Daily Post 033: To My Keyboard

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Hello, dearest Keyboard.

Yes, you, Keyboard. This is for you.

You who I have typed on through this whole year. You who randomly double spaces every so often which most of the time I can ignore and correct while other times it provokes a level of irritation that can only be matched by lag during an MMO PVP match.

I realized I’ve never acknowledged you nor your contribution to keeping me going through this past year.

Every time I think about writing it’s you I think about sitting in front of. You who allows my fingertips to dance, playing the music in my soul, sometimes smooth and lulling, other times chaotic with the anguish and rage of my grief.

It’s you who had been consistent for me through all of my ups and downs. You who I constantly turn to. You who lets me bleed away my pain onto blank, white digital sheets of paper scrawled with red squiggle lines of doom because the computer loves to tell me that I don’t know how to spell.

I’ve missed you, Keyboard. I’ve missed having someone to talk to.

I miss mom.

I had left a voice message for John the other day. There were four parts to the message, all pertaining to different things. When he called me back he said, “What’s up?”

Me: Did you get a chance to listen to my message?

John: Yeah, I listened to about half of it. I got the gist of what you were saying so I deleted the rest of it.

He deleted the part where I told him I was feeling better from going to the urgent care clinic. He deleted the part where I said I had my first 12-hour shift at work and that I felt like I would be ok with the workload and my new career.

He deleted the part of the message that was about me.

We finished the conversation about his resume. We made plans for the weekend. I didn’t mention anything about the deleted sections. He didn’t ask how I was doing.

When we got off the phone my first thought was, “Mom wouldn’t have deleted my message.”

My next thought was, “John’s not mom.”

I’ve hurt since then, Keyboard.

It’s true. Mom would have listened to any message I sent her no matter how long or unimportant. She would have listened to every word.

I feel unimportant to my brother. I feel like this happens a lot with him. I keep allowing his actions to cut me deeply. I keep thinking that we’ll be able to find mom in each other but we don’t. We can’t. Neither of us is mom, but we both miss her so much it’s almost unconscious on our parts.

Maybe the deletion of my message wouldn’t bother me so much if mom were still alive. I most likely wouldn’t have left him a message at all since I would have been calling mom to begin with.

I don’t know. It’s all “what ifs” and “maybe would have beens”.

This is the life I’m living, and in this life mom is dead and my younger brother is his own person. Maybe one day I’ll understand that wholly. Completely.

I’ve been sick for a while. Two weeks and counting, though I’m pretty much well at this point. I caught whatever my classmates were passing around. Last Sunday it got so bad that I was looking up the symptoms of pneumonia, vowing to myself that if I was still super sick in the morning that I would go to an urgent care clinic.

I was still sick Monday morning, but I was better than I had been the night before, so I didn’t go get looked at. It was only on Wednesday when I was leaving work that I changed my mind. My right ear started hurting as if a nail were trying to drive itself into my skull.

John came down and took me to a clinic to get looked at, which ended up being a good thing. I had ear infections in both ears and pink eye in my left eye. The doctor said most likely what happened was I got an extremely severe sinus infection which ended up spreading to everything else.

The terms “eww” and “gross” come to mind.

It was extremely not cool. I had eye drops for four days, and I’m still taking my 10 days worth of pills for the ear infections. I was given a doctor’s note excusing me from work for two days, which I was luckily able to make up on Saturday. That’s how I was able to get a 12-hour shift in even though I’m still technically in training for another four weeks.

For the most part, I’m better. My sinuses aren’t draining nearly as much. The pressure in my ears is mostly gone. The cough which hurt so bad I was in tears is gone.

I felt well enough, and non-contagious enough, to go to the dojo for personal training today. MG pushed me pretty hard, though not has hard as she said she wanted to. My lungs were burning nearly as much as my legs by the time we were done with the sled work. I know tomorrow will be a yoga day to stretch everything out and get rid of acid build up.

Aside from missing mom and being sick, I’ve had to contend with more emotional ickiness in regards to the apartment. Since I was sick nothing got cleaned, and of course, once I was done being sick Warren got sick, so even if he were the type of person to care about cleanliness it would have been dickish of me to rant and demand that he help out.

It still sucks, though.

In my self-absorbed moments of sadness, I think about how it’s not fair. I was sick and still had to do the dishes. Why does he get to not do them while he’s sick? Shouldn’t it be fair? Equal? Couldn’t I have been cared for, too?

It doesn’t help with the feelings of worthlessness and meaninglessness I’m already feeling due to the deleted message.

When will I matter to the people who are supposed to be closest to me?

I have new coworkers, online friends, distant family, and distant friends who all think I’m an amazing person. They think I should be treated well and loved and cared for the way I care for others.

And even the people who hurt me think these things. So why do I hurt? Why am I hurt?

Why do I still not have rent money? Why do I still have to be the only one figuring out how to make financial ends meet? Why do I not warrant the respect to be told that a payment won’t be made at all, not even the partial of the partial I was getting before?

