MUSING MOMENTS 133: LFTIO – Building Relationships

DSS Leadership – Assignment 10
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”

Take some time to reflect on the following questions to help develop and build relationships:

Under what conditions do you shut down communication?
I tend to shut down with confronted with negativity. I like getting feedback, but if it’s not constructive I tend to become defensive or closed off. “You did a shitty job,” doesn’t tell me how to do something better. It just leaves me feeling bad. I do my best. I’m sorry if my best wasn’t good enough, but if you’re not going to tell me how to become better, just how I didn’t meet your expectations then fuck you. I didn’t see you doing anything other than standing on the sidelines. Maybe if you helped next time or you gave me an idea of what to do differently I would care about your opinion.

I also shut down when I feel a lack of empathy. If you’re going to act like my emotions, my perspective, and my situations don’t matter then I’m not going to care about your opinion or what you have to say. It’s a two-way street. If you’re not going to care, then neither am I.

Lack of honesty, or authenticity as this book calls it, is probably the number one trigger for me torching bridges without a second thought. If I can’t trust you to be real with me, if I have even the smallest hint of “snake in the grass” in regards to your character then I can guarantee you, while I may hear your words and log your comments away, they’re always going to remain at the bottom of my “care” list.

What beliefs are causing you to shut down under those conditions?
There’s usually the belief that there are ulterior motives to their comments or actions, which tend to be proven true given time.

There’s my belief that criticism is different from critique. Negative comments without avenues for change or recognizing any of the positive or “right” things in a situation leaves people feeling demotivated and that the effort they did put in didn’t matter.

How can you be more open in future situations?
I don’t think I have a problem being open. I feel I could be better about expressing my feelings during the situation. “I know you’re trying to help me be better, but right now I’m only receiving negative feedback and that doesn’t feel very good. How could I have handled this better or what things, if any, did I do right?”

In regards to the ulterior motives, I could try to find time to be self-reflective and to identify why I feel the way I do. Once I understand where my emotions are stemming from I could return to the person for a more in-depth conversation. “I know we were talking about this before, but I was left feeling a bit uncomfortable after we talked and this is why…”

Do you need to strengthen your “I” or your “We” to build even more authentic relationships?
I need to strengthen my “I” without a doubt. There have been several times where I have not spoken up purely because “I’m not a nurse”. I could have helped situations go smoother. I could have helped my teams avoid problems. If I had been more direct on how to handle change over, if I had stepped up and made leadership decisions, regardless of what my title is or was, I could have helped everyone involved.

My voice matters. I shouldn’t be afraid to voice strategies or suggestions. I have experience and perspective which are of value only if I allow myself to share them with others. Speaking up isn’t disrespectful or overstepping boundaries and that’s something I know I need to work on. It might be scary to have everyone looking at you and listening to what you say, but overcoming that moment of fear can lead to the whole team growing or to the clinic running smoother and more efficiently.

How can you more effectively build your relationship bridges?
I can continue to build strong, lasting relationships by not being afraid to speak up; to share my stories and experiences and at times being direct especially as I move into a preceptor role.

How can you bring your team trust and team effectiveness to a new level?
By continuing to be honest and conducting myself with integrity. If I am a person my teammates can trust, then as stressful and trying situations arise they will not distrust or resent my judgments and input.


Daily Post 069: Lazy Sunday


It’s Sunday.

I woke up to sunlight streaming through my curtains. I was nice and warm for once. It was a picture-perfect moment of the start to a lazy day. One where you cuddle with your significant other for longer than you should. One where you eventually make your way into the kitchen and make a special breakfast and plan a leisurely day of doing nothing in particular. Maybe a few chores, maybe a random trip out to someplace you’ve talked about going to but never actually seem to have the time to go do…

It feels like that type of morning.

I’m not tired, but there really isn’t drive or motivation to be overly productive. It’s a nice day. I don’t want to crush it under the weight over everything that “needs” to get done because very few of my tasks are actually needs.

Friday morning my FA sent me a text message saying the Nebraska FA had contacted him and I might be receiving a phone call. Nothing about if the email was good or bad. Nothing to prepare me for anything. Just, “Hey, I got an email. You might get a call.”

I replied back saying thank you and went about my day. I had lunch with a friend who I recently reconnected with. She was before Sir. Before Mother Earth. Before Jarrett. I went to a BDSM convention with her in St. Louis one year; her and another person.

I know why we lost contact. It was because of me. It was because I became scared that things were going too far too fast and instead of communicating I went ghost instead. I stopped replying to messages. I deleted accounts. I’ve thought of her fairly often since our last time together. I’ve wondered how she has been, what trials Life gave her to overcome. I’ve wondered if she’s still in Orlando or if she moved away like she talked about.

