Wedding Day

Our wedding day is tomorrow. I almost can’t believe it.

I never thought I would get married, it seems so crazy.

I have a lot of thoughts going through my mind. I’m scared. But excited. I feel ready and I feel like it is right, but I still feel scared. Mostly I feel scared that I’m going to mess it up somehow. Because of my issues, because I don’t have a good family.

Today we spent the entire day with Seth’s parents. Met them at the airport and then drove them all around Rochester, showing them our favorite spots. We took them to Highland Park and showed them the locations we were thinking of for the ceremony tomorrow. We took them to our favorite food spots and walked around the park and also showed them the small town near us that is so cute and has a great dairy.

It was a lovely day – a lot of walking – but terrific. We talked a lot. They love Rochester just as much as we do and they said they were very pleasantly surprised by it. I knew they would love it when they saw it.

At dinner I asked them about marriage and what benefits they had found from marriage. They talked about having a life partner and the joy that it brings in life to have someone you can count on, someone to do things with, someone who just adds to your life. The way they lift each other up and help each other. I imagine it’s also the commitment you make to the other person and the security that brings.

I feel like Seth and I have already experienced all those things. As we have gotten to know each other, it’s just gotten better and better really. The honeymoon phase is really now it feels like, and we got through the hard stuff early on. Most couples it’s the opposite, all rosy and good until reality hits. We had to deal with some really heavy stuff early on, like us both getting out of previous relationships and still somewhat being friends with our exes.

Seth’s step-mom said that she felt like in all his previous relationships that they saw him get into, it always felt like the dynamic was him trying to “save” them. I definitely felt that was the case when I first met him and he told me about his ex. It’s the reason why it made me so upset and angry and disappointed that he seemed to want to continue that dynamic. I felt like, “Uhhhh hello? I’m a woman who is about to get my college degree and you’d rather be out here entertaining girls who need you to save them? Ugh.”

I felt a bit triggered by that getting brought up.

But I kept my cool and I can reflect on it before we get married tomorrow.

I know that it triggered me because that’s the dynamic my dad had with my mom, and I hated it. I hated that he allowed this woman to hurt us, and that he didn’t have the courage or common sense to leave an abusive relationship. So when I felt like Seth was doing a similar thing, it hurt me and it scared me. Is he that type of guy? Is he stupid? Does he make poor decisions?

But the truth is, I myself have made poor decisions. I was in really, REALLY terrible, abusive, awful relationships with men who were not good choices. My intelligence told me they were not good choices, and yet I stayed, because I wanted so desperately for someone to love me, and it didn’t really matter at the time who. When you are so starved for love, when you don’t have a mother (Seth didn’t have a good mother either) you become so weakened and susceptible to horrible relationships. You really aren’t looking at the relationship as “Do I really respect and love this person” you’re more looking at it as, “Do they like me?? Do they love me?? Are they going to leave me and abandon me?” it becomes this weird thing where even if you don’t really respect the person, you just want it to work out, you just want SOMEONE to love you.

It’s sad. It’s difficult. I can have compassion for Seth in his choices because I made the same ones.

The only difference we had was that when I met HIM…I pretty much knew. After that first date, and after the second one…I knew. This was what I had been looking for my entire life. This was the type of person. FINALLY here he was in front of me. I knew it very clearly. Holy shit, this is the kind of guy I always wanted to meet and date.

It took him a bit longer to realize it.

That is the only difference. I knew right away, yeah this is what I’ve been searching for. It took him maybe 4 full months to REALLY realize or see what I saw immediately.

But that makes sense. He is a very logical, thinking person. He needs to gather evidence about something before making a pronouncement. I was going off feeling which is much faster, albeit less reliable than thinking. His way took longer, but once he was sure, he was SURE. He even told me that, he takes awhile to come to a decision, because he wants to be careful, but once he has made a decision, it is firm. There is no backing out or flip flopping.

Mine is different. I felt immediately that it was right, and then went through plenty of waves of doubt, like a ship at sea, confident one day, and then scared as the ship hits a downturn.

I can’t judge him for what was done when we first started dating. Yeah it hurt. But ultimately he made the smart decision and the right decision. He decided to be with me. To date me, to move in with me, to introduce me to his family, to meet my family, and now to marry me. He is smart. As am I. Smart people make poor decisions sometimes. But as we have proven to each other, we can also make the right choices eventually.

We both were able to see in each other the very thing we wanted in life. A partner. Who likes doing the same things we do, has similar beliefs and interests. Who enjoy intellectual conversations. Who love nature. Who appreciate things. Who want to travel the world. We are gazing in the same direction, and that is really what you need to have in a partner. Someone who has the same goals.

I finally fucking found that person. Not only that, but he loves ME and wants to spend his life with ME.

I cannot fathom how I got so lucky.

I really do love our life together. I know we went through a lot of change which put strain and stress on our relationship, and I do want to put a stop to that as much as possible.

Wrote my vows. One-page, simple. We are going to exchange them privately I think.

Apparently Karen isn’t coming…my dad texted me last minute tonight to tell me she is “busy” so won’t be coming. Whatever. It’s disappointing, but to be honest, I’m mostly sad on behalf of my dad. Speaking of having a good life partner, I know he wanted her to come with him, to be there with him on my wedding day. It’s strange that she’s not coming. I just mentioned to him that I wanted it to be just him and I showing up together at the ceremony, that she could hang out with the others and go with them to the location. I mean…that’s not crazy, it’s usually just the bride and her father. It wasn’t meant to be insulting or something. I don’t know. I’m not going to overanalyze it. If she is seriously not mature enough to come to my wedding just because she has to meet new people and socialize with strangers for a day…come on. It’s not my problem. I mean, I have no clue what the reason is so I’m going to try not to speculate or make up reasons.

She’s not coming, that’s it.

