Daily Post 060: I’m Proud That I’m Actually Writing A Daily Post

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So I’m going to try to write this… while drinking a drink that I for serious accidentally made too strong. I’m most likely not going to finish it, which is ok because it will still be good tomorrow evening.

Anyway, I have the living room for roughly 30 minutes to myself. 30 minutes of silence and what I’m going to start referring to as pseudo-solitude, since I’m “alone”, but my roommates are still home so I’m really not. Or at last one of them is still home. The other is most likely out banging his chick even though he was short on rent. Not that I have resentment over the fact that he won’t leave the house to do something useful like donate plasma so he can finally get his finances straight, or, I don’t know, take hit contracts on the black market.

This writing may be a bit blunter than normal… damn you alcohol for making me not care about causing offense. Damn you.

So Warren isn’t here, but Kyle is, and I actually just kicked him out of the living room. And by kick out I mean I had anxiety for about 30 minutes since I walked through the door and saw he was in the middle of some B rated demonic movie thing. I dropped my lunch box off on the kitchen counter then went upstairs to shower. Once I had washed the day away, all while trying to figure out how to ask for the living room without sounding like a dick, I came downstairs and put the day’s dishes into the dishwasher, set it to run, then finished washing the crock pot by hand.

I putts around a bit more, heating up my dinner, making my drink, then I finally had nothing else to do to procrastinate further.

I walked into the living room, set my stuff down at my computer and asked Kyle if I could have the living room for 30 minutes before I went to sleep.

He didn’t say anything but turned the TV and Playstation off then went upstairs.

You know what? I really don’t care if he’s upset. I worked a 16 hour day. I agreed to work the first three hours of co-workers shift tomorrow so she could actually get sleep tonight. She’s closing the clinic right now. She might not even be out of work yet and it’s 10 pm. She has an hour drive home, and yet the schedule has her working at 5 am tomorrow morning.

I told her that I could cover some of her hours for her. She said she could be there at 8 am. No later than 8:45 which leaves me with enough time to get to my training session with L. I told her that worked for me. I would rather her be able to make it through her day. I can always take a nap or go to sleep early before my shift on Friday.

This means I should have a few hours of overtime, which will be nice paycheck wise, but also hour wise. It means I’ll more than likely be able to cover most if not all of my week off without having to suffer financially. In theory, I’ll have the PTO to cover it.

So yeah. I have an early wake-up call. I want some time to myself, for myself, before I have to wake up and give the little I’ll have in my reserves to other people. The cool thing is I’ll be out of the clinic before change over happens. So I’ll I really need to do is put the first shift of patients on and do some of the morning chores.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be alright.

Today wasn’t a bad day. Though it started off kind of rough.

There’s one patient who got mad at me last Friday. She wanted to be off the machine at a specific time since her transportation has been leaving without her. I told her we, as in, the whole team, would make sure she got off on time. Normally this isn’t an issue. That morning ended up getting crazy, though, and even though we took this particular patient off the machine early, she still ended up being left by her transportation.

Since I was the tech who took her out into the lobby she blamed me for the transportation leaving her essentially stranded at the clinic. She said we didn’t care about her and that she wanted to talk to the FA.

It hurt. I was almost in tears as I went back to the clinic floor and continued with my day. That was the second time I’ve had a patient be mad at me. I eventually got over it, but I was glad I didn’t have to work Monday so I didn’t have to see her, and I was hoping to be on B side of the clinic today so even though she would be there, I wouldn’t have to interact with her.

As luck would have it, I was on A side, which meant she was one of the patients I had to care for. I helped transfer her into her chair, but another team member did her treatment initiation, which I was grateful for. About 50 minutes into the treatment the charge nurse called EMS for her because of complications. We think she has an infection since she has bedsores which aren’t being cared for.

But yeah, I feel sort of bad for not feeling worse about her going to the hospital. I’ve seen her treat other teammates unkindly. It’s not that I wish ill on her. But I don’t feel bad either. I think I’m closer to feeling nothing which might be worse.

I hope she gets the care she needs and I hope if / when she comes back she isn’t a jerk to me or the people I care about.

That was the main ad hoc event of the day, but since it happened fairly early in the first shift it didn’t domino into second shift.

The day went smoothly after that. I got to watch a teammate mix acid in the water room so I can start helping with that in the future. It seems easy enough. I told my teammate that I would want to see it done one more time, then most likely have someone watch me do it once or twice, but overall I think it’s pretty simple.

I got out of the clinic at 8:30. I’ve started assuming I won’t leave until 9 pm. I find it’s better to overestimate than under. I still budget for 36 hours, but as far as my calendar goes, I would rather assume I have fewer hours to work with rather than more when planning the events in my life. That way I can be pleasantly surprised when I get free time rather than seething with blind fury over having to cancel plans.

So that’s pretty much been my day.

All of the cooking is done, so all I really need to do tomorrow, other than cover the first three hours of first shift, is train, donate plasma, and maybe laundry.

I’m ahead on studying, but it would be good to continue tackling that. I guess it depends on how tired I feel after donating.

Even though there are four chapters left in my book there’s really only two more chapters that pertain directly to me. One of the chapters is about reusing dialyzers, which my clinic doesn’t do. The other chapter is about becoming a preceptor, or trainer, which has nothing to do with the actual dialysis process. I’m still going to read them, though.

Once I finish the book I plan to take the practice test offered by my company. I also want to look online to see if there are flashcards or anything already made. I want to see if my flashcards line up with what other people study for the certification. I usually end up studying more because I make flashcards for random facts that I think are interesting, but not nessiccarily required to know.

Anyway… Yeah. I’m almost done with the book. It would be nice to get through it in the next two-ish weeks. Definitely before the end of the month. That’s completely do-able if I keep up with the chapter a week pace that I’ve been going. That means I’m on course to taking the test early January. Since school starts the 9th, it would be cool to get the certification during the first week of the new year that way it’s done and I won’t have to figure out when to take it between work and my class.

I got my “Me” savings account created yesterday. It was actually super, insanely painless. I walked into my bank and told the greeter that I wanted to see about opening a second savings account. They entered me into the queue, which had no one in it, and asked that I wait in the lobby for one of the representatives to speak with me. I waited all of two minutes. I let them know what I wanted. They created a new savings account for me, and that was that.

Poof.

Done.

Like magic.

I’ve transferred $300 to it already. That’s still $78 short of the 27-week mark, but I think I’ll be able to transfer that through the month. And really, since that’s where I want to be in the first week of January, I have five weeks to come up with it.

I think I’m also going to give myself $500 to spend on myself between my birthday and Christmas. This is money that will go to things like getting my hair bleached since the roots have grown out. Most likely getting it trimmed too, along with my brows waxed because what the hell, it’s my birthday.

