Musing Moment 0078: The Thing – Round 2

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I’m trying to figure out what’s important to me, what I should be doing, and I think I did a pretty good job of it in my last Musing Moment post. I determined that I’m going to be finishing my degree and that for the time being I need to stay in Florida.

 

I also reaffirmed my dedication to my race. It’s not so much that my resolve was wavering. More that apathy and depression were eating at my motivation. Having figured out the main points of my life helped bring back that motivation.

 

Ok… so maybe motivation is too strong a word to use for where I was at during my last post, but after meeting with Terri this morning, and the few biking trips I’ve had the past days, I can definitely say that I am motivated again.

 

So all of that is well and good, but it still doesn’t really leave me with a lot to do. Nothing move me forward in any real direction. Nothing that will help me feel fulfilled in the short term. All of this stuff is the larger picture, and it’s great to have the overview, but what am I going to be trying to do these next three months let alone this year?

 

I’ve been going through the 30-Day Challenge by Chalene Johnson on fast forward mode. Really the first week is all I’m interested in since that’s where you align yourself with your priorities and then construct goals around them.

 

I’ve gone through the areas of my life and evaluated them on the 1-10 scale. 1 totally sucking and 10 being amazing beyond belief.


Physical Health – 7

I’m doing really well in this area, but by doing well I see how far I still want to go. And maybe this is an unfair score on my part. Maybe an 8 would have been better.

 

Emotional Health – 5

I still feel low here, though not for the same reasons as last time. Zane and I are having issues. There’s still the stress with my mom I need to figure out. I really ought to figure out some life goals as well so I can have a sense of purpose.

 

Environment – 5

To be fair, the apartment is the same as it ever was. I’m just ready for everyone to move out. Now that everything is decided I want for it to happen. I don’t want to wait. I want to rearrange and clean, and not have everyone else’s crap in the way. This honestly isn’t something I can change, and the faster I just accept the fact that the lease doesn’t end until the end of February, the faster this number can go back to being higher.

 

Financial – 8

Originally I had a 7, but I really think this area is much better than it was and deserves an 8. Zane has a job again, I’m making large payments on the card. Zane is going to start paying me back in the New Year. I’m going to be getting a raise at work once I have my review (at least I better if they want me to stay). So things are looking up. I might even have freelance coming in.

 

Leisure – 8

Right now this is pretty high. I count my biking to work as leisure because it helps me unwind. I’m cross stitching fairly often. Taking time off from school has given me time to enjoy down time where I’m not constantly working on something. It’s been nice. It’s going to end soon since classes start up in January. But for now, this is an 8. XD

 

Friends / Family – 7

I think I’m doing alright here. I’m staying in touch with some core people better than I have been. I could always be staying in touch with more people more often, but I think I’m doing alright all things considered. I haven’t completely secluded myself away and ignored people. Just partially. : D

 

Significant Other – 5

Zane and I are having issues. But we know we’re having issues, and we’re in the process of trying to fix that.

 

Career – 5

I’m still disenchanted with work. Part of this whole figuring out my goals and priorities is to help bring back the spark I used to feel, even if it ends up being in a different area.

 

Personal Growth – 5

I had to do a Google search just to make sure I was thinking of this right. Personal Growth is skills and development… I want to be going to the dojo. I want to be participating in the stage fighting. I want to be doing more things, other things. At the same time I’m doing a lot to improve myself… So I don’t know why this rates low in my head, but it does.

 

Spiritual Growth – 5

After all this time I still want to put more focus here.


 

From all of this I was able to figure out that currently my intrinsic priority, the one that comes more naturally to me, is physical health. I got that down to a science.

 

My key priority, where I think I should be focusing my time and effort, is personal growth. Personal growth would factor into my emotional health, it would hopefully impact my relationship with Zane in a positive way, it would help with my career, as well as my spiritual growth. By improving myself, focusing on me, I could, potentially, bring more balance to the other areas of my life.

 

Great. Two really big steps down! Onward to goals!

 

All I need to do is come up with 10 goals that I want to achieve this year. 10 really cool, crazy awesome, almost mildly impossible goals…

 

Goals…

 

And this is where I’m stuck. What do I want to do?

 

Um… nothing. I want to sit here and be an apathetic ball of apathy…

 

Left Brain: Just so you know… that’s not going to help you feel better.

Right Brain: Screw you and the horse you rode in on!

 

Seriously I sat in front of my computer for a good thirty minutes and only came up with three things. How hard is it to figure out things that you want to do? Apparently really hard…

 

I ended up taking a step back. I made a cup of coffee (My second one. Shhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone >.<; ), took out my notebook, and went outside to sit on the porch and brainstorm.

 

Ok, so goals. Goals are normally based around things that we find important. They’re an achievement of sorts. Alright so what do I find important right now? Health, family, happiness, and finical stability were what I came up with.

 

Awesome, lets break that down a little bit more.

 

What falls under health? Activities, food, fulfillment.

 

What activities? Biking, running, yoga, aikido, taekwondo, the Lance Orlando stuff, races. Stuff like that. Stuff I like doing, or things I want to try doing like parkour classes and archery.

 

Food? Eating healthy and fresh stuff. Finding new recipes to try, new restaurants to go to. I like the idea of food nights where people come over for games and eating. I used to do that in college and even though I’m an introvert, it fulfilled me to cook for everyone. I also enjoy eating dinner while watching a show with Zane. Actually with most of my companions. It’s something that helps me feel connected with them.

 

Cool. Good list so far for health.

 

What about happiness? Happiness I think is tied more closely with memories, so I want to make memories I guess. I want to have fun and do things that I feel are worthwhile. I want to travel and try new things. I want to indulge in active hobbies. I want to do more arts and crafts. I want to learn to sew my own cloths.

 

Financial stability is sort of self-explanatory. I want to have less debt and more money. Working less would be great while I’m at it. I have the Bank of America card still. After that is my car loan, then student loans, then the money I owe my mom for helping to cover my student loans. Fun times. Finding goals which bring in additional income would be nice.

 

And last, family. Being near them, visiting them, being involved in their lives. Communicating more frequently would be nice.

 

I’m still not sure if that gives me a whole lot to work with as far as the whole year goes.

 

I don’t want to say, “Work on Digital Arts and Design degree” because that’s lame. I’m already going to be working on that, and there’s no real end for it this year. It’s a lame, nebulous goal, that’s going to happen eventually. There’s nothing daunting or really noteworthy about getting a second degree. It’s just another piece of paper.

 

I don’t want, “Run a Warrior Dash” on my list either because that’s going to happen. It’s not really a challenge. I’m going to go. it’s going to be accomplished. The goals I’m supposed to be coming up with are supposed to be daring. Maybe saying I will run competitively for my June race would be a goal worth listing, but I don’t think I really want my races to be about competing. I want them to be for fun. Inner peace and happiness type of a thing. A goal like “win a race” isn’t in line with my happiness priority.

 

Left Brain: Damnit! Can’t you be less picky and just come up with a random handful of stuff you want to do…

Right Brain: No. Because that would be easy. Also, fuck you.

 

My right brain is so snarky today. : /

 

I have more sort term things, habits I want to create, than goals I want to reach.

 

I want to go back to reading a book each month. I want to go back to completing a career related project each week, and a personal project each month. I want Zane and I to have goals together for improving our relationship.

