Someone Wants Me

After upwards of 400 job applications submitted from the East Coast to the West Coast and the No Coast in between, finally someone wants me.

It took until the interview process to realize how much I actually want/need a job. I mean, I knew I needed one, but it wasn’t until something actually seemed promising that I felt that drive again.

I’ve loved the jobs I’ve had. And I haven’t had many. I started at Goodwill when I was 16 and worked there for almost four years, then at a car dealership for almost four years, then at NP Dodge for a year. Then London for three months while I finished my masters, followed by a couple years of unemployment and self-employment.

When the Target opportunity came up, it reminded me of the NP Dodge opportunity. When I was desperately trying to get away from the car dealership, I saw an opening for an escrow officer at NP Dodge and had no idea what that word even meant. I knew I fit most of the requirements and I knew that I was a quick learner, so I went ahead and applied on a whim. Much to my surprise, I was called in for an interview. I remember exactly what I wore. I had a great time in the interview and was told that they had a few others to do, so I should hear at some point. I went home and took a nap and was woken from that nap with a phone call: a job offer.

I ended up absolutely loving escrow and real estate. And I really excelled at it. After a few months, I was promoted to a salaried position and had a junior officer working under me. Soon after that, I was handling all of the REOs and FSBOs. It really killed me to leave. I know I wrote about it in here somewhere. It really did. I should have gone back, actually, after finishing my masters. I was just so sure that I’d land the perfect job in social media somewhere in New York.

Until I didn’t. I had quick-links at the top of my browser for HBO jobs, BBC jobs, BBC America jobs, AMC jobs, NBC jobs, ABC jobs, Discovery jobs, Time Warner jobs; pretty much every major network. I was on LinkedIn for hours every day scrolling through page after page of social media manager jobs and the like. I realized quickly that with the SM manager positions, they required anywhere from 1-5 years of experience. I applied anyway, but it was just one meme after another.

I had limited myself to the coasts, so I started pulling in from each direction. Okay, no one in New York or California wants me, maybe something in Connecticut or Washington? Okay, no one there, so maybe Colorado or Chicago? On top of that, I had started applying for whatever job was available at the places I actually wanted to work (the networks). Got a receptionist job open? Okay, hire me. Someone needed in the mail room? I’ll do it. Finally, I was applying for the same thing in Omaha, wondering if I’d ever be able to do anything remotely like I had dreamed.

When I moved to Minnesota with Andrew, I started looking around at anything surrounding me to see what kind of jobs were available. Lo and behold, the same IT/nursing jobs that were in Omaha were up here, too. i.e. nothing for which I was qualified. I found some social media or otherwise media-related positions open, but either I didn’t have the experience (cue the memes) or I just didn’t get the job in the end.

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but just in case I haven’t: I know how extremely blessed and fortunate I am to having been able to support myself off of my savings/trust for so long whilst looking for a job. I wouldn’t have been able to do it, much like much else, without my grandparents having the foresight and ability to create such a thing. I think it also enabled me to not search as frantically, and it definitely allowed me to hold out for the right job. Even when I panicked and got anxiety about my dwindling savings, I knew I had at least another year, if I so needed. But then it’d be gone, and what would my grandparents say, if they could?

So in the midst of another mild panic attack regarding just that topic, I decided to see if there were any openings at this Target Express down the street. Yes, Target Express. Google it. It’s amazing. I’m obsessed with it. I’m possessive over it. I need one like, in my apartment. Anyway, there was a Team Lead position open. My first thought was, oh I don’t have any leadership experience – thinking, I’ve never had the title of ‘manager.’ But like the escrow officer situation, I did meet the other requirements, so I submitted an application.

Two days later, I got a call about coming in for an interview. That interview was life-changing, no joke. The woman I met with just totally turned my view around: I had loads of leadership experience, I had led many people and many situations. She told me to be confident in that. She even said that I was phenomenal. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve never gotten that compliment in my life. I walked out of that interview with my head held so high. And I actually had hope again. I didn’t even realize just how hopeless I’d become until she gave some hope back to me. I doubt very much I’ll ever have an interview quite like that again.

After that, I interviewed with that woman’s mentor, who has been with Target for as long as I’ve been on Earth. Then I got to move on to the next one, and the next one, and suddenly, I’m at the First Ever Target to make sure I will be a good fit. When the store leader of THE Target said she’d love to have me as part of her team, I legit got choked up right there in her office. Someone actually wants me. Someone actually sees value in me. Someone thinks I’d be a good addition to their team, their company. It had been so long.

