Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

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Daily Post 053: This Feels Like a Long Post

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A lot has happened in the last week so I’m going to start this off with a bullet list so I can remember to write about everything.

Apartment – Fight with Warren, K moving in
Social Life – Big Bad, Blacksmith, Mother Earth, Nicole
Work – Certification, Praise from RN
Workout – Yoga, Running, Jumping, and a Busted Knuckle
School – Because that’s a thing

Alright.

So…

The apartment…

I mentioned in my last post that Warren and I got into a spat. We still haven’t spoken to each other. I think he purposely ignored my messages on Facebook last night asking for the printer, but that’s fine. I went into his office this morning and got it myself. I’m not going to let the silent treatment prevent me from printing papers for college. If he didn’t want me in his space he should have given me my printer when I asked for it.

I guess it was Wednesday last week. I worked that night. A sixteen-hour shift. I swept up dog fur and vacuumed on Sunday. I had also cleaned the kitchen. I was frustrated to come home and find dirty dishes in the sink with Warren not home because he was out hanging with his new girlfriend.

On top of going out to play before being what I consider an adult, I happened to look at my bank account for the first time in a while.

Warren hasn’t paid rent for the past three weeks.

The agreement, now that his job pays him weekly, is that every paycheck he makes a payment of $150.

He’s given nothing in three weeks and didn’t tell me anything about not paying me.

I was beyond pissed and betrayed feeling after finding that out in addition to still having to do his dishes.

I made myself a drink and sulked in the dark living room for a while. I had work the next day but was too spun up to sleep. Fuming silently seemed like a better investment of my time.

Warren ended up coming home while I was still in the living room. He asked if I was ok. I asked if he had planned to tell me that he hadn’t paid rent in three weeks. He said that hurricane Irma really messed with his finances. He said he had meant to tell me but that he kept forgetting. I said he could have sent me a text. He said it was something he wanted to discuss in person.

I asked him why I should renew the lease with him. In a solid year, he has yet to pay rent reliably and still doesn’t take care of his own responsibilities even though he’s repeatedly told me he would. What benefit is there for me to be his roommate?

He said he was sorry and that I would get my money. He went off to the kitchen and started doing whatever he did. I went up to my room and cried my eyes out because I was so frustrated.

Here I am, again, in a shitty living situation with a guy. Doesn’t matter that he’s not my significant other. I’m owed $8k and all of the promises of “I’ll pay you back” are still empty words that mean nothing.

Later that night I got a text message saying I would have “my money” by the end of the month. As of right now I still haven’t been paid.

I sent a reply to his text message.

Me: Tonight wasn’t about money. Tonight was about how I’ve told you since you’ve moved in to just let me know what’s going on and you still leaving me in the dark. It’s about me finally getting to the breaking point where I’m done feeling like I’m being used. If you’re not going to pay rent reliably then at least sweep and vacuum up the dog fur. Or load the dishwasher with the dishes. If you have enough energy to get a new car and go out with people then you have five minutes to clean up after yourself before you go have fun.

I didn’t get a reply to my message until the following day at work. Warren sent me a novel of a message through Facebook saying I’m a hypocrite and dropping curse words all over the place.

Since I haven’t been able to think of anything nice to say to him I haven’t said anything at all. As far as I’m concerned at the moment he can go burn in hell.

I’m not his mother. I’m not going to remind him, weekly, that he has a dog. He’s had one for at least four years. Long before moving in with me. He doesn’t “forget” to feed Burno. He doesn’t forget to take the dog outside to use the bathroom. “Forgetting” that his dog shreds like a German Shepard is an excuse to be lazy.

I’m not going to say, “Now, Warren. Remember to sweep the hallway. And don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to sleep.”

He’s an adult. Just like me. No one reminds me to pay my car insurance on time. Or to make sure I clean Scarlet’s litter box. I’m not going to make sure he “adults”.

Fuck that. He’s older than me. Get your shit together or find someone who’s willing to have a man-child.

So that’s where we’re at. My friends don’t curse at me. My friends don’t use hurricanes as excuses to not tell me “oh, by the way, that money you needed to pay the power and internet bill, you know, those things I use for work, I’m not going to give you”.

I had to go out and buy provisions for the hurricane, too. That didn’t make it ok for me to not pay bills. That still had to get done. And the hurricane didn’t last for three weeks. Zero fucks given about whatever “reasons” he has.

We’re both in victim mentalities right now I think. Me with, “he’s not being fair,” and him with, “she’s a hypocritical bitch.”

I’m fine with that. I’ve been doing the dishes and taking out the trash on my own and you know what? The apartment looks the way I want it to without having to wait on someone else to hold up their end of the agreement.

I’ve had less stress at home this past week then I have for a while and it’s mainly because I’ve stopped caring. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can rely on Warren to be unreliable. With that mentality, I’ve let go of a lot of things. At the moment I’m ok with renewing the lease, mostly because I don’t have a choice.

Karen and I are meeting tonight for her to sign the application. That should be squared away by next week. Then it will be a matter of getting Warren to “make time” in his ever so busy schedule to vacate the two smaller rooms and move into the master bedroom.

Yes, I am still in bitch mode. I know he’s going to have “anxiety” over moving stuff around, and our schedules aren’t going to line up, and it’s going to end up being a clusterfuck that I take care of on my own. If it doesn’t go that way then at least I can be pleasantly surprised. If not then at least I’m not disappointed. That whole reliably unreliable thing…

So that’s the developments with the apartment. Fun times.

On to my social life…

Things with Big Bad are going well. We spent last night together. Last week there was a development that added another dimension to our relationship; the addition of consensual non-concent play. We’ve always had an element of BDSM in our dynamic but this was something we / I have stayed away from. Even with my blacksmith, I haven’t really done anything with it, mostly because I still have flashbacks sometimes.

The experience I had with Big Bad was amazing and something we both enjoyed and though I don’t think I’m cured or anything it is liberating to be able to explore this side of myself again after so long. It’s been four, maybe even five years now.

BDSM rape fantasies aren’t something you can talk about with most of the populace, let alone role play with a partner. It feels like we’re closer. There’s a level of acceptance between us that is more solid than it was before last week.

We don’t think either of us is a weird, sick fuckup for getting enjoyment from each other. It works for us and we’re the only people it has to work for because we’re the only people in our relationship.

I keep waiting for my relationship with him to have some horrible flaw that cripples us, but there hasn’t been one in over a year and it doesn’t feel like one is on the horizon. I’m just so used to there being one that the lack of one feels foreign, almost wrong.

So far things are good, though. Beyond good. They’re stable and warm and caring and supportive and everything I had given up on finding after Zane and I broke up.

My blacksmith is going through a lot right now. I don’t remember if I wrote about it or not. They found a growth. It’s non-cancerous. He’s on medication for the next three months to get rid of whatever it is. I don’t have details. I know the medication makes him sick and that he has to fight through exhaustion while still working doubles at work.

A tree fell on part of his house during Irma. One of the house’s bathrooms, closets, and part of the back patio are messed up, but none of the living spaces were damaged. Insurance is supposed to cover everything. Until it does part of his house is boarded up.

I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. I’m guessing not for a while. Four months at least. Enough time for the medication to hopefully work. I’m not sure what will happen if it doesn’t.

It’s humbling. I left my previous career partly because I spent two weeks in a hospital holding my mom’s hand. Two weeks of sitting there with a Bachelor’s of Science and being unable to do anything other than worry.

