Daily Post 012: The Weekend And Then Some

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The game plan had been to go to the dojo for submission grappling since it’s Monday evening. I think I’m going to skip out on it in favor of writing, though. I know that sounds bad, but it’s pretty understandable when I slip in the added information that I was awake at 4 am this morning and did boxing at 6 am.

Yeah… I’ve already had a pretty intense, “holy shit, my ass is kicked” workout… I don’t really know if I want another one when I still have to wake up and do a bunch of stuff tomorrow in addition to going to class. Maybe that’s me being weak. Or maybe I should listen to my body when it protests about having to climb up the stairs.

I’m going to go with the latter and hope I don’t regret it later.

So, yeah. Things. And stuff.

I started writing yesterday but didn’t really have it in me, so I stopped about two paragraphs in.

I’m pretty sure the last day I wrote was Saturday morning before the dojo. I had a good workout. I enjoy the conditioning classes. I didn’t see Jim there, but I guess he’s been busy with work. At least that’s what Akib said when the subject was brought up. That’s sort of lame. It’s been over a month since I’ve seen him.

We pulled up the mats and swept/mopped the floor under them in preparation for the new ones. That almost makes me think I should go tonight. I haven’t seen the new mats yet… Arg. No. I’m not going to go because I’m still easing back into things. I’ve only had one solid week of working out. I want to do another week of one hour before trying to up it to two.

The instructor for the Muay Thai class posted on my Facebook saying that I did well in the class. It made me smile. There was also a picture of everyone who stayed to help with the mat clean up. It made me smile and feel connected to see that on Facebook, too. It made me feel part of the dojo family.

The day was going really well after the dojo. Came home. Made a grocery list. Switched the laundry. Went to the store. Realized while I was in the checkout line that I had left my wallet in my gym bag at home…

Yeah, that sort of sucked. I had to put everything back since I was in a store a bit further from my apartment than my normal one. I had planned to get an Arby’s sandwich after the shopping which is why I had gone to a different location. I guess that just wasn’t meant to happen.

I drove home to get my wallet which is where things took a nose dive.

Warren was awake and in the kitchen so I decided to get it over with and ask him about rent.

He said he didn’t know if he would be able to pay for March.

I was quiet for an extended period of time because never in any of my imagines did I think he would not be able to pay rent since he had said he would pay February, and didn’t, so that meant he had extra money to for sure pay for March… right?….

Wrong.

When I was finally able to half way process through my thoughts I asked why he didn’t think he would be able to pay.

Finances weren’t working out.

… How are finances not working out?

He didn’t know. He didn’t know if he wasn’t making enough or what, but he was going to figure it out.

Was there a date when he thought he would have the information?

No.

What the actual fuck?

I didn’t know what to say. How do you not know how things are not working out, and what the fuck? You can’t give me a date when you’re going to look into this information and tell me how I’m not going to be completely screwed over?

I was quiet for another extended period as the shock started bleeding into hurt. I nodded, turned around, and walked back to my car.

My hands were shaking as I drove out of the lot back to the store; the one close to the apartment this time since I didn’t want my sandwich anymore.

I sent a text my younger brother asking if he could talk.

He called shortly after I got into the store. I was standing in front of the ketchup display when I answered.

“Hey. I’m about to break down into tears in the middle of Publix and I know this is going to be an “I told you so” moment but I really, really just need you to listen to me and not say those words.”

So Jon listened to my story. He listened to me say how I felt betrayed. In the fourteen years Warren and I have known each other, in the six months since I’ve let him live here rent free, after the $4000 dollars I’ve spent to help him, and he couldn’t be up front and honest and come to me and let me know that things weren’t working out?

I had to ask, and poke, and pry, and even then I couldn’t get straight answers?

What the fuck?

How is any of that ok? How could he think any of that would ever be ok? After how he knows about my past and all of the times I’ve gotten screwed over by helping people financially and he’s going to treat me like that? He’s just going to assume after I’ve told him money is running low and I can’t cover things on my own anymore, that it’s ok to not tell me that he can’t help?

I started going from feeling hurt and betrayed to angry. Furious.

Basically where the conversation left off was getting information about removing Warren from the lease. If push comes to shove I need him to leave so I can find a roommate who will actually contribute to the apartment. I knew I needed to have another conversation with Warren, but I also knew that night was NOT the night to do it.

Big Bad and I made plans to hang out. The idea was to watch 13 Assassins. I asked if he wanted to drink.

Big Bad: Heck yeah

Awesome. I didn’t have intentions at the time to get super drunk. Just a drink, maybe two, to take off the edge of the emotional pain. I wanted to indulge a bit in being irresponsible because it looked like the future was going to be a shit storm. You know… one last hoorah before going back to the grind of figuring out the cluster fuck that my life looked like it was about to turn into.

Well… Saturday Big Bad and I got pretty… intoxicated. Yeah. We’ll go with that. Intoxicated sounds so much nicer than trashed.

We started by going out to dinner, which was nice. He wouldn’t let me pay even though he paid for our movie outing after the Warrior Dash. He said once I had a job I could celebrate by taking us out. Totally, going to remember he said I could pay and do that.

We went back to his place where we had the bit of Disaronno with Dr. Pepper. I found that mix from Frank when I went to the Cards Against Humanity nights he hosted. He hasn’t done one in a while, but that’s our go-to drink for those events. We call them Double Ds. XD

Anyway, I didn’t have much left, so when it was gone Big Bad asked if I still wanted to drink? I did, which isn’t really normal, but since I was in a “zero fucks given” mindset I didn’t care.

Yes, I wanted to keep drinking. I wanted to have a good night and not worry about being responsible or figuring things out or not having a hangover in the morning.

I most likely could have driven. We didn’t have that much, but Big Bad did instead. He drove my car since he said his truck wasn’t clean. I was fine with it. I trust him, and we made it to the store and back without incident.

I guess me trusting him to drive my car seems less like a massive leap of faith when I mention that he’s let me stay at his house unsupervised while he’s gone to pick up pizza for us. Somehow I think leaving someone alone in your house outranks letting someone with a clean driving record drive your car while you’re in it.

So yeah. We got a bottle of 151 rum and continued to mix it with the Dr. Pepper we had.

The only thing I have to say in regards to that is, “Holy crap.”

Way stronger than what I’m used to. Wicked hung over, but the night was amazing and I regret none of it.

Big Bad had birthday balloons in this kitchen. He asked if I wanted to write messages on one. He said he would write messages on the other one and then we could go outside and let the balloons go together, letting our messages leave.

I said yes.

I wrote a message to Warren #1, my current roommate who isn’t paying rent. I said that I hoped this situation didn’t ruin our friendship but that this was a situation of survival now and that I had come too far to not choose myself. I would take care of myself first before helping others and that included him.

I wrote a message to Warren #2 as well.

I guess I should backtrack a little.

While Big Bad and I were at dinner, sober, we talked about our past relationships. I told him the whole situation with Zane, before mom’s hospitalization, the events during it, and the events after her death. I think he understands my feelings better.

He told me about his ex-wife. I appreciated him opening up and telling me more about their history. I asked if in hindsight he thought the divorce was a good thing even though he was against it at first.

He said yes. There had been more bad times than good, and that he had wanted to stay together for his children, but that now he thought it was better to be separated; not only for himself but for his kids as well.

I’m not sure how, but Warren #2 was mentioned and Big Bad asked about the story for him.

It was hard. I had to stop a few times during my telling of it. But I told him. I told him everything. The fight before hand. The rape. Being suicidal afterward.

I told him that I try really hard to remain friends with my exs because I was with them for a reason. I cared about them. But Zane and Warren #2 are two people that I don’t want to see again. I can’t be “the bigger person”. I still want them to hurt the way that I and others have hurt because of them so they know what it feels like. So they know what they’ve made other people live through. I want them to hurt so they learn and become better people. I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to wish pain on others, though, so I still feel like there are issues for me to work through.

Part of working through that was writing my message to Warren #2. In my message, I said that I would not give him the power to rob me of my present. I would not allow myself to live in fear of relationships and love and kindness because of what he did to me. I remember I told Big Bad that when you’re punched in the face by someone who says they love you it makes you question what love is.

I’m not going to let my fear control me. I will acknowledge it and I will relearn how to have healthy interactions. I feel like that’s what Big Bad is helping me do.

He has been nothing but accepting of me and supportive of the things I’m trying to do with my life. Saturday night was another instance where I bared emotional scars to him. Jagged, deep, sensitive scars and instead of thinking me as broken he listened and heard me. He held my hand while I told my story, and when we released our balloons with our messages into the night sky he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to him so my back was pressed against his chest.

We drank more. We got bored with the movie and instead went outside in the backyard and started a fire in the firepit. It was the first time I’ve been in his backyard. He has two dogs that he normally keeps outside so it was the first time I got introduced to them.

It felt nice being able to be drunk around someone and for it to be a pleasant, fun, positive experience. I know I’ve had a few drinks while I’m with Sir. I’ve had drinks with Frank and everyone, but Saturday was different. I have a lot of memories of being afraid to drink when I was with Warren #2 because I knew we would end up fighting and I wanted to be sober in case I wanted to leave.

I didn’t have that worry with Big Bad. I knew I was safe and that I could enjoy all of it with him. And this is where I sound crazy as an INFJ and talk about vibes and feeling things, but it’s true. It was fantastic being drunk and all of my mental barriers being down and completely open to the energy around me. I didn’t have to hold back, and I didn’t. He didn’t.

Even though we both had headaches and felt rough Sunday morning it was an amazing night. All of it. The conversation by the fire, the balloons, the sex. I regret nothing. Not even the hangover I had to suffer through.

I can definitely say neither of us wants to drink like that ever again. At least not for the next foreseeable ever, but from our conversations since Sunday morning, I think we both enjoyed it.

Sunday we had coffee together once we finally got out of bed. Which took a while.

When I got home Warren was awake again. I didn’t want to have the conversation yet, but I did let him know that Jason and Jon weren’t going to help me financially. I didn’t ask Jason or Jon if they would. I think if I worded my request right they would, but I don’t want them to because it’s not me who’s not able to hold up my end of the deal. It’s Warren and I don’t want them supporting him. It’s not their responsibility to help me help someone else. So I felt like I needed to let Warren know that. I can’t do March on my own and I’m not going to be getting help from my family.

