Daily Post 066: Continuing Forward

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This new direction continues to unfold itself.

Sunday I worked since the clinic was closed for New Year’s day, which meant I didn’t do much.

I worked. I came home. I crawled into bed because I was exhausted from working two days in a row. I slept until around 11:30 which is when the fireworks started going off. I got on WoW for a little bit but didn’t stay on much past midnight. People kept texting me and waking me up once I did get back to sleep, which was annoying, but overall it was a fairly quiet night and I was ok with that.

Monday was a day of staying inside. I guess it was a dreary day though I didn’t know that until later in the evening when I went out to get the pizza I ordered. Pretty much regretted every part of that decision when I realized just how cold and rainy it was. Totally not cool. ;-;

Monday I stayed mostly in front of my computer.

Moving has become a when, not if, scenario. I realize I might not move to Nebraska. Things might not work out. I might not like the area when I visit, etc. I do know, however, that I am not going to be staying in Orlando. Because of that, I decided to drop the Biology class I was scheduled to take. I should be getting a refund for it within the month.

I don’t want to start something here only to have to stop part way through. I don’t want to miss opportunities because I’m in the middle of taking a class. I don’t want to spend another $30 when I do register in a new program because I have to get ANOTHER official transcript for one lowly biology class. Having the money back for the class will make things easier for when I do move as well.

It felt like the right choice. My focus is something else now. School would suffer if I tried to do it while at the same time relocating. I don’t want to make a poor investment and at the moment I feel like it would be.

I began looking for apartments in Nebraska. I got a list of five to run by Ox since he knows the places which are decent and which ones to stay away from.

I then began looking at jobs on Indeed. The DaVita clinics in the area aren’t hiring. There are a few in other towns that are. They’re even offering bonuses at those locations, but they’re an hour away from where I want to be, so I would rather avoid those if possible. Despite the fact that no job postings are listed for the clinics I will be near, I plan to go and introduce myself to the FAs, which, surprise, I’m flying up to Nebraska next week to view the area in person.

I played wow for a little bit. Ox and I continued to talk. I worked on my resume. That was annoying. I couldn’t find the Illustrator file or a pdf version of my latest changes so I had to go back to an older version. It ended up not being that big of a deal. I reworked a lot of the formatting so even if I had had my most recent version I still would have spent a fair amount of time on it.

It’s a nice ego boost to see how qualified I am for positions now. There’s a lot of Medical Assistant things in the area. I’m not that qualified, but aside from the MA certification, I have all of the experience they are looking for. I’m thinking I’ll apply to the things I feel I fit and could enjoy; positions with normal hours close to or in town so there’s not much of a commute.

There’s also public transportation so if I super don’t like driving in the snow I don’t have to. Ox has looked at pictures of my tires and said I wouldn’t need to buy snow tires. The tread on the ones I have is good enough. He’s also said if we can find an empty parking lot he’ll let me drive around in his car so I can get a feel for driving in the snow. It’s something I’ve never done and am slightly highly intimidated by.

I’m pretty sure those were the main things Monday. I did rest a lot, which meant crawling back into bed with Scarlet and doing nothing for a while. Mentally, it was a productive day.

In the evening Ox helped me narrow down the list of apartments I had and even found some that weren’t listed on the sites I looked at. We have a “to-do” list for when I visit next week and taking me to tour potential apartments is one of them.

I also started looking into dojos for the area. I haven’t found one that has everything I’m looking for, but they do have places for jiujitsu, so even if I have to give up the Muay Thai/MMA aspect for a while I think I’ll be ok. I’m not sure if I’m going to be up to going to a class while I visit next week. I’m going to be working three days in a row to make this trip possible without screwing over my paycheck.

To optimize time I got the earliest flight I could which means going to the airport at 3 am, then flying for six hours with two takeoffs which will most likely trigger the PTSD I have from when I flew out to be with mom. Yeah… not sure Thursday I’m going to be up for much and Friday and Saturday already have a bit going on. I’m not sure I’m going to have it in me to add sparing to the to-do list when I’m already going to be having the crap beat out of me by Life.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll take my gi just in case. Always be prepared, right?

Now that I think about it, I would like to walk around the grocery stores and maybe the oriental market if they have one. The more I know/see of where I’ll be moving to, the less scary it will be. I’ve already seen it. It’s not an unknown.

Tuesday I got my car back. That’s about a week ahead of schedule. Woohoo.

It’s as good as new. I returned the books I had purchased for biology. That worked out better than I could have hoped. I didn’t have the receipt from the purchase anymore and I didn’t think about that until I was already standing in line. I asked the cashier if there was any way to return the books, that I was moving and had dropped the class. The textbooks aren’t ones that I can sell on eBay or anything either since they’re a special edition specifically for my college.

