Daily Post 163: On Being Human

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Alert: Content is about sex.


I’m sitting here. I’m writing. I’m feeling better than I did this morning when I first woke up. I didn’t drink enough water yesterday after going to the dojo. I pushed pretty hard, too, which makes the whole not drinking thing a bigger issue than it normally would be.

I busted the top of my left foot because I was frustrated and kept kicking. And kicking. And kicking. And kicking. And oh… my foot kind of hurts. Let me look at it. Well… that’s blood. Guess I should stop so I don’t get any more than I have on the bag…

The top of my right foot is bruised. I think the reason my left foot didn’t fare as well was that there was already a weak spot in the skin from the last time I was at the gym. A little bit of friction burn since I haven’t been wearing my shin guards. I don’t think I did more or pushed harder with my left than my right. I think the skin of the left was already a bit compromised and so it didn’t handle the beating as well.

My knuckles are doing better than I thought they would. No friction burns or anything to worry about during work tomorrow. Alcohol hand sanitizer sucks on busted knuckles. Just so you know.

The frustration comes from my self. I’m not as frustrated today but that’s because I’ve had three conversations since then. One with a person I have been talking to online. And two with Ox.

And I guess this is where I write about super personal stuff and show that I’m human and that not everything is perfect pretty sunshine and rainbows or about mom’s death and that there’s a lot of emotions involved with life.

Ox and I are… doing. We’re not doing badly. But we’re also not doing well. At least not my definition of well. There are certain areas in our relationship that I feel need to be assessed and nurtured and tended to. Like when you’re gardening and you need to prune the bad sections away for the overall health of the plant. It hurts. It sucks. But it’s something that needs to happen in order for things to still be ok.

Ox and I haven’t been pruning. We haven’t really been having the conversations we need to. I think part of that is me. I have a hard time talking about difficult things. I mean, if it were easy then we would do it, right? But they’re not. There’s fear and uncertainty and so it’s easier to keep trucking along drowning myself in work or school and keep waiting for “one day”. The one day where the conversation becomes irrelevant because the problem fixed itself. But those days haven’t come and realistically, they’re not going to because that’s not how life works and on a logical level I know that. That doesn’t make the thought of these conversations easier so OH LOOK AN EAGLE!

Another factor from my side feeding into these “not having the conversations” tendencies is how busy and stressed I’ve been for a while. Especially when the Human Anatomy class started. The mentality then was “holy fuck how am I going to pass,” rather than “I need to pay attention to the health of my relationship”. Priorities can get skewed and things can get pushed to the back burner than shouldn’t and I own up to my part in allowing that, maybe too willingly, to happen.

On Ox’s part, from my perspective, it feels like the conversations we need to have have already happened, in one degree or another, and nothing changed or mattered so why try to have the conversation again or voice my feelings. I struggled through the hardness of saying it once. Why would I do it again and sound naggy or whinny? Why would I go through all of the icky emotions those conversations bring to the surface when it won’t do any good? It’s better just to stay quiet with my head down and let the wall of not okness build up around me and to try to find ways of being ok with the not okness.

So that’s where we’ve been at for a while. Stuff building up that needs to be dealt with, and neither one of us actually effectively dealing with the stuff.

Jumping topics for a bit to tie everything together… I’ve recently started talking to a couple on FetLife. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before. It’s essentially a Facebook site for the BDSM community. I’ve never been very active on it. I don’t normally reach out to people or follow boards or look for events or get-togethers.

I’ve talked to and met some interesting people through it; no different then how I’ve met and talked to interesting people on my blog, it’s just a different type of interest. One of the times I logged on out of boredom I saw that someone had liked one of my pictures. I sent a message expressing my appreciation and that I hoped they and their family were ok since they’re profile listed them as being in an area that was affected by some of the flooding that happened here in Nebraska recently.

That led to us talking more. I’ve met his wife. Her and I are also chatting. And I get that most of society will look at this and be like, “what the hell? They’re married. That means monogamous and no outside partners and that’s horribly slutty behavior and a big no-no and you’re all going to go to hell because you’re sinners. Shame. Shame. Shame.”

Yes. I understand that society has preconceived notions on what marriage and relationships “should” be and “should” look like. Not everything is for everyone and as long as everyone involved is consenting, I don’t think it really matters what society says. I care about harmony and emotional well being. If everyone involved is in agreeance that what’s about to go down is ok, then what does it matter if someone uninvolved has an issue with it?

It’s like someone saying they don’t like the books I read.

