When You Realize…

You’re not doing a terribly great job at being an adult.

Something crazy happened this past week and I was asked for some documentation about my degrees.  Easy.  Except that I can’t find my actual paper copy of my most recent degree.  I have my transcript but not the actual paper degree.  And they wanted a copy of the paper degree.

But what I did discover while searching (because I have a distinct memory of putting the paper back in the cardboard folder, then in an envelope and sticking it someplace “safe”) is that I apparently put my Staples rewards card which I have been looking for for 3 years in the fireproof lock box.

I guess because it says “permanent member card” my brain decided that those words gave it appropriate status to belong in the indestructible box.

My brain did not however, think that the title to my car is worth putting in the indestructible box because I found that in a manila folder in a plastic organizer on the bookcase in the hallway.

So even as I reflect on last year and my 2015 goals and all the progress I have made, I have encountered several similar things the last few weeks where I have been forced to face the fact that I’m not actually terribly on top of being a responsible adult.  I’ll just add that to the 2016 goals list.  Once I make the list that is.

Who Am I and What Am I Doing With This Blog?

(I wrote briefly about this a while ago)  I used to blog on another WordPress site.  I actually had what I would consider to be a pretty large number of followers considering I just wrote about the random everyday type of things that occurred.
But life became a series of extremely painful events.  Some of those events were mine and some weren’t.
Some of what I needed to get off my chest was too raw to share with people who knew me IRL.  Some of it was too personal.  Some of it brought me pain, but the events weren’t mine to share.  And so I couldn’t say any of it.
I couldn’t write.  Until I reached the point where I couldn’t not write either.
My solution was a new blog where no one knows my name.
I’ve been posting on this one sporadically for a little over two years now.
I don’t know what I write about.  I find myself torn because I want to be anonymous, I want to be able to write and work through the events of the past few years.  I also want to document what’s happening in my life and be able to be open and include pictures or references to things around me.
I’ll admit that I’m scared.  I’m scared that someone I know or work with will stumble across my blog and they’ll recognize my picture or something and then they will know things about me that I would never tell them.  That I would never trust them enough to say.    And then where would that leave me?
As I was trying to pick up the broken pieces of my life I realized that I had become a one-dimensional person.  I only had one goal for my life, and everything revolved around that single goal.  When that derailed it left me with nothing.  So I decided to make a list of characteristics that would describe the type of person I wanted to be.  Then I worked that list into a list of goals for 2015.  I had planned to write regularly about my progress on those goals.
But one goal drowned out the others, biking!  And now I’ve been writing a fair amount about biking.  I love it.  It’s the best.  It’s one of my favorite parts of my life hands down.  I want to be able to share pictures of my bikes, and myself with my bikes, and Homie and I biking, and places that I go.
I don’t know how that fits into the original purpose of this blog though.  I actually wanted to bike to help work through some of the same issues that prompted me to start this blog.  But now that the two have merged, I don’t know where I’m going with this.

Monday Mantra

Be Gentle

I may have already declared this particular quote as a “Monday Mantra” but it fits for this week.

I have been fighting incredibly hard not to feel stressed out by my particular co-worker.  Last week I feel like I kind of lost that battle.  By Friday I felt worn out, I felt like I didn’t know how much longer I could last.

I know that’s not really the case.  It’s just that by the end of the week I was really feeling late nights, my cousin’s cancer, being sick, and the flurry of things that need to be done before Mergsie’s wedding.  I didn’t have the energy left to deal with my co-worker.  But I hate that it wore me down so fast.

I only have a four-day work week.  I need to focus on being patient with my co-worker, she is obviously struggling mightily and it leaves her feeling stressed and vulnerable.  I need to give her grace.  But I also can’t beat myself up if I need to close my door for 30 minutes and have some space.

So be gentle with yourself this week, that’s my goal.

Complicated Feelings on My Birthday

I was supposed to be born in September.  I was a little late (maybe more than a little) and since it was the hottest summer on record my mom is still a bit perturbed about that.

I used to celebrate my birthday countdown from my due date until my actual birth date every year.

Then my cousin died the day before my countdown always begins.  That year I wanted nothing more than to completely ignore my birthday.

