Daily Post 088: Hello Old Friend

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Not proofread because sleep is a thing


 

Hello dearest Microsoft Surface,

It’s been a while since I’ve written on you. It’s been a while since you’ve been charged and updated. I’m sure it’s nice to have the dust brushed off of you. At some point, I’m sure I’ll clean your screen.

I can remember moments with you. Good moments like the ones at my sports bar where I would pay bills while eating lunch after going to kickboxing. I remember you were what I wrote on for my “first birthday”. The first one without mom. I remember that night; how I had been in Vegas for the holiday season. I remember how we all went out to dinner and how other than that it wasn’t a big deal. It was a decent day and yet I still came home and cried as I poured everything out through your keyboard.

I’m grateful for the times you’ve been there for me. I’m grateful for the tasks you’ve helped me complete. I’m grateful for moments like now, where you’re the instrument, the key, to letting me write my thoughts onto a blank page which in turn leads me to understanding myself better.

We’ve been through a lot together even though our times recently have grown more distant.

A lot has happened in the past week. It was the first week of the new schedule at work. It’s been getting better but one of our patients has become pretty unstable and so the days have still been hard. Harder than what I’ve grown used to.

The first day, Monday, tried really, really hard to be on par with the Orlando clinic. It was probably only better because the day was shorter; 12 hours instead of sixteen. I still wanted to cry on the way home with how completely tapped out I was.

Tuesday I met with my trainer again. We went through some of the things he wants me to be doing on my own then did a half work out where he totally destroyed my legs. It was good though. I haven’t had to work that hard in a while and it was a tiredness, an ache, that I’ve missed. The pain of making myself be better than I am.

I mailed my thank you cards to Orlando after stopping by Walmart. The receipt said they should arrive at my old clinic on Thursday. I’m glad I finally got that taken care of. I hope the cards reach my old coworkers well and that my words mean something to them.

After the post office, I went to my clinic where I started on the NFACT training to become an expert cannulator. I made it through all of the video training and printed off all of the P&Ps that I need to read (policy and procedure). I have a print off of everything I need to do to complete the training and I was glad to see so many highlighted lines of things I was able to get done while I was there. Having all of the quiet time to myself made me more ready to face my next workday. It helped me recover from the lameness and overwhelm of Monday.

Wednesday was another crazy day, though not due to A-Level alarms. The morning started off well. Things were going smoothly. Then we had to call EMS for one of our patients. I’m not a doctor. Neither is our RN. We’re only able to handle so much with just the two of us and seven other patients who need our care. It was better for everyone that she agreed to go to the ER.

Mr. Non-compliance showed up, which was good. He needs to be there. He needs his antibiotic since his CVC is infected. He needs to be dialyzed so his blood isn’t full of toxins slowly eroding away at all of the years he still has left to live.

I have never personally been on dialysis, but I know, just like any other disease or hardship, that it doesn’t have to define someone. It’s only the end of it you let it be the end. If Life sucks and starts being a dick tell it to go fuck itself and fight to live the life you want to live. Don’t let it stop you.

Does that mean compromising on a lot of things?

Yes. But better to compromise and have a halfway happy than to give up and have no happy at all.

I guess it’s all about perspective and, for the most part, I try to make mine one of, “I’m going to make this work no matter how hard you try to stop me.”

Another thing that happened Wednesday was my FA reached out to me asking if I would be interested in covering some shifts are other clinics in Omaha. With the rush to get everything squared away from the PCT registry, there are some techs who aren’t able to work and so there are spots that need to be filled until all of the red tape can get figured out.

Normally I wouldn’t be jazzed about working more hours, but there’s incentive pay and it would be overtime if I did work those shifts. I also know what it’s like to work shorthanded. And I guess I was asked for specifically. My FA travels a lot and has mentioned to several other FAs how well I am doing on her team. When the need arose to have someone float to their clinics they wanted to know if I would be willing, thus why my FA reached out to me.

I talked to Ox before making a decision about the first shift. It was for the coming Saturday; a day we would have the kids. Being there two days in a row is hard for me. There’s little downtime where I can recharge and as awful as it might be, the thought of working and being out of the house was better than being constantly bombarded by an eight-year-old. One day I could do. Two was more than I wanted at the time.

