Daily Post 017: Pizza Vs. Dojo

Standard

Not proofread due to impromptu dinner plans. : D

 


 

I have decided that I’m taking this week off from the dojo. That mostly comes from the fact that it’s already Thursday and I have yet to go, and even though I could go today I would rather continue getting things, tasks, situated and figured out versus going to the dojo.

It’s not that the dojo is slipping in priority because it isn’t.

It’s more I feel the need to “clean house” so to speak. This week has been crazy, and with starting my cycle on Monday, along with a new class, along with a two-hour interview, along with the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on recently, it feels like the better option would be to take a step back, breathe a bit, assess where I’m at and where I want to go, and then start clean this coming Monday.

I’ve been haphazardly accomplishing my days. I’ve done well through all of them, but the only to-do list I made was on Monday. The rest of the days were filled with class and studying and listening to my body, and now we’re at Thursday and I know things in regards to life and building up and I want a game plan going into the weekend for how I’m going to tackle all of it.

This post is me figuring it out and processing through the whys and hows of things.

Firstly, I’m proud of myself. All this week I have been attending a class I had originally been worried about. I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to hack it. Every time I thought about phlebotomy it was with a nervous, “I don’t know how this is going to turn out,” sort of mentality. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to overcome to my past history of fainting and lightheadedness.

I’m proud that I’ve been able to change my mentality and that I am actively working with my own natural physiology. I have a better understanding of why I have fainted in the past while having procedures done to me, so now, when I’m working with my fellow classmates as their “victim” I am able to stay with it and not lose consciousness. Today I actually didn’t get lightheaded at all while I was having a venipuncture performed on me.

Totally giving myself tons of props for all of the forward progress I have made as a “patient” as well as an aspiring phlebotomist.

I think, from a technician side of things, understanding the steps to the procedures, why things are done the way they’re done, all of the behind the scenes of what happens before and after specimens are taken, helps with keeping me grounded during the procedure.

In my head, I am in a very different headspace. I’m in the left side of my brain. I’m thinking about the equipment I need, the steps I need to perform and the order to perform them in. I’m thinking about the tubes I need for specific tests, the additive in the tube, how many times I will need to invert once the specimen is collected. I thinking about what goes in biohazard and what is normal trash and what is classified as sharps.

It’s all left brain with the underlying knowledge that blood is good. It means I have successfully performed the procedure and that with this success a person is one step closer to the help they need to have. This procedure is an important step.

It’s an extremely invasive procedure, so there’s the knowledge that the person is trusting me to help them. There’s a weight with that, an importance, that helps me to stay steady while I do it. I can’t be squeamish. They need me to do this for them.

I got to use a butterfly needle today on the mannequin arm. That’s a 23 gauge needle. It’s pretty small. It felt a lot like the needles I use when I cross stitch. Maybe that’s sort of sick, thinking about a medical needle in relation to the ones I use for a hobby that so many people say, “my grandmother used to do that.” But for me, it helped me find a level of confidence that I didn’t have prior to that thought.

I handle needles all the time. Why should this one be any different or cause me to doubt myself? If anything I should be more confident because it’s a larger needle than the 26 that I constantly move in and out of 28 and 32 sized fabrics. Those sizes are so much smaller, the precision so much finer. This should be a cake walk in comparison.

Yes, this is a person, but the process of having a needle and an intended destination for it is the same. It made me realize that my fear is what is holding me back. My fear of the equipment. The needle.

Why am I scared of 21 gauge medical needles but not 26 gauge stitching needles?

I’m fearful of hurting someone or doing something wrong.

I remember being worried when I first started stitching when I was younger. Most likely around eight years old. I remember being worried that I wouldn’t do the stitches right. But here I am, 20 years later. I love my needles and I do have “favorites” because I’m weird. It’s like having a favorite pen.

I’m not going to be scared of the 21 gauge needles anymore. I understand them better. They have a place inside of my brain now. They’re not bad, they’re different, and that difference is ok. It has a place.

So, yeah. I think I can do this. I CAN do this, and I will do this. The overwhelming list of abbreviations isn’t as intimidating. I understand Order of Draw now. We’re one week in and already I have so much more confidence in myself in this particular area. I’ve gone through my EKG flashcards again and still remember all of my previous information. Nothing is being overwritten with this new content. It’s a good feeling.

I got this.

So all of that in itself is a good enough reason in my book to take it easy in other areas of my life. This was a huge, massive step that I didn’t know if I would be able to do. It required a lot of physical and mental focus, and I’m ok with that temporarily detracting from other areas. Now that I have the confidence I need to go forward my energy can go back into other areas once again.

