Bankrupt

I haven’t been this exhausted since. . .fuck, I have never been this tired. I want to get to the part where I am catching my breath again but you can’t really read ahead in life. There is no back of the book blurb to tell you how things will turn out. All I know is I am emotionally and physically bankrupt with very little left to give.

I’m trying to find a work life balance with my day job to finish my days early or at least on time so that I can figure things out in the evening. I didn’t want to commit to a 2nd job completely because, I can’t see myself doing this forever. So instead I decided to start driving for Uber, I already spend a great deal of time on the road driving to clear my mind. My brother suggested doing Uber when I was trying to find a way to pay for the deductible for Jonathan’s surgery. Which up until the beginning of last month we thought was completely covered.

I think I’ve been living on about 5 hours of sleep a night. I work my day job, rest at home for an hour, eat dinner and then leave my house. Never something I thought I’d do but as a parent you do what you have to do. I try not to do it too late because Jonathan begins to worry when I’m out there at night. I also know in great part he feels guilty because I’m out there trying to save for his surgery. So I tiptoe around that, he thinks he is the man of the house at times and although I like the mindset he is forming, it is still my responsibility to pull through for him no matter what. I see him in pain and pushing through and it makes me feel sad that he goes out of his way to act okay because he doesn’t want to financially burden me. I could keep things up and save without Ubering but it would take maybe two/three months to save up what discretionary income I have. But the time it would take to cover the out of pockets is not worth the wait at the expense of him further injuring himself and going on in pain for another few months. I also want him to be able to start school as planned. For now I am trying to save enough to get his surgery back on the schedule. It sucks, I have pride, but I have to bite the bullet.

When I discussed things with his dad he said he doesn’t have the money and for some reason feels like Jon can push through. I for one don’t have the patience to deal with him anymore when it comes to Jon. I try to understand that he has 4 other children and try not to dabble in how he handles his finances, but it’s hard to avoid the anger when you have no support for a kid you didn’t create alone. I have people, my, “let me know if you need anything people,” but sitting around talking shit about what he should do and what I should do because of his lack of help is a waste of my time. Complaining and venting to them won’t get this shit paid. I know that I put myself at a disadvantage when I refuse to ask for help but I’m so accustomed to doing everything on my own for Jonathan and I, that anything outside of that feels strange. I don’t fully mean financially either, emotionally I take the hit on everything just to avoid unnecessary questions. I just don’t know how to ask for help, it’s part pride and part knowing I’m his mother so he is my responsibility. If I had saved money, if I were better prepared for emergencies perhaps I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

I plan on doing this for a few more weeks, maybe two months at the most, just to pay for the deductible so that we can finally reschedule this and also prepare for whatever physical therapy costs I may incur for Jonathan post surgery. It’s doable, I’m just having a hard time pacing myself. I’m tired, grouchy, I miss my bright eyes immensely. I am completely maxed out and frustrated with myself. In between the working, mom responsibilities, driving, and writing for the contest, I have little to no time to spare. I know I won’t rest until Jon has had his surgery so I have to figure out some sort of balance because I can tell I am taking things out on everyone and am short on patience these days.

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Note to self

Last week I took an Uber from my hotel to the airport. It wasn’t the happiest ride I would say. I was leaving my heart in California and not in the best conditions. But the Uber driver and I had a conversation we both needed. You know one of those right place right time conversations. I for the distraction and him, I guess to realize he isn’t where he wants to be but he can eventually get there.

Clyde was let go from his job a couple of months ago and he decided to go backpacking with his severance. Which I found fascinating. There are so many things I would have done if I didn’t have Jon so young, backpacking is one of them. A couple years ago I even wanted to join the Peace Corps once Jon was off to college.

Clyde went to South America and was telling me that people over there are so passé about work. If they don’t like their jobs they quit, whereas us Americans are so attached to our jobs we can’t imagine a life without them. He wasn’t wrong. I was sitting right next to my backpack that contained my work computer and the things I thought couldn’t wait for me until I got home. Although I’m not as attached to jobs as I used to be. I’m very career and goal oriented but after losing my job and being unemployed for a year, I realized a job doesn’t define who we are. I told Clyde about the year I took off after my lay-off. I had been in social work for over a decade and suddenly I found myself in HR as a contractual casualty. That is the year I studied abroad in Belize. After working from 14 through 27 without much of a break, it was time. Of course panic set in but in that year I learned lessons I would not have otherwise learned if it weren’t for unemployment. I began to appreciate things differently.

