Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Midnight Confessions

No, this post won't be erotica ... just some late night rambling about things that are on my mind.

I'm sitting under the hair dryer right now getting my hair ready for my first day of the Dental internship. I found a cute little article about Dominican hair stylists here. My hair is naturally curly and while it doesn't require chemical straightening I do endure a long process to get it straight. It looks nice curly but it gets so tangled that I can't stand it. Straightening it out creates a longer lasting style and no knots. I have my own dryer at home and huge rollers. I learned to do them on my own head back in college. It takes about 20 minutes to get all my hair done. Then I sit under the dryer for an hour. The result is soft waves as in the third picture from the top (my hair is just a tad bit shorter than that girl's right now). After that I proceed to the official "blowout" where I use a blowdryer to pull the soft waves straight. Voila!

As I suspected Columbia is very disorganized and the Dental Internship is no different. I received no word from the program since the initial acceptance letter. When I called the office last Friday the Director himself picked up which threw me completely off guard (I have phone phobia). Thankfully I had written out what I would say so I was able to pull of a conversation of sorts, but it was pretty painful. Today I finally got word from the assistant (though I already knew everything after my conversation with the director). I hope the rest of the program is better put together.

I have a feeling I'm expecting too much from it. Part of it might be that I'm pressuring myself to "figure it all out" by the end of the week. The decade long career question, that is. I am just fed up with my indecision and feel that maybe some tough love is what I need. In all seriousness, I am hoping that at the very least I will be able to decide whether I hate Dentistry or whether I'm still intrigued enough by it to continue researching it as a possible career choice. If the latter is true then I will likely be back in school full-time in September after all (I'm starting to miss studying. Go figure.). Otherwise I will be asking for part-time at work and postponing school for at least a year. So you see, while the decision I need to make this week is not so big in and of itself (do I hate Dentistry or no), the repercussions are huge. Either way I am supposed to have a major conversation with my manager at work in the next few weeks. I will either be asking for leave or asking to go part-time. The anxiety regarding this conversation is giving me the occasional palpitations. It will only get worse as the day nears.

I had a few good days at work this month. Because of my imminent serious conversation I've been trying to actually be efficient at work. The days go by so much quicker that way. It's too bad that at this point I am so done with the place that I can not function that way every day. Anyway ... I have to confess that those few good days made me doubt my decision to leave altogether. How silly that because of a few good days (after several bad weeks in a row) I am willing to just settle. "It's not so bad here after all" *smacks self* Of course it's bad there. How can I possibly think of spending another 30 years there? Actually I've come to realize that the problem is not the job nor the place nor the company, it's me. I'm the one who doesn't belong. A lot more people than I thought are actually happy there. They have found a place where they can earn a title and exert some power. I need something either more academic/intellectual or more people oriented. Or both, ideally. Which is why the health care field still seems to be where I need to end up. Of course I still adore my music. But it's an expensive little pastime. And we also have an expensive little townhouse. I need to make money. And it needs to not be painful. I need to feel that what I am doing means something. At least to me. And hopefully to other people too.

I had an interesting chat with a high school friend today. We both typed almost the same thought at the same time. Basically both of us are feeling a bit empty about not actively "giving back" to our communities. Both of us expressed a desire to expose youth to the greater world. You'd be surprised by how tiny the world some of these kids live in is. Some of them have never been to a zoo or a museum. Sometimes all you need is just to plant a tiny seed in them by letting them see that there are wondrous things out there for them to enjoy. That curiosity can mean the difference between success and failure. It can break their cycle of poverty and apathy. Ok now I'm really rambling. But I would really love to be involved in something like that.

Why am I so afraid of change?? It's silly but I feel like I have this huge weight on my shoulders right now. I feel that I am on the verge of making a breakthrough in terms of my agonizing decision. Yet while I am excited I am also very afraid. I am afraid of changing the things in my life that are currently working, especially the hubby and music. I guess I will have to keep praying for faith, wisdom, and guidance.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I dwell on my own stupid little dilemmas when there are so many people in the world with real problems. I should be thinking about that tragedy in London, but something inside tends to block it off. It's way too close to home. Ever since 9-11 a dark cloud hovers over my happy life. I am always afraid for my beloved hometown and all my loved ones there. Fear is always there in the background. Last night I had another nightmare about something bad happening. Mini bombs went off at some constructions sites in Manhattan and the structures fell to the street killing pedestrians and drivers. I was on the other side, in New Jersey, watching helplessly as the sun set and sky grew a dark, angry red. Huge beams fell on top of buses and fire engines. I was desperate to get in contact with my husband, my parents, and my brother, but I couldn't get through. I was on foot and nowhere near a bridge and I knew that I wouldn't be allowed across even if I could make it to one. It was all very terrifying.

It's weird because instead of driving me away from the City the 9-11 experience makes me want to be in the thick of it. I will not be happy with my job until I am working in Manhattan. God forbid if anything happens again I want to at least be on the same island as everyone I care about. I don't want to be stuck in Connecticut again, unable to talk to or get to my loved ones. Perhaps all we can do is pray for peace.

Whatever part of my psyche fears change needs to stop equating it with major disasters because it makes decision making even more difficult than it normally is for me. I have to stop thinking that I am going on a path of no return, or a path of certain unhappiness. I thought I was an optimist yet I have a hard time imagining that the life I want is possible. I wish I could feel comfortable giving things a try, especially when it's in regards to things that have been in my mind since I was a kid. I know that it would be better long-term that I at least go for something, even if later on I decide against it. Living with the "what-if's" might tear me apart. I just need to be confident that I can pick my life up if should I decide to change my mind down the road. I have to learn to see life as an adventure.

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