Daily Post 046: A Couple of Stories and the Rest of Everything Else

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There are a few things I want to write about.

Recapping my time off
The wallet story
The key fob story

And so I suppose I should start with the wallet story since I mentioned that in my last post.

I don’t remember what day it was exactly anymore; a sad consequence of my lack of writing. Time and events blur together. I remember the emotions, but the time frame gets muddled. After looking at my calendar, I guess it was last Friday.

I woke up after surviving two days at work. They were good days and I was looking forward to my morning. I had planned to go to Perkins for breakfast and coffee; a quiet way to start the day where I could plan my to-do list, figure out the shopping and what chores I wanted to get done.

All was going well. I wasn’t able to locate my wallet right away but I didn’t put much thought into it. I had gone to the store the night before and most likely had forgotten to put it back into my gym bag. I’ve left my wallet in the center console of my car by accident before. All was well. No harm, no foul.

Nothing boded well when I went out to my car and saw the glove compartment open. I  don’t keep anything in my car, so nothing seemed to be  missing. Owner’s manual was still there along with my proof of insurance. Even the ancient GPS system my mom bought me for my 18th birthday was still there. I did notice that the small, black coin pouch I had was missing, though, and my wallet was still MIA.

Further adding to my conclusion that someone had been in my car was how the driver’s side door wasn’t fully shut. Luckily the car battery wasn’t dead, but my relaxing day had now turned into a “fuck… well… how do I replace all my shit before work tomorrow” type of day.

I started by calling my brother. I had plans to go to Daytona to watch the marching band he’s been working with perform. I let him know what was going on and that I would try my best to be there, but that I had to take care of life first. He wished me luck and told me to keep him posted.

I next went to the bank and explained my situation. I needed to get a license so I could have a form of ID, but I needed money to do that and I had no way of getting access to my account without my cards.

Luckily the bank let me answer a bunch of questions about my accounts after which they gave me $50 to get a new license. Hooray for being able to answer questions about myself.

Once I had the money I went to the DMV. I would say ours is pretty terrible, because in general I think there’s a law that says DMVs have to suck, but mine is actually sort of, kind of cool as far as DMVs go.

They use an app where instead of getting a number, you can use your phone number. They text you updates about your wait time so you don’t have to spend three hours sitting doing nothing. You can still go out and do things.

I couldn’t do any if the grocery shopping, but I could go to my training at the gym without much worries about losing my spot in line, so I did. It was a good training session and it helped with my stress levels even though things were going fairly smoothly all things considered.

By the time training was done my spot in line had come and gone. Not to fear, though. With the app, you’re allowed to join the front of the line once. So I drove to the DMV with my “box of important papers”. It’s a portable filing container where I keep things like my social security card, my pass port, past bills, tax forms. You know, things that can be used for identification or things that should be held on to. I took the whole damn box with me because there was no way in hell they were going to turn me away for not having the “right” papers.

Irrational Right Brain: Bitch, I have every paper you could possibly ask for. Give me a freaking license.

Well, I got to the DMV, all proud of myself for getting things taken care of and not freaking out the way I would have when I had first moved away from home. I hit the J key in reply to the DMVs message to rejoin the line only to be told that “This line is closed. Please try again later.”

Umm… what?

*Hits J again*

“This line is closed. Please try again later.”

*Franticly continues to hit the J key*

The result didn’t change. I tried downloading the app on my phone, but it took forever and I grew impatient with waiting. I tried to rejoin the queue from the kiosk but it said my number was already in the system and wouldn’t let me join again.

Ok, so at this point I was about to flip shit because there was no way I was going to be able to get this done on Saturday because I had work, and I didn’t know what the hours were on Sunday, but I didn’t want to waste my Sunday trying to finish something I could have / should have gotten done in one day. Not to mention that I was going to drive to Daytona with or without a license, though with would have been preferable.

I got in line to talk to the chick behind the window. You know, the one who hates her life because she only ever gets the really stupid questions and she’s always having to repeat herself. Yeah, that chick.

The guy in front of me had the same issue, so at least when I got up to her I knew what was going on. They had reached max capacity for the day. We couldn’t rejoin the line from the app because it was no longer accepting people. She did some sort of IT voodoo magic and added me back in line and my number was literally the next one to pop up on the screens in the waiting room.

Total score. Mrs. I Hate My Life Chick is still my hero to this day.

I went through the door to the counter I was assigned. I told the other “I Hate My Life” DMV employee what was going on. For the low low price of $30 and a new picture, I was able to get my replacement license and get the hell out of Dodge. I went back to the bank, got my new debit card issued and went to the car dealership to make an appointment to get a new key fob for my car since that was the whole reason my car hasn’t been locked for over a year and a half.

Which brings me to the key fob story, but before delving into that I want to conclude the wallet story with saying that I made it to my brother’s performance and immensely enjoyed being around a marching band again. It solidifies the fact that one of my goals in life is to own a 3 1/2 octave marimba of my own because I miss having the means to play music.

Fast forward a few days… I had to go to the front office to talk to the secretary. Warren’s truck got towed while he was at work and he wanted me to figure out what was going on. That’s a whole different story, one I might get into, but the big takeaway here is that while I was waiting for the sectary to get off the phone she pulled out my wallet from a drawer.

Once she was off the phone she explained that she had found it in the drop box that morning and was about to call me. I guess who ever took my wallet felt bad that there was literally nothing in either it or my car worth any sort of value and gave it back.

I’m happy they did. I couldn’t find a replacement wallet I liked. I love my Thundercats wallet and even though I’ve replaced everything of importance in it already, I’m grateful to have the wallet itself back. Memories and all that.

