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.

Advertisements

Daily Post 050: The Aftermath of Irma

Standard

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

Standard

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.

Daily Post 037: Unknowingly Reaching Goals

Standard

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

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

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

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

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

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

But yeah… back to today…

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

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

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

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

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

I want to reflect on something else.

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

I’m at 23%.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think I want to aim for 12%.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

Standard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything was inconclusive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That counts.

Daily Post 033: To My Keyboard

Standard

Hello, dearest Keyboard.

Yes, you, Keyboard. This is for you.

You who I have typed on through this whole year. You who randomly double spaces every so often which most of the time I can ignore and correct while other times it provokes a level of irritation that can only be matched by lag during an MMO PVP match.

I realized I’ve never acknowledged you nor your contribution to keeping me going through this past year.

Every time I think about writing it’s you I think about sitting in front of. You who allows my fingertips to dance, playing the music in my soul, sometimes smooth and lulling, other times chaotic with the anguish and rage of my grief.

It’s you who had been consistent for me through all of my ups and downs. You who I constantly turn to. You who lets me bleed away my pain onto blank, white digital sheets of paper scrawled with red squiggle lines of doom because the computer loves to tell me that I don’t know how to spell.

I’ve missed you, Keyboard. I’ve missed having someone to talk to.

I miss mom.

I had left a voice message for John the other day. There were four parts to the message, all pertaining to different things. When he called me back he said, “What’s up?”

Me: Did you get a chance to listen to my message?

John: Yeah, I listened to about half of it. I got the gist of what you were saying so I deleted the rest of it.

He deleted the part where I told him I was feeling better from going to the urgent care clinic. He deleted the part where I said I had my first 12-hour shift at work and that I felt like I would be ok with the workload and my new career.

He deleted the part of the message that was about me.

We finished the conversation about his resume. We made plans for the weekend. I didn’t mention anything about the deleted sections. He didn’t ask how I was doing.

When we got off the phone my first thought was, “Mom wouldn’t have deleted my message.”

My next thought was, “John’s not mom.”

I’ve hurt since then, Keyboard.

It’s true. Mom would have listened to any message I sent her no matter how long or unimportant. She would have listened to every word.

I feel unimportant to my brother. I feel like this happens a lot with him. I keep allowing his actions to cut me deeply. I keep thinking that we’ll be able to find mom in each other but we don’t. We can’t. Neither of us is mom, but we both miss her so much it’s almost unconscious on our parts.

Maybe the deletion of my message wouldn’t bother me so much if mom were still alive. I most likely wouldn’t have left him a message at all since I would have been calling mom to begin with.

I don’t know. It’s all “what ifs” and “maybe would have beens”.

This is the life I’m living, and in this life mom is dead and my younger brother is his own person. Maybe one day I’ll understand that wholly. Completely.

I’ve been sick for a while. Two weeks and counting, though I’m pretty much well at this point. I caught whatever my classmates were passing around. Last Sunday it got so bad that I was looking up the symptoms of pneumonia, vowing to myself that if I was still super sick in the morning that I would go to an urgent care clinic.

I was still sick Monday morning, but I was better than I had been the night before, so I didn’t go get looked at. It was only on Wednesday when I was leaving work that I changed my mind. My right ear started hurting as if a nail were trying to drive itself into my skull.

John came down and took me to a clinic to get looked at, which ended up being a good thing. I had ear infections in both ears and pink eye in my left eye. The doctor said most likely what happened was I got an extremely severe sinus infection which ended up spreading to everything else.

The terms “eww” and “gross” come to mind.

It was extremely not cool. I had eye drops for four days, and I’m still taking my 10 days worth of pills for the ear infections. I was given a doctor’s note excusing me from work for two days, which I was luckily able to make up on Saturday. That’s how I was able to get a 12-hour shift in even though I’m still technically in training for another four weeks.

For the most part, I’m better. My sinuses aren’t draining nearly as much. The pressure in my ears is mostly gone. The cough which hurt so bad I was in tears is gone.

