Daily Post 105: First Day Back

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Today has been my first full day back in Nebraska.

The flight back on Wednesday night wasn’t back. I listened to Ready Player One for all of the three-ish hours I was on the plane. The center seat remained empty. The person sitting by the window didn’t bother me at all during the flight. All in all, it was a good flight.

Ox was there to greet me. It was one of the best hugs I’ve ever had. It was good to feel home. I let Jon know I had landed. Since I didn’t have luggage to worry about, Ox and I got on the road to head home. We stopped at Arby’s for dinner, but other than getting mildly lost in Omaha, the trip was uneventful.

Wednesday night, once we were home, was amazing. I’m not sure if our relationship is deeper or changed due to the events that unfolded, but in this moment I feel more secure, more real and less of the nebulous “more than girlfriend, less than wife” that I’ve been stuck in. I may come back on a later day and write about it, but right now I don’t want to. I cherish what we have and there’s now a physical object to represent our connection. Something I can hold and wear and cherish along with all of the amazing intangible things that make me grateful to have him in my life.

I slept well even though I kept waking up. It was different from all of the sleepless nights I’ve had in the past. I would wake up, realize I was in what I now think of as my own bed, next to Ox, and fall back asleep without an issue. Normally if I wake up that’s it. I’m screwed for the next 30 minutes to an hour while I try to desperately convince my brain to shut up. Not so last night.

Unfortunately, even with being able to fall back asleep all of those times I wasn’t really ready to start the day at 6 am like I had hoped. I woke up with Ox, shared a cigarette with him, then went back to sleep for a few hours. I had training at 10, so around eight, I got up to shower, cook breakfast, and begin the process of getting back on track with my life. I made a grocery list, checked to see if there was anything I needed to add or take off of it, packed my gym bag, then headed out.

My trainer asked if I wanted to wait on weighing in. I’m glad he gave me the option rather than having to ask for it. I could tell through the workout that my muscles were stiff from the trip and lack of any sort of workout for over a week. He eased me back into everything, though, so while it was a good workout, it didn’t leave me feeling dead.

I stopped at Walmart and was able to get most of the shopping done. I restocked on my travel stuff so I can have it ready if I need to cover shifts are other clinics, but also because I want to start utilizing the gym more and I know this is weird, but I like showering before I work out. I went ahead and got a couple extra towels while I was at the store to help facilitate that habit. If I go to the gym after work, rather than before, then there won’t be a damp towel sitting in my car molding away in the summer heat. I’ll be able to take it out of my bag once I’m home so it shouldn’t have a chance to get too icky.

It’s a gross feeling to try to change into a different set of clothes when you’ve been sweating all day at work, regardless of what type of clothes they are. I know I would work out better with a shower first. So… instead of coming home to shower and change, I plan to pack my gym bag and use the showers at the facility. I’m not sure if it will work, but I think it has a higher chance that what I’ve been doing.

So tomorrow is the trial run of that. Even if it’s just yoga. That’s the deal. Two extra days at a minimum. That means tomorrow and Sunday have to happen since my training is set for Thursday and Saturday.

I wasn’t able to get everything at Walmart, but I got everything I needed for my meal prep so I was alright with that.

I stopped at the clinic to see what I would be walking into tomorrow morning. My FA was there so I got a chance to talk to her. It was a really good conversation. I feel like something has shifted between us. I don’t feel like she’s as reserved or distant with me. She’s more open, more jokey, more frank and… I don’t know… more… real I guess. More like we’re even-ish.

She’ll always be my boss but it feels like we interact as humans now rather than as employer and employee. Maybe it’s because we’ve had to work the floor together so much. Maybe it’s because she’s seen my work ethic first hand and doesn’t have to worry about me doing my job. Maybe it’s because whenever she asks about something it’s normally already done.

I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff that could factor into it, but I like the shift.

I was able to talk to her about the incident that happened the Friday before I left where the RN at the time asked me if she should call a code. I was able to talk about wanting to go back to school and the potential of signing up for classes. She said to set my school schedule and work would work around it. We talked a bit about my vacation and all sorts of other topics. It was nice.

Once our conversation had run its course, I headed back home to take care of the groceries. I ended up getting pulled over about a mile from home. Yep… for going 65 in a 60…

Which meant the cop totally found out my tags haven’t been registered properly for the past six months…

Guess who was the proud recipient of a citation… -_-;

He was pretty gruff with me at first. When he came back with my paperwork he was a lot nicer. Maybe it had to do with having a clean record. No speeding tickets. No traffic violations at all actually.

He gave me a warning for the speeding but said he had to give me the citation for the tags. He said if I was able to get it taken care of within 10 days of the ticket being issued there “might” be a chance for the judge to drop the $75 charge.

So instead of researching the LPN program I gathered up everything I needed for the DMV and headed out there once I was done taking care of the food.

The only thing I was able to get done today in that regard was filling out a piece of paper which got faxed to my bank so they can change the car title over to Nebraska instead of Florida. That’s going to take 7 to 10 business days… All of the paperwork states that I started the process today though, so maybe I’ll still show up on my hearing day and see if the charge can still be dropped.

