Staring At Infinity

I think this is it. This is the moment where I am officially scared shitless at the prospect of all this inevitable change. I don’t want to remain frozen in this space any longer but to look at everything I have to do is so daunting. I want a new job and then going back to school is fucking terrifying. I haven’t even visited a school yet but I am horrified at the prospect of spending more money to improve myself. I have to take one step at a time but I feel every step forward I’m just tripping and falling. Not exactly walking forward, just collapsing sideways and making it look like I moved closer to a goal.

I have been feeling so incredibly anxious and vulnerable. I feel anything can trigger me and I have this dark shadow of shame constantly following me around. This month has been exceptionally trying for me. I don’t know what it is, I just feel I am falling apart because I want to do shit right but I don’t know the right path necessarily.

All I used to want to do was write and I haven’t kept up with it. I could say it’s because inspiration is lacking but that’s no excuse really! If you are meant to do something you will do it no matter what, even if it sucks and you don’t know how to do it. I still want to write and I want to have a job where I create a safe space for others to tell their stories. I want to travel in my spare time, I want it to be that I have time to myself. These are what I need and it’s not going to happen immediately.

I just don’t know how to believe it. I don’t know how to speak it into reality. I look at people who can speak things into existence. Why can’t I?

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A Look Back

Soon it will be a year since the biggest, most mature, yet equally heartbreaking breakup of my life. It’s eerie as it is a huge fucking relief. To think of the letters burned or tossed, gifts or clothes that will soon be donated, and I even checked my texts… I found that old conversation dating back to about a month after the breakup. When we tried to talk and it failed. When he attempted to lay groundwork for winning me back and I rejected it. I read every single fucking text. I read and I cringed. I saw my sincere efforts at trying to stay calm and losing my shit on him when he would throw me moon sign jargon.

I thought about leaving it in my saved iMessages but I told myself no. I can’t keep rereading those messages every other month and visiting those feelings. Even now I am itching my chest like I am getting hives thinking about how lovesick I felt at the time. How I had to fight every instinct that told me to contact him or reminded me of how much I loved him. I thought it would take so much longer for those feelings to fade and it makes me kind of sad to think how I thought that love was everything I needed. I worked my ass off to get over him and now I am but it’s not like I’m magically cured of all ills. It still aches like my wrist does even though it was back in high school when I injured it.

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A confession.

I talked with my new coworker/head teacher this week about blogging and how I am terrible at keeping it a routine. I am getting to know her better each day, she is so confident and knows what she likes. I used to be that way. Lately, I have been rather listless but striving for change. I was way more confident and took way more chances, now I am tend to stay in the background where it’s safe. I occasionally go out of my comfort zone but only occasionally.

So here is me going at it again to keep this up.

Also I was dumped today by my boyfriend. Before all the pity and I’m sorry this happened you, etc. This isn’t my first rodeo in the break up arena. This however is the first time someone I am in love with broke up with me cruelly and without mercy. Yes, there were petty arguments leading up to it and there has been months of stagnation… But today I was told that there was no empathy or patience left for me. That I am only confident around those I am comfortable with, on my own terms and that I’m not confident outright. I make too many demands. The list goes on.

Basically all my deficiencies in the relationships were put on blast and I didn’t fight it. No ma’am. I listened, I agreed, I said my piece and as soon as the “I have no empathy or patience for you” came out of that phone, I hung up. I cried, I sobbed. I couldn’t believe that someone I love could talk to me so hatefully and claim that my selfless acts paled in comparison to his true selflessness.

My language about my relationship on this blog has been rather vague and now I can clarify without shame or concern over hurting the man I love most. Last year, I antagonized my boyfriend physically after he used a door to crush my body accidentally. Incensed and a witness to physical abuse as a child, I lashed out by breaking his phone and in my boyfriend’s attempts to flee he grabbed liquid soap and threw the soapy substance into my eyes to blind me. He yelled, I yelled and yes it burned like a motherfucker. It didn’t end there. I really wish it did.

I hit him on his way out. I forget his words exactly, I tried to block them out but he told me something along the lines of “you want to fight?” With that he took me down to the floor, sat on me and slapped me repeatedly all over my face. He tore at my shirt and my chest was exposed. I screamed and tried to defend myself, it was fruitless. I screamed bloody murder until he placed his hands on my throat and choked me. My screams were silenced and I saw black until he stopped himself. Shocked as to what occurred, he leaned against the wall while I cried and asked “Why, why, why?” He picked me up off the floor and I tried to shove him away. He cleaned up my wounds as I cried and lamented that I became like my mother. A victim.

This night haunts me even when I think I’ve forgiven him. I know what I did was wrong. I broke his property, I slapped him, I pushed him. It wasn’t right. I didn’t make wise choices. But what he did in response wasn’t right either. He could have killed me.

