Daily Post 022: Potentially Productive

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Yesterday ended up being better than the past few days.

I had two successful procedures in class. That’s always a boost, and much better than the three missed attempts from the day before that I refused to put energy into feeling bad over. I had enough emotional discord to contend with without making myself feel shitty about missing hard veins.

I went to the dojo again yesterday. I’m starting to do something different with my workout calendar. Instead of pre-arranging my workouts and having them set up as reoccurring events, I’ve decided to delete all of my workouts.

I’m going to be manually adding them instead and only adding the ones I actually attend. That way I have an accurate view of my workout times rather than a bunch of events I didn’t actually attend.

I don’t think that’s going to affect my accountability. If anything I think it will make me more accountable because I want there to be some sort of workout event on each day. It doesn’t have to be the dojo. It could be running, or biking, or yoga, or even just going for a walk. As long as I do something I’ll be happy with my effort. Having the dojo schedule on my calendar made it a bit overwhelming at times and so my brain would skip over the events, or I would be slack because there were “other” events I could make it to, only to get to the end of my day without having gone at all.

I was becoming desensitized to the events since the information was so reoccurring, consistent, and essentially, meaningless. It’s there, every day, every week. It’s not special.

I’m hoping this change helps to make me more aware of my habits and to spur me into action during the days where the sadness is winning. I can’t let it win. If I do I won’t be able to add the event to my calendar and those events are important to me. More important than staying in my room feeling bad. I can feel bad at the dojo and still get something done.

Multi-tasking at its finest.

As I was leaving the dojo yesterday Paul told me I was doing a good job.

Having validation when I had wanted to stay home again was really nice.

It’s weird. It’s not like we’re super close or anything. He’s my instructor. We haven’t had any super deep, soul-bearing conversations. He demonstrates techniques, he watches everyone practice and spar and makes sure we’re getting the moves mostly right. I’ve only “known” him for, what, roughly five months? Maybe only four…

I started attending the dojo mid-November. Just before Thanksgiving. So yeah… not even five months.

Yet his praise means so much to me. Paul, Big Bad, my phlebotomy and nursing instructors… anytime they say something about how I’m doing well or doing a good job, it feels like true, genuine validation. It’s not just pretty words. They mean it, and because they mean it their words mean something deep and solidifying to me.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this dream or not, but I had a dream about mom not too long ago. Or rather, I had a dream and mom was in it.

I was driving and I was getting tired. There was a really long stretch of road ahead of me, sloping down, then going up and I couldn’t see the road over the hill but in my head, I knew it would go on for forever and I just wanted to stop. It was that feeling of overwhelming defeat where there is no end and it’s pointless to keep going and it would be so much easier to just stop and give up.

Mom was in the back seat of the car. I remember I couldn’t look at her because I was driving. I had to keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road, you know… so we didn’t crash and burn in a fantastic blaze of glory. I remember telling her, tears in my voice, that I was tired and asking if we could stop. It was the only thing I wanted. Could we please just stop for a little bit?

I remember her voice. I remember her saying, “We’re almost there.”

I remember her saying that in real life. I remember all the times I was working on projects that I wanted to give up on and she would say it was almost done and to tough it out a little bit longer. She always had a way of saying it, a tone, a voice, that made me hold on for just that little bit of extra time to see something to the end.

I feel like that’s what this is. I keep trying, even when I get to what feels like the end of what I have to give, and things keep happening. Working. Coming together and solidifying into a platform where I can stop and rest and recover.

It’s nice to know I won’t have to worry about getting a paycheck though I may still have to worry about finances. I guess that really depends on if Warren continues to hold up his end of our agreement. But I can at least tell my brothers and friends that I have a job. They don’t have to worry about me as much. It’s a good feeling.

It seems like my problems are narrowing down and I’ll be able to start focusing on things with more laser precision rather than trying to shotgun my attention on everything.

Once my onboarding process is complete and I begin working in April my goal will be paying off the credit card. Currently, my goal is completely phlebotomy and gearing up for work. I want to wrap up tasks and make sure I’m in a good spot.

I know I’m breathing easier. I don’t have the tightness in my chest of, “How am I going to figure this out?”

I don’t know if I figured it out so much as the Universe aligned the way it was supposed to. All I did was apply over and over and over and over until finally, something stuck.

I don’t know if that’s divine intervention.

I would like to think that mom knew it would work out and that she helped me hold on just like she would have if she were still alive.

I do think this is going to be a career that will be fulfilling. It has the patient interaction I wanted. More so than what the hospital would have had. More than what the Central Service Tech position would have had. It seems like there will be opportunities for me here, and I think I can work it out to still make it to the dojo consistently. That is still yet to be seen, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

I’m NOT giving up the dojo. I told Warren the other night, I would sacrifice my food budget before I gave in on my dojo membership, which may be counterproductive because without food I can’t really go to the dojo, but in my head at least I would starve to death mostly happy. Maybe content is a better word. I would starve to death in contentment knowing that I didn’t give up myself.

Today I go and have my drug test done. That’s the last process, that I know of, for onboarding. I’ve filled out all of the other forms and watched the welcome video.

Big Bad and I ended up having impromptu cuddles last night. I happened to message him as I was leaving the dojo. Nothing special. Just saying I hoped he had a good day.

He replied with how his day had been good and how he missed me. I said I missed him too and that cuddles would be amazing because they would have been. I had wanted to see him the day before, but I don’t know if it really would have been a good idea to see him in the middle of a grief wave. Somehow I don’t think it would have been the best idea. Even though I wanted human contact I think having alone time was better for me.

Yesterday was emotionally better, though, and when Big Bad said he would enjoy cuddling as well we made plans to spend the evening together after I had showered because holy crap did NoGi kick my ass. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the technique we learned. It gives me more options for getting out of closed guard, but god does it feel like my arms want to fall off right now…

Anyway, I’m rambling.

I picked up more microfiber shirts this morning since I only owned two. When I first started going to the dojo it was annoying not having enough shirts to get me through the week. More so when I started going to the dojo three and four times a week for multiple classes a day. There was no way to re-wear a shirt, but I needed a shirt to go over my workout top.

Then the holiday season hit and I was out of town more often than not so the lack of shirts wasn’t really an issue.

Now I’m getting back into the swing of it and the lack of shirts is hindering my workouts again…

Well… Fuck that shit.

I deserve my workouts. I want my workouts, and I sure as hell am not going to let something like laundry keep me from having them.

