This Isn’t What We Were Promised

I’m pretty sure this isn’t what we were promised. I’m pretty sure we grew up watching people succeed. I’m pretty sure we watched our role models have strong friendship groups, paying for expensive apartments with not great jobs, and then eventually getting the dream job because of random connections. We were promised there would still be time on the side for random adventures. We’d always be able to afford nice clothes and matching furniture and fancy meals. Our homes would always be clean. Even if there were wars, they wouldn’t really affect or hurt anyone. Nothing bad would ever happen to our real world The worst thing ever would be breakups or fighting over the same guy/girl or getting cheated on. None of our friends would ever die, and it was very rare if a family member did. And if a family member did die there would usually be a good inheritance or a free house.

We were the chosen ones. We were going to change the world. Each and every one of us would succeed. Even small things were big.

But what did we get instead? Two economic recessions. Years of war overseas that we have no business fighting. Friend groups are fickle. Politics actually matter. Most of us probably will never own a house or get our dream job or be out of debt.

I don’t want to say I’m angry. But I am. I don’t want to say I’m disappointed. But I am.

This isn’t what we were promised.

My Thoughts On a Crisis

The world is going through sudden pandemonium. And apparently none of us saw it coming. Even though we’ve been warned. Even though we’ve been writing books about it and making movies about it and scaring each other with it for years now. Because we never expected it to really happen.

Everything is changing, but I almost feel as if nothing has changed at all. My routines are still the same. I’m still alone all weekend because I don’t have any friends and my husband works weekends. I still do yoga most days. I still take my dog on walks and deal with her anxiety when there’s too much going on outside. I still go to work. I still buy things only in the amounts I need.

But life has still been thrown off kilter. I take public transit to work because it’s cheaper than filling my car up with gas every week. On Friday, I was one of the only people on most of my buses. I’ve been told the freeways feel empty. Everything is being closed or cancelled. And my company’s sales dropped by 50% in two days. Which means they can’t afford to pay all of their employees unless we drop down to four days a week. On Monday we’ll find out if more days need to be cut. Which means I’ll lose money when I’m barely making it as it is. Which means the review and raise my offer letter promised I’d get a month ago most likely aren’t ever going to happen. Which means I’m once again questioning every decision I’ve made in my recent years.

I sometimes wish I’d never moved to Alabama. I was making good money before that move. I was stable. But I was wild. I was going out and drinking and trying things that I once said I’d never try. I was staying out late and getting up early and working two jobs. But I was having fun. I was also in my early 20s. I’m not in my early 20s anymore.
I often wish I’d never quit my job at Starbucks. I had good benefits. I always knew I’d get hours. I had friends at work that I enjoyed talking to and listening to and hanging out with outside of work. I had stability. If this pandemic had hit then, that large corporation would make sure I was taken care of as a valuable employee. But I was depressed. I didn’t feel heard by the other supervisors or by my manager. I tried for months to quit that job. I didn’t have weekends or evenings off. My back always hurt.
I sometimes wish we hadn’t moved home to California. My boyfriend turned fiance turned husband wouldn’t have been screwed over by someone I was friends with in high school. And he wouldn’t have spent six months feeling depressed and isolated because that’s what small, shitty towns do to you if you’re not ready for them. Half my stuff wouldn’t still be in his dad’s basement or in random places in my childhood home. I would still feel like I could make it on my own. But I’d still be dealing with Alabama weather, Alabama wages, Alabama politics and everything that goes with that. I would still be told by old, slow, southern women that I talk too fast and be hated when I apologize and tell them I’m from California. I would still be homesick.
I wish I hadn’t quit my graduate program. I loved that program. I loved the people that came with it. I would be almost done by now if we hadn’t left. I would have a sense of purpose. I would know that I’d be actually stable in the future. Because I chose a program here and went through the process of writing essays and getting more letters of recommendation and getting accepted so I could finish only to be riddled with so much anxiety and stress and depression that I decided it was better to wait longer. Or maybe not go back at all, because I want to be in another program that is actually good where the professors actually care and where I actually know what is going on. I want to be part of program that I’m excited about it. But I’m not excited about much these days.
I quite frequently wish we hadn’t moved to San Diego. We didn’t have the money saved for this move. I feel so sunk in the hole that I’ll probably never get out. I don’t know anyone and I have no friends. Covered CA keeps fucking up my health insurance and has now cancelled it without telling me. I don’t make enough to keep myself afloat. I am struggling worse than I have since my mom died. I 100% don’t know how I’m going to get through this. But I know that I will. And I know that my partner is happy. I know that I did this for him. I know that I have someone to spend my life with and see everyday, and not everyone has that. I know that we’ll take care of each other. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. We’re going to be okay, eventually.