I know I should have changed the tags over a while ago. It was such a process and expense in Orlando though that I’ve been dragging my feet about it. I feel like I should pay the fine since I know I was in the wrong. At the same time, if it does end up being a $600 expense I really don’t think I’m unjustified in taking so long. Who has $600 laying around?

I’ll wait and see. My court date isn’t until next month so I should be able to get the tags completely taken care of by then. At least I started the ball rolling. Another step closer to being completely done with my moving to-do list.

Oddly enough, my FA had printed directions to the DMV I was supposed to go to since changing my tags was one of the things we had talked about while I was at the clinic. The Universe works in funny ways sometimes.

After the DMV trip, I came back home to do a majority of the cooking. Ox and I had made plans to meet in Lincoln to look at new sheets for the bed and curtains for the window since it’s hard for me to fall asleep early in the evening when it’s so bright in the room.

We went to Bed Bath and Beyond. We found sheets we think we’ll like. We decided to check out Walmart for curtains since there wasn’t a very good selection for the blackout curtains. We also got dish scrubs, a dish scrub holder, and… an electric zoodler.

Or rather, Ox bought me an electric zoodler.

I haven’t used it yet, but I already love it. It makes the girly, squishy, wifey-homemaker inside me melt knowing I have a new kitchen gadget that is totally going to speed up my process. I actually might try doing sweet potato zoodle recipes now. There’s a whole new recipe base for me to explore and try and I can’t help the silly irrational feeling of wanting to go out to the kitchen and hug the box because it’s so insanely awesome that I finally have one of my own.

I’ve already made all of my meals for the coming week, but it’s a safe bet to say that pretty much everything I make for the next forever will use my new zoodler.

We went out to dinner at Dave’s Famous BBQ, which is a place we’ve gone to a few times before. Eating dinner is tricky with me trying to be clean-ish and not have carbs and all of that annoying healthy shit. This place has mostly meat, so it’s easier to find a dinner option that I’m ok with. They also have the best broccoli I’ve ever had.

Originally we were going to try going to a Walmart in town after dinner, but with it being a work night and still having things at home to do, we decided that since nothing on the list “needed” to be bought tonight, that going home was the better option instead.

I stopped at the gas station before going home to fill up the car since I had driven way more than I had originally thought I would. Now I don’t have to hold my breath on the way to or from work.

I preheated the over as soon as I got in the door. I mixed my dye for my hair and painted my head. I set a pot of water to boil for my green beans. I washed the dishes that were in the sink with my new dish scrubs. I finished up my meal prep and made sure my lunch box was clean and that my water bottle was ready to go for the morning.

Currently, I’m just waiting for the roast for finish up so I can have breakfast tomorrow morning. Once I’m done with my writing it will be time to shower and rinse the dye out and that will pretty much conclude today.

Minor things like taking out my contacts and brushing my teeth will be mixed in with the other tasks of winding down for the night, but today has been fantastically productive and connecting. I feel more in tune with my life and with the things I want to do.

I’m glad with how all of today has gone.

I’m glad I’m home.

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Daily Post 090: Learning To Be Wiser

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Once again not proofread.  ❤


 

The longer I go without writing the more confusing and distant and disorganized things are going to get. I know it’s already drastically past my bedtime, which is sad because it’s only 9:40, but I have work again tomorrow at my home clinic, thank the Universe, and that means a 3 am wake-up call.

Even still, I know I’ll feel better after writing. I’ll be able to sleep better, deeper knowing that I did this even if it ends up taking a while.

Combat was fun on Tuesday. I keep forgetting that it’s only Thursday. It feels like so much has happened. So much time has passed… But it’s only been two days. Two long, full, near breakdown days.

Tuesday had a lot of new, but it also had a lot of what is becoming routine. I went to training at the gym and even though it happened later in the day, it was nice to go through the same set on the machines. Tuesday I was back up to 200 pounds again but it wasn’t as hard to do as last week. My trainer and I talked about how I had to wear a knee brace for Friday evening and Saturday the week before. We talked about different muscles and more of my past experiences.

We didn’t talk about my metrics so I didn’t have to have the look of disapproval for the piece of pie I shared with Ox; at least not yet. Still dodging that bullet.

We continued doing plyometric work after the machines. I can feel myself getting back into it.

By the end of the session I was feeling better then I had before it. Less tired in some ways, more tired in others. It was a positive improvement and I’m glad I went.

After the gym, I went grocery shopping. My right knee started feeling iffy; sore, much like how my left leg had started acting up the week before. I didn’t have my brace with me, though. I went ahead and bought a second one and put it one before going back into the store to do the grocery shopping. I’m sure I could have completed that task without the brace, but I wanted to be proactive with listening to my body. It was sore and needed to rest, which wasn’t an option, so I did the next best thing and supported the areas that were the most tired.

After the grocery shopping, I dashed home where I put my food away. I didn’t have time to do any prep work with it. Ox needed me to meet him in town before combat practice so I could give him a change of clothes and I still really wanted to stop by the scrub store I had found online so work wouldn’t be additionally stressful with having to bend space and time to do laundry at some point.

