Daily Post 037: Unknowingly Reaching Goals

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Today has been a good day. I got through most of my to-do list.

I woke up. Always a plus. I actually woke up at 2 am since that’s my “normal” wake up time for work. Since today was my day off though I had no issues rolling back over and sleeping until 7 am. Once I got up I showered then went downstairs for breakfast and coffee.

I started the day by tackling something I’ve been avoiding; calling Verizon. Yes. That wonderful company that actually finally got my phone promotion figured out. I called them today to get Zane’s line closed out. So all of that is done. He’s officially off of my phone plan. I did have to finish paying off his phone, but you know, I don’t care anymore. He’s out of my life. I’m off the apartment lease. I have no ties to him any longer. It’s an accomplishment for my “Year of Stability”. Which I guess I should really iron out what I want to accomplish before next April 4th…

While I was on the phone with Verizon I inquired about my employer discount which I submitted over a month ago. I guess it got denied but that’s because they were looking at the wrong company. The lady I spoke with wrote some notes on my file and sent it up to be reviewed. I’m not sure if anything will come from it, but it was an extremely pleasant experience compared to the three previous times I’ve had to call Verizon. I’m looking forward to seeing the drastic drop in my phone bill next month.

From there I kept the day rolling by cleaning the bathroom. There was purple dye everywhere from Saturday.

Oh. Sunday Big Bad and I went to a concert in Tampa. That was super fun and I’m glad we both agreed to go to it rather than backing out like we had thought about doing earlier in the week.

But yeah… back to today…

I met up with one of my classmates at IHOP for coffee and a study session. It was fantastic being able to talk one on one with her. We never seem to get time to connect during class anymore. Everyone else jumps into our conversations. It’s mildly annoying, but it gave us a reason to meet outside of class so I guess in a way it worked out well. We got to talk about our experience in our own clinics and how we’re feeling overall with our training. It was a good experience and kept the day going well.

After studying I went to the dojo for my training session with MG. It was pretty good. I felt like I gave more than I have in my previous sessions. Maybe that’s not the right way of saying. I felt like I had more to give. I was able to do better because I felt better. I know I’m still sad. I know that there’s still a weight that I’m walking around with inside my chest, but I’m handling it better. I didn’t go to the point of failure and sitting here in front of my computer looking back at my session I know I could have given more, but I’m content with what I did. It was a good sweat and I can feel the mild soreness in my legs and back.

After my last rep of sled work, MG and I talked about competitions. It’s something that I’ve been kicking around in my head. I don’t know if I want to do it or not. I don’t know what it would mean to me if I did. It’s something I would have to meditate on, but talking to MG about it gives me an idea of what it’s like on the female side of things. I don’t know where it will go, but we’ll see I suppose. I think it’s something I would want to try at least once just to see what it’s like.

Once I was done at the dojo I met with a former coworker who I haven’t seen in over a year. I got to talk to her about everything that’s gone on in my life and she got to tell me about hers. The main event being her recent resignation from the school. There was a lot that went into her situation, much like my decision to leave. I’m happy for her. I think this is a positive change and I can tell she’s happier already even though it’s only been two weeks.

I came home after lunch. I showered and started a load of laundry so I can have clean scrubs for work. I actually found out the scrubs I ordered through work came in, so I’ll get my official scrubs tomorrow. There’s a whole story behind that, but it’s not what I want to reflect on at the moment.

I want to reflect on something else.

I found out last Monday that I’m down another 10% in body fat. I started out at 47%. In November I found out I was down in the low 30s. Last Monday, since I was doing my first training session at the new gym, I got all of my measurements done which include body fat percentage.

I’m at 23%.

I’m 3% away from the goal I’ve had in my head for three or four years.

I had no idea I was so close. The scale hasn’t changed since November. I’m still at 240 pounds. I’ve been 240 for a while. I was actually down to 230 and then went back up, which was extremely frustrating because I was still going down in mass. Everything was fitting better but here’s the scale telling me the opposite of what I want.

I know muscle weighs more than fat. I know that I don’t care about the numbers on the scale anymore, but because of that I haven’t had a way to measure or track any of my progress other than the times I’ve gone down in shirt and pant size.

So when I was told, “Oh, by the way, that goal you thought you would never reach… yeah, you’re pretty much there,” I didn’t really know how to handle it.

I know my body has been changing and that it’s continuing to change. I know I sit differently. I walk differently. I feel “different” and yet the same. It’s odd. In some ways, I feel like a foreigner inside of myself. This body is new, I don’t know how to interact with it. I find I sometimes look at myself as if I’m a stranger.

I’m still introverted. I’m still the socially awkward me. I’m still the person who would rather not be the center of attention. Yet, I can flip a 175-pound tire all the way down the track and back like it’s nothing. It’s fun. I felt like a fucking badass doing it because I am a fucking badass now. I’m looking forward to running my Spartan Sprint in December and my Warrior Dash in February.

I’m looking forward to proving to myself that I can do those things.

I don’t really know what else to say in regards to this knowledge, this fact. I’ve worked hard over the years. I’ve fallen off track and gotten back on. I didn’t really focus on my goal. I didn’t try to reach it. There were plenty of times where I was directionless and purposeless, especially during this past year with mom’s death. There were countless times where I didn’t care about anything. I didn’t have goals and I felt like telling the world to go fuck itself because nothing mattered in the face of my grief.

And yet in the past six to seven months, I’ve taken out another 10%. It makes me wonder what would have happened if I had seriously tried. If I hadn’t been sick for what amounted to a month. If I hadn’t traveled as much. If I had stayed and trained the way I had originally thought I would.

It makes me wonder where I’ll end up now that I’m focusing more on muscle building rather than just sparring for the fun of it. Now that I have plans and people guiding me and keeping things structured.

I think I want to aim for 12%.

I think next year I would actually like to compete in jiujitsu and Muay Thai. Just because I can. Just like with my races, to prove to myself that I can do it.

If I can drop 35% then I can do anything. Another 11%. That’s it. I’m already over halfway there.

