Forum: Arts / Diaries

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re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Aug 10, 2018 09:33 AM
Slowly beginning to think that maybe the best course of action is that I need to stay home for the next couple of years and that's really bumming me out. :(
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Aug 21, 2018 09:14 PM
So, a little more explanation about the above.

I start my MSW tomorrow (!!!) and in the course of thinking about how I'm going to survive while I earn that degree, I realized two things:

1) I need to cashflow this degree, because taking out loans to fund a social work degree just doesn't make sense. If I live on my own, I won't be able to do that. Living with my grandma is rent/utility free. My dad and his brothers are happy for me to live here, just in case something happened (you know, like a hurricane). I am almost debt free and I want it to stay that way, at least until I buy a condo/house.

2) My second and third years are almost all internship. I'll have to seek out several other agencies to work at--about 16 hours a week over the course of four semesters--and it is almost always unpaid. Most are not available during weekend or evening hours. So I'm going to need a job that offers quite a bit of flexibility but pays enough to support myself, which is kind of a unicorn. Well, turns out I have that unicorn job already. The clinical staff at my work is extremely supportive and thrilled I want to go into counseling like them. In my performance review, my boss wanted me to pick some continuing ed seminars that interest me, held at our organization, to attend as part of my goals for the work year.

My boss does not care what hours I keep as long as there are 37.5 of them at the end of the week and my work is done. I would absolutely be able to fit in an internship and my full time job with the flexibility and support my current job offers. There is also a chance I could become management in the next year or so, since they love to promote from within at my agency, which would obviously set me up for better things.

The third year is an advanced field placement. Complicating things is that I'm going part time right now and managing to juuuust make it budget-wise. I'll need to possibly go up to full time during my second year to graduate on time, and that is going to take some doing financially (not to mention time wise). I'd like to do my third year field placement in DFW, since oftentimes you get hired on at the place you do your final internship at, but I'm not sure I could support myself for a year while I intern there.

I just want to be a normal couple, and after spending 10 days together in Vegas, going back to the "two weekends a month" model is awful. I love my grandma, but she is very religious and traditional. The BF also lives with his parents after the breakup of his previous serious relationship, and after Vegas I stayed overnight after a long flight and was given the guest room, because Texas. (I'm a divorcee; pretty sure that ship has sailed.) We have been staying in hotels to see each other and have some modicum of privacy, which sometimes just feels so seedy. If I'm staying at his place, it's because his folks are out of town. I feel like a teenager again and it's driving me batty.

There are a lot of moving parts, and things could change. Maybe I find the perfect job in DFW. Maybe L gets his own place. Maybe we get engaged. My sister and BIL are putting together a guest room now that their roommates have moved out, and that may solve the "how to spend time together without breaking the bank" conundrum on my end. There are lots of things that may come up over the next few years.

Anyway. The original plan was for me to move in December. Tl;dr that's now not going to happen, and I was super scared to tell my bf. I'd worked myself up into a frenzy thinking he'd be super disappointed, or would decide I was too much trouble if I was vacillating on moving. But (surprise) he listened to my reasons for needing to stay where I am, said he understood them, and basically told me we'd make it work and I'd have to do better than that to get rid of him.

And, if there's doubt that he's still crazy about me: I had a window smashed and my suitcase (full of ALL my favorite clothes, including lingerie) for our anniversary weekend stolen out of my car. I called him and tearfully explained the situation and told him I was going to miss my bus. He said "give me 30 minutes" (because he was 15 minutes away from home when I called) and then proceeded to drive 4.5 hours to get me in Houston and 4.5 hours back with me in the car.

All in all, I only lost about an hour with him. Weird circumstances for our first road trip together, but there we are. And even though I was still cycling through sadness over losing my stuff (with Harvey having destroyed a lot of what I love, my stuff is extra-dear to me), I had a wonderful time. On our actual anniversary, we had an amazing three-course meal complete with wine pairings, got drinks, cuddled (and more) in bed, and reflected on our first date and the first few times we'd met each other. It was lovely.

Since our anniversary has passed, I feel a lot less panicked about getting engaged. My therapist asked if my timeline for engagement was a way for me to control the situation, and I was like AAGGGHH you got me. It totally is. Although I still miss being married (not to be confused with who I was married to), I need to tell myself that our relationship is happy, the healthiest I've ever had, and I am secure in his feelings for me.

Anyway, that's a lot that's pretty scattered, but there it is. I'll have to write about Vegas sometime...but that'll be after my show airs.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Aug 25, 2018 08:45 AM
I wrote this on my instagram and I'm reposting it here.