So… on to the key fob thing…

When I first got back to Orlando I ended up staying at an extended stay for a while. I was trying to figure out what to do with my life after mom died, and every time I settled on what I was going to do all of the information changed and so my plans had to be reevaluated. It sucked and for a long time I lived in the nebulous sort of uncertainty.

While all of that was going on the key fob for my car started falling apart. I kept having to snap it back together. I did that about four times before the key fob started acting weird. It wouldn’t lock the doors properly. I had to mash the key several times before it would work. Then it started having issues unlocking… That sucked because I didn’t want the alarm to be on and me not be able to get into my car.

I knew getting a replacement fob was crazy expensive, so I decided to forgo the fob and just use the regular key. Since I wasn’t keeping anything valuable in my car I didn’t care about locking it. And after a year and a half of no bad incidents, I really didn’t see a pressing point in dropping a ton of money on something I didn’t need.

Well… having your wallet taken from an unlocked car sort of sucks. So I made an appointment to have a new fob programmed.

The morning I went to the dealership to have it taken care of the check-in girl asked me if I had ever tried to replace the batteries.

No. I hadn’t. To be honest I didn’t even know it took a battery until I had talked to my younger brother the previous Friday. I had just figured because the fob was falling apart that the malfunctioning was associated with that.

She said the fob wasn’t lighting up which was a stronger indication of an issue with the battery and that we should try that first. I told her I felt like I was breaking rule 101 of troubleshooting by not trying that myself. We went to the parts room, got a battery, walked back to my car, and poof! Working key fob.

That saved me about $300. Yeah. No joke. That’s how much they wanted in total for a new fob plus programming it to work with my car. What the fuck, right?

So that ended up being a pretty awesome and worthwhile endeavor. I am now in the process of relearning to lock my car whenever I get out of it. I also have an updated picture on my license which is pretty cool since I’ve lost so much weight. It would have been nice if it hadn’t of been such an involved process, but all things considered, I’m happy with how both situations turned out.

The thing with Warren’s truck was that his tags were expired. He was given notice to update them and never did so I really don’t feel sorry. I’m glad he was able to take care of it and got his truck back. He’s also been paying rent on time though he’s still dodgy when it comes to the chores. I still don’t want him as a roommate for the coming year, but there’s not much I can do about that. I don’t foresee the credit card being paid off anytime soon, so for the next year at least I’m where I’m at. At some point, I hope for that fact to not feel like sandpaper inside my skull and to find some sort of peace with it. We’ll continue to see how things go in that department.

I went to the dojo last Monday evening. That was fantastic. I got mat burn on the top of my left foot which sucked. Friction burns always feel like pure alcohol is being poured over an open wound. It made work hard because of the pressure from wearing closed toed shoes. Not that sandals would have felt any better. There were two spots, not just one, and the top one lined up perfectly with the strap of my sandal. FML.

I’m glad to say they’ve healed nicely and that I should be ok.

Because of my foot, I didn’t go to the dojo the rest of the week. I did go to my training at the gym. We’re going to be increasing my weights tomorrow. My trainer wants to push me and I told her I can take more because I can. She had me flipping the 220 tire last time. Woo.

Work has been going well. There’s a new RN being trained at our clinic, so I’m no longer the super new person. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the new guy a lot, but he seems nice. I think he’ll be ok. He used to work at one of the hospitals, so while I don’t really know his story, he has medical experience so I think his transition won’t be as hard as what mine was.

This was the first week where I’ve worked overtime. I worked four days, three of them in a row, and that was brutal. It’s taken me two days to recover to the point I’m at and even now I’m not sure I’m fully with it. Way better than I was, but still low and pretty introverted. It doesn’t help that it feels like I’m getting sick.

I noticed it yesterday. My throat was sore and my nose was runny. Today my throat was worse. I feel fine physically. I’m not exhausted like what I was from working so much, but still. I know I’m not at my best.

Despite all that I feel like I’ve been productive-ish the past few days.

I got the car washed and vacuumed so it’s not icky anymore. I’ve cleaned my bathroom, washed my sheets and comforters. I’ve washed the clothes, cleaned out the fridge, and run the dishwasher.

I also bought the complete edition of Witcher III and played that last night while eating pizza and drinking. I haven’t gamed like that in I can’t remember when. It was nice. I’ve played a bit this morning as well. Indulging and all of that.

Big Bad and I saw each other Saturday evening. I spend most of Saturday sleeping, recovering from my three 12-hour shifts. We met for dinner then went to his place. There was a brief session of sexy time, but we both ended up falling asleep before 9 pm and slept through the night. We had breakfast and coffee in the morning before going out to start our days.

I was supposed to see Mother Earth but that’s been changed to Thursday. Hopefully, the tired, sick, introverted feeling I have now is gone by then.

There’s still a few chores I want to do, one of them being “go to the store” which I really don’t want to do but I would rather get it over with and have food to eat for the coming week then not doing it and being screwed. I’m most likely going to do a rotisserie chicken from the deli along with a frozen lasagna or something to that effect. I don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen cooking, so I need to find decent alternatives.

I know… a frozen lasagna is not the best alternative, but it’s definitely better than going out to eat for every meal.

On the subject of going out… I guess that’s something else worth mentioning. When I got off of work on Friday I was sad. I didn’t want to go home. Nothing bad had happened at work. It had been a decent day, but I missed mom and the thought of going home and being alone in my room was the last thing I wanted to do or experience.

I messaged Warren and asked him if he was working. He said yes but that he would be done around 10:15.

I asked if he wanted to meet and my sports bar for dinner. He said yes, so I went and sat by myself for roughly an hour and a half during which time I had two Angry Orchards.

