Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

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Daily Post 053: This Feels Like a Long Post

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A lot has happened in the last week so I’m going to start this off with a bullet list so I can remember to write about everything.

Apartment – Fight with Warren, K moving in
Social Life – Big Bad, Blacksmith, Mother Earth, Nicole
Work – Certification, Praise from RN
Workout – Yoga, Running, Jumping, and a Busted Knuckle
School – Because that’s a thing

Alright.

So…

The apartment…

I mentioned in my last post that Warren and I got into a spat. We still haven’t spoken to each other. I think he purposely ignored my messages on Facebook last night asking for the printer, but that’s fine. I went into his office this morning and got it myself. I’m not going to let the silent treatment prevent me from printing papers for college. If he didn’t want me in his space he should have given me my printer when I asked for it.

I guess it was Wednesday last week. I worked that night. A sixteen-hour shift. I swept up dog fur and vacuumed on Sunday. I had also cleaned the kitchen. I was frustrated to come home and find dirty dishes in the sink with Warren not home because he was out hanging with his new girlfriend.

On top of going out to play before being what I consider an adult, I happened to look at my bank account for the first time in a while.

Warren hasn’t paid rent for the past three weeks.

The agreement, now that his job pays him weekly, is that every paycheck he makes a payment of $150.

He’s given nothing in three weeks and didn’t tell me anything about not paying me.

I was beyond pissed and betrayed feeling after finding that out in addition to still having to do his dishes.

I made myself a drink and sulked in the dark living room for a while. I had work the next day but was too spun up to sleep. Fuming silently seemed like a better investment of my time.

Warren ended up coming home while I was still in the living room. He asked if I was ok. I asked if he had planned to tell me that he hadn’t paid rent in three weeks. He said that hurricane Irma really messed with his finances. He said he had meant to tell me but that he kept forgetting. I said he could have sent me a text. He said it was something he wanted to discuss in person.

I asked him why I should renew the lease with him. In a solid year, he has yet to pay rent reliably and still doesn’t take care of his own responsibilities even though he’s repeatedly told me he would. What benefit is there for me to be his roommate?

He said he was sorry and that I would get my money. He went off to the kitchen and started doing whatever he did. I went up to my room and cried my eyes out because I was so frustrated.

Here I am, again, in a shitty living situation with a guy. Doesn’t matter that he’s not my significant other. I’m owed $8k and all of the promises of “I’ll pay you back” are still empty words that mean nothing.

Later that night I got a text message saying I would have “my money” by the end of the month. As of right now I still haven’t been paid.

I sent a reply to his text message.

Me: Tonight wasn’t about money. Tonight was about how I’ve told you since you’ve moved in to just let me know what’s going on and you still leaving me in the dark. It’s about me finally getting to the breaking point where I’m done feeling like I’m being used. If you’re not going to pay rent reliably then at least sweep and vacuum up the dog fur. Or load the dishwasher with the dishes. If you have enough energy to get a new car and go out with people then you have five minutes to clean up after yourself before you go have fun.

I didn’t get a reply to my message until the following day at work. Warren sent me a novel of a message through Facebook saying I’m a hypocrite and dropping curse words all over the place.

Since I haven’t been able to think of anything nice to say to him I haven’t said anything at all. As far as I’m concerned at the moment he can go burn in hell.

I’m not his mother. I’m not going to remind him, weekly, that he has a dog. He’s had one for at least four years. Long before moving in with me. He doesn’t “forget” to feed Burno. He doesn’t forget to take the dog outside to use the bathroom. “Forgetting” that his dog shreds like a German Shepard is an excuse to be lazy.

I’m not going to say, “Now, Warren. Remember to sweep the hallway. And don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to sleep.”

He’s an adult. Just like me. No one reminds me to pay my car insurance on time. Or to make sure I clean Scarlet’s litter box. I’m not going to make sure he “adults”.

Fuck that. He’s older than me. Get your shit together or find someone who’s willing to have a man-child.

So that’s where we’re at. My friends don’t curse at me. My friends don’t use hurricanes as excuses to not tell me “oh, by the way, that money you needed to pay the power and internet bill, you know, those things I use for work, I’m not going to give you”.

I had to go out and buy provisions for the hurricane, too. That didn’t make it ok for me to not pay bills. That still had to get done. And the hurricane didn’t last for three weeks. Zero fucks given about whatever “reasons” he has.

We’re both in victim mentalities right now I think. Me with, “he’s not being fair,” and him with, “she’s a hypocritical bitch.”

I’m fine with that. I’ve been doing the dishes and taking out the trash on my own and you know what? The apartment looks the way I want it to without having to wait on someone else to hold up their end of the agreement.

I’ve had less stress at home this past week then I have for a while and it’s mainly because I’ve stopped caring. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can rely on Warren to be unreliable. With that mentality, I’ve let go of a lot of things. At the moment I’m ok with renewing the lease, mostly because I don’t have a choice.

Karen and I are meeting tonight for her to sign the application. That should be squared away by next week. Then it will be a matter of getting Warren to “make time” in his ever so busy schedule to vacate the two smaller rooms and move into the master bedroom.