He said he understood and would figure his side out.

I went to my room after that and continued to feel like crap, not just because I was low energy from drinking, being up late, and in general recovering from the amazing night I had, but there were the nagging guilt and building stress of returning to reality. I curled up in bed with Scarlet and stayed there for most of the morning.

Big Bad was supposed to meet Corey to give him a check for computer parts. Not sure if I mentioned it anywhere but Corey is in the process of building Big Bad a computer. I thought it was going to be a quick meeting just to exchange funds.

It turned into Corey, Chelen, and Big Bad having lunch at my sports bar. I got an invitation asking me to join them, which I did. It was nice. We sat outside in the fresh air and shaded sunlight. A breeze was blowing which felt calming against my skin.

I think going out was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. It got me out of bed and showered. It got me back outside, moving around. It got me to eat a salad of tasty awesomeness and drink some more water.

Big Bad actually asked me back to his place after lunch. I don’t know how either of us could still want or even accomplish sexy time, but the human body is amazingly resilient.

When I left for the second time I came home and ended up going to sleep fairly early. Can’t imagine why…
I woke up at 4 am. It was an “awake” awake. One of those “This is a day where things are going to get done” type of awake. There isn’t the grogginess of having to fight through sleep, the dragging of one’s self out of the warm bed. I was ready to get up. I wanted to get up. I had things to do.

When I went downstairs Warren was awake, watching TV on the couch. He works nights so him being awake so early is normal. I sat on the couch next to him and was quiet for a little bit.

Eventually, I asked, “How you would feel if our situations were reversed?”

I still felt hurt and betrayed. I didn’t want to feel like that, but how else am I supposed to feel? I really wanted to know what his perspective was.

Warren: I know you’re probably tired of helping my sorry ass. I know I would be.

We had a really long, in-depth heart to heart conversation. We brainstormed different ideas, he told me different things he was looking into. He told me why finances weren’t working out. I told him how his choices were affecting me and why I felt the way I did.

I said by him not telling me about his situation that he took away a lot of the choices I could have made had I been given more time.

I think we’re on the same page now. I think we both feel better and less “the world is ending”. I’m going to give it until Monday before pressing more on the topic. I want to see what happens in a week.

I went to boxing this morning. I came home and made breakfast.

Oh. That reminds me. Big Bad and I figured out that the end of February will be when we’ve known each other for six months. It’s odd. It feels longer than that. We had been talking through texts so I sent one saying, “Happy slightly early six months of knowing each other”

He thought it was cute.

While I had been at his house Saturday, before the drinking, he said he had gotten something for me. I have mentioned a few times how the coffee I make at home is from instant powder and how I enjoy the coffee we have together in the mornings. He uses a percolator and actual coffee grounds. It’s different from mine and I like it.

Well while Big Bad had been out shopping for things he got me my own percolator and container of coffee to have at home with me. I absolutely love it. I totally hugged the box in front of him.

I used it for the first time this morning, sending him a picture of the percolator sitting in its new place on my stovetop. It actually looks good there. Most of my appliances are black and stainless steel so the percolator blends with everything. It makes my brain happy to see a gift from someone I care about in my environment. Even better that it fits and looks like it belongs there. And it’s something useful.

Best gift ever.

After eating I got ready for class. I picked out the threads I needed for a new cross stitch project. Its something for Big Bad. I think he’ll like it and I want to do something for him. I’m not sure if he’ll be overjoyed by it or anything, but I think it will mean something to him. If nothing else I think he’ll like it because it’s cute and from Star Wars.

Class was good. We started learning about EKG pathologies. There’s a lot of them. x.x

After class, I went to my sports bar. It’s something I’ve budgeted in for the next weeks. Instead of cooking lunch I go to my sports bar for a water and small salad. I study, make flash cards, research, whatever I need to do.

It keeps me out of the apartment for longer, resulting in more light and gives me a place to work since I don’t have a separate office space at home. I don’t work well in my room.

While I was at my sports bar I got an email from my contact at the hospital. He was forwarding me a job posting he thought I would be interested in. He said if he saw any others that he would send them my way.

I took a look at the posting. It’s for a Central Service Technician – Uncertified. Basically, I would be helping to sterilize surgical equipment and setting up the trays for surgeries. Part of the job would be getting certification within the first year of being hired.

I think I would seriously like that job. Cleaning, organizing, mostly introverted work. I would be working nights, which is a little lame, but they would be on the weekend which is sort of cool. That was one of the things I wanted. A job that left my week mostly open.

With a set schedule like that, I could look at getting a part time job after my classes finish. I’m hoping this pans out. I feel like I would like this position more than the position I interviewed for on Thursday. I think this posting is new enough that it hasn’t been filled yet, and I know my resume looks way, way better than it when I applied for the patient transporter position. I have two addition certifications listed, I have the CNA and EGK certifications in progress… On paper, I look way better for an entry level medical position that what I did two weeks ago. Go me. Hopefully, it works in my favor.

So I eventually came home and applied for that after calling Jon to tell him about the posting and finishing my flash cards. It was hard to sit and finish working on them after getting the email, but that’s part of the deal I have with myself for getting lunch out. I can do it only if I do my work. So work had to be completed first, then I could dash home to create a new cover letter and go through the online application process.

Once that was done I emailed my files directly to my contact at his request. That was around 4 pm. Since I haven’t heard back from him I’m going to assume that my information won’t be passed forward until tomorrow, but I’m hopeful.

It’s awesome knowing that my contact is actively looking to help me and that he wasn’t just saying pretty words in his last email to me. He reached out to me with a posting I didn’t even see even though I had checked the hospital’s page just last night.

Currently Big Bad is waiting for me to finish writing so we can hang out tonight. We’re both tired so hopefully, it’s a quiet night we were both relax and unwind from our busy days. I’m looking forward to it, and the morning where we maybe do strength training. Tomorrow will be a dojo day for sure. Jujitsu so I can finally wear my new gi.

It’s still too clean. I need some blood, sweat, and tears on it. Can’t get my blue belt otherwise. : )

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Daily Post 011: First Interview

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Saturday. 10am. I woke up at 5 but decided that was a bit unholy so I rolled over and went back to sleep. I kept waking up, staying in the light fog of half-sleep half-aware, and making the choice to stay in bed, snuggling deeper into my blankets while Scarlet stretched all cat-like next to me.

It’s been so long since I’ve done that. Indulged in that. Rolled over and continued to sleep, knowing I’ve done well and that since there’s nothing pressing or urgent, nothing required, I can bask in the feeling of being in bed and secure.

And maybe it hasn’t been as long as I think. Maybe the past two weeks have been so busy and “normal” that it just feels like it’s been an eternity. Going to kickboxing yesterday probably factors into it. My body is still on the low end of the energy spectrum because of the intensity level. Almost 24 hours and I’m still not fully recovered.

I had suspended my membership to Title Boxing to try the dojo. The suspension lasted for three months. On February 20th my contract became active again, which means, yeah, I’ll get hit with the payment, but I also have access to go back to the gym which may in my favor. The gym opens earlier than the dojo, so I can go there, have a morning workout, then go to class. In the evening I can do one class at the dojo and still feel fulfilled. I enjoy morning workouts and I’ve missed being able to have them.

Since there’s not much I can do since my Title Boxing membership is a contract I would rather find ways to make it positive rather than being aggravated about it. I would also rather use it than not since I have to pay regardless of what I do.

I’m going to find out today when my contract ends. I’m fairly certain it’s around June. I’m trying to figure out my finances for the future and my membership is one of the variables I need to solidify.

I suppose I should mention that I’ve had two quizzes for my EKG class, which I’ve aced. I also had my first test this past Friday… jeez… yesterday. Friday was only yesterday…

I got a 95 on the test because I missed one question. It was in regards to the normal frequency value of the T wave on an EKG reading. Missing one out of 20 other numbers I had to remember isn’t too bad. I’m happy with how I did.

I had an interview Thursday. My first interview in five years. Only the fourth one ever in my whole life.

It went well. I was originally applying for a housekeeping position. Through talking to the lady interviewing me and finding out about everything I have done/am currently doing to enter the medical field, she mentioned that a resident caregiver position may be more in line with what I wanted to do.

I said that I had seen the position on their website, but I wasn’t sure if I was qualified enough to apply for it. She loved my resume and all of the answers I gave to the interview questions. She said my purple hair wouldn’t be an issue and that honestly, she hadn’t noticed it. It’s very non-offensive and if it does become an issue then wearing a bandana should be fine. She said she noticed my “pretty blue eyes” more than my hair.

She told me a bit about her journey with the company; how she started as part time answering the phone and is now the training manager for new managers. There were actually several stories of employees starting out in entry positions who are now directors or program managers of their areas. The company is very interested in supporting its employees and promoting from within.

She mentioned her office is located in the of the facilities she would be sending my resume to. There are two locations with part-time caregiver positions available. Both of them are fairly close to my apartment, so I think I would be ok at either, but I would prefer the Oviedo location since I know one person there, even if it’s only because I spent twenty minutes talking to her in an interview.

She asked what I wanted to do for my future, and I was honest and told her that I didn’t really know. I was more looking to “get in” and to see where it took me. We touched a bit on mom’s death and why I am having the change of direction I am. I mentioned I had thought about physical therapy. She said at her location there’s an on-call nurse who helps with physical therapy routines. It could be arranged for me to work closely with this particular nurse to gain exposure to what physical therapy is really like.

After a year of being with the company there’s also tuition assistance, so if I wanted to go to school for something the company would help me grow in that direction.

It’s interesting to think about staying with a company and moving upward. Full Sail didn’t have vertical moment. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had worked there for 10 years. Full Sail doesn’t count teaching as experience. I would have had to leave the school and worked a different job then come back if they even had a position open, or killed myself doing tons of freelance to ever have the “right” experience to become an associate course director or course director. I don’t even know what the qualifications are for a program director, nor do I think that would have been a position I wanted. It’s more business related rather than student/teaching related.

Anyway…

That was my first interview since mom died.

That was my first step towards gainful employment. At least I’m counting it as my first step. I’ve been filling out applications. I’ve been doing “stuff”, but this was an actual interview with another person, and it went well.

