Saturday, November 22, 2008

Team Yellow – My Karmic Saviour!

Hello Friends,

It’s a cryptic blog title, I know, especially since I haven’t written for months. But bear with me. I have a (kind of long) story to tell you.

First, I should probably give you the quick and dirty update on my life. My trip to Italy was a fabulous debacle. Pesto and I (and our friend Katoushka) barley left her family’s small mountaintop village. It was such a remote, authentic, and welcoming place, that it was sort of hard to imagine leaving to trudge around various tourist traps. I know I’ll go back to Italy in my lifetime, but I can’t say I’ll ever have a chance to spend 2 weeks with the wonderful people of Gallo again. So the choice to stay local was pretty simple.

It would take too long to share all of the details, but Pesto’s family welcomed me with open arms. Her Nona fed me copiously, and her aunts, uncles, cousins, and all the townsfolk were warm and beautiful people. Our daily routine was some variation of the following: We would wake up around 11:30am and start our day. About every second or third ‘morning’, I would feel so guilty about the amount of food and drink I was consuming, that I would run to the neighbouring village. It was about 12km, roundtrip, with many fountains along the way (the coldest, purest water, from an ancient mountain source). The locals thought I was insane, but they were polite about it.

After the run, we would go over to Nona’s for lunch, which was quite an event. The whole family would come pouring out of the rafters, and anywhere between 14 and 19 people would sit down at a super long table in ‘the old house’. This meal would involve a pasta course, one or two or three meats, salad, vegetables, and usually some melon for dessert. Bread, wine, and cheese were abundant. It lasted for hours and was such a beautiful expression of family values. The children in Italy are really cherished members of society. They have a voice, and are generally showered with attention and affection. It’s really touching, and I found it such a contrast to the way we tend to treat children in North American society.

After the meal, we might go for a walk around town, or have a nap, or take in a pick-up soccer game. Then, around 8, we would head down to the only pizzeria /restaurant/bar in town. The remainder of the night would be spent drinking, cavorting, and singing Italian karaoke. I learned that I speak, and sing very well in Italian, but only after several libations. One night we camped out by the lake. My Italian was especially good that night. There were also 2 weddings, which rocked my world, though I am still recovering from a stiletto impalement at the hands of Pesto.

Anyway, it was a very fun trip, and a great cap off to a carefree summer....

This fall has been a bit more stressful. I had the second part of my licensing exam in late October, and next week I have 2 big presentations , which aren’t ready yet, and are stressing me out immensely. I’m really looking forward to next Friday, after which I will get my cross country skis waxed and hit the trials hard. I also haven’t been running as much as I’d like. I plan to spend my weekends in December frolicking around town, visiting with friends, and reading fun books, including my psychodynamic diagnosis book, which has been patiently waiting on my bedside table for 2 months. I will also go to Toronto and visit my brother and sister in law for a weekend of fun, and meet Tom and Tamara’s baby, who is practically starting high school by now.

So, onto the karmic saviour bit. Well, after a year of personal growth/romantic drought, I decided to start dating again. I’ve been dating a guy for about 4 months. It’s a complicated story, but he doesn’t live in Ottawa anymore, and things have been crappy for about 2 months. It’s that kind of situation where you know things are not quite right, but you tell yourself it’s a distance issue, or maybe growing pains of being back in a relationship, or whatever excuse you can think of. Well this guy has been progressively becoming more of a dick, and this week it got to a point where I’d had enough, so I ended it.

It was a relief on so many levels because I was basically becoming an insecure, paranoid freak. But on another level (even though I didn’t like him that much, thought he was not a very nice person, and had reservations from the get go), I felt totally choked up and sad. I was thinking about why that was the case last night during my run, and came to the conclusion that these feelings boil down to hurt pride (i.e., even if I didn’t like him, why wasn’t he hopelessly in love with me?) and also a feeling of lost potential and disappointment.

It occurred to me that even though he is guilty of being a narcissistic dick head, I am guilty of something too. I had the feeling he wasn’t my guy, and I went along with things anyway. I think, on some level, I wanted him to be someone he wasn’t, or thought maybe there must be a great treasure there to unfold. I assigned him attributes he didn’t have, and then was disappointed when didn’t come through. It’s kind of an interesting lesson.....

In any event, I’ve digressed again. The point here is, I was talking to my mom yesterday afternoon. Basically, I was just feeling extremely sorry for myself. I was whining about how I think I’m a pretty swell gall, that I am not a tyrant to live with, that I’m not a gargoyle, and that I am fun, and have a lot to bring to the table...blah blah blah...Of course my mom agreed because she’s my mom, and that’s really why we call our mom in these kinds of situations. She also made the requisite mom statement about how this guy was a dud, and how someday, someone would see me and know what I’m all about. I thanked her for her kind words, told her I was pretty sure I would end up single with 50 cats, and hung up the phone.