Ox said he was ok with me doing whatever I wanted to do; that he supported me, but to make sure I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew.

With Ox’s support, I replied to my FA saying I could cover the upcoming Saturday shift, but that I would need to talk to my trainer about moving my times around before I could say anything about the other days.

I was glad when Wednesday was over. My RN was feeling under the weather and it was her last day which didn’t help make the day any smoother. We had planned a few weeks back to get dinner together and even though both of us were tapped out I’m glad neither of us canceled our plans. I got to meet her daughter. It was a nice evening even though I ended up having to drive home in what felt like a hurricane level downpour in Nebraska.

Thursday I had training again. My legs were still sore from Tuesday so I was worried about how well I would be able to do. We started by looking at my food tracking on MyFitnessPal. I’m doing ridiculously better than I was for the past… we’ll say four months, but I was still over in some areas while being under in others.

I was over in carbs. My limit is 100 or less. The highest I was over was 67, but that’s still 67 that’s taking me away from my goal. I was over in calories by roughly 700 on my worst day, but again, that’s 700 more I have to burn through to make the level of progress I want.

I was drastically under in protein, which I need if I’m going to be working out as hard as I’m going to be.

My trainer and I talked about it. I made mental notes on what I could change and how for the coming week and then proceeded to go to the floor where we had our first full workout.

We started with the machines again, doing the same ones we had done on Tuesday but with slightly lower weight. I was proud that I made it through everything. Maybe it was a psychological thing, but knowing the weight was less made it seem more ok. I had done 200 lbs. on Tuesday. 175 wasn’t necessarily a cakewalk, but it wasn’t 200 so I knew I could do it, and I did.

After the machines, we went to the back room where we did a lot of plyometric stuff. At the end, he said he was pretty impressed. He said I had more coordination than what he was expecting and that it really was more of an issue with getting the nutrient side under control.

I would rather not be insulted by his comment. I know it could be taken that way. It would be easy to have one of those, “What? Did you think I was a sack of potatoes?” type of response to his comment.

I would rather not think of it that way. I know I may not look like much but I’ve done a lot of things in my life so far. Marching band. Boxing. Kickboxing. Aikido. Jiujitsu. Muay Thai. Running. Yoga. Zumba. Warrior Dashs… All of that goes into what I’m able to do now. Not all of that is apparent on the surface.

I talked to him about the changes to my schedule and we worked out times in the evening, after my shifts at the Omaha clinics where we could meet. I knew the coming week would be brutal but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was going to cover those shifts and have my workouts too.

Once I had showered I went to Walmart again so I could make the changes I wanted to foodwise. From there I went to the clinic where I clocked in and read through all of the P&P that I needed to. I wasn’t at the clinic as long on Thursday but I was ok with that. I got the remaining things checked off my list and sent an email to my FA letting her know the only thing left, aside from a training module that appeared to no longer be on the site, was to be checked off on my skills list.

I went home. I did laundry. I unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher, later emptying it again to fill with the dishes from dinner. I cooked a new zoodle recipe which I think turned out pretty good. I made sure I was ready for Friday and went to sleep.

Friday was another rough day.

My left leg was seriously hurting me when I woke up and not in a sore muscle sort of way. It was the back of my knee, towards the outside. It hurt to straighten it completely. It felt like the tendon in that area was overly tight; like a rubber band that you’re trying to stretch too far. I knew I had to make it through my day regardless of how my leg felt so after my shower I took the last IcyHot patch that I had gotten for my back forever ago and put it on the back of my knee. Since it was in a place that would move and flex a lot I wrapped it with adherent wrap a few times and hoped the compression would be enough to let me at least hobble through the day.

My leg wasn’t any better by the time I got to the clinic so I was slower in getting things done but I did the best I could and that’s all I could do. The patient we called EMS for on Wednesday started having issues again. We think it might be an allergy to the dialyzer she’s using, so we have orders from her doctor to try a different one. I’m hoping that makes Monday better.

Since I was going to be working in Omaha the next day I tried finding a hotel room to stay in, but I couldn’t find anything for under $150. I guess there was some super big conference meeting going on. With having the kids Friday night there wasn’t really a way for me to get the amount or quality of sleep that I would need if I was going to be waking up super early to drive that far from home to work a full day.