Honestly, we’re not super close anyway so it’s not a huge deal to me. The people I love and the people who love me are going to be there. Christy, Seth’s parents, and my dad. I’ve heard from the people who care about me (Ian and Nicole, Anita – all friends of Seth’s parents who we became friends with in Utah) as well as Christy’s sister Kat.

I feel loved. It will be a great day tomorrow.

By tomorrow night, I am going to be married. Holy shit.

Bike path

It is unbelievably incredible to have this bike path right down the street from our house. Right now is absolutely the best time of year for it too. Late May, almost June… it’s warm enough to swim now and warm enough for bike riding. Everything is fully green and blooming. There are trees bursting with flowers that smell like citrus-grapes. It’s truly idyllic.

I really needed to escape, and since we share a vehicle, it’s only possible really to escape on bike at times. Seth is in a somewhat frantic mood because his parents are arriving tonight for our wedding on Friday. He wants the house to be ready for them to see, and I understand that, but I’m so tired. It’s been nonstop unpacking and cleaning and organizing and fixing things with the house. Now it’s wedding stuff.

I really just want all of it to be over I hate to say. I’m SO EXCITED to be married to Seth and I absolutely want to get married, but I’m not a super social person or a party person. I don’t like hosting people even under normal circumstances because it’s just a lot of pressure. Besides the fact that we don’t have enough furniture to host people (we have ONE small couch and a few kitchen chairs for seating) and our home and truck are an absolute wreck. Like disgusting. Not the house so much but the truck is gross. It’s been messy and dirty ever since I met Seth to be honest.

His parents are not renting a car like we expected them to… therefore he’s in a panic about how we’re going to show them around when his truck only seats three people. He went to go clean the truck out and I took the opportunity to escape. It’s just uncomfortable to have him bursting into the house and then back out into the garage and back inside and constantly talking out loud, mostly to himself but then I feel obliged to listen and respond when really I just want to be left alone to relax for awhile.

I suppose during times of stress I become kind of avoidant. Especially when Seth seems to be really frantic or on a rampage about cleaning and organizing when I feel like I’m not sure what to do or that I’ve already been cleaning and organizing on a daily basis and I need a break. It’s not like he’s asking me to do anything, I just end up feeling guilty and stressed out sitting there watching him bustle around and like I said the stream of words makes it hard for me to relax or focus on reading or whatever I’m doing. It’s like it’s triggering both because of my mom AND dad. My mom would have this constant stream of talk that would get so annoying, like she couldn’t keep her thoughts inside her own head so everyone had to hear them all the time, which becomes tiring. And then my dad getting into anxiety, frantic modes.

It’s better for me to just be able to escape, go into nature and enjoy what I enjoy like being in nature and reading a book, writing, riding my bike. Exploring. Having an E-bike has been such a great investment too. It’s amazing having a bike that’s easier to ride long distances.

That strange homeless/on drugs looking guy was on the trail again today…it somewhat freaks me out. Why is he on the trail so often? What if I encountered him by myself? The trail is somewhat secluded and remote in parts. I feel safer on a bike but still. I stopped and sat in the grass so I wouldn’t have to pass him. Then I saw how busy the trail can be, someone has passed me on bike or walking pretty much every few minutes while I sit here, so it’s fairly busy. Unlikely to be attacked and not helped.

I feel a bit safer.

Wow a brightly yellow bird just flew into the bush near me.

It’s thrilling to get to the trail and going left means towards Pittsford and eventually Syracuse, and going right means more West towards buffalo. Fun to choose. There’s an REI right down the trail too.

Easy to bike into the city.

I know it will get cold again, and too icy/snowy for bike riding so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can. Looking forward to trying all the winter outdoor activities too though.

Next week it’s going to be in the 80’s for 4 entire days straight. Hoping to take advantage of the hot weather and do some outdoor swimming or go to a water park or something.

My bathing suit I got in England doesn’t fit me anymore, I’ve gained so much weight. I’m almost back up to my highest weight I’ve ever been. It’s kind of shocking. I gain weight so easily. I also don’t have an active job, it’s been difficult for me to push myself to walk or exercise, and I tend to overeat and emotionally eat. Also I have a super short frame. None of this helps.

I’ve been trying to focus on eating less, not eating unless I’m actually hungry, eating healthier, more veggies, and getting exercise that I enjoy. I’m never going to be a person who likes going to the gym and I even more LOATHE working out at home. I’m at home all day every day, I absolutely don’t want to be working out doing random movements in a sad room in my house. It needs to be either a fun outdoor activity (biking, walking, swimming) or if I must I’d rather go to a gym rather than exercise at home.

In the winter I might have to rely on a gym more. But maybe not, cross country skiing exists and snow hiking. It just has to be something I enjoy or I’m not going to be able to force myself to work out.

Hopefully I can start being more active and eating better and less. Then I will lose the weight again. I have to try and drink tea or something when I have the urge to overeat. Sometimes I crave chocolate so badly or candy. It’s like a drug when I’m stressed. Maybe making herbal tea could help. It definitely helped me stop drinking alcohol when I was dependent on it. Instead of turning to alcohol after work I started drinking cup after cup of hot tea until the craving went away. Carbonated water and cranberry juice also makes a great substitute.

Anyway, going to continue on with my bike ride and enjoy myself today. Get some space and time to myself. If Seth needs help obviously I would come home and help, but it seems like it’s mostly his stuff that needs to be organized (as I said, I keep my stuff pretty tidy).

In other news, I was actually able to get Sedrick an appointment at a highly rated vet thank goodness. It’s in a few weeks and hopefully they can figure out his damn ear problem once and for all. He’s STILL shaking his head and ears even though I’ve been giving him the new meds. No idea what to do at this point. Hoping they will know what is wrong and what he needs. He’s still not being affectionate but idk he goes through these moods sometimes. It’s happened before and then he goes back to being his normal, happy, affectionate self.