Everything was still wrapped up and untouched. I said I had the purchase on my credit card statement to prove I did legitimately buy the books from the college, but that I didn’t have the paper receipt.

The cashier discussed the issue with a coworker and they agreed the credit card statement was enough and refunded me the amount. Hooray. : D

I also bought groceries, cooked, and donated plasma on Tuesday. I was more hydrated than I thought I was, which is nice. It’s been hard drinking water since I haven’t been working out. I can feel a difference within myself and it’s not really a good difference. I’m hoping to start turning that around shortly, and by shortly I mean in like… an hour and a half…

So yeah… Tuesday was a pretty busy day.

Wednesday, yesterday, I worked. Most of my coworkers know about my pending move. My FA and I spoke again about it. He wanted to know roughly when I would be leaving. Since I have the Warrior Dash with Big Bad that I REFUSE to miss, I’ll be in Orlando until at least February 10th. I told my FA that ideally, I would be moving soon, but not before then. I also said at the moment it’s still a hypothetical. Until I go and see if I actually want to be there there’s still the chance that I won’t go. I said I would keep him posted on the trip and my plans. He’s going to need to replace me so it’s only fair to give him as much of a heads up as possible.

My FA is the one who encouraged me to meet with the FAs in Nebraska and to let them know what was going on. You know… Networking and all that jazz. I know of a way to find out who they are so I’m not walking in there blind. It’s more research, most likely none of which I’ll do today, but I’m ok with that. I’ve been doing a lot, and there’s still more to take care of. One step at a time.

Yesterday showed me just how discontent my coworkers are. I hadn’t realized that five of us are about to leave for various reasons. That’s over half my team. And the people leaving are the ones I like working with the most. They’ve been doing this longer than I have, but they’re just as burnt out, just as tired of not being able to have a life outside of work.

I don’t think going to a different clinic is going to fix my issues, but it does give me a stable job that I already know how to do; something familiar in the sea of new I’m about to throw myself into. It would most likely pay me the most as well as potentially help with relocation. It might not be the “for forever” choice, but I think if it could work out, it would be a very good choice for the moment, especially if I could get close to $16. That would make everything amazing doable. Like… without a question doable. No longer freaking out over how to pay bills doable. No longer needing assistance from others doable.

Anyway, all of that is up in the air and nothing that can really be figured out right this second.

I do plan to talk to my phlebotomy instructor and to get my certification for the class I took along with the national certification I never did since I got hired by DaVita before the class ended. That would open more doors for me. I also still plan to take my CCHT certification since I don’t honestly know when I’m moving. That will be a dollar increase for while I’m still in Orlando.

Warren may be about to get a leadership/training position. If that pans out he’ll get a two dollar increase. He’s been good about paying rent on time and in full amounts. Maybe he’ll actually be able to start paying back towards the 10k he owes. Kyle also should know what his paychecks are going to be like come Friday. With him contributing I’ll be able to breathe again.

Big Bad and my blacksmith know about my move, as does Jon. All of them say I need to do what I feel is right for me and that we would figure things out from there. Big Bad was the one I was worried the most about, though true to his nature, Jon is the one who has the most issue with me moving.

Big Bad: You have to do what’s best for you and your future. I know your current financial situation is having a negative effect on you and it shouldn’t be that way. I will continue to be here for you no matter what so don’t you worry about us.

Me: We can still do the Warrior Dash together?

Big Bad: You’re damn right.

Me: If I do move I can come visit?

Big Bad: Of course.

I don’t know what will happen but I’m more ok with trying. He understands it’s not personal. I’m not moving to get away from him. In fact, he’s one of the few things making it hard to leave.

Kyle and I had lunch together Tuesday. During it, he asked if I had any positive memories of Orlando. It took me a while, looking deep, for me to answer with, “Not really.”

I know positive things did happen. I graduated Full Sail. I ran the 3D Blitz events. I met Tre here and Jin and Mark and Nick, all amazing friends or students from school. I found the dojos I’ve attended. Kayaking with Jon. Cups of coffee with Big Bad. My Warrior Dash runs…

But mostly I remember the living situations that sucked. I remember wanting to cut my wrists and having anxiety to the point of breaking down in my car on the way home at the thought of having to drive to the apartment with Corey. I remember driving Zane to work the morning he told me he had had sex with another girl in our room while I was in Vegas with mom. I remember Warren #2 picking the lock on my door and the aftermath of that situation. I remember screaming silent screams into my pillow afterward and the three days of suicidal thoughts that I overcame. I remember him telling me that I run slow, and that he didn’t believe I worked out as hard as I said I did because I would have lost more weight if I did. I remember my heart breaking over Jarrett because when we touched I honestly thought I felt the rest of forever; that he and I were going to work only… we didn’t.

I remember Full Sail not paying me for the time I was away taking care of my mom’s death even though I had poured so much of myself into my work. I have to drive past that almost every day. I have to see that reminder along with so many others about hurts and negativity from my past.

