Daily Post 056: Meditation Needed

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Things have been ok. More ok than not.

My brother might be seeking therapy. He’s having a hard time and I can only do so much. I think it would be good for him to see a professional. Since he doesn’t have health insurance he’s having a hard time finding someone who doesn’t charge $120 an hour. Seriously… My brain can’t even…

I asked my therapist if she had any resources for the Daytona area. She mentioned a few and also offered to work with my brother if I was ok with it.

I am. I think she may be able to help Jon work through his self-worth issues and the feelings of abandonment and rejection he’s struggling with. I think there’s a lot of stuff still buried from mom’s death and his time in the Army. Maybe even from his divorce.

I need to send him my therapist’s contact information, but we’ve already talked on the phone and he knows that he has options now. I think that along helps him feel less lost.

Big Bad and I didn’t end up seeing each other. That sucked and is part of why I’m mostly flatlined today.

We were supposed to see each other Wednesday evening. He was feeling under the weather and I was exhausted from work. We decided to rain check the evening for Thursday instead.

I went to training Thursday. I stopped by the Salvation Army before going home to donate some odds and ends. I also found a swimsuit I liked so I can make use of the jacuzzi at the gym. I donated plasma later in the afternoon. I went to my sports bar afterward to eat and study for my certification. I went to the dojo that evening.

I didn’t do very well. And I guess I need to rephrase that. I did fantastic for already having trained once that day and donating plasma on top of all the other things I got done. I was fatigued before I even stepped on the mat.

We did a lot of cardio for the warm-up with rolls and cartwheels. I was paired with a newer guy I’ve never met who was also about half my size. It made performing the techniques hard. I didn’t want to be paired with someone I didn’t know. I really didn’t want to be learning a new technique. I would have preferred focusing on something I was already comfortable with.

Towards the end, I was paired with a purple belt. I explained why I was so tired. He said that was fine. We could spar for as long as I felt ok, but as soon I started feeling bad to let him know.

We did a few sort rounds alternating from starting in back mount. He was complimentary when I wormed my way out of his holds and answered my questions when I wasn’t sure about something.

I left before the class was over. I didn’t care if it looked bad to others. I haven’t been there much. I didn’t do much during the class. I didn’t stay for all of the sparring rounds.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you, Imaginary Judgemental Person. You have no idea what I have or have not done. You have no idea what my days are like or what I’m going through.

I messaged Big Bad once I was in my car. We had joked around earlier in the evening about playing video games but nothing had been definitively said about me coming over.

When I asked if he wanted company he said he was going to sleep soon and that maybe it would be better to hold off until Monday to see each other.

I’m proud that it didn’t feel like rejection or abandonment on my end. I do think that shows personal growth. My past hurts and insecurities have less sway and influence over my present emotions.

It still wasn’t a good feeling. I had been looking forward to seeing my companion more than once in a seven day period. I was looking forward to being cuddled with him and breathing in his scent. I was looking forward to not being alone.

It didn’t work out that way, though.

He sent a text message saying he missed me. I texted back saying I missed him, too.

Since I ended up with time to myself I went to the gym, put on my new swimsuit and alternated between the pool and jacuzzi. Cold helps with inflammation while heat helps promote blood flow and healing. I went back and forth a few times until I was ready to go home. My body felt better. I know I’ve been pushing it hard this week, especially since I did basically nothing last week. Compared to how I trained before I got this job I feel like I’ve been pretty inconsistent.

It’s weird. I know I’m at a higher level than what I was, but I also know I’m not where I want to be. I guess it’s like how I feel about my writing right now. I’m inconsistent. I let things get in the way. I’m tired of that.

I’ve been sort of sad since last night. Since not being able to fall asleep in Big Bad’s arms. It’s not the same type of sadness as when I hurt over mom. I haven’t thought too much about these feelings to understand them fully. I know what I feel is not rejection or abandonment, which is good. But there is something there that I need to figure out.

I had thought about not doing anything today. I thought about letting that sadness fuel a rest day. Stay home. Chillax. Be anti-social.

Irrational Right Brain: You’re not wallowing. You’re just indulging in not doing anything… Shhh… It’s ok…. Come to the dark side… we have cookies…

Instead, I ended up going to the gym for a HIIT class my trainer was running. Yes, my body was still sore. Fuck it. At least I could spend the rest of the day knowing I didn’t let sadness win.

Only one other person showed up to the class. It was nice to not have to deal with eight or more other people. It was just one other new person and she was pretty cool.

She said she had seen me on Tuesday doing my box jumps and that she was super impressed. I got to talk about how I’m training to be a fighter.

The class itself was pretty intense and I’m glad I went. Afterward, I came home and curled up on the couch for a while. Eventually, I was recovered enough to go upstairs and shower. I put away the clean clothes that were still in my laundry basket before filling it with all my dirty stuff and taking it downstairs.

I started a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher before heading out to my sports bar again. I’ve made it through another chapter in my certification book. I’m trying to make that a requirement on my “off” days. I need to get this certification out of the way, preferably before January so I can focus on school.

I paid rent. I had enough to cover all of it, but that only leaves me with $150 to my name with an electric bill, internect bill, car insurance payment, and phone bill to pay. I messaged Warren asking for his payment so I could pay all of my obligations. I haven’t gotten a reply from him yet. We actually haven’t spoken to each other since Kyle moved in. As long as he pays what he owes I don’t care. My opinion is still that he’s a man child and that our friendship will never be able to recover to what it once was.

My reward for studying and paying as many of the bills as I could was going through my email and catching up on the blogs I’m behind on. I’m also allowing myself the time to write.

There’s a randori session later today at the dojo. I know Jim will be there since he’s running it. I don’t know if I should go or not. I don’t feel like pushing myself. I think Jim would train with me if I asked him to. I haven’t made up my mind. If I don’t go I feel like it would be because I’m sad from not seeing Big Bad.

This is one of the few times I can make it to the dojo and yet I’m not going?

Maybe I do need to sit and meditate on a few things instead. Maybe doing a bit of emotional work would be better in the long run. My shoulder was giving me issues this morning, too. It was more of a sharp pain rather than a muscle pain. I had to modify a lot of the push-up work because it hurt to put weight on my left shoulder.

Blarg. I’ll figure it out.

For right now I’m going to go. I need to run to the store for laundry detergent, also a bottle of Fireball. At the moment drinking a little at the end of my nights is how I’m staying away from cigarettes.

I work tomorrow. Here’s hoping it goes smoothly.

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Daily Post 049: Learning to Care

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I wrote on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, specifically.

Wednesday seemed like another awful day full of overwhelme. I went to the gym after work again. Well, actually… first I went to the dojo. I had kept that as my shining light at the end of the tunnel all day. I could make it through all of the hectic, crazy bullshit because at the end of it I could go to my dojo.

I didn’t get out of work early enough, though. I’m sure rain during rush hour traffic didn’t help with getting me there in record time. By the time I made it to the dojo there was only 30 minutes left of the Muay Thai class and I didn’t have my gi for the following jujitsu class. It sucked realizing my time was going to be so short; almost pointless. I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout, though light and short.

I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout. I bruised the crap out of the top of my foot. I wanted, needed, to get as much out of my body as I could for those few minutes so I pushed harder, kicked harder, and allowed the pain to start washing the day away.

It wasn’t enough to get rid of the angst and tension from work, though, and that was frustrating. It wasn’t enough to make me feel ok.

Sadly, frustratedly, I bowed out for Muay Thai then headed to the gym so I could try running the rest of everything off. The machine I picked to run on hadn’t been reset and I didn’t realize that until I had already been on the treadmill for a song or two. I didn’t care. I wasn’t on it for the numbers that night. I was on it so I could be ok. So I could go home. So I could not cry.

I ran well. I ran faster than I think I ever have, going past 7 mph. At least I think that’s what the number on the treadmill means. Who knows.

By the time RunKeeper told me my workout was done I knew that I needed to stop, otherwise my legs were going to regret it and I would be forced to take extra recovery days. I still wasn’t ok, though. Why couldn’t I shake these feelings, damnit?! What did I have to do?

I didn’t have an answer for myself so I went to the sauna and sat for a bit, trying to meditate my way to inner peace, but that too didn’t work. Nothing seemed to work.

