Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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I tried writing the other day, but it was in the middle of a pretty bad thunderstorm. About two paragraphs in the power cut out, my computer restarted, and the internet didn’t want to play nice anymore. I figured that was a pretty clear sign to go to sleep.

Writing has been on my mind a lot lately. More accurately, my lack of writing. I get to the end of my day and I’m tired. I have to be up early the next day so it’s a better option to sleep. Other times I don’t want to take the time to go through the stuff in my head because I know it’s going to be a long and more than likely painful process leading to personal growth/realization.

Well, today is a day off. I don’t have a lot going on and I really don’t have an excuse to not sit down and do this… so I’m doing this.

Work is going well. And I’m conscious of the fact that I start this reflection off with work rather than my relationships or personal life. It seems so natural. I start with my mission.  My sense of purpose. The thing I’m doing to be helpful, useful, and productive to society. I’ve always loved work, and even though I enjoyed my year of unemployment, I’m glad to be working again. I’m glad I’ve found something that makes me feel fulfilled in this way.

Waking up at 2 and 3 in the morning is getting easier. I’m finding ways to make it work for me. I’ve made friends with the gas station attendants at the Wawa I stop at for breakfast and coffee. It’s a nice start to my day, and I’m not going to lie, using the app is pretty nifty.

The days at work aren’t as physically and mentally brutal as what my first week was. I’m finding my flow. All of the tasks I need to do aren’t as overwhelming. I am familiar with more of the patients. I have favorites who always make me smile and who smile when they see me. One of them calls me “Nurse Jen” even though I’m only a PCT. It’s cute. It makes me feel warm and like I belong.

One of my patients got a kidney transplant. I found that out yesterday. Last week one of our patients died at home due to a heart attack. I didn’t know her very well but I remember being introduced to her. It was sobering. Eventually, one of the patients I’m familiar with will die and that day will be hard for me. I don’t know how I’ll handle it. I don’t know if it will stir up the grief from mom dying, but I know eventually that day will come and I know my team will be supportive of me and help me through it.

There’s a girl at my clinic who I call “Academic Dishonesty”. I think I’ve written about her a few times, though I honestly can’t recall and I’m not going to go back through my writings to find out. I shadowed with her and she was in my training class. She was supposed to work at a different location but ended up getting transferred to my clinic. No one on the team is happy about it. They don’t care for her and she’s pretty much pissed everyone off one way or another.

The reason for her nickname is because while she was on the floor, in front of patients, she mentioned how she had forgotten about a test she needed to take for her online class. She had her boyfriend take it for her and she was mad at him for not scoring high enough and costing her the President’s scholarship she had.

… I mean… That’s like saying you convinced someone to rob a bank for you but you’re pissed because they didn’t steal enough money…

Having been a student, and a teacher, I can’t respect someone like that. There are other instances involving patients that bother me and I’ve spoken out about them. She went from being full time to part time, so I only see her every other week. I guess now she’s being changed to per deim. I know one of the patients spoke to the FA about her. I don’t think she’s going to stay for very long.

I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I hope she finds something else or that she leaves because she wants to focus more on school. I don’t think she’s the right fit for dialysis or the team. Anyone who is comfortable lying and cheating like that isn’t a person I want to be associated with.

That’s really the only hardship I have with work. Ms. Academic Dishonesty, and I hardly ever see her. The rest of it is finding my own pace for things and I’m getting better with that. Yesterday was the smoothest, least stressful day I’ve had so far.

I found out that I’m going to be back paid since I wasn’t given the dollar increase I was promised. That was supposed to happen when I passed my certification, which, surprise if I haven’t written about it, I passed and am now certified through DaVita. In about six months I will need to take another test to become nationally certified, but that’s still a little ways away and so for the moment, I’m going to continue to focus on finding my balance.

There are other things I need to be trained on, like how to mix bicarb and acid for the dialysate and how to clean catheters, but catheter care is still about four months off, and there’s no rush for me to do the water training. I think they’re going to wait on that for a bit, too, which I’m ok with. I feel like I’m catching my breath from being through into the deep end. I’m no longer drowning. I’m treading water. I want to recover a bit more before I try swimming.

My FA asked me what I wanted to work; a lot of hours or fewer hours? I told him honestly I didn’t know. These past two or three weeks have been my first weeks on my own and I’m only now starting to feel stable. I think I want to keep it down to two days in a row at most. Last week I had to work three days in a row and that was pretty rough. I did it. I could have done a fourth, but it wasn’t fun and I would rather not do it again for a little bit. Three of my teammates went on vacation at the same time which is why the schedule got sort of screwy. Doesn’t help with trying to establish a baseline for how a “normal” week will feel.

So really, I think the only thing I need with work is time. I’m doing well and I do find my job extremely fulfilling. I don’t know if I’ll be there for forever, but I’m happy with being there for right now. I get to play in the stock room organizing things on my breaks. The patient schedule is getting ready to change due to new CMS regulations and we’re trying to petition to be moved to a newer, better building. I think there’s a lot of potential for me here and I would like to stay with it for a little while to see where it takes me.

Big Bad and I are doing well. We were able to see each other Sunday evening. His mom is in the hospital again but should be released later today. She started having chest pain and shortness of breath at 3 am on Saturday. Big Bad couldn’t remember exactly what the doctor called it. He said he thought it was arterial fibrillation but I’m pretty sure it was an arterial flutter, which is bad, but not as bad as fibrillation.

