Wednesday, February 15, 2017

irresponsible is my middle name

I really want to go home next month.

The line up for Comic Con is pretty amazing; I mean, they have Weird freakin' Al! I have seen him in concert, what? three, four times? Ugh, I so want to go.
I miss home. I miss my family. I miss my babies. I haven't been home since the wedding, and I was a little distracted that week, to say the least.

I can't afford to fly home. I can't drive home, because we are a one-car family. Derrick can't come with me, because he needs to be at work.

I am trying to convince a couple of co-workers to take a little road trip with me. I told Derrick about this idea over text, he suggested talk about it more when we got home. We sat in our apartment parking lot, still buckled into our seats, and talked for ten or twenty minutes. He asked how I planned to arrange the money, I explained I'd pick up co-workers' shifts to cover the two shifts I would miss, and I'd save all of my tips for a month, and we'd not go out to eat all month. Splitting up the costs, the trip should be about $250 each. Derrick said he felt it was "financially irresponsible" to take this trip.

I burst into tears.

I couldn't help it.

I quietly choked out that I miss home.

My sweet husband pulled me closer and said if there is any way we can figure out covering bills and being caught up on everything, he would be more than happy to have me make the trip.
He is great.

I don't know if it could actually happen. I don't know if my co-workers will really want to, nor if they'd be able to.
But I hope so.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Blarghhhh

I'm pretty lonely.

I mean, I'm always pretty lonely. I've always been pretty much on my own. Now I'm on my own, but with my husband.

I don't need to go out every night, or throw tons of parties or even be around a ton of people. I just need to not stay home every night, and do nothing every night.

Ambivert. I'm drained by social interaction, but I'm drained by being secluded. I need to be with people, but not have any interaction with them. Actually, that sounds exactly like the majority of the time I spend with Derrick, hahaha.

---

Christmas was hard. Blarghhhh.
D-Rawk usually spends the day at his aunt's house, with his cousin and Oma. I usually spend the day at my parents' house, hanging out with 35+ family members.
This year we spent most of the day in separate rooms, occasionally busting out a wolf whistle to let the other know we're thinking of them.

I missed my family a lot.

You know what doesn't help? Like at all? "Your husband is your family now."

Please point this out to me again, everyone. Because I don't think I got it the first several times.
My husband is my family. This tiny family is great, I love it.
You know what DIDN'T happen when I married Derrick? My siblings did not stop existing. My parents did not disappear. My nieces and nephews did not disown me.
I HAVE MORE FAMILY THAN JUST MY HUSBAND AND IT IS FINE IF I MISS THEM!!!

It does not take away from my joy of being with Derrick. I would love if we both could be there, hanging out with everyone. Ya know, without the forced guilt trip of "This is your family now."


Here is the thing, though: Derrick is one guy. He hears all of my stories, all of my jokes, he is the one person I talk to on a consistent basis. He is one of my best friends, absolutely ...But I also miss my friends, and that is okay.

I haven't gone to a movie by myself since May, or maybe April? Which is odd because going to the movies alone is one of my favorite ways to unwind. I can relax by being with people, but not having to even make eye contact with anyone.
I haven't gone to a movie by myself because if I have the time to see a movie, I'd rather spend the time with Derrick. I'd rather go to a movie with HIM, or hang out at home with him. I just enjoy being with him.

But I'm still lonely.

Making friends as an adult is not easy, especially when my ward is made of of 172-year-olds and toddlers. A few of my coworkers are friendly enough, but we tend to work opposite schedules, so my free time is their work time and vice versa.

Blech. I'm going on a drive around Portland tomorrow (after running an errand for my husband), and taking myself to lunch and a movie. We are pretty broke, but I have coupons, gift cards and cash tips.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Thor and Orion

I have so many thoughts, and none of them follow a cohesive structure. I'm just gonna ramble, ok?...


My husband started a new job this week, and I am relieved because the great savings account I had in August is now empty. He has been worried that he has felt like a mooch, and I've done my best to qualm those worries, while trying to not complain that I've been working all day and I'm tired.
But yay, we will both be exhausted when we get home!