I called the police. I demanded he go to anger management and counseling because promises were not enough. There have been close calls since then, where I phoned police. He broke a door, he’s thrown me into the street. It’s been a hard two years in this relationship. I have anxiety even before this relationship but opening up about my dislikes has become difficult.

He’s made lots of strides but we both tuned the world out. Him more so than me. He lost his drive. These past months have been peaceful. However, my disgruntled requests sometimes too late leave him feeling as if I demand too much. He reminded me of all he does or did. Going to jail once, paying for anger management and therapy, sending me letters, videos, flowers, when I refused to date him until I relented last summer. I found his ceaseless efforts to be that of someone who is willing to be accountable for what occurred. As I try to be as well.

For now, we go our separate ways but now I no longer have to keep this secret close to me. To protect him and to protect myself. It happened. We can’t be a couple anymore because the empathy was lost, but maybe he can forgive me over time all those demands… as I try to forgive him everyday for what happened that night.

Who I am and Why I am here

I am a week behind my workshop with The Daily Post for newbie bloggers. Oops!

It’s back to basics with this post. The Who Am I? question is so daunting. Who am I really? I am a lot of things. Who I am consists of a teacher, a writer, a painter, a craft maker, to name a few. I think about the song “Who Am I?” from Les Misérables that the character Jean Valjean sings. I am a human being. I’m me. I make mistakes, I am trying to learn from them. I’m messy, I’m passionate, and I’m stubborn as hell. I love who I am but I am not some unchanging force. I’m constantly evolving. I love challenging my self-concept. Who am I? I am a 26 year old woman writing about her life because sometimes I feel like the only one who feels anxious, flighty, childish and hyper for the next adventure… but I’m not the only one. That gives me so much solace because yes, it’s great to be unique. But I need community. I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m that person in the room who is all over the place. I learned to love that, sometimes I don’t like it but hey. That’s ok.

As for why I am here. I am doing my best to write more consistently. I’ve always wanted to write something official, this feels as official as I can get. I could write in a journal which I do. But talking to myself is so much easier than putting out there for the world to see. I wanted to take a risk and I want to reach out to be apart of this writing community. I’m here to share my stories and to read your stories, it’s like a giant sleepover but this time I don’t have to worry about forgetting my toothbrush. So stay awhile because we have a lot to talk about.

How to grow white hairs in 10 days

It has been the most anxiety ridden month I’ve had since I was in high school.

And that’s saying a lot.

I have been anticipating this winter break for so long but also dreading it. My lease ends on the 31st. New Year’s Eve. Who wants to move on NYE? No one. On top of that, my application for this apartment I wanted had not been filed yet. My work and my leasing agent apparently do not get along. Additionally, I was expected to be liaison when the whole point of a leasing agent is they are in charge of your application! No one was communicative, no one understood how imperative it was for me to obtain this apartment.

An apartment that was beautiful but in a way out there neighborhood and way over my budget. But I am impulsive and sign up for things quickly when cornered. I like to think of myself as independent but honestly, I think my impulses have to take credit for that. Needless to say, I’ve been a wreck about wondering how I would pay for this place (which included signing up for SNAP haha except I make too much money before taxes… but after taxes of course I would be a perfect candidate–too bad it is all BEFORE taxes) and researching programs that could help you pay for utilities such as LIHEAP and CEDA.

Holidays rolling around I wondered how I would get anyone gifts. Some gifts were purchased when I believed I would have money and planned to live with my boyfriend (this was before discussing with his roommates how they lacked confidence they were in our relationship… which led me running far away to find a place on my own without telling my boyfriend). So now I was stuck with what to buy or make, with what time and what materials all before Christmas Eve. Where after Christmas Eve, I would need to pack my life away and hopefully end up somewhere if my application was accepted.

Then came the Christmas Eve planning, my family assumed I would spend it with my boyfriend and I assumed I would spend it with my family (I missed last Christmas due to a very lovely holiday in Paris with my best friend–first Christmas away from home, first time in Europe and far less stressful despite language barriers and the like… perhaps out of country holidays are best!). That would be all fine were it not for the fact, I invited my roommate-soon-not-to-be-roommate to Christmas because I would be damned if my Hawaii-born roomie would spend Christmas alone in a cold city! I was invited to part one of the family event but part two I was not welcome because of my stranger roommate. “Oh but we love you and we would never do this to you on purpose!” It’s really true, no one meant for dates to get muddled and I didn’t think a plus one that was not my boyfriend would mean an abrupt end to our Christmas Eve.

It hurt. I didn’t know what to do. Everything was collapsing around me and as soon as the Friday before break ended… I could feel that emptiness and despair grabbing hold. Anxiety is a daily battle but if I keep losing, it’s a slippery slope back into depression if I’m not aware and giving myself time to process. This past weekend, I could feel those tears drown me and take me back to that place. I was scared, I was alone, I tried to reach out but my words were cruel. I lay in bed without eating and just sobbed until I fell asleep. I woke up and realized I was still here. I cried again until I went back to sleep. It went back and forth. That feeling of not belonging and messing it all up, it choked me and it hadn’t done that to me in a very long time.

