"Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous." ~Anais Nin

30 December 2016


by Emmanuel CastaƱeda [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Interview!  Interview, interview, interview, interview.  Interview! 
Interviewinterviewinterviewinterviewinterviewinterviewinterviewinterview! Interview!!!  Interview.

In! Ter! View!

Interview!  Interview.  Interview.   In-ter-view!  Interviewoo-hoo!  Interview interview interview interview.  INTERVIEW!  


Finally.  Best day in a long time.

It's scheduled for the 6th of January.  Wish me luck!  Good luck.  Wish me good luck.

28 December 2016

Post panicked pity party plans (with some added panicking and more self pity!)

Blah.  Yesterday was bad.  Not as bad as the day before when I was sick and had to call into work, but it was still bad.  Everything I said was true, but I annoy myself by giving in to the trapped, helpless, and hopeless feelings that haunt me.  I've been doing nothing but reacting far too long, and have a desperate need to take some kind of action.  I know my problems, so do you, and the next step is what to do about them.  How do I fix things?

Getting a job is a big, big part of that.  At this point, though, I'm not super confident in my chances of that going my way.  I'll keep applying, and applying, and applying, but I can't shake the feeling that if it hasn't gone anywhere yet, it will probably continue that way, you know?  It's not like I'm looking for much.  Full time work, $35K/year, medical insurance, semi-decent hours, not a horribly abusive atmosphere.  And it's all negotiable.  But I need to be able to support myself.

Over the past several years, I've come to grips with the very likely possibility that I will never be able to pay off my student loans.  That's sad, unfortunate, but also something I can't escape.  Still, all this education of mine should translate into some kind of marketable skill, and from there into a way to make a living.  Even if it's a modest one.

Still, I should be able to get a job in an office somewhere.  I have all the pertinent computer skills, plus an education emphasizing organization, collaboration, collegiality, research, database design and maintenance, et cetera, et cetera.

So, what am I to do?

Thing is, I don't know.  I really don't.  Retail, food services?  Less pay, more hours, more stress, and I'd barely make more a year than I do now.  I don't want to do it.  I don't want to settle.  Not for something that will pay me $20K/year, not give me benefits, and give me worse hours.  Not for something that doesn't pay enough to cover my debts and move out of my parent's place.  I did that already.  I paid my dues there.  I deserve more.

I hate feeling like my education was a mistake.  I hate it.  I was so proud of myself for finishing my degrees.  I hate this desperation.  I hate that sometimes I think that it's good that I don't have a family of my own, children to support, because I couldn't if I did.  I hate that I don't like myself.  I hate that I feel so cut off, so alone.

Things were meant to be different.  By now I was supposed to have a career, a husband, a child or children.  I was supposed to be a grown up, to be able to take care of myself, to be content if not happy.  I wasn't supposed to be afraid all the time.

How do I change this?  How do I change me?  My circumstances?

I'm going to start by cleansing myself, and releasing all my negative thoughts as they come.  I'm going to start by meditating daily, and picking back up my exercise routines.  I'm not going to shame myself for not being able to do what I once could, be what I once was.  I'm just going to work on becoming who I want to be.

I've just got to figure out who that is.

Maybe once I do, and once I get there, everything else will fall in place.

27 December 2016

2016 Retrospective

Burn it to the ground. Photo by Fir0002 [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Gods!  This has been a shitty year.

Let's not even go into the deaths of so many beloved celebrities, or those caused by the abuses of authority, or even those that were out and out hate crimes.  Let's not talk about the abomination that is the incoming presidential administration, or the horrors that are sure to follow it, or the fact that those fuckwads are only one state–ONE STATE–away from having a constitutional majority and therefore being able to create or repeal constitutional amendments at will.  Let's not talk about all the fact that we're facing the next great extinction level event, and conservative estimates think that 85% of all known species on this earth are expected to be extinct within the next 20 years unless we, human beings, drastically change the way we live.  Let's not talk about the hate and the fear, the violence and threats of violence.  Let's not talk about the global, political, or social ramifications etc, etc.  

Let's just talk about me.

I'm more unhappy than I've ever been.  I'm sick and afraid.  I hate my life, my job, my lack of options.  I'm poorer than I've ever been, and I feel it.  I don't know how I'm going to be able to continue, because this is not sustainable.  My life is not sustainable.  Not as it is.