I ended up getting a hotel room in Beatrice instead. It would make the trip a little longer but, ideally, I would be able to get the proper rest I needed to make it through the day.

Ox and I met near home for dinner. I tried making smart choices with my food; ones in line with the metrics I’m trying to stick with. Even with going out to eat I came in under my limits for calories and carbs. Go me.

Neither of us liked the thought of being apart for the night, but we both understood the situation and that it was a smart choice. The incentive pay essentially covered the hotel cost, so that was negated, but I would still be making overtime pay, so even with the extra expense, I was coming out in the positive. I would be helping my sister clinics and making myself a more valuable team member. I would be getting time with the other machine models so I don’t lose those skills, and I would be meeting more team members and seeing how other clinics are run which could give me insight to how my own clinic could become better.

Overall I was looking forward to my Saturday. Ox and I agreed that I would wake up a little earlier than I had to so I could stop by home in the morning on my way to Omaha so we could still see each other.

He fell asleep shortly after he got home which led to unresponded to text messages and missed calls. It wasn’t a warm fuzzy way to end the night, but I figured something must be going on for him to not respond. I was glad that I didn’t freak out or have the knee-jerk reactions I would have in the past. I didn’t instantly think he had died. I thought, “Maybe he didn’t realize his phone died. Or maybe he forgot to pay the bill.”

I stopped at Walmart before going to my hotel room. I picked up more IcyHot patches with ibuprofen and an actual knee brace. I made it through checkout then immediately found a bench to put the brace on. It felt amazing. I wore it the rest of the night until I was about to go to sleep.

I slept deeply and solidly for the whole night, waking up only a few minutes before my alarm went off, which is actually a nice way to start my day. I like waking up on my own, coming out of a REM cycle rather than having it interrupted by an alarm.

I showered and had half an apple before packing up my car and heading home. I started to worry then since he still wasn’t answering his phone. I could feel the icy fingers of dread trying to curl around my stomach. The closer I got to my turn off the stronger those feelings got.

Luckily he ended up calling me and explained that he fell asleep super hard and that he was just now waking up. I explained where I was at on the road and that we would see each other soon.

It was nice getting a hug from him. I liked the physical reassurance that everything was ok. We still had our cigarette together and I was able to have my Bang energy drink, something I had forgotten to pack with me the night before.

The drive up to Omaha was uneventful. It was actually pretty nice to watch the sunrise as I drove since my shift started at 7:30 am. The clinic was also pretty easy to find; another plus to the day. I got there early to make sure I had time in case I got lost along the way. I was able to sync my account with their systems so I could chart. I got to meet the other team members who were working that day and explain what I felt my strengths were verses my weaknesses. One of the RNs walked me through stringing one of the machines since it has been roughly three months since I had worked with the ones they use.

I’m glad that after seeing it done once that I was able to fall back into the swing of things and that the day was smooth and uneventful. All of the patients were pleasant and kind. I was able to jump in and carry my own weight and as the staff started heading home for the day, each of them stopped and thanked me for coming to help out and that they enjoyed working with me.

I enjoyed my time at the clinic and I wouldn’t mind working there again if they need me. It’s a bit of a drive, but they have a very solid team and, in a way, it reminds me of being back in Orlando. It’s a bigger clinic and not many techs can work in that type of environment. A lot of the clinics in the area are small; eight to twelve stations. So when they have to cover something closer to twenty stations they get overwhelmed. Since that’s the type of environment I started in I just go along with it. It’s nothing new and honestly, it was a pretty easy day, but then TTS days usually are since they’re the “lighter” days. Fewer patients and such.

Once I was clocked out I headed home. Once again Ox wasn’t answering his phone which was frustrating but I knew I would have an answer to why eventually.

When I got home he said he had been sleeping for most of the day. He’s been sick not only with whatever has been plaguing his lungs but also with a stomach bug. We had dinner. I showered. I unpacked a bit. But mostly I went to sleep.

And so now we’re here at today. Sunday.

I woke up. I had my egg and chicken breakfast, crushing my protein intake like a bawce.

