Move across the country, leaving behind (nearly) everything you’ve ever known. Oh wait, that totally doesn’t count as adulting.
Job hunt for three months, because you refuse to settle (at least until your shekels run out).
Land a job from your shortlist of “dream” jobs…then promptly find the negatives (even though you actually kinda love the work – don’t worry. I anticipate rants aplenty.).
Commuting an hour each way, in good traffic – only taking one week to get sick to death of that aspect. To death.
Keeping your after-hours tutoring gigs because bills. Because money. Because adulting. Because your “dream job” is highly underpaid.
Become a slightly better-functioning night-owl/pseudo-insomniac and running on four hours of heavily medicated sleep-aid sleep at best.
Start adding a shot of espresso to your usual vanilla chai latte because tired as fuck, even though the taste makes you want to spew chunks.
Neglect the things you like, again, but this time with legitimate excuses (such as the schedule that has me running from 5 AM to 8-9 PM (which is usually when I finally make it back to basement)).
Get used to being abandoned by those whom once claimed they’d be by your side forever. Grow just callused enough to make it through the day, but sometimes still cry yourself to sleep at night. Whoops, that got dark. My bad.
What I meant to say was something along the lines of: being lonely as fuck. And also something else to do with that “fuck” word. I want a buddy, a companion, a partner-in-crime, a lover. I’m sick of waiting around for things that I thought were something they weren’t. And I refuse to join some dating service. So that leaves me…right here, bitching!
Hmm. I know there’s more, but I have to get back to work. I took a brief lunch break…a break from writing to write. Heh. Fuck, I’m braindead. I’ve written roughly fifty pages this week – stuff like newsletters, newspaper articles, ad blurbs, radio scripts, and now I’m about to start on blogging. I’ve helped perform interviews. I’ve assisted in ad-buying decisions and helped negotiate contract prices. I’ve improved departmental organization. And I’ve been here a week! I’m fucking tired! And pleased – with my job.
So yeah. Break’s over. Enough writing. I have writing to do!
Don’t you just love that word? “Howdy”? Probably not, but maybe I can change your mind. My mamaw always used that word in greeting. “Howdy, Steph,” she’d say with a grin, in her warm, gravelly smoker’s voice. Steph. She just had to call me Steph. Hell, everyone did. I don’t know why it bothered me so much. But when Mamaw said, “Howdy, Steph!,” it didn’t matter.
I loved it. Some people teased her for it, but she kept on saying “howdy” anyway. And so I adopted it, early on. But I mostly only greeted her that way. Mostly.
Until she passed.
And now I say it at work, lots. “Howdy, Gary!” “Howdy, Richard!” “Howdy, y’all!”
People laugh, as though the joke’s on me for being weird. And I’m okay with that. Because Mamaw. I tell them about her when I can, but mostly I just grin and let them go on wondering what sort of weirdo says howdy anymore. And in those moments, I’m smirking with Mamaw and feel all warm and wistful.
So there. Howdy Peopleaneous!
An Adventurous Musical Meet & Greet
It’s been ages since we’ve done a Meet & Greet, so let’s do it! You know I like to mix music into them, so if you want to participate on that front as well it would be superduper! I’m thinking the theme for this Playlist Party slash Meet & Greet should be Adventure – Moving On – Starting Over. I need a playlist for songs like that – any genre is welcome. Even if it’s country, I’ll try not to cringe and call you names. Any genre, any time/decade. I’ll start us off in a minute.
But first, the Meet & Greet! Let’s see. These things usually need “Rules,” but I don’t like Rules. So let’s call them Meet & Greet Ideas:
Give us a link to your about or a favorite post of yours or both – and tell us a little about you if you’d like!
Give us a link to a blog you’re crazy about, or a post that touched you in some way, written by someone else – let’s spread the love!
Share a song about adventure or starting over. (If you don’t have a song idea, you’re still part of this Meet & Greet!)
Reblog or link to this post – let’s see how many new people we can meet y’all!
