I'll tell you what I did this week. I managed. And I managed well.
As for outings this week, I managed, amidst some serious work days, to do my favorite summer staples. Played badminton in the park. Walked up to the Farmer's Market at night. Went to brunch with Jessica and Bethany at our usual spot. Swung by the Hollywood Bowl with AT&T, for, literally, about ten minutes.
It was Filipino Night, which I was looking forward to, but I don't think we were invited. I mean, it was Filipino night, and Filipino night only. And we sat down and listened to one and a half ballads, which I swear I couldn't figure out if we were at karaoke or a concert, and then we left, probably to everyone's great relief, ours included, because we were the only ones not singing along anyway.
It was nice for me to speckle my week with outings, though, because I do think that otherwise I could have easily been overwhelmed by work at times.
But I think, really, this week was less about discovering uncharted territory in LA and more about discovering things about my own self. Who knew? After this long being me, there is still so much to learn and overcome.
I've had this vivid sensation all week of being very much on my own. Which has been both good and petrifying at the same time. It's not true, of course. I am not on my own and have a glorious support system always and especially when in need. But, then again, aren't we all, ultimately, on our own?
But, never you worry, with a few deep breaths here and there to prevent any full-fledged breakdowns, I found out that I can do it, which was the great discovery. Because I've often felt like I could lose it when faced with certain challenges, just let go of my grasp and sink to the floor in a puddle of tears. That's the old familiar brink I found myself on a couple of times this week, but, lo and behold, there is a new me!
First, I had a near math panic attack at work the other day, the likes of which I haven't seen since my college Physics course. I had to learn just about a million equations, percentages, projections, trends, and more percentages, which for some is just another day at the office, but for me, well, me + math = panic. So I was hearing someone speaking and writing things down trying to compose myself when, mostly, in fact, it sounded like gibberish and I was just writing away filling several sheets of paper up with numbers and stuff.
At the end of it all, the phone hung up, back in it's usual spot, it was me, at the desk, staring into a colossal sea of papers with numbers on them that I hardly even remembered writing, thinking to myself, that's it, I'm just going to pay someone to do this for me every month. But then I caught myself, and shifted, and had a new thought. No. Never mind. I will learn this. I want to be someone who understands this and can confidently do this every month and be someone to whom others can turn for guidance. I will master the numbers! They do not scare me!
And the face-off began. I sat there looking at my scribblings. I gave myself as much time as I needed, and slowly, ever so slowly, like really, really slowly, I pieced it all together. It took me translating it all into actual word sentences and writing it out that way. But, in the end, I saw what the equations meant, and where the numbers at hand had come from and what I was doing and why I was doing it. And I really couldn't believe myself, for a minute there. It's quite a beautiful thing to change your own ingrained responses.
And then, we were having some technical problems with the computers and nobody seemed to know what to do, so I just decided to figure it out and got all resourceful and found the right person to call and he had me fiddling with plugs and various components in this master plug box in the back room, and we had success! And the thing I love about figuring that out is that I will always know what to do when that problem arises in the future, and so it will be with every next problem I learn how to resolve. And, god, there's really nothing I love more than feeling competent and invaluable in any given situation.
So, I changed a lot this week. I mean, if you told someone that you saw me doing math and fixing computers, they might not believe you. I guess somewhere along the lines, though, without knowing it, I decided that I no longer only want to do things I know I am good at. I want to face and become good at the things I fear and have long avoided. And then I will know more things and feel even more competent. This is good. I like this new plan, whatever part of me devised it.
It's funny, though, to think that you can so long identify with being a certain way and one day just make the decision not to be anymore. What control we have over our very own beings! It's a damn near miracle, really. They weren't kidding in elementary school. Only I always thought it meant something else, like, astronaut. But, it's true, you can actually be whatever you want to be!