Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye Twenty Shit-steen

Yeah, there are a lot of negative 2016 posts going around right now, but honestly, for some of us 2016 was pretty shitastic. I, for one, am entirely ready to wish a (not so) fond farewell to 2016.

This year was a roller coaster for sure! I started out the year overseas, thinking I was going to get married, but instead I found myself once more with a totally drunk person. To be fair, he did get himself undrunk and we have a fantastic last 5 days together. When I came back, I had no boss for the third time in 4 years, then my co-worker and bff found another job. In the spring I was just about done with school, and finally had paperwork to start Alex's visa process, and that's when I was told my job was being eliminated. Graduated in May--well I walked at commencement--but because of a few snafus, I didn't technically graduate until August. Thought I had a job nailed down only to wait a month to find out they chose someone else. Decided to move to Colorado, took us a month and four trips back and forth to move, partly because of hitting a deer in mom's car. Got to Colorado and had a really hard time dealing with being unemployed, having lots of feelings of anger and resentment.

But, finally in November I got a job which I absolutely love!!!!

So, I guess you could say that the year is ending on a positive note with the job and all, however, the last two months have been so hard, being so far away from Alex. January 8, 2016 was the last time I saw him. It's really taking a toll on both of us. Thankfully we've been able to talk and text quite a bit, but it's still really hard.

The one thing that brings me down more than anything this year is my health. In February or March we learned that I have hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) and I had to start taking medicine for that. However, a hug side effect from my thyroid not working is that it has become nearly impossible for me to lose weight. And since I lost my insurance in June, I can't afford to take some of my medication. Also, with moving, I don't have a doctor, so it's hard to take my medicine consistently. As a result, I am now the heaviest I have ever been, my blood sugar is completely out of whack, and I generally feel terrible.

However! I believe I may have found a diet (read that lifestyle) that will get me sorted out, so starting January 1 I am going to try the Keto diet. I know, everyone can find something bad about every diet, but this is what I believe will be best for my body right now. I am insulin resistant which means that my body doesn't know what to do with the insulin it makes so it just makes more and more. I have PCOS which just screws a bunch of things up. I am seriously overweight which doesn't help anything. I have psoriasis. I have sleep apnea.

All of those things can be helped by eating a low carb diet. (Relax, I have done my research.) A ketogenic diet will increase insulin sensitivity, will jump start weight loss which will then help normalize my hormone levels. Losing weight will eventually mean that I won't need the CPAP anymore,  and since it is an anti-inflammatory diet, it may even help the psoriasis.

Yes, it's going to be hard, but I think I have finally found what my body needs.

So, farewell to all the yuck of 2016, and welcome to all the new adventures of 2017.

Here's hoping for:

  • Getting my body under control
  • Getting my fiancé here
  • Starting a family
  • Many new adventures
In closing, a tribute to George Michael, whom we lost just a few days ago


and another end of the year fave



May 2017 hold many blessings and much joy for you!





Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Christmakwanzakkuh

I've been talking a lot with Alex lately and we've been talking a lot about the past and the future. It has made me a bit nostalgic, on top of my normal bit of sadness at Christmas. This holiday season is particularly hard, because one year ago right now I was over there with him. If things had gone the way we planned we'd be celebrating our first anniversary now.

It's been tough being apart for the last year, but these past two or three months have been hell. I miss him so much that I feel I might explode. On top of missing Alex, this is our first Christmas in Colorado and I haven't seen most of my family for months, and have no idea when I will see them.

Christmas is on a Sunday this year. That used to be my absolute favorite day for Christmas. I didn't think there was anything better than going to Church on Christmas day. Obviously, things have changed and I no longer go to church, and there is still a lot of hurt there because of the circumstances that led to me leaving the church.

Even though I have a lot of hurt and sadness connected with Christmas, I still love Christmas and have a lot of hope for the future, that it will become magical again for me.

So, my heartfelt wishes for you for a blessed and joyful holiday and many blessings in the new year.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Hanukkah!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Feel Pretty!

So, this morning I had an unexpected four hour phone call with my honey pie. I woke him up when I called, and honestly I did not expect that we would talk for that long, but once we got started, we just couldn't stop.

At first, we just talked about random things. Then we started talking about past relationships. He told me that he had run into a couple of his friends not long ago, and that they said they had heard he supposedly had a girl in America and they wanted to see a picture. So, he pulled out his phone and showed them a picture and, apparently, they were impressed. It made me feel good that they thought I was attractive, but it made me feel even better when he told me how proud it made him.

Later he asked me how many boyfriends I had had and I answered none. He asked why and I said no one had ever been interested, and probably partly because when I was younger I was convinced that I was disgusting. He almost got mad. He said that he didn't understand how no one noticed such a good, caring, beautiful person.

Let me just say this is where I melted. Into a pile of mush.

Yeah, we have issues, but it's clear that he really loves me. And he says the sweetest things, not even trying to.

I felt pretty good when I went to work today.

Kinda gooey on the inside. :)




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Craptinuous!

The crap continued.

Wow! It's been awhile. . .

I wrote in a previous post that I hadn't heard from my fiancé for two days. I finally got ahold of him. We talked briefly, then a day later he called me. We had a nice chat as he was going somewhere and I felt relieved.

And then, I didn't hear from him for another four days. I didn't know what to think. I texted everyday. I called everyday. And finally one day he answered, but he had just laid down and fallen asleep. I agreed to call back the next day. I think it was actually two days before I then got a hold of him again. I found out that he had been very ill.

Communication has really been non-exsistent since then.

