via The Daily What
via The Daily What
The CW (co-worker)
I was actually put in a slightly awkward position recently, which is being happy for someone but hating the structure put in place that makes them happy. I had just been given even more reason to dislike my group, and it is not saying the CW is undeserving but reinforces my belief that our processes are not equitable. And the worst part is that because that information is privileged, I can never cite it as fact in my argument that things are biased. I had to pull it together and say that I was happy for him (which I was), but it’s like hearing about any form of privilege or unexpected benefit – you are happy for the player, and still hating the game.
After getting on the train, the CW and I go to a bar to catch up, vent a bit about recent developments at work and exchange some life war stories.
And guess who walks in? That’s right, the Ex. It wasn’t that bad, if you remember we were fine after the initially awkward encounter and the totally harmless Halloween hang out. Things were initially fine, I made the introduction necessary and all was OK. And then things changed. For some reason it made sense for me to be shown pictures of the people dated between our breakup and now, tons of subtle jabs and awkwardness (for me at least).
At another point there was an attempt to force me to drink, but I declined which was met with annoying persistence to get me to indulge. It was a very odd display of aggression (physical and mental) that seemed very out of place, and somewhat embarrassing.
And lastly there were even more jabs at our failed relationship, which is fine but still a bit hurtful. I mean, I ended things, but because I needed more than I was currently getting. And I was not as transparent with why I was ending it all, but I can understand people ‘acting out’ over being hurt. The only defense I used, seeing as how I didn’t want to be a jerk, was that claim ‘not ready for a relationship’ really sparked a fire. I couldn’t really be silent on that one, and decided that I would speak up which only opened up another flood gate that I actually just let go and took the higher road.
At some point the BF called and said he was on his way.
The BF (best friend)
I remind the BF to go say hi to the Ex, and they do and all is fine. It’s interesting how people can be very different around different people.
Eventually we left, and went to dinner with the CW. On the way to food, I recapped my confusion over the Ex’s behavior and realized that I was being put on blast to compensate for the hurt that I had previously inflicted. OK, I get it. You were hurt, so now it makes sense to return the favor…I mean, yeah, that is mature. OK.
After dinner, we went out, ran into Harvard people (that’s a near likely event when you go out in NYC). And ran into a woman who tried to make us dance, I pretended to not know how – my go to when I don’t like someone or am just not in the mood to be bothered. The BF mentioned that I was voted best dancer in high school, which was like fuel for her fire. I just stopped trying, and she started talking to the BF. That conversation ended when she realized that we graduated middle school when she likely graduated college. Night over, SantaCon up next.
SantaCon on Saturday — just imagine a ton of Santas overtaking South Street Seaport…and then a circle of Santas Tebow’ing, chanting U-S-A and Ho-Ho to the tune of ‘Ole Ole Ole.’ Thankfully that was done, but I couldn’t avoid the passive-aggressive encounter I had been dreading. "You hang out with my friends, but not with me" "I haven’t seen you in like a year." And my gut instinct was to say, although I thought it but didn’t say it, ‘Friendships work both ways, you don’t call me and you know where I live’ and ‘We actually saw each other this summer, so perhaps you mean a few months.’
And that’s when it hit me that my problems at work are dealing with passive-aggressive behavior inappropriately. Passive aggressive people are not looking for facts, they want you to emote. Sorry, not here. If you tell me I hurt you, I will amend. But don’t ask me to read between the lines or I will give you a blank stare and say ‘gimme dem facts doe.’
I think I’ve realized that I would boil my life down to 3 main factors that impact my general mood: friends, dating and work.
I’m finding that usually only 2 of the 3 are going well at any one point in time. Usually it’s work that’s going well while the other 2 suffer, or work is going miserably and the other two are awesome (at best) or just one is going kinda well.
The funny thing is that if I had to prioritize what mattered most to me right now it would be dating, friends and then work. Not that my friends aren’t important, but that’s a generally stable relationship that has the most infrequent incidents. Dating is a seasonal concern, most pressing in winter weather and summer nights.
I should prioritize work more, but I just find it very difficult to define myself by what I do – or that I haven’t found a job where I’m OK with it defining me as such. I’m guessing I bring the friend or dating baggage to work (in terms of attitude, morale, etc) because that’s where I spend the majority of my time. And though I know it need to put all of those other things aside, the effort to do my work well and manage everything else is actually really challenging.
