I haven’t made breakfast yet and I’m already thinking about lunch

Remember in that last post (3 weeks ago, my bad) when I wrote this:

“Here’s the thing: Unless I find a fantastic contract/short-term job that pays well and offers a nice chunk of consistent work for a while, I’m looking for a job that I can stick with.” ?

I DID THAT. I GOT A FANTASTIC CONTRACT JOB THAT PAYS WELL AND OFFERS A NICE CHUNK OF CONSISTENT WORK FOR A WHILE.

It’s so good. I wish I was comfortable writing about it in more detail, but I think it’s good internet practice to not be super open about where you work. Especially if you write rather candidly about your personal/health issues. However, it’s a fantastic company, a great team, and they have been so patient with me as they gradually realize that I have no prior experience doing the thing I do now. Luckily for them, I love learning, and when I commit – I commit. I’ve been doing little else for the past two weeks besides going to work early, coming home late and making sure I take care of my brain and body in the meantime so that I can be on my game at the office.

…actually, I will give you one detail. I don’t know how many of you read this from NYC, or if this exists outside of the city, but my office is part of a group catering program called “Stadium.” The way it works (and it differs depending on where you work) is that everyone can get a lunch order of $15 or less delivered from any participating local restaurant three days a week at no cost. This really means a lot to me. I love eating. I’m also weird about spending money on food, and was prepared to come every day with my lazy girl packed lunches to avoid going out and spending $10-15 on a daily basis. Now I get three free, healthy, big meals a week. This is how you get happy and grateful employees, people.

It’s such a relief to feel a bit more stable, finally. I’m still sorting out my routine as I go into Week 3, but for now I feel like I’m doing enough. I don’t want to push it by trying to add trips to the gym or anything else into the mix. Being that the job is contract and that I’m so happy there thus far, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to perform very well. Admittedly, it’s a big routine adjustment. Thankfully, my health has been pretty fantastic lately – but the minute I start slacking on my 8 hours of sleep, I feel it all over. Last week I thought I could handle going to a fairly low-key concert on a Monday night, but when I checked the time and saw that it was 10pm, my anxiety kicked in hard. I insisted on leaving at that exact moment despite there only being maybe 10 minutes left of the show, and made myself look a bit intense in front of some people I had just met. Again. Whoops.

It’s hard to live here and say “no” to things just because you need to, and not because you have other plans. Although, I guess I did have other plans that night…preparing for the next day and getting a good night’s sleep. Also, avoiding an anxiety attack is sort of an ongoing plan of mine. But who’s going to say any of that? There is always, always something going on on New York City and I think that there are a lot of people who work long, weekday hours that feel the pressure to cram their whole life in between Friday night and Monday morning, and even in the post-work hours during the week. I’m that way too, to an extent…but honestly, my concern with saying yes to things usually comes from caring about what people think of me rather than feeling left out if I don’t go. I mean, is anyone really cool with being the friend/coworker, or even girlfriend who “never goes out?” Again, unless you’re some kind of weirdo enlightened person who really doesn’t care what people think. Imagine the potential for an embarrassing situation, though, just based on my body’s unpredictability. Picture it: I go out for a social night with my coworkers one evening after work, not knowing that my kidney is up to his old tricks. I have one sip of beer, projectile vomit, and fall asleep.

…it’s not out of the realm of possibility. (If this reference makes no sense, please refer to “big ankle keeps on turning” from last December.)

Anyhow, I’ll figure that out as time goes on. The mission right now is to keep writing. My windows of time are between 8-8:30am when I hang out in the park by my office (because I am the master of being too early always) and between around 7:00-10pm. It might sound unlikely that I’d actually write in the park, but I’ve been doing it! I have 4,000 waitress notepads lying around anyway, so now I carry one in my work bag. It’s harder to get into a writing mindset with this new job solely because I’m not used to work that’s mentally exhausting rather than physically, but eventually as I keep growing into this position, I’ll be able to do my job with less strain on the brain.

Needless to say…I’m glad I held out. I was really so close to settling – I had even gone through orientation at that retail job the day before I found out my current company wanted to hire me. My gut remains good to me, and there was no doubt in my mind when I said yes to this job that I was doing the right thing.

