My First Day of My New Job

Yesterday, December 1, 2022, was my very first day at my new job and I was SO excited when I walked up to the front doors. My boss went over a detailed history of the founder, the organization, and the people they serve. I got to meet lots of their clients and I was shown to my own office! It is actually bigger than I thought it would be, and they said that I can decorate it however I want (including painting, hanging things up, all that jazz!).

Most of my day yesterday was spent doing CPR training and signing A LOT of forms. Because of the nature of the organization and the types of people they serve, there is a little more paperwork than usual to go through, but it is worth it. My boss even confessed that when her coworker of 30+ years found my resume online, she immediately showed it to her, and said “we found her!”, so that was really reassuring that they truly were excited about welcoming me in, and feeling like I was a good fit for them. I really appreciated her telling me that.

Today, I will register myself for the in-person CPR Skills Training Session (for next Tuesday). I will also brainstorm how I want my office to look because it is really important to feel good in my work space. I just may need to wait until next year if it entails me wanting to purchase anything for it because I am only getting 3 weeks worth of pay this month (office is closed for Christmas, and since I am new without PTO, I have none to use).

So, all in all, I am happy and excited to begin this new chapter. The goal is also to remain here until we move out of Georgia (3+ years). I also am hoping to start my master’s degree next fall, so I am really pumped about that, too!

Prozac update: it’s going well, I feel like I’ve been happier and less high-strung. I also feel like I have been sleeping better, so that is a continued benefit. I have not felt any side effects.

An exciting new chapter!

I have great news! I am starting a new job in about 2 weeks! More details on that below, but firstly, I’d like to give a Prozac update: today marks the 10th day that I’ve been on 20 mg of Prozac, and I can’t say that I’ve gone through any tremendous changes in terms of my anxiety and OCD yet; however, the side of effect of drowsiness and feeling sleepy is hitting me HARD. Apparently, this is completely normal in the first few weeks, and as my body gets used to the medication, that side effect should subside. We shall see about that, won’t we? For now, I take a nap every afternoon, and that helps a bit.

Now, on to the fun stuff! Last Friday, I was offered a position with a local non-profit as a Business Manager. The organization assists people with disabilities find jobs, housing, and community/volunteering opportunities. The office only has 3 other ladies working in it, and we each have our own office. This job will be mostly in person, but I do have the option of working from home once or twice per week after my training period. My job duties will cover some admin, some HR, and some accounting. It’s actually extremely similar to what I did prior to my recruiting job, so I’m looking forward to a position with less emphasis on numbers and profit, and more of a focus on community and giving back.

Some other notes about the past week or so:

  • I have most definitely put up our Christmas tree
  • It has been in the 30s in Atlanta this week (and rainy!)
  • My wife is currently obsessed with keyboards and making them “thocky” (please, just look it up)
  • I baked some thumbprint cookies last week- the first thing I’ve baked in about 2 months
  • I painted the one navy blue wall in our bedroom and I LOVE IT! The bedroom now gives red clay vibes. Very calm.

Prozac

So, after 12 years of anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and nervous sweating, I have finally decided to give medication a whirl. I’ve done therapy for a few years now, and I do find it’s been helping me be more kind to myself and not have such unrealistically high expectations for myself; however, I can’t say it’s helped or relieved my anxiety a noticeable amount.

Today is my first day on 20 mg of Fluoxetine, also known as Prozac. I was advised by my therapist to keep a log on my feelings, both mental and physical, just to track any progress or changes this medication may cause. I have also asked my wife to keep an eye on my behaviors and general existence to see if she notices anything different in the coming weeks.

It’s only day one, so I can’t say that I have felt any changes, but I will record updates at least once per week to take note of even the smallest signs of progress.

Things I expect:

  • less noise in my brain day to day
  • better sleep
  • less overthinking
  • some drowsiness

Things I do not expect:

  • complete elimation of my anxiety

I have some goals outlined for the next 6-12 months and starting medication is both one of those goals and it is something that should make achieving my other goals a little easier.

