On the Verge, Intently

This week has been one of those painful weeks where growth and realization have come quickly, but at a price. The week broke right into a bubble that was threatening to make me seriously happy, or at the very least content. It’s good to be reminded that these bouts of confidence and satisfaction are merely semi-permanent. Keeps me on my toes.

“Your social life has gone downhill. You’re lower on my totem pole,” he said over dinner. And inside, I ached.

“We’re enigmas,” she tells me, and I know she’s right. “Most 24 year olds aren’t as concerned about jobs and careers and futures.” (Arguably, I’m over-concerned.)

I bear a bit of resentment towards my peers who seem to be so carefree (careless?) with their time, their motivation, their agendas.

I got upset with him today. The realizations came swiftly and unbidden, settling around my heart like ice. I fear I’ve made a huge mistake. I grew upset and let it spill out today, a fury that had been brewing for four days. I questioned his motivations and tried to gently remind him that if what he’s doing now is overwhelming, then the real world is going to be a shock. There are no breaks. It wasn’t fun, and at the end of it, I don’t feel any better.

“They don’t ever change.” She told me this nearly a year ago, as I stood annoyed in the kitchen at work. And again, I hear her words echoing through my head. I wanted so badly to believe that those nine months gave him time to grow. I let myself believe and now, I’m trapped in something that might not be right, fearing that I could be sabotaging it myself or that I could be absolutely correct.

I’m trying to remind myself that the artificial idea of “success” isn’t important. But then I see her, struggling to feed her family because her lousy husband won’t work. The fear returns. Motivation. Work ethic. Drive. Those things matter. For me, it’s not so much money or status as it is the ability to continually plod along with a set of goals in mind.

As I grow into the person I will become, I am reminded often that nothing is certain. I am reminded that everything you know is not enough. Respect might not be enough, but it’s certainly incredibly important.

I’m working on my patience, too.

To quote the poignant words of a fictional twenty-something, “Your dreams are not what you thought they’d be.”

Baby steps.

On Upward Mobility, at 23.

[this is a really pathetic post. If you’re not in the mood for serious self-pity, please don’t read any further…]

It has been a rough few days. Right now, I feel like the part of me that feels anything but that strange apathetic misery has disappeared.
I’ve been prone to bouts of tears. They come at random times.
Last night, Kevin brought home Chinese food (I’d been camping out on his couch, feeling sorry for myself and watching Mission Impossible) and I cried. So that was awkward. For a man who has no idea how to deal with the waves of feminine emotions, it might have been too much to handle.
“Is there something you’re not telling me?” he asked.
Well. About that.

But let’s rewind.
5pm Friday.
I was seriously excited to see Katie, who was in town for the weekend. We were going to meet up, grab drinks, and meet up with her/our friend Mark after he got off work.
I’m driving home. 6th and Colorado (I always get held up at the light.) One of my Gmail accounts dings. Mail. I open it.
UCD rejects me swiftly, before the light changes.
I catch my breath. Humiliation sinks in. Shame.
I had considered many scenarios. Many. None of them included being rejected. Flippantly, I’d been saying that if I didn’t get into grad school, I’d have no idea what to do with my life. But those statements were made with the underlying assumption that I’d get in.
What?!?!? The email said that while they couldn’t tell me why, blah blah blah, something about recommendation letters. I may have ignored one of their requirements that I have two letters of recommendation from former professors. I had one. It was a beautiful letter, but I neglected to get the second, and instead used a family that I babysit for.
Idiotic move, in hindsight.
But regardless of my disregard for the stated process, I am still not good enough for UCD. So, wow.
Of course, I handled it incredibly maturely and proceeded to get absolutely, ridiculously drunk. Classy, I know. Sloppy. And to make matters so much worse, I wore heels.
Now, if you’ll remember the incident in Chicago in mid-2010…the one where upon being denied entry to a club due to my status as a “liability”, I told the bouncer that I wasn’t drunk, I just had double-jointed ankles that prevented me from walking straight. (I actually do have double-jointed ankles, for the record. Should probably stay away from heels any time my BAC is above .08.) It was basically like that.