The anniversary is coming up and I'm honestly not sure how to feel about it. Strangely enough, I remember the first few days after the storm as being curiously peaceful. It was like the clouds parted in both the sky and my life. I had a lot of clarity about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and how I wanted to do it--and a lot of energy with which to accomplish it. Carpets got ripped up. Walls got knocked out. You do what you have to do, because that's how Texans are.

Some of those plans worked out, and others didn't. And when the energy wound down, and when timelines to get back home kept getting delayed, I realized I was horribly depressed. I was diagnosed with late-onset PTSD. I gained almost 30 pounds after really feeling like I had my eating disorder under control before the storm.

I can still say it gets easier. The word my therapist keeps coming back to in describing my journey is "resiliency". The first time I was in the house, alone, when it started raining, was nerve-wracking, to say the least. I got caught driving in a flash flood and had to sit in my driveway shaking and crying before I went inside. The Fourth of July this year was particularly trying. But a funny thing about seeing the worst case scenario--it means even when the street fills up, you can say "eh, it's not that bad. I've seen worse." And every storm is a little bit easier.

I also want to give a special shout-out to my boyfriend, who stuck by a girl whose life was messy to say the least. We had only gone on only one date before Harvey, and I thought I would prove to be too challenging to stay around. His experience being displaced during Katrina was exactly what I needed to get me through, and I'm forever grateful for his patience and kindness.

I don't know what the future holds, but I know this is home. And now I have just the right full stop for one of the wildest years of my life. Thank you (tattoo artist) at (shop) for giving me exactly what I needed to close out this chapter. I'm looking forward to starting the next, whatever that may be.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:29 AM
Today's the day. The anniversary of when the storm really kicked off for us.

A year ago I was running outside to turn off the breakers because the water was getting high and we didn't want to be electrocuted.
A year ago, I had every electronic device charging in anticipation of losing power.
A year ago, I was watching news footage from down the street, the bayou swollen over its banks and still rising.
A year ago, the power finally flickered off, the picture from the TV cutting to black.
A year ago, I was flagging down an airboat to come bring my grandma and I to safety.
A year ago, I slept on the floor of a church that had hastily been made into a Red Cross shelter, as the Coast Guard flew back and forth long into the night, rescuing people off their roofs just a few miles away.

And here we go: the crying at my desk commences.

I think I'm most disappointed, a year on, that I didn't get a job in Dallas right after. Instead I had to keep myself in hell for six months, putting applications in, trying to be ready to move my entire life with two weeks' notice at any time, and getting zero interviews from 50+ positions. I really think my depression wouldn't have been so severe if I felt like I wasn't stuck.

And here I am a year later, still stuck. My parents didn't let me leave town or be independent in college until I finally moved out my senior year. I'm starting school again and I have to stay here, living with family. It's the same story, details changed. And I hate it.

I don't have a closing thought that wraps everything up neatly. I'm just going to hide in my office and cry over what happened and what didn't happen.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:55 AM
I've always lived my life incredibly risk-averse, even as a kid. Always careful. Always cautious. Always taking the sure bet. Always trying to follow the rules.

But where has it gotten me?

Am I just a coward, who's digging her toes into the diving board because she's afraid of falling, even though she knows it'll be ok in the end?
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Sep 03, 2018 09:12 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2018-09-03 21:14:05
School is going.

I'm taking two classes this semester. The first is Foundations of Social Services Policy. It's a completely new topic for me, but I'm keeping up. The reading doesn't seem to be too overwhelming and the mini-papers throughout the course seem doable. There's a group project, which, considering we're in an online class, is a little bit daunting and a little bit silly. That's what I'm most stressed out about for this class. I get assigned my topic and partner on Wednesday. Hopefully it all goes well. I didn't do much for group projects in undergrad and I can't say I'm a fan because I like to work at my own pace and under my own power. Waiting for people to fulfill their end of the bargain sounds stressful as hell just thinking about it. But all in all, manageable.