Yes, I am still in bitch mode. I know he’s going to have “anxiety” over moving stuff around, and our schedules aren’t going to line up, and it’s going to end up being a clusterfuck that I take care of on my own. If it doesn’t go that way then at least I can be pleasantly surprised. If not then at least I’m not disappointed. That whole reliably unreliable thing…

So that’s the developments with the apartment. Fun times.

On to my social life…

Things with Big Bad are going well. We spent last night together. Last week there was a development that added another dimension to our relationship; the addition of consensual non-concent play. We’ve always had an element of BDSM in our dynamic but this was something we / I have stayed away from. Even with my blacksmith, I haven’t really done anything with it, mostly because I still have flashbacks sometimes.

The experience I had with Big Bad was amazing and something we both enjoyed and though I don’t think I’m cured or anything it is liberating to be able to explore this side of myself again after so long. It’s been four, maybe even five years now.

BDSM rape fantasies aren’t something you can talk about with most of the populace, let alone role play with a partner. It feels like we’re closer. There’s a level of acceptance between us that is more solid than it was before last week.

We don’t think either of us is a weird, sick fuckup for getting enjoyment from each other. It works for us and we’re the only people it has to work for because we’re the only people in our relationship.

I keep waiting for my relationship with him to have some horrible flaw that cripples us, but there hasn’t been one in over a year and it doesn’t feel like one is on the horizon. I’m just so used to there being one that the lack of one feels foreign, almost wrong.

So far things are good, though. Beyond good. They’re stable and warm and caring and supportive and everything I had given up on finding after Zane and I broke up.

My blacksmith is going through a lot right now. I don’t remember if I wrote about it or not. They found a growth. It’s non-cancerous. He’s on medication for the next three months to get rid of whatever it is. I don’t have details. I know the medication makes him sick and that he has to fight through exhaustion while still working doubles at work.

A tree fell on part of his house during Irma. One of the house’s bathrooms, closets, and part of the back patio are messed up, but none of the living spaces were damaged. Insurance is supposed to cover everything. Until it does part of his house is boarded up.

I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. I’m guessing not for a while. Four months at least. Enough time for the medication to hopefully work. I’m not sure what will happen if it doesn’t.

It’s humbling. I left my previous career partly because I spent two weeks in a hospital holding my mom’s hand. Two weeks of sitting there with a Bachelor’s of Science and being unable to do anything other than worry.

Here I am, in the medical field, and I still wouldn’t have been able to do anything during the biopsy. I still can only sit and wait and be patient and hold my shit together even though all I want is to be told that things are ok. That they will be ok. That nothing bad is going to happen.

But that’s not how life works. No one can promise that because no one has that type of control. Those words are a lie and I refuse to tell them to myself and even though other people say them to me I don’t allow them in. I don’t accept lies.

I say things like, “It will work out how it’s supposed to,” and maybe that’s just as messed up. Maybe that’s just another lie.

It’s the one I listen to though. It allows me to accept that I don’t have control. I don’t have control over what is happening or what will happen. All I can do is accept what Life deems “right”. It doesn’t take away the fear of “this is the end”. The fear of “this is where he’ll release me because he can no longer be my Master.”

It sucks. I know he needs me to be strong. He has enough going on without having to worry about making sure I’m ok, too.

I’m fine, even with the annoyances of work, the apartment, and Life in general. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I can survive his death, too, if it comes to that. I know I can. He would want me to.

Mother Earth and I have been doing well. She reads my blog. She mentioned that I don’t write much about when we hang out. I know I haven’t and some of the reasons are intentional while other reasons aren’t.

Part of it is I know other people in our mutual lives read my blog. I don’t know why that has anything to do with anything, but it does. Maybe it’s because I feel like they’ll comment about what I write rather than having a discussion with me.

Part of it is a lack of writing in general. The days I’m able to write are often long after Mother Earth and I have spent time together, and so the more imidate things on my mind are not our moments together. They’re also not moments that I feel I need to work through. I mean, there are emotions, and there’s still stuff in our past I need to make peace with, but overall I feel accepted and restored when we’re together. Our moments help keep me sane and mostly stable. They’re also something I want to hold close to myself, like a precious piece of something that isn’t meant for everyone. It’s mine and it’s ok for it to stay that way; to not be shared.

She’s my Mother Earth and I’m her Earth Dragon and nothing further needs to be explained to anyone.

I do feel like she gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my social life. Big Bad is actually the only one I am consistent with. The only one I make a real effort to work my schedule around for. Other than that I spend all of my time trying to train at the gym or working. Other social obligations feel just like that, like obligations.

I know Nicole wants to spend more time with me. She messaged me just this morning wanting to go to the beach and all I can think of is how I would much rather NOT go. I could sleep instead. I could spend all of that time not traveling. I could save all of that money instead of spending it.

The pros for the trip do not out-weight the cons for me and so I find myself extremely reluctant to take steps to make it happen. I don’t really want to drive the hour to visit her either which isn’t fair.

Nicole likes being in my neck of the woods more, so it hasn’t been an issue, but I’m aware of the imbalance in our relationship. I don’t drive to see her. I don’t go out of my way to “hang out” even though I enjoy our time together.

I feel like it’s similar to Mother Earth. We have this relationship, this dynamic, whatever it is, and yet I’m not sure I’m fully present for it.