I was home maybe 10 minutes before getting back in my car and driving into Lincoln. I was able to pick up a new set of scrubs. I actually really, really like my new set and I will eventually replace the ones I have. I think I’m going to wait to do that for a while, though. The ones I have are still good and if I’m going to be losing a bunch of weight, it seems silly to get all new of something just to turn around and replace it because it becomes too big.

I at least have a very good idea of what I will eventually be getting. The new set is super lightweight compared to what I have. The tops are longer, the pant legs looser. I don’t know. It feels more “me” I guess… I’m more comfortable and ok in them. I’m looking forward to the day I actually do replace my current ones with this particular brand. Not that I dislike the ones I have… I just happen to like the new ones more.

To be fair I’ve only ever owned two types of scrubs. Maybe three depending on how you count them. I had the cotton set that I got from when I took the CNA and PCT classes in Orlando. I had the cotton set from work when I started with DaVita as well. Since they were the same material though, I don’t think they really count. Then I got the set from the Orlando scrub store; Healing Hands 360. And by comparison, there is no comparison. HH360 is way better and I love/loved them. I can’t find the tag with the brand name for the new ones, they’re a set above HH360.

So much love for them. ❤

So now I have four sets of scrubs. I might get one more set just to be safe, but we’ll have to wait and see about that one.

Anyway. I got scrubs on Tuesday. Woo.

I met up with Ox after that and we took my care to the park where the combat practice was going to be. Inside my head I was worried about it turning out like the first one I went to Orlando; that is… rained out with a message saying the practice was canceled being sent out via a Facebook group I was yet to be a part of…

Luckily the weather gods were on my side. The practice was held and Tuesday was the first day I was put in actual armor and put against someone to fight. My teacher/opponent is an experienced fighter who was impressed with how well I did for a starter. She said not only was I swinging multiple blows in varying locations, I was using the shield at times and moving around rather than staying in one place. I know I have a ways to go, but it was a lot of fun.

Ox and I got to meet a handful of cool people and I think his interest is peaked.

We went to my new sports bar after practice for dinner since neither of us had eaten. If we had waited until we had gotten home I wouldn’t have been to sleep until much later than I already was.

I woke up the next day and did my morning stuff before heading to work. It was a fairly smooth day. I was told I would for sure be working at the South Omaha clinic and that a hotel was booked for me. Ox wanted to go to the moot the SCA group was hosting at the library which meant I wouldn’t get to see him for very long.

I went home, packed up what I needed for the night and next day then headed to the library so we could see each other for a few minutes before I left for the night.

He said it was an interesting meeting so far since it was still going on when I got there. He went back inside, I got back in my car and drove to the hotel. I checked in. I talked to Jon for a while, then Ox when he called me. He had gone to dinner with the group after the meeting and it sounded like he had a good time.

I slept deeply. I woke up literally one minute before my alarm went off.

My ankles were bothering this morning instead of my knees so I went to Walgreens and bought ankle compression stuff. I think it helped to have them versus not, but they’re still sore so it’s hard to tell.

The day went well. I love the RN I worked with. She’s super nice and helpful. Both of the techs were new to me, but again, they were amazing to work with and I’m glad I got to meet them.

The day didn’t go badly until the end. I had to close the water room by myself for the first time. I followed the sheet they had but there are steps missing which caused at least one alarm to go off which frayed my nerves a bit. Then there was an issue with the CWP being low on its disinfect. I know how to fix that but I didn’t know where their chemicals were stored. Once the RN and I finally figured it out I couldn’t get the machine to not alarm for “low chemical”.

Me: It’s a new jug. It can’t get any fuller than it is. What the F’ do you want from me, Machine? Please just let me go home. ;-;

The RN and I figured that issue out. So the rest of the tasks should have been easy. And to be fair they were. All I had to do was finish cleaning one station, empty the bleach containers, then leave. That’s it.

The RN asked if I would be ok closing on my own. I said yes, and I was confident in my “yes”.

She asked if I was leaving through the front or back door. I said front because that’s where I parked. She said, in that case, I would need to arm the alarm for the door.

Me: Ok. I don’t know how to do that for this clinic yet.

She gave me the code for it; writing it down on a square, yellow PostIt note which I saw her place on the nurse’s station counter. She went about doing a few other things. I did a few of my things. She asked me again if I would be ok, repeating the code to me verbally.

Me: Yeah. I’ll be fine. Go ahead and go. I’ll be done shortly.

I finished what I was doing. I faxed the papers I needed to fax. I looked for the sticky note… only to not find it… anywhere….

It wasn’t on the back of a book, or under the keyboard. It wasn’t in any of the trashcans. It wasn’t in the breakroom. It. Wasn’t. There…

Ok… Keep calm. You can figure this out, Jen…

The only number I have is the FA’s number… Ok. Not the best option, but I can explain myself if she answers and hopefully resolve this issue easily. Smoothly…

No answer…

Of course not. Who would keep their work phone on while they are on vacation…

Ok… Don’t panic. Call YOUR FA because maybe she’ll be able to call someone else. Again, not the best option, but this is an issue that needs to be solved. You can’t just drive back to Lincoln and leave the clinic unlocked…

No answer…

She’s at a convention for the company and most likely also does not have her work phone on her…

Fuck…. ok… Call the other FA who’s in training…

No answer.