Shortly after everyone had eaten Lil’ Ox, that’s what I’ll refer to Ox’s daughter as, since I’m going to stick with the Ox theme I have going, and I went for a bike ride. It’s the first time her and I have been alone together and I think it went well. We made it all the way to the park near our house and played for a bit. Eventually, other people showed up and she played with the other kids that were there. That meant I had to interact with the mom’s and keep cool and not freak out over that fact that I have no idea how to be a parent because Lil’ Ox isn’t actually mine even though she was saying how she had to ask her “mom” for permission to go to the other area of the playground.

Omg. I’m so not ready for this. >.<;

It might have been low of me, but shortly after that, I felt it was time to go home. We had been gone for close to an hour. I had done my part of holding my shit together in the face of a totally foreign situation. It was getting warm. I didn’t have sunscreen on…

Yeah… totally time to go home.

I told Ox about the park adventure. He snickered at me. We had plans to go into town for the day so I showered and changed and we all piled into my car to spend the afternoon together.

We stopped at GameStop first so Ornery Ox, his son, could get a few games. He gets allowance money but rarely spends it. He also had a gift card to the store for his birthday, so he was able to get a couple game all on his own.

Lil’ Ox got a few toys while we were there, using her own allowance money even though she was upset that her brother had more money than her. That caused a little bit of friction on the way to the store since Ornery Ox kept making comments about the amount of money he had.

Honestly, it was like listening to me and Jon when we were younger. I don’t understand how my mom didn’t kill us. XD

We stopped at Best Buy for me where I was a totally irresponsible adult and bought my first TV.

Yep. That’s right. I now am the proud owner of a 38-inch Chromecast compatible TV which I plan to hook my PS4 up to and play through the new God of War game and the remastered Spyro games when they come out in September because Spyro is amazing.

It’s a weird feeling. But… I think it’s a good one. I don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted.

I went across the street to my new sports bar for lunch. After eating I stopped by my storage unit to get the rattan sticks I had gotten forever ago for my SCA swords because that’s something I’m going to be doing again.

It’s something I started looking into shortly before falling asleep Saturday night. There’s a group in Lincoln and their first outdoors fighter practice is going to be Tuesday, the 8th.

I so want to go. I can’t put into words how awesome it would be to make progress in the combative area of my life and to have a group, outside of work, that I belong to.

With working on Wednesdays, there’s not a way for me to make any of the meets for the embroidery guild and I’m not ready to go back to the dojo. I want to wait until after my Warrior Dash to venture back into that area of my life.

But SCA… That’s something that I would totally be ok with being involved in now and it would still be fighting and lining up with my training and… I don’t know.

I’m excited about it. Like… hardcore looking forward to going even though I don’t have any armor or gear that I can use as armor.

We came home after the trip to the storage unit. I hid upstairs for a little bit to decompress from all of the social of the day. I played a little bit of Crash Titans with Lil’ Ox. We’re on a boss level so she got tired of not winning. Booked another hotel room in Beatrice so I could get another good nights sleep without worrying about people having to tiptoe around my early bedtime or me constantly waking up since I’m a light sleeper.

I packed my food for the coming day along with everything I would need for the gym after work since that’s something I would really like to do if I’m able to.

My leg has been way better today but I have the knee brace with me if I feel I need it. I’ve eaten dinner. I’ve set everything out. My alarm is set. I’ve written. I’ve talked to Ox, so really all that’s left is to take my contacts out and go to sleep.

So with that, my dear friend, I guess I’m going to go.

I don’t think I really needed to figure out anything tonight. I think I just needed to write it all out and reflect on the week. It’s had some hard moments, but when compared to everything else, I think I had a really good week and I think there’s a lot of things to look forward to in the coming week.

Thanks for letting me write. Thanks for being there for me, the hard times and good times alike. Get some updates, and hopefully, it’s not another six months before we spend some time together.

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Daily Post 071: A “Fuck You” Post From Nebraska

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For all of my joking with Ox about this not being hard, about how writing for work is easy and most likely the best place to start, simply sitting here in front of my computer is hard.

I moved to Nebraska.

I’m here. It’s cold. There was ice on the ground yesterday.

I love it.

I shadowed at the clinic in Beatrice this morning. It’s everything I was hoping for it to be.

I’m in the middle of doing my yearly review with my FA from Orlando so I should have my pay increase in before I become active at the clinics up here. I still have my voucher for my national certification test which is good until April. That leaves me all of March to find a test center and complete that for another dollar increase in my rate.

