Daily Post 124: Officially Official

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I’m officially official.

Yesterday I went to the DMV and finally got my Nebraska plates. They’re not actually on my car yet since it’s been raining non-stop for the past FOREEEEVVVVVEEEERRRR. I’m not even exaggerating. Literally days of wet, cold, dreary rain. It sort of sucks.

Anyway. That was the last task on my “Move to Nebraska” to do list. Well… maybe “Put plates on car” is really the last task on the to-do list… but I digress…

It only cost me about $200 once everything was said and done. That doesn’t include the $75 for the citation I paid. Even with the citation included, registering my car in Nebraska cost way less than what I had to pay in Florida, and it was a way less painful process, too. I was only at the DMV for about 20 minutes; 30 tops.

That’s the biggest highlight of my life since I wrote last time. Other than emotional breakdowns from not getting enough introverted alone time and working another four days on top of going to my class and interacting with a whole new group of people, several of who are still in high school. I really hope I didn’t sound like them when I was their age. They have a rude awakening ahead of them if they think life is going to get any easier from where they’re at…

I don’t have a lot in common with many of my classmates, mostly because they are younger. Early 20s while I’m going on 30. A lot has happened to me in the past 10 years. Hell… most of what makes me, me, happened in the past three. There is a priority difference and a work ethic difference. There’s also the fact that I already know the procedures and that I currently work in the medical field and already interact with patients. I handle myself and the testing differently. I don’t worry about messing up. I try. I do my best. If I get corrected, ok. That will let me get better. I watch the videos before coming to class. I make flashcards. I actually write discussion posts that are worth discussing rather than two or three sentence comments.

I don’t know… In true INFJ fashion, I’m different.

Overall, I like the class and I think the instructor and I are getting along fairly well. I know of one day that I will miss due to a meeting at work, but I have already talked to her about it. The procedures being covered that day are stupid easy. Taking a pulse. Counting respirations. Taking blood pressure. Taking temperature… I couldn’t have lucked out better if I had tried.

I’ve been cross stitching a lot more recently. It doesn’t hurt as much to hold the fabric. It gives me quiet time each night I do it. I’ve taken two pictures in the past three weeks to mark my progress as I continue to work on it. I’ll hopefully add them to my Dragon’s Horde before too much longer. I haven’t added anything to that section of my blog in a really long time. Acknowledging that makes my heart ache. All I can do is keep taking small steps forward. I don’t cry every time I stitch now. That’s progress. I think mom would be happy that I’m still doing it even if it’s taken me a while to figure out how to and to work through the emotions.

The schedule for the coming month is out. I only work in Beatrice so far. Hooray. No overtime. No Saturdays. I started plucking away at the Vascular Access Manager information again today while I was at work. I finished one of the requirements and printed off a bunch of papers that I need to go through since you know… taking a CNA class while working full time isn’t enough to keep me busy or anything…

I haven’t been going to the gym or working out with my bag. I don’t have an excuse. I just haven’t felt like it. I’ve wanted to stay home the few times I’m able to have free time. I’ve finished watching all of Fate/Apocrypha. It wasn’t all that awesome though the fight scenes were pretty badass. Frankinstine was my favorite character. ❤

I’ve started watching Killer B. So far I’m captivated. Oh… I also watched all of the Castlevania series on Netflix. That was awesome. So wish there were more episodes.

But that gives you an idea of how much I’ve not been going out or doing anything; writing included. Nearly three freaking series… Could I do anything more useless with my time?

Even as I write that I know I’m being overly harsh with myself.

I needed that downtime. I needed that break from problem-solving and thinking and interacting. I needed to be alone. Ox has been amazingly supportive in allowing me to be my tired, overwhelmed, introverted self. I’ve been finicky with eating lately. Most likely because I’m so much less active than what I was a few weeks ago.

I’m trying to do the things I know I need to do to care for myself. After the past two weeks, I NEEDED the alone time more than I needed to go to the gym. I went yesterday. I rowed and biked for a bit, stretching after I was done. It felt good to workout even if it wasn’t as intense as what I “normally” would do.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you. I went. That’s a win, damnit!

Logical Left Brain: *looks around* … Um… I don’t think anyone was actually criticizing us…

Irrational Right Brain: I don’t care! It’s a win, damnit!

Logical Left Brain: *sigh* This is why I need an Excedrin…

I don’t know if I’ll do anything tomorrow. I would like to, but we’ll see how things play out.

I’ve emailed the owner of the dojo in Beatrice to see about going to the Hapkido class this Friday evening after work. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but I am aware that I need to find something. It’s still missing in my life; that energy and charge and fulfillment from pushing myself to be better than I was. Training at the gym isn’t the same. Working out with my bag isn’t the same. I don’t think anything can really compare to going up against a stronger, more trained opponent and getting your ass kicked, but knowing you got it kicked less than you did last time. Or being able to hold your own against them. There’s just something so… validating about that experience. I miss it. I want it back.

So, yeah… we’ll see if he emails me back. If he doesn’t I’ll still show up, I’ll just have less information when I do.

I guess that’s about it on my end. Saturday will be clothes shopping day since it’s getting to the point where I legitimately need long pants so I don’t freeze or get sick from exposure in shorts. Lame. So much lame. ;-;

Saturday will also be grocery shopping and such. Because I’ll have that day off instead of working and will be able to do shit like that. Hooray!

I’m going to go for now. I want to make my nest in the corner of the bed while Ox and I listen to our shows and spread out all of my cross stitching stuff so it gets lost in the blankets and I have to dig around to find my stupid highlighter whenever I need to mark off the progress I’ve made on my pattern. Being curled up and warm and near him sounds, I don’t know… perfect I guess. As close to perfect and human life can be at least. Imperfectly perfect.

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Daily Post 123: Checking In

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This writing may be a bit rushed but I want to do it while I have time.

I worked five days last week. That doesn’t sound all that hard when compared to how everyone typically works five days, but those are five 12 hour shifts. It was hard. I had Sunday off where I did a fair amount of school work for my CNA class along with food prep for the coming week. Yesterday, Monday, I worked, so I didn’t get much of a break to regroup.

