I always feel like somebody’s watching me…

I’ve had, let’s call it, a meditative epiphany. I was meditating and I asked the universe for clarity and guidance and It gave me both. I am a professional self sabotager in almost every area in my life, it’s just my way, it always has been. I’m also one of those people who wish they were always invisible and not just so I can be a feared, world renowned spy, but mostly because I just don’t like people looking at me. I have the privilege to be maid of honor in two weddings this year, my brothers and my best friends. When I think about these beautiful events I don’t think about how amazing it’s going to be, how fun, how happy I am for these couples. No, I think about ‘holy shit, I have to walk down an aisle in heels in front of a roomful of people…I also will most likely have to give a speech…holy fuckballs this is going to suck.’ Yeah, I’m that person that turns your lovely day into something all about me. I’m sorry world.

Here’s the root of it though, I just don’t like being seen. Actually, I don’t know if it’s that I don’t like being seen. I guess, as I’ve gone through life and had those moments when I have been seen, it’s rarely been for good things. In fourth grade I learned a swirly was, yeah the sticking your head in a toilet kind of swirly. However, I was told swirly’s were like a cool, funny thing to do. So the day after learning this great new information, I went to school and was in the bathroom with some of the girls from my class. I imparted my super awesome swirly info and demonstrated. I didn’t stick my head in the toilet to the point where I came out wet hair but I was pretty eye level with seat. The girls ran back to the classroom, reported my shenanigans and when I walked into the classroom my teacher shamed me in front of the room for ‘playing in the toilet’ and everyone laughed.

That was my most embarrassing school moment but there were so many more times when it was just better to be invisible, it kept me out of trouble. I read something a while back about how kids that grew up in an abusive or toxic environments learned how to be invisible or people pleasing as a survival mechanism and I think, for me, there’s a lot of truth in that.

However, on the other side of that coin, there have been times when it has been eyes on me and I loved it. I did a few dance recitals when I was a kid and loved the praise I got afterwards. A few years ago I received my Associates degree and so many of my co-workers came out and cheered for me as I walked across the stage, it was a wonderful moment.

Now, here I am. Maybe some kind of fork in the road where I have to decide what’s more important: the self-preservation of staying invisible or the boldness that comes from stepping into the spotlight. So much is involved in this. I stay invisible (chunky and unhealthy) to guard myself from male attention but that can’t be healthy. In my house I’m all at peace and kumbayah but as soon as I step out the door the defenses go up because now I’m exposing myself. Now people can see me. I don’t know what to do about this one. This is going to take a lot of praying and meditating.

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She dreams in color…

This is my dog, Dora.

Doras begging face

She’s the best girl. My most favorite dog in the world. When she was a puppy I read that it was important to wear her out mentally just as much as physically. I didn’t understand this. How do you wear a dog out mentally? The books said to teach her new tricks and give her toys that would make her think, like treat balls. I still didn’t get it and I tried to wear her out with walks and playing, some days it worked better than others.

Now, almost 5 years later, I fully grasp what the puppy books and websites were trying to tell me. Using your brain for learning can be equal parts exhausting and exciting. Don’t worry, Dora turned out just fine despite my lack of understanding of puppy rearing. She’s incredibly well-behaved and very smart, dare I say, too smart. I swear she manipulates me regularly to get what she wants. She’s a good girl though so maybe I’m just a pushover.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a crazy dog person and it keeps getting me off track.

I had almost 5 hours of school today. The class was human anatomy and I thought I’d be smart and take an all day Sunday class rather than have to take 2 lectures with 2 labs during the week. I still think this was the right choice for me but by the end of, close to, 3 hours of lecturing, my brain felt like jello. What makes it worse, I started having serious high school flashbacks. The instructor was going on about cells and their structures and what they do and the bigger purpose they serve and another 10 minutes would’ve had me with my head down and a drool string hanging out of my mouth.

In high school I did terrible in science and math. The only thing I remember about high school biology is that I made a cake and used various sugary candies to represent part of the cell. For the mitochondria in the cell, I used sour gummy worms. That’s all I remember about biology, the mitochondria are sour gummy worms. If I were to go around saying that to people they would probably take away my admission to this school. “Yes, the mitochondria, also known as the sour gummy worm of the cell, really is a powerhouse.”