Maybe I’ll get a new keyboard finally. And a new headset. I’ll most likely take into account my World of Warcraft renewal, and subtract that from the $500.

I need to sit and budget out what I want to see how far I can make $500 stretch. I’m pretty sure I can do a lot with it, though, and I don’t think I want all that much.

That’s for another day. Right now I’ve finished my “too strong” drink along with my dinner. I’ve also had the living room for close to an hour rather than 30 minutes so I should go. I’ll also only be getting about 4 hours of sleep, which I can work with. It would be better to get only 3, that way I’m not in the middle of a REM cycle when my alarm goes off. God, that’s the worst.

Anyway. Yeah. Good night. Thanks for letting me ramble.

 

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Musing Moments 111: Looking At The Future

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I don’t know why there’s such an outpouring of writing from me right now. I’ve already written twice in a roughly 12-hour span. Once to my mom, and once to recap a bit; picking up pieces from my shattered yesterday and putting them back in place.

Maybe that’s what all of the writing is for. Examining pieces.

Reflecting.

I guess that’s good. I know I need to sit and assess my mind and emotions. I need to clean house and organize the clutter I’ve let build up within myself.

Training went well. L and I actually had a pretty deep talk at the end. She’s started setting up obstacle courses for me. She makes me run them two or three times at the end of our sessions after I’ve strength trained and can feel my arms and legs doing their damnedest to fall off to avoid further abuse.

She always pushes me to beat my time, and so far I have.

Today, in between my second and third run, while I was sitting and trying to remember how to breathe, she said I was doing really well. With the Evil Voice in my head continuing its relentless harping of “what’s the point in all of this?” I asked her why, internally, felt like I wasn’t.

She asked what I meant and I explained how I don’t train how I used to or as often as I want so I feel like I’m failing there. I’m not where I want to be financially, so I’m failing there. Even in that moment, knowing that I had just beaten my time by twenty seconds, I didn’t feel like I did a good job so let’s add some sprinkled failure to all of the failure in my fail-tastic life.

I said I know logically I’m doing well but why do I not FEEL like I’m doing well?

She said sometimes we get like that. She mentioned that’s how she felt at her last job. How she hated it. How it kept her from everything she wanted. How she felt like all she was doing was spinning her wheels and going nowhere. She said I’m in the process of changing my situation and that I’m doing well and that I need to keep at it rather than getting frustrated or giving up.

I told her that lately on training days I’ve woken up and have thought about calling out; about  not showing and giving in to the sadness I constantly feel. She asked what I felt when I came in to train.

Me: Like I didn’t let it win.

I told her how our past sessions have felt more like physical therapy rather than training. I’ve felt injured and going to the gym forces my body to function in ways that it should but doesn’t want to. It hurts. It takes effort. It’s so much easier to stay at home in my pjs and do nothing. It’s easier to get sucked back into World of Warcraft and to medicate my life away with games.

But I don’t do that. I change into my compression gear. I make sure I have a full water bottle. I get in my car and I drive to the gym and even though I start out slower than normal, by the end I usually do feel better. Better enough to at least get through the things I need to get through for the day.

I told L how it always seems to be at the end of “the hard times” that I reach my limit and I find myself faltering. It’s now, at the end, just before things get better, where I feel I have no reserves; nothing left to give. Where I feel my will giving out and the darkness crushing down around me, trying one last time to force me down so far that I finally don’t stand back up; submitting to the oppressive weight I refused to bend to.

I have two weeks left. Less than that. A week and a half. I have six days of work. Only six. I can make it through that. I can hold on, by my fingertips if need be, for that long.

I WILL NOT BE BEATEN.

I don’t have to win. All I need to do is not lose. Six more days.

I have donating to do today and then studying. I have to rehang my new “business” corkboard since it fell down a few weeks ago. I have my “memory” corkboard in my room; the one with pictures, and letters, and Warrior Dash bibs, and hiking wristbands. It normally hangs above my computer, but since I can’t have that type of setup at the moment, I opted to keep my “memory” board in my room. I don’t want to share those moments with other people, so instead, I got a “business” board to hang above my computer in the dining room.

I bought it a few weeks ago. So far it has the class requirements for my RN degree so I can highlight the courses I’ve taken and visually see my progress. I have the transfer credits for English and Math, so I already have blue highlights over those classes. If I contest my psychology class I might be able to add another mark before I even get started.

This board is my reminder of what I’m working towards. Once RN is complete I can replace it with the physical therapist assistant sheet. Then BSN. Then MSN. Then my doctorate. Each time I reach a new milestone I can add a page on top of it, climbing my mountain one step, one course at a time.

This morning I printed off another paper to add to it. It’s the 52-week money challenge. I want to start that in January. That would be $1378 dollars saved. I don’t know what I want to do with that money. I want it to be my “Me” fund, though, which may seem stupid with how much I bitch about my credit card and “not having money”.

I want to have something for myself other than food and training.

I want to save that money so next year when I take a week off for my birthday I can go somewhere, alone, by myself. I don’t have to spend all of the money I save, but I can if I want to. I can do whatever I want with it because it’s MINE. It’s not for bills, or debt, or obligations. It’s my reward for holding shit together and doing everything I have to do.

It could be my new gear fund. It could be a new gi or a new solid state drive for my computer or a new keyboard instead of keeping the refurbished one I have that randomly double spaces all the time. it could be any number of things that I haven’t gotten for myself.

Maybe I could make it a biannual thing and start off at week 27. Actually, I really like that idea. That way it’s not a full year that I have to wait. I’ll need to ponder over this for a bit, but I like the way it feels at the moment.

I need to see if I can open a second savings account so I can keep that money separate from my normal savings, which has done nothing but diminish.

Kyle said he applied for his old Domino’s position. There’s a part of me that aches at the thought of him going back to a job he hates. I know there is probably a feeling of defeat for him in reapplying. At the same time, I’m grateful. I feel like that means he is keeping his word to me. He said he would apply for “jobs”. He specifically stated it wouldn’t be only CG jobs.

Even if it doesn’t pan out, I’m grateful for his actions.

If it does pan out I know it will help me feel better about having helped him. It would mean I could actually start putting money towards the credit card again. It would mean that Life would be progressing rather than staying stagnate in the mire I feel like I’ve waded into.

It would mean he’s pulling more of his own weight which takes the burden away from me. It would give me the ability to breathe again.

My main source of stress is money at the moment. Work sucks, but I know that’s getting ready to change. I’m getting ready to make more. I’m getting ready to have my days set and spaced out. It will be annoying but not what I would consider stressful. It’s known rather than unknown. It can be worked with and compensated for.

