Daily Post 062: A Self-Care Day

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Today is a day off. One which I’m grateful for. It’s 10:17 am and I have yet to do much of anything with the day.

Tuesday’s have a routine. I wake up at Big Bad’s. Usually, I wake up when he first gets out of bed, but I didn’t today. I have nebulous, fuzzy memories of movement, but I didn’t fully wake up. My first real memories of this morning where if him crawling back into bed, burrowing under the covers to tickle me with his freezing hands.

Today was the first day I’ve stayed with him where I didn’t feel well waking up. I was still insanely tired. I had a painful, sharp headache covering most of the front right side of my head.

It was the first time I didn’t feel ready for the day. On one hand, I did feel recharged, refreshed. We had time together when I thought I wouldn’t see him for over two weeks. A co-worker offered to switch days with me this past Saturday which meant even though I worked Monday I was able to leave early enough to have my evening.

It was fantastic. We watched Bad Santa 2 which was crude but funny and mindless. It was low-level stupid humor and really I think it wouldn’t have mattered what we watched. I wasn’t at work interacting with patients. I wasn’t studying for my certification. I wasn’t worrying about money or being frustrated with my roommates. Nothing was required of me aside from being present.

I remember being worried that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, but I guess I did.

I was pretty sure the headache was from dehydration. I didn’t drink anything on Sunday because I slept most of that day. I don’t really remember the last time I wrote. I worked Wednesday, was off Thursday, which I guess was the last time since I’m pretty sure I wrote about therapy that day.

I didn’t feel better after therapy. I still don’t, but maybe that’s because in eight days it’s my birthday and that thought hurts. This season hurts. I don’t think there’s anything that will make it better, not even therapy.

Anyway, I worked Wednesday, Thursday morning, then did all of my obligations for that day, then turned around and worked Friday and Saturday. It felt like I was at the clinic four days in a row, which in a way I was. Even if Thursday wasn’t a “full day” at the clinic, I was still there and still had an extremely productive day afterward. It wasn’t a rest day by any stretch of the imagination. So by the time I finally got to Sunday I had nothing in me to give.

When I woke up Sunday I went back to sleep. The few times I actually got up were purely for bathroom breaks and food. I guess it would have been smart to drink something while I ate, but I didn’t. I didn’t really start feeling like I was “with it” until around 5pm.

I didn’t shower until around 8 pm and the only reason I did was because I had literally no food for work on Monday.

I knew I didn’t have the energy or motivation to cook so I bought premade salads, something I normally think of as a waste of money, but all I need to do is survive this week, and if not having to cook helps me do that then it’s a good investment.

I got a rotisserie chicken with coleslaw and instant potatoes so I could make meals with that as well as a veggie lasagna which I just got done cooking.

I worked my shift yesterday, Monday. It went fairly smoothly. The patient who was a jerk to me the other day complained to my FA. He pulled me aside and said that she was pissed at me and to not mess with her. He said he had been around me long enough to know her story was BS and that he knew I wasn’t disrespectful or rude to her the way she was saying. He said she’s like that to the people at her nursing home, too, and to just let it be water under the bridge.

It made me feel cared for that all of my team members who this woman talked to didn’t believe her story. It made it easier to not care about her opinion. If she wants a target to be angry at, fine. I’ll be her target. I have 11 other patients every day who need and want my help during her shift. If she doesn’t want to interact with me then that means I have more time and energy for those other 11 people.

Monday I helped mix acid again. Next time I’ll be the one doing all of the work while my trainer supervises me. I might want her to watch me twice just to make sure, but overall it’s a fairly easy process.

I also had to make a billion CVC kits. Ok… not really a billion, but I did 20 termination packs during my first break, which yes, I do catch a lot of flak for working during my break. I like doing it, though. The stockroom is always empty. Making packs is organized and structured. It’s one of the few times I can sit and listen to music and de-stress, and a lot of the times it’s too busy on the floor to step away and make the packs during the day, so yeah, I don’t mind spending 15 of my 30 minute break alone doing something mindlessly structured away from people. I’m ok with spending that time being anti-social.

Not only did I do the 20 termination kits, I also did 30 initiations and 30 tego packs before I left the clinic because ALL of the CVC bins were empty. That’s in addition to the 24 needle packs I made while I was on the floor.

Yes. That’s a lot.

At the moment we have a lot of new patients with CVCs rather than graphs and fistulas. On TTS days we have 18 patients with CVCs. That means almost all of the termination packs I made yesterday will be gone by tonight along with over half of the initiation packs. Packs need to be made, but there’s rarely downtime to do it. It’s annoying. It’s something that I’m going to bring up in our meeting along with organizing the drawers on the floor. I’ve been at the clinic long enough to have confidence in speaking up, and I feel I have earned the respect of my coworkers enough to be heard when I make suggestions.

Anyway, Monday was a pretty full day with little sleep and little recovery time from the previous week. I was glad to leave the clinic. I was glad I had my evening ahead of me, and I was glad Tuesday was a day off.

So here I am. Back at home. Today is a much different day than how my Tuesday’s usually go, though, and all of that has to do with being so tired and sick feeling this morning.

Normally I would leave Big Bad’s and come home to start chores before going to training. After training would be showering and eating before going to donate plasma. Once I finish with donating I normally go to my sports bar to eat and study. The rest of the may have a few more chores like finishing meal prep or some such, but those are the main things for my Tuesdays and Thursdays recently.

That’s not how today is going to go at all. The first thing I did aside from drinking water was cancel my training. I told L I wasn’t feeling well and asked if it would be ok to try to meet Thursday. She said that was fine and that she would message me tomorrow to see if I was feeling better.

With my first obligation of the day taken care of, I went back to sleep on the couch. I slept until 9ish. When I woke up my headache was gone, which confirmed it was most likely from dehydration or a combination of dehydration and tiredness. I had more water before trudging into the kitchen. I put the lasagna I bought Sunday in the oven, ate breakfast, then went back to sleep again.

The lasagna is done and now I’m left to figure out the rest of my day.

I’m not going to be donating today. I don’t think it would be a good idea and I don’t want to risk having a bad donation on the one day I have before going back to work. I’ve been going at life pretty hard. I want a day to myself that’s actually relaxing that I’m conscious long enough to actually remember.

There are a few chores I need to do, like cleaning the litter box, but laundry is done, food is taken care of, so aside from paying bills there’s not much else to do.

Rest. Not get sick. Self-care. Those are the things on my to-do list for today.

I took the practice test for my certification Saturday night. I got a passing grade on it, though it wasn’t as high as I wanted it to be. Since this is my blog, and I’m supposed to be honest here, I passed with a 75. You need a 75 to pass, so I barely made it.

Most of the questions I missed were from the chapters I haven’t read yet, so there’s a small amount of comfort from that. Some of the questions were about medications, which I don’t think will be covered. Those questions fall into the category of “what the actual fuck” for me since that content isn’t listed anywhere in the study material. If I knew I needed to know it, I would study it, thus why I got it wrong, because I didn’t have the information to study.

It’s one of the reasons I hate certification tests. There’s always bullshit questions that lower your grade and make you feel like a failure because you didn’t get a perfect grade even though you aren’t a failure.

So yeah, right now I got a barely passing 75 on the practice test, but I have a better idea of what I need to be looking at, mainly the stuff I haven’t looked at yet. I’m happy to say that for the 75% I got right, I was extremely confident with the material. I’m not scared of the actual test and I’m on track for having everything taken care of during the first week of January. It’s going to cost me an extra $50 to have the process expedited, but I’m ok with paying the cost to have it over and done with before classes start.

Pretty much the only thing I plan to do today is to go to my sports bar to study. I feel like having a good meal with some solitude would be beneficial. That way I’m not staying at home “wasting” the day away. I still progress even if it’s just a little bit, and it’s not a taxing or intense obligation that will deplete me for tomorrow.

I have two more days to get through at work. Wednesday, then two days off, then Saturday. Sunday there’s a meeting at the clinic, but it shouldn’t last too long, and once it’s over my week off begins. I still haven’t figured out what to do during my week, but maybe that’s something I can figure out today. While I’m paying bills I can sit and figure out how to divide up my $500 of birthday / Christmas money.

Kyle may have a job by the end of the week. His former employer got in touch with him. Kyle’s essentially hired, provided he passes the background, which there’s no reason he wouldn’t. That would be amazing. If he could actually start paying rent… My brain can’t even begin to process my finances improving that much. Having an “extra” $400 to put towards my debt… and if Warren keeps to his word and begins actually paying me back, not just making his monthly rent payments…

In the coming new year, my financial situation might not be the dark depressing forever nothingness that has been eating away at me for months. I’ll have my dollar raise from my certification, and people will be keeping their word, and things won’t suck, and might actually be ok.

I haven’t allowed myself to think of things “being ok” because it felt like such an impossible, foreign thing. But now there are actions and data to support the “being ok” idea and those thoughts bring such a feeling of relief that I want to cry.

It would mean I’m not the failure I feel like. I would actually be adulting well enough. I would be making progress to being able to live alone, to getting away from the dependency I once again placed myself in. Maybe, finally, I will have learned this lesson.

It’s something I talked about in therapy, and it might be the main reason I don’t feel better from having gone. I think my therapist is frustrated with me because I did the same thing with Kyle that I did with Warren, that I did with pretty much every person I’ve lived with.