So this morning has already started with my “frog”. The one task that I’ve been avoiding for the past two weeks. A trip to Walmart. When I say I would rather be punched in the face than to go to Walmart it’s not much of an exaggeration.

I sort of tried other options. I looked online but I want to touch the shirts before I buy them. Target sucked and didn’t have what I wanted. Ross didn’t either. So, since Big Bad lives close to the only Walmart near me, I decided to go there before going home this morning.

It actually wasn’t a super horrible trip. Going there at 7 am most likely had a lot to do with that. I got four microfiber shirts, so now I have six in total. That will do fine for me I think. Maybe, eventually, I’ll get two more because odd numbers are weird.

Things have to go in pairs. It’s a rule in my brain. I know it’s weird. I’ve learned to just go with it… It’s easier and less sandpapery that way.

The other day I got three more of the tank tops from Target since I was there doing failed recon for the microfiber shirts. I got a deep army green tank top, which I actually like way more than I thought I would, and a dark purple tank top. I also got a light green color but I’m going to return it. Even when I bought it I had the feeling that I wouldn’t wear it all that much. I would rather return it and get another purple or green. What will most likely happen is I’ll return the light green, get a dark green, then get two more, one purple and one more black, since that whole pair thing has to happen.

Two green, two purple, four black. Seems good in my book.

I know I’ll most likely end up getting new workout tops to go under my scrubs for work. But that’s going to be my “first paycheck” thing. So it’s still a month or so off. For that I’ll go to the sporting goods store and try on a size smaller, just to make sure it fits before ordering online. It helps that I already know what I want and am looking for specifically. That “should” make the process fairly quick and painless.

I need to go to my school today and talk to them about switching my program. That’s another thing I’ve sort of halfway been avoiding. Since I got the job offer I won’t be able to finish the final course of the PCT program, but that should be ok. I’m hoping we can switch my paperwork to be just the EKG and phlebotomy classes. Only one way to find out in that regard.

Blarg… so much talking to people because socializing doesn’t end there…

I need to call Verizon customer support as well. I went to the store yesterday to cancel Zane’s line. While I was there I found out I owe $250 on my phone, which is BS because the whole reason I got my phone was because they were supposed to give me a full $600 on my trade in. So… I’m missing something like $200 in credit towards my account.

Words cannot begin to express the annoyance of having to call, yet again, to figure out why this trade in is F’ed up. I’m looking forward to switching back to MetroPCS. $50 a month for unlimited everything and I’ve never had a shitty experience with them messing something up. Soon… So soon.

Until then, yeah, that’s $250 I want explained to me.

Alright, enough stalling I guess. Time to shower then head out into the world.

I don’t know how the day is going to go. I feel slightly above baseline. Not super crazy positive, but not depressed either. It’s a warm-ish nuetral though I don’t think “warm” is the right word. I’m room-temp. Yeah… room-temp neutral.

I think today will be a productive day. Not necessarily “good” in the normal sense, but I’m ok with productive. Productive is good.

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Daily Post 021: Employed

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I need to write.

Too much has happened not to. I started to write yesterday but I ended up deleting it. It’s the first time I can remember since I’ve started writing that I deleted something I wrote. I don’t like that I did. At the same time, I knew I wasn’t ready to write.

Yesterday was hard. Today was / is hard, too.

I woke up asking myself what’s the point of going to class? What’s the point of doing anything? Even when I was sitting in the Publix parking lot, knowing that I needed to eat since I had just given two hours to the dojo, my only thought was, “Why eat? What’s the point?”

I still hurt. I still don’t have anything that makes the pain easier to bear or less intense. The only thing I know to do is to live through the moment, survive through it. I have a detached level of pride that even with how I felt today that I got up and did the two things I knew I needed to do. Go to class and go to the dojo. I even ate and showered.

I fucking crushed today.

Dude. I even went out and bought more flash cards so I could keep studying for my class. That meant I dealt with people on top of everything else.

Damn straight I’m a MFing bawce.

And my answer for, “What’s the point?” still comes back to mom. Because she died. Because I promised her I would be strong and keep going.

That’s the point. I said I would do it, so I have to. That’s why I made that promise. Because I needed there to be a reason, a point. I gave my word. I have to do it.

In other news, I got a job.

I was super excited about it, and I know I will be again. While I’m in the middle of this wave of grief it’s hard to be anything other than apathetic about anything, so this is mostly going to be an analytical post about the position.

I shadowed Friday morning. That was a bit of a cluster fuck at first. I was told I would shadow someone specific and to be there at 5 am. So I got there at 5 am and was told the person I was supposed to shadow didn’t start work until 8 am.

Yeah…

I ended up shadowing someone else. She was super nice and answered all of my questions and explained a lot of the onboarding process and different things about her clinic specifically.

I had the face to face interview at 2 pm. I felt it went well, but with how I keep having “good” interviews that go nowhere I wasn’t really holding my breath.

I was told I would know by Wednesday if they were going to hire me.

So Monday afternoon I got a call with the job offer.

I start training April 21st. I’m going to be a Patient Care Technician for DaVita. I’m going to do eight weeks of paid training to become a certified clinical hemodialysis technician.

After shadowing, I do feel working at the DaVita clinics is something that I would find fulfillment with. I don’t want to say enjoy, because the reason I’m there is because people are sick, and I don’t think that is something that should be enjoyed. But I do want to help people, and this position allows me to do that. There are all sorts of benefits and opportunities for growth. The company seems to actively invest in its employees.

And there’s the potential to work as many hours as I want once my supervisor is confident in my abilities. So even though the pay is less than what I wanted, though more than I was expecting, pulling in overtime should still allow me to make serious progress on my financial goals once I begin working.

Oh. And I can keep my purple hair. I don’t even have to cover it up.

I am happy, and grateful, that the company is willing to give me this opportunity.

I’ll be able to finish my phlebotomy class before my training begins. I also got an email saying my fingerprints cleared so now I’m waiting for my official test date to become a CNA. I really need to go back and practice all of my procedures so I can pass the clinical.

I guess that’s the biggest thing to talk about. I  have a job. I’ll be able to provide for myself again. I know that’s really big. I know it’s the last hurdle I gave myself for my year of survival. I know that I really am happy and proud of myself for this accomplishment even if I can’t feel those warm feelings right now.

What I do feel is tired.

I feel tired because I stayed for two classes at the dojo. I’m tired because today was a heavy day. I’m tired because I woke up tired.

Things are still as they were. I’m still here. Breathing. Surviving. Life is still progressing forward. I wish that left me with some sort of feeling like I knew what to do, but I don’t. I hurt and all I can do is experience it until I don’t know what. It doesn’t go away. I don’t know what happens. I don’t know how I go back to “normal”, but something happens and the pain isn’t as overwhelming and I’m able to focus on other things.