Being married is stressful, but not stressful at all. Like both being managers of a shop together, and trying to run it smoothly, but being able to say "Let's shut down early." and just veg out. Ideally: his needs, the house needs, and then my needs. Reality: a bit of his needs, mostly my needs, his need, maybe something for the house, more of my needs.

Or like today! Slept in, relaxed, fell back to sleep until early afternoon, made myself lunch (he'd eaten breakfast and lunch by then), watched a movie, loaded the dishwasher, watched another movie, he made me dinner, and now I'm watching another movie. And he has been playing video games all day.
But hey, it's a holiday, hahaha. We'll get back to routine within the week.

Derrick is very kind and patient. A sassy jerk, but with a wink.
Me: "Huh, I should probably wait to fill my glass until I sit down, rather than cross the room with a full glass."
Him: "I have shamed you well."

-----

I am almost 58 years old, so if I am going to have kids, I had better be within the next couple of years. My biological clock ticks differently than Derrick's, haha. I feel such a strong need to start a family as soon as possible, he feels such a strong desire to be financially stable with good benefits before we have a family.
He is not wrong, obviously. He's got a good head on those shoulders. But there is so much unknown and not guaranteed! I worry that we'll wait and wait and then find that we can't have kids or something.
But I am great at over-thinking and worrying.


And he wants to name our kids Thor and Orion, so maybe it's best to wait.






Friday, December 09, 2016

I'm gettin' married in the morning; ding dong, the bells are gonna chime

There are only a few little things I'd do differently, if I could rewind and have my wedding over again.

First off- worked my booty off to lose my double chin and get my jawline back. I wish I could look at my pictures with nothing but a smile, rather than a permanent cringe. Ugh. I'll use it as a push to get it back now, but yeah... ugh. >:(

I wish I had gotten a picture with my sisters. I just didn't think about it.

I would've cleaned up my playlist for the luncheon, I did not love how slow and quiet the music was, when I could hear it. The room needed music to liven it up. I'd slapped the playlist together without editing it back down.

I wish I would have turned around and taken in the love of that little room during the ceremony, packed to the gills with people I love (for the most part, but I've already gone there with all my snark, so yeah). I was overwhelmed and having a hard enough time keeping it together, just crying instead of openly weeping. I'm sure looking around the room would've pushed it over the emotional edge.

I wish I'd known how to make the luncheon less awkward. It was just...so...I don't know. I wanted lively conversation, people having fun, and I've gotten feedback saying it was just that, so I'm happy enough. I just would've loved it less quiet and just-sitting-there-ish.

I wish it could've lasted longer. From start to finish it just was so, so quick. I only got to wear my lovely, lovely dress for a few hours. I could've worn that dress for several days. I could've slept in that dress. I love that dress. I feel fantastic in that dress.















(I was so glad my best friends could be there! Sarah and Honeyman and Annie and Brittany have all been my sidekick at one point, or several points in my life. I love these four so much.) 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

There's just a few more hours, that's all the time you've got. A few more hours, before they tie the knot.

I have never wanted to have the typical LDS wedding reception open house because, I can't emphasize this more, I do not like being around people I do not like.

I never wanted the line, having to shake hands with strangers, live through forced hugs with distant relatives.
All I wanted was a breathtakingly beautiful reception filled with people I hold dear. (This is also how I'd like my funeral. So, ya know, take note.)

On the 4th of July, I video chatted with my big sister Deborah for a long time. We talked about a lot of things, but we discussed what I want in my life, and how to get there. She told me that I had everyone's support and not to stay in something that wasn't exactly what I wanted. She asked what I wanted and I responded with five kids and a home salon.
After that call, I went back into Derrick's apartment and he asked why I was crying. I tried to brush him off, but he is great and wants to know what is bothering me and how he can make it better. I basically said that I need to know our life goals are the same, I need to know what our future looks like, if we have one. He basically said he hopes I am his future. He would KILL ME for discussing this personal conversation. He feels what is personal should remain personal. So I'll leave it at that fact that we wanted to be in each other's futures, we wanted an eventual wedding...I wanted this fall, he wanted maybe next spring or summer or sometime in the future.