My dad came out to visit on Thanksgiving and I was really glad to see him, but unfortunately I got a little overwhelmed between communication issues with my honey bunches, getting dad back and forth between our place and my brother's, and the stress of starting a new job. I got a little crabby, and at one point, just had to break down and let it all out.

Then I felt better.

I spent four hours on the phone with my guy today, and it was good. It wasn't great--he was kind of nostalgic and sad--but I was glad to finally get to talk to him.

On the bright side, I am in my third week at my new job and I love it! Love.it.

So, I think things are starting to work themselves out, there were just some pretty big bumps along the way.

Monday, November 14, 2016

I Got A Job!

I got a job! I got a job! Take a good look at me cuz I got a flippin' job!

OK, so it's quite the equivalent to "I'm On a Boat" but ya know.

So yeah, I got a job offer today. I feel really good about the place. It's part-time, but I just felt so good about the people and the place. Thy are excited to have me and I am excited to work with them.

Woot!

So, I've been dancing around the apartment today singing and feeling pretty pleased with myself!


*Don't listen if you are offended by naughty words.


Damn it feels good!







Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stupid Crappy Week

This week has just been stupid and crappy!

First there was the election. I wanted neither candidate, but Trump? Ugh. I've been feeling like the sky is falling. The morning after the election I felt like I was waking up the morning after the apocalypse.

But this is not a political post.

On top of the feeling from the election, I was feeling scared and worried to death. I heard from Alex Wednesday night, and then nothing. Radio silence. He had just put money on his phone so that we could text, and then I never heard anything.

N.O.T.H.I.N.G.

He never texted me, he didn't answer his phones...nothing.

I have been beside myself worrying. But finally I got ahold of him!

He sounded exhausted and he said he couldn't talk now, but at least I know he's okay.

Thank God!





Friday, November 4, 2016

Different Worlds

I've had a lot of time to think recently. This year has certainly been a rollercoaster. The past few months, especially so. I guess I thought that moving would magically make my life better and that everything would magically fall into place. I'd find a job fairly quickly, because, I mean after all the shit I've been through the last coupe years, something has to go right for me now! Right?

I was pretty depressed when after moving things seemed to get worse for me, and definitely not better. There was a period of several weeks where I really didn't want to do anything, let alone leave the apartment. But, slowly I am getting better. Having two interviews this week helped.

One nice thing is that since I basically have nothing to do, I have lots of time to call Alex. Last month we talked for 953 minutes! And then there were a a period of about 5 days where he had money on his phone and we could text. OMG! So effing awesome to be able to text! To be able to send pictures, videos, and just feel connected.

This does come with a downside, however. It makes me feel his absence even more keenly than I already did.

I find myself longing for him constantly. I think about him constantly. I realize constantly that I have no idea when, if ever, I will see him again. As if by some cruel twist of fate, I have all the time in the world right now to go and visit him, but no money. And when (please God, soon!) I have a job, I will have money, but no time to visit.

Why is it that the universe seems to want to keep us apart?

I think this is why we never pursued anything in the past. When we met, I was 17 and he was 20. It was just 7 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Even though we had an instant connection, and even though I was in love after about two months, and even though after I left he realized that he loved me, it just seemed like an impossible situation. I mean, growing up in the Soviet Union he never thought he would meet someone from the US, let alone fall in love. And it was somewhat absurd to think that an American girl and a Belarusian boy could make a life together.

So we moved on.

But I... we,  never really moved on.

I was never sure how he felt, he says he didn't realize how I felt, but we wrote letters for ten years! Ten years! A year after I'd been back in the states (always trying to figure out a way to go back) he even came and visited me in Kiev. I received a desperate sounding phone call a while after Kiev where he said to me that he wished I could "be his wife", but silly me, I didn't think anyone could possibly ever want that, and as fate would have it, when I tried to call him back, the call wouldn't go through.

He never mentioned that again, so we moved on.

Then, for a few years I started letters all the time (I still find notepads with letters that I had started, now), but somehow, they just never made it to the mail. I never heard from him, either. Then, in December 2013 I decided that I absolutely had to send him a New Year's card.

And I did.

And I got back the most excited letter. EVER.

We started writing again. I discovered I could text him through Skype, but he couldn't text me. I could call him through Skype, but it was not cheap. After a few months I discovered the International plan for Verizon and signed up. That gave me a 1000 minutes a month to call.

Long story, short--I visited, had my heart broken. We moved forward. He proposed. I visited again. It was rocky, but ended very well.

Fast forward to present...

I have been trying for a year to gather the paperwork to start the K-1 visa process. Finally, when I have everything together, I lose my job. I can't prove that I can provide for him when I am unemployed.

So here we are...waiting...in limbo...again...

I believe that we both needed to grow up and mature before we came back together and decided we wanted to build a life together, but since I am now buried in student loan debt, and even though I would like to go over there, I can't, because if he can't find study work, how am I going to find work that pays enough to make my loan payments. He doesn't really want to live in the States, but since that is pretty much our only option, he is willing to try.

I just feel that nothing works out for us. I feel like the universe is against us.

Part of me is taken back to those early days. Like Anna and the King, we are from different worlds and no matter how much we love each other, it's just not meant to be. (I don't really believe that, it's just the depression and hormones...)

Well, I really hope that a year from now we'll have made some progress. I'm not getting any younger.






Sunday, October 23, 2016

Looking Up?

Can I just say how fast time flies when you have "nothing" to do?

Wow, time just flies. I seem to keep pretty busy teaching my class, searching and applying for jobs, and trying to get things organized. I can't believe it is almost the end of October. As I have written before, there have been quite a few bumps the last few months, but right now I'm feeling pretty good.

