Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Long Time Coming

It has been three years since I have posted a blog to this site, and many things have happened between then and now. Some very good things, some slightly bad things, and much of it has led to my growth as a person. At the bequest of my adopted sister-in-law (she knows who she is) I am making the attempt to start writing in any capacity once again because, as she puts it, "you're really freaking good at writing, like you kill it."
I feel that this catching up post will be a long one, so I've come prepared: a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of water. As I sit here eating and drinking my early lunch, I have to look back on where I was as a person three years ago, and what events transpired after that time that caused such a pronounced pause of my writing. 
I was a year out from my wedding and stressing about every little detail, not to mention familial relationships and their seemingly utter inability to compromise and be cohesive. I was also battling going through school as well as juggling a job and having to maintain my relationships across the board. If I was given a choice to do it all again exactly the same, I'm sure I would make some changes, but for the most part I feel that without going through it the way I did I would not have come out the other end of it to become the person I am now. Not only did I let some people down, but I learned more than I had ever hoped to learn about some of my friends, and my family. I discovered who I knew had always been there for me, and who would take up their choice and stand by me, becoming my new friends and family after the wedding.
Before that had happened though, some unfortunate things happened in some of my relationships. I didn't know how to say no, and I also had forgotten how to speak my mind. For those who I have done that to, I am sorry. It is a poor reflection of me at the time and show's my poor judgment and naivety that things could be worked out to the benefit of all. Despite my lack of understanding at times, and my blindness to others needs brought on by warring emotions I still managed to hold on to those who are most dear to me. I also lost people I thought I would never lose. 
A member of my family with whom I was trying to have a closer relationship decided to stop putting effort into out relationship and start putting pressure on a different relationship of mine, with which they were remotely involved. In trying to bring a peace to my nuclear family at the time, they caused more problems by trying to take my relationship with Eric and related it exactly to theirs. The fit was not perfect, but was similar enough that I blindly walked into their advice without a second thought to any other relationship but my own with Eric. This was a foolish and rash decision because at the inclusion of this person, I had alienated the one person in my life that, to that point had always been there for me, even when I was completely wrong and too stubborn to see it; my mother. I realized shortly after what I had done, but the damage had been done and I could not get around that. I was lucky that my mother is so kind hearted and able to look past that, seeing what she later told me had occurred. For all the "help" this person tried to provide, they could do nothing to fix the relationship I was working on, and of their own volition, chose for their family not to be a part of our wedding and celebration. It is their loss, as neither Eric, myself, or my mother have talked with them but sparsely. There are no words to say, because in saying them, we make them real. To bring reality to this situation makes it that much more painful and it is almost too much to bear, except that we suffer in silence, hoping for an opportunity, a mere moment, of raw truth that cannot be denied. In doing so we also know that it will never come. That's usually how it goes though, isn't it?
With that I believe I've caught you all up to two years ago. Almost. I forgot the most important part! Eric and I are now married, and this upcoming November will be two years! Although many people say the first year is the hardest, I believe our year actually started after we had gotten married. Not the next week or the next month, but when we finally were able to move into our own place, an apartment in the middle of town. This I feel is where our true "first year" will begin. Not to say we haven't had ups and downs, but these pitfalls have shown us a lot about each other, and have also given us hope because if this is difficult and we aren't batting an eye, what will be our next challenge? I want to make a point and say "Life, I'm not saying I'm too comfortable. I do not mean this as a challenge," because we all know that once it has come out that you are comfortable, confident, and assured in your place, life tends to knock you down a few bars and through a whole new game at you.
Back to the moment, we have had very little that has made us uncomfortable or unhappy in anyway and we have faced it head on. It has made us stronger, as both individuals and as a couple because while we are working together on things, we are also discovering what works for each of us respectively. When we know how we each work, it is easier then, to help the other because we know what our strengths are and were our weaknesses lie, and how to use our differences to make something we could not have made on our own before. I am happy to be living on our own, away from my parents but still close, and also close to Eric's parents as well. We actually are almost completely in the middle between where our parents both live. 
I don't remember how much, or if I talked about them at all, but our animals have grown and shrunk and grown and shrunk again and again in numbers. If I at all talked about our cat, Simba, then there is sad news, but a ray of hope in it as well, possibly. But I will save that for another post.