Derrick proposed on the morning of my birthday, on the front porch of my parent's house. He wanted to do it at my childhood home, with my family. He did it in front of my parents and nieces Caroline and Emma Kate. He chose a beautiful ring (Hallelujah. He wouldn't let me look at rings with him, he is very traditional in many ways.) of a ruby center stone and white sapphires. I had told him I did not want a diamond ring. I just wanted a kind-of-big ring that had rubies. He was adamant it needed a center stone, because that is traditional. It is lovely, I really really really like it.

Because we were moving to Washington in only a few days, my mom sat us down and asked to plan out the wedding. Aaaaaaaaah, uh, I don't know! So we did our best, threw out some ideas, started to suss out what we wanted.

We wrote out a list of people. DRawk's family and friends would be coming from Colorado and Texas, so I felt it appropriate for his list to be included completely. Then my parents' list, because they were hosting the event, and my list (which was slapped together off the top of my head and a quick scroll through my Facebook friends list). The number was capped around 120 or so, whatever it was that Meridith had had, to fit in the cultural hall of the nearby church building.
Derrick's list was somewhere around 20, the parentals list was enormous because it included all of my siblings and their kids and all of my aunts and uncles. I decided that cousins were not invited, because the list was already ridiculously long, and I am not friends with my cousins anyway (except one, but she was included on my friend list).
There were many people who I did not include on my list, especially because of the limit of guests. I had to draw a line in the sand, and decide what constituted someone I should invite. I decided something along the lines of, if I looked out at the guests and was saddened I didn't see them, they should be on the list. If I was inviting them purely out of guilt or feeling obligated I took them off the list.
I wanted to be able to say we had everyone we wanted to be there, and that everyone who was there was someone we wanted to be with.

Yeah...didn't really happen. Blah. People inviting themselves. People inviting other people. People asking my mother, who's obligation was to being welcoming to everyone rather than my super selfish outlook of I do not like being around people I do not like being around, so she ok'ed all sorts of extra guests or did not correct people when they invited themselves.

UGH. If I haven't said one word to you in 20+ years, or have never met you, there is a giant possibility that I do not want you at my most vulnerable moments. Ya know, just a thought.

I do not even like my parents discussing my current living arrangements or career with strangers and extended family and pretty much anyone. I do not like people being privy to things I do not tell them myself. (And with how much I dislike talking to people I do not know/enjoy, that doesn't happen much.)

I deal with my life a very special way. I deal with my awkwardnesses and anxieties and things I purposely avoid by very carefully choosing who is entered into my circle.

I know this is not how others do things. I know according to everyone I should just be loving and friendly and welcoming to all.
Yeah...no.

"Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet."
GROSS. NO.

So, yeah. People were at my wedding who I was not happy about, and thoroughly uncomfortable that they took part in a very personal situation, and annoyed that they were even there by self-inviting measures.
And even more annoyed that the world doesn't cater to me and my needs and every desire and WHY DO YOU LIKE ME AND WANT TO BE INVOLVED? I HAVE NEVER EVEN BEEN NICE TO YOU! I AVOID YOUR EYE CONTACT AND GET OUT OF CONVERSATION AS QUICKLY AS I ACCIDENTALLY GET INTO THEM!
(hahahahahahaha. I'm kidding. Ok, like 90% kidding. Ok, like 42% kidding. Ok, I'm not kidding.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I gotta be there in the mornin', spruced up and lookin' in me prime

So, uh...

I got married.

Yeah.

I genuinely didn't really think that'd happen. It still doesn't even feel real. I know I hang out with this great guy all the time, but it's so bonkers that he is my HUSBAND and that this is it for good.

I had a really hard time being in the moment and really wrapping my head around the idea day-of.
Everyone says their day went really quickly, but mine really, really did. And not just in my head. Because the whole thing was from 11:30 to about 2:30.

I wish it were longer. I wish it were an all-day situation. I wish I could be wrapped up in the sweetness for all day. So much time and effort and tears and stress and work and it was all over so very quickly.

I mean, it was planned that way, it's not like something bad happened and everyone left suddenly. I planned it that way to make it simple for everyone involved.

---
Well, I should back up...
---

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Boxes, tape and Sharpies...oh my

I am sick of living in Colorado. I would've moved back to Utah in November, after my car accident, if I didn't have Derrick in my life. This guy is pretty great, and it would suck to live far away from him. So I stuck it out, I stayed working where I had no friends, I stayed in uncomfortable situations.