At the end I asked if she had any feedback for how I handled the interview and she said I did fantastic and I had nothing to worry about. It was nice to hear her high praise, at the same time I would have liked to have some sort of constructive feedback. There’s always room for improvement, right? I mean, I’m not perfect, so how could I have done better?

I think I could have answered the questions I was asked smoother. I mean, I answered them well, but there were a few times I wanted to stop and make sure I was saying what I wanted to the way I wanted it to be said. I think part of that is being an INFJ. I also think part of that is not being used to having to explain my reasons for things, like, “Why the change in direction?” I think the more I have to answer questions like that, the smoother and more ok with my responses I’ll be.

I know this interview might not pan out. I didn’t get a call yesterday, which I wasn’t really expecting one, but waiting over the weekend is going to drive me insane. If I don’t hear back by 2 pm Friday then I’m going to call both locations and ask if my application has had a chance to be reviewed.

Financially it’s not going to be a lot. At most, $10 an hour. I’m going to push for ten even though I was ballparked with $9.50 as a caregiver.

Mom’s retirement check came in. We have to wait for the court to do red tape nonsense, but that money should be in before too much longer. That will make things easier, but it doesn’t change the fact that I NEED Warren to step up and start contributing to the apartment. It’s not an, “it would be really nice if you would” situation anymore. I won’t be able to pay everything on my own.

I’ve been looking at job postings for EKG techs and there’s not much. I’m finding more for phlebotomy, which I’m not even sure I’ll be able to stomach yet. I think I could work through my fear of stabbing people with needles, but I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable taking a needle myself. I think the class is going to be rough, but I think I can do it. I think it would be easier to get a job in that area than some of the others.

I’ve also seen a lot of postings for PCTs, but I won’t be eligible for those until around May, potentially. Some of them are only CNA with an additional certification. So it’s possible I can get PCT with my CNA and EKG certificates. It’s possible I could be at the hospital as soon as the beginning of April.

I am scheduled to get my fingerprints taken for the background check required for the CNA test. That was $80 I wasn’t expecting. If it helps me get employed then it’s worth it. I’m supposed to have that done Tuesday before therapy since they’re in the same area. Figured I would do it smarter not harder.

Once the Board of Nursing receives my background check they will assign me a test date. Next week I’m going to start staying after class to practice the procedures again.

The first day of EKG class I saw my old instructor for the nursing course I took. It was fantastic to see him again and I totally gave him a hug. We chatted for a bit. I’m pretty sure he would be willing to help me. If he could watch me do a few of the procedures each day so they’re fresh in my mind I would feel more comfortable about my test.

Becoming a CNA would give me more options as well. I’ve seen several postings for CNA positions though not as many as PCT and phlebotomy.

I crunched some numbers in regards to my expenses and it’s going to be tight for a while. I’m not paying rent right now since the apartment is paid in full for the year. That means I need to figure out what I need to do when it becomes October and my living expenses go up by $500.

Currently, even if I was making $16 an hour full time, I would be scrapping by when October hits, and there’s nothing saying I’ll be making that much.

I still need to factor some things, but I think what I need to do is pay off my credit card before then. Right now I put $300 a month towards it. I need to seriously increase that. Getting the last bit of the retirement money will help. Getting paid back a few things that are owed to me will help. Getting a second job after school will most likely be what does the trick.

So I think that’s going to be my mid-term goal.

Short term Goals

Find immediate part-time employment
Complete CNA and EKG certifications
Complete school

Mid-term Goals

Secure full-time job
Secure seconed part-time job
Pay off credit card

Who knows, maybe I’ll like the second job and keep it to pay off my car after the credit card is done. After that there are the federal loans I still have, but with an extra $600 free from not having the credit card or car payment I may be ok with going back down to one job. Or who knows, maybe I’ll keep it and blast through that as well on top of being able to pay for my own place, no roommate needed.

All I know is that $10 an hour isn’t going to cut it, and even if I made higher than that it would still be uncomfortable.

School eats into a chunk of my day, and it’s not something I’m going to sacrifice on. I still want the dojo, so that’s another non-sacrificial part of my day. That means I don’t have a lot of time to give, but I can give a little. So that means, for the moment, I’ll get a little.

A little is better than nothing, and it’s a stepping stone. I don’t know where I want to go, but this is definitely a forward direction. And it’s into the area I think I want to be in. Or at least moving closer in that direction.

There’s a lot of unknown factors that may make this process easier. I’m not sure how much my uncle will want to pay for my portion of mom’s timeshare once the deed is divided. I’m not sure if Warren is going to get a better job and start to pay me back for helping him move or if Sir will be able to return the money I loaned him. My blacksmith was extremely happy with a template I made for him and said he would pass my name around the cosplay community which might pull in some extra revenue. There’s a potential side project where rigging would be needed as well, which a former coworker has reached out to me about.

There are all sorts of things that “could” happen.

Right now I know for sure, 100%, I can count on myself. So, with just myself, I can make this work by getting a job now, and then most likely a second job once my schedule frees up a bit after school.

Ideally, I would have a full-time job over the weekends. Three 12 hour shifts, which would leave my week open for training at the dojo and part time job to pull in a bit more money for my financial goals. Friday and Sunday I don’t go to the dojo, so I wouldn’t feel bad about missing anything. Ideally, this would be my higher paying job as well so I would be pulling in the most for my time.

The part time job I would be ok with making less since all of that income would ideally be going to the credit card. Or whatever debt I am focusing on.

I know right now I’m not in the best position, but I feel like it’s manageable especially with proactive choices now. I need to change my situation by October. I would like to have two jobs by June. One where I make close to $15 an hour, the other either $10 or higher.

So that’s sort of where I’m at. I’m definitely on the left side of my brain right now. Problem-solving. Number crunching. System evaluating. I need to talk to Warren about the storage unit because that’s a cost I think we can remove or at least lower. I’m going to be using part of the retirement check to finish off the phone issue with Zane’s line, which is more expensive up front but will save me money in the end. I may also switch back to Metro since that’s $40 a month versus $70 and I was happy with their service.

I don’t know if I’m really happy right now. I know I’m not unhappy. Maybe content is a good word. I’m content with where I’m at and I’m proud of a lot of the things I’ve been able to do the past two weeks.

I’ve been consistent with the dojo. And I say “consistent” when I’ve only gone twice, so maybe that’s misleading. I went Monday for submission grappling, which completely kicked my ass. After not being at the dojo for almost three weeks, one of which I was sick with a severe cold/mild flu, I felt like being completely tapped out was understandable.

As a result, I went for a light run Tuesday rather than going back to the dojo. Wednesday I did Muay Thai conditioning. Thursday I didn’t do anything since I had class and then my interview. I went to my sports bar afterward to celebrate by having two Angry Orchards while studying for my test the next day. Which, by the way, alcohol and studying totally go hand in hand.

I spent the evening with Big Bad playing Mortal Combat. We finally figured out how to do the super badass fatality x-ray moves. So brutal. So awesome.

It was an awesome night and I’m glad I was able to spend it with him. Since we went to sleep late we skipped our strength training in the morning, but that’s ok. I made up for it by going to Title Boxing for their noon kickboxing class after acing my test.

So yeah, as far as working out, this week has gone well. I’m going to be going to another Muay Thai class at the dojo in about an hour. Afterward, I’m going to be staying at the dojo to pull up the mats. Paul posted in the Facebook group that the dojo is getting new mats. They want to pull the old ones up so when they get the new ones tonight they can go ahead and place them down. I won’t be able to help out tonight since I already have plans, but I want to help in some way, so I’m planning to stay after class and do some of the prep work.

I already have laundry going, and eventually, once I come home and shower I’ll need to go do grocery shopping. This weekend is most likely going to be pretty chill overall. I haven’t celebrated my test yet. Maybe I can convince Big Bad to do pizza with me to celebrate. When I pass my EKG board I plan to get the shin guards I want from Venum. I haven’t figured out what to do for passing phlebotomy if I pass, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

I feel like I’m doing better about taking care of myself emotionally and spiritually. I can tell my metabolism is picking back up. My endurance is coming back now that most of the cobwebs are swept out of my muscles.

Hopefully, things settle down a bit and I can find the energy at the end of my days to start writing again. Or maybe now that I’m not going to be spending my mornings researching I can write while drinking my coffee.

Not sure, but consistency with my writing is my next focus. I miss writing and every night I go to sleep without doing it I feel like I’m dishonoring myself. It’s not a giant icky feeling, but it is a small pinprick, a twinge in my heart chakra, of knowing that I didn’t put myself first. I let something else come between me and my feeling of closure.

I don’t like that, so I’m going to work to fix it.

I guess that’s a good way of summing everything up. I’m working. I’m doing. I’m moving forward. Not just in one area, but in several, and knowing that I have a heading makes a lot of things feel better. I might not get to where I’m going via the path I think I will, but as long as I keep in mind where I want to go, then I’ll get there eventually.

It’s a good feeling. A warm feeling. A solid, stable, confident feeling.

I’m being true to myself. I’m being honest with myself. It makes it feel like I doing things right and that mom would be proud of me.

Daily Post 010: This Is A Long Post… You’ve Been Warned

Standard

I like life. It’s fascinating. I also like that I’m older than I was. Being older has given me time to see some of the patterns that occur in my life. Some not so good. *cough relationships cough*

But some are. Namely, how the Universe usually has events play out for me.

My first conscious recognition of this pattern happened the week after I graduated high school. During high school, I was pretty much a slacker. I excelled in normal level course work because I wasn’t driven enough to take the higher level classes I should have been in. I let myself get absorbed in marching band as a way to not have to socialize with the normal school population. I mean really… I don’t care who is dating who and I actually couldn’t care less about your feeling of injustice that you’re parents “demand” that you do something. Seriously, grow the fuck up.

I also didn’t have much ambition as far as getting a job or having a car. My mom and boyfriend took me where I wanted/needed to go, and if they didn’t then I didn’t go. Band took up too much time after school to allow for anything outside of school, and I didn’t “need” money anyway so, meh. Why worry about a job?

Then graduation happened. My mom had a graduation party for me. I also had a party with my dad since he was living in South Carolina at the time. It was only a three-hour car ride to his place and I remember it was actually a pretty nice event. Warm fuzzy memories.