If I can hold on long enough for things to financially right themselves then the tension and uncertainty “should” go away. Then it becomes a matter of focusing on school.

I am stable with work, which was a goal for this year. It wasn’t purely financial stability I was trying to reach, but rather total Life stability.

I needed to come to terms with entering back into the workforce. I dealt with making a career change and getting my foot in the door for a completely different industry. I’ve actually progressed to the point of having goals again and even a roadmap for how to get to where I want to go.

Career-wise, I have a job which will work with me in regards to school. I have a team who cares about me and who supports me. I have a boss who is exceedingly understanding and who actually listens to me when we have conversations. And it’s not that I dislike my work. I dislike how demanding and unthoughtful the system is; how it makes sleep seem like a luxury we indulge in rather than a basic life necessity. I feel that’s most healthcare positions in general, though.

One CNA CANNOT give adequate care to 20 patients who all need to be bathed and dressed. Companies are too focused on bottom line and Excel sheets and metrics. Too many people with a business degree are in charge rather than people who have actually worked on the floor and who understand what their choices actually do. I feel most workers are treated as cells rather than as humans. We are digital text on a screen, expendable, deletable, rather than people with families, lives, goals, hobbies, fears, and insecurities.

I love my patients, and I love my team. I love that I help people and that my patients are grateful that I do the things I do. On days where I’m not overwhelmed with burnout, it does make my job feel like I have a purpose. I matter. My time matters. My actions matter, because all of it goes into keeping someone else alive. It goes into letting them go home to their husband or wife. It lets them go on trips to Tampa to celebrate their 20th anniversary. It lets them see their great grandbaby. It lets them have Thanksgiving.

I WILL NOT stay with this company, but for now, with the changes I hope school forces to happen, I think I’ll be able to stick it out another couple of years. I like the experience I’m getting. I like how I don’t mentally freak out when someone starts bottoming out from hypotension. I know what to do. I’m confident in my choices. I can stabilize the situation and get the required help I need. I’ve seen patients have seizures. I’ve seen a lot of things in my roughly eight months of working.

I want to keep working while going to school because I want the wisdom of experience as well as the knowledge of a degree. I do think if I’m able to find a balance with everything that I’ll be ok.

One of those things I’m considering is changing the time I attend my class in January. At the moment I have it set for 9:30 am. If I don’t get off work until roughly 9 pm it’s going to make training the in morning before school hard. I also do not want to be in the middle of Orlando rush hour traffic in the evening. It may be that training happens in the afternoon and plasma donation happens in the evening.

I could also look into going to a different donation center; one closer to school. Grocery shopping shouldn’t be too bad since there are several stores between here and school.

I guess this is a good sign. I’m acknowledging where there may be friction in the upcoming system and I’m brainstorming workarounds and alterations to relieve that friction. Like with laundry… Maybe it would be best to do it in the evenings when I get home from work. Shower first, toss everything into the wash then go about my evening for an hour, decompressing, eating dinner, prepping for the next day, before switching the wash to the dryer and going to sleep. That way it’s done and not an added item to my to-do list on school days. And even if I can’t tough it out for an hour, I can switch the wash to the dryer in the morning and still have it off of my to-do list before the day even starts.

I don’t know if this writing has really helped. I guess it has. I like how I acknowledged the actions I’m currently doing along with the actions of others. I like how I’ve reminded myself of what is in the very near future. And I like how I’ve changed work to a number of days rather than stretching it into the vast foreverness it felt like before.

Six days.

I have a countdown. I have an end before my restart.

I can do this.

Daily Post 059: Tackling Today

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I’m back home. I have been for about an hour. I’ve scrolled through Facebook for most of that time. I don’t know if I really feel better so much as I feel stable. Shit is still as it was last night but I feel less overwhelmed by it. I know what my “next steps” are for today, they just seem less daunting then they did I guess.

My evening with Big Bad was nice. We watched two episodes of Stranger Things. Or maybe a better way of saying it is he watched them while I snuggled against his arm and stopped caring about my life for a few hours. I didn’t watch the show really. I listened to it halfway but really just let my mind dissolve into nothingness.

In between episodes we wrestled, which was a good release. We both went at it harder than we have in the past. He still got me into a few positions where he almost choked me out with my own arm, but I’m content with being able to say that I wormed my way out of all of those positions. I’m getting better and I can tell that I’m stronger.

We almost fell asleep on the couch but, eventually, we did move into the bedroom, crawling under the giant, heavy, fuzzy blanket that I love so much. We both slept well, and even though I had my cup of coffee alone this morning I still felt connected.

I haven’t broached the subject of how I work this coming Monday. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to go almost two weeks without seeing him. I suppose that will be something to address later tonight once he’s out of work. My blacksmith wants to try to meet Saturday evening. I have to figure that out as well since Warren works that day and Kyle is always home. It’s also after another 30 hours at work so I don’t know if I’ll look at it like a reprieve from my life or as another social obligation that I don’t know how to survive.

The DnD meet up this past Sunday went well enough. Only one other person showed up but my blacksmith said two of his coworkers are interested in gaming with us. Because the meet up was such short notice they weren’t able to attend, and December is sort of a crazy month for everyone so the game itself most likely won’t start until sometime in January.

I’m hoping that it can happen in the early evenings on Sunday. Maybe every other Sunday. It would be nice to be able to have a day to myself once in a while. I’m not going to get many of those with school starting. I’m always going to have requirements taking me out of the house.

Even when I’m here at the apartment I’m never really alone. Warren or Kyle are always here since neither of them has obligations taking them out of the house, and when there is it’s always while I’m at work. It’s almost to the point where I don’t remember what it’s like to have solitude; true aloneness where I can completely decompress and let go. There’s always some sound or energy to process through because there’s always someone here.

I haven’t had a cigarette in over a week. I wanted one last night when I got off the phone with Jon. It felt like things were crumbling again, shattering around me. But I guess they aren’t. I can’t do anything differently. All I can do is keep trying to move forward.

Warren paid me rent. It’s short compared to what the payment should be, but it’s really close to the full amount. He paid in cash, tucking it under my mouse pad since the online system was still being screwy. I guess I need to add stopping by the bank to my to-do list so I can deposit that into my account.

I have training in an hour. The past few sessions haven’t felt all that awesome. I’ve done them, and I feel tired afterward and I feel like I push hard for where I’m at, but they feel… different. More like physical therapy rather than training I’m looking forward to.

When I get to the end it’s hard not to cry. The Evil Voice is there, louder than normal, asking me why I’m doing any of this? What’s the point?