She sent me a friend request on Facebook early last week. I accepted. We’ve talked a bit. We agreed to have lunch on Friday since we both had that day off. It was a good outing. It was nice hearing about her experiences and being able to share mine. It was nice being able to say, “I might be moving soon and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye.”

I got to explain what happened between us and to say I feel I would handle the situation differently now. I’ve grown since then. I’ve had three or four years worth of experiences. It’s one of those moments where I don’t know how to describe it. I’m still me. I’m still the same person I have always been, but, at the same time, I’m different. I’ve learned things about myself and about Life. I’ve learned things about other people and how words and mean different things; can have different intentions.

My fear of commitment and being trapped in relationships is something I understand better and can talk through now. I’ve learned that even though a fair amount of the relationships I have been in were negative, that not ALL relationships are like that, and not every “us” said to me is a chain obligating me to stay or change something about myself.

I still plan to move if everything works out. Meeting with this person doesn’t alter anything. It gives me a chance to have closure for something in my past that I didn’t know how to handle and possibly to nurture a friendship that didn’t deserve to be punished or die simply because of other past hurts.

It stayed a simple lunch even though we both still felt a connection. We may meet again before I leave. It may or may not progress past the point of a simple meeting. She has her own relationships now and I have mine. If anything did happen we both agree that it would be more of a “One last good memory” type of encounter. Our paths are different then what they were and that’s ok. Different doesn’t mean bad.

While I was at lunch with her I received an email which I almost wrote off as a spam message. It was saying that I had an unclaimed check and that I needed to reach out to them to figure out how it should be handled.

Upon looking further into it, it was an email from Full Sail regarding my last check from them. I never cashed the check and since it’s tax season, they’re trying to reconcile their accounts. They wanted to know what I wanted to be done with the money.

Um… there’s 1k sitting around with my name on it?

Yes, please. Like… not just yes, please, but like… holy shit, you have no idea how much that could help me right now, yes, please.

I have a form I need to print out, fill out, scan, and email back to the business office, but in roughly two weeks I’ll be receiving what should have been my last paycheck from the school. I feel like I don’t deserve all of the positive things happening in my life at the moment. I’m so used to things being hard. I’m so used to struggling and fighting for everything, and now, suddenly, pieces are falling into place. When it looks like something won’t work out some random event happens which solves the problem before it even has a chance to present itself.

Sort of like the situation with the apartment. If Ms. Side Chick moves in, she would take over the accounts. I would close mine, she would transfer hers. Poof. Done. Warren would pay his rent money to me as a way of paying back what he owes. I would annihilate my credit card which would leave me able to focus on the car and then the last bit of student loans I have.

It’s not just a pipe dream. Life could actually not suck soon.

All of this is dependant on the people in Nebraska actually wanting me. It’s the last bit of puzzle piece I’m waiting for official confirmation on. I’m hoping that happens next week. At the very least I plan to talk to my FA and ask about the email. I mean, come on, at least tell me if it was good or not. Jeez… >.<;

Saturday I worked. It was a pretty smooth day. I was able to get to sleep extremely early. Around 7 pm. I woke up feeling able to get through my shift. It’s surprising how much a full night of sleep can change your perspective of the day.

I came home and thought about playing WoW. I did get online and putts around a bit but I turned in early again. Ox doesn’t have internet at the moment because his modem needs to be replaced and a tech can’t get out to his house until Monday. Even if he had been online I don’t think I would have stayed up very long. There wasn’t interest or motivation for higher level thinking. Instead, I went to bed, curling up with my blankets and pillows, falling asleep with the light on and my contacts in until 3:30 am when my alarm unceremoniously woke me up.

I got up and at least took my contacts out before shutting off the light and falling back asleep until roughly 8 this morning.

I’ve talked to Ox, and not just text messages either. I’ve used my phone more in the past month than I have in the entire time I’ve had it. We… talk. And even though I’m introverted… it’s nice. It’s nice to hear his voice. I enjoy starting my day with an actual good morning. I enjoy talking about what I might get done, or how work is going. I enjoy hearing about his day.

I enjoy talking about… everything with him. Which is weird. We both talk about things we haven’t talked to others about, and those we usually preface it with, “I feel awkward/vulnerable saying this…” we still say it and then we discuss why we feel that way before we actually address whatever it is we’ve admitted to.

All of my connections with people are unique. Everyone is different in their own way and everyone has their own flaws and shortcomings. Until Sir, Warren #1 had been my healthiest relationship communication wise. Since then there has been Big Bad. And now Ox.