It looked like I was going to pick up a shift today, Tuesday, but blessedly they got the situation figured out and so I’m left having today mostly to myself.

I have my first actual lab for class today at 5 pm. In theory, it won’t be over until 9 which puts me home around 9:30 or 10 with a 3 am wake-up call for work. That’s how my weeks are going to be from now until December. The only time I’ll interact with Ox on Tuesdays and Thursdays is during our morning cigarettes.

He said we’ll be ok; that we’ll make it through this, even though it technically hasn’t even started yet. I think we both realize it’s going to be on the harder side of the life scale and hearing his reminder that it will be temporary makes the next few months seem less daunting then they did yesterday afternoon.

Ox and I are doing well. We’re making progress in the addition and within our relationship.

I haven’t worked out for a week. Mostly because I worked so much.

I’m a little anxious about my class. I’m sure it will be fine once I’m there. I’m trying to not let it take away from the quiet time I have now.

I’ve showered. I’ve put my close away. I’ve unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I want to go to the gym. I want to stop at Dollar General for more index cards so I can finish those up before class tonight. I wanted to write, which even if it’s brief, at least I’m doing it.

Mama Ox didn’t know I had signed up for or started my class so I talked to her last night about it.

Honestly, I really don’t know what all to say.

It’s turning colder here. I don’t mind it as much as I thought I would. I need to buy winter clothing still. I’m waiting to see what scrubs I need to by for the clinical portion of my class before devoting a day to shopping so I can do it all at once.

I’m sure there are things I can / should ponder over and muse through, but I don’t feel like I have the time or space to do it today and so my thoughts aren’t very forthcoming.

There’s a dojo in Beatrice which does Muay Thai and Hapkido. I’m interested in looking into it but haven’t yet. I work Saturday this week so I’ll be getting overtime again. The new schedule isn’t out yet but it should be some time this week. I’m thinking about not re-upping my training sessions for the moment since I have so little time as it is between work and school. I don’t like the thought of having to drive so far on my days off. It’s one of the reasons I had been hoping to get into the CNA class in Beatrice, that way everything would be near each other, but that didn’t work out. I don’t want to drive to Beatrice, then to Lincoln only to drive to Beatrice again in the morning for work. It just seems so horribly inefficient and time-consuming.

I’m thinking I’m going to try to be more diligent about getting to the gym near home and seeing about the hapikdo classes after work and being content with that through the winter. There’s also the added worry about driving in the snow. I don’t want to load my winter up with tons of activities. I would rather keep winter mildly quiet. I already know it’s still going to be hard emotionally. I want to allow myself to have space if I need it.

The new tech we hired is doing well. I’m thinking about offering to take vacation when she needs to come down and train at our clinic on our machines. I would rather not have to cover shifts at Cap City and I’m almost to the point where my PTO hours are capped. I would rather not cash them out since they’re taxed so heavily. I don’t know… it’s something in my mind. Taking some time off, especially around the December time frame, would be nice. Get done with my class, take a few weeks to regroup, get through my grief, come back ready to kick ass again.

My FA wants me to become a preceptor for our clinic. That means I have to go to Acadamy first. That’s most likely something we’ll look at in the new year. I need to figure out the whole LPN thing before April as well, so that will most likely also be a “new year” thing. Seeing where I’m at financially, what the clinic is able to do with/without me.

I guess a lot of stuff right now is nebulous and there’s not much I can do about any of it other than keep on trucking on. I haven’t been focusing on weight loss because I guess right now I’m kind of ok with me. I wouldn’t mind losing more weight, but I never really cared about the numbers. I don’t want to reach a certain number, I just want to do things that I find fulfilling, like going to the dojo. Maybe that’s why there’s a bit of resistance now to the training. I can’t justify going when it’s not really moving me towards somewhere I want to be. I don’t care about weight. I care about drive time and cost.

More things to think about and consider. I think I’m going to go for now so I can get to the gym. That will give me a bit of time to think about things more. I could zen out as I row to loosen up my shoulders which are sort of angry with me right now. I’m not thinking it’s going to be a super intense workout, but I would like to sweat a bit just to say I did.

I want to cross stitch a bit today, too, while I have the time to do it. I’m thinking about leaving here around 4 so I have plenty of time to get to my class. I know where the building is, but I’ve never been inside the classroom before. I don’t know how crazy parking is going to be either. I’ll make sure to have snacks with me along with water. I’m going to go ahead and put my books in the car so I can’t forget them later.

So yeah… I guess that’s it. I’m still alive. I’m doing ok. Trying to give myself as much of a break as I can and enjoy the time off that I have.

Musing Moment 118: Why are you taking this course?

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My CNA class started and so begins the homework assignments and study sessions. Since part of my course is online there are discussion forums where I need to post and reply to show class involvement.

This is the post I wrote for my introduction and answering the question of “Why?”


 

Greetings my fellow humans,

My name is Jennifer. I am an INFJ personality type on the Myers-Briggs scale and I recently moved to Nebraska; as of February this year. Before that, I lived in Orlando, so ask me in a few weeks if I still like the weather. : )

The question of “why are you taking this course?”, for me, is a bit tricky to answer. I suppose the easy answer is because I want to keep moving forward in my career. I have been employed with DaVita Dialysis for about a year and a half. I am currently working at the Beatrice clinic, but I frequently help cover shifts at the Lincoln, Omaha, and Fremont clinics as well. While I was in Orlando I worked in their downtown clinic.

My role is that of a Patient Care Technician. It’s fulfilling but I am limited in what I can do to help the nurses I work with. Becoming a CNA is a step towards LPN, which would allow me to work in a broader scope and provide more not only for my teammates but also for the patients under my care.

While that answer is real, it’s not the deep, dark, real answer; the one secreted away and hidden because it leaves you vulnerable and exposed on the emotional level.