Maybe we all just need some space sometimes.

Sick day

I feel as though I’ve been taking a lot of time off recently. Mostly because during the move to NY and our over a month of homelessness caused me to take two days off work. But I guess in the grand scheme of things is two days really that much? I had to take a day off to deal with Sedrick’s issues, and then a day off when we didn’t have power.

Anyway it doesn’t matter because I’m taking a sick day regardless, and after tomorrow I’m taking the rest of the week off. I need a break. I’m feeling burnt out. I haven’t taken a single sick day in my 8 months of working this job anyway so I’m due for one. I have an appointment at the Planned Parenthood today to get my pap smear done and get my depo shot. So it’s enough to just do that.

I woke up with a headache, feeling dehydrated even though I drank a lot of water yesterday but wasn’t peeing much. My pelvic muscles hurt, back hurts, head hurts, nose is running a bit. I am feeling fairly sick. I didn’t sleep all too well last night either, woke up early and was tossing and turning. We need to get the blackout curtains up on the windows, the sun blazes through at like 6 AM now and fully wakes me up it’s so bright. I had the best sleep of my life when we were staying in Christy’s apartment and her guest bedroom had ZERO windows. It stayed pitch black in that room. It was amazing and if it wasn’t for my 8 AM alarm I probably could have slept until noon.

I remember in my past life (in my 20’s) I would often sleep half the day away due to depression. Wake up and then feel guilty and frustrated that I didn’t have enough day left. But now I long for those sleeping in days…I feel like it’s important to have recovery when you go through something stressful. Some people don’t need it, Seth handles stress like a fresh rubber band that just snaps back like nothing at all happened. I need a lot of recovery after stress, it’s a fact I know about myself. I don’t handle it well and I literally need rest as if I have run 100 marathons. I need to sleep for a week straight. I need to lay in bed and do NOTHING.

So far I haven’t gotten the level of rest I need and I can feel it. I appreciate Seth pushing us to get stuff done, I really do. God knows I hated being with Mike because we just didn’t motivate each other. He was a lump on a log and so it gave me full permission to be a depressed lump as well and therefore nothing ever got done.

At the same time, I have needed to tell Seth that I don’t have the energy level he has. I need more rest than he does. I need to take breaks. His ADD brain doesn’t take breaks, it goes full speed until the task is done to perfection. I can’t.

He understands when I explain that to him. I still feel guilty but I know I don’t need to. I have to listen to my body when it needs rest. When it’s getting sick because of the stress or workload. Moving to a new home is like having near constant chores for weeks, months. On top of regular every day chores you have extra chores even. Unpacking, organizing, cleaning, shopping, fixing.

Now our wedding at the end of the week.

I need a full on vacation and break.

I have two weeks left of vacation time until January when I can carry over the two weeks and I will get three more weeks. I fully intend to use all my vacation time. All my sick time too. As needed.

We want to maybe have a honeymoon in Scotland.

Update @ 4:42 PM:

I went to the Planned Parenthood 5 min away from the house (omg I love being able to drive so many places in less than 15 minutes) so I could get my depo shot and also my much needed annual pap smear. I am late by three months for the exam but not too worried. The doctor actually said that they are going to get my records and if it looks like this test comes out normal, then I don’t have to get another pap smear for FIVE YEARS!! I could finally be done with this awful shit, after getting HPV and having an abnormal pap, needing to get part of my cervix cut out of my body. Ugh. So excited to be done with it. Obviously I still have pelvic pain from that whole nightmare time of my life, but there’s nothing to be done about that. I do plan on talking to my new doctor about that when I find one – not sure still if anything can be done but who knows. Might be able to talk to them about it and see. In any case, I just deal with it. I take hot baths, I massage inside and out, I try to go for walks or swim to relieve the pain. To be at least done with worrying about the cervix stuff would be nice. It finally doesn’t hurt to get the pap smear done anymore which it great.

It felt nice anyway to patronize the Planned Parenthood, and know I am taking care of myself. The doctor also said that she doesn’t think I need to worry about breast cancer, even though my grandmother had it. She said they only worry if 3 or more family members had it, or a male family member. There’s apparently no real reason why I should be any more likely than the average person. That was a huge relief to hear. I will just get breast exams every three years and continue keeping an eye out to catch anything early.

Yesterday we had such a lovely Sunday. We went to the market and bought seedling plants: cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, lettuce. We have our community garden planted with just seeds but they seem to be growing slowly and seedlings might be better. For now we just planted some in our garden boxes at home in the backyard. We might go this weekend again for more that we can plant in the community garden. I was already thinking about how we would have 4-5 planter boxes if this was our yard that we owned…we would nearly cover the entire yard in garden boxes and grow SO MANY vegetables if we could. But this is a good start and really good practice. Our first year growing vegetables together. It’s pretty magical. I’ve always wanted to!! I really can’t wait to see the vegetables popping out, ready to harvest and eat. Such a fun process.

We then went to a local tea shop I have been wanting to visit and patronize. We tried some tea, I bought some loose leaf tea. We also ate at this local Italian sandwich shop. The amount of local, small businesses here is so fantastic, it’s definitely one of the characteristics we look for now in a place we want to live, it’s what I appreciated about Portland. You could go long periods of time without ever having to spend money at a corporation or chain. It just feels better spending money within your community, on local businesses instead of giant corpos. It’s honestly more fun as well. I got to meet some nice people, who seem to love what they do (making the homemade sandwiches and making the tea). It was an ideal Sunday. We also went for a long walk on the bike trail by our house. I think it will be easier to get exercise having that very long trail close to us. We saw a really creepy guy on our walk though…he looked rough and maybe on drugs? He was walking strange and never looked at us just stared angrily ahead. It was a bit scary and it did make me feel a bit worried about walking on the trail by myself – which I sometimes want to do. The trail is somewhat secluded in parts, so I wouldn’t really have anyone to help me if I got attacked or something. I guess I need to just always have my pepper spray with me.