I don’t know. It’s interesting to see the evolution of my relationships.

I know part of it may be new relationship energy, but I also am aware how that too is different. In a way, it’s similar to how it felt when I first started seeing Big Bad. It’s not fireworks and explosions and fiery passion. It’s more of a content, “this is safe” sort of feeling.

With Big Bad it was most definitely “safe”, with Ox it’s more “home”. A feeling of belonging.

I knew I would most likely never meet Big Bad’s family. With our age difference, his divorce, his kids… there’s a lot that I don’t think works in our favor to ever have a happily ever after. We love each other, but we both started the relationship saying we weren’t looking for anything. We didn’t want commitment. We wanted a companion and to not be alone. We wanted to be accepted for ourselves.

I guess in that regard I’m the one who’s changed. I’m the one who wants a home and to feel like I have a family again. I’m the one who wants to come home to a hug and a kiss on the forehead. I’m the one who wants to fold the laundry and snuggle on the couch before going to sleep.

I’m the one who wants more.

And maybe that’s unfair of me. Maybe Big Bad wants more, too. I don’t see that “more” happening, though. I don’t know what else to say about it. Maybe this is another moment where I should have communicated more and didn’t and because of that something has been potentially lost. Or maybe this is how this universe is supposed to play out and in another one, I did talk to him. Maybe in a different universe, a different life, I stay and we live together and I have a happily ever after with him.

It’s a pretty thought. Thinking that I could have potentially been happy in all of my relationships. That we worked through our differences and found peace and harmony together.

Right now, I feel more content that I have. I’m content with the thought of leaving and continuing to find myself. I’m content with the thought of moving on from my past. I’m content with living in what people consider the middle of nowhere.

I guess that’s as good a way as any to sum those emotions up. I’m content. With my choices. With my possibilities. With my repercussions.

I am making MY choices rather than letting others make them for me and that gives me a feeling of stability and ownership over myself that’s… comforting, reassuring.

I do plan to be a bit productive today. I need to print out the form for my check. I want to go to the gym since I haven’t in almost a month. I want to donate plasma since any extra money I can get will help make this transition smoother. I want to grocery shop for the coming week so I can meal prep on Tuesday.

I want to actually make a to-do list today and do it.

That’s where I’m at this morning. It feels like I’m ready for Life again. I’m ready to take steps forward.

It’s a good feeling.

Daily Post 033: To My Keyboard


Hello, dearest Keyboard.

Yes, you, Keyboard. This is for you.

You who I have typed on through this whole year. You who randomly double spaces every so often which most of the time I can ignore and correct while other times it provokes a level of irritation that can only be matched by lag during an MMO PVP match.

I realized I’ve never acknowledged you nor your contribution to keeping me going through this past year.

Every time I think about writing it’s you I think about sitting in front of. You who allows my fingertips to dance, playing the music in my soul, sometimes smooth and lulling, other times chaotic with the anguish and rage of my grief.

It’s you who had been consistent for me through all of my ups and downs. You who I constantly turn to. You who lets me bleed away my pain onto blank, white digital sheets of paper scrawled with red squiggle lines of doom because the computer loves to tell me that I don’t know how to spell.

I’ve missed you, Keyboard. I’ve missed having someone to talk to.

I miss mom.

I had left a voice message for John the other day. There were four parts to the message, all pertaining to different things. When he called me back he said, “What’s up?”

Me: Did you get a chance to listen to my message?

John: Yeah, I listened to about half of it. I got the gist of what you were saying so I deleted the rest of it.

He deleted the part where I told him I was feeling better from going to the urgent care clinic. He deleted the part where I said I had my first 12-hour shift at work and that I felt like I would be ok with the workload and my new career.

He deleted the part of the message that was about me.

We finished the conversation about his resume. We made plans for the weekend. I didn’t mention anything about the deleted sections. He didn’t ask how I was doing.

When we got off the phone my first thought was, “Mom wouldn’t have deleted my message.”

My next thought was, “John’s not mom.”

I’ve hurt since then, Keyboard.

It’s true. Mom would have listened to any message I sent her no matter how long or unimportant. She would have listened to every word.

I feel unimportant to my brother. I feel like this happens a lot with him. I keep allowing his actions to cut me deeply. I keep thinking that we’ll be able to find mom in each other but we don’t. We can’t. Neither of us is mom, but we both miss her so much it’s almost unconscious on our parts.

Maybe the deletion of my message wouldn’t bother me so much if mom were still alive. I most likely wouldn’t have left him a message at all since I would have been calling mom to begin with.

