Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

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Daily Post 053: This Feels Like a Long Post

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A lot has happened in the last week so I’m going to start this off with a bullet list so I can remember to write about everything.

Apartment – Fight with Warren, K moving in
Social Life – Big Bad, Blacksmith, Mother Earth, Nicole
Work – Certification, Praise from RN
Workout – Yoga, Running, Jumping, and a Busted Knuckle
School – Because that’s a thing

Alright.

So…

The apartment…

I mentioned in my last post that Warren and I got into a spat. We still haven’t spoken to each other. I think he purposely ignored my messages on Facebook last night asking for the printer, but that’s fine. I went into his office this morning and got it myself. I’m not going to let the silent treatment prevent me from printing papers for college. If he didn’t want me in his space he should have given me my printer when I asked for it.

I guess it was Wednesday last week. I worked that night. A sixteen-hour shift. I swept up dog fur and vacuumed on Sunday. I had also cleaned the kitchen. I was frustrated to come home and find dirty dishes in the sink with Warren not home because he was out hanging with his new girlfriend.

On top of going out to play before being what I consider an adult, I happened to look at my bank account for the first time in a while.

Warren hasn’t paid rent for the past three weeks.

The agreement, now that his job pays him weekly, is that every paycheck he makes a payment of $150.

He’s given nothing in three weeks and didn’t tell me anything about not paying me.

I was beyond pissed and betrayed feeling after finding that out in addition to still having to do his dishes.

I made myself a drink and sulked in the dark living room for a while. I had work the next day but was too spun up to sleep. Fuming silently seemed like a better investment of my time.

Warren ended up coming home while I was still in the living room. He asked if I was ok. I asked if he had planned to tell me that he hadn’t paid rent in three weeks. He said that hurricane Irma really messed with his finances. He said he had meant to tell me but that he kept forgetting. I said he could have sent me a text. He said it was something he wanted to discuss in person.

I asked him why I should renew the lease with him. In a solid year, he has yet to pay rent reliably and still doesn’t take care of his own responsibilities even though he’s repeatedly told me he would. What benefit is there for me to be his roommate?

He said he was sorry and that I would get my money. He went off to the kitchen and started doing whatever he did. I went up to my room and cried my eyes out because I was so frustrated.

Here I am, again, in a shitty living situation with a guy. Doesn’t matter that he’s not my significant other. I’m owed $8k and all of the promises of “I’ll pay you back” are still empty words that mean nothing.

Later that night I got a text message saying I would have “my money” by the end of the month. As of right now I still haven’t been paid.

I sent a reply to his text message.

Me: Tonight wasn’t about money. Tonight was about how I’ve told you since you’ve moved in to just let me know what’s going on and you still leaving me in the dark. It’s about me finally getting to the breaking point where I’m done feeling like I’m being used. If you’re not going to pay rent reliably then at least sweep and vacuum up the dog fur. Or load the dishwasher with the dishes. If you have enough energy to get a new car and go out with people then you have five minutes to clean up after yourself before you go have fun.

I didn’t get a reply to my message until the following day at work. Warren sent me a novel of a message through Facebook saying I’m a hypocrite and dropping curse words all over the place.

Since I haven’t been able to think of anything nice to say to him I haven’t said anything at all. As far as I’m concerned at the moment he can go burn in hell.

I’m not his mother. I’m not going to remind him, weekly, that he has a dog. He’s had one for at least four years. Long before moving in with me. He doesn’t “forget” to feed Burno. He doesn’t forget to take the dog outside to use the bathroom. “Forgetting” that his dog shreds like a German Shepard is an excuse to be lazy.

I’m not going to say, “Now, Warren. Remember to sweep the hallway. And don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to sleep.”

He’s an adult. Just like me. No one reminds me to pay my car insurance on time. Or to make sure I clean Scarlet’s litter box. I’m not going to make sure he “adults”.

Fuck that. He’s older than me. Get your shit together or find someone who’s willing to have a man-child.

So that’s where we’re at. My friends don’t curse at me. My friends don’t use hurricanes as excuses to not tell me “oh, by the way, that money you needed to pay the power and internet bill, you know, those things I use for work, I’m not going to give you”.

I had to go out and buy provisions for the hurricane, too. That didn’t make it ok for me to not pay bills. That still had to get done. And the hurricane didn’t last for three weeks. Zero fucks given about whatever “reasons” he has.

We’re both in victim mentalities right now I think. Me with, “he’s not being fair,” and him with, “she’s a hypocritical bitch.”

I’m fine with that. I’ve been doing the dishes and taking out the trash on my own and you know what? The apartment looks the way I want it to without having to wait on someone else to hold up their end of the agreement.

I’ve had less stress at home this past week then I have for a while and it’s mainly because I’ve stopped caring. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can rely on Warren to be unreliable. With that mentality, I’ve let go of a lot of things. At the moment I’m ok with renewing the lease, mostly because I don’t have a choice.

Karen and I are meeting tonight for her to sign the application. That should be squared away by next week. Then it will be a matter of getting Warren to “make time” in his ever so busy schedule to vacate the two smaller rooms and move into the master bedroom.

Yes, I am still in bitch mode. I know he’s going to have “anxiety” over moving stuff around, and our schedules aren’t going to line up, and it’s going to end up being a clusterfuck that I take care of on my own. If it doesn’t go that way then at least I can be pleasantly surprised. If not then at least I’m not disappointed. That whole reliably unreliable thing…

So that’s the developments with the apartment. Fun times.

On to my social life…

Things with Big Bad are going well. We spent last night together. Last week there was a development that added another dimension to our relationship; the addition of consensual non-concent play. We’ve always had an element of BDSM in our dynamic but this was something we / I have stayed away from. Even with my blacksmith, I haven’t really done anything with it, mostly because I still have flashbacks sometimes.

The experience I had with Big Bad was amazing and something we both enjoyed and though I don’t think I’m cured or anything it is liberating to be able to explore this side of myself again after so long. It’s been four, maybe even five years now.

BDSM rape fantasies aren’t something you can talk about with most of the populace, let alone role play with a partner. It feels like we’re closer. There’s a level of acceptance between us that is more solid than it was before last week.

We don’t think either of us is a weird, sick fuckup for getting enjoyment from each other. It works for us and we’re the only people it has to work for because we’re the only people in our relationship.

I keep waiting for my relationship with him to have some horrible flaw that cripples us, but there hasn’t been one in over a year and it doesn’t feel like one is on the horizon. I’m just so used to there being one that the lack of one feels foreign, almost wrong.

So far things are good, though. Beyond good. They’re stable and warm and caring and supportive and everything I had given up on finding after Zane and I broke up.

My blacksmith is going through a lot right now. I don’t remember if I wrote about it or not. They found a growth. It’s non-cancerous. He’s on medication for the next three months to get rid of whatever it is. I don’t have details. I know the medication makes him sick and that he has to fight through exhaustion while still working doubles at work.

A tree fell on part of his house during Irma. One of the house’s bathrooms, closets, and part of the back patio are messed up, but none of the living spaces were damaged. Insurance is supposed to cover everything. Until it does part of his house is boarded up.

I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. I’m guessing not for a while. Four months at least. Enough time for the medication to hopefully work. I’m not sure what will happen if it doesn’t.

It’s humbling. I left my previous career partly because I spent two weeks in a hospital holding my mom’s hand. Two weeks of sitting there with a Bachelor’s of Science and being unable to do anything other than worry.

Here I am, in the medical field, and I still wouldn’t have been able to do anything during the biopsy. I still can only sit and wait and be patient and hold my shit together even though all I want is to be told that things are ok. That they will be ok. That nothing bad is going to happen.

But that’s not how life works. No one can promise that because no one has that type of control. Those words are a lie and I refuse to tell them to myself and even though other people say them to me I don’t allow them in. I don’t accept lies.

I say things like, “It will work out how it’s supposed to,” and maybe that’s just as messed up. Maybe that’s just another lie.

It’s the one I listen to though. It allows me to accept that I don’t have control. I don’t have control over what is happening or what will happen. All I can do is accept what Life deems “right”. It doesn’t take away the fear of “this is the end”. The fear of “this is where he’ll release me because he can no longer be my Master.”