I walked straight out onto the sales floor and bought a few pairs of khakis and a few red shirts.

My goal is to not only sail through training and rise in the ranks, but to hopefully express just how thankful and honored I truly am for this opportunity. I know I expressed in each interview just how much of a Target fangirl I am, but I mean, I’m actually sitting here in tears just writing this up.

Who knows what this opportunity has in store for me. And Andrew. And for us. I mean, this is going to help us with our goal to find a house in another year or so. This is going to save us so much money on groceries and everything else we need. Personally, this is going to give me something to do. Something to get me out of the house. Something to feel like I’m part of the human race again. I have worth again. I can get rid of the guilt I’ve felt for depleting my trust. Hell, I can better serve the purposes of Far From Everything Films. Just.. so many good things.

Oh, one of my favorite parts: I had forgotten to take my lip ring out when I was meeting with HR, so I apologized for it. She said, “so what? You can wear that here.”

I have half of my head shaved, gauged ears, and a lip piercing, and all of that is okay. (Here come the tears again). Seriously, it’s never been okay. I had to ask/beg permission to put blue in my hair while I was at Goodwill. I got written up at Woodhouse for forgetting to take out my lip piercing. The head on the stud was stuck and I couldn’t get it off without greasy pliers from the service department, cutting up my lip in the process. I couldn’t wear it at NP Dodge either. Nor do I remember having any sort of wild hair along the way.

Now it’s okay. Now I’m okay just as I am. Not like these things make me who I am, but they are part of me. And they’re okay. What a relief.

This whole situation is such a relief. Finally, someone wants me. Target wants me. And Target wants me for me.

 


 

Speaking of someone wanting me, I’m also blessed to have a partner who wants me, and wants me for me. In spite of the fact that I worry too much and I’m a shit and I’m petty and I hardly ever put any effort into my appearance (subject to change with impending job) and I never help with the dishes and leave hair in the shower and otherwise leave the house a mess and whine when he stays at work late and whine just a lot of the time, probably, and make the occasional comment about wanting a ring and a baby and a house and an additional dog (or four) and all these other things, he seems to love me and even like me.

I’d quote a bunch of Sara Bareilles lyrics now, but I’ve already wept enough during this post.

What Is Life

Almost a month ago, I spent my last night in Omaha.

Most of my things were moved already, and all that remained were a few odds and ends, and my furniture.

The morning of the big move, I was seriously anxious. What was going to go wrong? What was going to get broken? What if this happens? What if that happens? I was also very emotional, even though I tried my hardest not to be.

My parents showed up to say goodbye; mom was a bit weepy and, of course, my dad says the things I always need to hear: I am worthy, I deserve everything I want, I can do anything I want to do, and I am loved. So, there went the tears. My brother showed up a bit later and stayed with me until just before I hit the road. He helped calm me down and let me know on his way out how well the moving truck was being packed. Phew.

The drive up here went by quickly and slowly at the same time. I got caught in five o’clock traffic just two miles from my exit and I was absolutely livid. I just wanted to be there!

That evening, and the week after, are a total blur of unpacking, buying shelving units and other fun IKEA things, building said things, hanging photos, organizing the kitchen, organizing the closets, etc. Oh, and sleeping poorly because one huge window in our bedroom was missing blinds. Waking with the sun every morning, regardless of when I went to sleep the night before, was aggravating as hell. And didn’t really restore me for a new day of work.

By the next week, we were already looking at puppies to adopt. I got Andrew caught up in the search and essentially all of our texts consisted of puppy photos all day. We knew we wanted a bigger dog and we wanted to adopt a rescue. In looking at the adoption process, I got discouraged. An application, an interview, references, a meeting, a home visit?! Jesus Christ, are we adopting a child? Applying for a government job? I had no idea it was so thorough and difficult. I understood and completely support the method behind the madness, but for those of us normal, decent human beings who aren’t going to chain the dog up outside 24/7… ugh.

We ended up applying for a dog that we totally fell in love with and then got denied because another couple was ahead of us in the process. Then we applied for a couple more and the same thing happened. At this point, I’m going, Jesus Christ, I’d almost rather pay double to just get one from a pet shop. But instead, we applied for a few more.

Finally (I say, finally; it was probably like, within a couple days), we got invited to go meet one of the puppies. He was adorable and cuddly and I think Andrew was pretty goddamn set on him. We fell asleep that night discussing ridiculous names, such as: Sterling The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers versus The University of Iowa Hawkeyes… [last name].