Not going to be sorry about it because it honestly really doesn’t concern you. If you don’t like it those are your emotions. Not mine. And I’m not going to internalize them as mine because I actually really do like this books and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

So, yeah. I’ve been talking to both of them. The husband and the wife. I was actually able to meet both of them at their store a few weeks back. Ox agreed that I could go and meet them since it was a public place. I had a time limit since I had to get to the dojo. It wasn’t some dark ally at midnight. I got to look around their store which was actually pretty cool. They repurpose old furniture and have all sorts of nick-knacks and hand made jewelry.

Meeting them in person was nice because they were no longer just words on a computer or phone screen. I had facial expressions and tonal inflections to go with the words. I had a sense of their energy and if there was actually any sort of compatibility for genuine friendship, much less anything beyond that.

Well… there is. I really want to get to know the wife more. Her and I seem to have a lot in common. Book likes. Hobbies. We’re both introverts. We’re both nerds. We both want to have someone we can gush to over the horribly naughty good times we have; the ones we can’t share with coworkers or “normal” friends because yeah… we’re sinners and going to hell but holy fuck it was a mindblowingly amazing trip getting there and let me tell you all of the details about what really happened to me on Valentines day.

There’s a lot of chemistry between me and the husband. We have a lot of the same interests. I know it doesn’t help that I feel disconnected from Ox and here someone is giving me attention and making me feel pretty and wanted because I’m legitimately wanted. It feels nice. It makes me feel sexy. And it’s easier to feel that way because it’s not like I’m in a relationship with him. I don’t have to worry about his dirty clothes being on the floor or what to fix for dinner. It’s all nice, easy, fluffy conversation. Not a relationship that has been established for over a year where you have some battle scars and difficult conversations under your belt. It’s still new and shiny.

The conversations with the husband highlight what I feel I’m missing with Ox. I want Ox to think I’m sexy and attractive. I want Ox and I to have these conversations where I’m mentally and physically stimulated. Conversations and interactions that make me feel alive. That give me energy. That make it feel worth it to do the annoying, stupid, tedious things in life.

Passion. Drive. Warmth. Desire. Sexuality.

All of that. That’s what I want in this area of my life and that’s what I feel like I don’t have which is why it feels like I’m slowly withering away again. I have all of the support and love and compassion and understanding. I have all of the emotional relationship things I want, but very little of the sexual relationship things I want and I’m an extremely sexual person and so part of me is just sitting over here… in the corner… alone… by myself… alone.

Queue frustration of yesterday where I’m angry. Angry that I always seem to find myself in these situations; like this is the lesson I’m supposed to learn in this life and I haven’t fucking figured it out yet, so here’s another attempt for you, Jen, since you didn’t get it last time.

I can have stability or I can have sex. I can fulfill one area, but not both at the same time and not with the same person because fuck you, Jen. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

No. Fuck you, Universe. You are now this punching bag and I’m going to end your world for the next hour.

Or… not…

Punching bag: 1, Jen: 0

I ended up meeting with the husband yesterday after my unsuccessful time at the gym. I needed to talk to him in person because I wasn’t resolving anything inside of my head on my own. And this wasn’t a conversation that could be done over messages or on the phone. It needed to be in person with all of the non-verbal cues and changes in energy. I needed it to be in person.

So we met. I admitted to all of the things I wanted. I admitted to what I wish would / could happen in a perfect world where everything goes the way you want it to go. I talked about the relationship dynamic between Ox and me. We shared stories. He told me his side of the situation. It was a very open, honest, down to earth, all cards on the table, no bullshit type of conversation.

At one point he told me not to cry since I had tears in my eyes.

Me: Trust me. I’m not crying… yet.

It was an emotionally charged conversation though, and intense emotions show up as tears for me. So they were there, but at no point did I feel bad about almost crying in front of a relative stranger. Which is another thing that adds to the suckage and unfairness of the situation.

They both feel like people I can be safe with and around. I don’t feel judged. I don’t feel like I can only be half me. I feel like I can be full me, emotions, fears, uncertainties, fucked up desires and all.

The husband offered to back off of our conversations if it would help. He doesn’t want to cause me emotional distress or put strain on the relationship between Ox and me. He gave me a hug because I asked for one because I needed it. I needed to feel like I wasn’t a horrible person for having the thoughts and feelings I have. Understanding. Reassurance. Acceptance. One of those, “You’re human and it’s ok to be human,” sort of hugs.