I hurt and felt like a failure and nothing was soothing over the wounds of the day. I was still bleeding out emotionally.

I left the sauna and sat on the first steps of the pool in the gym, soaking my feet in the cold water as I sent a text to my younger brother. I couldn’t call mom. I’ll never be able to call mom. But I could still talk to Jon. I could still hear his voice and tell him that everything sucked.

Me: Busy?

After a few minutes, he replied with no, asking what was up.

I said nothing important. It had been a rough day at work and that I wanted to hear his voice.

He called and we talked for about an hour as I sat in the pool not caring about who heard my conversation.

I explained the past two work days. How I had to work with my head RN and how it always seemed like I did everything wrong in front of her. How days seemed bad now even though recently they had been good, amazing even. We talked about why my RN’s opinion means so much to me. How mom had been an RN and maybe this was my way of getting “mom’s approval” and praise.

It was a good conversation, one which I had silent tears for part of. We talked about his trip back home for the eclipse. We talked about his part time job at the school. We talked about his roommates and mine. By the end of the conversation, I was feeling better. I felt solidly grounded in reality and not falling through the chaos in my head.

I went home and slept deeply not caring about any chores that may have needed to be done. They could wait. Tomorrow would be another 24 hours.

Thursday I slept all day. Ok… not all day. I did get up and rewash the load of laundry that I never switched over to the dryer. But aside from that I really didn’t do much. Pretty sure I showered. I think I chatted with Warren briefly. But for the most part, it was me recovering from Monday and Wednesday.

Yesterday put things into perspective. I worked. It was another rough day. I was sitting in the breakroom during my lunch break when two of my coworkers also came in for lunch. One of them mentioned how I looked “perturbed”.

I said that it felt like the day had been a disaster so far and I could never figure out what happened on rough days to make it domino into such a crap-tastic time. I also acknowledged the fact that I really didn’t know how badly we had done with getting patients on the machines at their scheduled time and that it was entirely possible that things were fine and it was just my perspective on how things were going that was skewed.

They both gave me advice, mostly revolving around “don’t sweat it.”

There’s only so much that my team can do, and the only thing we can consistently do is our best. I’m not going to stop caring because that’s the whole reason I changed careers, but I think I need to adjust what I care about. I can’t care about literally everything because if I do this job is going to kill me. I need to save it for the important things.

Turn over is always going to be organized chaos. There are too many variables for it not to be. One patient might become hypotensive while another takes a longer time clotting and bleeds through their gauze a few times while at the same time another patient wants to come off the machine 15 minutes early, adding to the chaos.

Other times it might run smoothly with no deviations from the expected or intended schedule.

Every day is different. I can’t hold onto the thoughts of, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.”

I guess that’s a lot like having to let go of the life I thought I would have. I thought mom would still be alive. I thought I would have her for another 20 years with her and that she would live long enough to see Jace graduate and become a karate ninja samurai. I thought things would be different, but they’re not. Things are how they are.

I guess that’s the mentality I need with my work days. It doesn’t matter what I thought the day would be like. The day goes how it goes regardless of what I want or expect. “Go with the flow.” “Don’t sweat it.”

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s more like I won’t waste energy on trying to change the course of a river. I can’t change it, I can only go with it and let the current do all of the work. The destination is still the same. I’ll still reach the end of my day. I’ll most likely still be tired at the end of it, but I think one method will leave me with much less stress and inner tension than the other.

I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to implement this new mentality right away. I think it will take some time, but it’s something I’m going to try. Those moments where I feel overwhelmed and like chaos is raining down all around me I’m going to try to remember to step back and let go of trying to control it all. I can’t control it, I can only go with it.

The rest of the day went better after the conversation with my coworkers. All of the third shift patients got put on their machines. I was able to make needle packs for the following day as well as close down the machines we were no longer using. I was able to go to the stockroom and get the supplies we were out of or low on. I was able to update all of the documentation. I was able to finally breath is what it felt like.

I left work around 5 pm. I didn’t want to go to the gym. The dojo was doing randori which I don’t feel I’m ready for. Title Club was still closed as they transition to a new location, and to be honest I don’t think I would have wanted to do anything physical anyway.

Instead, I thought about what I wanted to do with my evening. I needed closure. Something to signify my night was done and that I was now able to relax.

I ended up getting dinner at a little place called Viet-Nomz. They have amazing food, and it’s an extremely small establishment near my apartment which encourages social dining. I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing but it reminds me of one of the customs in Germany where it’s socially acceptable to share tables with strangers as long as you ask if you may sit with them.

Since it was dinner time they were fairly crowded, but I was ok with that. I sort of wanted that feeling; being part of, lost in, the crowd. I sat across from two girls who were chatting together. I put my headphones in and ate my rice bowl. This was my reward for surviving; a bowl full of carbs and protein. Good music and a moment of not having to worry or care.

It was an extremely fulfilling meal. Once I was finished I headed home. I did make a detour to CVS for some Icy Hot patches for my back. It’s been bothering me lately and those have helped in the past.

When I got home I didn’t bother with the kitchen. I took my shoes off and headed straight upstairs to my room. I didn’t bother with anything other than showering and putting one of the patches across my lower back. I changed into comfy clothes and scrolled through Facebook for way longer than I care to admit until I finally crawled into bed. By that point, I didn’t even bother to take out my contacts I was so tired.

My alarm went off at 2 am since I forgot to turn it off. That’s when I figured taking out my contacts would be a smart move. I drank so water while I was up then when back to sleep until about 9 am.

I’m currently at Perkins. My breakfast has been eaten. I’m working on my second up of coffee. I have an appointment for a deep tissue massage at 6:30 this evening. I’m going to be going to kickboxing at 1pm since it’s the grand reopening for Title Club. I have a few odds and ends as far as doing chores goes, but overall it’s a pretty low energy / recovery day. Same with tomorrow I think.

I was supposed to have a sleep over with Mother Earth this evening, but she’s feeling under the weather so we’re going to reschedule our girl time. Big Bad and I have plans to see each other for our scheduled Monday evening. One of my coworkers wants to split my Monday shifts with me, so instead of 4 am I would go in at 10 am and still leave by 5 pm. That gives me time to go to the gym in the morning, shower, eat, and start my week off the way I would really like to. I think that will be a fantastic change for me. I won’t be getting as much overtime, but I also won’t be nearly as burnout as I’ve been fearing I would be. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this change works for both of us since she needs the hours.

I still have the blog award nomination I need to write for, but I think I will save that for either later today or tomorrow. I think I want to go back home for a little bit and rest before going to kickboxing.

I guess looking back at it, this week hasn’t been bad. It’s been long and it’s had a lot of stress, but it’s had a lot of positive moments, too, and for the next two days I’m off and I plan to fully, thoroughly, enjoy them.

Part of learning to care is learning to care for myself. I think a few days of introverted downtime is what I need and I’m not going to give myself shit for it.

Daily Post 011: First Interview

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Saturday. 10am. I woke up at 5 but decided that was a bit unholy so I rolled over and went back to sleep. I kept waking up, staying in the light fog of half-sleep half-aware, and making the choice to stay in bed, snuggling deeper into my blankets while Scarlet stretched all cat-like next to me.

It’s been so long since I’ve done that. Indulged in that. Rolled over and continued to sleep, knowing I’ve done well and that since there’s nothing pressing or urgent, nothing required, I can bask in the feeling of being in bed and secure.

And maybe it hasn’t been as long as I think. Maybe the past two weeks have been so busy and “normal” that it just feels like it’s been an eternity. Going to kickboxing yesterday probably factors into it. My body is still on the low end of the energy spectrum because of the intensity level. Almost 24 hours and I’m still not fully recovered.

I had suspended my membership to Title Boxing to try the dojo. The suspension lasted for three months. On February 20th my contract became active again, which means, yeah, I’ll get hit with the payment, but I also have access to go back to the gym which may in my favor. The gym opens earlier than the dojo, so I can go there, have a morning workout, then go to class. In the evening I can do one class at the dojo and still feel fulfilled. I enjoy morning workouts and I’ve missed being able to have them.

Since there’s not much I can do since my Title Boxing membership is a contract I would rather find ways to make it positive rather than being aggravated about it. I would also rather use it than not since I have to pay regardless of what I do.

