08 January 2011

Adieu

Today marks the tenth anniversary of RUAWAKE.  And today is the last post on RUAWAKE.

I know, I know.  I made a lot of promises at the beginning of last year to make it a great series of final posts, reveals, et blah blah blah.  I like to think of myself as a woman of her word, but life moved pretty quickly in 2010, and this blog fell through the cracks.  Sadly, it will go out more with a whimper than with any sort of bang.

Back when this all began, before blogs were blogs, RUAWAKE was a website.  Full-on HTML/FTP to update, multi-paged website.  Then a computer crash and an OS upgrade, Fetch became difficult, and the great guy who built my beautiful website got out of the web design business. I felt it rude to keep calling him when something went awry.  Pathetically, while I have a modest understanding of code, I really only learned enough of it to insert a return, make something bold or italic, blink or strike-through.  And so, I moved it over to Blogger.  It was hard to say goodbye to my website, which I truly adored, but it was time for a change.  And it is time for a change again.

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Ten years ago, I had so much to say.  And there were only a few of us with websites dedicated to rants and wonders and mishaps.  Today, there are so many wonderfully unique voices saying so many wonderfully unique things, I prefer to sit back and read than chime in.  I still have things to say, just not always the time to say them the way I want, then the moment passes.  I just caught a glimpse of the plethora of drafts that never made it to post here.  It leaves me a bit melancholy. 

I thought about making up for that by posting through 2011, if only for myself. But I realized the same thing would occur.  Whether I want to admit it or not, I've evolved out of this space, this space I loved so much, which brought so many great connections, laughter and joy.  The wonderful online community will never cease to amaze me.

I still blog.  Once you start, it's harder to stop than crack.  You can find me at Project Elegance, my personal/professional website as well as a blog for my film.

For those of you who have stuck around since the beginning, you have my heart and gratitude.  For those of you who have found your way here at all, thank you so much.  It is hard to say goodbye, especially in this manner.  But, sometimes one just has to let go and move on.  And so I shall.

I wish you a wonderful and amazing 2011. 

Much love,
Sandra

02 August 2010

Sigh

I finally let go of a great deal of stress.  Finally.  It only took a good fall, an emotional breakdown (which occurred the week after I hit the pavement), and a rescue by my best friend, who whisked me away to Palm Springs for an overnight stay.  "You're not getting out of this," she said. "We are going.  The room is booked. And before you can say anything about money, I used miles. So there."

Do you see why I love this woman?

Los Angeles, or at least her beach cities, has been shockingly cool.  Not as in "über hip", but as in "bring a sweater".  The marine layer, rain, record-breaking lows -- this is more of what March holds than July or August.  The 120 degrees of "dry" heat and ample sunshine was a welcomed escape. Vitamin D, poolside booze and a good friend cures all.  After a two-year writing binge, I am very proud to report: tanlines.

It's the little things, people.

The irony in all of this is that, now that I've let go of all this stress, I'm so effing tired I can barely move.  Um, yeah, guess I was running on just a little adrenaline.  In the last week, have been sleeping like a hibernating bear.  On Thursday, I was in bed by 9.  NINE! That only happens when I am really, really, really, really sick.  Like with a fever.  This was simply sheer and utter exhaustion.

In spite of my excessive slumber, I'm still tired.  Less tired than I was.  Not exhausted all the time, but still tired.  And still yawning.  All. The. Time.  I've taken up regular afternoon latte runs, something I've eschewed for years.  I've lied to friends -- LIED! -- and passed up dates because I had "plans"...plans to eat dinner and go to sleep.  That's not very cool, I know.  I don't like to be dishonest.  But, what am I supposed to say?  "I know we haven't seen each other in ages, and I love you to bits, but I'd rather go to sleep than go out with you?"  Exactly. "Plans" sound much better.  White lies, people.  Every once it a while they make sense.

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"I don't want you to take this the wrong way," my bestie said to me last week, "but you seem like a different person. I mean that in a good way."