So our world is sick. Actual insane (most likely white ladies) are buying up every roll of toilet paper, bottle of hand sanitizer, and non perishable food item on the shelves in literally every store. These people actually plan to never go outside again. Sucks for them. But you know what? The world is still turning. Most of us will survive this. We’ll someday get to say “remember when?” And hopefully this will open our nation’s eyes to how much we need healthcare reform.
After days and days of rain, the sun came out today. I got to feel it on my skin and was reminded that very soon it will be warm enough for me to spend hours laying on the beach. Because I only live a mile from the ocean.

Go outside, even if it’s only for a minute. Take a breath of fresh air. And then go read a book, do some yoga, watch a movie, binge some netflix, pet your dog, and kiss your partner. Take this chaotic time and turn it into a time to remember what peace is like. Remember what stillness is like. Remember what it’s like to not feel the need to keep up with everything going on. Take this as a time to hit reset for a little while.
Remember what the sun feels like.

Living A Carless Existence

Two weeks ago Bobby and I uprooted again and moved to San Diego. It has been a big change already and sometimes I get scared that we won’t survive, but I’m trying to be positive, because overall this change is probably for the best.

Between the two of us, there is only one car. Bobby works within 2 miles of where we live, so it is very easy for him to take his bike or walk to work. But sometimes he has to work at a different location, which is more like 15-20 miles of where we live. We decided that, since the bus routes don’t go all the way to his second work location, that I can take the bus sometimes. In order to save money, I want to try to take the bus or my bike most days, but I have to get in better shape for that to happen.

So on Friday I decided to be brave and take the first step toward living a carless existence. I took the bus, which is $6 for a day pass, so that he wouldn’t have to take a Lyft, which is $40 one way to his other work location. As I was gathering my things and going out the door I remembered that I would need keys in order to get back into the apartment when I got home.
I successfully made three bus changes and didn’t get lost or have an anxiety attack the whole way to work. I was so proud. Then Bobby called me. He didn’t know where the car keys were. We used to have two sets, but his went missing a month or so ago, so we’re down to one. Our one car key is on my set of keys, which I had grabbed as I went out the door to catch my bus.

We were stuck. Bobby had to take a Lyft anyway, which means my effort to save us money had actually cost us more money. I’m still mad about it.

Everything Is Hard Sometimes

So, I got engaged 2 months ago. And everything has been a whirlwind. Because I’m getting married in February, and that’s 3 months away and I don’t know what I need help with but I feel like everyone has an opinion. But it’s our wedding. It’s my and Bobby’s wedding. So the only opinion that should matter is our own.

We were only supposed to be here 3 months. But we’ve been here 6. So we’re trying to move. And moving is hard. Finding new jobs is hard. Finding a place to live is hard. And I’m so afraid we can’t do it. I’m so afraid that moving home and all the things since have been a terrible mistake. Even though I love my job. Even though I make enough. There’s never been anything for me here. And there’s definitely nothing here for Bobby. He’s why we’re leaving. Because he gave up everything to move across the country with me. But things have only gone wrong. If I could turn back time, I probably would have done things differently.

I’m depressed and everything feels hard. I’ve been off my meds since the summer, because I couldn’t get health insurance. And apparently my home church has changed so much that I’m not allowed to be depressed here. Because depression obviously means that the love of my life isn’t really the love of my life. Even though he is. And he was there for me when no one else was. What a great way to make me not feel at home in my home.

But mostly, I just miss my mom. I hate planning a wedding without her. I hate that she won’t be there when I marry my best friend. I hate that she’s never met him. And I hate that I can’t even talk about it.

It’s the Patient’s Fault

It’s been three years since cancer took my mother’s life. She battled with cancer for ten years. She went in and out of remission. She sought God. She prayed for healing. She prayed for wisdom. She prayed for guidance. She got treatment. It worked. But cancer is a bitch. It’s pretty good at finding its way back, even when a person is so good fighting it.

Right when I graduated with college my mom was re-diagnosed. I remember sitting in our living room and she asked me what I believed about what God and healing and doctors. Should someone skip treatment and just believe that God will heal them? People in her church were telling her to just believe. They were telling her not to seek treatment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I full believe in healing. I’ve seen people healed. I watched a blind woman get her sight back. God can heal. On his own. But you know what else God can do? He can use people. He created all of these people with all of these abilities and all this knowledge. He uses doctors to heal people all the time. It’s not one or the other. It’s both and. My mother did believe for healing. But she also got treatment. She believed God wanted her to get treatment. I believe God wanted her to get treatment. And she did go into remission again, for a little bit.