Man, I am all over the place. Let me wrap this up before I hit another ‘squirrel’ diatribe. Learning is fun, my brain is full and tired in the best way possible. All the parts of my brain that were previously dedicated to Kardashian pregnancies and replaying embarrassing life moments from 20 years ago, are now being put to better use. Yay!

This is me…

I’ve been trying to come up with a new name for myself here. I’m not the introverted runner anymore because I only run when my knee lets me and even then, it’s just treadmill running which is not the same as actually running outside and don’t argue with me…it’s just not the same. For a minute I thought about going by ‘the gray haired college student’ but I died my hair to give the finger to those gray hairs. I’ll think of something that’s hopefully equal parts clever and adorable.

I have class all day tomorrow. Human anatomy lecture in the morning and then the lab in the afternoon, I was reading the first couple chapters of my text today to try to be the class know-it-all but holy hell it was dull! This is stuff I need to know since I’m going into the medical field but omg I could barely read a paragraph before my eyes started crossing and head started bobbing. I know the class will be much more interesting but I’m going to need a shot of something to take in this material outside of that.

I’ve officially started work with a nutritionist. We’re doing everything via email and an app but she seems lovely. She has me just measuring and logging my food right now, she wants me to focus on the macro’s rather than the calories and it has been eye-opening. She sent me the limits I should be staying in for protein, carbs and fats every day. If I wasn’t looking at macros, like I’ve done in the past, and just looked at calories, I would think I was doing pretty good. However, throwing macros in the mix just paints a clearer picture on why I struggle with my diet and losing weight in general. I exceed my daily carbs and fat by lunch and I barely hit my protein minimum before bed. I’m already thinking about little tweaks I can make to improve but I already know this is going to be a challenge…but I know I will look good and be better for it.

I’m a bitch…

I’m almost done with my first full week as a college student and it’s been…more good than bad. The campus is in the downtown metro area so parking can be a challenge. One of my classes got cancelled and we weren’t told until after we waited in an empty classroom for 20 minutes. I was fortunate that I was able to get into the online version of that same class at the last-minute (thank you God!) so my financial aid didn’t take a hit.

I’m not going to lie, the nights before my classes I would get nervous and even think about just not showing up at all. However, as I would head to the school, taking my time and just enjoying the drive, I would get this wave of exhilaration over the fact that I was doing this because it was my choice. No one is forcing, my parents aren’t paying for anything and Uncle Sam isn’t holding a contract over my head anymore, I was going to school because I wanted to and that filled me with joy beyond words.

It has also brought to light another, kind of unattractive side of myself. On the second day of my Intro to Psych class we were put into small groups of about 5 to 6 people each. The task given to us seemed really fun and easy, to me anyways. The other girls I was grouped with didn’t feel the same. They were talking about how stressed they were with class already and that this tiny hour-long project that we were working on had to be absolutely perfect. Mind you this was project was worth 4 points…out of 975, seriously, no exaggeration. They were talking stress and anxiety over this meanwhile I was running a list of things through my head that were way more stressful than this little group project. This list included things like doing a combat landing into Afghanistan in the middle of the night and hoping terrorists don’t see you and shoot the plane, being told that you’re deploying in 5 days, speaking to a room full of officers about why one of your programs is busted, stepping on a bus to go to the airport where you will be shipped for 6 weeks of training and people yelling at you for no reason, you get the point.

I already knew my age would set me apart from my new peers but I, naively, forgot about the unique experiences I’ve had because I’ve waited so long to go to college. I just couldn’t take their complaints of stress and anxiety seriously because that wasn’t stressful to me at all. I don’t want to be that bitch that is condescending and diminishing of everyone else’s feelings though. They will not understand my life experience¬† and I don’t know theirs so I need to be the bigger person and validate their feelings…which is so hard because I am struggling to take them seriously. Actually, I think the hardest part is just going to be finding someone to relate to in the sea of youth. Ugh, I miss adults.