We talked about boundaries and protecting myself financially.

I don’t want to stop helping the people I care about. I help people the way I would want to be helped if I was in a shitty situation. There is a point where it’s harmful, though. I’m not going to sit here and type about “how I’m learning where that line is” and other inspiration BS like that because I honestly don’t know if I’m learning that or not.

I know I am learning that I’m tired of people’s bullshit. I’m tired of being burned for helping. I’m tired of not being able to help myself because I’ve injured myself in my effort to help.

I don’t know if that’s gaining wisdom or becoming jaded. And right now, a little over a year and a half after my mother’s death, eight days before I turn 29, I don’t care which it is.

I know I am driving a stake into the ground, splitting the Earth beneath me as if I’m throwing down Thor’s hammer. I’m done being “here”. I’m done sinking back into this situation and feeling these feelings.

I WILL NOT knowingly do this to myself again.

Mom isn’t here to help me. There’s isn’t a bailout option for me. There isn’t the coping mechanism of a phone call to help me deal with the stress. There’s only me and if I want to be there for myself I have to protect and look after me.

So yeah… That’s about it. I’m tired but I’m hanging in there. I think things will get better soon and until then I’m not feeling bad about doing the things I need to do to keep going.

I’m going to keep fighting the fight even if that means some days I don’t fight at all.

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Daily Post 058: Better Then They Have Been

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Written earlier this morning.


 

I’m physically tired right now. It’s taken me about an hour to recover from my training session with L. We worked inner thighs pretty hardcore today since I told her that’s where I feel weak. Tuesday was shoulders and back and I can still feel the tiredness there as well.

I suppose a lot of my tiredness comes from being so active this week after such a hard lull the previous week.

Thanksgiving was pretty good for a shitty day. All of the days leading up to it sucked. I watched Fate/Zero in its entireity in two days. I didn’t feel back about taking over the living room for those two days. I’m hardly ever home. No regrets or remorse.

The show was alright but I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. I watched it more because I wanted to watch Fate/Stay Night which I’ve been told is good. Since I made it through all of Zero I started watching Stay Night Wednesday evening and continued throughout Thanksgiving day with my brother.

I have to admit that one of the reasons I’ve avoided watching these anime for so long is because Zane watched them before we dated. I can remember him having conversations with other people about the show and so I’ve always associated the Fate series with him. Sort of like how I associate Burn Notice with Corey. I don’t know if it’s really overcoming anything to finally watch the series, but it feels less like Zane’s and more like any of the other story lines in my head.

Jon actually took care of most of the cooking, which was a fantastic change from last year where I did all of it and then no one ate anything.

I actually woke up thinking about ditching and just staying home and being sad. I didn’t want to get out of bed. The thought of having to take a shower was borderline too much on top of having to drive the hour up to Daytona. I didn’t like the idea of having to stay with my roommates even less.

Instead, I made a compromise. I would stay in my pjs, get in the car, and make it to my brother’s place. That’s all I had to do. The only “requirement” of my day was driving. Everything else was icing on the cake that I didn’t “have” to do. My brother wouldn’t care if I was in pjs or not. He cared if I showed up. If showering compromised my energy levels for completing the trip then it was ok for it to not happen.

So that’s what I did. I got in my car and drove up to his apartment. There was a hot cup of coffee waiting for me and a hug and no judgment. Only acceptance, and understanding.

I helped a bit in the kitchen when he wanted/asked for it. I helped load the dishwasher a few times, too, so I wasn’t a total slacker and mooch. The turkey was brined which was the first time I had anything like that and it was amazing. Jon is now Lord of the Turkey and we have plans to do pretty much the same thing for Christmas since neither of us can get out to Vegas to spend it with our older brother.

Jon did have a friend come over for Thanksgiving. I guess he didn’t have anywhere else to go and Jon didn’t want him to be alone. It was super socially awkward and Jon even sent me text messages while we were all in the living room asking me not to kill him for inviting the guy over and saying he was sorry. He essentially begged for my forgiveness which I thought was cute.

I told him he owed me and he agreed. Jon said he had forgotten how “off” the guy had been the few times they had hung out. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t all that bad.

Towards the end of the evening, Jon’s roommates came back home and said that their family was going to show up to play board games. Roughly six people in total. That totally went against all of the plans they had agreed to previously with Jon, leaving the apartment empty so he and I could have a place for our own Thanksgiving. When we asked when their family was supposed to show up his roommates said they weren’t sure. Just that they would be there at some point.

I didn’t have a bra on… There was no way I was going to be ok with being in the middle of surviving my second Thanksgiving without mom and dealing with six strangers having a good time while not being “presentable”. Fuck that shit. Like, for real.

I ended up leaving before they showed up. In fact, I’m actually not sure if they ever did. Jon hasn’t mentioned it in any of our conversations. I was sent home with leftovers, a big bear hug, and the whispered words of “You’ll be ok” echoing in my ears as I cried the whole drive home. The leftovers are what got me through the next couple of days because I didn’t do any sort of cooking or prep work on my days off due to being sad.

I don’t remember which day I started feeling better. Maybe it was when I came back home Friday. I know that day at the clinic wasn’t bad even though I thought it would be. One of my coworkers called out sick so we were short a person. My boss came out and worked the floor on my side of the clinic, so that was pretty awesome. The times he’s worked on the floor he normally takes my spot to see how the changes they’re making to the schedule work. This was the first time we worked closely together and he was very complimentary at the end saying that I did what had to be done.

I was expecting that day to totally suck, but it ended up being one of the smoother ones I’ve worked. It was good to see all of my patients and to hear about their Thanksgivings and how they got to see their friends and family and eat good food and enjoy their day. It was nice to share that mine had turned out better than I expected and that I spent it with my brother who made a fantastic meal for us.

I guess going to work forced me to get up. It forced me to not sit at home in the dark where the only things to keep me from thinking about the pain are anima, alcohol, and cigarettes. It made me go out and see people who care about me and who are grateful that I’m alive and do the things I do. It made me go out and connect to things that feel worth it, so for that I am grateful. I may dislike my job, but I’m glad that I have one that gives me purpose.

Warren and I had a fairly friendly conversation. He’s paid full rent for this month. That’s the first time he’s paid fully two months in a row. I’m hoping that December continues with this positive change. This is the month where he should be able to start paying in advance rather than having me use my own money to cover for him and then him paying me back. It would be nice to not feel tension and tightness in my chest when I pay bills. It will be nice to feel secure in the fact that I know everything will be taken care of.

My main mission is still to survive until January. I feel more confident in my ability to do that, especially since it’s only two and a half weeks until my week off. I haven’t figured out anything that I want to really do that week. Maybe getting my hair bleached again since the roots have grown out so far. Maybe it would be good to talk to Big Bad and see if there’s anything he would like to do and if he still plans to take that week off with me or not.

I had thought of giving up personal training for the coming month and solely focusing on work and my certification. I have since decided against that. I want to keep training the little bit that I am, which leads to this week and why I’m so tired right now.

Sunday started with messaging Big Bad. It was light and playful until he asked me if I had had a cigarette since our last time together. I said yes, less than what I normally would have done, but more than none.

His reply message of “I’m disappointed in this behavior” was more soul-crushing that I expected it to be. I actually sat crying at my computer for a little while. I know a lot of people don’t like me smoking and I have always acknowledged and accepted that fact. I don’t like it either.

I decided, after my cry session, that I wouldn’t smoke anymore. I went outside and had my last one and while I smoked it I asked mom to help make it my last one. I wasn’t prepared for those emotions either because asking that made me feel like I was losing a part of her all over again.

Yeah… Sunday was a day full of emotions after a week of already heavy emotions. So tired of emotions right now…

I hadn’t realized I was using smoking as a way to feel close to her. At least I didn’t realize it as consciously as my awareness became during that last cigarette. I cried during it but stuck to my word and threw the rest of the pack away.

Once I was back inside I sat down and wrote an email to Big Bad explaining why I had been smoking these past months and how his message had hurt because I don’t want to let him down. He’s been so supportive and accepting throughout this past year that the thought of letting him down feels like a betrayal in a way.

I haven’t had a cigarette since Sunday. I know that’s not a lot to go on, but I’m content with it so far. The first month is going to be the hardest, especially towards the center of it. So really, this coming week and the week after are the ones I want to really get through.

Big Bad responded to my email saying he was proud of me and that I can do anything. I felt better even though I was emotionally tapped out. I felt more solid and stable. It felt like I had finally made a stand about the whole smoking thing and confronted some heavy things I had been avoiding.

Jon came down and we had lunch together while studying for his Anatomy test. We started with the section for the brain, which was amazing, and then moved into the spine. I think we were both in need of some more time together. We agreed to start playing new characters in World of Warcraft. Horde side this time so I have more drive to actually play. Since Monday was a day off for me we spent most of Sunday night leveling our characters.

While I waited for him to drive home I cleaned my room and the apartment. I ended up doing four loads of laundry to wash all of my blankets and sheets as well as my clothes. Kyle cooked a chicken alfredo dinner and let me have some. It was a pretty low key night after what ended up being a pretty intense day.