Here I am, in the medical field, and I still wouldn’t have been able to do anything during the biopsy. I still can only sit and wait and be patient and hold my shit together even though all I want is to be told that things are ok. That they will be ok. That nothing bad is going to happen.

But that’s not how life works. No one can promise that because no one has that type of control. Those words are a lie and I refuse to tell them to myself and even though other people say them to me I don’t allow them in. I don’t accept lies.

I say things like, “It will work out how it’s supposed to,” and maybe that’s just as messed up. Maybe that’s just another lie.

It’s the one I listen to though. It allows me to accept that I don’t have control. I don’t have control over what is happening or what will happen. All I can do is accept what Life deems “right”. It doesn’t take away the fear of “this is the end”. The fear of “this is where he’ll release me because he can no longer be my Master.”

It sucks. I know he needs me to be strong. He has enough going on without having to worry about making sure I’m ok, too.

I’m fine, even with the annoyances of work, the apartment, and Life in general. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I can survive his death, too, if it comes to that. I know I can. He would want me to.

Mother Earth and I have been doing well. She reads my blog. She mentioned that I don’t write much about when we hang out. I know I haven’t and some of the reasons are intentional while other reasons aren’t.

Part of it is I know other people in our mutual lives read my blog. I don’t know why that has anything to do with anything, but it does. Maybe it’s because I feel like they’ll comment about what I write rather than having a discussion with me.

Part of it is a lack of writing in general. The days I’m able to write are often long after Mother Earth and I have spent time together, and so the more imidate things on my mind are not our moments together. They’re also not moments that I feel I need to work through. I mean, there are emotions, and there’s still stuff in our past I need to make peace with, but overall I feel accepted and restored when we’re together. Our moments help keep me sane and mostly stable. They’re also something I want to hold close to myself, like a precious piece of something that isn’t meant for everyone. It’s mine and it’s ok for it to stay that way; to not be shared.

She’s my Mother Earth and I’m her Earth Dragon and nothing further needs to be explained to anyone.

I do feel like she gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my social life. Big Bad is actually the only one I am consistent with. The only one I make a real effort to work my schedule around for. Other than that I spend all of my time trying to train at the gym or working. Other social obligations feel just like that, like obligations.

I know Nicole wants to spend more time with me. She messaged me just this morning wanting to go to the beach and all I can think of is how I would much rather NOT go. I could sleep instead. I could spend all of that time not traveling. I could save all of that money instead of spending it.

The pros for the trip do not out-weight the cons for me and so I find myself extremely reluctant to take steps to make it happen. I don’t really want to drive the hour to visit her either which isn’t fair.

Nicole likes being in my neck of the woods more, so it hasn’t been an issue, but I’m aware of the imbalance in our relationship. I don’t drive to see her. I don’t go out of my way to “hang out” even though I enjoy our time together.

I feel like it’s similar to Mother Earth. We have this relationship, this dynamic, whatever it is, and yet I’m not sure I’m fully present for it.

I am present when we’re together, but I’m so focused on my calendar; when can I train, how early to I have to be to work, will I be able to squeeze in grocery shopping…

And now I’m looking at adding school into the mix. Is any of this fair to the people in my life? I want to do the things I want to do, but that doesn’t leave much time for downtime where I can recover, or social time for anyone else.

It’s something I need to meditate on and figure out. I don’t want to add scheduled date nights onto my calendar but I’ve already done that for one person, so not doing it for others seems unfair. And none of this even touched on the topic of spending time with my younger brother or figuring out traveling for the holidays or what to do for Thanksgiving this year since last year sucked as far as my vote goes.

Blarg. Overall I think I’m doing alright with my social life and that it’s really just stuff I need to figure out for myself. No one is putting pressure on me. It’s all inside of my own head.

Work is going well. I got a text message from my boss earlier this afternoon saying the census will be low tomorrow and to take the day off. Don’t mind if I do. I was looking at four days this week, three of them being 16-hour shifts. I’m cool with not working one of those.

I’m going to begin studying for my certification. I also will be going back to school and there’s reimbursement from the company I need to look into since I’m most likely going to be going for a Nursing degree…

Yeah… I know… more on that later I promise.

I’ve officially been out of training for three months. That’s a nifty feeling. I still haven’t heard about when I can take the CVC class or when I’m allowed to actually take the certification, but I’ll be prepared for that day whenever it ends up being.

There was one particular moment this week at work that I want to reflect on. I’ve written about this particular patient before. Mr. A. He’s the patient who didn’t want to come into the center for his treatment. The one I hugged and told him I hoped he felt better. The one who said the reason he came inside was so he could see me.

Mr. A is awesome and he’s one of the patients I enjoy seeing even though other people I work with would describe him as “needy”. He asks for a lot of stuff. He likes the interaction. He likes to talk and do magic tricks like pulling a dollar bill out of his hat. I don’t know why but I like him and he’s one of the people I don’t mind doing things for because I like seeing him smile. I like making him feel like there’s still good stuff in the world to experience, even if it’s just a simple cup of coffee that I bring for him while he’s on the machine.

Mr. A used to be a CVC patient, but his fistula has been deemed mature enough to use for his dialysis treatment. That means he has to be cannulated with 15 gauge needles.

I don’t care who you are, getting stabbed sucks.

He didn’t want to have the needles for his treatment. He wanted to use the CVC. I explained that we could use the CVC but that it had more risks associated with it and that the better option would be to use the fistula even though it hurt more in the beginning.

He said he would do it for two cups of coffee. I smiled and said we had a deal. One cup for each needle.

He said ok. I could use the fistula then but to try to make it not hurt. I put my hand in his and squeezed, saying I would do my best not to. We were quiet for a second as I held his hand. I was debating saying something further. Should I say it or not? Should I keep going with the procedure or be vulnerable, too?

I decided to be vulnerable.

Me: It hurts me, too, Mr. A.

I said it in a small, quiet voice. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes because it does hurt me. It makes my heart seize every time I see one of my patients flinch in pain as I insert a needle. And I have to do it, not once, but twice. I have to hurt them. I’m paid to hurt them, and thinking of it in those terms makes me feel like the shittiest human being.

I squeezed Mr. A’s hand again before setting up what I needed for the procedure. I felt his arm before I cleaned the area. His fistula is a little deep, but not too bad. It feels solid; like it won’t roll much. I can tell it’s fairly new with how small it feels in comparison to some of the patients who have had their fistulas for years.

I had a moment of self-doubt. Maybe I should call someone else over. Maybe I wasn’t the right person to do this. What if I fucked up?

No. I would do this. I would try. I know I’m not the best, but Mr. A agreed to use the fistula because I was his tech. This was my procedure, my patient, and I wouldn’t let him down.

I took a deep breath as I stretched the skin on his arm. I said a silent prayer to Freya asking for my aim to be true and inserted the needle. I let out my breath as I saw flack back within the needle line. I was in. I advanced the needle. It went smoothly. I secured the needle with tape and allowed myself in inhale again as I stood back up.

Mr. A: Is it in?
Me: Yep. Only one more to go.
Mr. A: That didn’t hurt at all. You know how to treat a man.

I smiled an uncontrollable smile. He’s too cute sometimes. The second needle went in just a smoothly. Again, Mr. A mentioned how it didn’t hurt “too bad”. I completed the procedure and got his treatment started.

Mrs. Flo, the RN I’ve written about before, the one who’s approval is the end-all be-all to my medical career, came up to me afterward and congratulated me.