I know I need to lose weight though. My BMI is 41 and it’s supposed to be 25. I’m almost back up to my heaviest weight I have ever been. I guess I’ve just been putting on weight without noticing these past 3 years. When I had easy access to the school gym and plenty of time, I had started to lose a lot of weight. I think I got down to like 165 or something amazing. Now I am back up yet again in weight. It’s frustrating. It’s been like this my whole life, which has fucked up my skin. The constant stretching and loosening.

I need to focus on being more active. I also need to try my hardest to not emotionally eat. It’s really difficult. When I am stressed I overeat. I also crave sweets a lot. I eat when I am bored, or anxious, or stressed, or sad. Then I gain weight of course.

I feel bad about that, I feel guilty. I want to be my best self for Seth, I don’t want to be this super overweight or obese person. I know he loves me and he loves my body exactly how it is, but I still feel bad. I want to be healthier. I’m going to try and push myself to be more active and eat less.

Wedding Stuff

In one week I will be married to Seth. I almost can’t believe it. We somewhat feel like we have been married for awhile already so I don’t think it’s like this huge thing that’s going to change anything. Nothing will change, except that we are both committing to each other, officially, legally, etc. I never thought I would want to get married, but meeting Seth made me feel like, yes that is actually what I want. I want a lifetime commitment with someone, and honestly, I want a commitment that is shown to the public (by wearing wedding rings). I just do, and I think it’s beautiful that I found someone who wants that too, with ME.

I’m so excited, and so happy. I feel very wholeheartedly that it is the right thing to do. It is absolutely what I want to do. I want to be married to Seth and to spend our lives together.

We scheduled to be married at a courthouse but they told us that if it’s raining and we want to do it indoors, then we will have to wear masks because the county is at a code red with Covid. It’s so frustrating and honestly just depressing. Seth and I feel so done with this whole thing. Most of our relationship has been during this fucking pandemic. We only had one year together in the “before times”.

I am absolutely not getting married with a mask on.

SO it’s going to be outside no matter what, even if it is pouring rain, we’re doing it outside. Thinking about having an officiant at our favorite park, Highland Park, but not sure yet. We have the town hall as a backup plan anyway and might just end up going with that.

I’m excited to get it done in a way and be able to move on with our lives and have that somewhat stressful milestone behind us. Obviously I’m really excited for the actual day but I’m kinda more excited to just BE MARRIED officially and continue on with our lives.

Last night we went to an early screening of Downton Abbey at this beautiful old 1920’s theatre downtown and it was so fun and magical. I love Rochester so much. It has surprised me. When we first moved here I think it felt a little rough because it was the ugliest time of year (Spring/mud season) before everything greens up and all the potholes are everywhere. BUT we still enjoyed it even then and it has become just absolutely magical with the greenest grass I have ever seen and just GREEN everywhere. Gorgeous flowered trees everywhere too just like Portland had. I think every season besides Spring is beautiful here. Even winter because everything is all white and magical like a winter wonderland. Fall is my favorite. I think Seth is really loving the drastic different seasons and the variety we get here, the clouds in the sky, etc. He’s just loving it in general. I think my fears of him not liking any place we live were wrong.

We both enjoyed Portland even though I disliked things about it too, and we are both loving it here for similar reasons. We just had to find our place. A place that has things we enjoy (nature, historical architecture, art).

I will be taking most of next week off since Seth’s parents are flying in and I’m quite excited to get a long break from work as well. It feels like it’s been a long time actually since I’ve had a vacation or a long break and I do feel like I need one. Not that my job is super busy or stressful, but somehow it still is kind of stressful, and I do feel like I need a break anyway. To just not worry about things. To relax. It’s been quite a stressful few months. Actually it’s been kind of stress since last November if I think about it, since moving away from Utah and coming East.

But finally it feels like we can fully relax.

Seth has gotten his NY license officially and I will be scheduling my appointment soon. It feels kind of crazy that I will have a NY license again after almost five years.

Update:

We’re having issues with Sedrick again. He has seemed weirdly off this past week, not being as affectionate at all, not being his usual happy, playful self. He’s been sleeping a lot more, and he’s still licking himself down there and lately he’s been scratching his ears a lot and shaking his head. He’s had ear problems for such a long time now it’s gotten so frustrating. I took him to the vet for it once and they said he had excess yeast in his ears and prescribed these drops. Well I have been using the drops whenever he seems to have itchy ears and it doesn’t really seem to solve the problem. He also HATES getting the stuff put in his ears and it seems to make him feel worse.

I just don’t know what to do. He’s not acting like himself at all. He usually wants to play and is purring all the time and just happy and energetic. He hasn’t been like that and I can tell he’s suffering. I’m scared to take him to the vet and get another bill for almost $500 like last time, for them to just tell me they can’t do anything or give me another medicine that doesn’t work.

Patience

I know I complain about my job a lot. Truth is, my last job had annoying bits too. I think there was just a lot more positive feelings and moments of accomplishment and enjoyment at my last job, so it tipped the scales and evened all the stress out. The workload was high, but it kept me busy all day, I was often getting praised by my boss and co-workers and others and earning awards. Sure, I wasn’t getting paid more for my accomplishments, but it still felt good. The work was interesting. I felt in charge of my own projects. I felt like a professional.

This job is lacking a lot of that. I’m not in charge of anything. I have no control over much of the decision-making. It feels very “cool club” in that the higher ups all seem to know each other from way back, lots of nepotism and “who you know” and people being in the cool club while I’m locked out on the other side of the door just in silence, waiting for someone to slip me a menial task under the door and then ignore me for weeks. There’s no direction, no leadership. I see problems with the company that I cannot solve or fix because I am bottom rung on the totem pole.

