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.

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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.

Daily Post 018: Can’t Keep Me Down

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I may write twice today.

I’m back at home after my evening with Big Bad.

It was pleasant. After posting my last writing I met with him at the pizza place we normally order from. He had mentioned how last time he had gone to pick up the pizza there had been a harp player. We both agreed how it would be nifty to eat at the restaurant one time to enjoy the live music. So I guess this is as good a time as any to say the pizza place is more of an Italian grill/restaurant rather than a Pizza Hut type of establishment.

I asked for the address of the place since I had never been there. It seemed odd to me, how the GPS on my phone was taking me so far from Big Bad’s house. Whenever he’s gone to pick up our pizza he never seems gone for long, but I figured it might be because we usually get our pizza later in the evening and so traffic isn’t all that bad.

Well… come to find out my GPS took me to the wrong place. I ended up at a seedy looking gas station with no Italian restaurant in sight.

I messaged Big Bad to let him know that I didn’t think the address was right because where I was at seemed more a place for drug deals than pizza. We got it figured out and I turned around to head back the direction I came from. Yep. Totally was in the wrong place.

Eventually I did get to where I was supposed to be.

The harp player was there which was seriously cool. He played a rendition of Hotel California while we were there. We enjoyed our pizza. We talked about our days and our plans for the weekend. When we left we went to Big Bad’s house and watched an episode of Aonflux.

It’s sort of like the Animatrix. It’s a series of little side animations that are independent of the movie. The one we watched had a really interesting animation style. It most likely would have made more sense to me if I had seen the movie, but overall it was nifty and interesting.

We went to sleep afterward, curled up close to each other under his warm, fuzzy blanket since it’s been in the 30s at night. 30s… in Florida. What the fuck?

Big Bad woke me up around 6:40 before he hopped in the shower. I took the alone time to have my coffee and check my phone.

Ripping the band-aid off since there’s no real point is hiding this information…

I didn’t get the patient transporter position.

Not going to lie, that wasn’t the email I wanted to start my day with or, in general, receive.

I didn’t want to tell Big Bad about it. I feel like I’m turning into the girl who cried wolf.

Me: I had a really good interview! Hahaha… just kidding. I didn’t get the job…

I didn’t want to accept that information as my reality. I thought I had interviewed well. I thought this was going to work. I don’t understand how I can keep having “good” interviews and not receive the positions.

Am I misreading my interviewer? Am I doing something at the end that disqualifies me?

I think in this instance it’s that I’m becoming overqualified. This position required “no experience” yet here I am with an EKG certification and pending CNA and phlebotomy certifications, working towards a PCT certification. It’s very obvious that I’m not going to stick around even though I said I wanted to keep patient transporting for six months to a year and that part-time was actually what I wanted.

Not going to lie, it’s frustrating.

I did get a call back from the assisted living facility for a food server position. Essentially it’s waitressing. I’m going to call them back today. I need a job and even though this position isn’t in the hospital, or really something I want to do longer term, it gets me back in the workforce, it’s still customer service, and who knows, maybe I’ll like it and stick around for a while and they’ll help with whatever direction I want to go.

At this point, I don’t feel I can be exceedingly picky. I want/need part time work. The sooner the better since I need to start supporting myself again. Or rather, I need income so I can continue to support myself.

I’m not sure if they’re still interviewing since I got the call on Tuesday. I didn’t want to call back when the patient transporter position looked so promising. Maybe that’s a lesson for me. Pursue everything, regardless of how things appear, because you never know.

All I can do is call back and see, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I have other things I want to get done today. Mostly cleaning house in my inbox along with the actual apartment. Job searching is back on the list now since my prospect fell through. I want to begin cleaning out my side of the storage unit so there’s less to take care of on Tuesday. I’m going to set up the truck rental. I need to make the payment for my EKG class since that’s due today. I want to do the cooking I haven’t done all week so the food I bought doesn’t go bad. I want to move the china hutch as well so the area for Warren’s furniture is clear.

I might also be able to set up the futon at the storage unit and take pictures of it so I can get that posted on Craig’s list sooner rather than later. It would be great if we didn’t have to bring that into the apartment, though since we have to rent a truck anyway it won’t be a huge deal if it does. It’s more a convenience thing of moving less rather than more.

I want to go through the 30-day challenge assignments as well since I feel that will give me a better handle on my goals and the action steps I need to do to reach them. Right now, even though I’ve sort of outlined them, I still feel they’re a bit nebulous. I haven’t written it out on paper yet. I have a career path but how does that fit into my life path, and what are my personal goals versus my career goals?

So, goal identification along with some soul searching I think is on the list for today/this weekend as well. I feel like a lot of my weekend to-do list will be internal. Aligning myself with the things I want and solidly stating my intentions.

I’m not going to let the notice about the job detract from the day of productivity I had planned for myself. All that email means is there’s a different opportunity out there and that I need to modify my list for today a little bit.

It doesn’t mean I’ve failed or that I’ll never get a job. It was nice to interview with the hospital and to walk through the halls. It gave me a feel for what I would be dealing with once I actually get in.