Monday went well. It started with canceled breakfast plans. I had made plans with Mrs. G, a former classmate from DaVita’s training program, to meet since we haven’t seen each other in almost six months, if not longer, but she’s been having headaches and asked if we could raincheck out meeting. Though I really do want to see her, I was ok with the cancellation.

It meant that I was able to go to boxing instead, which I think I needed. I didn’t do as well as I’ve done in the past. I was also late because I stopped to pick up my new glasses first. I didn’t let that stop me from going, though. I still went in while everyone was warming up. I put on my shin guards and gloves even though I knew there wouldn’t be any kicking. It’s part of my ritual, just like taking off my necklace and ring. I always do these actions and I will not compromise them just to get onto the mat fast enough to make someone else happy.

I pushed myself pretty hard. I can tell there’s a difference in my core strength. I can feel how my punches, especially my hooks, are stronger, harder. It’s a good feeling. I stayed for all of the core section of the workout, which I sometimes skip out on. For not having done any sort of workout for a while I was happy with my effort. It was a total body sweat. I got to talk to the instructor who was one of my favorites. In January he’s going to begin working with me on footwork and how to move around in the ring with an opponent. I’m looking forward to it.

I took a nap when I got home. I did some cooking. A lot of things were already taken care of due to my burst of motivation Sunday. I ended up going out and finding a new nightshirt to wear at Salvation Army and having a sandwich for dinner at Arby’s.

I spent the evening with Big Bad. We watched a few episodes of Stranger Things. He said he tried watching some of it without me but it wasn’t the same. That gave me warm fuzzy feelings. I got to wear my new top while we cuddled on the couch. It was another quiet, relaxing night after a fairly productive day.

Tuesday was a busy day. I knew it would be and I knew I would be tired before it even began. With how productive I had been Sunday and Monday I knew Tuesday was going to be rough, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I wasn’t going to back out of any of my obligations so instead, I tackled everything head on.

I trained for the second day in a row which is a first for a very long time. That’s where L tore up my shoulders. We did some box jumping as well. Only the red box, but that’s what I wanted. I told her I would rather warm back up into things successfully rather than trying to push too far too fast and compromise my confidence. I’m ok with being on the low side this week.

After training, I donated plasma. I wasn’t as hydrated as I wanted to be, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the one donation where I almost passed out twice. After donating I had a doctors appointment. I had been instructed to fast for the blood work I needed to get done for my bio screening, which is supposed to save me something like $800 on my healthcare premium. So even though I trained and donated, I hadn’t eaten for eight hours. I was edging towards a bitchy mood and I could tell.

I made it to the appointment on time. Didn’t have to pay anything since it counts as my yearly physical. Had to get a tetanus booster shot, and then drive over to the place where they actually do the blood work to have that done. So I got stabbed three times on Tuesday. All while not eating anything. So hangry.

I’m grateful I was able to get the blood work done and out of the way, though. Since I went to the clinic so late there wasn’t a wait time. I was seen pretty much immediately and was assured my results would be in by Thursday, which was perfect. Thursday was my next day off, so my doctor said to come by the office during the afternoon to let her complete the form I needed to be filled out. So I was able to get most of my healthcare stuff taken care of. The only things left were to have the paper filled out and to submit it via the online portal, both supposedly easy things to accomplish on my next day off.

Tuesday was also Nicole’s birthday. We were chatting throughout the day and eventually made plans to meet at a Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was roughly 40 minutes away, but since she drives up to see me all the time I felt like even with how tired I was it was the least I could do to drive halfway to see her on her birthday.

Well… that ended up taking an extra 30 minutes to do because of rush hour traffic and car wrecks. I was super bitchy by the time I sat down, but luckily Nicole let me bitch while we ate our fill of biscuits with apple butter. I even got to order my Country Boy, “there’s no way you could possibly finish all of this food” breakfast. And yes. I did actually eat all of that food. Fuck anyone who thinks poorly of me for doing it. You try strength training, donating, doctor appointments, and driving through Orlando hell on no food for almost 10 hours and see if you don’t devour everything, too.

I will say it was amazing to finally get home. I slept deeply that night, though it wasn’t enough before I had to wake up for work on Wednesday.

Yesterday was rough. I was on my normal side at the clinic but I was paired with the newest team member, who works extremely slow because he’s still new, along with the preceptor who trained me, who is extremely thorough, but also a slow worker. That ended up making things extremely rough. My preceptor went and complained to my boss about the new guys which I didn’t think was fair because she also could have done more than what she did throughout the day. I am actually glad that he came out onto the floor later in the evening because it meant that I got to talk to him and give him my opinion.

I said I didn’t think it was that the new guy is a bad worker. I said I felt like everyone at the clinic has their own strengths and weaknesses and that right now, two slow workers together was not a good idea. He needs to be around two strong workers until he gets his confidence and speed up.

My boss was grateful for my input and I think it helped give a more unbiased opinion about the situation since I also voiced my opinion on how my preceptor handled/didn’t handle the day.

I was pretty dead by the time I got home. It was roughly a 14 hour day and six miles. Maybe closer to 15 hours, but once you get to a certain point it really doesn’t matter. A long day is a long day regardless of how many hours it is.

I ate dinner and checked my mail in Warcraft since I’m back to whoring the auction house. I showered not long after that and went to bed. I slept for a little bit but woke up around midnight hungry and thirsty.

I logged onto Warcraft and chatted with my brother who also happened to be on. I stayed up until around 2 before going back to sleep.

Since then I’ve woken up, gone to training, and am about to go back to the doctor so she can finish filling out my paperwork. After that, it’s donating plasma. Then lunch with maybe some light studying. Then back home to chill for the rest of the evening. I do need to cook one last meal. Doing a load of laundry would be good. But overall my requirements for the day are mostly done.

Speaking of, I’m going to cut this short so I don’t miss my appointment. I’m glad I took the time to write. It was nice reflecting back on everything that’s happened. I’m also glad things feel better than they have been.

 

Daily Post 057: Waiting

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I used to write for myself. I used to sit here and let my mind wander through itself, my fingers moving over the keyboard, typing out the melody in my head. The one that always seems so hard to put into words when talking with people. The one that not even I know the notes to half the time. It’s only after writing, after going back and really reading what I wrote than any sort of sense can be made from it. The logic, the pattern, emerging from the chaos of emotions. They, the emotions, exist for a reason, but without writing, that reason always seems elusive, nebulous, and half-formed.

I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been going to the gym or the dojo. I’ve been eeking by. And already I’m on the verge of tears, not so much because I’m depressed. I feel I’m actually recovering from the recent lull in my emotional state. But tears from acknowledging pain. From no longer forcing myself to keep limping forward. From finally sitting, resting, and assessing my wounds, the damage, the trail I’ve traveled and where I have yet to move to.

I know for a while I felt hopeless and pointless again. I felt my grief which so rarely is the crushing tidal wave it was in the beginning. I can see it coming, feel it welling up within myself. I can almost prepare for it. I know the days will be hard and the nights harder. I know waking up will be the most painful part of my day while the rest of it is idle survival of making sure I eat meals and shower and go to work and convince people that I’ll be ok even though I feel I’m bleeding out through a wound in my chest.

I’ve made it up to this point and even though I’ve been drinking and smoking, I feel it’s worth noting that I HAVE survived. I have coped. I have found ways of being self-reliant. I HAVE NOT collapsed or shrugged off my responsibilities. I have fought through most of this year and I have fought hard.

I had a realization last week and I think that’s the main reason I have been feeling slightly less lost.

I have decided that, for the moment, I will wait. I will rest, just like the Earth.

I will rest between now and January. I will make it through Thanksgiving, my second one without mom. I will make it through my birthday, a day I wish wouldn’t come. I’ll make it through Christmas and New Years.

I won’t worry about if I get to the dojo or not. If I’m able to train or how hard I train when I do. I won’t stress over my work schedule making things hard with how inconsistent it is. I won’t give myself shit for not doing much because it’s cold and cloudy and hard to find the will to do all of the things I love doing while it’s warm and sunny out.

It’s winter. It’s a period for rest. Instead of raging and struggling against it I decided at 4 am on a cold Monday morning while smoking a cigarette and drinking my coffee before work that I would try embracing that aspect of this season. I would stop struggling to do and allow myself to rest.

Making that decision let me feel free. It dissolved the feelings of failure for not making it to the gym after work to run when I had already walked eight miles in the clinic. It freed me of so many negative things that I felt tears forming in my eyes from relief.

It was finally ok to wait, to rest, to simply breathe rather than fighting against everything that seems so impossible to overcome.

Sometimes the best course of action is to wait. To allow your opponent to make the first move, opening themselves up so you can land a devastating blow.

In January I start a new path.

I begin the road to becoming an RN, something I never in my life thought I would be. My first class is already paid for. Everything is set, all I have to do is attend the class. The first day of a new direction.

I have a rough sketch of an outline for where I want to go. First, it will be my Associates of Nursing, followed by the Physical Therapist Assistant degree. From there I will transfer to UCF for their Bachelors of Nursing moving into the Masters. From there it will be the Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Along the way or maybe after all of the “official schooling” will be the fitness training program I found while researching into the degrees I wanted. I would like to become a yoga instructor with counseling credentials as well, though I haven’t looked very far into that aspect of my plan.