I got to talk to my younger brother today. The first big payment of my class is due and I’m still sans job. He is sending me money to cover my classes as well as a month of living expenses.

The original conversation was through text messages on Facebook.

It was tense for me. I didn’t want to have to ask for help. Especially with how I’ve written about buying clothes and my shin guards or the time I went to Taco Bell. There was the voice in my head saying that I haven’t been responsible so I don’t deserve to ask for help.

His message of, “This is the only time I will send money. I can’t keep supporting other people and myself,” didn’t help with those feelings because I know them all too well myself.

One of the reasons I’m in the situation I am is because I have given money to others. I don’t want to be that type of person for anyone. I don’t want to put him in a bad position because I’m not able to meet my own responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like I’m failing at adulting.

We were able to talk on the phone later. That helped a lot.

He’s glad I’m doing so well in my class. He’s happy the interview seemed to go well and we both agree that even if this position doesn’t work out that getting something in the hospital is just a matter of time, especially with how I keep improving my skills. It means there will be more opportunities I can reach for and the biggest hurdle of them all is getting that initial foot in the door.

I mentioned how I was thinking about withdrawing from the PCT program and sticking with just the CNA, phlebotomy, and EKG certifications.

Jon: I’ll stab you if you withdrawal. With love… but I’ll still stab you.

He wants me to do the whole course because it will give me more opportunities. He wants me to do the best I can, and completing the course and achieving the PCT certification is doing my best.

Knowing that he’s fully supportive of that direction makes me more ok with the thought of completing the course. The main reason I was thinking about withdrawing was for financial reasons. It would save roughly $800. He thinks it’s worth the investment and is willing to help me with it. So we’re going to do it. All the way. No half-assing or giving up.

It makes me want to do better than my best because it’s not simply me who’s invested into my certifications now. I need to prove it wasn’t a waste to believe in me, to support me, to help me. I’ll do amazing because I’m worth the love and support people give to me and doing well is one way to prove that.

Warren and I talked. We’re going to close out the storage unit. We have an idea of how to rearrange things in the apartment to get his furniture into it. I’m going to sell the futon. Not having the storage unit will lower both of our monthly expenses by $75.

There are several emails in my inbox for expenses. My website is supposed to be renewed, but I think I’m going to hold off on that for the time being. I’m not pursuing a career in computer animation at the moment so I don’t need a website active for employers to view my work. Maybe in the future I’ll activate it again. I still have my domain name, but, for now, it’s not the direction I plan to go.

My shin guards should be here tomorrow. I’m looking forward to them. It means I’ll most likely be stoked to go to the dojo on Saturday since that’s Muay Thai conditioning and I’ll be able to try them out.

I’ve figured out what I want my reward for phlebotomy certification to be. My herb garden. I still haven’t done that even though I said I would back in February. A lot of that is due to how things panned out. I’m not sorry for how things have worked out so far. I’m content with how my time and energy has been spent. I’m ok with saving my garden so that it has deep and meaningful significance for me rather than simply being something I give myself because I want it.

I did something amazing and I’ll have something that reminds me of that accomplishment every time I go into the kitchen.

And actually, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t go to the dojo. Big Bad just messaged me asking if I wanted to have dinner with him. If I were at the dojo I wouldn’t have gotten his message and I would like to spend the evening with him, relaxing, decompressing, and regrouping for the day of “life” productivity I have planned.

I’m glad I was able to process through most of this.

The only thing that I haven’t mentioned is last night. Last night started getting rough. My grief was swelling. It’s been cold the past few days and I think that factored into it. I don’t like being physically cold. It seems to amplify the emotional hurt I feel.

When Warren came downstairs last night I was on the couch. I was reading something and he asked if I was ok. I said not really, that things were emotionally rough at the moment. He gave me a hug and I started to cry. I said I didn’t understand why there was such a difference inside my head between day 365 and day 364, but there was and the closer we get to April 4th, the closer to March 23, the more I hurt.

I think another part of the roughness of Wednesday evening was due to the rawness of Tuesday morning with Big Bad.

I think it was good to talk to Warren last night. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to be roommates. To physically be in each other’s worlds when we have moments like what I had last night. Where I needed a hug and a friend and someone to let me know I wasn’t as alone as I felt.

It was nice that we ended up talking about the storage unit and made plans to close it out on Tuesday. We got to talk about the apartment. We got to make plans and brainstorm and it helped even me out and ground me back in life rather than being lost in my emotions.