Now, I feel I have to put a little addendum here to emphasized to those in my family who read this and are worried: This is not a suicide note.  This is not a suicide threat.  I have no suicidal ideation.  I don't care what it sounds like, I don't want to die.  Just because I am depressed, and my life is spiraling down into the dark, does not mean that I'm going to kill myself.  I get that you're worried about me.  I'm worried about me too.  I'm worried that I'm going to lose my car or possibly end up homeless.  I'm worried that I'm never going to be able to pay off my credit card bill, even though it's really not that much.  Please don't "talk" to me about this.  It's just going to embarrass and upset us all.

Back to me.

I started this year off feeling cautiously hopeful.  This is the year I'm going to finally land a full time job again.  I'm going to be able to pay off my credit card, pay back my mother, maybe even start paying down my student loans, you know?  I sent my resume out and out and out.  I even gave it to a couple of staffing agencies.  How many interviews did I have?  0.  Did I even get a phone call from a staffing agency?  Nope.  Nothing.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  

It would have been okay–not great, but okay–if I'd been able to pick up extra hours at work when someone was sick or went on vacation or something, but the other branch in our system flooded and was closed for 6 months which doubled the staff at my branch.  No extra hours for me.  Add in a couple bouts of illness, and my more recent troubles, and well . . .  

I'm so stressed out.  So ready for this year to be over.  And, yeah, I'm blaming the year because of everything that's happened that I'm not talking about.  I just need to find a balance.  I need a job.  I need to even things out.  To start at zero rather than somewhere in the negatives.  If I can stand, I can build, but I keep getting knocked flat, you know?  And the ditch I make by falling keeps getting deeper.

It all comes down to money.  It's not everything, but it's such a huge part of it.  There are things I can do, that I am doing: work on my weight and fitness, eat better, sleep more, try to connect more with friends and family.  I'm studying again, watching less TV, reading more and for pleasure.  I'm trying so hard to rediscover myself.  But the money thing is damn near overwhelming.  I'm budgeted to the penny, and there is no safety net.  My savings is gone.  I don't even have it in my budget to go out to dinner or lunch, not unless I can get someone else to pay for it.  And that sucks.  I don't want my friends and family to always pay my way.  So I don't go out.  Not really.  

I have a list, growing longer by the day, of things I need or need to do when I finally get a full time job:
  1. Pay off my credit card.
  2. Get a new phone–my old one doesn't really hold a charge anymore.
  3. Get a new bed–the one I have causes me actual, physical pain now.
  4. Pay back my mother–I owe her about the same that I owe my credit card.
  5. Rebuild my savings.
  6. Find a new place to live.

I'm really hoping–hoping against hope–that I'll be able to do these things in the coming year.  I really, really am, because I don't know how much longer I can take this.  I've been 6 years now without a full time job.  This is not sustainable.  It was fine for a couple of years because I was finishing up college, then getting my masters.  Now, though, now it's not fine anymore.  Now it's an awful mess, and half the time I feel like I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

And I don't know what to do.  I don't know how to fix this other than getting a job.  And I obviously don't know how to do that.

I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Something's got to change.  Right?  I mean, I can't fail so constantly, so utterly forever, can I?  At some point something's got to go my way.

Ugh.  Just tell me when this year is over.  Maybe then I can find some hope.

16 December 2016

Poetry Wednesday #59

So, this started out as a regular post and turned into some not-bad prose poetry.  I guess I'm restarting Poetry Wednesdays! ~AJ
by Charles Hamm [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Odd Angles

I don't fit.  Not really.  Not at my job.  Not in my life.  I'm angled where I should be round, round where I should be smooth, and smooth where angles are meant to go.  Not that I actually have much in the way of smoothness.  I'm more lumps and spikes than anything.

I don't fit.  I don't say this to garner sympathy.  I say it with only the tiniest smidgen of self pity.  I say it as a value-neutral statement.  Something true, or true enough.  Like saying I'm tall (I am).  It just is.  I just am.

I don't fit, and that is not to say that I don't want to fit.  I do.  I want to fit somewhere, with someone.  But I don't.  Not right now.  Maybe not ever—though I hope to the gods that's not true.  I just haven't found my place, my puzzle.  My job.  My person.  Whatever.  I haven't found it yet.