Ok… There’s got to be a book with a list of everyone’s number who works at the clinic. They mentioned it before… Can. Not. Find. The. Freaking. Book.

Me: … *desperation* …

There’s the app on the intranet… People, Places, Things… I can look up the clinic and get a list of everyone who works here. Maybe I can figure out a way to find their number through that or be able to Facebook stalk them enough to send them an SOS message or just… something…

I have no idea what the password is for their computers and it’s not written on them anywhere so I can’t actually get on a computer.

Ok. Now’s a valid time to break down.

I tried calling Ox to have a voice of reason keep me sane and stable with how close I was to tears over not being able to figure my situation out.

No answer.

Fuck my life.

I called Jon who, thankfully, blessedly, answered his phone.

He listened to me explaining my store. While I was in the middle of it, mind you, my phone is at 4% battery, the FA in training calls me back. I tell Jon I’ll call him later, that I need to answer this call and switch the phone over. I explain what’s going on and what I’ve tried to do already.

She said she would reach out and see if she could get ahold of someone for me.

Long story short and a few phone calls later, I’m told that I can leave. Training FA called another FA who can reach out to a member of the South Omaha team who lives close by to can lock the door for me.

Me: Omg. I’m out. So out. Like “I can’t drive out of Omaha and back to the middle of nowhere fast enough” out.

So, two hours after our last patient had left for the day I was finally able to leave and start the roughly hour-long drive back home.

I called Jon back and we talked for a while. During that phone call, Ox tried calling me three times. I called him back after my talk with Jon and we stayed on the phone until I was all the way back home.

I cried while he hugged me. There was a feeling of relief in that hug.

I don’t know why, after all of the shit that I’ve been through in life; my parents divorce, caring for my grandmother, seeing mom in the hospital, everything that happened after her death… why a fucking door code is the thing that makes me want to break down and feel like Life is too much to handle.

I’m actually a little aggravated with myself over it looking back at it but whatever. I didn’t drink when I got home so I’m giving myself massive points for that.

Instead, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I made dinner since I didn’t have any meals for tonight or tomorrow. I prepped the shrimp I plan to use for a second meal. I ate, and now I’ve written.

The end of the workday sucked and I have learned a very valuable lesson. I knew I needed to make an Evernote with this clinic’s information in it, but I didn’t. I knew that I should have gotten contact information from people, and didn’t. And when I needed that information, I didn’t have it.

NEVER. AGAIN.

That level of stress over something so minor was not worth it and totally avoidable.

Knowledge is having information. Wisdom is applying that knowledge.

Today I was not wise, which means tomorrow and every day from this point forward I can be wiser.

And with that mindset… I’m going to go have one last cigarette and shower before going to sleep to do another 12-hour shift tomorrow in the safety and familiarity of my own, small, eight station home clinic.

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Daily Post 088: Hello Old Friend

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Not proofread because sleep is a thing


 

Hello dearest Microsoft Surface,

It’s been a while since I’ve written on you. It’s been a while since you’ve been charged and updated. I’m sure it’s nice to have the dust brushed off of you. At some point, I’m sure I’ll clean your screen.

I can remember moments with you. Good moments like the ones at my sports bar where I would pay bills while eating lunch after going to kickboxing. I remember you were what I wrote on for my “first birthday”. The first one without mom. I remember that night; how I had been in Vegas for the holiday season. I remember how we all went out to dinner and how other than that it wasn’t a big deal. It was a decent day and yet I still came home and cried as I poured everything out through your keyboard.

I’m grateful for the times you’ve been there for me. I’m grateful for the tasks you’ve helped me complete. I’m grateful for moments like now, where you’re the instrument, the key, to letting me write my thoughts onto a blank page which in turn leads me to understanding myself better.

We’ve been through a lot together even though our times recently have grown more distant.

A lot has happened in the past week. It was the first week of the new schedule at work. It’s been getting better but one of our patients has become pretty unstable and so the days have still been hard. Harder than what I’ve grown used to.

The first day, Monday, tried really, really hard to be on par with the Orlando clinic. It was probably only better because the day was shorter; 12 hours instead of sixteen. I still wanted to cry on the way home with how completely tapped out I was.

Tuesday I met with my trainer again. We went through some of the things he wants me to be doing on my own then did a half work out where he totally destroyed my legs. It was good though. I haven’t had to work that hard in a while and it was a tiredness, an ache, that I’ve missed. The pain of making myself be better than I am.

I mailed my thank you cards to Orlando after stopping by Walmart. The receipt said they should arrive at my old clinic on Thursday. I’m glad I finally got that taken care of. I hope the cards reach my old coworkers well and that my words mean something to them.