It’s a weird feeling. It’s inspiring. It’s surprising. It’s an open feeling which leaves me feeling vulnerable. I’m not going to let that stop me, though. I’m going to keep going to the dojo and doing my training. I’m going to keep going kayaking and biking and doing yoga. I’m going to keep doing the things that make me feel good because that’s what’s led to this change.

I’m going to try not to think about my goal or to obsess over reaching it. I’m going to keep my head down and keep working. I’ll get to the end once I get there.

I’m going to wait three months. Even if my measurements are taken before then, I don’t want to know them. I want to wait until the beginning of November to compare to my measurements now.

I don’t think I’ll be a blue belt in jiujitsu by November. I think I’m ok with that even though that was a goal I had. I’m content with still being part of the dojo. I don’t mind being a white belt still. I’m focusing on doing well at my job and not slacking on my health goals. I can focus on belting up after I’m through my work training and have a few months of experience working on my own.

One goal at a time. My main goal right now; get through training.

I’ll reevaluate my goals in three weeks since that’s all I have left. >.<

I think I’m doing pretty alright. I think by the end of three weeks I’ll be ok and less terrified of the thought of being out of training.

Daily Post 030: The Right Direction

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Today has been a good day. This weekend has been a good weekend.

Friday was amazing. It was my first day at my home clinic. The first day meeting the people who will soon be my new teammates. The first day meeting the patients I will be working with three days a week from now until the day they die or move or receive a transplant. The first day meeting my new supervisor; the fourth one I’ve ever had.

It was a good day. One which started at 3 am. I got to the clinic by 5 am. Traffic was non-existent which I was grateful for. I’m ok with early mornings for that fact. Everyone is still asleep. There’s a solitude that I enjoy that can’t be found any other time. A hush. A quiet which I thoroughly enjoy.

I was nervous. I explained to my trainer what I had been cleared to do. We agreed on what I was comfortable with doing. She showed me new things. She explained the layout of the floor for my clinic and how things are divided up between the team members. I learned how to make the needle packs for patients; how much gauze, which tape rolls, how many alcohol and iodine packs.

At the end when I asked my trainer how she felt I did she said I did better than she expected. I was allowed to string the machines and set them to prime and test the alarm systems and though I did make a few mistakes, with my trainer’s guidance I was able to correct them and in most instances, I was able to troubleshoot the issues on my own.

I was able to clean the chairs and machines once the patients were done. I like to think even though I asked a lot of questions that I helped my trainer out a little bit.

My supervisor is one of the kindest people I have met. There’s an aura about him; the way he carries himself, the way he talks to my other teammates and patients. You can tell he cares. He’s genuine and real.

There’s another girl who was training with me on Friday; one from my class. My clinic will not be the one she works at, but it is where, at least for the moment, she is getting the “hands on” portion of our training. It was nice to have her there with me. A familiar face in the sea of new. At the end of our shift, before we went home, my supervisor took us back to the breakroom. He had bought a cake for me and the other team members as a way to welcome me to the clinic.

It was so amazingly fantastic. I felt nothing but welcomed all morning and then to have something like this done for me left me speechless and humbled.

I had felt that having a good morning was my sign that this was the right step forward. Simply having a good day and not killing anyone and feeling my confidence grow as the day progressed was enough. Having a good day was enough to affirm to myself that I can do this and that things would be ok.

But then there was the cake.

I know it’s just a cake, just a balloon. It really doesn’t say anything at all about the future, and I know there will be problems and issues and bad days ahead of me. But it nearly brought me to tears to see my balloon and cake on the table I had taken my break at only a few hours ago.

They took the time to think about me. They wanted me to know I was welcomed. I still feel moved to tears when I think about it.

I cried in my car as I left the clinic. Good tears. Painful tears. I wanted to call mom and tell her about my day. I knew she would have been ecstatic about the cake. She would have been thrilled that my day had gone so well and that I already love what I’m doing.

I talked to her in my car. I don’t talk to her often. I write more than I talk, but I talked to her Friday afternoon. I told her about the cake and my day. I told her I knew she was happy for me. I told her I would be ok.

I went to kickboxing that evening. I enjoyed the class though it was one of the more intense ones. The trainers all have different styles. Some focus more on conditioning, others more on technique and reps. The instructor on Friday was a “conditioning” instructor. My core still hurts from that class. It was worth it, though, and I’m glad I went.

Big Bad and I spent the evening together. I loved all of our time together, but what I loved the most was having my head on his chest and hearing his heartbeat while he held me close. It was the first time in almost a month that I’ve fallen asleep next to someone.

Saturday morning we had coffee with bagels. I came home and meal planned. I made my shopping list then showered and headed out. I went to Target and got blackout curtains since I’m having to go to bed when the sun hasn’t fully set. Next was the dojo for my first jiu-jitsu class in what seems like forever.

I didn’t do well with the technique. It was a roll technique, one they had been training all week, but this was my first day with it. I’m ok with that; not being good or proficient with something new. I was glad I was at the dojo at all. Being there meant more to me than doing well. My sparring rounds weren’t all that awesome either, but again, I didn’t mind. I did better than I thought I would, I stuck it out for all of them, and no one made me tap.

Once class was over I finished my shopping by going to the oriental market. The cashiers there are starting to remember me. It’s a warm feeling.

I came home and prepped most of the veggies. I spent time watching Vikings. It’s a show on Amazon Prime. I’m almost done with season three I think.

I went to sleep fairly early. I slept well and deeply.

Today I woke up and felt low. I figured I would. Two days, both of which were fairly intense and productive… I was actually surprised Saturday hasn’t started that way with how sore I was from kickboxing. I could feel the arrhythmia in my pulse and the tiredness that either comes with it or causes it. I’m not sure which is first.

I didn’t want today to be a low day, though. I still wanted to do things and I didn’t want to let the sadness have a chance to take my day from me. I knew that some form of exercise would most likely correct at least the arrhythmia, which hopefully would at least help with the tiredness and being less tired would hopefully, ideally help keep things in perspective and not allow the sadness to overstep its place.

I didn’t want to do anything intense, but an active recovery like yoga sounded good, especially with how sore my body was feeling.