Mrs. Flo: Very, very good.

I know Mr. A can be a handful. I know he almost always refuses to come in for his treatments, or constantly asks for things, but I don’t mind. I don’t mind listening to him and letting him know that I hear him. I don’t mind taking an extra 10 minutes to get him on the machine if it means I can hold his hand and admit for the first time to someone that it hurts me, too.

It filled me with pride to know Mrs. Flo had been watching and that she approved of how I handled the situation. It made me feel even though I might still mess up that I’m doing well. Her approval means so much more than anyone else’s I’ve received so far. I’ve got this.

So that’s work. It’s going well and I’m hoping for it to continue to improve. We just requested our days for the new schedule. I should be capped at three days, and with the changes I made to my tax information I should be alright for a little bit; even better once I get my certification and the dollar increase to my wage.

Onward to talking about workouts. : D

I’m pretty sure I typed about the yoga class I did last week. It was awesome. I enjoyed it. It met the quota of “at least one yoga class a week”. I failed hardcore on the running aspect, though, so that was kind of lame.

Part of it was I went to dinner with Mother Earth and Josh one of the nights I was supposed to run. The other was I didn’t push through my tiredness on the other night. No one to blame but myself.

Yesterday I went to Title Club Boxing instead of the dojo. Since Big Bad and I had plans for the evening I felt it would be better to go there since they have a shower and are already halfway to his place.

Since at the time I was waiting for Warren to not be a dick and to give me the printer, I decided to go to what was listed as a “technique” class. It ended up being more of a boot camp conditioning class. I was ok with that. It was 30 minutes of intense workout and super fun. I stayed for the boxing class afterward which was an additional hour.

Once it was done I showered then went to Big Bad’s. It wasn’t until this morning that I really noticed the first knuckle of my right index finger. It hurts-ish. More a low level of discomfort than real pain. There’s a popping / grinding feeling whenever I curl my fingers and if I extend my finger out like if I’m pointing at someone, I can feel a sharpish edge of something poking into my skin. It’s swollen in comparison to my other index finger and I can see a difference in how the skin folds when my finger is extended…

Yeah… not cool bro.

After reading different articles online and talking with my trainer I plan to wait and see what happens. A lot of things say it’s most likely inflammation and overuse, not like I was using it all that much aside from my one boxing class in weeks…

I can tell the swelling has gone down as the day’s progressed. I plan to get some ibuprofen while I’m at the store since that was something mentioned in the forums. If the pain increases or if it doesn’t continue to get better as the days progress I will, undoubtedly, go get it looked at. I want to see if my body can take care of itself first. If I were in more pain I would be more worried. At the moment I’m being cautious.

My workout with L today was awesome. She’s very supportive of me gearing up to be back in school (again, more on that later). When I mentioned my knuckle she looked at it and told me modifications I could during my workout so I wouldn’t have to grip things as much.

Next Tuesday she’s going to have me try jumping the red box… that escalated faster than I thought it would. She’s confident I can do it. She said I’m clearing the blue box with a fair amount of room to spare. She said jumping the red box is more of a mental hurdle than a physical one. Physically I can do it. Mentally I need to tell myself I can do it rather than looking at it like an impossible task. But it’s the red box… >.<;

I can tell my core is continuing to improve. I could tell last night at Title Club while I was throwing hooks how I’m able to generate more power within my torso. It’s a cool feeling. It’s also helping me with the plyometrics L is having me do. I’m able to do the core workouts better, for longer, and faster; definitely with less of an “I’m dying please kill me” feeling.

I also happened to dig out my long sleeved stuff to see what would fit this year. Two shirts I’ve kept since I graduated high school fit me again. Actually, one of them I was never able to wear. I bought the shirt while I was working as a stocker at JCP. At the time I had been working on losing weight and it was my “reward” shirt. A super pretty, deep purple oriental type shirt with long flowing sleeves.

I was able to fit into it for the first time last night. I don’t know when I’ll wear it out. I want it to be for something special. I want to feel pretty while I wear it. Makeup and everything. No icky faded hair. Nope. Fresh dye, eyebrows waxed. The whole nine yards.

I’ve waited six years to wear this shirt. I’m going to make sure I’m the hottest thing this side of the sun when I go out in it.

That’s it as far as working out goes. Trying not to fuck up my body too much while still making progress. I still need to sign up for the Spartan race. Before I do that I need to make sure Big Bad really would be ok with me running without him. He has his daughter’s that weekend and wouldn’t be able to go with me. More meditation is required.

The last thing to talk about is school. Not that I haven’t written a small novel already.

So school has changed a bit, again.

I applied to Seminole State College. I found out Monday, yesterday, that I was accepted. I dropped a pretty penny on getting copies of all of my transcripts. I had copies sent to the college, but also to myself since I’m tired of not having that information when I need it. I mean really… who remembers and/or cares about exact day of their graduation? >.<

That’s essentially six transcripts I had to pay for. I guess it’s worth it. I mean, if it gets me to where I want to go then I’m cool with it, and it will be nice to have “unofficial” copies to keep in my “box of important stuff”.

I was looking further into the Sports and Exercise Science degree and realized that it’s a transfer degree to UCF’s Bachelor’s program, so I wouldn’t really be getting what I want for a while… Lame…

That got me thinking this morning though… Maybe I should do the Associate RN degree first since a lot of the classes for the Nursing and Sports and Excercise Science degrees crossover.

That would let me vertically move within the company, or potentially leave for something else, while still working towards my SECD (sports and exercise science degree because there’s no way I’m going to type that out every time).

That would give me time to figure out if I really want to pursue another Bachelor’s degree. I’m pretty sure I do, but I’m also pretty sure I want to make more money while I do it. Basically, after getting my RN degree, I would do the SECD. After completing the degree at Seminole State I would transfer into UCF I would be a junior. I would be in the Human Performance path and I would be working towards a minor in fitness training.

I finished the application process for the college so now it’s really just a waiting game. I get to talk to my advisor next Tuesday. That’s where I’ll be able to really battle plan everything out. I want to see if I can take one of the B Session classes this fall. That’s essentially a fast forward class. Instead of taking 16 weeks and doing a full semester. I would only be doing about 6 or 8 weeks for the class. If I could get through English II or another Gen Ed that would be nice. Go ahead and get it out of the way.

I’ll be finding out what, if any, of my previous classes, transfer on Tuesday as well. I’m hoping for at least two. Four or more would be better but Full Sail is lame with how they label their classes so my Public Speaking and Physics might not count.

I applied for financial aid though I’m not expecting to get much if anything. Right now all if it is “wait and see” so since that’s the end of what I have to write about I guess I’ll go ahead and get going to I can grocery shop and do the cooking before meeting Karen tonight.

Life is going, some areas of it smoother than others, but I’m pretty ok with how I’m coping. Go me.

Musing Moment 109: What I Am

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strong

That is Google’s definition of the word strong.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM strong.

It IS ok for me to accept this aspect of myself. It is ok to be stronger than others. It is also ok to be weaker than others.

Accepting my strength does not make me better or worse than anyone else. It does not make me unfeminine.  It does not make me arrogant or conceded.

Being strong is simply a part of what makes me, me.

My goal is not to be strong. Being strong is a byproduct of being true to myself and that’s ok.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong.

 


 

fitness

This is Google’s definition of the word fitness.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM fit.

I get sick less often and I recover faster when I do. I am less tired and sore after physically demanding activities.

