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.

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.

We Have an Announcement

Back home currently has the most snow in the United States. A lot of feet of snow have fallen. Flagstaff, Arizona has a ton of snow right now also. In fact, a friend of mine that lives in Tucson posted a snowy video today too! Needless to say, I miss the snow. Alabama has no snow, but that’s no surprise.
And snow isn’t even the most important thing to me, especially in a place that I want to live.

I moved to Alabama sort of on a whim. I thought I was being called here. I thought my life was going to change and I would be put on a path that would launch me into a career I could only dream about. It’s funny how I’m usually wrong about these things. Because what I thought I was stepping into was not at all what I actually stepped into.

I had not lived here six months when my mother passed. I was reeling from her loss and found comfort in alcohol and watching stupid Netflix shows with someone who was starting to become a very good friend. It wasn’t much later that he was more than a friend and I fell in love with Bobby.
Moving to Alabama changed my life. Losing my mother changed my life. But loving Bobby has changed my life for the better.

Last year, Bobby and I took a road trip across the country because I was homesick. Along the way we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona to buy some film and get coffee at Dutch Bros. because I discovered they have one there. We had been in the city half an hour when we both decided we wanted to live there. We planned to make the move after I finished my graduate program, and I would just go through the licensing process in Arizona. I had some anxiety about the difficulty of finding someone to supervise me so I could get my license, when I would have no contacts in Arizona, but I figured it would work itself out.
But I’ve been homesick for a long time. Alabama has made me more and more miserable. I thought if I quit my job and made a change that I would be happier, but in December I only felt more depressed. I felt like I couldn’t make it. I just wanted to go home.
So I called my dad. And I called my brother. And they said that Bobby and I could move back to my childhood home for the summer to save money. So we’re leaving Alabama in May and will be in California for three months. I’m ready to go home.
Bobby and I decided that we didn’t want to wait until I finished school, especially when the licensing process in a different state might be challenging. So I’m going to finish my degree in Arizona. We’ll be moving there in August, and I am so excited.

Since I’ve been missing the snow and sick of all the rain here, I figured now would be a good time to announce that we’re leaving. Finally.

Anymore

I’m not creative anymore.
I’m not really anything anymore.
And my whole life used to be creative.  Everything I stood for was so that I could put more words down and life more people up with them.  But was I ever really that uplifting?
I feel like I don’t know how to make good decisions anymore.  I feel lost.  I feel terrified.  I just want to give up and start again, but life doesn’t work that way.  I feel stuck, but I have to get unstuck, or else I won’t survive.
And I’m not sure what else I can do.

I miss home.  I miss the west.  I want to be anywhere but here.  Because there’s a little bit of grace in starting fresh.  And all I want right now is to start fresh.

My heart has been aching for so long now.  Every step I make to lessen the pain only makes it worse.  Why can’t things go back to the way they used to be?  Why can’t I just go home?  All I want is to go home.  I want to be able to tell my mom how frustrated I am with Alabama and the lack of opportunities and community here.  I want to go home and have my dad make me dinner and help me figure out how to fix all of this.  Because for most of my life I had that ability.  And I didn’t realize how lucky I was.  I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted because I was so depressed and stuck in my own head.  But now I’m depressed and I have nowhere to go.  And I can’t go home anymore.

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.

Complacency

I feel bored and overwhelmed at the same time.  I forget sometimes that I moved across the country and established a life here all on my own.  I think I forget this because I’m not satisfied and I miss home.

I had a dream the other night that I was trying to get my old job back in Mammoth.  I dreamed that I moved Bobby out there and we were trying to figure out a way to afford a big enough place for his studio.  But that was just a dream.  I have no plans to move back to Mammoth, and in all reality, I would probably feel almost as complacent there.  The only difference is that I would have a community that I some how took for granted when I lived there.

I’m looking for a new job.  Most people know this, but I guess it’s time to make it public.  I’ve been depressed where I’m at for some time now and I haven’t found a satisfactory way to make myself happier there.  I haven’t gotten any bites anywhere else yet though.  I feel so confused as to where my path is right now, but if I look back to my past, things have always worked out the way their supposed to.  So I have to believe that things will work out again.

I’m trying to get myself used to school again.  It’s hard and not hard at the same time.  I just haven’t retrained myself to set aside time in the right way.  I feel like I used to have far more time on my hands.  Where do all the hours go?
And I have to do this group project with no information, so that’s not stressing me out at all.

I decided to go back to therapy.  I’ve had exactly one session.  But how can I be a licensed therapist if I can’t even take care of myself?

I’m doing my best.  And my best probably looks pretty good to a lot of people.  But it feels like it’s not enough a lot of the time.  But I guess that’s what depression is.

Hello my old friend.

