Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that’s about it for the moment.

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

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

 

Daily Post 033: To My Keyboard

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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.

Daily Post 026: Working Girl

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My days have been long. Tiring. Stressful.

But they’ve also been extremely rewarding, uplifting, and connecting.

I finished my phlebotomy class. I have my final payment figured out and a solution to the issue of not being able to attend the final part of the PCT course due to my employment training. I still won’t be able to take my board test for a while since Warren still isn’t paying rent reliably. It’s down to paying my bills or getting the certification. It sucks that I’m in this position, but I don’t want to complain about it.

This is a fact in my life. I have to choose between things because my finances are so low. I choose to keep the dojo instead of getting nationally certified for something I don’t need at the moment. I WILL come back to it and I WILL become certified. Just not in the time frame I was hoping for.

The day after my last day of phlebotomy, last Friday, I had my first day of work in almost a year. Physically and mentally it wasn’t a very intense day. A lot of power point slides, a lot of meeting people. Blood work was done. I had my first TB test. At least it’s the first one I have a conscious awareness of. There was a CPR class that I had to stay for since the Red Cross certification I paid for wasn’t accepted.

Everything in hindsight… /sigh

It was actually a pretty awesome class, though. The guy was super funny and engaging. By far one of the best training classes I have been to, ever.

So it’s sort of a toss up. On one hand, I would have liked to have left at 3 PM so I could have gotten to South Carolina sooner. On the other, I’m glad I was able to stay and experience the class.

I didn’t get on the interstate until 6:30 PM and traffic out of Orlando was at a level of stupid I haven’t experienced in a while. I drove until 1 AM. Allison called me around 11 PM and told me that I didn’t have to be up until around 9 AM the following morning which was totally ok in my book. I knew with as emotionally exhausting as my day of orientation was plus the drive that I was going to need as much sleep as I could get before the “big day”.

I slept surprisingly well even though I was basically in Drug Town. Downtown Charleston is pretty much like any other downtown. You have some sketchy areas, but it was actually mildly reassuring. This is where I grew up. There was still a feeling of “home”. I could see it in the way the grass is a different kind of green from Florida. The oak trees with their Spanish moss… The salt in the air is different. There’s something about low country South Carolina that can’t be replaced or impersonated. There’s something about going back to where you came from, even if you return as a visitor, that will pull at the strings of familiarity.

I’m glad I went to Allison’s wedding. Partly because she would have killed me if I ditched the day before when I was supposed to be her maid of honor… I do have a slight sense of self-preservation. But mostly I’m glad I went because it was beautiful to not only see the ceremony but to be part of it.

I realized I will most likely never have a wedding of my own, but I also realized I think I’m ok with that.

I don’t want to spend $1000 on a dress. I don’t want to make people drive crazy distances to hear me say things that I really only want my companion to hear. I’m ok with not having the government involved in my relationship.

Maybe all of this will change as I continue to move through life, but at the moment, I’m ok with accepting that I have always been different and that I will most likely continue to be different. Different doesn’t mean bad.

So the ceremony was really nice. I made my speech. I feel like I tanked on it. I was shaking so bad by the end that I had to put my glass down so I wouldn’t spill it all over my dress. After my “speech” I promptly changed out of my dress and went to a quiet outside area away from the reception and did yoga.

I know that may be weird or maybe even disrespectful but I was completely out of my element. I knew only a handful of people. I was in a dress with makeup, my hair all braided and “not me”. I had just spoken extremely heartfelt words to one of my best friends in front of a ton of strangers… I earned 20 minutes of alone time to stretch out my muscles from my seven-hour car ride.

Allison’s mom came and sat with me for a while. It was nice to talk to her alone. I haven’t been able to since my mom died. I got to tell her about my new job and how I’m doing in life. I’m pretty much her second daughter, she says so herself, so I think she enjoyed catching up with me. It was nice to have some one on one time with someone I’m close with. It helped ease the overwhelmed feeling from the speech.

The rest of the night was fun and uneventful for my part. I got to people watch. I talked to a few other people, but mostly I kept to myself, which I was ok with.

In the end, I helped pack everything up. I went out with Allison’s buddies to a bar and had a few more drinks. Afterward, I went back to the hotel where I had another night of extremely deep and restful sleep.