I am present when we’re together, but I’m so focused on my calendar; when can I train, how early to I have to be to work, will I be able to squeeze in grocery shopping…

And now I’m looking at adding school into the mix. Is any of this fair to the people in my life? I want to do the things I want to do, but that doesn’t leave much time for downtime where I can recover, or social time for anyone else.

It’s something I need to meditate on and figure out. I don’t want to add scheduled date nights onto my calendar but I’ve already done that for one person, so not doing it for others seems unfair. And none of this even touched on the topic of spending time with my younger brother or figuring out traveling for the holidays or what to do for Thanksgiving this year since last year sucked as far as my vote goes.

Blarg. Overall I think I’m doing alright with my social life and that it’s really just stuff I need to figure out for myself. No one is putting pressure on me. It’s all inside of my own head.

Work is going well. I got a text message from my boss earlier this afternoon saying the census will be low tomorrow and to take the day off. Don’t mind if I do. I was looking at four days this week, three of them being 16-hour shifts. I’m cool with not working one of those.

I’m going to begin studying for my certification. I also will be going back to school and there’s reimbursement from the company I need to look into since I’m most likely going to be going for a Nursing degree…

Yeah… I know… more on that later I promise.

I’ve officially been out of training for three months. That’s a nifty feeling. I still haven’t heard about when I can take the CVC class or when I’m allowed to actually take the certification, but I’ll be prepared for that day whenever it ends up being.

There was one particular moment this week at work that I want to reflect on. I’ve written about this particular patient before. Mr. A. He’s the patient who didn’t want to come into the center for his treatment. The one I hugged and told him I hoped he felt better. The one who said the reason he came inside was so he could see me.

Mr. A is awesome and he’s one of the patients I enjoy seeing even though other people I work with would describe him as “needy”. He asks for a lot of stuff. He likes the interaction. He likes to talk and do magic tricks like pulling a dollar bill out of his hat. I don’t know why but I like him and he’s one of the people I don’t mind doing things for because I like seeing him smile. I like making him feel like there’s still good stuff in the world to experience, even if it’s just a simple cup of coffee that I bring for him while he’s on the machine.

Mr. A used to be a CVC patient, but his fistula has been deemed mature enough to use for his dialysis treatment. That means he has to be cannulated with 15 gauge needles.

I don’t care who you are, getting stabbed sucks.

He didn’t want to have the needles for his treatment. He wanted to use the CVC. I explained that we could use the CVC but that it had more risks associated with it and that the better option would be to use the fistula even though it hurt more in the beginning.

He said he would do it for two cups of coffee. I smiled and said we had a deal. One cup for each needle.

He said ok. I could use the fistula then but to try to make it not hurt. I put my hand in his and squeezed, saying I would do my best not to. We were quiet for a second as I held his hand. I was debating saying something further. Should I say it or not? Should I keep going with the procedure or be vulnerable, too?

I decided to be vulnerable.

Me: It hurts me, too, Mr. A.

I said it in a small, quiet voice. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes because it does hurt me. It makes my heart seize every time I see one of my patients flinch in pain as I insert a needle. And I have to do it, not once, but twice. I have to hurt them. I’m paid to hurt them, and thinking of it in those terms makes me feel like the shittiest human being.

I squeezed Mr. A’s hand again before setting up what I needed for the procedure. I felt his arm before I cleaned the area. His fistula is a little deep, but not too bad. It feels solid; like it won’t roll much. I can tell it’s fairly new with how small it feels in comparison to some of the patients who have had their fistulas for years.

I had a moment of self-doubt. Maybe I should call someone else over. Maybe I wasn’t the right person to do this. What if I fucked up?

No. I would do this. I would try. I know I’m not the best, but Mr. A agreed to use the fistula because I was his tech. This was my procedure, my patient, and I wouldn’t let him down.

I took a deep breath as I stretched the skin on his arm. I said a silent prayer to Freya asking for my aim to be true and inserted the needle. I let out my breath as I saw flack back within the needle line. I was in. I advanced the needle. It went smoothly. I secured the needle with tape and allowed myself in inhale again as I stood back up.

Mr. A: Is it in?
Me: Yep. Only one more to go.
Mr. A: That didn’t hurt at all. You know how to treat a man.

I smiled an uncontrollable smile. He’s too cute sometimes. The second needle went in just a smoothly. Again, Mr. A mentioned how it didn’t hurt “too bad”. I completed the procedure and got his treatment started.

Mrs. Flo, the RN I’ve written about before, the one who’s approval is the end-all be-all to my medical career, came up to me afterward and congratulated me.

Mrs. Flo: Very, very good.

I know Mr. A can be a handful. I know he almost always refuses to come in for his treatments, or constantly asks for things, but I don’t mind. I don’t mind listening to him and letting him know that I hear him. I don’t mind taking an extra 10 minutes to get him on the machine if it means I can hold his hand and admit for the first time to someone that it hurts me, too.

It filled me with pride to know Mrs. Flo had been watching and that she approved of how I handled the situation. It made me feel even though I might still mess up that I’m doing well. Her approval means so much more than anyone else’s I’ve received so far. I’ve got this.

So that’s work. It’s going well and I’m hoping for it to continue to improve. We just requested our days for the new schedule. I should be capped at three days, and with the changes I made to my tax information I should be alright for a little bit; even better once I get my certification and the dollar increase to my wage.

