Daily Post 006: Doing Better

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Written yesterday, posted today. : D


 

Things have been going better.

I went to sleep fairly early last night, but again, I had a hard time falling asleep, so when my alarm went off this morning at 6 am I already knew I was going to sleep for another hour or so.

Before I did I messaged Big Bad. After our brief exchange, I was able to doze for a bit. I had a dream about going to the beach. It wasn’t a beach I’ve been to before. There was a big hill we had to drive down to get to the water. And I say we because I know I wasn’t alone, but I  don’t remember who I was with and the other people weren’t really important. The road down the hill was lined with cars, parked vehicles that belonged to the other beach goers. It was hard to find a parking spot, but I guess that really didn’t matter either because we were walking down the ramp. We had parked along the road at the top of the hill. It was just something I happened to notice, how there seemed to be no space.

There were a few houses lining the hill going down to the beach as well. They were farther off in the distance and I really couldn’t see much of them. Just enough to know they were two or three stories tall and that they seemed “small”. They weren’t sprawling mansions. They were tall but narrow and it gave the impression that there wasn’t really much living space.

When we got fairly close to the edge of the surf I noticed there was a truck in the water, floating as if it were a boat or a jet-ski. It was a white pickup truck and it didn’t seem odd in the dream for it to be out floating in the waves.

As I watched I heard other people talking about how the tide was coming in. I watched the truck bob up and down, riding the surf. The next wave that came in hit me around hip level. One moment I dry, the next I was wet. I remember walking back up the hill wondering what was going to happen to all the cars parked so close to the rising water.

I wasn’t worried about the water. It was natural. This swelling up, the rising. It was supposed to happen. The cars, the houses, they shouldn’t have been there because the tide doesn’t change. It always rises and it was foolish for people to think the tide would stop or alter itself simply because humans had built something or felt that nothing would happen to them.

I know water represents emotions. I’ve had several dreams in the past in regards to oceans and my subconscious. The truck was new, so I looked that up. Pickup trucks are supposed to represent hard work.

Since I woke up feeling relatively secure and stable I’m taking it to mean that I have been doing well with my emotions. I have been working hard to understand them and to exist harmoniously with them even though emotions are just as uncontrollable as the ocean. You have to work with them, rather than against them or trying to force them to take an alternative route.

And just like the tide, sometimes they swell up. They rise and can cause havoc if the surrounding land isn’t prepared for what is ultimately a natural event.

Maybe it’s a reminder to me. I remember in the dream someone saying that the tide was coming in early, and so most people were surprised.

I find it reassuring from a conscious standpoint that even though the tide came in early, and even though there was some concern from others, that I, personally, was ok. My car wasn’t going to be messed up or swept away because I had left it on higher ground. My house wasn’t going to be damaged because I didn’t think it was a good idea to get a house so close to the water. I also didn’t think I would like a house where I didn’t have the space I felt I needed. And even though I got wet, I wasn’t submerged. I could still stand and even though it was a bit harder, I could still walk. I wasn’t panicked. I accepted that the ocean has its own rhythm and that I needed to back up some until the tide had moved back out.

Overall, I am reassured by my dream.

I think a lot of that has to do with the past few days. I have been doing better in the days since Friday and the belt testing at the dojo. Since Saturday and my mostly impromptu evening with Big Bad.

After writing to mom Friday night I felt better, more at peace with myself but still unable to fall asleep. I ended up taking NyQuil at 4 am since I was determined to go to the dojo in the morning, but knew I wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t get at least some sleep.

I ended up sleeping through my alarm and didn’t wake up until 11 am. It was hard at first not to feel awful about sleeping “so long”. It felt like I had wasted the day away. I had already missed attending the jujitsu class. Later during the day, I realized I got a full seven hours of uninterrupted deep sleep. It was actually some of the best sleep I’ve gotten in about a week, so the initial icky feelings were eventually quelled.

The first thing I did when I woke up other than checking my phone and freaking out about missing one of my classes was continue to freak out because I was supposed to buy tickets to a concert Big Bad and I want to go to and I was worried I had missed being able to get the seats we wanted.

We plan to go see Ghost BC when they perform in Tampa with Iron Maiden. Neither of us are really interested in Iron Maiden, but Ghost is a pretty cool band and while we were having lunch Friday afternoon we agreed to go together. He even gave me money for the tickets with the explicit understanding that he at least let me drive, which will include paying for the gas, which is still woefully under the money he gave me for the tickets. I’m going to see if I can worm my way into paying for food, too. I need to do something to make it fairer.

Anyway, I was able to get the floor tickets we wanted, which started easing over what at the time felt like my “morning fuck up”.

Left Brain: Nothing is horribly messed up. You got the tickets. If you skip coffee you can make it to Muay Thai. Chop chop.

So with the tickets taken care of, I dressed and dashed off to the dojo, letting Big Bad know that I would talk to him in a bit.

The class was good. Intesnse, but good. Before we started training I sat with Paul, Akib, and another guy I later learned is named AJ. He actually became my training partner during the class, so it was nice to talk to him a bit beforehand.

While we were all sitting on the mat waiting for the class to begin Paul told me that during the after party for the seminar Friday night they had been talking about me and one of the sparring matches I had on Thursday.

It was my last match of the class. I was put against a guy I’ve seen before but have never sparred with. Honestly, I don’t care for his personality. He’s cocky. He talks loudly though what he says isn’t all that meaningful. It’s like a frail layer of arrogance that he’s using to cover up insecurity. At least that’s what it feels like to me.

We were matched together. It didn’t feel the same even from the start as what my other matches have been. This felt more personal. He wanted to take “me” down rather than taking an “opponent” down. I’m not sure if that really describes it well enough, but feelings are hard to put into words sometimes.

I feel like for him it was a mark of honor. He was going up against a girl. He couldn’t lose against me, against a girl.

Well… sorry dude but if I’m going down your going down with me. That’s the mentality I have with my training. I know I’m not the best, but that doesn’t mean I’m bad or that I have to lose. I’m definitely not going to lose just to preserve someone else’s ego and / or masculinity.

There was one point during our match where he went to do a one-legged takedown. His arms were wrapped around my thigh and he was trying to get me off balance. I was doing alright, but I couldn’t figure out what I was really supposed to be doing to change my position to one of advantage. I haven’t learned counters or techniques for the position I was in.

From the sideline, Paul called out, “Sprawl, Jen! Sprawl!”

So that’s what I did. I stepped my free leg back as far as I could and I basically crashed my chest into my opponents back, forcing him to go face first into the mat. My arms wrapped around his midsection while his hands were forced to the floor to keep him from falling down. He was basically in a downward dog type position with most of my body weight on his upper back.

Sprawling like that keeps my opponent from being able to force me backward or really pushing any sort of advantage. They have to go through all of my body weight to do it. If you’re paired up against someone who’s pure muscle then yeah, it can be done, but that’s not what jujitsu is about. It’s about technique. So yes, while powering through my weight is doable, it isn’t really the best thing to do. And my opponent wasn’t able to do it regardless, so we were locked in that position for a while.

I don’t remember exactly what happened but we eventually broke away and came to standing positions again. He looked at me, hands raised in a guarded stance and said, “You know I’m toying with you, right?”

I said, “Yeah. I know,” but in my head, I was thinking, “It really doesn’t feel like you’re toying…” It felt like he was going at it pretty hard, and I was going at it in equal measure.

Well, Paul was saying how during the party they were standing around with a bunch of people and Peter, I think that’s the name of my opponent, said something trying to be big and macho, and Paul brought up that match and how I basically turned him into PacMan with how I made him eat the floor. So for the rest of the night, everyone made PacMan wacka wacka sounds at Peter.

