2019- A Year For Words

I used to read a lot. And I used to read quickly. I devoured words and had so much inspiration to spin more. But I’ve been distracted for so long. I go through phases, but I don’t want reading and inspiration to be just a faze. So I’m going to try to make 2019 a year for reading, a year for words.

I made a decision that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I decided to sign up for Book of the Month. This means I’ll at least read one book a month.

I tried last year to do the Amazon First Reads on my Kindle, but I just don’t like reading on my kindle very much. It’s useful for school books and for traveling, but there’s just something about real books with pages I can turn. I can see how close to the end I am getting. And the pages don’t make my eyes as tired.

I’ve also decided that if I don’t like a book, I’m not going to kill myself trying to finish it. That’s what makes reading so exhausting. Not every writing style is as easy for me to read. Everyone likes what they like.

I’m going to do my best to do what I like. Because for a while now I haven’t been doing what I like. I haven’t been doing that many things that make me happy. Alabama has not made me happy. It’s time that I start taking care of myself through and through, starting with reading again.

Common Sense

My mother always said that common sense didn’t exist, because it’s not common.  Everyone grows up differently and develops their logic based on the kind of mental training they have the opportunity to learn through.  So I’m getting kind of tired of people being berated for not using their common sense.

I watched a supervisor berate a subordinate for not using common sense when it was really busy because he didn’t see a label, so he asked a question.  Studies show that logic capabilities are not as strong when a person is under stress.  I work in a high stress environment, especially around this time of year, and I don’t see how anyone can survive if they’re not allowed to ask questions, even if the answer is right in front of them.  What happened to patience?  What happened to kindness?  What happened to caring?
So, as a supervisor, I tried to speak up.  I tried to say something, but apparently defending other employees means that I’m undermining the authority of another supervisor.

I looked up the standards of business for my place of work.  The first thing that is covered is “the way we treat one another.”  And I wish I had read this sooner.  I wish I had refreshed my memory.  Because page one literally says that we have the right to work somewhere free of bullying and harassment.  Does anyone know how many employees have come to me feeling that they have been bullied or harassed?  Far too many.  And I felt that I couldn’t do anything, because my manager won’t do anything about hearsay.  The most important person’s word will always be the strongest, and that will never be me.

I quit my job.  I start my new one soon.  More pay and less responsibility, and hopefully I’ll be out of a depressing and painful environment.  But will it be enough?  I keep wondering if I should do something.  I know that I should do something.  I know what to do.  But I’m scared.  We’re all scared.  That’s why none of us have done it yet.

I have two weeks left.  Two weeks of feeling caught in the middle.  Two weeks of feeling like a pariah.  Two weeks left of trying.  So should I try?  Or will I be shut down?  I guess it’s time to find out.

How long is 10 minutes?

The biggest thing about Alabama in the summer is that it is hot and humid and being outside is hard, especially if you don’t get into a routine early.  I’m not going to make excuses as to how or why, but I, once again, failed to get into a routine.  Thus, running or biking when the sun is out is just not a wise decision.  I want to be active, but I don’t want to die.
One thing that I’ve incorporated into my life over the last couple of years, but definitely even more in the last couple of months, is yoga.  I’ve been trying to do yoga for 20-30 minutes every day that I can, which, luckily, has been most days.  I do Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, in case you’re wondering.

Today I went to the next video on the September playlist and it’s 41 minutes long.  I’ve worked out for longer than that many many times in my life before, but I’ve felt weak lately.  I’ve felt that I can’t do much.  I’ve felt overweight and out of shape and so many other things that probably aren’t true.  But we all tend to perceive ourselves differently than we actually are, don’t we?
So I almost skipped the 40 minute video.  Because ten extra minutes just felt too long.  I felt too weak.  I felt like I might feel too tired afterward.  But then I thought about how I usually feel after I do yoga.  Unlike other workouts, when I do yoga I just feel good.  My mood boosts in a different way.  My body doesn’t feel like I’ve done a hard workout, it just feels… I don’t know… good.  I told myself to do the 40 minute video.  It wasn’t hard.  Those ten extra minutes weren’t even noticed.

So I wonder how long ten minutes even is.  What else could I do for ten minutes that I might not even notice?  Could I do ten extra minutes of cleaning?  My house would look that much better.  Could I spend ten extra minutes outside with my dog?  Maybe when it cools down.  Could I spend ten minutes writing, so maybe my mind might be clearer, like it used to be?  I decided to find out.

What could you do for ten minutes?

Times They Are a Changin’

I almost never blog anymore, but I always blog in airports, and that’s where I am right now.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 64th birthday.  It’s been two years since she passed.  She’ll never meet my boyfriend.  She’ll never see me finish my masters or have a real job.  She’ll never visit me in Alabama or Arizona or anywhere else I might end up living.   And my life keeps going on.  I keep moving forward.  Everyday I’m distanced from what she knew me to be.  And I’m hoping that I’m who she would have wanted me to be.

We’re flying to California because my dad is getting married on Saturday.  He’s moving to Southern California.  My brother moved back to our childhood home to keep the house.  Everything’s different, and I’m not even around to notice it.