My other class, however...is Generalist Micro Practice. Though it sounds like I'm going to be counselling humans the size of ants, it actually means that I'm learning how to work directly with individuals, families and groups. My teacher is an adjunct, teaching three courses, and is also a practicing LMSW in a hospice setting. As you can imagine, he's kind of stretched thin, so I didn't get a syllabus until almost a week into the semester. He's not letting up on us, either. My first week had 150 very, very dry pages of reading. I'm almost done but not quite, and I'm hoping this week I can get ahead, but I'm also hosting on Tuesday and Wednesday and L is coming into down Friday. So, we'll see how that works out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I've been feeling kind of down about doing this degree. It was a compromise in the first place since I couldn't do my LPC. Even in my books it talks about the controversy over social workers giving psychotherapy sessions and how some people don't think that's appropriate. Cool. :(

I wish I could just take one class a semester--and that this degree didn't have 60 damn hours that I'm barely going to tackle in 4 years. Bleh.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Sep 10, 2018 09:28 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2018-09-10 21:29:43
I've never been particularly maternal. Some people say that they were born to be moms, that they've wanted children since they were old enough to carry around a baby doll. Me? Early on I kind of accepted that kids would be part of my future, but I didn't really relish the thought. My daydreams weren't about what I would name my kids--those went to the characters in my books. When I got older and became an adult, there was no way I wanted kids. Circumstances never allowed for the thought. I was either too young--or, when I was actually old enough, I was in a relationship where I knew I would be the only real adult. Going through a divorce, I was inordinately thankful that it was an uncomplicated split. Children would have just made things harder.

I've gained some weight really quickly (which is due to my Harvey anniversary sad eating, but that officially ended yesterday). As I was coming back from Rosh Hashanah services Sunday night, after a lovely weekend with the boyf, I was suddenly struck with a shocking thought. Yikes, what if I was pregnant?

I went to a grocery store (where the pregnancy tests were locked up in the closed pharmacy) and then a drugstore (where TWO TESTS were FOURTEEN DOLLARS) and finally got home and peed on a stick.

So when the little blue line showed up in the "NOT PREGNANT" column, I felt weirdly...disappointed? Don't get me wrong, that is NOT what I'm *trying* to do. I don't want to force our relationship to move forward before we're ready. But...I don't know. I liked the thought of starting a family with my dude. Call it my biological clock ticking, but yeah. Maybe I do want kids, with THIS person.

What is this feeling?? Who am I?
re: Living on the Upside Down (karma: 1)
By Sumayah
On Tue Sep 11, 2018 05:46 PM
You know that's okay right? That for what it's worth, as a steadfast childfree person myself, I want to tell you that it only works if it's right for you. That if you change your mind you aren't a traitor to the childfree club, or more to the point, yourself. That if you're in a place and a relationship where making a tiny human actually seems like a cool thing, that's totally a valid decision. Granted having L on board ahead of Whoops. WE DID A THING. HAHA. UM.... would be ideal, but the fact that it wasn't a cold sweat with a rock in the pit of your stomach waiting for a negative result is good. Anyway.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Sep 15, 2018 09:28 PM
I've been trying to eat better without dieting or making arbitrary food rules.

DO YOU KNOW HOW FARGIN HARD THAT IS???

I'm gonna talk about ED's here so if you're sensitive to that, here's your notice.

I have had disordered eating since I was a teenager. First it was restricting until about age 20. Now it's overeating. It's not really binge disorder. It's in its own weird little not-specified bubble. Basically when I get hungry, I absolutely HAVE to have a certain food and I get really, REALLY anxious if I can't have it. I get so fixated, I won't eat anything else if I can't. A girl's gotta eat, so it's way easier to just give in instead of fighting it. My stomach is sometimes upset and sugary stuff doesn't aggravate it, so that's a big chunk of my intake.

But I've been trying to sit with that fear. That it's okay if I don't have the piece of cake at the work meeting, because nothing bad will happen if I don't. That I can eat something else and it'll be okay. I've also been forcing myself to eat vegetables because if left to my own devices, I eat nothing but carbs and too much of anything is bad.

And at the same time, I don't want to restrict myself because restricting just means I'll binge on the thing I'm restricting later on. I'm also trying not to make "food rules" that I have to follow to the letter OR ELSE.

IT'S SO HARD.

And being raised in a very fundamentalist household, where everything is black and white, makes it VERY hard not to just go to one extreme or the other. Eat "clean", or eat "trash"? Am I a success, or a failure? Good, or bad?

ARGH.

So here I am, eating this buckwheat soba noodle bowl, because it's got broccoli and edamame in it and I haven't really eaten any veggies today, but not really enjoying it and wanting to eat a pint of ice cream instead.