I felt well enough, and non-contagious enough, to go to the dojo for personal training today. MG pushed me pretty hard, though not has hard as she said she wanted to. My lungs were burning nearly as much as my legs by the time we were done with the sled work. I know tomorrow will be a yoga day to stretch everything out and get rid of acid build up.

Aside from missing mom and being sick, I’ve had to contend with more emotional ickiness in regards to the apartment. Since I was sick nothing got cleaned, and of course, once I was done being sick Warren got sick, so even if he were the type of person to care about cleanliness it would have been dickish of me to rant and demand that he help out.

It still sucks, though.

In my self-absorbed moments of sadness, I think about how it’s not fair. I was sick and still had to do the dishes. Why does he get to not do them while he’s sick? Shouldn’t it be fair? Equal? Couldn’t I have been cared for, too?

It doesn’t help with the feelings of worthlessness and meaninglessness I’m already feeling due to the deleted message.

When will I matter to the people who are supposed to be closest to me?

I have new coworkers, online friends, distant family, and distant friends who all think I’m an amazing person. They think I should be treated well and loved and cared for the way I care for others.

And even the people who hurt me think these things. So why do I hurt? Why am I hurt?

Why do I still not have rent money? Why do I still have to be the only one figuring out how to make financial ends meet? Why do I not warrant the respect to be told that a payment won’t be made at all, not even the partial of the partial I was getting before?

It sucks. And for the last two days, I’ve come home and curled up in bed under my covers and have allowed that pain to be almost all consuming. I’ve tried to understand why, and today I’m no closer than I was yesterday to an answer.

I don’t know why.

Today was different, though. Today I went to my clinic and I worked. I worked hard. I focused on finding my routine and flow and needing less guidance than I have on previous days. I still made mistakes here and there, but I can tell I’m getting better and my trainer constantly praises me for how well I’m doing.

I saved three people today.

Maybe that makes it sound more glorious than it really is, but it’s true. I initiated three dialysis treatments today and terminated them once the treatment was over. That’s three people who can live slightly longer, slightly better because I was there to help them.

It’s a good feeling. It makes it feel worth it. And right now I need something to be worth it.

I can see myself getting wrapped up in work once I’m allowed to work overtime. Maybe that will be good. Maybe that will be my form of self-medication for when I hurt, which might be bad. I already have a preference for being at work rather than home because home is stressful and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Warren has a new job which starts on the 11th, but that doesn’t fix anything right now. And even on the 11th, nothing is going to be fixed. We’ll have to wait two weeks at least for his first paycheck, maybe 4 if his new company holds the first paycheck.

Things are still going to be painful for a while. They’re still going to be hard and there’s nothing to do other than to breath and wait and not lash out in my pain and frustration and claustrophobic confinement of being trapped in an environment I can’t change.

I had a dream last night where I yelled at Warren. He was upset that I was yelling, but nothing else I had done worked. Being nice didn’t do anything so I was yelling because that’s my way of breaking down. That’s when the frustration wins and rational through dies and the only thing that matters is letting out all of the hurt and injustice that I diplomatically tried to convey.

That’s part of why I was so tired this morning. I was fighting all night in my dreams.

Work was good, though. And the dojo was good. I got to see James for a few minutes after my session with MG. He said he hasn’t been able to make it to the dojo much because of a new job, too. We chatted for a bit, but all too soon we both had to leave. I hope to see him more in the future. I miss having him as a sparring partner.

When I came home I decided to clean. Not just clean, but hardcore clean. And so far I have. My room and bathroom have been bleached and vacuumed. My sheets are being washed. The stairs and floors are swept and mopped. The living room is vacuumed. I have a shopping list that I will take care of shortly. All of the trash has been taken out, including the bag that sat by the trash can for three days.

Part of me, the small bit of sadness still in my chest, knows that this, my cleaning, won’t matter. Dog fur will pile up again, the trash will build up from someone other than myself, and I will still have to take care of dishes that are not my own.

