Thursday, July 03, 2008

Introductions and Explanations

I've been thinking for awhile now about how I might jump start my sadly neglected blog. I wondered if I could get away with sneaking back in and posting some mindless meme as if I'd never really left. Actually, I've tried that a couple of times, but since my last post was mid-May, it seems obvious that that strategy was pretty much a bust.

Blogs are a funny thing, and even here in my own dusty corner of the Internet, it's hard to know what to divulge. As usual, I'm of several different opinions simultaneously. Part of me is very guarded and strongly believes that personal and private information is just that. I tend to hold my cards fairly close to the vest because as much as I love you all (and I do...I really do!), please take no offense when I say certain things are none of your business. Smooches!

Part of me is firmly convinced that nobody really wants to hear the gory details of my life. Heck, I'm living it, and half the time I don't want to hear the gory details of my life. I'm sure they're boring. I'm sure I'm whining. I'm sure what few readers would spend the afternoon picking up their eyeballs that rolled out of their sockets and onto the floor, and I bet you all have better things to do.

Part of me worries about The Big Blog Boogiemonster with his bag full of horror stories. Be careful what you say, you could get fired (sadly true) or stalkers could stalk you with stalkiness (less likely, but still true). Lives will be destroyed and there will be gnashing of teeth while all the smart people in the world look at you as a pathetic cautionary tale and shake their head and cluck like hens saying "should have known better." Best just to keep my mouth shut.

But at the same time, part of me thinks those of you who have stuck it out, checking every now and again to see if there is anything new deserve some sort of explanation. Heck, if my friends disappeared with no warning for months at a time and then suddenly showed up again, it would be natural to ask in a kindly but pointed manner, "where the hell have you been?"

So, after considering privacy, self-esteem, paranoia and guilt, this is what I have for you.

The last 11 months have been difficult. Big changes came at me from out of the blue and it has been a struggle to meet these challenges and maintain my sanity. You may have noticed from my blatant lack of discussing the subject that Scout is out of the picture. Falling under the category of "I love you Internet, but it's none of your business" I will simply say it was unexpected and extremely hurtful. Of course you know there was much, much, much more to it than that, but that's all you're getting, and it's enough that you may fill in the blanks however you like.

Then, with no warning and very little communication before, during, or after, came a major job change with a partial reassignment. Coming on the heels of the Scout debacle, this was a tough one, and really caused a lot of personal and professional upheaval.

Teaching this year was a good news-bad news proposition, but overall, I was always glad to get behind a piano and lose myself in music for awhile. I hated the drive that gave me far too much time to wrestle with The Ghosts of Problems Past, Present and Future. At the same time I discovered the hour-long commute gave me a chance to think out loud and work some things out for myself.

I went on vacation determined to clear my head, pull myself together, and come back home a more whole, healed person. I was going to start writing again (seriously, you should see the number of drafts I have stored away), and start doing things for myself. That plan worked out absolutely great...until the first day back at work. At 10am I was informed by the powers that be that while I was on vacation they decided they weren't quite finished with me and big job changes. In many respects, I became a victim of my own success, and partial reassignment has become total reassignment.

So here I am, back in the soup once again. Every time I think I'm past the worst of it, someone or something throws me back in and tells me to take another 20 laps. All of this hasn't translated well for the poor neglected Tuna News. I'm too tired, too stressed, too sad, too worried, and just plain too overwhelmed.

Over the past week, however -- which is exactly how long it's been since the latest bombshell-- I've done an enormous amount of thinking. Not so much about this job or that job, or why I will have to be here rather than there doing this instead of that. There are no answers to those questions, and I'm trying hard to put a stop to thinking that does little more than drive me crazy. Instead, I started thinking about myself.

I started thinking about who I am, and what makes me who I am. I came to the conclusion that I am not my job. I am not defined by my job. My job is something I do, but it isn't the essence of who I am. So yes, my job was -- and Lord help me, is again -- changing. But it's my job that's changing. Not me. It may seem like a little thing, but recognizing the difference between what I do and who I am helps me keep my sanity as I continue to deal with a situation I can neither change nor control.

Ditto for the artist formerly known as Scout. Yes, there was a great deal of loss, but as the saying goes, there is no point of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I lost a relationship. I didn't lose myself. I'm still here with my familial trademarked off-kilter sense of humor, wicked sense of puns and a mischievous sparkle in my eye. I should never let anything or anyone stifle it or take it away. Including myself.

All this doesn't mean that I have been spending my days skipping down the primrose path eating rainbows and pooping butterflies. I'm still fairly sad and overwhelmed. But I'm determined to be okay. I'm determined to remember exactly who I am and not lose my sense of self as I navigate through all the changes life has thrown at me lately. And I would be horribly remiss if I didn't mention the fact that Teen Tuna has been incredibly supportive over the past year. She has been an excellent listener, caretaker, and a distraction for the good whenever I have needed one. She has had to grow up a lot over the past year, and has learned -- kind of the hard way (which is regretful) -- that sometimes grownups do plain old crappy things. I am so proud of this kid and I'm damn lucky to be her mother. And no, she still can't have a cell phone. I'm proud of her, not insane.

Lastly, but not leastly, I want to promise you that GreenTuna and The Tuna News are here to stay, and I plan to resume regular postings soon. I promise to be funny sometimes, serious sometimes, and a total slacker meme-poster sometimes. I'll tell you as much as I can without invading my own privacy or boring you to tears. And as for the Big Blog Boogiemonster, I'm going to chill out a little bit. I'm really not all that concerned about stalkers stalking me with stalkiness, because frankly, if you ever did stalk me, I'd make you do my dishes, weed the garden and then find my lonely socks.

And since we've come to an understanding, I just have one more thing to tell you.
My name is Vicki.

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