I woke up in the morning, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, then drove back to Orlando. I stopped in Daytona first and spent about three hours with my brother. Originally it was going to be a short visit, but then I ended up going to a few stores with him and then we got dinner together. It was insanely nice to spend time with him and I don’t regret it even though it altered my time table for when I wanted to be home.

By the time I got back to my apartment I was done. I don’t even remember what I did. I brought everything in from the car, but that’s about all I remember. I know I didn’t sleep at all even though I tried to. I don’t know if I was wired from the cup of coffee Jon made me while I was with him or what, but I spent all night awake.

One the plus side, I didn’t have to worry about being late for my first official day at work. Downside, if you think spending eight hours reading policy and compliance documentation sucks, try doing it on no sleep…

Even though I was wicked tired I liked how I started my day. I went to Starbucks and got a coffee drink and a breakfast sandwich. I know that was splurging and my bank account doesn’t appreciate it, but I wanted to do it. It helped make the morning special.

As I pulled out of the drive-thru I spoke to my mom for the first time in a while. Out loud spoke to, not just silently thought words.

“Ok, mom. Let’s make today a good day.”

I had tears running down my face as I drove through the parking lot. My chest hurt. I didn’t want to take those steps forward. But I did, and I even enjoyed my day despite the mind-numbing material.

I actually really like the group I’m with. All of the managers for the facilities are super nice and friendly. This really does seem to be a company that lives up to all the talk about the company culture. I really do believe they care about their employees, from my own observations and limited exposure so far.

Tuesday wasn’t as bad, but still really dry material. We were told we needed to come up with a team name. I’m super hoping for DaVita Divas to win. We realized we’re an all female class and with the spunk and banter we toss around the diva portion really fits us I think.

Today the subject of mom’s death came up with a few of my… classmates? teammates? not really sure what to call them mates?… Anyway… it was an extremely connecting conversation.

Two of the ladies are slightly older. One lost her mother about 15 years ago, and her husband 4 years ago. She shared some of her experience with grief with me and I was able to explain mine. In the end, I thanked her for talking to me. I told her hearing other people’s experiences helped me feel not alone and helped me understand and accept my own feelings.

Another, we’ll go with teammate, gave me a hug.

It was really nice. Mom’s death is a big part of me right now, and I like that I was able to share that aspect of my journey and still be accepted.

After class I came home and sort of dicked around on Facebook for longer than I meant to. I did go to Muay Thai tonight, though, so I don’t feel bad about the computer time. I’m pretty happy with the effort I put in at the dojo today. I had been worried about interacting with people, but I’m glad I went. I was paired with a person that I’ve seen at the dojo fairly often, but have never formally talked to. He’s super nice and was extremely helpful with giving me advice for my stance and punches.

I enjoy going to Title Club on the days I don’t want real interaction. I want it to just be me and the bag and whatever the voice through the speakers tells me to do. I don’t have to worry about holding pads or having someone “push” or “encourage” me. I don’t have to worry about my grief snapping and having to explain to someone that they didn’t do anything wrong and that I just need to cry. It’s the main reason I haven’t gone to the dojo as consistantly as I was before the end of March.

I have been keeping up with training, though. Just in a different way.

Today ended up being a dojo day instead of a gym day. It was a good class and I did well and I think the interaction was good for me on a social and emotional level.

I stayed a bit afterward and talked with one of my trainers; the one who had asked if I was ok the last time I had been at the dojo. I got to explain about my new job and why I had left the time before. I got to talk about the situation with Warren. She knows I might have to cancel my membership. It won’t be this month at least. I’m hoping things work out.

I’ll make things work out.

Oh… yesterday…

I went to kickboxing at Title Club since I didn’t feel like being around people. Afterward, I went to the store and bought a few things to make meals since I have to have lunches at work. I made tuna and beef stir fry. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken so I also make spinach and chicken couscous. Got some protein bars. Some Gatorade. Eggs… Normal stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a lunch box. I donated the one I used to have to Goodwill almost a year ago; shortly after I resigned. I got rid of a lot of stuff when I left Full Sail. I’m actually glad that I’ll have to get a new one. This is a new place. I don’t want to bring old memories into it.