I’m done with being reminded. I want to be somewhere else where I can move past, grow past, all of that. I think I wasn’t ready to move before. I wasn’t ready to all of the new while I was in the middle of trying to figure out my career and direction in life. I still don’t think I really know what I want to do, but I have a better idea and at least a solid enough foundation that I am once again confident in my ability to find work regardless of where I am.

I’m ready to make this change now. I’m ready to start standing on my own, for real this time, without the safety net of mom to catch me if / when I fall. If I fall it will suck and eventually I’ll pick myself back up. I don’t think I’m going to fall, though.

I’m an Earth Dragon. That gives me a sense of calm that I don’t know if I can describe. It’s a fact. I’m about to change everything, but I’m an Earth Dragon. Somehow, acknowledging that makes everything feel ok.

I’ve got this.

Today I was supposed to go see my instructor but I felt writing was more important, and admittedly I do feel better for taking the time to do it. I will be going to kickboxing at noon. I’m thinking about dropping the gym membership I have along with staying out of the dojo until after I move and solely focusing on conditioning and bag work at Title Club. I still have the three hours of personal training I bought back in October that I can begin using while I remain in Orlando.

As much as I would like to say I use everything I pay for, I went from training 1 to 3 hours every day to doing an hour a week if I’m lucky. That WILL change, but I doubt it will change to the point where I’m using Title Club, the dojo, and the gym to make it worth having all three. Title Club gives me the most out of all of them, so I think it would be the better of the three to keep.

But yeah… I have kickboxing there at noon. After that, it’s off to shower then donate plasma. I plan to apply to jobs along with cooking my last meal, then leaving here around 6:30 to spend the evening with Big Bad. It’s most likely going to be the last time I see him for two weeks. I won’t be able to see him before I leave to visit Nebraska, and then I work when I get back, so… yeah, roughly two weeks. That’s going to be hard. Maybe we’ll be able to work something out to see each other briefly for dinner or at least a hug.

Anyway. I’m off to shower and finish my coffee. The freezing day awaits.

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Daily Post 061: Ending A Long Day

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Today has been a long day.

It started at 3:30 am. I showered, changing back into my night clothes afterward because I refuse to wear my scrubs or a bra any longer than I have to.

It’s part of my morning routine now. Wake up. Shower. Redress since I’m not actually dressed yet. Go downstairs, and yes that is on the “to do” list because that action sucks at 4 am and deserves a gold star for being accomplished. Brew coffee. Heat breakfast. Pack lunch. Fill water bottles. Clean dishes if there are any. Eat and drink, basking in the 15 minutes of silence and stillness I’m able to experience. Sigh when my alarm goes off. Actually get dressed. Make sure I have my cell phone, wallet, keys, and sunglasses not that I actually see sunlight on the days I work. Also check to ensure I have socks and my shoes packed in my gym bag since I wear my flipflops into work; yet another example of my defiance. I refuse to wear my shoes longer than I have to.

I enjoy having my cup of coffee still. I’m glad I haven’t given it up and that I reclaimed those moments for myself rather than trying to drink coffee on the way to work like I was for a few months. There have been times where I’ve let those moments, my coffee moments, last a bit longer than I “should”. I allow myself five more minutes of silence, sometimes ten more minutes. If I’m going to spend the next 16 hours giving and interacting and caring and being fully present, then I deserve an extra five minutes. I’m allowed those five minutes. On those days I still arrive to work on time, I’m just not as early as normal.

Today I didn’t do an extra five minutes. Today I woke up tired, but at the same time refreshed. I knew it would only be three hours at work. I KNEW when I would be leaving and that in itself did wonders for my perspective. I knew everything I was about to experience was voluntary. I knew I had the rest of my day ahead of me and I was looking forward to it.

Work actually went fairly smoothly. Everyone got on the machines on time aside from the one person who showed up late. One person called out from second shift so we were able to arrange for one of the third shift patients to come in early. While my fellow teammate was on break I was able to do ALL of the chores on our side. Before I came back from my own break I stopped by the stock room to load up on the things we needed.

Honestly, there was very little interaction with people today. Aside from treatment initiations and communicating with my teammates it was fairly quiet. It was nice. I even got to have the breakroom to myself since I was the last person to go.

The only shitty thing about work today was leaving my lunch box in the fridge at work, and even that isn’t really shitty so much as it is annoying.

Once I left work I drove to the gym for training. I changed out of my scrubs. I took off my ring and necklace and I committed myself to actually training today. I would make this a good day and with that in mind I took my water bottle and met up with L.

She had me start off by running a bit on the treadmill since I was early. I haven’t been running all that much but I’m pleased that I ran fairly well. I continue to feel stronger and better which I guess is a testament to how I am continuing to improve physically.