I’m now a walking failure. Just completely lost. Doomed to pull a tiny salary for the rest of my life. I’m so upset. I can’t even tell you the last time I felt this lack of optimism. (Actually, I can. The last time this happened, I got a cat. So about two years ago. But don’t worry, I have enough cats [one is always enough cats] and I don’t have the cash for anything wild.)

I know that life is a funny place.
I get that.
But watching everyone else around me find contentment and success professionally, personally, romantically, academically…it’s all just too much.

I’m just in a position in my life where nothing is going right. When Heidi Klum and Seal announced their divorce last week, I was uncharacteristically shaken. If they can’t do it, who can? My own relationship is shaky, at best. It’s not meeting my needs, and it’s frustrating. I so badly want it to work. I don’t think he’s willing to meet me halfway. I don’t think he quite understands what I need and I’m not sure how to tell him. My job is fine. I love my company, I really do. But it’s hard to see a future where I still only pull $1800 month after taxes. It’s hard to make a life like that. I want to own a home. My future is uncertain. I hate that uncertainty. That’s the worst part.

And don’t start with the “but you’re young” bullshit. I’m almost 24. I get that I’m young. But when you were 24, did that seem so young? No. It’s that precarious time where the shedding of our adolescent predilections is finalized and our adulthood settles in. I was out with a friend and he started in with the “you’re young” business. Well, I’m not young enough that you can’t take me home with you, so don’t patronize me. I can and will play ball on your level. You just need to realize that your level is the same as everybody else’s.

I get that I’m foolish and full of thoughts. But I don’t think that those stem from my youth. I think that some of us are eternally doomed to steep in our emotions, in our thoughts, in our heads. There are plenty of people at all ages who are just as lost as I am right now. And there are plenty of people at all ages who will never have the qualities that I have. At my core, I am a beautiful person. I know that I’m fiercely intelligent. I’m open to new experiences; I’m polite (situationally, of course); I’m beautiful; I’m funny; I’m kind-hearted; I’m sarcastic; I’m an excellent maker of French toast; yes, I’m hyper-aware of my emotions – it’s the greatest gift and ultimate worst curse. I’m constantly growing and changing, becoming more and more the person that I want to be. But at my core, I’ll always be a little wild. And I like that.

I’ve been making a list of things that I can be instead of a therapist, because the door just got slammed hard on that one. But I won’t list them here, because they’re basically the primetime lineup for A&E and History channel: logger, pawn shop owner, swamp person, etc. (I’m way too much of a girl to be a swamp person, just for the record. And I refuse to eat squirrel.)

And please don’t think that I’m not grateful. I may be wallowing (I need a few days to really embrace the depths of the sadness before I can kick my way out), but I’m still aware of the blessings in my life. Sort of. Mostly. Maybe.

Down

Some unexpected developments.
The life I am in the process of building has shattered yet again.
The pieces are scattered.
Not thinking.
Not processing.
Not yet.
Tomorrow.
Until then, my dreams are laid away.
Let’s just be a little wild, just for tonight.
No time to think of consequences.
Push forward.
Find hope.
Smile.
It could be worse….

On Bruising, Carlos, and Mullen. Weird mix.

My arms looks really weird in this picture (it normally doesn’t look like a sad piece of sausage), but that’s the back of it – all purple and blue and green. Let’s just say I’m really grateful that I have a helmet for snowboarding; I’ve needed it quite a bit this year. After knocking the wind out of myself during a particularly nasty fall on Saturday, I sat on the mountain and cried a little bit. It was the first time I’ve cried while snowboarding; I felt like such a baby. I got back up, though, and kept going. My ribs are ever-present reminders that the human body is not invincible. Alas, by the end of the year, I am determined to be more than proficient in snowboarding. I want to be able to do black runs and go off little jumps. We’re getting there. (Slowly) 
Best quote of Kevin’s all weekend was: “As long as I’m with you and you’re not crying, I’m having fun.” Emphasis on the “you’re not crying.” It made me laugh. 
Where is my son? Oh, that’s right, he’s still hanging out at Kevin’s. Apparently, the two of them are quite a nice pair. Carlos loves all of the nooks to crawl into and all of the stuff to climb on. He also seems to adore Kevin. I’m happy that they get along so well. 
 Dear Mullen High School Board of Trustees,