 

Long term I want to pay off my car loan this year. I want to reach Dan 1 rank in aikido. That’s the first level of black belt. I want to reach Dan 1 in taekwondo as well. And that’s pretty much where I’m at. Those three goals would be pretty intense. And maybe I should be happy with just those three for now. I feel like this year is going to be a lot of waiting. Waiting to finish my degree so I can move on to other things. Family related things.

 

I could work a bit on the stage fighting thing. I have to pass certain tests to be able to do stage play with certain weapons. I have to pass unarmed before I can do staves. I have to do staves before I can do spears or swords. It might be fun to try actually passing to staves, which is basically the jo in aikido, and participating in a performance. I’m not all that set on it though.

 

I can’t move yet, so I can’t do much in the family area. At least it feels like I can’t. I can make long, long term goals, but there’s nothing I can really do right now. I could save up and go out and visit, but then I doubt I could pay off the car. Not unless I started pulling in a lot more money.

 

I could make an Etsy store or something, but do I really want to be doing cross stitch or something similar, a hobby, to make money? Would that take away the fun? Would it be worth at least trying?

 

I could also fill out the Frederator contract that I’ve had since last year so I could pull in money from YouTube. I have no career related goals. I have no goals to help improve my income.

 

So I guess for now, I’m sort of stuck here. I need to do some introspective digging and until I unearth the buried treasure of what it is I want to do with my life I’m going to continue to feel sort of stuck. : /

 

So much lame.

Daily Post 064: Migraines and New Cloths

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I need to start writing daily again, as the name implies rather than skipping out on it. Having days and days to go back over is annoying. >.<;

 

Monday was a pretty good day. I eventually did all of my running around. Way later than what I had originally wanted, but it did get done, which was fantastic. I biked to the post office and got the phone shipped off. I even got a confirmation email from Verizon, so it’s officially official that it’s on its way.

 

I rode the short distance to my bank to deposit the money Zane had given me for the car insurance. I had forgotten to do that when I deposited Marcus’ money for the commission. But all of my cash is now safely tucked away in a bank and simply floating numbers attached to my name so if there is ever an attack on our banking system which causes it to crash I can rest easy knowing that I will have nothing left to my name. It’s sort of creepy when you stop and really think about it…

 

From the bank I went to the UPS store. I’ve never biked down that particular street before, but it wasn’t bad. Pretty much a straight shot. The gentleman helping me was extremely nice and we got the last cross-stitch gift I made packaged up and shipped out. That was a huge, massive task off of my list. One that has been sitting there for about a week if not longer.

 

Once that was done I went across the plaza to the Publix store. I wanted to get something to drink before heading home, and possibly something to eat. Something light that wouldn’t bog me down too much. I ended up getting a Summer Roll from the sushi display along with 3 bottles of Gatorade. They were buy 3 for $4. Pretty good deal and I now have a stash at home since I only drink about a quarter of a bottle at a time.

 

When I was done eating and drink and resting I biked back to the apartment where I vacuumed the living room. I made a small donation box since I want to donate my cross stitch books and Zane has a few items he wants to get rid of as well. I messaged Shane about meeting up for a biking adventure, but haven’t heard back from him. I’m not sure if it would be appropriate to invite Frank. I’m still not sure where I stand with him any longer.

 

When Zane got home I went out and did the laundry. Actually, I first went to Moe’s and had dinner using the gift card my mom had gotten me. It was nice being able to sit alone. I wish I had taken my headphones though. Creating my own little bubble of sound would have been icing on the cake. It was a good dinner regardless and I’m happy that I got some time alone like that.

 

I had been fighting off a gradually growing migraine, and it didn’t let up at all as the night progressed. I went to the laundry mat and took care of the clothes, cross stitching while I was there, but by the time I got back to the apartment the only thing I wanted was darkness and silence. I went to the room after drinking more water and tried to sleep. After about an hour I got up, got an ice pack and went back to bed, with more water.

 

Zane came to sleep at some point. And that was Monday.

 

Tuesday was a good day, too. Without headaches! : D

 

Zane and I woke up and made plans to do all of our running around before the afternoon since he had plans with Trevor. We went to breakfast at a bagel shop, then continued with our tasks by going to a new oriental market. I don’t like it as much as the other one we have gone to. There wasn’t a very large selection of fresh produce which is what I was interested in.

 

Since we were in the area we went to Avalon. I wrote about it a bit when Zane and I first started dating. It’s a metaphysical store that he wanted to take me to. When he became unemployed he didn’t want to go because he didn’t have money and I guess we’ve both forgotten that there are actually places we want to go and things we want to do together.

 

So we went there yesterday. It was interesting. I’m not really sure what else to say about it. I was hoping to find a torc. But they didn’t have any. I guess that’s a good thing. It would have been close to $100 if not over, I’m sure. And really torcs are supposed to be given as gifts. I’m not sure if it would hold the right significance if I bought it for myself. But then, I’m not really sure who would buy it for me. It’s not like anyone in my life is into the Celtic way of life. And then what happens if this person gets it for me and we have a falling out? What do I do then? Would it still be right to wear it?

 

Bah, human relations and their complicatedness. >.<;

 

Anyway, there wasn’t a torc so it’s really academic at this point.

 

We stopped at the mall so I could pick up my tops. I tried them on while I was there. I didn’t like two of them. Not a big surprise that I wanted to return part of my order. I’m really picky with stuff like that. I loved one of the tops though, and the store happened to have the red one I wanted, but hadn’t been able to get because the online store was sold out. Score! I even liked it after trying it on, double score!

 

By the time that was done I was exhausted. Seriously, driving home was hard.

 

I ended up taking a four hour nap, and I regret nothing.

 

I talked to my mom after I woke up while drinking coffee since I hadn’t had any yet. While I was on the phone with her I got a call from Clavan. Once my mom and I said goodbye I called him back to see what was up. He wanted to clarify that I was taking next week off, so everything is squared away with that. I’m going to be going in on Wednesday since that’s the only day during the first week that CRI1 has lab, instead of coming in on Friday. That’s fine in my book.

 

I had a message from Terri asking if we were still on for training on Thursday. I’m pretty sure I’m not prepared, but I said that would be fantastic. No time like the present to get back into the swing of things… >.<;

 

I replied to a handful of posts that I really enjoyed after that. By the time I was done Zane was back home. Since this week is his week for groceries I took his card to go out and finish the shopping. I ran over to the produce store to pick up the things we hadn’t been able to get at the oriental market. I went to Wal-Mart too since there were a few things that I needed that Publix most likely wouldn’t have had.

 

Things like masking tape for my cross stitchings and in/out paper trays. Zane and I want to try something to see if it helps with organization on my computer desk. Having two people use it is going to drive me crazy and not in a good way since I view it as my space.

 

I was able to get the last bit of grocery done while at Wal-Mart, which was nice, but it was pretty late by the time I was done, and I knew Zane hadn’t started any sort of cooking since I had part of the groceries he needed, and because he was in the middle of working on a project with Trevor.

 

I decided to stop at Publix to pick up a rotisserie chicken with some sides for dinner. I got a mandolin slicer while I was there. It’s been something I’ve wanted for a while. We were going to wait until the lease renewed and we were in the middle of buying stuff for the kitchen anyway, but I want to make home made apple crisps this week and I wanted to be able to have pretty apple slices rather than jagged misshapen apple blobs.

 

Ok, I can cut better than blob shapes, but it made me happy to buy it, so I did. And I’m still sitting right where I want to be as far as finances go, which makes me feel good.