It sucks. And for the last two days, I’ve come home and curled up in bed under my covers and have allowed that pain to be almost all consuming. I’ve tried to understand why, and today I’m no closer than I was yesterday to an answer.

I don’t know why.

Today was different, though. Today I went to my clinic and I worked. I worked hard. I focused on finding my routine and flow and needing less guidance than I have on previous days. I still made mistakes here and there, but I can tell I’m getting better and my trainer constantly praises me for how well I’m doing.

I saved three people today.

Maybe that makes it sound more glorious than it really is, but it’s true. I initiated three dialysis treatments today and terminated them once the treatment was over. That’s three people who can live slightly longer, slightly better because I was there to help them.

It’s a good feeling. It makes it feel worth it. And right now I need something to be worth it.

I can see myself getting wrapped up in work once I’m allowed to work overtime. Maybe that will be good. Maybe that will be my form of self-medication for when I hurt, which might be bad. I already have a preference for being at work rather than home because home is stressful and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Warren has a new job which starts on the 11th, but that doesn’t fix anything right now. And even on the 11th, nothing is going to be fixed. We’ll have to wait two weeks at least for his first paycheck, maybe 4 if his new company holds the first paycheck.

Things are still going to be painful for a while. They’re still going to be hard and there’s nothing to do other than to breath and wait and not lash out in my pain and frustration and claustrophobic confinement of being trapped in an environment I can’t change.

I had a dream last night where I yelled at Warren. He was upset that I was yelling, but nothing else I had done worked. Being nice didn’t do anything so I was yelling because that’s my way of breaking down. That’s when the frustration wins and rational through dies and the only thing that matters is letting out all of the hurt and injustice that I diplomatically tried to convey.

That’s part of why I was so tired this morning. I was fighting all night in my dreams.

Work was good, though. And the dojo was good. I got to see James for a few minutes after my session with MG. He said he hasn’t been able to make it to the dojo much because of a new job, too. We chatted for a bit, but all too soon we both had to leave. I hope to see him more in the future. I miss having him as a sparring partner.

When I came home I decided to clean. Not just clean, but hardcore clean. And so far I have. My room and bathroom have been bleached and vacuumed. My sheets are being washed. The stairs and floors are swept and mopped. The living room is vacuumed. I have a shopping list that I will take care of shortly. All of the trash has been taken out, including the bag that sat by the trash can for three days.

Part of me, the small bit of sadness still in my chest, knows that this, my cleaning, won’t matter. Dog fur will pile up again, the trash will build up from someone other than myself, and I will still have to take care of dishes that are not my own.

The order I have returned to my world will be eroded away day by day, action by action, and the thought of that makes me want to cry. I’ll still come home and not have my solitude because Warren’s waking up earlier in the afternoon.

I don’t know what else to say or write about in that regard. It is pointless. Hopeless. Meaningless. But in this moment, in my small bubble of a room with my music playing as I type to you, I want to take comfort in giving myself the illusion of control.

I can’t fix anything, everything, but I can clean my notebooks. I can put my clothes away. I can sleep in clean sheets. I can bleach the hair dye off of my bathroom counters. And for a few hours, the kitchen can be spotless and the floors free of gross Godzilla bunnies of dog fur.

I still need to go through and pay my bills since that’s another thing I haven’t done.

I’m trying to catch up on life, Keyboard. I’m trying to be an adult and to keep going even though I really don’t want to. I feel alone right now.

I saw Big Bad the other night, but even that isn’t enough to make me ok. We spent three hours together. Three wonderful hours. He held me in his arms and I was able to sleep with my head against his chest for a little bit. But because I had to wake up so early for work we decided it would be best for me to sleep at my own home. We had a cup of tea together before I left. I couldn’t fall back asleep, though.

Having been surrounded by warmth only to return to emptiness added to the feelings I’ve been struggling with. Big Bad has his kids this weekend. I don’t think we’ll get to spend any sort of extended time with each other for a while. My blacksmith and I most likely won’t see each other for a while longer, either.

I’m having a hard time finding a purpose, a reason, to keep doing all of this other than because I promised mom I would. I hate that there’s a part of me who doesn’t want to keep my promise. I want to give up. I want to let everything fall down around me and to say it’s too hard that I quit. I have nothing left to give.

Promises are important to me, though. I want to keep the ones I make and I promised mom I would keep going, so I have to keep going.

I started listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck about a month ago. One of the things mentioned in the book is how blame and responsibility are two different things.

I’m not to blame for Warren not paying rent. I’m not to blame for my brother deleting my message. And I’m not to blame for my mom’s death.

I am responsible for how I choose to act in regards to all of those situations, though.

Right now I would rather not feel. I would rather tackle Life like I did the last few reps of sled work that I did at the dojo today. I don’t want to think. I want to go on auto-pilot and push through this section because this section sucks. It’s hard. It hurts. I want to quit, but I’m not going to because I can’t quit.