When Warren got there we ate and talked. I cried a bit as we talked about mom and what I was feeling. It helped and by the end of dinner it was midnight and I was ok enough to go back home. The thought didn’t seem as painful as it had when I had left work. I went to sleep pretty instantly.

I have tomorrow off, work Wednesday, off Thursday, work Friday and Saturday. The new schedule should be out this week so I’ll know what my coming weeks look like.

For now, I guess I’m going to go so I can shower and go to the store. I can’t think of anything that makes it feel worth going out. No reward or treat. I don’t want lunch. I don’t want a coffee. I want to stay inside and maybe nap. Maybe I’ll do that afterward as a reward. Get everything taken care of then nap before going to the dojo for NoGi. I don’t feel like I’ll do all that well tonight, but I want to go regardless.

 

Daily Post 045: So Good

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I went to the dojo Thursday after work. It was everything I remember it being and more. It was single handily the best thing I have done in the past two months. That includes sex. So much better than sex.

I got there a little early. The kid’s class was still going on. I smiled at a few people that I remembered. Some of them greeted me. I put my bag down in the locker room then took up my seat against the wall. I don’t wait on the secondary mat like a lot of the guys do. I like being off to the side, on my own, my back against something. Especially with Thursday being my first day back, I wanted the space.

I started getting a little anxious as more and more new people started coming into the dojo. There were at least six other girls, none of who I knew. I was worried they were all there for submission grappling. I was worried the dojo had changed drastically in the past two months and that I really was an outsider.

The kid’s class ended, I got my card for signing in, most of the people stayed on the second mat and started doing a conditioning class with a new instructor and only five other guys stepped onto the primary mat for NoGi.

I knew three of them pretty well. They were guys I had sparred with before and it made it feel like coming home to bow in with them.

My sensei greeted me warmly and welcomed me back. I made it through the whole warm up without being overly winded, that included doing the front and back rolls that I couldn’t do before the personal training sessions with MG. We worked a technique that built off of back mount, a position I’m fairly comfortable with. We then went into the sparring phase of class.

Instead of three-minute rounds, we did six-minute rounds. I didn’t think I would be able to last through them but not only did I last, I legit, hardcore tapped out my first partner. It was the first tap out that I feel like I earned rather than being given to me by a higher belt. It was an awesome feeling and the chick even came up to me at the end of class and said, “That was a good choke.”

My response was, “Oh. Thanks,” like we were talking about a cute skirt or something. “Oh. Thanks. It has pockets!”

The last round was a 3 minute round where I went up against one of the former instructors. He used to compete in Muay Thai tournaments. He tapped me out about halfway through the round but complimented my defense and gave me pointers for next time. I felt like I did pretty well and held my own against him.

I thought about staying for the Muay Thai class but decided against it. I needed to eat and drink. I hadn’t had a training session that intense in a while so I played it cautious and went home.

It was an amazing class. I could feel an improvement in my body. I might not have been going to the dojo for two months, but I’ve been going to Title Club and doing bag work. I’ve been doing the personal training at my new gym with L. I’ve been “doing” a lot and I could feel a difference. I was more coordinated. I was more agile. I was more sure of myself.

I was a lot of things.  Relieved, pleased, confident, content, accepted.

I was home.

Even as I left and said goodbye to my sensei I knew that I was back. I was home. I was still welcome. I don’t know why I let work take me away for as long as it did. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did without the dojo and my pseudo-family.

All I know is I’m glad I went and I’m glad I’m still going to go.

There’s more that’s happened between Thursday and today, like having my wallet stolen, but it’s 9 pm and I wake up at 2 am and I actually am getting pretty tired. I’ll try to write more later. Not tomorrow since I get to see Big Bad, but maybe Tuesday.

 

Daily Post 040: Yes

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Ok…

So…

I didn’t get up at 2 am and go to the gym like I had planned.

I did, however, work for 12 hours and then do another two hours of kickboxing. Yes. I am a badass. And extremely tired. And I have a spin class tomorrow with my trainer. I’m crying on the inside just a little.

One thing I do have to say is, “Holy shit, Shefit sports bras are amazing!”

Seriously, hands down, THE BEST sports bra I have ever worn.

They’re pretty much the only reason I did any sort of workout today. I ordered the bras a few days ago. So firstly, I have to say awesome turn around time.

I was feeling like a slacker for not going to the gym like I said I would. Integrity was on the line. I had to do something. So I decided to try on one of the bras and go to kickboxing.

Just… seriously, I’m almost speechless with how fantastic they are.

There’s a pretty wide band at the bottom so you don’t have the annoying “roll up” that some bras have, and the band is adjustable so you can customize how tight it is around your chest. The straps are also adjustable and you can change the straps from H-back to X-back. The zipper locks and has a flap of material so you don’t have to worry about the zipper catching on your shirt or digging into your skin. Because the straps are adjustable, you have control over how much “strap down power” the bra has. There are cups built into the bra so you can still have form rather than feeling like your chest is being crushed into your ribs.

It felt like wearing fucking battle armor under my compression gear.

A-maz-ing.

Right Brain: Oh don’t mind me… I’m just here for light cardio… AND CRUSHING MY WORKOUT INTO OBLIVION BEFORE ACHIEVING TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION!

I don’t think I can gush enough over this sports bra. It held up extremely well. It didn’t even feel like I had one on, to be honest. It was so comfortable that I didn’t notice it. My chest stayed still and out of the way without feeling crushed. Now that I think about it, I didn’t get overly warm either, so the material breaths pretty well on top of all of the other awesomeness this bra has.

I can’t wait to test them out at the dojo with jiujitsu. They held up fantastically for kickboxing. Now we need to test them out with grappling.

They’re on the expensive side, but, in my opinion, they are very worth the money and live up to the hype they have. I’m thoroughly pleased with this investment and I know I’ll be buying more in the future.

