What are you so afraid of?

Have you ever considered what bears and grocery stores have in common? I have. It’s fear. Bears and grocery stores have fear in common.

Some people are afraid of bears. I’m not. I have a healthy respect for them, and I know proper procedures to prevent bear encounters and protocol should I ever encounter one anyway (though I’m sure all of that knowledge would elude me at such a time). But I do not fear them. Not exactly. I mean, I was wary enough to avoid cooking when I stayed in Shoshone National Forest, or in GNP or Yellowstone, places like that. I was afraid to cook, but that was mostly because I was afraid of myself – of not being cautious enough or missing spots during cleaning. I was afraid I’d fuck it up. I didn’t actually go to sleep in fear. I happily climbed into my tent and into my sleeping bag, falling asleep nearly instantly after long days of hiking.

I’m not afraid of bears.

Some people are afraid of grocery stores. I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’ve figured out how I know. I am afraid of grocery stores. But I believe it’s less about being in public (which is a whole separate issue for me) and more about whom I may encounter there. I don’t live in a huge metropolitan area, which makes the chances rather high for running into people whom I’d rather not run into. Even so, it’s happened a disproportionate amount of times. Sometimes I’ve been so shaken up that I’ve left the store without making my purchases. I believe there was only once that I had a buggy full of groceries, and I left in a panic. But I’ve seen people I’d rather not with high frequency. My anxiety and fear ratcheted up to the point where I’d drive to the grocery (after allowing myself to run out of pretty much everything), then sit in the car in the parking lot for several minutes to an hour before finally driving away without ever getting out of the car.

I’m afraid of grocery stores.

This fear has caused me to spend more money than I can really afford (considering other shit I desperately need to take care of) and damage my health with fast food. There’s no risk I’ll run into anyone when I just go through a drive-thru and go home. But it’s not a healthy way to live, not for mind or body.

I went to the grocery store today. It sounds so simple, it’s nothing more than an inconvenience. Rightfully so. It’s pretty irrational to be petrified of grocery shopping. But I am. I have been. I went today, and I didn’t make a quick run, either. I started in produce and made my way around the store, selecting my purchases. I’ll need to go again tomorrow, as I didn’t take a list today (it was more about pushing through my fear and getting started with the basics). I got nearly everything I need. But I need a few more things. Perhaps I’ll make crawfish étouffée tomorrow.

I had a big day for me, really. I got up early (on a Saturday – what the fuck is the world coming to (I like to sleep until 3 PM or Sunday)), got dressed (that’s important to do before going out in public, or so I’ve been told), grabbed a bottle of water and hit the park. My foot still hasn’t healed (what the fuck, man), but I walked a trail anyway. Along a lake. It was so fucking humid, but it was lovely. It was lovely. The birds and the flowers and the water and the occasional breeze. Left there and went to a café (sort of), got a fruity iced tea thingy and a croissant. Then I went straight to the grocery store. I only sat in the car for about fifteen minutes (trust me, that’s good for me). When I got home, I didn’t stop. There has been zero bed or moping or bed moping today. Mowed the yard, fixed the new gravel that’s on the driveway, babied some suffering plants, and now I’m doing laundry. I need a shower so badly, but I wanna make sure most of the sweating is behind me before I do!

I kept a promise today. Promises are sacred to me. You don’t fuck with a promise unless you didn’t have a choice (and you pretty much always have a choice, so you better have a fucking good reason). I promised to work on myself today, push past the fear and do it. And I did. And I felt (feel) fantastic and optimistic afterward. I know optimism is a feeling like any other – it comes and goes with the days and moods. But for now, I’m enjoying it. And when it begins to fade again, I’ll have to push past the fear again. Today was one day. This is one weekend. I need to make it two. And keep going.

Because if I don’t – I’ll get to Oregon or Washington and nothing will have changed. I will go to work as I do here. I will drive straight home as I do here. And I will cry and mope and wish for adventure. And I will hold myself back. If I can’t push through it here, what makes me think I will there? I don’t want to move to the PNW just to continue the lifestyle I have now. What’s the fucking point of that? If I’m to live, I need to start living.

shawshank-redemption-movie-quote-dying-living-death-busy-quote

What else am I afraid of?

I’m not afraid of spiders – not majorly so. I have a massive fear of venomous ones. But little jumping spiders? They’re fucking adorable. The wolf spider I found in my garden made me scream like a little girl and literally run away. That was pretty funny. But I didn’t kill it. I let it be…and used gloves when I got back to it.