I didn’t stay the night since I had work the next morning, but it was nice to have sexy time along with the quiet time of cuddling and feeling connected to something other than work. For all that I’m around people my moments with Big Bad are the few moments where I’m actually touched or hugged.

We’ve been able to see each other mostly weekly which has been nice. We decided not to see each other last night since we had time together Sunday. I would have been bummed but we decided to spend the evening together Thursday instead. I have Friday off so it works out pretty well for us and it means I don’t have to go a whole week before my next hug. We’ll even be able to do coffee together. I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve seen my blacksmith a few times as well. It’s been incredible. He was in a car accident one of the evenings we were supposed to meet. He’s ok and no one was hurt. They kept him at the hospital for a while to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong. He’s had family in town and is back to working doubles at work. With my schedule being the way it is and his changing, I think Saturday evenings are going to be our times together. He’s trying to get a DnD group together which could prove to be fun. That’s still in the works but it’s something to potentially look forward to.

Warren and I are doing alright. Still not thrilled to have to have a roommate, but things are a bit better. He takes a few days to do chores but they do eventually get done. He swept yesterday and when I came home the trash had been taken out. Hooray. I’m still waiting to get a rent payment from him. I might ask him about it later since he said he would pay me on Friday. Well… It’s Tuesday… Blarg. At least he’s been paying the full amounts when he does pay.

We’ve broached the subject of the lease and how we’re going to pay for things this coming year. That’s still tentative and nebulous, which I extremely dislike, but there’s not much we can do about it at the moment. The lease is up October 19th. I won’t be able to pay for a year in full again. We’ll most likely switch over to monthly payments where I pay with the credit card that way we don’t have to worry about having to pool a large sum of money together all at once. I can make multiple payments on the card and keep the balance down.

Warren’s new job is going well. He’s out of training. In a few months, he’ll be eligible for bonuses as well as a raise. He’ll be eligible for moving up to assisting with OS issues as well which will be another raise if he gets picked for that promotion. That would help out significantly. A two dollar raise with bonuses. Yes, please.

He’s recently been hanging out and being social with people. He’s picked up the hobby of paddle boarding which gets him out of the house. I can tell he’s dropped a lot of weight. He seems happier and more energetic.

One of the girls he was chatting with was interested in all of the things I do. I guess Warren was telling her about me being a badass with jiu-jitsu and Muay Thia. I ended up meeting her for dinner and we got along pretty well. She went to a kickboxing class with me at Title Club and enjoyed it so much she got a membership. That meant I got a free month. Totally had no idea about the referral thing so that was a pretty nice surprise.

She and I have gone to a few other classes together. We have plans to do boxing tonight at 7:30. She reminds me of me a few years ago. She’s just starting out on trying to get healthier. I think eventually she’ll want to try going to the dojo, but for right now I think she’s doing things right. Taking it slow and figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like and what her limits are.

I haven’t been to the dojo in a while, but that’s because I’ve been waiting for my arms to heal.

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

I got tattoos on my upper biceps and rolling around on the ground with sweaty hands gripping my arms didn’t sound all that hygienic so I’ve been going to Title Club a lot and doing bag work.

Big Bad went with me for the first tattoo on my right arm. I was alone for the second one. Originally my brother was going to be with me but that ended up falling through. I think it was better that way. In the end, I took care of a lot of things alone. I flew with mom’s ashes alone. I drove to my grandparent’s grave with her urn alone. I stayed in the hospital at night with her alone. There were a lot of moments where it was just me and her, me and mom, and so I think it was fitting that I ended the tattoos for her with her, alone.

Overall I think they turned out well. There’s some touch-up work I want done. Now that they’re mostly healed I think the runes in the center need to be a darker red. The ink looked good in the bottle but with my skin tone, it seems pinker. I liked the darker red of when it was scabbed over with blood.

The bands going around the under side of my arm was the hardest part. My triceps bruised all the way down to my elbow. I’m still waiting for the bruise on my left arm to fully go away. The bruises didn’t hurt and were extremely shallow but yeah, you could definitely tell my arms were pissed with me.

The scabs are almost fully healed. There are only a few spots left where the skin needs to flack. I’m thinking I’ll be able to go back to the dojo next week.

One of the realizations I had this morning happened while I was talking to Warren’s friend. I told her how I had training at the gym today along with our plans for boxing in the evening. Somehow through the conversation, it came up that I might have a second cup of coffee since I was being a slacker today.

She asked how I was being a slacker when I had plans for the gym.

That’s when I realized that my definition for “slacker” has changed.

I don’t honestly feel like a slacker, but I am taking it easy today. Easy… when I have roughly 2 hours of intense activity scheduled…

What I don’t have planned is nineteen million other things to go along with those two hours. I don’t have 12 hours of work where I walk six miles while staying in the same room. I don’t have chores or errands. I don’t have projects. I don’t have social obligations.

I have a fairly quiet day, on my own, where I get to enjoy not one, but two cups of coffee while I sit on my couch until noon in my pjs. I don’t have cooking I need to do because it’s already done for the week. I might do laundry, but that’s only because I don’t want to have to do it tomorrow night after work.