A few months ago I told Derrick that I am done. He asked, "So what are you saying?" I said, "I want to leave here, but I don't want to leave you." After some discussion, he asked "What can I do to help you be happy?" I again said that I want to leave, but not leave him. He has always wanted to move to Portland. I told him I will not move in with him, but I would love to move to Portland and explore a new town with him.

A month later Derrick offered to help me save money for the move by moving out of Elle's house and living rent-free in the man cave in their garage. (It houses a couch, dining table, recliner, TV) His roommate Derek was fine with the idea. My parents freaked out at the idea. On April 28th my mom offered to take me to Hawaii with the catch that I had to move home. No. Stressed about what to do, I visited Derrick at work and asked if he'd take his lunch break in my car. With me crying about not knowing what to do, we talked about our future and Derrick said, "I know I've never said this to you before, but I love you." He is great and we are very similar and very different.

So I spent a few weeks packing up everything I have in Colorado (which has seemed to triple since moving here a year ago), and moving it all into the garage of Derrick & Derek.

Wow. The past six weeks have been NIGHT AND DAY from the previous year. I quit being a floater for the salons, and switched to being full-time at the salon five minutes from Derrick's house, and went to a restricted schedule to have Sundays off. So very nice. My anxiety levels have dropped considerably (also helps that I went back on Prozac a few months ago I was having a really hard time at work, sick to my stomach and shaky and panicked. I tried Celexa for two weeks, but had crazy irregular heartbeats that really freaked me out...like to the point of sending Elle a text at 4 a.m. asking her to check on me when she woke up, just to make sure I was alive and kicking.)

Really, it has been so pleasant. I hang out with Derrick for a good chunk of the evening, and hang out alone on the couch with my iPad for a good chunk of the night.

Now we are packing up all of his belongings this week, for our move to the Pacific Northwest. We both quit our jobs already, and have the next three days to get everything done. It's so much work, lots of little details you don't think about...like getting my mail from Elle, refilling prescriptions, and random little things like that.
We got the kitchen, bathroom and closet packed up, today we are working on the electronics we don't need for the next couple of days (TV, speakers, etc.)
Soon we will do the big things: couch, bed, desk, dresser, side tables, etc.

A little bit crazy, yes, but I love being with Derrick. Yesterday while we were driving to Fort Collins, Derrick looked at me and said, "I know we are going to be happy." I agree. Giving service to him is my daily goal, and I know we will enjoy exploring the new city together.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Steamy Perfection

Oh my goodness.

But really. Oh my goodness.

Derrick is from Round Rock, Texas. This is especially fun because he introduces me to good ol' Texas barbecue. :)

He has been excited about the idea of the existence of a Rudy's BBQ in Greeley, Colorado. Apparently they opened yesterday, but I had to work late. After the whole running-out-of-gas thing, I jumped in his truck and we headed over to the new restaurant, which is next to a Texas Roadhouse, which we both thought was odd, but whatevs.

The whole place was pretty packed. There was the buzz of excitement and newness and opening weekend fun. We stood in line for quite a while, but it gave me enough time to actually peruse the menu (I get such ordering anxiety. Ugh.) My sweet boyfriend explained their menu and how they did things and recommended his favorites. He ordered the brisket sandwich and coleslaw and I ordered the smoked potato with pulled pork and the small creamed corn.

Oh my goodness.

I tasted one spoonful of the creamed corn and immediately told Derrick I wanted to bathe in it. Amazing. Just...yeah, amazing. I have loved creamed corn pretty much always, but usually creamed corn has a canned corn metallic tinge and a gelatinous thickener.
This creamed corn is simply perfection. PERFECTION, I TELL YOU.

Fresh corn-on-the-cob flavor in the kernels, and the cream is like the milk from a pressed kernel, but creamier. A little garlic, salt, pepper, and a dash of STEAMY PERFECTION. Nothing gelatinous in it. Not a bit. Just warm, fresh, amazing corn. Mmmmmm.








AND THEN!
Oh, and then!

I thought it couldn't get any better.
My plastic fork didn't hit any resistance as I scooped into the flesh of the potato. I put it in my mouth and it MELTED. It melted. The potato just melted into a velvety mix of smoky, buttery goodness.