Onward to talking about workouts. : D

I’m pretty sure I typed about the yoga class I did last week. It was awesome. I enjoyed it. It met the quota of “at least one yoga class a week”. I failed hardcore on the running aspect, though, so that was kind of lame.

Part of it was I went to dinner with Mother Earth and Josh one of the nights I was supposed to run. The other was I didn’t push through my tiredness on the other night. No one to blame but myself.

Yesterday I went to Title Club Boxing instead of the dojo. Since Big Bad and I had plans for the evening I felt it would be better to go there since they have a shower and are already halfway to his place.

Since at the time I was waiting for Warren to not be a dick and to give me the printer, I decided to go to what was listed as a “technique” class. It ended up being more of a boot camp conditioning class. I was ok with that. It was 30 minutes of intense workout and super fun. I stayed for the boxing class afterward which was an additional hour.

Once it was done I showered then went to Big Bad’s. It wasn’t until this morning that I really noticed the first knuckle of my right index finger. It hurts-ish. More a low level of discomfort than real pain. There’s a popping / grinding feeling whenever I curl my fingers and if I extend my finger out like if I’m pointing at someone, I can feel a sharpish edge of something poking into my skin. It’s swollen in comparison to my other index finger and I can see a difference in how the skin folds when my finger is extended…

Yeah… not cool bro.

After reading different articles online and talking with my trainer I plan to wait and see what happens. A lot of things say it’s most likely inflammation and overuse, not like I was using it all that much aside from my one boxing class in weeks…

I can tell the swelling has gone down as the day’s progressed. I plan to get some ibuprofen while I’m at the store since that was something mentioned in the forums. If the pain increases or if it doesn’t continue to get better as the days progress I will, undoubtedly, go get it looked at. I want to see if my body can take care of itself first. If I were in more pain I would be more worried. At the moment I’m being cautious.

My workout with L today was awesome. She’s very supportive of me gearing up to be back in school (again, more on that later). When I mentioned my knuckle she looked at it and told me modifications I could during my workout so I wouldn’t have to grip things as much.

Next Tuesday she’s going to have me try jumping the red box… that escalated faster than I thought it would. She’s confident I can do it. She said I’m clearing the blue box with a fair amount of room to spare. She said jumping the red box is more of a mental hurdle than a physical one. Physically I can do it. Mentally I need to tell myself I can do it rather than looking at it like an impossible task. But it’s the red box… >.<;

I can tell my core is continuing to improve. I could tell last night at Title Club while I was throwing hooks how I’m able to generate more power within my torso. It’s a cool feeling. It’s also helping me with the plyometrics L is having me do. I’m able to do the core workouts better, for longer, and faster; definitely with less of an “I’m dying please kill me” feeling.

I also happened to dig out my long sleeved stuff to see what would fit this year. Two shirts I’ve kept since I graduated high school fit me again. Actually, one of them I was never able to wear. I bought the shirt while I was working as a stocker at JCP. At the time I had been working on losing weight and it was my “reward” shirt. A super pretty, deep purple oriental type shirt with long flowing sleeves.

I was able to fit into it for the first time last night. I don’t know when I’ll wear it out. I want it to be for something special. I want to feel pretty while I wear it. Makeup and everything. No icky faded hair. Nope. Fresh dye, eyebrows waxed. The whole nine yards.

I’ve waited six years to wear this shirt. I’m going to make sure I’m the hottest thing this side of the sun when I go out in it.

That’s it as far as working out goes. Trying not to fuck up my body too much while still making progress. I still need to sign up for the Spartan race. Before I do that I need to make sure Big Bad really would be ok with me running without him. He has his daughter’s that weekend and wouldn’t be able to go with me. More meditation is required.

The last thing to talk about is school. Not that I haven’t written a small novel already.

So school has changed a bit, again.

I applied to Seminole State College. I found out Monday, yesterday, that I was accepted. I dropped a pretty penny on getting copies of all of my transcripts. I had copies sent to the college, but also to myself since I’m tired of not having that information when I need it. I mean really… who remembers and/or cares about exact day of their graduation? >.<

That’s essentially six transcripts I had to pay for. I guess it’s worth it. I mean, if it gets me to where I want to go then I’m cool with it, and it will be nice to have “unofficial” copies to keep in my “box of important stuff”.

I was looking further into the Sports and Exercise Science degree and realized that it’s a transfer degree to UCF’s Bachelor’s program, so I wouldn’t really be getting what I want for a while… Lame…

That got me thinking this morning though… Maybe I should do the Associate RN degree first since a lot of the classes for the Nursing and Sports and Excercise Science degrees crossover.

That would let me vertically move within the company, or potentially leave for something else, while still working towards my SECD (sports and exercise science degree because there’s no way I’m going to type that out every time).

That would give me time to figure out if I really want to pursue another Bachelor’s degree. I’m pretty sure I do, but I’m also pretty sure I want to make more money while I do it. Basically, after getting my RN degree, I would do the SECD. After completing the degree at Seminole State I would transfer into UCF I would be a junior. I would be in the Human Performance path and I would be working towards a minor in fitness training.

I finished the application process for the college so now it’s really just a waiting game. I get to talk to my advisor next Tuesday. That’s where I’ll be able to really battle plan everything out. I want to see if I can take one of the B Session classes this fall. That’s essentially a fast forward class. Instead of taking 16 weeks and doing a full semester. I would only be doing about 6 or 8 weeks for the class. If I could get through English II or another Gen Ed that would be nice. Go ahead and get it out of the way.

