An American Girl in Washington

80/20

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 12 May 2011

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity and emotions.  Whether bored and going blind as I review thousands upon thousands of documents for 10- 12 hours a day or working out to an increasingly difficult series of dvds or undoing all of that good work with glass after glass of champagne and plates full of food that are far from the Kashi bars and grilled chicken I should be eating, this week has several times driven me to the point of maxed out stress, confusion, minor depression and even the verge (just the verge) of tears.  Today was the breaking point.  I love the firm but every two weeks getting paid is an adventure in bureaucracy and this week has taken the cake.  On top of that I just found a financial advisor who introduced me to a little something called the self-employment tax, and I met yet another friend’s new boyfriend and realized that all of my friends have managed to couple up while I’m still masquerading as the dateless wonder.  By the end of the day today, I was done.

Luckily, my friend Motown (his name has been changed because he apparently hates it when I use his initials) missed his train back to East of Jesus and met up with me for drinks at Vapiano.  I had just left dinner with a friend and wasn’t feeling up to socializing.  I already felt guilty that I had been so morose at dinner and by the time I got on the train to Chinatown I was barely holding back the tears.  While I waited for Motown I blasted Kelly Clarkson’s “How I Feel” and tried to center myself.  But, since he is always the person I talk to when I am in need of a good man’s perspective on the world (we fatherless children have to find other sources of masculine wisdom), we didn’t even get across the street from the station when I was already lamenting everything about my life, and, finally, as we sat down at the quiet end of a noisy table, I asked the question he was dreading, “What’s wrong with me?”.

Now, for anyone who may have read this blog before (unlikely, I know), you may be thinking exactly what he asked me.  “Didn’t you just write about this a few days ago?”.  And yes, I did.  But the fact is, just because your head knows something doesn’t mean that your heart still doesn’t hurt because of it.  And I live my life by the 80/20 principle.  As long as I’m happy with something 80% of the time, I’m okay.  20% of the time, everything sucks.  20% of the time Bill Gates probably hates being rich.  Okay, maybe 5% of the time.  But still.  I have come to accept that not everything is great all of the time and if I like it most of the time, I can deal with the bad parts when they come around.  And they do come around.  And sometimes, that 20% really bites.  This was one of those times.

Motown wanted to avoid the conversation because he doesn’t like talking to women when they’re upset (apparently he’s learned this from his wife) but I told him to man up, deal with the fact that I’m probably going to bite his head off, and talk to me.  And he finally did.  And he was honest and told me the one thing that I really needed to hear.  “AG,” he said, “You’re not one of those girls who twirls her hair and flirts a lot and is readily identifiable as an easy lay.”  He went on from there, and what I basically got from this (he probably won’t agree) is that there are girls who are easy, there are girls who are fun and lighthearted, and there are girls like me who are super intense and can spend the entire evening in a bar talking about Newt Gingrich’s super awesome campaign video or rant about the fact that GE and Exxon are getting tax rebates while small business owners are going out of business because they can’t afford their taxes.

Basically, there are three types of girls: girls who live in the Playboy mansion, girls who get dates, and girls who should be dating Rachel Maddow.

This was, without a doubt, the most refreshing thing I have ever heard.  Because it’s true.  I know I’m super intense.  I’m researching how to start a salon a la 16th century France and told DBax I don’t play laser tag because I’m not a 12 year old boy.  I keep Google doc spreadsheets with lists of things to accomplish if I find myself with spare time.  And I update it monthly.  I just bought a waterproof notepad to put in the shower.  I’m not exactly chill.  And even with I’m out with friends and having fun and being my socialite self, the fact is that I probably do exude an air of Type A overachievership.  Toilette de Martha Stewart.  And I know it’s the last thing from sexy.  And yes, if I was a dude, I would probably run from me too.  But I never really thought about it that way until Motown said something.  And now I know.  Which is all I wanted.  I can handle being single for the rest of my life (and, given my affection for white furniture and expensive shoes, it’s probably best if I avoid having children) but I need to know why.  I need to understand what it is about me that has prevented me from having the normal social life that every other girl in her 20s enjoys.  I just need to understand what makes me unapproachable.  Now I get it, and I can move on.

And move on I did.  Back to my apartment, where after a tiny tub of ice cream and an episode of Castle I decided to write this blog post and go to bed.  I was going to work a little but the database is down.  Like I said, I guess I’m a little intense…

I’m going to North Carolina this weekend to the graduation of a good friend.  It’s the first time I’ve left DC (except New York) since I got here in August.  I think this is exactly what I need.  With the business and the firm and my insane social life and constantly trying to be productive, be active, build something for my future, I have found myself on the verge of a breakdown.  I need to take a weekend and relax, have fun, and have some North Carolina barbecue.  I need to celebrate something that is not all about me.  And then when I come back, I’ll be recharged and able to start again.

80% of the time I can be my overachieving, intense self.  But 20% of the time, I need to let go and have some fun.

Have a great weekend, and go to Artistic Aya’s trunk show at Bloomie’s!

Thanks for listening,

AGinDC

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  1. […] should be Day 33 but yesterday I almost had a nervous breakdown so I decided to let myself sleep in today, not to work out, and to just chillax a little.  I […]


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