I was in a MOOD yesterday. I went to Liz’s thing, which started at 9am (what is her PROBLEM? nothing in NYC starts before 10, come on). Jimmy barely got me to the train on time. Her thing was all the way on 11th Avenue, a 3 avenue walk from the subway in the frigid rain (shh, just let me whine). I showed up tired, cold and feeling very antisocial. I did what I do when I feel that way: sent out major “leave me the F alone” vibes. I’ve perfected this skill by being antisocial most of my life. It’s safe to say I’m a pro at it.
Only: it didn’t work.
Every break, I sat alone on a bench in the corner furiously typing on my phone because (of course) shit blew up at work that morning. I didn’t really mind; perfect excuse to disconnect. I didn’t look up once.
Didn’t matter. Several people kept approaching me, and engaging me in somewhat long conversations. I knew a lot of people there, of course, and some I hadn’t seen in months. When they talked to me, my body/self/soul involuntarily responded warmly, opening up like a goddamn flower, which surprised me. It was like an insta-shift, just for that moment. I didn’t make a perma-shift, though; I continued to sit alone, approaching no one, engaging no one.
In the end, I think my “leave me alone” vibe failed because of the babies. Pregnant women are always approachable, right? They’re soon-to-be moms–loving, giving, jovial, eager to talk about their pregnancies, welcoming of connection.
Not me! I’m still the standoffish b*tch I was before.
At least, I still can be, when I’m in my “nerd.”
But in truth, I did appreciate people’s efforts to reach out, and how genuinely glad they seemed to see me. And I was glad to see them, too. It broke me out of my funk, if even just for that moment. I started to feel a bit bad that I in turn wasn’t initiating contact with anyone; they certainly deserved such overtures more than I did.
The last person to assault me with their warm greeting was Iman from Red Elephant. Seeing him reminded me of the feedback his wife had given me a few months back. During the program I did with them, they wanted to make me over to capitalize as much as possible on looking “hot”–formfitting clothes, skinny jeans, a sporty leather jacket, high stiletto heels, curls in my hair, red lipstick. I told them I felt resistant to going full throttle on that because I thought it would make me look even more unapproachable than I already do (because I hate smiling, etc.). Without skipping a beat, she told me my clothing and look had little to do with that; she said I come off that way because I show no interest in others. Ouch.
You guys don’t think that though, right?
Honestly though it was dead on, and I was doing it again, consciously and on purpose. Maybe I should re-read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (and redo Basic…and Advanced).
Major digression aside, here’s the status on my goals (btw I caught a 6am train in this morning for another deposition, this time it’s my client who is being deposed and I am defending him–I feel like I can barely keep my eyes open so hopefully writing this post wakes me up a little).
Goal 1: maternity leave.
I generated $5700 so far, $1500 of which is savings. The rest is from other sources and will be accruing in the next three months. That goes a long way toward my goal of $7000 for the cycle.
Efforts to recover my $2350 security deposit continue. The landlord ignored two sternly worded messages. I told Jimmy that’s it; I’m writing a demand letter and involving the NYAG office (if I keep this up the NYAG office is going to know me by name). I was a hero to gym members everywhere; why not be a hero to tenants everywhere? Jimmy told me to simmer down and said let’s try calling the broker and see if he can try and act like an intermediary. I agreed, and the broker got a promise from the landlord that he’d send us the deposit next week. I’m willing to wait and see if that happens — but if not, it’s GO time.
Jimmy and I worked out our issues on the car. We met about the budget, went over the numbers, and Jimmy agreed the car would have to wait until after I come back from maternity leave.
We went over the issue again during counseling (our first time back since the move). I got emotional, feeling upset that Jimmy didn’t seem to be as committed to me getting my three months maternity leave as I was. That was the only time I’d have with the babies; why didn’t he understand that? He said I was completely off base, I heard him out, we got past it. He also said part of him was happy to hear how much I cared; I had, in the course of our relationship, given him several speeches about how I was NOT a housewife and would NEVER turn into one (lol). He said he felt good to know that that didn’t mean I didn’t care about forming a string bond with the babies.
This is part of the problem with not being traditionally maternal–people think that means you’re manically focused on your career over family. I’d give up my career for my relationships in a heartbeat; I’m just not the traditional motherly type. My minor goal is thus about figuring out how I’m going to form that strong motherly bond in the way that works for me.
Jimmy then expressed that he has been affected by our intimacy suffering lately, between my intense work schedule and my pregnancy discomfort. It wasn’t just sex, but overall, he said. He still initiates all the time, he said, and he wants me to initiate, too.
I could’ve fired back that between being seven months pregnant with twins, 3 hours commuting daily and a full time job, intimacy isn’t exactly the first thing on my mind. I didn’t, though–using the pregnancy excuse felt too painfully cliche. And, it was true, I hadn’t been contributing in that area, even though I’d been feeling it was missing too. I had been relying on him to create that for us, and it wasn’t really fair, especially since I had been so unavailable for it lately. He appeared to feel a lot better when I said that–validated, heard, relieved. The challenge now is to act; to shift my focus to that area without allowing the circumstances to interfere.
Last thing on this goal–at Liz’s one-day, I finally updated my job on my LinkedIn (though not yet the entire profile). That sounds stupid and small, but my plan going forward means becoming a lot more visible as an attorney (which I have been very resistant to in the past, not wanting to declare that an attorney is who I am). I’m talented, I win, my colleagues, clients, bosses and former bosses respect and believe in me–I need to start owning that, letting people know, etc.
Goal 2 — connection to babies
I covered part of this above, as acknowledging to Jimmy, myself, our counselor, etc., that my bond with the babies is important to me was a big step forward in this area. I get so wrapped up in being the woman/mother who is doing it all that I need pauses like that, to remind myself and Jimmy what it’s all about. The only reason I suddenly care about by career is the babies–otherwise I couldn’t tell you how long I might’ve continued sleepwalking through it.
I’m still writing to the babies, though I remain a few days behind. If I don’t catch up this weekend, I’m going to just start afresh with Monday and accept that there will be a gap in the days. I started working on covering a song that makes me think of the twins and our role as parents. It’s slow going; my belly is cumbersome and my breath is sometimes short (not much room in there anymore). We did some name-choosing exercises last week. We tried not to let the doctor’s potential slip on what the sexes are affect us too much, though in truth it’s been swimming in the back of both our minds. I’ll know soon enough at my shower, so I really should relax.
That’s it for now; I know this is offensively long. See what happens when I don’t write daily? It gets all pent up, lol. Have a good weekend, all!