There had been a post in the dojo’s group earlier in the week about an open mat on Sunday. Normally the dojo is closed on Sunday, but the thought of having all that space to do whatever I wanted to sounded amazing. I didn’t think many people would be there either which would make it even better.

After cooking breakfast and enjoying my coffee I showered and figured out a yoga podcast I wanted to try out.

I was pleased that there were only four other people who showed up. All of them I have seen before, two of them I’ve sparred with previously. They did some conditioning work while I did yoga. Eventually, they started to spar and asked if I wanted to join.

I did, for two rounds. It was really nice. I did better than I had on Saturday. I almost got Akib in a choke hold but the bell sounded before I could finish it, so I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Next time. Just like Big Bad, his days are numbered. >:3

Overall I’m glad I went and I’m glad I sparred, too, even though I hadn’t planned on it. I felt much better afterward, my muscles warm and stretched, no longer painfully tight, and my arrhythmia seemed to be gone.

When I left the dojo I made a trip to Publix for a few missed items, but after that, I came back home and continued to cook my meals for the coming week while watching Vikings. I did a load of laundry towards the end along with cleaning out the water bottle graveyard in my car.

And so here I am at the end of it all, writing it all, remembering, processing, accepting.

I like that I have bruises on my arms again. I like them because they’re reminders of my training. Marks where someone tried to hold me, subdue me and wasn’t able to. I was able to break their grip and though I might not have been able to achieve a position of advantage, I wasn’t tapped out or trapped either.

I like how I made it through the weekend without feeling like I was surrounded by chaos or being overwhelmed. I like how even though I felt low I was able to actively work to alter those feelings. I like how sadness didn’t take away my ability to get things done.

There’s a lot of things I liked about this weekend. More than anything I’m glad I went to the dojo and the gym. I’m glad I brought training back into my life after a week of absence and close to a month of inconsistency.

I don’t want to go that long without training again. I don’t like the ache I feel when I think of having to give it up, or not being able to make my schedule work with it.

I need this in my life still. I want this in my life. It’s one of the things that makes it worth it. And so just like I know my new job is the right direction, so too do I know that I need to keep my training close to me. It’s a part of who I am now. It’s in my heart chakra and I refuse to give it up.

It’s part of myself and I’ll keep moving forward whole, complete, without sacrificing the things that make me me.

I’m done meandering through my thoughts for the moment. I’m tired and ready for sleep and another 5 am wake up call in the morning.

So with that, I take my leave.

Daily Post 025: Beaten and Bruised

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The end of another day.

I want today to feel successful, and I guess in some ways, in most ways it is, was.

I woke up and had breakfast. That’s aways a win in my book and I still write those actions on my to-do list every time I actually make one.

Wake up
Eat
Shower
Go to class

Those are almost always my first four actions. Always my first three. Pretty soon I’ll switch out “class” for “work”. Maybe I’ll use “training” first since I will have to go through that phase before I’m actually legit working.

Class was ok. I only need two more sticks. I’m hoping to get them tomorrow. My evaluation is Tuesday.

It was actually pretty cool today. We got to centrifuge a tube of blood, which meant we had to draw a full tube of blood first. Normally, since we’re just practicing the procedure of venipuncture, we don’t fill a tube full. We just get enough of a specimen to prove we were able to access the vein of our patient and we’re done.

My instructor wanted me to fill the tube, which I was able to do. I know that seems sort of silly but it meant a lot to me. She trusted me enough to be successful with the procedure, and I actually was. It’s a boost to my confidence.

I came home after class and curled up in bed for a bit. I slept like crap last night. No real reason for it, just couldn’t get my mind to settle. Not even sleepy time tea worked. I ended up rearranging my room a bit. I like it more with my bed in the corner. It’s like I have a “nest” again.

It was nice cuddling with Scarlet and letting my brain chill out for an hour. Eventually, I got up and went to the bank. I put Warren’s rent money into my account and got a cashier’s check since I had therapy later in the day.

I went to Publix and got cat litter so I couldn’t use being tired from the dojo as an excuse to not do it. I got a dollar burger from Wendy’s since I needed to eat. By then it was time for my session.

It went well. We talked about a lot of things. My new / upcoming job. Warren being a dick. Big Bad and the developments in our dynamic. My grief and the two weeks leading up to mom’s death day. I got to explain the ritual of buying her a flower and how the coming year is going to be my Year of Stability.

We ended up going forty minutes over my time.

It was an intense session but I’m grateful for it. I feel like it did help even though emotional and physically I was worn out from it.

I didn’t make it to the Muay Thai fundamentals class due to my session running longer than I had expected. I went to the dojo anyway since I could still do jiujitsu.

I don’t know how I feel about the class. I practiced the technique being taught but it didn’t feel “right” and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing “wrong”. I only did two rounds of sparring today. I left before the class was finished because I didn’t want to give more. I was done, emotionally, physically, mentally, socially.

Could I have gone for the final round? Maybe. I don’t think I would have died if I had. Maybe I would have cardio tapped. I didn’t want to try, though. I didn’t want to push myself further because I had already done a lot on almost no sleep.

One of my trainers called out to me as I was leaving. She wanted to make sure I was alright. I said I was ok. You know, one of those, “I’m fine even though I’m not fine,” sort of answers because saying you’re not fine isn’t socially ok. It’s easier to say you’re a wimp and can’t hang for an hour than to say I’m sad and hurting emotionally.

She pressed asking if there was a reason I was having to leave early. I said it was emotional. it was hard to keep the tears back. She replied with she knows I’ve been through a lot and that she loved me and that she was here for me if I needed her.

I told her I love her, too, and that I appreciated her.

I cried when I got to my car. I had the thought that I wanted to go home, which made me hurt more because the apartment wasn’t home. At least in that moment it wasn’t. I wanted my old home. I wanted mom and there was no where I could drive to be with her. There was no way for me to go home.

After crying for a bit I drove to my apartment. I brought in my gym bag and the box of cat litter and I laid down on my futon in the dark and breathed. I could hear Warren upstairs working. Burno came down and nudged at me a bit before laying down on the floor beside the futon. I stayed like that for a while. It was dark, I was mostly alone, and I was able to be tired in every sense of the word.