Everything is different and yet at the same time the same.

I’m still in front of the same computer with the same finicky keyboard. I’m still writing this post in Grammarly which constantly reminders me that I write more than 98% of users with a way higher vocabulary than normal which makes me wonder what everyone else is writing because I don’t think I write all that much.

I still talk to Jon on the phone about nothing important. I listen to him bitch about work and how his coworkers suck. How school is annoying and how his World Religion class is a joke full of busy work he doesn’t care about.

I still shower and brush my teeth. I still forget to take my contacts out until I’m about to crawl into bed which makes me groan as I unwillingly trudge back to the bathroom to take them out.

I still miss mom. I still wish she were here for me to tell her about all the of the changes I’ve experienced and made. I wish she where here to talk about my trip to the Great Unknown. I still have her urn with me even if I don’t have the chine hutch set up.

My computer is still in a closet but I’ve been allowed to paint it the way I want so it’s the Summer Dragonfly color that I painted the living room when I was in Orlando. The trim, shelving, and ceiling I painted white. Ox is going to help me put in more shelving on the sides so I have a place to put my notebooks and pens. It’s almost set up to how I want it and he’s been amazing about helping to make me feel welcomed and at home.

I’m living with him and his parents. I know by society standards that seems like a failure but I like it. In Asian cultures, it’s common for the extended family to live together. Grandparents, great grandparents… Everyone helps take care of everyone.

It feels good to joke with his mom. It feels good to cook dinner and clear the plates away. I don’t mind when she does the dishes. I think both her and I are so used to being the only people to do things as far as household upkeep goes that it’s weird allowing someone else to do things.

The voice in my head of “You are supposed to be doing that,” still makes my body tense. I’m staying here rent free. I should be doing everything. The laundry. The dishes. The cooking. The cleaning. If I don’t do it all then I’m a slacker. A mooch.

But… That’s the thing that’s different… I DON’T have to do it all. I don’t have to do it all right then, that second. There’s help. There’s Ox who takes out the trash. There’s his mom who doesn’t mind loading the dishwasher if she didn’t have to cook the meal. It doesn’t have to be all me all the time. There’s a give and take that I’m not used to anymore. I’m relearning that I don’t have to tense up or internally freak out and feel like a failure if someone else takes it upon themselves to do something that needs to be done.

It makes it easier to want to do things to help because it doesn’t feel like I’m being used or taken advantage of.

She bought me an ice scraper for my car windows yesterday and even though I know it wasn’t expensive, it’s important to me. She went out of her way to make sure I had something that I needed. It was kind and thoughtful.

There’s a feeling of home that I haven’t felt since sitting in the living room of mom’s house when I would go back to visit.

It hurts in a healing way.

I’m happy in a way I didn’t think would be possible again.

I’m so much less stressed. Even with my former roommates still being dicks about rent and paying me back, I can’t put into words how much better I feel about my future and how I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out for me.

I have a future I want to see, that I want to be here for. A future I so desperately wish I could tell my mom about because I know she would be happy for me.

She is happy for me and writing that hurts the most so far.

I shadowed today, which that’s been a bit of a rollercoaster in itself.

I was supposed to shadow on the 23rd which is Friday. That changed to Tuesday, but then it got super cold and there was ice on the roads so it was changed to Thursday. Since my FA needed me to fill out paperwork that I could only access through the intranet at work I had to go into town to get on one of the clinic’s computers. While I was there it was decided that I should show up to the Beatrice clinic at 5 am this morning; Wednesday.

Shadowing went well. The RN is super nice though her last day is going to be Friday. The tech was a girl I met while I was at the clinic on Tuesday. She answered all of my questions and gave me her opinion about things; which clinics she preferred and why, the shortcomings to each location, what the patient population was like…

It was a really nice morning. The Beatrice clinic only has eight stations. It’s a third of the size of what I’m used to. It’s roughly a 30-minute drive from where I’m staying and the drive itself is nice. Ox took me there this morning and picked me up once I was done.

We had driven by the clinic shortly after our trip home from Orlando, and I’m glad that I can call this place home rather than “the place where I fall asleep at night.”

This IS my home and I like it here.