 

After all of that I came back home and put all the food stuffs away. I made a plate to eat and watched an episode of Beautiful Bones with Zane. I tried going to sleep after that but to no avail. I ended up sitting on the couch with him for a bit, just chatting, no tv or anything in the way. It was nice. I think we had a good conversation.

 

I tried going back to sleep after that, but again, couldn’t.

 

I ended up sleeping on the couch so my tossing and turning wouldn’t bother Zane when he came to bed.

 

His morning has been frustrating and I’m trying to not let it bother me. I’m still a little eh from not sleeping well myself. I’m not really sure what to do with my day, but that’s mostly because I haven’t written a to-do list yet. I haven’t even finished my coffee. It’s been sitting next to me growing cold as I type.

 

So I guess I should go for now, figure out my day and what to do. It’s day two of my actual vacation. I want to do something other than sleep during it.

Musing Moment 0078: 2015 Revisited

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WordPress was kind enough to give me some statistics about my blogging habits. If you feel like knowing random trivia feel free to check it out.

Warrior Freya – 2015

A huge, huge thank you goes out to Ally, Mama Spike, Shrew, Seven Years, and Luna for being my top commenters. I’ve loved interacting with all of you and staying caught up on your blogs.

Another big, ginormous thank you goes out to everyone who reads and follows my crazy adventure called life. It’s been an intense year. Interesting. Fun at times, devastating at others.

Onward to 2016, the year of the Fire Monkey.

Daily Post 063: Recaping ’til Today

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Fair warning. Not proof read. Please don’t kill me. >.<;


 

I’m about an hour behind where I wanted to be today, but I’ve gotten a lot more done than I thought I would, so I guess it evens out.

 

My last post started as a daily post but quickly turned into a Musing Moment type of post. It’s the beginning of my reconstruction phase. I like the way that word feels. It doesn’t make it seem like a negative thing. I’m not lost and searching for my soul. It’s an active word, a strong word. It brings to mind planning and intention. Determination. It’s a fitting word I think.

 

So yeah, I got a lot of stuff figured out yesterday which left me tired. And since that post spanned two days, I’m not really 100% sure what I’ve covered and what I haven’t. I’m going to briefly recap a bit of Christmas and the following days, and hopefully I don’t double up on all that much stuff.

 

Christmas Eve found Zane and I eating tacos and watching anime while I franticly worked to finish my commission. I wasn’t able to that night and had to use part of Christmas morning to finish it off. Zane and I had bought a duck for Christmas day, which we baked. Not exactly the Turduckin we had talked about earlier in the year, but duck is awesome, so it was still good. It also gave us something special and different for the day.

 

I started a new cross stitch pretty much as soon as I finished the commission. I loved working on it, and I feel like it came out well, but I was tired of working with the same colors on such a large piece. I was tired of working on a large piece in general. I wanted to do something small, cute, and colorful so I could hold something in my hands.

 

The day was pretty low key. We didn’t do much. I messaged the people I wanted to, and I got to talk to my mom for a bit and told her thank you for my Christmas box. I didn’t tell her about crying as I opened it. I’m sure she knows that I did because she knows me.

 

I wrote my post about my mom later that evening which meant more tears, but it was cathartic.

 

Saturday was another low day. I didn’t have a lot of energy. Zane was itchy though. He wanted to be out of the house, so we made plans for lunch. We stopped by the post office so I could mail a few cards out, then stopped by the bank so I could deposit the check I had gotten from my younger brother for the storage unit. Not sure if I mentioned it, but he paid me $150, so he’s paid up until the end of February, which should be when we’re getting rid of the storage unit because everyone is moving out of the apartment.

 

Still not really sure about that game plan. Trevor and Danielle are still planning on moving out, but John has been away for the past week, so we’re not sure if he is still planning on moving in with his girlfriend. I’m not going to let myself stress over it though. February is still a ways away and I have other things on my mind at the moment. To the back burner you go.

 

Zane and I tried going to chick Fil A for lunch but it was packed. Not surprising really. We ended up going to our sports bar instead. And at the moment I type “our” without the tension I have felt about that in the past. It feels more integrated right now. More appropriate.

 

We made plans to see Star Wars later in the evening with his brother, Uke, and Trevor. We came back home after eating. I remember he packed a bowl of shisha, but I can’t remember the flavor. Marcus and I had been chatting off and on through text messages about meeting up to give him AJ’s gift. That ended up happening around 5pm.

 

She super loved the commission, and Marcus gave me $100 instead of $75, I know that is still way under what I should have charged, but it was a great learning experience, and I’m happy with how it turned out. Maybe next time I’ll stick to fair pricing. Zane was a little annoyed with me because I essentially created two designs, created the pattern, stitched the commission, cleaned it, framed it and even provided the frame that was used. All for $100. And even then, that wasn’t the amount I was expecting to get. I was expecting $75.

 

When looking at it that way, how I literally put in over 40 hours worth of work into it, yeah, I can see why he’s frustrated with me. I always sell myself short. I also normally underestimate how involved something is going to be, which we decided wasn’t a dependability issue, but more of a judgment issue.

 

That made me feel better since I was having doubts about being a dependable person since I wasn’t able to get the commission done before Christmas.

 

I ended up having a bit of a … thing? … with Frank. It actually really hurt and I almost let it mess up my night.

 

Frank has been planning a card night since before the holiday break. Since I didn’t know what was going on with my family I never solidified plans to actually go, but he kept reminding me and saying if I was in town that I was welcome.

 

I got a message from him while I was out giving the commission to Marcus and AJ. When I replied that I wouldn’t be going he said that he was sorry his plans were so last minute, oh wait, they weren’t (insert : p emote) and to enjoy the movie.

 

It felt snarky to me. I know I should have let him know sooner that I wasn’t going to be there, but I felt like his message wasn’t nice, or fair. I feel like I hurt his feelings and his comment was his retaliation against it. It still sucked. A lot.

 

After talking to Zane about it I sent an apology, since that’s really all I can do. But it leaves me in a weird spot, and I haven’t figured out what I want to do about it.

 

We ended up going to the movies and even though I haven’t seen all of the Star Wars movies, and even though I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, I actually really enjoyed the movie. The VFXs are awesome, and there’s tons of practical FXs as well, which I sort of have a greater appreciation for. I felt the pacing of the movie was done well, and that the character development was decent. There was also a lot of non-verbal communication. A lot was said through body language, and facial expression, rather than overly dramatic dialogue.

 

After the movie Zane, Uke, and I came back to the apartment and chatted about it for a while. Eventually I couldn’t stay awake any longer and left the conversation. Zane came to bed a bit later, after Uke and left.

 

Sunday started as an icky day. I woke up sad. I woke up feeling sorry for myself. Zane is having to work through some stuff with Nic and his plans for going out to California to visit in March, so I really think for the most part we were feeding off of each other. We noticed it Saturday while at lunch. I guess that’s a downside to two empaths being around each other.

 

Anyway, the morning was rough, but ended up getting better. I finished my little cross stitch. I need to wash it still, but I will have a picture up soon. I went through all of my cross stitch books looking for new things to do. I am going to be donating most of them away. I don’t want the patterns any more. I’m not going to actually complete them, so they’re just sitting around doing nothing. I would rather someone else be able to get some use out of them.

 

I did find a few individual patterns that I want to keep, so I packed those books into my backpack and then headed out to school. I wanted to get some space, and both Zane and I thought that would be a good idea.

 

I got a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s on my way to work. I was the only one there, which was exactly what I wanted.