Warren went on break, came downstairs for a bit, then went back upstairs to work. I stayed on the futon. Tired. Beaten. Covered in bruises from my phlebotomy class and jiujitsu.

I acknowledged I was alive, though. I can most definitely say that I feel I lived today and maybe that’s another added level to the tiredness. I did more than exist today. I lived.

I guess that’s where I am right now. Beaten but alive.

I want to say today was a hard day even though in list form, on a piece of paper, I don’t feel I did much.

This room, this apartment, this is my home now. That’s something I need to affirm for myself and own. This is where I’m going to make my stand. This is my “Home Base” for the time being. This is my nest and my safe spot.

I don’t know what else to say in that regard and I’m pretty written out. So I guess that’s that.

Today was a hard day but I made it through it. Tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll see where it goes.

Daily Post 024: Done and Determined

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I’m alive.

It’s nice to feel warm again after the past two weeks. Solid. Real. Driven and determined.

I went to the dojo yesterday. Stayed for NoGi and Muay Thai. I most likely would have stayed for Jiujitsu too but I was a slacker over the weekend and my gi wasn’t dry enough to wear by the time I left for the dojo. In the end that might have been a good thing since doing three classes after a week and a half of nothing might have been harder than I could have / should have handled.

A lot has happened, as always when I go for stints without writing.

Warren and I had our first full blown fight / spat. I’ll probably post the message I sent to him as a Musing Moment so I can keep it.

He’s still being a not cool roommate. And since this is my blog I’m going to say how I really feel. I feel like he’s being a dick. And insensitive, selfish, disrespectful dick.

Every time we have a conversation about him not paying rent or contributing to the apartment he uses being depressed about Amber and his job as his reasons. He’s too depressed some days to clock into work, so he’s always short on money. He’s too caught up in being depressed to notice his dishes in the sink or the coating of dog fur on the floor. He’s depressed so it’s ok that he’s not doing the things he said he would. He’s depressed so there’s a reason for it and I should be understanding.

I think I’ve been pretty understanding and supportive for the past seven months.

So all through the two weeks of me contending with mom’s death day approaching I still had to take care of his dirty dishes and do all the chores even though I’ve repeatedly expressed how I’m not ok with it.

Friday it sort of all boiled over. Friday morning I woke up at 7 am. I stayed in bed until 9 am, not wanting to go downstairs. Not wanting to see a sink with dishes in it. It didn’t seem worth it. Nothing was worth it. Mom was dead, but that didn’t matter enough, didn’t count enough, for me to be depressed and have someone take care of me. Or at the very least not have to take care of someone else along with myself.

Victim mentality, maybe, but I don’t think it’s unfair of me to not want to clean up after someone else when I am legitimately struggling just to come downstairs in the first place.

I did get up eventually, though, and I did go downstairs. And again, like every morning since he’s moved in the sink had dirty dishes in it. I pretty much snapped. I took Warren’s dishes and put them in his computer chair and left them there for him to find when he woke up. It’s something I had said I would do during one of what feels like our many conversations. After that I started drinking. I drank from 10 am until 6 pm and the only reason I stopped was so I could be sober to drive to Big Bad’s house.

This was the first time where I hurt so much that the only thing I knew to do was to drink enough to be buzzed so the pain was bearable. I literally didn’t know what else to do other than drink and watch movies all day as a way to survive. I wanted to self-harm. I wanted to hurt on the outside as much as the inside so then maybe at least my pain would matter enough to be taken seriously. Just as seriously as I should be taking someone’s depression over a breakup and a shitty job.

I didn’t really want to self-harm, though. I knew those thoughts were there, but they weren’t the actions I truly wanted to do, so drinking seemed like the better option. Drink, be numbed, watch movies, cope, breathe, survive, and  tomorrow will be better.

When Warren found his dishes he got pissed. I waited a few hours before writing and explaining how every night I clean the kitchen so there won’t be anything for me to have to contend with in my morning. And every morning I wake up to having to clean someone else’s mess before I can start my day. It sucks, and since I’ve told him about it I said it feels like a giant “fuck you” every time it happens, which is literally every day.

He said I was being childish and petty which felt like a slap to the face.

It took me a while to come to terms with his response. Those words bounced around in my head like bullets. Childish. Petty.

Am I really being childish? Is wanting to not take care of someone after doing it for seven months being petty? Am I being unreasonable? Selfish? Am I that bitchy roommate I didn’t want to be? It didn’t help my mental state at all. It made me feel guilty and like I really was asking for too much.

I’ve come to the conclusion that actions aren’t “things”. Just like facts are neither “good” nor “bad”. They exist. They happen. It’s our perspective which makes them “things”.

So, Warren’s perspective is that I’m being petty. My perspective is that I kept my word and did something I said I would do.

Even if the situation turns around, which it hasn’t, his dirty dishes are still in the sink, I don’t want to be his roommate in October. I really don’t want to be his roommate now, but there’s not really anything I can do about that. Since I paid rent in full I have no money to put towards living somewhere else.

I doubt I’ll be able to live alone in October. That doesn’t mean I have to stay here or live with him. I can find somewhere else to go. Really, the real question is can I last until October? To that, I don’t know the answer. I hope so. I really do, because I can’t afford to live anywhere else at the moment.

This whole situation has caused another shift inside of my brain, though, so I guess it’s not all bad.

I’m done waiting on people. I’m done expecting people to help when they say they will. I’m done waiting for people to keep their word. Basically, inside of my head, I’ve cut all imaginary ties for financial support.

I’m on my own.

All the people who said they would pay me back… Done. I’m not going to go through my life holding my breath, waiting, hoping, thinking my situation would be better if only…

No.

I’m done.

I’m not going to get that money. What I have right now is what I have. End of story.

If they pay me back, cool. But I’m done thinking about how great my life would be if it actually happened. I’m done with not mattering.

I have my goals. I know what I need to get to them. I need to work my ass off essentially, especially if I want to reach them in the time frame I’ve given myself. I can only count on me, financially, to get me there, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Fuck Life if it thinks it can stop me.