In truth, this is my second career. I used to teach Computer Animation and Game Art at a college in Florida. I have taught students who have gone on to work at places like Dreamworks, Sony, and Microsoft. I have created computer scripts which are used globally by studios and I have a modest following on YouTube and Vimeo for tutorials I have created. I loved teaching and I still, to this day, receive messages from former students thanking me for my time. Life has its own plans for us, however, and we very often find ourselves facing situations we never thought we would.

Two and a half years ago my mother was hospitalized. We spent two weeks in and out of surgery. The doctors were confident in her recovery and we were scheduled to be discharged to a rehab center before being allowed to go back home. On April 4th, 2016 my mother suffered a pulmonary embolism. She did not recover. At the age of 27, I found myself the matriarch of my family as my youngest brother placed her mother’s ring into the palm of my hand.

Sitting in front of a computer for roughly 8 to 16 hours a day didn’t feel fulfilling anymore. Nothing did. I couldn’t go back to the life I had after all of the experiences I had gone through during those two weeks. The only reason I was able to survive the situation of my mother’s hospitalization and the aftermath of her death was because of the kindness and compassion I was given during that time of my life. I couldn’t keep living and not, in some way, give back.

I wanted to be able to help people survive their own dark times because I knew what it’s like to be faced with them and not know how you’re going to make it to the other side or if there even is an “other side” to make it to in the first place. I helped teach my class through a transition it was going through and then resigned from my position with the school, joining the ranks of the unemployed for roughly a year.

During that year I became EKG certified as well as a certified phlebotomist. I took a Nursing Assistant class, but never tested for state certification. A lot of that has to do with my own grief and struggling with the feelings of accomplishment and success, both of which had become painful experiences since mom was no longer there to call afterward and share the experience with. My mom was an RN and would have been ecstatic and that made it all the harder to do.

I had an extremely hard time getting my foot in the door of the medical field. Companies weren’t interested in me because I had no experience. It didn’t matter what awards I had gotten, what my previous accomplishments were. As far as medical, I was found lacking and often was passed over.

I wanted so badly to help others, and yet, I kept being told no. No. No. No. No. Until, finally, one day, I heard a “maybe”. I received a call from a DaVita recruiter. They wanted to know if I would be interested in shadowing at a clinic to see if dialysis was something I thought I could handle. After shadowing I had an interview where I was honest with the three Facility Administrators sitting across the table from me. I told them I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but that I wanted to try and all I could promise was I would do my best because in the end that’s all I can do; my best.

Almost two years later, I’m still with the company. I am an expert level cannulator and working towards becoming a Vascular Assess Manager. I will forever be grateful to DaVita for being the first company willing to give me a chance; for training me and giving me the opportunity to learn new skills and to make a difference in people’s lives.

Securing employment had been my main objective at that point in my life. Since I had accomplished that, obtaining CNA fell to the wayside. Funny how now it is one of the few requirements I need to keep moving forward. I suppose this is a moment of, “live and learn”.

Things are different now. I’ve had time to heal a bit more. I’ve had time to become adjusted to and confident in my new field. I’ve been given the space to meditate and to figure out what I want to do with this new phase of life and so to get to where I want to be I need to become an actual Certified Nursing Assistant.

A potential end goal is the possibility to get back into teaching. That particular direction would see me going back to school to become not only an LPN but also an RN with at least a BSN or even a MSN. I’m sure mom would do the happy dance if I went that far with my schooling. That is still yet to be determined, though, and with how drastically and suddenly life can change, I’m not holding myself to anything at the moment, but rather seeing what happens and what feels right at the time.

I know, for now, this is the direction that feels right and so here I am, and though this may be my second time taking a Nursing Assistant course, I know that this time will be different and I’m looking forward to having it be part of my journey.

Thanks for reading if you did. It was nice to finally be able to share this part of my story.

Daily Post 120: Nice Feelings

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Over a week has passed since I wrote.

The two-year five-month mark has come and gone. I talked to my therapist over the phone that day. It was good to hear her voice. I got to talk to her about my concern with my grief; how this year seems to be harder than the past two years and how the sadness seems to last longer when it wells up. I got to talk about work and how that’s going. I got to tell her about signing up for the CNA classes and my plans to enroll in the LPN program once I’m certified. I got to tell her about how Ox and I are finding balance with the kids while they’re here and how I’m adapting and finding ways to still be ok as an introvert while having significantly less solitude than what I’m used to. I got to tell her about my trip to see my brothers, and how that sparked playing Stuffed Fables here and how well that is going.

I feel like not a lot is going on in my life as I sit here and type this. A lot of it has been routine it feels, which is sort of nice. It feels like, for the most part, things have been stable.

Work has been work. One of our patients brought my FA and I a care package with another card. There’s another bag of the beef jerky I like in it along with a giant bag of Starbursts. The days have been going smoothly. Three different RNs have applied for the open positions at my clinic. My FA said if all of them seem like a good fit she’ll hire all three. It will still be several months for them to get through training, but I feel like we’re on our way to being able to open the clinic back up on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The one tech who applied should be working her way through training at the moment, so maybe in the very near future my clinic will actually have a full team once again and my FA can focus on actually being the FA rather than having to cover our need for RNs, too.

 

Ox and I are doing well. We’ve had some heavy conversations over the past week. At the time they felt unresolved. We had addressed an issue but no “next action steps” were identified so it felt like a void of badness inside my mind I guess. I knew we weren’t not ok, but at the same time, we weren’t fully ok either. It made it hard to eat after our conversations. It made me want to be alone so I could try to figure things out even though I knew there was nothing I could figure out on my own. It was an “us” problem and only the two of us working and talking together would be able to figure out a solution. I’m not sure if anything has really changed, but we did have some extremely connective moments which have made me feel more safe and secure in our relationship.

 

Those moments feel like a turning point for me. One of them happened after I got home from work on Friday. For the first time in a while, I actually felt like myself. I had energy to give and things didn’t feel pointless. I WANTED to go to the gym after our time together. That’s after working a 12-hour shift. Nuts, I know. I rowed for 20 minutes AND did weight machines. I even did arms because, fuck it, I’m a badass that’s why.