His “dad” advice to me before we parted ways was to be true to my self. It didn’t matter if it ended up being with him or later down the road or what, but the more I suppress my true self, the more it’s going to come out later and the less healthly for everyone involved it’s going to be.

That information wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it resonated deeper within myself to hear it from someone outside of my head.

I drove home. I listened to the same song I’ve been listening to for the past three days. The song I listened to for the whole time I was at the gym. It let me sink into myself, my thoughts. I knew I was really late getting home. I hadn’t messaged Ox to let him know where I was or why I was going to be late.

When your partner has a history of being cheated on, that’s not a great way to start the night. “Hey, I’m home. Can we talk?” Recipe for instant failure right there. Want your partner to not believe a single thing you say, because that’s how you get your partner to not believe a single thing you say…

I got home around 5:30. Ox had fallen asleep. Work sucked for him and he had been tired. I had messaged him asking if he could come outside. Since he was asleep he didn’t reply which fueled my fears. He didn’t want to talk to me. I was going to be kicked out and homeless. He was angry with me and the conversation I wanted to have with him wasn’t going to happen.

Eventually, I went inside and found him asleep. It physically hurt to crawl into bed beside him. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I didn’t deserve his love or kindness. I didn’t deserve his support or understanding.

I didn’t deserve him, and yet here I was, invading his space with my horrifically unworthy self.

He woke up. We went outside. I said that this was going to be really hard for me to talk about, so could I talk, and then he talk, and we take turns like that because I was worried about not having a home to live in anymore.

He agreed. I asked if phone calls were considered cheating because the husband and I had talked on the phone. Ox said it depended on the conversation.

I admitted to everything. My feelings. My wants. I admitted to meeting with the husband and what we talked about and the things he said. I admitting to hugging him and how it wasn’t a sexy hug but an, “I understand this is hard for you, make the choice that’s right for you” type of hug.

Ox and I have more ground rules now. I’m ok with them. I’m still allowed to talk to the husband. Ox wants to be there the next time everyone wants to meet. I was allowed to stay home. I was allowed to sleep next to Ox. I was allowed to keep the life I have built since moving here because I felt all of that was in jeopardy.

I’ve been… ok-ish? today.

I woke up with Ox. We had our cigerrette together. I went back to sleep. I got up again. I sat outside for a really long time. It’s sunny. There are birds and squirrels. I watched them. Ox and I talked more through text messages. I explained my headspace. Sort of on the low side of the spectrum, but nothing that isn’t manageable.

I don’t have much to show for myself today as far as productivity. The husband messaged me and asked if I was ok. I told him I was. That part of being true to myself is being honest and that I told Ox about our meeting. I told him Ox and I seemed to be ok to which he was happy to hear.

Ox and I are going to have another conversation tonight to see if we can fix, mend, and figure out some of the things that have contributed to the wall between us. I told him that even when we’re next to each other it feels like he’s far away because of the lack of synergy and harmony. We’re on different pages; in different places and it feels like every time we try to fix it or talk about it nothing gets resolved and so we loop on the same conversations without getting anywhere.

We both want to get somewhere and so we’re going to try again.

It makes me feel more ok than I did. We both love each other. We both want us to work. Talking to the other couple didn’t break us. It made us not hide from issues we both knew were there. I’m hoping this helps us. And I guess that’s what makes this potential conversation feel different from the others.

I feel hopeful again. I feel like we both are aware and present and committed and that we’ll be ok at the end of it. We’ll still be together and I’ll still be his. His wife. His Jennifer.

I don’t want to go back to living inside of a box within myself, only being partly me and trying to pretend or convince myself that I’ll be ok when I know I won’t be. I want to be able to be me, all of me, and for that to be ok; dirty, fucked up sexual desires included.

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Daily Post 162: A Pretty Big Decision

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So I’m thinking about something… and… it’s a big sort of something. A something I have never done or thought about doing before…

I’m seriously contemplating dropping my Human Anatomy class. That’s after I spent four hours of Thursday night working through study modules for the online part of the textbook, which are assigned by the teacher; modules which covered topics that were NEVER mentioned ANYWHERE in ANY of the material we were told to study.

Infuriated Brain: What the fuck dude? Do you know what I could have done with four hours of my life instead of sitting in front of my computer feeling like a failure where I tried to guess the best I could to answer questions I had no clue about because you specifically told us to skip over those sections? I could have gone to the dojo, which I didn’t do because I prioritized your class above that hour of self-care. I prioritized reading and trying my hardest to study the different foramen and condyles and processes of the skull with instructions saying, “put a piece of pipe cleaner through [insert random foramen here], now flip the skull to an inferior view to see where the pipe cleaner emerges.”

