Family Differences.

mood-girl-bokeh-photography-sad-aloneWow.  Just got off the phone with my mom.  The call did not go well.  My relationship with my parents has not been easy.  Lots of ups and downs.  My parents basically have two families – My Twin and I, and then my other sisters who are 9 and 11 years younger.  I do remember things being great until my sisters came along.. then it all went to hell.  😉

A week ago my mom had a disagreement/confrontation with My Twin sister…  My Twin and my mom walked away from this conversation with very different views.  I don’t agree 100% with either of their perspectives, I feel that I have an in-between view so I tried to bridge the gap.  My attempt was disastrous.

My parents were much more strict with My Twin and I – the rules were much more rigid and the punishment much more severe. They are and have been much more lenient with my younger sisters.  Right or wrong, it is the way that it is.  My parents are good people. They did the best that they could. But that doesn’t take away the fact that their treatment of each of us was and is  very different.  And when you treat your kids so differently it creates animosity. ADDITION: Perceived favoritism has long term impacts on adult children.

My mom got very angry. In a very angry voice she told me that she and my dad did the best they could.  Accused me of “jumping on My Twin sister’s bandwagon” (playing victim), and being judgmental.  She said they help all their kids no matter what and that will never change.

I told my mom that I know that she and dad did the best they could, but that doesn’t change the experiences that My Twin and I had… I then said that the best way to deal with differing perspectives is to talk about it, so that we could better understand the bigger picture..  She did NOT agree. Said that she doesn’t owe My Twin and I any explanations, then basically hung up.  I do not want my mom to feel bad, but her anger doesn’t change feelings.

My mom and dad did their best. I am proud of them. They have gone through a lot and I respect that they want to help their children.  But what if one kid takes more than the other?  Helping one child over an over again can take away from time with the other children.  It is a fact of life – you only have so much time and energy.  The fact is that my parents continue to help my 36-year-old sister takes away from the time and energy my mom has to spend with the rest of her kids.   Example, my sister has lived with my parents for 18+ years.  She still lives with them – my sister, her husband, and her 3 kids. My mom takes her 10-year-old to school and babysits the 3-year-old everyday.  My parents, who have been retired for 3 years, just went on vacation, away from their own home “to get away and relax”.

My parents have not been out to see me in CA in over 4 years.  Yep. 4 years.  Yes I have invited them, even offered to pay for them to visit.  They have yet to fit it into their schedule.

I feel like giving up.  I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to have a relationship with my parents.  But the relationship feels one-sided for the most part. If this was a love relationship, we would have broken up long ago.  I do love my parents, it would be nice to have a more balanced relationship.  Even without my sister sucking up all their time and energy, I am not confident that they would desire such a relationship.  Makes me sad.

Anyone else have a complicated relationship with their parents?

ADDITION:  Sibling Favoritism.  This is the issue. My perception is that my mom loved my youngest sister best, the sister who still lives at home is my dads favorite.  My Twin and I had each other. It always felt as if my parents were a family with my sisters and My Twin and I were the odd ones out.  Advise on the web is to “get over it”…  not exactly sure how one does this.

Taking Some Time Off.

southern_coast_of_turkey

Hello all.

So much has happened in these last few months.

  • Family – AbFab’s husband lost his legs in a work accident.  Here is a news video of how he survived – inspirational.  They are both so strong, so resilient. The kids – Mayonaise and Shanaynay are doing well and they love their dad with or without legs.
  • Travel – I had an opportunity to go to Turkey and I did it.  I went to Turkey for 10 days with one of my best friends – Unicorns. She suggested it one week, we booked our tickets the next week, then we left the next week. Impromtu.  It was one of, if not the best trip I’ve ever taken. More on this later.
  • Work – not going well at all…the product doesn’t work and leadership is lacking – in both inspiration and direction.  Every team works in silo’s – Sales selling product we don’t have, Product delivering product that doesn’t work.  Since I work with customers every day, I feel the chaos. These people, our customers, put their careers on the line to purchase and adopt our technology. And we consistently let them down.