I told Paul about the brief exchange that had occurred during the match, about how Peter said he was toying with me, and Paul said that made the story even better. Paul said he could tell Peter was frustrated at the end of the match. He said Peter hadn’t been toying, that he had wanted to win.

The story made me laugh and feel good. It made me feel wonderful to know that even though I had skipped out of the party that I was still “part of it”. It makes me feel like I’m part of the dojo because there are stories that I’m part of. Good stories worth sharing with others.

It made me feel praised because Paul said it had been awesome to see me pull the move off and hold my own. I guess it was an exciting match to watch, at least if you’re into stuff like this. So even though I don’t have a stripe yet, I’m doing well. It’s something that I know on a conscious level. I’m getting better with the techniques. I have better stamina. It still meant a lot to hear direct praise from Paul. Validation and all that jazz.

Jim was complementary after training as well. He said he wants to start showing me how to do triangles, which is where I use my legs to choke people out or do arm bars and stuff. Pretty sick and brutal stuff that looks amazing when I see other people pull them off. Since I have long legs and good hip flexibility he said he’s pretty sure I would do well with them. I’m always down for learning new things.

Right Brain: Thunder thighs!

After the dojo, I went to my car. The day was going better. I had lunch I needed to get to since I had told David we could meet to talk about his logo design and website. I had another message from Big Bad that I needed to reply to, as well.

He was concerned with me not being able to sleep and asked if I wasn’t feeling well. He jokingly asked if I needed an intense beating that night.

I replied saying I was feeling better. Emotionally Friday night had been rough, but I had written and that helped. Getting a full night sleep had helped as well. I also teased that getting a beating at Soul Calibur could be nice.

Big Bad: Can you talk to me later about what has been bothering you?

I’ve wanted to. I want to voice my feelings to someone, but the person I would always call is mom. She was my confidant. I talk to a few people every once in a while but for the most part, I kept my emotions to myself and her, and I suppose I also kept them to my writings. I don’t like reaching out to other people when the emotions are painful, sad, angry, overly intense, pretty much anything other than happy “positive” emotions because I know most people don’t know what to do or say and so then they just feel bad that there’s nothing they can do when all I want is for someone to understand.

Empathy. Connection.

There isn’t a problem. I don’t want solutions or advice, I want to be heard and to be told that I was heard. That my emotions aren’t crazy. I want to know that someone understands why I’m feeling the way I feel and that it’s ok because I second guess and question my emotions all the time. I guess I’m looking for reassurance when I talk to someone because I know I’ll figure it out on my own.

Mom always got it. Maybe that’s because she raised me for 27 years. I haven’t been able to really open up to anyone else. Like I said, there are some people I’ll talk to here and there, but no one consistent and that might be part of the issue of the sadness swelling up recently. No outlet.

Big Bad’s offer to talk warmed me yet at the same time it made me slam all of my walls up the nanosecond I read his message.

Right Brain: Talking to a significant other about emotions…? Let me Nope my way right into Nope Town.

I knew the wall reaction was because of my past, and I knew deep down I really did want to talk to him and explain what was bothering me. I want to open up to him and work through the borderline phobia I feel I’ve developed in regards to being emotionally open with the people in my life. I don’t feel it’s fair to cast all people in the same light simply because I’ve had negative experiences in the past.

At the same time, wanting to be open doesn’t make the self-preservation instincts of, “This didn’t end well last time. Don’t do it,” magically go away.

Big Bad and I agreed to meet later in the evening, and I agreed to talk about my emotions with the warning that I might cry. He said if I did it would be ok, which induced warm fuzzy feelings of reassurance.

Lunch with David was good. I think we made headway in the design department. He didn’t really have anything for me to do by the end of our meeting so I told him to let me know if / when he required me and left it at that.

I ran home to switch the wash and give Scarlet her meds then went over to see Big Bad.

We talked for a while. I told him about the seminar at the dojo. I told him about the story. I told him about missing mom, and he held my hand while I talked and told him that I still miss her. I told him that I feel bad talking about it because I don’t want to make other people feel sad. I said how I know being around sad people is hard and I didn’t want to bring anyone down with what I feel.

He squeezed my hand and said it was ok to be sad.

That one line, that one action, made me feel accepted and like it was ok to be me. It was ok to feel. I didn’t have to pretend or hide. I didn’t have to fake anything.

We played Soul Calibur and I still got thrashed at it. We switched to Tekken which was really cool. Devil Jin is my man in that game. Total ownage. We quit when it was 17 to 15.

That’s right. I’m the master. Totally won that round of gaming. /flex

Big Bad and I got pizza again for dinner and he watched me play a bit of the new Tomb Raider game. He said he had gotten it for his daughters but they never got through the first section of the game. I haven’t played much of it, but I got further and he said he enjoyed watching me play. I think we’re both similar in that regard. We don’t mind watching games be played. We like seeing the story unfold regardless of if we’re controlling the character or not.

I slept extremely well that evening. We both slept until 7:30 which is late for us. It was nice, though, being lazy, being sated physically but also emotional and spiritually. I like that about our dynamic. We both feel something deeper than skin level.

We had our cups of coffee. We talked more. We had a slow, relaxing morning. We made plans for, at the time, Monday night, which is now tonight. We agreed, reluctantly on my part, that Tuesday morning would be arm day for strength training. When I left we kissed goodbye and wished each other good days.

Sunday was completely and totally lazy. The most I did was load and run the dishwasher. I cleaned out the fridge, too, but I didn’t sweep or vacuum or any of my normal chores. I cuddled with Scarlet most of the day.

I feel solid today. I’m about to head to the dojo for jujitsu. I have dance class later tonight. And then I have another evening where I get to fall asleep with my head against the chest of someone I care about, listening to their heartbeat.

After the dojo I plan to come home and attack my chore list and be productive. I think I’m handling things well. I think this recharge is the result of surviving the tide. I’ve made it through the night in my internal forest where I felt lost and alone. Daylight came back. I know there will be other nights, other tides.

I’m doing well, and I like how I can say that, type that, and believe it.

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Letters to Mom 011: A Conversation About Nothing

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I need to talk to you mom. I so wish we could talk on the phone like we used to. I miss our hour long conversations about “nothing”. I miss being able to call you randomly when I happened to find free time in my day; time that I was more than willing to spend with you in the small ways we were able to after I moved away.

I really don’t have anything important to talk about, so I don’t know why I feel this pain right now. I don’t know why it keeps welling up like it has been the past week. It’s just random moments of sadness for no reason. At least that’s what it feels like. Maybe there is a reason and I don’t know it.

I keep having dreams. Weird dreams and when I look up the symbology it’s about betrayal. Like a dog biting a little girl and then decaying with maggots wriggling around in its chest, only to come back from the dead to attack other people because the dog didn’t belong in that universe and so by proxy couldn’t die…

Yeah… weird shit.

It sounds like a horrific dream, but when I woke up instead of being disgusted I felt solemn.

There are other dreams, too. None as morbid as that one, but they still leave me feeling weary, and all the psychology behind the representation points to “weariness” and “vigilance” as being the course of action to take. I wish I knew what I was supposed to be looking out for. If only my brain would tell me what it actually thought was wrong rather than possibly giving me “clues” to decipher and pick through.

I mean… maybe it’s all literally inside of my head and they’re just BS dreams that mean nothing.

I feel like if they were really nothing, then I wouldn’t have the feeling of significance when I wake up like I do.

I’ve been applying to more jobs. I might have a babysitting gig this Sunday. I was supposed to go swimming with manatees but it’s a two-hour drive there and I don’t feel up to the trip right now. Doesn’t help that it was supposed to be a fairly large group of people I mostly don’t know. Not really my ideal recovery time.

Big Bad and I had lunch today. He got out of work early since he had to work extra hours earlier in the week.