 

I finished writing my Musing Moment before doing anything else. That took a while, but I’m glad for it. It made me feel better, less sad and lost feeling. It made it easier to want to do more things. Productive things.

 

I went through my work email since I’ve been away for the week. I might be able to count my Vimeo tutorials and Creative Crash scripts as experience. Donna had emailed me asking for verification and links to my profiles. That would be fantastic. I would have four years of experience then, at least experience the school would count, because, you know, teaching the content you’re qualified to teach doesn’t count as experience…

 

Oh. Total tangent that has nothing to do with anything that I have typed about so far. On Christmas I talked to Allison, my best friend from high school. She finally got engaged. Wooo. I seriously feel like the only person left who hasn’t gotten married or had a kid. But you know what, I’m pretty ok with that.

 

Anyway, back to where I was. I took screenshots of my account settings, which shows when my accounts became active as well as providing links to everything I felt was relevant. So we’ll see what happens with that.

 

I scanned the images I wanted to keep from the cross stitch magazine and the booklets. I posted the image of my commission to Word Press and Facebook. I had a cup of coffee while doing all of that, which was nice. The one I had this morning wasn’t all that awesome since I was sad feeling and mildly having a spat with Zane.

 

Once I was done with everything I wanted to do at school I packed up and headed back home. I sent a text message to Zane to let him know I would be back shortly. He called to see if I had eaten yet. I told him about the sandwich I had had a while ago, but that I wasn’t all that hungry. He said he had gotten pizza and that I could have a slice, just not all of it since he was going to be using it for lunches this week at work.

 

He also said that I didn’t have to go back out and do the laundry. He said we could do that Monday night once he got back home. That totally made my night since I wasn’t looking forward to having to go back out. I mean, I was going to do it, but that doesn’t mean I really wanted to do it.

 

Instead, I got to come home and create a few new cross stitch pattern files with my nifty MacStitch software. The patterns I had scanned were old images, before there was really any sort of software to make the markings neat and consistent. So I used the printed copy as a guide to recreate the pattern essentially. I’m not sure how this works with copy right. I’m not sure if they are old enough to be non-copy written any more, or if that’s a thing, or what.

 

Since it’s for personal use I don’t think I’m breaking any rules. I think it would be an issue if I started trying to sell them off as my own. But even then, I’ve made my own changes to the patterns. Change the color, adding boards… Ehh… I don’t know. I guess until someone comes up and says, “Hey, I’ll make you independently wealthy if you stitch this for me,” it’s sort of academic and just playing the “What if” game.

 

Independently wealthy is pretty tempting though…

 

So that was pretty much the rest of my night. I started a new project. Another little cute one. I have an idea to turn it into a full on project, but that’s a super secret squirrel thing at the moment. Until I get it solidified in my head I really don’t want to say much more about it. It’s going to be for my mom though. Muahahahaha. >: 3

 

I haven’t done much for my Soul Reconstruction yet today, and it’s already 1:30. I’ve been up since 10:30. I had breakfast. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I wrote down a long jumbled list of things I wanted to do. I didn’t worry about order or organization. Just scribbled things down as they came to me.

 

I had a message from Zane asking to look up curry recipes for duck since he wanted to do something along those lines. That led to an hour or so of me looking at recipes in general. I’ve gotten a new bookmark folder on my Chrome bar with things I want to try. I went through and found specifically paleo recipes that I thought both Zane and I could appreciate.

 

I’m not a hard core follower of the paleo diet. Sorry, I like cheese, and I swear if you take my coffee creamer away you won’t survive… But I like the idea of eating non-processed foods more frequently, and to be honest, a lot of the recipes are crazy simple and so flavorful it’s not even funny.

 

It’s weird. When I gave up soda and started to drink solely water I realized how sweet water actually is. How refreshing and sustaining something so simple is. And now when I drink soda all I can taste are the chemicals, salts, and how it makes me feel gross and icky afterwards, especially if I drink a lot of it.

 

I guess food is the same. The more I cook my own food, the more I stay away from fast food, the more I realize how much I don’t actually enjoy going out to eat all that much anymore. How bland and flavorless everything is. How everything is fried. I would rather go to something like the sushi café, or my sports bar because I know they serve better quality food. And I suppose I should say when I get wings from my sports bar I get them grilled instead of fried.

 

I like eating fresh things because they make me feel better, and maybe part of that is all inside my head and more placebo than real science, but I honestly don’t care. If it makes me feel better, even if it’s just a mental trick, then it’s worth it.

 

So yeah, I have a bunch of things I want to try making. Zane had already picked out the meals for the coming week. Since I’m still on vacation I asked for tuna lunches. Something quick and simple and cheap. We’re going to be doing Shepard’s Pie again since we still have veggies for that. The duck curry which will use the legs and wings, and then duck sandwiches for the breast meat. I also took the extra chili from last week out of the freezer, so there’s about four servings of that as well.

 

After playing around with recipes I went through and cleaned up my downloads folder on my computer. Something that I have been neglecting for far too long. I went through my DropBox folder as well, cleaning, organizing, and deleting things. After that it was my Google Drive’s turn to be tidied up. I went through my personal email account, deleting messages up until July so my folders can stay clean. Next time I’m on campus I will do the same for my work email.

 

I need to make backups of my DropBox and Google Drive, but that’s going to happen later.

 

I have my to-do list restructured with the things I want to get done. I’m going to be biking to the bank to deposit the money Zane gave me for his portion of the car insurance. I need to ship off the box with my phone to Verizon for the trade in credit. From there I want to go to UPS to ship of my final cross stitch gift. By then I’ll most likely be thirsty and hungry so I plan to stop at 711 for a salad and Gatorade before biking back home. That will be about the length of going to the gym and back, minus the gym. And there will be stops to break up the length so I think it will be a good introduction back into my physical discipline.

 

It’s sunny outside, which it has been for a few days. There’s still been rain here and there, but it hasn’t been full on cloudy days. There’s been more sun than rain, and I think that’s helping today. It’s a little windy but I’m hoping that doesn’t make the bike ride super rough. It’s going to be my first ride since getting the bike back last Sunday. I’m looking forward to it.

 

But that would be the extent of my running around until Zane gets home. We will most likely do laundry and grocery shopping tonight. I know at least the laundry needs to get done since he doesn’t have anything clean to wear for tomorrow. Grocery would be nice as well so we could do the Shepard’s Pie tonight, though there is the chili we could make do with until tomorrow.

 

So yeah… full, productive day lined up. I just finished my cup of coffee. I wasn’t allowed to drink it until I drank my bottle of water first. I’ve been slacking about that so I had to make sure I worked in before the bike ride some how.

 

Anyway, I’m really just rambling now. Procrastinating maybe… I’ll stop doing that and get a move on. I don’t want to run out of daylight.

Dragon’s Horde 0049: The Hobbit

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The_Hobbit

Title: The Hobbit
Designed and Stitched by: Jennifer Conley
Completed: December 25th, 2015

This is my first ever custom cross stitch design commissioned by one of my co-workers as a Christmas gift for his girlfriend.

It was a fantastic learning experience, and even though for a while I was getting tired of stitching yellow, then brownish-black, I love how the design turned out.

Musing Moment 0077: The Thing – Round 1, Fight!

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I got interrupted while I was writing yesterday. This is what I was able to type out before Zane woke up and the day got started with no opportunity to sneak away and finish my thoughts.