After the post office, I went to my clinic where I started on the NFACT training to become an expert cannulator. I made it through all of the video training and printed off all of the P&Ps that I need to read (policy and procedure). I have a print off of everything I need to do to complete the training and I was glad to see so many highlighted lines of things I was able to get done while I was there. Having all of the quiet time to myself made me more ready to face my next workday. It helped me recover from the lameness and overwhelm of Monday.

Wednesday was another crazy day, though not due to A-Level alarms. The morning started off well. Things were going smoothly. Then we had to call EMS for one of our patients. I’m not a doctor. Neither is our RN. We’re only able to handle so much with just the two of us and seven other patients who need our care. It was better for everyone that she agreed to go to the ER.

Mr. Non-compliance showed up, which was good. He needs to be there. He needs his antibiotic since his CVC is infected. He needs to be dialyzed so his blood isn’t full of toxins slowly eroding away at all of the years he still has left to live.

I have never personally been on dialysis, but I know, just like any other disease or hardship, that it doesn’t have to define someone. It’s only the end of it you let it be the end. If Life sucks and starts being a dick tell it to go fuck itself and fight to live the life you want to live. Don’t let it stop you.

Does that mean compromising on a lot of things?

Yes. But better to compromise and have a halfway happy than to give up and have no happy at all.

I guess it’s all about perspective and, for the most part, I try to make mine one of, “I’m going to make this work no matter how hard you try to stop me.”

Another thing that happened Wednesday was my FA reached out to me asking if I would be interested in covering some shifts are other clinics in Omaha. With the rush to get everything squared away from the PCT registry, there are some techs who aren’t able to work and so there are spots that need to be filled until all of the red tape can get figured out.

Normally I wouldn’t be jazzed about working more hours, but there’s incentive pay and it would be overtime if I did work those shifts. I also know what it’s like to work shorthanded. And I guess I was asked for specifically. My FA travels a lot and has mentioned to several other FAs how well I am doing on her team. When the need arose to have someone float to their clinics they wanted to know if I would be willing, thus why my FA reached out to me.

I talked to Ox before making a decision about the first shift. It was for the coming Saturday; a day we would have the kids. Being there two days in a row is hard for me. There’s little downtime where I can recharge and as awful as it might be, the thought of working and being out of the house was better than being constantly bombarded by an eight-year-old. One day I could do. Two was more than I wanted at the time.

Ox said he was ok with me doing whatever I wanted to do; that he supported me, but to make sure I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew.

With Ox’s support, I replied to my FA saying I could cover the upcoming Saturday shift, but that I would need to talk to my trainer about moving my times around before I could say anything about the other days.

I was glad when Wednesday was over. My RN was feeling under the weather and it was her last day which didn’t help make the day any smoother. We had planned a few weeks back to get dinner together and even though both of us were tapped out I’m glad neither of us canceled our plans. I got to meet her daughter. It was a nice evening even though I ended up having to drive home in what felt like a hurricane level downpour in Nebraska.

Thursday I had training again. My legs were still sore from Tuesday so I was worried about how well I would be able to do. We started by looking at my food tracking on MyFitnessPal. I’m doing ridiculously better than I was for the past… we’ll say four months, but I was still over in some areas while being under in others.

I was over in carbs. My limit is 100 or less. The highest I was over was 67, but that’s still 67 that’s taking me away from my goal. I was over in calories by roughly 700 on my worst day, but again, that’s 700 more I have to burn through to make the level of progress I want.

I was drastically under in protein, which I need if I’m going to be working out as hard as I’m going to be.

My trainer and I talked about it. I made mental notes on what I could change and how for the coming week and then proceeded to go to the floor where we had our first full workout.

We started with the machines again, doing the same ones we had done on Tuesday but with slightly lower weight. I was proud that I made it through everything. Maybe it was a psychological thing, but knowing the weight was less made it seem more ok. I had done 200 lbs. on Tuesday. 175 wasn’t necessarily a cakewalk, but it wasn’t 200 so I knew I could do it, and I did.

After the machines, we went to the back room where we did a lot of plyometric stuff. At the end, he said he was pretty impressed. He said I had more coordination than what he was expecting and that it really was more of an issue with getting the nutrient side under control.

I would rather not be insulted by his comment. I know it could be taken that way. It would be easy to have one of those, “What? Did you think I was a sack of potatoes?” type of response to his comment.

I would rather not think of it that way. I know I may not look like much but I’ve done a lot of things in my life so far. Marching band. Boxing. Kickboxing. Aikido. Jiujitsu. Muay Thai. Running. Yoga. Zumba. Warrior Dashs… All of that goes into what I’m able to do now. Not all of that is apparent on the surface.

I talked to him about the changes to my schedule and we worked out times in the evening, after my shifts at the Omaha clinics where we could meet. I knew the coming week would be brutal but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was going to cover those shifts and have my workouts too.

Once I had showered I went to Walmart again so I could make the changes I wanted to foodwise. From there I went to the clinic where I clocked in and read through all of the P&P that I needed to. I wasn’t at the clinic as long on Thursday but I was ok with that. I got the remaining things checked off my list and sent an email to my FA letting her know the only thing left, aside from a training module that appeared to no longer be on the site, was to be checked off on my skills list.