I went and applied for a job in person since that’s what the posting on Indeed.com said to do. It’s a housekeeping position at a nursing home. I know it’s simple. I know I’m over qualified for it. I wouldn’t mind doing it, though. It’s the perfect hours for still being able to spend all my time at the dojo. The more I think about what I want out of a job the more I want something along those lines. Something that doesn’t interfere with what I actually want to be doing, which is training.

So I guess I need to revise my job requirements.

Something reliably full-time in Orlando within roughly a ten-mile radius from the apartment, preferably using a skill set I already have with set hours that does not interfere with my dojo time.

The patient transport position is another really good job for that. I’m hoping to hear back from something soon.

There was a pretty big event at the dojo today. I almost didn’t go to it, but I had my “come to Freya” discussion with myself not long ago and one of the things was not skipping out of going to the dojo when I feel sad, so I went. I’m glad I went. I learned some really nifty things today. I’m less afraid to perform the moves that require me to put my weight on the other person. It means I’m performing the moves more correctly than what I was. I’m acting with intention and control. It’s a good feeling.

They gave out belts and stripes tonight after training. Jim got another stripe on his brown belt. That’s the rank before black belt. Tommy got his black belt tonight. Akib got his blue belt. That’s the one after white.

Part of me was hoping I would get my first stripe on my white belt, but I didn’t. I’ve only been attending since mid-November. I missed three solid weeks of practice because I traveled. Some days I didn’t go because I have no reason, I just didn’t go.

Part of me wanted to have something on my belt to show I’ve put in effort. Recognition. A pat on the back.

That’s not what jujitsu is about, though, and I know that.

Part of me feels like I’m not ready for the stripe yet. I still haven’t gotten a jujitsu belt. I still wear my aikido gi and I still wear my aikido belt with it. I wonder if that’s me holding onto the past, or if that’s at least part of it. Maybe it’s not all just for the sake of being frugal. I didn’t think about that until they were giving out stripes and belts and I realized if I was called up for a stripe that I didn’t have the proper belt for the stripe to go on.

I sat there wondering if I’m being disrespectful to the dojo and my instructors. If I’m training jujitsu, shouldn’t I have the attire for it? Shouldn’t I have at least gotten the proper belt to show that I respect the skill I’m training? In all of the months I’ve been going there I couldn’t have made “buy a jujitsu belt” a task on my to-do lists? I knew I needed one, so why did I never do it?

I don’t know what I would have done had Paul called my name for a stripe. I don’t know if I would have been able to bow after receiving it. I don’t think I would have felt like I deserved it. Part of it would be because I don’t want to have it, earn it, and not be able to send you pictures or have you there to see it.

I know you will be proud of me when I do get it eventually. I know you want me to keep going to the dojo and training because it fulfills something in me, and I know I’ll make it through the moment when I finally do earn my stripe, but right now I don’t know how.

How do I keep going with you not here? Physically here. How do I keep going when sometimes the only thing I can think about is the pain? Like right now. I hurt. My heart hurts. I ache for you to be here and I don’t know what to do other than embrace the pain.

This feeling, this sensation in my chest… it’s deeper than physical. Deeper than body. It’s in my core. My soul. My chakra.

It’s almost as if I can hold it. Like it’s physically something within me. Like I can cup it in my hands and have them be filled with this sensation and show people, “This is my pain.”

This is my love for you, mom. This is what I have to remind me that what we had, our time, our relationship, was real. That I loved, deeply, wholly, unconditionally the way I have never loved anyone else in my life. Not dad. Not Jon. Not Jason. Not any of my significant others.

I didn’t realize how much you meant to me until I held your hand alone in the hospital saying my final words to your spirit. Your body was already cold, your hand lifeless in mine, but I felt you behind me as I spoke my final words to you, as I promised I would be strong.

I want to say that you were everything to me, and maybe at the time that was true. With how hard it was during my time at the extended stay maybe you truly were everything, and during those six months I was learning how to adjust to that change.

My Everything was gone.

The flatlined stillness inside of my head. The emptiness. The silence I felt within myself. The lack of broken pieces to pick up. There was nothing because my Everything was gone.

I remember how I slowly started to find reasons to do things. I remember telling Warren that I didn’t know how to keep going because you were my blue crayon and without you I didn’t know how to color my skys anymore. I remember talking with Chrys on your birthday and how that night was so empty and cold and yet at the same time full of laughing at stupid werewolf drama shows.

I remember how I told Nicole that I’ve been grateful for every time I’ve made it through a hard time because there’s always something on the other side that makes me happy I’m still here to experience it. If it ends, there is no more. No more next time. No more new inside jokes. No more warm hug, or good training session, or caring smile.

I want all those things, and that’s how slowly the nothingness became something. I started seeing the good things still worth experiencing. I started enjoying things again. Simple things. Having coffee in my red coffee cup which I’ve had for I don’t remember how long. My cup, warm in my hands while sitting outside watching the day start. Most of the time I would go back to sleep shortly after because just the actions of getting up and making coffee took all of the energy I had, but for a brief moment, I enjoyed something.

I don’t know where I’m at with my grief. I know it’s not a linear process. I know there’s not a destination and that this is something I will experience for the rest of my life. I want to know that I’m ok. That I’m normal and that it’s still ok to be sad sometimes. That it’s still ok to miss you.

When you first died I researched how to grieve. I researched INFJs and what we do and how we deal with things, and everything I found said there’s no answer, so I gave up on it.

I don’t remember what I was doing the other day but I looked up stuff on grief for some reason and I found posts from other people explaining how they grieved. It was the first time that I really read into other people’s experiences. I read about a mother who lost her infant son in their home and how sometimes she lays on the floor where he died so she can feel closer to him. I read about how she never wanted to tell people that, but when she went to a support group she felt accepted because other people understood. I read another story about a mother and father who always bake a cake to celebrate their child’s birthday even though he died extremely young. I read how to them it is a way of honoring and acknowledging the life that existed even if it was brief.

It makes me feel more ok about wearing your ring and the urn pendant. It makes me more ok with my choice to write to you. I’m allowed to do things that other people may not agree with or think are “right” or seems silly because it doesn’t have to be right for them. It needs to be right for me. For us.

It’s my expression. Not theirs. And these are some of the ways I choose to express.

Sometimes I feel like you’re so terribly, horribly far away. Sometimes I feel like what I do isn’t enough. That it will never be enough. That’s how it feels right now.

But I know these feelings are temporary. I know tomorrow I’m going to wake up and go to the jujitsu class and the Muay Thai class. I know I’m going to keep waking up. I know I’m going to keep breathing. I know my heart is going to keep pumping and that as long as it does I have a purpose.

I know I have a purpose, mom. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so obsessed with it. I wish sometimes I wasn’t this fantastically rare personality type and that I could just be ok with existing and not need some deep, driving reason for things.

How much easier would life be if I could just simply be? If I could accept that I’m here and the reason didn’t really matter? How much calmer would my mind be if I could just accept that I’m here and the why didn’t factor into anything?

But that’s not my mind. I need to know why. Why am I here? Just like when Jim asked, “Why are you doing this?”

I still don’t know.

My answer is still, “Because you died.”

I’m here because you died and I told you I would be strong and keep living. I’m here because I said I would honor you by living a full life. That seems so fragile and hollow, though. I need to live my life for me, not for you. But right now I’m back to not knowing how to do that. I hurt and all I can think about, focus on, is the pain. I’m back to reminding myself that it’s worth enduring, that it’s ok for my accomplishment for the day to simply be making it until night. Surviving is an accomplishment.