I’m going to find out today when my contract ends. I’m fairly certain it’s around June. I’m trying to figure out my finances for the future and my membership is one of the variables I need to solidify.

I suppose I should mention that I’ve had two quizzes for my EKG class, which I’ve aced. I also had my first test this past Friday… jeez… yesterday. Friday was only yesterday…

I got a 95 on the test because I missed one question. It was in regards to the normal frequency value of the T wave on an EKG reading. Missing one out of 20 other numbers I had to remember isn’t too bad. I’m happy with how I did.

I had an interview Thursday. My first interview in five years. Only the fourth one ever in my whole life.

It went well. I was originally applying for a housekeeping position. Through talking to the lady interviewing me and finding out about everything I have done/am currently doing to enter the medical field, she mentioned that a resident caregiver position may be more in line with what I wanted to do.

I said that I had seen the position on their website, but I wasn’t sure if I was qualified enough to apply for it. She loved my resume and all of the answers I gave to the interview questions. She said my purple hair wouldn’t be an issue and that honestly, she hadn’t noticed it. It’s very non-offensive and if it does become an issue then wearing a bandana should be fine. She said she noticed my “pretty blue eyes” more than my hair.

She told me a bit about her journey with the company; how she started as part time answering the phone and is now the training manager for new managers. There were actually several stories of employees starting out in entry positions who are now directors or program managers of their areas. The company is very interested in supporting its employees and promoting from within.

She mentioned her office is located in the of the facilities she would be sending my resume to. There are two locations with part-time caregiver positions available. Both of them are fairly close to my apartment, so I think I would be ok at either, but I would prefer the Oviedo location since I know one person there, even if it’s only because I spent twenty minutes talking to her in an interview.

She asked what I wanted to do for my future, and I was honest and told her that I didn’t really know. I was more looking to “get in” and to see where it took me. We touched a bit on mom’s death and why I am having the change of direction I am. I mentioned I had thought about physical therapy. She said at her location there’s an on-call nurse who helps with physical therapy routines. It could be arranged for me to work closely with this particular nurse to gain exposure to what physical therapy is really like.

After a year of being with the company there’s also tuition assistance, so if I wanted to go to school for something the company would help me grow in that direction.

It’s interesting to think about staying with a company and moving upward. Full Sail didn’t have vertical moment. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had worked there for 10 years. Full Sail doesn’t count teaching as experience. I would have had to leave the school and worked a different job then come back if they even had a position open, or killed myself doing tons of freelance to ever have the “right” experience to become an associate course director or course director. I don’t even know what the qualifications are for a program director, nor do I think that would have been a position I wanted. It’s more business related rather than student/teaching related.

Anyway…

That was my first interview since mom died.

That was my first step towards gainful employment. At least I’m counting it as my first step. I’ve been filling out applications. I’ve been doing “stuff”, but this was an actual interview with another person, and it went well.

At the end I asked if she had any feedback for how I handled the interview and she said I did fantastic and I had nothing to worry about. It was nice to hear her high praise, at the same time I would have liked to have some sort of constructive feedback. There’s always room for improvement, right? I mean, I’m not perfect, so how could I have done better?

I think I could have answered the questions I was asked smoother. I mean, I answered them well, but there were a few times I wanted to stop and make sure I was saying what I wanted to the way I wanted it to be said. I think part of that is being an INFJ. I also think part of that is not being used to having to explain my reasons for things, like, “Why the change in direction?” I think the more I have to answer questions like that, the smoother and more ok with my responses I’ll be.

I know this interview might not pan out. I didn’t get a call yesterday, which I wasn’t really expecting one, but waiting over the weekend is going to drive me insane. If I don’t hear back by 2 pm Friday then I’m going to call both locations and ask if my application has had a chance to be reviewed.

Financially it’s not going to be a lot. At most, $10 an hour. I’m going to push for ten even though I was ballparked with $9.50 as a caregiver.

Mom’s retirement check came in. We have to wait for the court to do red tape nonsense, but that money should be in before too much longer. That will make things easier, but it doesn’t change the fact that I NEED Warren to step up and start contributing to the apartment. It’s not an, “it would be really nice if you would” situation anymore. I won’t be able to pay everything on my own.

I’ve been looking at job postings for EKG techs and there’s not much. I’m finding more for phlebotomy, which I’m not even sure I’ll be able to stomach yet. I think I could work through my fear of stabbing people with needles, but I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable taking a needle myself. I think the class is going to be rough, but I think I can do it. I think it would be easier to get a job in that area than some of the others.

I’ve also seen a lot of postings for PCTs, but I won’t be eligible for those until around May, potentially. Some of them are only CNA with an additional certification. So it’s possible I can get PCT with my CNA and EKG certificates. It’s possible I could be at the hospital as soon as the beginning of April.

I am scheduled to get my fingerprints taken for the background check required for the CNA test. That was $80 I wasn’t expecting. If it helps me get employed then it’s worth it. I’m supposed to have that done Tuesday before therapy since they’re in the same area. Figured I would do it smarter not harder.

Once the Board of Nursing receives my background check they will assign me a test date. Next week I’m going to start staying after class to practice the procedures again.

The first day of EKG class I saw my old instructor for the nursing course I took. It was fantastic to see him again and I totally gave him a hug. We chatted for a bit. I’m pretty sure he would be willing to help me. If he could watch me do a few of the procedures each day so they’re fresh in my mind I would feel more comfortable about my test.

Becoming a CNA would give me more options as well. I’ve seen several postings for CNA positions though not as many as PCT and phlebotomy.

I crunched some numbers in regards to my expenses and it’s going to be tight for a while. I’m not paying rent right now since the apartment is paid in full for the year. That means I need to figure out what I need to do when it becomes October and my living expenses go up by $500.

Currently, even if I was making $16 an hour full time, I would be scrapping by when October hits, and there’s nothing saying I’ll be making that much.

I still need to factor some things, but I think what I need to do is pay off my credit card before then. Right now I put $300 a month towards it. I need to seriously increase that. Getting the last bit of the retirement money will help. Getting paid back a few things that are owed to me will help. Getting a second job after school will most likely be what does the trick.

So I think that’s going to be my mid-term goal.

Short term Goals

Find immediate part-time employment
Complete CNA and EKG certifications
Complete school

Mid-term Goals

Secure full-time job
Secure seconed part-time job
Pay off credit card

Who knows, maybe I’ll like the second job and keep it to pay off my car after the credit card is done. After that there are the federal loans I still have, but with an extra $600 free from not having the credit card or car payment I may be ok with going back down to one job. Or who knows, maybe I’ll keep it and blast through that as well on top of being able to pay for my own place, no roommate needed.

All I know is that $10 an hour isn’t going to cut it, and even if I made higher than that it would still be uncomfortable.

School eats into a chunk of my day, and it’s not something I’m going to sacrifice on. I still want the dojo, so that’s another non-sacrificial part of my day. That means I don’t have a lot of time to give, but I can give a little. So that means, for the moment, I’ll get a little.

A little is better than nothing, and it’s a stepping stone. I don’t know where I want to go, but this is definitely a forward direction. And it’s into the area I think I want to be in. Or at least moving closer in that direction.

There’s a lot of unknown factors that may make this process easier. I’m not sure how much my uncle will want to pay for my portion of mom’s timeshare once the deed is divided. I’m not sure if Warren is going to get a better job and start to pay me back for helping him move or if Sir will be able to return the money I loaned him. My blacksmith was extremely happy with a template I made for him and said he would pass my name around the cosplay community which might pull in some extra revenue. There’s a potential side project where rigging would be needed as well, which a former coworker has reached out to me about.

There are all sorts of things that “could” happen.

Right now I know for sure, 100%, I can count on myself. So, with just myself, I can make this work by getting a job now, and then most likely a second job once my schedule frees up a bit after school.

Ideally, I would have a full-time job over the weekends. Three 12 hour shifts, which would leave my week open for training at the dojo and part time job to pull in a bit more money for my financial goals. Friday and Sunday I don’t go to the dojo, so I wouldn’t feel bad about missing anything. Ideally, this would be my higher paying job as well so I would be pulling in the most for my time.

The part time job I would be ok with making less since all of that income would ideally be going to the credit card. Or whatever debt I am focusing on.