It’s all coming back to me now…

I had something of a revelation last night. Wait, let me go back a day…On Friday I had a phone call with a psychic I found on Groupon. The customer reviews on this were pretty good but, c’mon, it’s a psychic on Groupon so my expectations were pretty low. So I was pretty taken aback to find myself tearing up within the first few minutes of talking to this woman. The things she was saying to me, about me, were so true and so deep and so relevant to me at that moment. She was repeating back to me things I had been saying about myself for the last couple weeks about how I felt stuck and had a mental block keeping me from really excelling in my life. I was hooked. She said I had this negative energy that I picked up about 8-10 years ago that was really preventing me from fully becoming who I am. She said that if I spent $225 on a 3 foot candle that she could find that negative energy and help me get rid of it. I quickly became unhooked.

I’m not making any assumptions about this woman’s credibility but I’m unemployed and money’s getting a little tight so she lost me there. However, her timeline stuck with me and it made me wonder what happened 8-10 years ago to bring on so much negativity. The only thing that stuck out on that timeline was the relationship I was in that was ending around that time frame. His name was John.

I met John while living in the dorms at my first duty station. He lived a few doors down the hall from me. We dated for a few weeks, I kissed another guy, he found out and ended it. We got back together a few weeks later and were on and off for the next 10 months or so, all seemed to be forgiven and forgotten and I stayed faithful.

Our break up was incredibly traumatic. During our relationship we talked about our future, getting married, having kids, all of it and I was in 110%. So I was a little dismayed when he got orders to an overseas base and didn’t want to get married so I could go with him. Admittedly, that was something I wasn’t ready for but we would hardly be the first young military couple to get married so they could go to the same base together, it was just a normal part of our culture. We agreed to do long distance while I worked the system to try to follow on separate orders. John had a few days between bases so he went home to see his, I thought, ex-wife and son. From the beginning he said he was divorced. He wasn’t. He was legally separated. Him and his wife reconciled while he was home, I found out on social media.

This was the days of MySpace and public profiles. Clearly he told his wife something about me because for a week or so we were involved a game of one upping on our social media posts. I posted about the first time he said he loved me or something incredibly cheesy like that and she posted about their love-making that brought them back together. I won when I posted about him questioning his son’s paternity and his wife’s fidelity. I’m proud of this now but at the time I thought it was a victory. I continued to stalk him and his wife on myspace and whatever other social media I could find them on at the time. To say I was obsessive may be an understatement. God bless therapy and the doc that gave me back my sanity.

Since the break up was so traumatic that’s what I focused on, just getting past the pain and living my life. I never addressed the toxicity that was in our relationship and, looking back now, there was a lot of it. He didn’t have a personal computer so he used one of the public ones in the dorm computer lab. I checked his search history and found out he was searching dating sites for men. Naked men. I didn’t know what to do so I ignored it. I don’t know if he ever reached out to any of these men or if he cheated on me with them, I don’t know if my health was at risk, but I have my suspicions.

We also reached a point, very quickly too, where he didn’t want to have sex with me anymore. We would have sex once a week and that usually happened because I had to beg and plead with him to be physical with me…tie this in with the naked man dating site and things make sense but I didn’t connect those dots at the time. Once I even put on black lingerie and wore it while I cooked him dinner. He didn’t say or do anything, just ignored it and asked me later (after I skulked off in embarrassment) why I was upset. I said it was nothing. His rejection, the constant rejection, made me feel like nothing. I felt unattractive and just, like nothing. He made me feel bad for wanting sex like I was asking for too much. We were in our early 20’s we should have been expressing our physical love all over the place but he didn’t think so.

He would also use other girls to make me jealous, make me think that he was some prize to be won so I would feel grateful for having him. He would tell me how some random girl would throw herself at him or how his boss was so eager to set him up with his daughter. I don’t even know if those things happened, they could’ve all been lies for all I know.

All that shit, I never processed it. Now that I’m looking back at it, it all makes sense. Of course I have issues with things like self-care and my physical appearance, they were flat-out rejected at a critical point when all I was looking for was love and validation from the person I thought I wanted to spend my life with. Of course I have crippling insecurity when someone dedicated so much of their time to making me feel like shit. Have I really let this man be the barrier of negativity stopping me from being the real me? Well, no more. It’s his fucking loss and I’m tired of carrying the scar tissue from it. I’m strong and I’m beautiful and I can do whatever the fuck I set out to do.