We communicated to the foster mom and the lady from the shelter that we indeed wanted this little pup… and then we never heard anything from the shelter.

Then, in true things-happen-for-a-reason fashion, the day I was bitching about the lack of communication and consideration, I got a call from another foster mom about another puppy we’d applied for. Apparently the people who wanted her were having trouble coming up with the adoption fee (red flag, much?), so if we want her, she’s ours.

I think this was a Wednesday. We set up a meeting for Friday, we filmed a home video (in lieu of a home visit) Thursday, we drove an hour to meet her Friday, and that night, we brought her home.

Meet Olive Adventure (and insert heart-eyes emoji):
Olive Adventure

She’s a (now) nine-week old Shepherd Mix. We aren’t sure what she’s mixed with, but we’re pretty sure that it’s a wirehair of some kind. She’s a joy and a laugh and a little shit and a snuggler and a whiner and so sociable and sweet. She’s super outgoing; she’ll go up to anyone and any dog. She wants to play with everyone. She doesn’t like being hot and will whine (kinda like me) and she has recently started fording the stream in the park across the street.
Olive in the stream

Andrew and I are now ‘daddy’ and ‘mommy’ and we’re just totally in love. (Cue: ‘awww’)

We’ve had her a week and a half now and, well, she’s exhausting. ‘Daddy’ is at work five days a week, so ‘mommy’ has to do the most potty breaks and cleaning up accidents and trying to get her to stop biting or chewing on absolutely everything. Not to mention, she’s up with Andrew when he gets up for work (somewhere in the neighborhood of 6am). So yeah, I’m getting a spa afternoon on Thursday lol

Adding to the frustration, I’m getting paranoid about my dwindling savings, so I’ve resumed the job hunt… again. I’m being fairly goddamn picky because I just am, but I want it to be within walking distance (which isn’t a huge ask, seeing as we’re downtown), part-time so I can be home with bb most of the time, and not a receptionist or food service job. Actually, what I’d really like to do is some writing from home. If only I could get myself to finish that ‘novel’ I started.

I’ve also resumed the fitness journey. Buzzfeed posted that circuit workout a couple weeks ago and I’m on the third week today. You’re supposed to up the weight each week; I started with 10lb dumbbells. Because the tiny rec in my building didn’t have 12s, I had to go straight to 15s… And to be consistent, I need to use 20s tonight. I’m a tad nervous I won’t be able to do it all, because I also have to up the reps by two. I don’t know how much physical change I’ll see in two more weeks, and I haven’t weighed myself because fuck the scale, but who knows. I’ll prob just keep going with it and eventually be curling 50s LOL

Anyway, I love Saint Paul. I keep saying it’s like Omaha and London had a baby because it really does feel like home and the city I adore. Our apartment is brilliantly located a block from the train and ten meters from the park, a few blocks from the river and a half-mile from Starbucks (win). There are a bunch of microbreweries and awesome restaurants within walking distance and anything else is on the trainline. I probably came up here with 6100 miles on my car, and I noticed the odometer read 6171 today. So, about seventy miles in almost a month? Not fucking bad.

The only driving I do now is to the chiropractor, which is still only about seven miles away. It’s a different technique than I was getting in Omaha, but apparently, this is the next step in my treatment that makes the most sense. Here’s to hoping I get back to 100% after a couple months of this. I got really emotional when I had my consultation with the new bonebreak. It just dredges up all of the accident memories and memories of all the pain. It’s almost been a year and I’m still dealing with everything. Thank God for Andrew, seriously. What a loving, caring, thoughtful support system I have. I’m embarrassingly lucky to have him. And my family, holy shit.

Tell me, what is my life without your love? Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

When You Walk Through My Door, You’ll Be Home

When I moved into this apartment, I planned on being here for quite a while. I spent a lot of time applying for over 300 jobs outside of the Midwest and finally accepted the fact that I just wasn’t going anywhere at the moment. Hence, starting Far From Everything Films, LLC with Jennifer, and basing it out of Nebraska.

When I had spent two and half years being single, I planned on being that way for quite a while. I mean, I didn’t have a job-job, I don’t like bar-hopping, I’m anti-social; where the hell was I going to meet somebody? Hence, downloading Tinder.

When I started talking to Andrew, I really just knew that was it.

When he told me he may be transferred to Minnesota, I knew I wanted to go with him.

