An imaginary conversation about upheaval at work

My work BFF is moving to a different team and my heart is broken.

Aren’t you happy for her?

Yes. I am super excited, and it is a fantastic move for her! But she sits next to me now and I love her and next week she won’t be there anymore. She’ll be over a mile away.

You will talk to her all the time. You can IM each other all the gossip.

I feel like an abandoned spouse.

There are way worse things happening at work right now that you can freak out over.

The other upheaval at work is scary and it’s also something I am totally fretting about in my own quiet way, but this is an emotional work disaster. That is much worse.

Have you been crying at work again?

No. Yes. Maybe a little. We both did. And I learned that she is a Taurus. That explains why she is my work BFF.

Uh, it does?

Totally. Because I am a Scorpio.

Which means?

Since we are astrological opposites, we have a great synergy in which we can TOTALLY handle all of each other’s weird shit without batting an eyelash.

Such as?

None of your business.

I thought opposites would tend to butt heads…

No, but OMG MAYBE WE WILL NOW THAT WE WILL POTENTIALLY HAVE DIFFERENT WORK GOALS!!!

Seriously?

Nah. I was being melodramatic. We’ll still have very similar goals. Don’t roll your eyes at me.

I can’t help it.

It’s involuntary?

No, you’re being irrational. I thought you were all science based. Astrology is total garbage.

Oh, I know it is.

But you still believe it in this case?

Uh. Not exactly.  I just believe that I am a total Scorpio which is the best sign, and that Taurus is the second best sign.

Because?

Just..because.

It’s about sex, isn’t it.

Sex, power, money and death. But ewwww not at the same time! At least not the death part.

Of course not. Weirdo.

Creep.

 

The sound of silence

If you need to assume anything assume that all silences from now on have grief in them.

Rick Moody/The Albertine Notes

Silence is beautiful to me.

To an introvert, and I think we’ve established my credentials in that regard, silence and solitude are  nearly as essential as air and water. Talking a lot leads to silence until my inner scale is re-calibrated and I can talk again. With a job which requires a lot of talking, I require long periods of silence to avoid inner meltdown. Since my job is how I pay for the other essentials in life, that silence happens in my off time. When I come home from work, I don’t want to do anything but not hear or say anything for a while. Sometimes a long while.

That means that the people who have to put up with the quiet are the ones I am the closest to. It’s a balancing act for me to meet my own need to recharge with the needs of my partner, friends and family.  Vashon thinks I should talk to him on a more than occasional basis, which I hear is a common request from a romantic partner.  That is a challenge to me both because of the introversion and because I have always been a secret keeper. Work in progress. It always will be, because it doesn’t come naturally to me.

My hobbies are also largely silent. Writing. Reading. Making things. Daydreaming. Having imaginary conversations with people. Yes, daydreaming and having imaginary conversations are too hobbies.  They’re also the sorts of things that require a certain amount of concentration and freedom from distraction.

Yes. I really just said that daydreaming requires freedom from distractions. Yes, I am serious.  Whatever.

Still, those are largely temporary silences. Healthy silences. My brain is resting and restoring. I’m doing things I love. Things that make me happy. They’re the sort of silences that I require to maintain a certain veneer of sanity, and I am well aware that it asks a lot of a partner. I come home needing quiet, and then want even more quiet so I can do something I enjoy.

You might wonder why I insist on living with other people. I’ve wondered myself.  I’m generally pretty content to be alone with the silence. Is it fair to inflict it on people who have more of a need to talk and share than I do?

Recently I’ve had to cut back on most of my hobbies due to time and space constraints and it hasn’t gone very well. I seem to need a creative outlet as much as I need quiet. What will I do about that? I live with someone who needs a partner who is engaged and communicating, not someone who is sitting quietly thinking about the next imaginary conversation she’s writing.

Given my love of quiet, it’s ironic that the ultimate weapon someone can wield against me is silence. It’s the saddest sort of silence when words fail and all you can do is stop even trying to speak.   You can’t respond to nothing. You can only flail and guess. To someone with an overactive imagination who likes to overthink everything, silence means I go into imagination and assumption overdrive.

The silence when  two people want to say something to each other and can’t are the worst for me. When there is so much damage and hurt that one or both sides just quit speaking at all it breaks my heart more than just about anything else could.

 Silence is as ugly then as it is normally beautiful to me. 

 

 

 

Going fallow

I have a head for business and a body for sin. Unfortunately, the sin appears to be gluttony.

–Jenny Colgan

 

Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour.

–Victor Hugo

 

The other night, as I was binge watching “the Shahs of Sunset,” I decided something: my brain is more disengaged than I would like it to be. I  haven’t been reading  anything (much), I have no projects going that I’m longing to complete, I haven’t been writing.  My brain has been-to borrow a farming term-fallow.

Is that good or bad?

Spending more time watching the messed up lives of a bunch of wealthy Los Angeles Iranians is not something I aspire to, although I do love Asa’s caftan collection and the over the top gold jewelry they all wear. I don’t like to “should” myself, but I really should find something better to do with my time than this. At the very least, make something while I’m watching?

The lack of a creative outlet for my imagination and hands is dangerous for me. Mentally and physically dangerous. Left to my own devices without the ability to imagine things and implement them in some way,  I’m the living embodiment of “satan finds work for idle hands…” and not even in ways that are interesting. I mean, if I’m going to be self destructive it should at least be interesting.

The sad truth of all of my bad habits is that they are very dull. No one wants to hear about gluttony or sloth. They are the least sexy of the Seven Deadly Sins. Perhaps I should try wrath, vainglory or greed?   I already have a tinge of lust, pride and sorrow.

I’m certainly not giving up lust or melancholy. I’m a November girl and Scorpio has got to  scorp!

Avarice/greed  is not my thing at all.

Do you suppose I should try to work toward vainglory? I do have a very high opinion of myself, but it’s offset by an equally low opinion of myself. I suspect I could get to vainglory eventually, but I might need some therapy to boost my ego a bit. Or is it my id that’s deficient?

Wrath? Occasionally. I can be irritable if I think people are stupid, but to get up a good smoldering ire takes a long time for me. It’s generally something people have earned. I could probably achieve wrath, but I’m not sure it’s a lifestyle I could truly embrace.

Maybe I should work on the sins I already have before trying to get new ones.

Wait, what?

I’m not supposed to increase the number of sins in my life? I’m supposed to decrease them?? Who says? Everybody? Well, that’s silly.  What do you mean, I went on a tangent?

Apparently, I was saying something about my brain going fallow.

At least lack of mental discipline is not one of the Seven Deadly Sins….but I will try to do a better job of not letting my brain and body turn into marshmallow fluff from now on.