The lack of sound leadership on the part of Mr. Ryan Clement, President and CEO, and Jim Gmelich, Principal as it relates to the firing of Coach Dave Logan and his staff have hurt our Mullen students, alumni, parents, faculty, and friends. The character and dedication of Coach Logan and his staff are without question. The number of young people they have positively influenced is tremendous. The actions of Mr. Clement and Mr. Gmelich do not uphold our LaSallian values in how our Mullen family is expected to be treated. 

We petition the Board of Trustees of Mullen High School to act immediately to remove Ryan Clement and Jim Gmelich from their respective positions, and to move immediately to reinstate Coach Logan and his entire staff.

As I type this, 750 people have signed the Mullen petition (text above). I know some of them. I’ve been reading the comments – of course they’re biased, but they are very telling about how Mullen has handled the last few years. As a member of the class of 2006, I am proud of the education I received, but I can honestly say that I’ve not heard any positive news coming out of Mullen since I left. While I know that a lot of people think that there must have been some grievous offense committed by Dave Logan prior to his firing, I am not necessarily ready to believe that. I’m also not supportive of this current administration. I am saddened that the attempts to revive Mullen have resulted in the utter destruction of its reputation.

On Mullen…and football…and Dave Logan

I was sad to hear about the dismissal of Dave Logan from the Mullen football program – he was a great coach. I remember being so excited that he was going to be our coach! I hope that the new administration has a solid plan of action about how to keep the momentum of the program alive.

POST PREPS: FOOTBALL

Mullen High dismisses Dave Logan as football coach

POSTED: 01/12/2012 01:00:00 AM MST
UPDATED: 01/12/2012 10:24:17 AM MST

By Neil H. Devlin
The Denver Post

Playing Cherokee Trail in September, Dave Logan talks with linebacker Nick Brotzman. Mullen won, 28-9. (Denver Post file)

Dave Logan, one of Colorado’s greatest high school athletes and football coaches, as well as the longtime radio voice of theDenver Broncos, has been forced out at perennial powerhouse Mullen High School.
The head coach for the Class 5A Mustangs, in south Denver, has guided teams to six state championships in his 19-year coaching career, including four at Mullen since 2003. He informed his team at a meeting Wednesday afternoon.
“Everybody’s shocked. Everybody’s mad,” Mustangs senior receiver Guy Johnson said. “To publicly humiliate such a good person and fire somebody for, as far as we know, no apparent reason is crazy to me.”
Ryan Clement, president and chief executive at the Lasallian Catholic high school, said in a phone interview that he was grateful for all Logan had done, but he made it clear he was seeking a coach who was in the building full time and was more in tune with the school’s mission.
“Our responsibility is to always be aware of the entire culture at Mullen according to Lasallian values,” said Clement, who, like Logan, is a past winner of The Denver Post Gold Helmet Award as the state’s top senior football player, scholar and citizen.
“After discussions, we decided the best interest of the school in the long term was someone who can be a full-time member of the school community and be engaged in every facet. Part of that is to be a fully engaged member. (Logan) had great integrity, and you can’t argue with his success at all.”
Logan has business interests away from coaching, including hosting a daily afternoon talk show on KOA-850 AM, and working the Broncos broadcasts.
While disappointed he was let go, Logan said: “I’m really grateful for nine great years at Mullen. There are some staff members and people there I will continue to be friends with, and I thank them for their support. I fully understand when there are changes made that people have to decide for their school or company as to their
Prep Poll – Dave Logan

Do you think Mullen should have fired Dave Logan?
Total Votes = 853
Yes.
  11.48 %
No.
 88.51 %

next direction.”