I might have moaned.
It was amazing.




Friday, May 20, 2016

A Special Kind of Frustrating

Today needed a redo button.

I have been the "floater" for this district of this market (from Fort Collins to Firestone), and I get my schedule texted to me by the GM, Pon. Occasionally I will see that the schedule in the salon has me marked for a little bit different of a schedule than I have. (Usually keeping me on the clock an hour or two later, rarely letting me off earlier.)
Yesterday I noticed that I was written down as a 10-7 shift, and Pon was on the schedule for 9-5/6, which was the schedule she had texted me that I was was working. I asked the employees of that store and the assistant manager told me to come in at the scheduled 10 o'clock shift. Later, as we closed the salon together, he told me that I should come in at 11 instead, because we had been so slow that payroll would be terrible.
I woke up waaaay too early this morning, so I eventually fell back to sleep, knowing I wouldn't have to leave the house until 10:15. I woke up to my phone ringing, it was Pon. She left a voicemail saying I was supposed to be at the salon, and I wasn't there... uh... I called her back and explained what I was told. So she asked me to head down there as soon as I could. I got there at 10:25, and the assistant manager had been holding down the fort all by himself for an hour and a half. Hahaha. Oops. (Then the next three employees were all late by at least ten minutes.) Rough morning all around.

When I got off work I drove back to Loveland from Longmont and went on a little drive, stopping by a lake I had never seen before. Derrick called (which is delightful in itself, as I rarely talk to him on the phone), and suggested I meet at his house in Greeley and go to the BBQ restaurant that just opened. I told him I'll be right behind him, but I probably have to get gas first.
My new car counts down the miles left until the tank is empty. This is really cool, I like it, I've never had that feature before. I like knowing that my car runs about 390-405 miles on a tank, which usually costs me about $25.
HOWEVER, it stops counting down at like 40 miles left...so, although I know I should just always keep it over halfway full, I wish I knew when I was getting down to fumes.
I got about 15 minutes away from his house when suddenly the car chugged. Oh crap on a stick. I had missed my turn into the gas station a few feet back because I was distracted by avoiding the man on the motorcycle who had just winked at me as I accidentally caught his eye while I applied lipstick.

Crappity crap crap. Chug, slow down, chug.

So I turned as soon off the interstate as quickly as possible, coasted down a street, kind of Flinstoned it through the roundabout, and then came to a stop. Blah.
I threw on my hazard lights and called Derrick, laughing pretty hysterically. Of course I ran out of gas. Of course I did.
I got out and pushed it down the street and kind of around a corner. A man with long dirty hair and a really long dirty beard was riding a bike down the street and stopped and told me I'd be fine to leave it there in the road because my hazards are on and the cops in Johnstown are pretty chill about it. I told him I was going to push it off into the dirt road area regardless, so he got off his bike and helped me push it. Right as we got it in place I saw that another guy had stopped his car and was running toward us. He saw me put it in park and shut the door and he stopped running, stood there for a minute, turned around and walked back to his car. Sweet.

Derrick went all the way to his house, got the gas can, went to the gas station and came all the way back to where I was parked. 45 minutes. So nice.

Derrick has never run out of gas, because he takes care of things like that...I obviously don't. I hate pumping gas. I don't know why, but I just have never liked it. I love going to gas stations and getting treats and a soda and things like that, but I just can't get myself to pump the dang gas.

Derrick was probably frustrated with me, but he was very kind and put the gas in and said "We are going to stop at the Shell station nearby before we go anywhere else." and "How does this happen? I have never done this. How does this even happen?" Hahaha, I am a special kind of frustrating.



Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Sorrow and joy

What a bittersweet day.

Derrick's 89-year-old paternal grandfather (Paw Paw) fell and broke his hip a few days ago. After surgery, they've now found he has two abcesses in his colon, which would need two surgeries that his body is not strong enough for. The doctors have said he has 6 days to 6 weeks to live, and they are giving "comfort care" now.
For the past few days Derrick has been spending time at the hospital, sitting at his Paw Paw's bedside, giving his Oma a chance to go home to shower.

Today Derrick texted he was heading over to the hospital and "you're welcome to come up there if you want", so of course I wanted to support him however I could.