I was afraid of pubs. I pushed through it, and I’m okay there now. Not exactly comfortable, but okay.

I’m afraid of my nosebleeds. What do they mean? Dunno. But that’s the kind of thing I’m afraid of.

I’m afraid of my neighbors. Not in any dangerous sense, but in the sense that they’re there. Watching me. Judging me. Talking about me. Hell, I should just say I’m afraid of people and have done.

I’m afraid of attachment. I crave it, and yet I fear it. Because allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable exposes your soft underbelly. And some people like to stab those, repeatedly.

I’m afraid of the government, and all of its agents, because of the power we’ve given over to it.

I’m afraid of the threat of tornadoes. Always was, irrationally so. But now that one has hit my house, the fear is greater.

I’m afraid of heights, but not to a crippling extent. Not enough to hinder me from walking cliff trails in the mountains.

I’m afraid I’ll die alone. Nothing I can really do about it aside from keeping myself open to possibilities and otherwise keep on keepin’ on.

I’m afraid of missing out. Of never discovering meaning or purpose. Perhaps there isn’t one. And if there isn’t, then I’m afraid I’ll never be content with that answer. Again. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on, and keep myself open to new ideas and possibilities.

I’m afraid of suffering. I’m afraid of cancer and heart disease. Too much of it in my family, and it scares me. I need to live more healthfully and mindfully.

I’m afraid of my bad memory and what it may mean for my old age, should I make it there. Yet another thing I need to work on improving.

I’m afraid of touching crickets. When I’d go fishing, I could never bait my own hook. I could never get a fish off of a hook, either. I couldn’t touch the cricket. I’d try and try and try, then squeal and back away. Yes. I’m such a girl in some ways. In more ways than I let on here sometimes, I think. And you know what I mean. Soft. Emotional. Sensitive. Gentle. Nervous. Bashful. Afraid to touch bugs, but don’t want to see them dead. Those aren’t purely feminine traits, but fucks sake why am I trying to explain this. Anyway. Yeah. I’m more of a “girl” than I let on.

Hm. I think that’s enough for now. I’m actually in a calm, gentle, smiley mood. So don’t let all this fear talk fool you. I’m looking inward and taking inventory as I am wont to do. Today I don’t find it depressing. Today it’s like cleaning out the cobwebs and taking stock.

Now to see what tomorrow holds.

Advertisements

Buncha Bullshit: The One Where Stephanie Rants About The Logistics of Making a Major Life Change (AKA:Whiny Girl Rants about First World Problems)

Moving across the country on a low budget is a royal pain in the ass. And the logistics of such are putting a mild damper on my excitement. It’s more epic frustration than woe is me bullshit.

I’m about as frustrated as a crackwhore without any crack or whorish shenanigans.
I’m about as frustrated as a woman in the throes of heightened sexual tension without a partner to take it out on.
I’m about as frustrated as a politician without a Lewinsky.
I’m about as frustrated as the CIA without a brothel.
I’m about as frustrated as. As. Uhm. As someone who is frustrated.

(I just reread this and realized most of the the frustration examples are sexual in nature. Don’t read into that, please. Or do. Either way, I’m gonna stop talking now. (Except I’m not. But it won’t be about sex anymore. Why would I talk about sex? This is a motherfucking clean blog, damnit. (Fuckin’ hell, I have sex on the brain. I’m human after all. Sexbrain is NOT HELPING, SO MOTHERFUCKING STOP IT, BRAIN. (I really should delete this ridiculous parenthetical that’s only making things worse. But I’m not going to. Because this is me. Hi. My name is Stephanie, and I have sexbrain. Hi Stephanie. Welcome, Stephanie. Keep coming back – it works if you work it!))))

Frustration-Eats-Pencil2
This Poor Little Fucker. That’s me. Seriously, that’s exactly what I look like. I had my portrait done. For seriouses.

It’s all a buncha bullshit. And there’s a whole lotta bullshit that has to be figured out and sorted.