I’ll be finding out what, if any, of my previous classes, transfer on Tuesday as well. I’m hoping for at least two. Four or more would be better but Full Sail is lame with how they label their classes so my Public Speaking and Physics might not count.

I applied for financial aid though I’m not expecting to get much if anything. Right now all if it is “wait and see” so since that’s the end of what I have to write about I guess I’ll go ahead and get going to I can grocery shop and do the cooking before meeting Karen tonight.

Life is going, some areas of it smoother than others, but I’m pretty ok with how I’m coping. Go me.

Daily Post 052: Mostly Caught Up

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I wrote this the night before last (Tuesday evening) but didn’t have the time to proofread so it’s being posted now. And just a heads up, Warren and I had a spat last night about him not paying rent, again, and not telling me about it… so yeah… that’s going to be a super fun time hashing out all of the emotional fallout when I write tomorrow morning.

It’s whatever though. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I’m going to enjoy my night with Big Bad tonight and beat Life into submission later.

Until then, here’s Monday and Tuesday.

 


 

I’m finally caught up with writing. It’s a weird feeling. Everything is fresh. I can put the emotions and experiences away properly, reflecting on them, analyzing them and then letting them go to where they belong.

Monday was a good day. I opened so the clinic was quiet and empty. The other opener was already there so the machines had been turned on. I like starting the day like that; at square one. I know everything that needs to get done and I know how to do it. There isn’t anything that’s “gone wrong” yet.

Changeover for second shift was a little rough because one of my coworkers was late. We got caught up though and everyone started their treatment on time. At least, everyone who showed up on time, that is. We’ve been having issues with transportation being late, so people aren’t able to get their full treatment. One of the cool / good things about being the lowest person on the totem pole is I don’t have to worry about fixing admin problems like that. Woohoo for not having to make phone calls.

During lunch, I stopped by my FA’s office and asked if we could make an arrangement to sit and chat on Friday. He said he had time now if I wanted to. Since I don’t like waiting and neither does he we went ahead and hashed my issues out.

I started off with explaining how I wanted to go back to school and that’s the main reason I wanted to wait until Friday because I didn’t have much information about it. I explained how I wanted to go for an Exercise Science degree and that at the moment I don’t actively plan to use it for a career change. The thought of going to school and learning about something I’m interested in makes me happy. It makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

When I asked how school would work with work he said they would do their best to maintain my full-time hours in regards to my classes. Essentially I let them know what days I can’t work and they give me what they can.

So that’s pretty awesome to know. Work will be flexible with my potential future inflexibility.

I went on to talk about how one of the things I’m trying to do is find better work/life balance and how I’ve been having a hard time finding it on my own. My true fulfillment comes from the dojo, but working long shifts so many days out of the week keeps me from being there even on my days off.

Before I said anything further he offered to reduce my days to three. I said if it was possible to do that and not adversely affect the team that I would be beyond grateful. He said it wasn’t a problem. There are teammates who want more hours so it, in theory, would actually help for me to work less. As long as I meet the minimum requirements to qualify as “full-time” then everything is good.

I can still have my Monday/Tuesday arrangement so I can have my evenings with Big Bad, which is great because I can keep that small bit of consistency along with always having Sunday off.

I also disclosed how my rent is going up and asked if there was any way for me to make myself more valuable to the company to receive an increased wage.

He said unfortunately because I’m still such a new hire, there wasn’t much I could do.

I said I understood that because I do. I haven’t even been out of training for three months yet and here I am asking for a raise. It was a long shot and I knew it.

I did ask about completing my certification. I asked if completing that was a possible raise or a guaranteed raise once it was achieved. He said it’s guaranteed so it’s something I can take steps towards. Mainly studying and making a fuck ton of flash cards like the nerd I am.

I asked if there was a time restriction on taking the test since originally I had been told there was, but later heard there wasn’t.

He said he wasn’t sure but he would look into it. He actually wrote it down on a notepad so for once I believe I’ll actually get information back about something.

As we were talking, since it was a pretty laid back and conversational atmosphere, I mentioned how I sort of screwed myself over by claiming zero allowances for my taxes, so there’s a large part of my paycheck I’m not actually receiving.

He said I could actually go into the computer and change a number of allowances I claim if I wanted to. I had no idea. For some reason, I thought tax stuff worked like benefit enrollment. You could only change it during certain times of the year or if you had a “qualifying” life change.

I guess not though, so that’s going to be something I look into/do. I want to do some calculations before actually changing it over. It’s nice to know I have that option available.

That pretty much covered all of my issues so I closed with asking how I was doing as an employee.

He said I’ve been doing great. No one has any complaints about working with me.

I asked if it would be possible to schedule myself for the CVC classes since I feel like a liability to my team by not being about to do catheter care. I’ve become secure and confident in my abilities as a tech to feel comfortable enough to learn something new, especially if it can help my team members out.

He said he knew it was a six-month waiting period but he wasn’t sure if it was six months from my hire date or six months from my “out of training” date. I said whatever made it happen sooner was cool in my book. I told him it would be cool if it could be “six months from when I was desperately look for a job” date. We both laughed.