He still drives me crazy with his dirty dishes, but it’s such a minor thing compared to the problems I could have. He doesn’t steal from me or go into my room. He doesn’t do drugs or murder hookers in his bath tube. I mean really… dirty dishes in the sink every morning is pretty minor and I know at the moment I’m overly sensitive to things.

I’ll keep breathing and working through the issues I have, but overall I think things are ok. I think I’m going in a good direction and even though I haven’t been to the dojo in almost a week I think this was an ok break to take. I need to make sure life stays on track and with how all over the place and demanding it has been this past week I’m content and proud of how I’ve handled things.

Now I’m off to go have a wonderful dinner and potentially kick some ass in Mortal Kombat.

Advertisements

Daily Post 016: A Very Real Morning

Standard

I want to write before I go to sleep.

Monday was good. Surprisingly good.

I had my first phlebotomy class. I love my instructor. She’s amazing.

We started going over information. There’s going to be a lot of it. A lot of abbreviations I’m going to have to memorize like SST, CMP, BMP, ANA, and at least two pages worth of others. All of them are different types of tests and I have to know not only what the abbreviation stands for, but what color tube is used, what’s the additive in the tube, what department usually wants that tube, and how many times I need to invert (shake) the tube before sending it off, along with knowing the steps to the procedure, what equipment is required for the procedure, what veins I’m allowed to use, what to do if those veins are off limits due to surgeries, what the standard needles are, their color association, and what I’m allowed to do if those needles aren’t viable options…

Yeah… that puddle of goo feeling inside of my skull isn’t going to go away anytime soon, but I love it. I think I’m going to really enjoy this class.

I got to watch the “older” students practice on each other. It was nifty.

After class, I came home and got ready for my interview. Sunday evening I actually drove out to the human resource center and figured out where I was supposed to park my car and what building I would be going to. It made the trip out there Monday less scary. I at least knew where I was going.

The HR secretary was super nice. We chatted for a bit while I waited to be called back. The HR lady who interviewed me was nice, though a bit distant. I think she warmed up to me a bit more towards the end. I’m sure she sees tons of people. Hopefully, I made a good impression.

At the end, she said that she would call over to the Transportation Department and see if anyone was available over there to interview me. She had me wait in the lobby again while she did that.

The subject of my purple hair came up. It would be against dress code policy since only normal hair colors are allowed. I explained my purpose for having purple hair and how it’s important to me. I said I would understand if I had to dye my hair back to a normal color, but that it would hurt on a spiritual level to have to do that. I asked if a compromise could be made, such as wearing a head covering.

She said she would look into it for me.

When she came back down to the lobby she said I would be able to continue my interview with the department supervisor. We walked over to the department and along the way she explained different things about the hospital, the cafeteria and such. It was pretty cool.

The hospital is huge, by the way. The Orlando campus, the one I would be at, is the “flagship” for Florida Hospital. It’s essentially three in one.

Anywho, the interview with the department supervisor went well I think. I feel like she was more personable than the HR lady. When I asked her how long she had been with the hospital she said four years. She started as a transporter, became a dispatcher, and is now a supervisor. In four years. That’s pretty awesome. She seemed young, too. I think younger than me.

I was honest about not knowing what I really wanted to do as far as the future goes, but that I was hoping to gain exposure through this position, that it worked amazingly well with my class schedule, and that I was hoping to stay for six months up to a year.

I asked if the department had a high turnover rate, which it does, pretty much for the same reason I’m hoping to get in. Med students use patient transporting as an entry level position to “get in” and as they progress in their studies they move to more relevant areas for their goals.

I mentioned how much I liked my EKG class and how telemetry interested me. Now that I’m doing phlebotomy I may entertain that idea more seriously as well.

I got to see the system for how they handle transport requests. It was fascinating and I think she liked that I was genuinely interested in it. She also liked my resume layout so I got to talk about how while I was working at Full Sail I was in the Faculty Scholarship Program for Digital Arts and Design. I got to talk about how I’ve made custom D&D sheets and other forms. I got to talk about a lot of the projects I did at Full Sail including Project Breakroom and my 3D Blitz event.

At the end of the interview, she said I would know within the week if I got the job offer or not. Since I didn’t hear anything back today I’m hoping to hear something tomorrow. I’m trying to keep the mindset of, “I don’t have a job” rather than getting my hopes up. I would rather be pleasantly surprised versus soul-crushingly disappointed.