I actually have a to-do list for tomorrow. It’s the first day this week that I’ve made one. Much like with my writing, my to-do lists have become sporadic. I don’t mind, though. I feel like I’m doing well.

This whole month has been hard. Everything from March 23rd, through mom’s death day and past with the final weeks of my phlebotomy class, skill evaluation, beginning a new job only to turn around and be the maid of honor in a wedding which required a total of 14 hours of driving in two days…

I DID do well and it WAS hard.

Now that things are settling down I can feel the rhythm that’s forming. I like it. I wake up early. I workout in the early evening. I come home and unwind.

I’ve already mapped out what I would like to do tomorrow. This is the first day where I’ve wanted to plan ahead. It’s not a very extensive list and the first five things on it are still, “wake up, make breakfast, eat, shower, go to training”, but it’s my list and it’s what I want to do, so I’m going to do it.

I’m going to be ok. Financial stress is pointless even though my financial situation is something I have been stressing over. I’m going to make my life work the way I want it to because I’ve come too far to let it uppercut me again.

Fuck you, Life. I’m ready for you.

Daily Post 024: Done and Determined

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I’m alive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m on my own.

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

No.

I’m done.

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

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

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

Fuck Life if it thinks it can stop me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m tired just from thinking about it all.

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

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

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

On the subject of money…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve done my part. More than my part.

I’m done.

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

Daily Post 023: How to Mess Up a Drug Test

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I was going to write tonight, but I’m going to do it now instead. Before my bike ride. That way I can think over everything and process more clearly while enjoying the fantastic day.

So, yesterday…

Yesterday was decent. Productive-ish, though mildly annoying followed by this morning, which was really freaking annoying, which is why I need to do this now.

I started the day by taking the shirt back to Target. That was actually the easiest thing about my day. I simply exchange the shirt. I didn’t get additional ones. No muss. No fuss. Pretty much an in and out trip.

From there I went to FHCA to find out about my PCT program and my CPR certification because I STILL haven’t gotten that information yet. I was told three weeks-ish. Well… we’re at like, six or something. This is stupid. I’ve asked multiple times about this. I’ve been checking my spam folder. Just give me my freaking certification.

In the school’s defense, they’re not the ones issuing the license. We’re having to wait on the other company to process and release the information. Still… it’s frustrating.

Anywho…

Yeah. Went there to find out about those two things. The front desk associate is always super nice and knows me by name. She said most likely the company thought I took the CPR certification in conjunction with my PCT course and was holding the certification until my “graduation” date.

Well… since I didn’t take the class in conjunction with the PCT course I want my license now. Please.

She said she would reach out to the company for me.

I also informed her about my recent job offer and how due to being employed I wouldn’t be able to finish the PCT course. I asked if there was a way to change my contract to being just the EKG and phlebotomy classes.

She said based on the contract, since it was past the 40% mark that normally, no, we wouldn’t be able to change it. However, given the circumstances, she would ask her boss and get back to me about it.

I left with no more information than when I had originally gotten there, but I felt good that I had at least addressed the issues and would eventually, at some point, have more information to work with.

From there I went to kickboxing. I did really well. I stayed for the whole thing. I know I’ve talked about going there recently, but I guess I should say that I don’t normally stay for the whole class. I do the warm up and the boxing/kickboxing portion, but when we get to the last 15 minutes of core work and cool down I peace out. I’ll either shower because I need to be somewhere, or I go to the dojo later and want to not be 100% dead, or it’s a “light” day and I’m happy with the effort that I put in.

Yesterday I did the full hour, start to finish. Woo. Go me. That’s only because it’s randori at the dojo on Friday’s and so kickboxing was my only workout so it was all or nothing.

After showering at the gym I went and did my drug test. Filled out all the paperwork. I didn’t think it was possible to ask someone for their birthday that many times, but apparently it is.

I got called back. The guy was super nice. He explained everything to me and didn’t make it seem weird that I was going to basically be peeing into a cup for him. Medical stuff is so messed up when taken out of context…

Anyway, I messed up the drug test initially.