I want to be a holistic nurse. I want to be a nursing teacher. I want to show people there’s more to health than just the physical body. The mind and spirit are just as important.

I will not stay with DaVita. I have already come to the realization that though I love my patients and my coworkers, I do not love my job nor the company. After achieving my first degree, my RN, I will begin exploring other employment options, ideal in the vein of holistic nursing. For the next two-ish years, however, I think I can manage three days a week at my present location. If things line up the way I hope they do I might be able to go down to working part-time and doing school full time.

Warren and I have fought. I told him he was an ass as a roommate. I told him I could rely on him to be unreliable. That in 13 months he’s paid full rent three times and none of those times were consecutive. I told him I didn’t want to live with him anymore and if he didn’t leave willingly I would find whatever legal course of action I could to have him removed, even if that meant having both of us evicted.

All of that came from after finding out he ignored my messages for three days.

I suppose backstory is needed…

Last Friday rent was coming due. It was also my payday and there for a “bill” day. I go through and pay things in order of their importance. Since rent is most important, I paid it first, which meant I had no money left to pay any of the others bills since Warren hadn’t made his contribution towards rent yet.

I messaged him to let him know rent was taken care of, but without his help, I was unable to pay any other bills such as power, internet, or any of my personal expenses.

I received silence.

For three days.

Nothing.

Nothing about, “Yes, I’ll pay rent. Just give me a few days.” No, “Thank you. I appreciate it.” Nothing to let me know that I would be able to pay all of my other responsibilities. Just empty nothingness.

On Monday I sent a message asking for Warren to pay rent so I could put gas in my car. I was low and without some sort of payment, I wouldn’t have had enough gas to make it through the week.

No reply.

Monday afternoon, when I got out of work, I sent a message asking if he was receiving my texts.

Silence.

I went to Big Bad’s house. I spent the evening with him. One were I told him about the situation and how I was going to address it when I got home. It was a good evening and I feel my time with him is one of the reasons I’m remaining as ok as I am.

When I got home I still had no replies to my messages but there was a deposit to my bank account for partial rent. I was ok with that. I was able to pay the bills that were due. It was enough to stay afloat and buy groceries.

That evening, while I was meal prepping, Warren came into the kitchen. I asked if he had been receiving my messages. He did a “so-so” motion with his hand saying “Eh. The first message rubbed me the wrong way so I just didn’t reply.”

I don’t remember what I said, but he went on to explain to me something something something… I honestly can’t tell you anything about what he said because the only thing I heard was the tone of his voice.

I’m sure other people have experienced it. That “tone” where you’re talking to a four-year-old who’s being unreasonable and so you have to talk very slowly and punctuate every single word since it’s the fifth time you’ve had to explain yourself to them and you’re just so exasperated that they’re being difficult…

I am NOT a four year old and I do NOT deserve to be talked down to after covering $500 of someone else’s rent. I DO deserve an explanation as to when I can expect my payment and I WILL NOT stand for my messages to be ignored because another person wants to be childish.

Thus my bridge burning napalm response of, “Go fuck yourself. Get out.”

Warren: So that’s how it’s going to be.

Me: GET. OUT.

He left, going back upstairs to his room, leaving me alone and furious. So furious I couldn’t even think beyond wanting to bash the windows of his car in with my combat swords from SCA.

I started receiving text messages from him. Messages I honestly didn’t read. I stated my feelings of “You’re an ass,” “I can’t rely on you,” and “If you’re not going to help I need you to leave so I can find someone who can.”

He knows where we stand now. He knows I’m ok with burning everything to the ground, including our relationship, if he doesn’t get his shit together because I’m done dealing with the stress having him in my life causes me.

This is my final stand. He made his payment for this week. I am waiting for December since that is when he gets his additional raise for his recent promotion. Words don’t matter anymore. Only action.

If he won’t take action then I will and I don’t care who goes down in the process. I don’t have to win, but I REFUSE to lose.

Big Bad and I are… doing well? I hesitate to write about this because even in my chest, sitting alone, I feel scared and vulnerable. Like it’s a frail, soft thing which could be injured at the slightest harshness. Something which hasn’t had time to become strong and confident. Like a fledgling.

The subject of children has come up. Twice, actually. Both times he asked me if I ever thought about having kids.

I answered with I’ve never had a partner that was loyal or one that I would want to have children with. I mentioned financial stability and being potentially polycystic and infertile. I mentioned how I never saw myself having the house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids.

He seemed saddened by that. His response of “Awww” to my not having the picket fence seemed one of sorrow. Like he was sorry I felt that dream was out of my reach, or not meant for me.

I used to think about it, what my future would be like. I liked cooking dinner for my partners. I liked falling asleep next to them or watching shows with them. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t finished watching Burn Notice. I can’t bring myself to do it. There are things that I miss about living with a significant other. Things I figured I wouldn’t have in my life again.

There’s a part of me who is captivated by the idea of the 1950s housewife. I actually do want to do the laundry and dishes. I want to greet my love at the door with a kiss hello, or a sticky note attached to a nerf gun saying that the house is a war zone, loser has to take out the trash… you know, stupid, nerdy, romantic things. I want to have a kitchen table covered in puzzle pieces that we work on together, or at least talk to each other while I pick away at it.

There’s a part of me who wants it; the house with a white picket fence. That ideal life of perfection. There’s a part of me who wants kids and to pack their lunches and write love notes on their napkins. I want to help them with school projects and the science fair. I want to be there for their field trips. I want to help them grow their interests and find themselves. I want to be what my mom was to me for someone else.

I just never thought I would be able to experience it.

I mean… Big Bad has four daughters already. Why would he want more kids? And since I don’t want another partner, that means no kids for me by proxy, right?

I mentioned this to Kyle who’s response was, “He wants more kids. Why else would he ask you twice?”

My brain came up short on that one. Yeah, I thought it was odd that it seemed to come up often. But surely Big Bad didn’t want kids.

Kyle said to ask him.

So… I did…

We were texting each other good night and I asked if I could ask a personal question.

Big Bad said yes.

Me: Do you want more kids? I realized you’ve asked me that question but I never asked back.

Big Bad: Sometimes I do. They’re fun up to a certain age.

Since his oldest girls are teenagers I’m sure there is angst and tension at the moment.

Me: I think after a certain age they go back to being fun. It’s the middle years where they have to figure out themselves that sort of suck I think.

Of course, this is going solely on my own experience as a teenager and my relationship with my mom, so what do I know? But I do think things will ease over as his girls grow up and mature a bit.

Big Bad: Yeah. Maybe. Why? Are you ready to bear me the antichrist?

Me: I don’t know. I’ve never allowed myself to think of being a parent. I assumed you didn’t want more kids. I’m sorry for making assumptions rather than asking how you felt.

Big Bad: No need to apologize.

Me: Hypothetically, do you think I would be a good parent?

Big Bad: I think so. Certainly better than most.

Me: If I give birth to the antichrist for you I want 75% world domination for having to give up jiujitsu for 9 months. >.>

A girl has to have priorities…

Big Bad: Negative. I get 100% and you get to live in the post-apocalyptic future as my plaything.

Me: Do I get a slutty outfit?

Big Bad: Of course.

Me: And an army of penguins with lasers?

Big Bad: Several. Riding on sharks.

Me: … Then maybe…

So we haven’t agreed to have kids together or anything, but I do think our relationship has developed and deepened in ways I never thought it would. I don’t know how to explain the feeling, and I don’t know if it’s mutual or one-sided on my part because I haven’t voiced any of this to him.

It feels more committed. Nothing has changed, but in lew of the kid conversation, I feel like fidelity was reaffirmed on, and to, both sides. I feel like it’s another moment in time where we could have stood apart but instead, we stood together. We both admitted to things that we don’t share with others. We both allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. I’m not sure if we’re stronger for it, but I do think there is something positive about being vulnerable and realizing that it’s ok. You didn’t get hurt. In fact, you were safe the whole time. Not everyone is an asshole out to kick you while you’re down.

I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning in Daytona with my younger brother. On the way back to Orlando I messaged Big Bad to let him know I made it back to town safely. I jokingly said I was about to pass his house.

Big Bad: Why don’t you stop by for a few. We’ll have coffee.

And so I spent nearly the entire day with Big Bad on Sunday. It was amazing. We started watching Stranger Things. Even though I just got done watching season two with Kyle I was completely content to curl up on the couch with Big Bad’s arms around me, the blanket covering us, and relax the day away.

It felt different than what it has been. For a little while, it had started to feel hollow. Even though we were together it didn’t feel like we were connected. It felt like it was just sex, which was still good, but I missed our times of wrestling, or working out, or cuddling, or our cups of coffee which seemed to have altered to me drinking by myself while he showered for work.

Recently, we had our date night to see Tho and all of our deep conversation and him saying he was proud of me. And then our Sunday afternoon of snuggles and shows. We still saw each other Monday evening which I am grateful for. Since I got out of work at 2 and he has taken this week off from work, I was able to go over to his house fairly early. We spent more time watching Stranger Things and talking.

I don’t know. It’s been feeling better and I do think the relationship is growing in ways that I didn’t expect it to. In ways, I hadn’t allowed myself to notice.

