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.

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.

So I Moved Across the Country

Again.

Everything has been crazy and stressful and exciting and fun. There are so many things up in the air and we’re just waiting to see what sticks the landing.

I’ve been home a little over a week. I missed home. A lot more than I thought I did. It’s good to be back.

Bobby and I both have found jobs. We’ll be able to pay bills and save. Things are working out for the first time in a long time it seems.

So yeah. I’ll try to be better. Because things are getting better. Welcome home.

Saying Goodbye

Bobby and I turned in our keys yesterday. We are finally moved out of our first little house that we shared. We no longer have to deal with crazy neighbors that hiss at our dog or throw possible poisoned bread in the backyard. But we also can no longer walk to the movie theater or to the mall to get energy drinks.

I’m not working anymore, but Bobby’s last day is Friday. Next week we say goodbye (and good riddance) to living in the South. We say goodbye to overly religious racists making up too much of the population around us. We say goodbye to people who use our Creator as an excuse for their prejudiced actions. We say goodbye to unwalkable city planning and drivers who want cyclist commuters to die simply because they’re on a bike. We say goodbye to not earning a livable wage. We say goodbye to so many things.
But we also say goodbye to good music. We say goodbye to the history of modern recording. We say goodbye to seeing zoo lions without going to a zoo whenever we want. We say goodbye to good friends. We say goodbye to cheap rent. We say goodbye to so many things.

I am so excited to say hello again. I’m excited to go home and be home and feel home. I’m excited to breath fresh air and for the shade to be cooler than the sun. I’m excited to be out of the humidity.
I’m excited to adventure again. And I’m more than excited to start somewhere new with my favorite human.

It’s Cool To Be an Alcoholic

When did it become a normal thing to fetishize drinking tons of alcohol?

I noticed a while ago that a lot of shirts for sale have sayings on them like, “Rosé all day” “Coffee and wine, feelin’ fine” “Relationship Status: Wine”

I saw a girl wearing a wine sloganed sweater at the gym...
image from Target.com

I counted 11 different wine sloganed shirts on Target’s website alone.
I used to love wine. I still like it. I’m drinking a glass right now. But most of these shirts are probably being bought by underage teens. Kids who will grow up thinking day drinking is normal. And again, there’s nothing wrong with day drinking on its own, but when it becomes the norm, then how do you even know what a day without alcohol is like? How do you drive?

I’ve had far more fun sober days than non-sober days. Maybe I’m just getting old. Because I’m not that conservative. I’m just over people who know nothing about wine fetishizing it. Because I’m almost positive that the people who buy these shirts probably spend $25 on five bottles of cheap wine rather than on one bottle of good wine.

Maybe I’m just annoyed. I just don’t think it’s that cool to be an alcoholic.

Do What You Like

I spend far too much time thinking about writing and then never following through. I still have the mind of a writer, but my actions would say otherwise. I have started some cool things, but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet, so they’re still just sitting there.

Remember being a kid and having hobbies and interests, some of which matched those around you, and some of which were your own? For example, a lot of little girls love horses, but not all do. Some little girls loved dinosaurs. Some girls still do. Kids play with dolls and hotwheels and beanie babies and make up pretend worlds. Kids collect things.
But then we come to a point when the opinions of our peers matter more. For some, that’s middle school. For some that is high school. If a person has an interest that is not popular and maybe too nerdy, they get made fun of. And of a lot of people stop liking things because their friends tell them it is lame.
So I’m gonna say this: It’s not lame.

When you reach your twenties, loving Disney is cool again. Having quirky decor is trendy, like having trinkets and lamps shaped like your favorite animal. I think a lot of us would be a lot happier if we didn’t let our peers make us feel bad about our nerdy designs.

Recently, my boyfriend and I started embracing our nerdiness again. He had been talking about buy pokemon decks with a friend of ours so they could battle. But we’re moving and there has been a lot going on everywhere, so they hadn’t done it yet. One day I came home and told Bobby I would be willing to go buy decks with him and play. And we have been sucked in completely.
Did you know there are huge tournaments where people can win money? Just through strategy? It’s so crazy and weird. But we’re having fun.
Because we both liked pokemon as kids. But everyone reaches that age where things become not cool anymore, even if they don’t lose interest. I wish we had held onto that interest.

Do what you like. Do things that make you happy, even if they’re nerdy or weird or unpopular. Happiness should trump all.