personal

Return of the ‘Who I Am’ Blog Meme

Way back in the day, when blogging was fun and not something we did because advertisers paid us to, we used to do funny little blog memes. Present a topic, write your post, and then tag others and challenge them to do the same. I haven’t seen this done for awhile(or maybe I just don’t do enough blog-reading these days!) but seeing a post on Reddit tonight that asked the basic question “Who are you?”, it kind of inspired me to want to bring this back.

Who I Am…

I am a 33 year old woman

I am a computer geek by profession, and a blogger who blogs constantly, but writes little, and I want to change that.

I am smart. Like, REALLY fucking smart. Unfortunately those brains did not come with a lot of common sense, which I didn’t seem to acquire until my late 20’s.

I am married to an Irish guy, and after knowing each other for 5 years, his accent still drives me crazy. He works from home because he likes being his own boss, and I pretend there are benefits to this, but the fact is if I let him work outside the home women will start throwing their panties at him every time he opens his mouth. I’m not kidding, the accent is just that. damn. sexy.

Thanks to a very nasty divorce, I am a non-custodial mother, which still sounds really odd. It’s been this way for 2 1/2 years now, and I am pretty used to it by now. That doesn’t make it any easier, but I am far enough out to be able to see the positives of the situation. I often jokingly call myself the Disneyland mom- have fun with them on the weekends, and then send them home for the crappy parts of the job.

As of today I am also the mother of a 14 year old. This really doesn’t seem possible, as I am far too young for this. She must have skipped a few years when I wasn’t looking.

I love animals way too much, and am the owner of a rat, a bunch of tiger barbs, and a frog named ‘Asshole Frog’.

I know absolutely, positively, without a doubt that I do not have herpes in any form.

I have never broken a bone.

I tend to step up and take a leadership role in organizing events not because I enjoy the job, but because I want to see things happen and get frustrated when no one else will do it.

I have lost 14lbs in the last 6 weeks, and am committed to a low-carb lifestyle. I can’t even really say committed, it just IS what is normal for me now. Poor Paul is having a harder time of the adjustment, but is doing well with his own weight loss.

I am terrible speaking in front of groups or when I am put on the spot. In fact, I really hate large crowds in general, they make me anxious.

I used to deal with depression, complete with therapy and medication, but it has been completely gone since my divorce. Draw your own conclusions.

I am a voracious reader who was often told to put the book down and go play outside as a child. I read my first Stephen King book at the age of 9, and was reading on a college level by the time I was 10.

I am not a tv watcher, I think most of it is stupid and mind-numbing, and am very picky about the series I do watch. We have one television in the house and do not subscribe to cable.

I am always right. Even when I’m not, I am.

I love being 33, and feel like life is only getting better, even with the occasional challenges.

So, who are YOU? I do hereby tag Selina, Heather, Paul, April, and anyone else who wants to play.

The One Where I Bare My Soul to the Internet About Being a Fat-Ass

I had a breakdown recently. Not a omg off to the loony-bin! one, but a very, very emotional low point for me. Why? My weight.

It was one of those things that started out as something completely different, just a fight that Paul and I had over…crap, I couldn’t even tell you what. I think it started as a bad day and I said something or he said something and then a lot of things were said, some that probably shouldn’t have been. You know the kind, every married couple has them.

As the argument escalated and feelings were hurt, I came to the sudden conclusion that every problem I had, with my marriage or myself, was because I had become an absolute fat-ass. And then the tears started, and wouldn’t stop. It was a sobbing, self-loathing, torrential cry where Paul tried to comfort me despite the nasty fight we’d had, and the more I thought about the way I looked, and the insecurity I had because of how I looked, the worse it got. It was not pretty.

My friends and family who love me would tell me not to worry, I’m a pretty girl, I just weigh a little more than I am comfortable with. At 5’3, I had topped out at 165lbs. Overweight by BMI standards, and just shy of being classified as obese. I had about a year ago bought size 14 pants after my size 12’s got too tight. These were my ‘fat pants’, and yet now they were getting tight as well. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin, I hated looking in the mirror, and I was getting to the point that I hated taking my clothes off in front of my husband, which gets a little awkward when you love that sort of activity as much as I do. In short, I was completely miserable with myself, and it was starting to carry over into other areas of my life, including my marriage.

Once I calmed down and my nose stopped running so much(fuck I am ugly when I cry!), I made a decision that I was done being a fat-ass. I would work on getting my weight down, and my self-esteem up. There was no reason for me to be as I was – I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it before. It’s only allowing myself to fall into habits like stress-eating and cheese danishes and endless cans of Coke that causes me to get this way. And my self-image needs some work, for sure. Paul pointed out to me that night that he has about the same amount of weight to lose as I do, but I don’t see him the way I see myself. He looks like he’s gained a tiny bit, but it’s barely noticeable. Yet I can look in the mirror myself and see nothing but the ginormous cow I swore I’d never be. I don’t see other people this way, just me. Because no matter how big they are, even if they are twice my size, they don’t seem as big as I am. Logically it makes no sense, but feelings rarely do.