I don't know.
It's stupid to have so much energy wrapped up in food.
Sometimes I wish I couldn't taste anything so I could just get my nutrition without all the drama.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:22 PM
Another good weekend. Since we didn't really get to "recreate the date" on our anniversary, the boy decided we should do that Saturday. He mapped out the whole day on his own. The first daytime plan was to go to the botanical gardens, but the weather didn't cooperate so we ended up going to an art museum. Grabbed drinks, had an amazing dinner at the sushi restaurant where we had our first date (but I was actually able to eat this time), adjourned to the bar where I first mustered up enough courage to hold his hand, and went home and kissed a lot. Re-do successful!

Since he'd planned the day so meticulously, and had ideas for every step of the way, I think I should be forgiven in getting a little nervous thinking he was going to propose. Nope, he was just being sweet and making sure we had a good day. I know guys shouldn't get cookies for doing things that women do all.the.time (like shouldering the emotional energy and time it takes to plan things out), and he probably wouldn't want them anyway since it's just the decent thing to do, but there are so many guys out there who are not nearly as thoughtful. I'm really thankful for him.

At dinner he brought up us living together once I move to DFW. This is something we really haven't talked about, mostly because I didn't want to pressure him into doing anything before we'd hit a year. I told him I'd been operating under the assumption that I'd be getting my own place because I didn't want to push anything before its time, and he said I could have my own space if I wanted but I told him I HELLA don't. I do not want roommates that aren't related to me or not sharing my bed. I'm in my 30s and I didn't even want roommates in my 20s, so I feel like that time has passed.

So of course now I want to move immediately so we can get our lives started even though I know I can't. But knowing he's thinking that far into the future? It's nice. I really do want a ring before that happens, because I don't want to just live together indefinitely without commitment (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt) but that's something we can address later on.

Oy, this Micro course is eating me alive. I thought this week would be kind of a break but I've got so much reading to do. I'm off to bed because I need to finish up my Social Work Ethics paper tomorrow evening. Toodles.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:34 AM
So, the Millionaire thing. (Both my shows have aired some places on TV, though the prime time run won't be until Dec 31 and Jan 1.)

I brought L up as my "plus one" for my last question to talk it over with me, and I missed it. It was the $30,000 question and I left with $5,000. If I had chosen to walk away instead of answer I'd have $20,000 on the way to me. Nope. I forgot in the moment that walking away was even an option and decided to go for it.

I got back to the hotel room and cried and cried because I couldn't believe what I'd done. In the grand scheme, $20k is not a lot, but for a social work student who works for a nonprofit, that would literally be *life changing* money. And I threw away $15,000, just like that. I thought this would be a better experience than Jeopardy but it ended exactly the way Jeopardy did: with me sitting in my hotel room, crying over a pizza. At least I didn't have to do it alone this time.

And then I ended up making L cry because he blamed himself for not advising me correctly, and he hated to see me hurting so badly, and I felt even worse. We survived, though. I basically had one of the worst days of my life and we never ended up yelling or getting mad. But hey, that's the good thing about being two Type A's in a relationship with each other--we individually blamed ourselves and didn't blame each other.

At any rate, I'm *kind of* okay with it now. Just judging from watching from some of the new season, I'm convinced they made it harder this year, which explains why they were literally running out of contestants and some people had 2 or 3 days to get their butts to Vegas. My $30k question was equivalent to L's $100k question in terms of knowability. So...I do feel better about that.

Right after I filmed, I wished I'd never done it at all. I've moved on from there but I still get sad every now and again. $5k isn't *nothing* and I felt like a brat for being upset about ONLY getting $5k. It's just hard when your boyfriend did so much better on the same show a year ago so you can compare yourself directly. He's way smarter than I am, though.

Anyway, I get my check in 30 days, so bully for that. I don't really feel like I get to do anything fun with it since it's such a small amount and I'll have to pay ALL THE TAXES on it. Into the down payment fund with you, I suppose.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Sep 27, 2018 04:42 PM
I was at a local chain restaurant for lunch yesterday and there was a gal in front of me ordering her food. Maybe 18 or 19, just being friendly, not flirty. Her responses to the questions the cashier was asking were fairly short, like where she worked and if she was off work now. After she was done, I stepped up to order and I saw him write a woman's first and last name down on a piece of paper with a marker and put it in his pocket.

I didn't know what to say. He'd probably nicked it off her credit card. Was he going to look her up on Facebook? I stumbled through the rest of my order and then as I was waiting for the to-go, I texted my sister and friend asking what the F I should do. And there was a part of me that said don't get involved, it's somebody's JOB, you're gonna ruin their life, etc. Women are so conditioned to be non-confrontational. But they pushed me to do something.

