Step Back to Go Forward

Sometimes you have to take a step backward to go forward.

Today I joined the ranks of many others my age and moved back home. After living in my own place for 4 years, 3 of those shared with my ex, I finally burnt out, broke down, and moved home. It’s not because I want to avoid being an adult. While that is not a false statement, I moved back home due to financial hardship. I’ve mentioned this several times on here that I had to work 60-80 hour weeks in order to make ends meet in a one bedroom apartment in a suburban area. I have been eating one meal a day and then upsetting my stomach with enough espresso shots to ward off hunger of any other meals a normal human would require. Over 50% of my income without working extra hours was going to rent. I can’t even begin to talk about how unacceptable that is, because I know I’m not the only one. 

It is exceedingly strange to be back in my childhood bedroom as a twenty-something divorced adult. Luna has taken to it rather well this time. I had brought her to the house once before so the complex could do a preliminary inspection of the apartment without a cat getting in their way and she spent all of her time underneath my bed. It only took her a few hours today before she emerged from under the sofa to explore the house. So far I think she is quite pleased, although there are still some slight fur remnants of my first late fur child, Sweetie, who left us last summer, that Luna is smelling. 

I have set up my room in a weird child/adult hybrid. I’ve fit the bookshelf back where it was before but the contents have changed somewhat. The bedroom decorations have gone from torn out magazine pages of Demi Lovato, Ashely Tisdale, and Vanessa Hudgens, to white string lights and my pride flag. I do have a Harry Potter poster from college I’ll probably add to that, but it’s been a long day and I’m ready to veg out for a few hours. I worked out first thing in the morning, showered, and immediately began packing, moving, and unpacking, and then sat down to write this. It’s been about 12 hours since I woke up. And I have to go to work tomorrow. 

On the bright side, this is temporary. I will be able to put away 50% of my paycheck every month, actually eat food again, maybe take a few trips, maybe actually hang out with friends (after I get friends), and I think my next step is buying a property. Not sure what, not sure where, but I know that whatever it is I am nowhere near having a down payment in my bank account. Maybe it’s a step back. Or it’s just another step forward. If this is the new step for my generation in becoming an adult then I embrace it wholeheartedly. We can’t follow in our parents’ footsteps, but we can definitely make our own. Maybe this is just what our journey looks like. 

Moving Forward 2017

I always feel the need to add the current year to the title because it is entirely possible for me to want to write a similar post, or at least use a similar title, in years ahead. 

After a bit of a breakdown two weeks ago at work after working 32 hours with only a 2 hour break in the middle I did a lot of soul searching. I’d been spending so much time thinking about where I was going romantically and who I was in terms of sexual attraction and gender identity/expression since getting divorced that I forgot all about my career aspirations. To be completely honest and fair with myself I had forgotten about them long before the divorce was even set into motion as that is what my current job will do to a person; kind of make them give up on other endeavors because it requires a ridiculous amount of one’s time and mental capacity. But after sacrificing my sleep (and sanity) to help out with a staffing shortage and then being yelled at for things completely beyond my control and just completely and utterly unappreciated I took a giant step back to look at where I was in life. 

Completely unhappy job wise. I couldn’t be happier being single and free to lounge about on the floor with my cat or get up and go anywhere on a whim without having to consult anyone but myself. But I don’t want to make my current job a career. It’s not hard to tell that my blog was more or less left to rot in cyberspace after I began working, as were all of my scripts and novels and filming projects. 

So, I have since picked up my iPad, flipped over its keyboard, and began working on a project I have been wanting to work on since I started this blog way back when it was knows as “Writing and Recovering”. I have begun vlogging again and making travel plans, video plans, book plans, and written out tag lines for future scripts. I have looked into getting my fitness certifications back and as soon as I get my personal training certification back I want to actually, finally, get a job as a trainer. 

Those were the things I wanted to do before I even graduated college. That was my plan, and it’s not really a bad plan, either. But being an adult is scary. All I ever knew for the majority of my life was school, so going out into the real world with actual jobs and finances and taxes was pertifying. Then the Actor and I split up which was a whole other roller coaster, and now that things are finally settling down I’m looking at places I kind of forgot existed. 

I have dedicated 2 years of hours in 1 year at my current job and I don’t have much to show for it except useless knowledge that no one outside of the work force understands. I don’t feel like I’m creating anything of value there. I’m not doing what I want to do. So, moving forward, I’m going to actually strive to do what I want to do with my life. I have to stick it out at this job for an undetermined amount of time while I work everything out, get my certifications back and work on my writing projects, and I would actually like to transfer to an office in California if a spot becomes available and I’ve saved up enough money. I’m tired of the Washington gloom. 

I’m young. I’m aware of that. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But I’m also aware that I have the time to correct them, or at least move past them. I know I’ll make more mistakes in life. That’s inevitable, but I can’t keep making the mistake of putting myself into situations that are not what I want. I only get this one life. I need to do with it what I want to do. 

