6.27.2017

Response Arousal

If someone is attracted to me, it makes me feel sexy, from that I feel sexual, and then I just feel horny.

If someone finds something sexy, or response to something sexual, I then am turned on by that response. I may not even be into that person, but if they respond to me or show signs of being attracted to me, I will be turned on by that and usually that alone. If it is a concept, fetish, or what not that turns people on, and even if I'm not particularly into that act, I will still be turned on. It is the response. This can also be very difficult when it involves a person in my life, I have a very hard time distinguishing if I am responding to their response or if I actually have feelings for them. I have to actively separate my feelings from the act or response from my feelings for the person if there is any at all. This is a struggle I have had since I was young. I used to have so called feelings for people just because they liked me. As I got older I recognized that it wasn't the person but their response to me. It still happens to me to this day but I generally don't act on it. I have a better time really analyzing what I think of that individual, but I'm selective which makes it harder to like anyone romantically.

On the other hand, my mind can do whatever it may please and I will generally fantasize about anyone with a response to me or that I feel attracted to. And these fantasies, as expected, are wildly unrealistic and only pertain to my own fetishes. This thought process becomes so strong that I create a person that is exactly into my tastes when most of the time they may not even remotely be into those acts. I then have to remind myself of reality when necessary, but it almost makes it depressing as it is hard to find people in the general vicinity of your life that is sexually up to par to yourself.


The bottom line of this post is how strong reactions and human responses are to me. I feel them enter and permeate me, but can easily lose touch with reality when it pertains to myself and my own motives.

6.17.2017

Hello There

Life is good overall. Work is more steady this summer than I had thought it would be. I'm going to Flagstaff for a couple of nights for work next week and am excited about that. Lately I have just been working on being positive. It's difficult when you work with immature, easily agitated, and negative people. I just try my best to shut it out and make it my own. I definitely see the flaws in my department and how many things could be improved but the stress levels of this job is nothing compared to my previous job so it's shocking to see how much people get stressed here. It is even comical, so I just try to keep people working and try my best to make them laugh when I can.

My position has a high turn over rate, a great deal of people have been fired or quit in the last couple of months, which honestly is a good thing because it's slowly weeding out the weak, annoying, and lazy employees.

There's not much else to update on. Just hoping for a vacation this summer. And another possible trip to Tennessee next year.

6.02.2017

Images of Life

Below are a series of pictures I have taken since November 2016, when I started my new job with United Blood Services. I have started to take pictures of nature on my travels with the job. All of these were taken in different cities around Arizona, with exception of the last two. The final two were taken in Tennessee from my travels there in May 2016. I have edited most of them, but not too much. I have really enjoyed this process and will continue to do so and share as they increase in number. Please enjoy and don't forget to click on images to see the larger version.









































Share the Knowledge

If you have any interests in why people believe further into their strong held beliefs even after faced with facts proving otherwise, read this amazing and profound comic made by The Oatmeal.


4.22.2017

Coachella 2006

In honor of Coachella this month, I feel inspired to share my story of my one and only experience at Coachella, 11 years ago.

I went to Coachella strictly to see Tool for the first time. In this post, you will see how I came upon getting the tickets. I should mention that at that time the tickets cost me $109 each for just one day.

Below is the poster of the line up. I went on April 30th.

I have described some of my experience seeing Massive Attack at Coachella in this post. Finally, in this post I describe in a general sense my views on my planning my trip to Coachella. All these little snippets made me realize that I have never shared at length the entire experience. So here it goes.

Getting the tickets was stressful because it was my senior year in high school and I had to convince not only my dad to let me go, but also my uncle to let my cousin go with me. At first the only grounds that my dad would let me go was to have my cousin drive his car, unfortunately for some reason I don't remember, his dad wouldn't let him drive. Thus I had to convince my dad further to let me drive. I had my first car at the time, a 1990 Volvo 740 that had some issues and couldn't go a speeds over 70 or so. He let me drive and we prepared by going to the dollar store to get snacks and caffeine pills and energy drinks. We reserved a room at a Motel 6 in Blythe, California the day before the concert. We left early Saturday and I drove us all the way to Blythe blasting music and having a blast. Once we got to Blythe we hung out at Denny's nearby, watched Harry Potter movies in the room and went to bed early.

