So Simple, Yet Amazed

I amaze myself. It’s ridiculous, but I do.

I’ve managed to hold down my job. I’ve kept a steady relationship. I’ve traveled outside of the state alone. Most recently, I’m stunned at myself because I resisted using any of my credit (except for an urgent Lyft ride to work, which ended up being free) until I paid off the balance. The payment was already scheduled on my payday and tomorrow, it’ll be fully processed and my balance will be $0.00.

The reason I feel so surprised at myself for these things is they weren’t things I imagined I could do, especially restraining myself from spending. I would say to myself as long as I could get the money back and my account wasn’t at zero, spending it didn’t matter. However, that’s not a good way to think. I almost had myself in over my head with the debts I acquired from overspending. Now, I only have one small debt left to pay. On top of that, there are things I really need to spend money on, like health checkups, which I’ve put off because I despise visiting the doctor. Especially the ones that have to touch my face or lower half. Don’t touch me!

To raise my credit score, I sent for a credit card I was approved for. I don’t know when it will arrive, but it shipped earlier this week. I’ve been advised it’s best keep your credit card use under 15 to 20 percent, though I’m going with 15% to be on the safe side. The card’s limit is $200, so I have only $30 to spend every month if I truly want to keep to that limit. I don’t want the credit card to begin with, but keeping to a $30 spending limit seems impossible for me. Yet, I kept to a zero spending limit with the credit I already have through another until I could pay off the balance. If I can do that, I know I can keep my spending on that credit card under $30. Although, I must admit I feel silly about being excited I can pay bills, but that’s a different subject on its own.

Now, there’s something else I’m hoping I can amaze myself with: sticking to a self-made promise. I’ve been frustrated with myself lately because I’m very scarce when it comes to making artwork, even after purchasing a tablet for solely that purpose back in April. It’s not without reason. I’m often tired and art is not the only hobby I have. A life of only work, sleep, eat, and art in a repeating cycle would be very boring and miserable in my opinion. Plus, it’s possible I may have even less free time than I already do if a certain event happens at my job. But I really do want to create more art. I follow some artists on DeviantArt who seem to pump out artwork like a machine. While I doubt I’ll ever be in that position, I would like to produce finished artwork more than two or three times a year.

I’ve decided to make a list of things I plan to buy over the next months and, related to art, I’ve decided to try to draw at least once a week. I would say every day, but I would be forcing myself on days where I’m exhausted, feeling unwell, or am stressed out, and that’ll only push me to want to throw my tablet out of my window. Even some expert artists (well, as expert as you can be on a site like DeivantArt) agree practicing every day isn’t a good idea unless you want to because it turns art into a chore and that’s exactly why I do so little of it in the first place. I know scrapping ideas is normal, but I have way too many scrapped ones. I want to finish what I start. I feel this’ll soon be a broken resolve, especially if that aforementioned event occurs, but I will try. If I can stick to a resolve not to spend, I can hopefully stick to a resolve to create.

I wonder if it’s really a good sign I feel this way about myself. Is being amazed I’m capable of simple things like restraining from spending too much a sign of my self-esteem growing, or a sign of growing an ego and thinking I deserve something for doing what I should be doing? It feels more like the latter. I don’t think I deserve anything, but feeling proud of myself undeniably feels good. I have no idea where the balance is.

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Some Things Are More Important

Including today, I’ve had two days off from work. Today, one of my bosses called to ask if I’d like to come. Normally, I would’ve said yes and gotten ready as quick as I could. This time, however, I had to decline.

Well, that’s not the complete truth. I didn’t have to. Nothing was really stopping me from saying yes. But at the time she called, I was with my boyfriend, who I do not have the pleasure of seeing as often as we’d like. I was also in pain. Pain I deal with every month, but it’s still pain.

Accepting would mean I have to leave immediately, cutting my time with this person I see infrequently with barely a chance to kiss him goodbye. We’re used to the distance. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to use every minute we can have together.

It sounds strange for someone who needs money to turn down an opportunity for it, especially for a reason many would consider flimsy. I know very well jobs are hard to come by. But so are good relationships. While I would love extra money, there are some things money can’t make up for. In my situation, that was time.

Yes, more money would let me visit my boyfriend more often, but what would be the point if I had no time? My next day off is after three straight work days. The day I see my boyfriend, if we are both fortunate, may be on that day off. Three scheduled work days to one possible day with who I call the love of my life. Perhaps it’s me sounding haughty, but it’s not really a hard choice. I know I’m fortunate I can turn down the chance without worry. Some people would need to say yes.

When our time was finally up, we had to run to ensure my boyfriend got the bus he needed to get back home (it came earlier than expected). We hugged and kissed each other goodbye, and he waved at me through the window as the bus drove away. There will undoubtedly be many more goodbye affections and waves, but at that moment – when it was happening in the present – it meant everything. Nothing could replace it.