Before I left the clinic this morning one of the FAs I interviewed with showed up and we talked more about the logistical side of things. She added me to the time clocks for all three of the clinics I’ll be working at. We set up a time for me to come in tomorrow to do some Nebraska specific policy and procedure training after which we will be contacting my FA in Orlando to make my transition official, so while I still haven’t signed anything as of yet, I am set to begin working here in the next few weeks.

It’s a good feeling. Much less nebulous than what it was though I still don’t know what my rate will be. I’m assuming if they need to take me through training that my rate will be decreased slightly for that duration; a week, maybe two. After the initial training period to make sure I understand, and am comfortable, with the newer equipment I’ll be essentially on my own again, only this time it will legitimately be on my own. The clinics are so small that I would be the only tech with one RN.

I’m confident in my ability to hold my own. I’m confident that I can do this and that’s a good feeling. I’m not scared of my work future. I’m looking forward to it. And for the time being it is very likely that the Beatrice clinic will be my home clinic. The dedicated tech they had for that location recently resigned and so there’s a spot there and I’m the closest tech to that location.

I like it. It’s new. All of the machines are new. It’s spacious and quiet. There are 20 minutes between patients. I would most likely be working 12-hour shifts on MWF, but TTS is still only one shift so I would be out around noon on those days.

At no point at any clinic would I be working a 16 hour day.

I haven’t shadowed at any of the other locations, but the Captial City location reminds me of what Orlando was like. I think I would like that one the least simply because it’s so similar to what I’m trying to get away from.

It was sort of weird putting on scrubs again. I forgot my notebook this morning so Ox had to turn around so we could get it. I’m not used to wearing layers, thermals under my scrubs, and so there’s an odd feeling accompanying all of the familiar. It felt good, though; waking up, making breakfast. Hopefully, as I become more situated at work, with an actual schedule and routine, things will become a little less hectic in that regard. At least I remembered my wallet and cell phone. Two out of three things isn’t bad for a first day back after essentially a month off.

I have a membership to the YMCA again. The facilities here are super nice. Better than the ones I went to in Florida, which you would think it would be the opposite. I’m in the middle of nowhere and yet the Y offers classes in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Women’s Self-Defense, and Hapkido. There are yoga and Zumba classes and all of the other things I’m interested in. Personal training is still pretty expensive, but it’s an option for later down the road.

I haven’t looked into dojos all that much. I know they’re around. I know eventually I’ll get back into jiujitsu and the MMA stuff because that’s something I want in my life, but for now, I’m ok with simply finding my routine again and getting back to the point I was. I’m ok with taking things slow for right now since everything has changed so much.

Ox and I have plans to go to the gym later today to soak in the hot tube. Relax. Decompress. Become a little more comfortable in yet another new environment.

So much new…

I’m getting more familiar with the roads here. Parts of my mental map are still cloudy, fuzzy, but I’m getting better at remembering where things are in relation to each other. The clinic is here, so that means the stitch shop is north. This is the grocery store so the gym is in a “that way” direction. I know it will still be a little bit before I’m uber confident but I’m content with the progress I’m making.

I haven’t looked into starting classes anywhere. I most likely won’t until the fall semester at the earliest. I might table that until next year. I know when I’m ready to explore those options that there’s a ton in the area to support whatever direction I choose to go with.

Ox’s mom said the house needs a breath of fresh air, which I think I’m providing. Things are getting cleaned and organized. Things are getting donated or thrown out. Projects will get completed as other things fall into place. The addition to the house, an extra three bedrooms, which were started years ago, has the very real potential to get done now.

I want to see the addition completed. I want to help complete it. I want Ox’s kids to have their own rooms when they come to visit. I want Ox to get custody of his children.

His daughter, the cutest seven-year old I have ever met, has already told me that her dad has married me and that I’m a mom, to which I responded, “Am I, now?” because yeah… that’s news to me.

I stayed at a hotel last weekend because Ox’s kids were at the house. It’s their home.They hadn’t met me yet. I didn’t want to stay there without meeting them first. Coming from a divorced family, I know what it’s like to feel threatened or replaced by a parental figure finding another person. My stepmom was a bitch while Jon and I were growing up and sadly she really hasn’t changed all that much. It’s more that Jon and I are no longer insecure preteens she can pick on. We’re adults and we’ll stand up for ourselves as such.