Right now I can’t. Right now every breath is a reminder that mom is dead. Every breath is an ache in my chest where my chakra is still trying to relearn how to function.

There’s a lot of positive in my life. I can see it. I can acknowledge it. I am not at a point where I can feel it, though. I can’t fully experience it. Not yet at least. I think I’m ok with that. Employment is still off in the future. A month away. Right now mom’s death comes first. I think I need to experience this ache in its entirety first. I don’t want to disrespect this time.

I feel like I need some sort of ritual, some action. I wish there was somewhere I could go. Maybe that’s something I can meditate on.

Daily Post 020: The Beginning of the End

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Today is the start of “The Two Weeks”. The two weeks of mom being in the hospital.

Today was the day that I flew on a South West airplane for the low, competitive price of $700 one way to hopefully see my mother if she survived the surgery.

Capitalism at its finest…

Today was the day that I met Lio at the airport and held it together, somehow, when she hugged me and told me mom had made it through the surgery and was in ICU.

Today was the first day that I saw my mom, pale, asleep, wires and tubes everywhere as machines next to her bed beeped and blinked and displayed all sorts of information that I didn’t know how to process.

Today was the day that mom thought I was Lio when I asked her if she knew who I was.

Today was the first day that I felt that soul crushing weight of, “Mom is really sick. Mom needs me. She needs me to be strong.”

Tonight will mark the first night that I stayed with her at the hospital. It’s the first night we had one of our many deep conversations. Tonight’s conversation was the one where she thought she was stupid. How could she have let herself get so sick?

Tonight was the night where I felt shame and guilt and remorse. Mom could have died and here she is, feeble, frail, alive, so weak looking in her hospital bed, her voice so soft and tired sounding and she thinks she’s stupid.

She’s alive and she’s kicking herself mentally for being sick. How is that at all ok? How can she feel bad, awful, for being sick and living? She’s alive. She’s the most amazing person ever and yet she feels stupid.

It broke my heart to hear her say those words, and our conversation that night was explaining how she wasn’t stupid. She did everything right. She was feeling bad. She want to the doctor. He saw certain things and percribed medicaitons. She took them. She wasn’t feeling better. She went back to the doctor. He agreed she was getting worse. He sent her to another doctor. They found out what was really wrong and rushed her to surgery.

Everyone did everything “right”. No one was stupid or at fault. It was a shitty situatuion and we would get through it. Together. We would be ok because we weren’t going to give up. We, Jason, Jon, me, and Lio, would be there for her.

Tonight marks the first night that I fell asleep listening to a heart monitor, to her breathing. Tonight was the first night of a two-week stretch of sleeping for fifteen minutes at a time if I was lucky because everything was a bad sound, a life or death crisis that I had to be awake for.

Today marks the beginning of the end.

I hurt. But at the same time, I’m numb. It’s like I’m in a giant sea of despair but I’m on a raft made of apathy. If I dip my fingers into the water or submerge my hand I can feel all of the hurt seeping into my bones and blood. I can feel it traveling through my body if I think too long on something. I can feel my heart bleeding even though when I look down there is no wound.

It’s like a hole should be there. I should be able to reach into my chest, where my sternum should be, where my heart should be and touch nothing. Emptiness. A hallow void where once something had been.

The beginning of the end.

In my head, it seems fitting to think of it like that. My final two weeks with mom. Two weeks. Every day, every hour building up to that final morning. My last goodbye. My last, “I love you.”

I want to say that I hate this, but I don’t know if I truly do or not. I can’t make up my mind when I allow myself to feel. I can’t choose between being angry and being sad. There’s nothing to be angry at and I don’t want to be sad, so I don’t know what to do. It’s easier to not feel instead because feeling is so confusing.

It’s easier to go through the motions but they feel so empty, so disconnected from the world and pointless. I’m fighting between trying to connect to something excruciating and shutting everything out because it hurts too much.

I don’t know which I want more. I don’t know which one will be better.

I think feeling would be “better”. At least it would keep me in reality. In my reality, it hurts. By feeling, I wouldn’t be allowing the emotions to fester or mutate into things they aren’t. I would be lancing the wound I have. Purging the build up.

But to do that I have to admit to things all over again and I don’t want to. I don’t want to cry, or rather, I don’t want to cry more because I already have been. For days. Random silent tears constantly dehydrating me over random thoughts that I can’t stop my brain from thinking.

I don’t want to go through this. I wish there were a way to stop it. I wish it felt ok to hate. I want to hate this. I want to be angry because that’s easier than being sad, but it doesn’t do anything and so it’s wasted energy.

I wish mom were here. I wish she was still alive. I wish she hadn’t died. I wish I had been able to do more when I had been at the hospital. I wish I had been a CNA then. Or an EKG Tech. Maybe I would have been able to understand the heart monitor then. Maybe I would have been able to do something other than nothing. I would have been able to do something other than holding her hand and giving her sips of water when she asked for it.

I’ve almost made it a year.

I know that’s an accomplishment but it’s not one that I wanted to achieve. I didn’t want to have to live a year without my mom. I didn’t want this to be part of me, my story. I don’t want it to be “an accomplishment”. I don’t want it to be a positive thing.

I want it to be solemn and somber and heavy because it is.

It sucks and I don’t care if that’s me wallowing in self-pity or being a victim or whatever else it could maybe, possibly be. Today sucks. Yesterday sucked. All of this has sucked.

Even with all of the postive steps I have taken, I want to hate it because I would rather have my mom.

In all honestly, emotions being set aside, the past few days have been well enough. Nothing super bad has happened.

I talked to Warren. He knows I’m not ok with the apartment. He’s actually done his dishes the past few days. We got the storage unit emptied out. I’ve moved most of his boxes upstairs so the apartment isn’t completely trashed. I had two successful sticks today and I won one of the review games we played in class, so I get an extra five points on my test tomorrow.

I had an email from the hospital on Tuesday for an EKG Tech position I applied for. I had to fill out the stupid personality survey again.

Me: No. Seriously. I’m still the same person…

There was a 47 question test I had to do as well. It was all about identifying EKG rhythms and what you’re supposed to do with what you’ve identified.

Is it lethal? Should you call a code? Is it normal, abmormal? Should you let the nurse know something STAT or just mention it so she can keep an eye out if anything further develops?