  1. Start medication for anxiety
  2. Start a new job (9-5, in-office, non-profit)
  3. Gain strength and stamina through gym/rock-climbing
  4. Save money & take a break from mini trips in 2023 (we have 1 big trip to Germany planned next Christmas)
  5. Build my confidence from the ground up & learn to better enjoy the life we’re living

I believe that I have less confidence now than I did in high school, and I think that is because of a few reasons- I can’t pinpoint it to just one. I also think my anxiety has become more manageable because of experience and living in constant exposure therapy, but it’s also more frequent, so I feel like I live in a constant state of anxiety whenever I exit the cozy and safe walls of my home.

It’s important to me to enjoy this first year of married life and treat it like the new beginning it is. I pretend like life goes on as before, and in some aspects it absolutely does and will; however, I’ve pledged my heart to the woman I love for the rest of my life. I have no intention of doing all this again- that sounds exhausting, and we have a wonderful relationship that I don’t want to try replicating. This is our life together, and I see this year as one where we continue to grow as individuals, side by side, supporting each other. You can still learn new things, join new clubs, and reinvent who you are without losing your partner in the dust. I am so thankful that I have someone who loves me inside and out, and who creates spaces for me to explore who I want to be without boundaries and judgement.

Things I am excited about:

  • holiday season
  • holiday smells
  • holiday baked goods
  • visiting Helen, GA for the first time
  • spending Christmas with my mom
  • new job
  • a routine
  • date nights with my wife
  • playing video games
  • redecorating our bedroom to make it more cozy
  • holiday movie nights
  • hot chocolate when it’s freezing outside
  • looking out of my cozy house’s windows as it rains outside
  • holidays songs and music

The anxious lesbian is getting more anxious.

Hello, everyone! We are due for a little update:

  1. I am going to speak to a psychiatrist this Friday about starting medication for anxiety for the first time in 13 years. I’ve been dealing with my anxiety alone and occassionally with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), but, to be completely honest, I have not seen a considerable positive difference over the past 10 years, so I am biting the bullet and giving meds a try. I have no idea what they will put me on, the dosage, or how it will affect me. I will definitely keep y’all updated on this.
  2. I am looking for a new job. I no longer enjoy what I am doing and I want to transition into a career in the non-profit area; I had a phone screening today, and it went pretty well. I would be happy to accept an offer if they gave me one. I am having some anxiety about telling my current employer that I am leaving… I’ll be sure to talk to my therapist about that.
  3. My wife is finally done with her master’s degree!! Woohoo!
  4. I am considering starting my master’s degree in non profit next fall…. to be officially determined at a later time, but it is definitely a huge possibility.
  5. My wife’s twin’s girlfriend (a good friend of mine!) is thinking about applying to a master’s degree here in Atlanta!! We would 100% let her live with us!!
  6. Fall/October/Halloween is here and I love it! I am also super pumped for the upcoming holiday season so I can start my baking frenzy!!

Tying the knot and cutting ties.

I got married on Sept. 17, 2022 in my backyard. On that day, I was reminded just how much support my wife and I have. We were surrounded and celebrated with at least 30 of our closest friends and family members. Unfortunately, that day was also a stark reminder of the lack of support that we had from the very few who were not present with us that morning.

So, following the wedding, I began the process of cutting one particular tie: my paternal grandmother. It’s been several years of subtle, yet obvious, disapproval, as well as one particular incident where she flat out told me that she was praying for me and that I might find the right man one day. There was no congratulatory message or even acknowledgement of my engagement 2 years ago, and now that I am married and I have a wife, I don’t wish to subject myself to that discomfort and disrespect any longer.

I’ve been distancing myself from her for a long time, but unfriending her on Facebook was probably the first real action that I took. The second would be to continue to not initiate any contact via phone and to continue to not attend any family gatherings that take place at her house. I hope she doesn’t send me a Christmas card- I don’t hate her, I just don’t want to know her anymore. I feel indifference towards her and I’m content with ending this relationship.

I’m not sure how this will develop; I hope that it doesn’t. I just want to live my life without her in it. Life is simply too short to spend time on things and with people who do not make you happy anymore.

Marching band makes me sad and happy.

When I was in middle and high school, I wasn’t suicidal, but I didn’t want to be there. I was honest with my mom about those feelings when they became a bit too much; I said, “Mama, I promise you that I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to be here.”