The funny thing about Aries stress (and, yes, I'm going to get all astrological on you), is that we think we are handling it very well.  And, for the most part, we do.  We are analytical about it:  Here are the facts, these are the realities and this is how I'm going to deal with it/them/that. There isn't any denial. No facade.  We really can handle it.  For a long time.  Until something like a stubbed toe brings us to our knees, and leaves them bloody.

I've been handling my tense situation in a dandy manner, I'd like to think, for the last three years.  Three years is a long time to hold one's breath.  Waiting for a resolution.  A miracle.  My hard work and patience to pay off.  And, for an Aries to have any semblance of patience, well, that is worth something pretty grand.

I've lived in the lands of Almost, Soon, Close and Nearly There for a little too long now.  That's just the bitch of working toward a dream.  On the outside, it has to look pretty stupid.  On the inside, it can feel pathetic.  I'm always surprised, though, when a friend will say how brave they think it is. They usually say this over a cocktail they insist on paying for.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my friends?

I would tell you more about the situation -- something I did promise at the beginning of the year.  I am a woman of my word.  I will, I swear, tell you the ins and outs of what has been going on -- no "plans" will get in the way of that, promise.  But, another aspect of an Aries (or, maybe just me), is that we don't like to talk about it too much.  We don't want to jinx it.  And I am close.  We are close.  And, soon, we will know more.  In the interim, I sleep.  And sigh.  And smile.

For the first time in a long time, I am happy.  Not that I was unhappy before.  No.  It's just with that layer of stress removed, I'm freer to feel.  It's easier to laugh, and not just at the irony abounding.  It's easier just to be.  The facts and the realities remain.  There is a clock, and it ticks.  Time moves really quickly, and there's plenty to fret about.  I'm just not going to for now.  I'm simply going to enjoy what's left of this winter-like summer before my tanlines fade away.

14 July 2010

Heading for a Fall

Why are the short weeks so mean?  Seriously.  It's like the holiday weekend flips you the bird.  "Hope you enjoyed those three days off," it seems to say, "because that four-day work week is gonna be a futhermucker."

Last week was a tad brutal, I must say.  Just a tad.

The week started off with discovering on that holiday Monday, that my debit card had been frauded to the tune of $600.  Now, I'm not the type to regularly (or ever) check my bank activity online.  But, on that day, I did.  So I called my financial institution and found that, yeah, I would have to cancel and get a new debit card...which would take up to 10 business days to receive.  I use that card for ev-er-y-thing, so the bonus to being frauded was the added inconvenience of going Visa debit card free.  Um, yeah, boo.

Next, I was met with an unhappy client, which is one of the better ways to begin the workweek, no?  The upset occurred over simple math.  We have an agreement to pay me a specific amount per week.  That weekly rate was rounded to a monthly by the client.  My invoices are still for the week, he just pays me for the month, which is really and truly nice.  However...there aren't always four weeks in a month.  There just isn't.  We have 52 weeks in a year.  Divide that by 4 and you get 13.  We don't have a Decenuary on the calendar.  So, any genius that builds a budget based on a 48-week year is doomed for financial failure.  Because, occasionally, say about four times a year, we have a five week month.  July happens to be one of them.  So, when I sent my invoice reflecting this, I got a lecture on my math skills and a hint that I was being greedy.

Suffice it to say, I'm just working less this month.  And, future monthly invoices will reflect 4.33 weeks.

The next hiccup came when the long-awaited meeting I've had calendared and re-calendard, then re-set again got moved.  I really do ink things in my calendar, and I am never thrilled to cross anything out.  This is kind of a big meeting.  Well, not kind of, it is.  And, while I'm a pretty laid-back gal, and understood the reasons why all the moves were occurring, the anticipation (and preparation) that went into it, only to be met again with a resched, left me a bit letdown.  At least it wasn't a cancellation.  That was the upside.  But I was simply exhausted from holding my breath, and wasn't really looking forward to holding it again.

But the week would only get better when a good friend went this side of apeshit on me over nothing, and made it all my fault.  That is just nothing but good times, people.  All I could do, while sitting through the email exchange -- yes, emails, which made it all the more sad -- was inhale and edit, re-edit and edit again my replies.  When someone just decides that they are going to be pissed and that they are just going to be pissed at you, there's not a whole lot you can do but ride it out.  And it was a very, very, very long ride.   I was called aggressive, passive-aggressive, accused of not telling the truth, of suffering from the endless need to be right, of hidden motives and not being a good listener.  Oh, and I complain about my life.