Paw Paw was sitting up in his chair and asked, "How was your trip out West?" when Derrick asked him if he remembered me. That was the most alert I heard him all day. We sat with Derrick's Aunt Kary and quietly chatted as Paw Paw went in and out of sleep. Kary suggested Derrick rub Paw Paw's neck, because he had complained about a pain. It was sweet to watch Derrick gently take care of his grandpa.





He was not pleased that I took a picture, he said it wasn't the right time for that. I told him I disagreed. From a completely respectful stance, from someone who appreciates documentation of family/personal history, I disagreed.

It was sweet to watch Oma kiss Paw Paw's head, rub his hand and ask what she could do for him. I never had that experience with my grandparents. I never had to watch them see their spouse's life slowly come to an end. My paternal grandpa passed years before I was born, my maternal grandpa passed from a horseback riding accident, my paternal grandma passed from cancer when I was 18, and my maternal grandma passed a month ago.

Oma: "It's all part of the plan. Birth and death and sorrow and joy." She hugged me tight before I left, before she made up her bed on the couch in the hospital room. When I looked at her as we were walking out she had pain on her face for the first time, tears in her eyes. My heart broke a little bit in that moment. She gave me a half-smile and a small knowing nod and said goodnight.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's a Match!


I love Elle. I enjoy that we can speak the same language as we are both stylists and work for the same company. Elle admittedly does not like hosting people. If you come to town you're on your own in regards to activities.
The first morning after I moved here I was alone in Elle's parents house with nothing but my phone and a small backpack of clothes. I spent the morning relaxing, watching Forensic Files on my phone. I drove around and explored the nearby cities a little. I found my new salon and brought them Chips Ahoy and introduced myself. I drove back to Loveland and found the movie theater. I saw the movie my dad had been gushing about on his blog. (Beyond the Madding Crowd? Something like that.) It was slow and boring and the presence of the delightful Michael Sheen was the only good part. ...it could be because my bladder was threatening to burst and kill me.

That night I laid in bed (in the guest room in Elle's parents' house) watching Forensic Files and pulled up Tinder on my phone, as I often do when I'm far from home. I am entertained by the profiles of the guys on there, and find it fascinating to see the difference between those in Utah County, and wherever I am. (I've done it in Las Vegas, Minnesota and now Colorado. I have a standing date next time I'm in Vegas, haha.)
There were a lot of hipsters, which makes sense now that I've been around Boulder and parts of Fort Collins. I always swipe them away. I swipe away everyone. I don't use it looking for a date, I use it as a sort of    entertainment, like reading Missed Connections on Craigslist.
There was a guy named Derrick. I...I just couldn't swipe it away... I closed out the app and reopened it. I looked at profiles for about an hour and Derrick popped up again...I closed out the app.
The next day, June 1, 2015 -- The Big Move
I slept in, despite the sounds of Elle packing up the bathroom outside the door of the guest bedroom.
I admit, and anyone can attest, I hate situations where I'm expected to follow someone's lead and clean a house, weed a yard, move boxes, do manual labor, pretty much any group situation where I can't go at my own pace. I fight so strongly against following someone else's timeline. Not externally, and not on purpose, I just caaaaaaaan't do it, I hate everything about it. Give me a project, give me general (not definitive) instructions, give me a deadline...right after the deadline comes and goes I'll get it done. My way.

So. Moving.
I helped put a few things in Elle's brother's truck. :)
I grabbed my backpack and purse and met Elle at her house. I set up my inflatable mattress (which I lovingly call The Inflatabed) and the standing shelf organizer thing I got at IKEA.
Then I sat on my floor, spacing out. While various men helped Elle bring in furniture.
While spacing out I played on my phone. I opened Tinder to waste some time. After a few unintentionally hilarious profiles and my subsequent swipe away, Derrick popped up. I almost closed out the app, but decided to swipe right instead. Moments later my phone buzzed with the little sound trumpeting "It's a Match!"
A few minutes later I had a message from this guy, saying "you sure have a pretty smile."
Ok, boy. Let's do this. I love the first get-to-know you, it reminds me so much of my AOL days. I rocked chat rooms as a 12-year-old. I a/s/l'ed with the best of 'em.

So I responded. And to read the last page of the book first: I kept responding; it has been 7.5 months, I haven't stopped responding.