I don’t know where I am with my grief, but right now it feels like a very low moment. A very sad and isolated valley where I can’t see anything except the forest that surrounds me. It’s dark, and the internal me, the me in the depths of this wood, is scared of what’s lurking in the darkness, but my higher self knows things will be ok.

My higher self is aware that, yes, it’s dark, but it’s not cold. It’s like a warm summer’s night. Yes, I’m alone, but it’s not the same alone as when my forest was held in the grips of my teenage depression, icy and covered in snow while I wrapped my arms around my knees and hid in my ice cave, unwilling to move because staying still hurt less.

It’s dark and scary, but I know daylight will come, I just have to breathe and wait for it. If I breathe my chest will hurt less. If I relax my muscles won’t ache as much. If I listen I’ll be able to hear the night life around me, the crickets, the owls, the rustling of raccoons and other nocturnal animals.

Darkness doesn’t have to be bad. It’s my yearning for daylight that makes me almost ungrateful and negligent of the moment I’m in.

Even in the moments where I hurt and I miss you there can still be good things. I still have my connection with you, mom. I still have my love for you. I still have everything you taught me. I still have the life you gave me that I can keep living. I have all of these wonderful, priceless things in this moment of darkness and so it’s not the horrible thing my brain keeps trying to convince me it is.

It’s still good in its own way, and I’m grateful that part of me can see that. I’m grateful that even through the tears I’ve been crying while I write this that I can say with confidence that I will wake up tomorrow and that I will train, and I will train hard, even if I don’t have an answer for why.

Or maybe I can accept the fact that my reason IS because you died and that’s not a bad thing. That’s not a fake reason or something to be ashamed of.

I don’t know. I feel I need to meditate more on that. It feels right, but now I need to figure out why it’s right.

I train because you died. I live because you died. I understand how deeply I loved you because you died.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

Musing Moment 104: Another “Come to Freya” Meeting

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Alright. Enough is enough, Brain. We’re going to sit down and have another, “Come to Freya,” meeting.

Our resolution this year is to be happy. So let’s look at some things and see if they line up with that whole “happiness” thing.


 

Does going to the dojo make me happy?

For the most part, yes. Then, for the most part, I need to go to the classes. If I’m tired, I need to go. If I’m sad, I need to go. If I’m angry, I need to go.

The dojo helps move me towards my goals of being physical, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. It’s especially important to go during the moments I feel weak, vulnerable, and alone. It’s important to continue going even though my grief might have swelled up into another wave. The dojo helps me get through those waves. It helps keep me grounded and connected to the present rather than getting lost in the pain of not having mom.

Death ends a life, not a relationship.

Mom is still here and I’m still in the process of living a life that brings her honor. Staying at home because I’m sad and missing her is devaluing the relationship I currently have with her and isn’t the type of action that I personally view as honorable or beneficial. Mom wouldn’t want me to stay home feeling depressed and sorry for myself. She would want me to be proactive and do something healing.

So, no more skipping out of the dojo. It’s good for me. It makes me happy. No excuses. I’m going from this point forward.

Does calling myself an “employed slacker” make me happy?

No.

Then don’t do. Ever. Not in a joking fashion. Not in a serious, self-deprecating fashion. It’s not funny. It pokes at sensitivities I know I have.

Stop being a douche to yourself.

Yes. I’m unemployed. Yes, some people look at that as a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I’m a slacker. It doesn’t make me a bad person. I resigned. I chose to back out of the workforce to heal and process after mom died. I’m getting to a point where I feel like I can go back. I’m actively looking for ways to go back.

I’m doing well.

I’m not a slacker. If it doesn’t make me feel good, then don’t say it.

Does the apartment make me happy?

Yes, sort of. I want to get the projects I have going on finished.

Then finish the projects.

Do the painting. Get the shoe rack so the shoes aren’t piled up by the door. Start the herb garden in the kitchen window. Fix the outside patio so in the summer there’s a place to sit and drink the morning cup of coffee. Set up a bike rack so the bike isn’t in the way all the time. Move the china hutch and get a small kitchen table so there’s a place to eat.

This is my home now. I committed myself to staying in Orlando. I will make this space my home. The home I want to have. It doesn’t have to be a nebulous dream. It doesn’t have to be far off in the future.

Do it now. Be happy now.

In fact, here’s a deadline. Since the week at Disney is going to eat into everything, I have until February 10th to finish the painting and get the china hutch moved. By February 17th I’ll have the bike rack, kitchen table, and shoe situation figured out. And the herb garden. By February 17th this will the best home I can make it without remodeling.

There’s no reason for my environment to add to my stress or to make me feel bad. This is completely within my control to fix. So I’ll fix it by the dates stated. No excuses.

Does cross stitching make me happy?

Yes.

Then I need to make time to actually do it. Same with listening to audio books. I’m letting things that give me fulfillment fall to the wayside. I need to find balance. I’m doing well in the physical health area, but that wellness is potentially coming at the expense of my emotional and spiritual health.

I still have hobbies I need to nurture and feed. I’m doing game nights with Jason and Jon and that’s great. I’m meal planning better, and starting to find new recipes again and that’s awesome.

I should not forget about the other things that make me happy. Cross stitch. Draw. Color. Read. Meditate. Do yoga. Stare off into space and daydream once in a while. Cuddle with Scarlet.

It’s ok to do those things. It’s ok to have slow moments where I simply breathe. I like those moments. I like quiet moments. I’m an introvert. I need to take care of my introverted nature just as much as my warrior nature.

Having lunch with someone every day like I’m scheduled to this week is not healthy for me, or my finances, and I know that on both counts. I have to say no sometimes and saying no doesn’t make me a bad person. It makes me responsible.

I figured out my intrinsic priority yesterday, and that’s a good start. My intrinsic priority is myself. I don’t need accountability there anymore. When something isn’t good for me, normally I don’t do it. I recognize when something is harmful or detracts from my happiness. Sort of like what I’m doing know. I knew I needed to throw down the ban hammer on myself, my brain. I needed to reestablish lines that got kind of blurry. I’m doing good at looking out for myself now, and that’s awesome.

I’ve let other areas go in the process and now it’s time to pick those back up. Chiefly would be the purpose/career/finances areas.

Those are the key priorities for me at the moment because those are the areas I feel like I’m failing.

And while I’m on the topic… that word. The F word…

Does it make me happy?

No.

Then don’t use it. I’m not failing. It’s just another word like “slacker” that makes me feel bad and undermines everything that I’m actually doing. So no more F word.

I’m not doing as well in those areas as I would like.

If I look at this as a sequential problem to solve, I need to figure out my purpose before I can accurately focus on a career which will resolve the finance stress I’m feeling.

I know my purpose is to help people. There are more ways to help people than teaching. The two jobs I applied for last night are great starts. Patient transport and nutritional services at the hospital. Not only am I helping people, I’m not going back to Full Sail, I’m not going to California, I’m moving in the career change I wanted, and they’re both full-time positions within biking distance of the apartment.

Keep your chin up. There were several other job postings you could have applied for last night as well. All isn’t lost. It’s not a hopeless situation. There are options out there. Instead of focusing on the issue we need to identify potential solutions. State the problem, yes, but don’t obsess over it.

Write it down. Make it physical. Then brainstorm, sans emotion, on what you would do to fix it if it were someone else’s problem.

Use the advice you would give someone else because you always give really good advice.

You’re an INFJ. You observe the outside world and process it for patterns and consistencies. You’re fantastic and figuring out emotions when they’re observable.

That’s why writing helps you. That’s why it’s so confusing when the emotions are trapped inside. Your strength is seeing a giant mountain of “what the fuck is all this shit” and organizing and analyzing and figuring it out so it’s manageable.

That takes space. More space than what you have inside. Write it out. Talk it out. Get it out from your brain and into the physical world where you can handle it, manipulate it, move it, toss it out, categorize it, label it, repair it. Whatever it is you need to do to “it”.