If his kids didn’t like me I didn’t want them to feel stuck or trapped with me being at the house. I want them to feel secure and thought of. Their opinion matters. They ARE important.

His son I think is a bit more reserved when it comes to me than his daughter. To be fair, he’s older, and he’s only ever had poor examples for mother figures. His biological mom, the parent he stays with the most, I don’t think does a good job. I mean… when the child openly says, “I don’t trust my mom,” and he’s only thirteen… I think there are deeper issues that need to be addressed.

We seem to be doing ok, though. We went to a hobby shop and spent a few hours digging through magic cards on Friday night. Saturday I came over to the house and played magic with him and Ox. I think it went well. He didn’t want to hug me goodbye when I left and I completely respected and understood that.

Ox’s daughter totally handed my ass to me in Minecraft. XD

We had more success with Little Big Planet. I got her to read to me Sunday night before I left. She says she’s “bad” at a lot of things.

“I’m bad a reading.” “I’m bad at that game.” “I’m bad… I’m bad…”

I want to know who tells this amazing child that she’s bad at anything. She’s not bad at all. She reads amazingly well. And even if she’s “bad” at something… she’s seven. It’s not “bad”, it’s something she can get better at if she’s given encouragement and support. Who the fuck gave this seven-year-old self-esteem issues?

I want to show both of Ox’s children that not all females are mean, or weak, or selfish, or whatever it was that the previous women in their lives have been. There are females out there who are stable, secure, confident, and who have their shit together.

I don’t think of myself as their mom, but I do want to be an example for them. I want them to be ok with me being with their dad and I don’t really know what else to write about that because I’ve only interacted with them for such a brief time.

I don’t know how to be a mom, but being cuddled up in bed with Ox’s daughter as we took turns reading pages to each other felt so right that I don’t know how I haven’t been doing it my whole life. It reminded me of when mom and I would read to each other. It reminded me of all of the stories and adventures we went on while sitting together in the easy chair passing books back and forth.

His kids are getting to the age where they could go before a judge and say they would rather live with their dad. That’s why getting the addition completed would be so… beneficial? I’m not sure what word to use to describe it. Everyone wants his kids here rather than with their mother, myself included.

And I pause here in my writing because I’m at the end of one thought and am scared to wander into others. Everything else would be from “The Before” as Ox and I call it. Before the move.

I guess that’s something to address.

Ox and I aren’t playing games. We’re seeing if we can coexist together as life partners. We’re both interested in each other. We both seem to want the same things. We both have similar enough interests to be compatible with enough differences to keep each other intriguing. There’s open enough communication that when more sensitive subjects need to be discussed there’s the trust to openly talk about the topic.

We both want to see where it goes, so we are. I’m not going to sit here and justify my actions or try to make it more ok to disapproving eyes. I’m making the choices I feel are right and all I can do, all anyone can do in their life, is see if the choices made pan out the way we hope or intend for them to.

So far the choices I have made have led me to feeling more secure, more stable, more at peace, more happy, then I have in the almost two years I’ve lived without mom.

In the process, I have lost Mother Earth, again. And there is what I am starting to recognize as the matriarch part of my self which stands stoically at this realization.

Everyone else I mentioned moving to wished me the best, encouraged me to make the choices which were best for me. She was the only person who sent a message reading as a farewell. The only person who made my moving seem as if it were a leaving that I could never come back from, where we could never visit, never call, never message.

This marks the fourth time where I have felt wounded by her and so I said my own goodbye and have left it as such. The money given to help her and Josh will most likely never be returned to me. I don’t think our relationship will be mended this lifetime. I think I’m tired enough of being told to “never message me again” to the point that trying again isn’t worth it. My soul is too tired to try.

I still have to live without mom. Every day. After two years it’s still not easier and though I’m happy in ways I thought were gone from me forever, there’s still that heaviness everytime I breathe. That fact will never change. I don’t have it in me to carry that fact along with fighting to prove to someone I care who seems so set on believing that I don’t.

I didn’t get to see my blacksmith before I left, but he did take the time to call me the Saturday before my trip.

As always he built me up the most, bringing me to tears while we talked. He said he’s proud of me. That’s he’s proud to have watched me grow from who I was when we first met into the person I am now and that he’s looking forward to watching me continue to grow in the person I’m meant to be.