As for the year between now and what I have caught you up so far to, there is not much to say for it. We worked, we did school. We even had some dark times for us personally. Four months after we were married, in early March of last year, I discovered I was pregnant. An overwhelming sense of shock, joy, and confusion came over me. This was it. New and uncharted territory. Now what? We had no plan and no insurance so down to social services it was. I was working very hard at my job and hoping for a promotion to a higher position with better pay so this came at a somewhat inopportune time.
Despite the better judgment of my peers, family, and myself, I pushed myself hard in order to be considered for this position. I cannot say as to what happened exactly, or the specific cause, but no less than a week later I was headed to the E.R. to confirm what I was already sure was true, I had miscarried. By the calculations the doctors use, I was between four and five weeks pregnant at the time of miscarriage. This is no consolation for me, as it was still painful and emotionally traumatizing to go through the roller-coaster ride from high to low to some semblance of equilibrium. 
My friends and family were all there to support me and help me through this time and I am grateful that they were. I was unsure of myself, and felt that I had been the one that brought this on. Later research of my own, and with Eric's help has led me to believe that although it may have been a chemical pregnancy (which gives no specific reason for a miscarriage other than incompatible chromosome line ups) I had possibly been pregnant with twins. I know, I know, this seems like crazy talk, you couldn't even tell at that point. But I read in many different places and heard from several people who have had, or were close to someone who had twins. The signs of pregnancy are increased and more sensitive for those who carry twins than single babies. I took a test at what would be considered three weeks pregnant and almost immediately knew I was pregnant. For most women who are pregnant, this is not possible until after a missed period, unless they use an extremely sensitive test. That was enough to convince me of that fact.
Still, with the loss of the baby so early on this opened me up to pursuing a promotion, which I accomplished. This was such good news it almost made me feel better about the situation, because this meant that I would be able to help bring us into a better situation and improve our financial standing. Since we had not yet moved out this seemed like the golden ticket on the Hogwarts Express to Narnia. For a little while I adjusted into my new position and felt that with some time, I would be able to perform tasks and complete what was expected of me with ease. I don't know if I was still reeling from the miscarriage or if I was just not fitting into the position they way I, and my superiors would have liked. I became frustrated and exhausted, and unsure of how to handle myself or those employees I was now in charge of to an extent. Customer problems were now my problems and I felt that I was losing grip of myself and everything that I understood to be true. In some ways, I was, but in others I was simply just not handling it well.
After moving into our own apartment I hardly ever saw Eric, aside from sleeping each night, which was limited to two days a week because he was still working overnight shifts. I wanted time to myself, time with him, and I wanted to feel like I wasn't going to fail in my schooling for lack of personal or study time. I had been written up because of trouble with the deposit slips I was supposed to fill out each night at closing. I have never claimed to be good at math, and heaven help me when I do need to take more math before my transfer units are complete, but I was doing something wrong. Eve with new techniques and tips, I still couldn't get it together and manage to do them right for more than one night a week. I was pressured by the expectation of a spotless store for the morning shift and to keep up with my tasks and customer problems as well as the other employees. I had never taken on so much responsibility at one time and I would be reluctant to do so again. I know myself and I know what I can attempt to do, but I cannot handle being two steps below management and the expectations set by company and crew, while maintaining relationships and school. I was given the choice to either step down into the position I had previously, or to carry out until I was written up again and had to be terminated for failing to change my behavior or the outcomes of my actions. I would not put myself into that position so I agreed to step down, but in doing so I was taking a hit to my pride. It shouldn't be important to me, but it is, and so after deciding to step down I chose to leave the company and do commission work for the newspaper.

At my parting I received a gift card, an orchid, and a card of sentiment stating that if I chose, I would be welcomed back whenever I wanted. I know that this is such a change of pace from a steady paying job, but the timing is flexible and I get time for homework and play and rest. It is not an easy job by any means, and can sometimes be just as time consuming as a normal job, but I am able to concentrate more fully on the things I must take care of day to day and week by week.
This has brought everyone up to speed so far as to our current situation for the most part. I plan to make another post next month with more detail about this past year, and include information about our animals and our schooling as well. I want to make a concerted effort to post something at least once a month, on no particular date, just whenever is possible, in order to keep myself in tune with writing, and to also keep my readers informed. I know some of you are friends of mine on Facebook, and will know what happens in between posts, but for those of you who are not, then I will write here, for you. I think that everything I have written thus far will suffice and I hope you all will have a good day, week, and rest of the month, what little is left of it. Be good and check back soon to keep me posting!