I want to survive. I want to make it to the end. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want Life to win and break me because fuck you, Life. You don’t deserve to win. I won’t let you win.

I want to hold on because the end is worth it. When I’m finally able to rest even if my legs and arms and lungs are at the point of failure, it’s worth it. Maybe it’s more worth it because I push to my breaking point and then past it because, fuck you, Breaking Point. You’re not the boss of me.

In the end, the blessed end, the relief is so much more intense, so much sweeter, so much more gratifying, when you’re clinging desperately, reaching into the very core of yourself to make it the last 10 feet.

I just wish the people making this so much harder weren’t people I’m supposed to love and care about. I wish it wasn’t my heart chakra I’m having to close off and ignore. I wish it didn’t feel like bleeding out.

Thank you for being here for me, Keyboard. Thank you for not being upset for all the times I thought about replacing you because of your finicky spacebar tendencies. Thank you for letting write and complain and whine and bitch and cry. Thank you for not judging me or telling me to grow up and to stop being petty. Thank you for helping me figure out my life.

Thank you for being the best replacement for my mom that I didn’t know I had.

I know it’s so stupid. I know you’re just a keyboard, but I want to make you a promise. I want to promise that I’ll finish my chores today because I need to promise someone, something, so I actually do it. I want to make this promise to you because you’ve been here for me. Because you matter.

I promise I’ll be ok. I promise that I’ll make it through this. I promise that I’ll write tomorrow. I promise I won’t think about replacing you because of your annoying spacebar anymore.

Thank you for being here for me.

Daily Post 021: Employed

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I need to write.

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

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

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

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

I fucking crushed today.

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

Damn straight I’m a MFing bawce.

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

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

In other news, I got a job.

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

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

Yeah…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I do feel is tired.

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 015: Rambling Through Introspection

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I really need a different computer desk. In the beginning, when I thought I would have the office to myself, it was fine. I would have been able to have another table or a shelf or something to use as a work area alongside my computer. But now that the computer is in my room I don’t have space for that. All I have is a place for the keyboard and bearly any room for the mouse much less notebooks or papers or pencils.

It’s frustrating. It’s fucking up my system.

grove

We all know how that ended…

I’m waiting for my younger brother to bring me his extra kitchen table. I think that will help. I could take the Surface downstairs with me and work at the table instead of being cramped in my room. I think the separation of work and personal space is good for me as well. I function better with them separated. It’s why I went to my sports bar for lunch the past three weeks. After eating I would stay for a few hours and study. It was better than being at home.

Anywho. I wrote on Thursday. The day I got my first stripe for jiujitsu. That was a pretty intense moment for me. It still is. I feel like that writing, that letter to my mom is a fundamental moment for me. It’s one of those writings where anyone can read it, not knowing anything about who I am, and understand who I am as a person.

It is me. Unadulterated. Pure. Raw. It is everything I stand for, that I believe in. It is my core values. It’s my hurt, my pain, my life. It is my declaration of “I’m not giving up.”

I’m glad I wrote it. I feel that I found something within myself from writing it.

Friday I took my test to become a Certified EKG Technician.

I passed.

I am now qualified to interpret squiggle lines and to stick electrodes onto people’s chest like some mad evil scientist. Muahahahahahaha!

I honestly have no idea how I passed since over half the questions were things we never covered in class. They weren’t even things I saw online when I was studying on my own.

Things like the Holter setup and stress testing and lead colors and patient instructions. All sorts of “What the fuck?”

Seriously, by question 70 out of 120 I wanted to thunk my head down onto the desk I was sitting at so hard that it made an audible sound because there was no way I had gotten enough questions right to have a passing grade.

Apparently, I did really well at guessing, though. On a scaled grade where a 390 was required to pass out of 500 I got a 451.

I’ve already talked to the instructor and have plans to type up suggestions along with extra resources I found during the three weeks of the class. This was the first EKG course the school had offered in about a year, so essentially we were the guinea pigs.

Out of the three of use who took the test yesterday, all three of us passed. It was a good birthday present for my instructor. Her birthday was Saturday. I’m glad we all were able to figure it out enough to make it through it. I messaged one other girl who was in our class and let her know to research into the extra topics so hopefully, it wouldn’t be as overwhelming to her. She has a week before she’s going to take the board. Should be enough time to get some exposure to those topics at least.

So that was Friday. It was also my older brother’s birthday. I messaged him. I sent him a card on Thursday. I wrote a pretty personal message saying that I wanted to wish him “a day” because saying I hoped it was happy seemed wrong. I explained that on my birthday even though I had had a good day that I had cried myself to sleep that night because things were different. Mom wasn’t there. Even though it had been a “good” day, it wasn’t a “happy” day.

I told him that even though I knew it was going to be different for him that I was thankful that he was able to “have a day”. I said I was grateful to have him, Jon, Jace, and Lio in my life because I now fully understand just how much each of them means to me.

