The past week has been difficult… Finally some wonderful news! My kitty– a blue point Siamese– turns 1 years old today!
It’s been a wonderful 10 months with her. She’s grown so much since I adopted her last August as a baby.
Ocoat the window by the door for me to get home.
She explores every possible surface in the house she can fit into.
She yowls whenever one of us is outside, moving from window to window to follow.
She liked to knock things off of desks and tables to play with it. Rocks, pens, nail clippers, twist ties, pennies, a bag of shredded coconut… If she could drag it down and play with it, she did so.
She likes to hang out with people. Coco likes to be close by my mother or me whenever we’re home. The first time it was safe to visit after being vaccinated, Coco was social with other humans.
Coconut is fascinated with our older cat Lucy. They have (what I imagine) a sisters relationship. Coco bugs Lucy, then backs off like nothing happened.
She loves to stand in open windows to look outside.
In the hardest year of my life, 2020, she was the breath of fresh air desperately needed. She accepts the world as is, and is fascinated by it.
Coco kept me grounded, kept me mindful, kept me sane, made me appreciate every day again.
Coco was a constant companion in every zoom therapy group, and therapy appointment. I showed her to the regular “social connections” group like a day after I adopted her. She grew up on camera as I grew as a person working on myself in 2020. I made sure to bring her in on camera for my last time in that group… Which was right before I was hired at my last job.
My previous therapist knew her, and would ask about her every appointment if Coco wasn’t around.
The most affectionate cat, or animal I’ve ever had. Has giant purrs every time you go visit her. We have this routine where she climbs up me while I’m on my PC, and presses into me for lovies, then settles into my left arm as I hold her curled up. Coco then nuzzles on my neck while kneading. (Like a baby kitten nursing it’s mother) Often into my beard… At times her claws get stuck in my skin, and I have to carefully remove it. (This can be really painful)
Her new thing is to beg to go outside. I recently bought her a leash to do so. I gave in after months of her begging to go out. I planned for her to be an inside cat, as I plan to move out, and can’t guarantee my next place will be safe for her to be out. I’m worried someone might steal her because cocos so friendly. She’s in heaven so far.
I love my kitty. Happy birthday Coco-nut! I love you Coco. ❤️ I’m so happy to adopt you into my family. Happy first birthday, hears to many more!
This post was written in pieces through this week and I had a different plan in mind. Friday at the end of work changed it.
Layoff number 3 in a row.
Unfortunately I called it before it happened. I saw the signs… Grim face on my boss after he read an email on the PC in the work area… A mysterious announcement at the end of work, then, calling people one by one to meet with them. All signs I saw before at my last two jobs, which I was laid off from. I happened to be the last to find out as I was the last person called in.
3 lay offs in a row… Really life?
I’m fine. Or as my family joked after dad died: Fine = Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional. Fuck. It’s painful to be laid off as is. 3 times in a row. 🤬 My emotions are a raging torrent inside. I dunno if I have it me to work another two weeks. It ain’t like they (former employer) treated me unkindly… –Like the lyric from Don’t think twice by Bob Dylan– But I have limits. I recognize that the wound is fresh, and I’m hurting from this loss. But I feel this would be self harm. I deserve better. I refuse to put up with people or things that hurt me.
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many cannabis job postings for the same job in my area right now. So I’ll give this employer one week because they’ve been good to me. I have a barber shop appointment at a place close to work. I have unemployment left, thanks to the extensions.
Maybe I’m handling this situation calmly because I’ve set appropriate boundaries with work. It’s a conditional relationship, and a capitalist relationship. I have to do what’s best for me as a worker, because we are replaceable. I don’t have to show up tomorrow if I don’t want to. I have FU money. (Well, poverty level FU money. 😅 I wish I had rich person FU money, lol )
For the first time since last year when I chose values for myself, I am in a values conflict. So I’ll work one more optional week because it helps me grow as a person. This last week showing up with my best for someone else will help my future self show up best for me. I deserve it. I deserve to be treated well, and treat myself well.
I have one job lead for a cannabis retail job, but it’s not ideal. I am grateful for this from my friend Chris. Retail work is not something I’m naturally good at. Extraverted jobs are a natural weakness for a typical introvert like me. (Correction: two job leads. My cousin that I consider my older sister… Needs my help next month. The job is to help her with my aunt’s house. )
Maaaaan… Things were starting to look up, so being laid off is frustrating. I feel betrayed by my employer.
But… This quote from Models by Mark Manson (who quoted this from No more Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover) has been playing in my head since Friday:
“What if it (any difficult situation in life) was a gift?”
Robert Glover, No more Mr nice guy.