I saw no hope, I saw nothing after one disappointment and another. All it took was mismatched Christmas plans and I fell apart. I tried so hard to fight it. I thought of ideas to spend Christmas Day with just my roommate and I. We could build forts and count all the Christmas trees downtown. I googled spending Christmas alone and I found more inspiration, but it reminded me of that abandonment I felt. No one truly abandoned me but my mind didn’t believe it. My heart did not either. My boyfriend came over and I knew I needed help, but I did not know how to ask. I was tired of asking, I was asking all the time for help. I felt so weak.

I can’t even tell you how I got up. I don’t remember how or what was said and done. I know I was cruel and he didn’t get it when he saw my tears. He believed I cried because my plans weren’t to my expectations. It was more than that. So many feelings left unchecked, so much waiting and lack of control then finally I broke.

I’m not put together again at all. I am still in a bit of shock and how close I was to that edge. Elizabeth Wurtzel describes it best as this “black wave”. I recalled that feeling that began to follow me when I turned 13. For me, the black wave was just a splash in those preteen years and the only presence of my anxiety was my eyelash pulling. It gained momentum in high school and the black wave was pulling me into its tide. I hid my eyes with makeup and wrists with sweatbands. I thought geography could change it, distance from toxic relationships, so when I left for college–I thought this was it. I would break free. Forever. I would not see the black wave. But what I hadn’t realized was the toxic relationship I had with myself.

I don’t feel hatred towards myself anymore, but making mistakes is still so hard for me to handle. It’s like I was taught being human was an utter abomination. So I have credit debt, I want to live with my boyfriend even if people don’t particularly like it and believe we have a lot to work on (it’s A LOT), and I am impulsive… but I want to pay off the cards and being in a healthy relationship is very important to me. It doesn’t mean we’ll be perfect. And being impulsive has gotten me into trouble but it has also gotten me into places I never thought I’d be… like Paris on Christmas. I might have lots of white hairs before I turn 30 but hopefully there will be less surprise black waves.

That happened.

Last week, we had a meeting with our new headmistress at our school. She is an upfront, very earnest woman from what I saw so far.

She had many inquiries for us staff. Boy, did I have answers for these questions. I discussed the pros of the role I have at the school and what goes well at the school. The team is very supportive and laidback. Whenever someone needs a favor, if we can provide we do. There are many jobs where I have seen people look out for themselves. Here, it’s very much “we’re going through this” together dynamic. I don’t know my coworkers particularly well because I personally do not have much time to get that one-on-one time. Plus, I have some serious boundaries that can both help and hinder my social skills.

As for changes, there were many I thought could be made especially for those who share my role as a learning assistant. Most of all, I came to the conclusion that no matter how many changes were made… I do not want to be a learning assistant anymore.

I do not want to be a teacher. It’s not because I do not value teachers or the work that is done… My dream job isn’t to have my classroom and stay there for years to come. I cringe at the idea of staying in the same place for too long and to have to follow these set out topics each month or term. It’s not my cup of tea. I also don’t want to run eternal errands for others, I enjoy helping someone out but doing the little jobs no one cares to do… It’s hard to say no when you’re at the bottom of the social ladder. Additionally, I like talking to the children more so than getting them to whatever level they’re supposed to get to in their reading, mathematics, etc. My gift isn’t the getting them to understand multiplication or adjectives. I prefer the emotional/social aspect.

So what do I want to do and why am I in education?

I thought I would have it all figured out by now. Whenever I feel like I’ve had enough and that no one appreciates me, it’s the children that keep me going. But I know eventually, they’ll move on and I have this opportunity to tell the headmistress, “hey! I’ve got more in me than cutting out menorah shapes and asking children critical questions about their reading books!” The problem lies in when do I want to do? What can I do in a school?!

Here’s what I want to do: Write. I just love writing and stories. That’s what I’m about. How to turn that into a job at this school is the question I’m tackling. We have a director of communications and assisting her sounds more of my jam what with the social media and writing up blogs. The only issue: sitting at a desk the whole time. I’m not a good sitting at the desk for long periods of time person. What if I can combine the communication part with visiting other schools and boom, brand new job where I get to travel a bit and write about it?! In an ideal world, this could be a thing.

If it’s not going to be a thing… I can try and try again till I find that thing.

I keep going back and forth in my head, was being that honest the best idea? Am I going to get a slip or email saying “dude pack your bags, we can’t have someone who doesn’t want to do as we say around here.”

For now, I listen to some holiday tunes, lay here with my Finding Nemo blanket and mouth guard on dreaming of that thing that’ll have me waking up in the morning fulfilled.