Today was intense at the gym. L didn’t hold back and neither did I. I told her how my core has been sore the past two days and how it was a good sore. It’s the type of sore that lets you know you’re getting stronger. The same with my arms.

We focused on legs today. There was a lot of jumping and burpees and inchworms and hating L’s next client for messaging that he was running late because that meant L wanted me to run my obstacle course a third time rather than only doing it twice. I beat my time each time, though, so I guess there’s that.

I was exhausted when I got home. By 10:30 I had already been awake for 7 hours on 4 hours of sleep. There’s some perspective that makes me feel better about my next action…

I curled up on the couch for an hour. I’ve felt bad-ish about that almost all day until the last sentence I wrote. No wonder I was as tired as I was. Not only had I gone to the gym. I had pretty much already done a full day and very little sleep. I totally earned that hour of rest. I take back all of the guilt I felt.

After my hour of rest, I ate then showered so I could donate plasma.

That’s been going well. My account is flagged since I got a tetanus booster shot on the 28th. I’m still allowed to donate, it just means it’s slightly more annoying to check in.

My arm is still sore this time. I think I might end up with a bruise again. I haven’t bruised up since we stopped using my median cubital veins. I was hoping those days were behind me since we found the awesome vein that we’ve been using, but alas, it too might be getting tired and want a break. I don’t blame it. Getting stabbed twice a week with a 17 gauge needle must suck.

The phlebotomist who normally sticks me even mentioned how the vein wasn’t popping as much is it normally does. I asked if that could be a hydration issue and she said that’s what she was worried about. The donation itself went well though and I can’t imagine drinking more water than I already had. I did over a gallon yesterday and was close to a gallon before donating today since I was awake so early in the morning.

I think next week I’m going to switch back to my right arm and see if we can find a better vein on that side. If not maybe using my medians again for a little while would be good. Site rotation and all that jazz.

Anyway, I ended up being pretty hydrated after all. Donation went well and by the time it was over and my arm was taped up it was time for me to head out to go to therapy. I haven’t been in a while. I think my last session was a week or two before Thanksgiving.

I cried a lot during this session.

I talked about my blow up fight with Warren over him ignoring my messages about rent. I talked about getting tired of Kyle. I talked about Jon’s situation. I talked about work and how school is starting.

We talked about mom a lot. I talked about how I felt bad realizing how little I’ve written to her, how little I’ve written this year in general. I talked about how this was supposed to be my year of stability and how I actually think I haven’t done half bad for myself.

She asked about the plasma donating and I explained that I felt better about it then I did in the beginning. I said since it feels like something I’m choosing to do rather than an obligation I’m being forced into that there was a sense of confidence and independence that came from it.

I don’t have to ask people for help. I’m helping myself and fuck anyone who stands in my way. Maybe there’s a level of defiance with it. I refuse to back down. I refuse to work overtime. I refuse to be more scared of an inch and a half piece of hollow metal versus 200 pounds of pure muscle trying to choke me out on the mat.

I refuse to be a victim and if donating helps me change the situation I’m in so I can eventually get out of it, then fine. I’ll do it, and I’ll still train and go to school and work full time while I do it.

That sounds all good and big and bad until I cry my eyes out in therapy and still have to drive myself home, get gas, and figure out food, all while I’m trying not to pass out behind the wheel.

Ok. I wasn’t that tired, but I was so ready to be home and done with the day. I stopped by a Taco Bell after donating but didn’t have time for a full meal before going to therapy. I think eating something helped, but it wasn’t enough, and I certainly didn’t drink enough.

I was tapped out and I knew it. I stopped for gas since I had 5 miles left on my gauge. I went to Publix since it was in the same plaza as the gas station and picked up a rotisserie chicken with coleslaw and a box of mac and cheese. Totally not the healthiest dinner but I wasn’t looking for health. I was looking for warm and tasty and on some level, comfort.

When I got home Kyle was watching something on the TV. I didn’t have it in me to care. I put my stuff down on the kitchen counter since opening the fridge was too much in that moment, then went directly upstairs to my room. For once I couldn’t hear the TV in my room. I normally can, even with my door closed. But today I couldn’t and it was amazing. I cuddled up with Scarlet and let the “not care” flow through me. I dozed for a bit, waking up to find Scarlet snuggled in the crook of my arm.

Eventually, I went back downstairs to eat. I wasn’t hungry but I knew I needed to do that. And drink. More drink than eat, but both were on the list. And switch the laundry because I started that before leaving the apartment to donate.

Kyle was in the middle of turning off the PlayStation which I was grateful for. He tried talking to me and showing me a facial rig some guy made in Unity, but I really couldn’t have cared less. I didn’t want sound. I didn’t want another person’s presence and eventually, he went back upstairs to do whatever.