There was actually a lot of laughter during our conversation despite how heavy my topics were. I really am lucky for having such an amazingly laid back supervisor.

Anywho, I’m tired of not being able to work with our CVC patients. We had five CVCs Monday morning. Five. That’s almost half my patients and the only things I can do with them were figure out their fluid removal goal, take their temperature. Oh. And get their blood pressure. Other than that I’m useless because it’s like I’m not even allowed to look at a CVC without having this “one day and now suddenly you’re an expert” class.

Arg. I may or may not have strong feelings over this. >.<;

The good news is my FA is totally on my side. He’s going to see about getting me into a class as soon as possible. Hooray.

He also said I could start learning how to mix bicarb, which would allow me to open the clinic more often. I’m totally cool with that. I want to learn more and I want to open more often. Learning bicarb hits both of those goals, so I’m totally down for it.

Other than not being able to touch CVCs apparently everyone is ok with me. That’s a relief to know. I haven’t crossed any lines or stepped on any toes, at least not that my FA’s aware of. I’m doing well and the issues I talked to him about aren’t new or unsurprising.

The meeting took way longer than my lunch break. When I got back to the floor I explained I had been in the FA’s office talking about potentially going back to school. That sparked a really interesting conversation that lasted for most of the second shift.

The third shift started and the change over was pretty smooth. I was able to leave the clinic shortly after 4 pm.

Originally I wasn’t scheduled to open so I was supposed to stay at the clinic until around 8pm which totally screwed over my plans for seeing Big Bad. I was able to switch shifts with a coworker on Saturday, which is why I did end up working my “normal” shift, but because I wasn’t able to switch with her pretty much the day before I worked, Big Bad and I had already rescheduled our evening together to Thursday.

That meant I had all of Monday evening to myself, so I went home, showered, had a quick snack, then went to the dojo. It was something I had been looking forward to the whole day.

They’ve changed the class schedule at the dojo so every hour they run two classes instead of one. I chose to do the submission grappling (no-gi) class versus Muay Thia.

One of the black belts ran the class. He’s a super cool guy. I was actually at the belting ceremony where he ranked up into black. I enjoy it when he instructs. Because there was an odd number of people at class that night, with me being the only girl, the instructor paired with me so I got one on one training essentually.

It. Was. Awesome.

He’s always super chill and answers all of my questions, which I normally have a lot.

Me: Why do you do it this way? What happens if they do this? Could you do this instead and it still be effective? Where am I supposed to be putting my weight during this movement?

He seemed genuinely pleased with how engaged I was so hopefully I wasn’t too annoying.

During the first two sparring rounds he was my partner. There was one point where he got butterfly hooks on me. That’s where his feet are on the insides of my thighs. It’s a way to control your opponents hips and to limit their mobility.

He ended up rolling onto his back and essentially lifting me off the ground since I had grips on his forearms. I could feel my weight shifting too far forward, giving him an advantage, so I straightened my legs out behind me while I’m balancing on his feet in the air.

It was one of those moments where neither of us thought we would end up in that position, with me in the air like Superman. We both smiled and kind of laughed even as we continued to struggle for a position of advantage.

There was a point early on in our first match where he got my arm and smiled saying, “It’s my arm now.” Later on, I got his arm so I taunted back, “Now it’s my arm” and we both shared a genuine smile as we continued sparring.

Both rounds with my instructor weren’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about being competitive. It was about comradery and fun and I absolutely loved both rounds even though I was pretty wiped afterward.

For my third round, I was paired with a guy I’ve sparred with before. It was a good match but nothing overly special.

My fourth match, because yes, I did do a fourth one, was against a guy I’ve never seen before. It was brutal. He tapped me out three times in our five-minute round, but I liked that. He helped show me what I’m doing wrong by not letting me get away with stuff.

If I left my guard open he took advantage of the opening. If I overextended my arm, he went for an armbar. It’s not like he was mean or overly aggressive. He was doing what he was trained to do, take down an opponent, and I appreciated that.

I can honestly say it was one of my hardest sparring sessions to date. There was one point where he had me in an armbar and he raised his eyebrows at me because I hadn’t tapped yet. He hadn’t pushed me to that point and I wasn’t going to just give it to him. I shook my head no so he pulled further back and I tapped in a hot second because when it’s a legit armbar the only thing you want is to cry uncle and get out of it.

Just like he wasn’t going to go easy on me, I wasn’t going to tap unless it was a legit tap. No softcore shit here.

Once the timer buzzed he laid back on the ground arms extended, breathing heavy, like it had been a struggle or something. I was trying to remember that breathing was a thing  I was supposed to be doing because the only thing on my mind was how I felt like I was dying. Holy fuck was that a hard rough.

Him: You’re strong. That’s good.

I had thought I would stay for a second or even third class, but after my last round, one where I gave all I had, I decided going home was the better option.

I can say I slept amazingly well that night and I think part of it has to do with being so physically exhausted from the dojo.

I woke up at six in the morning since I wanted time before meeting with L for training. I used to meet with her in the afternoon, but we’re switching it to the morning so my day isn’t as broken up.

It worked out extremely well today. I was able to go have breakfast and to type up my last post. I already had my gym bag with me, so once it was closer to go time I packed up and headed to the gym. I got there a bit early so I was able to stretch before my session.