We woke up bright and early the next morning and continued our road trip to Indio, California. We got there just before the grounds were opening up, around 11am or so. We hung out in the parking lot, put on sunscreen and hydrated. Everyone around was super excited and yelling out compliments about my Tool bumper stickers. The line to get in was long. Once we got in we went to find something to drink and shade to hang out in. It's unfortunate that we came to see one band, and the headlining band at that, so we had to wait about 10 or so hours until we would see them. Not the best planning at the time. It's too bad because looking at the lineup now, there are quite a few bands that I currently like and would of loved to watch. We spent the day buying expensive water and Gatorade and just walking around kind of bored. There was a lot of people watching. The thing I remember witnessing the most was a good number of shirtless guys with only one nipple ring. There were also a lot of LGBQ people there to see Madonna. I remember going near her stage but I don't think we saw her at all. We checked out the art and the food. I brought a disposable camera and took some pictures, I think. I really can't remember.

Hours before Tool was to come on stage, we hung out at that stage and got a good spot up close. We watched Matisyahu, which was entertaining since we have never heard of him before. You could instantly recognize people in the crowd that came for him. Massive Attack came on before Tool and they played an incredible show as I said in the post linked above. I only knew one of their songs at the time and they did play it which was amazing. We were so tired at that point that we sat down. The speakers were intense and vibrated every cell of our body. Just a ton of people watching at that point and trying to prevent exhaustion. After Massive Attack left the stage, a mass of people started closing in on us. There was a delay due to some lighting issue and we had to wait at least a half hour for that to get fixed. Just as Tool was about to come on my cousin started to feel dehydrated. I have to say that he is a cheap bastard and probably didn't buy enough water. Since he wasn't feeling well, he decided to walk to the side of the crowd and sit in the grass. The field is huge and I had no idea where he was, couldn't see a damn thing. They started to come on stage and I was yelling and screaming in excitement but I was also incredibly worried about my cousin so I decided to try and find him. I started walking back further into the crowd. As I was doing this I was kicking myself, I'm finally seeing my favorite band for the first time and I'm going to miss it! So I stopped where I was and just started getting into the music. I don't know if it was a mixture of my excitement, my nervousness, and the fact that I was alone, but a lot of people surrounding me were staring at me. I just ignored it and rocked on. They played an amazing show, the visuals were astounding. I was upset that I had moved further back because it was harder to see them, but I could still see enough.

The setlist for that show was:
Stinkfist
The Pot
Forty-Six & 2
Jambi
Schism
Eon Blue Apocalypse
The Patient
Sober
Lateralus
Vicarious
Aenema

That was their first performance since 2002. It was a great show.


After the end, we all expected an encore that never happened. Maynard said things in between songs that I couldn't catch. The crowd was crazy and aggressively intense as they usually are in rock/metal shows. Once we all knew they were done, I immediately tried to find my cousin. I don't think we even had cell phones at the time, or maybe I did and he didn't. Eventually near the exit, I stood up on a curb and looked out for him. Thankfully he is tall and I was able to find him. He was okay and just watched the whole show from the side. We headed to the car as fast as we could through the crowd. Since we had gotten there so early we had a close parking spot which took eternity to get out of. If I remember correctly, there's really only one exit out of the lot.