I decided to talk with a manager and intercepted him after he delivered some food. The manager listened and then gave me the song and dance of "oh, but he's so responsible, they're trying to make him a manager, he's a perfect gentleman", etc. I just said it felt strange, that's all. During all of this, cashier guy came waaaaay out of his way over and gave me a survey to fill out that had the same marker on it. I honestly believe he was trying to throw me off the scent.

The manager came back, ended up giving me my food once it was ready, and reiterated that this was a stand up guy, and he probably just wrote down his name for the survey that they give, and I said no, this was a first and last name and he didn't give it to the customer, he put it in his pocket. The manager: Oh. That's different. I'll look into it.

I felt sick to my stomach and couldn't really breathe. I had lunch but I wasn't hungry. I'm still doubting my perceptions and feeling horrible. I'm glad I said something on that girl's part because I didn't want her harassed or to feel uncomfortable. I'm in my 30's, I can shut that mess down instantly, but I remember how hard it was at that age. Even though I wasn't in the wrong, why does it seem like I can never set foot in that place again? Why does being a woman suck SO MUCH sometimes?
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Oct 14, 2018 09:41 PM
Got back from another weekend with L. Last week he came down to see me, and we were getting ready to have a really lazy Saturday. I noticed that Game 2 of the ALDS was going on in town and I said well nuts, I never got to go to a game this season. I was going to suggest we catch the game on TV somewhere later that afternoon. He suggested we go. In person. To the stadium. We pulled up StubHub and after seeing how moderately priced the seats were, I thought about it, but couldn't really find something worth buying in my budget. He suggested a pair of seats that were outside my means but he said he'd pick them up for us. I abandoned the decision to him because I'm still an awkward turtle about money. So tl;dr I got to go to my first ever playoff game in *i n c r e d i b l e* seats and holy crap I am so spoiled. And the Astros WON. What an amazing experience. I was still floating on a cloud for days afterward.

This weekend we went to the Texas State Fair!!! I'd never been, but it started out not so promising. It was absolutely pouring at noon so we deployed our backup plan, which was to play quiz a few miles away. That went from 2-4pm, and by the time it was over the rain had cleared up. (We lost by one measly point. Rats.) I had remembered reading that after 5pm it was half price with a Dr Pepper can. We rolled to Target to pick those up, and I got a pair of shoes that I could actually walk around in, and off we went!

We wandered around and looked in the various barns and saw horses and pigs and goats and strolled down the midway and tried not to get pulled in by the carnival barkers who said L needed to win me some ugly stuffed animal (haha, no thanks) and ate various fried things and got to see a cool illuminated dance show at night. When we were poking around in the shopping tents, we came across a jewelry booth and I started looking for my size rings for sale. L asked "So what IS your ring size?" Very sneaky. (5 3/4, to be precise.)

Really, just getting engaged would make me feel less anxious about the direction of this whole thing. Planning a wedding just seems stressful right now and could totally wait, but the confirmation of the commitment would make a difference. I haven't really been talking about timelines or expectations just because the previous serious relationships I've been in I had to basically badger my way into a proposal. I don't want that. I don't want ultimatums. I don't want to feel like I'm not worth the fuss. I just want an honest expression of love because he's ready to commit.

And although I don't want a big honkin rock, I'd like something nice. I never got a ring in my first "engagement" and the engagement ring my ex-husband gave me was $200. He only bought it because I got upset that my sister was engaged before I did and proposed three weeks later. It wasn't well planned, and the actual proposal was copied from my brother in law. :-| Thus I've got a little bit of a sore spot about this kind of thing. I know L will do way better (he knows my love for platinum and emerald Art Deco jewelry and I'm pretty sure he'll utilize that knowledge when the time comes) but I'm still wringing my hands waiting for it to happen.

This morning I told him I hoped he didn't think my needing to stay in HTX for longer was me stalling our relationship, since I knew that was an issue in his previous relationship, but he gave me a big old smooch and said he was not going anywhere, he understood what I needed to accomplish and that we have the rest of our lives to spend together. I reiterated that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and this was the current plan which could change at any moment. We talked the previous weekend about the future--basically everything is amorphous and he told me I shouldn't make plans based on his situation since if he can't move up in the organization he might not continue with his line of work. Likewise, I told him that if there was a cool opportunity somewhere else, I would follow him wherever. The main point is I just want to be together. I don't really care what that looks like. That said, I did find a front office job for the Astros that he's totally qualified for, but... :)

Two weekends in a row together really spoiled me. Now I'm going to have to wait three weeks to see him and that feels like forever. It'll be my 32nd birthday weekend, and we're going to see MST3K live (Joel is one of my comedy writing heroes and this is amazing) so at least I have that to look forward to. I remember L buying these tickets so long ago and thinking yikes, I hope we're still together by then. Now, I'm not so surprised.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Oct 17, 2018 08:59 AM
Just applied for a managerial position at work. Trying not to get my hopes up too much. I'm like 75% qualified so we'll see if that 25% is a dealbreaker. But it's hard not to get excited when it could solve the problem of me not making enough to have my own place and also give me a shiny new title change that'll be good for down the road. If I've gotta stay here, I might as well do something challenging and good for my career instead of stagnating, right?