So let’s see. Lemme start us off by following the “rules,” myself:
My favorite recent post of mine: The Wallpaper. This one’s deeply personal to me, but I was also proud of and surprised by how it turned out.
A favorite blog of mine: Stupidity Hole. Go. Clicky. Now. I’ll wait. Waiting. Have you gone yet? Good. Are you back yet? Good.
Dude is awesome, and his writing and photography are fun, unique and fucking gorgeous. Check out this post where he talks about his photography, and make sure to check out his shop as well.
I own some of his prints, and they’re gorgeous. I’m frustrated as fuck that I can’t hang them yet. Soon! I’m keeping them protected until PNW. Then I can use them to start decorating my new pad. Word.
Now. Music. I’ll kick us off with a few jams about Starting Over, Moving On, Adventure… you get the idea.
To Starting Over
Promise, by Hey Rosetta!
Float On, by Modest Mouse
Time to Move On, by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
The Getaway, by Leisure Cruise
Road Trippin’, by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Ramble On, by Led Zeppelin
There are so many, but I don’t want to list a couple dozen songs. I’d rather see what y’all come up with!
So come on. Share your blog links – tell us why you kick ass! Share someone else’s blog – tell us why he or she kicks ass! Share some music – tell us why it kicks ass!
In other words…come kick ass with me! Let’s see how many blog links we can generate this time!
This post brought to you by:
Asses, specifically those that kick or even those in need of kicking.
Stupidity Hole, because every ass needs a hole. Wait. No. That’s not the best way to introduce him. He’s more than just a hole. Lemme try again.
Brought to you by Stupidity Hole, because Pensive Pug. And also because he said I have to post something today. So I dragged his ass into it!
I have yet to read a book this year. I keep trying, but nothing holds my focus or interest. I keep trying to read blogs. Articles. Even the rare thought-provoking Facebook post. I can’t. Fucking. Do it. Same with writing. I can’t think of anything to write about. Part of me wants to write. (The part of me that’s here writing this.) The other part of me couldn’t care less. (The part of me that cannot come up with anything to talk about right now.) It’s maddening. On slow days at work – I shit you not – so many times I’m just staring at the monitor or wall. Just fucking staring. I want to read. I want to write. It’s like I can’t.
Is it the medication?
Speaking of (psychiatric) drugs, I’m only on Lexapro and Seroquel now. I’ve been through three anti-psychotics so far…Geodon and two others I’ve already forgotten. All three fucked me up in a major way. I’m not having major negative (discernible) side-effects from Seroquel, but…but I feel even more numb than I did before I was on it. I smile and laugh and crack the occasional snarky remark. But, for the most part, it doesn’t reach beyond the surface.
I am still taking the sleepytime drug (Clonidine), but I’ve ceased the anti-anxiety drugs (Vistaril and Klonopin). First, I was just too fucking tired and sleepy all the time. I’m already tired all the time – I certainly didn’t need drugs that exacerbate that. Second, and most importantly, at least one of them was causing panic attacks. I’m the girl that has maybe three or four full-blown panic attacks a year. Maybe. The rest of them are milder anxiety attacks. Like can’t get out of the car to go into the grocery store. While I was taking the anti-anxiety drugs (at 50 mg Vistaril 3x daily and 1 mg Klonopin 3x daily), I began having them daily. Daily. Sometimes more than once per day. If I was at work, I had to scurry off to the bathroom to hide in a stall until it passed. If I was at home, I exercised less control but would eventually tuck myself in the closet. The closeness and darkness helped soothe and calm me down.
I knew something was fucked. And it had to be the drugs, because nothing else had changed. Granted, I’m going through some life changes right now – and they aren’t minor. But I’ve been easing my way into those for several months now. There was no brand new catalyst aside from the steady increase in anti-anxiety drugs and doses.