When he officially got the job and asked me if I wanted to move when my lease was up, I said, ‘yes.’

Today, we officially signed the lease. So, by the end of May, I will have become a Minnesota resident. 🙂

Richard, My Darling

Richard, My Darling

After all the fruitless searches (thanks, Peter Gabriel), the frustration with MINI of Alexandria in Virginia (thanks, ‘salesman,’ for calling me back jerking me around and completely blowing me off), and the otherwise mentally-crippling anxiety (thanks, driver-at-fault), I found and bought the perfect MINI Cooper.

In the end, it was the first one I’d bookmarked. Of course.

I came across this blue beauty at MINI of Loveland in Colorado and really liked the look of it… minus the non-black wheels and the lack of sunroof and lack of heated seats. It was almost 100% what I wanted, but I wasn’t going to the whole settling predicament.

I had also found a nigh-perfect one in Virginia that ended up being sold right out from under me as I was speaking to the salesman about transport prices. The funniest thing was when someone from their customer relations department called me:
Guy: “I was wondering if you’d like to come out today or tomorrow to test drive something.”
Me: “Um, I’m in Omaha, Nebraska, so… no?”
Guy: “Oh, okay, (blah blah) Is there a time later this week you’d like to come out and take a look at our inventory?”
Me: “…. No. As I’m in OMAHA, NEBRASKA and I will not be booking a flight to Virginia, where you are, to test drive a vehicle I’ve been driving for the past four years.”
Guy: “Oh, okay, I totally get that. (Me thinking: Do you?) What can we do to earn your business?”
Me: “Well, you would have had my business already, but your salesman sold the car I wanted right out from under me, so I’ll be finding a MINI elsewhere.”
Guy: “Okay, well, please let us know if we can (blah blah blah).”

Yeah, no. I also got two calls from an English salesman (I see your strategy, MINI of Alexandria) assuring me that they’re looking all over for a MINI for me and they’re checking the auction list because they have the biggest used inventory in the country la-di-dah. Well, *checks watch* I wonder how long that list is, because, uh, I still haven’t heard back. Stay tuned to see if they ever find me a car!

Anyway. After all that garbage, I went back to the one in Colorado. The day I found it, I sent an email through their website asking some details and got a call from a salesman within the hour. It was late, even; it was like, past 6pm. Dave Parent of MINI of Loveland called me during an ice cream social they were having – yeah, the dealership was having an ice cream social – to tell me about the car and ask me some questions, etc. After that call, I already had an emotional attachment to this place and this car. I kept the tab up on my browser for days.

We talked again, and I told him the only thing kind of holding me up is the fact that it doesn’t have black wheels; by the time I spend the money buying black wheels, it’ll be way over my budget. He goes, “Why don’t I see if another MINI on the lot can swap wheels with it.” I was like, dude, if you can do that, it’ll be my MINI.

So a couple days later, he calls me back and tells me he wasn’t able to swap wheels without it significantly changing the sticker price, which I understood. This was after the MINI of Alexandria ridiculousness and I’d about had it. I told him the only other thing I wanted on that car was a luggage rack. He said, “I’ll put it on myself.”

Within ten minutes or so, I’d told him to do that and have it on by the next evening because I’ll drive down to get it myself. I could have had it transported for about $500, but where’s the adventure in that? Plus, I’m too damn impatient.

The next day (see, impatient), dad and I rented a car and set out for Colorado. This was the first time I’d been behind the wheel of a car since my accident (so, about forty-one days at this point), and I looked like this:
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The drive there went smoothly. There was quite a bit of anxiety to overcome, but luckily it was all interstate. The trees were changing colors and the weather was gorgeous. It was the perfect day for this journey. Then we encountered 5 o’clock traffic upon entering Greeley, which I hated. I was totally exhausted by the time we made it to Loveland.

But, boy, did MINI of Loveland totally rejuvenate me. That place is like a toy store to me. There are so many fun things and beautiful MINIs. The people are all great and enthusiastic. No one could believe I walked away from my accident and even asked to use the photos to show at meetings and to customers. Apparently, I’ve already helped sell a couple cars to people who worry about the small size of the MINI being unsafe. That makes me feel good.

I really wanted to cry right there at the sales desk. I’d just accomplished such a daunting task and overcome so many fears. I knew I was heading toward my freedom. I was heading toward the key to putting this awful experience and time behind me. It was going to be worth it. And my salesman and finance gal couldn’t have made the process any easier once I got there. They stayed past close and helped us into the MINI and directed us to an awesome BBQ place just down the road.