 

It’s been… nice, and I know that sounds sort of lame but I do think that’s the right word to use to describe it. I feel whole. I feel real. I feel like I’m no longer waking up and moving through the motions. I feel intention and purpose again. There’s myself and my wellbeing and my goals and I have a partner who cares and supports me and I support him and even if things are hard or rough in some areas we’ll figure it out. That’s the type of feelings our interactions foster within me. Yes, things might not be perfect and we might not have exact “next action steps” but we’ll be ok. When we cuddle in bed and he holds me and whispers into my ear, “It’s ok. WE’RE ok,” I believe him.

 

Because I feel like the relationship is ok I can focus on external things like the gym or the house or whatever tasks need to get done. It frees up and promotes so much more… something… within me. I don’t feel as injured or alone. I don’t feel defeated. I feel like I can take on a task and complete it and actually feel a sense of accomplishment from doing it.

 

I feel like me and I’ve missed this feeling. So yes. It’s a comforting, reassuring feeling and so the term nice is the one I feel fits best. It’s soft and calm, yet still strong, like the sun warming your skin during one of the first days of summer.

 

I went to the gym again yesterday, rowing and doing the machines again. I’m not sure if I’ll go today. I’m pretty much done with all of my food prep. I need to do laundry. I need to replace my contacts. I need to print off the medical release form for my doctor. Ox and I are supposed to take the cardboard out since Nebraska passed a law shortly after I moved here where you can’t throw it away in the trash anymore. You have to take it to be recycled. I like the law, but it means the tote we use for cardboard can get pretty full. Right now it’s a bit overflowing with cereal and cracker boxes and I want to fix that, so it’s on the “to-do” list.

 

I’ve still been playing Final Fantasy and enjoying my time in the game.

 

I realized this morning that an expense that’s going to be coming up is having to buy winter clothing. I only own one pair of pants, and those are pretty thin yoga pants. Not the ideal winter wear. I don’t own snow boots and I only have three sweaters; no coats.

 

Jon and I have talked a few times. He’s starting to meal prep and working on losing weight. I’ve been able to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned during my own experience. I’m supposed to send him a few recipes. Hopefully, by writing about it I’ll actually remember to do it. It’s nice to hear him talk about how he tried different things and how this didn’t work, but this did and he wants to try this other thing. He’s figuring out what works for him and that’s amazing. I’m happy for him.

 

I think that’s about it for right now. Like I said, no a whole lot has happened. Mostly just day to day living. I’m sure if I had written as things happened I would remember more.

 

Oh. I did go to the SCA meeting at the library this past Wednesday. The barony’s marshal was there and he helped me get the padding cut for my helm and took measurements so I could have one made in the future. With CNA classes being held at night, I most likely won’t be able to go to practice for the next two months or so, but I haven’t given up on being part of the society and I still plan to participate as I can. I know that the padding is just two circles of foam, but much like everything else small and silly, they mean a lot to me. They represent someone’s time and effort. It’s a sign of them trying to help me be a better me and I cherish that.

 

Well… since that’s about it, I think I’m going to go for now. My leatherworker has some levels to gain and there’s a quest line I need to work through with my black mage. I don’t foresee a lot happening today and I’m ok with that. It’s the weekend and I think I’ve finally started to understand how to enjoy downtime and relax. That, too, is a nice feeling.

Daily Post 119: Future Classes

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God. I don’t even know where to begin.

I had a doctor’s appointment today. I spent most of the morning feeling sick and fighting off feelings of nausea. I wanted to have fasting blood work done during my appointment, so I hadn’t eaten since 9 the night before. When you’re used to eating breakfast at 3 am waking up at six and still not being able to eat sucks. I had a headache from not drinking enough water the night before, which is another story I might come back to.

I wanted to print off my paperwork for school so I could take care of that while I was in town for the appointment. That took forever… FOOOORRRRREEEEEVVVVVER. Not even joking. I had two cigarettes, packed everything I needed to which was another five minutes roughly, went to the gas station to fill up the car, came back and still had to wait for the final pages to finish printing before it was done… It was only 19 pages. Not impressed. Not even remotely.

So… since I waited for that I was late to my appointment and labeled as a no-show. The receptionist said I might have to reschedule.

Me: Please, don’t do this to me Universe. Take whatever karma you need to, just please let me be seen today.

The receptionist made a few calls and after a couple of minutes which felt like an eternity, I was told I could be seen. There were a few cancelations and they could work me into the schedule.

My blood pressure was a little elevated. 150/90, but I’ll take it. It’s better than what it used to be and with how icky I was feeling and the normal anxiety of being at a doctor’s office, I’m not overly worried about it.

I got to talk to the doctor about my coughing. Since the antihistamines I’m taking are working to relieve my symptoms, she doesn’t feel doing blood work to find out what I’m specifically allergic to would be worth my money. Since I’m stressing over how to pay for an LPN program, I’m sort of on board with the whole “not spending money” thing. I’ll just get to have fun saying I’m allergic to Nebraska when anyone asks.

I have another appointment on the 13th to get my birth control replaced. In the meantime, I have to reach out to my previous ob-gyn and have them send over my medical records to see if I need a pap done since I don’t remember the last time that happened. If I’m due then they’ll add it into the appointment on the 13th. If not we’ll have a better time frame for when I need to schedule that, which never would be ok in my book.

I also was prescribed a cream to help with a rash that I’ve had for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever written about it. I mean… it’s sort of gross to talk about medical stuff sometimes, but it’s a fact of life. I’ve had this red, annoying area around my neck. I was prescribed a cream for it before, back when I was dating Warren #2, and it went away. It eventually came back though and nothing that I was prescribed afterward really worked. We’ll see if this prescription does anything or not. I didn’t want to drive back into town today when I got the call that I could pick up the cream. I’ll most likely go in after work tomorrow to get it.

Once I was done talking to the doctor I was shown to the lab area where I got my blood work done. Since I have to go back in a few weeks, I’m picking up the paper I needed for my work insurance premiums then rather than having to make a special trip just for that.