So, I’ve made a decision.  I made it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been letting it stew in my brain for a bit before making it a reality.  I am resigning.  I will let my manager know on Friday. My last day will be Nov. 13th. I am resigning before having another job.   My plan is to get centered again. This will include spending time with myself, getting healthy, traveling, and reconnecting with family and friends.

Not only will I be starting an exercise regimen, I will be traveling.  I plan to go back to Istanbul during the Thanksgiving holiday. Then I plan to spend a few weeks in Utah with AbFab and her family. I will also see my twin sister and my parents. My goal during this time away from work is to focus on me and doing what makes me happy.  And in my spare time I will look for work.

I am aware that this is extremely risky.  But I am burnt out. I may just do some consulting work and continue to think well into 2016…  Only time will tell what opens up to me.  But I’m not doing “this” again – busting my ass for a company that doesn’t appreciate the work that I do. I will not make myself physically sick with stress and work overload.  I WILL find a great company, that has great leadership, and that will appreciate my skills, abilities, and what I bring to the table.  That’s it.  Until this time, I will find consulting jobs that will support me.  That is my decision.

So yes, I am throwing caution to the wind and moving forward with what my heart is telling me is the right thing for me.  Although I am tidying up things around the house and checking out local yoga studios, I will officially begin my journey of self-rediscovery on Nov. 2nd with Oprah and Deepak 21 day meditation series – Become What You Believe.  I plan to update this blog very regularly as I go through my reinvention – writing thoughts down really helps me.

If any of you have ever done this before, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked, what didn’t.. Or if you haven’t, I’d love to hear what you would do if you made such a decision – would you travel, stay at home, visit with family, friends, etc… ?

My next blog will be about my experience in Turkey – which I loved – both the country and the people.

Life is Full Of Lessons.

a-lesson-will-repeat-itself-until-learnedI’m spending a lot of time by myself, thinking through my relationships, the meaning of life, and trying to wrap my head around what it all means.

I’m lucky that I have a lot to focus on at work during the week.  I’m working hard – really working at changing my career for the better.  It’s been harder than I expected.  I just got my performance review back, a 360 degree review.  I’m struggling with some feedback, it is opposite of what I expected, and opposite of what I thought I’d discussed with my manager during the hiring process. I’m thinking hard about what I plan to do about the review and what it means for my career. I am NOT going to seek for approval or acceptance for an unlimited time period.  I will give myself a few weeks to work through the feedback, discuss my thoughts with my manager, and set my boundaries.I’m no longer willing to give without getting.. At the end of the day, I need to define the amount of time I’m willing to give before I get what I want.

Which leads me to what I’m really after.  I’m not willing to wait around for someone else to tell me what I’m worth. My job is to define my worth and let others know what that is.  I set my currency value.  I’ve never done this before – and looking back, reflecting on my past relationships, I realize how much power I have given up both at work and at home.  I don’t mean power in the way of control, but power in the sense of defining the things that are important to me, communicating the things I need and want from others.

This is a very big revelation for me.  I am disappointed that I didn’t learn this lesson from my first big relationship loss, or the end of my marriage… and that it actually took a total of 4 failed relationships to learn it.  But hey, at least I’m learning it now.  Knowledge is power, and is the first step in change.

Soooo, here I am. With a new found revelation.  I love it. It’s time for change, and I’m all for it.  Have any of you read the book How People Change?  I read this in college and I think about it all the time. The lesson I learned from the book – that awareness is the first step to making a difference, a real change.  There is a lot of work ahead to make my new found perspective a reality. But I know how to do it. So I’m on my way.

Indian in Chinatown.

apple-amongst-orangesYep. I have found and am eating at the only Non-Chinese restaurant in Melbourne’s Chinatown district.  Well, to be fair, it is the only Non-Chinese, Non-American establishment within 2 blocks of my hotel in the Melbourne Chinatown district.  And its a Sunday night, and there isn’t much open on a Sunday night.