There are some possibilities job wise, including one that I applied for and felt really good about in the spring, and I actually have an interview scheduled for a part time position in a couple weeks. I've also had increased interactions with some online friends which have made me feel good.

On top of that, Alex has again been able to put money on his phone so we can text one another, and we have been actually talking a lot, too!

I'm still really missing people that I "left behind", but I am feeling less hopeless and starting to develop a bit of a routine. We've always been getting out more, shopping, hanging with my brother, etc. And we all chipped in to buy my dad a ticket to come out over Thanksgiving. It will be the second time in the last four years that we've all been together.

So, here's hoping that things will start to fall into place.


Pics from our day downtown with my brother...
Our first ride on the light rail.


Pizza Pedal'r

Tattered Cover Bookstore

A well-traveled cow...


The Tilted Kilt

Scotch eggs. YUM!

Shepherd's pie.






Saturday, October 1, 2016

Getting Back In The Saddle

Well, things have been rough for a long time, and I felt like I had really fallen off the horse.

Of course, part of it is the fact that I lost my job, I can't afford all of my medications now that I have no insurance, and I have new health issues that have appeared this year. And it is difficult to eat well when you are driving back and forth across three states every few days. But, I feel like I really let life get the best of me.

I had a few days where I could feel depression coming over me like a cloud. All I wanted to do was sleep, I wasn't feeling well for over a week, and I was just really bummed that I can't find a job, about my weight, and I was really missing Alex. I felt like moving to Colorado was supposed to be a fresh start and it was turning into the same old crap.

But, at long last, mom and I, all our things, and both our cars are in one place!!

I keep telling myself that things aren't going to be this bleak forever and that I just need to get back in the saddle. Developing a routine will help me get some normalcy in my life. Eating better will also help me feel better, and will hopefully lead to losing weight, which will make me feel better about myself.

While I can't control when I get a job, I have plans to build my skills in other ways. I'm hoping to do some volunteering that will help me get some experience in areas where I lack. I would love to get some experience in cataloging, archives, or maybe at a museum, so that's what I'm going to try for.

I started to make small steps, putting a few things away here, cleaning a little there, buying some organizational things, etc., and it started to help me pull out of the funk. I also found my CPAP and started using it, which is helping my energy levels greatly!

And the biggest boost was receiving a text message out of the blue from Alex!

We hadn't been able to text back and forth for months because of some unknown problem, but last Tuesday I got a text and was super excited. I couldn't text back at first, but then the next day we got it all figured out and for five days we texted like two teenagers. It was great. It really boosted my mood.

So, while I occasionally have moments of anger, disappointment, hopelessness, etc., I think I am finally finding my stride.

Oh! And I decided to join WeightWatchers again, so I'm hoping that I'll start losing weight again, which will help in many ways.

I'm still a little bruised from falling out of the saddle, but I'm not going to let it keep me down!


*I'm kinda obsessed with my new bitmoji...


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Ton Of Crap

I, like many people, have sat on my couch for many hours gawking at tv shows about hoarders, thinking to myself "OK, I need to get rid of some stuff, but thank God that's not me." Well, I think it really is me.

As I have said in previous posts, this move has been rough. The full gravity of the situation has finally set in.

The first try, we just weren't ready. We loaded the truck with as much as we could, and knew that we'd have to come back. We threw out about a half ton of junk (literally), donated numerous car loads of books, clothes, and other items to Goodwill, and sold a bunch of furniture and odds and ends. When we came back the first time, we got a small truck, and filled it fairly full, threw out a bunch of stuff, donated some more, played chicken with a deer (we both lost), and drove back to the new place. Even without the accident, we would not have been able to finish this time either.

We drove back, with a pickup truck...filled it...still not done.

Our poor landlord--she has been so gracious, but we just needed everything to be out and get them the keys so they can sell the house. So we decided to drive back on Friday (not excited to drive on Labor Day weekend) and work Saturday and Sunday, pick up mom's car and drive back for good. I suggested the we drive back on Thursday and miss some holiday traffic, and have an extra day to work. It was a good thing we did.

We walked into the kitchen so hear water running and see it all over the kitchen floor.



The ceiling was dripping from several places, the corner cupboard was full of water, there was water all over the floor. We ran upstairs to check the upstairs bathroom and there is a little water on the floor, but not a whole lot. We turn the water to the toilet off. There had been water in the basement, it was still trickling down the main pipe.

PANIC.

We finally got ahold of someone at the Water Works to help us figure out how to turn the water off to the house. It kept leaking for a day, but we finally got it stopped.



So, once we got that cleaned up a little, we were able to get down to business. The trailer we rented the previous weekend for trash was still there and we kept chucking stuff.

We only had a little bit upstairs and then some stuff in the basement. I thought we'd have it knocked out in a day. OMG! When will I ever learn.After working all day Friday, all day Saturday, and most of the day Sunday, we finally got everything cleaned out and cleaned.

I don't know what part was worse: the embarrassment from other people seeing how much stuff we had, the realization that we are really no better off than any of those people on the tv shows (except that we don't have poop or rodents), or the realization that we donated several truckloads work of stuff, sold a bunch of stuff, and still threw away over two tons of old magazines, papers, books, and other crap.

Well, we finally have everything out of the house and are done there for good. We also have a new resolve to keep getting rid of stuff, and really and truly decluttering.

I have a new appreciation for what the people on Hoarders go through. It's truly emotional. You feel disgust with yourself, helplessness, hopelessness, and so many other things.

While I am relieved that it's over, it's not really over. We have stuff at my dad's house till we come back, because after we were already there we found out that mom's car won't be ready for at least another week.

Today we just relaxed. We've earned it. But as I sit here surrounded by boxes, I am anxious to get some order established, and to keep the purging up.