All that to say, I’ve ceased those – though the psychiatrist doesn’t know. When I tried to share my observations, she insisted I was better off with the meds than without – to the point where she brought up hospitalization again, as though holding that over my head if I didn’t take the pills. So I lie and tell her I’m still on everything except the ones where I have pictorial evidence of bad side-effects (like the big, burny rashes). I even asked her at one point if she wanted pics of vomit. (While I am a smartass, I don’t often use it with willfully mean intent. But she was basically accusing me of lying to her and being treatment resistant – hence my offer.) So now I really am lying to her, and I fucking hate it. It pains me so to admit it, because I hate lying. I hate liars. I used to say liars and thieves, but really they’re the same thing. A lie is theft of truth. So to tell a lie is to become both a liar and a thief. Next time I see her, I’m going to tell her. Just flat out tell her, and by then I will be able to tell her that I’ve been off of them long enough to know for damn sure they were doing more harm than good. Hell, they were doing no good and only harm.
But what about publife?
Once I took myself off of the anti-anxieties, I was strangely able to appreciate my anxiety. I’d gone weeks with severe daily panic attacks. So now that things had calmed back down to being too nervous to go into the grocery store, rather than pulling my hair and rage-screaming, I was less concerned.
So much so that I was finally able to push myself far outside my comfort zone and go to a pub – not once, but three times. And one of them was alone! I even took myself to the movies and to a concert – solo!
But here’s the thing…the Saturday and Sunday immediately subsequent to two of those pubnights?
In bed. Crying. Sleeping. Contemplating. Crying. Sleeping.
You get the idea.
It’s important to me that I share this here, because for anyone else going through what I’m going through, I don’t want to give the impression that this depressed introvert was “healed” after a few nights of bravery. I wasn’t. I’m not. Though I am proud of myself for pushing outside my comfort zone and even doing something I’d never done before, I also realize that wellness is an ongoing process. That goes for mental and physical health and wellness.
Last time, I only talked about the good shit. But it’s important to show the other side. What happened after the Happy Hour High.
The extreme highs of forced extroversion (that was honestly quite fun and liberating – errr aside from pubnight #3 which was an epic fucking disaster), followed by quiet solitude…well, let’s say that combination resulted in major emotional backlash for me. So. On this journey of mental wellness, I have to eventually discover a way to at least minimize the extroversion hangover caused by going from being ON to being alone and exhausted.
I haven’t been back out since the failed third Happy Hellish Hour, and I’ve had a negative urge to. Until Friday. I could have done Happy Hour after work. But..I kinda didn’t wanna. Because while I now know that I can do it, I also found it far more fun when I was with people than when I went alone. Frankly, it’s depressing. It was awesome in a lot of ways, and I was so fucking proud of myself. But. It’s also me. Sitting alone. At a bar. Alone. On a Friday night. Out. In public. Did I mention alone? Yeah. So while I kinda wanted to go, I didn’t.
Then again, maybe that’s the drugs, too. Fucked if I know. What I do know is that my slowass pace doesn’t mean I’ve stopped progressing.
I’m trending upward. That’s right. Slowly but surely, I’m trending upward. Speaking of which…
Inching along the Oregonton Trail
I continue to make progress (albeit slow) toward getting myself up to Oregon or Washington.
The yard is landscaped just along the front of the house. Azaleas, some fast growing lantanas, and some gorgeous annuals in window boxes. The house looks adorable. Fucking adorable. It went from ghetto to adorable in a flash. It’s amazing the effect flowers have on a house’s appeal.
As far as the house goes, there are still some hurdles before it can be put on the market. The driveway has to be re-graveled. The laundry room floor has to be painted (the previous owner painted it, and it looks ridiculous). The kitchen floor needs some tiles replaced. Other than that, it’s down to scrubbing and little things like window blinds and light bulbs here and there.
Strongly considering figuring out how to do it For Sale by Owner. It’s the legal shit that concerns me, not the showing. My boss is flexible, so I could show it on evenings, weekends and the occasional midday during the week. I’ve learned that hiring a realtor will take all of the little equity I’ve got in the house. I can’t afford to lose that, so I have to find another way. Enter FSBO.