I don’t know. It’s all “what ifs” and “maybe would have beens”.

This is the life I’m living, and in this life mom is dead and my younger brother is his own person. Maybe one day I’ll understand that wholly. Completely.

I’ve been sick for a while. Two weeks and counting, though I’m pretty much well at this point. I caught whatever my classmates were passing around. Last Sunday it got so bad that I was looking up the symptoms of pneumonia, vowing to myself that if I was still super sick in the morning that I would go to an urgent care clinic.

I was still sick Monday morning, but I was better than I had been the night before, so I didn’t go get looked at. It was only on Wednesday when I was leaving work that I changed my mind. My right ear started hurting as if a nail were trying to drive itself into my skull.

John came down and took me to a clinic to get looked at, which ended up being a good thing. I had ear infections in both ears and pink eye in my left eye. The doctor said most likely what happened was I got an extremely severe sinus infection which ended up spreading to everything else.

The terms “eww” and “gross” come to mind.

It was extremely not cool. I had eye drops for four days, and I’m still taking my 10 days worth of pills for the ear infections. I was given a doctor’s note excusing me from work for two days, which I was luckily able to make up on Saturday. That’s how I was able to get a 12-hour shift in even though I’m still technically in training for another four weeks.

For the most part, I’m better. My sinuses aren’t draining nearly as much. The pressure in my ears is mostly gone. The cough which hurt so bad I was in tears is gone.

I felt well enough, and non-contagious enough, to go to the dojo for personal training today. MG pushed me pretty hard, though not has hard as she said she wanted to. My lungs were burning nearly as much as my legs by the time we were done with the sled work. I know tomorrow will be a yoga day to stretch everything out and get rid of acid build up.

Aside from missing mom and being sick, I’ve had to contend with more emotional ickiness in regards to the apartment. Since I was sick nothing got cleaned, and of course, once I was done being sick Warren got sick, so even if he were the type of person to care about cleanliness it would have been dickish of me to rant and demand that he help out.

It still sucks, though.

In my self-absorbed moments of sadness, I think about how it’s not fair. I was sick and still had to do the dishes. Why does he get to not do them while he’s sick? Shouldn’t it be fair? Equal? Couldn’t I have been cared for, too?

It doesn’t help with the feelings of worthlessness and meaninglessness I’m already feeling due to the deleted message.

When will I matter to the people who are supposed to be closest to me?

I have new coworkers, online friends, distant family, and distant friends who all think I’m an amazing person. They think I should be treated well and loved and cared for the way I care for others.

And even the people who hurt me think these things. So why do I hurt? Why am I hurt?

Why do I still not have rent money? Why do I still have to be the only one figuring out how to make financial ends meet? Why do I not warrant the respect to be told that a payment won’t be made at all, not even the partial of the partial I was getting before?

It sucks. And for the last two days, I’ve come home and curled up in bed under my covers and have allowed that pain to be almost all consuming. I’ve tried to understand why, and today I’m no closer than I was yesterday to an answer.

I don’t know why.

Today was different, though. Today I went to my clinic and I worked. I worked hard. I focused on finding my routine and flow and needing less guidance than I have on previous days. I still made mistakes here and there, but I can tell I’m getting better and my trainer constantly praises me for how well I’m doing.

I saved three people today.

Maybe that makes it sound more glorious than it really is, but it’s true. I initiated three dialysis treatments today and terminated them once the treatment was over. That’s three people who can live slightly longer, slightly better because I was there to help them.

It’s a good feeling. It makes it feel worth it. And right now I need something to be worth it.

I can see myself getting wrapped up in work once I’m allowed to work overtime. Maybe that will be good. Maybe that will be my form of self-medication for when I hurt, which might be bad. I already have a preference for being at work rather than home because home is stressful and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Warren has a new job which starts on the 11th, but that doesn’t fix anything right now. And even on the 11th, nothing is going to be fixed. We’ll have to wait two weeks at least for his first paycheck, maybe 4 if his new company holds the first paycheck.

Things are still going to be painful for a while. They’re still going to be hard and there’s nothing to do other than to breath and wait and not lash out in my pain and frustration and claustrophobic confinement of being trapped in an environment I can’t change.

I had a dream last night where I yelled at Warren. He was upset that I was yelling, but nothing else I had done worked. Being nice didn’t do anything so I was yelling because that’s my way of breaking down. That’s when the frustration wins and rational through dies and the only thing that matters is letting out all of the hurt and injustice that I diplomatically tried to convey.

That’s part of why I was so tired this morning. I was fighting all night in my dreams.