It’s hard. It feels like I made this sacrifice so that we could live wherever we want and I wouldn’t have to ever go back into an office. I’m still happy about having a remote job, choosing where we live. We love it here in Rochester and I don’t want to leave. Our remote jobs are allowing that for us.

I also feel like, I don’t want to keep moving. I don’t want to keep switching jobs and I’m really sick of that. Maybe there is NEVER going to be a perfect balance of where we live and what my job is. This job would be absolutely unbearable if I had to commute to an office and be trapped there 8 hours a day, just like my job in Portland was absolutely unbearable. I got out as soon as I could find something else, literally moved to Utah of all places just to escape. This job is so similar it’s almost funny. Both times I was living in a place I enjoyed, but just disliked the job I had. The one place I loved my job, was in goddamn Utah – the forsaken, polluted desert wasteland. The irony is pretty funny.

It also kind of makes sense if you think about it…jobs are likely more scarce in places where people actually want to live. The competition is higher. Kelley told me that my poor boss cannot for the life of him find someone else to hire. Literally no one is applying to the job posting. No one is willing to move out there, especially not for that shitty pay. I was willing to back then because I was so desperate, and also the Army Corp is a TERRIFIC job to be able to put on a resume and I knew that. I don’t even think it matters that I was only there a year and 4 months…it’s on there for people to see and it catches people’s eye. I do wish I had stayed at that job longer. I wanted to stay at least 2 years and that didn’t happen and I do regret that. I wish we had taken our time, I wish I hadn’t made such a drastic decision, when I felt sad about leaving my job and didn’t want to.

It doesn’t really matter though, it happened the way it did, and I can’t change that. But I’m really sick of changing jobs and homes every year and I honestly don’t think it’s healthy for me mentally. So at this point I am balancing the risk of my mental health being damaged from this job, and my mental health being damaged from changing jobs yet again. I almost want to find a stupid data entry job remote that I would likely enjoy more than this…for a lot less pay. But then I have student loans to pay off so I’m sort of trapped. I need to make as much money as I can to pay off these loans, don’t I? That’s how I’m kind of trapped.

It makes me anxious and depressed at times. But I have to not look at it that way.

I could look at the positives: This is a fully remote job. I don’t have to commute to an office. My boss is very nice and understanding and he has been supportive any time I have voiced problems or things I didn’t like. He agrees with me and he respects my experience and knowledge. This job has a lot of potential. There are a lot of projects “coming down the pipeline” that will need permitting and my expertise. There will be more work for me to do in the future. My job title will change and more people will be hired “underneath” me who can do the menial work that I hate and don’t want to be doing. The company is going to keep growing. We will keep improving our processes. I truly do believe that. It might take a year or even two years. It’s probably going to take a long time, because that’s how change happens, very painfully slowly.

I feel like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see a path of how my role and my job could evolve and change to be what I want it to be. My boss has said I can make it what I want it to be and I believe him. I don’t have to do tasks that I don’t feel I am right for, I can just speak up and say hey I don’t want to do this. If the alternative is me literally quitting because I am so unhappy, I would imagine they would respect that.

I do need to get better at being more direct and more assertive. I shouldn’t say “yes” to a task when I know deep down that I hate it and I would rather someone else do it. I feel like I should be able to lay out the tasks that I think I would be better utilized for. I want to put my foot down on that because…I came from the army corps for fucks sake…where I was handling all my own projects and ALL the permitting for them. This job even though it pays more feels like a huge downgrade. I could get a job at another environmental agency where I would have a lot more autonomy and not be doing dumb fucking assistant type tasks. I just need to get better at saying “no” when I need to, and not backtracking mid-stream which I kind of did in this case and irritated people I think.

It’s been causing me a lot of stress. I don’t like making people upset. It comes from my childhood trauma. Making a person of power upset means they will hurt you in some way, that is what my trauma tells me. To make someone upset is a very dangerous thing to do.

But I need to remember: I am an adult. Sometimes people are going to get annoyed or upset with me. They cannot hurt me without repercussions. I won’t allow them to hurt me. They can be upset, and that is their problem. It’s not mine. They can yell at me, and I don’t have to listen to it.

Stresses

Life is full of stress and that can never be avoided.

Let me attempt though to also look at the positives:

  • We have been REALLY enjoying Rochester a lot and there is a ton for us to do together as well as a lot for me to do even just on my own, which I appreciate and is good for both of us
  • So much greenery and nature and beautiful parks and bike paths, all the outdoor stuff we love is here, as well as festivals, community events, cool historical and artsy stuff to go see
  • I am marrying Seth at the end of this month with his parents and Christy coming to be there with us and I am just so excited to be married to Seth. I never really thought I would get married honestly, I really thought I was destined to just be alone, because I had doubts that I would ever find my person, and I never wanted to be stuck in an unhappy marriage like I saw so many people do – but I did find my person, and our relationship is so wonderful, I feel so lucky and thankful to be marrying someone like Seth – WE are so lucky to have found a love like ours and after over 3 years of dating I can very confidently say, I want to spend the rest of my life with him and I can’t wait to get married. Wedding day is on the 27th
  • Our house is working out very well, our landlord has bought us a brand new stove/oven with air fryer capabilities and also a brand new washing machine – and he’s fixed everything that needed fixing. The house is lovely and we are enjoying it. I am LOVING being able to take naps again, alone in my own room while Seth does his own thing. Loving having my own space again and having a yard and a garden and a sun room and all that
  • It’s the very best time of year in NY and it is just absolutely gorgeous outside – Seth is in awe frankly, he is amazed by the skies here which are dramatic because of the clouds, and just the untouched nature is amazing both of us (I had forgotten how truly lovely it is in the summer)