I did order more scrubs over the weekend. The ones for work still haven’t come in, which is frustrating, but even if they had, I wouldn’t like wearing them as much as the ones I went out and bought myself. So, last weekend I went to Uniform City and ordered two more sets of the ones I like. That way I’ll be able to make it through four shifts without having to worry about doing laundry on top of getting enough sleep. It seemed like a good investment especially since I like them so much.

But yeah, currently I’m scheduled to work Wednesday and Thursday and I only have one set of clean scrubs… lame. So laundry will most likely happen. It would be one less stressor to worry about.

I haven’t had a legitimate “rest” day is about two weeks. My “rest” days are now my long days at work where I walk about 7 or 8 miles. On my light days at work, where I only walk about 6, I usually get off early enough to still make it to a class, so I go.

I haven’t felt burnt out, it’s been helping me sleep more deeply, and it keeps my muscles from getting too sore or stiff. I think I’ve been pretty good about gauging my body and understanding when I need to stop. Sometimes I only stay for 30 minutes of a class, other times I stay for the whole thing. Sometimes I push hard. Sometimes it’s a lighter workout.

I’ve been consciously focusing on my water intake as well. I drink at least one bottle of water every time I go on break at work. I drink at least two, sometimes three, when I work out. I make sure at least one bottle is a Gatorade to help with electrolytes. I haven’t had any headaches, but there have been a few days where I’ve run “warm”. I feel hot like I’m overheating, but after some fluids, I’m better.

I’m too active to not keep up with what my body needs. So far I think I’m doing pretty ok.

I got new gloves and I love them. For all of you with a fetish for sexy black gloves… you’re welcome.

 

They’re fingerless sparring gloves from Venum. They’re holding up extremely well. I can throw punches harder without destroying my knuckles and still have my fingers free from gripping. If / when I replace them I might go down a size, but at the moment I’m extremely pleased.

I’m thinking about getting new shin guards next. I know I just got a new pair around Novemeber but I can definitely feel how they’re too large for me now that they’re pretty broken in. I gave my old gloves and wraps to K, Warren’s friend who I’ve corrupted to the way of beating things. I might give her my shin guards when I replace them since she’s taller than I am, which is odd for me because at 5 ft 8in not many people are taller.

That will be a month or so down the line when it happens. I would say “if”, but I know I’m going to replace them, so it seems silly to try to deny the fact that I’m eventually going to spend the money.

I recently upgraded all of my gear, actually. New compression shorts and shirts. I got the shirts right before my tattoos so they haven’t seen much action yet. I’ve been wearing only my cover shirts since the sleeves are looser and don’t agitate the skin as much.

I’m starting to see more definition in my abdomen. I try not to think about results all that much but it was nice being in smaller sizes when I upgraded my gear.

The Shefit bras are still doing amazing. So amazing in fact that I got ones for work as well.

I did spend a fair amount of money but I’m ok with it. It’s keeping me going, both work and workout wise. I feel like I’m investing in myself rather than splurging for no reason.

I still have a ways to go, but I’m in a much different position in my life than what I was last year or when I started this journey I didn’t know I was on. I like where I’m at. I’m getting comfortable with this new me. The me where two hours is something I look forward to. It’s a reward. My “me” time. It’s an understood part of my day, not something I have to convince myself to go do.

Mother Earth and I are supposed to meet on Sunday. I’m not really sure what else to write about that. I had been going through my Facebook messages, deleting old ones I no longer wanted to keep. I found messages from her and Josh, messages from when mom first died and they had reached out to me.

I didn’t know what to do with those messages. Keeping them hurts, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let them go either. I messaged Sir explaining my feelings and asked him to let Mother Earth and Josh know that I miss them.

I try to live my life as if it’s my only day alive. If I were to not wake up would I have died with unfinished business, unspoken words? Would I be ok with things being left as they are or is there closure that needs to happen?

This was one of those things where I wouldn’t be ok with leaving it as it is. I needed them to know I missed them. If I were to die, at least they would know I still cared.

He said he would work it into the conversation for me. I was ok with that. I wasn’t trying to bridge a gap. I wasn’t trying for anything other than having peace of mind.

I got a message from Mother Earth a few days later. We started touching on the subject of our separation. She said she would rather meet in person to talk about it because she didn’t want to cause me more pain. I said it was a painful situation. She accused me of trying to steal her husband. She said her and Josh would always be “home” for me and then exiled me through text messages. There’s no way for this to not be a painful situation.

I still feel abandoned. I still feel wounded. I think there’s a lot that’s gone on or that was said that I don’t know about. All I know is my side, but, from my side, mom had just died and two of my closest friends cast me out. I don’t know how to recover from that.

Life doesn’t go backward. We’ll never be able to be where we were a year ago. I’ll never be able to trust or be open like I was before this hurt. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to try for a sexual experience again. I think it will always have that “unsafe” warning flag. Even if we hang out and drink and there’s the “harmless kissing a girl” thing going on, I don’t think I’ll ever give into it because for me it wouldn’t be “harmless”. It will bring up all of these emotions and memories.

In my head, they’re no longer the “safe” people they were. They can be friends, but there will always be a distance there from having been pushed away. I can come back but only to arm’s length.

I don’t even know if they want me to be their friend. I don’t know what this meeting is going to be like. I’m hoping it’s a decent meeting. We’re meeting at a restaurant so I’m assuming it won’t be a screaming match. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be able to eat. Even thinking about it gives me anxiety. I don’t know where I stand with her. I don’t know if this is a meeting for her to tell me to fuck off to my face.