That’s the mentality I’ve taken up since clawing those bullets out of my head. I’m not petty or childish. I want to be treated fairly. I want to be treated how I was told I would be treated. I want to not have a 30-year-old man-child.

This isn’t where I wanted to be so this ISN’T where I’m staying.

I talked to my instructor today about the PCT issue. That led to a conversation with my former instructor who agrees that I shouldn’t have to take the Home Health Aid class over again. So they’re both going to fight on my behalf to get my paperwork changed. That will be roughly $800 I can keep. I can’t put into words how much I really want to hold on to that money at the moment since Warren still isn’t reliably paying rent.

Yeah… it’s not just dishes that are broken promises.

I need four more venipunctures. That was another eye opener. One that I don’t feel like writing much about at the moment. It’s sobering to know where I stand with some people. It’s interesting in a mildly detached way. When I asked people to support me in obtaining my certification, in advancing with my life, they said no.

I get that I’m asking, “Can I stick you with a needle?” I understand people have phobias and anxiety and fears. I know I was asking a lot. For every person I asked it was too much. No one, not a single person out of the ten I asked, said, “Yes. I’ll help you.”

I asked my brother on the off chance he might be able to drive down from Daytona, but his class schedule conflicts with mine, so it can’t happen. He’s the only person who unwaveringly said, “Yeah. I’ll help.”

Next week is my evaluation. Thursday is my last test for the class. Next Friday is the orientation day for my new job. Saturday is Allison’s wedding. Monday I begin my two months of training. Monday evening I get to register for my board test for phlebotomy. That will be a 120 question test since my evaluation counts as the clinical portion.

I’m tired just from thinking about it all.

That’s not mentioning how I have to drive 7 hours to get to the wedding, be the maid of honor in the wedding, give a speech which I can’t even really drink during because directly after everything I have to turn around and drive 7 hours back so I can be in Orlando for work.

I know this is me being sort of whiny but I really don’t see how any of this has been an honor. I had to take a week out of my life to go to Disney, which was fun-ish, but not something I would have volunteered to do on my own. I paid for the vacation home we stayed at along with all of the gas and driving we did that week plus my own ticket and $3 bottles of water. I’m going to have to drive to South Carolina and back and pay for my hotel room. I had to drop $200 on a dress I’m going to wear once, plus whatever the shoes cost…

I want this honor to be over with and I’m glad it almost is.

On the subject of money…

I have a sort of side business going on at the moment. Resume making. Wooo. It’s actually pretty cool.

Because I got the job with DaVita that’s been a topic mentioned a lot when we go on break. My classmates ask about the interview process, how I found the posting, different things about the company. etc.

One of them asked to see my resume so I showed her. She was super impressed with how clean and professional it looked and I got to explain how I created it myself and how until I had resigned from Full Sail I had been working on a second degree in Digital Arts and Design. She asked if I would make one for her. We negotiated a price and she sent me her information.

I guess she ended up telling others about our arrangement, so now I’m creating resumes for three other people.

Even funnier… I was talking to my blacksmith over the weekend and mentioned my “underground” business, so now I’m helping him with his resume as well. XD

One of my classmates mentioned how I should create a flyer for the billboard at school as a way to market my services.

So… yeah… that might be a thing for me. It would be pretty cool if it worked into a fairly reliable side income.

I don’t think I really have much else to talk about…

I’ve started cross stitching again. I’ve started listening to my audio book again as well. I have about three more hours in American Gods. I saw they’re coming out with a series on Netflix for it. At least I think it was Netflix. Totally stoked for it though. I hope it’s done well.

I’m proud of myself that even while I was in a hardcore grief wave that I made meals and stuck to them. I did laundry and though I haven’t put it away yet, I know I will by the end of the night.

I think a lot of my turnaround has to do with a few experiences / conversations with Big Bad. I actually don’t want to write too much about those experiences, but I will say I am glad he’s in my life and I’m grateful for the perspective and acceptance he gives me.

I got mom her rose for her death day. I went to Goodwill and found the vase I was looking for. I had an idea of what I wanted in my head and I found it.

I’m happy with where I’m at right now with my life. And maybe happy isn’t the right word. Or, at least it’s not happy in the normal sense.

I’m happy that I know what I want to do and how to do it. I’m content with the direction I’m going. And I’m ok with not allowing negative people to deter me from my course. If that means removing them from my life I’m ok with that. I’ve come too far to stand by and allow myself to be disrespected or taken advantage of.

I’ve done my part. More than my part.

I’m done.

Just like I’m done with this writing and will now continue with my evening by cross stitching, drinking tea, and listening to the rest of my story.

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.

Daily Post 020: The Beginning of the End

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Today is the start of “The Two Weeks”. The two weeks of mom being in the hospital.

Today was the day that I flew on a South West airplane for the low, competitive price of $700 one way to hopefully see my mother if she survived the surgery.

Capitalism at its finest…

Today was the day that I met Lio at the airport and held it together, somehow, when she hugged me and told me mom had made it through the surgery and was in ICU.

Today was the first day that I saw my mom, pale, asleep, wires and tubes everywhere as machines next to her bed beeped and blinked and displayed all sorts of information that I didn’t know how to process.

Today was the day that mom thought I was Lio when I asked her if she knew who I was.

Today was the first day that I felt that soul crushing weight of, “Mom is really sick. Mom needs me. She needs me to be strong.”

Tonight will mark the first night that I stayed with her at the hospital. It’s the first night we had one of our many deep conversations. Tonight’s conversation was the one where she thought she was stupid. How could she have let herself get so sick?

Tonight was the night where I felt shame and guilt and remorse. Mom could have died and here she is, feeble, frail, alive, so weak looking in her hospital bed, her voice so soft and tired sounding and she thinks she’s stupid.

She’s alive and she’s kicking herself mentally for being sick. How is that at all ok? How can she feel bad, awful, for being sick and living? She’s alive. She’s the most amazing person ever and yet she feels stupid.