 

Not much has changed in 11 hours. I stayed up a bit longer after my last post. I had begun work on a new cross stitch. The Christmas dragon from Dragon Dreams. Jen always puts out a freebie chart as a thank you gift to the stitching community. If you’re interested in seeing it check it out here. She has requested that it not be posted anywhere other than Facebook and for it to only be “Shared” through the Facebook platform, which is why I’m only linking to it.

 

It’s super adorable though, so check it out if you’re interested in stitching a small, cute Christmas dragon.

 

You would think after doing nothing but stitching for a week straight that I would be so sick of stitching I would rather stab my eyes out with my needles then begin a new project. This one is for me though, so it’s different. It’s the first project in a while that I have stitched purely for the purpose of stitching. It’s not a gift. It’s not a commission. It’s simply because I want to make something cute. So I am.

 

I got most of the way through it, and thought about working on it more after my post. But I was tired. Drained. I think I got something like seven more stitches done, if that, before going back to the room and sleeping next to Zane.

 

He got up shortly after I came to bed since he’s doing cat naps. But eventually he came back and we slept the rest of the night together. He’s still asleep right now. I’ve been up for a little bit. I’ve unloaded the dishwasher, loaded it back up again, and have already had one up of coffee.

 

I’ve been having a lot of coffee lately, mostly so I could stay awake and keep working on Marcus’ project. It felt like I was back in college again, working on my final projects, staying up insane hours so I could get them done to the level of quality I would be happy with. I don’t miss those days all that much, and this reminded me of why.

 

I don’t like being tired. I don’t like that for almost a week the most sunlight I got was the five or ten minutes I would sit on the porch. I don’t regret the choices I made. But I wasn’t taking care of my body and I know that. I know the choices I made are going to make my race goal suffer.

 

It’s over now though. I will hopefully be giving Marcus the framed piece later today. I still need to iron it but I’m letting the fabric drip dry a bit before doing that.

 

Yesterday was actually pretty relaxing, though I guess you wouldn’t have gotten that impression from my last post.

 

Thursday night I ended up going out to Taco Bell for Zane and me. He paid, giving me his card before I left the apartment. Neither of us wanted to cook anything, and not many places were going to be open. But tacos sounded good. Grungy food for my last stint of stitching. My last all nighter.

 

I think that is going to be a new tradition for me. I don’t really have any, other than family gatherings around the holidays. We don’t have a traditional meal we always cook. We don’t have an event like going out to see the Christmas lights, or going ice-skating and drinking hot chocolate. We’re really sort of boring like that I guess. We just hangout and chit-chat. More often than not we play board games and interact with one another.

 

Well, my Christmas traditions are going to be Christmas tacos because tacos, and then cooking a duck for Christmas day.

 

While I was stitching we watched Magical Girl Madoka from beginning to end. All 12 episodes. I enjoyed it. We watched the Christmas special of Doctor Who as well. I thought the episode was amazing, but then anything with River Song in it is good.

 

Zane started playing Final Fantasy Type 0. I watched for a little bit. I took a nap. I messaged several people on my phone and Facebook. I messaged Mother Earth and I had a conversation with RB. It was good to know both of them are doing well, even though I’m not really sure they are doing well. There is so much more that goes into “wellness” then the ability to type on a phone.

 

It eased something inside of me to talk to both of them. It made me feel less alone and lost. Though to be fair I still have no idea what I want, where I’m going, or what I’m doing. Knowing that my pseudo-family is still there, still reachable, made me feel a bit more stable.

 

That was pretty much all of yesterday aside from my post, which I wrote after Zane had gone to sleep. I figured it would be pretty emotional. It felt like that was what I needed. I didn’t want to cry in front of him. Much like now. I’ve already started a bit of my soul search, and I really don’t like that phrase because I don’t think it fits, but I’m not sure what else to call it.

 

Healing? Recovery? Mmmm, recovery maybe. Adjustment… Reformation. Reconstruction, actually. Yes. That feels better.

 

I’m having to reconstruct myself around this new information. It changes the blue prints that I had for my life. It changes the composition completely.

 

For the past months my goal as been my spiritual health. I was losing myself. Work was bleeding me out. I was sacrificing the gym and the dojo. The stress with Zane kept me from recovering fully when I came home. There was all this worry and stress and no outlet for it. No way to recharge and purge the negativity that was building in my life and I kept carrying that weight from one day to the next.

 

But I’ve been changing that. I’ve been doing more for myself. I’ve been sticking up for myself at work. I state when something is negative for me and I stick to my guns. I don’t back down just to make it easier or less confrontational. I think about myself, too, and what I am able to handle and what I would be ok with later, not just in the moment. That’s helped a lot.

 

I make time for physical activity. The biking to work helps. It gives me roughly 40 minutes to an hour of alone time each day. It helps me be prepared for work. It gives me a way to burn off some steam after a rough day. It’s improving my health and my connectedness with myself. It’s moving me towards goals that I have always wanted to reach.

 

I feel like I have done a lot to improve my spirit, and I think overall that I am in a much better spot than I was three months ago.

 

But now there is this Thing. I don’t know what to call it other than that. The Thing. In my head it is dark, creepy, drippy and gross. Black and green and brown and rotting, oozing with fangs and claws and horrible red eyes full of hate and evil. The Thing that I can’t fight. The thing that is smoke and dust and vaporous.


 

And of course that’s where I got interrupted… right at the good point. So now that I have reread what I was thinking at the moment I can move forward with the post and hopefully complete the train of thought I was having.


The Thing. The stroke. The invisible enemy that I will never be able to face, or kill, or destroy. In my previous post I mentioned how I wish there was something that I could hate. Some physical form that I could bash my fists bloody against. But there isn’t.

 

And normally I would feel bad about wanting to hate something, someone. How the thought of violence normally makes me ill. But right now I don’t care. I want to hate. I want there to be a focal point that I can focus all of this negativity on like an evil ray of death until it explodes. But there’s nothing. Just facts. Just life.

 

It’s frustrating knowing that logically there is nothing wrong, that I have not been wronged, that things are actually pretty good and that I should be grateful, but feeling everything that is opposite of logical and rational.

 

It leaves me not knowing how to handle myself. I understand that I have the right to feel the way I feel. Everyone, no matter their situation, has a right to feel. At the same time I feel like my mentality is “wrong”. I shouldn’t be looking at my Christmas box as the last gift I will ever receive from my mom. I shouldn’t focus on the fact that she had (past tense) a stroke.

 

I should focus on the fact that she is still alive. That she is getting better. That she is with Jason and Lio. I should focus on the fact that she loves me. That she raised me to be a strong person. There are so many things I should be focusing on, but in the face of The Thing all I can think about is how much I want to destroy it. To make it not exist, to never have happened.

 

I feel all of this rage, and hate, and darkness inside myself. I feel it turn me into a vicious person and I want so much for there to be something to unleash this viciousness on, and there isn’t so instead it turns to sadness and I feel helpless. All of this rage and power, and there is nothing, nothing, deserving of it. And so it sits and festers. Poisoning my here and now.

 

I honestly do feel like parts of my world are falling apart. Shattering because the ideas and futures I had envisioned are different now. The ones I had don’t exist, can’t exist, never existed to begin with. And yet it feels as if they have broken, fallen, shattering into a thousand pieces and now I have to reconstruct those areas. Repair, mend.

 

Reconstruct.

 

I suppose in a way that is good. It brings to mind something that has been demolished. Utterly obliterated. But that means the ground is leveled and I can create whatever I want to now. I could use the shattered pieces, making a mosaic. Or I could come in with a giant broom, sweeping all of the pieces away before carting in new material, making something completely different in defiance of having the old monuments ruined.

