Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Story Behind the Neurosis

My [Chicago] friends know that I'm extremely punctual. I'm always early to the party, such that I'm helping with cooking and decorations. I'm not ashamed of it. It's who I am.

I got stood up for a date tonight. It's the second time this has happened in two months. Getting stood up in 2014 isn't like I'm sitting at a restaurant waiting for a date and no one shows up (though that has happened. Shout out to dating. It's so fun.) Getting stood up in 2014, is like we talked on Friday and said we'd meet on Saturday at 7, then you didn't call or text to say WHERE to meet... or answer my calls or text to answer that question.

This sucks. It sucks for anyone, but it sucks for me because it opens up historical wounds. My biological father has a substance abuse problem. If you ever know anyone with that problem, you know that they make promises they can't keep and they lie a lot.

When I was a little girl, he used to say he was coming a lot and never did. He would tell me things he was going to buy me for Christmas or my birthday and he, of course, never delivered.

My mom's first husband (my "dad" who passed away when I was nine) would talk to me like an adult when I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 and say things like "Do you really think he's coming?" I was an intelligent, precocious child, but my cognitive abilities weren't that sharp yet. OF COURSE, he's coming. He said he was coming. Why would anyone say they were going to do something they're not going to do?

So, as an adult, I work to be upfront and honest (sometimes bluntly honest, sorry, y'all.) If I say I'm coming to your birthday party, I'll be there. If I have a deadline at work, I'll meet it. And to make sure no one is ever waiting for me to show up for hours on end and feeling abandoned like I did as a toddler, I arrive to things early.

So, yes, arriving to social events is crazy. Living my life by my calendar is crazy. Expecting people to do what they say they're going to do is crazy (or is it really). And maybe cutting a guy off who could produce a perfectly good story about how/why he couldn't make an appointment that we scheduled is harsh, but one never quite heals from being lied to as a child and I would rather not deal with all of the feelings that come up each and evey time this happens to me as an adult.

So the moral of this story is, when people seem strange, odd or even crazy to you, know that they are that way for a reason and try to empathize with the fact that you don't know their story. BUT, ALSO don't stand people up. :-)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Working On My Day Off...

I'm in the office today and everyone else got the day off as an incentive for doing something. I technically have the day off too, but stuff is due at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, so instead of wasting Monday night doing work, I just came into the office today.

Also, I do not like working from home. I do not have a home office. My job activities are stressful. I do not like stress or drama in my home. Once you cross my door step it's like a spa, a shrine, a sanctuary, a playhouse (on Fridays, LOL!), but it not an office. It feels like everything work is not. Just peaceful and wonderful and I don't want anything not peaceful and not wonderful in my home.

Here's the problem with working on your day off. There is no accountability. No meetings to make you get the work done before you go into another meeting. No responses from coworkers to questions you have with the answers you need to get to the next step.

There is also the "save for later" stuff you have been meaning to do that is work-related and billable, but really has nothing to do with what you ACTUALLY came into the office to do in the first place.

I'm getting ready to watch an hour-long video that is mandatory for me to watch that someone sent me in March because my time doing so will be uninterrupted.

Then after that, I will get tired, not do what I came in here to do, and go home and take a nap. Well, that's what USUALLY happens, but I'm not claiming that today. Today, I WILL finish the deck I came in here to work on (it's always a deck... planning takes way more time than doing.)

I will get it done. Meanwhile, I'm hyping myself up while writing a blog post... which is not what I came in here to do. Let me go see if my latest Facebook photo album has any more likes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Always Tired

It's 12:55 a.m. and I'm about to stop working. I'm not done, but I'm stopping. Last week, I only worked 41.75 hours, but I was just as tired as if I worked my regular 50 hours. And if I work 60 hours, still tired. 70 hours, still tired.

I had something to do after work every day last week. Doctor's appointment, volunteering, a play that my company gave me free tickets too, a team outing and restaurant week dinner with my friends.

My weekend was like this Sat: pay bills, volunteer at Family House, grocery shop, Steelers game with one of my mentees. Sun: Grocery shop for church picnic (Pastor called me while I was at the game, talmbout, can you bring a meat dish.) Cook for the church picnic, laundry, church picnic, work, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation "Still Feel Like Going On" teen boys photo exhibit, work.

This reminds me, I probably still have a load in the washer from yesterday.

Tomorrow I have to take a client's best friend's underage child to dinner after work. Wednesday, I'm double booked. I'm supposed to presenting to the Children's Sickle Cell Foundation and mentoring with Gwen's Girls. (My mentee told me she doesn't like it when I switch my days. I hope I taught her that being flexible does not mean that I don't care and that she can trust me to be there, but I don't know that the message came through. It did, however, make me feel guilty for not coming some Wednesdays. I love and miss those girls!)

Thursday, happy hour for a coworker that's leaving and I actually like her, so I'm going. Friday morning at 8 a.m. I'm driving to Chicago for a church choir reunion. 2 rehearsals, a meet and greet, 2 Sunday services THEN I'm driving back to the 'Burgh on Monday, which will be followed by another grueling 50-hour work week.

I'm declaring next Saturday (the Saturday before Labor Day) is Tea Day. I'm not doing A THING! (Unless a friend has a party, in which case, I'm going, but hopefully that will be Friday night and I can just chill Saturday).

I still need to send out an invite for the Black Marketers Network I'm creating and do nonprofit work for a board I joined. When am I going to do this, Lord?