I don’t have answers for it right now. None that I believe enough to stand behind. Nothing to shield myself from the pain those works drag to the surface.

All I can do in those moments is silently rage inside of my head, louder and louder until I’m screaming at that voice to shut up; to go fuck itself. And then I’m at the end of my set and I can put the weight down and somehow it doesn’t seem like the overwhelming burden it was during those 30 seconds because it’s over. My body is fine, revved up and ready for the day, but my soul is so close to crushed from having to scream loud and fight so hard against the ceaseless, oppressive waves of “why bother?” and “do you even really care?” that I just want to collapse to the floor in the middle of the gym and cry.

I don’t have answers right now. What’s the point in working a job that keeps me away from the things that give me fulfillment, when it doesn’t even make ends meet? What’s the point of going home and cleaning? What’s the point of eating and trying to be healthy?

In the middle of this sea of grief I find myself drifting in I don’t have answers. All I see is the apathy I’m surrounded by. I don’t see land anywhere in the distance. I don’t see an evening with Big Bad. I don’t see the sanctuary of the dojo. I don’t have a reason to keep going other than because I don’t know how to stop, but that’s not really an answer to the questions ricocheting around in my head like bullets.

All I have is doing because that’s all I’ve ever done. I don’t know how to not take a step forward. I don’t know how to not clean. I don’t know how to not make a to-do list and tackle it one line at a time. I don’t know how to give up. I don’t know how to say “it’s too hard” and to accept defeat.

Sometimes I wish I did. I wish I knew how other people are able to throw their hands up and have other people save them. I wish it felt right to not struggle. As much as I bitch about my battles and whine about it being hard, I would be pissed if someone solved my problems for me. Like, irrationally, “You’ve ruined our friendship for forever because you have tarnished my honor” level of pissed off from which there can be no retribution for.

Today shouldn’t be all that intense. Or rather, it should be over fairly quickly. I have training at 9:30. I donate plasma about 2 hours after that so I can cool down and try to replace the water I sweat out. I don’t think I’m as hydrated as I should be. I don’t think I’ll be able to fix that as much as I want before donating. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as “The Bad Donation”, because yeah… that sucked.

After donating I have lunch planned at my sports bar where I’m going to get through another twenty pages in my textbook. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. Maybe if it goes by quickly I’ll finish off the last bit of the chapter and be ahead of my game plan. I’m not going to push my brain exceedingly hard, though. As long as I making through the next main section, the next twenty pages, then I will be content.

I guess after that I can stop by the bank. Then it’s coming home and throwing things into the slow cooker to finish off one of my meals for the week. I still need to put my clothes away, but that’s not a huge deal. I might do kickboxing but that depends on how training and donating go.

I am calm and empty today. I feel like I don’t have much energy for people. I can do the things I need to do as long as there isn’t a lot of interaction, and for the most part, there isn’t, which might be why my day doesn’t feel like an impossible weight that will destroy a part of me if I attempt it. It’s not like I’m having to spend 12 to 16 hours interacting with my patients and pretending that things aren’t hard.

Friday and Saturday are going to suck since I close both days. I won’t get home until around 9 pm while having to turn around and wake up at 3:30 am. It’s going to be rough. Only a week and a half left until I’m able to take my week off. Then only one more week before classes start and my work schedule becomes consistent.

I want to finish printing out my “Book of Survival”. I got partway through that but never finished. I haven’t set a day for when I want to complete that task. I need more printer ink before I do it. But acknowledging that this is left undone makes me feel better. It means I’m one step closer to completing it.

I realized my letter last night to mom was the first time I’ve written to her since April 3rd. I’ve talked to her a few times since then, but last night was the first record I have, the first tangible thing, to show that interaction. That hurts. It makes me realize how much I don’t turn to my mom when things are hard.

I realized how little I have written this year. This was supposed to be my “Year of Stability” and though I’m not financially where I want to be I don’t feel like as much of a failure as I thought I would.

I’m stable in my confidence in myself. I’m stable in my ability to say no when I feel like something isn’t good for me. I’m stable in recognizing bullshit and not putting up with it. I’m stable in doing what needs to be done.

Since my year resets in April rather than January I still have a few months to figure out what I want the upcoming year to be. Maybe it would be good to focus on routine; consistency. Maybe it can be a continuation of stability since that’s what routine ties into for me.

I don’t know. I do know that I need to go for now otherwise I’ll be late for training and I would rather not be.

Here’s to today.

Daily Post 057: Waiting

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I used to write for myself. I used to sit here and let my mind wander through itself, my fingers moving over the keyboard, typing out the melody in my head. The one that always seems so hard to put into words when talking with people. The one that not even I know the notes to half the time. It’s only after writing, after going back and really reading what I wrote than any sort of sense can be made from it. The logic, the pattern, emerging from the chaos of emotions. They, the emotions, exist for a reason, but without writing, that reason always seems elusive, nebulous, and half-formed.

I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been going to the gym or the dojo. I’ve been eeking by. And already I’m on the verge of tears, not so much because I’m depressed. I feel I’m actually recovering from the recent lull in my emotional state. But tears from acknowledging pain. From no longer forcing myself to keep limping forward. From finally sitting, resting, and assessing my wounds, the damage, the trail I’ve traveled and where I have yet to move to.

I know for a while I felt hopeless and pointless again. I felt my grief which so rarely is the crushing tidal wave it was in the beginning. I can see it coming, feel it welling up within myself. I can almost prepare for it. I know the days will be hard and the nights harder. I know waking up will be the most painful part of my day while the rest of it is idle survival of making sure I eat meals and shower and go to work and convince people that I’ll be ok even though I feel I’m bleeding out through a wound in my chest.

I’ve made it up to this point and even though I’ve been drinking and smoking, I feel it’s worth noting that I HAVE survived. I have coped. I have found ways of being self-reliant. I HAVE NOT collapsed or shrugged off my responsibilities. I have fought through most of this year and I have fought hard.

I had a realization last week and I think that’s the main reason I have been feeling slightly less lost.

I have decided that, for the moment, I will wait. I will rest, just like the Earth.

I will rest between now and January. I will make it through Thanksgiving, my second one without mom. I will make it through my birthday, a day I wish wouldn’t come. I’ll make it through Christmas and New Years.

I won’t worry about if I get to the dojo or not. If I’m able to train or how hard I train when I do. I won’t stress over my work schedule making things hard with how inconsistent it is. I won’t give myself shit for not doing much because it’s cold and cloudy and hard to find the will to do all of the things I love doing while it’s warm and sunny out.

It’s winter. It’s a period for rest. Instead of raging and struggling against it I decided at 4 am on a cold Monday morning while smoking a cigarette and drinking my coffee before work that I would try embracing that aspect of this season. I would stop struggling to do and allow myself to rest.