And I’m starting it off that way intentionally because I know the first thought is, “How did you mess up peeing into a cup?”

Well, from 25ish years of training, I flushed the toilet once I was done. And I say 25 instead of 28 because I’m sure the first few years of my life I didn’t have the ability to flush and/or use a toilet properly.

So yeah… when you do a drug test you can’t flush the toilet because they have to ensure you didn’t tamper with anything. And I did because I totally don’t remember him saying not to do that.

So even though it was the perfect sized specimen and everything, we couldn’t use it.

When asked if I could give another specimen, I also love how medical terms make things like peeing into a cup sound so scientific and important, I was like… but I just went… I highly doubt it.

I tried. It was Quantity Not Sufficient.

The guy had to call and inform HR that I had “Shy Bladder” and that the specimen was Quantity Not Sufficient. I had to stay for an extra two hours to give another specimen during which time I wasn’t allowed to do anything other than sit and stare at a clock which was still an hour behind from daylight saves.

Fun times…

Eventually, the process was successful. Hooray. I was finally allowed to leave and get food, something I hadn’t done after the gym because I figured the drug test would be quick and painless.

Worst idea ever. I was so hungry by the time I left I seriously wanted to chew on my steering wheel just so I could try to trick my stomach into thinking I was eating.

I went to Moe’s and got nachos. I figured it’s what mom and I would have done. She would have found it funny that I fucked up a drug test by being “too clean”.

I didn’t have much left to give when I got home even though it was pretty early. Like six-ish. I sleep for most of the night, waking up around 9 this morning since my phone died during the night and couldn’t wake me up at 7. I’m actually not all that heartbroken over it.

Which brings us to the annoyances of today.

It started with it being Saturday, the day after Friday, Warren’s pay day, and having no information about when to expect the $300 for rent. Since he’s still asleep right now there’s not much I can do about that point.

I had found out on Thursday about the issue with my phone still having $250 owed on it. I fired up the Verizon online chat because technology is amazing and totally supports my introversion. That took roughly an hour, during which time I was the one who found most of the information required through previous emails and Verizon bill statements, not the representative.

In the end, I was told I would need to call the Trade-In department on Monday to have the issue resolved. Was that an acceptable resolution?

Irrational Right Brain: Um… no. Not really. Because Monday I’m going to call and have to explain all of this all over again and I really just want you guys to figure out what got screwed up and fix it because this is some serious BS.

What I did say was that I was worried there would be more issues when I called on Monday.

He said that he had made all of the notations on my account documenting the issue so when I called the issue should be easily resolved. I guess the only way to find out will be to call on Monday. I already have an event on my calendar to do it after class so I can’t procrastinate on it. I have to do it. Google told me to.

After that issue got “resolved” I looked into my CNA test. I got that email at 7:18 pm last night. My test date is next Friday. I will not be ready for my test. Not with phlebotomy having a test that Thursday. Not with how I’ve been studying and taking the EKG class. I was told after fingerprints cleared I would have 30 to 90 days. I would be given a test date within that time frame. Not a week after their clearance.

I’m not confident in my ability to pass the written test, and I know, right now, I would fail hardcore if I got certain procedures. I haven’t made CNA a priority because it was in the future.

I can reschedule the test. That’s not a problem. If I do it before 5 business days there’s a $30 charge. Anything less than 5 days I have to pay the full $150.

I would like to reiterate how I got the email at 7:18 pm Friday. You know… after business hours, and how my test is for the following Friday. If they don’t count Monday as one of my business days then I have four days to reschedule my test.

Irrational Right Brain: Motherfucker, I am not paying the full fee.

I tried calling. It’s Saturday so their call center is closed. They have online chat available from 11 am to 3 pm. It’s 1:05. It’s still “unavailable”. I’ve tried going through all of the steps listed on the website but it takes me to a page which says nothing about rescheduling or canceling. Only about finding information for testing centers and study information.

I sent an email explaining my situation, how I wanted my email to count as my initial contact with the company in regards to my situation, and that I would call Monday for further clarification on the issues. I also said I appreciated their assistance and understanding.

So yeah…

Those are the four areas of my life I’m still trying to get figured out.