The Man in the Mirror
I’m not satisfied with the reflection of myself right now. That’s on me. I can do better, and I want to do better. This is from a position of peace of mind, not insecurities. I want to have the best possible life I can, for me first, then others. I am enough. I can do better, too. I’m ready.
Despite the chickens dying last week, life has been pretty good. Pretty much sleep, work, eat, play with cats, smoke a bowl of pot, go to bed early because I’m tired, sleep.
Ready to integrate, to have a social life again.
An in person social life. It finally feels safe to hang out with people. I’ve been fully vaccinated for a month, yet still hesitant to reach out to friends while also feeling lonely. So, two weeks ago, I set up an appointment at a barber shop. It’s the first time I’ll be going to one, and the plan is to get a professional haircut and beard trim. I haven’t had a haircut in over a year, and frankly look like a scraggly hobo. I don’t like feeling this way.
I’m feeling over cutting my hair myself. A plus of the pandemic is that I learned that I like having long hair, and a long beard. I’d forgotten what it felt like to be worried about my appearance, and how great it feels to look the best you can. I deserve to treat myself and take care of myself for myself first, because I’m worthy. Get a goal, I get to practice self care, get to practice feeling enough, and I get to go out and socialize with new people in a new place. My future self will thank me.
Figured out new things to work on myself
Professional Haircut and beard trim. (Tired of cheap cuts and the inconsistency)
Clothes. I need to sort through what I have. I’ve remembered what it felt like to dress well, and feel proud of myself for it.
Hangout with friends and meet new people.
Need financial advice for my plans to get a car, and move out likely to an apartment.
I’d like to join an ultimate frisbee group/team. And/or a muy tai gym… I enjoyed some muy tai classes last year with my brother and a friend. (The obstacle to this is if they’re open now, and if they require being vaccinated. I don’t want to risk getting covid in an enclosed space grappling with people who aren’t vaccinated.)
Go out into nature. Like once a month. Hiking or whatever.
It’s been years since I last saw a game in person in the Seattle stadiums. I haven’t been to a Seahawks game at Lumen field before. Been like seven years since my last Mariners game. To be fair, they’ve sucked for years. Being a Mariners fan is painful at times. I’d like to go to a Seattle Kraken game this season. They’re a new expansion NHL team, and this is their first season. I don’t know much about hockey, so this will be fun to learn.
Want to get my first tattoo. Then see how I feel about another after some time. I’ve wanted to get a tattoo and had it in the back of my head for years.
And of course, dates and dating. I’m getting used to the reality that this is a marathon. I’m not perfect and that’s okay. I’m okay with self improvement.
The next step: change from a pandemic hermit.
So, back to dressing well to feel good, get a new look, do activities that interest me, and learn to be a friend. Back to the self work I had as a goal before the pandemic.
It’s time to see friends, and lead by example. I have to follow through on reconnecting with all the people in life. I miss many people, and the pandemic really clarified what I will have with boundaries and values.
Saturday update: I went and hung out with my friend Chris at his house. It was a wonderful time. It was a cookout for his birthday, so we smoked, I met a friend of his, and his gf, and we chilled. They have 4 dogs, and two cats, so I got to visit them too. It felt weird going to an indoor place without a mask, even though everyone is vaccinated, but after a little bit it felt normal. It felt good to be comfortable with friends again. Oh yeah, and he had Pepsi Blue! I thought it didn’t exist anymore, but it does! So I drank 3 sodas while hanging out Saturday. It was like drinking a time warp to sophomore year in highschool. When I’d drink this after snowboarding.
Monday edit: How could I forgot to mention… I got to meet my friends infant daughter. It was the first time in my life where I was able to interact with a baby… Without the baby being forced on me, or I’m guilt tripped for not wanting to hold the baby. I like and am good with kids. Don’t force it on me. One, it crosses a boundary by entering my physical space, and Two, I want to experience things in life on my own. I don’t have to have the same experiences my parents had.
So, this nice experience with my friends daughter helped me with this.
Feels weird to think that I can resume a social life. Today, I feel like a massive weight was lifted. I’m not feeling lonely as I have felt for a while.
Friends are awesome 😎.
Now that things are safe because people are getting vaccinated, and in person activities are resuming, so shall I. My future is outside, in the world.
Some dating success
I’ve been texting this lady for a couple weeks. I’ve asked her out for different date activities, but she’s been busy. She’s sent pictures (and I’ve found no signs of a catfish yet), and been responsive to messages when she has time. I’m remaining hopeful for the best… While being cautious to protect my heart. I’m showing up, being vulnerable, and growing from past mistakes in this dating phase. I am enough. I am worthy.