Yeah, I know.

I love my friend immeasurably. I know that there's other stuff going on and sometimes shit (even of the ape variety) happens. Still, when faced with a situation like that, in a friendship where you've shared laughter and tears and secrets and joys, it's a little unnerving to be attacked for something so inconsequential that it doesn't even warrant mentioning here (and I don't want to piss my friend off again, thankyouverymuch).  I had to stop myself from going to that place where you look at the friendship as a whole (and, yes, all the things I've done for said friend), and think, point-wise, I've earned a bit more credit that what I've been given. But, I didn't.  You can't go there because friendships aren't tit-for-tat, let's tally up the scoreboard. You just kind of hope to get, I don't know, the benefit of the doubt, or at least a phone call.

So, by Friday, I was in desperate need for something relaxing and fun.  But, first, I had to go over to the LAPD Pacific Division to fill out my identity theft report.  After that, I texted a nearby friend to see if a last minute walk to one of our favorite spots could be arranged.  She was kind enough to comply.  And that was exactly what I needed: a good laugh with a good friend, and a turkey burger to go.

Now, I feel completely safe in my neighborhood, even though it's not completely safe.  I feel comfortable walking home at night, but I am mindful of the routes I take.  I should also be mindful of the moon cycles.  Not so much to keep an eye out for the full moon shenanigans, but to be reminded of how dark a moonless night can be, especially when I take the shortcut-I-never-take-at-night-on-a-back-street-with-no-street-lamps home.

I caught my left big toe on a piece of uneven sidewalk. The surprise of the pain this caused was more shocking than the unexpected halt.  And, being somewhat graceful (or at least not a total klutz), I thought that I could catch my balance.  In order to do this, one has to take up speed, and I was already walking at a pretty good clip.  Unfortunately, I never caught up to myself.  I went down and hard.

I was carrying my wallet and BlackBerry in my left hand, my handled paper bag of dinner in my right.  I kept my left hand clutched as I went down, taking the skin off the back of that.  I let go of dinner, but my right hand alone wasn't enough to brace this fall.  I came down on my right knee and chin.  And, once I met the ground, I sort of just rested there for a moment, collecting my thoughts.  The one that kept floating through my brain was, "WTF?!?"  I slowly got up, happy that the contents of my left hand were still intact.  I found my bag of dinner a few feet away, and it was in respectable shape.  I still had four blocks to go before I got home, with a toes that was bleeding profusely.

Here's what's sort of spectacular:  I had skinned my right knee, but didn't tear a hole in my pant leg.  I had a scrape on my right shoulder, but didn't tear my shirt either.  I had a deep purple bruise on my chin, but didn't chip a tooth or bite my lip or tongue.  And, FYI, OxyClean really does get blood out, because the bottom of my beloved near-bell-bottom khakis were soaked in it from the rest of the walk home.

Here's what's sort of sad (besides the above):  When I fell, I shattered one of my favorite Buddha necklaces.  And that's what made me cry.  Not the fact that I was literally bleeding and bruised from head to toe, and that's kind of painful, but that my lovely necklace was destroyed.

I can't imagine ending such a week on a more perfect note.  I mean, really.  I sort of had to laugh, because the lyrics to "Hurt" were running through my head as I tended to my wounds:  I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.  And, it's almost as if that's what I had to do.  I've been just going and going for the past few months, pushing to get things done.  Then, on that short week, others started pushing me, too. And the pace that I was keeping was like the shove that brought me down, even though, technically, it was an uplifted piece of cement.  Don't even get me started on breaking my Buddha.  Inner peace has not been mine of late.

I can't even describe the crippling exhaustion I feel.  (Though, I'm sure you're feeling something similar, too.)  Not only did I hit that sidewalk, I hit the wall.  I've got nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  And there's still so much to do.  But, sometimes what's going on inside has to manifest outside.  And when that happens, embrace the Arnica.