Rent payment
PCT program
Verizon bill
CNA testing

And all of those I have to wait on…

Arrawrrawrrawarrawr.

I’m not good at waiting. >.<;

Why can’t I just have the information I need to move forward with stuff? Why can’t things just get figured out? Or work how they’re supposed to?

I feel like thunking my head down onto my desk right now in frustration because it seems like any time I go to tackle a problem Life goes, “Hahaha, JK! LOLOL!”

It’s one of those moments where I want to go, “Fuck it. Life’s complicated. Time to be a dragon.”

Well, I’m already a dragon. I’m an earth dragon because the Chinese zodiac is awesome like that. So I guess the next best thing I can do is do laundry so I have a clean towel for once I’m done showering and go for a bike ride to finally enjoy a day in the sun.

I’ve done a lot of adulting today. I was going to say failed adulting, but I didn’t fail. Other people are slackers. I did my part. Now I have to wait for them to pick up the ball.

I have my list of things to do. Mostly cleaning stuff. But I’ve already done well today.

It’s the first. April 1st, 2017. Three more days until mom’s death day.

This past year was my Year of Survival.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this coming year to be. I’ve been meditating on it because I know it’s not something I can ask other people or find in a Google search. This has to come purely from me.

Survival was my most important task for last year. I’ve done that. I’ve done that really well and I believe that with every fiber of my being.

So if that’s taken care of, what’s my next most important task? What’s the most important thing to me right now?

I didn’t have an answer, but now I think I do.

This coming year will be my Year of Stability.

It’s going to be the year I focus on clearing out my debt, establishing myself in my new career, and solidifying myself at the dojo.

This will be my year of ensuring the foundation I have started making for myself settles properly.

I like the way it feels inside my head. It feels right.

I want to meditate further on it to make sure there isn’t another area I want to add to it. I know relationships are important to me, but I feel those are sort of like the flower bushes in front of a house. They’re pretty and they can be super important, but they’re not the foundation everything is built on. You can have pretty flowers and have a foundation that’s cracked and broken and unsafe.

I want my foundation, I want ME, to be solid and stable. I’ve survived. I’ve lived through almost all of the first year without mom. Three more days to go. I feel like I’ve done well. I feel like I’ve gone from being KOed to sitting, conscious, aware, still on the ground, still hurt and bruised from my hit, but I’m “with it”.

Now it’s time to start trying to stand up.

That’s what this coming year is going to be. My goal at the end of it will be living on my own.

In one year, next April 4th, I want my own place. A house. With a yard. With a garage or an extra room to be my makeshift dojo.

I don’t have to own it. I could be renting. But the big thing will be that it’s a house and that I don’t have a roommate. It will be me, mine, my space and no one else’s.

And with those frustrations purged, and those goals acknowledged, I’m going to go enjoy my day.

Daily Post 022: Potentially Productive

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Yesterday ended up being better than the past few days.

I had two successful procedures in class. That’s always a boost, and much better than the three missed attempts from the day before that I refused to put energy into feeling bad over. I had enough emotional discord to contend with without making myself feel shitty about missing hard veins.

I went to the dojo again yesterday. I’m starting to do something different with my workout calendar. Instead of pre-arranging my workouts and having them set up as reoccurring events, I’ve decided to delete all of my workouts.

I’m going to be manually adding them instead and only adding the ones I actually attend. That way I have an accurate view of my workout times rather than a bunch of events I didn’t actually attend.

I don’t think that’s going to affect my accountability. If anything I think it will make me more accountable because I want there to be some sort of workout event on each day. It doesn’t have to be the dojo. It could be running, or biking, or yoga, or even just going for a walk. As long as I do something I’ll be happy with my effort. Having the dojo schedule on my calendar made it a bit overwhelming at times and so my brain would skip over the events, or I would be slack because there were “other” events I could make it to, only to get to the end of my day without having gone at all.

I was becoming desensitized to the events since the information was so reoccurring, consistent, and essentially, meaningless. It’s there, every day, every week. It’s not special.

I’m hoping this change helps to make me more aware of my habits and to spur me into action during the days where the sadness is winning. I can’t let it win. If I do I won’t be able to add the event to my calendar and those events are important to me. More important than staying in my room feeling bad. I can feel bad at the dojo and still get something done.