The next day, dad and I got up and had breakfast at the hotel. We were going to pop over to Estes Park to see the hotel from The Shining, but it was so foggy. Instead, we hit the road and took a detour through Wyoming, up to Alliance, Nebraska. I had never been in Wyoming and I had never been as far northwest in Nebraska. The drive through Scotts Bluff actually took my breath away – I couldn’t believe the land formations and valleys and trees. Who knew we had such a diverse landscape! In Alliance, we ate at a cute little diner off of Main Street and then popped over to see Carhenge.

Yes, like Stonehenge.
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I’d never seen it, so it was amazing. Dad and I spent some time geeking out, and then continued on home. Of course, with such a detour, we ended up with part of our drive past sunset. I hadn’t driven in the dark since the accident. Then we encountered some emergency closure of I-80 and had to squeeze into a caravan of semi trucks with trailers on a two-lane highway through a bunch of small towns. We were stop-and-go, and I was constantly worried the truck behind me wouldn’t stop in time, and at one point on the two-lane highway I randomly noticed how close opposite traffic was (I missed the median and four-lane interstate). There were a few times where my heart may have stopped.

We made it home safely and upon backing into my garage, I broke down. I did, not the car. I sat in my car and had a little weep. I stroked the steering wheel and tenderly caressed the dashboard and ran my fingertips over the MINI wings emblem. No joke. I didn’t know when I’d be back in a MINI Cooper. Let alone one so perfect for me. I didn’t know when I’d be driving again. I didn’t know how I’d do driving again. I made myself drive to Loveland, not only for the fun of it, but as a test. One I had no other option but to pass. And no matter how the drive there went, I had to turn around and drive right back. I was so proud of myself. I’d done it. And now I had him. My MINI. My darling. My Richard. Yes, that’s his name: Richard.

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It’s been a couple weeks now that I’ve had him. I’ve got my C. Friis rally sticker on the back driver’s-side window, I’ve got the grille badges on: a black, white, and grey Union Jack and then the Sir Alec quote, “I don’t want bloody women driving my car.” Those were the two I’d had on my British Chap; the grille, badges, and my license plate disappeared in the accident. He’s taken me to a friend’s wedding and to Target (oh lawdy, how I had missed going to Target) and to Starbucks. He whips ’round the roundabouts and is just a total stunner. I really couldn’t be happier with him.

Alas, I’m still incredibly anxious while driving. I have been doing my best to keep my eyes fixed ahead and not on the rear view window when I’ve come to a stop and I know someone is coming up behind me. Every car coming opposite is going to swerve at the last minute and hit me, I just know it. Honestly, the only way I’ve been able to get around that is to just resign to the fact that if that’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. And I’ll be hurt again or I could die. And my car will be wrecked again and I’ll have to start all over again.

Everyone says because I’ve been hit twice, statistically it won’t happen again. I almost failed statistics, so I’m not really sure I can grasp that logic. I think, if anything, it’s even more likely to happen again. I feel like a target. The dumb motherfucker who decided drinking and driving was a good idea that night sought me out. and now I feel like a target. Everyone is going to hit me and I don’t trust anyone. That person is going to decide they want that exit and they’re going to side-swipe me at the last minute. That person isn’t going to see me and they’re going to send me into the guard rail. That person is going to drop something and jerk the wheel and hit me head-on.

There was one day, though. One day since I’ve been back from Loveland, I went for a drive. Just to drive. Like I used to. I took Richard to Ponca Hills, my old neighborhood. I took him through the hills and around the bends and past my home that will always be my home. I took him out on I-680 and saw the trees looking like autumn and the sun was shining and I felt like myself again. Just for a moment. I hadn’t felt like me in a long time. I was on my way back.

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I am on my way back.

T-Minus Twelve Hours

So, in twelve-ish hours, my mom gets remarried.

I’ve been trying to tease out my emotions for a while now. Maybe lining them up would help me deal with each one. But I’m finding that I can’t, really.

I always cry at weddings. I’m a huge fan of happiness and love and I just get overcome. So there’s that. 

But this is my mom, you know?

My dad got remarried like, a year after my parents divorced, to a stranger (to me) in China, who still isn’t here due to immigration. He flew over on April Fools Day and stayed for three weeks. Sometime around Tax Day, he married her. He brought home a DVD of the wedding. I got to watch her get ready and him get ready and them saying their vows in Chinese and him playing Stairway to Heaven on an acoustic guitar. 