I went home. I did laundry. I unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher, later emptying it again to fill with the dishes from dinner. I cooked a new zoodle recipe which I think turned out pretty good. I made sure I was ready for Friday and went to sleep.

Friday was another rough day.

My left leg was seriously hurting me when I woke up and not in a sore muscle sort of way. It was the back of my knee, towards the outside. It hurt to straighten it completely. It felt like the tendon in that area was overly tight; like a rubber band that you’re trying to stretch too far. I knew I had to make it through my day regardless of how my leg felt so after my shower I took the last IcyHot patch that I had gotten for my back forever ago and put it on the back of my knee. Since it was in a place that would move and flex a lot I wrapped it with adherent wrap a few times and hoped the compression would be enough to let me at least hobble through the day.

My leg wasn’t any better by the time I got to the clinic so I was slower in getting things done but I did the best I could and that’s all I could do. The patient we called EMS for on Wednesday started having issues again. We think it might be an allergy to the dialyzer she’s using, so we have orders from her doctor to try a different one. I’m hoping that makes Monday better.

Since I was going to be working in Omaha the next day I tried finding a hotel room to stay in, but I couldn’t find anything for under $150. I guess there was some super big conference meeting going on. With having the kids Friday night there wasn’t really a way for me to get the amount or quality of sleep that I would need if I was going to be waking up super early to drive that far from home to work a full day.

I ended up getting a hotel room in Beatrice instead. It would make the trip a little longer but, ideally, I would be able to get the proper rest I needed to make it through the day.

Ox and I met near home for dinner. I tried making smart choices with my food; ones in line with the metrics I’m trying to stick with. Even with going out to eat I came in under my limits for calories and carbs. Go me.

Neither of us liked the thought of being apart for the night, but we both understood the situation and that it was a smart choice. The incentive pay essentially covered the hotel cost, so that was negated, but I would still be making overtime pay, so even with the extra expense, I was coming out in the positive. I would be helping my sister clinics and making myself a more valuable team member. I would be getting time with the other machine models so I don’t lose those skills, and I would be meeting more team members and seeing how other clinics are run which could give me insight to how my own clinic could become better.

Overall I was looking forward to my Saturday. Ox and I agreed that I would wake up a little earlier than I had to so I could stop by home in the morning on my way to Omaha so we could still see each other.

He fell asleep shortly after he got home which led to unresponded to text messages and missed calls. It wasn’t a warm fuzzy way to end the night, but I figured something must be going on for him to not respond. I was glad that I didn’t freak out or have the knee-jerk reactions I would have in the past. I didn’t instantly think he had died. I thought, “Maybe he didn’t realize his phone died. Or maybe he forgot to pay the bill.”

I stopped at Walmart before going to my hotel room. I picked up more IcyHot patches with ibuprofen and an actual knee brace. I made it through checkout then immediately found a bench to put the brace on. It felt amazing. I wore it the rest of the night until I was about to go to sleep.

I slept deeply and solidly for the whole night, waking up only a few minutes before my alarm went off, which is actually a nice way to start my day. I like waking up on my own, coming out of a REM cycle rather than having it interrupted by an alarm.

I showered and had half an apple before packing up my car and heading home. I started to worry then since he still wasn’t answering his phone. I could feel the icy fingers of dread trying to curl around my stomach. The closer I got to my turn off the stronger those feelings got.

Luckily he ended up calling me and explained that he fell asleep super hard and that he was just now waking up. I explained where I was at on the road and that we would see each other soon.

It was nice getting a hug from him. I liked the physical reassurance that everything was ok. We still had our cigarette together and I was able to have my Bang energy drink, something I had forgotten to pack with me the night before.

The drive up to Omaha was uneventful. It was actually pretty nice to watch the sunrise as I drove since my shift started at 7:30 am. The clinic was also pretty easy to find; another plus to the day. I got there early to make sure I had time in case I got lost along the way. I was able to sync my account with their systems so I could chart. I got to meet the other team members who were working that day and explain what I felt my strengths were verses my weaknesses. One of the RNs walked me through stringing one of the machines since it has been roughly three months since I had worked with the ones they use.

I’m glad that after seeing it done once that I was able to fall back into the swing of things and that the day was smooth and uneventful. All of the patients were pleasant and kind. I was able to jump in and carry my own weight and as the staff started heading home for the day, each of them stopped and thanked me for coming to help out and that they enjoyed working with me.

I enjoyed my time at the clinic and I wouldn’t mind working there again if they need me. It’s a bit of a drive, but they have a very solid team and, in a way, it reminds me of being back in Orlando. It’s a bigger clinic and not many techs can work in that type of environment. A lot of the clinics in the area are small; eight to twelve stations. So when they have to cover something closer to twenty stations they get overwhelmed. Since that’s the type of environment I started in I just go along with it. It’s nothing new and honestly, it was a pretty easy day, but then TTS days usually are since they’re the “lighter” days. Fewer patients and such.

Once I was clocked out I headed home. Once again Ox wasn’t answering his phone which was frustrating but I knew I would have an answer to why eventually.

