Letdown

I hope that my dear readers enjoyed a fun and relaxing Labor Day weekend — I certainly did.  Two dinners out, two hikes, two dates (with one boy), one Jack Johnson concert, one birthday BBQ and lots of time with friends. 

But tonight I am totally overwhelmed with an inexplicable feeling of blah.  I can’t tell if it’s just the post-weekend letdown, the dread of going back to work (even though I worked a good chunk of time today to try to make it easier for me tomorrow), some hormonal thing or what, but I’m feeling a level of sadness that I haven’t felt since some time before the England/Paris extravaganza. 

Whenever I feel this way — which had been far less often, and it scares me that maybe the perpetual feeling of malaise is taking root again — I start to question.  I wonder whether I am really at a place where i should be trying to date and meet someone.  Everyone seems to think that putting myself out there, as I have been doing, is the right thing to do.  And intellectually, when I’m feeling happy, I agree with them.

But then I start feeling this way and I just want to burrow.

I Give Up

Yes, I know that drinking + blogging = danger, Will Robinson.  In fact, drinking + internet usage in general = danger.  I know this because approximately 10 minutes ago, I sent EHB a nasty email that I’m sure I will live to regret.  But I had typed it up earlier today, saved it in my drafts to “sleep on” it, then my half-drunken finger had a mind of its own and pressed “Send” before I could even think too much about it.  Oopsies!  No matter, I know he won’t respond anyway (the email doesnt call for a response), so it doesn’t much matter what I say, right?  In fact, I wish that I had given up all self censors and just told him to go fuck himself, but I retained much more propriety than that.

Anyway, I just had one of those nights that makes me feel that 1) God, I’m old and 2) God, I need to get the hell out of this godforsaken city!!  I made the rounds of the bars in downtown LA tonight with T. and her fiance K. as my diligent wingpeople.  We scoped out any eligible bachelors, they encouraged me at every turn, and yet at every turn it seemed that I was kicked out of the game by girls more beautiful than I, who were 6-7 years my junior.   Could it get more depressing?

I know what you’re going to say: SF, why are you even trying to meet a guy in a bar anyway?  Well, I agree that’s not the ideal place to meet someone, but at the same time I think it’s just a microcosm of the dating scene as a whole, online dating included.  Why would a guy date me when he can date my younger, hotter counterpart? 

And I know pessimism won’t get me anywhere but I just can’t help but feel that he’s NOT really out there and that I am looking fruitlessly for nothing.  

I am almos t desperate to leave L.A.  But where, dear readers, should I go?

A Change Would Do You Good

I know my dear readers are probably very disappointed in me because I have not yet dished on Thursday night’s blind date.  And you will be even more disappointed when I say that actually,  I am not going to dish like I said I would.

Now, if it had been a total disaster, I would have blooged about it in a heartbeat.  But let’s just say that it was the best night I’ve had in a long time, and the best first date I’ve had since…well, maybe ever! One of my many crazy attributes is that I somehow believe that if I blog about someone, it will jinx it.  Also, I know I always gush about this guy and that guy, and then when things don’t work out I feel stupid for having been so gushy.  (My friend T. has begun to tell me, when I start a sentence with “I just have a feeling that…”  — “No offense, SF, but given your guy situations over the past year, maybe you shouldn’t give those “feelings” so much weight.”)   So for now, my lips are sealed.  But if I were to gush…there is plenty of gush-worthy material.  🙂

All that excitement, though, doesn’t change the fundamentally restless-but-lethargic feeling I’ve been having recently.  I think it’s time to change things up, but how?  (Yes, I am actively in search of a therapist now, averse though I might be to the process.  ICK.)  Tonight my internet searches have ranged from condos in West Hollywood –I am being pressured from all sides to think about buying a place — to law jobs in New York.  (Yes, I know I don’t actually want to be a lawyer in NYC.  But the ad was for a fluent Spanish speaker for their “Latin American practice” which made my heart do a little flip.)  And I am always saying I wished I had lived there at some point in my younger life, as though I am SO OLD and decrepit now that I couldn’t possibly consider it. 