It was odd because I felt happiness for those two people getting married. Finding happiness. Finding love. It was like I was watching a documentary or a home video of two people having a foreign wedding. I couldn’t really connect to it being my own father. 

Tomorrow, I’ll be standing next to my mother as she gets remarried to a high school sweetheart of sorts, and I am wondering how I’ll feel. How I’ll react. Will I cry because it’s a wedding? Will I cry because it’s my mother? Will I feel like I’m watching from somewhere high above the ceremony, from someone else’s vantage point? Will I be sad?

I was a bit sad watching dad’s wedding DVD. Watching all of these family members be a part of this special day, but my brother and I not being there. Part of me was glad I was left out, but of course, it’s my dad; I wish I could have been included in some way.

Tomorrow, I am included, but I worry about how I’ll be. No, I’m not, I’ll do and say all the right things and it’s her special day and seeing her so happy will warm my heart. And yet, part of me thinks it’d be a bit easier to not witness it. 

I don’t know. Like I said, I’m having trouble teasing out my emotions. 

I’ve said it before, numerous times, but this is just something I never thought I’d be dealing with. My parents were married for twenty-five years, which was twenty-three years of my life. I’m twenty-six years old and I’m just now having to deal with a divorce and already remarriages. I’ll never be able to say which would have been better: them getting divorced when we were younger and we’d just be used to it by now, or doing it this way. I’ll probably always argue that it was harder for me this way. 

Of course, in the end, everything happens for a reason and everything happens when it should, as it should. How can I argue with that?

What’s even stranger is that dad’s wife has a son about my age, mom’s soon-to-be husband has a son just older than me and then two sons, seven and nine, I believe. 

I’m being very resistant to any ‘step-‘ terms. I have a mother and a father and a brother. I cannot call anyone a step-mother or step-father or step-brother at this age if no one has step-parented me or no one has been a step-sibling to me. I’m very possessive of my parents and brother. They’re mine and that’s it. 

But now they’re not. They’re other people’s, too. Perhaps I haven’t learnt to share quite yet.

I’m guessing most people who’ve gone through their parents getting divorced and remarried and doing the step- thing are wondering what I’m on about. I know. I’m an adult. I should have the tools to deal with this, I guess. Or at least be more open to these things. 

Maybe someday. 

I wish I could be a bit more like my brother in this case. He’s been very strong and ‘as long as they’re happy’ and ‘I’ve always wanted a large family/more siblings.’ I just haven’t, you know? I mean, sure, it would have been nice to have my cousins closer and whatnot, but Conor was just always enough sibling for me. I used to think having an older brother would have been nice, but Conor has the qualities of an older brother, so I get the best of both worlds. 

Now there are too many worlds, I think. 

And mom having these little kids around now. It makes me a bit.. I don’t know.. I wanted the first little kids she was looking after to be my kids, her grandkids. She’s going to be doing the parenting thing all over again before I’m even doing it. 

I am really going to hate even posting this, but I’m being fatally honest. And maybe someone will stumble across this open-heart surgery and think, finally, someone gets it

I don’t know. I guess I should get some sleep before the big day.

Mom’s going to look so beautiful in her dress. 

Do They Make Spanx Bikinis By Any Chance?

It’s summer again and I’m finally able to spend some time at the pool. (Being unemployed has so many perks).

However, this summer, it’s not work or clouds keeping me from donning that bikini, it’s the fact that it probably won’t fit.

I’m at my heaviest weight. Ever. I thought I was at my heaviest weight ever when I went away to college. 

My freshman year, my roommate and I felt like shit and decided to do something about it. We dieted (a bit too) heavily and spent two or more hours at the rec every day. I dropped thirty pounds instead of gaining the Freshman Fifteen.

Unfortunately, all I’d been doing was cardio and no strength training, so not only was I essentially skin and bones, but I gained it all back (and more) over the past six years. 

Jesus Christ, has it been that long since my freshman year of college?!

During my sophomore and junior years, I managed to run about three miles almost-every day, but I definitely found the pounds I’d worked so hard to lose.

A couple years ago, a coworker talked me into doing a ten-week kickboxing program that’s supposed to just get you shredded. It works if you follow everything to a T, but who am I kidding? I think I lost a bit, and she didn’t lose much either, so we then decided to get a gym membership.

