Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Turning the tables

Tonight I led an advisory board meeting for the sorority chapter that I advise. Normally I have an elaborate agenda planned out and spend the last few minutes before the chapter meeting starts at 7 trying to frantically finish up the last items before I rush to join the chapter in their meeting. Tonight, instead, our meeting was quite relaxed. I was almost embarrassed when I had nothing of substance to share nearly 30 minutes before we would normally finish, but this opened the floor for casual conversation and laughter.

At 7, there was a knock on the door. When I opened it, one of the seniors in the chapter asked us to be quieter so they could start their meeting in the next room. We did quiet down but fifteen minutes later there was another knock. When I reopened the door, the chapter was quiet, engaged in yoga they were learning for stress relief, while their advisers were practicing stress relief of our own in friendship and laughter.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Live and let die

I hate spiders. I have always hated spiders.

Most of the time when I was growing up and I saw a spider in my room, I could convince my dad to come kill it for me, but once when I was 10, my dad was at work and my mom was unsympathetic when I asked her to come kill the spider I'd seen. She followed me into my room and I hoped that she was about to exterminate the arachnid. Instead she told me to kill it. I approached the spider on the wall, but began to whimper in fear as I approached it. When she raised her voice to demand that I smash it, the whimpers turned into tears and this simple task turned into a battle of wills. We argued for 20 minutes with me sobbing and her yelling. The spider seemed oblivious to the humans arguing over his fate. Eventually the pressure became too much, and I stunned and killed the spider with a shoe between sobs.

That experience influenced the "live and let live" policy that I instituted when I moved into my first apartment. I saw very few spiders there, despite the fact that I lived on the ground floor, and I had no trouble letting those few spiders return to their dark homes after I saw them in my home. One night I was laying on my bed reading a book when movement out of the corner of my eye startled me. I looked over and realized that a spider had dropped off the ceiling onto my bedspread. I squealed and leaped off the bed. At that moment I frantically wished for a roommate to come find the sneaky spider on my quilt. I armored up for the battle, putting on shoes and grabbing a handful of paper towels, and began the hunt.

My patience paid off when I found the spider on the carpet next to my bed. I grimaced and whined a little bit as I ground the paper towels on the spider's body. I stepped back once the job was done and took some deep breaths, trying to calm the adrenaline pumping through my body.

That was when I decided, it might be an unpleasant chore, but from now on I would kill all spiders that dared to enter my house.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

On the couch

The room was only lit by the flickering images on the TV. I settled myself in the middle of the black leather couch and watched F sit down in the chair adjacent to me.

Our friendship has grown much stronger over the past few months but in the darkness when we watch movies together I have always felt a little nervous that we could have a miscommunication and our careful friendship could be dashed. But this time the feeling was more like the nervousness I used to feel when my first boyfriend would start a movie for us in his parents' basement.

Mentally I calculated the distance from F's chair to my position and I pictured him reaching out to touch me where I sat. I could even imagine us kissing on that black leather couch. But then I shook my head and I was back on the couch by myself.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Loss of confidence

I had a job interview this afternoon. I spent two hours beforehand laying facedown on my bed, paralyzed to move. This is going to sound crazy, but I wasn't nervous about the interview. I was terrified that they would offer me the job.

I'm afraid that a company will offer me a job because I am afraid that I'm not a good employee. While I'm not the most technically skilled "angineer" out there, I feel like I can hold my own professionally at a certain level. Unfortunately I give the appearance to my coworkers that I don't care because I'm not responsible enough to be on time in the morning. Also, I devote too much time and energy during the work day to the other causes that I love--particularly when I'm feeling insecure about about my professional skills.

The good news is that the interview went well today. The other good news is that they won't make a decision until early next week. Maybe if I sit on my bed long enough, my confidence will return.

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