Sunday, January 27, 2013

Catching Up

It's been about a few month's since I last wrote on here and many things have changed. I think the main sticking point in the last entry dealt with aging, turning 31. I believe my feelings and frustrations where stemming from my bachelor status. I think I came off a weekend back home where all I heard from aunts that I bumped into, was them telling me "why are you still single" and also seeing friends who have kids already. I do get bummed about that, just because it shouldn't be anyone's place to tell me who I should be with, when I should be with, etc.

However, after going through that slump of negative thinking, I ended up meeting someone. Maybe I'll get into it later, but I'm now in a relationship. It's a healthy, loving, and caring relationship. I was afraid I'd be filled with anxiety about it. I thought she wouldn't understand or get me, but the truth is... we are similar. We're a bit quiet and shy when in social settings with groups. However, she understands me and I understand her. We're comfortable with each other and as a result, I've been able to go out more and do more exposure. I've had moments of panic attacks, but she's so understanding and I've gradually been able to conquer social settings.

Now, fast forward to last night's events. I was part of my best friend's engagement party. It was extremely overwhelming for me. I mean extremely. I was dressed up in a suit and tie for the occasion. I'm one of the only outsiders that's not a direct family member. I'm also someone outside of there culture, as I'm filipino and he's in a pakastani-indian-muslim culture. I was able to expose myself to the elements. I met up with his family and at first I thought that was overwhelming. I had to escape a few times to get fresh air and cool down. I had to go through it and there was a point where I'm in the living room with people I know but I can't connect with and I'm freaking out. I couldn't escape and I told myself I wouldn't. I just dealt with it. After thinking that way, my body temperature cooled down, but my sweating continued. I was fine though and everything was okay.

Then we caravanned to the event and it was extremely overwhelming. 150+ relatives on the fiancé's side. It was stuffy. You're greeting everyone as you go in and it's this whole pomp & circumstance. Everyone's staring. It was crazy. I was fine until I felt the warmth and stuffiness of the house and I started sweating as we lined up to get appetizers. A friend caught it and put me on blast, but in a joking way. It helped break the ice but I had to step outside. It was crazy. I'd deal with that all throughout the night, but the intensity of it would die down. It was a happy occasion and I did feel the warmth, love, and care that everyone had in the house. So I didn't feel bad about my sweating. However, I was frustrated with myself. I'm also mentally exhausted. I can only focus on the negatives and it does wear me out. I think this particular event, this night, was tad bit too much of an exposure. It's one of those things where I had to push myself and jump into the ocean, rather than gradually going from a 3 foot pool and moving into the 10 foot deep end. Yet, I managed.

So I'm just in recovery this morning. Feeling more refreshed, because I allowed myself to sleep in. I'm feeling better about myself and how I dealt with things last night.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm Still Here...

I haven't written as much lately. I haven't given much thought and/or focus on my anxieties lately. But I still have them. I've been kind of all over the place. At the moment, I have some frustration and anger issues (if I am to be honest). It's not directed at one thing or one person. It's not even directed at my social anxieties and or panic attacks. My thoughts have just been all over the place and here's what has been going on lately...
Aging a Bit with Scattered Thoughts
I have an idea where I'm going with this entry, but I can't say I have a clear route. I'm just freely typing this with my mind drifting in and out while I listen to some music. I haven't done this in awhile. Think, write, vent... The last time I wrote here was when I was stressed out and pissed about my last workplace.
I'm now at another place. Instead of working as a front-end developer, I'm now a designer. It's a change of pace. Instead of being hammered for things and being called into meetings that take up the whole day, I'm on the creative side of things. I am happy to see that the people around me seem to like what I've done so far. Financially and career wise, I'm at a good place right now.
Three years in a row, I've signed up for a half marathon that happens the first Sunday of November. In June, I did a 3 month training program that over trained my legs. However, for this up coming half-marathon, I'm only on a 2 month routine. I don't think it's working for me. I'm just now getting serious and my running fitness sucks at the moment. My recovery time isn't as quick as it use to be.
I turned 31 last week. Last year, I was more open to acknowledging my Birthday. This year, I don't know. There's something in me that makes me dread it. I don't like being like this. I'm alive right? I'm doing better than anyone back home and doing okay on my own over here in my part of the world.
Last month I had to help my parents sort some sh*t out. I'm still involved in this mess that's on going. I found out that this Home Security Monitoring company has been scamming my parents. Reading up on all these consumer reports and how helpless people feel with the contract they blindly signed up for. Lawd-have-mercy. This situation only came into light, because this shady business showed up in my credit report. It's frustrating to deal with this and to see how easy it is for my parents to give up or not put up a fight. The scary thing that gets me, is that I'm old and that means my parents are old-old (if that makes any sense) and that scares me. It's no longer myself who goes to my parents for support. It's starting to become a pivitol point where my parents are turning to me for support. Scary.
Also, with all the people back in my hometown, that are much younger than me, getting married and/or having there 2nd or 3rd kids. It only makes my parents more vocal. They want grand kids.  This upcoming holiday season, I anticipate a barrage of jokes and inquiries about me being single. I don't know or think I'll handle it well this year. The fact that I will be 31 and my aunts, uncles, and parents still see me as single. For pete's sake, my aunts and uncles got married in there 20's. The expectations they have for me, is what I think makes me feel like sh*t sometimes. Yet, I put on a face, dust it off, and try not to show any type of hostility towards them. Drink a few shots of whiskey and I'll be fine.
Seeing a photo of my nephew/godson when he was probably 2 years old (6 years ago) makes me trip. My cousin's kids... seeing how fast they're growing makes me feel... "where the hell did the time go?"
Yes, I'd love to be in a committed relationship, possibly married, and yes I'd love to have kids too. Yet that's not something I'm in pursuit of nor is it something that has presented itself to me. I don't feel that it's something needed, yet at times I do feel isolated and lonely. I don't feel confident in many aspects and thoughts like this freak me out.
It's official. Turning 31 is bumming me out. It shouldn't, but it is. I'm open to anything. I try not to let expectations get me down, but I'm ready for anything that comes my way and I'll take things as they come. Here's to being 31 this month.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Slumming It on a Saturday

I'm making and taking the time to write tonight. I'm on one of my lazy & down moods from my chaotic work week cycles. Recent experiences have made me want to record, vent, and work through my thoughts. Work has been an on-going, hectic and chaotic environment. The company I left nearly 2 years ago, and  rejoined a year later has been filled with much indirect drama.

