Thursday, July 14, 2011

Upside Down

A little over a month ago, my life was completely different than it is now. In the last 30 days, so much has changed that I barely recognize anything anymore!

These are all mostly welcomed changes - namely, my fabulous career. It's been a lot of work, but it's fun to do. This week I've had the arduous task of taste testing recipes prepared by a professional, paired with some scrumptious wines. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it! I went from barely having enough work to fill my day to not having enough hours in the day to do my job! I love it! Sure, I felt like my head was going to explode for a minute there, but this is exactly what I signed up for. None of these hum-drum working days where I leave the office feeling completely unproductive and useless. At the new job, I do a lot!

There are downsides, of course. I get home later than I would like, which leaves less time for my favorite classes at the gym :( But I figure, it's more important to have an active mind anyway. I take walks downtown during my lunches sometimes, so I'm not completely immobile. Another downside - I miss the camaraderie I had with my old co-workers! Sure I love the new people at this job, but I'm not super close with anyone yet. I know that all comes with the territory of being new, but it was nice having people to chat with every day about this and that.

Another aspect of my life has completely changed this month - I'm dating someone! This is something way out in left field that I never, ever expected in a million years. I've been on this whole single kick for awhile, but sometimes you just click with people! This guy is a family friend, and we connected immediately. We actually know a lot of the same people, and we have some strange family connections (his mom went to elementary school with my dad, and his grandpa was the family doctor for my dad's side of the family for years). Beyond that, he is like no one I've ever met (cliche, I know). But it's true! He's insanely smart, very close with his family, funny beyond words, loyal, interesting, passionate about life, affectionate, straight forward - oh, and did I mention he is a fox? All of these attributes are great, but the one that tops them all is this - he actually likes me! I know that sounds pretty obvious, but given what I've gone through with all of my serious relationships, reciprocity is huge to me. And I want someone that cherishes me because I want to get back what I put out there.

So yes, Tracy now has a boyfriend after 2 years of singledom. It's pretty wild when I think about it, but it feels so natural at this point. When we met, I already felt like we were dating! So I'm excited to see what happens. I'm going into this situation very open and ready, yet I'm not creating expectations like I did in my last relationship. That led to a lot of disappointment, and I'd rather just enjoy the ride!

One major downside to everything is recently I've had to let go of a close friend of mine. It was someone who wanted a relationship with me, but I did not feel the same way. It sucks up one way and down the other, it really does. I wish he and I could be friends like before, but I totally understand why we can't. I want him to be free so he won't feel held back - he deserves all the happiness in the world, and I just don't think being friends with me was enough. I'm not sure if he knows I'm dating someone new (if he reads this, well then I guess the jig is up). I hope he knows that I never meant to hurt him and that I still think of him. And if he ever wanted to let me back into his life as a friend, I'd be there in a New York minute.

So there's the latest with me - many changes and so much possibility for the future.

Friday, July 1, 2011

If You Want to View Paradise

I may be jinxing myself here, but life really couldn't get much better these days. (Note to the gods: please don't try to do that whole balance thing where everything is going so great that you have to throw a wrench into the whole thing. Much appreciated).

The new job is outstanding! Some of the tough things I'm tasked with are inviting people to fancy dinners and researching Italian wine mixology. Rough life. My co-workers are all incredibly smart and dedicated, and I love having so much to learn on the horizon. I feel like I'm going to fit in very nicely.

For those who know me and my culinary skills (or lack thereof), you're probably wondering how the hell I'm qualified to do such a job. Well, I like to think I'm a chameleon that can adapt to any situation. I was clueless about Oregon teams when I went to work for the university's athletic department. I quickly picked that up. I think this will be the same drill - it's something fun, so it's fun to learn how to do it! I've already signed up to receive loads of food & wine e-newsletters, and I'm thinking I should probably call my cable company to get the Food Network turned back on. I'll be a food & wine connoisseur yet!

That's not to say there hasn't been a bump or two in the road. Last week, I made a mistake that caused some pretty heinous drama. I was getting emails from various writers and bloggers calling me "rude" and "unprofessional," and that I needed to learn "PR 101." Not that I don't hold myself accountable for my mistakes, but the majority of these whiny bastards were the select crazies among a group of classy, important folks. I can't go into too much detail about what happened, but basically I over-invited people to an event, and when I had to turn people down, some weren't too happy. Beyond the hate mail, there were a couple phone calls too.

The best part of the scenario was how supportive my team at the office was. They had my back through the whole thing. Our general manager and some of the partners even stopped by my office to talk and make sure I was OK (because frankly, there was a day when crawling under my desk and crying seemed like the only viable option). Having everyone's support meant the world to me! The crisis was averted, and the event went fabulously. Plus, the client was concerned for me (so sweet!), and she was very happy with how the firm handled everything.

So yes, other than that little hiccup (more like an upchuck), things are grand!

I had my dance show last Saturday, and so many members of my family showed up! My parents even surprised me (after my mom gave me the whole, "Awww, I'm so sorry we're going to miss it" speech the night before - those tricky scoundrels!). I had so much fun out there on the stage, and I didn't mess up (which was one of my fears going into it. I actually had a mad case of heartburn all morning).

This weekend is 4th of July, which I'm thrilled for - eating, fireworks, family time, sleeping. This really is the good life!