It broke my heart to hear her say those words, and our conversation that night was explaining how she wasn’t stupid. She did everything right. She was feeling bad. She want to the doctor. He saw certain things and percribed medicaitons. She took them. She wasn’t feeling better. She went back to the doctor. He agreed she was getting worse. He sent her to another doctor. They found out what was really wrong and rushed her to surgery.

Everyone did everything “right”. No one was stupid or at fault. It was a shitty situatuion and we would get through it. Together. We would be ok because we weren’t going to give up. We, Jason, Jon, me, and Lio, would be there for her.

Tonight marks the first night that I fell asleep listening to a heart monitor, to her breathing. Tonight was the first night of a two-week stretch of sleeping for fifteen minutes at a time if I was lucky because everything was a bad sound, a life or death crisis that I had to be awake for.

Today marks the beginning of the end.

I hurt. But at the same time, I’m numb. It’s like I’m in a giant sea of despair but I’m on a raft made of apathy. If I dip my fingers into the water or submerge my hand I can feel all of the hurt seeping into my bones and blood. I can feel it traveling through my body if I think too long on something. I can feel my heart bleeding even though when I look down there is no wound.

It’s like a hole should be there. I should be able to reach into my chest, where my sternum should be, where my heart should be and touch nothing. Emptiness. A hallow void where once something had been.

The beginning of the end.

In my head, it seems fitting to think of it like that. My final two weeks with mom. Two weeks. Every day, every hour building up to that final morning. My last goodbye. My last, “I love you.”

I want to say that I hate this, but I don’t know if I truly do or not. I can’t make up my mind when I allow myself to feel. I can’t choose between being angry and being sad. There’s nothing to be angry at and I don’t want to be sad, so I don’t know what to do. It’s easier to not feel instead because feeling is so confusing.

It’s easier to go through the motions but they feel so empty, so disconnected from the world and pointless. I’m fighting between trying to connect to something excruciating and shutting everything out because it hurts too much.

I don’t know which I want more. I don’t know which one will be better.

I think feeling would be “better”. At least it would keep me in reality. In my reality, it hurts. By feeling, I wouldn’t be allowing the emotions to fester or mutate into things they aren’t. I would be lancing the wound I have. Purging the build up.

But to do that I have to admit to things all over again and I don’t want to. I don’t want to cry, or rather, I don’t want to cry more because I already have been. For days. Random silent tears constantly dehydrating me over random thoughts that I can’t stop my brain from thinking.

I don’t want to go through this. I wish there were a way to stop it. I wish it felt ok to hate. I want to hate this. I want to be angry because that’s easier than being sad, but it doesn’t do anything and so it’s wasted energy.

I wish mom were here. I wish she was still alive. I wish she hadn’t died. I wish I had been able to do more when I had been at the hospital. I wish I had been a CNA then. Or an EKG Tech. Maybe I would have been able to understand the heart monitor then. Maybe I would have been able to do something other than nothing. I would have been able to do something other than holding her hand and giving her sips of water when she asked for it.

I’ve almost made it a year.

I know that’s an accomplishment but it’s not one that I wanted to achieve. I didn’t want to have to live a year without my mom. I didn’t want this to be part of me, my story. I don’t want it to be “an accomplishment”. I don’t want it to be a positive thing.

I want it to be solemn and somber and heavy because it is.

It sucks and I don’t care if that’s me wallowing in self-pity or being a victim or whatever else it could maybe, possibly be. Today sucks. Yesterday sucked. All of this has sucked.

Even with all of the postive steps I have taken, I want to hate it because I would rather have my mom.

In all honestly, emotions being set aside, the past few days have been well enough. Nothing super bad has happened.

I talked to Warren. He knows I’m not ok with the apartment. He’s actually done his dishes the past few days. We got the storage unit emptied out. I’ve moved most of his boxes upstairs so the apartment isn’t completely trashed. I had two successful sticks today and I won one of the review games we played in class, so I get an extra five points on my test tomorrow.

I had an email from the hospital on Tuesday for an EKG Tech position I applied for. I had to fill out the stupid personality survey again.

Me: No. Seriously. I’m still the same person…

There was a 47 question test I had to do as well. It was all about identifying EKG rhythms and what you’re supposed to do with what you’ve identified.

Is it lethal? Should you call a code? Is it normal, abmormal? Should you let the nurse know something STAT or just mention it so she can keep an eye out if anything further develops?

I wasn’t all that confident in myself because we never talked about what you’re supposed to do after you’ve identified. I was content that I took the test rather than avoiding it and giving up on the position.

I woke up Wednesday morning to an email saying I had failed the test. I failed, but, they wanted me to take it again.

Ok… Either I bombed it so bad that they don’t believe I really am that stupid and want to give me another shot now that I’m not filled with anxiety over it, or I barely failed and they want me to try again because they’re interested in me.

Well, I mean… obviously they want me to try again. They’re letting me take it a second time. I don’t think that’s standard if you suck or they’re not interested in you.

So that’s what I did today. After class, I studied, and studied, and studied some more. I took the test and was more confident in myself while I did it. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow if I passed it or not. If not then I guess I need to study more if I want an EKG Tech position.

Tuesday, while I was in the middle of filling out the personality survey, I got a call from a dialysis clinic I applied at. They want me to shadow for a few hours on Friday. And by a few hours I mean from 5am until noon. If that goes well, they like me I like them sort of a thing, then I will have a face-to-face interview at 2 pm that afternoon.

So, yeah… A lot of stuff has been going on but it’s all be behind my wall of apathy. I’m not excited about either position because I don’t know if I passed the test so there’s nothing to get excited about as far as that goes. And with the dialysis position, it depends on how much they are willing to pay me. Once the paid eight weeks of training is over the schedule flexes, so if they don’t pay me enough I can’t accept the job because I won’t be able to get a second one with a schedule that changes every week.

I’m still applying and keeping my eyes open for opportunities. Right now I feel sort of like a raptor. Anything that seems like something I could potentially do I strike out and apply for. But at the moment it’s a cold, detached sort of strike. There’s no joy or excitement behind it.