And so it begins...

I have not kept up to date with this thing, and it's a shame because I love to be able to go back and read my ramblings about inconsequential things.
So, going back...

I drove to Colorado on May 29, 2015. I had planned to leave the day before, but had a lot of cleaning to do still. I spent that day (May 28, Elizabeth's 41st birthday; [hbd, Eliz!]) wiping out the bathroom cabinets and throwing away old cosmetics and broken hair accessories. (See, I can let go of things! Rescind your application to Hoarders.) I then worked on boxes in the garage, which was harder. When I moved from Las Vegas back home to Orem, I tried to organize as I boxed things up. That was taking far too long. My big sister Elizabeth helped me pack by throwing everything in boxes. These were the boxes I now had to go through, and was back to the situation of having to organize as I cleaned things out.
The mess got bigger (organized piles, but piles nonetheless) and stressful. I started handing boxes and bags to my mom, things (cute bags and cosmetic and hair samples) for her to give to my nieces from me. (I didn't finish and Meridith saved the rest of my pile from a life in my mom's favorite storage bin: the garbage can.)

It was a rainy day, so I'm glad I took the time to clean rather than drive through the rain. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Irrational fear and a cold Diet Coke

I haven't been able to breathe today. Hmm, I'll back it up a bit...

To talk publicly about health issues is pretty much the norm, right?, and people seem to come out in support and sympathy. Unless it is mental health...then it's over-sharing and attention-seeking.
So here I go sharing too much:

The phrase "anxiety attack" is thrown around incredibly freely, to the point that it loses the power of expressing the actual terror behind it. Absolutely losing the control between mind and body. It is a terrifying experience at times. In my mind there is some sort of cartoon moment where the character needs to escape (oncoming train, what have you), and their feet have been glued in place. That sheer panic on the character's face as they flail, trying to get away, but not making any headway. This is the only way I can explain having an anxiety attack

I deal with anxiety. In the past decade I wouldn't always say I suffer from anxiety. Frankly, it is almost nice to have an excuse for why I don't do things I wouldn't want to do anyway, even if it didn't increase anxiety, haha. But the past few months it has gotten a lot worse.
I have triggers I am aware of: being in public in general, walking where people can see me (crossing parking lots), answering questions, making phone calls, being put into the spotlight unexpectedly, making small talk. Each one puts me on edge.

I could hardly function as a normal member of society back in the late 90s/early 2000s, but a couple rounds of Prozac helped me leave the house without another person. (Here's the thing about the meds: it took the edge off the symptoms so I could work through the thoughts, which was amazing, and I'm not sure who/what I'd be now if not for the medication. However it kind of deadened me...instead of being in a tornado of emotion, I was watching the tornado from a window. It was still there, just felt different.)
Since becoming a stylist, I have been able to work with the public everyday, with the very rare moment of chest-tightening anxiety. Until a couple of months ago.

Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.

Wait, I mean... I'm gonna finish, but the thing that drives me absolutely bonkers is if I happen to divulge (that isn't the word I'm looking for, but my brain won't accept any other word as correct) to someone that I'm having a moment of extreme anxiety and need to stop and breathe for a few minutes, then the person asks "What scares you?" or "What are you so worried about?"


WHAT AM I AFRAID OF?
Uggggggggggghh. I hate this question so, so much. People? Can people be my answer? It usually gets the retort of "You are NOT afraid of people!" No, I'm not. I'm not afraid of anything in particular, it's not about rational fear. Society has been able to wise up to not ask someone suffering from depression, "Why are you sad? What do you have to be sad about?" And yet they just can not quite grasp how futile it is to ask someone in the grasps of a panic/anxiety attack what they are afraid of. A chemical imbalance?

So no, I am not afraid of people. However some social situations can lead to heightened levels of anxiety. If that is too vague, let me try to describe what anxiety feels like to me:
That unease between hiccups? First-date jitters? Missing the last step on a staircase? Narrowly avoiding a car collision? Ok, take that rush of adrenaline and add a cold (or sometimes hot) tingling of limbs, legs that are simultaneously lead and Jell-O, shaking, dry mouth, jumbled thoughts, headache, nausea/stomach cramps, racing heartbeat with heart palpitations. Throw in a general sense of foreboding. On top of all that? The inability to breathe. Usually a tightening, like someone is sitting on your chest, squeezing you tight. Fight or flight response. The need to immediately get out of the situation, but almost total immobility. Oh, and the sudden free-flowing tears.
Got that? Great. Now let that feeling last anywhere from three minutes to THE ENTIRE DAY. That is what it is like to be me.