But then the dust settled and I was left outside of the bubble that had been high school, finally part of the “real world”. I had “accomplished” something in life and now it was time to be an adult. And I say “accomplished” because there was never a question about if I would graduate. I knew I would. There wasn’t a challenge to it. And if I hadn’t of graduated my mom would have killed me, brought me back from the dead, and made sure as hell that I didn’t fuck it up the second time. For all that she was an amazing, loving, and understanding parent, she knew how to make sure my brothers and I stayed in line and did what we were supposed to do.

So yeah, graduation itself didn’t feel special or really noteworthy in my head. It was just an event. Another day. One where I had to get up early, stand in line for an empty folder, and then stand in another line to actually get a stupid piece of paper that no one in my career so far has cared enough to ask about or see.

Right Brain: Fucking annoying piece of paper… So wasn’t worth the half a day I lost of my life having to suffer through the graduatuion ceremony…

I woke up one morning shortly after graduation and had the mental thought to myself, “Well, I guess I should get stuff done.”

Within the first week of being a high school graduate, I got my license, got my first car, and got my first job. I went from zero to gainfully employed member of society in a matter of days and still managed to play World of Warcraft way more than what was probably healthy.

Yeah, go me. I’m a badass who can get shit done.

Attending Full Sail was similar. I was working at the Citadel help desk. I wasn’t doing much with life. I wasn’t really liking it to be honest. And I was still playing World of Warcraft, not that it’s a bad game, just noting that instead of being “productive” I was self-medicating through gaming. In a way, I think it helped because doing something relatively mindless allowed my brain to relax and meander over the deeper subconscious thoughts in my head.

Within a week of finding out about Full Sail, I was enrolled and scheduled for a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the school. I also had apartment viewings lined up for while I was in Orlando so I could have a place to live while I attended school. I went from disenchanted to stoked about my change in direction in a matter of days.

I’m sure there are other, minor instances between the time I was a student to March 23, 2016 but they didn’t leave a lasting impression if they happened.

My next notable shift was when mom died. This shift, too, happened in a matter of days. I lost my mom, my relationship, and my career all at the same time, even though it took a while all of those events to fully resolve.

Mom’s viewing, in my mind, took over a week since we had to wait so long to get the urn back. Then I had to travel to South Carolina for the actual viewing, and then once it was done, I was supposed to spread her ashes over my grandparents grave, only to be told once I got there I wasn’t allowed to do that.

Right Brain: What the actual fuck, Universe? Can you just let me finish one god damn thing in my life right now?

Honestly, I think it was for the best. I’m glad I still have her ashes with me.

Zane and I broke up over the phone while I was in Vegas taking care of mom. It wasn’t until I got back to Orlando that I found out about his betrayal, and to this day that issue isn’t fully resolved. He’s still on my phone plan, and I’m not sure what’s going on with the apartment though I know the lease ends in May.

I spent and additional two months working at Full Sail after mom’s death. So leaving wasn’t as instant as I thought it would be. But all three of those events, mom’s death, the breakup itself, and the decision to leave the school, all happened within days of each other.

And then there’s the rollercoaster of what my life has been for the past 10 and a half months. The confusion about where I was going to end up living. The constant change of what I wanted to do about future employment. Working through not only my grief over mom’s death but the garbage of Zane and even issues with my younger brother.

There’s been a lot that’s happened. A lot that I’ve survived.

And so now here I am. $3000 left to my name. Being honest here. Realistic. I’m almost broke and bills aren’t going to care. They’re still going to want to be paid.

Last month was when I started looking for employment in the area. Money was dwindling down. I knew time was finite. I wanted to be proactive rather than reactive so I wanted to put in the effort to find work sooner rather than later.

I hadn’t heard anything back from the places I applied and the trip to Disney with Allison put a hold on most things in my life, so I didn’t sweat over it too much. Then I was sick for a week.

No One Ever: Fun times…

Then my Warrior Dash, something I was going to do regardless of how close to my death bed I was from the plague I had caught. It was an amazing experience and I’m glad I was able to share it with Big Bad. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s one of the biggest reasons it was such an amazing event for me.

And here we are at Thursday already and part of my brain is wondering how so many events could transpire between Monday and today.

It started by my return to feeling low. Saturday was awesome, and Sunday wasn’t bad, but I was still unemployed and needing to figure out what to do with my life. I wanted a job, but I was getting to the point where anything sounded better than nothing. I even picked up an Arby’s application because they had a “now hiring” sign even though I knew I would hate working there.

Left Brain: At least it wouldn’t be McDonald’s? Maybe we could hate it less than other places?

Right Brain: This is all your fault. I’m going to go play with crayons and magical unicorn dolls until you figure this shit out.

As an INFJ I would really rather not hate my job, but having food is nice. I would rather have food and hate my job then starve or become a mooching slacker.

For some reason, I ended up on LinkedIn. I think it was because of Warren. We were talking about employment and he mentioned contract houses. I was poking around online looking at places I could reach out to and end up on LinkedIn I think with the original intention of updating my profile. I’ve never looked at their job posting section so I thought, “What the heck? Might as well…”

I mean… it’s not like it’s a website dedicated to professional networking and job placement or anything…

Well, since I had really liked the idea of the patient transporter position I decided to look at what medical postings there were in my area. Wouldn’t you know it, the listing for the transporter position was still there. Not only was it still there, apparently I had a contact at the hospital.

Me: The fuck? Who do I know at the hospital?

My faculty advisor from Full Sail, the guy who helped set me up with my Digital Arts and Design degree while I was a Lab Specialist, the guy who knew everything about my 3D Blitz event and PCC Critiques, and all of the continuing education stuff I was doing/did do… the guy who knew EVERYTHING that happened in regards to my mom… Yeah… that guy… he’s now the recruitment sources supervisor for the hospital…

Yeah… Don’t worry… Me, too. My brain couldn’t even.

Seriously, I sat there rereading his title over and over because there was no way that name and that position were right. I mean, it couldn’t be…, right? Life does NOT work like that…

But… apparently, it does. I messaged him through LinkedIn saying I genuinely hoped he had been doing well. I explained since resigning from Full Sail that I had been looking to get into the medical field. My most notable step towards that goal was becoming a home health aid, and that I had applied for the transporter position a few weeks back. I asked if he had any advice or guidance for getting my resume to stand out.

Promptly after sending that message I went and gushed all of my anxiety to Warren. I didn’t want my contact to think I was using him solely for the prospect of getting a job. He really, truly was one of the best people I interacted with at Full Sail and I really did hope he was doing well. I also really wanted him to know that I had applied.

Right Brain: He’s going to think you’re a self-serving leech and that you’re using him purely for self-gain. Feel awful. Feel very, very awful and think about what you’ve done.

Warren reassured me that I had done exactly what I should have. I reached out to someone I know via a professional avenue in regards to a professional situation.

I felt better after the conversation but still had a hard time sleeping. Who wouldn’t, right?

So all of that was Sunday. Depressing battle with the directionless feeling of my life, more job searching, finding my contact and having my mind blown by the situation, reaching out to him, and then talking with Warren about my fears.

Pretty full day both event wise and emotion wise.

I woke up early Monday morning since I had arranged to have breakfast with Nicole. Breakfast was awesome. We got to catch up since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen her.

While I had been driving to meet her I got a response from my contact. His message alleviated all of my fears and made me feel valued as well as humbled.

Contact: How do you make your resume stand out? Jennifer, you’re amazing.

He said to send him my resume directly and he would kick it over to the people at the location I wanted to be at. This could not be happening. Again, life DOES NOT work like this… at least my life doesn’t. It can’t. Things don’t just WORK… do they?

I told Nicole about the job situation and we talked for a while as we ate and enjoyed each others company. We ended up parting ways and I went home to email my contact and send him the information he requested.

He replied about two minutes later to my email saying he was sending it forward.

Thirty minutes later I got an auto-generated email saying the position had already been filled.

Right Brain: But… but…

I reread the message a few times. Nope. Says the position has been filled. Not my brain dicking around with me. Well… shit… That… that really sucks.

I emailed my contact back a few hours later after letting the information sink in. I thanked him for everything he had done to help me out. I said I was going to keep my eye on the website for other postings I might be qualified for and that I was going to try to look at this as taking the scenic route to my destination rather than as a roadblock.

I was still feeling bummed, though. My email might have sounded optimistic, but on the inside, I was fighting to not let depression swarm in and cover everything in a “Life is pointless. It never works out. Why are you trying so hard when you know you’re a fai….”

Me: Don’t even finish that word or so help me Freya I’ll stab you so hard with a fucking q-tip you won’t even know what to wish for.

So yeah, it was rough. I decided that the best thing to do was to call someone. I needed to talk out the emotions and really just have someone listen. You know, maybe give a little, “Yeah that sucks, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” type of support. I didn’t want or need answers or advice just an ice pack for my ego.

I decided to call my younger brother. I figured he would 1) be able to talk, and 2) could relate to the whole job thing not working out since not too long ago he was in the same boat as me. Looking for a job and hitting brick walls face first.

Well… in hindsight that was probably one of the stupidest decisions I’ve made in a while. Right next to deciding to have breakfast at 9 am so I had to drive through rush hour traffic while literally half of the length of the trip is under construction…

Looking at it that way, Monday was just not my day for smart choices…

Anyway, I called Jon. I prefixed the conversation with, “I really just need to talk and get it all out. Is that cool?”

He said yeah, I talked through all of the events of the past less than twenty-four hours and at the end I ended the epic story with, “And the position’s been filled already.”

Jon: You wouldn’t have liked the position anyway. That’s not what you should be doing.

Me: Oh… Well.. What would you recommend?

He then went on to say that I need to stop jumping back and forth on career choices. I really should be using the skill set I already have. I should take the job in California because it would be a good experience. I’m not going to get a medical job because I’m only a lowly health aid going up against CNAs, PCTs, and a whole slue of other letters formed into seemingly random patterns that somehow make them better employees than me.

It was a pretty shitty conversation. At least, at the time it was. It hurt. I had already just been kicked in the face by Life. I had been hoping for some reassurance that even though it sucked it would be ok, and instead I got uppercut by someone who is extremely close to me. At least that’s what it felt like.