Here's to new beginnings!








Monday, August 22, 2016

Couldn't Get Any Worse...

A couple years ago I posted about how terrible our move went. I thought to myself, there is no way that any future move could ever be as terrible as this.

Man, was I wrong!

Things have been a lot harder than I expected since being laid off. I really thought that the stars were aligning, that I had found the perfect job and everything was in order. So, I didn't get that job, and this move has turned into a nightmare.

As I admitted last time, we are pretty much hoarders. We got rid of a lot last time, but we had a lot more to get rid of. We had a couple sales and got rid of some bigger furniture items, we donated several car loads of cookbooks (mom has a slight obsession...) and several loads of other things to Goodwill, but we didn't get rid of near enough.

And, we spent too much time goofing off, so when we had the truck, we weren't ready. We had some great family members who came and helped us load the truck and keep boxing stuff up, but in the end, we had to leave stuff.

A week later we drove back to finish.

Again, things did not go so well.

We ended up staying a day later than we planned, and we decided to stay in a hotel in a nearby town. The second night as we were leaving to go back to the hotel, we ran smack dab into a deer.

I mean what?!?!?!?

The thing was pretty much just standing in the middle of the highway. We managed to drive the rest of the way to the hotel, though we probably shouldn't have. The next morning, instead of getting a really early start, we spent half the day calling insurance and getting the car to the body shop. So, we are going to have to make another trip back.

Will it ever end?!?!?!?!?

I just almost can't face another drive back.

I'm not going to talk about how this is the worst move ever...maybe then the next one won't be so bad.

On top of all the drama, the semester is starting soon and I am really missing all the people I used to work with, and seeing all the emails and photos from my former co-workers makes me feel kind of blue.

Here's hoping that when we get everything wrapped up in the old house and don't have to drive back any more, I won't feel as blue.




Poor, poor car.






Sunday, July 31, 2016

Big Changes Coming Soon

Ehrmergerd, Ehrmergerd, Ehrmergerd, Ehrmergerd!!!!

For quite a long time I have been wanting to leave the town where I grew up, and really my home state all together, but it just never happened. And now that I am actually going, finally leaving it all behind, I'm kinda scared.

It's strange to think that one week from today we will be driving across the country to our new home. One week from now we will be IN our new home.

This new phase is exciting, scary, and seems just plain wild.

Hang on self! We're in for a wild ride.




P.S. I'm really tired of packing...




Saturday, July 16, 2016

Yard Sale

I'm sitting out on the porch on a beautiful afternoon while our second yard sale is winding down. I really hate moving. I don't mind the new place to live, but the cleaning and the packing, the loading and unloading... GAG!

Mom and I, after the awful previous move, are trying very hard to THROW THROW THROW! We have donated a fair amount, have sold a fair amount, and thrown away a fair amount. The house is an absolute nightmare right now, but we can tell that stuff is missing.

I started freaking out a little because I got my last paycheck yesterday. I figured I'd have a job lined up by now. Now, not only am I unemployed, I'm going to be living in a much more expensive city and non of my friends will be close.

Don't get me wrong, I do thing this move is a good thing for me, but that doesn't make it easy.

At least I have beautiful weather and delicious Iowa sweet corn to help me contemplate the future.







Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Enjoying My Last Few Days

Well, here I am on day two of my last week of employment, sitting at home, enjoying my vacation. Last Friday I had a lovely farewell reception and was touched by all those who came to wish me well. I got lots of hugs, cards and well wishes. It was really nice, since I had been having dreams that no one would come.

I don't think it has really sunk in yet that I will be unemployed in two days. I'm in this state of flux and it is scary and exciting all at once.

I'm hopeful that I will hear something about a job soon, but in the meantime I will just keep working to organize and downsize so that I am ready for whatever is next.







Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Letters From The Past?

A couple of years ago a friend told me about this site where you could write yourself an email and set a future date for it to be delivered. Apparently I tried it, because today I received this:

Dear Future Katie, 
Here it is, you're 35th birthday! I seriously hope that you have gotten some things worked out and that you are not the same sad, pathetic mess. 
Ok, seriously, I hope that you have been able to sort some things out. I hope that you are able to get over your self loathing and actually see yourself for who you really are. You are great! You are smart, I daresay even intelligent, caring, compassionate, funny, strong, and yes, you are attractive. I'm counting on you to have made the hard choices and lost weight and become a happier person. 
Hopefully, you have finished your MLIS/MALLT degrees. I hope you finished your story and that it was or is being published. Have you met Jeremy Renner yet?
You went through some pretty tough shit in 2012, I hope that 2013 was a year of changes for you. My wish for you is that you have grown more confident, become more organized and have found a few things which you really love to do and can do well. I also hope that you have found someone to love you and cherish you... someone worthy of you. 
Chin up! You can tackle anything! 
Keep being awesome!
This letter made me laugh, but it also gave me warm fuzzies. I was like "wow, I really think a lot of myself." And it also made me sad that I still have not "made the hard choices and lost weight" though at this time last year I was a good 50 pounds lighter.

So, today I wrote a letter to my forty year old self.

See you in the future, self!



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy (Grand) Father's Day!

I am often saddened by the fact that I've never really had a grandfather. Oh, I have one living, but I don't think he's ever given two shakes about me. There was only ever one grandchild that he was interested in. My dad's dad--Robert--from what I hear, he would have been a great grandpa.

Unfortunately, I never knew him. OK, I knew him, but only as well as a toddler can know someone. He died when I was just short of turning three. My brother is three years older, and probably remembers more than I do, though we never talk about it.