I actually pushed myself pretty hard at kickboxing today. I stayed for core which I normally skip out on. Afterward, there was a technique class, so I stayed for that, too.

I’m happy with what I did, with my effort. That’s two days “hard” since I had conditioning at the gym yesterday. I forgot to wear my Fitbit to work so I don’t know how many steps I did, but I do know the only time I sat down today was when I was on break.

Warren and I ended up going out to eat when I got home. I got a rice bowl with steak, carrots, zucchini and two eggs. Sooooo good, and worth it. I earned every carb in that bowl. No regrets.

Work is going well. I talked to my supervisor about having Monday nights / Tuesday mornings to be with Big Bad. He seemed pretty sure that it wouldn’t be an issue. He said on Mondays I can be scheduled as one of the openers, or at least one of the first people to come in so I’ll be one of the first ones to leave.

I haven’t meditated very much about becoming certified. To be honest I haven’t meditated in a while about anything. I’ve been focusing on surviving, but I think it’s time to do some tidying up in regards to my spirit and mind.

Since I’m on the topic of working out I guess I can focus on that for now.

Work isn’t going to make getting to the gym or dojo easy. I’m not going to know when my work days end. I’m going to be tired some / most days. I’m not going to want to do much on my days off.

I can’t let any of that stop me.

If I’m serious about keeping the gym and dojo in my life then I have to make time for them and I have to find routines that work for me. Part of that may include learning how to sleep after working out. In regards to the dojo, the classes happen later in the evening. I’m normally amped after a workout.

With how tired I am from the two hours of kickboxing, maybe what I need to do is stay for multiple classes at the dojo so when I get home I’m tired enough to pass out until I need to be up for work.

My gym trainer, we’ll call her L, wants to increase the intensity of our sessions.

L wants me to do at least two days at the gym, two days at the dojo, and then an active recovery day, in addition to working my job.

I think I’m ok with that. I think I want to do three days at the dojo and two at the gym.

I know that’s a lot. It’s where I want to be. If I can’t hack it yet, then I’ll keep working at it until I can. The days I go to the dojo I’m going to do two hours at a minimum to see if that wears me out enough to sleep.

I miss sparring. I miss my dojo family.

L made me realize that I wasn’t really owning my goals or intentions anymore. It feels like she’s given me a call to action.

She wants me to increase what I’m doing.

Do I want to increase what I’m doing?

After spending the past 24 hours thinking about it, yes. I do. I want to feel like I’m doing things with intention rather than just haphazardly hoping things work in my favor. I want to have a plan and to know what I’m doing and for what reasons.

I’m going to the gym to build muscle and work on agility. And to chill in the sauna because those things are amazing. One day I’ll break down and get a swim suit so I can hang out in the jacuzzi. I’m allowed to have slightly skewed priorities…

I’m going to the dojo to find myself. Like all those months ago when I found my answer for “Why I’m doing this”.

I train because mom died. That’s my reason.

I train because it hurts.

I train because it makes me face moments where I want to give up. It makes me confront those feelings of being lost and alone and outmatched. I train because it helps me find myself through all of the pain and anger I still have. I train because at the end of it all I can cry away all of the anguish and scream in my car and be left with a calmness that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

I train because it helps me survive my grief.

I don’t want to give that up. I want to keep working on belting up and getting better. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to be a fighter because I can. Because I don’t want to be a victim. Because I want to be strong physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.

Do I want to increase my intensity?

Yes.

I think I lost sight of that for a little while. Maybe that’s understandable with starting a new job and focusing on passing my certification and not getting fired. I do seem to have this addiction to food that my body won’t let me give up…

I’m feeling more secure in regards to my career, so now I can come back to this area.

My physical self. My inner self. My warrior self.

I need this physical aspect in my life. It’s become part of me over these past four years, even more so in this past year since mom died. It’s how I cope. It’s how I show myself that it will be ok.

I think that’s worth investing into. I’m not going to give myself shit for spending money on new workout gear that I needed. I’ve had that voice nagging in the back of my head since bought my shirts, shorts, and bras. No longer. If I’m serious about my intentions to train then I need to have gear that fits properly, and, ideally, that I want to wear.

I might actually get two more sets so I don’t have to constantly do laundry. I’m going to give it a few weeks and see how having three sets works for me.

I’m going to keep moving forward. That’s basically what I feel L said to me. “I want you to keep moving forward. Is that something you want?”

Yes.

Yes. I want to keep moving forward.

So now that that’s decided and confirmed in my head the only thing really left to do is to do it.

 

rest dy

Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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I’m not going to apologize for my life. I’m not going to apologize for not writing. I’m not going to apologize for spending money or for playing video games. I’m not going to apologize for being sick or frustrated or tired.

I still don’t feel much at the moment even though the depression and apathy I have been feeling for the past several weeks seem to be easing their grip.

Big Bad and I finally got to spend an evening together. I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. Maybe not until the weekend after next. We enjoyed our time together we both slept well. In the morning, he went to the gym, letting me sleep in, though I did wake up when he text me to let me know he would be back. I replied with my own message to which he replied, “Go back to sleep :p ”

Our exchange made me smile as I snuggled deeper into the blankets and his scent. It made me feel like I belonged which was extremely nice after feeling so alone for so long. We finally were able to share coffee together again. We got to talk about the things going on in our lives which included my trip to the ER.

I had a kidney stone Friday morning. That sucked. Like, literally was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, level of suck which I feel is saying a lot for how hard I play with my partners as a masochist. I was in so much pain I threw up and couldn’t walk. Warren took me to the ER since of course this happened at 1 am and all of the urgent care clinics were closed. FML.