I don't fit.  Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck, perpetually, just outside the group.  Whatever that group may be: coworkers, classmates, family, friends.  I'm the one who doesn't quite get it, get in.  I'm the one who stoops to fit in the photograph.  I shrink myself to fit in the frame, cutting away chunks of flesh and bone, and still I rattle the edges.

I don't fit.  I don't know where I would fit.  Or how.  Or with whom.  I can sand the rough edges, but I can't change the basic shape of me.  Not without losing much of who I am.  And I've given up too much already to give up that much more.  There'll be nothing left.

I don't fit and I'm sick and tired of trying to force myself to fit.  It's painful.  It makes me doubt.  It makes me unsure and unfun.  It makes me tense and afraid.  And I think it makes me stupid.  I know it makes me awkward.  Who wouldn't be awkward covered in open, oozing wounds, and missing some of the parts that make up the whole?

I don't fit.  And, mostly, I find now that I don't care.  I will heal and move on.

13 December 2016

Whelp, yeah

Life Update:

I still have a job.  I should be able to cover most of my bills next month.  Yay.

This entire ordeal has just highlighted how much I need a different job.  It's long past time for me to redouble my efforts there.  Let us hope that something turns up soon.

Silver lining: I basically got a week of paid-yet-extremely-stressful vacation.

Positive notes for the coming week: 

Our new furnace is being installed sometime today (12/13) AND they're going to clean out all of our vents—something that hasn't been done in over 20 years.  I'll soon live in a warm and breathable house!

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to talk my mother into taking me out for lunch on Wednesday or Thursday to "celebrate" my continued employment.  I'm thinking Indian food.  Or maybe that Asian-fusion place down the street...


I've got to take my little cat back to the vet tomorrow or Wednesday to get her shots updated.  The last time she had this particular vaccine she had some kind of reaction to it and nearly died.

The Orange Kat keeps ripping out his claws and walking on my bed with bleeding paws.  He's ruined both my sets of sheets, the neurotic weirdo.  And they were really nice sheets (Pottery Barn–from back when I had money).

That's it for me.  I'm still trying to get this sleep-when-it's-nighttime thing down, and I've got to get to bed if I'm going to sleep at all while it's still dark out.  Seriously, it's almost 4 AM. 

I've got issues, man.

11 December 2016

Per aspera

Towards tomorrow
The Kansas state motto is "ad astra per aspera," it roughly translates: "to the stars through difficulty."  The motto itself is a variation of the more common "per aspera ad astra" which, again, roughly translates to "through hardships to the stars."  Rather beautiful, no?  I've always felt that there is a lovely amount of hope in this motto.  Hope, and a certain amount of confidence.  It is the best of state mottos, I think.  Of course, I'm a born and bred Kansas girl, a natural-born Jayhawker (think of the historical meaning here, not just that I'm a KU alumna), so I may be a bit biased.

I learn Monday whether I still have a job and I'm not feeling optimistic about it, which is too bad because I need that job.  I really do.  Just for a bit longer.

In general, I think, I am an optimist.  Yeah, depression gets the better of me sometimes, but I've never quite lost the hope of something better.  That's what keeps me alive.  I've never been much one for suicidal ideation because I believe that things can change for the better.  I believe that I can find a job or otherwise make a living for myself.  I believe that there's a chance I can find love, though I've not dated for several years.  I believe, truly believe, that things aren't always shit.  Evidence to the contrary be damned.  Somewhere inside of me there is always at least a candle's worth of hope.

Is that because I've internalized the Kansas state motto?  Made it my own?

I don't know.  I don't really have any answers here.  I wonder if anyone does.

I'm not sure what my future holds.  I don't know where I will find another job.  I don't know when.  I hope soon.  My little world is falling apart right now and I am afraid.  But I also know that I'll be okay.  At least while my candle's still lit.  I'll make it through.

I just really, really hope things in my life will get a little easier soon.  

09 December 2016

Okay, at this point it's just ridiculous

Operation Crossroads in color: United States Department of Defense (either the U.S. Army or the U.S. Navy) derivative work: Wojot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What else can go wrong?

