Last night's reading went off without a hitch, I will post more about it later, but I'm so pleased. I'll have the next 2 months' lineups up soon. Then October we have our first guest host, Carolyn Castiglia, and it's also the 4 year anniversary of In The Flesh but we'll be celebrating that at spanking night November 19th. Though even if we call it a birthday, 4 spankings doesn't sound like very many. Will have to ponder that one.
Anyway, though, past few weeks have been full of frustration. I'm one of those people who always thinks everything's my fault, and obviously, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. But even when it's not, I try to look at what role I played, how I fucked up or could've made things easier on myself.
A few weeks ago, I was planning to go to the library during my lunch hour, but got an email about appearing on a local radio station. I then spent about 20 minutes of my lunch hour chatting with the producer, who made it sound like a done deal for the next morning. I asked if we were all set and she said something like, "Unless something major happens in Iraq..." So I took that to mean I was on, and didn't mind having thus wasted my chance to go to the library (it's a slightly far trip).
Then I get a call from her later in the evening telling me that I'm not on. From the impression I got from her end (something about a guest and scheduling), the segment wasn't happening. Turns out it was...with two people I know and respect. I took that to mean my answers weren't up to snuff, that instead of being asked to be on the show I was somehow auditioning. And, well, I was annoyed and a bit jealous. No, I don't have the proper credentials as those friends. I've never written a book, no longer have any column to attach to my name. I get it, but what frustrated me was the wasted time from speaking with her to researching the topic. And I hated that jealous feeling. Of course I was happy for my friends on the show but I was annoyed that my time had been wasted and wished I'd gotten to do the show. But it made me realize that if I want these gigs, I have to write a nonfiction book. Simple as that. It will happen...not anytime in my foreseeable future (I can only reasonably see about a year or two into the future), but it will. For now, I have other projects occupying my attention. I learned that next time, nothing is final until you are literally on the air. I should know that, but I either didn't or I forgot, so, lesson learned.
This week I had plans with someone. They were made the night before and somewhat tentative, but seemed more solid than not. I was waiting for them to call, and wound up rearranging whatever schedule I'd had to wait. And wait. I finally texted and turns out there wasn't going to be enough time to meet up. I felt stood up, and since this was kinda maybe sortof a date, or something like that, it made me feel like I did so many times when I was dating random people, that it was all about the sex, nothing about me. I realized that if this person thought there might be a future between us, someday, whether I do or not, it wouldn't have gone down like that. Right then and there, I lost my interest, at least, any potential sexual interest. There was a time when I still would've gone out of my way to pursue something like that (yes, I am in a relationship which is going quite well, this was just a mild flirtation), to find a way to work it out. I was a bit annoyed but I also knew we didn't have confirmed plans. And the person's young, young enough to, perhaps, not know better, or not try to see it from my perspective. I learned that I had to either not make future plans with this person, or realize that they're always tentative.
The other frustration is sortof two in one. I can't get into the details but I had a disagreement with a friend that left me rattled. Both were somewhat about the same topic, money, which is almost always touchy and tricky. It reminded me of my ex and brought up a lot of my issues, which I also can't, or rather, won't get into here. After a long night last night, I was standing in the bathroom in my boyfriend's apartment with tears streaming down my face. I don't really know that I was "crying" - to me, that word involves sobs and rocking and being on the verge of utter collapse. It wasn't like that, though it could easily have been. The tears are happening now as I write this. I couldn't get the loop of both my conversation with my friend and my role in it out of my head.
I see exactly how it happened, and it was one of those things where as I was doing something, I was thinking, maybe this isn't right. At the same time, I had the best of intentions, but things don't always go as planned.
I'm not one of those people who has lots of fights or arguments; the person I ever argue with the most is my mom, my dad second. I don't tend to argue with people I'm dating. Before this, I honestly can't remember the last time I had what I'd call a fight with a friend. I'm sure I have, but it can't have been recent. That's not to say there aren't slight disagreements or annoyances but those I move on from pretty quickly. The last one that comes to mind was many years ago, with a friend who'd borrowed a key to my grandmother's apartment after we'd stayed there, then lost it, and I really, really needed it, and wound up getting in trouble about it. Now, it seems silly and stupid, and that is not even on my radar when I see this friend. But this other problem, I don't know how it'll play out. I hope we can move past it because I feel awful to have come across like I don't care.
The lesson I learned there though is that money is such a huge topic it has the potential to make all of us act in less than ideal ways. I reacted from my gut the other day and while I don't think my feelings were wrong, I went about expressing them in a way that not only worsened the situation, but I know hurt my friend. I don't plan to mix money and relationships, friendship, familial, or romantic, again, because every time I have it has led to cracks in the relationship that weren't there before, and that is something I definitely can't afford.
All of which is to say that it's been a trying time the last few weeks. I need to get my focus back, mostly because the only person who's actions I can control is my own. Much as I know that, sometimes I get aggravated with people around me who aren't behaving the way I'd want them to. I know someone who almost every time I see them talks about how much they want to do something, who says they're going to do it, who laments not having done it, who vows to do that thing the very next day...and then doesn't. I don't personally care one way or the other but to hear it ad nauseum does make me wonder about their values, their meaning. That's what I liked about the integrity vlog.
I do it too, but hearing Kimberlee say it out loud, I realize that I want to be the kind of person who does what she says. I'm about to sign a contract and all I can think is how foolish and stupid and young and dumb I was when I signed another contract about three years ago. How full of hubris and full of myself. This one has no emotion, no elation. It's business, which it always, always was. It's words and numbers and signatures on pages. That's it. Maybe there will be something about it to celebrate, someday, when I approach that baby-making witching hour, when I am 35, a number that looks cold and scary and so not me, at least, right now. I hope there will be something good at the end of the rainbow, but I know I have to make it happen. No one will do it for me or hand it to me, and the greatest sin I can commit is to expect something magical. I learned so many lessons from round 1, which I can't dwell on now, as I'm in the midst of round 2. The point is, I need to retreat a little and look inward. I've been spending a lot of nights alone and I have to say, it's fucking awesome. I am not this social butterfly people seem to think I am. I love going out but I really do love being on my own even more, not feeling locked in to plans or expectations. So I'm trying to limit the going out lest I become too antisocial.
I've also been writing next to nothing, which means no extra money coming in. I have a few fun assignments that I'm excited about, for print and web. I was flirting with attending my first Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference this weekend, but so glad I'm not, as I'd have had to be on a bus to DC at the crack of dawn today, and would only have gotten 2 days of the conference. Instead, I will live vicariously by reading my pal Lauren Dane's novel Restless and look forward to next year in Nashville. And maybe get a hot stone massage.
And keep on sweating buckets at New York Sports Club - that has been so wonderful. I'm keeping myself on the elliptical machine by reading the new Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl, which has all the Kinsella hallmarks but actually takes things up a notch. It's about a young women with a failing business and love life who's visited by the ghost of her 105-year-old newly-dead great-aunt, Sophie, who regales her with stories from the 1920's (and beyond) and meddles in her love life and shows her a new side of things. I like Sophie because she takes lovers and smokes and has a much more devil-may-care, let's-have-fun now attitude than the protagonist, Lara. I've been trying to only read it at the gym, but now that I'm in the middle it's getting really good, so I either have to step it up at the gym, or break that rule.
This weekend I also plan to have a Mad Men marathon. I don't have cable (or even regular TV) and just got hooked in time for the DVD release of Season 2. If you're a fan--or even if you're not--check out Jezebel's "15 Feminist Moments from Mad Men."