At the end of the conversation, he had the grace to say, “And I just said all of that wrong, didn’t I?”

Me: You didn’t say anything that I didn’t already know.

I was crying not so silent tears by the time we got off the phone. I was feeling crushed. What am I really doing with life? I mean, not even my brother thinks that what I’m doing is right. I really am just a fuck up.

Yeah… that battle I had been fighting before the conversation with my brother… totally lost.

Jen – hardcore loss
Life – undisputed win

I ended up going to a gas station and getting a pack of cigarettes. I had been doing so well. Two weeks without. I went to one of the parks that I frequent when I need to be outside. I sat and smoked and felt miserable. Total pity party and I gave zero fucks about throwing it.

I reached out to Sir asking if he could talk because at the time I needed someone, anyone, to tell me that things would be ok. I needed those words. I needed to know I wasn’t a failure because that word was ricocheting inside my head again like a bullet.

It took him a while to respond, but he eventually did. He said he would call shortly, so I waited. While I was waiting I got a reply from my previous email with my contact.

He was sorry the position was filled already, but he would keep an eye out for me, and if I happened to see anything on the website to let him know. He said he “knows I’m a good one,” and he wants me at the hospital because, “the hospital needs more people like [me].”

He said “you” in the email, but that would make the sentence I just wrote sound weird, so I changed it to “me” because grammar.

My contact also gave me advice on getting hired. He said if I could become a PCT that more doors would be opened.

Knowing my contact was still on my side greatly changed my mood around. Not instantly, but in the course of about ten minutes worth of reflection. By the time I was able to talk to Sir I was feeling more stable. I had thought through some of the things Jon had said to me, too.

In a lot of ways, Jon was right. I needed to pick a direction and go with it. And he was also right in that I don’t stand out well against other applicants.

If my contact is going to help me, I need to help him.

It also helped that I had talked to Big Bad a bit. I told him about not getting the position and that I was bummed. I didn’t want him to know how “bummed” was more like “soul-crushingly depressed”. I didn’t want to mess up his day or make him feel bad because I wasn’t feeling well.

He asked what I was doing later in the evening. I said I had dance class or the dojo I could go to, but that I hadn’t committed to either one. Really I had no intention of going, but I didn’t want to admit to being depressed and that being the reason I wasn’t going to do anything.

Me: What are your plans?
Big Bad: My socks need rolling.
Me: Would it be ok if I rolled them for you?
Big Bad: Sure

That made me feel so much better. I didn’t care if he didn’t want me to stay the night. I was ok with going over there and doing one small task because it was one small thing that I knew I could do. I could roll socks for someone. I could still be helpful and useful. I can still do things right.

The conversation continued and it helped me so much. By the end of the conversation with both Big Bad and Sir, I was feeling so much more stable. Not just flatlined, square one feeling. I was a little in the positive again. I even stopped by Game Stop on my way home and picked up a copy of Mortal Combat for Big Bad and me to play. I have been meaning to get the game for a bit so I was also productive and accomplished something on my to-do list.

Right Brain: Eat a dick, Life. You CANNOT keep me down.

The evening was pretty fantastic. We didn’t do any of the chores listed out in our text messages. Socks didn’t get rolled. Pockets didn’t get sown. But… I did get to kick Big Bad’s ass in Mortal Combat. Thrashed really. Totally, completely owned. It was epic.

Ok… maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I did do really well, and him not so much.

But that’s ok. We switched to Soul Caliber and everything became even. He won twice as much as I did. After a bit of that, we switched to Tekken, which we’re actually pretty evenly matched at. It was a great night.

We also cuddled for a while and I got to tell him about my day and the ups and downs of it. At the end, I had a pretty good game plan in my head for what I wanted to do the next day.

Sexy time didn’t happen and it wasn’t purely for the fact that I’m on my cycle. Maybe Big Bad knew, or there’s a pheromone thing that my body is doing, or whatever, but there wasn’t a push for things to be sexual. We played video games and cuddled and talked, and eventually, we both went to sleep and it was another night where I slept pretty well. I liked it. I liked that I was given companionship and a safe place to recover from the roughness of the day.

In the morning we woke up and had coffee. As I was sitting on the stool at his kitchen table Big Bad came up behind me, wrapping his arms around me the way he does, and said, “Happy Valintine’s Day.”

All of the warm fuzzy feelings.

There weren’t gifts, there weren’t flower petals strewn on the floor. There was a warm hug of genuine caring.

It was perfect.

We did our strength workout, back this time, though, my biceps were hating me be the end. Big Bad showered and got ready for work. I caught up on some of my emails. We parted ways in the driveway, kisses and hugs goodbye with wishes of having good days exchanged.

Tuesday wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t feeling well due to my body hating on me. I cooked and got some stuff done, but overall I took it easy. My body felt tired, which that’s a musing for a whole different post. The main thing to take away from Tuesday is that even though I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked, it was a good day and I promised myself if I was feeling better Wednesday that I would move forward with my battle plan.

Well… Wednesday… all of the things, because I haven’t typed like twelve pages worth of stuff already…

It started with some research. I needed to find out more about PCTs, which, by the way, means patient care technician. So many abbreviations… >.<;

Well… on Glassdoor, the hospital is listed as paying $16 an hour for PCTs. Um… yes, please. I looked up the PCT courses on the FHCA website. It’s pretty expensive, but I’ve already done the HHA, home health aide, course, so it was possible, highly likely, that I would get a discount. There’s also the CNA test that I paid for and never received a test date for that I could look into.

So my main course of action was to figure out what I could and could not do in relation to becoming a PCT. I went to the school, asked a bunch of questions, got a bunch of information, and even got my certificates from the courses I completed back in August. Yeah… I never went and picked those up. But now I have them. Yay certificates with shiny stickers on them.

Basically, I found out that I don’t have enough money to pay for the certificate and maintain my expenses. Not without getting more money or having some sort of income myself. I decided that I needed to talk to my older brother first.

I had messaged him earlier in the morning asking if we could talk after he got home from work. Having the information from FHCA, oh, that one means Florida Health Care Academy…  meant the conversation with Jason would be more business and less theory, which would actually make it a more productive conversation. Didn’t really change the fact that I didn’t want to move forward until I had more data from him in regards to mom’s retirement fund.  The lady I spoke with said I had until Saturday to sign up for the classes that start this coming Monday, so I wasn’t worried about the time frame.

After figuring out all of that I went to my sports bar for lunch and proceeded to go through all of my emails since they were getting backed up again, and paid bills since it was the 15th. I updated Warren’s excel sheet with the new amounts he owes me and sent him a link to the Google Doc. I also sent a message saying I wasn’t demanding or expecting payment. This was me giving him data essentially since he’s getting back on his feet and I wanted him to have all of the information so he could make the best decisions.

I came back home, did a few chores, cross stitched for a bit while listening to Spotify on the Playstation. Pretty much chilled until I could talk to my brother.

The conversation was pretty good. We talked about movies for a bit because how can you not talk about the Batman movie? We talked about him being employed again since he just retired from the Air Force. Eventually, we made our way to the real reason for the call. I told him the whole story about what had happened, the direction I’m looking at going in now, and the issue with funding this endeavor.

We’re still owed a bit of money from mom’s retirement fund. That’s most likely not going to be here anytime soon, though, and I borrowed part of my money from that already, so when it comes in, part of is going to Jason. That’s how I was able to pay for the apartment in full for the year. So even when it comes in, for me, it’s not going to be as much as it will be for my brothers.

There’s also the deed to the timeshare mom owned a part of. But that’s also caught up in legal red tape and we don’t know how much our third of a third of the timeshare is going to be worth. So in regards to both of those things, I’m pretty much taking the mentality of, “Until I have the money, the money doesn’t exist.”

Well… damn. Ok… Regardless, I’m going to make this work.

I reached out to Sir in regards to the money he owes me. I was worried about the conversation. Like, almost sick from worrying about messing up our friendship. It was actually an extremely healthy and informative conversation and I’m glad we were able to have it.

He’s hoping to be able to pay me a large sum soon, but again, the date isn’t confirmed and so in my head, until I have it it doesn’t exist.

I still need to reach out to Mother Earth. She doesn’t owe a lot, but she did say she would pay me back, and even the little she does owe would help pay for food, or a bill, or something. Something is better than nothing.

I also want to reach out to Allison since she mentioned helping to cover the cost of the Disney trip since it was so expense. The first morning we were at the vacation house she mentioned about it being expensive and how if I wanted her to reimburse me for any of it to let her know. I mentioned how the bride wasn’t supposed to pay for her bachelorette party.

Allison: Yeah well, most brides don’t demand a week at Disney from their friends.

I can’t argue that…

During the conversation with Sir, I had been looking at jobs. Since I am a home health aide, there’s nothing saying I can’t get a job with that and work while I’m doing the PCT courses. While I was poking around on the Internet applying to things Jon called me and wanted to talk. I had been in the middle of typing something so I told him I would call him back in a few minutes. I wanted to finish the train of thought for the application first before switching gears.

Got that done and submitted, called him back, he told me about what was going on in his life, and I told him about my decision.

I also got to tell him that I appreciated our conversation on Monday. He and I communicate very differently, and though the conversation hadn’t been what I had been looking for, it wasn’t a “bad” conversation and some of the things he said helped me figure out what I wanted to do.

I told him about the financial situation I’m in. I asked if I could hold off on paying him back for the trips we took this holiday season so I could use that money for this endeavor. He said that was fine. He said he’s actually in a better position now that he has a job and is looking for a roommate, which is good. I’m glad things are working better for him and that, like myself, he’s moving in a positive direction in life. It’s nice that he can allow me the breathing room with the money and not be financially hurting himself.

I also asked the question, prefixing with, “You can say no and nothing will change. This is me seeing what options I have so I know what I can and can’t do or count on. If I end up needing help to do this, would you be willing to help me?”

He said yes. I would really rather not need help especially with how much I harp and complain and flat out bitch about people borrowing money. The only reason I owe him for the trip is because it was easier for one person to buy the tickets than trying to work everything out separately.

I feel like I would be a hypocrite if I asked for money. I also feel like if I do end up needing help that this is a situation where I am being taught to stay humble and not judge others so harshly.