 

Me: Fine. Fuck you, Life. I’ll make something even better!

 

I can do whatever I want.

 

The more I hate and loath The Thing, the more it grows. The more its dark form looms over me. The more power I give it. The more it steals away from me. From my now. And I’m tired of giving it that power.

 

And right now, those words sound big and strong, and I might even sort of feel it, but I know it is far from over. I know I’m going to have more days where I cry and feel sad. Like today. Like how this morning I woke up and I knew that it was going to be rough. And it has been. Zane and I fought. He’s going through his own stuff so it’s been hard for both of us to be patient with one another.

 

I’m currently sitting at school alone. Completely alone. The only sound filling the air is that of my fingers tapping way at the keyboard. I love it. There’s no music. Nothing for me to process other than my thoughts.

 

I’m allowed to let go here. No pretending. No worrying about anything. Just silence.

 

I want to build something new for my future. I want to be destructive. I want to throw things, shattering the windows to the buildings. Vandalizing. Annihilating until there is nothing left. I want the world to burn around me as I burn on the inside until everything is ash. I want to fires to roar as I scream out my pain, hearing the cry of the world echo my own.

 

At the same time I want to hide away in my cave, so far away from people, from everything, that nothing hurts any longer. My ice cave. The place where there’s only coldness. Calm. Tired. Slow. So heavy, too heavy to move. Too much effort to do anything other than huddle on the floor, eyes shut and frosted breath passes through blue lips. There’s nothing, no pain. Just the cold as my companion keeping everything numb, functional, alive yet not living.

 

Which is better. The fire of rage, or the ice of sadness? They’re not really opposites. Anger and sadness. But they’re opposite on the emotional spectrum for me. One is cold and internal, while the other is hot and external. They negate each other when I feel them in equal amounts. They leave me lukewarm and neutral. Square one.

 

So if I want to destroy everything. If I want to start over new, where do I want to start? What’s important? What’s the foundation? What am I trying to build?

 

I don’t know.

 

Family is important. I still feel a sense of obligation to my financial goals though. I don’t want to throw them to the way side. I still want them to be important to me. But I think I want them to be important because I feel like they should be important, not because they actually are anymore… if that makes any sense.

 

I still feel like I should focus on my health goals, but again those seem so much lower than what they were just a few weeks ago. So much less important. Honestly I haven’t done anything even close to resembling physical activity for the past week. And I should feel bad about that. I know that the longer I wait the harder it’s going to be to start again. But right now I don’t care. In this moment, I honestly don’t care about my race.

 

What is my number 1 priority? Family. Specifically my mom.

 

Ok… so what do I want to do?

 

I don’t know… I guess be near her? I don’t like how I can’t go visit her for the weekend anymore. I don’t like how I feel left out. My mom is with my nephew, older brother, and sister in law. John is over in Germany. My cousin is still in South Carolina along with a few friends. Most of my close friends are west coast-ish though, and I’m so very far away from them.

 

Zane wants to move to California. Not that it really matters, but I do not want to lose his companionship yet. I still don’t think we’re meant for forever, and I know I’ll never be Nic to him. But right now, with everything else going on, I really would like for that area of my life, my relationship, to stay stable, at least as stable as it has ever been.

 

So everything seems to be pointing me to west coast, but is that where I really want to be?

 

Not really. I actually like the east coast. I like the south. I don’t mind Florida I just hate how so few of the people I cherish are here. I don’t like snow. I don’t like the cold.

 

I guess part of it is worrying that I won’t like whatever place I move to. It will be new. Different. I won’t know the streets. I won’t know where there’s a good Chinese place. The west coast doesn’t have the grocery store chain I like, so I’ll have to figure out a new store.

 

So much new.

 

My mom is worth moving for. There are a handful of people who are worth moving for. But that’s a lot. For me it’s a huge thing. This isn’t moving to a new apartment in the Orlando area. This would be a completely different state, different area, in a way a different world.

 

But yes, there are a few people who are worth that, and there are a few areas that I would be ok with. I think Vegas might be one of them. I like hiking there. I like the archery range that I went to with my older brother. I like the thought of being near my family.

 

I like the thought of feeling included.

 

Ok. So family is a priority, and I want to be near them.

 

I would need a new job. One that paid way better than my current one so I could handle my expenses.

 

What type of job would I want?

 

I really don’t want one. And I know that sounds awful. I want to feel like what I am doing is worth it. Worth my time. Worth the stress. I want to make people better. I want to feel like I make a difference.

 

I could try to find a teaching job out in Vegas. Most likely would not be pulling in the type of money I want. But it would have a higher chance of meeting the marks I have for a job I want.

 

I could try to get a job with a simulations company. Continue to use my Computer Animation degree. That could get me closer to the income I want, but I don’t like working on other people’s stuff. Point blank. I love what I am able to do, I just don’t like it when it’s an obligation. I don’t think I would be happy using my degree unless I was doing freelance work, which comes with its own pile of garbage to deal with.

 

I could continue on my Digital Arts and Design degree and then get more of a design related job in Vegas or California or Texas. That would require me to finish the degree first, so I guess a good question with that is do I want to finish the degree?

 

Yeah, sort of. I think it’s silly to give up on it halfway through. I know when classes start back up in a week that my stress / workload is going to go back up. I guess I really should look at what classes I have left to take so I know what’s coming up. What my lighter months will be so I have breaks to look forward to. There’s a lot I could do to make the next year easier as far as schooling is concerned.

 

There’s also the choice of being able to switch into the Web Design degree which is actually what I’m finding most interesting at the moment. Creating websites and such. It’s fun. I created my own, sort of, through Wix. I’ve gotten more comfortable with HTML5 and CSS. I also love Adobe Illustrator and being able to create custom forms and resumes. That’s going back to design work though.

 

Original question. Do I want to finish the degree? …. Yes. Yes I want to finish my degree. I want to not back down from that challenge.

 

Ok, so the whole moving thing really doesn’t matter right this second because I wouldn’t be able to leave the job for the duration of the degree. I have to be employed here for the degree to be free. And I don’t want it bad enough to pay for it.

 

Do I want to stay longer and get the Web Design degree? Maybe? I don’t really know. I guess it will depend on where I’m at in a year. It might be a bit longer than a year actually because I’ve failed two or three classes, and I know that sounds bad. Almost as bad as saying I don’t want to work. But the first time I failed I was sick for the first week of the month, and the fourth week Mother Earth was put into ICU. The second time I failed on purpose because I felt like I was letting fear consume me. I feared my projects. I feared that they wouldn’t be good enough, I feared the white pages any time I opened my programs to start my work. So I purposely failed so I could try again without fear. I refused to doubt myself. I refused to worry. I would make whatever it was I wanted to make and I would be happy with my effort regardless of the outcome.

 

And this last class. The one I took before my leave of absence. I am fairly certain I failed that one because I was tired of the stress. It was while I was on vacation for mental health. Work and school are two separate things, and while I was on vacation from work, I was not on vacation from school. I tried getting the interruption of training approved in time so I wouldn’t fail the class, but it didn’t work out, and I don’t regret not doing the work because I needed that time to regroup.