I was pretty brain dead after almost two hours worth of interviewing. I hadn’t expected it to be so much.

I’m glad I did it, though. If I got one interview I can get another.

I didn’t get a chance to study at all yesterday. By the time the interview was done I didn’t have it in me to push my brain further. I didn’t do any of the cooking I had wanted to do, and I didn’t go to the dojo.

Instead, I went to Big Bad’s. We talked and cuddled. I guess his arms are still sore from our wrestling on Saturday.

This morning was a bit different.

We were having our cup of coffee together. Somehow we got onto the subject of my EKG class and the board test. I told him how I feel when I look at EKG strips now. I said I can look at one and tell that the person is having a heart attack. I can look at it and say, “This person is dying,” or, “This person is most likely having chest pain and a hard time breathing,” or, “this heart is very weak so they most likely feel tired.”

I can look at what seems like a scribble on a piece of paper and in a way, know the person. That squiggle line is someone’s life. That knowledge, understanding and seeing what that squiggle line means, does something to my heart chakra. It aches when I can see that there’s a problem. This person is sick. This person, who most likely has a family and loved ones and hopes and dreams, in this moment, in this squiggle line, their heart is dying.

I told him that it did something to know the behind the scenes story of what was going on when the code STEMI was called on mom the night before she died. I said that I finally understood what STEMI meant. ST Elevated Myocardial Infraction. It’s a precursor to a heart attack. I know what an elevated ST segment looks like now. I know what it means. I know that there was a person in a room watching my mom’s heart monitor who saw that change and called the code to make sure mom didn’t die.

I understand what the EKG tech who came to her room was doing now. I understand why the cardio doctor was called to come look at the reading.

I ended up talking a lot about the night before mom died. I explained how I was alone at the hospital when the code was called and how the only thing I could think of was how the rapid response team was going to take mom back to ICU and that we were going to go back to wondering if she was going to die or not. I explained how later, after all of the chaos of the code call had settled down how the nurse had come in to check on mom. I explained how when we had pulled the sheet back how mom and been covered in blood because of the scab breaking on her incision and the heparin not allowing a clot to form properly.

I told him how I had felt, knowing I had been sitting there holding her hand and thinking that she could have bled out in front of me and I would have never known. I told him how when my brothers had gotten to the hospital how I didn’t tell them about the blood. I told them that mom had a rough night, that a code had been called but the doctor said she was fine. I told them she would most likely be tired and sleep most of the day since she hadn’t been able to sleep much during the night.

I told him how when I had hugged her goodbye I knew that would be the last hug. I knew. There was that feeling of, “This is final.” I told him how I had wanted so badly to turn around before I left the room, how I had wanted to go back for one more hug, but that I didn’t, I couldn’t, because if I had it would have been showing my brothers that it was over. It would have been admitting defeat and I couldn’t do that to them, to us.

I think mom knew, too. I think she had that feeling, too. We both always had “feelings”.

Tears were running down my cheeks by the time I stopped talking. They had been almost from the start. It was silent for a little bit. I finally said that I didn’t know what else to say.

Big Bad stood up and wrapped his arms around me and held me while I cried. Not just silent tears, or ignored tears while I kept talking. I held onto to him, my head against his shoulder and actually cried.

I could tell he was crying, too. I could hear it as he fought not to.

We stayed like that for a while.

I hadn’t meant to go back to that memory. I don’t know why or really how our morning evolved to me sharing that moment. I’ve written about it. I’ve “talked” about it, but the only time I’ve ever really “gone back”, fully gone back to it, was when I talked about it in therapy and that was months ago. Almost a year ago.

When we finally parted Big Bad said he was sorry I had to relive that moment. I said something along the lines of that I wasn’t. The more I go back the less power it has over me. The more I can accept that moment as reality. Those emotions, those events happened. They have a lot to do with who I am as a person.

They’re part of a very painful chapter for me, but they’re an important chapter to me. Maybe THE most important chapter for me at the moment. I cherish it. I hold it close to my chest because it’s one of the last things I have of my mom.

I said it was like my rape. The more I confront that situation, the less fear I have over it. The less weak I feel. The less overwhelming the emotions are because they’re not bottled up or festering. The more I go back the more I understand those situations are in my past and not in my present.

I said one of the things I had asked myself during my year of mourning was would I go back and love my mom less if it meant I would hurt less now? I got to explain how my answer was no. My pain lets me know that what I had with my mom, the love we had for each other, was real and significant. I wouldn’t go back and change anything. Not a single birthday, not one trip to the grocery store where I teasingly walked on the back of her heels just to be annoying.

