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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Welp, Here we Are.

So I've been an awful blogger.
First I whine repeatedly for months on end about wanting to move.  Then I post that we're finally moving.  Then I abandon blogging for months on end.
There is a reason I will never consider blogging as a career.  (Well, that and it would mean trying to pimp my blog to people for money and I'm just not that kinda gal.)

But I guess it's about time for an update.  So here goes the most nut-shell version of one I can give you.



So the week before we were just going to move without a safety net, Andrew got offered a job at the Costco in Marysville, WA.  The same city as the house that my friends were so generous in letting us rent from them.  When they found out, my parents praised God for answering their prayers.  Andrew's mom said she was happy for us and had been doing Buddhist chants for us as well.  So I figure we really just had our bases covered there and the Universe went, "OK,OK, I guess I can stop stringing you along now..."  Between that job and the income we are getting from some things Andrew's wonderful Grandma left him we have been doing ok monetarily.  Not GREAT, but we can make it.  Stuff is a lot less expensive up here!  

So we rented my friends' house from them between Sept. and Dec. of last year, and although the place was really nice and it was tempting to try and stay there longer, we decided that we really needed to move to a place that was going to be "ours" for quite a while (since their house was for their vacation needs and we had to be out for sure by May).  So in mid-December we packed up again and moved to a townhouse community that is within a 5-minute drive of Andrew's work.  The timing wasn't optimal in terms of the holidays and whatnot, but we couldn't afford to fly home anyway so it was almost nice to have a distraction from the whole not-seeing-family-for-Christmas thing. Plus we got our Christmas tree so late that it only cost us $5. So now we're at least done moving for the next 11 months and have managed to unpack the majority of our boxes which is a REALLY nice feeling.  

So that is the nutshell about us.
As for me, here is what has gone on:
Mid-November I'd fallen off the "woo-hoo, we moved!" high and, having failed to land two other library jobs that I had interviewed for, I was feeling pretty low. And then I started having these weird heart-palpitations at night: I would lay down for sleep, about to pass out and suddenly this would happen:
Only I was in my PJs instead of a zoot-suit.
After 5 days in a row of crazy heart flutterings that I thought might have been related to the sickness I was fighting off, I finally dragged my uninsured self into a local clinic where they convinced me that I wasn't, in fact, dying of a heart tumor or something, but was in fact having panic attacks.  Which apparently hit people often at bedtime because your emotional defenses go down as you get sleepy and, when you're all emotionally repressed and don't realize how stressed out and sad you are, you can't actually calm your heart down by deep breathing.  Go figure, you can't actually just boss your emotions around by ignoring them and pretending that only the happy ones exist.  Which is generally how I handle things.  I hate dwelling on negatives, so I do my best to focus on the positive things around me and just talk my brain into feeling better that way.  But oh MAN did I feel like an idiot breaking down into uncontrollable sobbing in that clinic when they gave me a "standard" quiz to take regarding depression/anxiety.  Apparently seeing myself circle things on paper that indicated I was anxious was what it took for me to realize exactly how emotionally ragged I was feeling.

Moving to the new place actually helped the anxiety go down a lot since I wasn't in a constant state of panic about not messing up my friends' house anymore and didn't have another move hanging over me anymore.  And then at the beginning of December I actually got a job as a "nanny" where I helped two elementary-school kids get up and ready for school in the morning since their parents both had to leave the house by 6am.  Although the hours sucked and required me to be up by 4:45am during the week, this job gave me a bit of an emotional boost since I finally HAD a job, even if it wasn't in a library, and the mom was really nice and told me regularly what a great job I was doing.  Which was nice.

It's also really nice that I have a cousin and her family (so, some cousins?)  up here in Seattle and that we got to spend Thanksgiving with them.  Even though we weren't really close before the move, it's been great to get to reconnect with them and have some actual family up here.  
I also got insanely lucky in that I have one amazing friend up here - I'll call her the Masseusess because she is a massage goddess and might be weirded out if I started calling her by name on my blog - and her wisdom about transitioning from sunny California to drippy Washington has been awesomely helpful.  She has given me a free massage when my neck seized-up, she's forced me to start taking herbal supplements that really helped relieve my anxiety issues without making my stomach feel like it's digesting rocks anymore (like the stuff the people at the clinic prescribed did), and she's regularly made time for me and the kiddo to just get out and do things with.  If it weren't for her, there's a good chance I'd be curled up in an anxious little ball right now.