Multi-tasking at its finest.

As I was leaving the dojo yesterday Paul told me I was doing a good job.

Having validation when I had wanted to stay home again was really nice.

It’s weird. It’s not like we’re super close or anything. He’s my instructor. We haven’t had any super deep, soul-bearing conversations. He demonstrates techniques, he watches everyone practice and spar and makes sure we’re getting the moves mostly right. I’ve only “known” him for, what, roughly five months? Maybe only four…

I started attending the dojo mid-November. Just before Thanksgiving. So yeah… not even five months.

Yet his praise means so much to me. Paul, Big Bad, my phlebotomy and nursing instructors… anytime they say something about how I’m doing well or doing a good job, it feels like true, genuine validation. It’s not just pretty words. They mean it, and because they mean it their words mean something deep and solidifying to me.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this dream or not, but I had a dream about mom not too long ago. Or rather, I had a dream and mom was in it.

I was driving and I was getting tired. There was a really long stretch of road ahead of me, sloping down, then going up and I couldn’t see the road over the hill but in my head, I knew it would go on for forever and I just wanted to stop. It was that feeling of overwhelming defeat where there is no end and it’s pointless to keep going and it would be so much easier to just stop and give up.

Mom was in the back seat of the car. I remember I couldn’t look at her because I was driving. I had to keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road, you know… so we didn’t crash and burn in a fantastic blaze of glory. I remember telling her, tears in my voice, that I was tired and asking if we could stop. It was the only thing I wanted. Could we please just stop for a little bit?

I remember her voice. I remember her saying, “We’re almost there.”

I remember her saying that in real life. I remember all the times I was working on projects that I wanted to give up on and she would say it was almost done and to tough it out a little bit longer. She always had a way of saying it, a tone, a voice, that made me hold on for just that little bit of extra time to see something to the end.

I feel like that’s what this is. I keep trying, even when I get to what feels like the end of what I have to give, and things keep happening. Working. Coming together and solidifying into a platform where I can stop and rest and recover.

It’s nice to know I won’t have to worry about getting a paycheck though I may still have to worry about finances. I guess that really depends on if Warren continues to hold up his end of our agreement. But I can at least tell my brothers and friends that I have a job. They don’t have to worry about me as much. It’s a good feeling.

It seems like my problems are narrowing down and I’ll be able to start focusing on things with more laser precision rather than trying to shotgun my attention on everything.

Once my onboarding process is complete and I begin working in April my goal will be paying off the credit card. Currently, my goal is completely phlebotomy and gearing up for work. I want to wrap up tasks and make sure I’m in a good spot.

I know I’m breathing easier. I don’t have the tightness in my chest of, “How am I going to figure this out?”

I don’t know if I figured it out so much as the Universe aligned the way it was supposed to. All I did was apply over and over and over and over until finally, something stuck.

I don’t know if that’s divine intervention.

I would like to think that mom knew it would work out and that she helped me hold on just like she would have if she were still alive.

I do think this is going to be a career that will be fulfilling. It has the patient interaction I wanted. More so than what the hospital would have had. More than what the Central Service Tech position would have had. It seems like there will be opportunities for me here, and I think I can work it out to still make it to the dojo consistently. That is still yet to be seen, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

I’m NOT giving up the dojo. I told Warren the other night, I would sacrifice my food budget before I gave in on my dojo membership, which may be counterproductive because without food I can’t really go to the dojo, but in my head at least I would starve to death mostly happy. Maybe content is a better word. I would starve to death in contentment knowing that I didn’t give up myself.

Today I go and have my drug test done. That’s the last process, that I know of, for onboarding. I’ve filled out all of the other forms and watched the welcome video.

Big Bad and I ended up having impromptu cuddles last night. I happened to message him as I was leaving the dojo. Nothing special. Just saying I hoped he had a good day.

He replied with how his day had been good and how he missed me. I said I missed him too and that cuddles would be amazing because they would have been. I had wanted to see him the day before, but I don’t know if it really would have been a good idea to see him in the middle of a grief wave. Somehow I don’t think it would have been the best idea. Even though I wanted human contact I think having alone time was better for me.