I know he’s a pretty private person and he wouldn’t really tell me if things were bothering him. I hope he’s ok, and I hope my letter helps him feel appreciated and valued. Yesterday probably wasn’t happy for him, but hopefully, there were some positive points in it and he was able to enjoy them despite the difference.

I didn’t do a whole lot after my test on Friday. My brain was pretty done. Like “melted puddle of goo inside my skull” done. I told one of my friends the hardest question I was going to ask myself the rest of the day was what type of pizza I wanted for dinner. And even then I didn’t actually get pizza because it was too much effort later in the evening. Absolutely no higher level thinking was allowed for the rest of Friday.

I had lunch at my sports bar with an angry orchard to drink. I came home and slept on and off for the rest of the night. I bought Chime Sharp from the Playstation Network for my PS4 since I liked Chime Deluxe so much. Don’t buy it. It sucks compared to the original game or Deluxe. I was very disappointed, even though it was nice to be able to play the game for a bit.

Big Bad and I actually spent the evening together on Thursday. We haven’t seen each other very much lately. I was enjoying our twice a week scheduled evenings. I don’t think that leaves him with much alone time, though.

It’s not the sex I miss even though it’s always amazing and fantastic. It’s the hug hello and the cuddles where we talk. It’s being able to share my day with someone. And of course our cup of coffee in the morning before our kiss goodbye and our, “I hope you have a good day.”

It seems silly to ache over not knowing when I’ll see him again when I leave. I mean… it would be what? At most two weeks? I’ve lived 27 and a half years without. I’m pretty sure I can survive two weeks.

I guess it’s the uncertainty that makes it feel like sandpaper against the inside of my skin. Right now our next meetings seem sort of ambiguous. I may or may not see him on that day. If I don’t then it may or may not be the next time. It’s like being told to wait without being told how long. If I knew how long to wait I would know how to manage my breath so I don’t suffocate before the next time I’m able to breathe. In this instance, it’s my energy instead of actual oxygen. No less vital, though.

Maybe that’s a bit dramatic and maybe that’s wrong of me. I recharge while I’m with him. After studying for 6 hours on Thursday my brain was so dead and overwhelmed silent tears wanted to run down my cheeks in frustration. He offered for me to come over for pizza. We played Mortal Kombat. There was amazing sexy time. There was no worrying about my test. There was wrestling where I got to show him how much I’ve improved.

We haven’t wrestled all that much in a while. I did really well. Totally didn’t get choked out with my own arm. Totally owning ALL of that accomplishment. /flex

He made Thursday night relaxing. Maybe “made” is the wrong word. We didn’t really do anything different. And maybe that’s why I like spending time with him so much. I was able to be me. He was him. We simply enjoyed our time together and the only thing that matter was our enjoyment. Outside influences like tests and work and interviews don’t really matter when we’re together. We talk about them. We acknowledge life. But when we’re together it feels like us.

It’s nice.

I enjoy being with him.

Maybe I enjoy it more than I should? Maybe that’s something I should evaluate and think about. He has his own life and own obligations on top of being an introvert. He also has his second partner.

Maybe once I have a job this issue will work itself out. Maybe I have too much free time. I do think a large part of it, though, is becoming emotionally attached because it’s not really the amount of time I miss. It’s the connection in my chakra that aches.

Yeah… definitely something to meditate on.

Fucking emotions… It’s like it’s never ending… /sigh

On a totally different topic…

I have an interview with the hospital on Monday after my phlebotomy class. It’s for a part-time patient transporter position. Totally hoping it works out. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. I’m going to push for at least $10 an hour. I have eight years of “distinguished” customer service experience since I’ve been awarded multiple times for my work ethic. I also have my EKG certification, along with my other three certifications, and I’m awaiting my test date (still…) to become a CNA.

I am a good prospect. I know what I’m worth and I’ve crunched some serious numbers. I know what I can do and for how long, and even with this job I’m still hoping the lab assistant for phlebotomy works out a bit more than the central services tech position. While I do eventually want to move into the Central Services area, the secretarial phlebotomy assistant position I applied for has better hours to work with this part time job.

Currently, I’m more focused on my financial goal of having the credit card paid off by October than getting into the exact area I want to be in. After the EKG class, I’m actually sort of interested in telemetry. The heart is fascinating.

Being honest with myself, I really don’t know what I want to do in the hospital. There’s still billions of things I don’t know about. There might be something better than Central Services. What I do know is I need to kill the remaining debt I have. Working a full time and part time job may be rough, but I want to do it. The patient transporter position is an entry position, yeah, but I get exposure to EVERYTHING. Every department. I get to see way more people and potentially have way more networking opportunities.

Goal-wise, I want a part-time position by the end of March, which at this point seems fairly promising. I want an additional full-time position by the end of May. Sooner would be better, but by April I’ll be done with phlebotomy, so that would give me a month to find something with my increased hours of availability. I think all of that is doable. I plan to start going through the 30-day challenge again now that I actually have goals and shit I’m trying to achieve. Before I didn’t, which is why it fell to the wayside.