There was (and still is) something incredibly painful about knowing that my cousin who is (I want to say “was” because that’s correct, but I can’t actually bring myself to) seven years younger than me will never have another birthday.  His body is lying in the ground in a beautiful well-kept cemetery.  He’ll never grow up.  He’ll never have another birthday.  He’ll never graduate high school or go to college or attend medical school like he planned.  His brother will be an only child for the rest of his life.  We’ll never get together as adults.  We’ll never have a closer relationship than what we had at that moment, because he’s gone.

I think it makes it more complicated because his birthday is in October as well.  My dad is one of three and he and each of his siblings had their firstborn children all in October.  My grandma always made a big deal for each of us about how as the oldest in our respective families we share a birth month.  It was like a special club just for the three of us.

When I think of my birthday, all of that is tied in to my thoughts as well.  I can’t separate it completely.  The year my cousin died I wanted nothing more than for time to tick as far away from the day of his death as possible and I wanted to skip October.  I just wanted all the reminders to be past us as fast as possible.

My family made me celebrate but my heart wasn’t in it.  I went to lunch with a couple of my sisters and my mom and took a nap.  Then I called my favorite aunt and talked to her for a few hours on the phone.

Last year I wanted to shake off all the memories tied to my birthday.  I wanted to do something so big that I couldn’t help but be distracted.  I hated those days between my cousin’s death and my actual birthday.  Instead of a countdown from when I was supposed to be born until I was actually born it felt like I was counting the days since the anniversary of his death.

I had to work on my actual birthday and I was sick, but the weekend after Homie had an amazing trip planned for me.  It was the best.

This year I have been doing much better.  I want to have my birthday countdown.  I just have to get through the day before…

A Hard Week

This week has been a hard week.  Last week was a little bit harder than I thought it would be as well.

The second anniversary of my cousin’s death is Saturday.  It somehow simultaneously feels like it just happened yesterday and I can’t believe that he’s gone and I sort of half expect to see him again and also like it happened forever ago.

It feels like this year the anniversary is harder than last year.

Monday I felt horrible all day.  I felt physically sick and just wanted to leave work and come home.  I had a horrible headache, I think from the rain, I had a sore throat, and my whole body ached.  I couldn’t leave work though until I talked with someone regarding problems with my software on my computer.  I had a can of soup in my desk and I decided to have that for lunch, but with it I just wanted a grilled cheese sandwich.

Soup and a grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food for a rainy day when you are also sick.  I went to the grocery store near my office planning to buy some bread and cheese.  I knew that at this store the cheese would be outrageously expensive but I didn’t care.  The store didn’t sell one single cheese without cow’s milk.  No goat cheese, no sheep cheese, nothing, so no sandwich.

By the time I came home I just wanted normal.

Homie tried to be helpful and take over dinner.  I felt like a terrible person, but all I wanted was for him to get the freak out of my kitchen and stop interrupting my normal evening routine and go back to his.  I always get home before him, I unwind, then I start dinner and it’s usually pretty close to being ready by the time he gets home.  Or I get home, unwind, do something, then when he arrives home I start cooking and while he unpacks his bag, showers, etc I finish dinner.

But on Monday he got home before me, went for a run, pulled out a recipe, and then when he came back was chatting and discussing dinner options.  All I wanted was to quietly go through my normal routine.

This week being the anniversary of one cousin’s death while another cousin is still in the hospital with cancer nearly 3 months after being diagnosed is too much.