Making that decision let me feel free. It dissolved the feelings of failure for not making it to the gym after work to run when I had already walked eight miles in the clinic. It freed me of so many negative things that I felt tears forming in my eyes from relief.

It was finally ok to wait, to rest, to simply breathe rather than fighting against everything that seems so impossible to overcome.

Sometimes the best course of action is to wait. To allow your opponent to make the first move, opening themselves up so you can land a devastating blow.

In January I start a new path.

I begin the road to becoming an RN, something I never in my life thought I would be. My first class is already paid for. Everything is set, all I have to do is attend the class. The first day of a new direction.

I have a rough sketch of an outline for where I want to go. First, it will be my Associates of Nursing, followed by the Physical Therapist Assistant degree. From there I will transfer to UCF for their Bachelors of Nursing moving into the Masters. From there it will be the Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Along the way or maybe after all of the “official schooling” will be the fitness training program I found while researching into the degrees I wanted. I would like to become a yoga instructor with counseling credentials as well, though I haven’t looked very far into that aspect of my plan.

I want to be a holistic nurse. I want to be a nursing teacher. I want to show people there’s more to health than just the physical body. The mind and spirit are just as important.

I will not stay with DaVita. I have already come to the realization that though I love my patients and my coworkers, I do not love my job nor the company. After achieving my first degree, my RN, I will begin exploring other employment options, ideal in the vein of holistic nursing. For the next two-ish years, however, I think I can manage three days a week at my present location. If things line up the way I hope they do I might be able to go down to working part-time and doing school full time.

Warren and I have fought. I told him he was an ass as a roommate. I told him I could rely on him to be unreliable. That in 13 months he’s paid full rent three times and none of those times were consecutive. I told him I didn’t want to live with him anymore and if he didn’t leave willingly I would find whatever legal course of action I could to have him removed, even if that meant having both of us evicted.

All of that came from after finding out he ignored my messages for three days.

I suppose backstory is needed…

Last Friday rent was coming due. It was also my payday and there for a “bill” day. I go through and pay things in order of their importance. Since rent is most important, I paid it first, which meant I had no money left to pay any of the others bills since Warren hadn’t made his contribution towards rent yet.

I messaged him to let him know rent was taken care of, but without his help, I was unable to pay any other bills such as power, internet, or any of my personal expenses.

I received silence.

For three days.

Nothing.

Nothing about, “Yes, I’ll pay rent. Just give me a few days.” No, “Thank you. I appreciate it.” Nothing to let me know that I would be able to pay all of my other responsibilities. Just empty nothingness.

On Monday I sent a message asking for Warren to pay rent so I could put gas in my car. I was low and without some sort of payment, I wouldn’t have had enough gas to make it through the week.

No reply.

Monday afternoon, when I got out of work, I sent a message asking if he was receiving my texts.

Silence.

I went to Big Bad’s house. I spent the evening with him. One were I told him about the situation and how I was going to address it when I got home. It was a good evening and I feel my time with him is one of the reasons I’m remaining as ok as I am.

When I got home I still had no replies to my messages but there was a deposit to my bank account for partial rent. I was ok with that. I was able to pay the bills that were due. It was enough to stay afloat and buy groceries.

That evening, while I was meal prepping, Warren came into the kitchen. I asked if he had been receiving my messages. He did a “so-so” motion with his hand saying “Eh. The first message rubbed me the wrong way so I just didn’t reply.”

I don’t remember what I said, but he went on to explain to me something something something… I honestly can’t tell you anything about what he said because the only thing I heard was the tone of his voice.

I’m sure other people have experienced it. That “tone” where you’re talking to a four-year-old who’s being unreasonable and so you have to talk very slowly and punctuate every single word since it’s the fifth time you’ve had to explain yourself to them and you’re just so exasperated that they’re being difficult…

I am NOT a four year old and I do NOT deserve to be talked down to after covering $500 of someone else’s rent. I DO deserve an explanation as to when I can expect my payment and I WILL NOT stand for my messages to be ignored because another person wants to be childish.

Thus my bridge burning napalm response of, “Go fuck yourself. Get out.”

Warren: So that’s how it’s going to be.

Me: GET. OUT.

He left, going back upstairs to his room, leaving me alone and furious. So furious I couldn’t even think beyond wanting to bash the windows of his car in with my combat swords from SCA.

I started receiving text messages from him. Messages I honestly didn’t read. I stated my feelings of “You’re an ass,” “I can’t rely on you,” and “If you’re not going to help I need you to leave so I can find someone who can.”

He knows where we stand now. He knows I’m ok with burning everything to the ground, including our relationship, if he doesn’t get his shit together because I’m done dealing with the stress having him in my life causes me.

This is my final stand. He made his payment for this week. I am waiting for December since that is when he gets his additional raise for his recent promotion. Words don’t matter anymore. Only action.

If he won’t take action then I will and I don’t care who goes down in the process. I don’t have to win, but I REFUSE to lose.

Big Bad and I are… doing well? I hesitate to write about this because even in my chest, sitting alone, I feel scared and vulnerable. Like it’s a frail, soft thing which could be injured at the slightest harshness. Something which hasn’t had time to become strong and confident. Like a fledgling.

The subject of children has come up. Twice, actually. Both times he asked me if I ever thought about having kids.

I answered with I’ve never had a partner that was loyal or one that I would want to have children with. I mentioned financial stability and being potentially polycystic and infertile. I mentioned how I never saw myself having the house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids.

He seemed saddened by that. His response of “Awww” to my not having the picket fence seemed one of sorrow. Like he was sorry I felt that dream was out of my reach, or not meant for me.

I used to think about it, what my future would be like. I liked cooking dinner for my partners. I liked falling asleep next to them or watching shows with them. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t finished watching Burn Notice. I can’t bring myself to do it. There are things that I miss about living with a significant other. Things I figured I wouldn’t have in my life again.

There’s a part of me who is captivated by the idea of the 1950s housewife. I actually do want to do the laundry and dishes. I want to greet my love at the door with a kiss hello, or a sticky note attached to a nerf gun saying that the house is a war zone, loser has to take out the trash… you know, stupid, nerdy, romantic things. I want to have a kitchen table covered in puzzle pieces that we work on together, or at least talk to each other while I pick away at it.

There’s a part of me who wants it; the house with a white picket fence. That ideal life of perfection. There’s a part of me who wants kids and to pack their lunches and write love notes on their napkins. I want to help them with school projects and the science fair. I want to be there for their field trips. I want to help them grow their interests and find themselves. I want to be what my mom was to me for someone else.