And to make it even better, on the way to the ER the pain faded. By the time we got checked in and I saw someone I was still dazed and fuzzy from the intensity of the pain, but I could walk again, and I could answer all of their questions though I was sort of slow on some of them.

They put an IV in my arm in case the pain came back I and needed medication. I had blood work drawn which included a pregnancy test. Good news. I’m not pregnant. Big Bad was also appreciative of that result. I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

Everything was inconclusive.

The doctor, an extremely nice lady, said given my symptoms and description they believed it was a kidney stone that was too small to show up on the scan.

While I was waiting in between all of my poking and prodding I consulted the wise and mighty Google, asking it what the causes of kidney stones could be.

Basically, it’s one of those, “if you breathe you might get one” sort of things… dehydration could cause it, too much protein in your diet can cause it, being sick can cause it, genetics can cause it. Most adults will experience at least one kidney stone in their life. I’m totally ok with having this off of my to-do list because when I say it sucked and was the worst pain I have ever experienced, it’s not a joke or exaggeration. According to the Internet, kidney stones are worse than childbirth. There’s some food for thought.

I think what happened is the stone formed due to my sinus infection or as a result of the antibiotic I took to fend off the ear infections because of the sinus infection.

Whatever the cause, I’m seriously done with this being sick thing.

On an unrelated note… Big Bad and I said the L word to each other. Actually, we typed it to each other since we were exchanging emails but as introverts, we both count it as “saying” it. Maybe “admitting” would be a better word to use.

I don’t think it will ever be commonplace for us to say it to each other. Not for a while at least. I think we’re both still skittish about things like that due to our past experiences, but we’re both happy we’ve addressed it. I know, at least for myself, when my friend asked me how I felt about telling him I love him I replied with “vulnerable”. I’m pretty sure he’s in a similar boat.

Yes. We love each other. That doesn’t change anything or require anything more or less from either of us. We like how things are. I’m glad that if anything were to happen to me, or to him, that we’ve had the exchange we did. Neither one of us will leave having doubt about the other person’s feelings. That means a lot to me.

I don’t like thinking that I might die and not get a chance to say the things I want to say to the people I care about. It makes me feel like I’m not living my life the way I should be living it. Fully, completely, every day. When I hold back from saying something I’m assuming I’ll have tomorrow, which isn’t true. Nothing guarantees me more time so I want to say and do the things I want to while I can rather than later because there might not be a later.

I finally said what I’ve been holding onto for months. It’s relieving. I’m glad I was able to say it and that we’re still ok.

Work is going well. I was going through overwhelmed feelings, but that’s eased up a little bit. Since I had to miss work Friday due to the kidney stone I’m going to be at my clinic all week next week. No mind numbing power point lecture for me. Woohoo.

Hey, Universe… just for the record… I would have rather sat through the power point than experience pain worse than childbirth… You know… in case you were wondering…

In other news, I have a new gym membership. I know… I seem to be going through them like candy. I feel a need to write this out so I can straighten it out in my own mind.

Because of the work schedule I have now, I can’t make it to classes at the boxing club like I was, so even though I enjoy my membership and I love the instructors, it’s not getting used and won’t be renewed. I’m actually going to talk to them about ending the contract, which that will require more writing about later.

I wasn’t using the YouFit, and the only reason I had that one was because it was $10 a month with no contract and let me run inside while it was cold due to winter. There really wasn’t much else going for it which is why I canceled it as soon as it started warming up.

I still have the dojo membership and I will be keeping this regardless of my schedule. It sort of sucks right now though. I can’t really make it to the classes, not without totally fucking over my sleep schedule, which is why I’ve switched over to doing private lessons twice a week. I’m mostly focusing on conditioning and technique, which I’ve already noticed some pretty serious results, so I’m not complaining too much about the switch. I do need to acknowledge my ache from not being able to spar with my dojo family at the moment. So while, yes, technically I am there, I’m still missing a large part of what it means to be at the dojo. At least for me. It’s a temporary change, but it still aches.

I do miss going to the YMCA like I was when I worked at Full Sail. I stopped attending that because I lost the benefit through work, but mostly because they tore the building down to rebuild it. I would possibly entertain the idea of going back except with my new schedule, even if the building was done, which it won’t be until next year, I would have the same issue as the boxing club. I work too early to workout before work and the classes in the evening are too late for me to do them after work.

So that brings in this gym. 24 Hour Fitness. Warren is actually the one who told me about it since he just got a membership there.

They’re open 24 hours, which is instantly a plus. They have saunas and showers. Already sold.

In addition to having those three of my requirements, they have a nifty system with their studio room. They offer classes during certain hours, but on “off” hours there’s a TV. You’re able to search for different types of classes, combat body, yoga, step class, strength building, whatever. You can select that class and do it on your own by following the instructor on the TV. They’re also working on getting punching bags because that’s a huge request from the gym members, including myself.

There’s a facility within biking distance of my apartment, and walking distance from work, though I would most likely drive, and you get access to all facilities with your membership; no having to pay an extra fee or more expensive membership to get that perk.

I’ve gone to the gym since Wednesday. Thursday I ran for the first time in what feels like forever. I’ve shaved two minutes off my run time. I didn’t hurt during or after my run. I was breathing extremely well through it, too. I’ve had a quiet empty space to do yoga every time I’ve gone, and once I’m done I get to sit in the sauna and relax, doing my dragon thing and basking and in general not giving a fuck about anything going on in Life because Life can’t touch me while I’m surrounded by the heat and warmth. For those 15 minutes, Life doesn’t matter. My run time doesn’t matter. Work doesn’t matter. Rent doesn’t matter.

It’s my 15 minutes of silence and I’m glad I have it back. I think it’s helped.