Losing my job is frustrating because I feel like I can’t date without a job, but maybe that’s just insecurity. Maybe this person will be the exception and not dump me.
I’d like to give a special shout-out appreciation to the WordPress community, and fellow bloggers. You’ve been an awesome support since the beginning. I’m so grateful for you. Thank you.
And as always, Thank you everyone who read this post, and follows this blog! Was there a time you looked at yourself, accepted who you were, and knew you could do better, for you?
For my entire adult life until like April of this year, I was ashamed at my sparse dating experience. I felt my shame was obvious to everyone else, despite me never telling anyone in person. I felt safe to in the anonymous false comfort of Reddit and other message boards. Now, I think: Fuck it. It is what it is. I’ve come to terms with it. I can’t change the past, and I’m not starting from zero. I do have experience, and knowledge about relationships and dating. The few times I have been in the dating pool, I’ve learned each time. In the past year, I’ve grown so much, it’s like I got a college degree in that stuff.
But ultimately a degree is an ending and a starting point. The whole point of learning anything is to use that information in the world. Though I’ve changed for the better, I’m still afraid. Afraid of rejection. I’m afraid I’m not enough. Last month, I paid for a month of Tinder and Bumble and not much luck. I’ve gotten a handful of matches, but only one conversation went somewhere with a real person. Fucking catfish.
Which, when I told her that met someone (the catfish before I figured it out), and wished her luck. I got an amazing response back, which was heartwarming. I’m not sure I want to reconnect yet… My heart needs to rest.
To be fair, I feel my dating profile might need improvement. Therefore, I have room to improve as a person, as a man. Thanks to stuff easing up, I can go out and do activities in person with vaccinated people. Online dating is ruthless with men because we outnumber women by a ratio of 2-3 to 1… So you really need to stand out to get noticed. Finally I can have fun and get pictures. By living life for the sake of it.
I have a day left on Tinder premium and it feels like all the women are blending into the same person… Highly active who lives outdoors outside of work, drinks, doesn’t want a hookup while having multiple pictures with cleavage or lingerie , has a blank profile, lists their instagram, their dog is their baby (To be clear, I like dogs. but the obsession and pictures they choose with their dogs is unsettling.). The worst is when they match after I like them then never respond.
Technically I’m in the middle of my dating journey and that’s enough. I guess I assumed I would have this stuff figured out by now at 35…
Everyone starts somewhere. I’m in the process of figuring it out.
I feel I’ve entered a transition period in my life. As of last week, I’m fully vaccinated, been at my job for a month and thriving, and things are starting to open up again. While the CDC lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated people, I’m going to continue to wear a mask until 80% of the US population is vaccinated. This year has taught me that you can’t trust people to do the right thing in America. The pandemic isn’t over folks. Be safe, for the children who are waiting to be vaccinated, and those who are medically vulnerable. Please,Get the covid 19 vaccine folks.
It feels strange emerging into the post pandemic world as a privileged vaccinated person. I do want to see friends again, but still paranoid of getting covid-19 from other people. Even if we’re both vaccinated. While I’m treated for the virus, I haven’t recovered from the side effects of the PTSD from the pandemic. I can thank my past recovery from PTSD for this. Without that, I’m not in the dark and can work through each stage of the grief.
I’ve had trouble writing posts for the blog as I’ve adjusted to my job. Thankfully, it has a consistent schedule, I am good at the work, I know what to expect every day, and I like my coworkers, but it takes time to adjust to new routines. Sorry for the missed posts and random post times. Things should get back on track soon. It’s been a big adjustment from being unemployed and having time whenever to write, to working full-time again.
I’ve been thinking of trying something different with the blog. In the about me page, I said that I want to write fiction, to publish a novel and/or a screenplay, and recipes. So far posts have been heavy on my life, and I feel I need to write about something different. Those things were put aside in 2020 because I felt the need to work through the difficult things going on in my life. In this new stable period of life, it feels like the right time to work on those again. Which seems to be a theme in life right now.
I had my final therapy appointment this week, meeting my therapist for the first time, for the last time, in person. All of the therapy appointments for the past year plus have been over zoom. On my desktop screen for a good part of the pandemic 2020, then on zoom through my cellphone screen. 14 months working together, during the pandemic over the internet.