The Best Years

Something I often say is if I were given a choice between death and reliving my childhood, I’d choose death. For the most part, my reason is, to put it simply, my childhood sucked. It sucked enough that I was first suicidal at age ten, spent nearly my whole adolescence fighting against those feelings, and was often wishing I had died in infancy. I have never said I had the worst childhood, but it’s certainly not worth repeating.

However, even if I didn’t have to experience the abuse and dysfunction, I feel like I’d still choose death over childhood. Being totally honest, childhood is much cuter and more fun as an outsider viewing it than as an insider living it. I could write out a list of reasons, but the main one is powerlessness.

As a child, you have no control over your life, and that’s true no matter how amazing your childhood is. Outside of the dysfunctional aspect, one of the things I hated most about my childhood is we moved every year. I hated moving and to this day, I still loathe it, but as a child, what was I to do? I had no choice in where I lived, what school I attended, or where I moved to. I had a choice in absolutely nothing, and knowing you are powerless against something (or someone) feels awful, no matter how supportive those people are.

I couldn’t do that. I could not return to a time where someone had full and total control over my life, even if that person was the most loving in the world (she wasn’t, but that’s not the point). Childhood is essentially a luck of the draw. If you’re lucky, that powerlessness isn’t often a deterrent in you having a happy life until adulthood, and you’ll wish for it back when you are an adult because it was that enjoyable. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll consider yourself lucky for having survived it in the first place.

The only thing I could say I really miss from my childhood are certain cartoons and the familiarity of some locations. Those are nowhere near enough to make me consider my childhood worth anything. I’d burn all of my years before age 17 into oblivion if possible, and the only reason I’m even choosing the age of 17 is it’s how old I was when I met my best friend, who I continually call the only good I got out of high school. Without her, I’d burn every year before meeting my boyfriend, which would start my life at the very beginning of 2015, four months before my 21st birthday.

It’s akin to the expression of how one’s high school years are the best of their life. Without the existence of my best friend, I’d burn them to the ground, and the school along with them. They weren’t the worst years of my life, but I don’t consider them worth anything reliving.

My 20s so far are shaping up to be nice, so perhaps when I reach 30, I’ll call them the best years of my life and consider them well reliving. For now, however, nothing in my life I can remember, besides meeting the two most important people I’ve already mentioned, is worth reliving. Is that really a bad thing? Maybe, or maybe not. Since reliving the past is impossible beyond hallucination, it’s a moot point.

“Ex” Them Out

Something I subconsciously do on occasion is compare my relationship with my boyfriend to my “exes”.

I don’t like to refer to them as that because none of them were real relationships, but it’s the simplest to say. I say I subconsciously compare because these thoughts, like several, are random and usually pop up late at night when I can’t sleep for one reason or another.

At the time, I felt like I wouldn’t move on, that I’d keep wondering “what if”, that I’d never get anything better out of dating. You get the idea. Now, I genuinely feel like it doesn’t matter at all they once crossed my path and, to an extent, it feels like I never did meet them. On top of that, I feel like I would’ve been miserable if any of them had lasted.

The best example I can give is the one who came right before my boyfriend. To sum it up, even if he didn’t make me miserable, his lifestyle would have. Long story short, his time schedule was so constantly full, in the year we spoke to each other, we never once met in person. Going by what he told me, his life was full of business, constant travel, a lot of people, and very little down time. Nothing wrong with that lifestyle, but I hate traveling and I am not a people person. I’d only be going along with it because I’d have nothing better to do and didn’t want to be alone constantly. There’s no way I’d be happy.

In somewhat of an inverse, I’m the busy one while my boyfriend is often free, but I still make time when I can. Really says something that we live in different states, and can still manage to see each other every week or every other week, but that’s besides the point (my ex lived in the next county over!). I am a lot happier with him than I was with my ex, and he’s told me more than once he’s happy to be my girlfriend.

The other exes either only wanted sex and no real relationship, never made it off the dating website, and in one case, wanted kids later on.

I used to think of my exes as stepping stones I just had to take to get to my boyfriend, but now, I don’t even feel like that. If someone asked, the truest thing I could probably say is I dated around, found my boyfriend, and that’s it. Maybe it’s somewhat cold to say, but it does feel like they never existed to me, or never entered my life. That’s probably the very best way to feel about exes.

If my boyfriend ever becomes an ex, which I hope to high heaven never happens, he’ll probably be the one I consider “got away”. Unlike the others, I would’ve actually had something meaningful with him, and thus, a reason to really be heartbroken about. Of course, simply wanting a long relationship isn’t a good reason to keep it going if it’s failing, so letting go would be for the best. But in a way, I still feel like we’re in the “honeymoon phase” (how long do people say that lasts?). Early this morning, when we were discussing these thoughts I have, I told him, “Half my soul would die without you.” Dramatic? Maybe. True? Yes.

When I lost the first ex, my heart was broken for a week. When I lost the others, I was sad for a day. If I lose my boyfriend? That’s a pain I only want to know in my nightmares. And not even then.