It sucks. I know he needs me to be strong. He has enough going on without having to worry about making sure I’m ok, too.

I’m fine, even with the annoyances of work, the apartment, and Life in general. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I can survive his death, too, if it comes to that. I know I can. He would want me to.

Mother Earth and I have been doing well. She reads my blog. She mentioned that I don’t write much about when we hang out. I know I haven’t and some of the reasons are intentional while other reasons aren’t.

Part of it is I know other people in our mutual lives read my blog. I don’t know why that has anything to do with anything, but it does. Maybe it’s because I feel like they’ll comment about what I write rather than having a discussion with me.

Part of it is a lack of writing in general. The days I’m able to write are often long after Mother Earth and I have spent time together, and so the more imidate things on my mind are not our moments together. They’re also not moments that I feel I need to work through. I mean, there are emotions, and there’s still stuff in our past I need to make peace with, but overall I feel accepted and restored when we’re together. Our moments help keep me sane and mostly stable. They’re also something I want to hold close to myself, like a precious piece of something that isn’t meant for everyone. It’s mine and it’s ok for it to stay that way; to not be shared.

She’s my Mother Earth and I’m her Earth Dragon and nothing further needs to be explained to anyone.

I do feel like she gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my social life. Big Bad is actually the only one I am consistent with. The only one I make a real effort to work my schedule around for. Other than that I spend all of my time trying to train at the gym or working. Other social obligations feel just like that, like obligations.

I know Nicole wants to spend more time with me. She messaged me just this morning wanting to go to the beach and all I can think of is how I would much rather NOT go. I could sleep instead. I could spend all of that time not traveling. I could save all of that money instead of spending it.

The pros for the trip do not out-weight the cons for me and so I find myself extremely reluctant to take steps to make it happen. I don’t really want to drive the hour to visit her either which isn’t fair.

Nicole likes being in my neck of the woods more, so it hasn’t been an issue, but I’m aware of the imbalance in our relationship. I don’t drive to see her. I don’t go out of my way to “hang out” even though I enjoy our time together.

I feel like it’s similar to Mother Earth. We have this relationship, this dynamic, whatever it is, and yet I’m not sure I’m fully present for it.

I am present when we’re together, but I’m so focused on my calendar; when can I train, how early to I have to be to work, will I be able to squeeze in grocery shopping…

And now I’m looking at adding school into the mix. Is any of this fair to the people in my life? I want to do the things I want to do, but that doesn’t leave much time for downtime where I can recover, or social time for anyone else.

It’s something I need to meditate on and figure out. I don’t want to add scheduled date nights onto my calendar but I’ve already done that for one person, so not doing it for others seems unfair. And none of this even touched on the topic of spending time with my younger brother or figuring out traveling for the holidays or what to do for Thanksgiving this year since last year sucked as far as my vote goes.

Blarg. Overall I think I’m doing alright with my social life and that it’s really just stuff I need to figure out for myself. No one is putting pressure on me. It’s all inside of my own head.

Work is going well. I got a text message from my boss earlier this afternoon saying the census will be low tomorrow and to take the day off. Don’t mind if I do. I was looking at four days this week, three of them being 16-hour shifts. I’m cool with not working one of those.

I’m going to begin studying for my certification. I also will be going back to school and there’s reimbursement from the company I need to look into since I’m most likely going to be going for a Nursing degree…

Yeah… I know… more on that later I promise.

I’ve officially been out of training for three months. That’s a nifty feeling. I still haven’t heard about when I can take the CVC class or when I’m allowed to actually take the certification, but I’ll be prepared for that day whenever it ends up being.

There was one particular moment this week at work that I want to reflect on. I’ve written about this particular patient before. Mr. A. He’s the patient who didn’t want to come into the center for his treatment. The one I hugged and told him I hoped he felt better. The one who said the reason he came inside was so he could see me.

Mr. A is awesome and he’s one of the patients I enjoy seeing even though other people I work with would describe him as “needy”. He asks for a lot of stuff. He likes the interaction. He likes to talk and do magic tricks like pulling a dollar bill out of his hat. I don’t know why but I like him and he’s one of the people I don’t mind doing things for because I like seeing him smile. I like making him feel like there’s still good stuff in the world to experience, even if it’s just a simple cup of coffee that I bring for him while he’s on the machine.

Mr. A used to be a CVC patient, but his fistula has been deemed mature enough to use for his dialysis treatment. That means he has to be cannulated with 15 gauge needles.

I don’t care who you are, getting stabbed sucks.

He didn’t want to have the needles for his treatment. He wanted to use the CVC. I explained that we could use the CVC but that it had more risks associated with it and that the better option would be to use the fistula even though it hurt more in the beginning.

He said he would do it for two cups of coffee. I smiled and said we had a deal. One cup for each needle.

He said ok. I could use the fistula then but to try to make it not hurt. I put my hand in his and squeezed, saying I would do my best not to. We were quiet for a second as I held his hand. I was debating saying something further. Should I say it or not? Should I keep going with the procedure or be vulnerable, too?

I decided to be vulnerable.

Me: It hurts me, too, Mr. A.

I said it in a small, quiet voice. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes because it does hurt me. It makes my heart seize every time I see one of my patients flinch in pain as I insert a needle. And I have to do it, not once, but twice. I have to hurt them. I’m paid to hurt them, and thinking of it in those terms makes me feel like the shittiest human being.

I squeezed Mr. A’s hand again before setting up what I needed for the procedure. I felt his arm before I cleaned the area. His fistula is a little deep, but not too bad. It feels solid; like it won’t roll much. I can tell it’s fairly new with how small it feels in comparison to some of the patients who have had their fistulas for years.

I had a moment of self-doubt. Maybe I should call someone else over. Maybe I wasn’t the right person to do this. What if I fucked up?

No. I would do this. I would try. I know I’m not the best, but Mr. A agreed to use the fistula because I was his tech. This was my procedure, my patient, and I wouldn’t let him down.

I took a deep breath as I stretched the skin on his arm. I said a silent prayer to Freya asking for my aim to be true and inserted the needle. I let out my breath as I saw flack back within the needle line. I was in. I advanced the needle. It went smoothly. I secured the needle with tape and allowed myself in inhale again as I stood back up.

Mr. A: Is it in?
Me: Yep. Only one more to go.
Mr. A: That didn’t hurt at all. You know how to treat a man.

I smiled an uncontrollable smile. He’s too cute sometimes. The second needle went in just a smoothly. Again, Mr. A mentioned how it didn’t hurt “too bad”. I completed the procedure and got his treatment started.

Mrs. Flo, the RN I’ve written about before, the one who’s approval is the end-all be-all to my medical career, came up to me afterward and congratulated me.

Mrs. Flo: Very, very good.

I know Mr. A can be a handful. I know he almost always refuses to come in for his treatments, or constantly asks for things, but I don’t mind. I don’t mind listening to him and letting him know that I hear him. I don’t mind taking an extra 10 minutes to get him on the machine if it means I can hold his hand and admit for the first time to someone that it hurts me, too.

It filled me with pride to know Mrs. Flo had been watching and that she approved of how I handled the situation. It made me feel even though I might still mess up that I’m doing well. Her approval means so much more than anyone else’s I’ve received so far. I’ve got this.

So that’s work. It’s going well and I’m hoping for it to continue to improve. We just requested our days for the new schedule. I should be capped at three days, and with the changes I made to my tax information I should be alright for a little bit; even better once I get my certification and the dollar increase to my wage.

Onward to talking about workouts. : D

I’m pretty sure I typed about the yoga class I did last week. It was awesome. I enjoyed it. It met the quota of “at least one yoga class a week”. I failed hardcore on the running aspect, though, so that was kind of lame.

Part of it was I went to dinner with Mother Earth and Josh one of the nights I was supposed to run. The other was I didn’t push through my tiredness on the other night. No one to blame but myself.

Yesterday I went to Title Club Boxing instead of the dojo. Since Big Bad and I had plans for the evening I felt it would be better to go there since they have a shower and are already halfway to his place.