Eventually we made it out of the fairgrounds and towards the highway on our way home. In hindsight, it was a disaster of an idea to drive all the way home after the show. It had to be close to midnight or later by the time we left. I didn't have a choice because my uncle wanted Ryan to go to school the next day. I was able to miss it. As I drove, Ryan fell asleep pretty shortly after we left the venue. I was able to get one caffeine pill from him which gave me energy for about an hour. I blasted A Perfect Circle to keep myself awake. I was struggling and I absolutely hate waking people up from sleep so I never did get any more caffeine pills from him. As we neared Phoenix, it was morning rush and I was crashing hard. I nearly fell asleep on the wheel, there was a point that I veered way off the road but saved it in time. At last we got to my house and Ryan woke up and got into his car and went home then to school. I went right into my bed and slept for a good part of the day. That was the first time I had ever stayed awake for over 24 hours and I don't think I have ever done it again until recently.

The next day I went to school wearing my new Tool shirt, with tanned skin, and a new view on life. It was an experience of a lifetime, I just wish it was better planned but I'm glad I went and have this story to tell.



To this day, Ryan and I have been on one more road trip to California with just the two of us. We went to San Diego for his birthday to see Adam Ant. We were of age, we planned well, stayed for a few days and had a blast. He drove that time. Before Coachella, we had gone on a handful of trips to California, Tennessee, and Mexico, but all with family. We are very close and excellent travel buddies. I'm grateful for all the memories we share. Coachella is one we shake our heads at, poor planning but amazing experiences for our young age. Ha!


For my 17th birthday I got my first tattoo, you can see it on my left arm in the picture above. It is a tribute to Tool, amongst several other things. Some time after Coachella, I got a second tattoo, the same kind on the middle of my chest. The following year I got a third on my right arm. I have 3 third eyes, that remind me of my love for this band. Remind me of my love for eyes and how the are crucial to my life. To say the least...

3.11.2017

Morphing

With every job there becomes an awareness of personality changes or accentuation and reduction of  various personality traits. I want to talk about what I have noticed about myself so far.

To begin, I want to transfer what traits I learned in my last job that I do in my current job that are a little unusual in the field, but appreciated by my supervisors. I am always willing to help others, to go above and beyond with whatever help I am able to give. I am always asking questions and am not afraid to ask for help. I also like to lead those that are newer than I am, taking on a leadership role. All of these traits are something I've always had, but were essentially brought out of me to the highest level at my last job. However, a trait that I noticed today that I had in my last job has reduced in some way to the current job. When donors have adverse reactions to donating such as passing out, puking, feeling ill, nervousness, etc. I find myself more distant instead of caring or sympathetic. It's not to say those traits are absent but they are not in the forefront. I had to train myself in my last job not to give into attention seeking behavior, which can be aggression, hitting, puking, urinating on oneself, all these things I had to ignore. There were specific procedures of what I could do and not do for those things. Overall, I was not to react, I had to erase that instinct. When donors have these incidents, I tend to avoid it if I can. I want to help, and I can help them, but there are currently new procedures of what to do and I am not as familiar with them yet because I have not had a lot of experience in the field with them. Most of these reactions are usually at the fault of the donor whether due to anxiety or lack of preparedness, which is frustrating.

This current job has made me even more social and friendly, not only at work but out of work. I can talk to strangers with more ease, I can handle small talk better, I can use my curiosity in an appropriate way. I also constantly think about blood, and always look at people's veins without even realizing it. I think about health more, I understand blood pressure and pulse better. I drink more water, and I think about iron content in foods. I dream about phlebotomy often. My memory is difficult. I meet dozens and dozens of new people everyday and process all their numbers, donor ID numbers, vitals, phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, names, etc. that I can no longer retain these things past several seconds. My days blend and I forget what day it is and where I've been for work. People's faces and names start to morph into a single familiarity. I also have a fear there is always someone I know around me. For example, I travel all over this state for work and every time I go out in public I wonder if I've seen someone I've worked with either a coworker or a donor. Before when I worked at a school I always worked in a different city that I lived in so I enjoyed the freedom of knowing I was very unlikely to run into someone I knew. But now, the possibility is inevitable, which isn't necessarily a bad thing depending where I am. It basically makes me feel like I have to act more professional in my private life when out. Not that I've been out much, but when I do. Trust is also a thing that is hard to come by, but it is slowly growing. There are 3 people now that I work with that I trust, one of them being my cousin that I work with. I am also nicer. I've always been a fairly nice person but this job brings it out because I meet so many people, and this works for me tremendously because in turn, I am treated the same. There are often donors or coworkers that aren't exactly nice to others but are always nice to me because I am so nice. A trait I've found to be extremely valuable in this line of work. In addition to trust, I have to be very careful what I say. I work with a lot of young and immature people that like to talk about each other, so I have to be my true self but also hold my tongue and not be too revealing of myself so far.