I know right now I’m not in the best position, but I feel like it’s manageable especially with proactive choices now. I need to change my situation by October. I would like to have two jobs by June. One where I make close to $15 an hour, the other either $10 or higher.

So that’s sort of where I’m at. I’m definitely on the left side of my brain right now. Problem-solving. Number crunching. System evaluating. I need to talk to Warren about the storage unit because that’s a cost I think we can remove or at least lower. I’m going to be using part of the retirement check to finish off the phone issue with Zane’s line, which is more expensive up front but will save me money in the end. I may also switch back to Metro since that’s $40 a month versus $70 and I was happy with their service.

I don’t know if I’m really happy right now. I know I’m not unhappy. Maybe content is a good word. I’m content with where I’m at and I’m proud of a lot of the things I’ve been able to do the past two weeks.

I’ve been consistent with the dojo. And I say “consistent” when I’ve only gone twice, so maybe that’s misleading. I went Monday for submission grappling, which completely kicked my ass. After not being at the dojo for almost three weeks, one of which I was sick with a severe cold/mild flu, I felt like being completely tapped out was understandable.

As a result, I went for a light run Tuesday rather than going back to the dojo. Wednesday I did Muay Thai conditioning. Thursday I didn’t do anything since I had class and then my interview. I went to my sports bar afterward to celebrate by having two Angry Orchards while studying for my test the next day. Which, by the way, alcohol and studying totally go hand in hand.

I spent the evening with Big Bad playing Mortal Combat. We finally figured out how to do the super badass fatality x-ray moves. So brutal. So awesome.

It was an awesome night and I’m glad I was able to spend it with him. Since we went to sleep late we skipped our strength training in the morning, but that’s ok. I made up for it by going to Title Boxing for their noon kickboxing class after acing my test.

So yeah, as far as working out, this week has gone well. I’m going to be going to another Muay Thai class at the dojo in about an hour. Afterward, I’m going to be staying at the dojo to pull up the mats. Paul posted in the Facebook group that the dojo is getting new mats. They want to pull the old ones up so when they get the new ones tonight they can go ahead and place them down. I won’t be able to help out tonight since I already have plans, but I want to help in some way, so I’m planning to stay after class and do some of the prep work.

I already have laundry going, and eventually, once I come home and shower I’ll need to go do grocery shopping. This weekend is most likely going to be pretty chill overall. I haven’t celebrated my test yet. Maybe I can convince Big Bad to do pizza with me to celebrate. When I pass my EKG board I plan to get the shin guards I want from Venum. I haven’t figured out what to do for passing phlebotomy if I pass, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

I feel like I’m doing better about taking care of myself emotionally and spiritually. I can tell my metabolism is picking back up. My endurance is coming back now that most of the cobwebs are swept out of my muscles.

Hopefully, things settle down a bit and I can find the energy at the end of my days to start writing again. Or maybe now that I’m not going to be spending my mornings researching I can write while drinking my coffee.

Not sure, but consistency with my writing is my next focus. I miss writing and every night I go to sleep without doing it I feel like I’m dishonoring myself. It’s not a giant icky feeling, but it is a small pinprick, a twinge in my heart chakra, of knowing that I didn’t put myself first. I let something else come between me and my feeling of closure.

I don’t like that, so I’m going to work to fix it.

I guess that’s a good way of summing everything up. I’m working. I’m doing. I’m moving forward. Not just in one area, but in several, and knowing that I have a heading makes a lot of things feel better. I might not get to where I’m going via the path I think I will, but as long as I keep in mind where I want to go, then I’ll get there eventually.

It’s a good feeling. A warm feeling. A solid, stable, confident feeling.

I’m being true to myself. I’m being honest with myself. It makes it feel like I doing things right and that mom would be proud of me.

Letters to Mom 011: A Conversation About Nothing

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I need to talk to you mom. I so wish we could talk on the phone like we used to. I miss our hour long conversations about “nothing”. I miss being able to call you randomly when I happened to find free time in my day; time that I was more than willing to spend with you in the small ways we were able to after I moved away.

I really don’t have anything important to talk about, so I don’t know why I feel this pain right now. I don’t know why it keeps welling up like it has been the past week. It’s just random moments of sadness for no reason. At least that’s what it feels like. Maybe there is a reason and I don’t know it.

I keep having dreams. Weird dreams and when I look up the symbology it’s about betrayal. Like a dog biting a little girl and then decaying with maggots wriggling around in its chest, only to come back from the dead to attack other people because the dog didn’t belong in that universe and so by proxy couldn’t die…

Yeah… weird shit.

It sounds like a horrific dream, but when I woke up instead of being disgusted I felt solemn.

There are other dreams, too. None as morbid as that one, but they still leave me feeling weary, and all the psychology behind the representation points to “weariness” and “vigilance” as being the course of action to take. I wish I knew what I was supposed to be looking out for. If only my brain would tell me what it actually thought was wrong rather than possibly giving me “clues” to decipher and pick through.

I mean… maybe it’s all literally inside of my head and they’re just BS dreams that mean nothing.

I feel like if they were really nothing, then I wouldn’t have the feeling of significance when I wake up like I do.

I’ve been applying to more jobs. I might have a babysitting gig this Sunday. I was supposed to go swimming with manatees but it’s a two-hour drive there and I don’t feel up to the trip right now. Doesn’t help that it was supposed to be a fairly large group of people I mostly don’t know. Not really my ideal recovery time.

Big Bad and I had lunch today. He got out of work early since he had to work extra hours earlier in the week.

I went and applied for a job in person since that’s what the posting on Indeed.com said to do. It’s a housekeeping position at a nursing home. I know it’s simple. I know I’m over qualified for it. I wouldn’t mind doing it, though. It’s the perfect hours for still being able to spend all my time at the dojo. The more I think about what I want out of a job the more I want something along those lines. Something that doesn’t interfere with what I actually want to be doing, which is training.

So I guess I need to revise my job requirements.

Something reliably full-time in Orlando within roughly a ten-mile radius from the apartment, preferably using a skill set I already have with set hours that does not interfere with my dojo time.

The patient transport position is another really good job for that. I’m hoping to hear back from something soon.

There was a pretty big event at the dojo today. I almost didn’t go to it, but I had my “come to Freya” discussion with myself not long ago and one of the things was not skipping out of going to the dojo when I feel sad, so I went. I’m glad I went. I learned some really nifty things today. I’m less afraid to perform the moves that require me to put my weight on the other person. It means I’m performing the moves more correctly than what I was. I’m acting with intention and control. It’s a good feeling.

They gave out belts and stripes tonight after training. Jim got another stripe on his brown belt. That’s the rank before black belt. Tommy got his black belt tonight. Akib got his blue belt. That’s the one after white.

Part of me was hoping I would get my first stripe on my white belt, but I didn’t. I’ve only been attending since mid-November. I missed three solid weeks of practice because I traveled. Some days I didn’t go because I have no reason, I just didn’t go.

Part of me wanted to have something on my belt to show I’ve put in effort. Recognition. A pat on the back.

That’s not what jujitsu is about, though, and I know that.

Part of me feels like I’m not ready for the stripe yet. I still haven’t gotten a jujitsu belt. I still wear my aikido gi and I still wear my aikido belt with it. I wonder if that’s me holding onto the past, or if that’s at least part of it. Maybe it’s not all just for the sake of being frugal. I didn’t think about that until they were giving out stripes and belts and I realized if I was called up for a stripe that I didn’t have the proper belt for the stripe to go on.

I sat there wondering if I’m being disrespectful to the dojo and my instructors. If I’m training jujitsu, shouldn’t I have the attire for it? Shouldn’t I have at least gotten the proper belt to show that I respect the skill I’m training? In all of the months I’ve been going there I couldn’t have made “buy a jujitsu belt” a task on my to-do lists? I knew I needed one, so why did I never do it?

I don’t know what I would have done had Paul called my name for a stripe. I don’t know if I would have been able to bow after receiving it. I don’t think I would have felt like I deserved it. Part of it would be because I don’t want to have it, earn it, and not be able to send you pictures or have you there to see it.

I know you will be proud of me when I do get it eventually. I know you want me to keep going to the dojo and training because it fulfills something in me, and I know I’ll make it through the moment when I finally do earn my stripe, but right now I don’t know how.