To conclude this self-congratulatory post that really doesn’t contain anything important whatsoever, I’d like to show off these pictures from Sean and my last trip of the summer to Philly/Atlantic City a few weeks ago. I feel like I’m really stepping up my blogger photography game. I mean, I didn’t even take the good pictures, that credit goes to strangers on the streets. But still. Progress.

first of all, how DARE you buy me groceries

Séan and I were away this past weekend for a disconnected opportunity to recharge. (Disconnected from the internet, phones, etc – not each other.) We did the things that I grew up with and miss so much when summer stomps her way into the city. Not that there aren’t hundreds of great events and opportunities around the city during the summer, but summer can be very “go-go-go!” here, with all the concerts and rooftops and baseball games and whatever else. Back home, everything slows down. Summer at home is still all about getting outside, but not for a ‘gram-worthy picnic in Central Park or the switch over to rooftop bars for the season. Please reference the pictures below.

Anyway. I’m not going to tell this story in any sort of a way that makes sense, and you’re going to have to be okay with that, because only one small smidgen of it matters. Let’s not even call it a story. Here’s what happened: I woke up grumpy about something the day before we left, and immediately transferred all of that anger onto things that it really…just…wasn’t about. I can’t remember what nonsense was pissing me off that particular morning, but I do this a lot (I did it yesterday!) so you’ll get a more detailed example in a moment. Point being, I ended up apologizing to Séan and saying “I’m still working on being upset about the thing I’m actually upset about.”

I am still working on being upset about the thing that I’m actually upset about.

I also told him that I used to be worse! It’s true!

I don’t know if this hits home with anyone, but it is so freaking difficult and yet so necessary to trace anger back to its actual source. That’s probably true of any emotion, but I struggle most with anger and frustration.

Yesterday’s head-about-to-explode moment of the day happened when Séan brought home a load of groceries. Grocery shopping with Séan is a major anxiety trigger (you’ll soon know why) but I learned yesterday that it’s just as bad when he shops for the two of us.

He bought what could in my universe easily be a year’s supply of paper towels. I saw these paper towels, and the fire of my frustration ignited. Even in the moment it happened, it didn’t make sense to me. My discomfort was so instantaneous. I had to check in: alright, why am I feeling anything at all over paper towels?

It took some time, but maybe ten or fifteen minutes later I pieced together all the steps my brain had jumped between “excessive paper towels” and “resentment”. Do let me try to explain. Here is an outline of my reflective thought process (aka me talking to me):

  1. Oh wowza. That amount of paper towels makes me uncomfortable. #Tbt growing up and my mom treating paper towels like they were made of gold. Shouldn’t we be trying to use washable, normal towels? Wouldn’t that be better for the environment and less expensive? Plus we have so many dishcloths.
  2. We should calm down with the AC and plastic water bottles and the water usage, too. That’s how I always wanted to keep my household. My apartment. If I had my own.
  3. I never did end up having a space that was just my own.
  4. Y’know, I don’t feel any ownership over this space, or any right to a say in how we do things.
  5. …but I also don’t feel a real claim to living here because I can’t financially support myself.
  6. And if I had the money to do so I’d also just buy groceries at my own pace. And he’d see how that ends up working out for the way I eat, compared to him.
  7. But hang on, I really am bothered by our general waste of resources, whether it’s paper towels or food that gets thrown out before we eat it because it isn’t bought in a logical way with our schedules.
  8. Yeah, that drives me insane. I hate waste.
  9. I have waste anxiety.
  10. Because I don’t feel secure about any of my resources, like all of this might just go away, so I have to make everything last as long as possible and also save every penny.
  11. Oh.

So there we go! I have deep-seeded issues that present as freaking out over nothing. ~lol~

But alright, for real now – tracing my seemingly erratic emotions back to their source has been a huge help in stopping my anxiety from growing and turning into the horror show I know it can turn into. I’m not always successful, and I know that there are times when my physical presentation of anxiety is so strong that no logical thought process is even possible. I wanted to share this train of thought all the same, because the act of writing it down for this blog has given me a much more accessible (I think) way to present to Séan what happened yesterday. Working on my mental health is my job and mine alone, but it’s also important that I do what I can to help the person I live and spend my time with to understand my…well, particular “quirks” (some of my quirks are just straight up trauma so using the word “quirk” here isn’t too comfortable, alas, I can find no better way to explain my damn self).

Anyway friends, everyone already knows that I feel like I’m spinning in circles a lot of the time. It’s just nice to have a moment of clarity. Like Hannah B on Monday night. Where are my Bachelorette fans at?! Crossing my fingers for a strong cross-section of health blog readers and Bachelorette junkies!