Since at the time I was waiting for Warren to not be a dick and to give me the printer, I decided to go to what was listed as a “technique” class. It ended up being more of a boot camp conditioning class. I was ok with that. It was 30 minutes of intense workout and super fun. I stayed for the boxing class afterward which was an additional hour.

Once it was done I showered then went to Big Bad’s. It wasn’t until this morning that I really noticed the first knuckle of my right index finger. It hurts-ish. More a low level of discomfort than real pain. There’s a popping / grinding feeling whenever I curl my fingers and if I extend my finger out like if I’m pointing at someone, I can feel a sharpish edge of something poking into my skin. It’s swollen in comparison to my other index finger and I can see a difference in how the skin folds when my finger is extended…

Yeah… not cool bro.

After reading different articles online and talking with my trainer I plan to wait and see what happens. A lot of things say it’s most likely inflammation and overuse, not like I was using it all that much aside from my one boxing class in weeks…

I can tell the swelling has gone down as the day’s progressed. I plan to get some ibuprofen while I’m at the store since that was something mentioned in the forums. If the pain increases or if it doesn’t continue to get better as the days progress I will, undoubtedly, go get it looked at. I want to see if my body can take care of itself first. If I were in more pain I would be more worried. At the moment I’m being cautious.

My workout with L today was awesome. She’s very supportive of me gearing up to be back in school (again, more on that later). When I mentioned my knuckle she looked at it and told me modifications I could during my workout so I wouldn’t have to grip things as much.

Next Tuesday she’s going to have me try jumping the red box… that escalated faster than I thought it would. She’s confident I can do it. She said I’m clearing the blue box with a fair amount of room to spare. She said jumping the red box is more of a mental hurdle than a physical one. Physically I can do it. Mentally I need to tell myself I can do it rather than looking at it like an impossible task. But it’s the red box… >.<;

I can tell my core is continuing to improve. I could tell last night at Title Club while I was throwing hooks how I’m able to generate more power within my torso. It’s a cool feeling. It’s also helping me with the plyometrics L is having me do. I’m able to do the core workouts better, for longer, and faster; definitely with less of an “I’m dying please kill me” feeling.

I also happened to dig out my long sleeved stuff to see what would fit this year. Two shirts I’ve kept since I graduated high school fit me again. Actually, one of them I was never able to wear. I bought the shirt while I was working as a stocker at JCP. At the time I had been working on losing weight and it was my “reward” shirt. A super pretty, deep purple oriental type shirt with long flowing sleeves.

I was able to fit into it for the first time last night. I don’t know when I’ll wear it out. I want it to be for something special. I want to feel pretty while I wear it. Makeup and everything. No icky faded hair. Nope. Fresh dye, eyebrows waxed. The whole nine yards.

I’ve waited six years to wear this shirt. I’m going to make sure I’m the hottest thing this side of the sun when I go out in it.

That’s it as far as working out goes. Trying not to fuck up my body too much while still making progress. I still need to sign up for the Spartan race. Before I do that I need to make sure Big Bad really would be ok with me running without him. He has his daughter’s that weekend and wouldn’t be able to go with me. More meditation is required.

The last thing to talk about is school. Not that I haven’t written a small novel already.

So school has changed a bit, again.

I applied to Seminole State College. I found out Monday, yesterday, that I was accepted. I dropped a pretty penny on getting copies of all of my transcripts. I had copies sent to the college, but also to myself since I’m tired of not having that information when I need it. I mean really… who remembers and/or cares about exact day of their graduation? >.<

That’s essentially six transcripts I had to pay for. I guess it’s worth it. I mean, if it gets me to where I want to go then I’m cool with it, and it will be nice to have “unofficial” copies to keep in my “box of important stuff”.

I was looking further into the Sports and Exercise Science degree and realized that it’s a transfer degree to UCF’s Bachelor’s program, so I wouldn’t really be getting what I want for a while… Lame…

That got me thinking this morning though… Maybe I should do the Associate RN degree first since a lot of the classes for the Nursing and Sports and Excercise Science degrees crossover.

That would let me vertically move within the company, or potentially leave for something else, while still working towards my SECD (sports and exercise science degree because there’s no way I’m going to type that out every time).

That would give me time to figure out if I really want to pursue another Bachelor’s degree. I’m pretty sure I do, but I’m also pretty sure I want to make more money while I do it. Basically, after getting my RN degree, I would do the SECD. After completing the degree at Seminole State I would transfer into UCF I would be a junior. I would be in the Human Performance path and I would be working towards a minor in fitness training.

I finished the application process for the college so now it’s really just a waiting game. I get to talk to my advisor next Tuesday. That’s where I’ll be able to really battle plan everything out. I want to see if I can take one of the B Session classes this fall. That’s essentially a fast forward class. Instead of taking 16 weeks and doing a full semester. I would only be doing about 6 or 8 weeks for the class. If I could get through English II or another Gen Ed that would be nice. Go ahead and get it out of the way.

I’ll be finding out what, if any, of my previous classes, transfer on Tuesday as well. I’m hoping for at least two. Four or more would be better but Full Sail is lame with how they label their classes so my Public Speaking and Physics might not count.

I applied for financial aid though I’m not expecting to get much if anything. Right now all if it is “wait and see” so since that’s the end of what I have to write about I guess I’ll go ahead and get going to I can grocery shop and do the cooking before meeting Karen tonight.

Life is going, some areas of it smoother than others, but I’m pretty ok with how I’m coping. Go me.

Daily Post 052: Mostly Caught Up

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I wrote this the night before last (Tuesday evening) but didn’t have the time to proofread so it’s being posted now. And just a heads up, Warren and I had a spat last night about him not paying rent, again, and not telling me about it… so yeah… that’s going to be a super fun time hashing out all of the emotional fallout when I write tomorrow morning.

It’s whatever though. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I’m going to enjoy my night with Big Bad tonight and beat Life into submission later.

Until then, here’s Monday and Tuesday.

 


 

I’m finally caught up with writing. It’s a weird feeling. Everything is fresh. I can put the emotions and experiences away properly, reflecting on them, analyzing them and then letting them go to where they belong.

Monday was a good day. I opened so the clinic was quiet and empty. The other opener was already there so the machines had been turned on. I like starting the day like that; at square one. I know everything that needs to get done and I know how to do it. There isn’t anything that’s “gone wrong” yet.

Changeover for second shift was a little rough because one of my coworkers was late. We got caught up though and everyone started their treatment on time. At least, everyone who showed up on time, that is. We’ve been having issues with transportation being late, so people aren’t able to get their full treatment. One of the cool / good things about being the lowest person on the totem pole is I don’t have to worry about fixing admin problems like that. Woohoo for not having to make phone calls.

During lunch, I stopped by my FA’s office and asked if we could make an arrangement to sit and chat on Friday. He said he had time now if I wanted to. Since I don’t like waiting and neither does he we went ahead and hashed my issues out.

I started off with explaining how I wanted to go back to school and that’s the main reason I wanted to wait until Friday because I didn’t have much information about it. I explained how I wanted to go for an Exercise Science degree and that at the moment I don’t actively plan to use it for a career change. The thought of going to school and learning about something I’m interested in makes me happy. It makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

When I asked how school would work with work he said they would do their best to maintain my full-time hours in regards to my classes. Essentially I let them know what days I can’t work and they give me what they can.

So that’s pretty awesome to know. Work will be flexible with my potential future inflexibility.

I went on to talk about how one of the things I’m trying to do is find better work/life balance and how I’ve been having a hard time finding it on my own. My true fulfillment comes from the dojo, but working long shifts so many days out of the week keeps me from being there even on my days off.

Before I said anything further he offered to reduce my days to three. I said if it was possible to do that and not adversely affect the team that I would be beyond grateful. He said it wasn’t a problem. There are teammates who want more hours so it, in theory, would actually help for me to work less. As long as I meet the minimum requirements to qualify as “full-time” then everything is good.

I can still have my Monday/Tuesday arrangement so I can have my evenings with Big Bad, which is great because I can keep that small bit of consistency along with always having Sunday off.

I also disclosed how my rent is going up and asked if there was any way for me to make myself more valuable to the company to receive an increased wage.