I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING SKULL IN FRONT OF ME TO DO THIS EXERCISE HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN THIS SHIT?!?

There’s no auditory anything. There’s no kinesthetic anything. There’s no structure or direction for this class and even though I have an A in it currently, the mental and emotional strain it has taken me to get through these past three chapters doesn’t feel worth it. I get that this class is hard. In no way should it be THIS hard. I shouldn’t be answering questions right because I bought a $25 dollar anatomy coloring book on my own accord and it just happened to cover information that I was tested on that wasn’t covered in the actual class material.

I’m sacrificing the leadership class I actually want to do. I’m sacrificing personal time. My work performance is being affected because all I can think about while I’m at work is how I’m not studying and how if I don’t study I’m going to fail.

Ox and I talked about it this morning after I woke up sober from drinking last night. Yes. That’s how bad it was. I was to the point where fuck it. I’m drinking because mentally and emotionally I hurt and I’m tired of hurting and being frustrated. I’m tired of feeling like this so I’m going to drink so for a few hours I feel different or at least am ok with the complete suckage that I’ve made my life.

His suggestion was to drop the class. He said it’s just money. It’s not worth all of the stress I’m having to go through. He said I could drop it and try taking it again in a classroom rather than online. He said I have a lot on my plate right now, more than what I probably should have given myself. He said I have no time for me. And aside from myself, Ox is the most affected person. He pulls me up and helps me keep going. He listens to me and wipes away the tears of fury and crushing self-doubt.

I had never thought of dropping the class as an option. And of course, because I’m me, I started crying at the thought of dropping the class because what if everyone thinkings that I’m not good enough; that I am a failure and a fuck up and a disappointment. What then? What do I tell my patients? What do I tell my boss? What do I tell Jon?

Ox assured me that he wouldn’t think of me as a failure which put me on the road to feeling better. If my partner doesn’t think I’m a failure then how much does it really matter if my patients do?

I talked to Jon and asked him what he thought. He said from what I’ve told him he has to agree with Ox, which might have killed a small part of him on the inside to admit to.

He said the structure of the class sounded fucked up. Even his other nursing friends who he’s told about my class thinks it’s fucked up. Jon thinks it would be good for me to try taking the class at a different time via a different avenue.

So that’s two out of three people who assured me they would still love me, respect me, and not think of me as a failure if I go down this road.

The last person I need/want to talk to about this decision is my FA; my boss. I want her opinion. I want to know that she’ll be ok with me trying this again at a later time. After my leadership class. After my training to become a preceptor for the clinic. After being able to enjoy the warmth of summer finally rather than spending every day all day inside crying over a textbook that gives me no clarity or assurance of being able to pass a test that’s full of uncovered material. After potentially competing in my first Muay Thai tournament.

I’ve felt ridiculously better all day at the thought of not having this class hanging over me. It felt like I could breathe again. Doing laundry and meal prepping and making the bed weren’t horrific tasks that chipped away at the minimal study time I could get while the kids are here.

I feel like I’ve already made up my mind and that talking to my FA is more of a formality. “Hey, so this class is killing me on the inside and instead of getting pushed to the point where I set my life on fire and move halfway across the country again, I would prefer to drop this class and focus on the work obligations that I legitimately want to be successful with verses keeping a class I could retake in a method more conducive to my learning styles. Would you be ok with me as an employee and friend if I did that or would that bring into question the quality of my character?”

Because that’s what it ultimately comes down to for me. I do feel this would be the best option for me, but I don’t want my choice to reflect badly on me or the people I care about and who support me. I want them to understand where I’m at and I want to know their perspective of the situation and that they still support me and believe in me and care.

Money isn’t worth my wellbeing. I don’t know why that resonates so deeply within myself, but having my partner say that to me makes me feel… safe? Cared for? Loved?

He more than anyone else sees how much I’m struggling. It doesn’t matter that I have an A. I feel like I’m clinging by my fingertips to the edge of a skyscraper and that at any moment I’m going to fall and not recover and all of the holding on and struggle and effort will be for nothing. I don’t feel secure in the information I’ve retained. I don’t have faith in studying the right material due to the experience with these last assignments. It’s a ticking time-bomb and the longer it goes on the more I’m going to have to give up and miss out on and lose.