Dump all of it out, somewhere, then treat it like you would someone else’s issues. You’re kind, caring, diplomatic, understanding, empathetic, respectful, all of these amazing wonderful things to other people.

Be those amazing wonderful things to yourself.

You’re doing well. Last night started rough. You started feeling sad and missing mom and that’s ok. You didn’t go to the dojo and that’s ok, too. We hadn’t had our conversation yet. Our “come to Freya” meeting.

You felt sad and you skipped the dojo, but instead of crawling into bed and letting the depression eat away at us, you applied for more jobs. you did something to help yourself feel better.

That’s awesome. You survived last night. You did well. We deserve and are allowed to feel proud of ourselves.

Keep up the hard work. The effort pays off. Hold your head high because you have nothing to be ashamed of. Remember, it’s not your place to feel ashamed. You’re moving forward. You’re doing what you think is right.

Is it your best?

It might not have been, but you know what? That’s what today is for. We can’t go back and change anything. We can only move forward.

So let’s move forward today. Let’s move forward to a happier us.

No matter what, remember I love you, Earth Dragon. Forever and for always I’ll have your back.

Musing Moment 103: Finding Color

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I need to do some processing.

I had a dream last night that I think correlates to an event that happened before I went to sleep.

In the dream, I was trying to dye my hair, but the color wouldn’t hold. No matter what I did the purple would bleed away leaving my bangs a faded icky blondish color.

I woke up feeling vaguely uncomfortable about the dream and like there was something important about it for me to ponder on. After looking into Dreammoods.com for “fade” I found out that dreaming about fading color usually means a lack of motivation or inspiration.

Well… damn… it’s like my brain knows what it’s doing because that’s exactly what I feel right now.

Last night it was recommended to me to check out tutoring online. And wouldn’t you know it the first site I looked into had a spot open specifically for Python programming.

*Queue excitement*

I went through the application process and then got to the test to see my proficiency with the language. I had time to do it before my dance class so I figured I would try it out.

Well…

*Queue battle against soul-crushing defeat*

I bombed the test. And I don’t mean, “I failed woe is me,” bombed. I mean royally, spectacularly, “went down in a blaze of glory” failed.

48% failed.

It was hard not to feel like a failure after the test because, well… I failed.

I still went to dance class which helped a bit. I put gas in the car so I felt like a responsible adult.

Big Bad had to work late and had to be into work early today so our evening got canceled. I was disheartened that I wouldn’t be able to get a hug, or have coffee with him in the morning, or do our strength workout. I really could have used some sort of physical human connection last night to validate my existence but that’s not what the Universe had in store for me.

Instead, I came home and ate dinner, which was something I needed to do. I ended up going to sleep early, which didn’t really help. I kept waking up. I had my unsettling dream. I was tired when my alarm went off at 6 am, and since I’m still an unemployed slacker, I turned it off and went back to sleep.

I know realistically I’m not a failure. The test incorporated things that I “know” about but have never had to personally use in any of my projects. There were some things on there that I had never heard of before. The way I used Python was in a very specialized way for a very specific application. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure, it means I have room for improvement.

I even found out that there is a certification for Python. How nifty is that?

Answer: Pretty freaking nifty if you’re a nerd and geek out over weird stuff like that like I do.

Right now it’s hard to feel like I’m doing anything meaningful or purposeful with my life because I guess it’s starting to feel like I’m not doing anything.

I mean, I am, sort of. I’m going to the dojo. I’m becoming healthier.

But that’s about all I’m doing.

I don’t have a project I’m working on. Not actively. I haven’t touched my rigging stuff since December. It’s already the 24th of January.

This is going to be the second week I’ve been home. I’m just starting to get back into my routines. Next week I have the week trip to Disney for Allison, which I’m trying hard to look forward to, but it’s not what I want to do. I’m not interested in amusement parks. I’m interested in being home and figuring out my life.

Every time I think I know the direction I want to go it changes. I change it. I don’t think it’s a lack of commitment. It’s not that I’m scared about the California job. I don’t want to be in California. I’m not scared of going back to Full Sail. I don’t want to be there, not if I’m going to be covering classes other than rigging, which is what it sounds like the job would be. A float position. I don’t want to float. I don’t want to learn to composite because I’m not a compositor and the job posting was specifically for rigging.

I want the part time tutoring position at the community college, but that would be tutoring languages I need to brush up on. Doing the online tutoring could be interesting, but I obviously need to brush up on Python, and I don’t know how much it pays.

Taking a step back from that for a moment… Do I really want to do an online job?

I don’t think so. I think I would like having something that gets me out of the house. I like having a place that’s specifically for work. I wouldn’t be able to get that at the apartment since Warren is already using the spare room as his office. I would be in my room, all day, while I’m working.

I feel like I’m being overly picky. Nothing is right. Everything has a reason for me not to actively go for it.

Is that me making excuses not to do something?

The brief text exchange I just had with Big Bad doesn’t really help with those feelings of guilt and “what am I doing with my life?”

Big Bad: What’s for lunch?
Me: Chinese with Nicole. Yay girl time.
Big Bad: I’m jealous.
Me: Of girl time or the food? : p
Big Bad: Being free.

*Queue cold sinking feeling…*

I don’t feel free. I feel mildly lost and like I’m wasting life because I’m not moving in a direction. I’m not moving towards something. Sleeping in this morning doesn’t help with that feeling. Who else gets to sleep in? No one. That’s who. Everyone is working because they’re diligent adults.

I still haven’t finished painting the apartment. Seriously? Is there really a reason for that? No. I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten it done by now had I actually applied myself to the task.

I feel stagnant and when I ask myself, “Well, what are you going to do about it?” my answer is, “I don’t know.”

Not really an answer that inspires confidence or conviction. It’s deflecting really. It means I haven’t looked deep enough to figure it out.

I was feeling really good about myself and my endeavors. What happened to change that? Was it my trip to Ohio? Is it solely this test that in the grand scheme of things really doesn’t matter? Is it a combination of things? Is it because it’s winter and I normally struggle during this time? Do I need to have patience with myself or tough love? Should I get a job that I think I’ll hate just for the sake of having a job?

I think I need more structure in my life than what I currently have. Yeah, I make to-do lists and I get stuff taken care of, but I don’t have a Push Goal at the moment, and so even though I’m doing things it doesn’t feel like I’m moving towards accomplishing anything. Even with the working out and such that I’m doing, it’s a nebulous goal of “get healthier”.

How do you measure that? How do you know what “healthier” is?

“Get healthier” isn’t quantifiable. Lose x% of body fat, is. Reach size x is. Those are numbers that can be answered with a yes or no. You know, for certain, when you accomplish them.

I feel like I need to clean house inside of my brain. I need to dump everything out. All of the boxes. All of the emotions. No hiding things. No sweeping stuff under the carpet.

A total cleaning rampage with bleach and trash bags and new containers so I can figure out what I’m really working with. What’s still healing? What do I really, really want? I think that’s where the tough love will come in. Sometimes being honest is brutal, painful, but a little pain now could save so much more heartache in the future. Transformation is painful, uncomfortable. Being honest can be uncomfortable because we don’t like our own truths sometimes.

Just because we’re uncomfortable with them or ignore them doesn’t make those facts less true.

I think I’m going to go through the 30-Day Challenge again. I think that might help me figure out what I want, or at least give me things to work on. I need to feel like I’m being constructive. I need to feel like I’m “doing” something.

I need to find my color.

Daily Post 005: Lab Results and Morals

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Scarlet is doing well. The vet called me around 9 am yesterday morning to let me know the results. Aside from a UTI, she’s in good health. Her kidneys are functioning within proper limits. All her blood levels are normal. For being as old as she is apparently Scarlet is in exceptional health.