When you lose a job that feels like your identity, you feel sort of distraught. I spent years honing my craft and being a member of the community. I envisioned myself retiring in social work. But. . .admittedly I was relieved the moment I was let go. Social work was taxing, it took over 12 hour days away from my son. I could barely sleep trying to help families keep roofs over their heads, delivering groceries in the evenings, cribs for babies. I loved it but I was tired. After the initial shock I accepted that I was unemployed and I made some adjustments at home. Finally I was able to see my son get off the bus, I was one of those moms that could cook a full meal without rushing to finish case notes. I played games with Jon, I worked on my degree full time and I studied abroad. There were some major sacrifices in that year but when you live off of the bare minimum you realize how much “stuff,” you don’t need. I kept my apartment and my car, paid my bills with scholarships and grants and still managed to live a complete and happy life. I would do that year all over again.

Clyde told me he felt like he was failing because he’d get interviews but never the call backs. So when he gets down he reads a letter he wrote to himself in the peak of his happiness when he was backpacking. The note to self reminds him of where he was and helps pull him out of depression. I thought that was dope, I do things like that all the time. Although they aren’t notes to self but these blogs serve as a time capsule of where I am in certain points in my life. We can go from the happiest high to the lowest low in a matter of hours. So when I’m not feeling my best or if I want to remember a great time, I revisit my blogs for the memory. Writing makes me feel a sense of release and tension, rereading causes a sense of relief I suppose.

While I was sitting in the backseat I started to reminisce about Belize. As a class we agreed to come back the next year, it has now been 7 years and I haven’t been back once. I told Clyde that and he said, well it’s because traveling is so expensive. I agreed but told him, I think we owe it yourselves to travel and explore. Think about when you get a speeding ticket, it’s an obligation and no matter what you find the money and pay. Suddenly the money for that exists but the money for a weekend getaway seems so far away. We pay so much for obligation and so freely that we neglect ourself. He started laughing and said he needed to hear that. It makes sense. . .it’s also advise I need to take for myself.

For years I have wanted to see the northern lights but never get off my ass to go. I’m not saying I am going to have a sudden eat, pray, love Julia Roberts year and go out and do everything I’ve always wanted, but I owe it to myself to do things for me more often than I do.

Before writing this I went back and reread my post from Belize, it was nice to read and remember that person, a person that saw the world like this:

“There is a unique kind of silence in the Cahoon Trail that gives center stage to the insects and birds to create a symphony of noises. Back at home we tend to live on wants, in sitting here in this unfamiliar place, where the natural way of living is giving back, I can see the beauty in it all. This place is home to a symposium of creatures. Tree’s enveloped by thorns, vines and moss, while leaves of all shapes and sizes sprout from the ground and fan the sky. Musky water and a kaleidoscope of greens decorate this environment of natural unaltered beauty.”

Holy shit I was a cheese ball, but I miss that nerd that saw the positivity and beauty in everything.

Belize Dat!

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It has been a while since I shared a little piece of me with the world. I had such an amazing time in Belize and met a wonderful group of people. The fact that we got to know each other under such bare and raw circumstances made us all vulnerable to show the people we typically are. It was a great feeling to be among my peers and to see professors outside of their usual elements. These experiences took me away from home but I couldn’t help but to feel at ease with my surroundings.

One day we were in the Cahoon Trail, after getting over mosquito bites and taking in the environment, I found myself at one with my location. Belize was not home but it was an island much like that of my grandfathers and in that I found comfort. After our field observations in the Cahool trail we had a discussion back at Hill bank and had to share our observation. Here is what I wrote and thus shared with my classmates:

“There is a unique kind of silence in the Cahoon Trail that gives center stage to the insects and birds to create a symphony of noises. Back at home we tend to live on wants, in sitting here in this unfamiliar place, where the natural way of living is giving back, I can see the beauty in it all. This place is home to a symposium of creatures. Tree’s enveloped by thorns, vines and moss, while leaves of all shapes and sizes sprout from the ground and fan the sky. Musky water and a kaleidoscope of greens decorate this environment of natural unaltered beauty.”

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. . . .I am so grateful that every day I am faced with new experiences that allow me to take in the world I know and make it just a little better day after day. I continue to learn from my mistakes and experiences and Belize was another one of those moments. My experiences in Belize were a fraction of the life of a true Belizean but I can admit that I came home a little less me and a bit more island girl.

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In the forefront, yes I came home and appreciated my flushing toilet and flat iron but Belize was something I wish I could share with everyone back home. At no moment while in Belize did I tell anyone they just had to see my flushing toilet, or experience all of my vanities from Tampa. I found that when I returned back to Tampa I was wishing I could do more than just tell my story of my experiences in Belize. I took picture after picture but nothing captured the feeling of being inundated in the beauty and day to day of Belize. When we went to the Belize Zoo I saw a sign that said, “We live in a Beautiful world.” I agree that the world is beautiful and I am sad to say that I had to strip myself from my self-taught behavior to truly realize the beauty of the world. Sky scrapers and flashy lights certainly catch the eye but nothing beats swimming harmoniously among the reefs and seeing beauty eye to eye.