My wish is that this post brings someone besides myself a little hope that we really can work on ourselves, and that progress is possible. I feel a tiny victory when I dig deep and learn something about myself, and I hope you’ve experienced those moments, too – and that you continue to. Especially my friends with anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, any and all of it – just trying to present your true self can be so much more work than we deserve! But we do the work. Keep doing the work. 🙂

if I get one more recruiter email for a vague marketing position I swe-

Hello! It’s Wednesday, so according to my boss (who is me) I must share something today.

How about a recap?! This past week, I:

…went jet skiing for the first time (as a passenger, anyway). Séan loves being on the water and I believe this is his favorite way to be on the water. Mine is kayaking. Or a pool float. But it was pretty cool to see the Statue of Liberty from an unfamiliar angle and to fly past the piers & under the Brooklyn Bridge. Plus it was my own Hitch moment, minus getting kicked in the face. And Will Smith.

…tested out the newly-tidied back patio with a couple of friends. We startled the most precious tiny skunk family by intruding on what is rightfully their space late into the night. I also didn’t realize the wifi wasn’t reaching out back and used all my phone data playing a lively “BBQ playlist” whilst outside. Good.

…sampled beautiful Chinese food at brand new restaurant that I don’t believe has opened officially, yet. Also, took a gamble on a Mexican restaurant in Hoboken and a bar/bistro in Jersey City, both of which were new to the two of us. Everything was delicious, and I’m not even hungry right now so you can trust my judgement. (I don’t love going out to eat while unemployed but I only fight Séan on the subject when it’s getting to be a lot. I’m trying to stop being the brat who takes enjoyment away from him. I’m a very cheap date, anyway, and obviously great company so come on.)

…found a coffee place nearby that brings out my productivity!! This is huge for me. I moved here in April and it took me this long to start exploring…but hey, it’s happening. Not to “not appreciate the now” and all that, but I’m looking forward to the weather cooling down even more now that I’ve discovered this cafe. It’s a long enough walk away, but it will be such a beautiful walk in the fall and coffee will be even more enticing when it’s not 9000 degrees out plus humidity.

…had a nice 14.5 hour workday on the set of a project I know very well, and got to watch my favorite actors play my favorite characters. I don’t usually act in anything I watch, or vice versa, but this was the most perfect exception.

…applied to so many jobs! I’m finally zeroing in on jobs I truly want to do, which I’ve found requires looking outside my usual sources. Which makes sense – those websites haven’t served me well thus far (except Craigslist, I ❤ Craigslist) so I was due for a change in approach. I’m now on just about every job-search platform in existence, and have learned a very valuable lesson: TURN OFF THE THING THAT LETS RECRUITERS REACH OUT TO YOU.

…posted some of my writing (the stylized, poetry-type variety) on Instagram for everyone to see. That’s a scary new thing I’m doing. I stand by my man Austin Kleon though, and his insistence on sharing your work throughout the process. It won’t serve me well to wait until I’ve been confidently writing and editing for years and then start sharing. You just gotta do. And be imperfect. And get there eventually.

My body has been a little funky and achey, but nothing I can’t manage. Séan and I did a lot of walking around on the Fourth of July, which was a very hot and sunny day here. I’m usually good with long walks, but I’ve learned that the hotter it is, the less my body can cope. Not that anyone feels good after a lengthy walk in oppressive heat, but my bod is pretty dramatic about it. My left side gets all worked up, my face gets super flushed, and the headache comes on strong. (I always wonder if my light sensitivity is a leftover concussion factor. Remind me to look into that.)

I forced us to head home before restarting the day and took a nap so deep I may have been dead. I knew I needed it, and I was able to bounce back because of it. I’m in the endless process of trying to pace myself a bit more and not be the “hell yeah let’s do it” girl I want to be, at least not all the time. I have to parent myself a bit more, but I’m getting there. I have a tendency to carry the “lost” moments (or the things I said no to) with me, but looking at that list of things I did do last week, I can take a deep breath and smile.

I’ve been reading a lot of good things lately but I also keep discovering more and more artists to fall in love with: would y’all prefer a list of independent artists who make weird/awesome things and could use some support, or a what-I’m-reading-lately type post next time? I realize no one will answer this question, like when beauty bloggers say “hiiiiii guys, SO MANY of you have been asking for me to do a (blank) video-” and literally no one asked. But just in case anyone has an opinion, please bless me with it. Thank you.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and chins up, you’ve got half the week left. Do something good with it.

guess what? complaining! THAT’S what.