I've said no to a lot of stuff [a ton of stuff] in Pittsburgh already, but I think I may, possibly, probably, kind of... be overextended. What y'all think?

Also have to be at work at 7 a.m., so this "nap" I'm about to take will be delicious.

Good night.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Asking For Help

So I have a problem with asking for help. Like most problems, I didn't know I had that problem until someone pointed it out. I had a recipe fiasco and my homeboy says, why didn't you just ask me, I love to cook. And I was thinking, well... I didn't know I couldn't make that recipe until I failed. In my head, why would I ask for help before I knew I needed it.

So yesterday, I couldn't come up with something to cook for the church picnic and I hit my cousin, culinary artist extraordinaire up and she helped me come up with some ideas.

The most exciting part about this is that I didn't have any heartburn whatsoever about asking. I just realized I had a deficit. I found someone with a surplus and I asked for what I needed.

I wonder sometimes, if people reading this blog, go DUH all the time, but I swear the simplest things are the easiest ways to stop me from progressing. And things may seem simple to everyone else, but this is a breakthrough for me.

So here's to asking for help whether I think I need it or not and here's to all the people in my corner and in my circle who are willing to provide it!

Happy Sunday y'all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Corporate News

Lots of good stuff coming out of the east coast today: 

A local ad firm reaches out to high school students. Is it any wonder they now want to work in PR. *thinking of a master plan*

How to Choose Social Tools to Fit Your Business (written by my colleague). Many brands/agencies struggle with this, so she has some tips for ya!

Women in PR and Chicagoans especially, check out the Women in PR Summit

D.C., Philly, NYC folks check out this GOALS Conference coming up in Philly in October.


PR people all over the world, check out the details of the National Black Public Relations Society Conference and Career Fair, November 6-9 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

I think that's enough for the day. Adds to my to-do list:

1. Create website for yourself
2. Host a professional blog on said website.
3. Just finish Tuesday. LAWD, I have so much to do!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fascinating Article...

About a Christian doctor who performs abortions in Mississippi.

It's long.
It's good.
It made me question some things I think.
It made me want to subscribe to Esquire.
It made me disable my comments to this post.

Enjoy.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted

I saw someone post that to Instagram and it really inspired me. It's truly how I live my life. I live in weak sauce Pittsburgh, but people swear I love it here because they see my photos and I'm happy and I'm out SEVERAL nights a week, despite folks swearing that there's nothing to do here. You can take an extrovert out of Chicago, but you can't take the extrovert out of her. Here are things I've either done and/or am looking forward to in Pittsburgh.

What I've done already 
10. Rooftops. I have found some rooftops worthy of visiting. Namely, Uptown across from the Consol Center. I.LOVE.IT.THERE! Also, Six Penn is awesome and Tavern 245.

9. Family Reunion - My Pastor's blood family had a family reunion last weekend and they invited me to a couple of the festivities. My heart is swelling with gratitude. I couldn't have experienced that if I was at Ovio living it up.

8.  Family House - I only volunteer there on weekends and hadn't been since the first weekend in June. I'm volunteering twice in August, which gets me back up to my commitment of once a month. I may do more if my schedule allows. Giving back keeps me whole.

7. Pittsburgh Culture - I always score free tickets to things and last week I got free tickets to the Pirates game and Spamalot. You can't beat free with a stick AND most of this stuff is walking distance from my apartment.

6. Bar hopping - Every time I leave the house in Pittsburgh, I spend $0-$40 and still have a great time. I miss the cheapness of this city when I leave it.

What's coming up
5. Hosting get togethers. I'm throwing a pre-game shindig for a new friend at my house this evening and nothing makes me happier. I love entertaining.

4. Hot dog day at church. I'm on the Women's Day committee at church and we have some money to raise, but I haven't been here all Sunday. I'll finally be home to contribute and as lame as it may sound, I'm excited to get my grill on.

3. Dream Cream - It's Ice Cream that Makes a Difference. Can't beat that with a stick!

2. Hanging with new friends - This article states it best, but moving to a new place gives you an opportunity to hang with people you would have NEVER hung out with in your hometown. Did I say NEVER... no diss. I disagree fundamentally with so many people I spend time with in this city, but I'll be damned if I'm not building character.

1. No Line, No waiting! I can get into everything here for free... all the time. I did, however, stand in line to go to Art's last week, while two "VIP" dudes walked in front of me. It was one of the more humbling things that's ever happened in muh life.

FOMO

I have the worst case of FOMO in life. Not only am I missing Chicago like crazy today, but I feel like every weekend that I'm in Pittsburgh I'm missing out on something going on somewhere else.

Por ejemplo:

Over the past couple of weeks, here are the things I have not done.

1. Go to the Posh Paris Party in Chicago
2. Go to the Greatest Day Ever Party in NYC
3. Go to Caribana or Ovio in Toronto.
4. Go to the Beyonce concert anywhere (Going to regret this for years to come)
5. Lollapalooza

This weekend, here's what I'm missing in Chicago.
6. Luvvie's Blogiversary Party
7. The Red Pump Project's 5th Anniversary concert with Chaka Khan (I mean, come on!)
8. Thursday nights at Nouveau Tavern (I haven't partied on Thursdays in YEARS, but for some reason, I feel like I would enjoy this.)
9. Glenn's Bday. I know there were festivities.
10. The Bears/Eagles game at Soldier Field tonight (And I don't even like preseason).

Want to hear the good news, at least one of my friends made it to all of these events, so I live vicariously through them. I don't know if this is good or bad for my fomo. #KanyeShrug