1.29.2017

Officially a Trained Phlebotomist

I have finished all my training for my new job. I started November 7th, 2016. UBS trained me in two parts. The first part is called interview only training, which involves being trained in class for 3.5 weeks in class, 2 weeks in the field with a trainer, and 2 weeks in the field without a trainer. Interview only is the process of determining if the donor is eligible. 
This is an intensive training in using the computer program and checking the donors vitals. You must enter a donor into the program, update their demographics or create one for new donors, register for their donation, and then proceed in reviewing their medical questionnaire. Once that part is finished, you take their vitals, blood pressure, pulse, and check their hemoglobin levels in a finger stick. If there are any questions or vitals that don't fall into our requirements, I must defer the donor for a specific amount of time required for that particular trait. If they do meet all requirements, then I take them, their paperwork, and a blood bag to the phlebotomy area where the phlebotomist takes over. Training for this reminded me much of being in college. A lot of information is bombarding your brain and exhausting your body. It's a clusterfuck of things to take into account, it requires a great deal of critical thinking, observation, and computer skills. I absolutely loved this part. It's all nerve wracking but for a good cause. After being out in the field I started to feel more and more confident. I love it because I got to meet and talk to several dozen of people everyday. It is also nerve wracking because you must not make any errors. Errors are a big deal in this job. It is very important not to send people away that actually are eligible and even more vital not to take donors that are in fact not eligible. The best and easiest way to describe this is basically the FDA considers blood going to a patient to be medicine, therefore it is regulated by the FDA, if you take blood/medicine that is no good and give it to a patient that is in great need of blood, you could compromise the health of that patient. That is an enormous responsibility. There are many circumstances to come across that may require you to get a second set of eyes to make sure you are doing the right thing, but regardless, your name is on that stamp of approval and if you have done something incorrect, it falls on you. Everything is tracked.

I have learned so much. Here's some things I've learned: vital numbers actually mean something to me now. I know what is too much or too low, granted each individual has their normal rates. I understand blood volume and hemoglobin. I have learned about diseases that I would have never been able to pronounce in the past. I have a better understanding of each blood component, red cells, platelets, plasma, etc. I know that people that get paid to donate plasma are only donating plasma to be tested by other companies whether for medicines, cosmetics, etc. and that blood does not help patients directly. UBS and Red Cross are blood companies that give blood to local and other patients in need of blood. I also know that we are always in short supply of blood. I also know that UBS is not for profit, thus everything is not as good or as advanced as it could be. You have a computer program that only has so many limits and a human has to work with that program, therefore errors still can exist. Which is unfortunate, but has still come quite a long way from the past.