First, concert band, and then, marching band, saved my life. It was because of a few reasons:

  1. Band teachers are incredible and they make you feel like you matter.
  2. Playing music as a band is the definition of “being part of something that is bigger than yourself.”
  3. Band people are weird and many are outsiders who don’t quite fit in anywhere else; it felt like home.

I went to the Drum Corps International Southeastern Championship in Atlanta last night with my fiancé. When the first marching band started performing, I automatically started to cry. I had a strong feeling that I would cry because I even have trouble holding back tears while listening to old band toons on Spotify as well. Something as impactful and as meaningful as marching band was bound to have an effect on me.

The title of this post is “Marching band makes me sad and happy”. For the reasons I listed above, marching band made and makes me happy. For these reasons, it makes me sad:

  1. Present day, I no longer play any instruments. When I see bands perform, I feel like I’m missing out.
  2. I have some of my best memories take place during my marching band years because of the people I was experiencing it with; even though I am still friends with some of those people, it’s just not the same.
  3. My anxiety, depression, and identity issues were at their peak while I was in marching band. Marching band was my escape, but when the games, competitions, and bus rides were over, it was back to a life that I hated.

DCI was amazing. This was my second time, and I would 100% go again, maybe in a different state.

An interesting journey I’m on…

Closing chapters from over ten years ago

For context, these posts might help to fill it some background for what you’re about to read: Mommy Issues & A Metaphorical Death.

Long story short, I dated my first girlfriend from age 15-17 after feelings developed the year before at age 14 (puts us in 9th grade FYI). I say “dated” very lightly because just 2-4 weeks after making things official, her mother caught wind of it and started putting up some pretty extensive barriers: transferring schools, blocking my number, confiscating technology, reading through said girlfriend’s phone, etc. We would communicate infrequently and inconsistently through apps and friends’ phones, seeing each other in person only at school/band events or by sneaking around her mom’s back. It was rough because all the while there was a multitude of mental health issues and even just figuring out identities as queer teenagers in the south of the US. It was a weird introduction to dating and being gay, just saying.

Anyway, this went on from about October 2012 to October 2014 (I think). That’s when we mutually ended things because it had just gotten to be too much. That same night, I reconnected with an old friend and dated her for 1.5-2 years too (we don’t like her too much, FYI).

Fast forward to mid-2016: my second relationship comes to an end and me and girlfriend #1 start texting “as friends”. As I’m sure ya’ll have guessed, we started hanging out more (night driving, swimming, sitting in the car and talking, lots and lots of texting because I was still unwelcome in her house). One night, while her parents were on a trip, she invited me over and we made a decision to try dating again. It only lasted maybe 36-48 hours. I remember having breakfast with my current best friend up in Atlanta and I can recall the excitement and the feeling of “it’s finally coming together” when I told her that we made this decision. Just hours after that, I started having doubts and reality did sink it. My plans of studying in Germany, joining AmeriCorps, finishing school, and moving out of my hometown hit me as more of a distant dream vs reality if I was going to choose this path right now.

Furthermore, there was the fact that we were very different people when we broke up and I don’t think we recognized each other any more. Part of me felt like it was a good thing and it would allow us to start over with a clean slate; however, the slate wasn’t clean. We were mixing past feelings of an unresolved relationship with current realities and new goals- it just wasn’t going to work without extreme effort and I guess it wasn’t worth it to put all other aspects of my life aside for something unknown like that. I also realized through my second relationship, that the acceptance of my partner’s family is important to me, and I knew that I would never get that with girlfriend #1. It just wasn’t worth it to try dating again. It was never going to work. Inside, 14-15 year old me was sad, but 18-19 year old me at the time was trying to be rational and not get into something complicated– again.

So, it’s been over 10 years since we started this “shebang”. It’s been a fucking doozy to say the least. We’ve maintained random and inconsistent contact, sometimes getting updates from social media or mutual friends. I’ve told every partner I’ve had about us because some form of contact would always happen. We also share an amazing friend group, and our gatherings have occurred more and more in the past 3ish years, so our interactions have been less forced, awkward, and weird.

Well, we got together as a group this past Sunday. Afterwards, we started texting again as we do every 6-12 months to catch up and she invited me to lunch to formally get up to speed on each other’s lives.

