hablas espanol?

January 25, 2011

this blog should really be called “the neuroses you didn’t believe lauren was capable of”, with the tag line: “or maybe you did”. because, come on, i seem to be spraying my crazy all over the place these days.

this week’s crazy: i applied for a bilingual doula position with the hope that my authentic enthusiasm for the position would outweigh the fact that i…don’t actually speak spanish. i took it in high school, i had to use it to communicate to my coworkers at pick me up but, ahhh, it’s been quite a while since i’ve pulled out the ‘ol lingua.

is that even how you say “language” in spanish? i don’t know.

so anyways, the agency likes my enthusiasm and i’m getting another interview. it’s just that the next interview is in spanish.


i’m basically about to make an ass of myself. but i also feel like i have to go through with it – my goal is to NOT be working this job by may and, my oh my, how’d i love to be working with mamas. i’ve been practicing expressing my enthusiasm in spanish (so far i’ve got “yo quiero ayudar mujeres con sus bebes”) and then reverting to an english explanation of all the spanish classes i’m going to take. i’ve also been tearing up and stressing out every time i hear anyone speak spanish. so, on the whole: really great prep work.

if you’re the praying type, lift me up.  

i faked my way through a vision test at the DMV last week so maybe the Lord will grant me a similar grace in this situation, who knows. we shall see.

in other news, we leave for denver in a few days. i’m quite desperately excited for the sunny, mild climate which i hope will lift my wobbly moods (though i remember Nabokov writing that “a change of scenery is the false hope upon which doomed lungs and love rely”) and get me away from work. it will also be good to see family, maybe move my limbs a bit more than i have been (read: move them at all), and peel mark away from applications.

over the last few years, i’ve really come to love denver as a city. i’ve moved beyond that love-by-association that it has with mark’s mom and brother to actually appreciating the city and landscape on it’s own merits. the people and shops are brimming with creativity and a general openness to life; art galleries and brewpubs are plentiful. and there’s something quite fantastic about a city surrounded by mountains. they hang majestically around the skyline, reminding everyone of life beyond the parking lots and highways, begging to be explored. i figure it’d be hard to get caught in the daily drudge of things with those silhouettes bearing down on you. at the very least, it invokes regular awe in me during our visits. and that’s basically what i’m in need of these days – awe.

oh, and a bulkier spanish vocabulary.


hermit apologetics

January 17, 2011

much as i like to assuage the evidence, i have to admit my moods keep close step with the weather patterns in these parts. i keep telling myself that this winter has not been that bad, that i’m actually making it through with a smile on my face and then bam! i’m totally, inexplicably depressed for a few days or randomly unreasonably upset. today i had a PTSD-type reaction to my co-worker’s daughter trying to sell me girl scout cookies. upon closer reflection, i realized the spontaneous ambush of anxiety probably has to do with the fact that i was eating girl scout cookies, purchased from the afore mentioned little girl, last year when i received some bad news. how freudian is that? (worry not – i heroically managed to push past my fears and order 2 boxes. psychological instability might tie me to my couch or dim my spirits but it will NOT – i repeat, will NOT – interfere with my relationship to sweets).

needless to say, this all makes me feel very stupid.

i’ve been very much enjoying the relative quiet of the last few weeks which has afforded me, among other things, more time at home. the only problem with this is that i love it so much, i don’t want to do anything else. i don’t want to go outside, i don’t really want to talk to anyone, and i REALLY don’t want to go to work. on friday morning, i saw a car accident happen about ten feet away from me while waiting for a bus and since then i’ve decided wintertime chicago can go to hell. i’m going to hibernate.

of course, this is an impossibility for humans….well, for this human. and so, short of going to tanning beds or popping pills, i’m going to try my best to normalize my mood swings. at a mass a few months ago, the priest prayed that “the beauty of our days would not be damaged by anxiety” and that seems a good enough goal for me. some snow shoes (and maybe more sun) might help further this cause but thanks should work too. i’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers make lists of things they’re thankful for and i’m just gonna go ahead and join in. it seems like a beneficial exercise for my soul on a day like today, which is already rife with complaints – the biggest of which is that i’m at work on MLKJr day.

look at me already getting sidetracked.

i’m indeed thankful for a restful weekend with my lovely husband; for sweet new babies and sweet new parents and the blessing of midwives; for  new sewing machine, new confidence at my sewing machine, and a completed quilt block which is only partially wonky; for good friends in chicago and good friends far away; for video christmas cards from estonia; for brunch potlucks which are slightly more interesting than dinner potlucks; for evening mass which provides a flicker of warmth in the midst of a snow-covered city; for seed catalogues en route to my door; for the realization that my mom actually is my best friend and i’m at an age (finally) where i’m ok with that; for big sweaters; for the promise of travel in the coming month; for anthony lane’s movie reviews; and for burritos in bed.

i guess it looks pretty trite all splayed out like that but, eh, we don’t really choose what inflames our heart with hope now do we.

blooming flower

January 11, 2011

yesterday i had the wonderful pleasure of attending my first successfully natural birth (stated thusly because the 3 previous had all been attempts at natural birth that had gone narcotic-ly awry in their own ways). it was quite an amazing thing and i certainly learned a good bit about trusting my intuition instead of always operating under the directive of self-doubt. today my muscles ache something fierce, reminding me with every movement that we were part of something painful and beautiful recently, something that marked us down to the bone. it’s better than any soreness you’ll get for yourself at the gym, that’s for damn sure.

i had a revelation the other day (as i was wondering what the hell was with my seemingly varied and disparate interests) that i am fascinated with creativity. creativity in the form of art, music, writing, etc but also, and perhaps more so, with the inherent, ordinary creativity we see everyday. i love the creativity with which the homeless man constructs his shelter, orders his day, devises his wardrobe and means of transportation. i love the creativity with which city dwellers renovate empty lots into blooming lots. and i love the creativity with which women give birth, choreographing their bodies, measuring their breaths, and bending their minds  in response to their uterus and their babe.

armed with a new sewing machine (yes, i’m working very hard to NOT just gush in every entry about this new fandangled machine that i so love), i’m trying to actualize more ordinary and extraordinary creativity in my days. i’m sick of being scared of my own frustration or potential “failure”. as with all things, i’m learning to love process and not allow the end product to loom threateningly over everything else. the word “wonky” has been enjoying regular play in my vocabulary these days and i don’t forsee it it’s reign coming to an end anytime soon but, hey, that’s ok. there are worse fates than lopsided quilts, awkward collages, and clumsy blog entries. at least that is what i hear.

real vintage

January 7, 2011

we received a package at work today from the international parking institute.

it made me feel better about myself because i don’t work there. can you imagine how boring THAT would be?

when i delivered the package to my favorite elderly co-worker he told me it is actually quite a “robust” company. “they even have women working there!”

get outta town, carl. women?