I do have two memories of him. One is actually of his funeral--I didn't know what was going on and as we walked out behind the casket, I just kept following until my dad grabbed me. The other memory is really about him.

He retired from the factory and a few months later was diagnosed with cancer. I think it started as lung cancer and by the time they caught it it had spread everywhere, so by the time I could remember him, he was already very sick.

I remember the dining room at my grandparent's house plain as day. There was the dining room table in the middle (it was one of those 1940-50s models with the tubular metal legs and plastic seats, and fake plastic wood table) and two green chairs against the wall. There was a china hutch along the side wall. I remember that day that grandpa was sitting in the corner of the dining room in the 1970s green chair with a blanket over his lap. I probably knew the something was wrong, but I was incapable of understanding what.

My brother and I were crawling around on the floor in a circle around the table and every time we got to him, we would stop for him to pet us, because we were pretending to be little dogs. I remember him petting us on the head and saying "good dogs."

That's it.

That's all I have of my grandpa.

Sometimes I feel gypped. I feel cheated--why didn't I get to have a grandpa who would actually love me? That's life. There are way more whys than not.

Even so, I'm glad that I have my one lonely memory. And I'm glad he loved me while he could.




Lonely Memory

In your chair in the corner of the dining room
you sat,
a blanket on your lap.
I didn’t know what was wrong,
but I knew you were sick.
Your skin was so pale;
you sat very still.
Cancer.
Your eyes were dark and sunken,
still they watched me go ‘round
and ‘round;
your little dog.
Innocent child, on my hands and knees,
I stopped at your feet
each time I passed.
You patted my head,
“Good dog,” you said,
and I’d start all over again,
over and over again.
Metal table legs, dull brown carpet, and the legs of my family
were all I could see.

Grandfather and granddaughter—savor…
Once more around, for my treat.




Saturday, June 18, 2016

It's Done! Well, Almost...

Well, I graduated!!!!

Except I didn't.

So, long story very short, I didn't get feedback on my translations until about 2 days before I needed to turn them in. So, I didn't have the time to fine-tune and correct my translations let alone to finish writing the 20 page report about my internship. After talking with my advisor, we filed for an exception that would allow for my final grades to be turned in 2 weeks late.

Normally you have to be enrolled in at least one credit the semester you graduate, so if I deferred graduation to August, I would have to pay like $600 to enroll in a credit even though all my work is already turned in.

We went ahead as if they had accepted my request, but I got word this past Wednesday that they denied my request. But, they did tell me that I wouldn't have to pay for any credits.

So, I have a chance to redo a paper by Monday, and then I will officially have everything turned in and be done with my degree requirements.

So, I may not officially graduate until August, but so what. I will finally be done!

Hallelujah!

Praise Jeebus!




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Brain Doesn't Know What To Do

Whoa.

Well, after the whirlwind of the last four years and all the chaos at work, with grad school, and now being laid off, my poor brain just doesn't know what to do.

Sunday was graduation (woohoo!!!) although I still have a few things to turn in to be done done. So I'm like yay I'm done, but I'm not quite really done. So there is some let down from graduation, and things are going pretty well with my new boss.

Until today.

No, no, don't misunderstand. My boss is great and I really like her. But she is coming in and cleaning house and I'm feeling sad because I have worked so hard to get the library to where it is, and that is all trash now. I understand, she wants to make a fresh start and have things her way. It's just that it again makes me feel like nothing I do matters or is important.

In my already vulnerable state I feel invisible again. I know people like me and appreciate me, but I see how other's have someone who notices things about their lives and will celebrate them, but I've not had that for a really long time.

No one notices my birthday, no one knows when something big happens in my life, I don't get cards, etc.

I guess it all comes back to the fact that I feel like I don't matter here. Maybe as she is throwing things out I am upset because I feel like it symbolizes me being thrown out.

But when it comes right down to it, no, I will never have the gratification  of hearing "I'm sorry we treated you like crap" and I will go on with my life. I will move on to greener pastures and everything will be OK.

It's alright to be sad.

But it's time to move on.

That's scary.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's Raining Answers

For a lot of my life, OK, let's not lie, most of my life, I have felt like I never got any answers. This was one of my biggest struggles with my relationship with God. I prayed and prayed and prayed and did all the things I was supposed to (and did not do the things I was not supposed to), but my life had no direction, no purpose. The things that I wanted the most, there was no sign of them every coming. My life has been rough in a lot of ways, but there was never any sign of which direction I should go, if I was doing the right thing. Finally, I just started living and forging my own path.

I had been doing pretty well the last couple years. I was seeing a counselor and working on me, I was forming solid friendships, I was plowing through school and work, and I was fairly happy with where my life was at. I finally found my someone and we decided to get married...life was seeming OK.

Then I was told I was being laid off.

At first I told myself it's a good thing, which it is, but my heart is having a harder time reconciling with it than my head. On top of that communication with Alex has been, well, not great. He's been having a rough time and has been drinking a fair bit again, and I was just beginning to wonder if maybe it was time to give up on this dream.

But ever since that day when I got the news, at every turn I keep getting showered with signs.

My work BFF got a new job and a lot of my favorite peeps were leaving or retiring so there were no longer so many things to keep me there. Later that day I find out my counselor is leaving. No staying because of her. Pretty much every tie to here was broken!

So, I've been feeling down about things with Alex, especially since he was really drunk when I called last weekend, but I called today. We talked and he told me about this last bout of drinking. He said that he knew that he just can't start drinking, and he just kept hoping that he could quit on his own, but he now realized that he can't.

Then he told me that as soon as his mouth is healed (something happened during the drinking binge, I didn't understand what, but his mouth hurts) he is going to go to a treatment center in the capital city.