I wasn’t all that confident in myself because we never talked about what you’re supposed to do after you’ve identified. I was content that I took the test rather than avoiding it and giving up on the position.

I woke up Wednesday morning to an email saying I had failed the test. I failed, but, they wanted me to take it again.

Ok… Either I bombed it so bad that they don’t believe I really am that stupid and want to give me another shot now that I’m not filled with anxiety over it, or I barely failed and they want me to try again because they’re interested in me.

Well, I mean… obviously they want me to try again. They’re letting me take it a second time. I don’t think that’s standard if you suck or they’re not interested in you.

So that’s what I did today. After class, I studied, and studied, and studied some more. I took the test and was more confident in myself while I did it. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if I passed it or not. If not then I guess I need to study more if I want an EKG Tech position.

Tuesday, while I was in the middle of filling out the personality survey, I got a call from a dialysis clinic I applied at. They want me to shadow for a few hours on Friday. And by a few hours I mean from 5am until noon. If that goes well, they like me I like them sort of a thing, then I will have a face-to-face interview at 2 pm that afternoon.

So, yeah… A lot of stuff has been going on but it’s all be behind my wall of apathy. I’m not excited about either position because I don’t know if I passed the test so there’s nothing to get excited about as far as that goes. And with the dialysis position, it depends on how much they are willing to pay me. Once the paid eight weeks of training is over the schedule flexes, so if they don’t pay me enough I can’t accept the job because I won’t be able to get a second one with a schedule that changes every week.

I’m still applying and keeping my eyes open for opportunities. Right now I feel sort of like a raptor. Anything that seems like something I could potentially do I strike out and apply for. But at the moment it’s a cold, detached sort of strike. There’s no joy or excitement behind it.

I did boxing and submission grappling on Monday. I moved some boxes that day, too. Tuesday was the storage unit, so that was more of an active recovery day. No dojo. And today was Muay Thai conditioning at the dojo with more box moving afterwards. I didn’t feel like staying for jiujitsu or the second conditioning class. I didn’t want to be around people anymore.

I’m sort of done with today.

I’m done trying and doing and problem-solving.

I wish I could say that I’m done hurting, but I feel like it’s only just started.

This is the beginning of the end. I still have a long ways to go before this wave is over.

I have therapy tomorrow. Maybe that will help. With what I don’t know. It’s not like I can have help breathing. I have to do that on my own. I have to live my own life. No one can do that for me. No one can wake up for me, and I know I wouldn’t want someone to do it even if they could.

This is my life and I’m supposed to be the one living it.

Right now it sucks.

Prompt Page 018: Self-Control Revisited

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Prompt post from The Learning Network
to combat WordPress.


 

How much self-control
do you have?

 

I feel like I need to revisit this prompt. I feel like, after thinking deeper on it, that I missed an extremely important section of my life. Nothing was mentioned about relationships or sex or anything along those lines. I didn’t think past the prompted areas. I’ve always handled my career well. I’ve always been diplomatic even if the other person didn’t deserve it. In the public view I’ve always had fantastic self-control, and so from reading my previous post it may seem like I’m this amazingly wonderful, flawless person when that is so far from the truth.

I still stand by my statement that self-control is awareness, and I still believe my choices do not stem from a lack of awareness.

Some of the most recent decisions which would be seen as a lack of self-control I made out of the desire to be self-destructive; to allow myself to burn in agony along with my life. In others, it was with the hope that I would be wrong in the end even though I rarely am.

I can think of a handful of times over the past six years of my life when I have followed through on a sexual situation even though I didn’t want to. Most of the time it was because I knew the other person wanted it and at the time I felt unable to say no. If I did I would be a tease, or a heartless bitch, or any number of things people say when they don’t get their way. When they feel “led on”.

It’s a shitty feeling to know that you’re feelings as a person don’t matter when weighed against someone getting their way. As a young, insecure 20ish year old I didn’t know how to stand up for myself, and so yes, I went through with those situations.

You end up going through with it because it’s the least confrontational option even though it feels like a part of yourself is missing in the end. Something was taken and you’ll never get it back. You’re left wondering if you’re still a good person, if you were ever a good person. If you were wouldn’t they have listened when you said you didn’t want to? Wouldn’t they have stopped pressuring you?

The most recent experience of self-destruction was actually less than a month ago.

I was lonely. I was missing mom. The only thing I wanted was to be held and to cry.

A friend messaged me. She was playful and flirty, which is normal for her. We’ve talked several times about the level of sexuality in her comments and she’s always said that our friendship comes first. We’ve had past experiences which make me consciously doubt that comment, and even now I still do. I know she values our friendship, but she will always pick self-fulfillment if given the option. That’s been my experience at least. Her actions speak louder than her words.

I told her at the time that I was hurting emotionally. I told her my grief was raw and that I didn’t really want to be sexual. I wanted to cry.

We hadn’t hung out in a while, months. I have Big Bad and am fulfilled with him. I haven’t wanted other partners, and I especially didn’t want anything sexual with her due to our past. I knew if we hung out she would want it to evolve into a sexual situation, so I had been avoiding her. I knew it would be awkward and a situation I didn’t want to be in, so I avoided it.

In that instance, prior to our meeting, I suppose I was using the distance method of “self-control”. If I’m not around it, nothing bad can happen.

While we were messaging back and forth through Facebook, she said that since she had to be somewhere relatively soon she could come over for just a little bit and we could cuddle, just cuddle, and see what happened.

In my head, I knew it wouldn’t stay at the level I wanted it to be at. It wouldn’t be “just cuddles” but at the time I didn’t care. I wanted to not feel alone. I wanted to be held. Big Bad had his kids so I couldn’t see him. My blacksmith has been working double shifts due to a hiring freeze at his work since December. It was 11 pm and everyone else was asleep because they work normal hours.

I had all of these reasons for justifying her coming over even though I knew I would regret it in the end. I knew, conscious awareness, and I let it happen anyway.

If it’s conscious it’s not a lack of self-control. You willingly allow it to happen. You know your consequences and you made that choice.

She came over. We cuddled. It didn’t stay PG and though my body responded and physically it felt good, it wasn’t what my soul wanted or needed and when she left I couldn’t get the water hot enough to make my skin feel clean. You can’t clean chakras with soap and water no matter how much you try. All you do is rub your skin raw so there’s a physical wound to heal along with your emotional one, only the emotional wounds never seem to heal. You’re always different after those.

I was left feeling more alone.

She messaged me a few days ago to see how I was. I haven’t messaged back.

