Again.. Where to even start?
I suppose by reminding myself that I write for me. So, if that’s the case, where do I need to direct my thoughts, my energy?
Maybe that’s part of the problem. I’m still sort of floundering. So much has been going on and I’m getting through it all, but I haven’t really been getting through it by organization and to-do lists. At least not for the most part. It’s by rolling with the punches and thinking on my toes. And now that I’m at the end of the chaos I’m tired and I don’t want to really worry about anything, which means things are likely to slip to the wayside, which will make things worse in the future, which I don’t want.
That’s mostly what today is turning into. Gathering up all my pieces and loose ends and writing everything down into a master list so I can see where I’m at. What’s time sensitive? What’s not relevant anymore? What am I still waiting on? Where am I at really, no just nebulously, with the tasks and responsibilities I have in my life?
Things started getting crazy when Warren’s timetable got moved forward a week. Instead of moving in this week, he moved in about two weeks ago, which meant that I had four days to get most of the apartment painted, on my own, before he got here. So… three weeks ago, on Friday at 7pm in the evening I got the paint from the landlord and spent the next days doing nothing but painting. I was staying up until three and five in the morning trying to get it all done, which I didn’t. No surprise there. I didn’t get to everything I wanted to, but I got more done than I thought I would, so I’m content with my effort.
The following Wednesday I drove up to South Carolina. I got in during the evening. Thursday morning Warren and I woke up and began packing his stuff into the Uhaul for the move. Friday morning we finished packing and drove all the way back to Orlando going 55 mph since Warren was towing his truck behind the Uhaul and that was as fast as we were able to go.
It was the most brutal trip I have ever had to make. Even driving to Maine in a single day with Corey from Orlando for Thanksgiving wasn’t as bad as this past trip from Charleston to Orlando.
I was tired physically from doing most of the moving and painting and from not sleeping much in my efforts to get everything done. I was tired mentally from arranging and ensuring everything was being taken care of. In general, I was tired and tired of being tired. We got to Jacksonville at 4:30, just in time for rush hour traffic through all of the construction going on in that area. There was a black Dodge Charger who was a total and complete asshat who didn’t make that section of the trip any better.
When we were through Jacksonville and the construction Warren and I stopped to get gas. I wanted to break down into tears I was so burnt out. I wanted to be home. I wanted to not have to worry about unpacking the truck or where we were going to park it since there wasn’t space at the complex. I didn’t want to have to worry about dinner. I wanted to just be done, with everything, for just a few hours so I could finally sleep deep, restorative sleep.
But instead, I had another three hours worth of driving, towards the sun which was going to give me a headache, and then a bit of night driving which turned my headache into a migraine.
It sucked. If I ever think a trip like that would be a good idea ever again I freely give everyone permission to shoot me in the face.
We made it back to Orlando just as Uhaul was closing, but the guys were super awesome and allowed us to unload Warren’s truck and to leave it on sight so we could unhitch the trailer. That allowed us to park the Uhaul at the townhome without an issue. It took a huge strain off of both Warren and me, and so that night we got pizza, ate, and slept, saving everything for the morning.
The next few days were spent unloading the truck, cleaning, situating things, and getting a storage unit for some of Warren’s furniture. Again, I did most of the unloading and carting stuff upstairs, but that’s because Warren rolled his ankle pretty early on in the morning. It wasn’t faked either. The bruise and swelling were very, very real. Life sucks like that sometimes. Even though those days were rough, they were nothing compared to the crappiness of the trip down.
We now have a couch and TV in the living room. I moved my computer out of the office area because I realized I wouldn’t enjoy sharing the space with him. If I’m gaming I really don’t want to hear him talking to customers on the phone. I want to be left alone in my own little bubble of solitude.
There’s also the fact that I do have the master bedroom while his bedroom is fairly small. Giving him the office as “his space” makes it fairer, more equal, and that makes me feel better about the living situation.
We’re both doing well I think. There’s still painting I need to do because it never ends, but it’s not the pressing need that it was. I can take my time and do a room a day. There are the bathrooms left to do, and the kitchen. I’m almost done with the closets. That’s what I’m hoping to get done today, but since I’m writing I don’t know if I’ll actually get around to it.
I would rather write since I haven’t in a while. It’s not something that I’ve really been avoiding. I’ve thought about writing pretty much every day, several times a day, it just never ends up making the cut. I think about it, about my blog, and writing, and the people who maybe wonder how I’m doing, as I crawl into bed but I don’t have the willpower to get up and sit in front of the computer, processing through everything.