Yesterday was emotionally better, though, and when Big Bad said he would enjoy cuddling as well we made plans to spend the evening together after I had showered because holy crap did NoGi kick my ass. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the technique we learned. It gives me more options for getting out of closed guard, but god does it feel like my arms want to fall off right now…

Anyway, I’m rambling.

I picked up more microfiber shirts this morning since I only owned two. When I first started going to the dojo it was annoying not having enough shirts to get me through the week. More so when I started going to the dojo three and four times a week for multiple classes a day. There was no way to re-wear a shirt, but I needed a shirt to go over my workout top.

Then the holiday season hit and I was out of town more often than not so the lack of shirts wasn’t really an issue.

Now I’m getting back into the swing of it and the lack of shirts is hindering my workouts again…

Well… Fuck that shit.

I deserve my workouts. I want my workouts, and I sure as hell am not going to let something like laundry keep me from having them.

So this morning has already started with my “frog”. The one task that I’ve been avoiding for the past two weeks. A trip to Walmart. When I say I would rather be punched in the face than to go to Walmart it’s not much of an exaggeration.

I sort of tried other options. I looked online but I want to touch the shirts before I buy them. Target sucked and didn’t have what I wanted. Ross didn’t either. So, since Big Bad lives close to the only Walmart near me, I decided to go there before going home this morning.

It actually wasn’t a super horrible trip. Going there at 7 am most likely had a lot to do with that. I got four microfiber shirts, so now I have six in total. That will do fine for me I think. Maybe, eventually, I’ll get two more because odd numbers are weird.

Things have to go in pairs. It’s a rule in my brain. I know it’s weird. I’ve learned to just go with it… It’s easier and less sandpapery that way.

The other day I got three more of the tank tops from Target since I was there doing failed recon for the microfiber shirts. I got a deep army green tank top, which I actually like way more than I thought I would, and a dark purple tank top. I also got a light green color but I’m going to return it. Even when I bought it I had the feeling that I wouldn’t wear it all that much. I would rather return it and get another purple or green. What will most likely happen is I’ll return the light green, get a dark green, then get two more, one purple and one more black, since that whole pair thing has to happen.

Two green, two purple, four black. Seems good in my book.

I know I’ll most likely end up getting new workout tops to go under my scrubs for work. But that’s going to be my “first paycheck” thing. So it’s still a month or so off. For that I’ll go to the sporting goods store and try on a size smaller, just to make sure it fits before ordering online. It helps that I already know what I want and am looking for specifically. That “should” make the process fairly quick and painless.

I need to go to my school today and talk to them about switching my program. That’s another thing I’ve sort of halfway been avoiding. Since I got the job offer I won’t be able to finish the final course of the PCT program, but that should be ok. I’m hoping we can switch my paperwork to be just the EKG and phlebotomy classes. Only one way to find out in that regard.

Blarg… so much talking to people because socializing doesn’t end there…

I need to call Verizon customer support as well. I went to the store yesterday to cancel Zane’s line. While I was there I found out I owe $250 on my phone, which is BS because the whole reason I got my phone was because they were supposed to give me a full $600 on my trade in. So… I’m missing something like $200 in credit towards my account.

Words cannot begin to express the annoyance of having to call, yet again, to figure out why this trade in is F’ed up. I’m looking forward to switching back to MetroPCS. $50 a month for unlimited everything and I’ve never had a shitty experience with them messing something up. Soon… So soon.

Until then, yeah, that’s $250 I want explained to me.

Alright, enough stalling I guess. Time to shower then head out into the world.

I don’t know how the day is going to go. I feel slightly above baseline. Not super crazy positive, but not depressed either. It’s a warm-ish nuetral though I don’t think “warm” is the right word. I’m room-temp. Yeah… room-temp neutral.

I think today will be a productive day. Not necessarily “good” in the normal sense, but I’m ok with productive. Productive is good.

Daily Post 021: Employed

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I need to write.

Too much has happened not to. I started to write yesterday but I ended up deleting it. It’s the first time I can remember since I’ve started writing that I deleted something I wrote. I don’t like that I did. At the same time, I knew I wasn’t ready to write.