A couple of other, relatively minor, uncool things happened yesterday and, let’s just say, what with these stupid presentations and all, I was feeling a little discouraged and under the weather this morning. My email had been held hostage by the Ottawa U server since yesterday, and today at noon, they all poured in. Well guess what, there was a comment on Fancy Feast.

Initially, I thought ‘oh great, here is one of my friends chastising me for not writing anymore.’ Then I read it. It was such a lovely shout out, from a total stranger, and so out of the blue, that I immediately felt that the karma gods must be sending me a little encouraging pat on the back; Either that, or I was one step away from being admitted to the psych ward where I work. I chose the former, encouraging, interpretation. I really value writing as a creative outlet, and Team Yellow’s feedback could not have been better timed.

I guess there are a few take home messages here (in no particular order):

  1. If you think you are dating a jerk, you probably are.
  2. Busy, stressful times in your life are important because they make you appreciate the fun, carefree times spent with family and friends.
  3. Sometimes a nod from a total stranger is just what the doctor ordered (so you should both nod at others, and accept their nods in return!)
  4. Italy is a wonderful place to eat, drink, and generally rediscover your humanity. I highly recommend it.

I hope to write more. ...but I know I always say that...I need to put my money where my mouth is....

Love and Affection,



Blogger Tamara said...

A great post and long overdue. Your fan base wants to hear more from you!

My reactions in no organized fashion:
1. Experience is what happens when we don't get what we want. (Sometimes I find myself repeating this silently over and over... diagnose that, my friend.)
2. BabyBear's answer to a tough day is 15 minutes in her Rainforest Jumperoo contraption. I think we should design and market adult-sized versions.
3. I'm becoming a believer in The Law of Attraction (AKA "The Secret"). Your karmic saviour doesn't surprise me one bit.

7:46 AM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Dear Tamara,

If I had a Rainforest Jumperoo Contraption, you would not be able to get me out of it!

Thanks for your support. I am coming to town in 2 weekends and the Turtle and I were talking about making some plans with you guys. Do you have availability for brunch on Sunday Dec 7th? We (and by that I mean E and E) are more than happy to host, or we can come to you if that is easier. There is other availability that weekend if Sunday doesn't work. I'll email you...


9:55 AM  
Anonymous team yellow said...

funny how life takes you down certain turns.

I'm glad I found your blog as well, its hard to come by good writing and far harder to come by interesting people.

carms is pretty bad, but I think what's really kicking me around is my home university's unbelievably inexplicable ability to ruin my life. (I guess that's a little dramatic, *sigh* I can't wait to break up with med school).

to answer your question: Urology
(hence team yellow... I guess rod squad would have also been appropriate)


5:44 PM  
Blogger telltale tabby said...

Team Yellow,

I should've figured it out. I even did a google search on 'team yellow' but nothing plausible turned up.

I have to say, I like 'rod squad' a lot. Those urologists sure know how to 'poke' fun at themselves. Actually, the uro residents here seem like a very fun, chilled out group of guys.

Breaking up with med school will be the best thing you ever do for yourself. People say it is fun, but I think it was actually, mentally, the worst 4 years of my life. I wanted to poke my own eyes out almost daily.

One girl in my class went completely ape-shit on our admin person during a back to basics lecture gone wrong. Even though we all felt she might be a little unstable, I think many of us were secretly thankful that someone finally laid the smack down after 4 years of financial and emotional exploitation.

Anyway, you're almost there, and you are obviously cool and smart, so I'm sure you will match to one of your preferred programs, though admittedly, I know absolutely nothing about urology.

I hope your weekend is shaping up better than mine...


10:29 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Team Yellow,
Not sure if you'll read this, but whatever.

My friend's kid's pediatric urologist wore a button on his white coat that said, "I like pee". I think you should get one too.

Yellow and Tabby,
Med school (and residency, for that matter) is a rough ride. I'm no MD, but being married to one makes me an authority. See my previous comment about experience. I repeated that one to myself a lot during Dr. T's time at Mac.

You guys make me laugh. Have you read the Griffin and Sabine series? It's like you are continuing their story.


2:42 PM  
Anonymous team yellow said...

Hey Tam Tam (Tamara... is it Tam-ara, or Tam-air-a) I am currently slightly buzzed using an Iphone, however I must apologize to you for I did not see your lovely post earlier.

I would love a button that says I love pee for you see its funny cuz its true.

as for the series in question, no I have not read it, though now I am extremely curious.

cheers (woah.. I almost totally knocked over our waitress... oops!)

ps. ... I don't really have anything else to add, I just wanted to say "p.s."

pps. this took a long time to write on the Iphone

8:36 PM  

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