It’s the first time I had been inside a hospital since mom died. It was a big step, one I didn’t know if I could do.

I can do it. And eventually, I will do it.

So that’s where I’m at this morning. I’m going to let my contact at the hospital know that I’m still searching so he can keep an eye out for me and I’m going to keep working on achieving what I want for myself.

Determination and persistence.

This way didn’t work out, so I’ll find another way.

Daily Post 017: Pizza Vs. Dojo

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Not proofread due to impromptu dinner plans. : D

 


 

I have decided that I’m taking this week off from the dojo. That mostly comes from the fact that it’s already Thursday and I have yet to go, and even though I could go today I would rather continue getting things, tasks, situated and figured out versus going to the dojo.

It’s not that the dojo is slipping in priority because it isn’t.

It’s more I feel the need to “clean house” so to speak. This week has been crazy, and with starting my cycle on Monday, along with a new class, along with a two-hour interview, along with the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on recently, it feels like the better option would be to take a step back, breathe a bit, assess where I’m at and where I want to go, and then start clean this coming Monday.

I’ve been haphazardly accomplishing my days. I’ve done well through all of them, but the only to-do list I made was on Monday. The rest of the days were filled with class and studying and listening to my body, and now we’re at Thursday and I know things in regards to life and building up and I want a game plan going into the weekend for how I’m going to tackle all of it.

This post is me figuring it out and processing through the whys and hows of things.

Firstly, I’m proud of myself. All this week I have been attending a class I had originally been worried about. I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to hack it. Every time I thought about phlebotomy it was with a nervous, “I don’t know how this is going to turn out,” sort of mentality. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to overcome to my past history of fainting and lightheadedness.

I’m proud that I’ve been able to change my mentality and that I am actively working with my own natural physiology. I have a better understanding of why I have fainted in the past while having procedures done to me, so now, when I’m working with my fellow classmates as their “victim” I am able to stay with it and not lose consciousness. Today I actually didn’t get lightheaded at all while I was having a venipuncture performed on me.

Totally giving myself tons of props for all of the forward progress I have made as a “patient” as well as an aspiring phlebotomist.

I think, from a technician side of things, understanding the steps to the procedures, why things are done the way they’re done, all of the behind the scenes of what happens before and after specimens are taken, helps with keeping me grounded during the procedure.

In my head, I am in a very different headspace. I’m in the left side of my brain. I’m thinking about the equipment I need, the steps I need to perform and the order to perform them in. I’m thinking about the tubes I need for specific tests, the additive in the tube, how many times I will need to invert once the specimen is collected. I thinking about what goes in biohazard and what is normal trash and what is classified as sharps.

It’s all left brain with the underlying knowledge that blood is good. It means I have successfully performed the procedure and that with this success a person is one step closer to the help they need to have. This procedure is an important step.

It’s an extremely invasive procedure, so there’s the knowledge that the person is trusting me to help them. There’s a weight with that, an importance, that helps me to stay steady while I do it. I can’t be squeamish. They need me to do this for them.

I got to use a butterfly needle today on the mannequin arm. That’s a 23 gauge needle. It’s pretty small. It felt a lot like the needles I use when I cross stitch. Maybe that’s sort of sick, thinking about a medical needle in relation to the ones I use for a hobby that so many people say, “my grandmother used to do that.” But for me, it helped me find a level of confidence that I didn’t have prior to that thought.

I handle needles all the time. Why should this one be any different or cause me to doubt myself? If anything I should be more confident because it’s a larger needle than the 26 that I constantly move in and out of 28 and 32 sized fabrics. Those sizes are so much smaller, the precision so much finer. This should be a cake walk in comparison.

Yes, this is a person, but the process of having a needle and an intended destination for it is the same. It made me realize that my fear is what is holding me back. My fear of the equipment. The needle.

Why am I scared of 21 gauge medical needles but not 26 gauge stitching needles?

I’m fearful of hurting someone or doing something wrong.

I remember being worried when I first started stitching when I was younger. Most likely around eight years old. I remember being worried that I wouldn’t do the stitches right. But here I am, 20 years later. I love my needles and I do have “favorites” because I’m weird. It’s like having a favorite pen.

I’m not going to be scared of the 21 gauge needles anymore. I understand them better. They have a place inside of my brain now. They’re not bad, they’re different, and that difference is ok. It has a place.

So, yeah. I think I can do this. I CAN do this, and I will do this. The overwhelming list of abbreviations isn’t as intimidating. I understand Order of Draw now. We’re one week in and already I have so much more confidence in myself in this particular area. I’ve gone through my EKG flashcards again and still remember all of my previous information. Nothing is being overwritten with this new content. It’s a good feeling.

I got this.

So all of that in itself is a good enough reason in my book to take it easy in other areas of my life. This was a huge, massive step that I didn’t know if I would be able to do. It required a lot of physical and mental focus, and I’m ok with that temporarily detracting from other areas. Now that I have the confidence I need to go forward my energy can go back into other areas once again.