He's going for treatment.

He's going for treatment!!!!

Wham! Answer.

I can tell you that I am so excited!!! To think that since March 2015 we have gone from him putting some of the blame on me, to him admitting that he is an alcoholic and that he can't stop if he starts, to it is his fault and his alone, and now to recognizing he needs help.

For the first time in my life I feel like someone is fighting for me, fighting for us.

I feel so much more hopeful, and I feel that, even though I don't know where this path is headed, it is going in the right direction.

I guess I just had to wait twenty years for answers.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

Emotions Running Up and Down

As time goes on I keep having more emotions about everything. When I was first told that my position was being eliminated I put on a brave face, but the more time that goes by, and the closer that day gets, the more I'm finding myself on an emotional roller coaster.

Because of the uncertainty that I'm facing in my life, I'm feeling uncertain about a lot of things. I've started having bad dreams about work, I have been seriously stressed out the last couple weeks with my comprehensive exams going on, communication has been problematic with Alex, and so on. My life has just been turned upside down and I am so confused.

On top of that, I've packed on about 15 pounds over the last couple weeks. I'm trying to decide if I should do the weight-loss surgery and am feeling really crappy about gaining weight again. Then with all the prom pics going around, and after watching a bunch of episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress," it's brought up a bunch of old feelings and insecurities. I never got to go prom dress shopping, and I don't think I'll get to do the whole wedding dress thing, either. And even if I did get to go, no one carries dresses in my size, anyway.

I feel like Alex and I are never going to actually make it to the same country, let alone actually get married. And now I find myself wondering if I'm headed in the right direction with him. I just want to be able to spend some time with him. I had planned on using the three weeks of vacation that I had saved up to go visit this summer, but that won't happen now. I really want to run away, and pull an "Eat, Pray, Love" for just a month or two so we can be together, but I just don't see how I can.

Everything is just up in the air and I am completely frazzled. Somedays I'm good, and others I just want to bawl.

I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass.

Sigh.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I'm Still Here!

No, no, no! I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. Life has just been bat-shit cRaZaY!!!

The semester is winding down here at work, which is good, because AAAAHHH!, but bad because everyday brings me closer to unemployment. I have been busy grading for the classes I teach (which I finally, almost, finished today!!!!), busy being the person working in the library, and busy trying to finish two Masters degrees so I can finally freaking graduate! I am pretty exhausted.

Last weekend I had the first part of a comprehensive exam for my translation degree and I was majorly stressing about it. Saturday morning at 10:00 I was to download two texts and pick one to translate. I had an hour to translate and then I had to turn it in. Then at 11:25 I downloaded two questions for the essay part. I had to choose one, write an 8-12 page academic quality paper and turn it back in...in 24 hours!

Luckily, I had my Works Cited page done before I started, so that was some stress off my shoulders, but I had really read the material thoroughly and I was already so stressed out...I was a nervous wreck. But, somehow I pulled it off and wrote a 9 page paper, with excellent citations I might add, and was so relieved. Even though I felt that the paper was crap. I got an email that I would know by tonight if my paper was accepted.

I hate waiting.

But!, yesterday I got an email that my paper had been accepted and I passed to the next stage, soooo this Saturday, I will receive comments and critiques on my paper/translation and will have four hours to write a reflection paper and respond. If I pass that, then I get to graduate!

WOOOOT WOOOOT!

Then there is just the matter of finishing two portfolios, one final project, the translations for my internship from last semester, the paper about the internship process, two cataloging assignments and a test, and a final paper also from last semester, in the next 2 weeks.

No pressure...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Sky Is Falling!

Today was an unexpected day.

The college where I work has been facing budget crunches for the last few years. The imbeciles in Iowa who call themselves politicians have not given much of any increases to educational institutions for the past two years. Two years ago they, illegally, did not pass a budget until 4 months after they were supposed to. That, coupled with dwindling enrollment has meant bad news financially.

I have been very unhappy at my job for quite awhile. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the people I work with! They are the reason I have stayed this long. (That and a little thing called a paycheck...) But after the roller coaster of abuse I have taken for the last three years, for my own health, I need to get out of there.

I've known that I really need to move on for awhile, but there have been things keeping me in place. Paycheck, insurance, co-workers, friends, hope that I'd be able to move up, and so on. Well O.M.G.! Just as the flood gates opened when my first boss retired and began to poor down instability and yuckiness, now the flood gates seem to be opening in the opposite manner.

Since I am currently the only employee in my area (new boss starts mid-May), I felt pretty secure in my job.

Then it happened. I was summoned.

I was told that my position was being cut and they were replacing the two associate positions with all part time staff. As much as it was a shock, I really think that maybe they are doing me a favor.

The universe seems to be telling me it is time to move on. First, with the retirement of some dear faculty members, with the news that my co-worker had taken another job, and now with the news of my elimination. Those are some pretty strong signs, but it doesn't stop there. A friend posted a job that would be the crème de la crème for me on my Facebook wall. And then, I got a letter today that my counselor is leaving.

Literally everything that has been holding me here on some level is disappearing. It's like a cosmic tornado is coming through and wiping my slate clean.

And it has been great to have so much support from the people I work with and to know just how much they really care about me.

Yes, it's shitty. Yes, it's scary, especially the thought of no insurance, but I feel that, for once in my life, everything is falling into place.


Well, here's hoping.


P.S. When I got home I saw this in my news feed. Yet another sign?






Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Life Got Flipped-Turned Upside Down

So I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I tell ya all about...

No, I did not become the Prince of Bel-Air.

I don't talk about work much and for a reason. So many people just go venting about work not thinking about the fact that people from work can see what they post. I am not one of those people, however, right now my job is a stressful area.