I’m worried about my lack of writing. I’m worried that I’m falling out of the habit of it. I’m worried that maybe I’m going to end up forgetting a lot of the details during this part of my life, this transition because I haven’t written in so long. I can’t go back and remake my choices. I accept I made the choices I thought were right. I made the choices I wanted to, and this is where I’m at.
I’m sitting here, in from of my fully set up computer, in my fully painted room, with my fully set up inspiration board on the wall in front of me, with my fully set up bookcase, with an actual bed behind me with my own set of dark purple sheets. The glass dragons mom bought me are sitting on the dark cherry stained shelves I secured to the opposite wall with the Alchemy Gothic posters I’ve had since I’ve lived at home hanging on either side of the shelves in their frames.
I feel like I’m home. I feel like I belong here. I have my cup of coffee sitting next to me, and even though I didn’t go to sleep until five am, and woke up around noon, I feel like I’m doing well today.
I went through my notebook and consolidated a lot of my lists. I have a starting point for when I get around to tasking, most likely tomorrow. I’ve gone through my phone, desktop, and Surface. I’ve cleaned up my files, moved everything to Google Drive and Dropbox. I’ve made backups of my files and moved them to my external drive. I’ve done a lot of “cleaning” on my devices so they’re ready to help me, rather than being another loop inside of my brain of “I really ought to do…”
I need to finish painting my closet so I can move things back into it, which will allow me to organize my room again, which will allow me to start going through my “in” box, which I feel is where the real progress will start to be made. So… another day, maybe two, before I start making “progress”, and even as I type that I know that’s a disserve to myself.
I’m constantly making progress, and all of it counts. Cleaning my computer and email inbox counts. Just because they’re simple tasks or whatever it is that my brain counts it as doesn’t mean that it’s trivial and unworthwhile. They were things that needed to get done, and I did them. I should count that as progress.
I guess I need to watch out for things like that. I’ll make a better effort to not think disheartening things like, “the real progress hasn’t started yet.”
I’m not voting today. I don’t agree with either candidate so I’m not going to support either of them. I know people will read that and get angry with me. I accept that. I also accept that the Electorial College makes my vote irrelevant because even though they “should” vote a certain way doesn’t mean they will, and so my vote really doesn’t matter. Our system is so dated and broken that it really does seem pointless to me.
I pay my taxes on time, I do what I can for the environment, and I don’t run around killing people. I think in the grand scheme of things I’m not a bad citizen. I don’t spew hatred into the world. I try to leave it better each day than how I found it. I feel like that’s doing my part. We could always do better.
There’s another potential job that I’ve been offered. Essentially I have it. All I need to do is update some of my assets for my demo reel and poof. Employed Jen, making something like 40 or 50 an hour.
My brain can’t even… I have never made more than $20.
The news about the job was causing me a lot of anxiety, to be honest. The way I understood it, I would have to move, again, around February. I would have to leave the home I had literally just gotten. I would have to leave my friends, Warren, the blacksmith, Big Bad. I would have to pack all of my things again to move to California, a place I really don’t want to be for a job I didn’t know I would want to do.
I talked to Tre about it last night over the phone and the details became clearer. It would be a contract, maybe for only four months, maybe longer. I would be making enough that I would be able to travel “home” about every other week. I would have a AAA titled game on my resume. I would have a pretty bawling company name on my resume, which would make getting a job here in Orlando easier if I decide I still want to stick with Computer Animation rather than pursuing the physical therapy route, which I’m not really sure I want to do anymore.
This path doesn’t feel wrong. There’s no red flag or anything for it. But it doesn’t feel right. It wasn’t something I wanted to move for. I don’t want to leave the life that I’m rebuilding here in Orlando, and that’s what I thought I would have to do. But maybe I don’t. Maybe all I need to do is travel a lot for four to eleven months.
Less than a year of my life…
In less than a year, I could finish paying off the little bit of debt that I have left, and still save, and set myself up to be in a much more stable position career wise than I ever thought I would be.
And the work they want me to do is so ridiculously easy that I’m honestly over qualified for what they want, but what they are offering is exactly what I want to do. I don’t want to be the problem solver right now. I don’t want the success of a project to depend on me. I don’t want to be the key factor to anything. I want to be the lowly person in the background doing the repetitive stuff that needs to get done but no one wants to do. I want to help and be useful without any of the stress of being a key player.