Work was good, though. And the dojo was good. I got to see James for a few minutes after my session with MG. He said he hasn’t been able to make it to the dojo much because of a new job, too. We chatted for a bit, but all too soon we both had to leave. I hope to see him more in the future. I miss having him as a sparring partner.

When I came home I decided to clean. Not just clean, but hardcore clean. And so far I have. My room and bathroom have been bleached and vacuumed. My sheets are being washed. The stairs and floors are swept and mopped. The living room is vacuumed. I have a shopping list that I will take care of shortly. All of the trash has been taken out, including the bag that sat by the trash can for three days.

Part of me, the small bit of sadness still in my chest, knows that this, my cleaning, won’t matter. Dog fur will pile up again, the trash will build up from someone other than myself, and I will still have to take care of dishes that are not my own.

The order I have returned to my world will be eroded away day by day, action by action, and the thought of that makes me want to cry. I’ll still come home and not have my solitude because Warren’s waking up earlier in the afternoon.

I don’t know what else to say or write about in that regard. It is pointless. Hopeless. Meaningless. But in this moment, in my small bubble of a room with my music playing as I type to you, I want to take comfort in giving myself the illusion of control.

I can’t fix anything, everything, but I can clean my notebooks. I can put my clothes away. I can sleep in clean sheets. I can bleach the hair dye off of my bathroom counters. And for a few hours, the kitchen can be spotless and the floors free of gross Godzilla bunnies of dog fur.

I still need to go through and pay my bills since that’s another thing I haven’t done.

I’m trying to catch up on life, Keyboard. I’m trying to be an adult and to keep going even though I really don’t want to. I feel alone right now.

I saw Big Bad the other night, but even that isn’t enough to make me ok. We spent three hours together. Three wonderful hours. He held me in his arms and I was able to sleep with my head against his chest for a little bit. But because I had to wake up so early for work we decided it would be best for me to sleep at my own home. We had a cup of tea together before I left. I couldn’t fall back asleep, though.

Having been surrounded by warmth only to return to emptiness added to the feelings I’ve been struggling with. Big Bad has his kids this weekend. I don’t think we’ll get to spend any sort of extended time with each other for a while. My blacksmith and I most likely won’t see each other for a while longer, either.

I’m having a hard time finding a purpose, a reason, to keep doing all of this other than because I promised mom I would. I hate that there’s a part of me who doesn’t want to keep my promise. I want to give up. I want to let everything fall down around me and to say it’s too hard that I quit. I have nothing left to give.

Promises are important to me, though. I want to keep the ones I make and I promised mom I would keep going, so I have to keep going.

I started listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck about a month ago. One of the things mentioned in the book is how blame and responsibility are two different things.

I’m not to blame for Warren not paying rent. I’m not to blame for my brother deleting my message. And I’m not to blame for my mom’s death.

I am responsible for how I choose to act in regards to all of those situations, though.

Right now I would rather not feel. I would rather tackle Life like I did the last few reps of sled work that I did at the dojo today. I don’t want to think. I want to go on auto-pilot and push through this section because this section sucks. It’s hard. It hurts. I want to quit, but I’m not going to because I can’t quit.

I want to survive. I want to make it to the end. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want Life to win and break me because fuck you, Life. You don’t deserve to win. I won’t let you win.

I want to hold on because the end is worth it. When I’m finally able to rest even if my legs and arms and lungs are at the point of failure, it’s worth it. Maybe it’s more worth it because I push to my breaking point and then past it because, fuck you, Breaking Point. You’re not the boss of me.

In the end, the blessed end, the relief is so much more intense, so much sweeter, so much more gratifying, when you’re clinging desperately, reaching into the very core of yourself to make it the last 10 feet.

I just wish the people making this so much harder weren’t people I’m supposed to love and care about. I wish it wasn’t my heart chakra I’m having to close off and ignore. I wish it didn’t feel like bleeding out.

Thank you for being here for me, Keyboard. Thank you for not being upset for all the times I thought about replacing you because of your finicky spacebar tendencies. Thank you for letting write and complain and whine and bitch and cry. Thank you for not judging me or telling me to grow up and to stop being petty. Thank you for helping me figure out my life.

Thank you for being the best replacement for my mom that I didn’t know I had.

I know it’s so stupid. I know you’re just a keyboard, but I want to make you a promise. I want to promise that I’ll finish my chores today because I need to promise someone, something, so I actually do it. I want to make this promise to you because you’ve been here for me. Because you matter.

I promise I’ll be ok. I promise that I’ll make it through this. I promise that I’ll write tomorrow. I promise I won’t think about replacing you because of your annoying spacebar anymore.