Because of the pending interview, yesterday was an extremely productive day. It helped that there was a strong summer sun yesterday. A nice, warm summer sun.

I started the day by running to the grocery store to pick up a steak and frozen hash browns. I wanted to do something special for breakfast, something different than my egg sandwich. It was the weekend. I didn’t have time obligations. I could relax and enjoy my day, and that’s what I did.

I came home and cooked. I cut the steak up into quarters, I cooked the bag of hash browns and I fried up an egg while my coffee percolator did its thing. Once everything was ready, I sat downstairs using one of the side tables as a workstation. While I ate I made my to-do list and grocery list. I cleaned the kitchen a bit and started laundry. I showered and eventually, I went to the dojo for Muay Thai conditioning. It wasn’t a super crazy intense class, but it got me sweating and I got to focus on the mechanics of my movements which was nice. I guess this week is spring break so the dojo was pretty empty. I don’t mind smaller classes. More one on one time that way. It was the first time I had been back to the dojo since Thursday. It felt good.

After class I came home, showered, again, then headed back out into the world.

I stopped at Target first. I wanted to get a new top for my upcoming interview. I ended up getting three black tank tops. I’m in a size large now. I don’t remember ever fitting into a size large. The red tank top I got while I was in Vegas with mom is a 2x. It’s a good feeling to see that much progress within myself.

I was originally going to get a black workout tank top, but one of those was $15 versus the three cotton tanks for $25. I figured it was more bang for my buck, so that’s the option I went with. With the outfit I like to wear for interviews, I wear the tanks under a sort of jacket… thing…

I’m sure there’s some girly fashion term for it, but the main thing is you can’t tell I’m wearing a tank top. It looks like a nice pretty top that isn’t distracting. It’s clean, simple, and professional looking. At the same time, it’s something I’m comfortable in, which is the only thing I personally care about.

I want to feel normal and comfortable, not awkward and out of my element. The more natural my clothing feels, the more me I feel, the more relaxed I’ll be during the interview, the better I’ll do.

There’s the added benefit that I get to reaffirm to myself that I’m still losing weight by having nice, new clothing that’s smaller than anything I can remember ever owning. The pants I’m wearing to the interview I’ve had since I was in high school. They’re super nice, black, comfy dress pants. I wore them for almost every band performance I was in. I love them, which is why I’ve kept them. They’re almost too big… In another month I’ll have to donate them and find a new pair that I like, which is going to suck because I love those pants so much I don’t want to get rid of them. I might look at having them tailored if possible.

About a week ago I actually got four new pants for $40. They’re actually super cool. They’re called fisherman’s pants. They’re worth looking into. I figured that was a really good way of sticking to my overall style of comfort, but not having to buy new clothing every month and a half. It’s a “one size fits most” style. All you have to do to make the pants tighter is tie the string tighter. The tops I bought yesterday work well with them, too, so I should be set on clothing for a little while. I might get two more pairs of the pants just so I have black ones. Right now I have olive green and red. The black tops go well with them, but I would like to have a bit of color variation. I could get a few brighter colored tops to wear with the black pants and the shorts I have and be set for a while.

I went through my closet last night and pulled out everything that’s once again too big. It’s a good feeling now that I am replacing the stuff that was too big with options that won’t need to be replaced due to weight loss. The pants really are freaking amazing… Seriously, check them out.

While I’m on the topic of being irresponsible and spending money… I also went ahead and purchased the shin guards I promised myself as a reward for passing my EKG board. I’m not going to back out of promises I make to myself anymore. Yeah, money is getting tight. I’ll figure it out. This was something I said I would do so I did it. No regrets. You can’t look at those and tell me they don’t look sexy as fuck. I cannot wait to kick the crap out of some punching bags with those things. Oh man. Legs of steel are coming.

I’m not sure what I want to do as a reward for phlebotomy yet, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

My next big goal as far as gear goes will be in August. If I get blue belt during belt testing in August then I’m going to get myself rash guard gear. It’s basically compression gear with a different name. I can’t even begin to think how much different my body will be if I keep training the way I am. It’s interesting and exciting to think about. At the same time, it makes me feel scared and vulnerable.

I’ll still be me, but with where I see myself being in August… I’ve never been that fit or healthy or athletic. It makes me wonder if I’ll be comfortable in my own skin. Will I recognize the person I see in the mirror? I already look at myself and can tell I’m thinner than I’ve ever been. It makes me feel shy. It makes part of me want to hide away.

All of the times I was picked on or ridiculed as a teen… Would those people be nice to me now? Would I suddenly be worthy of their kindness simply because I’m thinner?

It’s another thing to meditate on. It’s funny in a sort of sad, somber way. I’m becoming what society classifies as acceptable, desirable, wanted, and yet there is a frail part of my heart chakra that wants to cry at reaching even this point in my fitness journey, much less further, because for so long I felt unworthy even though I myself, as a person, as a soul, have remained the same.

What was it that made me so horrible that I wasn’t allowed to feel love and acceptance from people? What makes me worthy now?