Overall, my new doctor was extremely helpful and concerned about my well being. We touched on the topic of my smoking and the sadness I struggle with due to my grief. She said if I ever needed anything to reach out to her and wanted me to know she was there to help me.

After I was completely done with my appointment I made a beeline to Arby’s and had lunch. Zero fucks given. I had a protein shake in the car with me, and a baggie of grapes and neither of those things were working to quell the nauseous feeling of my stomach. The small sip of the shake I had almost didn’t stay down, and the grapes were too sweet for how empty my stomach was.

The thought of an actual sandwich, mentally, felt better. I was hoping it would help with most of the headache issue, too, since by then I had already had two litters of water.

Lunch seemed to work. I started feeling better the more I ate. I made sure to eat slowly, so it took me a while to eat the whole sandwich, but that was ok. I started filling out my paperwork for school while I was eating. Ox also called me while he was on his lunch break so we got to chat for a bit.

When I was done eating I went over to the Southeast Community College campus and signed up for their CNA classes. More on that later. The big takeaway at the moment is that the class I originally wanted to take down in Beatrice is going to be canceled because there are not enough people signed up. So instead I’m going to be doing a different one which will be offered in Lincoln and have me completing the course December 4th. It’s paid for already, thanks to my credit card that I’ll never be able to get rid of, but it’s a step down the road I have finally made a decision to travel down.

Those two things, the doctor’s appointment and class registration, where the main things I wanted to get done, and I did them. With that taken care of, I came back home, took headache meds, ate my breakfast container of roast which I had to forgo earlier, then crawled back into bed to sleep, hoping I would feel more like myself when I woke up.

When I did wake up I was disoriented at first. I thought I had overslept for work, which was confusing because Ox wasn’t next to me and I didn’t think he would leave for work without making sure I was up as well, especially because I would have already been ridiculously late at the point. The more I struggled to understand what the hell was going on, the more I remembered that I had taken a nap and that it was still my day off and it was cloudy outside which is why it didn’t look as late in the day as it was.

I remembered I had felt like crap the whole morning and took a few minutes to figure out my status post-nap. I felt better. Sort of groggy, but the headache seemed to be gone and I didn’t feel sick anymore. Woo!

I had a cheese stick as my snack then got to work in the kitchen. I prepped a lot of the stuff I needed for dinner since I had said the night before I would cook dinner. I made Ox’s lunch for tomorrow. I made sure my water filter was full and that the dishwasher was unloaded and the sink was empty of dirty dishes. It was pretty relaxing to mindlessly do things. Cleaning and prepping food is easy for me at this point and not having to do hardcore problem solving after such a crummy morning was nice.

Ox called when he was on his way home. He agreed to pick up the broccoli I needed for dinner along with some of the groceries I originally was going to add to the weekend shopping list. It felt very homey and domestic. I don’t remember ever having someone able or willing to get groceries for me. Warren #1 was always either broke or didn’t remember when I asked. Zane never had a car so I was the only one able to do the shopping. Warren #2 didn’t shop unless it was with me… I usually went with Mother Earth and Josh when we shopped for the house…

Yeah… I don’t remember a point of time where it was something stable and consistent within the relationship. It’s a foreign feeling, but one I like. I’m not the only one doing things. I have a partner who helps. We help each other.

I cooked stir fry again using crab this time. I liked it, though Papa Ox said he liked the chicken I used last time better. The kitchen is already clean and everything is ready for tomorrow morning, so there’s nothing chore wise left for me to do, and that pretty much brings me to the end of the day today.

Yesterday, Wednesday, ended up being way different than normal. Tuesday evening around 5:30 pm I got a text message from my FA asking if I would cover a shift in South Omaha Wednesday morning. Roughly 4 am to 4 pm.

I didn’t know how to answer at first. I mean… who’s going to cover my shift in Beatrice? Am I going to be able to get a hotel room Tuesday night or do I have to drive up Wednesday morning, meaning I would have to wake up at 2 am? Am I closing the water room?

I got answers to all my questions. Someone from Cap City would cover my clinic and I would go up to Omaha and help them out. No closing the water room. I would most likely leave before 4, but it would depend on census. They would cover a hotel if I got one, it would depend on if any of the hotels had rooms.

I agreed to work the shift. If I couldn’t get a hotel I would wake up early and drive. My main concern was making sure my own clinic wasn’t screwed by me taking the shift.

So yeah… Tuesday night I drove up to Omaha and spent the night in a hotel room by myself where I had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Even though I liked the solitude, I didn’t like that I wasn’t near Ox on such short notice.

The shift wasn’t bad, though. I got to see one of my favorite RNs and I got to see two of the techs that I really like. I got to meet a lot of new patients while seeing some that I already knew. I got a lot of compliments.

Patient: You did really well. Thank you.

Me: Thank you so much. And you are most welcome. : )

I don’t get a lot of compliments or words of encouragement from the patients at my clinic anymore. I’ve seen them three times a week for the past six months or so now. It’s pretty routine. They feel safe with me. I know their accesses. There is one who always says, “Very good,” once I have him started on his treatment. He’s the one I infiltrated. Still my only infiltration. I still get to spread his blanket out for him every time, and he’s even asked for me specifically when other RNs are working the floor so my FA can do FA stuff.

It’s a warm fuzzy feeling any time I receive praise. And it’s another moment where the Universe makes me pause and realize how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.

Me: Good morning. I’m Jen. I’m a tech down at the Beatrice clinic but I was told that your clinic needed some extra help today, so I came to hang out with you guys. Is it ok if we go ahead and get your standing blood pressure and temperature?

Everyone was super nice and from the comments I received, everyone was comfortable with me and satisfied with the care I provided.

I got out around 3ish, which put me home around 4. I got to game for a bit before Ox got home, but I was pretty dead and tired. I was running around in circles farming flax for my weaver since that was about all I had in me to give mentally.