Logically I know that would be really silly. She could do that over text messages again and save both of us the gas and time. But the injured part of me, the one focused on self-preservation and not being hurt again, is worried and because I’m worried eating food sounds like an impossible task.

We haven’t spoken since arranging the meeting. I’m trying to not think about it because there’s really nothing to be done until Sunday so fretting over it is a waste of energy. I would rather enjoy my day off than play the “what if” game. Whatever happens, happens. It would be nice to have some sense of closure.

There’s still the money that is owed to me by both her and Sir. I know both of their situations have improved. It would be nice to have that money back. It would make October less scary. It would be a way to show that I still matter. That promises mean something and are still worth keeping.

Things are going well for Jon. I had a dream the other night that I was at home. I think I knew mom was dead, or that she “wasn’t there” anymore. I was walking from the garage, through the kitchen, down the hallway back to my room. It was darkish though I could still see well enough to know where I was going.

As I passed the door to Jon’s room I got a sense of foreboding. It was like something was in there and I shouldn’t turn my back on it. I had to watch this doorway to darkness because something bad was inside it and if I looked away it would get me.

I woke up feeling uneasy. I turned my bathroom light on for a little bit until it got annoying enough for me to turn it off and go back to sleep.

I called Jon last night after kickboxing and asked him if we were ok. I said I knew it was a weird, out of the blue question and explained my dream to him. He said we were fine and he was sorry about my dream. It was good to hear his voice and to have the reassurance that we’re ok. I’m sure we’ll fight about something eventually. I mean, after all, we’re brother and sister, it’s part of our genetics to fight. But for now, things are good between us.

He’s on summer vacation from school so he’s been playing World of Warcraft a lot and teaching guard camps for marching band. He’s having his own roommate issues, but I think they should be fixed in October assuming he can last that long.

I got my breaks replaced on my car. It’s the first “major” expense I’ve had with it other than getting new tires. The struts need to be changed eventually but those aren’t an immediate concern. I’m able to plan for it a bit and work it into my financial schedule/goals.

I like the place I go to for car service. They’ve always treated me extremely well. Because I ended up having to wait so long for my breaks to get fixed I got a half off oil change with a coupon for another 1/2 price oil change. I would have liked having those three hours of my life back, but they tried to make it better with some form of compensation. They could have done nothing.

Scarlet is doing ok. Still annoying as ever with her whole meowing thing any time there’s running water. She’s been curling up with me at night again which is nice. For a while, she was sleeping in the closet for whatever reason.

I think that’s about it for the moment.

I know I need to meditate about mom, about the tattoos. I haven’t done that. I know there’s pain I need to work through and find balance with in regards to accepting the end to that chapter.

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

It’s not the end of MY story, which I guess is why it hurts.

I’m alive. I’m not dead. I still wake up. I still do things and move forward and achieve and fail. I still have things I want to talk about and share.

I’m still here and because I’m still here I feel that pain. I feel that loss. I feel the absence and the void. I feel that end and it sucks because it’s not MY end. It’s not where I wanted it to end.

I’m glad I have the tattoos. They’re heavy, but they remind me that she was real. That she lived. That she influenced my life and made me a better person. I’m glad that I have a way to permanently show the world that I mourn for her.

My tattoos aren’t like her ring or my necklace, things I have to take off when I train. My tattoos are always with me. Unlike the emotional wounds, my tattoos are visible. They remind me of what I’ve been through. They remind me of what I’ve survived.

I’m strong. I’m the matriarch of my family. I’m my mother’s daughter. I’ve made it this far. I’ve told Life over and over again to go fuck itself this past year. I’ve made things work. I’ve taken step after agonizing, inching step forward because I promised I would.

No one can take that away from me. No one can remove my tattoos or take away the insight and knowledge I have gained through the experiences I’ve had. No one can take away my self.

That’s why I got the tattoos I did. The runes are what my mom gave me and no one can take that away. Not Life. Not Death. Not Stress or Doubt, or any of the other countless personified things I struggle with.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

 

Daily Post 041: Not Much To Report

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As the title says, there’s not much to report today, which is good because it’s already 9 pm.

I slept most of today. Normally I would feel like a slacker for that, but surprisingly I’m ok with it. All my meal prep was done. I did laundry so I have clean clothes for the remainder of the week. Nothing else really “needed” to be done, so instead, I caught up on resting.

I did go to spin class today. The Shefit bras are still living up to my expectations. I could tell my body was tired from kickboxing because I was putting more weight on the handlebars of the bike. I’m glad I stayed for the whole class, and I feel like I did well. I guess this is more of an awareness that I am only a human who does need time to recover.

I met a woman in the locker room who commented on my purple hair. It led to a really awesome conversation and left me feeling connected with the world. Hopefully, we see each other again at some point.

L created a “workout” calendar for me. Too bad I don’t know what my work schedule is so I can’t promise to actually adhere to that particular calendar. I already have an idea of what I want to do anyway, so I’m most likely an annoying client in some regards. I appreciated her taking the time to create something for me. It gives us a starting point that can always be modified as needed.

She’s going out of town for a few weeks which is another reason she wanted me to have the calendar. L created a couple of workouts she wants me to do while she’s away. I think I’m going to swap some of the excersies out for tire flipping and box jumping. Those are fun and things I am comfortable doing on my own.