Buncha Bullshit that has to be Figured Out and Sorted

Emotional Bullshit – Let’s get this bullshit outta the way first. My family sucks. Seriously, they can all go eat a giant bag of dicks. I don’t know where my mother is. She may or may not be in town. I’ve seen both her and my sort of grandfather at local grocery stores before. They both ignored me. Pretended I wasn’t even there. It’s no wonder grocery stores are currently my strongest triggers for acute anxiety. But the mother…is unreliable and an untreated bipolar. And she’s probably not even in the state anymore. Who knows. My siblings and my aunt (who was always my second-favorite family member – at least on that side of the family) won’t speak to me anymore, because I won’t “get over” the physical, emotional, psychological, sexual abuse and go to my so-called father’s side now as he lays dying.

some_deep_emotional-89202

So yeah. Fuck them. I’m not even gonna tell them I’m leaving. For all they know, I’ve been dead for years. Fuck. Them. Fuck. Them. Fuck. Them. And for all the Fuck Thems I type, there are a hundred more tears. Motherfuckers. Fuck Them for making me feel this way. Fuck them for throwing me out with yesterday’s garbage. Fuck Them. I don’t even love them anymore. Do I? Fuckin’ hell, I’ve gotten scary good at compartmentalization. Don’t get me wrong. I know I can’t run away from the damage they’ve done to me over the course of my life. (This is not about running away. This is about moving on to a place I’ve always wanted to be but allowed people to tell me no.) And though I can’t get them outta my head, I can get outta this town of pain and tangible memories.

Whew. There. That’s dealt with. Let’s move on to financial bullshit.

Financial Bullshit – I know I haven’t spoken about my (failed) marriage, and I don’t intend to go into details now. At this point, it’s not something I wish to speak of here. I bring it up now just to make a single point: I was unemployed when we separated. But I was the one left saddled with the entire mortgage and anything else that goes into the typical running of a household. Since he took half of the savings account, it didn’t take long for me to go through every cent as I looked for a job in a shitty economy and shitty area for good employment opportunities. By the time I landed something decent, aside from little temp jobs, I had about 200 bucks to my name. And I seriously thought I was going to go default on the mortgage. I didn’t. In fact, I’ve never missed a single payment. But what that means for me now? I don’t have savings. I have some cash stashed in a box where all of my tutoring cash goes. But it’s “nothing to write home about,” as the saying goes. I’m fine. I pay all of my bills (except the student loan one which I simply can’t pay at this point). And they’re paid on time. I don’t do without food, water, shelter, books, etc. So I work full-time for an enormous corporation, and I’m broke. But only when it comes to anything outside of the basics.

57608060
Let’s see what the news is today. Oh yes, still broke as fuck. Off to work I go, like a good little mindless citizen!

However, this does throw a big wrench into the logistics of moving across country. Do y’all know how much it would cost to hire a moving company to move one set of bedroom furniture, about twenty boxes of books, some dishes and a couple of chests? The lowest quote I’ve gotten thus far was about $3,500. Their competitors said $4,500. U-Haul would be about $1,700, but then there is mileage and fuel costs to consider on top of that. So. What it looks like I’ll have to do is drive myself up there with my cats and whatever I can fit in the car. Leave the rest in storage. And sleep on an air mattress in the tiniest, cheapest apartment I can find to start out in.

This also means that I can’t afford to let people at work know about this until the very last minute. Because I can’t afford to quit my job while I tidy up the house for the market and dig in deep on a job search in Seattle. It also means I can’t just move up there and find a job that way, because I’d have greater odds of landing something good if I were actually there. But I can’t do that.

Then there’s the question of where I’ll live in the interim.

Housing Bullshit – As the regular Peopleaneous know, I’m in the (lengthy) process of preparing my house to put on the market. This involves the ex, as his name is still on the deed. And the house is filled with a lot of his stuff. (Including the guns that I couldn’t get rid of, because they weren’t mine…and I did not want to deal with the explosion that would ensue if I’d gotten rid of them.) So. He’s been over a lot on weekends and evenings. Going through his stuff. Culling stuff. Fixing stuff (very very slowly) and occasionally sabotaging my efforts by doing shit like parking in the middle of the yard after days of heavy rain and rutting the fucker up. That will do wonders for the curb appeal. Fucking wonderful. Anyway. ANYFUCKINGWAY. This isn’t about him. And I said I didn’t wanna talk about him. And I don’t. So. The point is, this is lengthy.

And I have an issue that I don’t know how to resolve.