Personal Finances
I've been able to recover and grow substantially. My car has been paid off and it's a car I'm still in love with. I'm more about style rather than flash. When I worked solely on freelance, I basically broke even so that I can eat, sleep, work, and live at home. Due to my avoidance of having a social life, I am able to live well below my means and enjoy simple things. I enjoy much smaller groups and more quality time with friends and family. I splurge on things once in awhile that I enjoy (running, snowboarding, etc.). It does feel good to know I have retirement, investment, and emergency funds at hand. I think critics (whoever they might be) would tell me I'm not living a complete life because I pass up on "living in the moment". Yet, I think everyone's definition of "living the life" is different. True, I tend to be shy, timid, and avoid things but I enjoy very simple things (but yes… I'm aware that I need to break down walls and not avoid everyone or everything at every moment).

Health and Fitness
This year has been good to me. I'm a year older and I can prominently feel the aches and pain more from training now. My back and calves ache during long runs. My recovery time is not as quick as it use to be. However, I've been able to stay at a 160 - 163 lb weight. It went up to 180lbs this past winter and it got me to wake up. My body measurements are in a good place and my body composition has been solid. I don't have the six pack that I want, but I try to balance the time I have with work, fitness, and life. It's a hard balance at times, but I try to stay consistent. If stress doesn't get to me, I can eat healthy for months. However, if I'm on the bad end of a chaotic work-stress cycle, I break into bad junk-food habits that lead me through periods of inactivity.

Personal Development & Progress
Whenever I list out achievements and/or progress, I feel like I'm making excuses for things I haven't done or should be doing. I tend to be hard on myself. Yet, I'll go on…

Anxiety is a part of life. It's normal. It's healthy, even though that might not sound right. However, it's unhealthy when you allow it to control your life in every aspect. If I were to compare my state of mind with last year or years prior, I feel like I've made much progress. I have more experience and knowledge about things. Yet, it feels like I've had to relearn how to be confident over things I've never had problems with before. I've felt like I've gained much of my confidence back. Looking back at it, I think getting reading glasses and dealing with braces for 2 years made me feel very self-conscious. Being in my mid-twenties I had a chip on my shoulder about people asking why I'm still single. Questioning why I'm not with anyone. I think that did a lot to break me down. 

Yes, I still get comments about that, but the way I'm able to handle things are much better. For some reason, when I turned 30 last year… I didn't freakout as much as I thought I would. I feel as if I'm coming of age and I'm growing into who I feel I should be.

Dealing with Social Anxiety and Panic Attacks
I still have my bouts with 'em. However, I don't feel like I take them too serious as I use to. I do get major panic attacks during certain occasions, but I've been able to go about my life.

Being on a low right now, I can see why I had a small freakout yesterday. Like I mentioned earlier, the work week has been stressful and I'm on the low-end of a chaotic week. Yesterday (Friday) I had a meeting with my team's new boss. We basically had to give a progress report on the projects we have. We list out our actual time spent on a task vs the estimated time we gave early in the week. It's bullish*t and it's really an extra job/tasks for myself and another coworker, because it's really something to keep one coworker in check. When one person abuses the system, the rest of us have to endure the micromanagement being done.

Shortly after that, I took off from work early, because I didn't take my lunch. I met up with a friend (old coworker) for drinks. She invited her coworkers, but only one showed up. I felt rushed, because I was running late. It also didn't help that I parked on the opposite side of the shopping area we met up at. Also, it was sunny and 90 degree weather. I should of took my time walking, but I didn't. When I stepped inside the place and sat down, my body was in overdrive and it was trying to cool down. They sat in a booth and under a spotlight. I started to sweat. I was okay, but I let the small panic thoughts get to me. I excused myself to the bathroom, but that didn't' help. I really knew I had to walk around and get active rather than let the thoughts get to me. I excused myself again and pretended I needed to make a call. I stepped outside to walk but that seemed to make it worse cuz it was warm outside. I had to find a nice cool spot. Luckily, I found the public restroom to be fully air conditioned with much more privacy as well. It was nice and cold. I was basically sitting in a stall just cooling off. It felt good to just breathe deeply and cool down. After I was cool, calm and collected, I walked slowly back to the restaurant and jumped into there conversation. It was all good after that.

Today though, I feel lazy. An aftermath from the 2 glasses of beer I had. I've been eating carbs like crazy today and consuming so much caffeine. I need to stop. I think I just vented out my sh*t for the week and I feel good :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

P.S. It's Sunday and I'm adding on to this. I'm trying to put up a good fight, because I'm letting all these bad habits get the best of me. I feel like doing nothing and just eating. I stepped outside earlier to walk my dog. I'm about to clean up the house rather than feel horrible and work on freelance projects while drinking coffee. I just hate this feeling and this part of the weekend I'm in. Something's got to give. I've got to put some more work into it.