I’ve always phoned it in when it came to working out because I’m chronically out of shape and just lazy. Something about Lifetime made me want to spend no fewer than three hours there. Every night. I’d pop in around 11pm or midnight and wouldn’t leave until two or three in the morning. No one was there, I had the place to myself. I could spend an hour and a half on the stationary bike and watch a couple episodes of Doctor Who, I could use the weight trees and the lifting area usually occupied by super buff dudes, I could sit in the sauna for a half hour and sing along to my iPod. It was glorious.

I noticed after a while of doing that, I toned up quite a bit. I could tell I was turning fat into muscle. 

As usual, there’s always that event that comes along to fuck up all of your progress – https://friisey.com/2013/11/21/two-days-in-nowhere/ – I stopped going to the gym and ordered way too much Jimmy John’s.

So here I am today: at my heaviest weight, at the beginning of summer, dying to go to the pool (well, okay, it’s a bit overcast at the moment), and wishing I’d spent the past six months whipping my body into a shape other than blob (like I’ve done for the past who-knows-how-many summers).

Although, today, I’m optimistic. Now, I go through this every time I start working out. Oh boy, this is sure fun! I love the endorphins and the sore muscles and I’m gonna do so well this time and this will be the last time I’m going to do this so I can just spend my time maintaining my perfect fitness!…. And then I sabotage myself or just get bored or I don’t see progress quickly enough for my liking and then I’m on the Jimmy John’s website before I know what my fingers are doing.

But like I said, I’m optimistic. And I’m kind of at my wit’s end. I know I’ve also said that a million times. I’m going to be twenty-six in six months. I’m an adult. I want to find a man and get married and have kids sometime within the next five years. I want to write a book. I want to feel comfortable with myself. I want my inner confidence to flow outward. I just want to look good because I feel good, and vice versa. Enough is enough. This is my last last straw. 

Since Friday, May 30th, I’ve worked out every day (except my rest day yesterday). Today is National Running Day (or something) so it’s not like I can pass up a run today (even if my legs are fucking killing me). I’ve been on the Health and Fitness Pinterest boards which I knew existed, but never noticed. I made a calendar for the month of June with a smoldering photo of Benedict Cumberbatch on it as inspiration: “He’s giving you the eye. It can either be a look of disappointment or a look of sex – it’s up to you.” (You can have that). I gave myself a stipulation: I can only go to the pool once I’ve lost ten pounds. My overall goal for now: Lose twenty-five pounds. 

I’m ready. I’ve been ready. I’ve started, and I’m going to do this. 

I’d love to enjoy this summer (and, um, fit into any of my shorts), I have mom’s wedding end of August, I’m a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding in October, my birthday is in October, etc. It just has to happen now. 

And honestly, I feel loads better already. I swear it was the third day, I hadn’t even worked out yet, and I just felt super comfortable with my body. I felt good because I felt sore, I felt good because I’d started this mission, and I felt good because I know where I’m headed and that I’m finally going to get there. I think the recent blast of female empowerment helped, also. My lack of fucks given has increased (or decreased) and I’m going to Walgreens in yoga pants like, oh, I’m sorry, can you see my thighs are a bit ripply at the moment? Well, bring your eyes upward – no, not to my eyes, to my ass. That’s right, my ass. It’s round and shapely and it’s mine. Oh, that bit of jiggle on my tum? Yeah, well, that won’t be around for long, but since it’s here right now, feel free to wish you could run your fingertips over my soft skin.

Ahem.

Another unexpected bout of confidence, and my inspiration for writing today, came from the amount of pins on the Health and Fitness Pinterest board regarding butt-lifting workouts. Or butt-plumping workouts. Or butt-enhancing workouts. I scrolled past about twenty of them before it hit me that I was scrolling past them because I don’t need them. My ‘ghetto-booty,’ as we used to call it, used to bring me to tears in the dressing room because it wouldn’t allow any goddamn pants to fit over it. Today, it brings a tear to my eye because I now realize it’s something to be coveted by men and women alike. 

In fact, I’d be nervous about doing too much cardio in fear of losing it. 

This has been a healing moment between my ego and my ass.

In conclusion, whether you’re wanting to lose weight or gain weight or firm up dat ass or whatever, start now. Just start now. You’ll literally feel better the second you do, and then even better once you finish, and then even better the next day. Then you’ll come to that second life-changing opportunity when you have to decide between making it two days in a row or settling back into old habits. Then you’ll have a chance on the third day to turn it into a streak or wish you’d continued with it yesterday. Whatever motivation, do it for you. Do it to feel better, because even when you gain two pounds the first week (it’s the fluid retention from the muscles repairing themselves, don’t worry), it’s already worth it – it’s your health. It’s your sanity. It’s your confidence. It’s your happiness. 

