Friday, March 21, 2008

Think again...

Lately I've been trying to second guess myself whenever possible. I'm not going to try to deny that I have it pretty darn good in life, and yet I am totally lacking in ambition and drive. I have to be doing something wrong! I sort of think starting to run was my first bit of an affair with second guessing myself. I didn't think I should do it, but I did it anyway and it's paying off very nicely.

I had a friend ask me over GoogleTalk what was keeping me from getting a job that I am passionate about. She meant what was standing between me and these jobs. But my answer was a very honest: "Lack of passion!" She asked if I had ever talked to a life/career coach, and I did sort of once. They told me a lot of things I already know about the kind of job I should probably end up with. She did nothing to get me excited about getting of these jobs, and I didn't really know which one I wanted to do, because without passion I didn't really want to do any of them. Anyway, so the recent conversation leads to a new coach recommendation. This friend is well connected and very smart, so I take her recommendation seriously. But the coaches website looks a little cheesy so I hold off. However I just asked myself, "what's something you can do about the situation NOW?" And well, "find a coach," was the first thing that came to mind so I decided to second guess myself and set up an appointment to speak to this coach over the phone on Monday. Stay tuned.

When a new restocking form at work made my brain melt and made me want to cry I tried to suck it up and not complain, just tried to get through it. But guess what? I decided to talk to my manager after all, she asked on the big conference call how other people were handling this form, other stores were doing it the same way, but then the people at the home office who made the form chime in and inform everyone that basically everyone has been doing it wrong! Oh my goodness, I just saved myself a lot of heartache!

I had some wacky ideas for what to do with my Thursday. I had half a mind to drive to Berkeley because I'd been dying to check out Herringbone, which carried CB I Hate Perfume, it's the only place around these parts to get it actually. CF was considering working in the city even though he also went last Thursday and usually goes every other week. If he was working in the city I sort of wanted to go have dinner somewhere great with him. I had wanted to spend some time with Ms. shoppingsmycardio but the silly girl has gone back to work and was busy. Boo! Also on my list of people to connect with was AV, an old, old, friend of mine who Facebook had sort of put me back in contact with. I went to elementary school with him and hadn't seen him since high school grad night. For some reason he was one of the people from my past that I sometimes wondered about. It's always amazing when you finally catch up with someone like this. When I wrote on his Facebook wall last summer, "How the hell are you?" we exchanged messages for a bit and then promised to call each other if we were ever in each other's neighborhoods. Calling him wasn't exactly second guessing myself, but driving all the way to Berkeley just to put together this collection of half-baked ideas was a little crazy, normally I'd end up finding an excuse to back out. But oh no, I went.

AV and I sat in the back corner of our senior year American Government class. We were just about the only two people not from the largely yuppie, trendy, annoying clique that seemed to mostly come out of El Macero or West Davis. Two East Davis kids found themselves in need of some sane company. The teacher knew how it was for us too, he had AV do the roll, I answered every question he asked the class. If we were late, or if AV wasn't there at all, it was all OK with him, we understood each other. AV was the bad boy, drugs were involved (which happily aren't part of his life anymore), and he ditched more classes in a day than I did, ever. Still, he seemed to always come to this class and we had a good time. He wrote in my yearbook how we had known each other so long and how I hadn't changed at all while he... well, he had. So it was crazy to be meeting back up again at age 30 in Berkeley. I really didn't know what to expect.

Turns out he's an undergrad, over the age where they can take parent income in to account when offering financial aid so he's barely paying anything, and he's lived enough of life already to know what he's totally and absolutely thrilled to be studying. He was so excited as he tried to explain the bacteria and cultures he studies in the lab he works in, it blew my mind! I heard more science than I had since high school. I'm so happy for him, and envious beyond words. He was so sure of what he was doing, even if he had just come from a German class where they thought he was translating incorrectly when he said "I am 30 years old."

We compared out situations. The good girl and the bad boy at age 30 working in retail and finally getting a bachelors... but which one of us is happiest? Hard to say for sure. But the circumstances we find ourselves in are incredible to compare. There were funny moments of silence. The situation of sitting there together just boggling our minds.

He had to get back to work and I had to run up the street to the store with the perfume (though I was too proud to admit this). I made it in the door of Herringbone with less than 10 minutes to shop. But I found exactly what I was looking for, sniffed a few scents, tried a few on and started chatting with the very cool girl working there. Now, when I'm working I despise people who come in the door right before I close. I know they won't leave on time, and more than half of them aren't going to buy anything anyway. This girl was so nice to me even though I was disgusting myself with my late arrival. She listened as I said I had read up on the brands and how perfume gives me headaches so I was really curious about Christopher Brosius. Usually when considering a perfume purchase I have to try it on and see how it "wears" on me and if it's going to give me a headache. I trusted that this one wasn't. Still, I couldn't imagine making such a large purchase in such a hurry. I started to excuse myself saying I hoped I'd be back in the neighborhood soon. I don't know if it came from being wound up by the mini-high school reunion I had just had or what, but I suddenly thought about it again and decided to just do it. I know you think I love to shop, but the truth is, I am embarrassingly cheap. So this was a huge accomplishment for me... being so frivolous. I purchased a bottle of Russian Caravan Tea, and I have to say, I smell delicious! I hope they get Mrs. Peel when that scent is released, but I'd really love to go see CB's studio/shop in Brooklyn someday.

I took my new little treasure back to the car (I'd parked across the street from the Berkeley Rep, not surprisingly one of the only places I could remember had a parking garage with reasonable enough rates) and eventually met up with CF who took BART over from the city. We walked back up the street to where I had just been shopping, I sure got my walking in for the day. We decided we were too hungry to wait in line for Cheeseboard Collective pizza slices so we settled on a charming little place called Gregoire. It's a tiny little building just off Shattuck, with an open kitchen, 3 or 4 bar type seats watching the action, and a u-shaped picnic table outside. We ordered a salad, an order of highly recommend potato puffs, and one order of lamp chops. As we sat outside the Berkeley residents walked past us in every direction. Many of them were stopping by for takeout. CF was enthralled with watching the food prep going on in the kitchen. I knew that was what he was going to love about this place! They does most of their business in takeout. So much so that they don't even have serving trays or baskets, our food was just handed to us in cardboard containers that weren't closed and bagged up. The salad was great, the potato puffs were these fried little scoops of buttery mashed potatoes rolled in salty bread crumbs (our lips dried out after eating these), and the lamb chops were wonderful. As I ate I saw the huge moon start to rise over the hill behind CF's shoulder. What a great dinner experience!

Even though we were already a bit cold we took the opportunity to try one of the several gelaterias I'd been hoping to get to in Berkeley. Gelateria Naia was close to where I had parked the car. I had a small cone of Cioccolat Mortale and Guiness flavors, so scrumptious together! CF sampled several others and had a nice little espresso to go with his dessert. We drove home very happy and content. We live in a wonderful place, we're very lucky.

We had a lot to do when we got home to get ready to go out of town for the weekend. We were up late and I worried about how little sleep I was going to get. I knew I wouldn't really exercise all weekend so I thought I should get one last spin class in or something. But I thought about how tired I felt already as I went to set my alarm clock, and I second guessed myself yet again, and gave myself permission to just get up in time to carpool to work and not go to 5:45am spin.

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