When Ox got home we went to the gym. I wasn’t all that jazzed about going. I’m glad we went, though. I rowed for a bit and stretched afterward. When we got home I cooked burger for my dinner and gamed a bit more before going to sleep. It was hard falling asleep next to him which might have contributed to the ickiness of this morning. Two nights of not sleeping well. Lame. : /

While we were in bed I realized I had taken off my mom’s ring at the gym since I didn’t want it to get messed up while I was rowing. I hadn’t put it back on before we left and it wasn’t until we were holding hands in bed that I realized I had forgotten it.

Me: Oh my god. I forgot my ring.

Without even questioning, Ox got up and started getting dressed. He drove us back to the gym where I hurriedly walked inside, resisting the urge to run frantically to where I had been, imagining all sorts of horrible scenarios where I would never get my ring back ever again.

It was right where I had taken it off, sitting next to the seat of the rowing machine, untouched.

Ox didn’t have to go with me. He didn’t, and doesn’t, have to be the amazing and supportive person he is, but he is and the more we’re together the more I appreciate him and am grateful that he’s in my life.

So that was Wednesday leading into Thursday.

Tuesday was pretty awesome and where most of the headway in my life took place.

It started with Ox and I having our morning cigarette together. I had breakfast. I had a fairly slow morning before I got ready to go to the gym at 10 am. I had a decent workout with my trainer. I’m down another pound, which puts me at 15 total since I’ve started working with him. He said once I reach the 20-pound mark I get a free t-shirt. I don’t know why that gives me more motivation than what I’ve had in the past, but it does.

It also makes me realize that I’m close to being close to 60 pounds lighter than when I first started. Five pounds away from that number.

While we were talking, my trainer asked what I had planned for the week. While I had been at home that morning I had started applying for the LPN program only to realize I didn’t know if they wanted me to enroll as an undeclared student since I needed to do the prerequisites for the program first or if there was a special way they wanted me to enroll. I had sent an email to the LPN admissions specialist, but at the time I hadn’t gotten an email back from her.

I told my trainer that since I was in the area I was thinking about going and talking to admissions in person and to get a feel for where the college was located and how the campus was set up. He said he would text his wife and see if she had any free time to meet with me since she’s the chair for the LPN program.

Left Brain: … What…

Right Brain: Oh god! Oh god! Oh god!

I knew his wife worked IN the LPN program… I didn’t know she was IN CHARGE of the LPN program. Pardon me while I have a mild anxiety attack over meeting with the head honcho.

While I was in the middle of stretching out after rowing for about 20 minutes after my workout, trying not to think about this potential impromptu meeting, my trainer came up to me.

Him: I got you an appointment. It’s at 12:30.

Me: Today?

Him: Yep. Today.

Me: *More freaking out internally*

I so did not feel ready for a meeting. None of my questions were written down. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to interrupt her day. I didn’t want to waste her time.

I thanked my trainer multiple times for arranging the appointment. I even had time to kill after I had showered and was done with the gym. I stopped by the Walmart in Beatrice to return some dryer sheets since I had gotten the wrong scent and still made it over to the campus early. I sat and formulated my questions and got an idea for what I wanted to accomplish from the meeting, and with notebook in hand, since I always have a notebook with me, I headed inside for my meeting with the head of the LPN program.

There wasn’t a waiting area. I figured out where the room I needed to be at was and sort of poke my head around the door frame, unsure of what to do. I was super early but the door was open and there wasn’t a receptionist.

Mrs. LPN saw me and welcomed me in warmly. I told her I appreciated her taking time out of her day to meet with me and that I knew I was early. If she needed me to wait until later I could.

Mrs. LPN: No, no. You’re fine. Come on in.

We discussed what I was interested in doing. By then I had gotten a reply from the admissions specialist informing me that courses were changing and that I should check back in with her in September once the transition was figured out. That left me with more questions than answers, and luckily Mrs. LPN knew everything about the transition and gave me all of the information I needed for my next steps.

There’s going to be a full-time program starting in April with a part-time program starting next fall. Regardless of which program I do, I need to be a CNA with a Nebraska license. The prerequisites listed on the website currently are going to be included in the upcoming program, so I don’t have to take them beforehand, though if I do, it would put me ahead of the game. She also said if I know my goal is to eventually go into the RN program, there are other classes I could take which would correlate with that particular path that, again, would put me slightly ahead.

Unlike my brother’s LPN to RN program, there is no waiting period between bridging from LPN to RN. As soon as I obtain my license I could begin taking classes for the RN program.

So my next action step was to register for the CNA classes, which I got accomplished today. Go me. Since the CNA program is listed as continuing education and not an actual degree, I don’t have to be registered with the college to take the courses. No transcripts, to transfer credits… just sign up and pay and your good.

If I go through the process of actually registering before October, I can begin taking official classes in January for the LPN / RN thing I want to do. I’m not sure how to go about the program itself, though. My next hurdle will be figuring out how to financially afford classes. Paying for one or two might be doable. Paying for the whole program is going to be harder, especially if I go down to part-time hours at work and focus on school full time. I’m not sure how I want to go about it yet. I’m not sure how the clinic is going to change in the next few months.

The tech who shadowed is going through training at the moment. Once she’s through in the next couple of months we’ll be able to get a traveling nurse for a contracted length of time, which will allow our clinic to open six days a week again. So, things are going to change, I’m just not sure how, or specifically when, and even if I did, there’s a lot of time between now and when the full-time classes start, so really anything could happen.

While I know this obstacle is on the horizon, I’m going to focus on this first task first. I can’t get into the program at all without completing my CNA. And I guess this is a lesson learned. I’ve already taken a nursing assistant course back when I was in Florida. I never went through and took the test to become certified, though, so I can’t “challenge” the test and prove that I still know what I’m doing because I never proved I knew what I was going to begin with.

Part of not testing was anxiety over taking the test itself. Part of it was struggling with accomplishing things and being “successful” after mom’s death. Part of it was getting the job with DaVita and not needing to become a CNA anymore to increase my employability. My certification in phlebotomy falls into the same boat in that regard.

Looking back at it, it would have saved me $500 to go ahead and get certified. I guess this is a moment where I eat my words. I try to live with a “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time so you don’t have to redo it later, ” mentality.