He pointed out that last year I would have never thought of moving away, much less actually doing it. I went through a complete career change and have become stronger for it. I’ve opened up after the hurt of Zane and allowed myself to have healthy and stable relationships. I’ve learned to trust again.

I’ve done a lot of amazing things, all of which are mostly intangible. I’ve worked through so many faults, and flaws, and insecurities, and the whole time, every time, it seemed too hard or too overwhelming or too impossible to do the phrase “Go fuck yourself,” screamed in my head as I refused to let Life beat me down.

I can remember the times I wrote about being tired of fighting, of trying but how I didn’t know how to give up, I only knew how to keep going even though I would give anything to stop.

Well, fuck you, Life. Even if it doesn’t last, this is the peace I’ve earned. This is my reward for overcoming every single thing you’ve thrown at me.

Fuck you for Saturday night, the night I was alone at the hotel after driving back there by myself, ridden with anxiety as the thought of, “this is it,” ricochet around in my head like a bullet.

This is where I die. This is where there’s some freak car accident where I get a life-threatening wound I have have to choose between letting myself die and being with my mom or fighting to finally live the life I’ve wanted to have. This is where everything gets snatched away from me like a cruel joke. This is where I get so close to the finish line, where I can see that checkered pattern that I’ve been striving so hard to cross only to fall and trip and to lose my race.

This is where it all ends. The final taste of happiness that I’ve been trying so hard to find again.

But I didn’t die on the way back to the hotel. I made it back there fine, in one piece, without incident. I don’t want to live my life in fear like that, but for right now it’s hard not to. Everything is so frail and new and precious to me and there’s a part of me who’s terrified that it’s going to be stolen away from me and I’ll never have it again.

I realized, curled up in the hotel bed that I might have forgotten something. My mom and I are still together. No matter what, I will always be her daughter, and no matter what, she will always be my mother. No matter where I go. No matter who I end up with. No matter what career I do or do not work. No matter if we’re alive or dead, I will always be her daughter and she will always be my mother.

Life cannot change that. Death cannot change that. Not even the Universe can change that fact.

So you know what? Fuck everyone who disapproves or thinks less of me, or berates me, or faults me, or who says anything about me behind my back or who doesn’t agree with how I’m living my life.

YOU’RE NOT MY MOM.

No one on this planet will ever be my mom so fuck what they think.

Yes. In two months I met a guy online and packed up my shitty excuse of a life, transferred my job and moved to a completely new state to be near him; to start over with him.

I didn’t need or want anyone’s permission to do it. My life was so broken where I was and for once it feels like I’m doing things right, so fuck you, Life, if you think I’m going to give this up without fighting you. I won’t let you take this back from me. I’ve earned everything fucking minute of my happiness for everything that you’ve ever taken away from me.

You took my dad away from me with I was eight. You took away my mom from me when I was twenty-seven. Fuck you. Fuck you for every struggle I’ve ever had to go through to become who I am sitting here today.

I’m angry that I had to go through all of it. And maybe that’s something I’m going to have to work through now that I have the time and space and peace to actually start dealing with everything.

Anger.

I didn’t mean for this writing to go that direction, though to be fair I didn’t know how to begin writing or what I would write about when I finally sat down, but anger never, ever, made it to the list in all of my imaginings, but there you go. I’m angry.

And admitting that I’m angry makes it less powerful than what it was. I’m hurt and still injured and recovering, but I’m so much better than what I was two years ago, and I know I’ll only improve from this point forward.

So yeah… Fuck you, Life. I’ll get through this part of it, too. The anger and injustice and the fear and insecurity of gaining it all just to lose it in the end. Fuck you if you think I’m going to break now. My work isn’t over, but I’m hanging up my armor for now because I’m done fighting you.

It’s winter. This is when I get to go sit in hot tubes and do yoga and be reflective and clean and organize so in the spring, when new things start and the earth begins to grow again there’s the space and opportunity for it to all begin. This is a quiet time and I’m going to enjoy it, revel in it, bask in the nothingness of not struggling.

This is a  new start, a new chapter, a new first post. This is my “Fuck you” to Life from my new home in Nebraska and I’m glad I took the time to write it.

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