The vet prescribed an antibiotic for the UTI. I’ll have to administer the medication once a day for two weeks, but Scarlet does surprisingly well with things like medication and baths.

I was glad I didn’t have to go through the whole day not knowing what the results were. And I was glad it results were so positive. I can be more ok with her walking issues as long as I know she’s not suffering.

I went to the Saturday dance class, only, it wasn’t really a dance class. Since it’s the new year the schedule has changed a bit. New classes have been added, old ones have been moved or replaced, etc. Well, instead of a beginner dance class on Saturday there’s now a stretch class.

I decided to check it out to see if it would be something I would want to keep in my weekly schedule. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really all that awesome either. It’s basically a yoga class, but I can do better, more focused flows on my own rather than having to use one of my dance tickets for the class. I didn’t really click with the instructor which is most likely another factor.

I guess in a way it’s a good thing. If I’m not going to the dance studio on Saturday that means I can do the jujitsu and Muay Thai class at the dojo instead. I’ll have to see how that plays out, but it’s a possibility. I could also run instead, and then do Muay Thai… or run, then jujitsu, then Muay Thai… so many possibilities. Oh! Or I could bike to the dojo since the classes are during the day rather than in the evening.

Anywho, after the mildly disappointing class, I had enough time to go to the vet to pick up the medication. From there it was off to the dojo.

Muay Thai conditioning was awesome. Paul was running the class instead of Jim. There were more people there than what I’m used to, but it wasn’t intimidating or overwhelming. It was actually pretty cool because Jim ended up being my partner. One of the drills we had to do was keeping our hands behind our backs while trying to tap the other person’s foot with our own foot. If you got tapped three times you had to do ten pushups.

Guess who didn’t have to do pushups? That’s right. This chick. I got Jim three times but he was only able to tap me once. Yay quick feet I guess. It was fun and playful. It reminded me of how Big Bad and I will be holding hands and then randomly one of us will start a match of thumb war. It basically was a game of “keep away”. I enjoyed it. : )

I was pretty tired by the time class was over, but I didn’t relent. I knew if I went home that I most likely wouldn’t go back out, which would be bad. Instead, I went straight to the grocery store to do the shopping.

I stuck to my tradition of getting a sushi tray with a coffee drink for lunch. My reward for being a diligent adult and braving the store full of people. Since it was such a nice day outside I sat in a shaded area on the walkway and ate my lunch. There was a light breeze which felt great since I was still sort of warm from the dojo.

After eating I drove home and put the groceries away. I didn’t have it in me afterward to do much else. Physically I was tired. I napped for a bit. I eventually gave Scarlet her medication. I finally put my clothes away, but really I didn’t do much for the rest of the day.

Later in the evening, I was poking around online. I’ve been looking at jobs more and more recently. I saw another tutoring position except this one is for computer programming. It’s only a part-time position, and it’s for programming languages which aren’t exactly my forte, but holy crap, the only way it could get better is if it was a full-time position.

I would need about a week, maybe less than, to brush up on the languages they would want me to tutor, but all of them I’ve been exposed to. I tweaked my cover letter and applied for the new position. I kept poking around, and that’s when things got sort of dicey.

I saw a posting for a Character Rigging position from Full Sail. Essentially it’s my old job.

I don’t know how I feel about it. And I guess I should go ahead and say that I applied for the job.

I don’t know if I want to go back. At the time when I first saw the post I reached out to my former supervisor, but he didn’t respond. I figured he was asleep, but a few other people were listed as online for the Facebook chat, so I sent them messages trying to get more information about the situation and job listing.

I made a new cover letter and sent my application in. And then I sat and stewed trying to figure out my emotions over the situation. I ended up messaging my blacksmith because my thoughts wouldn’t let me sleep.

As far as a job is concerned I would like a reliable full-time position here in Orlando, preferably utilizing the skill set I already have.

The Full Sail position would give me that.

I could most likely ask for more than I was making when I left and get it. I already have training on the systems so I could skip most of that. I already know the people who would be my co-workers. I’m confident in my ability to run labs because I did it for four years. I would be able to start biking to work again which is actually something I miss. I could stay in Orlando with my companions, friends, and still be near my younger brother. I could still go to the dojo. I might even be able to start working on my Digital Arts and Design degree again.

Theoretically, I would be making enough to live on my own, which is something I’m still hoping works out. I wouldn’t have to go to Californa and spend months waiting to come back to the life I want to live.

However, comma…

I said I would never go back to Full Sail.

So, yeah, there’s all these positive things… but what does it say about me or my word if I turn around and go back?

Part of me feels like it would be a failure on my part. Failing at what I don’t know, but I think I would be upset with myself for going back.

After talking to Clavan this morning the listing isn’t even really advertising the position they’re hoping to fill. It’s more of a “float” position where I would be helping out in the compositing and lighting classes. Neither of those areas are really areas I want to be in.

So even though there are all these positive things, I don’t think I would be happy. It wouldn’t really be my old job. It would be stuff I don’t really like in a place I don’t really want to be.

I haven’t ruled it out, but I think I would rather not accept it. I would need to have some serious conversation during the interview if I got one.

That leaves the tutoring position. It’s part-time for significantly less money. But part-time lets me still focus on me which I would like to do. I would need a roommate, but there’s no telling what could come from the position. Ideally, I would use it to eventually get an adjunct professor position, or maybe I could tutor other subjects and potentially get full-time pay which would be fine even though the wage is lower. I honestly don’t need all that much.

I feel like if I go back that I’m being weak. I feel like I would be saying it’s ok to treat me like crap when it isn’t. I left because I was treated like a cog rather than as a human. Is that really what I want to go back to?

No. Not really. Even though I love my co-workers and even though Clavan was the best supervisor I’ve ever had, and even though I have positive memories of working there, I don’t want to go back.

I said I wouldn’t, so why am I faulting?

Because paychecks are nice. Because if I’m honest with myself the money I have is running low and I need to have something lined up so I can keep supporting myself and not turn into the unemployed slacker mooching off of people I’m terrified of becoming.

I don’t regret how I have spent the money. I paid for mom’s apartment for five months because I didn’t know if I would be moving to Vegas or not. I helped people who needed help. I paid for my apartment for the whole year. I paid for the extended stays I lived at so I could have my own space while I figured out my life for six months. I took the CNA class. I took trips to see people I haven’t seen in years.

I feel like even though I most likely could have spent the money more responsibly given hindsight, that I’ve done pretty well, and being realistic about it now is good. It hasn’t run out, but compared to where it was, it’s low, and it’s finite, so I need to start looking at ways to get an income again.

Warren and I talked about it this afternoon. He’s going to be able to start paying rent in February which will help out significantly, and he’s going to start getting Amber to pay him back for the time she was unemployed.

This is another unknown, however, and so there’s a bit of stress with it. I know I could get a sales position or work in fast food, but after having a job where I was fulfilled I know I don’t want to do something like that. I wouldn’t be happy. I don’t like working with money. I don’t like selling things. I like helping. I like teaching. I want a job, but I don’t want to sell my soul to have a paycheck.

There’s still a bit of time to figure it out. I’m glad I’m looking for solutions now rather than waiting until the very last second.

Today was a low energy day. I wasn’t sad or anything, but having been awake for later than I wanted to be meant that I didn’t wake up until around 10 am. Super late when you’re used to waking up around 4 or 6 am. And I was still tired. And it was cloudy outside…

Arg…

I’m happy to report that even though it was a “meh” day that I’ve gotten everything on my to-do list done. I’ve cooked all the meals for the coming week. I washed my sheets and laundry. I’m back to the task of “put clothes away”… hopefully it doesn’t take me all week to do it this time. I’ve made the bed already so once I’m done having game time with my brothers I can crawl into bed and pass out.