Here I am waiting, totally expecting to hear any minute not to come into work again.  Okay, I can handle that.  Maybe.  I'm applying for jobs every day.  I'm writing with an eye on publication.  I'm trying to figure out if I can stretch what few dollars I have until the end of January without having to borrow money from my parents.  Because they don't have much in the way of money either.

And our furnace broke last night.

No heat in wintertime is not an option, so we'll have to either have our furnace repaired or replace it.  It probably needs to be replaced.  I don't know how we'll afford it.  Gods, I don't know how we would have afforded it even if we weren't in this situation.

I need to find a job, and soon.

07 December 2016

And the hits just keep coming!

Two women sparring with a speed bag [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
We found out today that my dad needs to have another surgery soon.  This time to repair the damage done to his abdominal wall when he had a softball-sized abdominal aneurysm removed about 18 or so years ago.  They need to remove some scar tissue and reenforce the muscle so as to avoid more hernias.  He has one currently, and apparently has had for some time (we're talking years here people) now, but didn't really feel the need to tell anyone about it.  Now, I guess, it's starting to cause some issues, and his doctors want to avoid strangulation–which is exactly as disgusting as it sounds: a piece of an organ gets trapped inside the hernia and is cut off from the rest of it's blood supply, so it dies.  It's relatively rare for this to happen, but my father has an unnatural aptitude for obtaining the rarest of diseases and conditions.  Yay!

My father's surgery will be a much larger surgery than a normal hernia operation because of the need to repair all the scar tissue he has in his abdomen.  He has a scar that runs from just below his sternum to his groin.  It's a messy, ragged scar because the stitches from his abdominal aneurysm surgery were removed before the wound had completely healed and he tore the barely healed flesh open when we brought him home and he sat down.  The man has literally been falling apart since I was a child.  Seriously, it's been a heart attack, some sort of aneurysm (small brain or large belly), a joint replacement (knee, shoulder, and he'll soon need new hips), some weird bone spur thing, a disintegrating spinal column, blood poisoning from an unknown infection, an infected pancreas, a defective gallbladder, or some other such nonsense since I was 11 years old.  And I remember him having to get knee surgery before that too.

I'm 35 now.  He's had at least as many surgeries as I've had years.

Now, I wouldn't be the self-absorbed millennial the media tells me I am if I didn't tie this all back around to me, so:

I have GOT to start taking better care of myself.  I need to lose weight, get in shape, and do all the other things that doctors tell people to do.  I do NOT want to end up like my father.

I've been eating less and better lately, so I've got to start with the exercising again.  I've also got to find a way to manage my stress levels and get. More. Sleep.  Or better sleep or something.  I've a tendency to go completely nocturnal when left to myself, and when I'm not, I'll alternate between getting 3 hours of sleep a night to crashing completely for 14-16 hours.  That does me no go, and probably adds to my stress.  I've really got to get all that under control.

And I've got to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.  Not referring to the future her, but the other stuff in my life: my physical and emotional junk.  I need to straighten it all out.  Tiny steps to a better tomorrow and all that.

Still, even with working on my life junk I need a way to make a living.  I've got to figure that out too.

06 December 2016

Of bosses and brain-worms

I'm stuck just hanging out.  Photo by Dodger nzl [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Yesterday my boss called me and told me not to come in for the rest of the week while they investigate the incident on Thursday.  Silver-lining?  I'm still getting paid.  Happy Christmas to me.  So I'm to be kept in limbo.  Yeah, I'm thinking this job is done, though I'll find out next week if whether or not that's true.


I'm not sure how I feel about this.  The whole situation has been blown way out of proportion.  And I trust neither my luck nor my workplace to stay with me.  I only hope that I find something else soon, because even if my boss and the administration above her decide to keep me on, I don't know that I'll want to stay.  At least not very long.

So what instigated all of this drama?  Maybe someday I'll tell you.  It's incredibly stupid, but at the time it was really, really upsetting.  Like, it left me shaking, and not with anger, but with fear.  I was totally freaked out, and I maybe could have handled things differently, but I didn't handle them bad.  Definitely not bad enough to warrant this.  It's almost amusing, in a tragic sort of way.