I am more fit than I was in my past. I am more fit than some people, less fit than others, but that does not mean I myself, in this moment, am not already fit.

This is another aspect of myself which is ok for me to acknowledge and accept. Recognizing this as a truth about myself does not make me egotistical or narcissistic.

I can let go of the nebulous goal I’ve had for years. I no longer want to “be” healthy. I AM healthy, and it’s ok for me to want to maintain and improve upon my level of fitness. Much like the term strength, wanting to improve something doesn’t mean I am not already that thing. I am fit and being fit is now a byproduct of being true to myself.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am fit. I am healthy; spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

 


 

Time for Some Goals

 


 

I have affirmed for myself that I am strong and fit, so now comes the part where I figure out what I want my foci to be and why I’m still dissatisfied with myself even though I consciously know I have drastically improved.

Firstly, I have determined there are things I do not want.

I do not want to be a certain size. I do not want to be a certain weight. I do not want to be “buff” or “one of the guys”.

I want to be myself and I want to be human.

Cool. Those seem easy enough to fulfill, right? Go me for setting the bar super high. : D

All joking aside, I have determined there are three things, in particular, I would like to focus on.

I want to improve my cardiac endurance, I want to be more agile, and I want to be more flexible.

 


 

Cardiac Endurance

I will complete the Spartan race in December.

This is now my immediate goal.

I want to prove to myself that I’m able to do it, regardless of if I run the whole course or not. I want to show myself that I’ve improved and that I can keep reaching higher and higher. All it takes is time and determination; dedication.

My reward for completing the Spartan course will be new compression gear. New shirts and shorts; my birthday gifts to myself.

I will begin running twice a week to improve my cardiac endurance.

My next goal will be running the Warrior Dash in February. I will run the whole course. My reward for the Warrior Dash will be new Vibrams and flipflops.

In April, April 4th specifically, I will go to my sensei and express my interest in being a fighter. This will give me two months to reflect on my journey and solidify my next courses of action.

This admission to my sensei will begin the next phase of whatever I decide my life to be.

 

Agile

Agility is the speed and strength at which a motion can be performed.

Being agile will help make me a better fighter and give me an edge against bigger, more muscle-bound opponents. I can improve my agility by incorporating plyometrics into my workouts. I can quantifiably measure my agility by tracking how high I can jump, how quickly I am able to complete sets along with how many repetitions I complete during a set.

My current goal for measuring my agility is jumping the red box at the gym. I am already at blue, a step above both gray and green.

My reward for jumping the red box will be new boxing gloves.

 

Flexibility

While being agile is more connected to speed, flexibility is more concerned with the range of motion one can attain during an action.

This is something I feel I have largely neglected since mom’s death. I can feel how my hamstrings and hip flexors are tight, how sometimes it’s hard to keep my knees from bending while I stretch. My range of motion is not what it used to be and I can feel that difference within myself; that limitation.

I will incorporate yoga back into my routines. I will attend a yoga class once a week.

My goal for measuring my flexibility in my hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders is to hold a complete and properly executed “Standing Bow Pose” for 10 seconds.

At this moment I do not have a reward for this goal.

 


 

So, why so dissatisfied?

 


 

I’m not really unhappy with myself. I don’t look in the mirror and berate myself and say unnice adjectives inside of my head like I’m my own bully. But there is a level of “not quite there yet” within myself that I don’t like.

I don’t have the body I “want” to have and so I haven’t really accepted the improvements I’ve made even though I appreciate them and consciously recognize that they are there.

Like, dude, seriously, I have guns now. And not just nerf guns. Actual bicep definition and yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds.

So what gives? If I like the changes I see then why am I “not ok”?

After researching and looking up the definition to different terms like I was back in middle school or something, I think I’ve figured it out.

I want to be leaner than I currently am. I want to have a different body composition.

The good news?

Becoming leaner is something that is inevitable for me. Like strength and fitness, becoming lean is and will continue to be a byproduct of being true to myself. Nothing needs to be changed or added for me to reach this next “nebulous goal”.

I am leaner than I was six months ago. I am leaner than I was when mom died a year and a half ago. I am leaner than I was four years ago. The dissatisfaction I feel with my body is largely due to the pressers of society and my own mental image of what I “should” look like.

The best thing to do is to not become discouraged that I am not “there” yet. I need to be patient with myself. I need to keep in mind that rest days are important and that there is such a thing as pushing too hard. I need to stay the course and not get frustrated. I want to get “there”, but I want to get “there” in a healthy and safe way. Becoming leaner will come in time. It’s already drastically improved and will continue to do so all on its own.

I’m not sure if becoming leaner counts as a goal. I don’t think it does and I’m ok with that. This isn’t meant to be a goal, more a realization of why I feel dissatisfied with myself. That dissatisfaction is uncalled for on my part. I should remember how far I have come rather than focusing on what society thinks I should be.

I am doing well and this aspect of myself, my body composition, will continue to improve and change as I keep myself focused on my goals and commitments.

Daily Post 051: Finishing My Recap

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I want to finish recapping last week before getting too far into this one since I feel there are a lot of events which have led to the conversation I had with my FA yesterday, which, spoiler, I already talked to my supervisor.

So Thursday was the “fuck it” day. Lacking electricity I opted to take the day for myself rather than trying to organize the chaos of my life. And it was a fantastic day. I biked four miles to the dojo, sparred for an hour, biked another five miles and had lunch at Moe’s before biking the remaining mile back home. Later in the afternoon / early evening I went to the gym and trained with L where I once again increased the weight I’m lifting. I also ended up doing 50 lunges with a 30-pound barbell.

L is sneaky like that.

L: Go ahead and do lunges down to that line. *does lunges* Awesome. Now turn it around and bring it back.

My Legs: Mother F-*beeeeeeeeeeep*.

And of course, me and my INFJ “anything you can do I can do better” non-competitive competitive mentality did it because biking 10 miles and sparring with black belts for an hour is no excuse to not be able to do a billion lunges… I’ve never hated having an upstairs bedroom more in my life than I did that night. ;-;

Even with being ridiculously tired after it was all said and done, Thursday was awesome. Thursday was the type of day that I want to have. One where I feel alive and full and warm and like I’m worth being alive.

Which sucks because it makes it sound like my job is soul-crushing and the bane of my existence, when it isn’t. It’s extremely fulfilling in its own way.

I guess the issue is work is an obligation. I wouldn’t be doing dialysis if it weren’t for the fact that I NEED a job. I wouldn’t have gotten certifications in EKG reading or phlebotomy or completed the whole CNA training. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things if it weren’t for the fact that I need income to support myself.

So while, yeah, I love my patients and my heart melts everytime they say thank you or wish me a good day, work is an obligation, not a choice, and I think that’s the biggest issue with it interfering with what I WANT to do, which is train.

It’s my choice to stay with the job I have, but it’s not my choice on if I work or not. I HAVE to work. It’s more of a question of what work do I do?

As long as it’s meaningful, something I can believe in, and contributes to the overall wellbeing of society / humanity, then I’m pretty ok with doing whatever.

Saving people and helping them live life as fully as they can works for me. It’s a good, solid purpose that I can get behind. If I have to give my time to something at least it’s going to a good cause that does make me swell a little bit with pride when people ask me what I do.

Them: Wow. That’s pretty awesome. It’s got to be crazy intense.
Me: Yeah. It is. *thinks about all the crazy shit that makes it stressful* But it’s fulfilling. *thinks about how Mr. S smiled said his day was better now that he got to see me*

I love my job. I do. For as much as I bitch, I do like like.

