Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give Me A Break

This is yet another one of those weeks. I seriously can’t believe these keep happening to me. I feel like there was a point not too long ago where I watched a lot of TV episodes on Netflix because I had no other way to spend my evenings.

Here’s what Janae’s life looks like:

-Work 7:15-3:45
-Gym 4:30-5:30
-Quickly throw two dozen cookies into the oven for Sub 4 Santa auction
-Heat up some canned soup. Inhale it real fast.
-Go to Family Home Evening to see how much my cookies go for
-Stay for one hour of a ridiculously slow moving auction
-Find out later my 24 cookies sold for $11!
-Skype with a cute boy
-Watch two episodes of Arrested Development instead of sleeping
-Sleep 12-6 AM

-Work 7:20-3:20
-Drive 45 minutes to Orem for class
-While driving, call supervisors to get Visiting Teaching reported for tomorrow
-Grab a huge fountain Coke Zero at the gas station due to exhaustion
-Class from 4:45-7:00 PM
-Ice cream date in Orem at 7:30
-Drive 40 minutes home to Murray
-Get home at 10 PM
-Skype with a cute boy

-Leave house at 6:35 AM
-Meeting for one student at 7 AM (where the parents didn't actually show up, thanks for that...)
-Meeting for another student at 7:30 AM
-Work the normal day until 3:30 PM
-Feel exhausted and poopy due to a monthly occurrence I experience
-Skip the gym due to said crappiness
-Work on lesson plans from 5:00-6:20 (that's right now...)
-Work on visiting teaching (church calling) from 6:30-8 (hopefully not longer)
-Watch Arrested Development instead of sleeping (1-2 episodes)

-Work 7:20-2:45
-Quickly drive from Kearns to the east side
-Novels committee meeting 3:00-5:00 PM
-Gym if I’m brave and energetic 5:30-6:30 (probably won’t happen)
-Watch my show instead of sleeping (1-2 episodes)

-Work 7:20-3:15
-Gym 4:00-5:00
-Freedom!!!! (I'll probably loser around and watch Arrested Development, or start my case study below)

-Work on Case Study report for my class (this seriously will be an all day thing)
-Clean apartment
-Do laundry

I also have to enter participation points for last week and have lots of papers to grade (reciprocal teaching worksheet for six classes, prefix/suffix Pictionary, and late work). I’ve got to update my absent packet. Midterm grades need to be submitted on Friday (Sunday at the latest).

I don't imagine life will be any easier with three or four or five more people to worry about. Husband and kids just don't sound super appealing. My life is plenty, thanks.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

We've Made Peace

I've lived in Utah for six years and three (almost four) months now--since August 2005.

My parents and brothers came up for Thanksgiving and just left today.  My youngest brother said countless times, "I just don't know how you live in Utah."

I think Utah and I have long since made peace and come to terms on our differences.

For example: I like it hot. Utah likes it cold.

Really, though, I have decided there are a lot of things I like about Utah. I frequently make mental note of all the things I'd miss if I left. Here are some of them...

- Cafe Rio (I guess I could drive 30 minutes to it from Glendora)

- Hole in the wall restaurants, big restaurants--so many options! (Nicolitalia, Tucano's, Hogi Yogi, Lone Star Taqueria, Red Ginger sushi, Happy Sumo, a million other sushi places, Guru's, Communal, Pizzeria 712, Vinto, Five Guys, Smashburger, Peiwei, Blue Lemon, Faustina, Einstein bagels, Mimi's Cafe, Noodles, Rumbi, etc.)
- Dessert places (Cold Stone, Cocoa Bean, Sweet Tooth Fairy, Nothing Bundt Cakes, random pastry shops, etc.)
- Good friends -- Rachel, Brianne/Nephi, cousin Marla, Audrey, Sydnie, Rob, Dan, so many others...
- Seeing three temples coming around the point of the mountain

- Being within driving distance to the temple even if I never go
- Beautiful sunny days

- Fall colors. We don't get them in California, really. Not like this...