I devoured most of the chicken barbarian style while I stood in the kitchen with the lights off and no sound. At some point, I managed to start the mac and cheese.

I watched a few episodes of Fate/Stay Night. I think I’m about halfway through the series now. I like the characters but the storyline is pretty weak, which is lame.

And so now here I am. Writing.

Jon wants to play WoW. To be fair I asked him earlier if he would be interested in gaming tonight, but right now I don’t know if I have it in me. Maybe if we were just running around doing easy quests but I really don’t feel like healing our way through dungeons. I don’t want to have to think or do anything important.

I guess I’m going to go for now and see what can be done as far as a compromise. Maybe it will work out that we game on Sunday instead. I do know I have another liter of water to get through before I’m happy with my water intake. So much water. Oh my gawd. >.<;

Seriously. I don’t understand how my eyeballs aren’t floating around inside of my head with how much water I’ve been trying to drink.

Oh. No studying happened today, but I’m ok with that. I’ve done really well this week and I still have two days of work to survive.

I got this.

 

iQBQTwv

Daily Post 029: First Day at Home Base

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Tomorrow is my first day at my “home base”. It’s going to be the first time that I meet my direct supervisor. It’s going to be a day of a lot of firsts and though I’m nervous about it, I’m also confident that I’ll do my best and that it will go as well as it’s supposed to.

Today was my second review. I’m still doing extremely well and my trainer is still impressed with how quickly I’m catching on to things and how versatile I am with working on my own but also actively helping my teammates.

One of the company’s core values is Integrity. My trainer designated me as the teammate exemplifying that value.

I like the difference I feel in myself from the start of last week to the end of this week. I’m ahead in the reading. I have all of my flashcards made. I understand most of the P&Ps. I have a better idea of how to search for the information they want us to know. I don’t mind asking questions when I don’t understand something or if I have a theoretical situation inside my head.

Tomorrow I wake up at 3:30 am. I work 5 am until noon.

I have decided next Friday, payday, that I need to invest in a pair of blackout curtains so I am able to sleep when I need to as well as an extremely good pair of shoes since I will be on my feet anywhere from 8 to 16 hours at a time. I’ve had some good recommendations from the nurses on my team. I also get a company discount through specific stores, so maybe it won’t be as rough as I’m expecting.

I get a discount with Verizon so I might stick with them for a bit longer if I can ever get my phone situation resolved.

Today was the first day that I wasn’t exhausted. I actually got a fair amount done after class. I talked to several people through messages. I wrote to my friend who’s in boot camp. I went to the store because I ran out of coffee creamer.

Yeah… try doing 3:30 am without coffee…

I did laundry so my scrubs are nice and fresh. I relaxed and had a good dinner, and now I’m writing. I thought about going to the dojo, but I wouldn’t have gotten home until a few minutes ago. I wouldn’t have had time to unwind.

I miss the dojo and I can feel how my body wants to go back. It’s been a week which feels like eternity. I think this was the better choice, though. Having a cup of tea, one geared towards relaxation and sleep, writing the last of the day away before sleeping and taking yet another step forward… I like the way this feels. It feels right.

I have had several conversations recently about my grief. I keep comparing it to physical rehabilitation. I know I am injured. I know I need to do things in order to heal, but those things, those actions, hurt and so I don’t want to do them.

I want to be ok, but I don’t want to move forward because there’s still a part of me who feels like each step forward is a step further away from mom. I don’t want to lose her. I don’t want to love her less, and I don’t know why I feel the need to type that because I know moving forward with my life doesn’t have anything to do with my love for her, but I feel those words for some reason.

I don’t want my moving forward to be seen as a sign that I’m ok. That my grief is leaving me. That I don’t hurt as much. That I’m healing. Which I guess that’s sort of counter to everything I’m doing because the whole point IS to heal, isn’t it?

I guess what I really want is for my forward progress to not be mistaken as forgetting. There is no forgetting. Just like with rehabilitation. There will always be the scar, the trauma of the experience. Learning to walk again doesn’t mean you forget that for so long your legs were broken.

Tomorrow is another day where I will ache and hurt and most likely cry and be angry and lost and feel alone.

Today is one year and one month.

13 months in total against 324.

I still count. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop. I don’t know if I want to, to be honest. Every month I count is a month that I’ve survived. It’s a month that I acknowledge. Each month is important and worth noting.

Each step, even if it’s small, deserves to be noted as the accomplishment it is.

There’s a large part of me who doesn’t want to do this tomorrow. I don’t want to get up and meet someone new. I don’t want the weight of reality and knowing that mom will still be dead.

I do want to be the person she raised me to be, though. I want to keep progressing to being able to live on my own. I want to keep learning and helping people and experiencing the amazing things that are in my life, and so even though I know tomorrow will hurt I want to experience it.

Tomorrow night, after everything is complete in my day, I get to see Big Bad.

