Monday, December 29, 2008

Home is Where the Heart is

But what is you have trouble figuring out exactly where that is?

H2B and I spent a week in California, which was great. But as we boarded our plane yesterday to return to Baltimore, I had this feeling that I was going home. This isn't an unusual feeling; I've had it ever since I returned to college after that first Fall Break. A big part of me, though, felt like I was leaving home at the same time.

It's a strange feeling to feel like you have two homes. On the one hand, no matter where you are, you're always home. But on the other, you always miss home because you're never there. There's a sense of never really belonging anywhere and a constant feeling that I'm always waiting. In Baltimore I'm waiting until the next time I take time off from work to "go home" and when I'm in California, although I love being there, I still look forward to "going home" to get back to my life.

I really do love the life I've made for myself here. I have a great apartment, I love my job, and I have made some good friends. I simultaneously can't imagine ever leaving and look forward to a time when H2B and I decide to make a change.

I suppose this is better than a constant longing to be someplace else, doing other things. It's still pretty weird though...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reason #87 California is better than Baltimore

Okay, I admit that it's not really fair to compare; California is a whole state and Baltimore is just one city. But today, I'm mad at Baltimore and you know what? It's my blog and I'll do what I want!

So here's why, for today, I dislike B'more so much and yes, these are generalizations that have exceptions. People here are r-u-d-e RUDE! I understand that I grew up in a friendly town that was part of a friendly state and that not every stranger I pass on the street is going to smile and say hello to me. I have come to accept that.

HOWEVER, when you work in an office of less than a hundred people, and you pass someone in the hallway and not only do you not say hello but you don't even smile OR make eye contact, that's rude. I understood when I was the new kid in the office and maybe these people didn't know my name, but I've been here awhile now, you know me, fucking smile, okay? It takes very little energy, it makes other people happy and guess what? Studies show that even if you're in a bad mood, smiling will actually improve your affect.

AND if you enter the kitchen to get your morning coffee and someone else is in there getting a lovely beverage or snack, pretending you're all alone in there and going about your business in silence is RUDE. We are coworkers, we see each other 5 days out of 7. Even if you are a miserable, self-centered human being (one of many in my office these days), maybe putting forth some friendly gesture of a "good morning, how are you today?" will improve the workplace and therefore make you just a smidge happier. And if you're worried that I'm going to suddenly tell you my life story because you said "how are you?" get over yourself, most people will give you a one word answer such as "fine," "good," or maybe if it's a Monday "tired." Humans are social creatures, we need human contact. It's normal. Being rude is not normal.

And another thing, throw away your trash! Is it that much of an inconvenience to just hold on to your soda can, newspaper, sandwich wrapper, etc until you walk past a trash can? Do you realize that you are contributing to this city becoming more and more of a shithole than it already is? AND if you're at the gym, put your towel in the laundry bin, not the floor. You have to walk past it to leave the locker room. Who exactly do you think is going to pick that up? There is no towel fairy so do it yourself.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Work, Friends, and Work Friends

One of my former co-workers from LA once told me that her co-workers were just co-workers, that she had her own friends, thank you, and didn't need any more. I've been thinking about that statement periodically since I started this job. It's true that I spend more time with my co-workers than with friends or family and I do have, I like to think, quite a few work friends.

At some point, though, I wonder how many of them are truly friends and how many are just work friends. How many will I keep in touch with after I, or they, or both, leave this office for a different job or to start a family? There are certainly a few people who I would put in each category and some that I couldn't even begin to guess about.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Already

"Time flies when you're having fun." Isn't that what they always say? Well, while I don't characterize a lot of my time as being spent "having fun," I certainly have been enjoying myself the past year or so.

Once H2B got home from Iraq last November, I've focused my attention on waiting for the next weekend together. It helps that I love my job and don't spend the day drumming my fingers and watching the clock. So time has really flown. So much so that about a month ago it dawned on me that H2B will be getting out of the army in January! A mere three months away (from the time I had this revelation)! Hooray!

In preparation for this joyous event, we stopped buying plane tickets (because when plans get canceled on a moment's notice, we wouldn't have time to use the credits), he started moving some of his things up to Baltimore, and getting registered for school (to finish his nursing degree). Life was, in general, just a little more cheerful.

And then two weeks ago, the Army informed us that they would not, in fact, be letting H2B out of his contract 90 early as they had previously promised. No, now we would have to wait until April 27. Granted, an additional 3 months isn't that long to wait. But it definitely feels like forever when you go from counting down 59 days to 149.

I am trying to stay positive and remember, as H2B keeps reminding me, that in 20 years it won't matter if he got out of the Army in January or April. But it's still a big fat bummer and I still have to spend countless more hours in airports, on planes, and waiting waiting waiting.

At least time is flying...