He said unfortunately because I’m still such a new hire, there wasn’t much I could do.

I said I understood that because I do. I haven’t even been out of training for three months yet and here I am asking for a raise. It was a long shot and I knew it.

I did ask about completing my certification. I asked if completing that was a possible raise or a guaranteed raise once it was achieved. He said it’s guaranteed so it’s something I can take steps towards. Mainly studying and making a fuck ton of flash cards like the nerd I am.

I asked if there was a time restriction on taking the test since originally I had been told there was, but later heard there wasn’t.

He said he wasn’t sure but he would look into it. He actually wrote it down on a notepad so for once I believe I’ll actually get information back about something.

As we were talking, since it was a pretty laid back and conversational atmosphere, I mentioned how I sort of screwed myself over by claiming zero allowances for my taxes, so there’s a large part of my paycheck I’m not actually receiving.

He said I could actually go into the computer and change a number of allowances I claim if I wanted to. I had no idea. For some reason, I thought tax stuff worked like benefit enrollment. You could only change it during certain times of the year or if you had a “qualifying” life change.

I guess not though, so that’s going to be something I look into/do. I want to do some calculations before actually changing it over. It’s nice to know I have that option available.

That pretty much covered all of my issues so I closed with asking how I was doing as an employee.

He said I’ve been doing great. No one has any complaints about working with me.

I asked if it would be possible to schedule myself for the CVC classes since I feel like a liability to my team by not being about to do catheter care. I’ve become secure and confident in my abilities as a tech to feel comfortable enough to learn something new, especially if it can help my team members out.

He said he knew it was a six-month waiting period but he wasn’t sure if it was six months from my hire date or six months from my “out of training” date. I said whatever made it happen sooner was cool in my book. I told him it would be cool if it could be “six months from when I was desperately look for a job” date. We both laughed.

There was actually a lot of laughter during our conversation despite how heavy my topics were. I really am lucky for having such an amazingly laid back supervisor.

Anywho, I’m tired of not being able to work with our CVC patients. We had five CVCs Monday morning. Five. That’s almost half my patients and the only things I can do with them were figure out their fluid removal goal, take their temperature. Oh. And get their blood pressure. Other than that I’m useless because it’s like I’m not even allowed to look at a CVC without having this “one day and now suddenly you’re an expert” class.

Arg. I may or may not have strong feelings over this. >.<;

The good news is my FA is totally on my side. He’s going to see about getting me into a class as soon as possible. Hooray.

He also said I could start learning how to mix bicarb, which would allow me to open the clinic more often. I’m totally cool with that. I want to learn more and I want to open more often. Learning bicarb hits both of those goals, so I’m totally down for it.

Other than not being able to touch CVCs apparently everyone is ok with me. That’s a relief to know. I haven’t crossed any lines or stepped on any toes, at least not that my FA’s aware of. I’m doing well and the issues I talked to him about aren’t new or unsurprising.

The meeting took way longer than my lunch break. When I got back to the floor I explained I had been in the FA’s office talking about potentially going back to school. That sparked a really interesting conversation that lasted for most of the second shift.

The third shift started and the change over was pretty smooth. I was able to leave the clinic shortly after 4 pm.

Originally I wasn’t scheduled to open so I was supposed to stay at the clinic until around 8pm which totally screwed over my plans for seeing Big Bad. I was able to switch shifts with a coworker on Saturday, which is why I did end up working my “normal” shift, but because I wasn’t able to switch with her pretty much the day before I worked, Big Bad and I had already rescheduled our evening together to Thursday.

That meant I had all of Monday evening to myself, so I went home, showered, had a quick snack, then went to the dojo. It was something I had been looking forward to the whole day.

They’ve changed the class schedule at the dojo so every hour they run two classes instead of one. I chose to do the submission grappling (no-gi) class versus Muay Thia.

One of the black belts ran the class. He’s a super cool guy. I was actually at the belting ceremony where he ranked up into black. I enjoy it when he instructs. Because there was an odd number of people at class that night, with me being the only girl, the instructor paired with me so I got one on one training essentually.

It. Was. Awesome.

He’s always super chill and answers all of my questions, which I normally have a lot.

Me: Why do you do it this way? What happens if they do this? Could you do this instead and it still be effective? Where am I supposed to be putting my weight during this movement?

He seemed genuinely pleased with how engaged I was so hopefully I wasn’t too annoying.

During the first two sparring rounds he was my partner. There was one point where he got butterfly hooks on me. That’s where his feet are on the insides of my thighs. It’s a way to control your opponents hips and to limit their mobility.

He ended up rolling onto his back and essentially lifting me off the ground since I had grips on his forearms. I could feel my weight shifting too far forward, giving him an advantage, so I straightened my legs out behind me while I’m balancing on his feet in the air.

It was one of those moments where neither of us thought we would end up in that position, with me in the air like Superman. We both smiled and kind of laughed even as we continued to struggle for a position of advantage.

There was a point early on in our first match where he got my arm and smiled saying, “It’s my arm now.” Later on, I got his arm so I taunted back, “Now it’s my arm” and we both shared a genuine smile as we continued sparring.

Both rounds with my instructor weren’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about being competitive. It was about comradery and fun and I absolutely loved both rounds even though I was pretty wiped afterward.

For my third round, I was paired with a guy I’ve sparred with before. It was a good match but nothing overly special.

My fourth match, because yes, I did do a fourth one, was against a guy I’ve never seen before. It was brutal. He tapped me out three times in our five-minute round, but I liked that. He helped show me what I’m doing wrong by not letting me get away with stuff.

If I left my guard open he took advantage of the opening. If I overextended my arm, he went for an armbar. It’s not like he was mean or overly aggressive. He was doing what he was trained to do, take down an opponent, and I appreciated that.

I can honestly say it was one of my hardest sparring sessions to date. There was one point where he had me in an armbar and he raised his eyebrows at me because I hadn’t tapped yet. He hadn’t pushed me to that point and I wasn’t going to just give it to him. I shook my head no so he pulled further back and I tapped in a hot second because when it’s a legit armbar the only thing you want is to cry uncle and get out of it.

Just like he wasn’t going to go easy on me, I wasn’t going to tap unless it was a legit tap. No softcore shit here.

Once the timer buzzed he laid back on the ground arms extended, breathing heavy, like it had been a struggle or something. I was trying to remember that breathing was a thing  I was supposed to be doing because the only thing on my mind was how I felt like I was dying. Holy fuck was that a hard rough.

Him: You’re strong. That’s good.

I had thought I would stay for a second or even third class, but after my last round, one where I gave all I had, I decided going home was the better option.

I can say I slept amazingly well that night and I think part of it has to do with being so physically exhausted from the dojo.

I woke up at six in the morning since I wanted time before meeting with L for training. I used to meet with her in the afternoon, but we’re switching it to the morning so my day isn’t as broken up.

It worked out extremely well today. I was able to go have breakfast and to type up my last post. I already had my gym bag with me, so once it was closer to go time I packed up and headed to the gym. I got there a bit early so I was able to stretch before my session.

L was very pleased with my “homework”. She liked the conclusions I came to about the terms strong and fit. As she took me through my training we talked about the dojo and how my rounds went.

She explained how she’s going to start incorporating more polymetrics into my workouts, which is where I got the goal for jumping the red box. We both want me to get to that level. Jumps are super fun so it’s only a matter of time.

We did a bunch of burpees in between my sets of weights. It was a much more intense session this time ’round and I thoroughly enjoyed it and made sure to say as much. I was pleased with how well I did during the core section. The “jack-knife” movement she had me to previously didn’t hurt/burn nearly as much. I could have gone a second round I think and been fairly ok.

We set up our appointment for next Tuesday at the same time. We said goodbye to each other, I got my stuff out of the locker room, then went home to begin looking into classes.

I’ve decided the school I originally was looking at isn’t one I want to go it. It’s a for-profit school and the reviews on Google aren’t very flattering. The community college near me doesn’t have what I’m interested in, so that blows.

I looked at UCF just to see what they had since it’s literally on six miles away from me. They offer a minor for fitness training. It seems pretty interesting, but I want to talk to someone about it in person. I called and left a message asking if I could arrange a meeting with someone to discuss the degree further and left it at that.

