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. 

Where Did My Dreams Go?

I didn’t write a lot of posts last year, which makes scrolling back in time and seeing where I was really easy; less to catch up on. 

Something I noticed was how immediate it was that I gave up on my dreams after starting The Job (as it will now be known). During my interview for The Job one of the guys interviewing me asked what I got my degree in and I shyly told him Film and Video studies with a focus in screenwriting. Immediately he was interested and asked if I had plans to keep pursuing that because, he said, while it was important to get people to work in this position, he had seen too many go into it with dreams and then give up on them and stay forever. He didn’t want me to be one of those people. 

At the time, as evidenced by the blog posts around when I got the job and about a month into it, I believed it I really was going to keep pursuing film and writing. And then that all ended. 

I can pinpoint the exact day that I sold my soul to The Job and that the magic in my mind disappeared (June 11, 2016). My goal was to write something every day this month but my move has gotten me away from that. I have to move back home because working 60-80 hours a week is not sustainable but if I don’t work that much I don’t enough to survive as a party of 1 who only eats 1 meal a day (I will be forever bitter that as a grown adult I, and many, many, MANY others, do not make enough money to survive but apparently we’re “entitled” or some shit). Not that moving should take up so much time and energy but I had a panic attack after packing my bookshelf today if that tells you anything. I also have to get rid of all of my furniture and kitchenware. But that’s another story. 

The good news is that once the move is all done in a few weeks I’ll have the free time to write and not stress about money. The bad news is that I’m starting a new position at The Job (not a promotion, just switching departments) which means more training and more taking up my brain than I’d like, but less time interacting with the general public which will help my sanity immensely. Seriously, people out there are crazy. I don’t understand why but they’re just insane. And perhaps the less time I spend with the public the more brain power I will have to devote to creating worlds to escape to. 

Yeah, I write sci-fi/fantasy trash. It makes me feel better. One can only spend so much time in this crazy world where half of the American population wants to kill me and/or most of my friends. 

Anyway, I don’t know exactly where my dreams went but I hope to find them again soon, because otherwise life is depressing and, honestly, I am not here for it. 

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.

Reminder to Myself

Remember the spaghetti straps, butterfly barrettes, and collar bones? I do. I remember wanting so much to look like that. Those girls were pretty. They were popular. Nothing bad could ever happen to them. They got the guys. They had all the friends. They had the big house with the red convertible on their sweet sixteen, and a mom and a dad and an annoying younger sibling that at the very worst teased them slightly.

That was what I grew up with. The 90s aesthetic and teen television comedies on Disney Channel and ABC Family. All I wanted was to fit into those super tiny spaghetti strap dresses that hung off of their slim bodies like an oversized t-shirt. Whenever I tried i still had that belly pooch sticking out and my collar bones where no where to be seen.

There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to be stick thin. I can’t blame the media alone or the way I was raised. It’s a combination of everything and my weird mental imbalances that keep me from being satisfied with anything about myself. Today it’s not about collar bones and spaghetti straps but the booty and crop tops. But there is still that part of my mind that wants spaghetti straps and collar bones.

I often forget that there will always be that part of me. I let it swallow me up and I end up pulling myself out magically, having the same epiphany over and over again. “I am more than my weight. I need to focus on making my body as strong and healthy as it can be and the shape will just come with it naturally.” And then my life becomes more hectic and I stop blogging and then one day I remember again those words above. But the important thing is I’m still eating. I have replaced food restriction with free time restriction. I work around the clock. At 50-60 hours a week I still cannot afford to pay all my bills. So I don’t grocery shop. I do little things at work for quarters to buy the trail mix out of the vending machine with. I drink teas made with soy milk and eat a couple bananas for breakfast if I have any. And in the back of my mind some 90s teen is calling to me in her velvet spaghetti strap dress and a million butterfly clips in her hair.

So some days I say fuck it and eat extra chocolate because I decide that being a twig is overrated and unnecessary. And other days I eat a spoonful of peanut butter for the entire day both because I’m too poor to afford food and because those collar bones are calling to me.

Every day I’m still fighting to remember those words above. “I am more than my weight.” And every day I get a little bit closer.