What is Free Time

Ever since I started my current job just over a year ago I’ve watched my free time go out the window. Free time now is spent sleeping and trying to recover from my work week because I have to work over 40 hours every week due to financial necessity. When my ex and I moved back over to western Washington I calculated our budget on the assumption that we would both work 40 hour work weeks at minimum wage for Seattle because we lived so close and could easily get jobs there. I did not get a job in the area that paid that much and my ex didn’t get a job that gave him more than 10-15 hours/week for months so we were in a big financial bind. And now that it’s just me and my current job, although in the Seattle area, does not pay Seattle minimum wage I’ve been having to work 60-70 hour work weeks for the past year.

I actually made the decision to move back home with my mom when the lease is up on my apartment in 3 months so it’s just 3 more months of being overworked and then I can go back to having free time that isn’t spent sleeping and staring off into space because I can’t brain today.

But I was scrolling through my blog here today and remembering what it was like to be dedicated to this blog and I miss that dedication. I don’t know if I want to focus so much on this blog or my YouTube channel or what but I miss having the time to be focused on something other than work. I miss having the time to do that stuff. Now I do my side business as a wellness coach on my breaks at my current job during my 16 hour shifts and before I fall asleep at night and when I wake up in the morning, but rarely do I actually have a chunk of time to dedicate to it and I really want that chunk of time.

Today I’m in a daze. The weird thunder storms we had on Thursday made work a disaster so I was doing way more than usual and already tired from lack of sleep. I slept for 12 hours and still don’t have the energy to do very much.

And I know all I did here was complain, but I really am so much happier now than I was a year ago. And I am really looking forward to the future.

Change in Plans

It’s late as I write this. Or early? Midnight is more my lunch time now. I work graveyard at my job now so I’m usually up until 4 or 5 am. I’m currently on vacation though, so I’m debating on watching more J-Drama trash or going to bed and staring at the ceiling until I fall asleep.

Every now and then I like to look back at what I was doing this month a year ago, two years ago, etc., and I usually do that on my twitter or tumblr or on this blog and while I was doing that for February I realized I never really updated any of you on my blog on what’s going on in my life. I have been neglecting this outlet and I think I need to get back to it. It kind of kept me sane during my recovery and I’m needing a way to stay sane now.

In November the Actor and I split. I took a quick two day vacation and he moved in with his parents and I drew up the divorce papers. Now, almost 4 months later the separation is almost finally complete and the divorce is nearing finalization. I’ve spent my first two days on vacation packing up the things he’d left at my apartment and now have several large boxes sitting in my dining room waiting for him to pick up.

Don’t be sad. This split was 100% for the best. He was in love with someone else, I was not in love with him and quite frankly tired of pulling all the weight. I know I’d hinted at it a little bit in my posts, but I was always the one working, paying about 80% of the bills, keeping track of everything, and ensuring we had everything on the right track. And in all of that I lost myself.

What little bit of me that was emerging in high school disappeared after we got married. The high school boy I’d fallen in love with was gone. Or rather, he was still a boy when I needed him to be a man.

And of course, the cherry on top of all of this: I’m not even into men. The signs couldn’t have been plainer and I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching to figure this out: why I spent 8 years with a man when I’m gay. But I’ve figured it out.

So, whatever I’d been planning for my future in the past was thrown out the window long ago and I honestly couldn’t be happier. Now I’m able to embrace myself fully and become myself and have no one else to worry about but myself. Well, myself and Luna, who has taken all of this extremely well. It’s such a nice feeling knowing you don’t have to pretend to be someone else for someone else anymore. It’s nice knowing that the money I make and slave to make is mine and mine alone, and that I’m slaving for it for myself and not because I’m trying to support two people on one income.

I’m not entirely sure what my future holds right now. I’m comfortable in my job. I’ve got a few more months before I can move to a smaller place and save up some more money for more travels. Whatever happens from now on though, I know I can face it as myself and that I’m so much happier than I was even in 2013, or 2009.

Student Debt

I read an article the other day about how student loan debt is impacting the US economy because college graduates are unable to purchase things, especially big ticket items like cars and houses, due to their debt. And this is because banks and lenders are not willing to issue a mortgage on a house or approve affordable credit on a car loan because they do not want to give those things to people with outstanding debt. The problem is that that debt came from getting an education. It didn’t come from credit cards being misused (for most people anyway I hope). It came from society telling us that college was a non-negotiable so we did it and walked away with more debt than we could ever imagine and a flimsy piece of paper that we can’t use.

Higher education costs have increased to rates so high that our parents and grandparents cannot understand why we are struggling. “It didn’t cost that much when your grandfather went. He worked two jobs and was able to earn his own way on his own,” I was told when I asked where my college fund money had disappeared to. Ok. I worked too and barely made enough to pay rent, books, fees, groceries, and other bills. Tuition wasn’t even an option, so thank goodness I was married and made about $5,000/year and was able to get grants to cover my last 3 years of school (maybe we should all get married just to have college covered since you don’t have to claim your parents income on the FAFSA once you’re married). But what good did it really do me now that I’m not even using my degree and still have about $5,000 left to pay off from the first year?