And in the mean time: embrace the body you have right now because you have it right now. You’re not going to lose three dress sizes after a mile run, so you might as well be okay with you as you are. You’re going to be changing, and embrace all the changes along the way. There’s someone in your life who deserves to have you happy, and that’s you. 

This has been a public service announcement brought to you, in part, by Jimmy John’s.
God, seriously, they’re delicious.

 

Consumed

As the titles of this blog and post state – I am consumed. But that’s just poetic for obsessed.

“I awake consumed with thoughts of you¹” sounds much better than “I’m obsessed with you.”

Already off-track.

I’m consumed, or shall we say, passionate about, journaling. I’ve journaled in physical journals since 2001 when I got one for Christmas from a friend. She doesn’t even know what kind of a monster she created. Some day when I write my novel or become a famous blogger, I’ll make sure to send her a royalty check.

Since that first journal, I’ve filled up about 15 of them. I couldn’t have started at a better time, really. In 2001, I was in middle school. Need I say more? Not particularly. I went back and read through every single journal before I started the one on which I’m currently working. Let’s just say that most of the tears were of happiness, but most of the laughter was of embarassment.

What I want to say is that, I am a total rambler as well as procrastinator. Again, needless to say, as it is evident from this post. Does it have a real direction? It’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? It could be exciting for you then.

Again I attempt to make my point – but that’s the thing, sometimes I never arrive at one. That’s what’s so free about journaling/blogging: it’s a release of thought, a stream of consciousness that may be neverending. And yet, it’s healing.

I like to think of journaling as a form of talking to myself. I like even more to think of talking to myself as a form of client-centered therapy. I just keep writing, internally urging myself along with implied questions, until finally my hand writes the right thing. That’s what I’m feeling, that’s why I feel this way. It’s like a less dramatic, less exciting form of House’s epiphany or Sherlock’s deduction. Yet, still just as satisfying.

For example, last May, my boyfriend came to me to let me know he was not in love with me, nor did he think he ever wanted to get married or have children. I could see that he was being conscientious, he didn’t want to waste my time because he knew that I wanted to get married and have kids; however, that didn’t make it any less difficult to swallow: I probably would have married him.

A couple months later, I was thinking about it and decided to journal – I had far too many thoughts running through my mind and just needed to put them somewhere else. After writing for ten minutes or so about what I want from love, what I want in a man, what I’ve had, what would make me happy, a wash of intelligibility came over me. I want A, I had B – why am I sad about losing something that wasn’t exactly what I want, maybe even need? Close, but not close enough. In that moment, I went from distress to elation. The obviousness was astounding, but it was like I had never thought of it that way until just then. This is what I want, so I need to focus on getting it. Hello. and duh.

Those are the situations that keep me journaling. Those are the client-centered therapy sessions that I’ll fully endorse. It’s empowering to work through such a personal problem and come out in the sunshine on the other side.

Not everyone gets it, though.

Anyway, consumed. I’m consumed with writing, and I’m also consumed with London. Growing up, I was a fan of most things British/English. The music, the humor, the cars, the people. Finally, I had my chance to visit Mother England. It has been very difficult to describe to people how at-home I felt walking those streets. It was as though I belonged there. So much so, that when I returned home, I was London-sick for about two weeks. I felt out of place in my own apartment, my own hometown. I love Omaha, but London just felt so right.

So right, that I’m in the process of applying for a visitor’s visa to go back for six months (and hopefully longer, serendipity permitting).

Part of the purpose of this blog is to document my experiences with the process. Not so much instructional as reactionary, I think. I’ve filled out the app about 95%, I’m working on getting a letter from my university that states I will continue my education online (which is what I’m doing now), and my next step will be to get a letter from my employer stating my leave of absence (likely) without pay.

My goal is to jump the pond ‘fore the end of May, this year. It’s a bit daunting, but I’m so ready to be there. Every day since I’ve been back, I’ve awoken consumed with thoughts of London, of walking the streets, of exploring, of meeting people, and of embracing the culture. If I had a crush before, it’s a full-blown, soon-to-be-requited love affair now. I wasn’t born there, but I feel it’s where I belong.

This is one thing I will not procrastinate.

¹Napoléon, who wrote to his beloved Joséphine

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