Mental

Something lives inside her
Eating her alive
In her heart
In her mind
In her soul
Bringing her low
Beneath the soil
Burying her in regret
Telling her she has done everything wrong
When she has done nothing wrong
But living
And loving
And giving herself away

Use Your Words… Or Don’t

I don’t really care what you believe about anything, words have power.

I was just listening to a Lore podcast about Romani curses.  The Romani people would hold trials when something was stolen or some other crime had been committed.  In these trials they would will their community to confess to the crime, and if no one confessed, they would curse the perpetrator to an agonizing death as a group.  Then the trial would be over and things would go back to normal.  But Romani curses aren’t real because of any kind of black magic.  They’re not real in a physical sense at all.  Rather, they’re real because thinking makes it so.  It’s the power of the mind.  A Romani person could curse you by telling you your life will be hard and your death will be painful.  And it would probably come true, not because the Romani were prophetic, but because you’d probably spend the rest of your life worrying about the curse, thus your life would probably be hard.  And your death would probably be painful because you had spent your whole life worrying about your death.  Your mind gave these words power.  Thinking made it so.

I work with someone who doesn’t believe in encouragement, and only believes in belittlement.  No one could ever measure up or be good at their job.  So it’s best to make sure they know that you believe that.  Call them stupid and slow.  Because that’s sure to make them work better and faster.  “Don’t applaud a fish for swimming.”
I had to take a class on leadership for my degree.  We learned about so many leadership styles.  But as an exhorter, I believe the best way to lead is to come alongside and grow with someone.  Lead by being a part, rather than sitting above.  Encourage and help, instead of getting upset because a mistake was made.  Build up, rather than diminish.
I’ve felt very discouraged lately.  Because although those under my leadership believe that I’m doing a good job; although I know that I am doing a good job, my equals still don’t see me as equal.  It makes me want to move on.  It makes me want to give up.  It makes me want to quit.  It can always be better.  And I’ve believed for a long time now that if you don’t like something, change it.

Have you ever heard a lot about someone before you’ve ever met them?  So you go into the relationship with preconceived notions of what everyone has already told you?  I went to college with a girl that I had heard about for most of the summer before.  So I met her believing several negative things about her.  I knew her to be annoying before we ever spoke.  I believed she was something that she isn’t because of the words others had spoken.  But that girl became one of my best friends.  Words have power.  Until they don’t.

We should talk about each other less.  We should build each other up more.  We should be more careful.  We shouldn’t believe that we have to be careful.
I spend so much time afraid that I’ve messed up, that I’ve ruined everything, that I forget how to love myself.  I forget how to love others.  I forget how to be happy.  I don’t want to forget anymore.

I Don’t Want to Live in This World

I hate this world that I’ve created.

I hate that I moved across the country with big dreams, none of them being fulfilled.  They’ve been destroyed so much that I’ve let them go altogether.  I don’t even write anymore.  I probably don’t even exist anymore.

I hate that I moved to the south and have encountered far more entitled people than I ever did living in a resort town.  I hate that I feel that I can do nothing right.  I hate that I don’t have anyone to depend on, so I’ve learned to depend on myself.  I hate that my heart aches for a church like the one I left behind.  I  hate that I can’t find that here.  I hate that every promotion brings more misery, instead of confidence.  I hate that I complain so often.  I hate that I’m depressed.

I miss my home.  I miss my family.  I miss my friends.  I miss my mom.  If I had known that moving here would mean losing her, I never would have come.  I miss that she made me empowered.  I wish that I had appreciated it while she was around.

I don’t want to be alive in this world anymore.  I know it’s supposed to get better.  I know it always has gotten better.  But I don’t like the in between.  I don’t like that I’m in the in between again.  I don’t like that I’ve gotten so lost, that I’ve disappeared completely.

I Thought We Were Done

I’ve disappeared a little.  At least I feel that I have.  Sinking into the floor.  Sinking into my work.  Sinking into a life that I’m barely living.  So I think I’m ready to be done with this.

Next month I have an interview to get into grad school.  I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately and I realized that I really love stories.  Maybe that’s why I thought I would be a writer.  I’m not a writer.  Not anymore.  But I’m going to get my masters in counseling.  I can hear stories.  I can walk through stories with someone else, because I’ve learned that it’s really hard to walk through a hard story by yourself.

I’m looking for a house to move into next month.  My lease is up and I’m so ready to be done with the roommate life.  My things keep breaking or going missing.  Kind of like my heart.

My car is in the shop again.  For the same problem as before.  Because the mechanics missed something.  I’m learning that it’s better to go for quality over price, and even though I’m poor, I’m going back to taking my car to the dealer, just like I used to.

I don’t want life to be hard anymore.  I don’t want simple things to seem impossible.  I’m completely over this pointless depression.  I thought we were done with this a long time ago.