The closer we get to mom’s deathday the more I feel myself pulling away from people. I don’t want to be around anyone. I don’t want to talk. There’s nothing anyone can say to make it better or right. The only thing I want is silence and to not feel cold and alone.

That’s why I let her come over that night. I didn’t want to be alone and the immediate self-gratification of having someone near seemed like it would outweigh the loneliness of when she left. It didn’t, and I knew it wouldn’t, but I wanted to try it anyway because trying anything was better than staying alone in my room in the dark with silent tears running down my face.

I don’t know where that leaves me in regards to self-control. It’s hard to justify not doing something when I’m in the middle of my grief. I’m not going to like this outcome, but what’s the point of not doing it? It’s not like anyting matters. Mom’s dead. In the moments where there aren’t tears associated with that sentance, those two words, there’s such a level of flatlined apathy, detatchment from self, that there’s no real sense of self-preservation.

No. I won’t like this situatuion and I don’t really, honestly want this situation but what does it matter? They will like it. It’s what they want. And on a physical level I will like it, so that makes it 1 1/2 people who want it, right? Why not go through with it? It will give me something different to hurt about. Something else I can focus on. Something other than thinking, “Mom’s dead.”

Maybe that’s self-medication. Maybe that’s distraction.

I’m not sure, but this realization has sparked deep introspection for me. It doesn’t seem like the kind option when I know in the end it will hurt me more. I deserve to be kind to myself. I deserve self-love and these actions don’t align with that.

I feel I need to meditate on this.

Prompt Page 017: Self-Control

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Prompt post from The Learning Network
to combat WordPress.


 

How much self-control
do you have?

 

I like to think I have a fair amount of self-control. I gauge what I say before I say it. I know, for the most part, when I’m being irrational and tend to refrain from making decisions during those times. I know, again, for the most part, what is good for me in terms of my short terms goals and long term goals and consciously try to weigh my actions before making them.

Does this action align itself with my goal? If not, am I ok with the results that will come from it?

I feel like self-control is awareness. It’s being conscious about your choices and how they affect not only yourself but the people and environment around you.

Awareness takes energy, time, effort. It’s not easy. It’s draining and might be one of the reasons as an introvert I find socializing to be as taxing as it is. There’s more input to contend with, sift through, and analyze before acting or responding.

It’s easier when it’s just me.

 
Are there times when exerting self-control is easier, and other times more difficult? For example, do you exhibit self-control with food, but not with your phone? Or do you have more self-control at school than at home? Why?

I think I have a same level of control in most areas of my life. I don’t have less control over myself in regards to food. I know what my health goals are. If I want a piece of cake I have it, but I keep in mind that having it all will make reaching my goals harder.

I know what the health effects are of too much sugar or salt in my system. I know I’ll have a hard time sleeping if I have that cup of coffee after 2 pm. Alcohol is fun but one beer is essentially 7 slices of bread. Am I ok with that?

Sometimes I am, other times it’s not worth it, so I don’t do it.

I don’t think of it as self-control so much as “there are consequences for your actions. Are you ok with your consequences?” Again, awareness. There’s the conscious thought of, “this will result in something later. Am I know with that result?”

I have less “self-control” when my grief flares up. And really I don’t think of it as having less self-control or awareness. During those times my goals drastically change. My goal while I am contending with my grief is survival. Health goals, social goals, even career goals fall to the wayside. The only thing that matters is making sure emotionally I remain ok.

Staying at home wrapped up in a warm blanket not having to explain to people that I’m sad because my mom died seems better than going out and trying to fake happiness that I don’t feel. I try not to let that interfere with my attendance at the dojo. I try not to let that affect what I eat, but sometimes I really do just want to stay home eating a pizza and to not having to worry about dishes.

Sometimes I really do what that cigarette or that drink that I make too strongly because I know it will help me get through a moment of intense pain. That’s most likely self-medication and I know there are other ways to deal with the pain I feel. To me, as long as I make it through the moment then I’m doing ok since the main goal in my life reduces down to survival. I can’t do anything if I don’t survive through the wave of grief, and sometimes that alone is the hardest struggle there is.

When the question ricochetting around in your head is, “What’s the point of living when mom is dead?” it seems more ok to eat pizza and watch mindless anime because there’s comfort. There’s breathing. There’s not having to worry or give a fuck. There’s a reason to keep going even if at the moment of my grief I can’t remember what it is. The main point is to not become lost in my grief and to find my way back to acceptance of the reality I live in. Sometimes indulging or having a “lack” of self-control allows me to find the comfort I need to keep going.

Actually… I guess it would be all the time since I’m still here…

 
What strategies do you use for exercising self-control, such as the distraction and distancing methods mentioned in the article?

I feel like don’t really exercise anything in regards to maintaining self-control. I guess since I analyze everything before I do it, I could say I use my brain, but that sounds sort of dickish.

I don’t buy boxed meals like Hamburger Helper anymore because I know it doesn’t line up with my health goals even though I’m sure I would still like the taste of them.

I don’t drink soda anymore for the same reasons. When I go out I might sometimes get a sweet tea, because I live in the south where that’s a thing because we’re civilized. #noHate #loveTheNorth

If I want to do something, why do I want to do it? How will it affect me? Am I ok with those results?

I try to look at things rationally, logically, which is why it can get dicey when I’m in an emotional state, especially if the emotions are anger, an outward expression of pain, or something like sadness, an internal expression of pain. I have found over the years that it’s better to give myself space and time to experience the emotions fully, to acknowledge them and accept them, similar to giving them a hug and saying, “I see and understand you.” I need to validate the emotions I feel are real and that they exist.

From there, after reassuring myself that it’s ok to feel whatever it is I’m feeling, I can step back and start to ask, “Why do I feel this way?”

Asking myself that question allows me to figure out the driving force behind the initial reaction. A lot of the time finding the root cause changes the course of action I actually want to be taking.

No, I really don’t want to curse that person out for being closed minded and hurtful to me. What I really want to do is come back logically and explain my side of the situation and how their actions made me feel.

So I guess if I had to pick something that keeps me in check, it would be logic.

Logic is my self-control device.

 

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Daily Post 019: Temporary

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Let’s see…

I wrote Friday. The day I found out that I was denied for the job.

I went through a lot of the 30-Challenge posts. I have a clearer idea of what I want to achieve and how to achieve it. Most of it comes back to:

Getting a job
Finishing the PCT program
Continuing to kick ass at the dojo

I ended up talking to my younger brother. That sort of sucked, though there’s a story for how the day evolved to the shitty conversation I had with him.