I just never thought I would be able to experience it.

I mean… Big Bad has four daughters already. Why would he want more kids? And since I don’t want another partner, that means no kids for me by proxy, right?

I mentioned this to Kyle who’s response was, “He wants more kids. Why else would he ask you twice?”

My brain came up short on that one. Yeah, I thought it was odd that it seemed to come up often. But surely Big Bad didn’t want kids.

Kyle said to ask him.

So… I did…

We were texting each other good night and I asked if I could ask a personal question.

Big Bad said yes.

Me: Do you want more kids? I realized you’ve asked me that question but I never asked back.

Big Bad: Sometimes I do. They’re fun up to a certain age.

Since his oldest girls are teenagers I’m sure there is angst and tension at the moment.

Me: I think after a certain age they go back to being fun. It’s the middle years where they have to figure out themselves that sort of suck I think.

Of course, this is going solely on my own experience as a teenager and my relationship with my mom, so what do I know? But I do think things will ease over as his girls grow up and mature a bit.

Big Bad: Yeah. Maybe. Why? Are you ready to bear me the antichrist?

Me: I don’t know. I’ve never allowed myself to think of being a parent. I assumed you didn’t want more kids. I’m sorry for making assumptions rather than asking how you felt.

Big Bad: No need to apologize.

Me: Hypothetically, do you think I would be a good parent?

Big Bad: I think so. Certainly better than most.

Me: If I give birth to the antichrist for you I want 75% world domination for having to give up jiujitsu for 9 months. >.>

A girl has to have priorities…

Big Bad: Negative. I get 100% and you get to live in the post-apocalyptic future as my plaything.

Me: Do I get a slutty outfit?

Big Bad: Of course.

Me: And an army of penguins with lasers?

Big Bad: Several. Riding on sharks.

Me: … Then maybe…

So we haven’t agreed to have kids together or anything, but I do think our relationship has developed and deepened in ways I never thought it would. I don’t know how to explain the feeling, and I don’t know if it’s mutual or one-sided on my part because I haven’t voiced any of this to him.

It feels more committed. Nothing has changed, but in lew of the kid conversation, I feel like fidelity was reaffirmed on, and to, both sides. I feel like it’s another moment in time where we could have stood apart but instead, we stood together. We both admitted to things that we don’t share with others. We both allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. I’m not sure if we’re stronger for it, but I do think there is something positive about being vulnerable and realizing that it’s ok. You didn’t get hurt. In fact, you were safe the whole time. Not everyone is an asshole out to kick you while you’re down.

I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning in Daytona with my younger brother. On the way back to Orlando I messaged Big Bad to let him know I made it back to town safely. I jokingly said I was about to pass his house.

Big Bad: Why don’t you stop by for a few. We’ll have coffee.

And so I spent nearly the entire day with Big Bad on Sunday. It was amazing. We started watching Stranger Things. Even though I just got done watching season two with Kyle I was completely content to curl up on the couch with Big Bad’s arms around me, the blanket covering us, and relax the day away.

It felt different than what it has been. For a little while, it had started to feel hollow. Even though we were together it didn’t feel like we were connected. It felt like it was just sex, which was still good, but I missed our times of wrestling, or working out, or cuddling, or our cups of coffee which seemed to have altered to me drinking by myself while he showered for work.

Recently, we had our date night to see Tho and all of our deep conversation and him saying he was proud of me. And then our Sunday afternoon of snuggles and shows. We still saw each other Monday evening which I am grateful for. Since I got out of work at 2 and he has taken this week off from work, I was able to go over to his house fairly early. We spent more time watching Stranger Things and talking.

I don’t know. It’s been feeling better and I do think the relationship is growing in ways that I didn’t expect it to. In ways, I hadn’t allowed myself to notice.

We both sleep well next to each other now. I remember in the beginning we didn’t. We were both worried about keeping the other awake by tossing and turning or snoring. But now, it’s different. I sleep deeper next to him. It’s like when I’m in my room alone I’m merely resting, while when I’m with him I actually sleep. I feel safe with him. Completely, physically and emotionally.

He said he knows he snores sometimes to which I replied yes, but that I liked it. It’s not loud or obnoxious. It’s just loud enough to be heard. Strong enough to be felt when my head is on his chest. I said it was reassuring. Comforting.

He said it seemed like I was having a bad dream last night and he woke me up. I don’t remember it. I remember feeling warm even though it’s winter and I normally always feel cold, no matter what I wear or how many blankets I have on my bed, or the fact that I live in Florida and most days still get into the 80s.

There’s a part of me, the soft, feminine part, that had given up on giggling, and being tickled, and goodbye kisses that make me smile. Of the warm fuzzy feelings that bubble up when you think of someone that spill into a silly uncontainable smile that makes you blush whenever someone points out that you’re smiling. Bastards. >.<;

And now, in the aftermath of basically two low key, relaxing days, I’m thinking that maybe it’s not all that impossible or crazy after all. Maybe all of this is ok and I should write off having a future with another person as “something not meant for me.”

I don’t think anything life changing will happen anytime soon. I want to become financially independent first. Or maybe stable would be a better word since I’m already independent and supporting two people, still. I’m sure being divorced and having four kids makes Big Bad hesitant to want to address the potential of living together or other batshit insane ideas like marriage.

Even just typing that on a blank page in a completely empty room makes my body tense with anxiety. So I know I definitely am not up to tackling those issues right now. I would much rather get out of the roommate situation I’m in first. I would like to make it through at least the RN associates. I want to feel like I am worthy as a partner and that I bring something to the table other than chaos because that’s what my life feels like right now. Chaos with brief moments of stability.

I think we’re both ok with not rushing things and I think maybe that’s why we’re as ok as we are. Regardless of what the future may or may not have in store for our relationship, I can say I am grateful he is in my life.

I like what we have. I feel he is honorable and I think I would actually be ok with eventually having his child.

There’s a lot on the horizon and not all of it in the distant future. Some of it is heavy and grief ladened. Some of it is good and potentially relieving. The main focus right now is breathing and surviving and resting.

For some reason it seems easier to that now; to survive. I’m looking forward to January. I’m actually kind of looking forward to the week of my birthday. Big Bad said he might take it off with me. I like the idea of us getting a pizza and watching stupid shows on my birthday. I like the idea of it not being special but of not being alone either.

I think there will be hard moments in the coming month but there will be good moments, too.

Daily Post 051: Finishing My Recap

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I want to finish recapping last week before getting too far into this one since I feel there are a lot of events which have led to the conversation I had with my FA yesterday, which, spoiler, I already talked to my supervisor.