In college, it was friends, work and dating in a very distant last place. I was able to manage pretty well then, and for some reason I’m finding it to be a major struggle post-college. Maybe college (and high school) was just too easy for me and set up the expectation that I really could have it all. It will be a good day when I have all of my ducks aligned, and all 3 factors being in good favor. I’m really hopeful for that day. As an aside, the paragraphs in this post get increasingly longer as you continue reading (yeah, I’m a nerd, but tell me that’s not a cool random event?).
He’s here, he’s here. Or he was, he was. My favorite Swede and linkmate was in NYC this past weekend! Did I mention my favorite Ph.D. was in town also? Double win.
We did the standard fare of cheap bbq and margaritas (Texas-sized of course), and had a very long catch up dinner. The food was my favorite, but the company was better. We had the kind of nerdy conversation (the ones I miss most) that is commonly had in the yard and debated semantics: nice v friendly. Nice implies a good person (morally)while friendly is just the act of being nice. I think that makes me nice, but unfriendly. Right, right?
The highlight though was the closing of the loop on a friendship I sorta fucked up. We are now Facebook friends. Again.
Can we discuss how this fall has been a major time of reunions and how ironic that is given the nature of the season?
Aside from the two accidents that occurred while I was in Chicago, the wedding that I went to was phenomenal. I saw the best friend off to NC, having dinner with my ‘other family’ and getting ready for 9 mor e months without a wing man. Monday sucked, but Tuesday was awesome because I went back to Harvard and reunited with two of my favorites. I spent Friday with my favorite Jersey resident and current going out buddy, exchanged some phone numbers and had a very good night. The following Saturday was amazing: caught up with two very close NYC friends and the ultimate FWB.
What I’ve realized this past year is that it’s so hard to maintain friendships when people don’t see you everyday (high school) or live next door (college). It requires enough work and planning that it can become overwhelming.
Recently, I’ve experienced a crushing desire to meet up with people but faced the dilemma that my reputation proceeds me but that I am significantly less fun, ratchet and rowdy. I grew up, but not everyone sees that. Why describe it as crushing? I have a fear of rejection yet a strong desire to be around people. And then there’s the traveling all over.
But me and a Blockie have imposed a one-month limit of seeing each other that jokingly is our way of setting a minimum not maximum. So over the next few months I’m going to aim to see my nyc friends at least once a month. Let’s see what happens, I’ll report back on my progress periodically.
I spent last night at birthday dinner for one of my good friends, a friendship that had a rocky start (why, hello, StoNo), and it was really, really great.
I made me realize why I appreciate her, and my non-finance friends. She saw my beat up Rockports, that my parents loathe and people have commented that they ‘have seen better days.’ However, she said, ‘I like your shoes.’
I told her what I normally hear and she just brushed that off with a ‘it’s you’ kind of sentiment. I appreciate my friends who respect my sensibilities. I. love. my. shoes. They are so well worn and comfortable, and ‘full of character’ that I won’t get rid of them until I find the perfect replacement – a large order.
So now where does that leave me? A sad realization that ‘home is where they understand you,’ or that the people who understand you make you feel as if you’re at home with them. And perhaps I did change, and my idea of where home was had changed as well.
I still don’t think I’ve found home home, but I do think I’m getting closer and closer to that place. And on a completely unrelated note, I have to start better communicating how I feel. After an incident a few weeks ago, I realized that I get easily hurt and offended but just internalize it. And the offender almost never knows that they’ve actually had an effect, which gives the impression of me being heartless.
If I stopped talking to you or did something that you think you may not have deserved, I can guarantee to you that you did have it coming. It just built up for so long, and I may not have said anything but a breaking point was reached.
If you know me at all, then you know how aware I am. I know when I’ve offended, and I would hope that others would as well. But my lack of a reaction doesn’t mean that it doesn’t actually affect me, but more so it’s a much more face-saving action on my part out of my own pride.
I guess it really comes down to people not knowing me very well. I just don’t get how easily people write off my actions and assign their version of my intentions without ever asking me or investigating how I came to be as I am.
For instance, every single time someone says I don’t ‘like ethnic food’ I get livid. For one, it makes it out to be that I am person without cultural exposure and the ability to appreciate the food of other peoples. Second, it assumes that ‘like’ is a choice based on desire only.
An article in the NYT recently spoke about the new ease of ending friendships: Facebook. As we all know, it’s one click away from saying ‘bye bye,’ a much easier way than confrontation or other civil, and ‘outdated’ ways to let someone know that you’ve moved on.
Oh, I can’t see pictures or write on your wall? Damn, how cold. How Facebook. How now!