After all the interview training and fieldwork, I went back to class for phlebotomy training. In class training was only for 1 week to learn the computer program used for that and some techniques on actual phlebotomy. The act of taking blood isn't something you can learn in a class, thus they put you in the field with a trainer for 2 weeks in hopes that you get at least 50 sticks. By the end of my field training, I got 55 sticks. We worked in a center where the donors are frequent and regular. Most donors are willing to let trainees learn on them, but not all. I was insanely nervous at the beginning. My nerves were intense and caused me to be shaky. Thankfully, the only time I was not shaking was when the needle was in my hand. Setting up the blood bag, the shaker, the paperwork, and the computer program (known as the PDA), was where I my hands where shaky. I was graceful enough that I don't think donors noticed. I also got some good feedback from donors. If we ever come across a difficult vein, we could ask our trainer to do it instead. So long as the donor had a good vein, we had to attempt phlebotomy. My trainer was very good at her job, she's been doing it for 20 years, but she only sometimes gave critical feedback, it was something I had to specifically ask for if I did not have a successful stick. I'm proud to say I did not hurt anyone, bruise them, infiltrate veins, or give them a hematoma. I did not contaminate any units as far as I knew either. As I heard from my trainer, I tended to put my needles in at a deep angle, part of that is my left handedness, but I have improved on that. My trainer gave me challenges whenever the opportunity presented itself. There was one particular donor that had thick arms and a vein that was somewhat deep, she told me, knowing my skills, that I could do it. I did it with no problems. During my training, I did have one donor who had a reaction. He felt ill during his donation and I had to pull the needle out early. Unfortunately I did contaminate that unit only because I didn't know that it could of still been useful. But now I know what to do.

I finished my training and then went out on mobile drives without a trainer. This past week was my first out on my own. I am mobile staff, but most my experience so far as been at fixed centers which run quite different from mobile drives. Mobile drives require staff to meet at a fixed location, or headquarters, and we then drive a truck to the where ever the drive is held. We usually stop at a QT and have our 30 minute lunch break, and this is could be at any time of the day. Most shifts start very early in the morning. I've woken up as early as 3am. Lunch break that early in the morning is definitely something to take time to get used to. Once our lunch is over, we drive to the site, unload the truck, set up all the equipment, and start taking donors. The assistant supervisor is the boss of the drive, they assign staff to start at either interview or phlebotomy, and then if we manage to get a 10 minute break halfway through the drive, we switch positions after the break. If the drive is busy, we may not get a break, but they usually try to switch your position at least. We are supposed to stop taking donors at a predetermined end drive time. But we must stay until all donors are done donating or until any donor that is having a reaction feels good to leave. Then we break down all the equipment and load up the truck and drive back to headquarters, clock out and leave. There are several drives everyday and cover the entire state. We tend to not go to Tucson very much as Red Cross is located there. Some drives are even out of town and require us to stay at a hotel for up to 5 days. If I am correct at reading my schedule, I'll be out of town for 1 to 2 days this upcoming week. I'm personally looking forward to out of town drives because I love hotels. Granted this can be hard on employees that have families at home, but the only arrangements I need to make is to make sure my guinea pig is fed while I'm gone.

As far as my personal adjustments and mood state is going, I'm doing a fair job. I'm already used to the strange and varying hours. I wake up usually between 3 and 5am, I pack a snack for my break or for the hunger that usually strikes me at the end of a drive. I only have to drive 4 minutes to headquarters which is a big plus. I haven't had much of a personal life since I started though, I'm fully immersed so I'm only sleeping and working so far until I get used to this. My hours are different everyday and can change every day too. So my schedule is far from fixed. If I am able, I still work with my cousin's kids between once or twice a week or sometimes not at all. I always plan my time and get plenty of sleep every night. I have had to go to bed as soon as 7pm, which isn't too bad so far. The nice thing is getting off during the day, so if there are things I need to do or appointments to make, I am able to do them after work. I get one weekday off and one weekend day off and those are fixed unless I volunteer to work extra hours. The biggest adjustment that I only have so much control of is my stomach. My IBS, in the past, always flares when I wake up very early, typically before 6am. But now I can see that my stomach is getting used to it, thank goodness! I do take medicine everyday to calm my insides. For the most part I can find my way to a bathroom but not always in the most convenient of times. I have been very careful of what I eat while I work and I do not drink alcohol during my work week. Alcohol always affects my stomach, so I've just quit as much as I can. I only drink on the weekends and I can already tell that I can't handle as much alcohol as I once could because I've cut down so much. So far I always by food at QT for our lunch breaks because my appetite is very limited so early in the morning. Once my body gets more accustomed, I plan to make my lunches. But that also will require a whole new food preparation process. Because we eat our lunches essentially in the truck, we don't have access to a fridge or microwave, this limits my options. I did purchase an amazing lunchbox that keeps food cold for about 12 hours, and if we do stop at QT there are microwaves there, or I can microwave my food at headquarters before we drive. These are my options. Salads and sandwiches are the best choices but not things I tend to be hungry for at the wee hours of the morning...yet.