- Huge grocery stores with lots of selection -- things you can get at the grocery store here just couldn't be found at a lot of stores in Glendora
- Good people -- policemen (or strangers) stopping to help replace citizens' tires, general politeness and honesty
- Lots of people to date -- there have been a lot of less-than-acceptable ones, but my chances are higher here than anywhere else, I think
- Affordable -- my one bedroom, 650-square foot apartment would definitely cost way more in California. Plus gas, food, theater tickets, everything is cheaper here.
- General safety and low crime in most parts
- The grid system -- being able to find a place without directions is so nice
- Music -- in downtown Salt Lake for free, in Provo at Muse for cheap, or at In the Venue for pretty cheap. We don't miss the good ones, usually
- Dry weather keeps some things from going bad.

Things I can't (and never will be able to) stand about Utah are as follows:

- Horrible drivers (among many Utahisms: at a two-way green, left turners thinking they have the right of way over right turners; general cluelessness; driving under the speed limit; tailgating; etc.)
- Judgment (mostly this big brother feeling occurs in Utah county)
- Snow/cold
- Never ending road construction
- Lack of diversity religiously and racially
- Produce. Terrible, terrible produce.
- No beach
- No theme parks -- Six Flags, Disneyland, Knott's, Raging Waters (sorry, Lagoon and 7 Peaks, but you're kind of lame)
- No (or very few) mom & pop donut shops!
- Dry weather dries out my skin somethin' fierce

I don't think I'd want to raise my family here. Maybe I'll feel differently once I actually have one. But the homogeneity really gets to me. I love where I grew up. Everything cool was in driving distance (mountains, desert, beach, etc.). There's just so much I feel my own little family would miss if we lived here.

But for now, this is OK. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meeting People? What's That?

With 11 days between posts, I think it's pretty obvious how crazy my life has been. Some of it has been good crazy, and some of it was continuing in the pattern of my last post, where I'm just doing too much play before work. That lifestyle really doesn't suit my overly responsible and highly anxious personality, but I kind of figure I should be taking advantage of all the random fun that comes at me while I can. It really is nice only worrying about myself and doing whatever I want to do.

Obviously some nights get old, and I really want company and get tired of being so self-involved. But for the most part I enjoy living my life the way I do.

Now, one of the activities that filled my time pretty recently was a "Why Not?" dinner through my ward at church.

Granted, I put my own name in this box along with someone else's. But as a disclaimer, I was under the impression that it would be a small group of people.

If you know me at all, you know I don't like large groups of people. Even after always being this way, I haven't pinpointed what it is exactly that gives me the "freakouts" about these situations. I have a few ideas, though.

One possibility is that large groups make me feel suffocated. I am an incredibly expressive and opinionated person. I don't have to be the star of the show. I can take on that role if I need to, but it's not something I have to do or be. But I also don't like being pushed to the sidelines or viewed as insignificant. And when this happens, I refuse to compete. Naturally, I become frustrated.

Something that makes this issue worse is that I hate small talk. I understand what it's for, and I get that "getting to know someone" has to start somewhere. I am pretty aware of social mores as I am a highly observant person. But small talk feels trivial and artificial for me. As a blue, I like to create deep, emotional connections with people and would just rather skip all the surface-level crap and find it out later. So here's the rub. When I am forced to wade through the obligatory cesspool that is small talk, I expect to at least be reciprocated. When I ask questions of several people sitting around me, and no one takes an interest in me or requites the questions, I get all flustered. "I am cooperating here, people. I'm jumping through your silly social hoops. Now work with me!"

Obviously this was the case at the dinner I went to. There were 18 people including myself. This was way too many, in my opinion. The conversation was patchy, and the attention of some was spread much too thin.

In true LDS fashion, we had to play some games, right? I mean, we didn't have to. We could have left. But weren't we there to get to know people? Or... one person...? Not wanting to cheat myself out of a good opportunity, I stayed. The games were fine. Some got really into them, which provided a lot of humor.

But I returned home that night feeling like I was about to explode. Eventually, after letting everything sink in for about 20 minutes, I burst into tears.