Consistency

Excuse
  For better or for worse I am the same all the time.  I am who I am. I am not different around various groups of people, even when I probably should be.  What you see is what you get, and you can take it or leave it.
If I don’t have a relationship with someone or trust them I will treat that person the same as any other person I don’t know that well, no matter who they are.  I don’t give a fuck if you think I should trust someone, if they haven’t earned it I won’t.  I can’t make myself. That’s not possible for me.  That’s not who I am.
It’s difficult having a double standard applied to that.  I see the world in binary terms.  There are things that fall within the rules and things that don’t.  There are things you should do and things you should not do.  You are who you prove yourself to be.
If you care about something, you demonstrate it through your actions.  If something is important to you, you will make time for it.  If you want a relationship with someone you will take steps to get to know that person.
I can’t take excuses.  It is mind-boggling to me to try to imagine that someone has a genuine desire for something when they never take any action to fulfill that desire.  It might sound naive but I truly truly believe that people do what they want most and they do what is important to them.
If you tell me something is important to you but you never do anything to live that out, I don’t believe you.  I can’t.  And if I can’t believe what you say because you don’t back it up with actions, then I can’t believe what you say.  I don’t trust your word.  That seems basic to me.
Homie likes to argue (and he truly believes) that people are more complicated than that.  He thinks that people can truly desire something, but be too weak or scared or busy to follow through on it.  He argues that just because they don’t do it, that doesn’t negate their desire to do so.  I disagree.
I think that can be true for a time, but there comes a point where if you never follow through then your desire for comfort, or security, or whatever is greater than your desire for the thing you say is important to you.  And that’s okay.  It really is.  You have every right to choose what is important to you.
By the same token though, I have every right to decide if I’m going to trust your word when you never back it up with actions.  And you can’t blame me if I don’t.
Every time I have had a situation where I have put my instincts aside and decided to give someone the benefit of the doubt, open up to them, and trust what they say rather than what they do I have been burned.
And it hurts much worse that second time to be let down or betrayed by someone when I had to convince myself to be in that position despite the voice in my head telling me it wasn’t a good idea.
There is a situation where Homie wants me to throw all of that out the window.  I can’t.  It’s in my bones.  That voice telling me if someone can be trusted is deep inside me.  It’s nearly impossible for me to ignore.  And every time I do ignore it the situation is terrible.
It’s often hard for me to get close to people.  And I’ll admit I probably don’t have a ton of friends for that reason.  I have to fight really hard not to write people off when they let me down or are inconsistent in their behavior.  But the people who I am close with I know I can count on.  They are the best, most loyal, most honest, most dependable group of friends you could ask for.
It is really hard for me to have Homie ask me to act like someone I’m not just because another person says they are genuine.  Why can’t they just demonstrate that they mean what they say?  Why am I supposed to not be who I am?  Why is it okay for me to be cautious with trusting people, until you don’t like it?  Why is it okay for me to be hesitant around people who aren’t being genuine until it’s inconvenient for you?  Why do you get to  apply a double standard to my behavior, to who I am?
I like that I’m consistent in what I believe and how I act.  I like that the voice deep down buried in my bones is an excellent judge of character.  My gut instinct is the bomb diggety, and it pays off time and time again both in my personal life and my professional life.  Why can’t I live the way I believe?  I’ll trust that voice and live my life.  I’ll let people have all the room they need to prove if they’re good people.  But if someone isn’t genuine and they don’t care and they don’t want to know me, I’m not going to play games.  I’m just going to move right along.
You do what you want most.  If something is important to you, you will find a way to demonstrate that.  Doesn’t matter what you say, you are what you do.  That’s how I live, and I’m not okay with being asked to do otherwise.

Dread

For awhile now I have found myself struggling with a near constant feeling of dread.

Actually, the last year and a half or so I have had a hard time with anxiety.  That’s odd for me.  As my circumstances have stabilized, the anxiety has lessened.  But I have still had periods where every single night for weeks at a time I will have a stress dream.  Usually about the same thing over and over.  Over the past few months the anxiety has largely gone away and my stress dreams have decreased, with the exception of one topic.  But what has lingered and is getting worse is this feeling of dread.

I dread picking up my phone because I’m afraid I’m going to have a text or a phone call that something is wrong.  I find myself dreading what I might find as I get up the steps to my apartment.  I’m afraid that someone will be waiting for me at the top to tell me some terrible news.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I lay there afraid that I will hear a knock at the front door.

I have been trying to figure out why I’ve been fighting this feeling and where it is coming from.

I’m not sure what made me realize the other day, but I think it’s the year.  It’s 2015.  Every year since 2007 something terrible has happened.

2007 – my unborn baby sister died. 2009 – my sister was raped. 2011 – my grandfather nearly died. He had a heart attack caused by an infection that migrated to his heart. After a month he was finally going home from the hospital.  He crashed while my cousin and I were in the room.  Somehow he survived.  2013 – in addition to all the other stuff my 16 year old cousin died in a horrible horrible accident.

2015 – I don’t know.  But I think in my head I’m expecting that something should happen.  And it’s scary.