We both sleep well next to each other now. I remember in the beginning we didn’t. We were both worried about keeping the other awake by tossing and turning or snoring. But now, it’s different. I sleep deeper next to him. It’s like when I’m in my room alone I’m merely resting, while when I’m with him I actually sleep. I feel safe with him. Completely, physically and emotionally.

He said he knows he snores sometimes to which I replied yes, but that I liked it. It’s not loud or obnoxious. It’s just loud enough to be heard. Strong enough to be felt when my head is on his chest. I said it was reassuring. Comforting.

He said it seemed like I was having a bad dream last night and he woke me up. I don’t remember it. I remember feeling warm even though it’s winter and I normally always feel cold, no matter what I wear or how many blankets I have on my bed, or the fact that I live in Florida and most days still get into the 80s.

There’s a part of me, the soft, feminine part, that had given up on giggling, and being tickled, and goodbye kisses that make me smile. Of the warm fuzzy feelings that bubble up when you think of someone that spill into a silly uncontainable smile that makes you blush whenever someone points out that you’re smiling. Bastards. >.<;

And now, in the aftermath of basically two low key, relaxing days, I’m thinking that maybe it’s not all that impossible or crazy after all. Maybe all of this is ok and I should write off having a future with another person as “something not meant for me.”

I don’t think anything life changing will happen anytime soon. I want to become financially independent first. Or maybe stable would be a better word since I’m already independent and supporting two people, still. I’m sure being divorced and having four kids makes Big Bad hesitant to want to address the potential of living together or other batshit insane ideas like marriage.

Even just typing that on a blank page in a completely empty room makes my body tense with anxiety. So I know I definitely am not up to tackling those issues right now. I would much rather get out of the roommate situation I’m in first. I would like to make it through at least the RN associates. I want to feel like I am worthy as a partner and that I bring something to the table other than chaos because that’s what my life feels like right now. Chaos with brief moments of stability.

I think we’re both ok with not rushing things and I think maybe that’s why we’re as ok as we are. Regardless of what the future may or may not have in store for our relationship, I can say I am grateful he is in my life.

I like what we have. I feel he is honorable and I think I would actually be ok with eventually having his child.

There’s a lot on the horizon and not all of it in the distant future. Some of it is heavy and grief ladened. Some of it is good and potentially relieving. The main focus right now is breathing and surviving and resting.

For some reason it seems easier to that now; to survive. I’m looking forward to January. I’m actually kind of looking forward to the week of my birthday. Big Bad said he might take it off with me. I like the idea of us getting a pizza and watching stupid shows on my birthday. I like the idea of it not being special but of not being alone either.

I think there will be hard moments in the coming month but there will be good moments, too.

Daily Post 052: Mostly Caught Up

Standard

 

I wrote this the night before last (Tuesday evening) but didn’t have the time to proofread so it’s being posted now. And just a heads up, Warren and I had a spat last night about him not paying rent, again, and not telling me about it… so yeah… that’s going to be a super fun time hashing out all of the emotional fallout when I write tomorrow morning.

It’s whatever though. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I’m going to enjoy my night with Big Bad tonight and beat Life into submission later.

Until then, here’s Monday and Tuesday.

 


 

I’m finally caught up with writing. It’s a weird feeling. Everything is fresh. I can put the emotions and experiences away properly, reflecting on them, analyzing them and then letting them go to where they belong.

Monday was a good day. I opened so the clinic was quiet and empty. The other opener was already there so the machines had been turned on. I like starting the day like that; at square one. I know everything that needs to get done and I know how to do it. There isn’t anything that’s “gone wrong” yet.

Changeover for second shift was a little rough because one of my coworkers was late. We got caught up though and everyone started their treatment on time. At least, everyone who showed up on time, that is. We’ve been having issues with transportation being late, so people aren’t able to get their full treatment. One of the cool / good things about being the lowest person on the totem pole is I don’t have to worry about fixing admin problems like that. Woohoo for not having to make phone calls.

During lunch, I stopped by my FA’s office and asked if we could make an arrangement to sit and chat on Friday. He said he had time now if I wanted to. Since I don’t like waiting and neither does he we went ahead and hashed my issues out.

I started off with explaining how I wanted to go back to school and that’s the main reason I wanted to wait until Friday because I didn’t have much information about it. I explained how I wanted to go for an Exercise Science degree and that at the moment I don’t actively plan to use it for a career change. The thought of going to school and learning about something I’m interested in makes me happy. It makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

When I asked how school would work with work he said they would do their best to maintain my full-time hours in regards to my classes. Essentially I let them know what days I can’t work and they give me what they can.

So that’s pretty awesome to know. Work will be flexible with my potential future inflexibility.

I went on to talk about how one of the things I’m trying to do is find better work/life balance and how I’ve been having a hard time finding it on my own. My true fulfillment comes from the dojo, but working long shifts so many days out of the week keeps me from being there even on my days off.

Before I said anything further he offered to reduce my days to three. I said if it was possible to do that and not adversely affect the team that I would be beyond grateful. He said it wasn’t a problem. There are teammates who want more hours so it, in theory, would actually help for me to work less. As long as I meet the minimum requirements to qualify as “full-time” then everything is good.

I can still have my Monday/Tuesday arrangement so I can have my evenings with Big Bad, which is great because I can keep that small bit of consistency along with always having Sunday off.

I also disclosed how my rent is going up and asked if there was any way for me to make myself more valuable to the company to receive an increased wage.

He said unfortunately because I’m still such a new hire, there wasn’t much I could do.

I said I understood that because I do. I haven’t even been out of training for three months yet and here I am asking for a raise. It was a long shot and I knew it.

I did ask about completing my certification. I asked if completing that was a possible raise or a guaranteed raise once it was achieved. He said it’s guaranteed so it’s something I can take steps towards. Mainly studying and making a fuck ton of flash cards like the nerd I am.

I asked if there was a time restriction on taking the test since originally I had been told there was, but later heard there wasn’t.

He said he wasn’t sure but he would look into it. He actually wrote it down on a notepad so for once I believe I’ll actually get information back about something.

As we were talking, since it was a pretty laid back and conversational atmosphere, I mentioned how I sort of screwed myself over by claiming zero allowances for my taxes, so there’s a large part of my paycheck I’m not actually receiving.

He said I could actually go into the computer and change a number of allowances I claim if I wanted to. I had no idea. For some reason, I thought tax stuff worked like benefit enrollment. You could only change it during certain times of the year or if you had a “qualifying” life change.

I guess not though, so that’s going to be something I look into/do. I want to do some calculations before actually changing it over. It’s nice to know I have that option available.

That pretty much covered all of my issues so I closed with asking how I was doing as an employee.

He said I’ve been doing great. No one has any complaints about working with me.

I asked if it would be possible to schedule myself for the CVC classes since I feel like a liability to my team by not being about to do catheter care. I’ve become secure and confident in my abilities as a tech to feel comfortable enough to learn something new, especially if it can help my team members out.

He said he knew it was a six-month waiting period but he wasn’t sure if it was six months from my hire date or six months from my “out of training” date. I said whatever made it happen sooner was cool in my book. I told him it would be cool if it could be “six months from when I was desperately look for a job” date. We both laughed.

There was actually a lot of laughter during our conversation despite how heavy my topics were. I really am lucky for having such an amazingly laid back supervisor.

Anywho, I’m tired of not being able to work with our CVC patients. We had five CVCs Monday morning. Five. That’s almost half my patients and the only things I can do with them were figure out their fluid removal goal, take their temperature. Oh. And get their blood pressure. Other than that I’m useless because it’s like I’m not even allowed to look at a CVC without having this “one day and now suddenly you’re an expert” class.

Arg. I may or may not have strong feelings over this. >.<;

The good news is my FA is totally on my side. He’s going to see about getting me into a class as soon as possible. Hooray.

He also said I could start learning how to mix bicarb, which would allow me to open the clinic more often. I’m totally cool with that. I want to learn more and I want to open more often. Learning bicarb hits both of those goals, so I’m totally down for it.

Other than not being able to touch CVCs apparently everyone is ok with me. That’s a relief to know. I haven’t crossed any lines or stepped on any toes, at least not that my FA’s aware of. I’m doing well and the issues I talked to him about aren’t new or unsurprising.

The meeting took way longer than my lunch break. When I got back to the floor I explained I had been in the FA’s office talking about potentially going back to school. That sparked a really interesting conversation that lasted for most of the second shift.

The third shift started and the change over was pretty smooth. I was able to leave the clinic shortly after 4 pm.

Originally I wasn’t scheduled to open so I was supposed to stay at the clinic until around 8pm which totally screwed over my plans for seeing Big Bad. I was able to switch shifts with a coworker on Saturday, which is why I did end up working my “normal” shift, but because I wasn’t able to switch with her pretty much the day before I worked, Big Bad and I had already rescheduled our evening together to Thursday.

That meant I had all of Monday evening to myself, so I went home, showered, had a quick snack, then went to the dojo. It was something I had been looking forward to the whole day.

They’ve changed the class schedule at the dojo so every hour they run two classes instead of one. I chose to do the submission grappling (no-gi) class versus Muay Thia.

One of the black belts ran the class. He’s a super cool guy. I was actually at the belting ceremony where he ranked up into black. I enjoy it when he instructs. Because there was an odd number of people at class that night, with me being the only girl, the instructor paired with me so I got one on one training essentually.