It’s a tender scar, like so many others, which needs soothing.

Long, overly deep tangent…

After Target I went to the oriental market. This week I’m going to be making beef stir fry, stuffed heart, and spinach chicken couscous along with my breakfast sandwiches in the morning. I’m very much looking forward to trying the stuffed heart. The market has all sorts of interesting meat cuts. I’m looking forward to trying new recipes.

I came home, stashed the food away, ate, then ran up to Publix for a few remaining things. While I was out I got my hair cut and my brows waxed. Those two things were totally and completely a self-indulgence, but I think it’s worth it. I’ve wanted to get my hair trimmed for about two months now because the ends were getting icky, and while my brows weren’t Chewbacca bad, there was starting to be a little nagging voice in the back of my head.

I don’t want little nagging voices in my head during my interview. I want to feel confident and clean and at my best. So I invested in myself. That’s how I’m looking at it.

I came home, updated my resume, and printed out all of the information I needed, including my parking pass for tomorrow. I did go out and get Taco Bell for dinner which was extremely unsatisfying and a poor choice on my part. I had thought it would be a cheap option since through all of my productivity yesterday, including doing three loads of laundry, not just washing and drying, but actually putting away, too, I didn’t make food to have for dinner. I would have been better off going with a slightly more expensive option because then I would have at least felt like it was worth the money.

Oh well. Lesson learned I guess. Fast food really does suck and isn’t worth the money spent. I didn’t starve so at least one positive thing came out of it I suppose.

Today is going to be mostly a rest day. I need to run out to Publix for some fresh dill and butcher string. I want to vacuum. I need to dye my hair for tomorrow. I want to type up the questions to ask in the interview, and, if there’s time, type up my suggestions for the EKG class. I’m pretty low energy, though, and this writing has taken a fair amount of my morning, so the class critique is most likely not going to happen. I’m ok with that, though. I would rather have more time to work on it than cramming it all into one sitting.

Cooking at least two of my meals for the week would also be good that way I have food for tomorrow. None of that is going to get done with me sitting here, though, so I guess I should go shower and get a move on.

Daily Post 011: First Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway…

That was my first interview since mom died.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short term Goals

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

Mid-term Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prompt Page 0015: Happiness

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Prompt post from The Learning Network
to combat WordPress.


 

What makes you happy?

 

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the irony of this being my next prompt after all the posts I’ve made this week… Thanks, Universe. I got the hint. >.>

What makes you happy? Be as specific as you can in listing five things or more. (For instance, if “home” makes you happy, tell us what details about it are so happy-making.)

My cup of coffee in the morning makes me happy. I like the routine of getting out of bed, putting on my glasses, and quietly going downstairs. I love scooping out the instant coffee powder (don’t judge me) into my red cup that I’ve had for years. I love listening to the water run as I fill the cup. I love the minute and twenty seconds I stand in front of the microwave, breathing, waiting, calm in the moment, knowing my cup will feel warm in my hands.

I love the time it takes for me to drink my coffee. The silence of the apartment. Sometimes I sit on the couch. Sometimes I play music. Sometimes I sit outside on my doorstep and listen to the cars driving by on the road near my apartment. Sometimes it’s sunny. Sometimes I’m sad because I miss mom still. Sometimes I’m worried about the day because I have a lot to do, or I’m worried my grief will keep me from doing the things I feel I should get done.

It doesn’t really matter how my day starts. My cup of coffee brings warmth to it, physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. It’s “my” time. Lately, I’ve been able to share this time with Big Bad, and that, too, is something I love. I’ve never really shared this time with anyone else, and it makes me happy when he’s part of it.

Cleaning makes me happy. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I like putting in effort into the spaces that are important to me. It makes me feel like I belong. That I’m part of it. I remember there was a Saturday class at the dojo I was going to for aikido. We were going to have a seminar that night for a visiting sensei. I was allowed to dust and polish the shrine. It made me feel like I belonged. I was a part of the dojo because I was helping to care for it.

It’s a similar feeling when I clean my room, or kitchen, or my car. These are my things and I put time and effort into caring for them. It makes me happy to take pride in things that are a reflection of me.

I hesitate to type this, but I think writing makes me happy. I hesitate because I think of all the times I have sat at my keyboard and cried as I typed, but I also remember the peace and acceptance I found after all of those painful, anguished writings. Happiness is not always easily attained. Sometimes it is a hard road to get there. Writing has helped me get through some of the darkest moments in my life. Very rarely are answers black and white. Life doesn’t work that way, so yes, even though it’s a confusing, gray yes, I have to say that writing makes me happy.

Training makes me happy. Going to the dojo for jujitsu and Muay Thai, taking my belly dancing classes, yoga, running, biking, pushing myself to be better than I was the day before. That makes me happy. There’s part of me who views all of these things as easy now. I survived mom’s death. I’ve made it almost one year. Everything else is trivial, easy.