Issue the First: Selling the house is going to be difficult. First, the market it is in has done nothing but go down down down since I/we bought the place. Second, he never maintained things. And I wasn’t allowed to, in the sense that… No. No. I’m just gonna leave that there. I’m not going to make this about him. He used to be great, and then he lost his way. And then we both changed. I’m gonna leave it at that. Point is, the house wasn’t kept up. Things are broken. Things are damaged. Things have been neglected. Then the other day, the fucking city tore down a tree. Fucking ass sucking dickwhistles. And in the few years I’ve been there by myself, I was mostly so mired down in a bottomless pit of the darkest depression I’ve known. Too far down to even think it was worth getting out of bed to take care of the house. I was in total fuck you, fuck me, fuck the world, fuck the universe, fuck the house, fuck the job, fuck it all mode.

Issue the Second: What if the house sells before I land a job in Seattle? Does that mean I have to sign a 6-month contract on some apartment in town? That would make me lose a lot of money if I found a job just after moving. Plus, who the fuck wants to move twice?

Issue the Third: What if I land a job before the house sells? How do I finagle that? I can’t afford to rent property in Seattle while simultaneously paying a mortgage. Seriously, it’s not like I’m CEO material. I won’t be making that kinda money. So how does that work?

Which leads me to jobby bullshit.

Jobby Bullshit – Should I even be looking for jobs at this point? Is it premature? It’s premature, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be foolish not to? Maybe someone out there thinks I’m worth waiting for. It’s possible, right? Or maybe I could land a job and let them know that when the house sells, I’ll need to fly back down for paperwork and shit. But that brings me back to the issue of rent plus mortgage. No can do, buckaroo. The good news is that I’ve secured three solid references. Two of you read this blog on occasion. Be good to me, fellas! Pretty please.

Oh, yes. More Jobby Bullshit. Another issue I’m having is that I’d like to pursue something that I may actually enjoy. Something with writing or editing would be fucking epic. I can even write without using “fuck” all the time. Promise. The problem is, my deagent-orange-wasting-time-250x127grees are not in English or Journalism or any of those other “required” degrees for writing jobs. The problem is none of my work experience is writing related, aside from some freelance gigs on the side. The problem is, I don’t have writing samples to submit. And I sure as fuck don’t want any potential employers finding this spot: a. because of all the fucking that goes on around here and 2. because then I’d never be able to rant or vent about work!

But I don’t want to do the kind of thing I’m doing right now. And I also don’t want to do the whole Executive Assistant/Administrative thing. I’ve done it. I’m damn fucking good at it. But it’s no fun. It’s draining. It’s meaningless to me. And it makes me feel the time, my life, tick tick ticking away.

 ~

So I don’t know what to do. More specifically, I don’t know how to approach all of this. I’m sure there are other issues that I had in mind before I began this post. But I’ve been interrupted countless times because work. And also because my mind is in a dirty, dirty place right now. So it’s hard to focus. Anyway, this fucker is nearly 2,000 words already. Probably about 1,900 more than it really needs to be! But my name is not Concisephanie for a reason!

I would like to ask something of my dear Peopleaneous.

If there are any of you out there who have done this before and have a clearer vision on the logistics of something like this, please hit me up. I’d love some advice.

If there are any of you out there who have made major career switches without the official qualifications to do so, I’d love some tips there as well.

And if any of you are in Seattle and hiring, pick me! MEMEMEMEMEME!

In the meantime, I’m going to keep trudging forward. This is my year. I’m taking charge of my life. And I’m still holding on to Rollins’ words.

Rollins

 GO!

(Please forgive any egregious errors. I don’t feel like re-reading this right now. Ha! Some copy-editor!)

Mere Words

Before she could give herself over to her nerves, she dialed the number. It rang four times, and she thought the person on the other end had decided not to answer.

She nearly hung up, but she knew she was being foolish. You’ve spent your entire life being a fucking coward. You know you don’t have to be that way now.

“Hello?,” was the hesitant answer.

“Hi!,” she exclaimed, heart slamming against her rib cage. “I may as well tell you now, but I’m nervous as hell and don’t know what to say.” The stammering speech and nervous laughter testified to this.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” came the curt reply.

Silence followed.

“This isn’t good enough. It will never do, and there’s no time to explain just now.”

“I’m sorry to have wasted your time,” she muttered in a hoarse whisper.

“Meet me after work. The bench. You know the one, by the lake in the park.”

“…okay.”

“We’ll walk to my place from there, because you’ll never understand through mere words.”

Click.