On Thurs night, I was telling EHB (who lived in NY for a year and loved it) that I wish I could have lived there and he was like, “So live there for a year.”  I think his reaction is probably TOO far on the opposite end of the spectrum — obviouslysuch a huge change isn’t as easy as snapping my fingers — but what if I am living my life with too much fear and caution?  What if 10, 20, 30 years from now all those “what-ifs” catch up with me and turn into regrets?  Will I really wish that I had lived in NY, San Francisco, etc?  Or will I be content that I lived my whole adult life in LA?  There’s a fine line between being content and just suffering from inertia.

 I just don’t know.  What do you think, dear readers? 

….And Guest

Dear readers: I apologize in advance for what I’m sure will be the supremely whiny tone of this post.  I try to self censor my whining to a certain degree (though it may not seem that way!) but there are some days when I just can’t help it.  This is one of those days.

First, we have officially arrived in that oh-so-glorious time of year known in L.A. as “June Gloom.”  I know, I know, cry me a river, I live in a place where it’s sunny every day and I complain about a few overcast mornings.  Wah wah wah.  But it just sets the tone for the day.  (It may also not have helped that I I was listening to decidedly melancholy Jack Johnson songs on the way to work.  Hmm.)

I arrived at work and the harsh realization washed over me that because of our totally unsuccessful waste of a mediation yesterday, I am now forced to begin preparing for my fourth trial this year, which begins June 30.  As much as I have actually really enjoyed doing these trial, I I also enjoy, you know, having a life.  Bye, bye, life–see you in July.

I went to a meeting and when I came back, there was a message from a woman at a local bar organization.  My firm is getting a pro bono award based on that asylum case that I worked on, which is really awesome.  The awards dinner is coming up in 2 weeks.  But what I didn’t realize is that instead of getting to sit with my co-workers who show up to fill the table my firm bought, I will apparently be sitting at a separate table — presumably with the other award recipients.  That wouldn’t be bad (even though I don’t know them personally, I have emailed with some of them and they are very nice women) except for the kicker: the woman was calling to find out who I was bringing as my guest.

Most of the time, I’m pretty fine with being single.  But I must say that in these situations, being sans a plus-one is supremely sucky.  I had to take several deep breaths before I picked up the phone and called the woman back to tell her that I wouldn’t be bringing a guest.  I know it’s stupid, but I actually felt embarrassed to say that — to a woman I’ve never even met!  She sort of paused awkwardly and then told me, well, I have the option of bringing a complimentary guest, so just to let her know a few days before if I change my mind. 

After I hung up the phone, I was thinking back to a bruncheon event I went to several months ago where one of my co-workers was being honored for her pro bono work for a different organization.  She’s my office neighbor, also an associate and a year older than me.  A group of us came from the firm, and she also had her husband, parents and in-laws there.  I remember even at the time, watching how her husband was there at her side, beaming at her and supporting her and being proud of her, and I thought how I wish I had that.  And I still really, really wish I had that.  Of course I don’t want to be with someone for the sake of being with someone — I want the right someone. 

My mom asked me why I didn’t just invite one of my friends to accompany me to the event, but I don’t know; it just seems inappropriate somehow.  So instead I decided to invite this lawyer who became my co-counsel on the case a few months back and has helped me tremendously from the beginning.  He was working for a local nonprofit and giving me lots of advice, then he transferred to a nonprofit in San Diego, my case eventually got moved to San Diego and he kept helping me.  And — this is uber embarrassing — somewhere along the way I started to develop this half-joking crush on him.  Of course, I have never to this day met this guy.  We have exchanged tons of emails and phone calls (always about the case), but all I knew aside from his job was the fact that he was about my age.  But I would joke to my co-worker L. that he was going to fall in love with me, he just didn’t know if because he hasn’t met me yet.

So I sent him an email asking if he wanted to come with me since he worked so hard on the case.  And he replied that he was really touched that I’d invited him, but he couldn’t make it because he’d be in Hawaii.

….

On his HONEYMOON.

Again, I know that it is supremely idiotic and nonsensical to be disappointed to learn that a guy I’ve never met is getting married.  But I seriously wanted to just stop my work and sit and pout.