It. Was. Awesome.

He’s always super chill and answers all of my questions, which I normally have a lot.

Me: Why do you do it this way? What happens if they do this? Could you do this instead and it still be effective? Where am I supposed to be putting my weight during this movement?

He seemed genuinely pleased with how engaged I was so hopefully I wasn’t too annoying.

During the first two sparring rounds he was my partner. There was one point where he got butterfly hooks on me. That’s where his feet are on the insides of my thighs. It’s a way to control your opponents hips and to limit their mobility.

He ended up rolling onto his back and essentially lifting me off the ground since I had grips on his forearms. I could feel my weight shifting too far forward, giving him an advantage, so I straightened my legs out behind me while I’m balancing on his feet in the air.

It was one of those moments where neither of us thought we would end up in that position, with me in the air like Superman. We both smiled and kind of laughed even as we continued to struggle for a position of advantage.

There was a point early on in our first match where he got my arm and smiled saying, “It’s my arm now.” Later on, I got his arm so I taunted back, “Now it’s my arm” and we both shared a genuine smile as we continued sparring.

Both rounds with my instructor weren’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about being competitive. It was about comradery and fun and I absolutely loved both rounds even though I was pretty wiped afterward.

For my third round, I was paired with a guy I’ve sparred with before. It was a good match but nothing overly special.

My fourth match, because yes, I did do a fourth one, was against a guy I’ve never seen before. It was brutal. He tapped me out three times in our five-minute round, but I liked that. He helped show me what I’m doing wrong by not letting me get away with stuff.

If I left my guard open he took advantage of the opening. If I overextended my arm, he went for an armbar. It’s not like he was mean or overly aggressive. He was doing what he was trained to do, take down an opponent, and I appreciated that.

I can honestly say it was one of my hardest sparring sessions to date. There was one point where he had me in an armbar and he raised his eyebrows at me because I hadn’t tapped yet. He hadn’t pushed me to that point and I wasn’t going to just give it to him. I shook my head no so he pulled further back and I tapped in a hot second because when it’s a legit armbar the only thing you want is to cry uncle and get out of it.

Just like he wasn’t going to go easy on me, I wasn’t going to tap unless it was a legit tap. No softcore shit here.

Once the timer buzzed he laid back on the ground arms extended, breathing heavy, like it had been a struggle or something. I was trying to remember that breathing was a thing  I was supposed to be doing because the only thing on my mind was how I felt like I was dying. Holy fuck was that a hard rough.

Him: You’re strong. That’s good.

I had thought I would stay for a second or even third class, but after my last round, one where I gave all I had, I decided going home was the better option.

I can say I slept amazingly well that night and I think part of it has to do with being so physically exhausted from the dojo.

I woke up at six in the morning since I wanted time before meeting with L for training. I used to meet with her in the afternoon, but we’re switching it to the morning so my day isn’t as broken up.

It worked out extremely well today. I was able to go have breakfast and to type up my last post. I already had my gym bag with me, so once it was closer to go time I packed up and headed to the gym. I got there a bit early so I was able to stretch before my session.

L was very pleased with my “homework”. She liked the conclusions I came to about the terms strong and fit. As she took me through my training we talked about the dojo and how my rounds went.

She explained how she’s going to start incorporating more polymetrics into my workouts, which is where I got the goal for jumping the red box. We both want me to get to that level. Jumps are super fun so it’s only a matter of time.

We did a bunch of burpees in between my sets of weights. It was a much more intense session this time ’round and I thoroughly enjoyed it and made sure to say as much. I was pleased with how well I did during the core section. The “jack-knife” movement she had me to previously didn’t hurt/burn nearly as much. I could have gone a second round I think and been fairly ok.

We set up our appointment for next Tuesday at the same time. We said goodbye to each other, I got my stuff out of the locker room, then went home to begin looking into classes.

I’ve decided the school I originally was looking at isn’t one I want to go it. It’s a for-profit school and the reviews on Google aren’t very flattering. The community college near me doesn’t have what I’m interested in, so that blows.

I looked at UCF just to see what they had since it’s literally on six miles away from me. They offer a minor for fitness training. It seems pretty interesting, but I want to talk to someone about it in person. I called and left a message asking if I could arrange a meeting with someone to discuss the degree further and left it at that.

By that point, I was recovered enough from the gym to be hungry. I showered and went to my sports bar where I actually proofread through my writing and posted to my blog. I also wrote my Musing Moment post. I had my favorite server so I was also able to spend a bit of time chatting with her and getting caught back up since we haven’t seen each other in a while.

I ended up being at my sports bar for almost four hours between all of my writing and researching. My Surface actually died because I didn’t have it plugged into anything and that’s really the only reason I left. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have stayed there longer because I do tend to get caught up in things.

As I was driving home I contemplated the idea of going to the dojo. It was one of my days off. One of the few days I am guaranteed to make it to a class.

I was still pretty sore from my morning session with L, not to mention the no-gi class from the night before. I wasn’t feeling all that social either. I thought about going to Title Club Boxing instead, but that didn’t solve the whole “being sore” thing and most likely needing to do something less intense.

I was mulling it over in my head. Was I being a slacker or should I take the night off and do something like cross stitch?

I decided to check out the gym’s class schedule, just to see if maybe something was being offered that would satisfy my itch to do something else without leaving me dead for work tomorrow.

Wouldn’t you know, there was a yoga class scheduled for 7:30. Since it was only 5 pm I was able to cross stitch a bit before changing back into workout clothes and going to the gym for the second time that day.

The class was fantastic. With each movement I could feel my body relaxing further, releasing more. I’m still not where I was last year, but I could feel a huge difference at the end of the class compared to the beginning. I’m definitely glad I went and it helped confirm my goal of doing at least one yoga class a week.

With how hard I push everywhere else, I need to take at least an hour to relax and stretch.

There was a move during that class that was super cool. We started in down dog before flowing into three-legged dog. From there we bent the knee of our lifted leg and “opened our hips” which means we rotated the lifted leg over our grounded leg. From there we planted our lifted leg back onto the ground so we were in this weird bridge/back bend sort of posture.

It felt soooo amazingly cool. I had no idea I was able to do something like that, but I can. Wooo. One day in the hopefully not so distant future I’ll be able to do Standing Bow Pose, or maybe even King Dancer’s Pose.

Once yoga was done and I was reunited with my phone I saw I had a missed call from my younger brother. We chatted for a bit. It wasn’t anything important, just him bitching about work which I was more than happy to listen to.

From there I came home, ate, drank, and am now done with my writing and ready for bed.

I didn’t find out as much information as I wanted to about the whole school thing, but I wouldn’t be able to start classes until the Spring semester anyway, with March being the deadline for my application. I would like to talk to someone on Friday since that’s my next day off. If not Friday then hopefully next week. I want to get this figured out as soon as possible so I know what I can expect and what I can look forward to.

I might end up taking classes at the community college if they’re able to transfer. I don’t know yet and right now it’s not a major concern.

I’m happy with today. And today is done. So I’m off to sleep so I can wake up and kick ass at work tomorrow.

Daily Post 050: The Aftermath of Irma

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I’ve written a handful of times since my last posting, but never actually posted them. I didn’t have the time to sit and proofread through all of the red squiggle lines of death in the moment and the promise to “get to it later” never happened.

Those writings seem so long ago now. A lifetime ago even though it’s only been a few weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll post them or not. I know I won’t  delete them, but this writing eclipses them and so it seems almost wrong to post. Their time is past.

Honestly, Irma already feels like forever ago and it was only last Sunday, around this time in fact, that the storm actually made its way to Orlando. I remember waking up when the eye passed over because there was a guy outside my window talking on his cell phone. Rude much?

The storm itself wasn’t as scary as some of the ones I stayed through in South Carolina. Floyd is the one I remember being the scariest. I know a lot of people were severely affected by this storm and so I do realize how lucky Warren and I are. The apartment did not sustain any damage and both our cars are fine.

Even though we came through the storm fine the last half of last week and the beginning of this week hardcore sucked.

It started with last Friday being 4 shifts long rather than 3. I was lucky enough to be sent home “early”, around 9:30pm because I had to be back at the clinic at 4am Saturday morning to continue dialyzing patients before the storm.

When I got home Warren asked if his girlfriend could stay with us through the storm. I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. She came over around 6pm on Saturday. By the time the storm hit on Sunday I was ready for her to leave. I was tired of her and Warren making kissy faces at each other and all of the “new relationship energy” filling the apartment.

I just wanted to be home and not around people. I especially didn’t want to feel confined to my room while they took over the living room with a movie marathon. When the storm finally ended there was a curfew in effect until 6pm Monday. When she finally, finally, blessedly left I got a text message from Warren about an hour later saying her apartment was without power, could she come back?

No, but yes because I’m not that much of a jerk even though I wish I could be.

So she came back and I did my best to not focus on the fact that I was going to get no alone time at all on the few days I had off.

Tuesday I didn’t have to go into the clinic until 10am. I went and had breakfast at a Waffle House which was running off of a generator. I left my waitress at $13 tip. I knew her day was going to suck having to work without AC. Hopefully, I helped make her day slightly less shitty.

Tuesday was a crazy day where we ran for four shifts again. The only things I wanted to do when I got home was eat dinner, shower, and go to sleep. That wasn’t in my cards, though. I got home to discover we had lost power at some point during the day.