When I got home he said he had been sleeping for most of the day. He’s been sick not only with whatever has been plaguing his lungs but also with a stomach bug. We had dinner. I showered. I unpacked a bit. But mostly I went to sleep.

And so now we’re here at today. Sunday.

I woke up. I had my egg and chicken breakfast, crushing my protein intake like a bawce.

Shortly after everyone had eaten Lil’ Ox, that’s what I’ll refer to Ox’s daughter as, since I’m going to stick with the Ox theme I have going, and I went for a bike ride. It’s the first time her and I have been alone together and I think it went well. We made it all the way to the park near our house and played for a bit. Eventually, other people showed up and she played with the other kids that were there. That meant I had to interact with the mom’s and keep cool and not freak out over that fact that I have no idea how to be a parent because Lil’ Ox isn’t actually mine even though she was saying how she had to ask her “mom” for permission to go to the other area of the playground.

Omg. I’m so not ready for this. >.<;

It might have been low of me, but shortly after that, I felt it was time to go home. We had been gone for close to an hour. I had done my part of holding my shit together in the face of a totally foreign situation. It was getting warm. I didn’t have sunscreen on…

Yeah… totally time to go home.

I told Ox about the park adventure. He snickered at me. We had plans to go into town for the day so I showered and changed and we all piled into my car to spend the afternoon together.

We stopped at GameStop first so Ornery Ox, his son, could get a few games. He gets allowance money but rarely spends it. He also had a gift card to the store for his birthday, so he was able to get a couple game all on his own.

Lil’ Ox got a few toys while we were there, using her own allowance money even though she was upset that her brother had more money than her. That caused a little bit of friction on the way to the store since Ornery Ox kept making comments about the amount of money he had.

Honestly, it was like listening to me and Jon when we were younger. I don’t understand how my mom didn’t kill us. XD

We stopped at Best Buy for me where I was a totally irresponsible adult and bought my first TV.

Yep. That’s right. I now am the proud owner of a 38-inch Chromecast compatible TV which I plan to hook my PS4 up to and play through the new God of War game and the remastered Spyro games when they come out in September because Spyro is amazing.

It’s a weird feeling. But… I think it’s a good one. I don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted.

I went across the street to my new sports bar for lunch. After eating I stopped by my storage unit to get the rattan sticks I had gotten forever ago for my SCA swords because that’s something I’m going to be doing again.

It’s something I started looking into shortly before falling asleep Saturday night. There’s a group in Lincoln and their first outdoors fighter practice is going to be Tuesday, the 8th.

I so want to go. I can’t put into words how awesome it would be to make progress in the combative area of my life and to have a group, outside of work, that I belong to.

With working on Wednesdays, there’s not a way for me to make any of the meets for the embroidery guild and I’m not ready to go back to the dojo. I want to wait until after my Warrior Dash to venture back into that area of my life.

But SCA… That’s something that I would totally be ok with being involved in now and it would still be fighting and lining up with my training and… I don’t know.

I’m excited about it. Like… hardcore looking forward to going even though I don’t have any armor or gear that I can use as armor.

We came home after the trip to the storage unit. I hid upstairs for a little bit to decompress from all of the social of the day. I played a little bit of Crash Titans with Lil’ Ox. We’re on a boss level so she got tired of not winning. Booked another hotel room in Beatrice so I could get another good nights sleep without worrying about people having to tiptoe around my early bedtime or me constantly waking up since I’m a light sleeper.

I packed my food for the coming day along with everything I would need for the gym after work since that’s something I would really like to do if I’m able to.

My leg has been way better today but I have the knee brace with me if I feel I need it. I’ve eaten dinner. I’ve set everything out. My alarm is set. I’ve written. I’ve talked to Ox, so really all that’s left is to take my contacts out and go to sleep.

So with that, my dear friend, I guess I’m going to go.

I don’t think I really needed to figure out anything tonight. I think I just needed to write it all out and reflect on the week. It’s had some hard moments, but when compared to everything else, I think I had a really good week and I think there’s a lot of things to look forward to in the coming week.

Thanks for letting me write. Thanks for being there for me, the hard times and good times alike. Get some updates, and hopefully, it’s not another six months before we spend some time together.

Daily Post 069: Lazy Sunday

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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 068: Moving On

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I’m back home. Or rather, I’m back at my apartment.

My evening was decent. Big Bad and I talked for a while at the kitchen table before going back to the bedroom to cuddle and sleep. I slept deeply up to a certain point then tossed and turned for a while. My back was bothering for no apparent reason which made it hard to fall back asleep. I eventually did, so I feel fairly rested, more so then I have since I’ve gotten back from my trip. It’s my second day off in a row, another day with few obligations and so I’m hoping for the trend to continue. The trend of recovering and feeling more myself energy wise. More able to do things and less like avoiding people.

Things between Big Bad and I seem fine. He was interested in hearing about my trip. He still seems supportive of my decision to move, and that support feels genuine. I think there are feelings on both of our parts of sadness that our time is finite. Realistically, if I leave when I’m hoping to, we may only see each other another three or four times. One of those times will be the Warrior Dash that neither of us has really prepared for. I know I will do fine on the obstacles but I haven’t run much at all this past year so I feel like most of the course is going to be walked again.