Okay now to the stress:

  • I went in for a fitting for the dress my mother in law paid $800 for aaaaaaaaaaand sure enough, the dress no longer fits me, because after FIVE MONTHS of basically being in a stressful limbo period, eating my feelings, eating out for a month straight, zero exercise, I gained enough weight to where the dress literally needs a fucking PANEL put in to make it fit me (there is like a 2 inch gap where they can’t close it around me) so….that isn’t going to happen by the 27th and even if it could it would cost a lot of $$$$…….that’s pretty fucking stressful and of course makes me feel horribly fat and guilty – it’s my fault I waited this long for a fitting, it’s my fault I gained so much weight, it’s my fault we are rushing and doing this wedding stuff last minute
  • I have to go in tonight to try on a bunch of other dresses to see if one might fit me and might be a similar price that I MIGHT like just as much to exchange for. We shall see. If I don’t fit into anything I like or can afford I really hope they just refund my mother in law. For fucks sake.
  • On top of that, just figuring out how to entertain everyone while they are here is stressful – I don’t fucking know how people do full on weddings, I really don’t…it’s so stressful even just having people fly out to go to the courthouse with us
  • Speaking of courthouse…we called the Rochester one and they were BOOKED UNTIL JUNE hahahaha AFTER Seth’s parents had already booked their flights for the end of this month, so we couldn’t really change the wedding date – again, that’s what we get for not planning and thinking we could just do this on the fly – so that was super stressful thinking we might not even be able to find someone to marry us in time
  • I called another town over and they had someone who could marry us at the courthouse in that town on the day we needed- ugh crisis averted thank goodness
  • Work has also been stupidly stressful. I don’t even have a ton of work to do every day, so why is my job stressful you ask??
  • Well my work is at this startup solar company that can’t seem to get it’s shit together and therefore it’s chaotic…I don’t feel included half the time, I don’t feel like I am really valuable or useful half the time – I’m given piddly stupid tasks that should not be mine and then have people mad at me because they should have been the ones doing the task
  • It’s just frustrating having people be annoying with me over shit that is not my fault, having zero communication with some of the developers who I am supposed to be helping and feel like ugh I’m just useless, and then also they don’t seem to ever know what’s going on so how the fuck am I supposed to know? Or I’m just not included in things, I’m like behind a locked door waiting

Part of me feels like…maybe the job will get better in like a year? Maybe more? Once we get more projects, and once my role is more well-defined I will have more work to do and can provide more value to the company…it’s just slow right now because we are still a growing company and most of our projects are “early stage” meaning there really isn’t permitting work to be done yet. There will be at some point though I would assume, which will mean plenty of work for me…someday.

It just feels depressing currently, whenever I am given tasks to do that have nothing to do with environmental science and I feel like I am wasting my time and my life. It also feels scary because, yeah I could wait a year or two at this job waiting for it to get better but, does that mean I am wasting years of my life? Letting my career fail? Wasting my college degree? Not adding value to the world?

I know I could be doing other things. I could be volunteering, I just need to find local environmental groups to join.

Anyway with me feeling so tired lately, maybe it is good to be able to take naps when I need to. After I get done with my meetings today I am definitely doing that.

The weather is okay today, some sun. It’s gotten cold. The next 10 days will be either in the 80’s or 50’s – no in between haha. In New York it will very rarely get up to in the 80’s and whenever it does, without fail, a thunderstorm will come and knock that heat right down. I do appreciate it. Once the heat starts to feel unbearable, a good storm will come and cool everything off. I know Seth loves that about NY because he runs hot all the time. It’ll be like 60 degrees and he’s sweating. He’s covered in thick hair and has neanderthal genes (that species adapted to very cold European weather) so I think that’s probably why he can’t stand the heat and likes the cold more. I used to be that way too, always overheating and prefered the cold. I think I tolerate cold less now that I have chronic pain, but I do still like it for the most part.

I just have to realize that I can never pack away my winter clothes here like I used to the last five years I’ve lived away…the winter clothes have to pretty much always stay out for the days when it gets cold again. For instance, today I am wearing my warmest sweater and pants and warm socks because the temp is only going up to 60. Even had to turn the heat on.

Tired

I don’t know really what is going on but I have felt so fricken tired this past week. Just exhausted. Barely able to unpack any more. I can hardly do any work each day, my brain will not focus or concentrate. I just want to sleep, I feel so tired. I don’t want to go outside or walk even though it has been GORGEOUS out finally. We went to the park the other day but just laid in hammocks. Normally I can’t wait to get some outside time. Lately I am just so tired, all I want to do is lay in my bed.

I’ve been getting plenty of sleep at night too and sleeping fine. I just want to keep sleeping, for like an entire day or something.

Maybe all the stress of these two moves have caught up with me and now that I am finally settled I desperately need rest. I feel so useless. I want to exercise and get prepared for this wedding at the end of the month but I am SO TIRED. Ugh it sucks.

Putting things back together

Finally we’ve been able to put our home back together and unpack most of our stuff. Seth has been such an amazing partner, motivating me even to get things done and to push myself to do things. He’s been unpacking and organizing, he planned out how our living room should be arranged, he’s right now screwing hooks into our sun room ceiling so we can hang a bunch of cute fairy lights out there and make it cozy.

This is definitely an older house and it can feel at times like a creaky old/scary house…but we’re making it our own. We’ve cleaned extensively (scrubbed walls even), bought rugs, and we’re just generally determined to make the house everything we want it to be. With Sedrick back in the house it 100% feels like home now.