What I don’t like is the imbalance, which is something that, theoretically, can be corrected. I need to have days like Thursday where I can devote time to me. I need time where all I have to worry about is myself. I don’t have to save lives on days like Thursday. I don’t have to worry about obligations aside from the ones I make. I get to check in with myself. I get to heal my soul in ways I can’t while I’m working or interacting with people; while I’m caring for others.

I need time to care for me.

Having Thursday made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my life. Being tired or busy with work is a valid reason, but it’s also an excuse. I’m allowing work to take that away from me. I’m giving it that power.

Thursday is where my resolve for change really solidified. I can’t deny myself the downtime I need to function properly.

I could feel a difference in myself at work on Friday. Even though it was a long day it was a fairly good day. I didn’t have all of the stress from previous days on my shoulders still. I was ready to come back to work and to actually work. I was ready to be there, fully present, for my patients rather than looking at the clock and counting down the hours until I would be able to leave.

Friday was a good day and I was actually glad to be there. I had reserves of “care” to give so it didn’t feel like something was being taken from me. I got to have my Thursday so I could give my Friday.

I had planned to run after work that evening but that didn’t happen. I think a large part of that has to do with the drive home itself. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get back to my side of town. By the time I get close to the gym my body has already changed gears. I’ve been off my feet. I’ve had time to start processing through my day. I’ve had time to slow down and so the thought of having to speed back up sucks and is harder than to do than it would be if it were still earlier in the day.

Convincing yourself to run a mile after you’ve already worked 16 hours and walked 8 miles isn’t an easy task, and Friday night I didn’t put much effort into trying. I went home, ate, showered, and slept since I had to be into work on Saturday.

I think something which will help combat the “slow down” is to go to the gym closer to work, rather than the one near my apartment on the days I plan to do something after my shift. That gym is only a mile away, so what, like a 5-minute drive if that? I think it’s worth trying out and seeing if it helps me out any. I haven’t tried it yet. That will be tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then there’s not much else to say other than Friday I was a slacker and didn’t care because I was tired.

Saturday I was still a little tired but it was a short day, only 12 hours. I could tough it out and maybe I would wake up enough through the day to do something afterward.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. Saturday was a pretty smooth day. I actually had time to… wait for it…. SIT DOWN! No joke. The only times I ever sit are when I’m on my breaks. But Saturday, for whatever reason, there was a lot of “down time”. Machines weren’t beeping, people came at their scheduled time, most of everything was stocked, needle packs were already made. It was nice. I actually got to doodle on Post-It notes. XD

After work, I came home. It was still a really nice outside, warm with that tinge of coolness because it’s autumn already. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the day, one of the dying days of summer, doing nothing inside, so I decided to go for a bike ride. I would bike up to Arby’s, get a sandwich, then come back.

I showered, changed into workout gear, then headed out. I stopped by CVS first for sunscreen, SPF 100, so I wouldn’t die a horribly burn-tastic death during my ride along with Gatorade so I could keep hydrated.

I noticed as I got further into the bike ride that the bike felt kind of “draggy”. It seemed to take a bit more effort than it should have to get it / keep it going. I was biking against the wind, and for parts of it I was on an incline, but it just didn’t feel “right”.

Once I got to Arby’s, I chained my bike up and ordered my reward sandwich. As I sat pondering on the bike, which wasn’t making any sort of noise, I pulled out my phone and looked up the hours for the bike shop I go to. I wasn’t too far from it. Maybe I had enough time to bike over there and have them check it out for me, just to make sure nothing mechanically was wrong.

I called the store. I explained my situation to the guy who answered and asked if he thought I would be able to bike the distance before the store closed since that would be happening soon-ish. The guy said I should be able to make it before they closed, but if the front door happened to be locked to knock on the side door because he would still be inside.

With that set in place, I hopped back on the bike and got moving. I’m pleased to report I made it to the store before they closed. Woohoo. : D

The guy who answered the phone checked out my tires. My back tire had 20 psi out of 30-60, so yeah, it was no wonder my bike didn’t want to go. The front tire had about 40 psi in it, so the tires aren’t losing air at the same rate. He said there might be a small leak in the tube of the back tire. If it keeps losing air faster than the front it might be worth it to replace the tube.

They filled up my tires and that was that. Mission accomplished. I thanked them profusely for their time and assistance. They’ve always treated me well and I’m proud that I was able to bike all the way there, which left me to bike all the way back home. XD

The bike store is literally across the street from Big Bad’s house so before I had left Arby’s I messaged him saying that I would be at the bike shop and that if he saw me I wasn’t practicing my ninja stalking skills, the bike had an issue I was getting looked at.

Once I was done with the store Big Bad came out and walked the bike trail with me for a little bit before heading back home. I didn’t want to bike the main road in the dark without my bike light. We weren’t together for very long but it was nice to see him for the short time I did. A quick, sweaty hug before getting back on the bike and heading all the way back home.

It ended up being just under a 15-mile ride and it was glorious.

Once I was home I showered, ate, drank a crap ton of water and didn’t do much else for the rest of the night. My body was ok with that.

Saturday showed me that even on days I work I can still do a lot for myself. It’s mainly the 16 hour days that make things so obnoxiously hard.

Sunday was a day off. Sundays are supposed to be my “Me” day, but with the hurricane and work and all of the craziness of the past week, I decided that what would make me feel best is getting my life back on track. So Sunday I did a ton of chores and that too was glorious.

I did laundry. I tossed out all of the stuff in the fridge and freezer because it had spoiled when the power went out. I meal planned and made my shopping list for the store. I vacuumed. I cleaned my bathroom. I went to my sports bar for lunch, which was packed because I guess it’s football season again.

I didn’t mind. I put my spiffy headphones in and began working on the homework L had assigned me.

One of the things we talked about while I was training, in addition to me possibly taking classes, is how I’m unsure about a few terms people apply to me.

Every guy I have sparred against at the dojo has made some comment afterward about me being strong. I told L that I don’t know what they mean. Is it that I’m stronger than they thought I would be? Or that I’m strong for a girl? Or are they using a different measure for “strength” that I don’t know about or understand since words mean different things to different people?

I don’t feel like I’m strong. I still lose a lot of my rounds. I still can’t do a pull-up, though to be fair I also haven’t tried so we’ll assume I can’t and keep going with this train of thought. I still can’t run a solid mile, though that’s more cardio endurance than strength and again, I haven’t tried to do a solid mile, but I digress.

I’ve spent so much of my life feeling “not strong” that being told I am strong is awkward. Just like being told I’m attractive is awkward.

My Brain: What about all those years I was “fat” or “ugly”? That’s all I’ve ever known. This whole “attractive” thing is wrong. It’s not normal. It’s not “right”. Please stop saying it.

This whole “strong” thing is an aspect of myself that I’m unsure about and it was something L and I were discussing.

She said by her standards she thinks I’m strong. She can tell I’m getting stronger because I’m lifting more weight. I’m doing different motions easier. I’m improving. She also said her opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s my opinion and what I tell myself that matters. And she’s most certainly right about that.

It’s like self-acceptance and confidence. It doesn’t matter what other people say if you constantly tear yourself down. You have to believe in you.

I also mentioned how I don’t think that I’m fit or healthy. To which, again, she said she thought I was, but that was her opinion and not mine.