I'm gonna try to not be too upset when I don't get it.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:05 AM
I miss my boyfriend.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Oct 28, 2018 09:09 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2018-10-28 21:13:38
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2018-10-28 21:14:36
(CW: eating disordered thoughts and behaviors)

Went to a dance competition this weekend, my first back since December 2017. It...did not go well. I messed up in just about every possible way and didn't place, even after dropping down a level. I didn't eat for 2 days, including the day I competed, because I didn't feel like I deserved it. I just feel so, so self conscious being on stage. It is hard being the fat lady getting up to dance and then messing up over and over again, because fat people are funny and clumsy and stupid, ha ha, isn't it funny to see the fat person try to do something for normal people and fail. I was ready to completely quit after my second event. I had the same judge for all four dances and I just wanted to die of embarrassment and also kick myself because I just felt so totally worthless and stupid. I have realized the amount of time I spend every day worrying about being fat, thinking about being fat, and how much I hate myself for being fat is absurd. I haven't gotten to the point where I want to do anything about it, because I feel like I deserve it. (I will be bringing this all up with my therapist, I promise.)

But at its core it was still a really good weekend. My sister is an amazing best friend who talked me down and encouraged me. We are going to put together a game plan tomorrow for every day leading up to the Oireachtas. (And yes, I did eat 2 meals today.)

Speaking of meals, my sister and I dropped through town on our way back home and had lunch with L. He drove an hour and a half each way to meet us, for an hour and a half lunch. I'm so blessed, honestly. It made my heart so happy to see him and my sister making each other laugh. I also found out I get him all to myself for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, which was a topic we had left to further information when we last talked. Hug, kiss, another hug, get back in the car to drive another 4.5 hours. Just too short of a time together, but I'm glad I got a little bit. Also the food was amazing--a Sri Lankan restaurant that felt like going to someone's auntie's house because of the hospitality.

This week:
  • Monday, dinner with Tine and planning sesh.
  • Tuesday, first QM gig at new trivia venue.
  • Wednesday, studying like a mofo.
  • Thursday, fundraising luncheon, cut & color (BADLY NEEDED), dance class.
  • Friday, nails, L(!!!), MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER LIVE(!!!!)
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Nov 04, 2018 09:29 PM
Birthday weekend was good! I was able to come up Thursday night after the luncheon and that ended up being a good call, not just because I got some extra time with L and a bonus night sleeping next to him. Even though I arrived around 11pm, it meant Friday was lazy and I didn't have to jump in a car to drive the 1.5 hours to Dallas after being in my own car for 4.5. The aforementioned MST3K was a blast (despite a belligerent drunk girl sitting next to Lincoln who ended up spoiling the first 1/4 but miraculously left under her own steam). The next day we went to a brewery and a bakery and a pizzeria (different places, not one big place). It was a really nice birthday.

Oh, and we booked our airbnb for our New Orleans trip in January! We're staying in a cute little shotgun house within walking distance of an amazing restaurant we've been dying to visit, as well as some other cool spots. I haven't been back in over a year, and he hasn't been back in an age, despite having gone to school there. So that's pretty exciting. 67 days away!

Big due dates for school projects are closing in on me and I am feeling a little overwhelmed. All the due dates are/were on weekends where I am competing. I need to take it one step at a time, and I know it'll all get done. It's just scary for now. So much reading. So much writing. And I've got to register for next semester's classes on Friday. I'm thinking about just taking the one stats class because lol @ me and math, especially since it will have been 15 years since I took a class even tangentially related to math. I don't know that I need another class needlessly complicating and crunching my time.