By that point, I was recovered enough from the gym to be hungry. I showered and went to my sports bar where I actually proofread through my writing and posted to my blog. I also wrote my Musing Moment post. I had my favorite server so I was also able to spend a bit of time chatting with her and getting caught back up since we haven’t seen each other in a while.

I ended up being at my sports bar for almost four hours between all of my writing and researching. My Surface actually died because I didn’t have it plugged into anything and that’s really the only reason I left. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have stayed there longer because I do tend to get caught up in things.

As I was driving home I contemplated the idea of going to the dojo. It was one of my days off. One of the few days I am guaranteed to make it to a class.

I was still pretty sore from my morning session with L, not to mention the no-gi class from the night before. I wasn’t feeling all that social either. I thought about going to Title Club Boxing instead, but that didn’t solve the whole “being sore” thing and most likely needing to do something less intense.

I was mulling it over in my head. Was I being a slacker or should I take the night off and do something like cross stitch?

I decided to check out the gym’s class schedule, just to see if maybe something was being offered that would satisfy my itch to do something else without leaving me dead for work tomorrow.

Wouldn’t you know, there was a yoga class scheduled for 7:30. Since it was only 5 pm I was able to cross stitch a bit before changing back into workout clothes and going to the gym for the second time that day.

The class was fantastic. With each movement I could feel my body relaxing further, releasing more. I’m still not where I was last year, but I could feel a huge difference at the end of the class compared to the beginning. I’m definitely glad I went and it helped confirm my goal of doing at least one yoga class a week.

With how hard I push everywhere else, I need to take at least an hour to relax and stretch.

There was a move during that class that was super cool. We started in down dog before flowing into three-legged dog. From there we bent the knee of our lifted leg and “opened our hips” which means we rotated the lifted leg over our grounded leg. From there we planted our lifted leg back onto the ground so we were in this weird bridge/back bend sort of posture.

It felt soooo amazingly cool. I had no idea I was able to do something like that, but I can. Wooo. One day in the hopefully not so distant future I’ll be able to do Standing Bow Pose, or maybe even King Dancer’s Pose.

Once yoga was done and I was reunited with my phone I saw I had a missed call from my younger brother. We chatted for a bit. It wasn’t anything important, just him bitching about work which I was more than happy to listen to.

From there I came home, ate, drank, and am now done with my writing and ready for bed.

I didn’t find out as much information as I wanted to about the whole school thing, but I wouldn’t be able to start classes until the Spring semester anyway, with March being the deadline for my application. I would like to talk to someone on Friday since that’s my next day off. If not Friday then hopefully next week. I want to get this figured out as soon as possible so I know what I can expect and what I can look forward to.

I might end up taking classes at the community college if they’re able to transfer. I don’t know yet and right now it’s not a major concern.

I’m happy with today. And today is done. So I’m off to sleep so I can wake up and kick ass at work tomorrow.

Musing Moment 109: What I Am

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strong

That is Google’s definition of the word strong.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM strong.

It IS ok for me to accept this aspect of myself. It is ok to be stronger than others. It is also ok to be weaker than others.

Accepting my strength does not make me better or worse than anyone else. It does not make me unfeminine.  It does not make me arrogant or conceded.

Being strong is simply a part of what makes me, me.

My goal is not to be strong. Being strong is a byproduct of being true to myself and that’s ok.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong.

 


 

fitness

This is Google’s definition of the word fitness.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM fit.

I get sick less often and I recover faster when I do. I am less tired and sore after physically demanding activities.

I am more fit than I was in my past. I am more fit than some people, less fit than others, but that does not mean I myself, in this moment, am not already fit.

This is another aspect of myself which is ok for me to acknowledge and accept. Recognizing this as a truth about myself does not make me egotistical or narcissistic.

I can let go of the nebulous goal I’ve had for years. I no longer want to “be” healthy. I AM healthy, and it’s ok for me to want to maintain and improve upon my level of fitness. Much like the term strength, wanting to improve something doesn’t mean I am not already that thing. I am fit and being fit is now a byproduct of being true to myself.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am fit. I am healthy; spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

 


 

Time for Some Goals

 


 

I have affirmed for myself that I am strong and fit, so now comes the part where I figure out what I want my foci to be and why I’m still dissatisfied with myself even though I consciously know I have drastically improved.

Firstly, I have determined there are things I do not want.

I do not want to be a certain size. I do not want to be a certain weight. I do not want to be “buff” or “one of the guys”.

I want to be myself and I want to be human.

Cool. Those seem easy enough to fulfill, right? Go me for setting the bar super high. : D

All joking aside, I have determined there are three things, in particular, I would like to focus on.

I want to improve my cardiac endurance, I want to be more agile, and I want to be more flexible.

 


 

Cardiac Endurance

I will complete the Spartan race in December.

This is now my immediate goal.

I want to prove to myself that I’m able to do it, regardless of if I run the whole course or not. I want to show myself that I’ve improved and that I can keep reaching higher and higher. All it takes is time and determination; dedication.

My reward for completing the Spartan course will be new compression gear. New shirts and shorts; my birthday gifts to myself.

I will begin running twice a week to improve my cardiac endurance.

My next goal will be running the Warrior Dash in February. I will run the whole course. My reward for the Warrior Dash will be new Vibrams and flipflops.

In April, April 4th specifically, I will go to my sensei and express my interest in being a fighter. This will give me two months to reflect on my journey and solidify my next courses of action.

This admission to my sensei will begin the next phase of whatever I decide my life to be.

 

Agile

Agility is the speed and strength at which a motion can be performed.

Being agile will help make me a better fighter and give me an edge against bigger, more muscle-bound opponents. I can improve my agility by incorporating plyometrics into my workouts. I can quantifiably measure my agility by tracking how high I can jump, how quickly I am able to complete sets along with how many repetitions I complete during a set.

My current goal for measuring my agility is jumping the red box at the gym. I am already at blue, a step above both gray and green.

My reward for jumping the red box will be new boxing gloves.

 

Flexibility

While being agile is more connected to speed, flexibility is more concerned with the range of motion one can attain during an action.

This is something I feel I have largely neglected since mom’s death. I can feel how my hamstrings and hip flexors are tight, how sometimes it’s hard to keep my knees from bending while I stretch. My range of motion is not what it used to be and I can feel that difference within myself; that limitation.

I will incorporate yoga back into my routines. I will attend a yoga class once a week.

My goal for measuring my flexibility in my hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders is to hold a complete and properly executed “Standing Bow Pose” for 10 seconds.

At this moment I do not have a reward for this goal.

 


 

So, why so dissatisfied?

 


 

I’m not really unhappy with myself. I don’t look in the mirror and berate myself and say unnice adjectives inside of my head like I’m my own bully. But there is a level of “not quite there yet” within myself that I don’t like.

I don’t have the body I “want” to have and so I haven’t really accepted the improvements I’ve made even though I appreciate them and consciously recognize that they are there.

Like, dude, seriously, I have guns now. And not just nerf guns. Actual bicep definition and yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds.

So what gives? If I like the changes I see then why am I “not ok”?

After researching and looking up the definition to different terms like I was back in middle school or something, I think I’ve figured it out.

I want to be leaner than I currently am. I want to have a different body composition.

The good news?

Becoming leaner is something that is inevitable for me. Like strength and fitness, becoming lean is and will continue to be a byproduct of being true to myself. Nothing needs to be changed or added for me to reach this next “nebulous goal”.

I am leaner than I was six months ago. I am leaner than I was when mom died a year and a half ago. I am leaner than I was four years ago. The dissatisfaction I feel with my body is largely due to the pressers of society and my own mental image of what I “should” look like.

The best thing to do is to not become discouraged that I am not “there” yet. I need to be patient with myself. I need to keep in mind that rest days are important and that there is such a thing as pushing too hard. I need to stay the course and not get frustrated. I want to get “there”, but I want to get “there” in a healthy and safe way. Becoming leaner will come in time. It’s already drastically improved and will continue to do so all on its own.