Without going into detail, my co-worker left in April 2012, my boss retired in June, and ever since there has been nothing but turnover. My third boss since fall 2012 is starting soon, and we are on our second replacement for my co-worker.

Of course, on top of this turmoil, I have been in grad school, and now and trying to get a visa for my fiance. You could say I've had stress overload.

I've been struggling with some depression and anxiety for quite a while now, and it was really bad the week before spring break. Things were finally starting to look up the first day of break. I took it easy, relaxed a little, and then I was going to form a plan to get some shit done!

Then, on Tuesday, my co-worker and work bff told me that she had accepted another job.



How do you be happy for someone and at the same time not let on that you are blindsided and devastated?

It's really hard.

I knew that she had applied, but she kept saying she didn't really want the job, and I never expected her to leave so quickly.

So, for the rest of the afternoon I just sat on the couch--my body felt as if it weighed two tons. My arms were like lead, my stomach churned, and I repeatedly wept. Was I happy for her? Yes! It is a great opportunity for her, but all that I could see is that I was going to be stuck in a place by myself for weeks, with no boss and no co-worker. Again...

Everyday this week I have been slower and slower in getting to work as if I could somehow stop time in doing so. These last two weeks have been pretty normal because I've been able to keep putting those thoughts out of my mind, but tomorrow is the last day.

Tomorrow is the calm before the storm.

I will endeavor to keep my cool and not let things get to me, but c'mon...this is me we're talking about.

Is long-suffering a quality employers desire??

Here's to you friend! Best of luck in your new endeavors!

But I still hate you for leaving...

Kidding! I love you...

But I'm still mad...




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Feeling Hypo

OK, I promise that this not going to be another morose post, however, since I came home from Belarus things have been rough. Not only did I not get married like I'd hoped to, I had a lingering bug, a new semester started with no boss, and I am soo finished* with grad school... On top of that I had been feeling exhausted all the time, no matter how much I slept, had no appetite (which did not stop me from stuffing my face because of stress/emotions), I have been moody, depressed, and just feeling like I was about to have a nervous breakdown.

Most of the time I just wish I could be alone because people are so draining on my already drained psyche. And also because I was so emotional it was all I could do to not burst into tears most of the time. I really wanted to quit school (OK, I realize that is not the smartest idea ever, but when you feel like you are going to suffer a nervous breakdown...) and pretty much quit everything.

Then, last weekend I was able to run away for the weekend!

I went to see my bestie and her bean. I hadn't been down for a visit probably since last summer, and was anxious not only to catch up, but to play with the cutest, most awesome little girl ever! Her daughter just turned 3 and it was super fun to get to play with her and interact with her. And I needed advice from the best advice giver I have.

Of course, we also had much needed, for both of us, girl time. Saturday we went out to breakfast at this neat diner and had a breakfast that was way too huge for even me, and then went to get pedis!

I was still tired, but I felt spiritually refreshed after our time together.

Then it was back to reality. And Monday I got sick. I left work early in the afternoon and ended up tossing my cookies later. I stayed home Tuesday and half the day Wednesday. Monday I went in for routine blood work but they couldn't get a drop out of me. I went in Wednesday and they finally extracted enough for the tests.

Since I had been feeling so off for so long, I asked my doc if we could check my thyroid again (hadn't been checked for quite a while) and today she told me that yes, my thyroid is under active. Yes, I have to take another medicine, but as long as I feel better it doesn't bother me.

I'm relieved, really. I'm not crazy. I knew something was wrong. I just hope it helps.


Pretty toes!

One beautiful cabbage.

Yummy yummy borscht!



*If only I were finished. I just meant mentally...



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Brick

Things are crap. On the way to work this morning I heard this song. Started bawling. Sums things up.





Monday, February 29, 2016

Internal Conflict

One of my friends on Facebook had posted an article recently about why we "selfless" women attract men who need fixing. The article starts out:
"I know so many women in the same position. We attract cheating men, commitment-phobic men, emotionally unavailable men, emotionally damaged men, alcoholics, drug abusers, narcissists and sociopaths."
While I can completely relate to what is in the article it has left me a little conflicted.

Looking back on my life I can see very clearly that I am a fixer, a clean-up-afterer, and a make-it-all-betterer. Many relationships in the past have been perfect examples of this. Even many of my friendships.  Yes, I attract needy, broken people and I have had to learn to recognize them and to let go.

Over the last two years since things have gotten serious with Alex, I have had a lot of mixed reactions and advice from friends and family. Some are very supportive while simultaneously concerned, and others have not been, at least not always, very supportive at all.

I get it.

People care about me and want me to be happy. I also want me to be happy.

I have thought about things a lot. I know that he is an alcoholic and I know that some are worried that I feel that I need to fix him. I know that some are concerned that I am letting myself be abused and putting myself on the back burner. I see how it looks that way, and at times I think to myself, am I sure about this?

Here's the thing. When we met, he was not an alcoholic. When we met, I was probably much more broken than he was. When we met we were just two people who got each other and enjoyed being around one another. We were best friends, we supported one another and lifted one another up.

Now, yes there is fixing needed. But, I understand that I can't fix him. Hell, I can't even fix myself. I don't want to fix him, I know that he has to fix himself, and he has to want to. What I want, is to be there to support him on his journey because there is so much potential for him. I want to support him and remind him that there is something worth fighting for.

I understand that I am gambling. What if he doesn't chose to change? What if he never quits drinking? If that happens, I won't stay in the relationship. But what if he does decide to change? What if he does quit drinking?