I’m not sure how I’ll be. I’m worried about that. But I’m not as worried about it as I was with my blacksmith. Big Bad would be ok with just cuddling or playing combat games in silence. Ok… I would most likely be trash talking about kicking his ass the whole time, but still… He wouldn’t mind me being injured.

I don’t think my blacksmith would mind. I know he would understand, and we’ve had several conversations about both of our emotions, but that’s not what last night was supposed to be, and so being allowed to be alone met a lot to me. I didn’t have to go through with a situation that would have left me more injured than before and that means a lot to me.

Maybe I’m not explaining it well, but that’s ok because inside my head I understand. They both fulfill me. My iron linking me to reality and myself, and my warm fur blanket on a winter’s night keeping me safe and secure as snow dusts the earth.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to sleeping at the end of it. I’m looking forward to surviving it and noting it as another accomplishment in my long line of accomplishments from last year and into this year.

This is my Year of Stability. Becoming employed and beginning my training was a good first step in that endeavor. Tomorrow is another step. I feel like it will be a big step. But that’s ok. I know I’ll be pushing myself pretty far, but I know I’ll have the weekend to recover from it.

I know I’ll be ok.

Daily Post 028: Ready for Monday

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This is going to be quick because it’s already 10:20 and I have to be awake at 5 am for work.

This weekend was really nice.

Saturday changed a bit. I didn’t sleep well Friday night, so I woke up tired and sore from kickboxing. I called Jon and asked if we could change out kayaking for going for a walk instead. He said that was fine. Since there wasn’t a time frame anymore I did my grocery shopping before heading to Daytona.

We went for a three-mile walk where I got sunburnt complete with raccoon eyes from my sunglasses. We talked a lot about mom while we were walking. I’m grateful that I have him to talk to. I like how we both are able to talk about her and not feel bad about doing it. We don’t feel guilty or like we’re making the other person feel bad by talking about death. It’s comforting to be able to talk freely it someone about it.

We worked on his essay once we got back to his apartment. I feel like it’s a billion times better than what it was.

I came home around 6ish but didn’t do a whole lot. I was still super tired from the lack of sleep and being sunburnt didn’t help anything.

I slept off and on last night which was sort of frustrating.

I woke up at 6 am this morning despite the restless sleep and went running with Big Bad. That was a lot of fun. We got to spend about an hour sitting together outside talking. There’s a really big oak tree near the trail we go to. We sat under it, me leaning against him, my head on his chest, his arms wrapped around me as we talked.

It was everything I was hoping for and needed. It was that connection that has felt missing. We both thoroughly enjoyed our time together and have plans to see each other again Friday evening.

We mentioned how it might be harder in the future for our schedules to line up with both of us working and being busy, but we agreed we would make it work one way or another. It’s reassuring that we’ve broached this topic because it’s something I’ve been thinking about since I accepted the position.

After we parted ways I came home and began cooking my meals for the coming week. I actually got all of it done before heading out to have lunch with Nicole. It was nice to catch up with her.

The subject of Warren came up so I talked about that. I have an idea of how I want to handle the situation, but for now, I’ll leave it at that rather than going into details. I want to have a conversation with him first and from there we’ll see how things go.

I played StarCraft II with Jason and Jon for a little bit today. We got completely thrashed by the AI in our first two matches. It was incredibly sad. The third match was pretty awesome though, so at least we ended on a good note.

I’ve finished up doing laundry. I’ve written a letter to Nasse. I’ve made flashcards for most of chapter two…

Yeah… pretty productive day. I’m happy with it.

Now it’s off to bed for me.

Oh! Before I forget. My direct deposit worked so I got paid on Friday. Woohoo. Now if only I could get my roommate to pay rent…

Alright. Nite nite.

Daily Post 027: First Day Off

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Today was successful.

I didn’t have training since my class is ahead of the curriculum. It was nice to sleep in. My first day off from work. I thought about getting up to go to kickboxing at 6am. I slept instead.

I woke up and had breakfast around 10. Enjoyed my cup of coffee outside in the sun. Eventually, I showered and went to kickboxing at noon.

It was a good class. Small. My favorite instructor was there. I feel bad because I haven’t seen him in a while. I guess he does the morning and afternoon classes. Lately, I’ve only been going to the evening classes when I go to the gym instead of the dojo. It’s how my schedule has been working out.

I stayed for the whole class, doing the core section and the cool down. I was skipping those for a while, but no longer.

I surprised myself with some of the things I was able to do in the core work. It’s pretty cool to remember where I started at almost two years ago. I remember I couldn’t run more than 15 seconds before I was gasping and out of breath. Still can’t run a solid mile, but I can do over five minutes solid. More if I pushed myself I’m sure.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t run in a while. Since February-ish. Maybe I’ll go for a run next weekend since this weekend is already booked full.