Before the reality of my debt and the adult world hit me I had some dreams and goals. I wanted to write more movies and TV shows that are female and/or LGBTQ focused. Less white male stuff; they’ve had more than their turn. I wanted to take action in my community, in my country, but I can’t now. I can’t move back home so I have to live in an apartment which is costly. I have to pay my own bills. AND I have to pay off my student debt. So instead of taking a part time job like I’d thought I would to give me extra time to write, I quit and am now working full time in a physically and mentally demanding and exhausting job. I wake up with just enough time to do a quick workout, shower, eat, pack dinner, and leave for my hour and 15 minute commute. I come home, wash my face, brush my teeth, feed Luna, and go to bed. I am unable to take risks financially because of my debt.

There are other factors like living wages, the economic state we are in now, housing costs, etc., but that doesn’t mean my debt is not a factor.

I am hoping that since I have such a small amount of debt (cries internally at the fact that my several thousand is “small”) I can make enough money fast enough to pay it off and actually get back to writing someday. Right now though, I don’t even have the desire to write. I just want to sleep, go to work, get my paycheck, and sleep some more.

Reconnecting

I’m gonna be honest.

Not that I’ve ever lied on here that I know of. Maybe about my intake when I recovering. Sorry, guys.

Anyway, since graduating from college I’ve been a constant ball of anxiety and depression. I thought I had a good paying job, but they let me go without notice. Then, I thought I found something ok but the pay was too little for the amount of work I was doing and the hours were way too few. I played phone and email tag with another job for months before I finally got a response. But now, everything has come together. I am about to finish my in class training and start on the job training on Saturday. It’s good pay, it’s what I want to be doing for work while I develop my writing and other projects, and it’s something that I can stay at for many years if I have to/want to.

It took 4 and a half months but I finally made it. I’m finally an adult and I can finally get my stuff in order. Since my job hunt was so long and stressful I kind of let my diet fall to the side. If I was stressed and wanted junk I had it. My waistline has suffered a little bit. I still work out, but you know what they say: you can’t out exercise a bad diet. So this week I have kicked my diet back into gear. Every morning I eat oatmeal in some flavor and bring tea to work. I meal prepped a bunch of amazing salads on Sunday that I’ve been having for lunches at work, and when I get home I eat dinner with protein and veggies, work out, and finish my night with banana ice cream.

My diet is back in check, and I’m getting more passionately back into veganism. I did slip up a few times with dairy but never meat. Now I’m back 100%. My stressful times are not an excuse to promote animal suffering by eating animal products, but I know better now and am moving on from my mistake. Next time things get rough I have a plan and know what to do.

I am reconnecting with my body and my mind by taking care of my health and getting back into my creative goals. I have a job that will help us with our expenses tremendously. Now it’s my turn to focus back on my dreams. In my spare time of course.

This is my life. I’m not going to waste it.

I Didn’t Sign Up for This

I’ve been working 40 hours a week since last week. I’ve never done that before, it’s been an adjustment. Especially since my schedule is 2pm-11pm and my bedtime is 10pm. So my blogging/vlogging schedule has been thrown off a lot. But the good news is that I picked up my last paycheck from my last job so I’m officially done with that noise.

When I was 12 my friends and I tried really hard to figure out a way we could get to Never Never Land so that we could never grow up. I think they were just playing but I was dead serious. But now here I am, working a full time adult job, raising a fur child, and overall just getting my life in order.

But then I think, this is it. I have my little crafts and my book that I’m working on, but those are small projects. I am 22 and have maybe 60 years left and I have to spend those 60 years working a full time job to pay bills that will never end? Money isn’t even real! None of this is real.

I’ve also gained 8 pounds since December, and I still stake my worth on my weight so I’m feeling freaking fantastic.

I’m not doing what I want to do with my life, I don’t want to work this job (hopefully I’ll be quitting in a few days for a better job, just waiting to hear back after the background check and drug screening. Since I don’t do any drugs or have committed any crimes I know I’m fine it’s just the waiting game), I don’t want to spend 40 hours a week sitting. I need to move. A lot. But I also don’t want to go back to food service.

In case this nonsensical post wasn’t enough of a giveaway, I’m freaking out. I don’t think I am qualified to be an adult. I didn’t ask to be an adult. How is this my life for the next 60-ish years?

I wrote a lot when I was a kid because it helped with my anxiety. Now I have even more anxiety and way less time to write. And the anxiety/depression mixture takes away any motivation I have to write because in my head I should be using free time to find a part time job to go on top of my full time one so that I can make enough money to pay all of my expenses and put a good amount away and have money to spend on food when I hang out with my best friend. And I need to have a few hours to work out so that I can lose those stupid 8 pounds.

37d0a109aa5a76d93b78c8786a6badea

I want to be a child forever because I am a child but I can’t and it’s freaking me out.