** My fiancé is quite informed of everything, so she’s been an incredible support. Girlfriend #1 also has a wonderful girlfriend of about 1 year, so she is also being very encouraging towards us. **

So, lunch with the ex. It sounds so much more dramatic than it was. We did kind of go down a rabbit hole, though, in regards to trying to piece together exactly what happened between us over the past 10 years (more so the first 2, and also 2016ish). Turns out that trauma has a way of taking parts of your memories, so we struggled to get an exact timeline of things.

So, that is the journey we are currently taking: after a pool party in a few weeks at our good mutual friend’s house, we are bringing forth all remnants of “us” and going through them together and then burning them- both physically and digitally. I want to close this chapter for good because every time we meet my brain goes to the unresolved. It’s distracting and it brings up a lot of anxiety because that time was nothing short of stressful and traumatic. Our solution to this sounds a little crazy, I know, and I can understand that, but unusual situations call for unusual and unique resolutions. This is what my ex said about it: “I feel like for a lot of people, sitting in a room with your ex, drinking and looking at old photos would be very weird, but for us it just seems like something that needed to be done way before now.” I agree with that 100%. Wish us luck.

Rock climbing, house sitting, and pool parties.

Rock climbing.

I’ve been going rock climbing at a local gym, as well as using their regular gym equipment, too. I was inspired by this video, and I have friends who have been doing it, so it was just kind of the final push. Last week, we also got belay certified for that particular location, so now we can climb the fun stuff (top ropes). Until now, we had been on the auto belays, and they’re a good time, but they’re kind of short and I want to switch it up.

I think what I love most about this gym and climbing in general is the diversity, community, and the fact that it is a form of exercise that I don’t hate. When we walk into the gym, we see old people, children, differently abled individuals, a wide variety of races, and whole bunch o’ gays. Like a lot of gays. I love it.

My goal is to just keep climbing and so that I might hit my fitness goals by my wedding in September. The goal from that point on will be to continue climbing, buy my own gear, and just feel stronger and more confident. I also hope to make some friends; I don’t think that will be too difficult as everyone is always really friendly and mingling with one another.

House-sitting.

I’m currently in my hometown house and dog-sitting for my grandparents for 4 nights. They have a wonderful house with an even better property. It’s great for our dog and his fetch addiction. It is really weird to be here, though. I have extremely conflicting feelings about where I grew up.

On one hand, it’s nostalgic, right? Marching band, old flames, my first few jobs, streets I drove down over and over after finally getting my license, and, lastly, summer nights where I’d just lay in my mom’s driveway watching the stars the best that I could because light pollution (we’re more in the country than Atlanta, for example, but not by much). On the other hand, I don’t like being here too long. The reasons behind why I wanted to leave this town so badly are quick to make appearances, so we keep visitation to just a few hours if we can help it.

Pool parties.

Yesterday, we went to my friend’s house to enjoy her pool with her and other friends. This particular group of friends is from high school (10 years ago!?!?!). I wasn’t so sure I would remain friends with people from high school, but I think I picked a good crowd, and we’ve been able to see each other a few times per year. It’s nice to have people your age who are equally disturbed at the reality of what being an adult actually entails.

I was also chatting with one friend about establishing 1-2 annual trips per year as a group. One trip should be to the beach, and the other to a cabin. If enough people go, it should be pretty affordable.

Conclusion.

I’m in my hometown with my fiancé. I feel weird. I feel a little sad. I feel a little happy. I am looking forward to being back in my house and going rock climbing at the end of this week. If I can focus on work right now, I should be alright.

I am feeling excitement.

We are halfway through 2022 and I am feeling extreme excitement. There have been a lot of mental changes in my brain and also some life changes that my fiancé and I have decided on. WordPress also has this cool new background color thing going on, so I thought I’d try it out! Let me know if it sucks, please!