How do I keep going with you not here? Physically here. How do I keep going when sometimes the only thing I can think about is the pain? Like right now. I hurt. My heart hurts. I ache for you to be here and I don’t know what to do other than embrace the pain.

This feeling, this sensation in my chest… it’s deeper than physical. Deeper than body. It’s in my core. My soul. My chakra.

It’s almost as if I can hold it. Like it’s physically something within me. Like I can cup it in my hands and have them be filled with this sensation and show people, “This is my pain.”

This is my love for you, mom. This is what I have to remind me that what we had, our time, our relationship, was real. That I loved, deeply, wholly, unconditionally the way I have never loved anyone else in my life. Not dad. Not Jon. Not Jason. Not any of my significant others.

I didn’t realize how much you meant to me until I held your hand alone in the hospital saying my final words to your spirit. Your body was already cold, your hand lifeless in mine, but I felt you behind me as I spoke my final words to you, as I promised I would be strong.

I want to say that you were everything to me, and maybe at the time that was true. With how hard it was during my time at the extended stay maybe you truly were everything, and during those six months I was learning how to adjust to that change.

My Everything was gone.

The flatlined stillness inside of my head. The emptiness. The silence I felt within myself. The lack of broken pieces to pick up. There was nothing because my Everything was gone.

I remember how I slowly started to find reasons to do things. I remember telling Warren that I didn’t know how to keep going because you were my blue crayon and without you I didn’t know how to color my skys anymore. I remember talking with Chrys on your birthday and how that night was so empty and cold and yet at the same time full of laughing at stupid werewolf drama shows.

I remember how I told Nicole that I’ve been grateful for every time I’ve made it through a hard time because there’s always something on the other side that makes me happy I’m still here to experience it. If it ends, there is no more. No more next time. No more new inside jokes. No more warm hug, or good training session, or caring smile.

I want all those things, and that’s how slowly the nothingness became something. I started seeing the good things still worth experiencing. I started enjoying things again. Simple things. Having coffee in my red coffee cup which I’ve had for I don’t remember how long. My cup, warm in my hands while sitting outside watching the day start. Most of the time I would go back to sleep shortly after because just the actions of getting up and making coffee took all of the energy I had, but for a brief moment, I enjoyed something.

I don’t know where I’m at with my grief. I know it’s not a linear process. I know there’s not a destination and that this is something I will experience for the rest of my life. I want to know that I’m ok. That I’m normal and that it’s still ok to be sad sometimes. That it’s still ok to miss you.

When you first died I researched how to grieve. I researched INFJs and what we do and how we deal with things, and everything I found said there’s no answer, so I gave up on it.

I don’t remember what I was doing the other day but I looked up stuff on grief for some reason and I found posts from other people explaining how they grieved. It was the first time that I really read into other people’s experiences. I read about a mother who lost her infant son in their home and how sometimes she lays on the floor where he died so she can feel closer to him. I read about how she never wanted to tell people that, but when she went to a support group she felt accepted because other people understood. I read another story about a mother and father who always bake a cake to celebrate their child’s birthday even though he died extremely young. I read how to them it is a way of honoring and acknowledging the life that existed even if it was brief.

It makes me feel more ok about wearing your ring and the urn pendant. It makes me more ok with my choice to write to you. I’m allowed to do things that other people may not agree with or think are “right” or seems silly because it doesn’t have to be right for them. It needs to be right for me. For us.

It’s my expression. Not theirs. And these are some of the ways I choose to express.

Sometimes I feel like you’re so terribly, horribly far away. Sometimes I feel like what I do isn’t enough. That it will never be enough. That’s how it feels right now.

But I know these feelings are temporary. I know tomorrow I’m going to wake up and go to the jujitsu class and the Muay Thai class. I know I’m going to keep waking up. I know I’m going to keep breathing. I know my heart is going to keep pumping and that as long as it does I have a purpose.

I know I have a purpose, mom. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so obsessed with it. I wish sometimes I wasn’t this fantastically rare personality type and that I could just be ok with existing and not need some deep, driving reason for things.

How much easier would life be if I could just simply be? If I could accept that I’m here and the reason didn’t really matter? How much calmer would my mind be if I could just accept that I’m here and the why didn’t factor into anything?

But that’s not my mind. I need to know why. Why am I here? Just like when Jim asked, “Why are you doing this?”

I still don’t know.

My answer is still, “Because you died.”

I’m here because you died and I told you I would be strong and keep living. I’m here because I said I would honor you by living a full life. That seems so fragile and hollow, though. I need to live my life for me, not for you. But right now I’m back to not knowing how to do that. I hurt and all I can think about, focus on, is the pain. I’m back to reminding myself that it’s worth enduring, that it’s ok for my accomplishment for the day to simply be making it until night. Surviving is an accomplishment.

I don’t know where I am with my grief, but right now it feels like a very low moment. A very sad and isolated valley where I can’t see anything except the forest that surrounds me. It’s dark, and the internal me, the me in the depths of this wood, is scared of what’s lurking in the darkness, but my higher self knows things will be ok.

My higher self is aware that, yes, it’s dark, but it’s not cold. It’s like a warm summer’s night. Yes, I’m alone, but it’s not the same alone as when my forest was held in the grips of my teenage depression, icy and covered in snow while I wrapped my arms around my knees and hid in my ice cave, unwilling to move because staying still hurt less.

It’s dark and scary, but I know daylight will come, I just have to breathe and wait for it. If I breathe my chest will hurt less. If I relax my muscles won’t ache as much. If I listen I’ll be able to hear the night life around me, the crickets, the owls, the rustling of raccoons and other nocturnal animals.

Darkness doesn’t have to be bad. It’s my yearning for daylight that makes me almost ungrateful and negligent of the moment I’m in.

Even in the moments where I hurt and I miss you there can still be good things. I still have my connection with you, mom. I still have my love for you. I still have everything you taught me. I still have the life you gave me that I can keep living. I have all of these wonderful, priceless things in this moment of darkness and so it’s not the horrible thing my brain keeps trying to convince me it is.

It’s still good in its own way, and I’m grateful that part of me can see that. I’m grateful that even through the tears I’ve been crying while I write this that I can say with confidence that I will wake up tomorrow and that I will train, and I will train hard, even if I don’t have an answer for why.

Or maybe I can accept the fact that my reason IS because you died and that’s not a bad thing. That’s not a fake reason or something to be ashamed of.

I don’t know. I feel I need to meditate more on that. It feels right, but now I need to figure out why it’s right.

I train because you died. I live because you died. I understand how deeply I loved you because you died.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

Daily Post 005: Lab Results and Morals

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Scarlet is doing well. The vet called me around 9 am yesterday morning to let me know the results. Aside from a UTI, she’s in good health. Her kidneys are functioning within proper limits. All her blood levels are normal. For being as old as she is apparently Scarlet is in exceptional health.

The vet prescribed an antibiotic for the UTI. I’ll have to administer the medication once a day for two weeks, but Scarlet does surprisingly well with things like medication and baths.

I was glad I didn’t have to go through the whole day not knowing what the results were. And I was glad it results were so positive. I can be more ok with her walking issues as long as I know she’s not suffering.

I went to the Saturday dance class, only, it wasn’t really a dance class. Since it’s the new year the schedule has changed a bit. New classes have been added, old ones have been moved or replaced, etc. Well, instead of a beginner dance class on Saturday there’s now a stretch class.

I decided to check it out to see if it would be something I would want to keep in my weekly schedule. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really all that awesome either. It’s basically a yoga class, but I can do better, more focused flows on my own rather than having to use one of my dance tickets for the class. I didn’t really click with the instructor which is most likely another factor.

I guess in a way it’s a good thing. If I’m not going to the dance studio on Saturday that means I can do the jujitsu and Muay Thai class at the dojo instead. I’ll have to see how that plays out, but it’s a possibility. I could also run instead, and then do Muay Thai… or run, then jujitsu, then Muay Thai… so many possibilities. Oh! Or I could bike to the dojo since the classes are during the day rather than in the evening.

Anywho, after the mildly disappointing class, I had enough time to go to the vet to pick up the medication. From there it was off to the dojo.