L was very pleased with my “homework”. She liked the conclusions I came to about the terms strong and fit. As she took me through my training we talked about the dojo and how my rounds went.

She explained how she’s going to start incorporating more polymetrics into my workouts, which is where I got the goal for jumping the red box. We both want me to get to that level. Jumps are super fun so it’s only a matter of time.

We did a bunch of burpees in between my sets of weights. It was a much more intense session this time ’round and I thoroughly enjoyed it and made sure to say as much. I was pleased with how well I did during the core section. The “jack-knife” movement she had me to previously didn’t hurt/burn nearly as much. I could have gone a second round I think and been fairly ok.

We set up our appointment for next Tuesday at the same time. We said goodbye to each other, I got my stuff out of the locker room, then went home to begin looking into classes.

I’ve decided the school I originally was looking at isn’t one I want to go it. It’s a for-profit school and the reviews on Google aren’t very flattering. The community college near me doesn’t have what I’m interested in, so that blows.

I looked at UCF just to see what they had since it’s literally on six miles away from me. They offer a minor for fitness training. It seems pretty interesting, but I want to talk to someone about it in person. I called and left a message asking if I could arrange a meeting with someone to discuss the degree further and left it at that.

By that point, I was recovered enough from the gym to be hungry. I showered and went to my sports bar where I actually proofread through my writing and posted to my blog. I also wrote my Musing Moment post. I had my favorite server so I was also able to spend a bit of time chatting with her and getting caught back up since we haven’t seen each other in a while.

I ended up being at my sports bar for almost four hours between all of my writing and researching. My Surface actually died because I didn’t have it plugged into anything and that’s really the only reason I left. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have stayed there longer because I do tend to get caught up in things.

As I was driving home I contemplated the idea of going to the dojo. It was one of my days off. One of the few days I am guaranteed to make it to a class.

I was still pretty sore from my morning session with L, not to mention the no-gi class from the night before. I wasn’t feeling all that social either. I thought about going to Title Club Boxing instead, but that didn’t solve the whole “being sore” thing and most likely needing to do something less intense.

I was mulling it over in my head. Was I being a slacker or should I take the night off and do something like cross stitch?

I decided to check out the gym’s class schedule, just to see if maybe something was being offered that would satisfy my itch to do something else without leaving me dead for work tomorrow.

Wouldn’t you know, there was a yoga class scheduled for 7:30. Since it was only 5 pm I was able to cross stitch a bit before changing back into workout clothes and going to the gym for the second time that day.

The class was fantastic. With each movement I could feel my body relaxing further, releasing more. I’m still not where I was last year, but I could feel a huge difference at the end of the class compared to the beginning. I’m definitely glad I went and it helped confirm my goal of doing at least one yoga class a week.

With how hard I push everywhere else, I need to take at least an hour to relax and stretch.

There was a move during that class that was super cool. We started in down dog before flowing into three-legged dog. From there we bent the knee of our lifted leg and “opened our hips” which means we rotated the lifted leg over our grounded leg. From there we planted our lifted leg back onto the ground so we were in this weird bridge/back bend sort of posture.

It felt soooo amazingly cool. I had no idea I was able to do something like that, but I can. Wooo. One day in the hopefully not so distant future I’ll be able to do Standing Bow Pose, or maybe even King Dancer’s Pose.

Once yoga was done and I was reunited with my phone I saw I had a missed call from my younger brother. We chatted for a bit. It wasn’t anything important, just him bitching about work which I was more than happy to listen to.

From there I came home, ate, drank, and am now done with my writing and ready for bed.

I didn’t find out as much information as I wanted to about the whole school thing, but I wouldn’t be able to start classes until the Spring semester anyway, with March being the deadline for my application. I would like to talk to someone on Friday since that’s my next day off. If not Friday then hopefully next week. I want to get this figured out as soon as possible so I know what I can expect and what I can look forward to.

I might end up taking classes at the community college if they’re able to transfer. I don’t know yet and right now it’s not a major concern.

I’m happy with today. And today is done. So I’m off to sleep so I can wake up and kick ass at work tomorrow.

Daily Post 032: The Floor Isn’t So Scary

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I think I might actually get to sleep at a decent hour. Thought 3:30 am is a pretty lame wake up hour when you’ve been unemployed for a year. I do have to say, I at least know how to wake up and function that early in the morning thanks to my time at Full Sail.

I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be this morning, which was a nice surprise. I showered and got ready for work. I even took some time to braid my hair. I’m not going to lie… part of that has to do with watching Vikings and seeing some of the cool shit they do with their hair. Another part of it is me wanting to be more girly and feminine, though if you ask me if that’s one of the reasons to my face I’ll totally deny it and say it was an alternative fact.

So yeah, I done did my hair this morning. I packed my gym bag since I had the training appointment after class, packed lunch so I wouldn’t starve during the day, then headed out to work.

I like the routine I’m forming. I get there early enough to see my trainer by himself. We exchange pleasantries. I offer to help set up, an offer he always graciously turns down. One day I will win. From there I go to the break room and make coffee while my breakfast heats in the microwave. The room is empty, quiet, peaceful. I listen to the coffee machine humming as it heats the water. I love the soft pouring sound as the smell of coffee begins to fill the small space. It’s nice.