I did boxing and submission grappling on Monday. I moved some boxes that day, too. Tuesday was the storage unit, so that was more of an active recovery day. No dojo. And today was Muay Thai conditioning at the dojo with more box moving afterwards. I didn’t feel like staying for jiujitsu or the second conditioning class. I didn’t want to be around people anymore.

I’m sort of done with today.

I’m done trying and doing and problem-solving.

I wish I could say that I’m done hurting, but I feel like it’s only just started.

This is the beginning of the end. I still have a long ways to go before this wave is over.

I have therapy tomorrow. Maybe that will help. With what I don’t know. It’s not like I can have help breathing. I have to do that on my own. I have to live my own life. No one can do that for me. No one can wake up for me, and I know I wouldn’t want someone to do it even if they could.

This is my life and I’m supposed to be the one living it.

Right now it sucks.

Daily Post 019: Temporary

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Let’s see…

I wrote Friday. The day I found out that I was denied for the job.

I went through a lot of the 30-Challenge posts. I have a clearer idea of what I want to achieve and how to achieve it. Most of it comes back to:

Getting a job
Finishing the PCT program
Continuing to kick ass at the dojo

I ended up talking to my younger brother. That sort of sucked, though there’s a story for how the day evolved to the shitty conversation I had with him.

I went and made a payment for the EKG class I took. While I was there I saw one of my former classmates. She had just gotten done taking the board test. She failed by three points.

We ended up standing outside talking for a bit. The subject of my interview came up and I had to explain how I was denied and how the email hadn’t specified a reason why.

She said that even though companies aren’t allowed to discriminate, that it most likely had to do with my purple hair.

I hadn’t thought of my hair as an issue since it was mentioned during the interview. I had been told it wouldn’t be a problem. Accommodations would be made as long as I wore a head covering.

The conversation with my classmate made me begin to wonder, though. Am I going to have to give up my hair in order to get a job?

The thought of having to dye my hair back to “normal” physically hurt. I know I am not my hair, but my purple is important to me. Purple is the color of the 7th chakra, the crown chakra at the top of the skull. It represents our connectedness to the Universe and energies around us.

I don’t dye my hair because purple is my favorite color, or because I’m being a punk ass millennial and “sticking it to the man”. This is part of my spirituality, and it sucked, hardcore sucked, to have the realization that almost all of society would stand in front of me and say, “well if you want a job you have to conform”.

In my head that’s a lot like telling a Christain, “You can work here, but only if you renounce your faith and tell people, daily, that you don’t believe in Jesus.”

Yeah, you could do that. You could say those words. There’s nothing stopping you from stringing those syllables into that particular order, but I bet the thought of doing it sucks.

I bet for some people it sparks anger. Why should you have to do that? Why should you have to renounce your faith when it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the quality of work you’re able to do as an employee.

Maybe sadness. Why should you have to give up something that’s important to you? Why are they making you choose between something your soul connects with and the survival of having a paycheck?

Yeah, I get it. It’s “different” in my case… It’s just hair…

But at the same time, IT’S JUST HAIR.

Why can’t I keep it the way I want? Why do I have to give up an expression of myself, my soul, just to prove that no, I’m not a crazy drug user or whatever unfounded stereotype someone else is brainwashed into believing, especially when simple, easy compromises could be made to negate ALL of the perceived issues it would cause?

What is the company sacrificing for me to make this trade fair?

What core identity, fundamental belief, is it sacrificing to show it cares as much about me as I do about my potential job?

A paycheck? It’s sacrificing money to make me conform? Yeah… ok. I can go with that. I get that in exchange for changing my hair I would be receiving compensation in the form of money.

Is money worth giving up the fulfillment of being able to say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus?”

Would anyone else give that up, or something else just as core value? What if it was, “You can work here as long as you’re not gay?”

And that’s where I have the biggest problem. If it were anything else people would be understanding, but because it’s “just hair” it’s not allowed to be important to me. It can’t be something I have an attachment to, or a connection to. It can’t be something spiritual that I have a right to keep.

What’s more infuriating is the fact that I could work at a fast food chain and because it’s considered “lesser” work there are more leniencies in regards to appearance, but because I want to work at a hospital me being myself is suddenly something that needs to be altered or hidden or eradicated.

At the time my brother called me I was very much in an irrationally angry and hurt state.

I told him I didn’t want to talk about it, but he pressed.

Jon: It’s how our society works.
Me: Well, fuck our society.

What’s really bad is I don’t even know if my hair was or wasn’t the cause of my denial. It was mostly just a built up fantasy inside of my head of a bunch of supervisors sitting around a table and saying, “Nope. She’s obviously a delinquent. Just look at that hair.” And the only reason I was thinking about it like that was because of the conversation I had with my classmate.

Originally I had thought it was because I was very obviously over qualified for the job. I mean, come on… Patient transporting when I’m EKG certified, working on phlebotomy, about to be CNA working towards PCT… The only thing I could have done more to keep me from getting the job was walking in with a flashing, “I’m not going to stay in this position long” sign above my head.

But no, the conversation with my classmate totally overrode all of that rational. The only reason I was denied was because of my hair. They lied about the accommodations and simply didn’t like me even though both interviews had gone well. They’re all lying soulless jerks. Rawr.

The conversation with my brother ended on not such a good note. He sent me a text message not long after our conversation saying how it had felt like a slap in the face to him. He had just sent me money to pay for my classes and here I was throwing it away because I refused to dye my hair.

Bitch, I had just said on the phone that I knew I would do what I had to do, but that I hadn’t had time to process through the emotions and that I was angry and didn’t want to talk about it.

If you want to pick and choose what parts of the conversation you hear at least remember the goddamn facts of it and recognize that whatever hurt feelings you have are your own fault since you didn’t leave it alone when I told you to leave it alone.

I felt betrayed and guilty. I’m not the only one invested in my schooling anymore. That makes me want to do my best. But I’m not the only one invested in my schooling, so now I feel like I have to do what makes him happy. I feel like I “owe” it to him to give up my hair because that’s what he wants.

While we were on the phone he tried to relate to me by saying how he hates having to flip his septum piercing up when he goes and works with the color guard at the high school he volunteers at.