She asked me what strength and fitness meant to me. What did I lack by my definition to not fit those terms?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I had meditated on the word success and so I knew, by my standards, what that word meant and how I did or did not fit within it, but I had never meditated on strength or fitness.

She said maybe that’s something I could do before our next session along with figuring out three things I wanted to improve on.

So while I was at my sports bar, listening to techno music while everyone else cheered or booed respectively for their teams, I wrote about strength.

I have that writing and I will be posting it as a Musing Moment later, but in short, I realized that yes, I am strong and I’m not conceded or arrogant for writing that. I’m not unfeminine for being strong. I can be strong and still seek improvement. Wanting to improve doesn’t mean I’m “not” something.

I also wrote about fitness, which will be part of my Musing Moment post, and again, just because I want to improve something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

I am fit. I am healthy, and just like with strength, typing that, accepting that aspect of myself, does not make me a bad person. It makes me more connected with my reality.

I guess I’m still getting used to myself. I’ve never been as fit or healthy or strong as I am in this moment, sitting in an Einstein’s with my coffee beside me because fuck you Starbucks. I’ve never been this “small”. I can fit into mediums now. It’s a weird feeling, one I’m still adjusting to, and I think accepting these terms, strong and fit, as part of myself is a step in the direction towards actual self-acceptance.

I am myself, and in this moment in my life, I am physically fit and healthy. In my past, I wasn’t. In my present, I am.

Once I finished writing, I paid my bill, packed up, then went to the store to do my grocery shopping. I spent over $100, but that was with replacing all of the things that I had to throw out, so overall I didn’t do too bad. I try to keep my weekly spending on food at $70.

When I got home I started putting stuff away and making my meals. One of my former classmates and I agreed to chat at 3:30 on Sunday, so while my chili was simmering her and I got to catch up. She told me how things were going at her clinic, how things went with the hurricane, and in general what she’s been up to with life, and I did the same.

It was good to talk to someone about work who legitimately understands because she has the same job. My brother can understand because he’s done medical, and a lot of the people in my life can sympathize, even empathize, but Mrs. G knows exactly what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and behind and stressed because she’s fighting on the same battlefield.

Talking to someone and having them share their own stories helped me feel better and more connected with reality. It’s not just me. I’m not alone in my feelings. Mrs. G is going through it, too.

It was a pretty long conversation, but I enjoyed it. We’re going to try to meet up again at some point. Not this weekend since she has a bunch of stuff going on, but hopefully soon.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the cooking and remaining chores I had. I’m most likely going to get rid of my vacuum cleaner since it doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. I’ve cleaned the filter and everything but it’s still leaving little fuzzies everywhere. Warren’s vacuum picked up everything that mine left behind so yeah, I’m most likely going to take it to Goodwill or something. It’s not broken, and it still works, just not as good as something we already have so why have two?

I had thought about cross stitching Sunday night but opted to write instead. I’m glad I wrote. It kept me up later than I most likely should have been, but it felt good. Really good.

And so here we are.

I still have Monday to write through, and then all of what will end up being today, but I feel mostly caught up and written out. I have training with L I need to get to in the next 40 minutes so I’m going to go. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but hopefully, it will be soon. I like feeling like I’m in the present rather than lingering days in the past or floating, swimming, drowning in a sea of “what the f is going on with my life?”.

Yesterday I talked to my boss. Today I train and find out about classes. Those are the key points and I’ll meditate on them further once I’m able to.

For now, it’s time to go be a badass and flip some tires.

Oh, and here’s some cuteness because I actually really did get a chance to doodle at work. :3

 

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 023: How to Mess Up a Drug Test

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I was going to write tonight, but I’m going to do it now instead. Before my bike ride. That way I can think over everything and process more clearly while enjoying the fantastic day.

So, yesterday…

Yesterday was decent. Productive-ish, though mildly annoying followed by this morning, which was really freaking annoying, which is why I need to do this now.

I started the day by taking the shirt back to Target. That was actually the easiest thing about my day. I simply exchange the shirt. I didn’t get additional ones. No muss. No fuss. Pretty much an in and out trip.

From there I went to FHCA to find out about my PCT program and my CPR certification because I STILL haven’t gotten that information yet. I was told three weeks-ish. Well… we’re at like, six or something. This is stupid. I’ve asked multiple times about this. I’ve been checking my spam folder. Just give me my freaking certification.

In the school’s defense, they’re not the ones issuing the license. We’re having to wait on the other company to process and release the information. Still… it’s frustrating.

Anywho…

Yeah. Went there to find out about those two things. The front desk associate is always super nice and knows me by name. She said most likely the company thought I took the CPR certification in conjunction with my PCT course and was holding the certification until my “graduation” date.

Well… since I didn’t take the class in conjunction with the PCT course I want my license now. Please.

She said she would reach out to the company for me.

I also informed her about my recent job offer and how due to being employed I wouldn’t be able to finish the PCT course. I asked if there was a way to change my contract to being just the EKG and phlebotomy classes.

She said based on the contract, since it was past the 40% mark that normally, no, we wouldn’t be able to change it. However, given the circumstances, she would ask her boss and get back to me about it.

I left with no more information than when I had originally gotten there, but I felt good that I had at least addressed the issues and would eventually, at some point, have more information to work with.

From there I went to kickboxing. I did really well. I stayed for the whole thing. I know I’ve talked about going there recently, but I guess I should say that I don’t normally stay for the whole class. I do the warm up and the boxing/kickboxing portion, but when we get to the last 15 minutes of core work and cool down I peace out. I’ll either shower because I need to be somewhere, or I go to the dojo later and want to not be 100% dead, or it’s a “light” day and I’m happy with the effort that I put in.

Yesterday I did the full hour, start to finish. Woo. Go me. That’s only because it’s randori at the dojo on Friday’s and so kickboxing was my only workout so it was all or nothing.

After showering at the gym I went and did my drug test. Filled out all the paperwork. I didn’t think it was possible to ask someone for their birthday that many times, but apparently it is.

I got called back. The guy was super nice. He explained everything to me and didn’t make it seem weird that I was going to basically be peeing into a cup for him. Medical stuff is so messed up when taken out of context…

Anyway, I messed up the drug test initially.

And I’m starting it off that way intentionally because I know the first thought is, “How did you mess up peeing into a cup?”

Well, from 25ish years of training, I flushed the toilet once I was done. And I say 25 instead of 28 because I’m sure the first few years of my life I didn’t have the ability to flush and/or use a toilet properly.

So yeah… when you do a drug test you can’t flush the toilet because they have to ensure you didn’t tamper with anything. And I did because I totally don’t remember him saying not to do that.

So even though it was the perfect sized specimen and everything, we couldn’t use it.

When asked if I could give another specimen, I also love how medical terms make things like peeing into a cup sound so scientific and important, I was like… but I just went… I highly doubt it.

I tried. It was Quantity Not Sufficient.

The guy had to call and inform HR that I had “Shy Bladder” and that the specimen was Quantity Not Sufficient. I had to stay for an extra two hours to give another specimen during which time I wasn’t allowed to do anything other than sit and stare at a clock which was still an hour behind from daylight saves.

Fun times…

Eventually, the process was successful. Hooray. I was finally allowed to leave and get food, something I hadn’t done after the gym because I figured the drug test would be quick and painless.

Worst idea ever. I was so hungry by the time I left I seriously wanted to chew on my steering wheel just so I could try to trick my stomach into thinking I was eating.

I went to Moe’s and got nachos. I figured it’s what mom and I would have done. She would have found it funny that I fucked up a drug test by being “too clean”.