I still ache in my chest from my grief. I can still feel it. A heaviness. A tenderness that I don’t want to touch or deal with. Sort of like when a cut is infected. It hurts so you don’t want to do anything with it, but until you scrub out the infection and clean the wound it’s not going to get better. The pain has to get worse before it gets better.

I think that’s where I’m at right now. I think I need to do some meditation or further writing to figure out why I’ve hurt so much recently.

I think there’s a lot of factors for it. Not seeing my blacksmith or Big Bad for so long led me to feel disconnected. Being so severely sick didn’t help anything. There’s still stress regarding the apartment. There’s stress from work. Until recently there was also the reduction of workout time, which for me feels like a punishment; like I’m having to give up a part of myself.

I talked to my brother Thursday afternoon as I was leaving work. I needed to talk to someone. I needed someone who would understand why I was sad and crying and I needed to know that I could cry and still be loved I guess. That I wasn’t weak or broken.

I told him that all of my coworkers constantly tell me that I’m doing well. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I told him that I appreciated their words and that they really do mean a lot to me, but that I still felt like a failure because I wanted to hear mom tell me those things. I wanted to know mom believed in me and supported me. I told him that I started trash talking myself in my head, saying that I would never get this and that I should quit, but that I stopped myself because I can’t do that to myself anymore. Mom isn’t here to counter the Evil Voice. I usually don’t let it get very far anyway, but I CAN’T let it erode my confidence away. Mom’s not here to clean up my scrapped knees anymore.

I remembered something on the way home after the conversation with my brother. It was a situation from a while ago. I had been packing up my stuff at the apartment I shared with Zane. At the moment I was working on taking down the cards my mom had sent me. I always kept them taped up around my corkboard so I was taking the tape off of them and putting them away in a box. These were my last words from my mom. I couldn’t get rid of them.

I wasn’t really reading them, but I was looking at them. There was one, a gray and white picture of a baby duck on a board looking down into a large bowl of water.

I picked up the card and pulled the tape off of it, just like I had all the others. When I set it down the card fell open and on the inside was the phrase, “I believe in you”.

I remember I bawled my eyes out as I sat on the floor. And I cried again in my car as I remembered that event because that day all I had wanted was to feel like my mom believed in me and that I was doing the right thing. She’s always believed in me. I have to remember that even though I can’t hear those words the same way anymore.

I know my mom is proud. I used to pass out at the sight of paper cuts and here I am doing dialysis. Go me. Fuck yeah, I’m a badass, and even though I know that about myself I still wish she were still physically here to see it and to say those things to me. And I guess that’s why everything hurts so much right now.

So many things have been happening and I still long for that physical connection. Her hug, her voice, her existence.

I’ve been doing well. This past month will be known as “The Dark Age of 2017” since I’ve survived the plague that’s tried to kill me eight million different ways.

Today is 14 months. One year and two months since her death.

Today has been a decent day. I’ve started playing World of Warcraft again with my younger brother. We spend most of the day running my character through dungeons. I cooked all of my food for the coming week. I even cleaned the apartment.

Internally I’m still heavy though. There wasn’t really happiness today. There hasn’t been for a while. There’s something more real and less fleeting than happiness instead. I don’t think it’s contentment or acceptance. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very flat, calm. It wasn’t a hard or heavy day and in my tired state of mind, I’m glad for that.

Tomorrow I wake up early to go to the gym before work. I work until 3 pm. Afterward, I have training at the dojo. Then I go home, shower, eat, and go to sleep. Maybe I’ll play on the computer for a little bit depending on how tired I am.

I haven’t felt like writing. I haven’t felt like doing much, but despite that, I’ve done a lot and I’ve been hanging in there. I may not be ok. I may not be doing ok. But I’m surviving, and I still want to survive. I want that to count towards something. Like a solid baseline maybe. It’s not positive or negative. Getting through everything I have been contending with goes into strengthing my foundation.

None of this has been as hard as the weeks leading up to or after mom’s death, but a lot of this shit HAS been hard and I still got it all taken care of.

That counts.

Daily Post 034: Promise Kept

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I cried today.

It was another day that I completed everything on my to-do list.

I’ve pushed really hard the past two days. I don’t know if I’m proud of that or not. I know normally I would be. I still hurt and so it’s hard to feel past, see past, the pain.

Work started off well. I’m getting faster at setting up the machines. A lot of the machines were failing their alarm tests this morning. Two of the machines in my section had to be taken off the floor because we couldn’t get them working properly. It made everything so much more chaotic and slightly overwhelming. Add to that the fact that today I cannulated two patients (stabbed them with needles so their dialysis treatment could be initiated).

Hopefully, my jokes about stabbing people with needles aren’t offensive. I don’t mean for them to be.

But yeah, two machines are gone, and I’m having to perform an invasive procedure on people who know I’m new, oh, and by the way, my clinic trainer AND my company trainer are both there watching me to make sure if I fuck up it will be wonderfully recorded.

It was a lot today. I held it together. I did really well. And after it was over and I had clocked out and I was driving home I completely broke down because I couldn’t call mom and tell her about my day.

I couldn’t talk about how it was overwhelming and I survived. I couldn’t tell her how I was able to cannulate Chef on my first try even though my trainer still has issues with his access sometimes. I couldn’t get a hug. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t have any of the reassurance that I’ve been used to for 27 years of my life.

I talked to her again. I told her I was sorry for not listening to her couponing stories as often as I should have and how I miss them. Even now I’m crying.

Instead of going home and giving in to the sadness I kept taking care of the chores I wanted to do. I was mostly on auto-pilot. Detached from the world around me, floating in it but not really interacting or experiencing it. I was ok with that.