I keep trying to summon this lovely positive feeling about July to start this month off on the right foot, but I’m trying to dig that out from underneath the bevy of things that have me on edge lately and that’s just not working.

I know we all love it when people complain on the internet, especially over trivial things, but here’s the fact of the matter…I can’t sit with all this nonsense in my head and get anywhere at all.

Not that this is new or rare, but I’m even struggling to write coherently at the moment because there’s too much “AHHH” in my mind. Do you know what I’m talking about? When there’s this buzz you can’t turn off? You can’t sort out your thoughts because you’ve got a blender in your skull, whirling everything around into a load of mush.

Side note: I had a cool metaphor about pieces of glass in a smoothie but then it didn’t make any sense and I have a headache and anyway let’s carry on.

Also I keep adding caffeine to the mix which is definitely not helping.

So here’s a list!

things that are currently making my head buzz that will NOT be making my head buzz by the end of this glorious July:

  • for too long, every single decision that I make on a daily basis has been entirely based on money and nothing else. whether or not I go work in a coffee shop, or take the bus downtown to walk around the park, or use the last of some item in the fridge…this is at the forefront of my worrying mind. I don’t even feel that great about booking work because I see those paychecks as nothing more than what bill they’ll need to go towards (in which those checks will barely make a dent). i’m looking at everything as steps towards balance that just aren’t big enough and it’s sucking the enjoyment out of everything. BLAH.
  • it’s so f r e a k i n g hot out and I’m not even living in a part of the world that’s really feeling the results of global warming. i’m worried we’re going to elect a president who doesn’t treat this as the urgent issue it is. this is actually a really valid concern, I realize that. but it’s part of the buzzing so there you have it.
  • do I have to see an allergist again?? why am I having food allergy-level reactions to vegetables and wheat beer and bug bites? my mosquito bite looks like I was pegged in the stomach with a tennis ball. (I know what that looks like because one time I was pegged in the stomach with a tennis ball.)
  • not to be needy (I am though), but i’m really wondering when Sean and I will ever been on the same life schedule. it’s only ever been this way, with him working nights and me being an “early to bed, early to rise” type of gal, but I’m less patient about it lately. maybe because it’s summer and I want to take advantage of all kinds of activities…or maybe because I know I’ll have to sell my soul to a steady job soon and won’t be able to do things on a whim anymore. or maybe both!
  • I am actually very willing to give up my current flexibility for a job that provides stability BUT I can’t seem to get my foot in the door anywhere. the online application process is not great. it’s a lot of hoping, wishing, waiting, and not really being able to put yourself out there in the same way you can when you physically go to an office and introduce yourself. (it’s not easy to get a good job?! a revelation!)
  • i’m very tired thanks to stress (and who I am as a person)
  • my upstairs neighbor sings while playing guitar now. at all hours.
  • there’s a literal buzz coming from every fan in this house which is surely not helping my head, but we need all the fans because #globalwarming

*sigh* …Okay. Thank you.

I think the thing with complaining is that we don’t always need our friends to respond with suggestions, solutions, and especially not reminders of how much worse it could be (it could always be worse). Those of us who are very aware that things could be much worse might tend towards trying to swallow the little things that are ticking them off rather than complain. I mean, I feel guilty all the time over allowing something that isn’t life-altering to upset me.

But we are allowed to be frustrated! And we are allowed to express that frustration (in a non-destructive manner, of course). Swallowing those thoughts and feelings has never helped me. I’ve learned that I have to release the feelings out into the open in order to let them go. And it helps to have friends who don’t say “hey, at least you aren’t (insert a person in a more destitute situation)” because all that does is bring back the guilt for feeling anything aside from happy and satisfied. Unless you have friends who are so detached from reality that their chief complaints are along the lines of “the new Instagram algorithm is actually ruining my life” and the like. You should hand those friends a newspaper.

I’m posting this knowing full well that I’m doing as much as I can to work towards financial stability and finding steady work, and I’m grateful for so much that is already going beautifully in my life. But I also know that as soon as I hit “post” – I’m done. It will be done. The buzz will be gone. Except for the ceiling fans.

If you’re feeling a little riled up lately, I encourage you to do the same. Don’t keep the lid on it. Let it all out, then laugh at yourself if need be, and move along. Heck, comment some of your complaints on this post, and you’ll get a resounding “here, here!” or “AMEN” from me. This isn’t a complain-free zone, or a positivity-only zone. This is an imperfect human zone. Let it all goooo.

🙂 x