 

So, yes. I’m pretty sure I’m three months behind my original graduation date. And I’m ok with that because I’m ok with the three times I’ve stepped away from school. I’ve written about it numerous times. I’m not getting this degree for my career. I’m getting it because it’s fun, a hobby, because while I’m working for the school it’s free, and because it is a nice compliment for my current degree. I’m doing it because I can, honestly. Not because I care about the grades I get. And a few short years ago that would have driven the perfectionist in me insane. Zero fucks given now. I do as well as I want to, and that’s enough for me. If it’s not enough for someone else then they can take the degree themselves. Rawr.

 

So game plan for now as far as career goes. Move west-ish to be closer to family. Ideally this will happen in a year or so, once I have obtained my second degree. Upon completely my degree I can begin analyzing what direction I want to go with my career. Continuing to teach? If so, what area would I like to teach in since I’ll have more avenues open to me. And if not, what area in the industry I would like to pursue since, again, I will have two degrees to work with.

 

So that area is tidied up a bit. I at least know that for now Florida is where I will stay. So my long term plans in that area are more solid, and I understand how they relate back to my goal of being with family. I’ll need to figure out the short term goals before too long, but I will save that for another day.

 

On ward to personal / health / spiritual stuff, since they’re all interconnected for me.

 

My Warrior Dash is still important to me. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, I know it is. I know I want to run it. I know I won’t do amazing at it. And I know that even if I’m bummed, that I’m ok with that information because this is my starting point. This is something I want to keep doing and getting better at, and so even if I don’t do amazing this first time, I know I’ll only be able to do better from here.

 

I want to keep training. I want to keep improving. I want to keep going to the gym and seeing new lines and contours on my body. I want to watch the muscles flex in my arm as I lift a weight. Watching how the ligaments and skin shifts to preform the action. I enjoy watching, analyzing how the body is functioning, how such a simple action is so insanely complicated and intricate. I love it because I’m weird like that.

 

I love being able to prove to myself that I’m better than I was yesterday. How I can do an extra set of lunges. Bike a bit faster, run a bit farther.

 

I can remember the first time I went running while I was dating Warren #2. How I couldn’t run longer than 30 seconds. How I was so out of breath, how my legs burned. And even then I was proud of myself for doing it because it was further than I had run in I don’t remember how long. How I kept getting better, and better. And here I am running five minutes solid. Here I am about to run my first race.

 

It’s a good feeling. It’s been slow progress. Years worth of trying, and stumbling, and fighting depression, and Life getting in the way, and work being bitchy and needing to be backhanded a bit. But I’ve made it this far. I’ve refused to back down, and when I’ve fallen I’ve gotten back up.

 

Here I am sitting in a t-shirt my mom got me, sized XL and it’s a bit loose on me, when before it would have been tight. I want to keep moving forward in a positive, healthier direction, and the only way to keep doing that, keep moving forward, is to keep making the physical aspect of my life a priority.

 

Feeling better about myself factors into my personal and spiritual well being. If I being to let this area slip I know I will begin to slide back into depression. Those reasons will be different reasons, reasons other than financial stress, but depression is still depression, no matter the reason I am there. I don’t want to go back to that state. So I need to continue to walk away from it, to do things to combat it. And I think I’m ok with having physical activity as a priority, though I want to call it something else. Physical activity sounds lame, weak, hollow. It’s the part of school that was dreaded because you could never take a shower afterwards and had to sit in school feeling icky the rest of the day.

 

I’m not sure what to use in its place though. Hmm, through the powers of Thesaurus.com I think I’ll go with Physical Discipline. That sounds better than activity, exercise, or training.

 

I haven’t done much for Spiritual Growth other than dig myself out of self-pity and depression. But I think I did a pretty good job with that so I’m not going to let myself feel like a slacker. I do want to progress in this area though. I want to actually finish my Buddhist book, which I haven’t done yet. There are several things I want to do.

 

Honestly, I want to stop writing. I’m sort of written out at the moment. But I think I made good progress with myself. I feel less lost when looking at my daily life. I’m where I’m supposed to be, for now. So at least I know I’m not wasting my time. I’m meant to be here, not looking up plane tickets or selling all of my worldly possessions.

 

Here. Now. Florida. Work. School. Race.

 

Those are my priorities at the moment. At least as far as this post is concerned. Tomorrow I have the day to myself, so that will be another few hours of figuring out my life. But right here, right now, I’m on solid ground again, and that’s comforting.

Daily Post 062: Not a Very Merry Christmas Post

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It’s Christmas. Actually, it’s almost over. Twenty more minutes. I don’t know how long it will take me to write. I feel like it’s going to be a long rambling post that doesn’t really take me to any specific destination, but one which will wander and twist and meander through my mind and maybe help me figure out some of the things I want answers to. Maybe it will help me figure out what questions I should be asking so I can begin to know what answers I want to find.

 

Last Christmas I wrote a sixteen page explanation of Joe. I wrote about why I don’t like gifts. Why they hurt me so much. Why I feel obligated to repay those debts because that’s what I think gifts are.

 

I’ve gotten better about that mentality since writing that post. I’m happy about that. The thought of Zane getting me the free weights doesn’t make my chest tight, as if I’m having a panic attack. My breathing doesn’t speed up. When he offers to buy dinner I graciously accept his offer and thank him rather than hastily saying there’s no need and paying for myself or both of us.

 

I’m not the best, and there’s still some things that bother me and make my brain seize in the moment. But this is one thing that I am getting better about, and noticing the change within myself makes me happy. I’m learning to let go of some of the things in my past. Negative things, which shouldn’t be allowed to poison my thoughts anymore.

 

This Christmas is different than last Christmas.

 

I’m in my own home. My apartment.

 

I didn’t have a home to go to for the holiday. Mom doesn’t have the house in South Carolina anymore. She’s in Vegas with my older brother and sister in law. John was over in Germany. This was the first time that it felt like I wasn’t with family. The first time that it felt like I couldn’t go somewhere to be with them.

 

It’s silly really. I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling like this. I shouldn’t feel detached from them. I just saw my mom for Thanksgiving. I know if I really put effort into it I could quit my job and move out there and be with them. I could find a way to make it work.

 

But right now I feel very alone.

 

My mom sent me a Christmas box. I wasn’t allowed to open it until today. It has been sitting on the kitchen table, waiting for this day for almost two weeks. When Zane went to sleep last night a little after 12:30 I stayed up. I opened my box as he was going into the bedroom.

 

There was a piece of printer paper on top with big green text saying “Merry Christmas” and a message from my mom saying how she wanted to send me a “box of nonsense” to let me know she loved me and was thinking about me.

 

I couldn’t even begin to go through the box because I was already crying, and I couldn’t make it stop, sort of like now how the tears won’t bend to my will. They just keep coming and there’s this ache over my heart because I want so desperately to see my mom and have a hug from her.

 

Every object I pulled out of my box made them start again. Made the ache that was trying to fade come back. Just like now. And it makes continuing to write so hard. It makes me want to stop because stopping is easier than trying to figure out why it hurts. Or acknowledging why. Confronting why.

 

Why can’t I just stay blissfully ignorant? Why can’t the pain just not be here? Why can’t I go back to my little secluded world of pretend where everything is ok?

 

Because that’s not life. That’s not reality, and as much as it’s nice to pretend every once in a while, as nice as it is to forget, I don’t want to live a lie. I want to accept the world around me and to figure out how to function with the facts of my life.

 

I honestly don’t care about my death. I accept that I will die, at some point. I accept that one of my earliest memories is thinking that I will die young. And to some extent I have accepted that I will always be on the outskirts of society and mostly alone.