I’ve been trying to be really kind and aware of his needs, especially considering his bladder issues he had caused by stress and being in a new house. I stayed with him in the house for a full 24 hours before ever leaving to go do anything. He needed a lot of reassurance on that first day, walking around the house, meowing, trying to wrap his kitty brain around it all. He came up to me several times needing reassurance and pets and to be held. He was being so especially cuddling on the first day we brought him home, wanting to snug, and be around us at all times, purring loudly. He seemed so happy to be back home with us. I had been worried that since he made a friend and got used to the cat hotel, maybe he wouldn’t even miss us or would feel sad about leaving but that’s not the case. He is still happier here with us, his parents.

His issues seem to have resolved – he’s going to the litter box normally, no problems there, peeing in sufficient amounts. I’m hopeful that feeding him more wet food, and even adding some homemade broths will help keep that problem away. The fancy feast “broths” are a real rip-off, over a dollar each packet for artificial sludge. I mean, he likes it and eats it, and it does add more liquid to his diet but I want to make some real broth at home which will be cheaper and maybe taste even better for him, we’ll see.

I’ve bought way too much stuff for this cat. Honestly it’s like only child syndrome FOR SURE up in this house. He has an entire drawer full of toys that he doesn’t even use anymore or like, he has a full cat tree, 3 different cat scratchers, 2 cardboard scratchers, one cat bed, two litter box enclosures, a tunnel, 2 wand toys. I bought him 2 “interactive” toys that I thought would keep him happy while I’m working and can’t play with him, but he ignores both even when they are moving around. I’m returning them because luckily I can (thanks Amazon).

Anyway, our house is really coming together nicely. I don’t love the house (it’s older and I get creeped out by old houses/objects, it’s a weird semi-phobia TBH) and it feels hard to get clean in some ways because there are just decomposing aspects to the all wood floors, old wood doors, etc. BUT it’s a functional house, it’s really not THAT bad, it’s in an area of the city that we love, in a city we love, in a state we love. It’s great for a lot of reasons. We will be able to buy a newer house one day, it will happen, I can be patient. It really does feel like this house could be our TRUE practice house. We thought the North Carolina house would kind of be like that but it ended up being the nightmare version of buying a house (full of problems and racoons in the attic to boot).

At least with this house, our landlord is an actual decent human being, and not an corporate rental company with questionable practices. I still cannot believe we fell into this fucked up trap in North Carolina…I had no idea that a corporation called Tricon was buying up pretty much all the houses in NC and flipping them extremely cheaply and then renting them for exorbitant rates. No idea this was a fucked up thing happening there. We just happened to find a house to rent…had no idea what Tricon was, and didn’t do our research as we should have. It’s kind of laughable now looking back on that situation. We didn’t go visit the area and not only that…we did ZERO research on the rental house we signed a lease for.

Here in Rochester there is a similar nightmare rental management company called “Morgan Properties” – they are a full on monopoly, they own practically every fucking apartment complex in this city, it’s WILD. We’ve learned now to stay away from those. Giant corporations suck as landlords, just like they suck as everything else. Because they are so far removed from the actual product or service…so they don’t care.

This house is owned by a single landlowner and he is a really nice, friendly man. He bought us a brand new clothes washer, and a brand new stove/oven once we told him that two of the burners on the current stove weren’t working. We gave him a list of issues and things needing to be fixed with the house and he took our list and is fixing everything we mentioned, replacing two ceiling fans with brand new ones, fixing the holes in the walls, giving us paint to fix the place up, etc. It feels like a good relationship with him and his wife Lucia. She came over and did some yard work for us, adding mulch and working on the landscaping. He is giving us a lawnmower to use to maintain the nice green yard. It’s just a huge difference in feeling from the last house to this one. This house I actually believe we can make beautiful and nice and our own, the yard is fantastic. Multiple walls are painted yellow which I love because it makes the rooms look so bright, especially when sunlight shines in. When we own a house I might use this same yellow color.

We already have ideas for this large room upstairs. It could be considered the “master” bedroom but we don’t want a bedroom that large, we took the cozier, smaller one and are using the big room as my office in one corner, and then the rest will be a fun hangout space, almost like a second living room upstairs. Planning on buying some comfy seating for it, table, and Christy is going to give us her electric fireplace entertainment center which will make it like a super cozy reading room. We found a great rug for it, and put our bookshelf in it. We still need bedroom furniture but Christy might have some of that for us as well. It’s slowly coming together. Over time it will.

It’s good practice, to feel it out and see how we could maintain a house and make it nice, make it exactly what we want it to be. We’re getting to play around with different lighting sources, lamps, fairy lights, etc. to see what type of lighting works best.

I’ve been so incredibly tired, because of the ordeal of the last month, but also because Seth and I have been mildly sick. I have no idea if we have finally succumbed to Covid or what, but we had sore throats, and then phlegm, a cough, and stuffed up nose. I’m vaccinated, no booster but at least vaccinated, and the sickness hasn’t been too bad, pretty mild but still annoying and uncomfortable. Haven’t had much energy, barely enough to unpack and clean and organize let alone energy to do enjoyable things like bike ride or go anywhere really. We did go to the Lilac Festival and that was fun.

Wanting to rest but it’s such gorgeous weather outside and I want to take advantage of it.

City Libraries

I had forgotten that libraries in cities double as insane asylums and homeless shelters, not just a place for books. In fact, libraries seem to have the primary purpose of providing shelter to homeless, as one of the only places left where you can go for free and just hangout…if you have nowhere else to go. That’s why me and Seth went to the Rochester downtown library after all, once we checked out of our hotel and had nowhere else to go because we only booked two nights. Monday night and Tuesday night. Wednesday shit out of luck and homeless.

There is even a soup kitchen type place in the downtown public library which offers free lunch or $1 lunch to people. It’s nice. But it was fairly anxiety triggering for me to be around homeless people/mentally ill people again. I felt like I was back in Portland. It wasn’t NEARLY as bad as the Portland public library which always had so many homeless all over the outside and inside of it and the entire building smelled of piss. This library wasn’t as bad but it was definitely more homeless than I have seen since moving here, I was surprised.