I can just hear all my friends screaming at me simultaneously as I say this, so I must preface it by saying I know this statement is irrational and fundamentally untrue, but the whole lack-of-guest situation makes me feel like some kind of a failure. 

So then I went to a meeting tonight and, you know how when you get fixated on something that’s all you can see?  Like when you have a new haircut you dont like and all you can do is look at people’s hair?  Well tonight all I could see were all the sparkly wedding rings on everyone’s fingers.  And I just felt disgusted with myself because I really have never, ever been that girl.  On the one hand, I feel like since I was engaged and we broke up, I’m in absolutely no rush to jump into anything, and I have really become accustomed to having my own life and doing my own thing.  But as I get older, being single becomes more and more rare and I start to feel like a weird outlier.   It’s not that I’m unhappy or envious of all my friends who are getting married — to the contrary, I love helping them and celebrating with them and I think it’s wonderful — but I can tell that I’m just going to feel more and more…different.  And that’s hard.

Then I came home today and greeting me was an (adorable, by the way) wedding invitation from one of my close friends.  And on the envelope?  You guessed it: “Miss Single/Fabulous & Guest.”

I don’t know, dear readers.  None of these things should really upset me, I realize.  But somehow today, I just haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I just want to burst into tears.

As I said…I guess it’s just one of those days.

Wishin’ and Hopin’

Warning, dear readers: I’m in a funk tonight, so this is bound to be a major Debbie Downer post. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I was hoping that I could get some much needed R & R this weekend, and instead I’m incredibly burnt out, exhausted, and on-edge in that way that only “that time” of the month can accomplish. I feel sad and frustrated and lonely and anxious and I don’t know what to do to fix any of it. Normally the best thing to cheer me up is to start making fun plans for the week or weekend, but since I am officially consumed by the black hole that is trial, that’s impossible.

Wah wah wahhhh.

The trial? Awesome for my career, but brutal for my life (such as it is). We picked a jury, did opening statements and started in on the 1st witness. During the day, my tasks consist of keeping track of which exhibits are identified; paying close attention and taking notes; and perhaps most importantly, babysitting the client when the partner needs his time and space to prep for trial, instead of listen to the incessant running commentary by the client about all the things we need to make sure the jury hears. It’s a lot more tiring than it sounds, and then once I get back to the office the “real” work begins.

One week down…two to go. Sigh.

The good news is, I am learning a lot and it’s fun watching the partner in action. But I really, really badly am craving a whole weekend of no work.

Last night I had another date with New Guy, and as always, we had a really nice time. We went to dinner, shared a bottle of wine and talked and talked and then went to a comedy show, which was quite funny. When we were walking to the comedy show from my place, he grabbed me and kissed me, which I love – the spontaneous gestures like that. We had to wait quite a while in line for the comedy show and we were sort of holding hands and snuggling. Then when we got back to my apartment after the show it was already after 1 am and we basically just pounced on each other. 🙂 He spent the night and it was soooo hard to get up and go to work this morning! He’s really darling.

But as much as I enjoy our dates, I still find him to be a hard read. When we said goodbye today, he just gave me a kiss and said “Have a good week!” He is now headed out of town for a combined 3 weeks of trips. The last couple of times we’ve gone out, I’ve been the first one to follow up by email or phone. He always calls me back, and then he will initiate calling after I make the first call, but it always makes me wonder.

Dear readers, is this just me over analyzing? Do I need to just chill out?

I talked to C. online yesterday for the 1st time in a week or so, and he started going on and on about how this new girl he’s dating is the “real deal” and how she’s been really really good for him but he is super distracted from school. I asked what he was going to do when he moves to Portland and she’s still in school in Eugene and he said, “well, I’ve done the long distance thing before.”

When he told me he was never doing a long distance thing again and that he just couldn’t reciprocate my feelings, I was stupid enough to believe that it was just the situation. I don’t think he even realizes what a hypocrite he’s being. But I admit it pissed me off. More than I’d like it to.

Seriously, why can’t I be the girl that the guy just can’t help picking up the phone and calling because he’s thinking about her?