I’ll do my research and give it a go.
On the job front, I’ve stopped applying for now. I’ve had several interviews, but I have a solid lead thanks to a VIP at work. When he found out about my plans, he asked for my resume and sent it to another VIP in Vancouver, Washington. He tells me it’s solid and to bide my time while I sell my house. So I’m gonna let that simmer for a while and pour all my focus into the sale.
This post took three days to write. That’s how bad my “block” is. I know this is an abrupt conclusion, but I don’t really know what else to say.
Until next time, y’all are the best. I’m not neglecting you on purpose. This “block” is maddening! Hope everyone is well and happy!
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!))))
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.
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.
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 degrees 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.
(Please forgive any egregious errors. I don’t feel like re-reading this right now. Ha! Some copy-editor!)
Gather round, Peopleaneous, for I have a confession to make and news to share. I’ve played a little prank with the help of a fellow blogger. I’m pretty sure you know exactly whom I’m talking about. But don’t worry, I’ll tell you this time. Let’s get the confession out of the way, shall we? We shall indeed.
CONFESSIONS and TRICKERY
Confession 1: This one’s the real whammy – I didn’t go anywhere this past weekend, over Valentine’s Day / President’s Day. And I certainly didn’t go to meet a fellow blogger.
Confession 2: Josh and I noticed some time ago that people were leaping to conclusions about us and what may or may not be going on between us. Some of them kind of made sense, given the nature of our public conversations, banter, flirtations and challenges to each other. But some were wildly out there and hilarious in the far-fetched assumptions. So we decided to play a prank: to make you all think we were going to meet up over Valentine’s Day weekend.
Confession 3: Not only were Josh and I not together over the weekend, but I was right here in Louisiana – doing important shit around the house. And I actually had to work yesterday. President’s Day is typically only observed by government institutions, at least in these here yonder backwoods.
Confession 4: There is a real connection. Had we acknowledged it when we hatched the plan for the prank? I’m not telling. Is there now? I’m pretty sure that’s obvious enough that you know there is. And I don’t think either of us is trying to hide that fact.
Confession 5: Yesterday’s post should have been tagged “fiction.” But it wasn’t, as it was the final part of the prank. I wasn’t in any airport yesterday. I wasn’t on any airplane yesterday. Do I wish I was? I’ll leave that to your imagination. I’ll tell you one thing: I sure as fuck didn’t want to be at work. Ugh.
TRUTH and NEWS
Truth Nugget 1: I just spilled a lot of truth up there. First off, the intention was never to lie, but more to play a harmless prank that we both hope you’ll find amusing rather than insulting. From the beginning, we both planned to reveal the prank as soon as this past weekend had passed.
Truth Nugget 2: I am planning to move to the Seattle area. Sooner than later. And I have been longing to move to the Pacific Northwest for most of my life. It’s always been a dream of mine. This year I decided to take control of my life, stop wishing and start planning.
Truth Nugget 3: I spent the weekend packing my house and hauling shit to the storage unit I rented a couple of weeks ago. I’m not done, but I’ve already begun the first stages of the hard cleaning so that I can put the house on the market in the coming weeks.
Truth Nugget 4: I’ve already submitted my very first application to a job in Seattle. And it’s perfect for me. So fingers crossed, y’all.
Truth Nugget 5: Do I plan to meet Josh? I won’t speak for him. You can go read his post on this to see what you think. But for me? Sure. Why shouldn’t I? What does that mean? If anything? I’m not telling. At least not right now. I may or may not. Go ask Josh.
The readers that Josh and I have in common – hell the readers we have, period – know that we’re both irreverent, snarky, playful and mischievous at times. I promise you this: any time you’re pranked (which I have no plans for as yet), you will always be told in the end. And if it’s the Flat Out Truth, you’ll know that, too.
But the question remains: Just who was pranked in the end: you or us? That’s for us to know and you to find out. For now, we’ll all Float On okay.