 

I cannot accept my mom’s death. I cannot bring myself to be ok with the thought that she is getting older. That she had a stroke and that I do not know what the next steps are, or what I can do to help. I cannot accept that I am powerless and there is nothing for me to fight, to destroy. I cannot accept that there is not an enemy I can face and yell at and hate.

 

I think of one scene from Game of Thrones, and I’m not going to feel bad about being a nerd and using it as a reference.

 

“There is only one god, and his name is Death. Do you know what we say to death? Not today.”

 

That is what I think of every time I think of the stroke. Every time. Not today. I say it inside my head. I say it big at first, like I’m powerful, like a mean it. And then, the more I think about it, the softer the words get. Not today. Not today. Softer, until I’m begging those words to some faceless force. Begging until I’m screaming those words like a helpless child.

 

I curled up on the living room floor last night, holding my box to me, my head resting against one of the sides, huddled around this thing of processed cardboard and cried as silently as I could so I wouldn’t wake up Zane until my head hurt, until I couldn’t breathe properly, until I had nothing left in me to cry. No more tears, no more pain, no more anything. My box of cardboard was the closest I could get to my mom. Holding a box with “Priority Mail” tape all over it was the best I could do to give her a hug.

 

Every object in my box was her love. The little bag of chocolate wrapped up as coal. The adult coloring book I had mentioned along with a 12 pack of Crayola pencils. The little stocking full of candy that I like. Things she knows I enjoy. The bag of Swedish Fish, which are actually made in Canada, and it’s silly but that’s one of the reasons I like those things. Because you would think that Swedish anything was made in Sweden, but nope… It’s Canada of all places. Not even anywhere in Europe.

 

There was a box of chocolate covered cherries and there was a separate message taped on top of the box saying how she knew they weren’t going to be as good as “mom’s” chocolate covered cherries, but how she couldn’t stand the thought of me not having any for Christmas so she had gotten them for me, and that she would make it up to me next year.

 

Why! Why do I have to have this fear that there won’t be a next year?

 

Why couldn’t it be me? I would be ok if I were the one who was sick. I could accept that. I would make peace with that. But it’s so hard right now. I don’t want to make peace. I’m still, still, after all this time, angry and hurt and scared. And anything that reminds me of my mom, of her love, of how frail and quickly it could all fall apart and be taken away from me, undoes me.

 

It reduces me to the begging child inside of my head.

 

I know this will most likely make me sound like an awful person, but there are very few people I would be devastated over. I would feel bad. I would be sad for a little while. A week, maybe more, maybe less. But I would cope with it. I would accept it as part of life. I would know they would want me to move on. To keep going. To live my life.

 

Nothing overly bad has happened. She has already basically recovered from the stroke. She has feeling back in her arm and with physical therapy is gaining more and more use of her hand back. And yet I am stuck.

 

I’m constantly dreading, fearing, imagining a world without her. And I can’t seem to stop it. Whenever I think of her I think about how much it is going to hurt. How much I’ll die with her. She’s not even gone and it already feels like I’m morning. That part of my brain has already stopped living.

 

And of all people, out of everyone in my life, and know she’s the one who would want me to keep going the most. She would tell me that it’s ok. That she loves me. That things will get better and be ok. But inside my head I scream that it won’t be. It will never be ok. And that’s so fucked up because it hasn’t even happened yet.

 

It makes me feel like I’m wasting my here and now. Like I’m not respecting and cherishing the time that I do actually have. But I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know how to change. I can’t move past this place where I’m at with this issue. And I’m not even sure where that is anymore.

 

Can you both accept and deny something at the same time? Because that’s what it feels like I’m doing. I accept that the stoke has happened and that my mom is mortal, while at the same time denying the fact, raging against undeniable logic that one day she won’t be here. I can’t accept it. I don’t want to accept it. I want to say it’s not fair and for that to mean something. For that to do something.

 

It’s not fair. Make it right. Just this once, please. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want this to be true. I want my best friend to always be there for me. To listen to me when I do something stupid. To encourage me when I being to doubt myself. To laugh with me. Cry with me.

 

Please don’t take that away from me.

 

My Christmas box is the most valuable thing I have right now. More valuable than my bike, which is technically Zane’s but I’m going to say is mine because it’s mine… More valuable than my car. More valuable than my computer or any of my art supplies.

 

This silly, stupid, cardboard box with a single sheet of paper is something that I would trade my very soul for if it were taken away from me. Not because of what is inside of it. But because of what it represents. It’s her love for me. It’s symbolic and right now I can’t throw it away.

 

I know I need to do a lot of soul searching right now.

 

I seriously haven’t done much of anything since Friday other than cross stitch. I got the commission finished. I’ll be posting pictures of it before too long, but it hasn’t left me with much time to do a whole lot. I haven’t left the apartment to workout. I’ve slept in four hour blocks. I’ve been putting in all my time to make sure this project got done. And it did, and I’m pretty happy with it, but now the hard part of my vacation begins.

 

Birthday is over. Christmas is over. Most obligations have been met.

 

I need to figure out me now. I need to figure out if I still want my job. If I still want to work on my degree. Am I going back to my dojo in February? What are my goals and priorities right now? What do I want to do this coming year? Where do I want to go in life? What’s really important now?

 

Priorities change most around major life events. I am pretty sure this counts as a major life event. Especially with how I’m not gracefully handling it. I am thrashing and even on good days there’s this core inside me. This knot that I don’t want to untangle. I don’t want to look at it. I don’t want to touch it. I won’t want for it to be there at all.

 

But it is. It is, and it won’t go away, and no amount of wishful thinking is going to will it away either. I know it’s going to hurt. Just admitting to it being there hurts and makes me feel weak and helpless. It makes me want to give up and quit.

 

My biggest fear used to be financial instability and right now that seems like child’s play to me. If only my biggest worry was Zane not being employed. If only my biggest question was how am I going to afford groceries and gas as the same time. It makes me laugh, a sad, hysterical sort of laugh, which slowly dissolves into tears because I would give anything for that to be my fear again. Anything.

 

I’m so, so sorry that I was shallow and that I thought money was important. I’m so sorry that I made a big deal about it and that I made bills a priority. I’m so sorry. Just please let my mom be ok.

 

That’s what goes through my head. This helpless desperation because I know that nothing I say, nothing I feel, will change it. All I can do is love her back. All I can do is be there. And it doesn’t feel like enough. It doesn’t feel like it will ever be enough. I can’t fix this. Any of it.

 

And as much as I hate acknowledging this part of myself, there is a part that wants to pull away. To stop it now before it gets worse. To estrange myself from my family. I know I don’t seriously want that, but there’s still the thought, and it still needs its moment. It’s a quieter moment, a calmer moment than the desperation.

 

The desperation is frantic. It leaves me drained every time. It leaves me ragged feeling. Torn. As if I’ve been trying to handle a wounded cat and it has bitten and clawed me to shreds in my efforts to help it.

 

That’s where I am now. Having written through the tears, the tidal waves of emotions. I’m empty. Tired. Exhausted. I have no more tears to cry right now. I’m sure there will be more tomorrow, but right now I’m empty. Right now I have no more in to write.

 

I wonder if this is self-pity? I wonder if this is natural and I shouldn’t give myself a hard time? I don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t think I’ve answered any questions. I don’t think I really figured anything out. But for whatever reason, I do feel better. I do feel calmer. Like I’ve purged part of the darkness that was tied up in the knot.

 

I know there’s still more. And I know this is still going to be a rough week of healing. But right now it’s calm. So calm. And I like that.