I mentioned how he had been dishonest about his piercing and that he was playing a dangerous game, which he was obviously ok with playing. He hadn’t been told he had to take the piercing out in order to have the job. He had flipped the piercing up before the interview and pretended like it didn’t exist.

That’s fine. That’s how he wants to play it. But it wasn’t fair of him to use that as an example of him “sacrificing” because he didn’t sacrifice. He lied and kept something that is important to him. So really the moral here is I should lie. I should hide my hair in a head wrap preemptively. At least that’s what he’s saying his actions would be if he were in my situation.

I didn’t have it in me to do much the rest of Friday. I applied to some jobs eventually. Only three. One is a Central Service Tech job at a surgical center not far from where I live. I wouldn’t mind interviewing for it. Another is a pharmacy stock position with the hospital. That one doesn’t seem so bad either, but with how I got so far with the interview process for them to deny me with no reason given, I’m sort of burned out on the hospital right now.

I thought a long time about the conversation with my brother. I didn’t want him to feel like I was throwing away anything because I wasn’t. What made everything so painful was the knowledge that if push came to shove I would, indeed, relinquish my hair. That I wouldn’t stand true to myself. I would conform. I would bend, but in my head, it wasn’t bending, it was breaking. And I would do it even as I hated every second, even as every morning I would be reminded by the mirror that I had abandoned myself. He felt hurt and betrayed even though ultimately I would do whatever I needed to do.

What do you do with that? I said, “If I have to, I’ll do the thing you want me to do.” And he still felt hurt. He still felt like I slapped him in the face. How was I supposed to succeed in that situation? I didn’t, and still don’t, understand other than to say, “It’s Jon and he’s always going to be a double-edged sword.”

Saturday morning, while I was drinking my coffee, I came up with what may be a compromise I’m ok with.

I’ll keep applying for jobs. That choice was never really an option. I’ll keep my purple hair while I do it. If, by the time I finish my phlebotomy class, 5 weeks from now, I haven’t been able to land anything, then I will dye my hair back.

And even then, I might wait a month while I finish out my PCT course and see if I can get a phlebotomy position with my hair the way it is. I think I like that idea better. I can’t apply for phlebotomy jobs yet, so I want to give myself a chance in that area before giving up my hair.

So, yeah, nine weeks. Nine weeks to find someone who sees me as a person rather than a stereotype. Nine weeks to find a company who understands that IT’S JUST HAIR and that I would be beyond grateful to be allowed to remain true to myself.

Having found that compromise I felt a bit better. My thoughts turned to the job search, though. I’ve been seriously looking for a job since mid-February. So a month I guess? Two interviews, and a call back I shouldn’t have passed up. So does that count as three?

Are those good numbers? Am I not trying hard enough? Should I still be reaching for low hanging fruit or stay aimed at the direction I want to go in? How do you know when you’re making the right choices? Is there something I should be doing differently?

Blarg.

I paid bills on Friday, too. I’m broke. Like, “I can’t go grocery shopping until Warren pays rent” level of broke. Yeah… and with no future income in sight at the moment. It makes my stomach tight like I’m preparing for a massive uppercut that I know is going to suck no matter how prepared I am for it. It makes me wrap my arms around my stomach to think about how I can’t buy anything. Not conditioner or body wash. Not the cheese slices for breakfast.

This was what I was trying to avoid by searching for jobs early. I didn’t want to be in this situation. But I’m here. So I guess the best thing I can do is understand the emotions I feel and do the best I can to change my situation.

I went to the dojo Saturday. Jiujitsu was first, then Muay Thai. I thought about not staying for the second class. I did, though, and I’m glad I did even though right now I’m incredibly sore.

I hung around after class, stretching on the mat while some of the guys talked. We all ended up in sort of a pow-wow circle, sitting and relaxing while we chatted. It was nice. I feel like I’m starting to form actual friendships with some of them, which you would think trying to choke each other out all the time would mean we’re like BFFs or something. Since a few of them are friends on my Facebook they mentioned my stripe and EKG certification. It made me feel like I was part of the group.

I didn’t drink enough water while I was at the dojo so by the time I got home I had a killer headache. I ate, drank water, then curled up in bed and suffered for a while. It wasn’t until around 8 pm that I started feeling ok enough to do much of anything. I cooked homemade beef stir fry. It came out awesome.

I went back to bed not long after cleaning up the kitchen and running the dishwasher.

So, of course, I’m not ok that when I went down to the kitchen this morning there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Blah. That’s a conversation I don’t want to have. But I know I need to because it’s only going to get worse for me internally if I don’t.

I don’t feel like doing anything today. I’m supposed to go start cleaning out the storage unit but the bitch in me doesn’t want to do it. Why should I be the only one to do anything when he can’t even be bothered to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher?

I know if I don’t start moving boxes back to the apartment that Tuesday is going to epically suck. I don’t want to spend my whole day moving stuff. I want it to be the furniture and that’s it.

I feel like that’s a victim mentality. “Why me? Why can’t it be fair?”

I don’t know what to do to change those feelings. And I don’t know how to make it fair when the other person doesn’t care enough to change.

I might have a way to make my work area more conducive to studying. It’s something I’m looking into at least, being able to work better at home. Since home is becoming a point of stress for me I’m not sure how helpful any changes are actually going to be.

I want things to change, but I don’t want to put in any more effort because it feels like the effort I have put in is pointless. It hasn’t gotten me anywhere so why keep trying?

Because I said I would. Because if I don’t try than things literally won’t change. I have to keep going to the dojo if I want to keep getting healthier. I have to keep applying for jobs if I want the chance to actually have one. I need to keep going to class so I can keep improving which will let me apply for better jobs. And I need to keep telling Warren that he’s being unkind to me because he is. His apathy affects more than just him and it will kill our relationship if he doesn’t change.

I have to accept that he might not change, and if he doesn’t then that’s on him. I’ve been doing my part. I’ve tried to come up with compromises that work for both of us. I’m not a doormat. I’m not his mom. He’s not my man child.

This moment is temporary. It will change.