I am promising myself that we will talk more about moving and timing and everything else when I'm not under the gun, time wise. Although I'm not worried that he's going to dump me or decide the distance isn't worth it, the hurting is there. I just want to be a normal couple. I didn't want to leave "to go back to real life" today. His response? "Oh man, what a way to find out that I'm actually fictional." :P

Soooo much work to do still, blah. I'm calling it a night.
re: Living on the Upside Down (karma: 1)
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 17, 2018 09:35 PM
Grades are (unofficially) in and I'm coming out on the other side of the semester with two A's. Then I get to do it all over again in the spring! I'm taking Human Behavior (the kind of 101 class) and Diverse Populations. The latter sounds really interesting. I'm hoping the former isn't too simple--I'm thinking not, since I didn't do a BSW.

I told L about my final results and he was super proud of me. Honestly, I didn't think it was particularly impressive because I felt like I was barely hanging on most of the time. But L told me "working full time and putting yourself through grad school is really impressive. Getting great grades on top of it all is ���" And I thought to myself goshdarnit, maybe that is something to be proud of after all!

Today is the 1 year mark from when we went Facebook official. I've been divorced for a year as of December 8. It really is amazing to have a relationship that isn't a source of stress and frustration. Everything is okay when I'm with him and he supports me unconditionally. I have been doing a lot of remembering how different things are now--his gushing over my academic success is in direct contrast to when I was previously in grad school for English. My ex would complain that it was taking time away from him and that I didn't pay enough attention to our relationship (read: "entertain him"). I only lasted one semester in that program, even though I was having the time of my life. There are so many little contrasts that make me wonder why I put up with so much for so long.

I read back some of the earlier entries in this diary and I have to laugh. All the angst about where I stood with L--I should have just believed what he said, but I was so convinced that relationships could not be this easy and straightforward. It is amazing when your relationship is the thing you run to, instead of run away from, when things are tough.

We're about to spend our second Christmas together, just the two of us, and I could not be happier. I'm getting him a suitcase since we're talking about going to Europe in the fall and his current bag is pretty busted, but it's also an investment in our future together. Last year I ordered a Christmas gift and a Valentine's Day card at the same time since it was coming from overseas and thought to myself, gosh, I hope I'm not jinxing anything by thinking we'll be together in February. This year it's not even a worry. I know I can count on him, and that is so comforting.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Dec 30, 2018 09:32 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2018-12-30 21:45:41
I waver between being okay and being so, so not okay. But that's me, right? Always at the extremes? Black and white thinking. Either I'm doing something 1000%, or not at all. So I'm either feeling completely balanced with my food and eating intuitively (like today), or I'm beating myself up for being a whale. Friday night I woke up around 5:30am and couldn't get back to sleep until 7 because I was being tormented by negative self-talk. I spent an hour and a half crying about how I'm fat, I'll always be fat, I'm going to die fat, and I will never be credible or elegant or competent or anything other than garbage because I am fat. I had to will myself not to get out of bed and self-harm, something I haven't done in 10 years. I just don't feel like this is my body. The dysmorphia is strong rn.

I am really frustrated with my job. I'm slowly realizing my boss is a control freak and micromanager who goes in behind me and does things that are part of my normal routine without telling me. When she finds mistakes, she replies all and I feel like an idiot. She swears it's not punitive, but to keep everybody in the loop. I've been told I'll take over trainings for our system for going on two years now...and I'm still not doing it. My boss has been there for eight years and set up the system, so I understand her sense of ownership of it, but she's not the only person who can do this stuff. I don't want to feel like a child every time I make a mistake, because I'M GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES. It makes me wonder why I'm even there and how expendable I am. And I don't know what to say about it or how to try to fix it so that I do have more ownership over the business.

I wasn't even interviewed for the position I applied for because I didn't have experience in the system they use. When I asked how people get experience, the answer was "I don't know". :| Apparently the previous woman who held this job was a PhD student and had terrible trouble using it. A thought: maybe it's just a crappy system, dawg?

On Friday the CEO emailed his assistant asking "whoever does the mail" to look out for a check. I've been doing the mail for a year. A YEAR. We work on the same floor. I email him regularly telling him about big checks that come in. And he couldn't send an email directly to me?

So I'm just feeling pretty undervalued all the way round.

Christmas with L was quiet and good. He spoiled me with tamales on Christmas Eve, jewelry, books and a pillow with the text of Jane Eyre on it (hello we are nerds), and his amazing mom and stepdad got me a $250 gift card to Zappos since I'd told him I'd like to replace some of the stuff that got stolen out of my car in August. I went from having 3 pairs of shoes TOTAL to 9 thanks to various sales.

I hope I never take getting to wake up next to him for granted. The negative voices in my head just disappear when I'm around him. He makes me feel valued, beautiful and heard.