The order I have returned to my world will be eroded away day by day, action by action, and the thought of that makes me want to cry. I’ll still come home and not have my solitude because Warren’s waking up earlier in the afternoon.

I don’t know what else to say or write about in that regard. It is pointless. Hopeless. Meaningless. But in this moment, in my small bubble of a room with my music playing as I type to you, I want to take comfort in giving myself the illusion of control.

I can’t fix anything, everything, but I can clean my notebooks. I can put my clothes away. I can sleep in clean sheets. I can bleach the hair dye off of my bathroom counters. And for a few hours, the kitchen can be spotless and the floors free of gross Godzilla bunnies of dog fur.

I still need to go through and pay my bills since that’s another thing I haven’t done.

I’m trying to catch up on life, Keyboard. I’m trying to be an adult and to keep going even though I really don’t want to. I feel alone right now.

I saw Big Bad the other night, but even that isn’t enough to make me ok. We spent three hours together. Three wonderful hours. He held me in his arms and I was able to sleep with my head against his chest for a little bit. But because I had to wake up so early for work we decided it would be best for me to sleep at my own home. We had a cup of tea together before I left. I couldn’t fall back asleep, though.

Having been surrounded by warmth only to return to emptiness added to the feelings I’ve been struggling with. Big Bad has his kids this weekend. I don’t think we’ll get to spend any sort of extended time with each other for a while. My blacksmith and I most likely won’t see each other for a while longer, either.

I’m having a hard time finding a purpose, a reason, to keep doing all of this other than because I promised mom I would. I hate that there’s a part of me who doesn’t want to keep my promise. I want to give up. I want to let everything fall down around me and to say it’s too hard that I quit. I have nothing left to give.

Promises are important to me, though. I want to keep the ones I make and I promised mom I would keep going, so I have to keep going.

I started listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck about a month ago. One of the things mentioned in the book is how blame and responsibility are two different things.

I’m not to blame for Warren not paying rent. I’m not to blame for my brother deleting my message. And I’m not to blame for my mom’s death.

I am responsible for how I choose to act in regards to all of those situations, though.

Right now I would rather not feel. I would rather tackle Life like I did the last few reps of sled work that I did at the dojo today. I don’t want to think. I want to go on auto-pilot and push through this section because this section sucks. It’s hard. It hurts. I want to quit, but I’m not going to because I can’t quit.

I want to survive. I want to make it to the end. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want Life to win and break me because fuck you, Life. You don’t deserve to win. I won’t let you win.

I want to hold on because the end is worth it. When I’m finally able to rest even if my legs and arms and lungs are at the point of failure, it’s worth it. Maybe it’s more worth it because I push to my breaking point and then past it because, fuck you, Breaking Point. You’re not the boss of me.

In the end, the blessed end, the relief is so much more intense, so much sweeter, so much more gratifying, when you’re clinging desperately, reaching into the very core of yourself to make it the last 10 feet.

I just wish the people making this so much harder weren’t people I’m supposed to love and care about. I wish it wasn’t my heart chakra I’m having to close off and ignore. I wish it didn’t feel like bleeding out.

Thank you for being here for me, Keyboard. Thank you for not being upset for all the times I thought about replacing you because of your finicky spacebar tendencies. Thank you for letting write and complain and whine and bitch and cry. Thank you for not judging me or telling me to grow up and to stop being petty. Thank you for helping me figure out my life.

Thank you for being the best replacement for my mom that I didn’t know I had.

I know it’s so stupid. I know you’re just a keyboard, but I want to make you a promise. I want to promise that I’ll finish my chores today because I need to promise someone, something, so I actually do it. I want to make this promise to you because you’ve been here for me. Because you matter.

I promise I’ll be ok. I promise that I’ll make it through this. I promise that I’ll write tomorrow. I promise I won’t think about replacing you because of your annoying spacebar anymore.

Thank you for being here for me.