I didn’t have much left to give when I got home even though it was pretty early. Like six-ish. I sleep for most of the night, waking up around 9 this morning since my phone died during the night and couldn’t wake me up at 7. I’m actually not all that heartbroken over it.

Which brings us to the annoyances of today.

It started with it being Saturday, the day after Friday, Warren’s pay day, and having no information about when to expect the $300 for rent. Since he’s still asleep right now there’s not much I can do about that point.

I had found out on Thursday about the issue with my phone still having $250 owed on it. I fired up the Verizon online chat because technology is amazing and totally supports my introversion. That took roughly an hour, during which time I was the one who found most of the information required through previous emails and Verizon bill statements, not the representative.

In the end, I was told I would need to call the Trade-In department on Monday to have the issue resolved. Was that an acceptable resolution?

Irrational Right Brain: Um… no. Not really. Because Monday I’m going to call and have to explain all of this all over again and I really just want you guys to figure out what got screwed up and fix it because this is some serious BS.

What I did say was that I was worried there would be more issues when I called on Monday.

He said that he had made all of the notations on my account documenting the issue so when I called the issue should be easily resolved. I guess the only way to find out will be to call on Monday. I already have an event on my calendar to do it after class so I can’t procrastinate on it. I have to do it. Google told me to.

After that issue got “resolved” I looked into my CNA test. I got that email at 7:18 pm last night. My test date is next Friday. I will not be ready for my test. Not with phlebotomy having a test that Thursday. Not with how I’ve been studying and taking the EKG class. I was told after fingerprints cleared I would have 30 to 90 days. I would be given a test date within that time frame. Not a week after their clearance.

I’m not confident in my ability to pass the written test, and I know, right now, I would fail hardcore if I got certain procedures. I haven’t made CNA a priority because it was in the future.

I can reschedule the test. That’s not a problem. If I do it before 5 business days there’s a $30 charge. Anything less than 5 days I have to pay the full $150.

I would like to reiterate how I got the email at 7:18 pm Friday. You know… after business hours, and how my test is for the following Friday. If they don’t count Monday as one of my business days then I have four days to reschedule my test.

Irrational Right Brain: Motherfucker, I am not paying the full fee.

I tried calling. It’s Saturday so their call center is closed. They have online chat available from 11 am to 3 pm. It’s 1:05. It’s still “unavailable”. I’ve tried going through all of the steps listed on the website but it takes me to a page which says nothing about rescheduling or canceling. Only about finding information for testing centers and study information.

I sent an email explaining my situation, how I wanted my email to count as my initial contact with the company in regards to my situation, and that I would call Monday for further clarification on the issues. I also said I appreciated their assistance and understanding.

So yeah…

Those are the four areas of my life I’m still trying to get figured out.

Rent payment
PCT program
Verizon bill
CNA testing

And all of those I have to wait on…

Arrawrrawrrawarrawr.

I’m not good at waiting. >.<;

Why can’t I just have the information I need to move forward with stuff? Why can’t things just get figured out? Or work how they’re supposed to?

I feel like thunking my head down onto my desk right now in frustration because it seems like any time I go to tackle a problem Life goes, “Hahaha, JK! LOLOL!”

It’s one of those moments where I want to go, “Fuck it. Life’s complicated. Time to be a dragon.”

Well, I’m already a dragon. I’m an earth dragon because the Chinese zodiac is awesome like that. So I guess the next best thing I can do is do laundry so I have a clean towel for once I’m done showering and go for a bike ride to finally enjoy a day in the sun.

I’ve done a lot of adulting today. I was going to say failed adulting, but I didn’t fail. Other people are slackers. I did my part. Now I have to wait for them to pick up the ball.

I have my list of things to do. Mostly cleaning stuff. But I’ve already done well today.

It’s the first. April 1st, 2017. Three more days until mom’s death day.

This past year was my Year of Survival.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this coming year to be. I’ve been meditating on it because I know it’s not something I can ask other people or find in a Google search. This has to come purely from me.

Survival was my most important task for last year. I’ve done that. I’ve done that really well and I believe that with every fiber of my being.

So if that’s taken care of, what’s my next most important task? What’s the most important thing to me right now?

I didn’t have an answer, but now I think I do.

This coming year will be my Year of Stability.

It’s going to be the year I focus on clearing out my debt, establishing myself in my new career, and solidifying myself at the dojo.

This will be my year of ensuring the foundation I have started making for myself settles properly.

I like the way it feels inside my head. It feels right.

I want to meditate further on it to make sure there isn’t another area I want to add to it. I know relationships are important to me, but I feel those are sort of like the flower bushes in front of a house. They’re pretty and they can be super important, but they’re not the foundation everything is built on. You can have pretty flowers and have a foundation that’s cracked and broken and unsafe.

I want my foundation, I want ME, to be solid and stable. I’ve survived. I’ve lived through almost all of the first year without mom. Three more days to go. I feel like I’ve done well. I feel like I’ve gone from being KOed to sitting, conscious, aware, still on the ground, still hurt and bruised from my hit, but I’m “with it”.

Now it’s time to start trying to stand up.

That’s what this coming year is going to be. My goal at the end of it will be living on my own.

In one year, next April 4th, I want my own place. A house. With a yard. With a garage or an extra room to be my makeshift dojo.

I don’t have to own it. I could be renting. But the big thing will be that it’s a house and that I don’t have a roommate. It will be me, mine, my space and no one else’s.

And with those frustrations purged, and those goals acknowledged, I’m going to go enjoy my day.

Daily Post 022: Potentially Productive

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Yesterday ended up being better than the past few days.

I had two successful procedures in class. That’s always a boost, and much better than the three missed attempts from the day before that I refused to put energy into feeling bad over. I had enough emotional discord to contend with without making myself feel shitty about missing hard veins.

I went to the dojo again yesterday. I’m starting to do something different with my workout calendar. Instead of pre-arranging my workouts and having them set up as reoccurring events, I’ve decided to delete all of my workouts.

I’m going to be manually adding them instead and only adding the ones I actually attend. That way I have an accurate view of my workout times rather than a bunch of events I didn’t actually attend.

I don’t think that’s going to affect my accountability. If anything I think it will make me more accountable because I want there to be some sort of workout event on each day. It doesn’t have to be the dojo. It could be running, or biking, or yoga, or even just going for a walk. As long as I do something I’ll be happy with my effort. Having the dojo schedule on my calendar made it a bit overwhelming at times and so my brain would skip over the events, or I would be slack because there were “other” events I could make it to, only to get to the end of my day without having gone at all.

I was becoming desensitized to the events since the information was so reoccurring, consistent, and essentially, meaningless. It’s there, every day, every week. It’s not special.

I’m hoping this change helps to make me more aware of my habits and to spur me into action during the days where the sadness is winning. I can’t let it win. If I do I won’t be able to add the event to my calendar and those events are important to me. More important than staying in my room feeling bad. I can feel bad at the dojo and still get something done.

Multi-tasking at its finest.

As I was leaving the dojo yesterday Paul told me I was doing a good job.

Having validation when I had wanted to stay home again was really nice.

It’s weird. It’s not like we’re super close or anything. He’s my instructor. We haven’t had any super deep, soul-bearing conversations. He demonstrates techniques, he watches everyone practice and spar and makes sure we’re getting the moves mostly right. I’ve only “known” him for, what, roughly five months? Maybe only four…

I started attending the dojo mid-November. Just before Thanksgiving. So yeah… not even five months.