Today I noticed that the rack where the coffee pouches hang was low on some of the flavors so I restocked it while I waited. It gave me a reason to go through the cabinets. I know where the stir sticks are now, and the sugar packets, which I also restocked.

It was nice watching everyone filter in, making their coffee and knowing that I had helped improve their day. They didn’t have to dig around to find stuff. It was already there and ready to go. Maybe I’m weird or slightly voyeuristic by enjoying that behind the scenes sort of knowledge.

Anyway, today we worked with the machines again. One of the things we had to do was mix a bleach solution so we could clean the equipment once we were done. Some of my classmates were having issues keeping the different ratios straight so I got to explain the method I’m using to keep the confusing mess organized in my head. It helped some of my teammates.

We also had a “friendly” competition where we divided into teams. Our trainer picked a leader for each team and said we were going to race to see which team could set the machine up the quickest while still being accurate.

My team was last even though everyone kept commenting on how well I did…

I seriously don’t get it; this… whatever it is my classmates feel for me. Admiration maybe? I definitely don’t feel I deserve it whatever it is. I’m a student just like they are, and a lot of this stuff doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to read a lot of the content several times before it starts to sink in, and even then, it’s not until we get to the hands-on portion where I get to mess up, then write out my notes so I can reflect back on my process and understand my errors that I really begin to solidify everything in my head.

I’m not a prodigy. I’m not better than they are, but I feel that they hold me above them, like the shining example they strive to be. It’s a little alienating, and I think it bothers one of my teammates, conveniently the one I’m supposed to train with at my clinic tomorrow…

I know she was having a bad day today, so maybe that was it more than her actual feelings towards me or the dynamic shift in our group, but still. I’m not trying to rock the boat. I would really be ok with not having the attention that I feel I have.

The second half of class was mostly computer work. I wasn’t able to get all of it done because there were three side conversations going on which made it hard to focus. I was interrupted several times with questions from a few people as well. That I didn’t mind but hearing about someone’s plans for how they wanted to remodel their kitchen was pretty annoying.

I was glad for the day to be over. We were allowed to leave a bit early which let me talk to two of my classmates alone. The one-on-one interaction was a nice break from the constant stimulation of being around 12 people. All girls I might add. Sooo much estrogen. x.x

Because we left early I got to the dojo a bit early which allowed me time to stretch and decompress from the mild overwhelmed feelings I had been picking up throughout the day.

By the time my trainer was ready for me I was ready for her. She showed me how to do front rolls and back rolls. I have done front rolls in aikido and had started working on backrolls, but it’s been so long I wasn’t confident in my ability anymore, and when I messed up during normal warmups for Gi and NoGi classes I didn’t know what I was doing wrong to fix it.

Having my trainer, we’ll call her MG, there with me explaining it all to me again was fantastic. I am now a roll master. We did cartwheels, too. That’s another warmup we do every so often in jiujitsu class and even though I did gymnastics when I was little I haven’t done a cartwheel in what feels like forever. For some reason the floor seemed terrifying when I thought about doing a cartwheel; more so than when I thought about doing front rolls.

I mean, really? Out of everything I’ve been through in my whole life I’m going to be scared of making myself look silly by trying to do a cartwheel? I’m pretty sure I could find something more ridiculous to be scared of but at the moment I really can’t think of anything.

Left Brain: It’s the floor. It’s not like it’s going to jump up and attack you. Just do a fucking cartwheel.

Right Brain: Screw you! We’re going to die if we try doing this. Instead, let’s panic because having an anxiety attack over the thought of maybe potentially doing something is a way better way to invest our limited energy.

Well, no longer is the floor terrifying. I can totally bust out a cartwheel on my left side. The right side is still sort of dodgy, but I can mostly do it. It’s the landing that sucks. MG said it’s normal for people to have a good side and a bad side. This just means I know which side I need to practice with more.

We did some weight training, too. That was fun and I know my arms are going to hate me for it tomorrow. Good. Maybe they’ll suck it up and finally stop being so weak. Totally happy with how well the session went. We arranged to meet again this coming Monday.

I think that’s how I want this to flow for the remainder of my clinic training. Monday I’ll have a session with MG that way through the week I can alternate between yoga and the workout she has me do. On the days I feel up for it I can go to a jiujitsu class or Muay Thai, but for now, I think I’m content with focusing on conditioning.

I talked to Jon a bit when I got home. We ironed out some details with his resume. We’ve also arranged to go kayaking next weekend. Big Bad is interested in going as well, which would be really nice. I might suggest making it a date day and seeing if he wants to go to the beach afterward since we’ll already be in Daytona.

I did a few other computer chores while I was at my desk. I finished the training I hadn’t been able to complete while I was in class since it would have bothered me to leave it unfinished. It would have required me to have less time on the floor tomorrow interacting with patients as well, so I’m glad it’s out of the way.

I ate dinner and watched another episode of Vikings once I was happy with the tasks I accomplished. It’s been a nice way to unwind at the end of the day. Eat, relax, make my night time tea, blog, prep for bed, go to sleep.

I’ve never been one for having a night time routine. Not a solid, consistent one at least. I think I’m forming one now though, and I think it is helping me to sleep better. I think the blackout curtains help as well since there’s a lamp post close to my window. I love sleeping in darkness. ❤

Well… That’s it for today. Tomorrow starts early so I’m going to go. I hope it’s as good a day as what last Friday was.

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.