Muay Thai conditioning was awesome. Paul was running the class instead of Jim. There were more people there than what I’m used to, but it wasn’t intimidating or overwhelming. It was actually pretty cool because Jim ended up being my partner. One of the drills we had to do was keeping our hands behind our backs while trying to tap the other person’s foot with our own foot. If you got tapped three times you had to do ten pushups.

Guess who didn’t have to do pushups? That’s right. This chick. I got Jim three times but he was only able to tap me once. Yay quick feet I guess. It was fun and playful. It reminded me of how Big Bad and I will be holding hands and then randomly one of us will start a match of thumb war. It basically was a game of “keep away”. I enjoyed it. : )

I was pretty tired by the time class was over, but I didn’t relent. I knew if I went home that I most likely wouldn’t go back out, which would be bad. Instead, I went straight to the grocery store to do the shopping.

I stuck to my tradition of getting a sushi tray with a coffee drink for lunch. My reward for being a diligent adult and braving the store full of people. Since it was such a nice day outside I sat in a shaded area on the walkway and ate my lunch. There was a light breeze which felt great since I was still sort of warm from the dojo.

After eating I drove home and put the groceries away. I didn’t have it in me afterward to do much else. Physically I was tired. I napped for a bit. I eventually gave Scarlet her medication. I finally put my clothes away, but really I didn’t do much for the rest of the day.

Later in the evening, I was poking around online. I’ve been looking at jobs more and more recently. I saw another tutoring position except this one is for computer programming. It’s only a part-time position, and it’s for programming languages which aren’t exactly my forte, but holy crap, the only way it could get better is if it was a full-time position.

I would need about a week, maybe less than, to brush up on the languages they would want me to tutor, but all of them I’ve been exposed to. I tweaked my cover letter and applied for the new position. I kept poking around, and that’s when things got sort of dicey.

I saw a posting for a Character Rigging position from Full Sail. Essentially it’s my old job.

I don’t know how I feel about it. And I guess I should go ahead and say that I applied for the job.

I don’t know if I want to go back. At the time when I first saw the post I reached out to my former supervisor, but he didn’t respond. I figured he was asleep, but a few other people were listed as online for the Facebook chat, so I sent them messages trying to get more information about the situation and job listing.

I made a new cover letter and sent my application in. And then I sat and stewed trying to figure out my emotions over the situation. I ended up messaging my blacksmith because my thoughts wouldn’t let me sleep.

As far as a job is concerned I would like a reliable full-time position here in Orlando, preferably utilizing the skill set I already have.

The Full Sail position would give me that.

I could most likely ask for more than I was making when I left and get it. I already have training on the systems so I could skip most of that. I already know the people who would be my co-workers. I’m confident in my ability to run labs because I did it for four years. I would be able to start biking to work again which is actually something I miss. I could stay in Orlando with my companions, friends, and still be near my younger brother. I could still go to the dojo. I might even be able to start working on my Digital Arts and Design degree again.

Theoretically, I would be making enough to live on my own, which is something I’m still hoping works out. I wouldn’t have to go to Californa and spend months waiting to come back to the life I want to live.

However, comma…

I said I would never go back to Full Sail.

So, yeah, there’s all these positive things… but what does it say about me or my word if I turn around and go back?

Part of me feels like it would be a failure on my part. Failing at what I don’t know, but I think I would be upset with myself for going back.

After talking to Clavan this morning the listing isn’t even really advertising the position they’re hoping to fill. It’s more of a “float” position where I would be helping out in the compositing and lighting classes. Neither of those areas are really areas I want to be in.

So even though there are all these positive things, I don’t think I would be happy. It wouldn’t really be my old job. It would be stuff I don’t really like in a place I don’t really want to be.

I haven’t ruled it out, but I think I would rather not accept it. I would need to have some serious conversation during the interview if I got one.

That leaves the tutoring position. It’s part-time for significantly less money. But part-time lets me still focus on me which I would like to do. I would need a roommate, but there’s no telling what could come from the position. Ideally, I would use it to eventually get an adjunct professor position, or maybe I could tutor other subjects and potentially get full-time pay which would be fine even though the wage is lower. I honestly don’t need all that much.

I feel like if I go back that I’m being weak. I feel like I would be saying it’s ok to treat me like crap when it isn’t. I left because I was treated like a cog rather than as a human. Is that really what I want to go back to?

No. Not really. Even though I love my co-workers and even though Clavan was the best supervisor I’ve ever had, and even though I have positive memories of working there, I don’t want to go back.

I said I wouldn’t, so why am I faulting?

Because paychecks are nice. Because if I’m honest with myself the money I have is running low and I need to have something lined up so I can keep supporting myself and not turn into the unemployed slacker mooching off of people I’m terrified of becoming.

I don’t regret how I have spent the money. I paid for mom’s apartment for five months because I didn’t know if I would be moving to Vegas or not. I helped people who needed help. I paid for my apartment for the whole year. I paid for the extended stays I lived at so I could have my own space while I figured out my life for six months. I took the CNA class. I took trips to see people I haven’t seen in years.

I feel like even though I most likely could have spent the money more responsibly given hindsight, that I’ve done pretty well, and being realistic about it now is good. It hasn’t run out, but compared to where it was, it’s low, and it’s finite, so I need to start looking at ways to get an income again.

Warren and I talked about it this afternoon. He’s going to be able to start paying rent in February which will help out significantly, and he’s going to start getting Amber to pay him back for the time she was unemployed.

This is another unknown, however, and so there’s a bit of stress with it. I know I could get a sales position or work in fast food, but after having a job where I was fulfilled I know I don’t want to do something like that. I wouldn’t be happy. I don’t like working with money. I don’t like selling things. I like helping. I like teaching. I want a job, but I don’t want to sell my soul to have a paycheck.

There’s still a bit of time to figure it out. I’m glad I’m looking for solutions now rather than waiting until the very last second.

Today was a low energy day. I wasn’t sad or anything, but having been awake for later than I wanted to be meant that I didn’t wake up until around 10 am. Super late when you’re used to waking up around 4 or 6 am. And I was still tired. And it was cloudy outside…

Arg…

I’m happy to report that even though it was a “meh” day that I’ve gotten everything on my to-do list done. I’ve cooked all the meals for the coming week. I washed my sheets and laundry. I’m back to the task of “put clothes away”… hopefully it doesn’t take me all week to do it this time. I’ve made the bed already so once I’m done having game time with my brothers I can crawl into bed and pass out.

I’ve vacuumed both the living room and my room. I’ve swept up the dog fur. I’ve swiftered the kitchen and hall tiles. I’ve cleaned out my car, not that it was all that bad. Mostly water bottles. I’ve gone through my email inbox and caught up on posts and such. I even ran back out to the store to pick up a few things I didn’t realize I was low on. Can’t make egg roll bowls without soy sauce…

Because I went out to the store I rewarded myself with a dessert cup from the bakery. It was a strawberry shortcake type thing. Most likely awful for me, but I’m ok with it. It tasted dericious, not that I ate it before having dinner or anything…

Carolina actually came up to me yesterday before the Muay Thai class started and whispered to me, “Girl, how much weight have you lost?”

I honestly don’t know, so I told her probably around 30 pounds since I was down 20 in November. I wonder if it’s more than that, though.

Oh. Yesterday was the first day of wearing my new pants to the dojo. They worked wonderfully.

Since tonight is a game night I’ve been thinking about getting a pizza. Since I’m thinking about it I’ll most likely do it. I did well today. I’ve been doing well. I don’t think it’s bad to have a slack night where I relax and enjoy some video gaming and grungy food. I’m not going to let my brain try to trick me into thinking otherwise.

My financial situation is still fine. I’m not a bad person for not having a job yet. I willingly left the workforce. I’m not going to start regretting my decision, and I’m not going to compromise on my morals for a paycheck.

That was something Warren mentioned while we were talking about the job. He asked something along the lines of, “Is sticking to your moral high ground worth not being able to support yourself?”

My reply was if I don’t stick to my morals than what’s the point of having them?

I may make things harder on myself then they need to be, but I think by accepting only what I know is beneficial for me that ultimately I’ll end up ok. Maybe even better than ok. My resolution is to be happy. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, and I’m ok with that.

Nothing worth having is ever easy.