I found out about my contact with the boxing gym. Because I put a hold on my account for the first three months I was going to the dojo my contract has been extended until October. Lame. I was hoping to end that in July since I’m not going there much. I could have used that money to go towards my training with MG.

I did talk to her about finances, though. Since I’m not doing classes at the dojo due to my work schedule we’re going to use my membership payment to go towards the personal training sessions. So it all works out nicely.

Verizon finally figured out my phone discount. Tomorrow I’m going to call and finally cancel Zane’s line. That will save me about $50 a month on my phone bill.

Mom’s pension finally closed out. I sent Jason the money I owed him from that. One obligation taken care of. Three more to go at least as far as payback goes.

I went to the dojo and did yoga today. I saw another one of my dojo buddies while I was there.

Both him and James commented on how I’ve lost weight. I know I have. I can still see new lines and contours in my form. I’ve stopped thinking about it. Maybe it’s apathy due to my grief. The fact that I’m losing weight doesn’t do anything to my emotional state. It’s a neutral fact. It is. It exists. I don’t know what else to write about it.

I know the two tattoos I’m going to be getting. I need Photoshop to make the files. Well.. want. Not need, but still. It would be easier than doing it by hand.

I don’t know what else to write. I’m tired. I slept deeply last night though I didn’t sleep long enough. I think I’m going to have the same issue tonight. It’s already almost 10 pm and I wake up at 3 am.

I feel like this is another moment in my life where I’m transforming, changing, morphing into the person I’m supposed to become. I don’t know why I feel like that. I don’t know why it feels like I’m supposed to feel this pain.

I guess it’s because this is me moving forward. I know this is something I need to do. It hurts. It sucks. I don’t want to do it. Each step forward feels like I’m moving further away from that moment in time. That moment where I was a younger more naive version of myself, protected by the safety of mom when she was still alive. A different me. I don’t want to use the term weaker because I was strong even then. Less battle hardened maybe. Less tried.

I wish I could hug my younger self. I wish my now self could have a hug, too. I wish when I cried I wasn’t alone and yet, even as I type that I know I would try to pull myself together if someone were around me.

I wish I wasn’t so complicated.

Daily Post 026: Working Girl

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My days have been long. Tiring. Stressful.

But they’ve also been extremely rewarding, uplifting, and connecting.

I finished my phlebotomy class. I have my final payment figured out and a solution to the issue of not being able to attend the final part of the PCT course due to my employment training. I still won’t be able to take my board test for a while since Warren still isn’t paying rent reliably. It’s down to paying my bills or getting the certification. It sucks that I’m in this position, but I don’t want to complain about it.

This is a fact in my life. I have to choose between things because my finances are so low. I choose to keep the dojo instead of getting nationally certified for something I don’t need at the moment. I WILL come back to it and I WILL become certified. Just not in the time frame I was hoping for.

The day after my last day of phlebotomy, last Friday, I had my first day of work in almost a year. Physically and mentally it wasn’t a very intense day. A lot of power point slides, a lot of meeting people. Blood work was done. I had my first TB test. At least it’s the first one I have a conscious awareness of. There was a CPR class that I had to stay for since the Red Cross certification I paid for wasn’t accepted.

Everything in hindsight… /sigh

It was actually a pretty awesome class, though. The guy was super funny and engaging. By far one of the best training classes I have been to, ever.

So it’s sort of a toss up. On one hand, I would have liked to have left at 3 PM so I could have gotten to South Carolina sooner. On the other, I’m glad I was able to stay and experience the class.

I didn’t get on the interstate until 6:30 PM and traffic out of Orlando was at a level of stupid I haven’t experienced in a while. I drove until 1 AM. Allison called me around 11 PM and told me that I didn’t have to be up until around 9 AM the following morning which was totally ok in my book. I knew with as emotionally exhausting as my day of orientation was plus the drive that I was going to need as much sleep as I could get before the “big day”.

I slept surprisingly well even though I was basically in Drug Town. Downtown Charleston is pretty much like any other downtown. You have some sketchy areas, but it was actually mildly reassuring. This is where I grew up. There was still a feeling of “home”. I could see it in the way the grass is a different kind of green from Florida. The oak trees with their Spanish moss… The salt in the air is different. There’s something about low country South Carolina that can’t be replaced or impersonated. There’s something about going back to where you came from, even if you return as a visitor, that will pull at the strings of familiarity.

I’m glad I went to Allison’s wedding. Partly because she would have killed me if I ditched the day before when I was supposed to be her maid of honor… I do have a slight sense of self-preservation. But mostly I’m glad I went because it was beautiful to not only see the ceremony but to be part of it.

I realized I will most likely never have a wedding of my own, but I also realized I think I’m ok with that.

I don’t want to spend $1000 on a dress. I don’t want to make people drive crazy distances to hear me say things that I really only want my companion to hear. I’m ok with not having the government involved in my relationship.

Maybe all of this will change as I continue to move through life, but at the moment, I’m ok with accepting that I have always been different and that I will most likely continue to be different. Different doesn’t mean bad.

So the ceremony was really nice. I made my speech. I feel like I tanked on it. I was shaking so bad by the end that I had to put my glass down so I wouldn’t spill it all over my dress. After my “speech” I promptly changed out of my dress and went to a quiet outside area away from the reception and did yoga.

I know that may be weird or maybe even disrespectful but I was completely out of my element. I knew only a handful of people. I was in a dress with makeup, my hair all braided and “not me”. I had just spoken extremely heartfelt words to one of my best friends in front of a ton of strangers… I earned 20 minutes of alone time to stretch out my muscles from my seven-hour car ride.