I went and made a payment for the EKG class I took. While I was there I saw one of my former classmates. She had just gotten done taking the board test. She failed by three points.

We ended up standing outside talking for a bit. The subject of my interview came up and I had to explain how I was denied and how the email hadn’t specified a reason why.

She said that even though companies aren’t allowed to discriminate, that it most likely had to do with my purple hair.

I hadn’t thought of my hair as an issue since it was mentioned during the interview. I had been told it wouldn’t be a problem. Accommodations would be made as long as I wore a head covering.

The conversation with my classmate made me begin to wonder, though. Am I going to have to give up my hair in order to get a job?

The thought of having to dye my hair back to “normal” physically hurt. I know I am not my hair, but my purple is important to me. Purple is the color of the 7th chakra, the crown chakra at the top of the skull. It represents our connectedness to the Universe and energies around us.

I don’t dye my hair because purple is my favorite color, or because I’m being a punk ass millennial and “sticking it to the man”. This is part of my spirituality, and it sucked, hardcore sucked, to have the realization that almost all of society would stand in front of me and say, “well if you want a job you have to conform”.

In my head that’s a lot like telling a Christain, “You can work here, but only if you renounce your faith and tell people, daily, that you don’t believe in Jesus.”

Yeah, you could do that. You could say those words. There’s nothing stopping you from stringing those syllables into that particular order, but I bet the thought of doing it sucks.

I bet for some people it sparks anger. Why should you have to do that? Why should you have to renounce your faith when it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the quality of work you’re able to do as an employee.

Maybe sadness. Why should you have to give up something that’s important to you? Why are they making you choose between something your soul connects with and the survival of having a paycheck?

Yeah, I get it. It’s “different” in my case… It’s just hair…

But at the same time, IT’S JUST HAIR.

Why can’t I keep it the way I want? Why do I have to give up an expression of myself, my soul, just to prove that no, I’m not a crazy drug user or whatever unfounded stereotype someone else is brainwashed into believing, especially when simple, easy compromises could be made to negate ALL of the perceived issues it would cause?

What is the company sacrificing for me to make this trade fair?

What core identity, fundamental belief, is it sacrificing to show it cares as much about me as I do about my potential job?

A paycheck? It’s sacrificing money to make me conform? Yeah… ok. I can go with that. I get that in exchange for changing my hair I would be receiving compensation in the form of money.

Is money worth giving up the fulfillment of being able to say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus?”

Would anyone else give that up, or something else just as core value? What if it was, “You can work here as long as you’re not gay?”

And that’s where I have the biggest problem. If it were anything else people would be understanding, but because it’s “just hair” it’s not allowed to be important to me. It can’t be something I have an attachment to, or a connection to. It can’t be something spiritual that I have a right to keep.

What’s more infuriating is the fact that I could work at a fast food chain and because it’s considered “lesser” work there are more leniencies in regards to appearance, but because I want to work at a hospital me being myself is suddenly something that needs to be altered or hidden or eradicated.

At the time my brother called me I was very much in an irrationally angry and hurt state.

I told him I didn’t want to talk about it, but he pressed.

Jon: It’s how our society works.
Me: Well, fuck our society.

What’s really bad is I don’t even know if my hair was or wasn’t the cause of my denial. It was mostly just a built up fantasy inside of my head of a bunch of supervisors sitting around a table and saying, “Nope. She’s obviously a delinquent. Just look at that hair.” And the only reason I was thinking about it like that was because of the conversation I had with my classmate.

Originally I had thought it was because I was very obviously over qualified for the job. I mean, come on… Patient transporting when I’m EKG certified, working on phlebotomy, about to be CNA working towards PCT… The only thing I could have done more to keep me from getting the job was walking in with a flashing, “I’m not going to stay in this position long” sign above my head.

But no, the conversation with my classmate totally overrode all of that rational. The only reason I was denied was because of my hair. They lied about the accommodations and simply didn’t like me even though both interviews had gone well. They’re all lying soulless jerks. Rawr.

The conversation with my brother ended on not such a good note. He sent me a text message not long after our conversation saying how it had felt like a slap in the face to him. He had just sent me money to pay for my classes and here I was throwing it away because I refused to dye my hair.

Bitch, I had just said on the phone that I knew I would do what I had to do, but that I hadn’t had time to process through the emotions and that I was angry and didn’t want to talk about it.

If you want to pick and choose what parts of the conversation you hear at least remember the goddamn facts of it and recognize that whatever hurt feelings you have are your own fault since you didn’t leave it alone when I told you to leave it alone.

I felt betrayed and guilty. I’m not the only one invested in my schooling anymore. That makes me want to do my best. But I’m not the only one invested in my schooling, so now I feel like I have to do what makes him happy. I feel like I “owe” it to him to give up my hair because that’s what he wants.

While we were on the phone he tried to relate to me by saying how he hates having to flip his septum piercing up when he goes and works with the color guard at the high school he volunteers at.

I mentioned how he had been dishonest about his piercing and that he was playing a dangerous game, which he was obviously ok with playing. He hadn’t been told he had to take the piercing out in order to have the job. He had flipped the piercing up before the interview and pretended like it didn’t exist.

That’s fine. That’s how he wants to play it. But it wasn’t fair of him to use that as an example of him “sacrificing” because he didn’t sacrifice. He lied and kept something that is important to him. So really the moral here is I should lie. I should hide my hair in a head wrap preemptively. At least that’s what he’s saying his actions would be if he were in my situation.

I didn’t have it in me to do much the rest of Friday. I applied to some jobs eventually. Only three. One is a Central Service Tech job at a surgical center not far from where I live. I wouldn’t mind interviewing for it. Another is a pharmacy stock position with the hospital. That one doesn’t seem so bad either, but with how I got so far with the interview process for them to deny me with no reason given, I’m sort of burned out on the hospital right now.

I thought a long time about the conversation with my brother. I didn’t want him to feel like I was throwing away anything because I wasn’t. What made everything so painful was the knowledge that if push came to shove I would, indeed, relinquish my hair. That I wouldn’t stand true to myself. I would conform. I would bend, but in my head, it wasn’t bending, it was breaking. And I would do it even as I hated every second, even as every morning I would be reminded by the mirror that I had abandoned myself. He felt hurt and betrayed even though ultimately I would do whatever I needed to do.

What do you do with that? I said, “If I have to, I’ll do the thing you want me to do.” And he still felt hurt. He still felt like I slapped him in the face. How was I supposed to succeed in that situation? I didn’t, and still don’t, understand other than to say, “It’s Jon and he’s always going to be a double-edged sword.”

