Twists and turns

It seems as though I am always conflicted when I finish spending a longer period of time with those close to me. 
I go into these gatherings with such high hopes, and come home to my solitary nest to question myself, the interactions I had with those I love, and how the visits and get togethers went. 
It happened on this most recent trip to see my parents, family, and friends. 
I think I am expecting to be someone I am not… I always picture myself catching up with everyone, and spending time in conversation with those I love. 
And yet, most visits? I find myself happily helping my mother in the kitchen, keeping out of the main rooms and the primary conversations. I am rarely asked about my job and my life and I wonder whether my physical absence precludes people asking when I am present. I ask about their lives, though, so… perhaps I’m taking the easy way out and shifting the focus to them? (The classic introvert way of deflecting attention…?) 
I don’t know if this bothers me, or if I’m just painting a picture in my head of how family visits “should” be (how I came up with that, I don’t know…). 
And this feeds into my perception of these trips. Should I have been more interactive? Should I have left my mom to her own devices and forced myself to interact more? I don’t really want to… but would it help me think back more positively on the trip and the time I spent with people? 
Or is it enough that I hear about their lives, see them, reassure myself that they are well and doing well in life? 
I don’t know, but I also know that I haven’t changed in many, many years, and there’s no reason to think I am going to change now. So perhaps it’s a matter of shifting my preconceived notions of what these trips should be like…knowing that I don’t want to be the center of attention (talk about worst nightmares!) and that my life is not a movie? 
Another post with no conclusion, but writing this out has helped me see that maybe it’s not me… it’s how I am thinking about these visits, trips, and interactions. 


Yet another cliche, and no, I have not read the book yet. I am waiting until I finish a few other non-fiction reads before I make the move. I’m also worried that it will not live up to all the positive and rave reviews. I also know that I must read it – a strong, powerful, independent woman, who is a role model for so many? What can I learn from her life?

I am learning from my own life that… I am not who I was. I think, finally, I am becoming who I was meant to be. I wonder if I stifled myself, or kept the “real” parts of me more hidden, over the last 15 years? My independent and contrary tendencies have returned. I am stating things as they are, rather than asking them as questions. I’m not asking “Is that okay?” as much. I am trying, trying to own my life and my decisions.

I do not think this is sitting well with my partner, because, quite honestly, it is a change from how I have been most recently. I have questioned my priorities, my preferences, my values. Subsumed them, really. And… that is not me. I have finally – finally – realized that, and it’s helping me become who I want to be.

I want to live a larger life than I am living. I want to see what good I can do in this world, beyond the good that I hope I will do through my research.

I have always admired my sister in law, despite her, um, slightly different way of doing things, for her unerring ability to stand up for what is right for her, and her family, and especially her kids. It may not be how things are “typically” done in my family, but she gets it done. And she is unapologetic in owning her beliefs and her choices.

I feel more secure in who I am now than I have in a long time.
It feels so good to be me again.

I know it’s almost the new year, almost a new decade, and I know it’s the thing to do right now to plan for big changes.

But I can’t help but feel that they are coming. And yet, I also feel as though I am coming to a place where I am more like the me I used to be than I have been for a long time.

It won’t be the same, thanks to the intervening years… but taking my life back for my own, making my own choices, and moving ahead as I want to (not how others want me to) will help me, well, “…arrive where (I) started…”

I don’t think it will be easy. I don’t think everyone close to me will really, well, like what’s happening.

But it needs to happen.

Professionally, other than a general blah end of semester slump, and a feeling that I am never going to get grant funding again, things are actually going really well. I know I’ve said that before.

Personally, I am finally getting to the point of making decisions and moving ahead whether others are with me or not. I’m giving up on old grudges, forgiving and forgetting some… shall we say… less than happy memories of relationships with some people, and embracing the weird me that I am.

It’ll be an interesting start to 2020. Very different from the start of 2019. Yet… I’m eager to see what comes.


Image result for quotes feeling pulled in 2 directions
I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions and I’m not sure, sometimes, which is the right one for me. 
One way is familiar, well-traveled, and in many ways frustrating. 
The other way is unknown, a bit frightening, and full of possibility. 
I desperately want to follow the second way, but am feeling pulled back to the easy, familiar, well-worn path of the first. 
I know that I can change my destination – but when that involves getting other people on board, who aren’t willing to do that, what can I do? Act on my own? Delay making changes that I want – I think I need – in my life? 
I think this gets harder the older I get – the more entrenched my habits and routines are. The more well-worn that path is. 
Denial certainly isn’t working. 
There isn’t a neat and tidy end to this post… there’s simply the ambiguity and the challenge of being stuck between two options, and not yet being able (or, perhaps, willing?) to make a choice… 

Down the rabbit hole…

Image result for down the rabbit hole
I consider myself a pretty focused person. But man, there are times when I just go down the rabbit hole –  sometimes for personal stuff, sometimes for work stuff – and just can’t dig myself out. And then I look up and 20 minutes has gone by and… whoops. 
Which means that the undone things on my to-do list are, well, mostly undone thanks to my own ability to distract myself.
To be fair, this doesn’t happen often. And when it’s related to work, it usually leads to some benefit – unearthing a good article for my research, or finding a new resource for a class. 
But other times? It’s just a time suck. I’d like to be better about staying OUT of said rabbit hole. Perhaps I should make my word of the year next year “Focus”? Or, hm. I kind of like “Determination”. I am determined to make changes in my personal life (definitely) and in my path in my professional life (not changing the path, just determined that I will succeed). 
Determination. Focus. Rabbit holes, begone. 
(Can you tell I just spent time down one?)