I’m not really sure how I feel about that.

It’s sobering to realize how much I haven’t progressed the way I wanted to physically. Ever since April I’ve done nothing but cut back my time for training. Ever since getting a job. Though I still eat fairly clean I can see a difference there, too. It’s harder to drink water because I’m less active, and I don’t think it has solely do with the fact that it’s winter, though I’m sure that’s not helping things.

I don’t think I’m disappointed in myself. I do think work kept me from doing as much as I wanted to in regards to working out. I think I made smart choices in most situations. At the same time, it would have been nice to progress more than I did. It’s more of a wistful longing rather than shame or disappointment. “It’s not bad, but it would have been nice…” sort of a feeling.

I’m worried that the Warrior Dash won’t be the uplifting event that it has been for me the past two years. I’m worried it’s going to be clouded by the fact that I’m leaving. I’m worried it will be cold and windy that day. I worried it won’t be fun. I’m worried that potentially my last time with Big Bad won’t be a warm, positive memory.

After having our evening together though I think even if it ends up being an icky day that we’ll be ok. We can still have good times together even though they’re numbered. It doesn’t change our friendship or the connection we have. He’s still one of my closest friends and it’s reassuring that even with the news of me leaving, we’re still able to be ourselves.

I haven’t spoken with my blacksmith much. He knows the interview went well, but since I still don’t have official news yet it’s hard to reach out to people. I don’t have answers to their questions.

After speaking with my boss Wednesday we agreed to wait until noon Friday. If the FA in Nebraska still has not contacted either of us by then, then I will call and see if she received my email. I know everyone gets busy and at the moment I may not be their utmost priority, but it’s hard to plan for things when I don’t know, officially, what is going on or in the works.

There’s still the chance for this to fall through, or for the time frame to be drastically different than what I’m expecting. Waiting a month seems doable. Two months would be harder. Three would downright suck. So, hopefully, after my phone call today I will have a better idea of what to plan for.

Since the move in a pending event and because I haven’t been using them the way I intended, I will be canceling my gym memberships today. Both the 24 Hour Fitness and the Title Club Boxing. That would give me roughly $100 of my paycheck. My heart aches from the thought of their cancelation. In a way, I feel like it’s a defeat.

For so long I said I wouldn’t give up the dojo or my training, and yet that’s the first thing that got sacrificed. Actually… my evenings with Big Bad were the first thing to suffer. Instead of my two nights a week it changed to only one. Then came the dojo, then Title Club, then my personal training since I didn’t have a way to pay for it anymore.

It’s frustrating, constantly having to give things up because of outside sources rather than because I want to. Work and shitty roommates not paying rent…

I woke up this morning, a Thursday, a day I had personal training for so long, and decided that instead of fighting and feeling bad for not being able to achieve what I want, I will cancel my memberships and continue to rest and focus my energy elsewhere.

I still need to become certified for work. I need to figure out logistics for the apartment and moving. I need to research cost and potential storage. I need to also ensure I don’t burn out with work, which means downtime away from people and a break from higher level thinking and planning.

Stepping back and being a bit reclusive for the next little bit might make things easier. It’s still winter. It’s still a time for reflection, something I really haven’t done much of, at least not in writing.

I’m still tethered to my roommates at the moment. I got paid this morning. Without their additional contributions rent still won’t be able to be paid. I’ve sent messages to both of them, letting them know the situation. Even once it’s paid I won’t have enough to pay my remaining bills until they finish making their full contribution.

It sucks knowing my bills are the ones in jeopardy. I’m the one having to hold my breath and hope that things work out. I’m the one still donating plasma to stay afloat.

Warren finished his leadership training yesterday. He’s applied for the second interview for the team lead position. I’m hoping that works out for him. It would mean a potential $2 increase.

In that regard, his side chick is interested in moving into the apartment if I leave. Essentially, I would be signed off the lease and she would take my spot. Warren has discussed the situation with her. Financially, this apartment is only slightly more expensive than the one she currently pays for on her own. She has agreed with Warren to continue paying that amount if she moves in, so he would only need to pay the difference. That means most of his extra income could go towards paying me back.

That would be amazing.

I’m not sure what Kyle intends to do, but he knows my leaving is a pending event. Once I know a specific date it will be easier for everyone to start moving forward. Side Chick would have to break her lease, which will be $1800. Between her, Warren, and myself, it shouldn’t be that terrible of an expense all things considered. It’s one of the reasons I plan to continue to donate plasma. Any extra money will help make this happen.

And writing about money makes old wounds ache because I’m still owed so much by so many people. If I had that back, if I hadn’t helped others, I would be better able to help myself right now. It’s fallen to the way of wishful thinking as well. It’s a golden, rose-colored imagining, one which has never held up with brought into the coldness of reality and facts.

Soon I will be able to make the phone call. Soon I should know a better, more solid time frame. Soon I’ll be able to start planning and letting people know logistics. Soon I’ll start being able to set goodbye outings and establishing closure.

Soon I’ll be able to move on.

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.

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.

 

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