And the “most pathetic” award goes to…

My day today: Left the house before 8 am and drive up to Sherman Oaks. Defended a deposition All. Day. Long. (Not very well, I might add, since I was unable to keep my client from going on long rambling tangents.) Arrived back at the office after 6 pm feeling thoroughly bedraggled. Sat and stared at my computer. Remembered that there was a law student reception going on at my firm. Put on a happy face and went upstairs to shmooze. (By the way, to any law students or former law students – would you ever go to a law firm reception wearing high heeled boots over jeans? yeah, didn’t think so.) Headed home. Stopped at Gelson’s where I bought: wet cat food, dry cat food, cat litter, and a salad for me. Had the awful realization that I see the cashiers at Gelson’s more often than almost anyone else in my life, aside from perhaps my legal assistant. (Oh, how I so wish I were kidding.) Arrived home where I stripped off my suit, so I am now wearing a tank top, undies and knee socks. (No, not nearly as naughty schoolgirl as it sounds.) And now my cat and I are sitting on the couch watching America’s Next Top Model.

Don’t lie to me. Is that pathetic or what?

As much as there are things I love about my job, I sometimes can’t help but begrudge just how busy and overwhelmed I have constantly felt recently…actually, more than recently. I know there are lots of lawyers, including some I know, who work more than I do and still manage to have a life, but frankly, I just suck at that. When I am tired and busy, my whole life falls into shambles. I don’t call or email people, my dishes pile up in the sink, my laundry piles up in its basket. And I know that I need to suck it up and realize that things aren’t going to get easier anytime soon, so I just need to get used to trying to do more with the time I have.

I’m a single girl in her late 20’s. That being the case, I feel like it would be good for me if I joined organizations and groups, went out for happy hours, was generally social. But instead, it’s all I can do to have occasional dinners with my girlfriends and to call my mother a few times a week.

A few months ago my mom asked me, not unkindly, just frankly: “Who’s going to want to date you with your schedule?” And, like most things my mom tells me (e.g. “the C. situation is a train wreck”) I ignored her because she was right but I didn’s want to hear it. But really, who will want to date me? When I get home I am most often exhausted, and in general, I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever been a particularly good girlfriend anyway.

And you know what that means. I’m going to end up married.

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Except, instead of being married to a man, I’ll be married to my job.

Sorry, dear readers, for the whining. Better luck tomorrow.

An overwhelming feeling of “meh.”

These days I just can’t seem to get happy. Not in a consistent way, anyway. There are fleeting moments, of course, but most of the time I seem to be stuck somewhere on the spectrum between “not unhappy” and melancholy.

It’s a vicious cycle, and I feel stuck in it. I work long hours, I feel overwhelmed and stressed, I lack the energy to want to go out after work and try to meet anyone new. What’s more exhausting than dating? Having to get dolled up, be my most cute and witty self…just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in a little ball and go to sleep. But then, do I like coming home everyday to no one but my cat? (No offense, kitty.) Of course not. Again, a vicious cycle.

(In case you were wondering, C. made a comment to me today that he is now unofficially on the prowl, which puts me right back in my place.)

I’m not happy, and I don’t know what to do about it. The worst part is that it’s not like the deep, intense sadness that comes with a breakup or something like that, and then heals with time. My ex-fiance and I broke up over a year ago; my last relationship ended at the beginning of August. This doesn’t feel like those things did. It’s more like a low-grade fever that I just can’t shake.

I know all the standard suggestions: therapy, exercise, community involvement, more dating (“Don’t worry, I know you’ll meet the right person!”). But I can’t think of anything that won’t just add more stress to my life.

And this recent thing with C. is causing me so much angst, I think, because of the disaster that I am already. If I were in a better place, it would probably be a funny story I told my girlfriends over drinks — “you’ll never guess what, I got some with my high school boyfriend!” Instead, it just seems to reaffirm something I’ve already come to believe after the last year of dating: any guy that I meet and develop feelings for — even, apparently, guys I have a long history with — is just the next guy that’s going to break my heart.

I turn 28 in 2 days. I hope my mood starts to look up…