Saturday morning, while I was drinking my coffee, I came up with what may be a compromise I’m ok with.

I’ll keep applying for jobs. That choice was never really an option. I’ll keep my purple hair while I do it. If, by the time I finish my phlebotomy class, 5 weeks from now, I haven’t been able to land anything, then I will dye my hair back.

And even then, I might wait a month while I finish out my PCT course and see if I can get a phlebotomy position with my hair the way it is. I think I like that idea better. I can’t apply for phlebotomy jobs yet, so I want to give myself a chance in that area before giving up my hair.

So, yeah, nine weeks. Nine weeks to find someone who sees me as a person rather than a stereotype. Nine weeks to find a company who understands that IT’S JUST HAIR and that I would be beyond grateful to be allowed to remain true to myself.

Having found that compromise I felt a bit better. My thoughts turned to the job search, though. I’ve been seriously looking for a job since mid-February. So a month I guess? Two interviews, and a call back I shouldn’t have passed up. So does that count as three?

Are those good numbers? Am I not trying hard enough? Should I still be reaching for low hanging fruit or stay aimed at the direction I want to go in? How do you know when you’re making the right choices? Is there something I should be doing differently?

Blarg.

I paid bills on Friday, too. I’m broke. Like, “I can’t go grocery shopping until Warren pays rent” level of broke. Yeah… and with no future income in sight at the moment. It makes my stomach tight like I’m preparing for a massive uppercut that I know is going to suck no matter how prepared I am for it. It makes me wrap my arms around my stomach to think about how I can’t buy anything. Not conditioner or body wash. Not the cheese slices for breakfast.

This was what I was trying to avoid by searching for jobs early. I didn’t want to be in this situation. But I’m here. So I guess the best thing I can do is understand the emotions I feel and do the best I can to change my situation.

I went to the dojo Saturday. Jiujitsu was first, then Muay Thai. I thought about not staying for the second class. I did, though, and I’m glad I did even though right now I’m incredibly sore.

I hung around after class, stretching on the mat while some of the guys talked. We all ended up in sort of a pow-wow circle, sitting and relaxing while we chatted. It was nice. I feel like I’m starting to form actual friendships with some of them, which you would think trying to choke each other out all the time would mean we’re like BFFs or something. Since a few of them are friends on my Facebook they mentioned my stripe and EKG certification. It made me feel like I was part of the group.

I didn’t drink enough water while I was at the dojo so by the time I got home I had a killer headache. I ate, drank water, then curled up in bed and suffered for a while. It wasn’t until around 8 pm that I started feeling ok enough to do much of anything. I cooked homemade beef stir fry. It came out awesome.

I went back to bed not long after cleaning up the kitchen and running the dishwasher.

So, of course, I’m not ok that when I went down to the kitchen this morning there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Blah. That’s a conversation I don’t want to have. But I know I need to because it’s only going to get worse for me internally if I don’t.

I don’t feel like doing anything today. I’m supposed to go start cleaning out the storage unit but the bitch in me doesn’t want to do it. Why should I be the only one to do anything when he can’t even be bothered to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher?

I know if I don’t start moving boxes back to the apartment that Tuesday is going to epically suck. I don’t want to spend my whole day moving stuff. I want it to be the furniture and that’s it.

I feel like that’s a victim mentality. “Why me? Why can’t it be fair?”

I don’t know what to do to change those feelings. And I don’t know how to make it fair when the other person doesn’t care enough to change.

I might have a way to make my work area more conducive to studying. It’s something I’m looking into at least, being able to work better at home. Since home is becoming a point of stress for me I’m not sure how helpful any changes are actually going to be.

I want things to change, but I don’t want to put in any more effort because it feels like the effort I have put in is pointless. It hasn’t gotten me anywhere so why keep trying?

Because I said I would. Because if I don’t try than things literally won’t change. I have to keep going to the dojo if I want to keep getting healthier. I have to keep applying for jobs if I want the chance to actually have one. I need to keep going to class so I can keep improving which will let me apply for better jobs. And I need to keep telling Warren that he’s being unkind to me because he is. His apathy affects more than just him and it will kill our relationship if he doesn’t change.

I have to accept that he might not change, and if he doesn’t then that’s on him. I’ve been doing my part. I’ve tried to come up with compromises that work for both of us. I’m not a doormat. I’m not his mom. He’s not my man child.

This moment is temporary. It will change.

Prompt Page 016: Good At Being Good

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Prompt post from The Learning Network
to combat WordPress.


 

What Are You Good At?

 

Tell us what you are good at.

I’m good at learning. I’m good at being curious and asking questions. I’m good at wanting to know why and how. I’m good at seeing how things can be applied to other things to make systems easier or more efficient.

I’m good at helping. At wanting to help. I’m good at caring about people and things. I’m good at understanding if something can be improved and actually improving it.

I’m good at understanding that people are more than “things”. People aren’t numbers. People are hopes and dreams and aspirations and emotions. People are families and friends. They’re living. They have experiences that make them feel the way they feel. They have fears and insecurities. They have scars from Life. They have memories. They have self-preservation instincts.

I’m good at seeing the big picture as well as the small steps that go into achieving the larger goal.

I’m good at explaining things. I’m good at breaking down information or presenting it in such a way that people are more receptive to it. I’m good at taking something intimidating and scary and making it seem not so bad.

I’m good at teaching and sharing, especially if it’s something I’m passionate about.

 

 

How and when did you first realize you had this aptitude or knack?

I can remember when I was in middle school there was always a “word of the week” at my school. Teachers picked a student at the end of the week who most represented this word. Honest. Dependable. Compassionate.

We had a school news program and every Friday the names of the students who had been picked for the “Weekly Word” were mentioned and congratulated.

I was picked for a lot of those words. I didn’t try to get them. I didn’t strive or change things about myself. I did my homework. I was a nice person like my parents told me to be. I did what I was told when I was told to do it instead of giving my teachers a hard time.

At the end of the school year, there was an awards ceremony. I had been crushed because at the time I was in band. I focused a lot on band. Poured myself into it, really. It was how I was coping with my parent’s divorce. Band was my self-medication before the invention of World of Warcraft.

There was an award I had been striving for, but I had failed the music theory test during the solo and ensemble event. Passing that test was a requirement for the award so because I failed I wasn’t eligible anymore even though my “competition” was.

I remember being in my band director’s office and having silent tears running down my cheeks as he told me there wasn’t a way for me to achieve the award. I felt lost and hopeless. That award was how I knew I was doing something meaningful, that there was a purpose to everything. I NEEDED that award to have a reason to breathe.