I accept my pain even though sometimes I still don’t understand how to breathe around it, function with. In a way, I love my pain because it’s there because of the love I have for my mom.

It was a very real start to the day. Not that any of the other mornings we’ve had were fake…

I don’t know how to explain it or if it’s even possible to really put into words.

I laid a very deep part of myself bare this morning and in the end, I was still given a hug and a kiss goodbye as if I were the same person I had been before my story and that meant a lot to me. I wasn’t suddenly different or broken or something to be kept at arm’s length. I showed this very real, very raw scar that will never go away, never heal, and I was given a hug and tears of compassion.

Co-suffering.

He held me while I cried and it didn’t damage us. At first, I was going to say “it didn’t change us” but I think it has changed us in one of those deep, subconscious sort of ways.

How many people in my life do I co-cry with? How many does he co-cry with?

I know for me, it’s not many. I can most likely count them on one hand. I’m sure for him it’s even fewer.

It means a lot that Big Bad is one of them for me. I hope this means that when things become overwhelming for him he knows that I’ll be there for him just as much as he’s been here for me.

The rest of the day has gone well. I’ve been low energy, but I think that has to do with waking up at 3 am along with the emotional release of telling my story.

Class was fun. I got to do all five of my capillary sticks today. I didn’t pass out from working with blood. In fact, it was fascinating. Tomorrow we start doing venipunctures on the mannequin arm.

The instructor said she specifically wants me to practice in the morning and then if I feel up to it, try doing a live stick in the afternoon. I can tell she’s pushing me more than the other “new” students. She knows I did well on the EKG test and she said she’s happy I’m in her class. She knows the bullet point story about mom; how she was in the hospital and died and how that is my motivating factor for entering the medical field.

My instructor was a Registered Nurse for 28 years. I feel like she sees something in me and wants to help it flourish. She offered to write a letter of recommendation if I needed it for my interview. My previous professor for my CNA class saw me during lunch today and offered to let me stick him if I needed a vein to meet my quota. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t just randomly offer his viens to every student. It makes me feel trusted and mildly intimidated since I haven’t done anything aside from capillary sticks and that’s only five of them, and all of those happened not even 24 hours ago…

I feel undeserving of that level of trust, but a part of me knows he wouldn’t have offered if he didn’t think I could do it.

I’m grateful for the support this school has given me.

I was a “victim” for one of the older students during the afternoon. That didn’t go so well. My median cubital veins are pretty deep so I’m an easier stick on the side of my arm in the cephalic vein. The girl tried on my right arm but wasn’t able to get it. When she tried on my left arm it super seriously hurt.

Not like, “ow, that’s a needle” type of hurt.

I mean, “holy shit, ow, that’s not normal pain, get that fucking metal spike of death out of my arm” type of pain.

It sucked. My arm still hurts. I can feel it down into my elbow. I’m not sure what happened since I know she didn’t stab straight down into my joint the way it feels, but fuck did it not feel good.

I almost passed out from it, but I didn’t. Go me. Totally going to keep being proud of myself every time I see blood or take a needle and stay conscious.

Because of the icky woozy feeling though the rest of my day has been sort of on the blah side.

I went to my sports bar and started making new flash cards. I ate, which was nice. That helped a bit with the icky feeling.

I came home and thought about the rest of my day and what I wanted to do with it. I thought about going to the dojo with how I felt. I decided I would take a nap. If I woke up with time to go then I would, otherwise I wouldn’t. I’ve done a lot in the past 5 days. I feel like I deserve to take it easy and to be kind to myself.

So when I woke up at 7 I decided that today would be another “off” day. That’s two days in a row of no dojo. I hope tomorrow I’m more rested, in every sense of the word, so I’m able to go.

I did finally do some of the cooking. I prepped the hearts for the recipe I want to try. That was pretty cool. I made my spinach and chicken couscous. I think next time I buy couscous I’m going to try to get pearl couscous since that’s the kind I’m used to.

I cleaned the kitchen then ate dinner. I brushed Scarlet and got a second cat off of her, and now I’m here writing.

I’m glad I wrote. It’s later than I had originally wanted, but I feel better for having written and processed through all of those events. I’m glad none of it is going to be lost or forgotten.

I’m glad I had the morning I did. I’m grateful for the support and love I have in my life.

Daily Post 011: First Interview

Standard

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway…

That was my first interview since mom died.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short term Goals

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

Mid-term Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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