Thank you for being here for me.

Daily Post 019: Temporary


Let’s see…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But at the same time, IT’S JUST HAIR.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This moment is temporary. It will change.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No One Ever: Fun times…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty full day both event wise and emotion wise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right Brain: But… but…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jen – hardcore loss
Life – undisputed win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All of the warm fuzzy feelings.

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

It was perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can’t argue that…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


That right there.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Today is going to get so owned.

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


Daily Post 003: Conversations and Clothing


It’s hard to believe it’s still not past noon. I don’t know why but it feels like I’ve been awake for forever and that it should be later than it is.

I figured I would write while I had the chance to.

I actually just got off the phone with Sir. It’s the first phone conversation we’ve had in a while. I’ve wanted to talk to him. I feel like I’ve lost touch with my former pseudo-family since the falling out with Mother Earth. I miss her. And Josh.

Sir and I talked about my blacksmith. We talked about Big Bad, too. I really don’t have many people I can talk to about my dynamics, especially the BDSM aspect of them. Even though Sir and I are no longer together I still value his opinion, and I’m glad we reaffiered to each other that our friendship is important.

It was an extremely connecting conversation and it helped me feel like the direction I am going is the right one. I feel like things will be ok and that I can keep the connections I value even though I’m moving forward. I’m not disrespecting anyone or unintentionally causing harm to people I care about.

It meant a lot to me to be able to admit to my fears. To voice them rather than keeping them contained in my chest where they could fester.

I feel more stable and solid for having had the conversation even though I was terrified of how it would go. I’m glad we talked and I’m hopeful that we will be able to hang out soon.

Aside from that I have eaten breakfast and researched into rash guards and compression gear and the differences between them.

Since all of my workout stuff is fitting looser I want to get new things. At the same time, I don’t want to get new gear until the end of March since that’s when Allison is getting married and that marks the end of my travel obligations for a while. It marks when I can go back to “my life” even though it’s in the distant future. I guess the week vacation Allison wants to take to Disney for her bachelorette party factors into it. That’s only a few weeks away. The beginning of February.

I don’t know… I feel like things are still broken up and like I’m still waiting to get back to me. It’s like until the party and the wedding happen that things aren’t fully settled.

Maybe that’s all inside of my head.

Anyway. I had told myself I wouldn’t buy new clothing until the end of March unless I completely had to. No new bras, no shorts, nothing. Stick it out until the end of March, another two months, and then I’ll go through and replace everything all at once.

Well… now that I’ve given myself that stipulation, of course, I feel denied. So I think I’m going to compromise a little. I need new compression gear. According to online sources, Target has some decent shorts for pretty cheap. And there’s not really a benefit for girls to wear “girl stuff”. According to forums, guy gear does the job just as good so I’m thankfully not limited to hot pink as my only color choice.

It would be nice to have a few new compression tops since the Lucy tops I bought aren’t compressing as much with my weight loss. I’ve been looking into rash guards since I’ve been enjoying submission grappling so much. If I go the route of compression gear it might be a good idea to get a few sports bras to wear under them. The tops I have currently have the bras built in.

It’s something to investigate. I won’t know which set up I like more until I feel the difference. In the past, the sports bras I’ve tried didn’t have the compression to keep everything in place. Maybe things are different now.

So today I would like to go out and see about getting a couple shorts and a top or two. That way I can get over the “denied” feeling and get more amped about my workouts. I mean, it would be pretty motivating to have new stuff in smaller sizes because the effort I’m putting into myself is actually having results.

So maybe not a full wardrobe change, but a few new things to keep me going. I think it could be nice. A reward for the past few months. I never did get myself anything for Christmas…

I may or may not be trying to justify spending money…

There’s a pair of shin guards I want from Venum. They look amazing. Those will definitely be a March item, along with the black gi I want. Maybe… I still haven’t made up my mind to buy a black one even though I know I’ll feel more comfortable in a black gi than a white one. I mean, white isn’t a “bad” color, but it doesn’t have the same juju as black does for me. Black is a “my color”. I get strength from it. So while I don’t “need” a new gi, I would like one since with jujitsu I’m allowed to wear whatever color I want, unlike aikido where I had to wear white.

Anyway, tonight I see Big Bad. I need to go running. I want to take Scarlet to the vet but I’m still waiting to hear back from them. I looked into changing my car insurance since I was quoted a lower rate elsewhere. Instead of canceling my policy, I altered my current one a bit so my monthly rate is lower. Woohoo.