Daily Post 003: Conversations and Clothing

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It’s hard to believe it’s still not past noon. I don’t know why but it feels like I’ve been awake for forever and that it should be later than it is.

I figured I would write while I had the chance to.

I actually just got off the phone with Sir. It’s the first phone conversation we’ve had in a while. I’ve wanted to talk to him. I feel like I’ve lost touch with my former pseudo-family since the falling out with Mother Earth. I miss her. And Josh.

Sir and I talked about my blacksmith. We talked about Big Bad, too. I really don’t have many people I can talk to about my dynamics, especially the BDSM aspect of them. Even though Sir and I are no longer together I still value his opinion, and I’m glad we reaffiered to each other that our friendship is important.

It was an extremely connecting conversation and it helped me feel like the direction I am going is the right one. I feel like things will be ok and that I can keep the connections I value even though I’m moving forward. I’m not disrespecting anyone or unintentionally causing harm to people I care about.

It meant a lot to me to be able to admit to my fears. To voice them rather than keeping them contained in my chest where they could fester.

I feel more stable and solid for having had the conversation even though I was terrified of how it would go. I’m glad we talked and I’m hopeful that we will be able to hang out soon.

Aside from that I have eaten breakfast and researched into rash guards and compression gear and the differences between them.

Since all of my workout stuff is fitting looser I want to get new things. At the same time, I don’t want to get new gear until the end of March since that’s when Allison is getting married and that marks the end of my travel obligations for a while. It marks when I can go back to “my life” even though it’s in the distant future. I guess the week vacation Allison wants to take to Disney for her bachelorette party factors into it. That’s only a few weeks away. The beginning of February.

I don’t know… I feel like things are still broken up and like I’m still waiting to get back to me. It’s like until the party and the wedding happen that things aren’t fully settled.

Maybe that’s all inside of my head.

Anyway. I had told myself I wouldn’t buy new clothing until the end of March unless I completely had to. No new bras, no shorts, nothing. Stick it out until the end of March, another two months, and then I’ll go through and replace everything all at once.

Well… now that I’ve given myself that stipulation, of course, I feel denied. So I think I’m going to compromise a little. I need new compression gear. According to online sources, Target has some decent shorts for pretty cheap. And there’s not really a benefit for girls to wear “girl stuff”. According to forums, guy gear does the job just as good so I’m thankfully not limited to hot pink as my only color choice.

It would be nice to have a few new compression tops since the Lucy tops I bought aren’t compressing as much with my weight loss. I’ve been looking into rash guards since I’ve been enjoying submission grappling so much. If I go the route of compression gear it might be a good idea to get a few sports bras to wear under them. The tops I have currently have the bras built in.

It’s something to investigate. I won’t know which set up I like more until I feel the difference. In the past, the sports bras I’ve tried didn’t have the compression to keep everything in place. Maybe things are different now.

So today I would like to go out and see about getting a couple shorts and a top or two. That way I can get over the “denied” feeling and get more amped about my workouts. I mean, it would be pretty motivating to have new stuff in smaller sizes because the effort I’m putting into myself is actually having results.

So maybe not a full wardrobe change, but a few new things to keep me going. I think it could be nice. A reward for the past few months. I never did get myself anything for Christmas…

I may or may not be trying to justify spending money…

There’s a pair of shin guards I want from Venum. They look amazing. Those will definitely be a March item, along with the black gi I want. Maybe… I still haven’t made up my mind to buy a black one even though I know I’ll feel more comfortable in a black gi than a white one. I mean, white isn’t a “bad” color, but it doesn’t have the same juju as black does for me. Black is a “my color”. I get strength from it. So while I don’t “need” a new gi, I would like one since with jujitsu I’m allowed to wear whatever color I want, unlike aikido where I had to wear white.

Anyway, tonight I see Big Bad. I need to go running. I want to take Scarlet to the vet but I’m still waiting to hear back from them. I looked into changing my car insurance since I was quoted a lower rate elsewhere. Instead of canceling my policy, I altered my current one a bit so my monthly rate is lower. Woohoo.

I didn’t put my clothes away last night so now I’m starting to truly feel like a slacker. I’ll have to make myself do it before leaving tonight. There’s submission grappling at noon and six pm tonight. I might try to make it to both classes. I guess it really depends on how much I get killed during the noon class. I still have to wrestle with Big Bad when I go to his house, so maybe going to only one class would be the smarter option. He already has something like seven years of experience on me… I don’t need to give him any more of an advantage than what he has.

Anyway… not much to report other than a wonderfully uplifting and reassuring conversation and investigating how to become a bigger badder badass.

Screw you, Red Squiggle Line. Badder is a word and I’m going to use it.

Daily Post 002: When You’re An INFJ And You Try to Write A Normal Post…

Standard

This is going to be a normal post. No crazy dreams. No life revelations. No anger or depression or anxiety.

Just a normal post about my normal days, which is most likely boring, but right now I’m totally ok with that. I’ve felt a marked difference in myself these past three days since being back in Orlando, and I’m completely content with what I’ve done with my days and the direction I’m headed in.

I had alone time today. Like actual, “the apartment is empty except for me” alone time, and yes, it was as fantastic as it sounds. Like, angels were singing and god rays were shining through the window at the sheer holiness from the act of the apartment door closing behind Warren as he left me in total solitude.

It started last night when Warren asked if he could possibly borrow my car today. He had been communicating with a guy through a subreddit and had a potential interview. Since his truck isn’t all that reliable he wanted to know if he could take my car to make sure he got there and back safely. After talking through the situation I agreed to let him use it.

I’m happy for him. He seems in better spirits, and if he gets the job he’ll be making significantly more, so the chances of me getting paid back increase considerably. There’s also the prospect of him having to move about three hours away for the job, which will alleviate the stress I’ve been feeling over having a roommate.

I feel like I should apologize for my lack of wanting a roommate, but it’s been three days and the trash bag he said he would take out only just now made it’s way to the outside trash. It wouldn’t be hard for me to do it myself, but taking out the trash is one of two chores he agreed to do. The other being to sweep the top landing of the stairs so the hardwood floors don’t look like they’re carpeted due to the dog fur.

I really don’t think it’s wrong of me to stick to my guns and want those two things taken care of when I’m paying for everything in the apartment and doing the rest of the chores. I also don’t think that’s being too much of a neat freak. It’s trash. Take it outside the same day the can gets full. The only reason to not do it in my mind is laziness, which is frustrating and something I really don’t have much patience for.

But yeah, maybe all of that will get fixed on its own. I’m hoping this helps Warren with his apathy. Even if it doesn’t work out maybe it will give him the spark he needs to actually do things with his life again. I know the breakup with Amber is still something that weighs heavily on him, but if you don’t like where you’re at in life than being stagnant isn’t going to improve the situation.

Going back to the “being alone” thing. It was amazing. I knew I had missed it, the feeling of being alone. Since Warren’s been working nights he’s asleep most of the day, but it’s not the same as being legitimately alone. Maybe if our situation was different and he had a job where he left the apartment I wouldn’t be as overjoyed by the three hours as I am, but he works from home. The only time he leaves is to grocery shop, and that’s usually while I’m already out of the house doing something. Sometimes he’ll take Bruno to the dog park, but that hasn’t happened in over a month, most likely two.

I wished him well during his interview and told him to drive safely, because Florida drivers suck, and then I sat on the couch for a while simply breathing in the silence, the total lack of “other”. I don’t know how to describe it other than complete stillness. There’s no one else’s energy. There’s a total peace that I value, that I cherish. A peace that I haven’t had in longer than I care to admit.

I got a bunch of stuff taken care of today. I fixed the internet account login finally. Paid that bill, too, since it was coming due. I got my Target card figured out. I applied for one randomly when I was shopping back in December. I never got the card and I honestly forgot about the bill until I got one right before I left for my trip to Ohio saying my payment was due, by the way, it was late so here’s a $30 charge on top of my original purchase…

Me: Um… can I at least get my card so I can log in online to make the payment? No… oh… ok, then…

I decided to not worry about it until I got back from my trip. Most likely not the most responsible adult decision to make, but nothing burned down because of it, at least as far as I know, so I don’t feel all that bad. I called today and had a fantastic representative help me out. The fee is being waived, I’m getting issued a new card, and I paid the original balance so that’s taken care of as well. It was a mostly painless experience and the service was outstanding. Very glad it got taken care of.