  1. I have officially applied to some paid writing gigs. I’ve been writing in journals since I was 12 and I’ve had blogs for the past 5 years (no, I have never made money from them… mostly because I don’t know how). The point is that I have loved writing since always and I’ve just been too scared to try to make money with that skill because someone might tell me it’s not good enough or I won’t be successful. I would say that writing is my dream job because it can be done remotely and it’s something I love and I’m good at it. I can write a fictional story, I can do journal entries, and I can write an informational paper on the importance of bees.
  2. Colorado. I have dreamed of living in Colorado since high school. 10 years ago. Wow. I went on a trip with my mom to Colorado when I was about 14 or 15 years old and we went back one more time and I just haven’t ever let the dream go of living there. The landscape is just breathtaking. It’s so different than Georgia and I’m craving change. Not to mention, it’s a more liberal state, marijuana is legalized (mostly thinking in the medicinal sense), and it’s closer to my fiancé’s twin sibling.
  3. Tiny house living. When I was in Germany in 2017, I was planning what I would do between returning to the states and joining AmeriCorps NCCC. I created several folders in Google Drive dedicated to “van life” and “nomadic living”. I researched the best solar showers, portable refrigerators, and how to find places to park. Then, I arrived back in Atlanta, GA and found that I didn’t have the money or the time I thought I did in order to fulfill this goal. So I stashed it away. Fast forward 4 years and the topic of “going tiny” has come up again in a new form. Long story short (I will dedicate a blog post solely to this bullet point soon!), in about 2 years, we’re planning on selling the house, buying a tiny house, and moving to CO for the foreseeable future. Obviously a lot can happen between now and then, but you better believe I’m holding on to this dream because it escaped me once before. The reason for waiting is my fiancé’s job and our senior dog.
  4. Wedding season. Our wedding is in 2 months and we are somewhat prepared. I actually don’t have much to say on this topic except that I still want to elope and eat some cake already.
  5. Podcasts. I’ve been listening to some pretty cool podcasts recently. The tiny house obsession has lead me to topics surrounding minimalism and sustainability, so I’ve been learning a lot about how to live more sustainable for the environment, but also for myself. For example, I heard someone say that many people often fall into the trap of “when I get this, when I go there, etc., THEN I will be, I will feel, I will have, etc.” The reality of it is that we should already identify ourselves as what we want to be. This is how we trick our brain into acting how we want to act. Fake it till you make it at its finest, am I right?? Anyway, this lead me into personal development, career advice areas, and so forth. We come full circle because the podcasts and having a happy career and feeling fulfilled are what lead me to take a chance and apply to some writing gigs. We’ll see what happens, but I am already feeling more joy.

6/24/2022

It is currently June 24, 2022 and our patio is almost finished. I also just took the dog out to the front yard to pee and got catcalled on my own front door step. I have been “catcalled” one other time while on my own property; we had just moved into the new house last May, and I heard on the security camera the men who would be installing our washer and dryer ask each other if I was each other’s type. At the time, I was sitting inside of my office, at my desk, working. I remember feeling disgusted that they were looking at me in my own home and judging by my appearance in that moment whether or not I was their “type”.

I also just read about Roe v. Wade being overturned. I feel disappointment, sadness, and fear because I believes it is a gateway to overturning other rulings as well… I guess we will find out in time the damage this has already begun to do.

I will say one positive thing (other than our patio being almost complete): I just returned from a business trip with two of my colleagues and it really was a great time; we were in NY and CT. Our hotel was extremely dirty, but we weren’t given a big enough budget to get something nicer, so it wasn’t really our fault. The rental car was about $750 for 3 days… all of our food was covered by the company, though, so that was great. The best things that came of the trip was bonding with my team and meeting the hiring manager of our client to learn more about what they’re looking for.

Our dog, Bruce, is doing well. He does have some sort of allergies going on, so we’re trying to get that under control. He also has been whining a lot today, and I can’t figure out if it is because he is bored or because he needs something. I did try to take him out, but he just wanted to play ball. I also tried getting him a “mind game”, but it is in the shape of a big ball, so he only wanted to play fetch with it, not actually try to get the treats out of it. I would give him a bully stick or lick mat, but I don’t want to feed him too many calories. We can’t walk him as much during the summer because the pavement is too hot and it would burn his beans.

It’s not even lunch time yet, and the day has been pretty meh. Our roommate also has COVID, so we’ve been taking drinks and food to her. We went to the store yesterday and stocked up on OTC meds and Gatorade, especially since we don’t know if we will also get it since we all live on the same property. I did disinfect handles and light switches, but there’s only so much you can do.

I hope this weekend will provide some form of optimism for the future because I could use some.