The more times I’ll skip the dojo. The more times I won’t cross-stitch. The more times I’ll be short and bitchy at work. The more I’ll be selfish because of feeling like I’m already giving up so much so fuck compromising or caring about others.

That’s not how I want to be. That’s not who or how I truly am. That’s “stress” me. That’s “beyond burnt out but still having to keep going” me. That’s not a fun me and I keep putting myself in these situations and expecting myself to be ok or to magically be able to function without the things I need to recover.

I’m sort of done with putting myself in Suckville. I don’t want to be there. I don’t deserve to be there so before I end up fully there I’m going to talk to my FA and then go to the campus Wednesday and see what can be done.

I feel like this is a pretty big decision. I feel like it’s going to be hard to explain to a lot of people. I also feel like the most important people in my life understand and that’s all that really should matter in the end. I can’t expect everyone to understand. But two of the three people this choice affects the most are in agreeance that dropping my most stressful and least wanted obligation would be a positive direction for me.

So that’s how I’m going to sleep tonight. Lighter. Freer. Calmer. Less stressed.

It’s a nice, stable feeling. I like feeling stable verses tear-stained and failure feeling.

Letters to Mom 023: I Passed

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Hey mom,

I passed my first test for Human Anatomy. I passed with a 95. Pretty awesome, huh? I bet you’re doing the I told you so dance. I bet you rolled your eyes every time I said, “I’m going to fail this class.”

It hurts. Passing my test sucks. I’m doing well and I want you to be here and you’re not. You’re still dead and I’m still not used to it and I still want things to be the way they were.

I think I’m getting better, though. I’m dealing with the hurt better this time. I’m writing to you sooner. I’m remembering that I can still talk to you even if it is sort of a one-sided conversation.

The hurt isn’t as paralyzing as it has been in the past. I don’t think that it hurts less. I think it’s more that I know what it feels like and so I’m able to function through it better. It’s still going to suck going to work tomorrow and having all of my patients ask me how I did and telling them and knowing that it isn’t you. I can’t have you sitting across from me or going to Moe’s to celebrate with me. And goddammit, I get so frustrated with myself for focusing on what I don’t have anymore.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I’m doing well and I’m trying really hard. I think I’m doing trying for today, though. I think I’m going to go curl up in bed after calling Ox and be sad for a little while.

I know it’s been three years, but hopefully, it’s still ok for me to have sad days and to feel sad over silly things like passing tests.

Thanks for listening to me. And thanks for all of the studying tips and tricks that you taught me growing up. I wouldn’t have passed this first test without them.

I love you, forever and for always.

Daily Post 161: Still Alive

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Things are going well.

The clinic is six days a week again. We have six patients on the TTS shift so far. They’re all super nice and those days are extremely short in comparison to the MWF days. It won’t stay that way, but at the moment, TTS is super chill.

I found a kickboxing app that I’ve been using on my phone. I’ve made it to the dojo a handful of times as well. Actually, they moved to the second floor of the YMCA in Beatrice. It’s super nice. Way more space than their other location. And… if I got a YMCA membership, it would discount the dojo membership…

So I could spend $70 for the dojo, or spend $70 for the dojo and YMCA membership combined and get access to the sauna and all of the classes and the weight room and locker room and all of the Lincoln locations in addition to Beatrice…

It was a bit of a no brainer. Oh… Did I mention that the YMCA is now 24 hours, too?

With all of that taken into consideration, I’m going to be ending my Anytime Fitness membership. I still have a few months to go with it, but that’s ok.

I’ve been doing well at the dojo. I feel like I’m progressing again. I’m starting to use MyFitnessPal again to log my food, water, and exercise when I do it. I stepped on the scale not that long ago and was at 227. That’s not all that far from where I was. Maybe four pounds higher? I would have to break out the last sheet I had from my trainer, but I hadn’t hit the 220 mark. I was close, but not quite there. So I guess I didn’t gain as much as it felt like I had over winter.

Which, while we’re on the subject… I totally survived winter. Woo. Go me. Nothing else really matters in comparison since winter sucked so bad.

I made it past the three-year mark of mom’s death. The past week has been a bit rougher and I’m sure that plays into it, along with being tired with the change in work schedule. For over a year I’ve been used to working every other day. I had that buffer day inbetween working to regroup, grocery shop, sleep, whatever. I don’t have that as much now. I work tomorrow, have Tuesday off, work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then get the weekend. We get the kids on Thursday because it’s the Easter holiday or something special like that.