So Thursday was the “fuck it” day. Lacking electricity I opted to take the day for myself rather than trying to organize the chaos of my life. And it was a fantastic day. I biked four miles to the dojo, sparred for an hour, biked another five miles and had lunch at Moe’s before biking the remaining mile back home. Later in the afternoon / early evening I went to the gym and trained with L where I once again increased the weight I’m lifting. I also ended up doing 50 lunges with a 30-pound barbell.

L is sneaky like that.

L: Go ahead and do lunges down to that line. *does lunges* Awesome. Now turn it around and bring it back.

My Legs: Mother F-*beeeeeeeeeeep*.

And of course, me and my INFJ “anything you can do I can do better” non-competitive competitive mentality did it because biking 10 miles and sparring with black belts for an hour is no excuse to not be able to do a billion lunges… I’ve never hated having an upstairs bedroom more in my life than I did that night. ;-;

Even with being ridiculously tired after it was all said and done, Thursday was awesome. Thursday was the type of day that I want to have. One where I feel alive and full and warm and like I’m worth being alive.

Which sucks because it makes it sound like my job is soul-crushing and the bane of my existence, when it isn’t. It’s extremely fulfilling in its own way.

I guess the issue is work is an obligation. I wouldn’t be doing dialysis if it weren’t for the fact that I NEED a job. I wouldn’t have gotten certifications in EKG reading or phlebotomy or completed the whole CNA training. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things if it weren’t for the fact that I need income to support myself.

So while, yeah, I love my patients and my heart melts everytime they say thank you or wish me a good day, work is an obligation, not a choice, and I think that’s the biggest issue with it interfering with what I WANT to do, which is train.

It’s my choice to stay with the job I have, but it’s not my choice on if I work or not. I HAVE to work. It’s more of a question of what work do I do?

As long as it’s meaningful, something I can believe in, and contributes to the overall wellbeing of society / humanity, then I’m pretty ok with doing whatever.

Saving people and helping them live life as fully as they can works for me. It’s a good, solid purpose that I can get behind. If I have to give my time to something at least it’s going to a good cause that does make me swell a little bit with pride when people ask me what I do.

Them: Wow. That’s pretty awesome. It’s got to be crazy intense.
Me: Yeah. It is. *thinks about all the crazy shit that makes it stressful* But it’s fulfilling. *thinks about how Mr. S smiled said his day was better now that he got to see me*

I love my job. I do. For as much as I bitch, I do like like.

What I don’t like is the imbalance, which is something that, theoretically, can be corrected. I need to have days like Thursday where I can devote time to me. I need time where all I have to worry about is myself. I don’t have to save lives on days like Thursday. I don’t have to worry about obligations aside from the ones I make. I get to check in with myself. I get to heal my soul in ways I can’t while I’m working or interacting with people; while I’m caring for others.

I need time to care for me.

Having Thursday made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my life. Being tired or busy with work is a valid reason, but it’s also an excuse. I’m allowing work to take that away from me. I’m giving it that power.

Thursday is where my resolve for change really solidified. I can’t deny myself the downtime I need to function properly.

I could feel a difference in myself at work on Friday. Even though it was a long day it was a fairly good day. I didn’t have all of the stress from previous days on my shoulders still. I was ready to come back to work and to actually work. I was ready to be there, fully present, for my patients rather than looking at the clock and counting down the hours until I would be able to leave.

Friday was a good day and I was actually glad to be there. I had reserves of “care” to give so it didn’t feel like something was being taken from me. I got to have my Thursday so I could give my Friday.

I had planned to run after work that evening but that didn’t happen. I think a large part of that has to do with the drive home itself. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get back to my side of town. By the time I get close to the gym my body has already changed gears. I’ve been off my feet. I’ve had time to start processing through my day. I’ve had time to slow down and so the thought of having to speed back up sucks and is harder than to do than it would be if it were still earlier in the day.

Convincing yourself to run a mile after you’ve already worked 16 hours and walked 8 miles isn’t an easy task, and Friday night I didn’t put much effort into trying. I went home, ate, showered, and slept since I had to be into work on Saturday.

I think something which will help combat the “slow down” is to go to the gym closer to work, rather than the one near my apartment on the days I plan to do something after my shift. That gym is only a mile away, so what, like a 5-minute drive if that? I think it’s worth trying out and seeing if it helps me out any. I haven’t tried it yet. That will be tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then there’s not much else to say other than Friday I was a slacker and didn’t care because I was tired.

Saturday I was still a little tired but it was a short day, only 12 hours. I could tough it out and maybe I would wake up enough through the day to do something afterward.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. Saturday was a pretty smooth day. I actually had time to… wait for it…. SIT DOWN! No joke. The only times I ever sit are when I’m on my breaks. But Saturday, for whatever reason, there was a lot of “down time”. Machines weren’t beeping, people came at their scheduled time, most of everything was stocked, needle packs were already made. It was nice. I actually got to doodle on Post-It notes. XD

After work, I came home. It was still a really nice outside, warm with that tinge of coolness because it’s autumn already. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the day, one of the dying days of summer, doing nothing inside, so I decided to go for a bike ride. I would bike up to Arby’s, get a sandwich, then come back.

I showered, changed into workout gear, then headed out. I stopped by CVS first for sunscreen, SPF 100, so I wouldn’t die a horribly burn-tastic death during my ride along with Gatorade so I could keep hydrated.

I noticed as I got further into the bike ride that the bike felt kind of “draggy”. It seemed to take a bit more effort than it should have to get it / keep it going. I was biking against the wind, and for parts of it I was on an incline, but it just didn’t feel “right”.

Once I got to Arby’s, I chained my bike up and ordered my reward sandwich. As I sat pondering on the bike, which wasn’t making any sort of noise, I pulled out my phone and looked up the hours for the bike shop I go to. I wasn’t too far from it. Maybe I had enough time to bike over there and have them check it out for me, just to make sure nothing mechanically was wrong.

I called the store. I explained my situation to the guy who answered and asked if he thought I would be able to bike the distance before the store closed since that would be happening soon-ish. The guy said I should be able to make it before they closed, but if the front door happened to be locked to knock on the side door because he would still be inside.

With that set in place, I hopped back on the bike and got moving. I’m pleased to report I made it to the store before they closed. Woohoo. : D

The guy who answered the phone checked out my tires. My back tire had 20 psi out of 30-60, so yeah, it was no wonder my bike didn’t want to go. The front tire had about 40 psi in it, so the tires aren’t losing air at the same rate. He said there might be a small leak in the tube of the back tire. If it keeps losing air faster than the front it might be worth it to replace the tube.