I got to talk to my younger brother today. The first big payment of my class is due and I’m still sans job. He is sending me money to cover my classes as well as a month of living expenses.

The original conversation was through text messages on Facebook.

It was tense for me. I didn’t want to have to ask for help. Especially with how I’ve written about buying clothes and my shin guards or the time I went to Taco Bell. There was the voice in my head saying that I haven’t been responsible so I don’t deserve to ask for help.

His message of, “This is the only time I will send money. I can’t keep supporting other people and myself,” didn’t help with those feelings because I know them all too well myself.

One of the reasons I’m in the situation I am is because I have given money to others. I don’t want to be that type of person for anyone. I don’t want to put him in a bad position because I’m not able to meet my own responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like I’m failing at adulting.

We were able to talk on the phone later. That helped a lot.

He’s glad I’m doing so well in my class. He’s happy the interview seemed to go well and we both agree that even if this position doesn’t work out that getting something in the hospital is just a matter of time, especially with how I keep improving my skills. It means there will be more opportunities I can reach for and the biggest hurdle of them all is getting that initial foot in the door.

I mentioned how I was thinking about withdrawing from the PCT program and sticking with just the CNA, phlebotomy, and EKG certifications.

Jon: I’ll stab you if you withdrawal. With love… but I’ll still stab you.

He wants me to do the whole course because it will give me more opportunities. He wants me to do the best I can, and completing the course and achieving the PCT certification is doing my best.

Knowing that he’s fully supportive of that direction makes me more ok with the thought of completing the course. The main reason I was thinking about withdrawing was for financial reasons. It would save roughly $800. He thinks it’s worth the investment and is willing to help me with it. So we’re going to do it. All the way. No half-assing or giving up.

It makes me want to do better than my best because it’s not simply me who’s invested into my certifications now. I need to prove it wasn’t a waste to believe in me, to support me, to help me. I’ll do amazing because I’m worth the love and support people give to me and doing well is one way to prove that.

Warren and I talked. We’re going to close out the storage unit. We have an idea of how to rearrange things in the apartment to get his furniture into it. I’m going to sell the futon. Not having the storage unit will lower both of our monthly expenses by $75.

There are several emails in my inbox for expenses. My website is supposed to be renewed, but I think I’m going to hold off on that for the time being. I’m not pursuing a career in computer animation at the moment so I don’t need a website active for employers to view my work. Maybe in the future I’ll activate it again. I still have my domain name, but, for now, it’s not the direction I plan to go.

My shin guards should be here tomorrow. I’m looking forward to them. It means I’ll most likely be stoked to go to the dojo on Saturday since that’s Muay Thai conditioning and I’ll be able to try them out.

I’ve figured out what I want my reward for phlebotomy certification to be. My herb garden. I still haven’t done that even though I said I would back in February. A lot of that is due to how things panned out. I’m not sorry for how things have worked out so far. I’m content with how my time and energy has been spent. I’m ok with saving my garden so that it has deep and meaningful significance for me rather than simply being something I give myself because I want it.

I did something amazing and I’ll have something that reminds me of that accomplishment every time I go into the kitchen.

And actually, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go to the dojo. Big Bad just messaged me asking if I wanted to have dinner with him. If I were at the dojo I wouldn’t have gotten his message and I would like to spend the evening with him, relaxing, decompressing, and regrouping for the day of “life” productivity I have planned.

I’m glad I was able to process through most of this.

The only thing that I haven’t mentioned is last night. Last night started getting rough. My grief was swelling. It’s been cold the past few days and I think that factored into it. I don’t like being physically cold. It seems to amplify the emotional hurt I feel.

When Warren came downstairs last night I was on the couch. I was reading something and he asked if I was ok. I said not really, that things were emotionally rough at the moment. He gave me a hug and I started to cry. I said I didn’t understand why there was such a difference inside my head between day 365 and day 364, but there was and the closer we get to April 4th, the closer to March 23, the more I hurt.

I think another part of the roughness of Wednesday evening was due to the rawness of Tuesday morning with Big Bad.

I think it was good to talk to Warren last night. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to be roommates. To physically be in each other’s worlds when we have moments like what I had last night. Where I needed a hug and a friend and someone to let me know I wasn’t as alone as I felt.

It was nice that we ended up talking about the storage unit and made plans to close it out on Tuesday. We got to talk about the apartment. We got to make plans and brainstorm and it helped even me out and ground me back in life rather than being lost in my emotions.

He still drives me crazy with his dirty dishes, but it’s such a minor thing compared to the problems I could have. He doesn’t steal from me or go into my room. He doesn’t do drugs or murder hookers in his bath tube. I mean really… dirty dishes in the sink every morning is pretty minor and I know at the moment I’m overly sensitive to things.

I’ll keep breathing and working through the issues I have, but overall I think things are ok. I think I’m going in a good direction and even though I haven’t been to the dojo in almost a week I think this was an ok break to take. I need to make sure life stays on track and with how all over the place and demanding it has been this past week I’m content and proud of how I’ve handled things.

Now I’m off to go have a wonderful dinner and potentially kick some ass in Mortal Kombat.