Tomorrow is an early day. I’m not going to start off at the gym. I’m going to try to sleep more and go straight to work instead. Depending on how I feel afterward I might go to the gym to row, maybe run. Sitting in the sauna would be nice. I do think it will need to be a lighter day, especially if work is intense. Well, really, regardless of what work is like. I’ve done three intense days in a row and I have plans for kayaking Saturday and a body conditioning class with my brother on Sunday. I  need a break or  I won’t be able to survive the weekend.

My blacksmith and I have tentative plans to see each other tomorrow night. I hope it works out. We had to cancel our plans Wednesday night. I guess his work is being annoying.

I still don’t know my schedule for next week. That’s a bit frustrating. With luck they will let me know tomorrow otherwise I won’t know when to come in…

I still need to ask to have Saturday off. I know that will put me short a few hours but I would rather be short and go kayaking with Big Bad before starting my first official week out of training.

Other than that, I figured out the issue with the gym payment. Since Warren and I are on the same account they were billing him for both his membership and my membership. When I checked in before the spin class I added my card to the account so there shouldn’t be further issues. I also spent about an hour talking to a friend / former student. That’s the main reason for being a bit behind tonight, but I had that phone call scheduled for about a week, so really I did it to myself.

Anyway, since that’s all the excitement of today I’m going to finish my tea and shower so I can try to get about 5ish hours of sleep.

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 039: At Least I Got This In

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I just got done having a wonderful dinner with Nicole. Breakfast for dinner can never be a bad thing.

We chatted for about two hours which is why I’m late getting to this, which is going to be why I’m late getting to bed, but I’m not backing out of the gym at 2 am. I’m going to go even if it sucks.

Before I go off on a tangent with that…

I passed my certification test on Monday. Woo. Three of my classmates failed but they get another shot at it. We may try to do a study group. It depends on when they get scheduled for the retake.

This is my final week of training. Tomorrow I get to sign up for my days since the new schedule is being created. Here’s hoping I get Tuesdays off like I want.

Big Bad and I had a fantastic evening together last night.

I went out and got something sexy to wear. It’s odd. I’ve never been able to fit into things like what I got yesterday. I was always too big. So when I found an outfit I liked I had mixed feelings about it only being available in a 3x. On one hand, it’s awesome that I fit into XLs now. On the other hand, I really wanted that outfit…

I don’t want to go back to being how I was. I like how I feel stronger and healthier. I’m still not where I want to be, but I liked the way I looked in the mirror. I liked being able to try on different things and actually feeling sexy and attractive. This is still my body, but it’s changed so much in the past months, over the past year. It still has a foreign feel to it sometimes. It’s like I have to learn how to be a smaller, stronger me.

Sexy time started pretty much as soon as the door was closed. I enjoyed it and we’ll leave it detached and objective like that otherwise I’m likely to write six pages about how mindblowing and amazing it was. I would say not getting to spend much time together factored into it, but the sex has always been intense with Big Bad so I’m not sure how much of a factor it really was.

I enjoyed the cuddles afterward. I loved how he pulled me close on his own accord. I loved finally being able to hear his heartbeat again. I loved being surrounded by his warmth and scent and hearing his breathing deepen as he fell asleep. I loved being woken up by his alarm and snuggling into his side of the bed when he got up this morning. Most of all I loved being woken up a few hours later to a breakfast of bagels and coffee where we got to talk about some of the things that have happened in our lives during the past weeks.

It was absolutely amazing and everything I was hoping it would be. I feel so much more connected and grounded. I’m tired at the moment, but it’s not a suffocation feeling I’ve been fighting for weeks.

As we were saying our goodbyes this morning we made tentative plans for kayaking and pizza dinner on Saturday. Even if we don’t do kayaking I’m pretty sure we’ll spend one of the evenings together this weekend.

I spent most of the day enjoying my time off since I didn’t have to go into work. I got all of my meal prep done over the course of the day, but that was about it as far as chores go.

I went to the gym for my training session. I was supposed to have it Monday but opted to sleep more instead since I didn’t want to be exhausted for my test. I didn’t sleep much Sunday night which was lame.

My trainer wants to increase the intensity of my workouts since she feels I can handle it. I guess flipping  175-pound tires isn’t intense enough… She also wants me to keep coming to her spin classes along with doing at least two days at the dojo each week. That’s four days on. She wants me to do the fifth day of lighter, more recovery based, cardio. Yoga is another potential option.

But yeah… five days…

I guess that brings me to what I really want to write about but don’t really have time to at the moment.

I need to reaffirm my dedication to my fitness goals and to the dojo. Work isn’t going to make anything easy. I knew that going in. So now that things are settling down and I’ll have my schedule for the next month and a half, I need to find a routine or pattern for my workouts.

I spent Friday and Sunday buying new gear since all of my stuff was too big. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. I’m supposed to be saving money and getting my credit card paid off before October. However, when you start chaffing on your breasts because your tops don’t fit properly anymore it’s sort of hard to justify not spending the money.

Don’t spend the money and cause myself literal bodily harm, or spend the money and keep doing the things that bring my fulfillment…

I have new compression shorts and shirts. I’m waiting for sports bras to come in. They should be here tomorrow. I’m trying the SheFit bras since they seem to have pretty awesome reviews and will adjust with me as my size continues to change.