I find this choice much like the choices I’ve made while on my life’s journey – against the grain.  I have opted to NOT eat at the 1000 Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, noodle houses, etc. near me.  I’ve picked the one Indian restaurant around – Jaisalmer Palace.  The food – delicious. I would definitely come here again, what a find!  But the bigger question – Why do I pick the one place that isn’t “normal”?  Whatever causes this type of thinking, I was born with it.  But enough about me, let’s talk about me!  Just kidding (sort of).  Let’s talk about my day/weekend.

  • First, I am in fucking Melbourne Australia!  Yes, that’s right, Melbourne. Only one of the best cities on this planet.  It’s San Francisco, but better (nicer people, generally happier people, less ego driven, more relaxed, etc..). It’s like Italy, but better (it actually has a sustainable and growing economy)..  would I move here? In a heart beat!
  • And one of my very dearest, best friends lives here. Lets call her Smiles from now on, because she has one of the best smiles ever. Its taken me 10+ years to get back to Melbourne and be in her presence. Seeing her for the first time, again, it was like no time had passed, It’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. Catching up with her, our lives, and visiting with her family makes me feel truly alive and lucky.  Last time I was in Australia, I visited with Smiles and her immediate family (mum, dad, sisters, etc)  and had more fun than any one person should have in a lifetime, let alone 2+ weeks.  10 years later, we are both in very different places, and we are still as connected.  She shared her life openly.  We were swinging singles back then (not really, single yes, swinging, no).   She now shares her life with a handsome Aussie and 2 kids..   Spending the day with her and her family made me feel so lucky – I’ve done something right because someone I love to the end of this earth just shared a day in her life with me without reservation.  How lucky am I??
  • AND (I know, it gets even better!!) one of my newest besties is ALSO living in Melbourne.  I got to catch up with her, introduce her and her hubby to Smiles, and who knows… maybe another connection made.

This weekend, for me, is what life is what MY life is all about.  Connecting with people who I love dearly.  I know I don’t have kids, and I will not carry on the typical “legacy”, but that is o.k..  I live, I love, and I feel loved.  And being in this space, where I love openly, where I feel loved, isn’t that what life is about?  Taking care of those we cherish?  Knowing who to cherish and why?  I spent what felt like a lifetime in a marriage with someone who didn’t love me – didn’t truly love my quirkiness… and it took its toll on me. I bring it up now only because it’s taken me 5+ years to close this insecurity.  I have fewer and fewer why didn’t it work” moments (not just with the Ex but with My Mr. Big, Mr. Showtime, and the like, which you can catch up on by reading The Roster (which I will update soon enough)) and more and more “here we go” hands-up-in-the-air roller coaster moments.

So, while trying not to be philosophical, life has been a roller coaster and I’ve often felt out-of-place.  But today, this weekend, while sitting in this Indian restaurant 15000 mile away in a city I love because its near a bestie, I realize, I’m in exactly the right place for me.  Which is the path that 99% of the people would NOT take. I get that, and I’m learning to be o.k. with it.  And more and more I’m better than o.k. with it, I’m LUCKY to have had this path.  Definitely not what I pictured for myself, but truly lucky to have experienced it thus far.

O.k. now I need to leave this restaurant, go back to the hotel, and get ready for work tomorrow.  There are a few other things I want to write about – such as saving a super drunk girl from herself last night (my first night with an Aussie wink wink was not what you would ever guess/think), the Melbourne lights night that was super crowded, to meeting strangers at the Exec Lounges (and I love it!!). So many stories, so little time!

Behaving Badly Down Under.

New Besties from Western Australia
New Besties from Western Australia

So, WTF?  I am shaking it up down here in Australia….

First, I met a couple that I LOVE, that I am definitely going to keep in contact with.  I sat with them for breakfast and dinners for 3 days – they are an amazing fun couple.  We stayed in the Executive Lounge all night 2 nights in a row just talking and drinking…  It was so much fun I forgot to eat dinner 2 days in a row!  Margaret wants to take Errol to Italy, so we have made plans to vacation in Italy in September 2015.  I’ve signed myself up to plan this 2015 Italy vacation, and everyone is welcome.  We will be spending a week at a castle in the Umbria region, then another week on the Amalfi Coast… give or take a few weeks/months/years depending on my work, boyfriend, or marriage situation.  😉  The picture I’ve attached is of my new besties!