I know people will be more willing to help me if it looks like I’m trying to help myself, so after the phone call with my younger brother I went back and applied for three more positions as well as RSVPed for a career fair this coming Thursday.

At the end of our conversation, Jon mentioned that it would be nice if, once I’m employed, we could figure out a way to meet up weekly for coffee or something along those lines.

Before Jon joined the Army, he worked at the same hospital mom did. They actually worked on the same floor in the wards across from one another. Mom worked days, Jon worked nights, but every Monday morning they would meet and have breakfast together and talk about their shifts. I know it’s something that Jon enjoyed and it’s something he misses. It’s one of those things that made mom home rather than a house or location. When mom died, Jon lost his “Monday morning breakfasts”, just like I lost my “conversations about nothing”.

I can’t put into words how deeply moved I am that he wants to have something like that with me. We know we can’t replace mom. It’s something I said early in the conversation last night. How I had called Monday because I had wanted to hear mom, but Jon isn’t mom and it wasn’t fair to him. I can’t replace mom but I can still meet up with my brother and we can figure out a new way to continue on with our lives. Together.

Another thing he said towards the end of our conversation last night was how he did think I would be successful if I became a caregiver.

That.

That right there.

That sentence meant so much to me. More than anything else, knowing that he believes in me, that he thinks I can do it, made all of my choices up to this point feel even more right.

Just like I can’t replace mom, Jon can’t replace mom, either, but we can both be supportive of each other, and I think that’s something we’re both learning how to do not only as siblings but as adults.

So…

I have the support of both my brothers and I have the will to figure this out. I WILL make this work, and every obstacle Life puts in my way is only going to solidify my resolve to accomplish my goal.

I WILL get a job. I WILL sign up for the PCT courses. And I WILL do amazing in my new career choice.

So, here we are at Thursday. I get to see Big Bad tonight. Tomorrow morning is leg day as far as our workout goes. I bought a black gi last week which should come in tomorrow. I plan to start back at the dojo hardcore Monday with my new gi and my new direction in life. Today I’m looking into the apartment situation with Zane and making sure the complex knows I will not be renewing the lease. I need to figure out if there’s anything I have to do past that so I’m not adversely affected by anything in the future. There’s a CPR certification class at FHCA tomorrow I want to take, so I need to get money to pay for that.

I got more information about the phones yesterday because I called Verizon. That’s more information that I’ll most likely write about in another post.

The big takeaway is, I’m no longer stagnate, and just like all the other times in my life when change occurs, it’s everything all at once. I was directionless, still, building up frustration with myself for not having or taking action steps. Well now I know what to do with everything, or at least I know where I need and want to start.

I’m also looking into my CNA test today. So, lots of things to do before having a wonder night.

Today is going to get so owned.

Right Brain: Come on, Life. Come at me, bro.

 

Musing Moment 106: Post-Race

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I haven’t written in a while and a lot has happened since Saturday. That means I’m most likely going to meander and that there will actually be a few posts; one for my post-race thoughts, and one for the rest of life.

Without further ado,
here’s the outcome of my Warrior Dash 2017.

 


 

Saturday was amazing. Of course, I only got a few hours of sleep because I couldn’t get my brain to settle down. Despite all of that, I was in fairly good spirits when I actually got up, albeit a little slowly.

Big Bad picked up breakfast from Chick-Fil-A. He ate my hashbrowns and drank my coffee because I didn’t want either of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed the chicken biscuit he brought me. Since we had time, we ate in my living room, which I guess isn’t really all that special in most situations but since he very rarely comes over to my apartment it made the occasion feel special and reinstilled the notion that I really should get a kitchen table.

After we ate we grabbed our bags and headed out. I drove which I was fine with. I played music and we chatted pretty much the whole way there. The times we lapsed into silence were comfortable and I enjoyed them just as much as our conversation.

The day was bright and sunny and it warmed nicely as we drove to the race. We were there an hour earlier than I had been last year, so parking was better. We took out our bags, walked up to the race site and proceeded to do all of the check-in stuff; signed the waiver saying if we died we wouldn’t sue, got our IDs checked so we could get beer afterward, picked up our racing bibs, and stashed our bags so we could race.

It was actually a pretty painless process even though it was a little different than how I did things last year. I was a St. Jude Warrior last year so I was allowed in a special area. I’m glad we figured everything out without incident despite the small changes. I switched my shoes from sandals to my Vibrams, forgot to put sunscreen on so I’m  toasty burnt as I type this, and headed towards the start line.

Big Bad and I stood together. There was a family dressed up as the Incredibles. The announcer dude was playing pretty good music as we stood waiting for our wave to start. It was fun. I was a little nervous. This was going to be my first time running a race with someone else, it was going to be the first time I had run with another person in general in a while. I didn’t know what to expect but I didn’t let that eat away at me like I would have in my past. I acknowledged those feelings were there, respected them, and let them exist alongside my anticipation and excitement.

The countdown started, the flames when up, and then we were shuffling forward as we waited for space to form between people so we could actually run.

When we were able to start running it was nice. We had a slower pace than what I would normally do on my own, which was fantastic since I don’t pace myself well, which always leads me to burn out too soon. This year was also different in that it was sunny and dry. Last year it had rained the night before and started to rain again halfway through my race.

Because it was dry, the dirt was more like sand. It felt similar to running on the beach and my legs could tell the difference. The rain last year had packed the dirt down, making the run, overall, smoother.

It was interesting to note the difference. Even though I was running better, breathing better, and had way better endurance, the run itself was harder and pushed my limits. I wasn’t able to run the whole thing, but I did well and I know I did better than I did last year, and feeling that difference made it worth it.

I made it over every obstacle, even the new ones I hadn’t done before. Big Bad lost his glasses on Goliath, but took it in stride and didn’t let the mishap taint the experience.

When we crossed the finish line we were both given participation medals. We stood in line and got official Warrior Dash pictures taken together. We were hugging during it, which made me feel good. This was our first “real” outing, other than getting dinner together the few times we have, so the public displays of affection meant a lot to me.

After the pictures, we retrieved our bags and got in line to shower off. That, too, meant a lot to me. We held hands, we leaned against each other. When it was our turn he helped me rinse off and I returned the favor. Technically that was our first shower together. Covered in mud, using a garden hose surrounded by countless strangers, and yet it is one of the memories I think I’ll always cherish.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to admit that Big Bad is older than I am. Significantly. Part of me worries about people coming up and saying things like, “Isn’t he old enough to be your dad?” It’s that type of age difference. It’s why the public affection means a lot. Him reaching for my hand or wrapping his arm around me, his initiating the contact let me know that we’re ok. It doesn’t matter what other people think.

The shower was another instance of “it doesn’t matter what people think”. It was also non-sexual. It was a safe, controlled environment, sort of like a baby step for me, instead of diving headfirst into the deep end of all my insecurities and emotional baggage. The memory of hosing off makes me smile. A lot of my memories about the race make me smile.

Once we had washed as much of the mud off as we could we got our free beer and I went on the epic quest to find my food voucher for the meal I had prepaid for. That ended up being super annoying but being able to eat after the race was nice. We had a few beers together, got to watch a dance off competition to Micheal Jackson’s Thriller song, saw some tug of war matches, and were entertained for a while by some questionably drunk girls dancing.

It was fun but after a little bit, we were both ready to head home and shower for real. While we were driving out of the parking field Big Bad said he had “oodles of fun”. It warmed me to hear him go on about what a great time he had and how he wants to do it again. I  had been worried he wouldn’t  like the experience, but he had a blast and I’m so incredibly glad he did.

He’s actually already started looking into other tough mudder races. We have plans to run the Spartan in December but want to find something mid-year to run so we have a short term goal to keep us motivated.

I like thinking that he exposed me to jujitsu and I exposed him to tough mudders. It’s amazing having someone to share this interest with; someone who legitimately wants to have these experiences with me rather than feeling guilted into them, or doing them out of a sense of obligation. It feels bonding and I like being able to share this part of myself with someone.

The drive back was quieter. We were both tired, but still looking forward to the evening. We had made plans to see The Lego Batman movie if we survived our race. Well, we survived so movie time was happening.

I parked the car, we hugged and parted ways for a bit. After showering I put on my Warrior Dash 2017 shirt and headed over to Big Bad’s place. We cuddled for a short time since we didn’t want to be too early to the movie. Eventually, we dragged our tired bodies out of bed and headed to the theater.

We went to the cinema grill that’s nearby. Originally I had picked it because tickets are cheaper there. We ended up ordering burgers and drinks though, so they got their money out of us. I drove, Big Bad wanted to pay. I’m getting more comfortable with him spending money on me.

I still fully intend to pay for our next outing, but the thought of him covering our movie night doesn’t make my stomach tight is dread and anxiety. I don’t have this overwhelming feeling of a debt that needs to be paid or else it will be used against me. I mean… those feelings are still sort of there, lingering in the background, grumbling a little bit, but mostly I feel cared for and appreciated. It’s like when I take a friend out to lunch and I pay. I do it because I care about them and I want to do something nice.

I feel like that’s what it is for Big Bad. He’s not doing it to obligate me to things later. He’s doing it because he wants to. Because it makes him feel good to do something nice for me. At least I think that’s what it is. That’s what I want to believe it is rather than the icky feelings and fears of my past.

It’s weird being on the opposite side of the situation. I feel like this is growth on my part. It’s something I mentioned in therapy yesterday. I said it feels like I’m relearning how to have a healthy relationship. Emotionally I’m starting to feel more and more secure. I talk to him about the emotional events going on in my life, which, if you stay tuned for the next post will have all of the details illustrating that statement.

This, too, the security, is a weird feeling. But, I like it.

The movie was amazing because he’s Batman. Seriously, if you take nothing else away from this long, drawn out writing, at least remember that you have to go see that movie because it’s totally worth it and amazing.

DO ET!!!!!

We ate our burgers, which were actually pretty good. We headed back to his place afterward. There was sexy time which is always amazing, and then we curled up together and slept.

I slept well. It’s been getting easier to fall asleep next to him. A lot of the time it’s hard for me to. I enjoy being there. I enjoy hearing his heartbeat and feeling his breathing, but sleep itself can be elusive. I worry about tossing and turning and waking him up. I worry about getting congested because I’m somewhere other than my own bed and then snoring and being “unsexy”.