Girl you earned it…

I’m what some people would call, broke (financially speaking for the sake of this writing). I’m also, technically, in debt. I’m no where close to being destitute and I know that I have money coming to me, I just don’t know when exactly it will get here. I’ve got just under $1000 to get me by until that next magical money deposit appears. I had enough foresight to set aside money last month for rent and utilities, the only bills I have left for this month is my car payment and insurance which will take quite a chunk. As for my debt, it’s way better than it’s been in a long time, if it wasn’t for my car payment it’d be almost non-existent.

So why am I rehashing my financial standing for the whole internet to see…all 3 of you that will stumble in here. I’m relishing this moment. I’m probably the most financially insecure I’ve been in a decade and I’m about to put myself further in the hole intentionally and I’m very, oddly, calm about it. I met with a life coach today, I liked her and I think I’m going to work with her for a few weeks on getting my head in the right place to succeed in school. I’m also going to work with a nutritionist to get my diet and body where it needs to be. I find nutrition to be extremely overwhelming especially when you get into all the diets and everyone out there with their own opinions, it’s too much. I’m going to work with someone to figure out what is best for me to get me healthy and get my body to where it should be. I’m going to put all this on a little plastic credit card, that I’m grateful to have at my disposal, and consider it a strong investment in myself. I don’t think there’s anything better to invest in.

I can’t go for that…

Yesterday I cracked under the pressure. I was got so overwhelmed with trying to figure my life out right that moment that I tossed and turned with a growing to-do list building in my¬† brain. Today I feel more, together. I’m not in the same happy place that I was a few weeks ago but I’m focusing on self-care and tomorrow I’m getting out of this igloo and meeting with a life coach so I’m hoping that will be the energy bolt I’m in need of.

This morning was day 2 of getting my life back on track…and I almost gave up…on day 2. If I would have given up it wouldn’t be the first time I walked away from hard work on day 2 and I told myself as much. Then I asked myself, ‘don’t you want to get beyond day 2? What will day 3 look like? What will day 7 look like? What will day 30 look like?’ I really want to find out. I made a list of all the things I want to manifest and the basic steps I need to take to make it happen. This list included getting A’s in all my classes, find the right part-time job, find a good man and good friends, lose 20 lbs and have $50K by July 4th. Easy peasy lemon squeezey, yeah? I wish…

I’ve written before about how much I dislike hard work. There’s no reason to deny it, I just don’t like it especially if it has to do with something I don’t find interesting. I could sit and do a self-analysis of how being raised as the only child in the house with an absent father who used money and things to replace his love spoiled me and made my life easy and I’m sure on some level that’s accurate. I have a decent work ethic and I wouldn’t consider myself entitled (does anyone though?) I just struggle in shutting off the laptop and getting off the couch.

Well no more!

I cancelled my Netflix account, this weekend I’m cancelling Hulu (I’ve got a few more things to watch, don’t look at me like that) and I’ve given up the kindle that has Candy Crush. I’ve also spent the last couple of days with the laptop out of sight so it can be out of mind and I can do things like read or do a puzzle, build up the gray matter!

What’s odd though, is in typing this I’ve realized just how scary this all is. seriously. The self-help author I’m reading right now likes to use the phrase ‘decisive action’ which means to jump in to something with both feet and your whole heart, never looking back, only forward with the eye of the tiger…the thrill of the fight…I digress. I’m sure you’re getting the picture. My problem is that I don’t know that I’ve ever jumped into anything like that. The scariest things I’ve done in my life was because the Air Force made me. It was live in foreign countries, speak in front of 100 people, get your Associate’s degree or ELSE! Spoiler alert: ELSE=discipline and punishment, potentially jail depending on the situation, so I was inclined to just do as I was told.

I said good-bye to the Air Force…with my middle finger. So I have to do this shit on my own now.

I feel like I always keep one foot out and one foot on the couch so as soon as something uncomfortable happens I just leap back onto the couch and throw my blanket over my head and say ‘well, I tried, back to hibernation. maybe I’ll try again next year.’ Even with going back to school I don’t know if I’m all the way, 110% invested. In the back of my mind is always ‘well I can half-ass it to my degree and find something with that.’ That runs through my head way more than ‘I’m going to hit these books hard, maintain a killer GPA and make it damn near impossible for any P.A. program to deny me a spot, fuck yeah muthafucka!’ I’m so scared to invest heart and soul because deep down, I feel like I’m already failing…and with that I may as well be, yeah? I can be better than that.