I didn’t put my clothes away last night so now I’m starting to truly feel like a slacker. I’ll have to make myself do it before leaving tonight. There’s submission grappling at noon and six pm tonight. I might try to make it to both classes. I guess it really depends on how much I get killed during the noon class. I still have to wrestle with Big Bad when I go to his house, so maybe going to only one class would be the smarter option. He already has something like seven years of experience on me… I don’t need to give him any more of an advantage than what he has.

Anyway… not much to report other than a wonderfully uplifting and reassuring conversation and investigating how to become a bigger badder badass.

Screw you, Red Squiggle Line. Badder is a word and I’m going to use it.

Daily Post 150: Post-Travel Rage

So… I feel like this writing is a bit bitchy and that I should put a disclaimer about that. I’m calling it post-travel rage along with generalized introvert burnout. Hopefully, my next writing is less “burn the world down and dance on the ashes” themed. : D



Writing wasn’t on the to-do list, but you know what… neither was running and I did that, too, so I guess today just isn’t my to-do list’s day.

To-Do List: Look at all the things you can do to be productive.

Me: Fuck that shit. I’m going to go do all of these other productive things instead and totally invalidate all of the time I put into creating you.

Yay right, brained moments I guess?

Anyway, I was sort of worried that I was wasting the day. I mean, I was up for roughly 48 hours. I didn’t sleep well (read “at all”) the night before I left to come home. The plane left at 11:50 pm. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me sleeping during the flight, and then when my brother and I landed I had to drive him back to Daytona so he could get his car from his friend’s house.

Shoot me in the face. x.x

To say the trip sucked is an understatement. At least the plane ride and all of the travel I had to do afterward on so little sleep and caffeine. There were two separate times while I was driving to Daytona where I zoned out / dozed off. Not a cool situation.

I ended up sleeping at my brother’s place for a few hours before heading back home. I NEEDED sleep. The three hours I got was enough for me to get home ok, haul my stuff up to my room, and go back to sleep.

Warren’s schedule changed so he’s working nights, which meant he wasn’t awake when I got home, which is a good thing because I was in uber-bitch mode, and I knew I was.

The apartment smelled like dog, which is gross to me. There were dog fur Godzilla bunnies everywhere. My room smelled like a litter box because it hadn’t been cleaned often enough.

Pardon me while I set everything on fire in my sleep deprived rage of the apartment not being spotless like when I left for my trip.

I’m really just bitching to get it out of my system. I’ve already talked to Warren about it. I’ve already gone through and taken care of the chores that I knew I was going to have to do when I got back.

I’ve paid my bills which is another source of frustration because Warren still isn’t back to square one with his bank account yet. He’s close, but I still had to cover all of the storage payment.

It just sucks. I hate money. And to cover everything and still have to sweep up after a pet that isn’t mine… or buy vacuum bags for a vacuum that isn’t mine that’s only used to vacuum up dog fur… It’s frustrating and makes me feel used.

Honestly, if this is my biggest complaint, dog fur, then I think I’m doing pretty well. I wish I was better at having a roommate. I wish when I said something bothered me and I would like for it to be fixed that it felt like my open and honest communication actually did something to fix the problem.

Anyway… moving on from that since it really is a first world issue and I should just get over it (which I most likely will after more sleep)…

My younger brother met Big Bad. He agreed to pick us up from the airport which was a life saver. I had asked Warren to pick us up but with him working the late schedule now he didn’t think he would be able to stay awake that “late” to get us, and couldn’t guarantee waking up to an alarm.

I really need to find topics that don’t involve him since right now I’m still frustrated and writing about it is just adding fuel to that fire.

Or maybe I really should just write it all out rather than pretending that I feel my conversation did any sort of good because I feel like it didn’t. I did a lot to help him during his breakup with Amber because he’s my friend. I didn’t do it to get help in return. When there are the words of, “If you need anything, or if there’s anything I can do, let me know,” then I don’t feel bad about asking for stuff.

Me: Hey, can you sweep? The dog fur is sort of building up.

Warren: Yeah. Sure

So when it goes undone I’m sort of miffed. And to have that situation play out multiple times… sort of sucks. I’m going to stop asking and just do it myself since asking doesn’t do anything.

Me: Can you pick me up from the airport?

Warren: I don’t think so because I’m not sure I can stay up that late and I can’t wake up to an alarm.

Can you do anything when I ask for help other than telling me you can’t help?

This is why I don’t like asking for help and feel it’s easier to just do things on my own. When you ask for help and the answer is constantly “no” even for valid reasons, it instills a feeling that asking for help is bad. Or pointless.