I also want to get a pair of fingerless boxing gloves from Venum. Maybe that can be my reward for passing my exam. The new gear was for dropping 10% in body fat. Gloves for kicking ass these past two months of training for work and passing my test.

There’s more to write about. A lot more. There’s more to meditate on, too, but at least I wrote something tonight. I’m happy with getting through as much as I have. Hopefully, I’m able to sleep well enough to get to the gym in the morning.

Daily Post 038: These Seem To Be Turning Into Weekly Posts…

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I guess now’s a good a time as any to write. It’s almost 10 pm. I “should” have been asleep a few hours ago since I wake up at 3 am for work, but eh… I’ll be ok. I would rather do this. It’s better to do it rather than toss and turn in bed all night thinking about writing.

I don’t remember the last thing I wrote about, to be honest. I suppose I could go back and read my last post. I’m pretty sure I mentioned the concert with Big Bad. I don’t think I talked much about it. That was the last time I’ve seen him. Conflicting schedules suck.

The concert was a lot of fun. I think we both needed the break from reality. I drove there, roughly two hours, through what seemed like never ending rain. Big Bad drove back which was unbelievably nice. I tend to get headaches when I have to drive at night. Instead, I got to rest and actually slept part of the way back.

So I’m going on two weeks of not seeing him. During those two weeks, his mom was hospitalized. I don’t know much as far as details go. I know she was discharged so everything must be relatively ok. I know Big Bad is worried about her living alone. I’m not sure if that’s going to change in the near future or not. I’m sure it’s something we’ll talk about when we see each other again, which thankfully should be soon.

I am scheduled off on Tuesday so we have plans to spend Monday evening together. Our schedules finally line up to have a weekend off together so we may try to make plans for Friday night / Saturday. I’m not sure yet, but it would be unbelievably nice to see him twice in one week again.

It’s something I talked about in therapy today. I finally scheduled another session. It’s been close to two months. I mentioned during the session how I probably should have scheduled one sooner with how I’ve been feeling lately. It was nice to have a session where I felt ok for once though, rather than an emotional ball of sadness and grief.

I mentioned my sickness and my trip to the ER and how it was hard being there. How it reminded me of the surgery floor and waiting with mom for her to be taken back. I talked about how I had to have a CT scan done and how I finally knew what it felt like for mom to be in the room by herself inside of the machine and to have to wait for test results. I know what it’s like to be a patient and to be pushed around in a bed and wheelchair.

It sucked having to go through those emotions, but in a way, I’m glad I did.

My therapist mentioned at the end that she can tell there’s been a lot of growth within me during these past two months of my training. She asked if I understood that my grief and the sadness will continue to come in waves. I said I did, but this was the first time where it seemed to stay. It wasn’t as fierce as before, but it seemed to last longer. Like a calm sea that stretched on for forever. Nothing was really wrong, but there wasn’t an end. No change. No reprieve. Just this constant sadness and apathy that made everything feel pointless.

I explained how it was comforting to be out of it because it showed me that even if that state, those feelings, last for a while, they will eventually change. I’ll go back to being ok even though I’m not really “un-ok” when I’m sad. It’s just a different state and I guess a natural one I’ll have to swing through from time to time now that mom’s gone.

I don’t really know what else to write about.

I’ve been feeling better recently. Monday was more mind-numbing power point slides. I survived. That was the last day as far as lecture material goes. Woohoo.

Tuesday was a fantastic day. I had three patients on my own. I initiated and terminated their treatments by myself AND handled all of the documentation within the timeframe I was given. Go me. Totally improved by leaps and bounds compared to last week where I was able to do the treatments but couldn’t keep up with the documentation.

Theoretically, if I had a fourth patient, like what I’ll have once I’m on my own, I would have been able to handle it with the time I had. That’s reassuring. It means even though I’m still a little nervous and could be doing better in the confidence department, that I really am doing well and that I really do “got this”.

I was supposed to work Wednesday but opted to trade days so I’ve had Wednesday and Thursday, today, off. It’s been a glorious two days. I think I needed these days. I needed the time to step back and breathe and exist without obligations for a little while.

I did absolutely nothing on Wednesday and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. I woke up at six, didn’t get out of bed until 10. Had some coffee. Napped on the couch. Took a shower. Napped again. Ended up getting dinner with Nicole, Marc, and Des. Came back home. Went to sleep.

Absolutely perfect.

I most likely needed all of the sleep since I’m still pushing pretty hard in the gym department. Add to the fact that every day I work is now a cardio day with how much I move around. It was nice to have two days off in a row so I could take one day to be a complete and total “rest” day.

Today has been productive. I got all of my book work done. Once again it was off the clock, but I’m ok with it. I would rather be on the floor with patients while I’m at work rather than sitting in front of a computer. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Roughly two hours for the online training and book work. I went and got a pair of nursing shoes finally. It’s been on my to-do list for a while. I got a pair of scrubs while I was at the store since mine still haven’t come in yet. I’ve decided that these will be my Saturday scrubs.

I would say it’s a secret, but since I’m putting it out there for the whole of anyone to read I guess it’s not all that secret… There’s a pretty big push to wear the companies scrubs, but since no one from administration is around on the weekends I’m going to wear the scrubs I just dropped $60 on. They’re super amazingly comfortable. They’re essentially workout clothes. Stretchy, comfy, moves with you, breathable material. I love them and I haven’t even worked in them yet. Totally can’t wait for Saturday. I want to try them out so bad.