In truth, I shouldn’t make these comparisons to begin with and I feel upset with myself that I do. My exes aren’t bad people. They just had ways of living that didn’t work well with me, and vice versa. This isn’t a rant about how evil my exes were because they weren’t. But I’m happy and very relieved they’re little more than distant memories. I don’t care about “what could’ve been”. I care that I have a loving boyfriend, and I’m happy now.

He’s also the reason I now believe in this quote. ❤

Follow the Timeline

Way back in 2013, I made a timeline starting from 1999 (as far back as I could somewhat remember) of how my life had gone so far. It’s not happy. I can’t remember why I made it, but I suppose it was something that crept into my head during nighttime, when many of my deepest thoughts tend to surface.

With 2013 here, it’s been four years and my life certainly didn’t pause, though I had more moments than I can count of wishing it had. I mistakenly believed things would finally be good at the end of 2013. They weren’t. I don’t want to post the whole timeline here, so I’ll link it, but I will start from the very last one.

  • Age 19 (Birthday-October 2013) – Graduation; move back in with my mom and sis, therapy continues, attendance to college starts, tries to start dating
  • Age 20 (2014-2015) – Move back in with grandparents, drop out from college, job searching
  • Age 21 (2015-2016) – Still job searching, suicidal ideas return, meet my boyfriend
  • Age 22 (Late 2016 to early 2017) – Found a job, begin building my accounts
  • Age 23 (Birthday-Now) – Holding down my job, searching for a second job, continuing to save money, creating plans to move out

Hopefully, I can add I have moved by age 24. I must admit besides a desire to write things out, I’m not sure what the point of this timeline is, but it is nice to look over it and know I’ve lived this far. That’s not to say I’d be willing to do it again. Surviving once feels more than enough because aside from the typical transition to adulthood, no one should have to deal with that. But I’m glad to say I’m getting closer to where I want to be. With a lot of planning and some luck, I may be there by early 2018. That’s still a long time, but we’re already in May of 2017. In another month, the year will be half over. If I can control my spending urges, I shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

Four Small Words

Recently, my little state of NJ I call my home had a blizzard. Ah, got to love the strangeness of the seasons. I thought January was the dead of winter.

I was scheduled to work on that day and still had every intent of going. Some people didn’t exactly agree, however. No one in my household supported me going. Two questioned why I’m willing to endure a snowstorm to attend work, but not school (because my job pays me), and one even had the nerve to say something is wrong with me (this same person had to stay home from yesterday night because he got sick from being too drunk, and that’s not the first time; you can guess how seriously I took his opinion). The last of those three tried again to make his vague threat of not picking me up or dropping me off. A threat is not really a threat when you can get around it.

Yes, I know the weather was bad and potentially dangerous. I’m not suggesting they didn’t have a point (though they could’ve made it more tactfully). A small part of me felt bad for going because, as it turned out, if I’d stayed home, the manager on duty could’ve closed the store since I was the only cashier who came in (yes, we still got customers). Whoops! The joys of still learning how retail works. On top of that, she’d told me on the phone I didn’t have to come in, but I somehow missed that part. All I recall her asking is if I’m still coming in. If I’d heard her tell me I didn’t have to, I would’ve stayed home. Plus, I really would’ve loved to have stayed in bed like just about everyone else was probably doing!

So, why was I hellbent on going to work? I wasn’t. But I genuinely like being at my job, not so much because of what I do or how I get paid, but because being around my co-workers is a lot more pleasant than being around my family members. In the end, I worked for 9 1/2 hours that day (I was scheduled for 4 1/2), and I have no regrets because of one thing I got to hear from one of my (now former) supervisors: “I’m proud of you.”

To give some context, since the store was open, that supervisor decided to still come in. A broken down car resulted in him being two hours late, but he still came. I’d say he’s even more determined than I was because while a snowstorm wouldn’t stop me, my mode of transportation being dead would’ve been where I called it quits because I wouldn’t have seen another way. Anyway, when he came in, he came up to the register to see how I was doing and I mentioned I’d been there since morning. He already knew. I wasn’t surprised he knew I was there because he’d called the store three times and I’d answered every call. What I didn’t know was he knew how long I’d been there. Apparently, the first manager had told him. What followed was the quoted sentence.

It’s certainly not the first time that particular supervisor has praised me for what I’ve done, but in those situations, I’d asked for his opinion because I was anxious about if I’m really good at my job or not. On this occasion, I hadn’t asked. I was shocked to hear that come from him, especially since there wasn’t much of customer service to run since we had only a handful of customers. But it made my day and, besides the pride of doing my job, hearing him tell me that made enduring that weather to come to work worth the effort. Few times have I been so happy to have been born with a stubborn personality.

Maybe I still am crazy for going. Maybe people would call him crazy for still coming, in spite of having a broken down car. Maybe everyone who still worked that day is crazy for showing up. I can say with certainty if that ever happens again, I will opt to stay home, if only to let everyone else stay home too. But I really cannot say I wish it hadn’t happened or I regret I went. What he told me is going to stick with me.

Four small words. And they meant everything.