Logan added he would like to coach again.
A former Wheat Ridge High School all-stater, Logan maintained his broadcasting career since his first coaching position, at Arvada West in 1993. He moved to Chatfield in 2000, and later to Mullen.
Clement, a former Mullen star quarterback who went on to Miami, and principal Jim Gmelich, formerly of Regis Jesuit, are new in their positions and opted for change. Clement acknowledged firing an icon would cause “backlash” but felt “this was what was best for the school.”
Logan refused to argue but was not going to resign.
“Rather than focus on anything negative, I am going to be positive and move forward,” he said. “That school will be successful, and successful in football. And it’s certainly not because of one man. I wish them all the best.”
Logan has posted a 201-43 career coaching record, including 17 playoff appearances. For years he has donated his coaching salary to his assistants.
“Whether Dave Logan is coaching at Mullen or another Colorado high school, what is important is that Dave Logan is coaching high school football,” Colorado High School Activities Association commissioner Paul Angelico said.
“His passion and knowledge has such a positive impact on his players and schools. I believe his success is because of his passion, hard work, integrity and focusing on doing the right things for kids.”
Cherry Creek High’s Mike Brookhart, who heads the state’s largest school football and boys basketball programs, said Logan “is not only a tremendous football coach but a role model for kids. He’s done such a great job at three places, and his record speaks for itself. But the things he teaches kids are what they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”
Mustangs senior quarterback Cyler Miles said Logan, a three-sport star at Wheat Ridge and two-sport standout at the University of Colorado, greatly helped his career. Miles, the No. 1 recruit in the state this past year, will attend the University of Washington next fall.
“He developed me more as a person than as a player, honestly,” Miles said. “He teaches his players integrity, and it’s better to have a good character and be so-so in football than be an all-star and be a jerk at the same time. He’s done a lot in that aspect of character.”
Fellow Mustangs senior Tyler Henington, a defensive lineman who will play at CU, was devastated when Logan broke the news to his players.
“Coach Logan was Mullen,” he said. “It’s ridiculous that they did that. . . . Of course, without Coach Logan and his coaching staff, I don’t know if I’d be going up to CU or having all the options I had. I think that was a huge reason, and taking away that is like taking away a part of my body. It’s crazy.”
Johnson, the wide receiver, added that “we can’t help it that we’re good at football. You should embrace that fact.”
He said there was talk around school Wednesday afternoon of “students planning a rebellion (today), some skipping class, others breaking dress code and wearing jeans.”
What’s next for Mullen, and Logan, is not clear. Clement said he was aware of talk that Regis Jesuit coach Mark Nolan would rejoin Gmelich, but he said the school’s national search will target national Lasallian and Catholic schools.
As for Logan, whose professional career as a wide receiver began with Cleveland and ended with the Broncos, he is expected to have many offers to coach in the metro area.
“I’m going to take a step back and regroup,” he said. “I certainly will coach again if the opportunity presents itself. I love working with young men and coaching football.”
Neil H. Devlin: 303-954-1714 orndevlin@denverpost.com. Additional reporting by Post reporter Ryan Casey.

A player and a coach

As a player:1971 Denver Post Gold Helmet winner — given to Colorado’s top senior football player, scholar and citizen — as a high school player at Wheat Ridge . . . Two-sport letter winner at the University of Colorado (football and basketball) . . . Drafted by three professional sports leagues (NBA, MLB and NFL) . . . Went on to a career as a wide receiver for theCleveland Brownsand Denver Broncos.
As a coach:Career record of 201-43, with six state titles over 19 seasons at Arvada West, Chatfield and Mullen . . . Won three consecutive Class 5A championships at Mullen (2008-10) and another at the parochial school in 2004 . . . Was 61-24 at Arvada West and 30-7 at Chatfield . . . Mullen had a 34-game winning streak over three seasons before it was snapped in the fall . . . The Denver Post/Denver Broncos high school coach of the year in 2010.

Read more:Mullen High dismisses Dave Logan as football coach – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19724883?_requestid=25085530#ixzz1jHRTVWFF
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Source: The Denver Post Online

On Jumbles of Thoughts.