And that’s exactly what is being offered. Tre was actually worried that I would be offended by the job offer. But I’m not. I’m honored that he thought of sharing this opportunity with me rather than his former classmates. I know he and I work well together from the freelance project we worked on. He told me about the culture of the company and I feel like I could fit in, especially if I have a light at the end of the tunnel. “It’s not for forever. It’s for right now,” type of mentality.
Updating my demo reel and producing new content were things I was planning on doing regardless of this job, so basically, I’m going to do my thing and see where this leads. If it works out I can always say no if things end up changing.
I want to work there as validation for myself. I know I can do it, but that doesn’t mean “I have done it,” and I want to be able to say I’ve been there, done that, and have the t-shirt. I want to do it as validation for mom since she let me go for a degree I wanted. She let me be an artist and didn’t say anything along the way about it not being profitable, or maybe I should do something else. She always supported me. I want to show her it was worth it.
And there’s a vindictive part of me who wants to do it to show my younger brother that he can go fuck himself. I still remember his email where he said I lied to mom because I never made six figures working for a company making computer games. I still remember his words of saying he thought I wasted my degree by teaching for so long. I remember him saying that he was going to prove that he was better than me by getting the type of job I “should have had.”
I know those feelings are wrong. I know that my anger and resentment should not be the motivating factors behind taking or not taking this job, and I honestly think that if I had to choose right now, this very second, that even though those feelings would be there, they wouldn’t control me or affect the choice as much as the other emotions would.
It still bothers me that they’re there, though. I’m human, I accept that I have flaws and these feelings are things I need to work through. I will, and I’m glad that I don’t have to make my choice right now. I have the time I need to find peace and closure for this wound which I haven’t had time to heal.
I am not a failure. Mom was proud of me. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone other than myself. Taking this job would be proving to myself that I am able to do the things I know I’m capable of. It happens to prove it to everyone else at the same time, and that’s the part I need to meditate on.
I saw Doctor Strange Sunday night with Warren and my brother. It was a good movie and I’m glad I went. We all went out for dinner afterward and met up with a few of Jon’s friends. We played Magic the Gathering for a bit before I had to leave to do something in Guild Wars 2. I’ve been playing that game a lot, in between taking care of everything. I’m enjoying the game and the story. I’m enjoying helping the guild progress. It’s the break I need after a day of productivity.
I’m spending tonight with Big Bad. We’re supposed to wake up at four am to go running before he goes to work. We both signed up for the Warrior Dash yesterday. I’m actually really looking forward to it. Last year I went alone. My very first 5k ever. I’m glad I went alone. It was another point of validation for myself. I don’t think it would have been the same, had been as healing, had I gone with someone.
This year I had planned to go alone again. Big Bad wanted to go too, though. The thought of going through the course with him actually feels really nice inside my head. It feels “right”.
Tonight he’s supposed to show me more jujitsu moves. I’ve never had someone to share the more physically active side of my life with, and it’s nice to know he wants to be there rather than it being something he suffers through or deals with.
I don’t think there’s much more to say on that subject. We enjoy our time together. I’m looking forward to our run, though I’m worried I won’t do well. I haven’t run in so long that I’m sure my endurance is trashed. But that’s what this is for. To get better. To practice and train so I can actually run my full race in February. I like that I’ll be sharing these memories with someone this time. I’m glad we’re already being playfully competitive about it.
I’m looking forward to after our run where hopefully we share the silence of predawn together with quiet cups of coffee.
It’s moments like that. Quiet coffee and hugs from people I care about, nerdy card games at a sports bar where jocks look at us like we’re crazy, SCA combat meet ups where I’m greeted like an old friend, heartfelt hellos from cashiers when I grocery shop, having breakfast at Waffle House…
Those are the reasons I don’t want to leave. Those interactions and countless others are what makes Orlando home. I feel like I belong here. I don’t want to lose that or give it up. It’s the people around me. The people I love and care about. The people who have helped me make it as far as I have since mom died. I’m not ready to leave them.
Right now, inside my head, I can’t leave them yet, and I feel that is another thing I need to meditate on. The desperation I feel at the thought of leaving isn’t ok. The thought of leaving shouldn’t make me feel as if I’m on the verge of shattering, and yet it does. Another day, though. Today I’m done.