Positive notes: There weren’t dirty dishes in the sink when I got home. Scarlet wasn’t dead from starvation. My car was still in the parking lot. Drugs weren’t strewn across the floor with random body parts from a party gone bad. In fact, there was no sign of other people being at the apartment at all. My room was untouched. The mail had been checked.

There. Good things happened while I was away. I may be slightly justified in feeling frustrated, but the uber bitch fit I can feel myself leaning towards is unwarranted and I know it is. I really do think it’s more from being overtaxed from the trip back, so I’m glad I’ve kept it in check as well as I have.

Back to the subject I really wanted to write about…

Big Bad met my brother. Not for very long, and none of us were very talkative, but for me, that’s a pretty big step. Like… huge… equivalent to meeting mom, which no one can do anymore. So the next step is meeting my brothers.

Jon said he seemed nice and that as long as he makes me happy that he’s happy for me.

Big Bad and I have been trying to see each other the past two days, but things aren’t working in our favor. He was busy the night I came back, and to be honest I was more interested in passing back out and sleeping for the next forever that I wasn’t too heartbroken about plans not working. I had gotten to see him for a little bit that day. We held hands the whole drive to my apartment. And, yes. I realize how mushy and girly that sounds.

We said we would try to see each other today, but today he’s been sick and I slept most of the day myself. Maybe we’ll have better luck tomorrow. It’s his mother’s birthday, so he’ll be busy for part of the evening, but maybe we’ll still be able to have a little bit of time together if he’s feeling better and my post-trip rage has subsided.

I’m not even on my cycle. I mean, seriously. What chemical imbalance is there to have me wanting to set fire to everything? I would totally be ok with it chilling out.

The bills got paid today. That was mildly frustrating since the internet account, which I fixed last month, is acting up again and won’t let me log in. I don’t even feel like typing all of that BS out. Luckily nothing is due, so I’m going to conveniently leave fixing the account until next month when I do have to pay something so I get frustrated all over again because fuck you, Future Self.

In all actuality, I’m most likely going to call in tomorrow to see why it’s messing up again since I was able to get my account number from the representative I spoke with. It’s just annoying that something that should have been quick and painless is now a giant hassle of multiple phone calls and missing information and corporate red tape.

I’ve figured out my workout schedule, which makes me realize how messed up it is for the next month. Right before my race, too. Such poor planning on my part.

My brother and I are visiting my dad in Ohio from the 11th to the 15th. Allison wants to spend a week at Disney for her bachelorette party. That’s going to be, tentatively, the first week in February. The week after that is my race. Then, at the end of March is Allion’s wedding which I’ll have to travel to South Carolina for.

I really just want to be able to stay here. In Orlando. Where it’s warm. And doesn’t snow. I want to go to the dojo. I want to go to my dance classes. I want people to get out of my time account as well as my bank account.

Maybe I need some hermit time. I’ve made it through a really hard time frame. Even though the holiday season wasn’t the soul crushing trial I thought it would be it still had its painful moments. Maybe this is what it looks and feels like to not get the recovery time I need.

I’m resentful of obligations that take me even the slightest bit away from something I want to do or inches me in the direction of something I don’t want to do. Especially social obligations.

I need to find a balance right now.

Running tonight helped. It was dark outside, which I didn’t really enjoy, and it was on the cold side. But I did better than I did on my last run. Shaved two minutes off my time. I want to try to start adding distance. Big Bad can do a 5k easy. I’ve never run a solid mile in my life… I’m worried he’s not going to enjoy the race because I’ll be holding him back.

I really feel that’s something I should bring up. I want him to know he can run ahead without me. I want him to have fun. If having fun is pushing himself, then hanging back with me is going to detract from his experience. The thought of having a running buddy is nice, but the thought of running the course on my own doesn’t bother me. We could meet up afterward for food and our free beer.

Blarg… Another thing to the to-do list.

After my run, I went to the grocery store. I had literally no food in the apartment. I buy things weekly and since I was going to be gone for so long I made sure all of the fresh stuff was used or thrown out.

That’s great and all until you’re hungry and you have legitimately nothing to eat.

So I stopped and got the ingredients for salads. That’s going to be my lunches for the week. Still not sure about what to do for dinner. I’m thinking chili again.

I need to message Tre to let him know that I’m seriously reconsidering the job offer. I’m still working towards completing the project, but I’ve done some deep thinking on the topic. We’ll see what happens in February. I can always say no if I get the offer.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I could write about, but I think that’s most of it. Angst. Lots of post-travel angst.

Hopefully, tomorrow is less… whatever today was. I have the day slightly mapped out for things I would like to get done. Going for another run is on there since the dojo is closed until the third. I need to run more anyway.

So much lame.