Gah!  My life!  It's unbelievable.  I have Such. Bad. Luck.  I mean, nothing has gone quite right since 2011, and the only thing that went right that year was my final semester at KU.  Even starting grad school that fall was a bust.  Wrong path, I suppose.  One I never should have walked down.  It's ended with me in job-limbo with only enough money to last the rest of the month if I don't find something soon.

I'm trying to stay positive.  After all, that brain-worm of mine is working, formulating a plan for me.  If only I knew what it was.

05 December 2016

I'm okay

By NASA (NASA Image of the Day) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Really.  No more rash.  Not much in the way of utter despair.  I still don't know whether I have a job or not: my email to my supervisor on Friday prompted her to respond by telling me to take Saturday off as well.  That does not give me high hopes for my workday on Monday, but you never can tell.

Of course I spent all of Friday in a blind panic.  And Saturday I spent several hours therapeutically baking.  Seriously.  I spent 3 hours making caramel–from scratch–for my chocolate and caramel covered shortbread cookies.  Now I'm somewhat uncomfortably numb with just the-tiniest-of-hints-of-blind-mad-panic-buried-under-about-ten-feet-of-generic-muzziness, but, you know, essentially fine.  Not that different than one of my recent "good" days.  Terrible if I compare myself to a few years back, but I don't have the stomach to do that to myself right now.

It occurs to me that I've spent a lot of time, these last several years, reacting to things outside of my control rather than acting on what I can.  A bad habit, one that I must unlearn if I'm to have any chance of a real life.  It's a bit of cowardice too.  Not making a move until it's forced on me.  It's because I'm afraid of making the wrong move.  There are so many choices.  Also a bit of my depression-caused laziness.  I mean, if nothing's going to change for the better, why make a change at all?  A stupid way to look at things that probably boils down to fear.  Fear of being rejected, fear of pain, fear of failure.  Like my life doesn't make it glaringly obvious that doing nothing is a much more thorough way of failing than trying and not succeeding.

Now, there's no doubt in my mind that things can get worse.  Every time I've thought that I've hit bottom something has happened that drops me a bit further, so I'm not going to tempt fate that way.  However, I think there are more good possibilities at this point than bad.  There's more up than down, is what I'm saying.

So what do I do about my life?

The simplest answer is to take some kind of action.  MOVE.  I have this whisper of an idea wiggling around in the back of my mind.  Something I want to do, some action to take.  I can't quite articulate it, and I can't quite figure out what it is, but it's there, a lonely beacon calling me thither.

I have no road, to guideposts, no map, just a small, dim, and flickering light in the far distance.  I am afraid.  I am so very afraid, but this I know to be true: if I stay where I am I will drown, and if I go I will likely be torn apart and remade.  There will be pain and great difficulties, but there will be life.
It's not a hard decision to make—I want to live, I want to move—but I just can't seem to take that first step.

That is something that must change.

So I'm going to work on changing it.

02 December 2016


I think I got a rash from stress.

Is that a thing?  Like, is it possible?

My left wrist itches and it's all scaly.  

Beyond the telling of it

My life, on occasion, sucks.

I don't know what it is, but the last few years it seems like every time I get my feet under me, every time I find some little, baby seed of positivity inside myself to attempt to nurture and grow, things conspire to knock me flat again.

I just can't seem to figure out why, or how to negate the damage done, or how to avoid it, or *sigh* anything.  I don't know what I'm going to do.  I've been operating without even the smallest safety net for a little over a year now, trying desperately to find something to hang on to, something I can use to build a new safety net.  I just need more time to find it.  Until then, though, I'm living on the edge.  I have no savings any more.  I'm literally living paycheck to paycheck.  I can barely afford to miss a few hours a month and still (kind of, barely) meet my financial obligations.  One slip and I lose everything I have left—which is pretty much only my car.  I'm so, so close to having nothing but debt.

Anyway, I may have lost my job today.  Surprisingly enough, I'm actually unclear on that point.  My boss may have just sent me home early.  I'll have to email her tomorrow (my normal day off) to find out.  Either way, it's the beginning of the end.  This job was always supposed to be a stop-gap until I found something full time, it's just I haven't been able to find that full time job, and now it feels like I'm out of time.  I may lose everything before I get back on my feet again.

Maybe that's what's supposed to happen.

I don't know.

Things have got to turn around soon, right?