I’ve vacuumed both the living room and my room. I’ve swept up the dog fur. I’ve swiftered the kitchen and hall tiles. I’ve cleaned out my car, not that it was all that bad. Mostly water bottles. I’ve gone through my email inbox and caught up on posts and such. I even ran back out to the store to pick up a few things I didn’t realize I was low on. Can’t make egg roll bowls without soy sauce…

Because I went out to the store I rewarded myself with a dessert cup from the bakery. It was a strawberry shortcake type thing. Most likely awful for me, but I’m ok with it. It tasted dericious, not that I ate it before having dinner or anything…

Carolina actually came up to me yesterday before the Muay Thai class started and whispered to me, “Girl, how much weight have you lost?”

I honestly don’t know, so I told her probably around 30 pounds since I was down 20 in November. I wonder if it’s more than that, though.

Oh. Yesterday was the first day of wearing my new pants to the dojo. They worked wonderfully.

Since tonight is a game night I’ve been thinking about getting a pizza. Since I’m thinking about it I’ll most likely do it. I did well today. I’ve been doing well. I don’t think it’s bad to have a slack night where I relax and enjoy some video gaming and grungy food. I’m not going to let my brain try to trick me into thinking otherwise.

My financial situation is still fine. I’m not a bad person for not having a job yet. I willingly left the workforce. I’m not going to start regretting my decision, and I’m not going to compromise on my morals for a paycheck.

That was something Warren mentioned while we were talking about the job. He asked something along the lines of, “Is sticking to your moral high ground worth not being able to support yourself?”

My reply was if I don’t stick to my morals than what’s the point of having them?

I may make things harder on myself then they need to be, but I think by accepting only what I know is beneficial for me that ultimately I’ll end up ok. Maybe even better than ok. My resolution is to be happy. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, and I’m ok with that.

Nothing worth having is ever easy.

Daily Post 004: Learning How to Girl and Deflecting with Humor

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Today has been a day. And it’s not over yet. It’s only 6 pm. There’s still tons of “day” left. Right now I’m tired, heavy, which is annoying for how well the rest of the day has gone.

I stayed with Big Bad last night. Trust me. It’s not as sexy as it sounds. Mostly due to my body hating me. I still feel awkward when I have to say things like, “By the way, we can’t have sexy time because I’m on my cycle.”

Maybe that’s because most guys seem to have issues with healthy, functioning females. I can’t really blame them, though. I mean… come on… from a survival standpoint, would you trust something that could bleed for seven days and not die?

All joking aside I didn’t want to send a text message admitting that yeah… I’m actually still a girl and even on birth control I still have that one week where I’m out of commission for fun time every so often. He’s been ok with me coming over in the past. Actually, Big Bad makes me feel normal and unjudged and accepted. Even without the sex we still hang out and have fun playing video games or cuddling, or whatever it is we do to enjoy our time together.

I don’t know why I still get nervous about it, but I do. I was less anxious last night than the first time I had to bring up the subject, so maybe I’ll eventually get to the point where it’s a non-issue, but last night was not that night.

Me: Can we still spend time together?
Big Bad: I suppose.

In my heart of hearts, I knew it was a joke. In my head I could hear the playful tone he would have used had we been talking face to face. I know in the eight-ish months we’ve been together he has yet to do anything to even hint at being mean, rude, or malicious towards me. I feel like he goes out of his way to make sure emotionally I feel cared for and safe.

Irrational Right Brain: He hates you. You’re an awful person for going through something you have legitimately no control over. Feel shameful and as if you are unworthy!

Fuck you, Brain. Like, for real, can you not for once just chill the fuck out?

I was silent for a while, though from a technical standpoint text messages are always silent… I didn’t know how to reply. I couldn’t think of something cute and witty. I was hurt even though I knew it was silly to feel that way. I knew my reaction was a result of past sensitivities, but knowing all of that didn’t make the emotions go away.

As I sat thinking about how to respond Big Bad sent another message.

Big Bad: I didn’t give you permission to have your period. I’m really going to have to beat your ass now.

And instantly things were ok again. It was a silly, playful, outrageous comment that had me laughing out loud because it was so ridiculous.

Me: If I could kick my own ass I would. Stupid body being a cock block.

So, I still went over to his house. We still wrestled. He still kicked my ass and choked me out with my own arm because he’s lame. We talked. We cuddled. It was actually the first time I’ve showered at his place.

When we woke up this morning we did a strength training workout video. Body Beast I think it what it was called. We both had a lot of fun with it. While we were having our coffee we actually talked about scheduling morning strength workouts. So Tuesday and Friday mornings are our strength days since he always has those mornings free.

We talked about how it would be nice to stretch afterward, which brought up my yogadownload.com membership. I’m supposed to look into flows I think would be good to do after our workout as a way to cool down and stretch out our muscles.

Overall it was awesome and a fantastic way to end the evening / start the morning.

When I got home I changed then hopped on my bike. I went to the gym and ran. Shaved a few more seconds off my time. Woohoo.

It was the first run in my new compression pants, which the shopping adventure of yesterday is a whole story in and of itself.

I had originally gone to Target at the suggestion of the Internet, but I didn’t see anything I really liked. Not enough to spend money on anyway. I tried going to Dick’s Sporting Goods, but they’re crazy expensive and I didn’t feel like spending that much money on something when I wasn’t really supposed to be spending money in the first place.

I was on my way to test my luck at Walmart when I realized I was hungry, which sucked because I was out and about with no food on me. I stopped at Arby’s for lunch and while I was there I realized I was in front of a Ross.

What the heck? Might as well check it out, right? Since I’m here and everything.

Well… best idea ever. I found a style of compression pants that I super liked and instead of paying $48 for them I only had to pay $13.

Cue shopping adventure where I go to four different Ross stores trying to find more pairs. So now I have six in total. Enough to get me through the week with a rest day.

I was super pleased that instead of the XL I thought I would need I was down to an L. That’s right, who’s a sexy badass? Me, while I’m standing alone in a changing room and not in front of a whole bunch of people because introverts would rather hide under rocks than be the center of attention. At least this introvert would rather hide under rocks. But yeah, sexy badass when alone or typing to the Internet. /flex

And thrifty.

Did I mention thrifty?

Sexy, thrifty badass.

I also happened to stop at a Lane Bryant yesterday. I wasn’t finding anything good in the way of sports bras. I figured I could get sized to see what I actually should be wearing and see if they had anything that would work since they have an athletic section.

That was an eye-opening experience. I guess I’ve lost two inches and have either gone up two cup sizes, or I’ve been in the wrong size for the past… four-ish years? Not sure. A long time, though.

I originally got two sports bras while I was at the store but later that night I was thinking about the size discrepancy of what I should be in versus what I’m currently wearing. I decided the workout tops I have are still fine so it would be a better investment to return the sports bras and get a set of regular everyday bras instead.

So, that’s what I did after biking back home from my run. I showered then headed out to return my purchase.

The sales associate I talked to today was super kind and actually explained all of the different styles and helped me expand on my girl knowledge. I really feel like all of the things she told me today were things I should have learned in high school or even middle shool as simply, “This is how you human,” information. I mean… maybe my mom “should” have told me. And maybe way back in the day she did and I just don’t remember it, but honestly, all of it was useful information that actually impacted my life in a positive way.

So currently I have what basically feels like heaven woven into fabric wrapped around my chest. Not even exaggerating.

With the shopping adventure finally at its two-day conclusion I decided to go to my sports bar for lunch. I had thought I would work while I was there, but that didn’t go according to plan. The inauguration speech was taking place. I sat and listened.