We met at a park after work. It was warm and sunny, and it many people were out on the large path. It was the first time I’ve walked along that park, and it was lovely. Most people were still wearing masks, and it felt like I was baring cleavage by not wearing a mask, despite being vaccinated. Having an outside therapy appointment was a little weird but okay for a final meeting. It was a review of our time together, how far I’ve come, and where each of us are going from here. It was nice to be able to hug her as we met, and as we left to go our own ways. I said “Thank You” one last time. I’ll forever be grateful to her. Thanks to her I was able to trust therapists. I was able to experience for myself that therapy does work. I was able to not be terrified that she would leave out of the blue. Unlike doctors or any other specialists, you can’t change them often. You need to be able to trust that your therapist will be with you working on your issues for a long period of time. Often several months for each thing, after you’ve built trust.
I’m slowly realizing that our time working together is over. All this happened at a good time. It felt like a natural transition. We were in a spot where I was figuring out what to work on next in therapy.
I am in a really great place in life because I chose to continue on. and gave therapy one more try… Despite being letdown or heartbroken in my quest to get it. I’m not used to feeling proud of myself. I still feel weird expressing myself and who I am. I have things to work on, and will work on for the rest of my life like everyone does.
I may have been unemployed, and looking for employment, but my actual job last year was as a person in therapy showing up and doing the work. I didn’t waste the precious time I had last year.
It was a bittersweet end. Once again I’m without a therapist. I’m so grateful that I had her help during this time. I hit rock bottom last year, and the pandemic made recovery worse. I’m here today better than I’ve been in years because of therapy. That said, I feel I have quite a bit to work on myself.
This sucks because I feel isolated again. As an introvert, I am comfortable being by myself and doing things. But I do need connection with others. I don’t feel like there is anyone I can talk to emotional things about. Because of the pandemic, it feels like all my friends are online. I’m limited what I can share with my family. Not everyone is safe to share emotional or personal things with. Or it’s a spectrum and maybe the things that are bothering are things they don’t have the professional training to help with. I kinda trust myself and working on this. It takes me a long time to trust people. By default I don’t trust people.
It comes to me that writing this is ironic because I’m being vulnerable as I write this.
I’m in insurance limbo again. While I’ll have health insurance with my job, I don’t know what the plan covers. I’ll likely have to pay for meds and appointments with the plan, because it’s a private plan. Worse than WA Applecare. Then I have to find a therapist who offers appointments after or before work, then, a therapist I click with. 🙄 Man I hate American healthcare.
Maybe not the final therapy appointment with my (previous 🙁) therapist, but this is an ending.
Betty the chicken died in the night on May 9th. She was 6 years old.
I wrote on Facebook:
Looks like Betty the chicken doesn’t have much longer. I had to pick her up from the run outside the coop, and place her inside for the night. The younger chickens were perched inside ready to sleep. Poor old girl couldn’t make it. I think she knows too from the look in her eyes.
I said goodbye that night. Told her she was a good chicken, and I liked living with her.
Betty would hang out with us outside whenever my mother or me would sit outside on the deck. Or the chickens would follow me inside as I took out the trash and recycling. Chickens are a nice companion. Rest in peace Betty.
Mom buried her in the dirt in the coop area. She asked if I wanted to be there, but I declined. I had my time with her the previous night.
I’m looking forward to getting a haircut and makeover. My hair and beard are out of control 😅. It’ll feel good to get a professional cut.
I wonder if I over share with these posts… Or the right amount to find people to connect with?
My healing journey from now moves from the mental space to the physical space.
It’s Christmas, but it doesn’t feel like it. I just couldn’t get into the spirit this year.
Life is going well, but I’m exhausted from 2020.
I’m fortunate that I had savings to get presents this year, despite being unemployed.
It’s a slim year for presents.
Even though I got everything my family asked for, today feels like an ordinary Friday.
I’m fortunate to visit with my family today.
I feel like I haven’t given my best for this Christmas.
I’ve already gotten everything I wished for this year. Friends, reconnected with family, therapy I’ve needed for years, being able to love a kitty again, being able to love again, to move forward in life, and a girlfriend!
I’m at the point in this long distance relationship where I’m wondering if my girlfriend is a catfish. We haven’t met in person yet because of coronavirus. The good news is that we have plans to meet.
Trust but verify.
I’m staying hopeful, but careful.
Damnit don’t be a catfish. No catfish will fool me. Never give a creative person inspiration. I certainly didn’t feel like I’d be this mature about this potential difficult situation a year ago.
Trust but verify. Take no shit, do no harm. Trust yourself, trust patterns. I’m prepared for any result.
Guess I’ll know when her present to me is delivered.
Take no shit, do no harm.
Also known as: “2020 in a nutshell.”
Shopping this year felt like I was the covid Grinch. Behind my masked face was a scowl at every person not masked, or not distanced. Each time out my heart shrunk in size.