I’m not sure if becoming leaner counts as a goal. I don’t think it does and I’m ok with that. This isn’t meant to be a goal, more a realization of why I feel dissatisfied with myself. That dissatisfaction is uncalled for on my part. I should remember how far I have come rather than focusing on what society thinks I should be.

I am doing well and this aspect of myself, my body composition, will continue to improve and change as I keep myself focused on my goals and commitments.

Daily Post 051: Finishing My Recap

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I want to finish recapping last week before getting too far into this one since I feel there are a lot of events which have led to the conversation I had with my FA yesterday, which, spoiler, I already talked to my supervisor.

So Thursday was the “fuck it” day. Lacking electricity I opted to take the day for myself rather than trying to organize the chaos of my life. And it was a fantastic day. I biked four miles to the dojo, sparred for an hour, biked another five miles and had lunch at Moe’s before biking the remaining mile back home. Later in the afternoon / early evening I went to the gym and trained with L where I once again increased the weight I’m lifting. I also ended up doing 50 lunges with a 30-pound barbell.

L is sneaky like that.

L: Go ahead and do lunges down to that line. *does lunges* Awesome. Now turn it around and bring it back.

My Legs: Mother F-*beeeeeeeeeeep*.

And of course, me and my INFJ “anything you can do I can do better” non-competitive competitive mentality did it because biking 10 miles and sparring with black belts for an hour is no excuse to not be able to do a billion lunges… I’ve never hated having an upstairs bedroom more in my life than I did that night. ;-;

Even with being ridiculously tired after it was all said and done, Thursday was awesome. Thursday was the type of day that I want to have. One where I feel alive and full and warm and like I’m worth being alive.

Which sucks because it makes it sound like my job is soul-crushing and the bane of my existence, when it isn’t. It’s extremely fulfilling in its own way.

I guess the issue is work is an obligation. I wouldn’t be doing dialysis if it weren’t for the fact that I NEED a job. I wouldn’t have gotten certifications in EKG reading or phlebotomy or completed the whole CNA training. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things if it weren’t for the fact that I need income to support myself.

So while, yeah, I love my patients and my heart melts everytime they say thank you or wish me a good day, work is an obligation, not a choice, and I think that’s the biggest issue with it interfering with what I WANT to do, which is train.

It’s my choice to stay with the job I have, but it’s not my choice on if I work or not. I HAVE to work. It’s more of a question of what work do I do?

As long as it’s meaningful, something I can believe in, and contributes to the overall wellbeing of society / humanity, then I’m pretty ok with doing whatever.

Saving people and helping them live life as fully as they can works for me. It’s a good, solid purpose that I can get behind. If I have to give my time to something at least it’s going to a good cause that does make me swell a little bit with pride when people ask me what I do.

Them: Wow. That’s pretty awesome. It’s got to be crazy intense.
Me: Yeah. It is. *thinks about all the crazy shit that makes it stressful* But it’s fulfilling. *thinks about how Mr. S smiled said his day was better now that he got to see me*

I love my job. I do. For as much as I bitch, I do like like.

What I don’t like is the imbalance, which is something that, theoretically, can be corrected. I need to have days like Thursday where I can devote time to me. I need time where all I have to worry about is myself. I don’t have to save lives on days like Thursday. I don’t have to worry about obligations aside from the ones I make. I get to check in with myself. I get to heal my soul in ways I can’t while I’m working or interacting with people; while I’m caring for others.

I need time to care for me.

Having Thursday made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my life. Being tired or busy with work is a valid reason, but it’s also an excuse. I’m allowing work to take that away from me. I’m giving it that power.

Thursday is where my resolve for change really solidified. I can’t deny myself the downtime I need to function properly.

I could feel a difference in myself at work on Friday. Even though it was a long day it was a fairly good day. I didn’t have all of the stress from previous days on my shoulders still. I was ready to come back to work and to actually work. I was ready to be there, fully present, for my patients rather than looking at the clock and counting down the hours until I would be able to leave.

Friday was a good day and I was actually glad to be there. I had reserves of “care” to give so it didn’t feel like something was being taken from me. I got to have my Thursday so I could give my Friday.

I had planned to run after work that evening but that didn’t happen. I think a large part of that has to do with the drive home itself. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get back to my side of town. By the time I get close to the gym my body has already changed gears. I’ve been off my feet. I’ve had time to start processing through my day. I’ve had time to slow down and so the thought of having to speed back up sucks and is harder than to do than it would be if it were still earlier in the day.

Convincing yourself to run a mile after you’ve already worked 16 hours and walked 8 miles isn’t an easy task, and Friday night I didn’t put much effort into trying. I went home, ate, showered, and slept since I had to be into work on Saturday.

I think something which will help combat the “slow down” is to go to the gym closer to work, rather than the one near my apartment on the days I plan to do something after my shift. That gym is only a mile away, so what, like a 5-minute drive if that? I think it’s worth trying out and seeing if it helps me out any. I haven’t tried it yet. That will be tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then there’s not much else to say other than Friday I was a slacker and didn’t care because I was tired.

Saturday I was still a little tired but it was a short day, only 12 hours. I could tough it out and maybe I would wake up enough through the day to do something afterward.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. Saturday was a pretty smooth day. I actually had time to… wait for it…. SIT DOWN! No joke. The only times I ever sit are when I’m on my breaks. But Saturday, for whatever reason, there was a lot of “down time”. Machines weren’t beeping, people came at their scheduled time, most of everything was stocked, needle packs were already made. It was nice. I actually got to doodle on Post-It notes. XD

After work, I came home. It was still a really nice outside, warm with that tinge of coolness because it’s autumn already. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the day, one of the dying days of summer, doing nothing inside, so I decided to go for a bike ride. I would bike up to Arby’s, get a sandwich, then come back.

I showered, changed into workout gear, then headed out. I stopped by CVS first for sunscreen, SPF 100, so I wouldn’t die a horribly burn-tastic death during my ride along with Gatorade so I could keep hydrated.

I noticed as I got further into the bike ride that the bike felt kind of “draggy”. It seemed to take a bit more effort than it should have to get it / keep it going. I was biking against the wind, and for parts of it I was on an incline, but it just didn’t feel “right”.

Once I got to Arby’s, I chained my bike up and ordered my reward sandwich. As I sat pondering on the bike, which wasn’t making any sort of noise, I pulled out my phone and looked up the hours for the bike shop I go to. I wasn’t too far from it. Maybe I had enough time to bike over there and have them check it out for me, just to make sure nothing mechanically was wrong.

I called the store. I explained my situation to the guy who answered and asked if he thought I would be able to bike the distance before the store closed since that would be happening soon-ish. The guy said I should be able to make it before they closed, but if the front door happened to be locked to knock on the side door because he would still be inside.

With that set in place, I hopped back on the bike and got moving. I’m pleased to report I made it to the store before they closed. Woohoo. : D

The guy who answered the phone checked out my tires. My back tire had 20 psi out of 30-60, so yeah, it was no wonder my bike didn’t want to go. The front tire had about 40 psi in it, so the tires aren’t losing air at the same rate. He said there might be a small leak in the tube of the back tire. If it keeps losing air faster than the front it might be worth it to replace the tube.

They filled up my tires and that was that. Mission accomplished. I thanked them profusely for their time and assistance. They’ve always treated me well and I’m proud that I was able to bike all the way there, which left me to bike all the way back home. XD

The bike store is literally across the street from Big Bad’s house so before I had left Arby’s I messaged him saying that I would be at the bike shop and that if he saw me I wasn’t practicing my ninja stalking skills, the bike had an issue I was getting looked at.

Once I was done with the store Big Bad came out and walked the bike trail with me for a little bit before heading back home. I didn’t want to bike the main road in the dark without my bike light. We weren’t together for very long but it was nice to see him for the short time I did. A quick, sweaty hug before getting back on the bike and heading all the way back home.

It ended up being just under a 15-mile ride and it was glorious.

Once I was home I showered, ate, drank a crap ton of water and didn’t do much else for the rest of the night. My body was ok with that.

Saturday showed me that even on days I work I can still do a lot for myself. It’s mainly the 16 hour days that make things so obnoxiously hard.