Same with the shoes. I haven’t worked in them yet, but from walking around the store I’m pretty sure I’ll like them more than my sneakers. I felt like my heels had more support. I also got better, more cushioned socks. We’ll see if there’s a marked difference tomorrow. I think there will be.

I’m also thinking about wearing my Fitbit to work so I can see just how intense my days are. Do I get to count how much I walk in a day as a workout? Is that cheating? I feel like it should count so I can’t be called a slacker when I’m tired and don’t want to go to the gym or train.

I’m supposed to have lunch with Jon on Sunday. Afterward we’re going to go kayaking again. I’m looking forward to it. I think getting some sun and having some family time will be a nice way to rest up from the next two work days and to destress before my test on Monday.

Which, by the way, I have my certification test on Monday. The rest of next week is my final week of training, and then I’m off on my own, a certified PCT for DaVita.

The thought of my training ending doesn’t terrify me as much as it did three weeks ago. Especially after how well I handled Tuesday, I feel like over the next five-ish work days that I’ll get a good feel for my own flow. I know I won’t be the best PCT on the floor, but I’ll be competent enough to not drown, and I know my teammates will help me when I need it.

So yeah, one more week and then I get a dollar increase.

I talked about the schedule with my supervisor and asked how it would be handled. He couldn’t promise me a super consistent schedule but he did say if there was a particular day I wanted off that he could try to work with that. After talking to Big Bad we’re going to see if I can have Tuesdays off. That would allow us to have Monday evening together since I wouldn’t have to wake up at 2 or 3 am to get to work.

I was nervous about bringing the subject up with him. I didn’t want it to feel like I was forcing him to give up his Monday evening. I know it’s really sucked for both of us, though, not having a set day where we know we’ll be able to see each other. It was reassuring to hear his support for requesting Tuesday as my off day. I guess I’m still sort of insecure and vulnerable feeling when it comes to the emotional stuff. It’s nice to have the reassurance that it’s not all one-sided nonsense inside of my head.

I haven’t seen my blacksmith since the 8th but I know he and I are still ok. He had family matters which kept him from coming over last week, and this week I’ve needed the alone time to regroup.

I think that’s about it.

Been killing it at the gym even though it doesn’t feel like it. I did a spin class today which has my inner thighs hating on me. I did way more “climbing” than I’ve ever done though, even in the spin classes I was taking at the YMCA. These classes feel way more intense. The first one I went to was last Thursday. Totally kicked my ass and my feet, but that’s because I wore my Vibrams. Not the best shoes for those classes. The peddles on those bikes are sort of weird on top of that. Just not a good combination in my book.

I wore my sneakers this time ’round and it went way better. We’ll see how I keep doing I suppose. It’s hard to find consistent classes to go to with my wonderfully inconsistent schedule, which is why it feels like I’ve done “nothing”.

I’m glad I have my calendar to tell me that, no, actually, I really do need a rest day or I’ll regret it.

Tomorrow is kickboxing. Saturday is yoga. Sunday is kayaking. Monday is conditioning at the gym. Tuesday will most likely be a rest day with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Maybe laundry. Most likely sweeping because dog fur sucks. We can throw in vacuuming, too, because dog fur doesn’t stay on just the tile. Blarg.

It should be a pretty decent day, though. And it should start off fantastically. A nice warm cup of coffee with Big Bad.

I’m very much looking forward to it despite all of the adulting I’ll need to get done. It’s my light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe that’s helped with the sadness and apathy lifting. I know I’ve made it through the hardest part. A lot of the people in my life have made it through the hard parts. Warren started his new job this week. Big Bad applied for a new position and may be switching to something he’s more interested in. My blacksmith is no longer having to work doubles every day because his company was able to hire more people.

It’s a good feeling. A stable feeling. I’m glad I’m feeling it rather than the coldness, the aloneness, that I was.

I’ll try to be better about writing.

Thanks for being patient with me.

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 143: Sunday, Monday, and Belly Dancing

Standard

Sunday I woke up early. 7am.

I got up, determined to finally, seriously, go for a run. I had breakfast, drank my coffee, got dressed, then realized as soon as I stepped out my door that it was 50 degrees outside and that I live in Orlando  and in no way was it ok for it to be that cold. That’s not taking  into account the added wind chill… Cold. So cold. And did I mention the, “not ok” part?

I’m happy to report I didn’t back down from the challenge, though. I put on long sleeves, drove to one of the bike trails and ran, reminding myself that it’s not going to be any warmer in February when I run my race so I might as well suck it up now and get used to it.

It wasn’t my best run by any stretch of the imagination. But any run is better than no run, and I was actually surprised my time was as good as it was. I could tell my hamstrings were tight and my quads were still angry from the jujitsu class but there wasn’t any hint of shin splint pain. And I’m pretty confident that the tightness in my hamstrings won’t be as bad the more I run and stretch them back out. My later intervals, once I was finally able to get warm, were actually really nice so I do think it’s more just working the rust out of some spots.

Once my run was done I came back home and started tackling the weekend chores. I got a bunch done, but mainly I was waiting for Warren to get up so we could do the grocery shopping.