I’m most likely going to be getting a hotel room for Thursday and Friday night, that way I can stay in Beatrice, do the dojo Thursday night and not have to drive crazy far just to wake up to drive back down for a long day. Instead, I’ll have most of the day to stay in my hotel room alone to study. I’ll get to sleep in a bit Friday morning, wake up and do work, then go to the dojo again if I’m feeling up to it. I’ll get to stay in the area and have Saturday morning, again, alone to study before getting lunch and going to the dojo yet again before coming home to spend the rest of the weekend with the family.

I think it’s a good plan. Human Anatomy is no joke. It’s the first class in a while where I’m struggling just because of the sheer volume of information. I’ve gotten better about not breaking down and thinking I’m going to fail the class. I have a 94 so far with the quizzes and assignments that have been graded. The first exam unlocks tomorrow and is due by Friday. I’m planning on Thursday being my test day.

I had my first leadership class for work. It was fun and engaging. I have the new book that I “need” to start working through. They stressed that the book didn’t have to be read for the upcoming class. It’s not homework or anything, but if we could get through it that would be nice. With everything else going on in my life, knowing that if I need to cut something out I can is reassuring.

I guess that’s about it for now. I know I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been playing Torchlight II with Ox the past few days as a way to de-stress from studying so much. It’s been nice. I might play a bit more today or I might try to work a bit on the cross stitch that I haven’t touched in weeks. Today has been a really low key day. I know I’m not going to get many of them in the future so I’ve been enjoying it while I can. I even went so far as to take a nap. And yes. It was as amazing as it sounds.

Letters to Mom 022: Three Years Later

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Hey mom,

It’s year three since you died. I still ache. I still hurt. I still miss you. Today started rough. Jon and I have talked twice already. It started out on the cold side and icky and overcast since it’s been raining so much.

Honestly, today started out kind of shitty. But it didn’t stay that way.

Ox got off work and called me. We talked for a little bit. We agreed to go into town for lunch. He drove home and picked me up so we could go in together. That gave me time to shower since I hadn’t done that yet.

The only things I had accomplished with my day before his phone call was waking up only to go back to sleep and eating breakfast bars. I didn’t have much to show for myself and it didn’t feel like I would for the rest of the day. Breathing, sitting, being made my body ache with effort much less actually doing any of the things I thought about.

I did get up and shower though. I started a load of laundry. I put my clothes away. As Ox and I were driving into town to get Chinese I looked up a recipe since Ox had mentioned he really enjoyed the smoked sausage in the jambalaya I made the other night. That led to making a shopping list and going to the grocery store before coming home.

I have a meal I’m looking forward to making for everyone. I switched the laundry and started another load. I’ve washed the spinach so it’s ready to use tonight. I plan to cross stitch in a bit and relax until making supper. I’m taking today off from school work since I’ve been doing really well in that regard so far.

I’ve started taking my nursing classes. Right now I’m doing Human Anatomy. I had a minor freak out Tuesday, wondering if I was doing the right thing and how I was going to retain all of the information, but I’m doing really well. I’m surprised at how much I already know and how easily the rest of the pieces are sticking in my brain.

I think you would be proud of me. I’ve figured out college all on my own this time. I’m moving forward with my life. I don’t know if it’s the right direction. I don’t know where I’ll end up since I don’t really have an end goal, but I still think that you would be happy that I’m doing something with my self, for myself.

It makes me wish we could have conversations. You took all of these classes already. Jon’s taken them already. I would be able to… I don’t know what… be part of that world with you. We’re all in the medical field now, but you’re not here so we can’t talk about it. It sort of sucks. It’s like I figured it out too late or something. I know that’s not true, but there’s a part of me that feels like I missed out on something I’ll never be able to get back. There was an aspect of your life you couldn’t share with me because I wasn’t there yet.

Being back in school is hard, emotionally. I think I’ll be fine with the classes themselves. I’ve figured out how best to study for the one I’m in. But just like with everything else, steps forward are hard. They’re heavy and this step is no different but I think I’m coping better.

I have another flower for you. Another rose to mark what this day means for us. I’m sorry you’re not here. I’m sorry it still hurts. I’m sorry I’m still sad and that I still miss you. I’m sorry I don’t write or talk to you as often as I feel like I should. I know you’re still with me though. I still see you in my dreams sometimes and I can still feel your arms around me, hugging me when it feels like I’m alone and that giving up would be easier than struggling.

Thank you for being with me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my friend and my mentor. Thank you for being my mother.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.