Maybe I'm not doing the right thing, but I'm doing what I feel is the right thing to do. I'm doing what I need to do so that there will be no regrets about not trying.

Towards the end of the article there is a line "Because a man who is worth loving won’t accept you leaning in to pick up his pieces. He knows that if you do, you’ll only hurt yourself." What's really interesting to me is that I think Alex feels concern for me. I think that's why he didn't try to move our relationship along for such a long time, because he didn't want to drag me down with him. He has asked me several times what I am doing with him and has been adamant that he is the one that has screwed things up and I am in no way responsible.

Is anyone ever sure they are making the right decision? Probably not 100% of the time. I recognize that I could be wrong, and if the time comes, I will move on.

Others may question me, but I feel pretty certain about my motives. I guess only time will tell.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Got Grit?

Things have been rough lately. Ok, for awhile. Ok for a long time. But recently I've been feeling extremely undervalued, under-appreciated, and well, like I just don't mean anything at work.

I am the kind of person who cannot do things halfheartedly. (Ok, sometimes when I go to obligatory social functions and my extrovertedness is all wiped out I can be half-hearted about it.) But when it comes to work or anything that I take seriously, I can't do a half-ass job. I tend to go way above and beyond, often driving myself nearly to the point of ulcers, and often to the point of exhaustion.

Add to that full-time grad school for three years, and no trying to get a fiancé visa for Alex, well, I just don't understand how I am still going?

Yesterday, I cam across this article on LinkedIn and I thought, huh, that must be it. I must have grit.

It's not pretty, but I guess it's what gets me through the (abundant) tough times. No, I never grew up thinking "Someday I'm gonna have lots of grit!" But you know what, there are a lot worse things that I could be.

On the one hand, I guess it made me feel a little better. On the other...not so much.

Huh.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Yeah Baby! Yeah!

Today was pretty fantastic.

No, I didn't get a promotion. No, I didn't win the lottery. Well, actually I did, in a way.

We all take things for granted. All of us. Every. last. one. We take it for granted that the people we love will be there tomorrow.We take it for granted that we can simply text someone and get a response in seconds (or get really pissed because it takes them 5 minutes to respond...I can see that you read it a$$hole!!!!)

Life can be so overwhelming, and sometimes we need a reminder to really appreciate everything that we do have.

When I was in Belarus in December and January, I took my mom's old iPhone with me to leave for Alex. He has a very basic model (hates technology in general) and his carrier is new and does not have an agreement with any US companies yet. So, I knew that if he had an iPhone and we got him a data plan he might finally be able to text me. (I have been texting him through Skype for two years, but he could not text me back. Nor could he call me.) I gave him the phone towards the end of my stay and didn't have much of a chance to show him how to use it, or be sure that it was set up correctly.

Shit.

I just figured it wasn't gonna work. Ok, no problem. It was worth a try.

Then one day I had a missed call from him! He figured out how to correctly dial me and now he can signal me. I don't answer and then call him back. (It is not cheap for him to call, whereas I have 100 minutes a month for $20. Which is a good thing because we tend to talk for hours at a time.)

I was thrilled. Ok, so maybe he couldn't text me, but he could still reach out. Yesterday he said he had gone to MTS and they got the Internet working on his phone. (Let me just say, it's been a painful process. I was not prepared to explain to a complete beginner how to use an iPhone...in Russian.)

Everyone once in awhile I'd try texting him to see if I got any answers. Yesterday after he said he'd been to MTS I sent another message, but never got a reply. This morning at work, I took my phone out and put it on my desk like normal (I don't like to keep it in my pocket all day) and I noticed that under yesterday's text it said "read"!!!!!

WHOA!

I texted him again. No answer, but it said "read." I texted him a selfie of my and Jazz and then lo and behold A REPLY!

Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!!!!!!

I kid you not, I was soaring! My heart was doing somersaults in my chest. I was so happy, you'd have thought I won that 1.5 billion dollar lottery.

I was telling all my friends the fantastic news. Most were very excited for me, but one or two were less than impressed. (At least it seemed that way to me.)

It made me feel kinda bad. All my friends here have their partners/spouses in the same town as them. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but you and your partner can text/call/visit in person whenever you want. I've seen my fiancé twice in the past 16 years, this is a lot for me.

Ok, maybe I talk about him a lot. Do you talk about your boy/girlfriend a lot? I'm perhaps overly sensitive, but I just wanted a few minutes to share in happiness with those closest to me.

Be thankful, all of you, for what and who you have in your life. Be thankful that the closest you can feel to being with your loved one is not simply seeing "delivered" change to "read" on your phone, and for one brief moment feeling like they are just across town, and not 5000 miles away.

Don't take people or things for granted.

Tell them you love them.

Every time.







Friday, February 5, 2016

Breath In, Breathe Out...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

OK, now that I've gotten that out of the way... I'm stressing a little bit as of late, perhaps you could tell. Today marks one month home from Belarus and the longer I am home, the more I am struggling with being apart from Alex. He had a rougher time right away, but for me it has been coming on gradually.

On top of all of those emotions, it is crunch time academically. I have reached that point where I need to complete the incomplete courses from last semester, and I am also in my second week of the current semester. SO, this weekend I have to re-write one paper, write another, write a summative essay which is in place of my final exam for that class, and then do all my normal homework on top....


After that, it will be a walk in the park! I'll only have to keep up with the current semester, write a final project from my other incomplete class, and prepare for my comprehensive exam in the end of April/early May.

It's cool, I'm chill...

I know I'll make it through. I don't know how, but I will.

Going into hiding now, see you when I emerge next Monday an exhausted, frazzled, but much relieved person.


* Note the card catalog in the background! #librarianporn




Taking Care Of Me!!

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