Yet his praise means so much to me. Paul, Big Bad, my phlebotomy and nursing instructors… anytime they say something about how I’m doing well or doing a good job, it feels like true, genuine validation. It’s not just pretty words. They mean it, and because they mean it their words mean something deep and solidifying to me.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this dream or not, but I had a dream about mom not too long ago. Or rather, I had a dream and mom was in it.

I was driving and I was getting tired. There was a really long stretch of road ahead of me, sloping down, then going up and I couldn’t see the road over the hill but in my head, I knew it would go on for forever and I just wanted to stop. It was that feeling of overwhelming defeat where there is no end and it’s pointless to keep going and it would be so much easier to just stop and give up.

Mom was in the back seat of the car. I remember I couldn’t look at her because I was driving. I had to keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road, you know… so we didn’t crash and burn in a fantastic blaze of glory. I remember telling her, tears in my voice, that I was tired and asking if we could stop. It was the only thing I wanted. Could we please just stop for a little bit?

I remember her voice. I remember her saying, “We’re almost there.”

I remember her saying that in real life. I remember all the times I was working on projects that I wanted to give up on and she would say it was almost done and to tough it out a little bit longer. She always had a way of saying it, a tone, a voice, that made me hold on for just that little bit of extra time to see something to the end.

I feel like that’s what this is. I keep trying, even when I get to what feels like the end of what I have to give, and things keep happening. Working. Coming together and solidifying into a platform where I can stop and rest and recover.

It’s nice to know I won’t have to worry about getting a paycheck though I may still have to worry about finances. I guess that really depends on if Warren continues to hold up his end of our agreement. But I can at least tell my brothers and friends that I have a job. They don’t have to worry about me as much. It’s a good feeling.

It seems like my problems are narrowing down and I’ll be able to start focusing on things with more laser precision rather than trying to shotgun my attention on everything.

Once my onboarding process is complete and I begin working in April my goal will be paying off the credit card. Currently, my goal is completely phlebotomy and gearing up for work. I want to wrap up tasks and make sure I’m in a good spot.

I know I’m breathing easier. I don’t have the tightness in my chest of, “How am I going to figure this out?”

I don’t know if I figured it out so much as the Universe aligned the way it was supposed to. All I did was apply over and over and over and over until finally, something stuck.

I don’t know if that’s divine intervention.

I would like to think that mom knew it would work out and that she helped me hold on just like she would have if she were still alive.

I do think this is going to be a career that will be fulfilling. It has the patient interaction I wanted. More so than what the hospital would have had. More than what the Central Service Tech position would have had. It seems like there will be opportunities for me here, and I think I can work it out to still make it to the dojo consistently. That is still yet to be seen, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

I’m NOT giving up the dojo. I told Warren the other night, I would sacrifice my food budget before I gave in on my dojo membership, which may be counterproductive because without food I can’t really go to the dojo, but in my head at least I would starve to death mostly happy. Maybe content is a better word. I would starve to death in contentment knowing that I didn’t give up myself.

Today I go and have my drug test done. That’s the last process, that I know of, for onboarding. I’ve filled out all of the other forms and watched the welcome video.

Big Bad and I ended up having impromptu cuddles last night. I happened to message him as I was leaving the dojo. Nothing special. Just saying I hoped he had a good day.

He replied with how his day had been good and how he missed me. I said I missed him too and that cuddles would be amazing because they would have been. I had wanted to see him the day before, but I don’t know if it really would have been a good idea to see him in the middle of a grief wave. Somehow I don’t think it would have been the best idea. Even though I wanted human contact I think having alone time was better for me.

Yesterday was emotionally better, though, and when Big Bad said he would enjoy cuddling as well we made plans to spend the evening together after I had showered because holy crap did NoGi kick my ass. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the technique we learned. It gives me more options for getting out of closed guard, but god does it feel like my arms want to fall off right now…

Anyway, I’m rambling.

I picked up more microfiber shirts this morning since I only owned two. When I first started going to the dojo it was annoying not having enough shirts to get me through the week. More so when I started going to the dojo three and four times a week for multiple classes a day. There was no way to re-wear a shirt, but I needed a shirt to go over my workout top.

Then the holiday season hit and I was out of town more often than not so the lack of shirts wasn’t really an issue.

Now I’m getting back into the swing of it and the lack of shirts is hindering my workouts again…

Well… Fuck that shit.

I deserve my workouts. I want my workouts, and I sure as hell am not going to let something like laundry keep me from having them.

So this morning has already started with my “frog”. The one task that I’ve been avoiding for the past two weeks. A trip to Walmart. When I say I would rather be punched in the face than to go to Walmart it’s not much of an exaggeration.

I sort of tried other options. I looked online but I want to touch the shirts before I buy them. Target sucked and didn’t have what I wanted. Ross didn’t either. So, since Big Bad lives close to the only Walmart near me, I decided to go there before going home this morning.

It actually wasn’t a super horrible trip. Going there at 7 am most likely had a lot to do with that. I got four microfiber shirts, so now I have six in total. That will do fine for me I think. Maybe, eventually, I’ll get two more because odd numbers are weird.

Things have to go in pairs. It’s a rule in my brain. I know it’s weird. I’ve learned to just go with it… It’s easier and less sandpapery that way.

The other day I got three more of the tank tops from Target since I was there doing failed recon for the microfiber shirts. I got a deep army green tank top, which I actually like way more than I thought I would, and a dark purple tank top. I also got a light green color but I’m going to return it. Even when I bought it I had the feeling that I wouldn’t wear it all that much. I would rather return it and get another purple or green. What will most likely happen is I’ll return the light green, get a dark green, then get two more, one purple and one more black, since that whole pair thing has to happen.

Two green, two purple, four black. Seems good in my book.

I know I’ll most likely end up getting new workout tops to go under my scrubs for work. But that’s going to be my “first paycheck” thing. So it’s still a month or so off. For that I’ll go to the sporting goods store and try on a size smaller, just to make sure it fits before ordering online. It helps that I already know what I want and am looking for specifically. That “should” make the process fairly quick and painless.

I need to go to my school today and talk to them about switching my program. That’s another thing I’ve sort of halfway been avoiding. Since I got the job offer I won’t be able to finish the final course of the PCT program, but that should be ok. I’m hoping we can switch my paperwork to be just the EKG and phlebotomy classes. Only one way to find out in that regard.

Blarg… so much talking to people because socializing doesn’t end there…

I need to call Verizon customer support as well. I went to the store yesterday to cancel Zane’s line. While I was there I found out I owe $250 on my phone, which is BS because the whole reason I got my phone was because they were supposed to give me a full $600 on my trade in. So… I’m missing something like $200 in credit towards my account.

Words cannot begin to express the annoyance of having to call, yet again, to figure out why this trade in is F’ed up. I’m looking forward to switching back to MetroPCS. $50 a month for unlimited everything and I’ve never had a shitty experience with them messing something up. Soon… So soon.

Until then, yeah, that’s $250 I want explained to me.

Alright, enough stalling I guess. Time to shower then head out into the world.

I don’t know how the day is going to go. I feel slightly above baseline. Not super crazy positive, but not depressed either. It’s a warm-ish nuetral though I don’t think “warm” is the right word. I’m room-temp. Yeah… room-temp neutral.

I think today will be a productive day. Not necessarily “good” in the normal sense, but I’m ok with productive. Productive is good.