The pain I feel of my body wanting to quit, the tiredness of physical exertion, it’s nothing compared to the pain of having mom’s urn handed back to me from the TSA worker. The fear I used to have about my car breaking down, or what people thought of me, of not being thin enough for society, that’s all white noise to me now. Silly. Petty.

I train because it makes me better. It teaches me about myself, about other people. It shows me how we all struggle and that even though the struggle is hard, that in the end, it’s worth it. Change, improvement, can’t happen without pain, sacrifice, and effort.

I train as a way to understand and accept the emotions I have in regards to my mom’s death. I train because she died. Finding acceptance and understanding makes me happy.

The people in my life make me happy. And again, that’s something I hesitate to type, though I feel it’s true. The support of my brothers, the thoughtfulness of my sister-in-law, the friends who have reached out to me with love and compassion, the strangers who have been kind to me without realizing what I have been struggling with, the drunk guy who came up and hugged me and said God loves me and has plans for me even though at the time I felt lost and alone.

Even the people who in my past have hurt me. Zane and his betrayal, Warren #2 and my rape, Joe and his manipulation and lies. I am grateful for them and the lessons I learned through surviving those experiences.

I am happy for the darkness I was made to walk through because I know how to help others walk through it. I know how to be light and hope for others. I know how to be kind and loving. I understand how to empathize and relate.

I am happy for the people in my life who help me get through the hard times I’m still experiencing. Even when it feels pointless they stay by me. Even when it feels like I throw a fit like a child and cry about how “it’s not fair”, they stay by me. Their acceptance and understanding make me happy, and I love them for it.

What do you do to make others happy, whether on purpose or not?

I don’t feel like I do anything special. I am myself, and I guess a lot of people appreciate that. I call or message people randomly. When I feel sad I post something positive on Facebook. Without fail, there’s always one person who replies saying how they were having a shitty day and my post made them smile. That makes me smile. It makes me feel like even though I’m sad and lonely that I’m not alone.

I listen when others need to talk. I ask how their day is going and genuinely care about the answer. I hug the people who are important to me. I tell people I love them because I don’t want us to part ways and for them to not know that I care. In the chaos of life, I might never get the chance to say it again and I need them to know.

I smile and nod to people I pass. I laugh when something’s funny. I sing along with my music in the car with my windows down or songs playing through the speakers at the grocery store. We only have the moment we’re in and I told mom I would live life fully, so I am. I think people, at least some people, can sense that, and that feeling that makes them happy.

Do you agree with Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, that “when we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched”? Have you ever had the experience of being made happy by helping someone else?

Yes. Several times. There was one night where I was at a gas station and a man came up to me asking if I could help him. He didn’t have any money and asked if I could buy him a can of soup. He didn’t ask for cash or list off any of the normal stories I’ve heard. He seemed so disheartened coming up to me and all he wanted was soup. We went into the store together and I bought him food.

We stood in line together awkwardly. I paid. He thanked me and I wished him well. I then went to my car in cried because that day had really sucked for me. If I went back through my blog I’m sure I could find the post. I’m pretty sure I was feeling lost and directionless again, for different reasons than what I do know. Mom was still alive then. But the fact remains that I felt so helpless and powerless with my own life that I wanted was to be a positive influence for someone else, and I was able to that night. Being able to help someone else made me feel like there was still a reason to keep going.

 

Do you ever literally “count your blessings,” as the Action for Happiness organization in Britain urges people to do? If so, what’s on your list right now?

Yes. I was at the gym before I went to Disney. I had run and was in the back trying to stretch my hamstrings out. I was going through different yoga poses but I wasn’t really peaceful or meditative while I was doing it. My heart chakra was aching. It has been recently, and at the moment I felt sad. I was in child’s pose with my arms stretched out in front of me and I was thinking about how I missed mom.

I pushed my right index finger more firmly against the ground.

Jonathan.

I pressed my right middle finger against the ground.

Jason.

Right ring finger.

Jace.

Right pinky.

Lio.

Big Bad.

My blacksmith.

Nicole.

Chrys.

Corey.

Sir.

I thought about them and why I’m glad they are there. I have more than ten people in my life who help me.  Taking the time to think of people, name them, and remember why they are positive influences for me shifted my day. Even though I hurt I still have good things in my life. Sometimes the pain becomes all consuming and I forget about the good that’s still there.

Maybe I should do that more often when the pain wells up. Stop and count ten good things. I wonder if that would help my grief.

Daily Post 008: Still Lost But Not As Directionless

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Still directionless. Still sans purpose.

But…

I did make it through today. I can’t say that I enjoyed much of anything. It felt like I was an observer for most of the day. Auto piolet. I experienced most things as if there were a barrier between the world and myself. A wall which wouldn’t let much emotion in or out.

I enjoyed the brief interactions I had with Big Bad. He teased me about being sick and how we’ll have to walk the 5k on Saturday, hand in hand. He said if I’m feeling better maybe we can upgrade from walking to skipping.