Today is one of those days where I’m just going to throw random thoughts at you. And then you’ll read them. Or you won’t.

-Kevin is amazing. Just wonderful. It snowed a bit today, so he gave me his key and told me to take his car to work. Now that I’m used to it, I really like driving his SUV. And the four-wheel drive really comes in handy. I’m glad I get to keep him. The only thing left to do is have him meet Mom. I don’t anticipate any problems there.

-I mailed my application. I started holding my breath, then realized that was a dumb idea and stopped. (That didn’t actually happen, just so we’re clear.) We’ll know in about a month. Keep your fingers crossed. I really want this. I’m trying not to get too excited, just in case there’s a letdown coming, but I’m not going to lie, I’m hoping that this is the beginning of the best adventure of my life. I’m going to rock as a sex therapist. I’m going to rock as a marriage therapist. I’m going to rock as a family therapist. I’m just going to rock.

-Shopping for nice boots is nasty business. I bought two pairs from Nordstrom online (their customer service is SO good). Now that I’ve received them, returned one pair, and received a replacement, I’m not sure that I like either pair. (Kevin said that one of the pairs looked like rain boots, which I think is the worst criticism you could ever give a pair of boots – I hate rain boots because they just swallow up my legs.) So now I’m thinking about returning all of them and not buying any boots. Or just keeping the cheap pair I have now. And to think of all the jeans I could buy for the money I spent on boots! (Not that many, actually, but still, new jeans are new jeans.)

-I’m a terrible mother: after two years of owning the beast, I had neglected to register his microchip. (I swear, I thought I had!) The microchip people had a completely different idea of where the microchip was, so I’m glad it’s all taken care of now. We took him to the Dumb Friends League on Saturday to get his microchip scanned to make sure it was working. We also took the opportunity to look at dogs. It was really sad – we were waiting in the intake room to get Carlos scanned and there were so many people giving up their pets. The woman’s relief was palpable when I told her that I just wanted to check his chip. I’m sure she thought that we were there to sign him over. Of course, he wouldn’t come out of his carrier (you have to fight to get him in, fight to get him out…it’s a whole mess), so she just reached in to scan him. He was such a trooper. After that errand, we ended up at Costco, so he stayed in the car while we shopped. The poor little guy was so happy to be home, he ran out of the carrier as soon as I set him down. I think he thinks he’s going to get returned to the shelter every time we get in the car.

-Dave Logan isn’t going to be the coach of Mullen anymore. Interesting. I’m curious to find out why he’s out. I’m even more curious to find out what direction they’re planning on taking the football program.

-The Broncos game on Sunday was amazing! I was starting to panic and then all of a sudden, it was over. We’d won. Hugs all around and even a high five from the Steelers fan next to me. I’m looking forward to seeing the game on Saturday – I’m hoping (although not confident) that we will win. Kevin took me with him to the Nuggets game on Monday night. (So much sports crammed into so little time!) I really like watching basketball – I need to start doing more of it. It was a really good game, even though we lost.

…well, this was an eloquent post. Here’s hoping for something more coherent tomorrow.

On Collecting Thoughts

…this is a post full of random thoughts. Nothing cohesive and certainly no structure. non-apologies, in advance.

Driving home last night, I saw the leaves strewn about on the road and I realized that it’s really fall. Apparently, the massive amounts of pumpkin spice lattes I’ve been consuming have done nothing to drive that home.

That said, I have no idea what I’m going to be for Halloween and I’m started to stress about it. I was Snow White for three of the past four years, which worked out really well. I missed last year, which was a relief creatively and a major bummer in all other ways.

Any thoughts?

It’s like that scene from the movie Mean Girls where she shows up at the party dressed in costume, and all the other girls are wearing lingerie and ears.

(linked here – not the best, but whatever. I’m at work, trying to shove ravioli down my throat and type at the same time.)

I want something with a lot of fake blood, or something funny, or something super clever. My friend E has some pants that are her “smarty-pants”…she painstakingly glued packages of Smarties candy all over them. That’s cute. I don’t want to do that, though.