Sunday was a day off. Sundays are supposed to be my “Me” day, but with the hurricane and work and all of the craziness of the past week, I decided that what would make me feel best is getting my life back on track. So Sunday I did a ton of chores and that too was glorious.

I did laundry. I tossed out all of the stuff in the fridge and freezer because it had spoiled when the power went out. I meal planned and made my shopping list for the store. I vacuumed. I cleaned my bathroom. I went to my sports bar for lunch, which was packed because I guess it’s football season again.

I didn’t mind. I put my spiffy headphones in and began working on the homework L had assigned me.

One of the things we talked about while I was training, in addition to me possibly taking classes, is how I’m unsure about a few terms people apply to me.

Every guy I have sparred against at the dojo has made some comment afterward about me being strong. I told L that I don’t know what they mean. Is it that I’m stronger than they thought I would be? Or that I’m strong for a girl? Or are they using a different measure for “strength” that I don’t know about or understand since words mean different things to different people?

I don’t feel like I’m strong. I still lose a lot of my rounds. I still can’t do a pull-up, though to be fair I also haven’t tried so we’ll assume I can’t and keep going with this train of thought. I still can’t run a solid mile, though that’s more cardio endurance than strength and again, I haven’t tried to do a solid mile, but I digress.

I’ve spent so much of my life feeling “not strong” that being told I am strong is awkward. Just like being told I’m attractive is awkward.

My Brain: What about all those years I was “fat” or “ugly”? That’s all I’ve ever known. This whole “attractive” thing is wrong. It’s not normal. It’s not “right”. Please stop saying it.

This whole “strong” thing is an aspect of myself that I’m unsure about and it was something L and I were discussing.

She said by her standards she thinks I’m strong. She can tell I’m getting stronger because I’m lifting more weight. I’m doing different motions easier. I’m improving. She also said her opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s my opinion and what I tell myself that matters. And she’s most certainly right about that.

It’s like self-acceptance and confidence. It doesn’t matter what other people say if you constantly tear yourself down. You have to believe in you.

I also mentioned how I don’t think that I’m fit or healthy. To which, again, she said she thought I was, but that was her opinion and not mine.

She asked me what strength and fitness meant to me. What did I lack by my definition to not fit those terms?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I had meditated on the word success and so I knew, by my standards, what that word meant and how I did or did not fit within it, but I had never meditated on strength or fitness.

She said maybe that’s something I could do before our next session along with figuring out three things I wanted to improve on.

So while I was at my sports bar, listening to techno music while everyone else cheered or booed respectively for their teams, I wrote about strength.

I have that writing and I will be posting it as a Musing Moment later, but in short, I realized that yes, I am strong and I’m not conceded or arrogant for writing that. I’m not unfeminine for being strong. I can be strong and still seek improvement. Wanting to improve doesn’t mean I’m “not” something.

I also wrote about fitness, which will be part of my Musing Moment post, and again, just because I want to improve something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

I am fit. I am healthy, and just like with strength, typing that, accepting that aspect of myself, does not make me a bad person. It makes me more connected with my reality.

I guess I’m still getting used to myself. I’ve never been as fit or healthy or strong as I am in this moment, sitting in an Einstein’s with my coffee beside me because fuck you Starbucks. I’ve never been this “small”. I can fit into mediums now. It’s a weird feeling, one I’m still adjusting to, and I think accepting these terms, strong and fit, as part of myself is a step in the direction towards actual self-acceptance.

I am myself, and in this moment in my life, I am physically fit and healthy. In my past, I wasn’t. In my present, I am.

Once I finished writing, I paid my bill, packed up, then went to the store to do my grocery shopping. I spent over $100, but that was with replacing all of the things that I had to throw out, so overall I didn’t do too bad. I try to keep my weekly spending on food at $70.

When I got home I started putting stuff away and making my meals. One of my former classmates and I agreed to chat at 3:30 on Sunday, so while my chili was simmering her and I got to catch up. She told me how things were going at her clinic, how things went with the hurricane, and in general what she’s been up to with life, and I did the same.

It was good to talk to someone about work who legitimately understands because she has the same job. My brother can understand because he’s done medical, and a lot of the people in my life can sympathize, even empathize, but Mrs. G knows exactly what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and behind and stressed because she’s fighting on the same battlefield.

Talking to someone and having them share their own stories helped me feel better and more connected with reality. It’s not just me. I’m not alone in my feelings. Mrs. G is going through it, too.

It was a pretty long conversation, but I enjoyed it. We’re going to try to meet up again at some point. Not this weekend since she has a bunch of stuff going on, but hopefully soon.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the cooking and remaining chores I had. I’m most likely going to get rid of my vacuum cleaner since it doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. I’ve cleaned the filter and everything but it’s still leaving little fuzzies everywhere. Warren’s vacuum picked up everything that mine left behind so yeah, I’m most likely going to take it to Goodwill or something. It’s not broken, and it still works, just not as good as something we already have so why have two?

I had thought about cross stitching Sunday night but opted to write instead. I’m glad I wrote. It kept me up later than I most likely should have been, but it felt good. Really good.

And so here we are.

I still have Monday to write through, and then all of what will end up being today, but I feel mostly caught up and written out. I have training with L I need to get to in the next 40 minutes so I’m going to go. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but hopefully, it will be soon. I like feeling like I’m in the present rather than lingering days in the past or floating, swimming, drowning in a sea of “what the f is going on with my life?”.

Yesterday I talked to my boss. Today I train and find out about classes. Those are the key points and I’ll meditate on them further once I’m able to.

For now, it’s time to go be a badass and flip some tires.

Oh, and here’s some cuteness because I actually really did get a chance to doodle at work. :3

 

Daily Post 050: The Aftermath of Irma

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I’ve written a handful of times since my last posting, but never actually posted them. I didn’t have the time to sit and proofread through all of the red squiggle lines of death in the moment and the promise to “get to it later” never happened.

Those writings seem so long ago now. A lifetime ago even though it’s only been a few weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll post them or not. I know I won’t  delete them, but this writing eclipses them and so it seems almost wrong to post. Their time is past.

Honestly, Irma already feels like forever ago and it was only last Sunday, around this time in fact, that the storm actually made its way to Orlando. I remember waking up when the eye passed over because there was a guy outside my window talking on his cell phone. Rude much?

The storm itself wasn’t as scary as some of the ones I stayed through in South Carolina. Floyd is the one I remember being the scariest. I know a lot of people were severely affected by this storm and so I do realize how lucky Warren and I are. The apartment did not sustain any damage and both our cars are fine.

Even though we came through the storm fine the last half of last week and the beginning of this week hardcore sucked.

It started with last Friday being 4 shifts long rather than 3. I was lucky enough to be sent home “early”, around 9:30pm because I had to be back at the clinic at 4am Saturday morning to continue dialyzing patients before the storm.

When I got home Warren asked if his girlfriend could stay with us through the storm. I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. She came over around 6pm on Saturday. By the time the storm hit on Sunday I was ready for her to leave. I was tired of her and Warren making kissy faces at each other and all of the “new relationship energy” filling the apartment.

I just wanted to be home and not around people. I especially didn’t want to feel confined to my room while they took over the living room with a movie marathon. When the storm finally ended there was a curfew in effect until 6pm Monday. When she finally, finally, blessedly left I got a text message from Warren about an hour later saying her apartment was without power, could she come back?

No, but yes because I’m not that much of a jerk even though I wish I could be.

So she came back and I did my best to not focus on the fact that I was going to get no alone time at all on the few days I had off.

Tuesday I didn’t have to go into the clinic until 10am. I went and had breakfast at a Waffle House which was running off of a generator. I left my waitress at $13 tip. I knew her day was going to suck having to work without AC. Hopefully, I helped make her day slightly less shitty.

Tuesday was a crazy day where we ran for four shifts again. The only things I wanted to do when I got home was eat dinner, shower, and go to sleep. That wasn’t in my cards, though. I got home to discover we had lost power at some point during the day.

I ate cold pizza because I couldn’t heat it up. I had a cold shower by the light of my cell phone flashlight. I tried sleeping but wasn’t able to because the air was so stagnant. I had to be back to work at 4am and with each passing hour I felt more hopeless. Wednesday sucked and the entire day I struggled with not breaking down into tears over the smallest things because I was so burnt out and tired.