My entire family has rings in their eyes. My grandmother was bitterly disappointed I did not come back from Christmas engaged. "What's wrong with him?" she grouched. I showed my mom my nails the other day and she froze for a moment thinking I was showing her an engagement ring. I'm glad I'm not the only one. :P We're almost to a year and a half together and the last time I brought it up was July. So yeah. Maybe I'll down a few hurricanes and hand grenades in New Orleans and talk about it again over dinner at Shaya.

I've been thinking about the past year and in some ways I feel like all the light and color just drained out of my life. I need to follow up with my psychiatrist but at $60 a visit it's kind of a luxury at this point. I just didn't feel like this was a particularly good year in general. But a friend posted a thread asking for our proudest moments in 2018, and I realized I have a few things to contribute...

- paid off a credit card I'd had to close during my un/under-employment in 2014. I'll be completely debt free later in 2019
- did Millionaire! Even though it didn't break the way I wanted, I had a hella good hair day on camera, so there
- as mentioned previously, got into grad school, cashflowing my degree, and had my first 4.0 semester while working full time

I have mixed feelings about the year but the best part of it was 365 days of loving my partner. Whatever 2019 brings, I'm hoping it's new and shiny and full of good stuff. So there.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 21, 2019 02:41 PM
NB: I had to write a poem (!!!) to introduce myself for my Human Behavior class this semester. Despite being an English major, I am absolute crap at poetry, but I liked this well enough and wanted to share.

I am from swampland.
A city built on thick black clay
("Gumbo", they call it).
I am from steaming jungle humidity
and catastrophic flash flooding
and mosquitoes as big as a baseball.

I am from spelling bees and grammar workbooks,
of doing all my schooling at home.
I am from rooms full of books
and library trips
and constantly reading
and learning everything
about the obsession of the week.

I am from a strict church
and spending hours and hours on Sabbaths
sitting on a chair and wondering,
hoping it was time to go home.
I am from "don’t do this"
and "don’t do that"
and "definitely don’t do this"
but knowing very little about what I should do.

I am from masa and corn husks
and a sprawling family needing three rooms to eat
for every holiday, and some in-between.
I am from opening presents on Christmas Eve
and feeling sorry for those kids
who had to wait for another sleep.

I am from the Bayou City.
Even when those long canals hurt me,
even when they leave me homeless,
even when they destroy everything my family had,
I find comfort in those snaking, treacherous waterways.
It is home
and always will be.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:00 PM
I am in worry overdrive and need to shift gears. I am seeing L this weekend, but I was looking at my schedule for this coming month and it's looking really restrictive. If he can't visit this next weekend (the 8-10th), it'll be a month or more before we can spend time together again. Baseball season is getting busy for him, and school is going to bury me. I'm just so worried that this is going to drive us apart. That he'll decide this arrangement is too much trouble. That he'll think I'm not serious about us.

I'm scared. I don't really have any reason to be, and I should be happy that I'm seeing him so soon. But here I am.
re: Living on the Upside Down
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 11, 2019 08:55 PM
I am, as usual, a goofus who is worrying about nothing based in reality. He's committed and not going anywhere. Two great visits together on consecutive weekends. One month until we see each other again. :(

I have been plotting out timelines and revising those timelines and crumpling up those timelines and then making new timelines. I should probably have learned by now that making plans this far out is futile, but I have to hold onto something. I need a deadline. I need a point in the future when these long stretches of being apart is going to stop. I need to look forward to having my own space where I can paint the walls and mess up the kitchen. So here's how I see things going now:

Spring 2019: search for, interview, secure foundation internship for fall
Summer 2019: take last 2 foundation courses
Fall 2019: 1st semester foundation internship (which is going to be WILD--I will basically be working a part-time job for no pay on top of my full-time job)
Spring 2020: 2nd semester foundation internship (same craziness) + 1 class
Summer 2020: Take 2 classes, search for apartment/condo/house with L
Fall 2020: I will not be starting my advanced placement internship during this semester, so I can just start taking fall classes like I usually do. If I stay on at my job until September 15, I will a) be fully vested in my retirement plan and b) have 3 weeks of vacation that will be paid out to me when I leave. AND THEN, FINALLY, MOVE.

This weekend we talked about how nice it'll be for me to come home to him every night. He's ready for whenever I decide to move. I told him I'd been pricing mattresses (California King, of course, for the 6'5" giant I'll be living with). He was duly impressed with my bargain hunting skills.

Little steps.
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