I felt like George Bailey in my own wonderful life. I had to be my own angel on the bridge this year. I chose to continue on, and try one more time to get help. My breakdown and suicide attempt led to rebirth. I chose to say: Fuck you depression, no more!
What a wonderful world…
This is the best I can do today. Happy holidays to all. Be safe!
Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!
Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!
It’s been 6 months since I started this blog in March! The anniversary was last Sunday, but my dear Grandfather passed last week. It felt wrong not to honor him in a post. It’s still hard to believe that he’s gone…
Grief is a difficult thing to deal with, and it comes in waves. I’m sad. I’m grateful and happy to have known such a wonderful human. That I had an example of what a good man, a great human. I strive to be as good a man as he was. The hardest part about this loss is that its dangerous to visit family due to the threat of covid-19. Visiting online through Facebook and zoom helps… But it’s not the same. I really wish I could visit family, and give hugs. 2020 has been a long year.
It’s important to celebrate the little things… To acknowledge the steps forward I’ve worked hard for. Despite this unusual year, there have been good things that have happened. More after the pictures.
I feel like I have grown alongside this blog. This next section is about life this past month, and goals for the future. Healthy self esteem is giving credit to your growth.
Personal growth this year:
Restarted therapy despite years of struggling to find the help I’ve wanted, and finally got it! I’m growing every day.
Finally found an antidepressant that works!
Made a bunch of new friends from coworkers from my last job. I haven’t been able to visit much in person with them this year. I want to in the future. All of us were laid off when the company closed on Jan 31st out of the blue.
Reconnected with family.
Learned about self love, and self care. How to take care of myself. How to assert myself, continue practising communicating my needs. Continue practicing boundaries.
Started a meditation practice.
Started exercising on a regular basis again.
Started a blog.
Practicing gratitude and appreciation for the good things in life.
Restarted therapy, and being fully committed and engaged in the process.
Practicing Forgiving myself when I feel depressed or anxious.
Continued practicing being assertive and speaking up for myself.
Committing to being the best possible version of myself.
Fighting with depression when it lies to me.
Being independent for myself.
Learning mindfulness and practicing it.
Learning to listen to others, and not interrupt when they are talking.
Sorting through old unhealthy thoughts and patterns and deciding whether they serve me now, and the future.
Saying thank you.
Learning how to apologize.
Hanging out with friends before the pandemic happened.
Respecting other peoples needs and boundaries.
Admitting when I have made a mistake.
Being accountable for myself.
Quit drinking for good! I don’t miss consuming it. 7 months since I stopped!
Reduced my cannabis consumption from 4 bowls/2 dabs to one bowl maybe once or twice a week!
Started reading books again.
Being comfortable expressing my feelings.
Rebuilding validation from within instead of from others.
Goals for the next 6 months:
Note: all of these things will depend on how the Covid-19 pandemic lasts.
Get a car. Hopefully something from the past 10 years. The last two cars I’ve owned/shared have been over 15 years old and were constantly in the auto shop for repairs. The cars were a 2000 Volvo s40, and a 2005 Dodge avenger. I spent several times more than what I paid for them in repair costs, and both had awful MPG. I have some savings, so once I get a job I can buy a car. I’ll do what I have to, to get to work… Be it Uber or public transportation for a little while more.
Get a job. I had an interview this week, so that is a good sign!
Move out. I’ve lived in the same house my entire life, and I’ve wanted to move out for years. I haven’t been able to until now because my mental health. I finally have it managed after 12 long years.
Keep blogging. I don’t know my long term goal for the blog. For now I want to keep growing and have each post get more traffic and comments than the last. Right now, I love talking to other bloggers in the comments, and reading their blogs.
I want to go back to college and pursue a new career and degree.
I do not want to continue working minimum wage jobs the rest of my life. What worked for the past doesn’t line up with my future.
Hang out with friends, and make new friends. Hang out in person.
I didn’t think it was possible, but I am over my friends-breakup from earlier this year! I am ready to date again! I learned so much from this failure that I am a better person today.
I want to date, and have a girlfriend.
I want to visit with family.
I want to love, and be loved.
I want a healthy relationship where I can be support my partner and take care of myself. To have healthy boundaries and clear communication.
Continue working through my issues in therapy.
Once the pandemic is over, parties for friends and family.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything. But I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do, interfere with what I can do.” -Edward Everett Hale.
The world of autism spectrum disorders is constantly changing and we at Seattle Children’s Autism Center are eager to share with parents and caregivers what we continue to learn. This blog is designed to be a resource on autism as well as to give you an opportunity to comment on our posts and engage with our experts.