With the start of the New Year I finally got myself going to the YMCA to work out again regularly, then we had like a week and a half of sunshine where I got to take Sadie out exploring a lot and I was finally starting to feel GOOD again... like I was living again instead of just clinging to a piece of driftwood and hoping not to get smashed up.

Last week, though, the gal I worked for had her hours at work cut and now I'm back on the unemployment wagon.  Oh, and I found out that I was the 2nd choice for a library paige job that I applied for that same week (which, for those of you unfamiliar with library jobs, is literally the bottom of the job ladder).  Apparently I can't even get a job doing work that I used to hire other people to do.  (I was beat out by someone who already worked as a part-time paige in another library and already knew the system... but STILL.) (I should probably abuse some parentheses here again to mention that I might not be having so hard a time in the job search if we lived in Seattle proper, because the area I'm in pretty much just has the public library system to job-watch on and commuting to the city regularly just isn't an option for the part-time work I'm trying to find while I try to power through my last year of grad school.  Especially because the traffic in Seattle is truly horrendous and people in the city don't understand the concept of checking their blind spots before they merge...)  So between that and the constant illness we've had in the last two months I'm feeling pretty low again to be totally honest.

I knew the move away from family and friends was going to be hard, and I don't regret doing the move - we actually ended up in a fairly rural area that is still close to the city, which is really nice, and it's freaking GORGEOUS here when it's not raining and I'm actually used to the rain at this point - but I'm so ready to start feeling happy and proud of myself again. I never really realized how much pride I took in my jobs until I didn't have one.  I started working full-time when I was 17 and since then I've literally always had a job (not counting the leave I took after the baby came and the neck injury sidelined me), so this business of letting Andrew support us alone makes me really anxious.  Not because he can't do it, but because I'm not good at having to depend on someone else completely. 

But through all these emotional waves I've become a pretty bad friend to a lot of people back home: I've emailed them to say hi, then never responded to them when they wrote back.  Not because I'm trying to be a jerk, but just because I feel like I have very little to say that isn't like bringing my own little raincloud into their inboxes. (Ha!  Get it?  I live in Washington now... I can make rain jokes.) I've also committed to help a friend write a blog to help fund-raise for her brother, who is in a much worse place than I am, and I've barely even looked at it in the last month. Heck, I forgot about my niece's first birthday last month and just now realized I missed it. I've tried to make plans with a couple of my friends that were already up here when we moved, but after failing to actually meet a few times I've given up and just let myself start pouting that they never think to call me or text or anything like that.  Not that I have tried to contact them again or anything... 

In short: I'm a moping fool right now, people.  I'm stuck in a rut of feeling sorry for myself and I'm doing a really poor job of snapping out of it. I try to keep myself busy with the kiddo during the day and then I distract myself at night with tv or books so I can just get through each day without feeling overwhelmed by everything I'm failing at. It's completely paradoxical and stupid, but it's my rut and you can't have it.  

So all I ask is that if I've fallen out of contact with you or been a bad friend lately, please just understand that I am aware of how badly I suck.  And maybe try not to hold it against me.
Or the fact that this last part about me has been so damned long and nowhere near a "nutshell."  Because dammit, I write more when I'm drinking wine sad.

And mark my words, I will climb myself out of this rut.

 At this point I have to have caught every flu the PNW has to offer me this season *KNOCK ON WOOD,* so I will workout to get my endorphins up and keep applying to stupid part time jobs and I will kick butt at my classes this semester and I will get better soon.  I don't want this post to come off as me digging for sympathy because that's not the point: the point is that this process has been hard, we've had a lot of change in a short amount of time and even though I'm kind of a mess from it, it's still a work in progress. And it'll keep progressing until things are much better.  Or at least until I can get my act together and be a normal person again.