Anywho, after working out I went to my sports bar for lunch. It was great being able to sit at my table again, another thing I haven’t done in a while. I had my normal half salad then got to work making flash cards. I made it through all of chapter one and all of the abbreviations for chapter two in the course book used for my CHT certification.

There’s a metric fuck ton of information I’m going to have to remember. And here I thought EKG and phlebotomy had a lot of information… those classes seem like child’s play now.

I’m looking forward to this challenge, though. I still have all of chapter two itself to work through as far as the flash card endeavor goes, but I plan to tackle that as the weekend progresses.

I spent about three hours at my sports bar studying. It was a good feeling.

Once my brain started feeling mushy I headed back home. I was able to stop by the post office along the way and finally mail my letters to Nasse. He’s in boot camp right now for the Navy. Not sure if I mentioned that. I’ve gotten three letters from him. Mailed two to him today, wrote another tonight that I’ll send out tomorrow.

Mom always wrote daily to Jason and Jon while they were in boot camp. I did, too. I remember sending Jon little inspirational messages along with my letters to help him get through his days. I’m going to start doing that with Nasse’s letters. I’m hoping the Universe works out that I can be at his graduation. I think I’ll still be in training though and unable to be there for him.

When we talked the night before he left he said he understood if I couldn’t be there and that we would have to get together another time if that was the case. He’s one of the few people from high school I still talk to. One of the few people I miss.

I cleaned a lot when I got home. The stairs were getting fuzzy. They have been for a while. It’s one of those things that I knew I had to do since Warren wouldn’t, but I kept putting it off because what’s the point? He’s not going to notice. He doesn’t care about the apartment being clean. So why should I care? Why should I be the only one to give a fuck?

I’m tired of the apartment being gross, though. I’m tired of my environment sucking. So I cleaned it. I swept and mopped. I vacuumed my room and the living room. I hardcore cleaned my bathroom. I wiped down my computer stuff. I gathered up all of the trash. I went through my “in” box. I restructured some things on my bookcase.

I eventually showered.

I did a few computer tasks. I meal planned and got my grocery list together. I sent a text to my dad to see if he wanted to chat sometime this weekend.

I feel like I’ve done a lot today and while I do feel tired, I don’t feel soul-crushingly drained. I feel good. I feel more solid than I have in a while.

Tomorrow I’m going to try to be up at 6am. There’s boxing at 9am I want to do, followed by driving up to Daytona to go kayaking with Jon again. We might work on his essay a bit while I’m up there. I don’t know why but he’s having a hard time keeping his writing focused on his topic and it’s making editing his paper hard. I think being in person will help the process.

I want to do the grocery shopping before getting home from my visit so that’s done and out of the way. Maybe even prep the veggies and stuff so they’re all ready to go when I get around to cooking. Saturday night Jon and I are supposed to have game time with Jason.

I realized earlier this week while Jon and I were talking on the phone that the three of us haven’t spent much time together in a while. We’re slacking in the “family time” department, so I roped all of us into some bonding time over saving the world from aliens. I’m looking forward to chatting with both of them.

Sunday morning I have plans to see Big Bad. His messages this morning made me smile. He said his elbow was feeling better and that he’s looking forward to wrestling with me soon. I said that I miss our wrestling and kicking his ass at Mortal Kombat. He told me to keep talking my shit. It will only make my beatings that much more severe. XD

I don’t know why but I’ve felt sort of disconnected from Big Bad lately. I think there are several factors for the disconnection. I’ve been busier lately. I’ve had a ton of things going on so I can feel the lack of recharge which I would theoretically be getting if I were spending as much time with him as I had in the beginning of March. We don’t have our workouts on Tuesday and Friday mornings anymore. We don’t have our cups of coffee. The past two times I’ve spent time with him were short and mainly revolved around sex. Which don’t get me wrong, it was amazing, but I feel the lack of affectionate connection which makes me feel alone.

I want the wrestling and smack talking while we thrash each other in video games. I want to hear about his day. I want our fingertips to play over each other’s hands while we cuddle in bed and talk.

His messages this morning reassured me that things are still ok. We’re still us. It made me smile and I think it helped  set the tone for the day. I’m looking forward to our time together even though it’s going to be another short encounter.

Sunday afternoon I have a lunch date with Nicole, yet another person I haven’t seen in much too long, and another social obligation I’m actually looking forward to. After lunch with her, it’s back home to do laundry and finishing my prep work for the coming week.

I like that this weekend is busy but relaxing. It’s all one-on-one things and they’re spaced out far enough that I can still get the things I need to do done in between, so my interactions are like mini rewards for adulting.

I’m glad with how today worked out. I’m glad that it was a day off even though getting paid would have been nice. I think this was actually better than getting paid. It was a “Me” day and I haven’t had one of those in a while.