Allison’s mom came and sat with me for a while. It was nice to talk to her alone. I haven’t been able to since my mom died. I got to tell her about my new job and how I’m doing in life. I’m pretty much her second daughter, she says so herself, so I think she enjoyed catching up with me. It was nice to have some one on one time with someone I’m close with. It helped ease the overwhelmed feeling from the speech.

The rest of the night was fun and uneventful for my part. I got to people watch. I talked to a few other people, but mostly I kept to myself, which I was ok with.

In the end, I helped pack everything up. I went out with Allison’s buddies to a bar and had a few more drinks. Afterward, I went back to the hotel where I had another night of extremely deep and restful sleep.

I woke up in the morning, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, then drove back to Orlando. I stopped in Daytona first and spent about three hours with my brother. Originally it was going to be a short visit, but then I ended up going to a few stores with him and then we got dinner together. It was insanely nice to spend time with him and I don’t regret it even though it altered my time table for when I wanted to be home.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was done. I don’t even remember what I did. I brought everything in from the car, but that’s about all I remember. I know I didn’t sleep at all even though I tried to. I don’t know if I was wired from the cup of coffee Jon made me while I was with him or what, but I spent all night awake.

One the plus side, I didn’t have to worry about being late for my first official day at work. Downside, if you think spending eight hours reading policy and compliance documentation sucks, try doing it on no sleep…

Even though I was wicked tired I liked how I started my day. I went to Starbucks and got a coffee drink and a breakfast sandwich. I know that was splurging and my bank account doesn’t appreciate it, but I wanted to do it. It helped make the morning special.

As I pulled out of the drive-thru I spoke to my mom for the first time in a while. Out loud spoke to, not just silently thought words.

“Ok, mom. Let’s make today a good day.”

I had tears running down my face as I drove through the parking lot. My chest hurt. I didn’t want to take those steps forward. But I did, and I even enjoyed my day despite the mind-numbing material.

I actually really like the group I’m with. All of the managers for the facilities are super nice and friendly. This really does seem to be a company that lives up to all the talk about the company culture. I really do believe they care about their employees, from my own observations and limited exposure so far.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad, but still really dry material. We were told we needed to come up with a team name. I’m super hoping for DaVita Divas to win. We realized we’re an all female class and with the spunk and banter we toss around the diva portion really fits us I think.

Today the subject of mom’s death came up with a few of my… classmates? teammates? not really sure what to call them mates?… Anyway… it was an extremely connecting conversation.

Two of the ladies are slightly older. One lost her mother about 15 years ago, and her husband 4 years ago. She shared some of her experience with grief with me and I was able to explain mine. In the end, I thanked her for talking to me. I told her hearing other people’s experiences helped me feel not alone and helped me understand and accept my own feelings.

Another, we’ll go with teammate, gave me a hug.

It was really nice. Mom’s death is a big part of me right now, and I like that I was able to share that aspect of my journey and still be accepted.

After class I came home and sort of dicked around on Facebook for longer than I meant to. I did go to Muay Thai tonight, though, so I don’t feel bad about the computer time. I’m pretty happy with the effort I put in at the dojo today. I had been worried about interacting with people, but I’m glad I went. I was paired with a person that I’ve seen at the dojo fairly often, but have never formally talked to. He’s super nice and was extremely helpful with giving me advice for my stance and punches.

I enjoy going to Title Club on the days I don’t want real interaction. I want it to just be me and the bag and whatever the voice through the speakers tells me to do. I don’t have to worry about holding pads or having someone “push” or “encourage” me. I don’t have to worry about my grief snapping and having to explain to someone that they didn’t do anything wrong and that I just need to cry. It’s the main reason I haven’t gone to the dojo as consistantly as I was before the end of March.

I have been keeping up with training, though. Just in a different way.

Today ended up being a dojo day instead of a gym day. It was a good class and I did well and I think the interaction was good for me on a social and emotional level.

I stayed a bit afterward and talked with one of my trainers; the one who had asked if I was ok the last time I had been at the dojo. I got to explain about my new job and why I had left the time before. I got to talk about the situation with Warren. She knows I might have to cancel my membership. It won’t be this month at least. I’m hoping things work out.

I’ll make things work out.

Oh… yesterday…

I went to kickboxing at Title Club since I didn’t feel like being around people. Afterward, I went to the store and bought a few things to make meals since I have to have lunches at work. I made tuna and beef stir fry. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken so I also make spinach and chicken couscous. Got some protein bars. Some Gatorade. Eggs… Normal stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a lunch box. I donated the one I used to have to Goodwill almost a year ago; shortly after I resigned. I got rid of a lot of stuff when I left Full Sail. I’m actually glad that I’ll have to get a new one. This is a new place. I don’t want to bring old memories into it.

I actually have a to-do list for tomorrow. It’s the first day this week that I’ve made one. Much like with my writing, my to-do lists have become sporadic. I don’t mind, though. I feel like I’m doing well.

This whole month has been hard. Everything from March 23rd, through mom’s death day and past with the final weeks of my phlebotomy class, skill evaluation, beginning a new job only to turn around and be the maid of honor in a wedding which required a total of 14 hours of driving in two days…

I DID do well and it WAS hard.

Now that things are settling down I can feel the rhythm that’s forming. I like it. I wake up early. I workout in the early evening. I come home and unwind.

I’ve already mapped out what I would like to do tomorrow. This is the first day where I’ve wanted to plan ahead. It’s not a very extensive list and the first five things on it are still, “wake up, make breakfast, eat, shower, go to training”, but it’s my list and it’s what I want to do, so I’m going to do it.

I’m going to be ok. Financial stress is pointless even though my financial situation is something I have been stressing over. I’m going to make my life work the way I want it to because I’ve come too far to let it uppercut me again.

Fuck you, Life. I’m ready for you.

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.