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I never thought in my life that I could see the world from the top of a Mayan Temple. I look at myself and often wonder, how I, just the little girl with the big smile from Tampa has been able to meet so many people and do so many extraordinary things. I am truly blessed and continue to find the beauty in life!

*posted out of order, originally posted in 2012

Different

As I was walking to the terminal today, I felt this overwhelming feeling consume my body. I know what is waiting for me at the end of these flights, I know who and I know why. It’s a different feeling this time around.

Back in April I was consumed by the constant what ifs my mind kept throwing at me. I was 100% sure about how I felt about him but I was self sabotaging and kept trying to convince myself perhaps his 100% certainty would diminish once he saw me. It was an incredible feeling to love him but the idea that he might love me less, made April’s trip somewhat different than today. Even after our day things didn’t seem all too real. I processed a lot and wondered if he had experienced everything the way I had. I wondered if his feeling had changed and worried that things would somehow be different once I was back home.

April is behind us and nothing is left but beautiful memories of our days together and of our firsts. Since April we have taken some time to talk and unpack our feelings, to ask questions and to confirm that yes, it was that incredible for both of us. I guess that is what makes this time different. Things have changed, for the best. We know who is walking through the door, we love each other in every capacity and we are very much on the same page. For me, there isn’t this overwhelming feeling of worry anymore about us. We are solid and strong together, I love that.

I know I will be made of questions when I see him again and have a million and one thoughts going through my mind but nothing like the first time jitters that my bright eyes might not want to be my bright eyes after we met. This time I get to enjoy his company without worrying about my own insecurities and lie confidently next to the person that has completely changed my life for the better. It’s an overwhelming feeling, to be loved and to love this way.

I can’t wait for the morning to come, to finally have my world within reach.

I will love you forever my bright eyes.

Dear 34

Thirty five is less than a day away. I’m not one to set birthday resolutions but I do hope that 35 finishes what 34 started. Thirty four has been an eventful year, full of changes, frustrations, excitement and unexpected turn of events. 34 has been similar to every year yet the one difference is him. I was completely blindsided by love. I didn’t plan to fall in love. I merely intended on finishing the year, working, raising a kid and eventually making my way back to some intrinsic educational goal. Nothing could have ever prepared me to feel what I feel every time I think of him and when he is around.

I met him a little over 4 months ago. The man that I know I’ll love forever, in every circumstance in life and despite any distance. I wish that I could remember the exact moment I knew he was my everything. . .my forever. While I cant pinpoint the precise moment, I know that it happened almost instantaneously. I still have my moments where it doesn’t seem real because the attraction and love is so perfect. To love is incredible, to be loved is divine. I’ve never been loved this way before, it feels like my heart has this never ending smile. I don’t have to acknowledge the times I’ve been loved improperly in my past to give this validity. If I had met him first, before all of the mistakes of my past, he would still be the one I will love forever, and the last man I’ll ever love. God knows I wish I had met him first.

We have the type of love that you want to tell the world you have, while at the same time, you wish to keep it to yourself and protect it. You don’t want it to be scrutinized and picked apart by those that would never understand it. There is no explaining once in a lifetime. This feels like what I can only imagine it feels like to be a star. Bursting at the seems with light and love and although at times it feels so powerful it can become unbearable, you crave and desire more of that power and love. It sounds super cheesy but that is what I can compare it to the most. It’s unbearable because of the distance. There are times when I feel like we are an impossible distance away. Patience is limited and I feel like a child about to throw a tantrum. Even when he is sleeping I miss him, I struggle even with the time difference.

So much has been surrounding timing lately. I feel like I’m extremely aware of this count down and how timing affects us all in many ways. Timing hasn’t been a huge indicator for me, because as long as I can remember free will runs ramped for me. I have always and will always believe that we choose the things we want in life and in the same regard, we attract them. I don’t believe anything is by coincidence. I do believe that there is a such thing as a missed opportunity, such as when fate has placed something or someone at your feet and you don’t use your free will to see them and better yet choose them. Such is not the case here. I choose him everyday, all day at multiple times a day. When it gets rough, when I’m about to pout again about how long I have to wait to see him, I choose happiness over convenience. I would do anything to have him close but the fact that he exists and we love in this way is a constant reminder that the distance is only temporary compared to that of never having met him. Patience, although it may appear to be in short supply, is in high demand and much needed. I need him in ways I cannot express.

What we have is something Incredible. I don’t proceed with caution, although at times I still ask if it’s okay to ask a question, it’s not an indicative of how I feel with him. It just feels so different to speak so freely, with understanding. Loving him is like looking into a kaleidoscope, there are so many pieces that have yet to come together but every time I look through the picture is beautiful.

Thank you 34, for being so good to me.

Je t’aimerai pour toujours mes yeux brillants.