I know those are silly things to stay up all night fretting about, but it’s what I do. Lately, I’ve had an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep. Saturday night was a night where I actually slept deeply. I woke up at one point and Big Bad wasn’t in bed. It didn’t bother me though because I knew I was safe. Either he needed to use the restroom or he couldn’t sleep. I snuggled deeper into the covers and the next thing I knew it was morning. I don’t remember him coming back to bed at all even though we woke up next to each other, which to me is big because that means I didn’t wake up when he came back into the room. My brain didn’t think it was threatening so it let me stay asleep.

The morning was slow and lazy and fantastic as we both took stock of where we were sore and how the next thing on the to-do list for the day was running another 5k. Of course, that was a joke as the thought of doing anything physical was so not even in the top 100 of the things that were going to happen that day. When I mentioned waking up and him not being in bed he said even though he had been exhausted he hadn’t been able to fall asleep right away.

Eventually, we parted ways. We hugged and kissed goodbye. I felt extremely connected and peaceful when I left.

Saturday was an amazing day. As I said in my pre-race post, this, this event, this day, is the start of MY year. It was a pretty fantastic start. And with the other events that have transpired since then, it seems like it’s going to be a pretty awesome year.

Oh… and pics… because it happened.

 

Daily Post 009: Pre-Race

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This is going to have to be a relatively short post since I was supposed to be asleep forty minutes ago. And yes, the right side of my brain is snickering uncontrollably at the idea that I think I can write a short post…

/sigh

#infjProblems

Anywho, today has been a relatively good day. I’m in higher spirits than I was this morning. Definitely better than what I have been for the past few days. Physically I’m extremely well rested. No lingering aches from the cold I had, no congestion, and no muscle soreness from being a type-a personality and not taking rest days so hopefully I do well at the Warrior Dash tomorrow.

Spiritually / emotionally this morning started out the same as yesterday. Flatlined. White. Still.

I had my coffee on the couch again while I thought about what to do with the day. With the chores done there was nothing to use as an excuse to procrastinate on the painting. I decided I would stitch two threads, write a prompt page, then paint the baseboards in the downstairs bathroom.

The prompt page I think is what started the turn around for me. The prompt was about happiness. It had me remember a lot of really positive and interesting events in my life. It reminded me of the people I care about and about some of the other situations I’ve survived through. Things get hard sometimes, but I’ve made it through everything so far so I must be doing ok.

It took a while to complete the writing, but I’m glad I did it. I guess I think of it sort of as homework. That’s the reason I picked the personality section when I started going through the prompts again. As Mama Spike would say, “I need to learn how to me.”

So yeah, good post. Happy with the shift in my mindset for having done it. Labeling it as a worthwhile endeavor.

The baseboards are finally done. Now all I need to do is wash up the paint from the tile floor. That will most likely happen Monday.

I went to Pita Pit for lunch as a way to get out of the apartment for a bit. I sat outside listening to music through my headphones. It was nice. It was the Pita Pit near the extend stay I was at when I came back from Vegas. The same one my blacksmith and I went to. There was a twinge in my chest as I drove down the main street to get there.

I remembered driving down that road when my grief was raw. New. Foreign and unknown. It reminded me of the times I would scream in my car because I didn’t know what else to do with the emotions. It reminded me of what those months were like. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but I don’t think it was bad either. I think it was healing.

Sort of like the first time I drove to Daytona to see Jon and I cried almost the whole way there. The only time I had driven that route was when I went home to see mom. I can drive to Jon now no problem. Just like I can take her ring off, or my pendant even though the first time I did those actions at the dojo I cried. The emotions hurt. They’re intense, but the more I face them, accept them, the less power they have, the more I understand why they’re there and how to coexist with them.

Just like with writing the post, I think it was good to go to the area where I was during the beginning of my grief. As I sat I was able to acknowledge the changes in myself since that time.

I’m a survivor, and those aren’t just hollow words. I AM a survivor because I HAVE survived so far. Going to a place where I remember questioning how I was supposed to keep going was reassuring. At the time I had no idea how I could or would make it through everything that was going on. Mom’s death. The break up with Zane. Resigning from my job…

But look at me and my bad self, still here. Still ok. Still figuring things out. It makes the future seem less intimidating. I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I didn’t know what I was doing back then either and I’m still around. Go me.

Since I was near a Publix I did some grocery shopping. I used a bunch of Warren’s crackers in my soups while I was sick so I got him another box. We needed trash bags and lame apartment stuff like that. I also ran out of dark chocolate almond milk. Coffee tomorrow morning would be woefully incomplete without it.

Honestly, the almond milk is the only reason the other stuff got bought. If I hadn’t of needed it I wouldn’t have gone to the store. I mean… we didn’t “need” trashbags. I could have survived about five more days.

When I was done at the store I circled around the parking lot and went through the Starbucks drive-thru. No real reason for it other than I wanted a mocha frapafjakdjfalkjfa or whatever they’re called. You can tell how Starbucks savvy I am.

Cashier: What size would you like?

Me: Small, please.

Yeah… I’m that kind of customer.

Came home. Did a few other chores, stitched a bit more, then started painting the kitchen. There’s about half a wall left to paint but I need to move the fridge to do it, so that’s being saved until Monday as well. After that, the only thing left to paint is the hallway and stairs. I’m thinking about asking Warren if we can rearrange the living room.

I started watching Deadman Wonderland tonight. That show is seriously fucked up. Like, Attack on Titan level fucked up.

It’s sooooo good.

I messaged Sir to let him know I was watching it. I knew he was someone who would 1) understand, and 2) appreciate my messages of “OMG!!! Like, seriously, what the fuck!” because he could picture me saying those exact words in the high pitched voice I use sometimes as I squirm into the furthest corner of the couch trying to get away from the scene on the TV that I can’t seem to stop watching.

Hopefully, it made him think of when we watched Future Diary together with Em because there were a lot of instances in that anime where the phrase “What the actual fuck?!” got thrown around, too.

Big Bad and I solidified our plans for tomorrow morning. He’s coming over here and then we’ll both drive to the race location. I’m not sure if he’s driving or if I am, but I figured either way is fine. As long as we both get there in one piece.

I’m excited. I don’t know why. I’ve run it once already. Wouldn’t that mean it’s nothing special? I guess I’m curious to see if I do better this time. Some of the obstacles are new.

There’s a part of me who wonders what will happen if I don’t do better. Will I be a jerk to myself or will I be understanding and approving of my effort? Is Big Bad going to think I’m weak or a slacker because I still can’t run a solid mile? Will he get frustrated with me if I can’t keep up with him?

There’s a lot of unknowns and I think a lot of them are irrational worries rather than actual legitimate concerns. Right now it feels more like white noise in my head. I know those thoughts are there but I’m not really listening to them. Worrying won’t change anything so why give it power?

February 6th marked a year since my first race. February 6th, 2016 was the day I crawled through the last mud puddle and stepped over the finish line and stood tired, but tall, head high as my mentality shifted.

I finally, fully, accepted myself. Me. As I am. Strengths, weaknesses, quirks and all. That day marked the day I defeated the cancerous self-doubt that was eating away at me from my relationship with Warren #2.

Maybe that’s why this race means so much to me and why I smile when I think about being there tomorrow. So much has happened during this past year, and so much of it has made me stronger. The first major event of 2016 for me was this race. My first ever 5k. And a mud obstacle to boot. Did I mention the type-a personality?

The first major event of 2017 was my trip to Ohio and meeting my half sisters. Then there was Allion’s trip to Disney. For me, though, my first “real” event is this race.

This is the start of MY year.

I never got a chance to say this to him in person. It’s been over four years now since I’ve had any sort of interaction with him. I’m ok with that. I can say this to his memory and still feel just as fulfilled by it.

 

Dear Warren #2,

Go fuck yourself.

Sincerely,

The Earth Dragon Who Did

 

Prompt Page 0015: Happiness

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Prompt post from The Learning Network
to combat WordPress.


 

What makes you happy?

 

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the irony of this being my next prompt after all the posts I’ve made this week… Thanks, Universe. I got the hint. >.>

What makes you happy? Be as specific as you can in listing five things or more. (For instance, if “home” makes you happy, tell us what details about it are so happy-making.)

My cup of coffee in the morning makes me happy. I like the routine of getting out of bed, putting on my glasses, and quietly going downstairs. I love scooping out the instant coffee powder (don’t judge me) into my red cup that I’ve had for years. I love listening to the water run as I fill the cup. I love the minute and twenty seconds I stand in front of the microwave, breathing, waiting, calm in the moment, knowing my cup will feel warm in my hands.

I love the time it takes for me to drink my coffee. The silence of the apartment. Sometimes I sit on the couch. Sometimes I play music. Sometimes I sit outside on my doorstep and listen to the cars driving by on the road near my apartment. Sometimes it’s sunny. Sometimes I’m sad because I miss mom still. Sometimes I’m worried about the day because I have a lot to do, or I’m worried my grief will keep me from doing the things I feel I should get done.

It doesn’t really matter how my day starts. My cup of coffee brings warmth to it, physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. It’s “my” time. Lately, I’ve been able to share this time with Big Bad, and that, too, is something I love. I’ve never really shared this time with anyone else, and it makes me happy when he’s part of it.

Cleaning makes me happy. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I like putting in effort into the spaces that are important to me. It makes me feel like I belong. That I’m part of it. I remember there was a Saturday class at the dojo I was going to for aikido. We were going to have a seminar that night for a visiting sensei. I was allowed to dust and polish the shrine. It made me feel like I belonged. I was a part of the dojo because I was helping to care for it.

It’s a similar feeling when I clean my room, or kitchen, or my car. These are my things and I put time and effort into caring for them. It makes me happy to take pride in things that are a reflection of me.

I hesitate to type this, but I think writing makes me happy. I hesitate because I think of all the times I have sat at my keyboard and cried as I typed, but I also remember the peace and acceptance I found after all of those painful, anguished writings. Happiness is not always easily attained. Sometimes it is a hard road to get there. Writing has helped me get through some of the darkest moments in my life. Very rarely are answers black and white. Life doesn’t work that way, so yes, even though it’s a confusing, gray yes, I have to say that writing makes me happy.