But the scariest thing is they can happen with absolutely no warning. It isn't always one of the documented trigger situations. It can be bubbling under the surface all day, like today. I haven't been able to breathe all day. I've felt sick to my stomach absolutely all day. Twice today it turned into the lead-leg, flowing tears. All day long I've had the shaky adrenaline rush, as if I swerved my car at the last moment, avoiding a collision. Completely uncomfortable absolutely all day.

I have been avoiding caffeine for a few days at a time, to see if that has an effect. But I've found one thing that helps me cope is focusing on sipping a cold Diet Coke and deep breaths.

Monday, June 01, 2015

#COadventure2k15



I started an audiobook once I got to Heber (a memoir of an actor), and from there the drive felt quick. The forecast called for rain all across Wyoming, and I was pleasantly surprised to find I had seemingly just missed it everywhere I went. There was water in the rumble strips, but the roads were dry.

I filled my 100 oz mug with diet Mtn Dew in Green River, WY, and stopped again near Laramie. (There are, I believe, about 3 1/2 hours between them.)

The moment you pass the Welcome to Colorado sign the scenery changes. It is ridiculous how instantaneous it is. The landscape goes from blah to lovely.

I met Elle at her house, where we emptied my car of the big things.
Then she got in my car and directed me to her parents house. Elle showed me the guest room I'd be staying in for a couple of days, and I dumped my suitcase and purse in there.
After chatting for an hour we decided to grab some pizza, and quickly fell asleep after a slice and a half.


Thursday, March 05, 2015

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces." -Bridget Jones

I left for work with wet hair, having showered minutes before I would be leaving. (Procrastinating. Shocking.) So I quickly "curled" my ends during a slow moment at work. Let's be honest, my hair strongly refuses to do anything similar to curling. So, really, I bent the ends slightly.

Holy crapola, Batman, I am drowning in hair. Today it just seemed overwhelming for some reason. Perhaps because I have had my hair up in some sort of bun or back in a single braid (which I can totally do on myself now! Yay!) for almost the entire month of February, that it was just...yeah, overwhelming having all my hair down.


 

 I've been really trying to cut down my haircut times, I have whittled down seconds by keeping a rhythm and not blowdrying hair off the cape/neck/forehead so often. My time has come down from a 16 minute average to 11-14. Hallelujah and hurrah.
I have been chided so many times by my GM about my 16-17 minute average; it should be 14. Between my time and my speed between haircuts, I am not exemplary, like I should be as manager. So I've been told multiple times that my position is in jeopardy. (Having that over my head all the time is stressful. I'm laying in the guillotine, staring at the blade all day long, watching it inch down with each picky client. Between that and both my assistants stepping down and me drowning in paperwork and stylist's negative attitudes and being mad at me over stupid things, and a couple other things, I frustratingly decided to quit a few weeks ago, but didn't go through with it.)

11-14 sounds incredibly quick, but it's really not. Full consultation, chatting about product and the weather and the day's errands or whatnot, clean blended cut. Today a guy called my 10 minute cut "probably the best cut I've ever gotten"

So I was delighted that my average was about 12 minutes all day until a lovely woman with ridiculously thick hair came in and I cut 11" off in a long A-line, thinned the crap out of it, layered it, and then adjusted the layers when it wasn't sitting right. 49 minutes later, it was "just like the picture", and my average went from 12 to 19. Dang it. Dang it all. After a few speedy cuts my freaking cut average ended at 16.2 and the salon slowed down and I couldn't stay any longer (I was already a half hour over when I should've left), so I ended there. Grrrr. Super frustrating for one cut to mess up my average so much (if I had done more cuts during the day, rather than dig myself out from under the mountain of office work I'm trying to get on top of, it would have had less of an impact. I know this. I'm working on balancing my priorities, obvs.)

Hair, hair, hair. Paperwork and some hair.