So it really hurts when I hear that people who knew my mother, people who studied the Bible with my mother, people who prayed with my mother, people who got words from my mother, are saying that cancer patients don’t stay in remission because they got treatment rather than believing for healing. It hurts that they’re spouting their conspiracy theories to people that I know and love, saying that cancer patients deserve to die, because they didn’t believe enough. That’s along the lines of the Old Testament, saying that people were blinded or developed leprosy because of their sins or the sins of their parents. It’s small minded and stupid.

I’m still hurt. I’m still angry. God is good. His people are not.

Being an Adult Means Always Changing Plans

A little over three months ago my boyfriend and I packed everything up and moved across the country to my hometown in rural California. Our plan was to stay here for the summer, get jobs, save money, and move to Flagstaff. But with this economy things like that are easier said than done. So we’re still here. Indefinitely.

But I love being home. I’m not complaining. My life has always been up in the air, and I’ve never really known where I was going next until I was on my way. So I’m reapplying for school to finish my masters and seeing what sticks.
I have a good job that I like a lot. Bobby has a good job that he likes enough.

I’m incapable of having a five year plan, because every year my five year plan changes completely. We thought we’d live out our days in Arizona. Before that I thought we’d be in Alabama for a long time. Before I started applying for masters programs the first time around, we didn’t know where we’d end up because Bobby was applying for jobs all over the country. Before I moved to Alabama I thought I’d be in Mammoth for much longer. Before I moved to Mammoth I had plans to live in Portland. I once thought I’d live in England someday for a while.

I’m just not good at making plans. And I used to hate it. Because when I say I’m going to do something and then I don’t do it, I feel like a fraud. But life means always changing plans. At least for me it does.

So if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing, it’s okay to keep going. If you feel like your plans have all failed, they haven’t. They’ve just changed. Because there’s no way for us to actually see the future and see what option is best. Just know that life can still be good, no matter what your plans are.

Books I Read April/May 2019

I’ve been reading. But I’ve also been moving and applying for jobs and working and riding my bike and fixing my car. So I haven’t been writing. So these are the books I read in April and May.

Image from Amazon.com

The Perfect Child is a book to read if you want to read something creepy and unsettling. It’s about a married couple who wanted to adopt because they weren’t able to conceive. They both work in a hospital and an abused girl is found and quickly forms a bond with the husband. They decide to adopt her and learn her issues along the way. But things just go haywire. The little girl is malicious toward the wife and the husband denies that anything is wrong. She eventually becomes pregnant and gives birth to a little boy, the whole time worrying about her child’s safety around their adopted daughter. This book makes you wonder the entire time. It’s upsetting to see a wedge divided in a marital relationship. So many things happen. I won’t tell you all of them.

Image from PenguinRandomHouse.com

Normal People I got from Book of the Month. I loved it. It follows two characters who enter and leave each other’s lives as friends and romantically. The author did a great job in detailing mental health issues and emotional disorders. The story keeps you rooting for them. There are so many ups and downs. Don’t be sad though.

Image from Amazon.com

The Nest is another book that I’ve been putting off reading for a while. I finally decided to pick it up at the Florence Library. It’s about a family who are very close to coming into their inheritance. They all have plans on what they’re going to do with it, but their oldest brother may have jeopardized most of the inheritance already through a big misstep in his life. This book was frustrating and heart wrenching, but definitely worth the read.

Image from Amazon.com

How Not to Die Alone is so funny and ridiculous. It’s another one I got from Book of the Month. It follows Andrew, a middle aged homebody who works as a property assessor for people who have died alone. His job is to find any next of kin or anything of value that can pay for a funeral.
Everyone at Andrew’s work believes that he is married and has two kids. However, neither of these things are true. Andrew is okay with everyone believing it to be true though, because it gives him an excuse to not go out. But then a new woman starts working with him and changes everything. He has to decide how much the lie is worth.

Image from Target.com

Necessary People I also got from Book of the Month. It was suspenseful and makes you wonder who you’re supposed to root for. It’s about Violet and Stella, two best friends from completely different lifestyles. Violet grew up poor but brilliant and went to a prestigious college far from where she grew up. Stella is from a ridiculously rich family and always gets what she wants. They meet in college and Stella brings Violet fully into her life and allows her to live as her shadow. After college Violet lands a great job working for a television production company. Stella becomes jealous that Violet is doing so well and is no longer in her shadow, so she finds a way to become an anchor at the same company. A deeper and deeper wedge is driven between the two until Violet has to make the hardest decision of her life while worrying that she may lose everything.