She, my competition, was going to get to have her name called and walk across the stage and be acknowledged for her outstanding performance and I wasn’t. I had studied and practiced so hard. I knew ALL of my major and minor scales. I had passed every test in class. I had gotten a superior on my solo. I knew all of our musical terms and legitimately practiced all of the hours listed on my “practice sheet” while most students just randomly wrote in times so they wouldn’t fail the assignment.

I had done so much. So much. But because I had failed that one test, a test only offered once, I wasn’t going to be acknowledged. I had failed at something when I had put in so much effort into it and that hurt.

My effort hadn’t been good enough. I was a failure. Just like how I had failed my dad and that’s why he wasn’t around anymore.

I remember there was a while where I felt nothing. Depression. Apathy. It seemed pointless to keep striving when there was no way for me to reach the goal I wanted so badly.

Because I wasn’t eligible for the award I was surprised when I received an invitation to the ceremony at the end of the year. I very obviously hadn’t achieved my award, so why was I getting an invitation? At the time I thought it was a sick way for the system to twist the knife inside of my chest.

I remember showing mom the invitation. She was more excited than I was. We went out and got a special outfit so I could have something nice to wear for the ceremony. I remember sitting in the auditorium, the lights dim so the stage was brightly lit, displaying everyone who walked across the stage for their award. A honor roll. Perfect attendance. Things like that.

My competition was called for her band award and I wasn’t and I struggled not to cry because I didn’t understand why I was there. I didn’t want to see her achieving while I sat in my seat being reminded that I was a failure.

Eventually, we got to the end of the ceremony. The final part. It was the Empathy Award. This award was going to go to the student who embodied the idea of empathy. The student who most embodied every word that had been a “Weekly Word” for the whole school year.

My name was called.

I sat for a moment, not understanding as people clapped and cheered for me. I remember my mom poking me and telling me to go to the stage. I walked down the aisle, terrified that I would trip over my own feet, or that I would stumble as I walked up the stairs to the stage. I stood in front of my homeroom teacher as she gave me my certificate of Empathy and said I looked amazing in my outfit and that she was sorry she hadn’t been able to choose me for every word, but that she was proud of me and was happy I had gotten this award.

It was the first time I had heard the word empathy. I remember asking my mom when I got back to my seat what it meant. She said it means I’m a good person who cares about others.

I remember thinking it was sort of silly. I didn’t understand. I hadn’t done anything special. Caring for people is something you’re supposed to do. I didn’t do it better or more than anyone else. Everyone cared so how could there be an award for caring?

It wasn’t until later, as I got older, that I realized, no, not everyone cares. Not everyone is a good person. Not everyone has empathy.

It’s been something that I have always done subconsciously, and only gradually became aware of how it makes me different and sets me apart. Discovering my personality type of INFJ had a lot to do with understanding myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, but also my differences from the people around me.

That award was the first indication of how I was different, even though it took me a while to understand what it truly meant.

 

How do you use your skills and talents?

I like to think I use my skills and talents to help people.

Even seemingly random things like creating custom D&D character sheets goes back to the thought of, “This will help someone and make them happy.” A lot of the things I find joy and fulfillment in revolve around making someone’s life easier or more pleasant in some way. I help solve a problem they have.

In regards to teaching, I help my students absorb the information they need, whether it’s because they’re genuinely interested, or just want to pass my class so they can keep moving through the program.

Through my use of empathy, I’m able to see why they are struggling with the information. Maybe it’s overwhelming and they need it in smaller doses, or maybe there’s fear because it’s new and scary computer code and they’re doubting their own abilities. Maybe there’s a lot going on in their personal life and they just need someone to listen so they feel less burdened or can find some action steps in that area so their mind can move forward to other areas like school work.

Now, with my transition into the medical field, it’s with the hope that I can help people who are going through situations similar to what I went through. The uncertainty of seeing a loved one in the hospital and feeling weak and powerless to do anything to help them. I want to be there to help during those moments of darkness since I, myself, have had to go through it.

I can’t make bad things not happen, but I can be there to offer support and empathy when they do happen. I can be in those situations where someone needs to not only care but to understand. I can be in those situations where a person needs someone to co-suffer with them because I have suffered in a similar way.

 

How have your peers and adults reacted to your abilities?

I have been thanked during graduation speeches for my help and compassion as an instructor. I have received awards as an employee for my hard work and dedication to my job. I have received what feels like countless emails from former students thanking me for my help and how they feel they are successful because I took the time to help them believe in themselves.

I have received awards as a student, again for my hard work, but also for my ability to harmoniously interact with my instructors and classmates.

Even now, in my phlebotomy class, my instructor has offered to write me a letter of recommendation and we’re only a week into the class.

My therapist mentioned not long ago how she knew from the first visit to her office that the energies of the Universe move around me differently. That most likely sounds weird and raises, “That’s a load of crap” flags for some people, but as an INFJ it feels like validation. I know I’m different. I’ve always felt different and that difference in my teenage years and early adulthood left me feeling alienated and detached. I didn’t fit in.

I’m not meant to “fit in”, though. I’m meant to be myself, and that’s ok.

Even the drunk guy who came down to talk to me the one night I was outside on my phone at Sir’s apartment. The one who said that I had a beautiful soul and that God had plans for me. A total stranger whom I had only seen in passing a few times and had never spoken to before felt the need to tell me he saw something “other” about me.

It has taken me a while to understand and accept my difference and it’s still something I am striving to understand fully. I might never “understand it fully” but the people I interact with seem to react positively to whatever difference there is in me, and I’m glad that I can use it to improve my sphere of influence.

 

Are you passionate about the things you are good at?

Yes. I feel it is my purpose in life. I’m meant to help people in whatever way I can. I’m meant to better humanity. I feel I will always gravitate to a teaching role. I like the idea of teaching EKG because I feel I would do well with conveying the information. I feel I do well at the dojo when I’m paired with a student who doesn’t understand the technique we’re practicing.

I enjoy showing people how to do something they are struggling with and seeing them finally understand or grasp it. That moment when their soul lights up from the inside with the feeling of pride and accomplishment within themselves. It’s a good feeling to build someone up.

In a selfish way, it charges me. I helped. I did well. It makes me feel good so I want to do it again. If I didn’t get anything out of it I wouldn’t do it. But I do, so I do.

It’s how my brain is programmed. It’s my core code. Instead of fighting it and trying to be someone else, something else, I have chosen to embrace it. I like my journey so far. I want to see where it takes me in the future.