People keep asking me how I feel about these changes.  My biggest concern is that my dad is happy, so obviously I’m fine with it.  And honestly, being across the country, I don’t even notice the changes.  My life is still the same.  I go the same job.  I have the same friends.  The only difference is that I’m in school, so I have class and homework.

So yeah.  I’m happy.  Or relatively.  Blending my family is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ll try to have more thoughts next time.

Out in Publix

Since moving to the south, I’ve had to change the way I shop for groceries.  I miss Vons a lot, but I’ve been here long enough, so I guess that I’ve adjusted for the most part.  I go to Walmart way more than I did when I lived in California.  A place where I’ve learned to get the most of my groceries here is Publix.

The thing about Publix is, it’s pretty southern.  They take care of their employees, and almost everyone I’ve seen working there is in a good mood.  They go out of their way to talk to you, which is pretty much my nightmare.  I prefer to shop uninterrupted, unless I actually have a question.  And I know that it’s a customer service thing, bothering the customers.  I work in customer service, I get it.  But it’s a lot harder for me to address someone I don’t know.  I hate when strangers talk to me without a purpose.  I’m not good at conversation.  It spikes my anxiety.

But the biggest thing that Publix insists on that I hate is helping me to my car.  I grew up having the grocery store checker asking if I needed help out.  I don’t like strangers seeing my car, and I’m fairly independent, so I’ve never needed help out.  But at Publix, you don’t really get a choice.  One time I had only one bag in my hand and they guy tried to take it from me.  It almost gives me stalker vibes.  I know it’s their job, it just feels very intrusive to me.  It happens less when I take my boyfriend shopping with me, but if we have a cart, someone definitely is going to help us out to our car.  I’m sure there are lots of people who really appreciate this Publix standard, but I hate it.  And if it wasn’t the best grocery store in the area I would just go somewhere else.

This is just one instance where I need to learn to say “no.”  Still working on my effort to avoid small talk at all costs.

7 Years

I was just reminded that I have had this blog for seven years.   Seven years of rants.  Seven years of poetry.  Seven years of channeling my depression online.  And I used to be good at it.  I remember when I was in college, sometimes I would get so creative I would post twice a week.  There were times when I’d try not to post every day.  Now I can barely post once a month.

And I’ve been thinking.  On and off for a while, I’ve been thinking.  What if I just closed it down?  Is seven years long enough?  For a long time this blog was my identity.  I put my heart and soul into.  Which is why my lack of creativity depresses me so much, I think.  But maybe it’s time to rip the bandaid off?  Is anyone even paying attention anymore?  Because I for sure have nothing to say anymore.

Last April I moved into a townhouse.  I thought moving here might give me the creative head space I need, but instead I feel like I might have even less creative space.  I’ve forgotten how to act on my ideas, because I still have those.  I have hundreds of photos on a memory card in a camera that I bought because I thought I was going to get back into photography.  Instead, they sit there unedited, when I used to love editing and sharing photos.

I spend a lot of time wondering who I even am anymore.  I start school next month, and I’m excited for it, but what happened to being a writer?  What happened to being a poet?  What happened to having big dreams?  Did I get lost somewhere along the way?  I want to try.  So badly, I want to try.  But giving it all up seems to much easier.

My decisions are pending.  But this could be coming close to a goodbye.

Grad School, Mother’s Day, and Road Trips

I’ve been on a hiatus for longer than I ever have been.  I haven’t written.  I haven’t posted.  I feel like I haven’t existed much at all.

I got into grad school.  I’m supposed to start in the fall.  But I have to register.  And in order to register I have to figure out my financial aid stuff.  I feel like I’ve gone back in time.  I should know how to do all of this, but I don’t even remember how I did it the first time around.  I’m pretty sure my mom did it all for me.  But I don’t have her to help me this time around.  And I know I can do it.  That doesn’t make me any less afraid.

Last month was Mother’s Day.  It was my second Mother’s Day without a mother.  I wanted to not focus on it being a holiday at all.  So Bobby and I went to visit someone who I had been wanting to visit for quite some time.  We went up to Nashville and had lunch and exploring with JJ Peterson, who was the Dean of Students for three years of my college career.  JJ is one of the funniest, freest people that I have ever known.  He’s deep and real and inspiring.  We had hot chicken.  Bobby got to see a different side of my life.

A week and a half ago Bobby and I returned from a nine day road trip.  We went to Mule Days in my home town in California.  We visited my dad and my home and I wish we never had to leave.  I miss living out west.  I miss the dry air.
We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona, and we’re pretty sure we found where we want to end up some day.  I dove into a big blue hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  We found the infamous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
I’ve always loved road trips.  But I love them even more with Bobby.  I love having a forever person like him.
We don’t have it all figured out.  But I’m thankful that we get to figure it out together.

When I was home a lot of people asked if I’m still writing.  I felt like I’d let everyone down when I said no.  And I don’t even have an answer for why I stopped.  Have I forgotten who I am?  Have I forgotten everything?  Or have I just disappeared a little bit.  I can’t make myself be more inspired.  But I can learned to be disciplined again.  I can learn who I am again.

I’m not making any promises though.  I’ll try to ramble less.  Or maybe I’ll just try.