Well… here I am, redoing it… because I didn’t fully follow through the first time. I think I did well for where I was at during that point in my life. I’m pretty sure it’s going to make this course easier. I’m not worried about the lecture portions being online. I actually prefer that because it means I don’t have to spend eight hours of my day off in a classroom listening to things I already know. I can go through the work at my own pace and only have to worry about showing up for the clinic portions of the class, which since I know how to do all of the procedures, I might be able to leave class a bit early once I’ve demonstrated I can do them. I’m not sure, but there are options. And being employed in the health field, my instructor might be willing to work with me.

Getting out of class at 9 pm would mean I don’t get home until around 9:30 which means, most likely, not going to bed until 10 or later when I have to be awake at 3 am the following morning. It would only be for two months, but it’s still going to suck if that’s my time frame.

So I have that going on. Officially becoming a CNA so I can start work on LPN.

Work this past Monday was… work. Monday sort of sucked even though it was a smooth day. I was beat up by the time I got home and I don’t really remember much else about it.

The weekend was nice. Ox built the counter for the space to the right of the stove in the kitchen. I got to help draw the lines on the wood so it could be cut. I got to help hold the boards still so he could use the saw. We went to different stores looking at kitchen organization stuff. We got lunch together while we were out.

There wasn’t anything that I 100% liked, though, so at the moment the kitchen is still a bit disorganized. Ideally, we would get rid of the cabinets that are there and get new ones which would allow us to hang the pots and skillets, but that means potentially redoing the drywall, which may lead to having to put in new insulation…

Yeah… It might be a bigger project than any of us realized, but… It seems silly to spend money on a temporary option when all of the work mentioned is going to have to be done down the road. It feels like a waste, not only of time but also of money.

So I’m not sure what’s going to happen in that regard. We have the kids starting tomorrow evening through the holiday. I’ve agreed to play the role of Bookkeeper for Stuffed Fables all weekend if each day we put in two hours of work on the addition. Nothing further has been said about that proposal, but I’m pretty sure it will win out since the kids really enjoyed the game last time they were here.

And with that, I’m pretty sure I’m caught up for the most part. I didn’t mean to go so long in between posts, but that’s how it played out this past week. I’m looking forward to seeing my patients tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it being the weekend, too. And in the not so distant future, towards the end of September, I’ll have classes to look forward to as well.

Daily Post 023: How to Mess Up a Drug Test

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I was going to write tonight, but I’m going to do it now instead. Before my bike ride. That way I can think over everything and process more clearly while enjoying the fantastic day.

So, yesterday…

Yesterday was decent. Productive-ish, though mildly annoying followed by this morning, which was really freaking annoying, which is why I need to do this now.

I started the day by taking the shirt back to Target. That was actually the easiest thing about my day. I simply exchange the shirt. I didn’t get additional ones. No muss. No fuss. Pretty much an in and out trip.

From there I went to FHCA to find out about my PCT program and my CPR certification because I STILL haven’t gotten that information yet. I was told three weeks-ish. Well… we’re at like, six or something. This is stupid. I’ve asked multiple times about this. I’ve been checking my spam folder. Just give me my freaking certification.

In the school’s defense, they’re not the ones issuing the license. We’re having to wait on the other company to process and release the information. Still… it’s frustrating.

Anywho…

Yeah. Went there to find out about those two things. The front desk associate is always super nice and knows me by name. She said most likely the company thought I took the CPR certification in conjunction with my PCT course and was holding the certification until my “graduation” date.

Well… since I didn’t take the class in conjunction with the PCT course I want my license now. Please.

She said she would reach out to the company for me.

I also informed her about my recent job offer and how due to being employed I wouldn’t be able to finish the PCT course. I asked if there was a way to change my contract to being just the EKG and phlebotomy classes.

She said based on the contract, since it was past the 40% mark that normally, no, we wouldn’t be able to change it. However, given the circumstances, she would ask her boss and get back to me about it.

I left with no more information than when I had originally gotten there, but I felt good that I had at least addressed the issues and would eventually, at some point, have more information to work with.

From there I went to kickboxing. I did really well. I stayed for the whole thing. I know I’ve talked about going there recently, but I guess I should say that I don’t normally stay for the whole class. I do the warm up and the boxing/kickboxing portion, but when we get to the last 15 minutes of core work and cool down I peace out. I’ll either shower because I need to be somewhere, or I go to the dojo later and want to not be 100% dead, or it’s a “light” day and I’m happy with the effort that I put in.

Yesterday I did the full hour, start to finish. Woo. Go me. That’s only because it’s randori at the dojo on Friday’s and so kickboxing was my only workout so it was all or nothing.

After showering at the gym I went and did my drug test. Filled out all the paperwork. I didn’t think it was possible to ask someone for their birthday that many times, but apparently it is.

I got called back. The guy was super nice. He explained everything to me and didn’t make it seem weird that I was going to basically be peeing into a cup for him. Medical stuff is so messed up when taken out of context…

Anyway, I messed up the drug test initially.

And I’m starting it off that way intentionally because I know the first thought is, “How did you mess up peeing into a cup?”

Well, from 25ish years of training, I flushed the toilet once I was done. And I say 25 instead of 28 because I’m sure the first few years of my life I didn’t have the ability to flush and/or use a toilet properly.

So yeah… when you do a drug test you can’t flush the toilet because they have to ensure you didn’t tamper with anything. And I did because I totally don’t remember him saying not to do that.

So even though it was the perfect sized specimen and everything, we couldn’t use it.

When asked if I could give another specimen, I also love how medical terms make things like peeing into a cup sound so scientific and important, I was like… but I just went… I highly doubt it.

I tried. It was Quantity Not Sufficient.

The guy had to call and inform HR that I had “Shy Bladder” and that the specimen was Quantity Not Sufficient. I had to stay for an extra two hours to give another specimen during which time I wasn’t allowed to do anything other than sit and stare at a clock which was still an hour behind from daylight saves.