Homelessness is much less of a problem here – more affordable housing, but also the deathly cold winters make it near impossible to live on the street. If you were homeless here you would die unless you found shelter somewhere. Whereas in Oregon, it’s fairly easy to survive outside all year round in tents on the sidewalk.

It’s pretty exhausting being homeless. Even for a day, or two days. I can see why people who are homeless can’t just reverse their fate. You don’t have the energy to do more than just survive day by day. Constantly moving, having to move your stuff, not being able to store much at a time, or cook, or relax, or rest. The stress it causes saps all your energy and will to do.

We have the money to book hotels which is extremely lucky. But this really needs to end soon. It’s super unfortunate that this is something so out of our control. There is only one utility in the area, no competition, our only option for power. They lost a bunch of staff when they tried to force vaccinations apparently…and then lost even MORE staff when they rolled back all of their Covid policies. Basically pissed off both sides of the coin and lost 4/5 of their staff. So now we have no one to turn on our power. I’m worried that this utility is going to dick us over and overcharge us which is what people complain about, and we will have no recourse…it’s our only option otherwise we just don’t have electricity or gas – basic necessities of life in the 21st century.

Funny how we take for granted our utilities now. Back in the 1800’s there was no electricity, or gas to heat homes or cook with. Homes were heated with wood fireplaces, requiring constant maintenance, food cooked over wood fires. Steam radiators.

Now it seems impossible to live without electricity or gas.

Trying to work while homeless has been really frustrating. I feel useless. I’ve been asked to do tasks that I can’t properly do, or I just don’t have the brain power to do because I am so stressed having to move from place to place, figure out where can I get internet to work. Having to join meetings on my phone outside the library and hope a homeless person doesn’t come interrupt me while I’m trying to be on this professional meeting – feeling anything BUT professional.

It definitely sucks, but maybe tomorrow this ordeal will be over with. MAYBE. I almost feel like I won’t have the energy to unpack until this weekend when I have two full empty days to do so. I’m just so tired. I want to sleep for days.

Friday I should be able to pick up Sedrick as long as we get our electricity turned on tomorrow. Then we can get our internet set up and I should be able to work better Friday.

Then we can start unpacking and building our lives back…very slowly.

I messaged that woman at HDR in Portland and just basically said, “I thank you for the offer to apply but this comes at a bad time, I’m not interested in moving anywhere else for awhile or starting a new job for the foreseeable future.” she understood and was really nice about it, she said she would still keep me in mind for future opportunities, maybe some on the East Coast this time.

I definitely feel like the best thing for me right now is to stay put. With my job, and where we’re living now. I’m staying put. Really hoping Seth doesn’t end up needing us to move for his job when this current one ends, but even if he does…that shouldn’t be for at least a year. Hopefully he’d be able to find something else remote.

I don’t really want to move for a job ever again to be honest. I know it’s necessary sometimes but…it just sucks to not be able to choose where you live. To have it dictated by a job, and be forced to live in some expensive, crowded city. In any case…I really want to stay put for a few years. At LEAST three years I want things to just stay the same. Good changes only (Marriage, buying a house, getting a new car, a new sibling for floof). But three years of same job, same state, would be wonderful. I don’t think any job will be able to beat my current one in terms of perks since it is remote and pays well. Sometimes it does feel stressful or annoying because it’s still a young company and has a lot of issues (organization, communication, lack of management) but I’m willing to stick with it because it’s worth it to me to have a remote job, that’s really what it comes down to.

Once we get electricity we will have Greenlight internet, which is super fast fiber internet. That will be great for working from home.

I can’t wait to pick up Sedrick. I’m glad that he’s in a better place for now and hasn’t had to be with us for the craziness of the last 3 weeks. It’s been easier on us and him I think. We want to pick him up Friday after we are sure we’re good to stay at the house and unpack a bit. We got his cat tree all set up and I plan on making a nice space for him upstairs in my office, etc. It will be so nice to have him around again, making us laugh and loving up on us. I just want to pick him up and hold him and hear him purring.

Hoping next week is better.

Hotel motel

Our landlord went to city hall, to the mayor’s office on our behalf. It’s crazy. To get our utilities turned on for us. They expedited our request for Thursday. It’s still only a couple days sooner but whatever. It’s better than waiting until Monday. It’s something. He went all the way to the mayor for them to just bump it by two days (they are closed weekends).

Anyway I appreciate he did that. For now we’re staying at yet another hotel. Sedrick is still at the cat hotel, maybe we can pick him up Friday.

We worked from the hotel today. Tomorrow I guess we’re working from coffee shops. I’ll take meetings on my phone in the car.

Spending so much money. Having to eat out every day. Stay in hotels. It’s lucky that we have the savings to do so but holy shit this is NOT sustainable. I am so excited to unpack, get groceries, cook again, and never move. Seriously never moving. I almost don’t even want to try buying a house because I just don’t want to move ever again.

Having a home again will be so lovely. With my floof. Seth’s parents are going to fly out in June and help us get married.

In other news: I got more beta blockers and I’m actually starting to run low on my hydroxyzine which is crazy and I never thought would happen. I used to use it so infrequently. Now since we’ve been in limbo I’ve been using it a lot more to get me to sleep. It’s especially difficult when Seth and I are stuck sharing one room and he likes to stay up late. Normally I could sneak off to bed while he stays downstairs on his computer and then I’d have the whole room/bed to myself to get to sleep.

I’m glad I have sleep meds that work. I’m also glad I have like 3 or 4 extra bottles of it when this one runs out. It does make me a bit tired the next day…but I almost take that as being a twofer, it makes me tired enough to sleep two nights in a row on one dose.