I recently had a dream in which I was dating Evan Lysacek, Olympic gold medal figure skater. I also dreamed my friend Libby was a cat and her mom set her tail on fire, and that my best friend's brother could sing like Josh Groban. Sometimes I adapt my dreams into the stories/daydreams I use to entertain myself. Amazing how fast car trips go with these stories!

~I get bored very easily. I often have to be doing three things at once to keep part of my brain from falling asleep. (Although you would be proud because right now the TV is muted and I'm not even chatting with anyone, so this blog has my entire focus...probably why it's getting so long!) You'd think that a short attention span would not be conducive to being a therapist, but it's amazing how I can focus in during those times when it's really important. It also explains why I want to be a play therapist instead of doing talk therapy forever. And why I enjoy the skill teaching part of therapy because I can play games with the family. Also, I like sparkly things. I have recently been very distracted in staffing due to the sparkle of a new engagement ring on a coworker's finger. Seriously, it's bad sometimes, like I will be completely out of it, completely lost in the sparkles, and have no idea what's going on. That degree of distractedness does not occur very often, but I can lose minutes this way. Phyllis has a pair of sparkly sandals she wears when the weather is warm that I love to stare at. Good thing she doesn't put her feet on the table during meetings.

~I am still awed by things that should by now be mundane. Every time it snows, I sit at the window and watch the flakes come down. Same with rain. I appreciate every sunny day, and the birds singing when I wake up. When I am by a large body of water, I can sit and stare at the movement of the waves for hours. Every time I walk outside when it's dark out, I look up, and if the sky is clear I stand in amazement and stare at the stars, which never fail to take my breath away. That's the thing I miss about living in the country. I love visiting my brother because the stars are so bright and beautiful. I even enjoy the sight of the gold-domed Captiol building I see every day on my drive to work. I'm almost paralyzed when I get places like the mountains, because the beauty overwhelms me. I fully appreciate every aspect of God's beautiful creation, and often feel as if I'm seeing it for the first time.

~I think things like squirrels and pirates and sporks are funny. I like to twist people's words (all in fun) until they are flustered with trying to get their meaning across. I can be having a conversation and suddenly be on a topic about 5000 miles from where we started. I could trace the train of thought, but it would take too long and probably wouldn't make any sense to anyone else. I always have good reasons for the things I do and say, but usually they just come across as bizarre. And I think usually people appreciate the bizarre. I also know when to be serious, but sometimes I say things I mean seriously as a joke, hoping people won't take them seriously.

~The last paragraph was a whole bunch of different things all in one. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something I wanted to put in here, but I feel as if it's gotten long enough.

So yeah. I may add more as time goes on, in different posts. Clearly this is just a small part of what makes me, me, but hopefully you got just a glimpse into my inner workings. Any deeper and you might just never recover ;)


  1. I loved this! Thanks for sharing about your inner workings. ;)

    Especially loved the part about striking up a conversation with the microwave. Keep finding yourself in awe over mundane. And thanks for the work you do as a family therapist!

    I like sparkles too. Look! Shiny! Pretty. Gimme.

  2. So glad to find someone else who appreciates the sparkly things in life. We were definitely meant to be friends, Chase!