I had been texting back and forth with Big Bad Wednesday morning. That evening he offered  me to come over to his place since he did have power. I can’t put into words how greatful I was for his offer. I asked if I could shower at his place as well. I had my gym bag with me which meant I had clothes to change into. He said that was fine and that he would see me soon. I stopped at an Arby’s on the way to his place so I could have dinner. Big Bad said he didn’t want anything.

I knocked on his door three times to no answer. There was a larger part than I want to admit to that was worried about him standing me up, or it being some sort of sick joke. I actually walked back to my car and was about to drive away when I decided to try calling him. Maybe he would answer?

He did. He had fallen asleep waiting for me. I can’t blame him.  It was past his bedtime. He opened the door for me and showed me where the towels were before going back to bed. I showered crying silently as the water washed away all of the stress I no longer needed to hold on to. Once I felt clean I sat in the kitchen eating my dinner, enjoying the feeling of being off my feet.

When I finally crawled into bed he wrapped his arms around me and sleepily asked me how my day had gone. We talked for a little while and as we did I could feel myself relaxing and legitimately letting everything go. None of it mattered while I was safe and cared for and away from that part of my life. None of it mattered while I was warm and breathing in his scent. Everything was ok and I would be able to sleep and in the morning I would be able to begin figuring it all out.

I slept amazingly well. Surprisingly well. I felt restored when I woke up in the morning.  I slept so deeply that I don’t remember Big Bad’s alarm going off or him getting out of bed. I don’t remember anything until he came in to wake me up.

We parted ways after breakfast, him to work and me back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power so there wasn’t much I could do. There wasn’t a point in going food shopping since the fridge didn’t have power. I couldn’t do anything chore related like laundry, dishes, or vacuuming and I didn’t really want to stay in the apartment as the day progressed because it was going to suck not having AC.

While I was trying to figure out what to do my phone notified me that there had been a post on the dojo’s Facebook page so I checked it out. The dojo didn’t have power but they were going to be open at noon for anyone who wanted to come train a bit.

I decided to say “fuck it” to the day. Fuck life, fuck responsibility. I just spent I don’t even know how many hours at the clinic making sure not only my patients but other clinics patients were dialyzed. It felt like it had been an eternity since I had seen sunlight and I had to turn around and be back to work Friday and Saturday.

No. Fuck it. I’m taking today to do whatever I want to do and no one is going to stop me or talk me out of it. I’ve earned today.

So instead of doing the mountain of things I “should have” done, I got on my bike and biked to the dojo where I sparred with five other guys for an hour before biking back home. Instead of going straight home though, biked another mile and got lunch at Moe’s. I sat outside for a while after that resting in the shade, enjoying the breeze and letting my food settle before biking the mile back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power but I didn’t care. I wanted to rest before driving to the gym for my training session with L. Originally it was supposed to be Tuesday, but Irma had everything shut down for a while. I was honestly surprised I was able to reschedule so quickly.

Just as I was getting ready to leave for the gym my power came back on. It was a relief knowing I would be able to take a warm shower once I got home.

My training session went well. I was able to talk to my trainer about a lot of things that have been on my mind. I don’t know if I really want to get into all of it right now, but part of it is the possibility of going back to school for an Exercise Science degree. Not because I want to get a different job. Just because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more and because the thought of doing it makes me happy.

I talked to my younger brother about it. He’s supportive while at the same time not. He doesn’t think it’s smart to invest a bunch of money and time into something that I’m not going to actively seek a financial benefit from.

At the moment I’m in a “fuck it” mindset with my finances. Not that I’m being reckless, at least not anymore reckless than normal. I’m tired of setting goals to “pay this off” or “get rid of that debt” only to constantly, consistently, fail at doing it because other people won’t pay me the money they owe me.

I just spent $300 on personal training sessions instead of paying down my credit card, and for once I don’t care. I get more fulfillment out of training than I do out of making an extra payment on my card.

Maybe this is a bit self-destructive of me. Maybe this is selfishness. But right now, in this moment, on this blank page where I can actually begin to address my feelings over my situation openly and honestly, I’m angry.

I’m hurt and angry. I still don’t know how I’m going to make things work in October. I’ve openly communicated my situation over and over again to no avail.  Nothing has changed. All I have are hollow, empty, useless promises.

So I’m done with those goals. I don’t know how to make things work but I know it’s not going to be by sacrificing the things that I want. I’m not going to give up the dojo. I’m not going to give up the gym. I’m not going to give up myself because I’ve done that over and over again for the past nine years and it’s gotten me nothing.

So yeah. Screw that. Fuck that, actually. I feel alive at the dojo. I feel alive when I train. I feel like living it worth it when I’m able to bike in the sun and feel the wind moving past me, my legs burning and aching from the effort of maintaining my speed on my highest gear.

I’m letting go of my financial goals because they’ve only ever made me feel like a failure at life. Like I’m not adulting well enough. Warren agreed to pay part of the interest I’ve accrued on the card due to him not paying me back. That brings his total to around 8k for what he owes me. If he paid me that in one lump sum I could almost pay off the card completely. Hell, I could pay it off with the remaining money I have from mom.

But that’s not going to happen. He doesn’t make enough for that to work. With Irma, he hasn’t been able to work at all this past week so I most likely won’t get his rent payment yet again. At least this time there’s a legitimate reason for it. It still sucks though, and it still leaves me in a worse off position than I was, and I still don’t care that I spent the money I did on myself rather than saving it for situations like this or putting it towards something that has no hope of being gotten rid of in the near future.

I’m done sacrificing my life and fulfillment.

My new goal, the one I’m giving my focus to, is to run the Spartan race that will be in Florida in December.

Tuesday I go and find out information about the Exercise Science degree, then later this week, hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to my FA about changing my work schedule.

I’ve proven that I can work the hours I was scheduled because I did work them. And it sucked. Sucked to the point that I had to have other people talk me out of not quitting my job.

I know I need a job to survive. I want one that’s fulfilling. I want one that allows me to have a life outside of work. One that lets me still be true to myself. And one that pays enough for me to be able to support myself. I think my FA will be willing to work with me a bit more now that I’ve proven myself to be an asset. I’m worth keeping around. I’m a hard worker. I get along with my teammates and the patients. I am reliable and for the most part, I’m pretty flexible.

I want to cap my days at 3. They can be three 16 hour shifts or three 12 hour shifts or a mix of whatever they need me to work, but three days. That’s it. That’s all I want to give. I’ll figure out something if it’s not enough hours. They can use my PTO to bump it to 36 hours if I’m short because 36 is what I budget on.

There are all these things that could be done as a way to compromise. I can still be an asset and valuable, but I want to be fulfilled and happy with my life at the same time.

Going back to school is one of those things that will give me happiness and fulfillment. I like learning. I have always desperately wanted to take an anatomy and physiology class. That’s going to be what I take in January hopefully.

Finding a compromise with work so I can still actively and consistently train is another thing which I want to address. That’s where the day cap comes into play. I can work three days, train hard three days, then have a day to recover. That would give me time for school as well when that begins.

Increasing my pay is another aspect I want to explore since a lot of my stress is still financial. I found out I can take my certification test whenever I want. I had been told there was a waiting period, but I guess there isn’t. It’s something I want to clarify with my FA. It would be a dollar increase for me. There might also be additional things I can do to increase my wage.

For a while, I didn’t have any real goals and I think that’s why it was so dark for me all the time.

My goal of “get a job” was accomplished. It then became “become secure with job” so I poured everything into it. I worked whatever was needed. I didn’t speak up all that much if I had to give up something in order to make work happy. But I can’t keep going the way things are.

Something has to change. My goal is no longer “survive”. My goal now is “conquer”. I will run the Spartan. I will become a fighter. I will go back to school and I’m not going to let something like work stand in my way.

If compromises can’t be reached then I’ll begin looking elsewhere. I got one job in the medical field. I can get another. I can always go back to using my animation degree. I have options. I’m not stuck even though for a while it felt like it.

I have a destination in mind. Now it’s just figuring out how to get there.