Fun times…

Eventually, the process was successful. Hooray. I was finally allowed to leave and get food, something I hadn’t done after the gym because I figured the drug test would be quick and painless.

Worst idea ever. I was so hungry by the time I left I seriously wanted to chew on my steering wheel just so I could try to trick my stomach into thinking I was eating.

I went to Moe’s and got nachos. I figured it’s what mom and I would have done. She would have found it funny that I fucked up a drug test by being “too clean”.

I didn’t have much left to give when I got home even though it was pretty early. Like six-ish. I sleep for most of the night, waking up around 9 this morning since my phone died during the night and couldn’t wake me up at 7. I’m actually not all that heartbroken over it.

Which brings us to the annoyances of today.

It started with it being Saturday, the day after Friday, Warren’s pay day, and having no information about when to expect the $300 for rent. Since he’s still asleep right now there’s not much I can do about that point.

I had found out on Thursday about the issue with my phone still having $250 owed on it. I fired up the Verizon online chat because technology is amazing and totally supports my introversion. That took roughly an hour, during which time I was the one who found most of the information required through previous emails and Verizon bill statements, not the representative.

In the end, I was told I would need to call the Trade-In department on Monday to have the issue resolved. Was that an acceptable resolution?

Irrational Right Brain: Um… no. Not really. Because Monday I’m going to call and have to explain all of this all over again and I really just want you guys to figure out what got screwed up and fix it because this is some serious BS.

What I did say was that I was worried there would be more issues when I called on Monday.

He said that he had made all of the notations on my account documenting the issue so when I called the issue should be easily resolved. I guess the only way to find out will be to call on Monday. I already have an event on my calendar to do it after class so I can’t procrastinate on it. I have to do it. Google told me to.

After that issue got “resolved” I looked into my CNA test. I got that email at 7:18 pm last night. My test date is next Friday. I will not be ready for my test. Not with phlebotomy having a test that Thursday. Not with how I’ve been studying and taking the EKG class. I was told after fingerprints cleared I would have 30 to 90 days. I would be given a test date within that time frame. Not a week after their clearance.

I’m not confident in my ability to pass the written test, and I know, right now, I would fail hardcore if I got certain procedures. I haven’t made CNA a priority because it was in the future.

I can reschedule the test. That’s not a problem. If I do it before 5 business days there’s a $30 charge. Anything less than 5 days I have to pay the full $150.

I would like to reiterate how I got the email at 7:18 pm Friday. You know… after business hours, and how my test is for the following Friday. If they don’t count Monday as one of my business days then I have four days to reschedule my test.

Irrational Right Brain: Motherfucker, I am not paying the full fee.

I tried calling. It’s Saturday so their call center is closed. They have online chat available from 11 am to 3 pm. It’s 1:05. It’s still “unavailable”. I’ve tried going through all of the steps listed on the website but it takes me to a page which says nothing about rescheduling or canceling. Only about finding information for testing centers and study information.

I sent an email explaining my situation, how I wanted my email to count as my initial contact with the company in regards to my situation, and that I would call Monday for further clarification on the issues. I also said I appreciated their assistance and understanding.

So yeah…

Those are the four areas of my life I’m still trying to get figured out.

Rent payment
PCT program
Verizon bill
CNA testing

And all of those I have to wait on…

Arrawrrawrrawarrawr.

I’m not good at waiting. >.<;

Why can’t I just have the information I need to move forward with stuff? Why can’t things just get figured out? Or work how they’re supposed to?

I feel like thunking my head down onto my desk right now in frustration because it seems like any time I go to tackle a problem Life goes, “Hahaha, JK! LOLOL!”

It’s one of those moments where I want to go, “Fuck it. Life’s complicated. Time to be a dragon.”

Well, I’m already a dragon. I’m an earth dragon because the Chinese zodiac is awesome like that. So I guess the next best thing I can do is do laundry so I have a clean towel for once I’m done showering and go for a bike ride to finally enjoy a day in the sun.

I’ve done a lot of adulting today. I was going to say failed adulting, but I didn’t fail. Other people are slackers. I did my part. Now I have to wait for them to pick up the ball.

I have my list of things to do. Mostly cleaning stuff. But I’ve already done well today.

It’s the first. April 1st, 2017. Three more days until mom’s death day.

This past year was my Year of Survival.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this coming year to be. I’ve been meditating on it because I know it’s not something I can ask other people or find in a Google search. This has to come purely from me.

Survival was my most important task for last year. I’ve done that. I’ve done that really well and I believe that with every fiber of my being.

So if that’s taken care of, what’s my next most important task? What’s the most important thing to me right now?

I didn’t have an answer, but now I think I do.

This coming year will be my Year of Stability.

It’s going to be the year I focus on clearing out my debt, establishing myself in my new career, and solidifying myself at the dojo.

This will be my year of ensuring the foundation I have started making for myself settles properly.

I like the way it feels inside my head. It feels right.

I want to meditate further on it to make sure there isn’t another area I want to add to it. I know relationships are important to me, but I feel those are sort of like the flower bushes in front of a house. They’re pretty and they can be super important, but they’re not the foundation everything is built on. You can have pretty flowers and have a foundation that’s cracked and broken and unsafe.

I want my foundation, I want ME, to be solid and stable. I’ve survived. I’ve lived through almost all of the first year without mom. Three more days to go. I feel like I’ve done well. I feel like I’ve gone from being KOed to sitting, conscious, aware, still on the ground, still hurt and bruised from my hit, but I’m “with it”.

Now it’s time to start trying to stand up.

That’s what this coming year is going to be. My goal at the end of it will be living on my own.

In one year, next April 4th, I want my own place. A house. With a yard. With a garage or an extra room to be my makeshift dojo.

I don’t have to own it. I could be renting. But the big thing will be that it’s a house and that I don’t have a roommate. It will be me, mine, my space and no one else’s.

And with those frustrations purged, and those goals acknowledged, I’m going to go enjoy my day.

Daily Post 011: First Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway…

That was my first interview since mom died.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short term Goals

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

Mid-term Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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