I think it was the stuff mentioned above--feeling suffocated and uninteresting--plus a few other things. It was the 5th of November, which was a tradition with my past group of friends where we'd watch V for Vendetta together and make a big thing out of it. Having left a huge social gathering with the same number of friends as I had when I came just left me feeling really heartbroken. I couldn't get anyone to watch V for Vendetta with me (believe me, I tried). So I guess this was a night where my occasional loneliness was remarkably apparent to me.

I'd like to point out, just to be clear, that I am not socially retarded. I hung out with two ladies from work tonight who are both awesome in many ways. They are both really different from me, but I feel like I can hold my own in a conversation or count myself out when I don't have anything to add. In a small group like that, or one-on-one, I am quite comfortable. On a date, I can be really polite and conversational, even if I'm not very interested in someone. I'm not awkward. It's very hard to make me feel uncomfortable, to be honest. And I feel like my inclination to be underwhelmed and unsurprised by just about everything makes it so that people's weirdness doesn't freak me out. I can carry on or laugh even after something odd was said or done.

I think that given that on a number of occasions I have: put myself out there, tried to overcome my social frustrations, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone, it's safe to say that these situations will pretty much never be successful for me.

That is not the way I make connections with others. It's just not. Sorry, LDS culture. There are some things Janae just can't do.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I like being busy. I am a checklist girl. I organize my time, but this week has been just a little too much.

The term ended... I spent all day Saturday and Sunday grading narratives. I got grades submitted on Sunday night.

Monday I worked all day, went to the gym for half an hour, and went to Rachel's family's house for a little Halloween shindig--not getting home until late.

Tuesday I worked all day, went to a school district novels committee meeting from 3-5, and did lesson plans until 8:30 at night.

Wednesday I worked all day, went to the gym for an hour, and then went on a spur of the moment date to Macaroni Grill, then watched Benny & Joon. Instead of that stuff, I needed to do laundry and clean my apartment. Little things like that, that need to be done, really hang over my head and stress me out.

Today I worked all day, went to the gym for an hour, read one chapter for my homework while on the elliptical, did dishes, have a load of laundry (that has taken three cycles now to get dry) in the dryer, one in the wash, and one waiting to get washed. I didn't do laundry on Sunday because I was grading narratives! So now I have no clothes. I ate and then went to church and worked on November's visiting teaching with Kara for an hour (SO excited--that's sooooo fast compared to normal!). I got home and made a bunch of calls so I could finalize the October visiting teaching report. Just a few minutes ago I emailed the report out to the leaders.

Tomorrow I get to work, go to the gym, and do a little more visiting teaching stuff...

And now I sit writing about all of this because even though my time has been taken up with fun stuff this week, the fun stuff has gotten in the way of my more important tasks. I am more of an all-work-no-play type of person, so playing before working makes me extremely anxious.

I need to
-Finish laundry
-Take down Halloween decorations
-Clean my apartment (kitchen and bathroom need a good, deep clean, plus I need to vacuum, clean my blinds, and wipe down my tables)
-Go grocery shopping (it's seriously been WEEKS. My fridge is empty except for milk and condiments, and this makes me want to cry, no lie)
-Finish a financial aid application for my huge medical bill
-Finish reading for class and do a write-up on it (due Tuesday)
-Work more on my case study and do a write-up on that (due Tuesday)
-Do my individual project for class (due Tuesday)
-Plan out some more for this term. I don't want to be barely ahead of the kids like last term. It's too much work. I like having everything mapped out.

So I have my work cut out. And why I went on that date last night instead of doing what I needed to do? I'm not sure. Taking a chance on something, I guess.

This past Saturday I accepted a two hour responsibility for someone that I should NOT have done, so that set me back a lot. I have a church-related dinner that I have to go to on Saturday. I also agreed to make cupcakes next week when I don't have time to do that.

On top of all of this stuff, I just am really depressed and lonely this week for some reason. Having a really hard time. Basically I'm on the verge of a meltdown this week. Maybe I'll see you all in the future. If I don't die of stress in the next few days.