Second, I went out with the local sales guy yesterday, On Tuesday…. too yummy.  It took everything I had in me to behave appropriately.  He is handsome, down to earth, very attractive, fun, …. but he has his own set of distractions – he does have a girlfriend, and ex-wife, and a child..  I went home alone, but don’t think his luscious gorgeous face and thick accent was easy to leave behind.  Good thing for him that has a Niami Watts girlfriend type around to keep him happy.  Now I just have to find my Liev…

Went to a client site on Wednesday then spent most of the evening catching up on other work.  Another Hotel guest asked me to join him for dinner and I did. It was fun to not eat alone. He is from Connecticut, recently retired, and on his way to spend 2 months in New Zealand… I look forward to hearing about his adventure when he returns.

So that’s it. Nothing really “Bad” per say, but certainly not my regular routine.  Feels good to shake it up a bit.  And I love Sydney and the Australians in general. What a super nice bunch of folks.  Must be something in the water…

One last question – the girl I sat next to on the airplane.  I want to be  her friend.  She hasn’t reached out to me but I found her on Facebook. Is it too “stalkerish” to friend her?  If I do that she will know I had to find her – as she only gave me her name, no contact info.  Please advise.

10 Days in Australia.

14_02_19_SydneyClosetHello from down under! I just arrived in Sydney Australia. The trip was FANTASTIC- thank you Virgin Australia, Xanax and Ambien. I woke up, had breakfast on the plane, watched Shawshank Redemption, deplaned, went through security, picked up my luggage, and took the train to my hotel.  I’m all checked in (the room doesn’t have a bathtub??!?  What is going on with hotel rooms without bathtubs??).

I’m out of the country for 10 days.  I’m in Sydney for 5 days visiting with Customers. Then off to Melbourne to visit with more Customers. In between these weeks, I will be spending the weekend in Melbourne, catching up with two close friends. I’m soooo looking forward to it.

I packed one carry on bag for the 10 days.  I’ve attached a picture of all the clothing I brought with me for this 10 day trip. I’m super proud of myself for picking comfortable easy pieces that I can mix and match. I’ve been meaning to reduce my wardrobe, I can’t wait until I lose weight and I can get rid of it all EXCEPT for the cashmere.  🙂

I also sat next to this very cool girl on my way here. We are going to connect via email and the next time I’m in Sydney we are going to get together. She is 10 years my junior but very wise. She has lived a great life thus far… I will share her blog with you once I get the info.  I don’t want to give away her name just in case she too writes under an assumed name.

It’s raining here. The locals tell  me it’s about time – they haven’t had rain for a long time.  I wanted to go to the beach, I’ve never been to a Sydney beach, but alas, it is a to-do for another day.  So instead I went shopping.  Really just browsing and people watching.  I wanted to see what everyone is wearing, interact with the locals, etc.. I did purchase a coat, which I need for the week. It’s a casual business jacket.. I’ll wear it every day and beyond. Not cheap, but a good piece.

Now I’m in the Executive lounge having a glass of wine and posting this message.  I’m super excited about being here, being on this adventure, this journey. I need this time away from my regular life to figure things out. I cannot believe that I’m 42, cash poor, living in a persons garage apartment… at 42 I’m starting over. Why do I do this to myself? And what do I need to do to define a right path and stay on it. I saw this book at the airport and I didn’t buy it – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1583335080 – I didn’t want to carry it and thought it would be available at the next airport.. it wasn’t. Now I must have it.  Do I order it on Amazon and wait until I get home to read it? I feel like it would be such a great book for me to be reading NOW.

I’ll try to post every day – I know that I have a lot on my mind, it would be super helpful to have your support and guidance while on this journey!