I ate cold pizza because I couldn’t heat it up. I had a cold shower by the light of my cell phone flashlight. I tried sleeping but wasn’t able to because the air was so stagnant. I had to be back to work at 4am and with each passing hour I felt more hopeless. Wednesday sucked and the entire day I struggled with not breaking down into tears over the smallest things because I was so burnt out and tired.

I had been texting back and forth with Big Bad Wednesday morning. That evening he offered  me to come over to his place since he did have power. I can’t put into words how greatful I was for his offer. I asked if I could shower at his place as well. I had my gym bag with me which meant I had clothes to change into. He said that was fine and that he would see me soon. I stopped at an Arby’s on the way to his place so I could have dinner. Big Bad said he didn’t want anything.

I knocked on his door three times to no answer. There was a larger part than I want to admit to that was worried about him standing me up, or it being some sort of sick joke. I actually walked back to my car and was about to drive away when I decided to try calling him. Maybe he would answer?

He did. He had fallen asleep waiting for me. I can’t blame him.  It was past his bedtime. He opened the door for me and showed me where the towels were before going back to bed. I showered crying silently as the water washed away all of the stress I no longer needed to hold on to. Once I felt clean I sat in the kitchen eating my dinner, enjoying the feeling of being off my feet.

When I finally crawled into bed he wrapped his arms around me and sleepily asked me how my day had gone. We talked for a little while and as we did I could feel myself relaxing and legitimately letting everything go. None of it mattered while I was safe and cared for and away from that part of my life. None of it mattered while I was warm and breathing in his scent. Everything was ok and I would be able to sleep and in the morning I would be able to begin figuring it all out.

I slept amazingly well. Surprisingly well. I felt restored when I woke up in the morning.  I slept so deeply that I don’t remember Big Bad’s alarm going off or him getting out of bed. I don’t remember anything until he came in to wake me up.

We parted ways after breakfast, him to work and me back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power so there wasn’t much I could do. There wasn’t a point in going food shopping since the fridge didn’t have power. I couldn’t do anything chore related like laundry, dishes, or vacuuming and I didn’t really want to stay in the apartment as the day progressed because it was going to suck not having AC.

While I was trying to figure out what to do my phone notified me that there had been a post on the dojo’s Facebook page so I checked it out. The dojo didn’t have power but they were going to be open at noon for anyone who wanted to come train a bit.

I decided to say “fuck it” to the day. Fuck life, fuck responsibility. I just spent I don’t even know how many hours at the clinic making sure not only my patients but other clinics patients were dialyzed. It felt like it had been an eternity since I had seen sunlight and I had to turn around and be back to work Friday and Saturday.

No. Fuck it. I’m taking today to do whatever I want to do and no one is going to stop me or talk me out of it. I’ve earned today.

So instead of doing the mountain of things I “should have” done, I got on my bike and biked to the dojo where I sparred with five other guys for an hour before biking back home. Instead of going straight home though, biked another mile and got lunch at Moe’s. I sat outside for a while after that resting in the shade, enjoying the breeze and letting my food settle before biking the mile back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power but I didn’t care. I wanted to rest before driving to the gym for my training session with L. Originally it was supposed to be Tuesday, but Irma had everything shut down for a while. I was honestly surprised I was able to reschedule so quickly.

Just as I was getting ready to leave for the gym my power came back on. It was a relief knowing I would be able to take a warm shower once I got home.

My training session went well. I was able to talk to my trainer about a lot of things that have been on my mind. I don’t know if I really want to get into all of it right now, but part of it is the possibility of going back to school for an Exercise Science degree. Not because I want to get a different job. Just because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more and because the thought of doing it makes me happy.

I talked to my younger brother about it. He’s supportive while at the same time not. He doesn’t think it’s smart to invest a bunch of money and time into something that I’m not going to actively seek a financial benefit from.

At the moment I’m in a “fuck it” mindset with my finances. Not that I’m being reckless, at least not anymore reckless than normal. I’m tired of setting goals to “pay this off” or “get rid of that debt” only to constantly, consistently, fail at doing it because other people won’t pay me the money they owe me.

I just spent $300 on personal training sessions instead of paying down my credit card, and for once I don’t care. I get more fulfillment out of training than I do out of making an extra payment on my card.

Maybe this is a bit self-destructive of me. Maybe this is selfishness. But right now, in this moment, on this blank page where I can actually begin to address my feelings over my situation openly and honestly, I’m angry.

I’m hurt and angry. I still don’t know how I’m going to make things work in October. I’ve openly communicated my situation over and over again to no avail.  Nothing has changed. All I have are hollow, empty, useless promises.

So I’m done with those goals. I don’t know how to make things work but I know it’s not going to be by sacrificing the things that I want. I’m not going to give up the dojo. I’m not going to give up the gym. I’m not going to give up myself because I’ve done that over and over again for the past nine years and it’s gotten me nothing.

So yeah. Screw that. Fuck that, actually. I feel alive at the dojo. I feel alive when I train. I feel like living it worth it when I’m able to bike in the sun and feel the wind moving past me, my legs burning and aching from the effort of maintaining my speed on my highest gear.

I’m letting go of my financial goals because they’ve only ever made me feel like a failure at life. Like I’m not adulting well enough. Warren agreed to pay part of the interest I’ve accrued on the card due to him not paying me back. That brings his total to around 8k for what he owes me. If he paid me that in one lump sum I could almost pay off the card completely. Hell, I could pay it off with the remaining money I have from mom.

But that’s not going to happen. He doesn’t make enough for that to work. With Irma, he hasn’t been able to work at all this past week so I most likely won’t get his rent payment yet again. At least this time there’s a legitimate reason for it. It still sucks though, and it still leaves me in a worse off position than I was, and I still don’t care that I spent the money I did on myself rather than saving it for situations like this or putting it towards something that has no hope of being gotten rid of in the near future.

I’m done sacrificing my life and fulfillment.

My new goal, the one I’m giving my focus to, is to run the Spartan race that will be in Florida in December.

Tuesday I go and find out information about the Exercise Science degree, then later this week, hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to my FA about changing my work schedule.

I’ve proven that I can work the hours I was scheduled because I did work them. And it sucked. Sucked to the point that I had to have other people talk me out of not quitting my job.

I know I need a job to survive. I want one that’s fulfilling. I want one that allows me to have a life outside of work. One that lets me still be true to myself. And one that pays enough for me to be able to support myself. I think my FA will be willing to work with me a bit more now that I’ve proven myself to be an asset. I’m worth keeping around. I’m a hard worker. I get along with my teammates and the patients. I am reliable and for the most part, I’m pretty flexible.

I want to cap my days at 3. They can be three 16 hour shifts or three 12 hour shifts or a mix of whatever they need me to work, but three days. That’s it. That’s all I want to give. I’ll figure out something if it’s not enough hours. They can use my PTO to bump it to 36 hours if I’m short because 36 is what I budget on.

There are all these things that could be done as a way to compromise. I can still be an asset and valuable, but I want to be fulfilled and happy with my life at the same time.

Going back to school is one of those things that will give me happiness and fulfillment. I like learning. I have always desperately wanted to take an anatomy and physiology class. That’s going to be what I take in January hopefully.

Finding a compromise with work so I can still actively and consistently train is another thing which I want to address. That’s where the day cap comes into play. I can work three days, train hard three days, then have a day to recover. That would give me time for school as well when that begins.

Increasing my pay is another aspect I want to explore since a lot of my stress is still financial. I found out I can take my certification test whenever I want. I had been told there was a waiting period, but I guess there isn’t. It’s something I want to clarify with my FA. It would be a dollar increase for me. There might also be additional things I can do to increase my wage.

For a while, I didn’t have any real goals and I think that’s why it was so dark for me all the time.

My goal of “get a job” was accomplished. It then became “become secure with job” so I poured everything into it. I worked whatever was needed. I didn’t speak up all that much if I had to give up something in order to make work happy. But I can’t keep going the way things are.

Something has to change. My goal is no longer “survive”. My goal now is “conquer”. I will run the Spartan. I will become a fighter. I will go back to school and I’m not going to let something like work stand in my way.

If compromises can’t be reached then I’ll begin looking elsewhere. I got one job in the medical field. I can get another. I can always go back to using my animation degree. I have options. I’m not stuck even though for a while it felt like it.

I have a destination in mind. Now it’s just figuring out how to get there.

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 042: 16 Hour Days = 8 miles

Standard

Monday was my second day on my own at work. My second 16-hour shift.

It was the first day that I remembered to wear my Fitbit with me to work. Apparently, I walked eight miles that day.

It was the second time that my teammates were amazing and had a little pow-wow with me to help boost my confidence.

Monday was the first day where I forgot the clamp the saline lines, not once, but twice, which resulted in a major headache for my trainer who had to help fix my mess up. Monday was the first time where not one, but two, of my patients, wanted to pause their treatment to use the restroom. It was the first time I got done taping someone’s access up and wished them a good day only for them to come back two minutes later, their gauze soaked in blood because they bled through.

It was the second time that I used organizing the stock room as my destresser from it all. It was my first heart to heart with one of the RNs who’s become way more friendly to me now for some reason. It was my first time interacting with Mr. C who said I did a good job taping him up.