My resolve to change started the very next day. For me this meant starting back on a low carb lifestyle, and cutting out those beloved cans of Coke cold-turkey. I’ve used low carb to lose weight before and never had an issue, but for some reason this time I developed what we call ‘keto flu’, causing me headaches, shakiness and muscle aches for about 24 hours while I pretty much went through carb withdrawal. It wasn’t fun, but I was so determined, and I pulled through it without giving in. I did things a little differently this time, not worrying about counting carbs or calories like I have previously, but instead just sticking to the foods that are good for me and letting the rest take care of itself. The result was an overall loss of 10lbs in the month of May, and that includes a little water weight picked up over Memorial Day weekend from the wine and the salty meats. It’s a start.

I rewarded my loss with hitting a couple of thrift stores this past weekend and picking up some cute summer tops and a pair of jeans in my current size, and one in the next size down for encouragement. I figure a $4 pair of Michael Kors jeans can’t really be passed up, and it keeps me looking ahead.

I also signed up for the Tech Geek Weight Loss Challenge. Sounds way more complicated than it is, just a bunch of Twitter people tracking their weight on a spread sheet and encouraging each other to keep going at it. Paul has signed up too, so we’ll be doing it together and hopefully seeing some good results. He is as always my greatest champion, believing in me even when I don’t always believe in myself.

As I type this I am officially 11lbs down from where I started this time, and determined to make a 30lb loss. I don’t know how long it will take, but if it takes me till Christmas I’ll make it happen, because I refuse to give in to the fat-ass in the mirror who makes me feel so unlike the gorgeous, confident woman I could be. I’m going to get there, come hell or high water.

Suburban Oblivion, Redux.

Notice anything different?  Hint- I haven’t colored my hair, and I haven’t lost weight.  I wish.

When I redesigned my theme the last go-round, I knew I wanted something different. Something darker and sexier. Something that says “Look at me- I’m 30, I’m confident, and I am worth listening to.”  Mostly what I wanted it to say was that I was more than just a mommyblogger. The switch from pastels to red and black was dramatic, but I loved it. It was who I am at this stage of my life. Out with the PTA mom, in with the woman who was finally ready to start finding herself. It was a whole new image.

Then Paul told me the image sucked.

Ok, not really 😛

Actually what he told me was the theme was not working. It was too heavy, too square, too SEO-hostile and just didn’t reflect me the way it should. He then told me he wanted to redesign my blog and make it what I’d envisioned it. Needless to say he didn’t have to ask me twice. He worked ridiculously long days over the weekend to make my custom theme, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the results. He took my vision and made it reality, and I can’t thank him enough for it.

This is what Suburban Oblivion was meant to be.

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Over the weekend as we were working on the site, I had to re-do my categories, and that meant re-categorizing all my old posts. There is a lot to be said for going through your own archives once in awhile.

I have written this blog for nearly three solid years now. In re-reading 400+ posts, I saw myself in a way that I normally couldn’t. It was like having an outsider’s view into my life. I could very clearly see the decline of my marriage. I could see my depression and my ways of coping with it. I could see my struggles with trying to fit into a mold I clearly wasn’t made for. I could see my children growing up.

Oddly enough, I could also see myself growing up. I am not the person I was when I started this site.

In the last year, I’ve seen the worst, both in myself and those around me. I nearly let the events of my life destroy me, and in that consummation, I attempted to take my own life. It was a moment of weakness, not to be repeated.

Since then, I have begun the process of truly figuring out who I am. I am learning to put myself first, and to not apologize for that. I spent years trying to make everyone else happy, and in the course of things, I ended up miserable because I wasn’t allowing myself the freedom to figure out what made me happy.

The past few months have found me going in a different direction with my interests. In mid-May I co-organized the first Barcamp to be held here in Mobile.  This was a huge step outside my experience and comfort zone, but one I found I excelled at, and as a result I will be organizing another Barcamp next year.

From Barcamp came the idea of forming a group to unite the tech community here locally. Still in the very early planning stages, this is a really exciting project, and one I expect you’ll be hearing more about as we get that organized and the website up and running.

Finally, Paul and I have been working on a joint project, a new viral video and humor site we call the Daily Shite. Suburban Oblivion may be my baby online, but Daily Shite has been so much fun to work on, and we are seeing a steady rise in traffic and subscribers.

All this on top of trying to find a job (and dealing with my ex) has kept me pretty busy. I am still seeing my therapist regularly, and she was thrilled to hear I am getting involved and not just becoming a hermit while I wait for the mess that is my divorce to be sorted out.

Two years ago I never could have managed this. I would have been too worried about what everyone else wanted, and what everyone else thought, and would have given myself 100 reasons why I shouldn’t do any of the things I am doing now. I would never have been able to give myself permission to even start down this road.

Right after I filed for divorce last year, I got a nasty troll comment from someone who could have only been (related to?) my ex, as they knew details of the situation that I had not talked about anywhere online. In that message they stated that I “would never grow” if I didn’t reconcile my marriage.

A year later, I am proving him wrong. I may not be growing in the direction he would prefer, but in terms of my personal development, I am growing by leaps and bounds.

I’ve made my mistakes and have paid for them dearly, but now I am finally heading in the right direction. For the first time in my life, I am confident enough not to feel the need to apologize for doing what I feel is right for me.

I only wish the girl who started this blog three years ago had believed in herself as much.