Yesterday was hard. Today was / is hard, too.

I woke up asking myself what’s the point of going to class? What’s the point of doing anything? Even when I was sitting in the Publix parking lot, knowing that I needed to eat since I had just given two hours to the dojo, my only thought was, “Why eat? What’s the point?”

I still hurt. I still don’t have anything that makes the pain easier to bear or less intense. The only thing I know to do is to live through the moment, survive through it. I have a detached level of pride that even with how I felt today that I got up and did the two things I knew I needed to do. Go to class and go to the dojo. I even ate and showered.

I fucking crushed today.

Dude. I even went out and bought more flash cards so I could keep studying for my class. That meant I dealt with people on top of everything else.

Damn straight I’m a MFing bawce.

And my answer for, “What’s the point?” still comes back to mom. Because she died. Because I promised her I would be strong and keep going.

That’s the point. I said I would do it, so I have to. That’s why I made that promise. Because I needed there to be a reason, a point. I gave my word. I have to do it.

In other news, I got a job.

I was super excited about it, and I know I will be again. While I’m in the middle of this wave of grief it’s hard to be anything other than apathetic about anything, so this is mostly going to be an analytical post about the position.

I shadowed Friday morning. That was a bit of a cluster fuck at first. I was told I would shadow someone specific and to be there at 5 am. So I got there at 5 am and was told the person I was supposed to shadow didn’t start work until 8 am.

Yeah…

I ended up shadowing someone else. She was super nice and answered all of my questions and explained a lot of the onboarding process and different things about her clinic specifically.

I had the face to face interview at 2 pm. I felt it went well, but with how I keep having “good” interviews that go nowhere I wasn’t really holding my breath.

I was told I would know by Wednesday if they were going to hire me.

So Monday afternoon I got a call with the job offer.

I start training April 21st. I’m going to be a Patient Care Technician for DaVita. I’m going to do eight weeks of paid training to become a certified clinical hemodialysis technician.

After shadowing, I do feel working at the DaVita clinics is something that I would find fulfillment with. I don’t want to say enjoy, because the reason I’m there is because people are sick, and I don’t think that is something that should be enjoyed. But I do want to help people, and this position allows me to do that. There are all sorts of benefits and opportunities for growth. The company seems to actively invest in its employees.

And there’s the potential to work as many hours as I want once my supervisor is confident in my abilities. So even though the pay is less than what I wanted, though more than I was expecting, pulling in overtime should still allow me to make serious progress on my financial goals once I begin working.

Oh. And I can keep my purple hair. I don’t even have to cover it up.

I am happy, and grateful, that the company is willing to give me this opportunity.

I’ll be able to finish my phlebotomy class before my training begins. I also got an email saying my fingerprints cleared so now I’m waiting for my official test date to become a CNA. I really need to go back and practice all of my procedures so I can pass the clinical.

I guess that’s the biggest thing to talk about. I  have a job. I’ll be able to provide for myself again. I know that’s really big. I know it’s the last hurdle I gave myself for my year of survival. I know that I really am happy and proud of myself for this accomplishment even if I can’t feel those warm feelings right now.

What I do feel is tired.

I feel tired because I stayed for two classes at the dojo. I’m tired because today was a heavy day. I’m tired because I woke up tired.

Things are still as they were. I’m still here. Breathing. Surviving. Life is still progressing forward. I wish that left me with some sort of feeling like I knew what to do, but I don’t. I hurt and all I can do is experience it until I don’t know what. It doesn’t go away. I don’t know what happens. I don’t know how I go back to “normal”, but something happens and the pain isn’t as overwhelming and I’m able to focus on other things.

Right now I can’t. Right now every breath is a reminder that mom is dead. Every breath is an ache in my chest where my chakra is still trying to relearn how to function.

There’s a lot of positive in my life. I can see it. I can acknowledge it. I am not at a point where I can feel it, though. I can’t fully experience it. Not yet at least. I think I’m ok with that. Employment is still off in the future. A month away. Right now mom’s death comes first. I think I need to experience this ache in its entirety first. I don’t want to disrespect this time.

I feel like I need some sort of ritual, some action. I wish there was somewhere I could go. Maybe that’s something I can meditate on.