It wasn’t a bad day. I was joking with my boss earlier, just after my first break, saying that I hadn’t killed anyone yet, I hadn’t broken down into tears, and I hadn’t quit, so, all in all, it was a good day so far.

He laughed, and I laughed with him even though we both knew how serious I was about each of those statements. Since he started as a PCT he knows exactly what I’m going through and it’s a nice feeling to know that he legitimately understands the whole, “It’s not a bad day but I’m totally going to break down into tears once I get out to my car” feelings.

Part of the routine at the clinic is each team member gets a specific chore for the day. My chore on Monday was making CVC kits. It’s sort of like making the needle packs.

Two packs of 2×2 gauze, two packs of alcohol, two tempadots, one piece of 4×4 gauze, paper tape, plastic tape, one syringe, one iodine pack.

Making needle packs is an extremely structured and repetitive task. It one of the moments in the day where I get to breathe and take a step back. A moment of decompression. Just like mixing the bleach water. I get to measure everything out. No higher level thinking. No inserting needles into arms or thighs. No human interaction for those six minutes. There’s only running water, measured bleach, writing initials, date, and time onto a piece of plastic tape to go on the container.

Monday was such a crazy busy day with me trying to keep up with my patients that I didn’t have time to do the CVC kits. I stayed after I clocked out to do them, holding up in the stock room and listening to the same ambient techno song on my phone while I did five packs at a time.

Two of those, one of that, three of these.

Counting. Repetition. No beeping alarms. No “next obligation”. No “I hope I’m doing this right and don’t mess up.”

My brother called me during my CVC making. There’s a former guard instructor who lives really close to him. She helped Jon get a job working with a high school marching band this past summer. She’s sort of become Jon’s adoptive mom. I’m not as close to her, but she’s an extremely nice person and I’m glad Jon has her in his life.

She was taken to the ER for a kidney stone. I can relate all too well to that situation.

Jon said he needed someone to talk to because it brought up a lot of emotions for him. Seeing her with IVs in her arm, just like mom had. Being there when she was discharged, an action we never got to experience with mom.

I had silent tears running down my cheeks as I continued to count out alcohol packs and tempadots. I know what it was like for me to be in the ER on my own. I haven’t seen any of my loved ones in the hospital yet. I’m sure it will bring up powerful emotions when I do have that experience, but I still ached for my brother and myself over our loss of mom. It still hurts remembering what it was like to see her in the ICU, what it was like to sleep in the hospital every night for two weeks. To stand in front of the drink mix aisle at Target and to feel like an awful daughter because I didn’t know what flavor mom would want. To know that mom never got to be discharged.

It brought up a lot on an already overwhelming day and I didn’t even bother to wipe the tears away as the rolled down my cheeks while I listened to him and shared in his pain.

I’m glad my brother called me and I’m glad we have each other to understand the emotions we can’t share with anyone else.

When I finally left work it was 8:30 pm.

I drove home. I talked to one of my friends from California while I did it. He made me laugh which kept the tears in check. It helped remind me that the day hadn’t been bad, just overwhelming and the way to fight overwhelm is to let go of the tension and breathe.

I took a long, hot, relaxing shower when I got home, washing away the day. Work will stay at work, and I think showering will be one of the actions I use to solidify that for myself.

I then went out to dinner with Warren since it was his birthday. We talked about finances. We talked about the Internet issue. We talked about him having a friend over on Wednesday (tonight). We talked about a lot of stuff. It was good to be out even though I was exhausted. I think it helped him feel cared for that even if it was a small outing that we at least did something for his birthday. It didn’t go unnoticed.

When we got back home I went to sleep almost immediately.

I slept almost all day Tuesday. At first, I thought about getting up and doing something with the day. At 7:30 am I went downstairs to make coffee but only made it to the futon. I laid back down for a few hours before finding enough energy to go back upstairs to my room. No coffee. No breakfast. In fact, I didn’t eat anything until 6 pm that evening and the only reason I did was because Warren agreed to pick up a pizza for me.

By 7 pm I was feeling a bit better energy wise. I stayed up and played Torchlight until about midnight before going back to sleep.

I woke up at 3, 5, and 7:30.

I’ve felt better today but still tired. It’s the type of tired that feels like it will be fixed with a good night’s sleep, so I think tomorrow will be ok.

I work tomorrow. It’s a “short” day. Only two shifts of patients rather than three. If I close tomorrow then I’ll be out around 4:30 pm. Friday is a day off, then Saturday is another “short” day. I’m hoping the new schedule is out so I can know what I’ll be working for the next six weeks.

I’m glad with the way the schedule worked out this week. I enjoy closing. I enjoy the calm and being able to stock and clean and not worrying about having the pod set up for the next wave of people. 16 hour days are brutal. Maybe I’ll get better with them as I improve my workflow and things become less overwhelming. Right now it feels like a lot and I needed these past two days to recover. Just like I needed Saturday and Sunday to recover from this past Friday.

I saw my blacksmith Saturday night. It was supposed to be Friday night but he was in a car accident.

I knew something was wrong that evening as I was leaving work. We had been texting earlier in the day. When I was leaving I sent a message to let him know I was on my way home. After thirty minutes I still didn’t have a reply. I knew that was odd. After an hour and thirty, I knew something had happened and our evening most likely was going to be postponed. At 11 pm I sent a message saying I hoped he was ok. At 3 am I still hadn’t received a response.

It wasn’t until the morning that I got a message saying he was being released from the hospital. No one was seriously injured. His shoulder and chest were sore but that was it. A 17-year-old was texting on her phone and pulled out too soon, smashing into the passenger wheel of his car.

I’m glad he’s ok. I’m glad we saw each other Saturday night. It was another session where I feel like my soul was melted into liquid iron and reshaped. Insecurities that I’ve had for years seem to have vanished over the course of a single night. Even with the weight of work I can feel a difference in myself. The breaks and cracks and chipped pieces where past experiences have hurt me have been undone through this one interaction and I really don’t know why or how.

I feel accepted with both my blacksmith and Big Bad. I feel a level of peace with both of them. Like it’s ok to be me, pure me, vulnerable me. No walls keeping people out and protecting hidden, secret hurts me.

I like how they both make me a better person. How they want me to reach the goals I set for myself. How they’re supportive and inquire about what I’m doing. How they help me through the hard times and share in the good times. I’m grateful for both of them and this is another instance of where I realize just how rare a dynamic like this must really be.

I still feel the hurt of mom being gone, but excluding that wound, I feel more whole than I have since I can remember. It’s another foreign feeling where I’m still me but it’s a different version of myself that I’m not used to. There should be pain in certain areas of my soul and there isn’t. In a way, it’s disorienting and yet relieving.

It’s something I am consciously aware of, so I suppose I’ll meditate on it and form other thoughts and will write about it more in the future. For now, it’s enough to say that I continue to grow and change and develop into the person I’m supposed to be.

Today has been a more productive day than yesterday, though really it feels like any day would have been “more productive” than yesterday.

I returned my fourth pair of shoes today. I actually really liked the ones I had. The only bad thing was they were a 9.5. The store I had been at previously only had half sizes in stock, so it was either a 9.5, which was a little too big, or an 8.5, which was a little too small.

I decided to try out the 9.5, but nope, too big. The shoes almost slipped off my feet while I was walking around the clinic. Everything else was amazing though. I loved the cushion and the slip resistant bottoms. The style was what I was looking for, too.

So today I went to a different store to return them and see if they had the elusive size 9 I wanted. They did, so hopefully, that mission can be labeled as a 100% success. We’ll know tomorrow when I try out the new pair. I have high hopes.

I did grocery shopping after that. This week is almost over and with still being low energy like I am I don’t really have it in me to do a bunch of cooking. I got mostly frozen stuff that requires baking in the oven. Not the healthiest of meal planning weeks I know, but it’s better than eating fast food every day from having nothing prepared. I’m going to try to be a bit better planned for the coming week.

I also got my car looked at today. One of the things my blacksmith and I do is go out to Waffle House for breakfast before he leaves. As we were driving there he mentioned how it felt like I should get my brakes looked at. Since I’m not a car person I tend to default to other people’s judgments on things like that.

My rotors were fine but the pads did need to be replaced, along with my brake fluid and my oil. It wasn’t supposed to have taken very long, but when one of the mechanics when to pick up the brake pads the store didn’t have them, so we had to wait for them to be delivered from somewhere else… it was sort of a cluster fuck on their end and I ended up waiting about four hours to get my car back.

Wasn’t really how I wanted to spend my day to be honest…

I got a half price oil change out of it, along with a card for a second half priced oil change. Would have rather had my car back two hours earlier, but at least they acknowledged the fact that it was sort of BS to keep me waiting as long as I was.

I’m glad the car got taken care of. The struts need to be replaced soon, but since that will be about $1k I’m going to hold off on that for a bit.

Oh… I bought more of the Shefit bras as well since they’re working out so nice. Three isn’t enough to get me through the work days as well as working out.

Aside from cooking food and doing laundry, there’s not a whole lot else about today to write about.

Warren is going to have his date night. I’m going to go to sleep, and then it will be tomorrow.

So with that I guess I’m going to go and hopefully tomorrow is less overwhelming than what Monday was.