I don’t want to be anything slutty…like a slutty cop. I’ve never understood that. Besides, furry handcuffs are lame. But then again, I could be Lieutenant Dangle from Reno! 911. That’s slutty and a cop. But not in the way you’d expect.

I was 0 for 2 at going out this weekend, so perhaps that’s why the party itch is so strong for a Monday. Friday and Saturday were both “let’s drunk dial Katie and tell her how much fun we’re having and invite her out at ridiculous hours” nights. Boo. Responsibility is so overrated.

Long bike ride with Mike on Friday evening. My Camelbak started leaking down my back nearly immediately after we left the house, and by 7th Avenue, it was dripping down my legs when I stood up. Thankfully, it was a warm night, but it made for a very uncomfortable ride. I hope the weather holds long enough that we’ll be able to do a few more of those before it gets too cold.

On the plus side, I did a ton of laundry and cleaning this weekend. My closet is actually being used as a closet. I just don’t get why people hang clothes up. But I’m doing it. We’ll see how long this lasts.

I was out having dinner on Broadway with R the other night, and he asked me if I’d ever gotten my second bookshelf put together (he built the first one for me back in February – I’d like to interject that I was in the middle of doing it myself, but he interrupted and finished it. I can dig that kind of masculine projection. It saves me some work). I looked back at him and smiled, “I’ve been meaning to call you about that.” He laughed at me. You’ll notice he didn’t build it for me, though. So that’s my goal  for tonight. Consider my handyman independence fostered.

Btw, 8tracks.com is my saving grace at work. And so is this mix: 

Love to all, and Happy Monday!

Money is the root of all evil

There are days when I realize how much I really love my mom and how great a job she did raising me.
Ha, I realize that sounded a little funny, because I’m not some high-paid executive with a bright future. I’m just her daughter, the one that has all the weird issues, who lives in Chicago, who finally has a nice boyfriend, who believes in karma, whose car got smashed, who loves her life, who is going through so much weird trouble it’s insane, who can’t imagine what she’s going to do after college, who’s considering grad school, who loves her mother so much.

I sat on the phone with her for like an hour and a half today, just talking about life and everything in it. Talking about Hunter, our future, his future, my future, our relationship, Emily, the money issue, values, belief systems, life, school, the Dominick’s/Safeway regional manager, rent, money, etc. It’s hot today here, hot like I’ve not felt all summer.

Also, in relatively lame news, I may have been exposed to Hepatitis C when I was in the hospital in January for surgery. How fail is that? Some crazy nurse lady was stealing painkillers, injecting them into herself and then leaving the dirty syringes filled with saline for the patients. So I received a certified letter informing me of my possible exposure and then they told me they’d like to test me. Great. Love getting tested for Hep C. It’s going to be awesome.
Good news though: out of the 5700 people possibly exposed, only like 7 have it. So hopefully I won’t be number 8.

Ah, money, the thing we can’t live without. The thing that drives us and drives us nuts.
Hunter is stressed out right now, and I don’t blame him. He’s hoping to get a second job at Starbucks (free coffee and health benefits!), so that should be nice.
I’m hoping to survive summer school. I’ve got a small part in an independent film shooting in August and I’m helping one of my professors cast a movie this next week.

Busy enough.

The Dominicks/Safeway regional manager called me today. He apologized, listened to me tell him that I was treated like a criminal, explained the policy (which is absolutely moronic, in my very valid opinion), I told him I understood the policy, but questioned its implementation. This exchange went on for quite awhile. In the end, I got a sort of apology, the promise that the store manager will be hearing from him personally, etc. etc. I told him not to get the workers in trouble, but that it was the manager and his female goon that embarrassed me and hurt my opinion of the integrity of the store. So you know, we evened out. Whatever. At least my emails got the attention of the regional manager. I feel a little bit better about that.

Well, a nice summer party tonight. Emily is out of town, so I’m heading down to South Michigan Ave to a friend’s, where we will all hang out.

Good day.