I re-dyed my hair since I never got around to doing that before the trip.

I went to Target and bought a bike lock. I left my old one with Zane’s bike since he was using it to get to and from work after our breakup. Not sure if we had a breakup, but I’m going to use that term because the relationship ended and I don’t know another term to use.

I don’t know what he’s doing now and I really don’t care. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of trying to get the old one back. Instead, I went and got a new one, drove home, then biked to the gym where I had an incredible run. I did a solid four-minute interval. I think my longest one ever was five minutes. I still did really good on all of my other intervals and I wasn’t crazy sore after my run. I biked home, no problem. Hooray, progress.

It was great being on the bike again. It’s the first time I’ve been out since Big Bad drove me home from the park. The day was pretty warm. The sun was out. I had my contacts in so I looked spiffy cool with my sunglasses on.

Right Brain: Yeah… look at me and my bad self.

I still have plans to go either to the dojo or to dance class and then the dojo. I’m not sure which option I’m going to go with yet. I haven’t been to the dance studio since before the Christmas break. It would be nice to go there.

I saw my blacksmith before I left for Ohio. I’m glad I saw him. I’m happy with how our dynamic is developing. I know that’s pretty vague but I’m mostly sure no one wants to read about BDSM stuff and to be honest, I’m still processing through our last session. I guess it doesn’t help that I haven’t had the alone time to really think deeply about it.

Both my blacksmith and Big Bad build me up. They’re positive influences in my life and I’m grateful for both of them. I’m grateful they both are ok with each other and have agreed to not make me choose between them.

I spent the evening with Big Bad Monday. We have plans to see each other Thursday. He offered for me to come over at a later time than usual, which allows me to still make it to the dojo Thursday night, which is another thing that makes me feel warm and cared for when I think of him. He still lets me have my own life and schedule.

Big Bad and I may be going with a group of people to swim with manatees later this month. I really hope that works out. I think we’ll both have a lot of fun if we go. Even if the plans fall through with the group, it might be something we do on our own.

The trip to Ohio had its moments, both good and bad. There were two spats with my step mother. There wasn’t a lot of one on one bonding time with anyone, but I did get to spend a bit of time with my dad. Jon, Dad, and I were able to spend some time with just the three of us. I got to see both my grandmothers. I got to see other family members since it ended up turning into a family reunion sort of a thing. Not what I had originally wanted, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I got to spend some time with my half sisters, and even though we didn’t spend time alone, I think the time we did have gave us a foundation to move forward with.

Since I didn’t get to talk to anyone privately I plan to make mini podcasts for each of them, telling them the things I wish I had been able to say before I left for the airport. I’m not sure how the podcasts will be received, but, since mom’s death, I’ve taken to telling people how I truly feel because I don’t know if I’ll get another chance to say the words I want to. All we have for sure is right now. If we wait to say things we might never be able to say them.

So yeah, I need to get the ball rolling on that before too much time has passed.

I applied for a tutoring position at a local college last night. I ended up remaking my resume, again… The last one I made is geared heavily towards a computer animation position rather than a teaching position. As such I have the layout mimicking a D&D character sheet. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it, but I figured it wouldn’t go over so well with the HR department of the school I was applying at.

I like the changes to the layout I made. It’s pretty clean, pretty professional. I’m sure changes could be made, but design-wise I’m pretty content with it. I think I sold myself pretty well, too. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of it. I’m hoping so. It’s a part-time job, but with it, I could start looking at working my way into an adjunct professor position, or even see about taking additional classes because I would be staff. It’s something I would ask about in the interview if I get one. Forever a student.

I was proud of myself for unpacking almost as soon as I got home. Even did a load of laundry and had everything dried before I went over to Big Bad’s place. I still need to put the clothes away, but with everything else I’ve been staying on top of I think I’m doing pretty alright in the “adulting” department. At least good enough that I don’t feel like a slacker… yet…

I went grocery shopping Tuesday morning after leaving Big Bad’s. I look forward to the mornings with him almost as much as everything else. I enjoy our cups of coffee together and I enjoy seeing him dressed for work and wishing him a good day as we both leave to go about our lives.

That’s one of the things my blacksmith and I talked about while we were together, the dynamic between Big Bad and myself. My blacksmith asked me if Big Bad is “the One”. I told him I didn’t know. That I was scared to think about things like that. Even typing about it now makes my heart quicken and my breathing become shallow. Not from excitement and joy, but from fear, which I know is sorrowful.

When I think about a relationship I think about Zane and the betrayal I felt when I found out he had brought another girl home while I was taking care of mom. I remember how he said it felt like I was abandoning him. I remember the anger and stress and loneliness I felt before everything with mom started. How before life changed I had already felt like our relationship was dying. I remember him not wanting to give me hugs when I got home from work because I was “gross” from biking home even though the only reason I was biking was so he could use my car to get to his job.

All of those negative events, all of those painful emotions and memories… Those are what I associate with relationships. With “boyfriends”. Zane isn’t the only negative experience, but he’s the most recent.

I know I have deep feelings for Big Bad. Maybe deeper than what he feels for me. I know I don’t want to lose him. I want to spar with him and show him the things I’m learning at the dojo. I want to play Soul Calibur with him. I enjoy the sex and BDSM sessions we have together, and honestly, I want to use terms like mind blowing and amazing, but I also don’t want to gush like a girl so we’ll use mildly detached terms like “enjoy” and try to keep it clinical. I love our mornings. I love the cuddles and how he lets me ramble through my stories. I love it when he smiles at me.

I love, and while I’m sitting here on my own, typing at the computer I’m ok with loving. I don’t feel vulnerable admitting it on this page even though it’s going to go onto the internet and be posted for everyone to see.

I’m not sitting in front of someone being asked, “Is he the One?” And having to admit that, yeah, most likely he is. Yes, I love him and I really don’t see myself with anyone else.

It’s funny how I can be nude, restrained, blindfolded and gagged and feel completely safe, but sitting fully clothed in front of someone being asked a simple question makes me feel as if I’m more vulnerable, weak, and exposed than I have ever been in my life.

I keep thinking about that whole, “say what you want to say,” thing. There’s a lot of things I want to say to Big Bad. If something were to happen to me, or him, I want him to know the impact he’s had on my life, and I want him to know how I feel. I haven’t worked through the pain of my past and the fear of his rejection to actually say anything. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, I keep catching myself before the words are formed, spoken.

I feel one day the words will slip out. One day it will feel so natural, so right, that I won’t think, I’ll just say,  and it won’t be until after that I realize what I’ve done. I don’t know what will happen then. I don’t want anything to change. I like how things are. I want to be honest about how I feel and not have to fight through my past and the wall of fear and anxiety to do it. I’m not looking for marriage or labels. I want to be able to say, “I love you,” and to have it mean exactly that. “I have an intense feeling of deep affection for you.”

love

Love changes things for most people, though. I’m scared of how things could change. And I’m scared of being hurt again by someone I deeply care for.

People say trust issues, but to the person who was hurt it’s self-preservation.

It’s something further to meditate on. Something further to work through.

… So… Yeah…

Going back to the original train of thought since I wasn’t supposed to get into super deep, touchy-feely stuff. : D

The grocery trip was successful. After I made it home I continued with my productivity by completing all of the cooking for the week. I’m trying a new recipe this week.

Egg Roll Bowls.

They’re super tasty so far. I added bean sprouts and I used napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage. Next time I might add mushrooms. I also stuck with soy sauce since 1) I had it, and 2) Publix didn’t have the coconut aminos even though the website said they did. Lame.

Super satisfied with the recipe, though. It will definitely be something I make again. The dinner meal is chili. For breakfast, I’m doing black rice with a fried egg and fish.

So… that’s about it I think. Still waiting to hear about the reservation for the vacation home for the week-long Disney adventure. My bride’s maid dress should be coming in soon. I hope it still fits when it gets here. Jim said it looks like I’ve lost more weight since the last time he’s seen me. First world problems…

I guess this didn’t stay all that normal with the huge, deep, “I love someone,” confession there in the middle, but there you go. That’s what you get for reading an INFJ blog. Now I’m off to figure out the rest of my night… and maybe, possibly put my clothes away…