They filled up my tires and that was that. Mission accomplished. I thanked them profusely for their time and assistance. They’ve always treated me well and I’m proud that I was able to bike all the way there, which left me to bike all the way back home. XD

The bike store is literally across the street from Big Bad’s house so before I had left Arby’s I messaged him saying that I would be at the bike shop and that if he saw me I wasn’t practicing my ninja stalking skills, the bike had an issue I was getting looked at.

Once I was done with the store Big Bad came out and walked the bike trail with me for a little bit before heading back home. I didn’t want to bike the main road in the dark without my bike light. We weren’t together for very long but it was nice to see him for the short time I did. A quick, sweaty hug before getting back on the bike and heading all the way back home.

It ended up being just under a 15-mile ride and it was glorious.

Once I was home I showered, ate, drank a crap ton of water and didn’t do much else for the rest of the night. My body was ok with that.

Saturday showed me that even on days I work I can still do a lot for myself. It’s mainly the 16 hour days that make things so obnoxiously hard.

Sunday was a day off. Sundays are supposed to be my “Me” day, but with the hurricane and work and all of the craziness of the past week, I decided that what would make me feel best is getting my life back on track. So Sunday I did a ton of chores and that too was glorious.

I did laundry. I tossed out all of the stuff in the fridge and freezer because it had spoiled when the power went out. I meal planned and made my shopping list for the store. I vacuumed. I cleaned my bathroom. I went to my sports bar for lunch, which was packed because I guess it’s football season again.

I didn’t mind. I put my spiffy headphones in and began working on the homework L had assigned me.

One of the things we talked about while I was training, in addition to me possibly taking classes, is how I’m unsure about a few terms people apply to me.

Every guy I have sparred against at the dojo has made some comment afterward about me being strong. I told L that I don’t know what they mean. Is it that I’m stronger than they thought I would be? Or that I’m strong for a girl? Or are they using a different measure for “strength” that I don’t know about or understand since words mean different things to different people?

I don’t feel like I’m strong. I still lose a lot of my rounds. I still can’t do a pull-up, though to be fair I also haven’t tried so we’ll assume I can’t and keep going with this train of thought. I still can’t run a solid mile, though that’s more cardio endurance than strength and again, I haven’t tried to do a solid mile, but I digress.

I’ve spent so much of my life feeling “not strong” that being told I am strong is awkward. Just like being told I’m attractive is awkward.

My Brain: What about all those years I was “fat” or “ugly”? That’s all I’ve ever known. This whole “attractive” thing is wrong. It’s not normal. It’s not “right”. Please stop saying it.

This whole “strong” thing is an aspect of myself that I’m unsure about and it was something L and I were discussing.

She said by her standards she thinks I’m strong. She can tell I’m getting stronger because I’m lifting more weight. I’m doing different motions easier. I’m improving. She also said her opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s my opinion and what I tell myself that matters. And she’s most certainly right about that.

It’s like self-acceptance and confidence. It doesn’t matter what other people say if you constantly tear yourself down. You have to believe in you.

I also mentioned how I don’t think that I’m fit or healthy. To which, again, she said she thought I was, but that was her opinion and not mine.

She asked me what strength and fitness meant to me. What did I lack by my definition to not fit those terms?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I had meditated on the word success and so I knew, by my standards, what that word meant and how I did or did not fit within it, but I had never meditated on strength or fitness.

She said maybe that’s something I could do before our next session along with figuring out three things I wanted to improve on.

So while I was at my sports bar, listening to techno music while everyone else cheered or booed respectively for their teams, I wrote about strength.

I have that writing and I will be posting it as a Musing Moment later, but in short, I realized that yes, I am strong and I’m not conceded or arrogant for writing that. I’m not unfeminine for being strong. I can be strong and still seek improvement. Wanting to improve doesn’t mean I’m “not” something.

I also wrote about fitness, which will be part of my Musing Moment post, and again, just because I want to improve something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

I am fit. I am healthy, and just like with strength, typing that, accepting that aspect of myself, does not make me a bad person. It makes me more connected with my reality.

I guess I’m still getting used to myself. I’ve never been as fit or healthy or strong as I am in this moment, sitting in an Einstein’s with my coffee beside me because fuck you Starbucks. I’ve never been this “small”. I can fit into mediums now. It’s a weird feeling, one I’m still adjusting to, and I think accepting these terms, strong and fit, as part of myself is a step in the direction towards actual self-acceptance.

I am myself, and in this moment in my life, I am physically fit and healthy. In my past, I wasn’t. In my present, I am.

Once I finished writing, I paid my bill, packed up, then went to the store to do my grocery shopping. I spent over $100, but that was with replacing all of the things that I had to throw out, so overall I didn’t do too bad. I try to keep my weekly spending on food at $70.

When I got home I started putting stuff away and making my meals. One of my former classmates and I agreed to chat at 3:30 on Sunday, so while my chili was simmering her and I got to catch up. She told me how things were going at her clinic, how things went with the hurricane, and in general what she’s been up to with life, and I did the same.

It was good to talk to someone about work who legitimately understands because she has the same job. My brother can understand because he’s done medical, and a lot of the people in my life can sympathize, even empathize, but Mrs. G knows exactly what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and behind and stressed because she’s fighting on the same battlefield.

Talking to someone and having them share their own stories helped me feel better and more connected with reality. It’s not just me. I’m not alone in my feelings. Mrs. G is going through it, too.

It was a pretty long conversation, but I enjoyed it. We’re going to try to meet up again at some point. Not this weekend since she has a bunch of stuff going on, but hopefully soon.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the cooking and remaining chores I had. I’m most likely going to get rid of my vacuum cleaner since it doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. I’ve cleaned the filter and everything but it’s still leaving little fuzzies everywhere. Warren’s vacuum picked up everything that mine left behind so yeah, I’m most likely going to take it to Goodwill or something. It’s not broken, and it still works, just not as good as something we already have so why have two?

I had thought about cross stitching Sunday night but opted to write instead. I’m glad I wrote. It kept me up later than I most likely should have been, but it felt good. Really good.

And so here we are.

I still have Monday to write through, and then all of what will end up being today, but I feel mostly caught up and written out. I have training with L I need to get to in the next 40 minutes so I’m going to go. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but hopefully, it will be soon. I like feeling like I’m in the present rather than lingering days in the past or floating, swimming, drowning in a sea of “what the f is going on with my life?”.

Yesterday I talked to my boss. Today I train and find out about classes. Those are the key points and I’ll meditate on them further once I’m able to.

For now, it’s time to go be a badass and flip some tires.

Oh, and here’s some cuteness because I actually really did get a chance to doodle at work. :3

 

Daily Post 049: Learning to Care

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I wrote on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, specifically.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me: Busy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that’s about it for the moment.

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

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.