I didn’t like either candidate and I don’t have a problem admitting that. I do hope that Trump does well and that he makes smart choices because regardless of how I feel about him, he’s leading the country now. By wanting him to do poorly, or wishing him ill, I’m wishing the country ill and I don’t want that. I do want changes to be made. I’m just hoping they’re the “right” changes for the right reasons.

I was able to meal plan a bit, but the volume was so loud for the speech that I wasn’t really able to focus on anything else, like the design work I had been hoping to do. I was pretty tired anyway, so instead, I paid for my lunch then went home. I had scheduled a vet visit for Scarlet for 5 pm before I had gone out. With so much time before the appointment, I decided to nap.

I woke up feeling pretty good. I puttered around for a little bit then put Scarlet in her carrier and went to the vet.

It was hard being there. I didn’t want to be there. Scarlet didn’t want to be there. Being there is admitting there’s a problem and I don’t want there to be a problem. I want her to be healthy, and happy, and to always be there even though I know that’s now how life works.

I had the same vet I had the last time I took her to be seen. I’m glad I had her. We talked about how Scarlet’s walking as worsened. We talked about a few other behavioral things I’ve noticed.

We’re having lab work done. It won’t be in until tomorrow.

We talked about the quality of life and what the best option would be depending on what the labs show. I know one of the possible outcomes may be that she’s suffering and that ending her suffering would be humane and merciful rather than prolonging her pain simply because I’m too selfish to say goodbye.

I wish I could ask Scarlet what she wants. She’s essentially a 90-year-old human. She’s my little old lady. All I can do is observe how it seems like she can barely walk. How she doesn’t move unless she has to. How she seems to have issues with the litter box now.

It breaks my heart to see. It hurts to know that she’s aged and that even without human intervention, her time is limited. But, if she had the choice, what would she want?

I can’t ask that. I can’t know. And so I’m left waiting. I should know tomorrow, but tomorrow is so far away.

I know there’s not enough information to go on. I know that I should just breathe and wait and see what happens. It’s going to be a long night, though.

It’s going to be rough going to dance class tomorrow and then the dojo for Muay Thai and waiting, the whole time knowing that I’m supposed to be getting a phone call, and knowing that one of the outcomes could be that the “higher” road would be to be humane.

Big Bad and I have actually been talking a bit since I got back from the vet. I told him about the visit. He asked what my thoughts were and I deflected with humor. I know that’s what I do. I can have super deep conversations with people. In fact, I love having quality conversations. But when it’s about my emotions, when it’s about me hurting I try to deflect away from it.

Right Brain: So here’s this deep dark confession about fear and OH LOOK A DISTRACTION! : D

I still feel like I have to be ok for everyone else. I have to hold it together even though right now I want to be held and to cry even though I don’t even know if there’s a reason to cry. Everything might be fine and it’s just old age and arthritis.

I don’t want her to suffer. I don’t want to lose her. She’s been my companion for seventeen-ish years now. Over half my life. She’s been through so many of my life events with me.

It sucks. And until tomorrow I won’t know. So tonight I’m going to cuddle with her and enjoy the time I do have because just like with everything else, all we have is this moment.

Daily Post 003: Conversations and Clothing

Standard

It’s hard to believe it’s still not past noon. I don’t know why but it feels like I’ve been awake for forever and that it should be later than it is.

I figured I would write while I had the chance to.

I actually just got off the phone with Sir. It’s the first phone conversation we’ve had in a while. I’ve wanted to talk to him. I feel like I’ve lost touch with my former pseudo-family since the falling out with Mother Earth. I miss her. And Josh.

Sir and I talked about my blacksmith. We talked about Big Bad, too. I really don’t have many people I can talk to about my dynamics, especially the BDSM aspect of them. Even though Sir and I are no longer together I still value his opinion, and I’m glad we reaffiered to each other that our friendship is important.

It was an extremely connecting conversation and it helped me feel like the direction I am going is the right one. I feel like things will be ok and that I can keep the connections I value even though I’m moving forward. I’m not disrespecting anyone or unintentionally causing harm to people I care about.

It meant a lot to me to be able to admit to my fears. To voice them rather than keeping them contained in my chest where they could fester.

I feel more stable and solid for having had the conversation even though I was terrified of how it would go. I’m glad we talked and I’m hopeful that we will be able to hang out soon.

Aside from that I have eaten breakfast and researched into rash guards and compression gear and the differences between them.

Since all of my workout stuff is fitting looser I want to get new things. At the same time, I don’t want to get new gear until the end of March since that’s when Allison is getting married and that marks the end of my travel obligations for a while. It marks when I can go back to “my life” even though it’s in the distant future. I guess the week vacation Allison wants to take to Disney for her bachelorette party factors into it. That’s only a few weeks away. The beginning of February.

I don’t know… I feel like things are still broken up and like I’m still waiting to get back to me. It’s like until the party and the wedding happen that things aren’t fully settled.

Maybe that’s all inside of my head.

Anyway. I had told myself I wouldn’t buy new clothing until the end of March unless I completely had to. No new bras, no shorts, nothing. Stick it out until the end of March, another two months, and then I’ll go through and replace everything all at once.

Well… now that I’ve given myself that stipulation, of course, I feel denied. So I think I’m going to compromise a little. I need new compression gear. According to online sources, Target has some decent shorts for pretty cheap. And there’s not really a benefit for girls to wear “girl stuff”. According to forums, guy gear does the job just as good so I’m thankfully not limited to hot pink as my only color choice.

It would be nice to have a few new compression tops since the Lucy tops I bought aren’t compressing as much with my weight loss. I’ve been looking into rash guards since I’ve been enjoying submission grappling so much. If I go the route of compression gear it might be a good idea to get a few sports bras to wear under them. The tops I have currently have the bras built in.

It’s something to investigate. I won’t know which set up I like more until I feel the difference. In the past, the sports bras I’ve tried didn’t have the compression to keep everything in place. Maybe things are different now.

So today I would like to go out and see about getting a couple shorts and a top or two. That way I can get over the “denied” feeling and get more amped about my workouts. I mean, it would be pretty motivating to have new stuff in smaller sizes because the effort I’m putting into myself is actually having results.

So maybe not a full wardrobe change, but a few new things to keep me going. I think it could be nice. A reward for the past few months. I never did get myself anything for Christmas…

I may or may not be trying to justify spending money…

There’s a pair of shin guards I want from Venum. They look amazing. Those will definitely be a March item, along with the black gi I want. Maybe… I still haven’t made up my mind to buy a black one even though I know I’ll feel more comfortable in a black gi than a white one. I mean, white isn’t a “bad” color, but it doesn’t have the same juju as black does for me. Black is a “my color”. I get strength from it. So while I don’t “need” a new gi, I would like one since with jujitsu I’m allowed to wear whatever color I want, unlike aikido where I had to wear white.

Anyway, tonight I see Big Bad. I need to go running. I want to take Scarlet to the vet but I’m still waiting to hear back from them. I looked into changing my car insurance since I was quoted a lower rate elsewhere. Instead of canceling my policy, I altered my current one a bit so my monthly rate is lower. Woohoo.

I didn’t put my clothes away last night so now I’m starting to truly feel like a slacker. I’ll have to make myself do it before leaving tonight. There’s submission grappling at noon and six pm tonight. I might try to make it to both classes. I guess it really depends on how much I get killed during the noon class. I still have to wrestle with Big Bad when I go to his house, so maybe going to only one class would be the smarter option. He already has something like seven years of experience on me… I don’t need to give him any more of an advantage than what he has.

Anyway… not much to report other than a wonderfully uplifting and reassuring conversation and investigating how to become a bigger badder badass.

Screw you, Red Squiggle Line. Badder is a word and I’m going to use it.