Much deserved. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Now it’s off to sleep for me so I can be rested for another relaxingly busy day.

Daily Post 025: Beaten and Bruised

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The end of another day.

I want today to feel successful, and I guess in some ways, in most ways it is, was.

I woke up and had breakfast. That’s aways a win in my book and I still write those actions on my to-do list every time I actually make one.

Wake up
Eat
Shower
Go to class

Those are almost always my first four actions. Always my first three. Pretty soon I’ll switch out “class” for “work”. Maybe I’ll use “training” first since I will have to go through that phase before I’m actually legit working.

Class was ok. I only need two more sticks. I’m hoping to get them tomorrow. My evaluation is Tuesday.

It was actually pretty cool today. We got to centrifuge a tube of blood, which meant we had to draw a full tube of blood first. Normally, since we’re just practicing the procedure of venipuncture, we don’t fill a tube full. We just get enough of a specimen to prove we were able to access the vein of our patient and we’re done.

My instructor wanted me to fill the tube, which I was able to do. I know that seems sort of silly but it meant a lot to me. She trusted me enough to be successful with the procedure, and I actually was. It’s a boost to my confidence.

I came home after class and curled up in bed for a bit. I slept like crap last night. No real reason for it, just couldn’t get my mind to settle. Not even sleepy time tea worked. I ended up rearranging my room a bit. I like it more with my bed in the corner. It’s like I have a “nest” again.

It was nice cuddling with Scarlet and letting my brain chill out for an hour. Eventually, I got up and went to the bank. I put Warren’s rent money into my account and got a cashier’s check since I had therapy later in the day.

I went to Publix and got cat litter so I couldn’t use being tired from the dojo as an excuse to not do it. I got a dollar burger from Wendy’s since I needed to eat. By then it was time for my session.

It went well. We talked about a lot of things. My new / upcoming job. Warren being a dick. Big Bad and the developments in our dynamic. My grief and the two weeks leading up to mom’s death day. I got to explain the ritual of buying her a flower and how the coming year is going to be my Year of Stability.

We ended up going forty minutes over my time.

It was an intense session but I’m grateful for it. I feel like it did help even though emotional and physically I was worn out from it.

I didn’t make it to the Muay Thai fundamentals class due to my session running longer than I had expected. I went to the dojo anyway since I could still do jiujitsu.

I don’t know how I feel about the class. I practiced the technique being taught but it didn’t feel “right” and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing “wrong”. I only did two rounds of sparring today. I left before the class was finished because I didn’t want to give more. I was done, emotionally, physically, mentally, socially.

Could I have gone for the final round? Maybe. I don’t think I would have died if I had. Maybe I would have cardio tapped. I didn’t want to try, though. I didn’t want to push myself further because I had already done a lot on almost no sleep.

One of my trainers called out to me as I was leaving. She wanted to make sure I was alright. I said I was ok. You know, one of those, “I’m fine even though I’m not fine,” sort of answers because saying you’re not fine isn’t socially ok. It’s easier to say you’re a wimp and can’t hang for an hour than to say I’m sad and hurting emotionally.

She pressed asking if there was a reason I was having to leave early. I said it was emotional. it was hard to keep the tears back. She replied with she knows I’ve been through a lot and that she loved me and that she was here for me if I needed her.

I told her I love her, too, and that I appreciated her.

I cried when I got to my car. I had the thought that I wanted to go home, which made me hurt more because the apartment wasn’t home. At least in that moment it wasn’t. I wanted my old home. I wanted mom and there was no where I could drive to be with her. There was no way for me to go home.

After crying for a bit I drove to my apartment. I brought in my gym bag and the box of cat litter and I laid down on my futon in the dark and breathed. I could hear Warren upstairs working. Burno came down and nudged at me a bit before laying down on the floor beside the futon. I stayed like that for a while. It was dark, I was mostly alone, and I was able to be tired in every sense of the word.

Warren went on break, came downstairs for a bit, then went back upstairs to work. I stayed on the futon. Tired. Beaten. Covered in bruises from my phlebotomy class and jiujitsu.

I acknowledged I was alive, though. I can most definitely say that I feel I lived today and maybe that’s another added level to the tiredness. I did more than exist today. I lived.

I guess that’s where I am right now. Beaten but alive.

I want to say today was a hard day even though in list form, on a piece of paper, I don’t feel I did much.

This room, this apartment, this is my home now. That’s something I need to affirm for myself and own. This is where I’m going to make my stand. This is my “Home Base” for the time being. This is my nest and my safe spot.

I don’t know what else to say in that regard and I’m pretty written out. So I guess that’s that.

Today was a hard day but I made it through it. Tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll see where it goes.

Daily Post 019: Temporary

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Let’s see…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But at the same time, IT’S JUST HAIR.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blarg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This moment is temporary. It will change.