We had lunch at a Chinese buffet. We had tried going there the morning we picked my bike up but they weren’t open at 10am. Since our first attempt had been a bust we decided to give it another shot, which was successful.

It was an alright experience but I’ve noticed that I don’t eat much at places like that anymore. Just not a whole lot I’m interested in and I usually feel like I can make better-tasting things at home.The conversation was light and pleasant, and we weren’t too far away from the oriental market I wanted to go to, so overall it wasn’t bad.

We ended up going to three different stores: the oriental market, a fresh produce store, and then Publix. By the time we were done and back home I was running on fumes. It was nice to be in the kitchen on my own prepping the food and decompressing from being out and about so much. I needed the recharge since  I was supposed to meet Nicole for dinner.

It was fantastic to see her again. We had so much to catch up on since we haven’t seen each other in roughly three weeks. We parted ways around 9pm with plans to hang out again the following Monday since that’s when she will be celebrating her birthday.

I guess I really need to add birthday and Christmas present shopping to my list. I haven’t even begun to think about Christmas. I really don’t want to right now because I’m sure that will be all sorts of emotional hardship to work through so I’m going to keep typing away about everything else instead because procrastination is a thing. : D

I went to sleep pretty much right when I got home from dinner.

I woke up this morning at 7am again. I allowed myself to have a slow, lazy morning. I cooked eggs with spinach, mushroom, and onion mixed into them instead of doing the egg half sandwich I’ve been doing. I got a container of peach mango salsa at the store yesterday and it actually went amazingly well with everything.

I boiled eggs to mix into the tuna I planned to make later. I finished doing the laundry. I cleaned up the few dishes that were dirty… Not really a whole lot else happened until around 11:30am, which is when I got ready for my jujitsu class.

After how busy I felt things had been the previous day, and with how busy they were going to continue to be throughout the day, I didn’t feel bad about having a slack morning. It was actually really nice having my coffee in the empty living room listening to silence.

Jujitsu was fun. I met another instructor today. I learned the entry point for the back hook. I learned another choke, too. This class wasn’t as intense as the first one. Another thing I was ok with since I’m still sore. Pretty sure I already mentioned the soreness, but I also feel I need to mention it again because holy crap I haven’t been this sore since my first aikido class.

Totally non-related segway into a completely different topic…

Something that’s been itching in the back of my mind is belly dancing. I guess I didn’t get my ass kicked enough at the dojo today or maybe I need to be reminded on what the word “recovery” really means, since “doing an Internet search to find out when I can do more physically demanding things” seems to mean “recovery” to my brain.

Anyway, ever since I’ve moved to Orlando I’ve had to drive past a belly dancing studio on my way to the campus. I always thought it would be interesting to check it out. You know. See what it’s all about. Maybe have some fun with it.

While I was going to school I felt like I never had the time to go.  Then I was employed and with a constantly fluxing schedule I never got around to it, or other things had my attention, or I didn’t have  the financial means.

Now, I have both the time and the means to look into it, so I’m looking into it.

I looked up the times for beginner classes and decided I was going to go try it out. Now. Tonight. Today. Now or never sort of thing.

With that set in my mind, I went and had dinner with my brother. I got to meet his friend / boyfriend. I’m not really 100% sure what their relationship status is but he seems like a really nice person. We had great conversation while we ate and then played an extremely interesting Commander game for Magic the Gathering. Jon’s partner won the match, but I did pretty well and was happy that it was a fairly competitive match for all three of us rather than it feeling one-sided.

After dinner I went home, changed, then went to the belly dance class.

It was amazingly fun. There was only one other student there tonight. I guess with it being the holiday week most people are out of town. The dojo has been pretty empty as well. I don’t mind, though. It’s allowing me to figure out myself in the environments without the added pressure of a billion people who already know what they’re doing.

Going to the belly dancing class means I missed out on Muay Thai tonight, but I’m thinking I sort of like this arrangement. The beginner belly dance classes are Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. So I can alternate Muay Thai and belly dancing in the evenings which will give me enough of a difference that I won’t get bored with anything. At least, in theory, it seems like it will work.

In theory, I’m also apparently Wonder Woman and need no rest days… So… yeah… As nice as all of this seems like it will be inside of my head I’m not 100% sure if it will be within my range at the moment. I might end up doubling up jujitsu and muay thai and doing the belly dancing on its own as a recovery day. Not sure yet. I have options, though, so I’ll adjust as I need to.

I was supposed to see Big Bad tonight but we decided to rain check it instead. While I do want to see him I’m sort of glad we both agreed on canceling our plans. It was already sort of late so we wouldn’t have gotten much time together since he has to wake up for work. I want to go to a jujitsu class at 6am, which means I’m looking at being up around 5am because coffee…

Since it’s the holiday week he has a lot of social obligations, but we’re going to try to meet over the weekend at the park again.

I’ve made the  most of the  extra time I gained tonight. I been able to work through all of my daily chores, install Maya 2015 on my computer once again, and battle plan out  my day for tomorrow so I know what I want to get done and how to do it efficiently.

I’m also getting a chance to write my blog which is always nice and lets me have closure to my day.

I might write a prompt post depending on how involved it is. I also want to brush Scarlet a bit before tossing in the towel for today. But overall, I’m happy and content. Tomorrow is going to be busy. It’s also going to start early.

I’m looking forward to it.