Training makes me happy. Going to the dojo for jujitsu and Muay Thai, taking my belly dancing classes, yoga, running, biking, pushing myself to be better than I was the day before. That makes me happy. There’s part of me who views all of these things as easy now. I survived mom’s death. I’ve made it almost one year. Everything else is trivial, easy.

The pain I feel of my body wanting to quit, the tiredness of physical exertion, it’s nothing compared to the pain of having mom’s urn handed back to me from the TSA worker. The fear I used to have about my car breaking down, or what people thought of me, of not being thin enough for society, that’s all white noise to me now. Silly. Petty.

I train because it makes me better. It teaches me about myself, about other people. It shows me how we all struggle and that even though the struggle is hard, that in the end, it’s worth it. Change, improvement, can’t happen without pain, sacrifice, and effort.

I train as a way to understand and accept the emotions I have in regards to my mom’s death. I train because she died. Finding acceptance and understanding makes me happy.

The people in my life make me happy. And again, that’s something I hesitate to type, though I feel it’s true. The support of my brothers, the thoughtfulness of my sister-in-law, the friends who have reached out to me with love and compassion, the strangers who have been kind to me without realizing what I have been struggling with, the drunk guy who came up and hugged me and said God loves me and has plans for me even though at the time I felt lost and alone.

Even the people who in my past have hurt me. Zane and his betrayal, Warren #2 and my rape, Joe and his manipulation and lies. I am grateful for them and the lessons I learned through surviving those experiences.

I am happy for the darkness I was made to walk through because I know how to help others walk through it. I know how to be light and hope for others. I know how to be kind and loving. I understand how to empathize and relate.

I am happy for the people in my life who help me get through the hard times I’m still experiencing. Even when it feels pointless they stay by me. Even when it feels like I throw a fit like a child and cry about how “it’s not fair”, they stay by me. Their acceptance and understanding make me happy, and I love them for it.

What do you do to make others happy, whether on purpose or not?

I don’t feel like I do anything special. I am myself, and I guess a lot of people appreciate that. I call or message people randomly. When I feel sad I post something positive on Facebook. Without fail, there’s always one person who replies saying how they were having a shitty day and my post made them smile. That makes me smile. It makes me feel like even though I’m sad and lonely that I’m not alone.

I listen when others need to talk. I ask how their day is going and genuinely care about the answer. I hug the people who are important to me. I tell people I love them because I don’t want us to part ways and for them to not know that I care. In the chaos of life, I might never get the chance to say it again and I need them to know.

I smile and nod to people I pass. I laugh when something’s funny. I sing along with my music in the car with my windows down or songs playing through the speakers at the grocery store. We only have the moment we’re in and I told mom I would live life fully, so I am. I think people, at least some people, can sense that, and that feeling that makes them happy.

Do you agree with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, that “when we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched”? Have you ever had the experience of being made happy by helping someone else?

Yes. Several times. There was one night where I was at a gas station and a man came up to me asking if I could help him. He didn’t have any money and asked if I could buy him a can of soup. He didn’t ask for cash or list off any of the normal stories I’ve heard. He seemed so disheartened coming up to me and all he wanted was soup. We went into the store together and I bought him food.

We stood in line together awkwardly. I paid. He thanked me and I wished him well. I then went to my car in cried because that day had really sucked for me. If I went back through my blog I’m sure I could find the post. I’m pretty sure I was feeling lost and directionless again, for different reasons than what I do know. Mom was still alive then. But the fact remains that I felt so helpless and powerless with my own life that I wanted was to be a positive influence for someone else, and I was able to that night. Being able to help someone else made me feel like there was still a reason to keep going.

 

Do you ever literally “count your blessings,” as the Action for Happiness organization in Britain urges people to do? If so, what’s on your list right now?

Yes. I was at the gym before I went to Disney. I had run and was in the back trying to stretch my hamstrings out. I was going through different yoga poses but I wasn’t really peaceful or meditative while I was doing it. My heart chakra was aching. It has been recently, and at the moment I felt sad. I was in child’s pose with my arms stretched out in front of me and I was thinking about how I missed mom.

I pushed my right index finger more firmly against the ground.

Jonathan.

I pressed my right middle finger against the ground.

Jason.

Right ring finger.

Jace.

Right pinky.

Lio.

Big Bad.

My blacksmith.

Nicole.

Chrys.

Corey.

Sir.

I thought about them and why I’m glad they are there. I have more than ten people in my life who help me.  Taking the time to think of people, name them, and remember why they are positive influences for me shifted my day. Even though I hurt I still have good things in my life. Sometimes the pain becomes all consuming and I forget about the good that’s still there.

Maybe I should do that more often when the pain wells up. Stop and count ten good things. I wonder if that would help my grief.

Daily Post 008: Still Lost But Not As Directionless

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Still directionless. Still sans purpose.

But…

I did make it through today. I can’t say that I enjoyed much of anything. It felt like I was an observer for most of the day. Auto piolet. I experienced most things as if there were a barrier between the world and myself. A wall which wouldn’t let much emotion in or out.

I enjoyed the brief interactions I had with Big Bad. He teased me about being sick and how we’ll have to walk the 5k on Saturday, hand in hand. He said if I’m feeling better maybe we can upgrade from walking to skipping.

We made plans to see the Batman Lego Movie after the race if we survive. I’m feeling significantly better health wise, but breathing is still a chore so I don’t know how I’ll be after. I remember last year I was fine the day of the race. It was the day after where I was super sore. We’ll see how I fair. Regardless, I am looking forward to Saturday. It doesn’t matter how I do run/obstacle wise.

So yeah, I enjoyed my text messages. They caused me to genuinely smile and feel warmth. That was  really the only time I felt connected to the world, though. The rest of it was distant and detached.

I got a lot more done today than I thought I would. I did a few chores after having coffee. I ended up going to lunch after an hour or so of work. I had been hoping to do all the chores before needing food but skipping breakfast wasn’t the best idea in that regard.

I listened to music for most of the morning, too. I think that helped. It kept my mind focused on something soothing.

While I was at my sports bar I did a little more introspective thinking/soul searching.

I label myself as a warrior, but lately, I haven’t felt like one. I haven’t felt like anything. A hot mess maybe. Nothing positive.

I made myself sit down and write out qualities I associate with my “ideal warrior self”. I wanted to reaffirm to myself the qualities I try to embody, the traits I want people to remember me for.

Honor. Strength. Perseverance. Courage. Enlightened.

I wrote more than those words, but those are my top five.

After spending some time brainstorming what qualities my “ideal warrior self” should have I asked myself if I felt like my “ideal warrior self”.

My answer was an unsurprising, “No.”

My reason was hard to write. It was hard not to give into the silent tears as I sat writing my reason into my notebook.

“No. And that hurts. I feel like I’m failing myself.”

It’s not the outside world telling me that I’m falling short. It’s me being harsh with myself. It’s me being the overbearing parent, looking down in disdain at the part of myself that’s trying. Maybe not trying my hardest, but trying and getting no recognition for any effort what so ever.

It’s disheartening. What’s the point of trying to be something when it doesn’t matter what I do? Nothing is ever good enough for myself.

Well, no shit I’m depressed. Anyone would be with that mentality as their cheerleader.

After writing my reason and accepting why I felt like I was failing myself I wrote an affirmation.

I am not failing myself. Acknowledging these feelings allows me to improve myself. I want to be a more enlightened and accepting person. Self-improvement is ALWAYS a worthwhile endeavor.

Self-acceptance is where I need to start.

I next asked what are three things I can do to work towards my warrior self.

  1. Go to the dojo and continue eating healthy
  2. Read spiritual/grief content and continue writing
  3. Complete my projects

I know all three of those seem pretty nebulous, but they are stakes within my mind, anchor points to which I can tie things down to.

After I identified three areas which would help boost my feelings of self-improvement I asked myself what I would do today to work towards my warrior self.

  1. Meal plan for the remaining days of the week
  2. Clean the apartment
  3. Cross stitch / enjoy my evening

And that’s what I did. I figured out what I needed from the grocery store before I left my sports bar, then did the shopping. I have to admit to feeling drained by the time I got back home. I enjoyed being in the sun and I’m grateful today wasn’t a cold day, not that we really have many of those in Orlando, but I was worried for a bit that I had overdone it.

I put the groceries away and did a few tasks in the kitchen before sitting on the couch for a while and cross stitching a few threads. I let music play and my mind relax. I didn’t think about my list or what it would mean if I didn’t get it all done. The list didn’t matter. I let myself stitch until the dryer was done running. After that, I felt better. Still in my flatlined state, but I had more energy to do the remaining things I wanted to do.

I’m pleased that not only did I do all the chores I originally gave myself, but I did more past that. I still managed to sit and enjoy my evening with a cup of warm tea. I made more progress on my cross-stitch and I watched an interesting movie called Harmony.

Do not let the name fool you. It’s a pretty twisted dystopian anime. It was recommended to watch if you liked Ergo Proxy. I enjoyed it though I felt the ending was weak.

I brushed Scarlet a bit. She was happy to have some quality time. Not like she hasn’t been trying to sleep on my face for the past week or anything. I swear I have given her permanent abandonment issues with how much I’ve been traveling the past few months. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of these days she latches on to my face and never lets me leave the apartment again.

And now I am here writing, something which normally lets me feel calm and collected. An action signaling closure to the day.

I haven’t been consistent with my writing. We’re already well into February but this is only the ninth “daily” post I’ve made. There’s not consistency with my writing anymore, which I understand and accept, but I wonder how much better I would feel if I were more diligent in this endeavor. Writing helps me process, and part of the reason the emotions well up the way they do is because I don’t process very often. At least I feel I don’t.

Instead of being proactive, I’m lapsing back to being reactive.

Brain: Oh shit! We’re having an emotional meltdown. I guess we should do something about this.

Today wasn’t a bad day. It was a flat day. A white day. I think tomorrow is going to be a lot like today. Flatlined. Quite. Still.

I think I’m ok with that. More than I was. I have identified what I want to do. I want to improve and I have things that will help me do that. I’m not as directionless as I felt last night and this morning.

It’s a nice feeling.

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