We made plans to see the Batman Lego Movie after the race if we survive. I’m feeling significantly better health wise, but breathing is still a chore so I don’t know how I’ll be after. I remember last year I was fine the day of the race. It was the day after where I was super sore. We’ll see how I fair. Regardless, I am looking forward to Saturday. It doesn’t matter how I do run/obstacle wise.

So yeah, I enjoyed my text messages. They caused me to genuinely smile and feel warmth. That was  really the only time I felt connected to the world, though. The rest of it was distant and detached.

I got a lot more done today than I thought I would. I did a few chores after having coffee. I ended up going to lunch after an hour or so of work. I had been hoping to do all the chores before needing food but skipping breakfast wasn’t the best idea in that regard.

I listened to music for most of the morning, too. I think that helped. It kept my mind focused on something soothing.

While I was at my sports bar I did a little more introspective thinking/soul searching.

I label myself as a warrior, but lately, I haven’t felt like one. I haven’t felt like anything. A hot mess maybe. Nothing positive.

I made myself sit down and write out qualities I associate with my “ideal warrior self”. I wanted to reaffirm to myself the qualities I try to embody, the traits I want people to remember me for.

Honor. Strength. Perseverance. Courage. Enlightened.

I wrote more than those words, but those are my top five.

After spending some time brainstorming what qualities my “ideal warrior self” should have I asked myself if I felt like my “ideal warrior self”.

My answer was an unsurprising, “No.”

My reason was hard to write. It was hard not to give into the silent tears as I sat writing my reason into my notebook.

“No. And that hurts. I feel like I’m failing myself.”

It’s not the outside world telling me that I’m falling short. It’s me being harsh with myself. It’s me being the overbearing parent, looking down in disdain at the part of myself that’s trying. Maybe not trying my hardest, but trying and getting no recognition for any effort what so ever.

It’s disheartening. What’s the point of trying to be something when it doesn’t matter what I do? Nothing is ever good enough for myself.

Well, no shit I’m depressed. Anyone would be with that mentality as their cheerleader.

After writing my reason and accepting why I felt like I was failing myself I wrote an affirmation.

I am not failing myself. Acknowledging these feelings allows me to improve myself. I want to be a more enlightened and accepting person. Self-improvement is ALWAYS a worthwhile endeavor.

Self-acceptance is where I need to start.

I next asked what are three things I can do to work towards my warrior self.

  1. Go to the dojo and continue eating healthy
  2. Read spiritual/grief content and continue writing
  3. Complete my projects

I know all three of those seem pretty nebulous, but they are stakes within my mind, anchor points to which I can tie things down to.

After I identified three areas which would help boost my feelings of self-improvement I asked myself what I would do today to work towards my warrior self.

  1. Meal plan for the remaining days of the week
  2. Clean the apartment
  3. Cross stitch / enjoy my evening

And that’s what I did. I figured out what I needed from the grocery store before I left my sports bar, then did the shopping. I have to admit to feeling drained by the time I got back home. I enjoyed being in the sun and I’m grateful today wasn’t a cold day, not that we really have many of those in Orlando, but I was worried for a bit that I had overdone it.

I put the groceries away and did a few tasks in the kitchen before sitting on the couch for a while and cross stitching a few threads. I let music play and my mind relax. I didn’t think about my list or what it would mean if I didn’t get it all done. The list didn’t matter. I let myself stitch until the dryer was done running. After that, I felt better. Still in my flatlined state, but I had more energy to do the remaining things I wanted to do.

I’m pleased that not only did I do all the chores I originally gave myself, but I did more past that. I still managed to sit and enjoy my evening with a cup of warm tea. I made more progress on my cross-stitch and I watched an interesting movie called Harmony.

Do not let the name fool you. It’s a pretty twisted dystopian anime. It was recommended to watch if you liked Ergo Proxy. I enjoyed it though I felt the ending was weak.

I brushed Scarlet a bit. She was happy to have some quality time. Not like she hasn’t been trying to sleep on my face for the past week or anything. I swear I have given her permanent abandonment issues with how much I’ve been traveling the past few months. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of these days she latches on to my face and never lets me leave the apartment again.

And now I am here writing, something which normally lets me feel calm and collected. An action signaling closure to the day.

I haven’t been consistent with my writing. We’re already well into February but this is only the ninth “daily” post I’ve made. There’s not consistency with my writing anymore, which I understand and accept, but I wonder how much better I would feel if I were more diligent in this endeavor. Writing helps me process, and part of the reason the emotions well up the way they do is because I don’t process very often. At least I feel I don’t.

Instead of being proactive, I’m lapsing back to being reactive.

Brain: Oh shit! We’re having an emotional meltdown. I guess we should do something about this.

Today wasn’t a bad day. It was a flat day. A white day. I think tomorrow is going to be a lot like today. Flatlined. Quite. Still.

I think I’m ok with that. More than I was. I have identified what I want to do. I want to improve and I have things that will help me do that. I’m not as directionless as I felt last night and this morning.

It’s a nice feeling.

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