Since starting this job, I've been much happier. I am less stressed and feel light. There were days, of course, where I felt overwhelmed and very anxious, but that's part of the adjustment. Plus, I've passed my training with flying colors so I no longer have to worry about keeping my employment as much. Everyday proves to be a new challenge, yet it is new, and still not nearly the unwavering eternal stress that I dealt with at my previous job. I've overcome so much that I'm stronger now. The challenge I face still is meeting all the staff and learning to work with them. Donors are pleasant enough most of the time. The staff, in general, are helpful but a majority of them are immature. I keep to myself when I can and stay on people's good side the most I can. I also have to let them know that I am hard of hearing, which it can be difficult to hear others in our environments and people move much quicker than I can since I'm so new. Most of the staff have heard of me prior to meeting me because my cousin who works there has told a lot of them about me, so that gives me a bit of an advantage. It's nice having someone on the inside that I trust too, at least once a week I text my cousin and tell him how I'm doing, ask questions about the job and about the people I've worked with. He is invaluable to me. Him and the other new girl that I've been trained with are the only people I trust so far with the exception of my two trainers who I will rarely see in the field. It also needs to be reiterated that the benefits this job offers are wonderful, I cannot wait to take advantage. The pay is much better than when I worked at the school, but it finally dawned on my that I still took a pay cut since I no longer work two jobs simultaneously each day of the work week. I have to rework my budget and make adjustments in that aspect too. Oh! I almost forgot, I also donated blood for the first time a couple weeks ago while on my shift. So I got paid to donate, in a way. I donated platelets and red cells. It took me 88 minutes and I experienced very little symptoms and went right back to work after.

Phlebotomy is still a skill I'm working on. I still need help if I don't get blood flow, I have made mistakes still, but as my trainer reminded me over and over, it is a learned skill. It will take time. I'm still very nervous about it and generally mentally avoid it, but it is something I have to overcome. Saturday is the end of my work week and that was the first day where I really did an overall great job. I got the most donors in one day than I have so far, I helped a donor overcome a reaction, and I air contaminated a unit for the first time too. Oh well. Learning process. Another important note about phlebotomy is that if the donor is noticeably nervous, it affects me strongly. Typically these things don't bother me if I know the person will be fine, such as during the interview process it's easy for me to calm donors down and not feel affected by their fear of the process. But when I'm about to put a needle in someone, my empathy is working too well and I have to stop it so that it doesn't affect my performance.


So that about sums it up so far. Blood is still very awesome and I love seeing the boxes we fill of blood that will help lives. I cannot wait to donate again too.

1.16.2017

Post-Surgery

There are some things that I saved for later to write about, now is the time. In October I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed and I will finally talk about what happened post surgery. You can see my pre-surgery post here.

First of all, the surgery was successful. I woke up from the anesthesia crying. During the surgery, I was dreaming that the surgery was happening as if I was awake for it. This was the first indication that strong medication gives me horrible dreams. As I was waking up the girl in the room with me was telling me that everything went fine. I was asking questions and crying and as she gave me more information I realized that it was all just a dream but I couldn't shake the emotions or tears. They took me out to a different room where my dad was waiting for me. I had to make my next appointment, as I tried my hardest to be lucid. She gave me after care directions that I quickly forgot and hoped my dad was retaining it better than I was. We were free to go and my dad had to help me walk to the car as walking was very difficult for me. He then dropped me off at home where my mom was waiting for me. My dad was filling her in with the information but I kept butting into the conversation because I felt like he wasn't giving the full details. He was laughing at me because I was still coming down from the anesthesia which made me seem like I was drunk. He then left to drop of my prescriptions at the pharmacy. While my mom was getting ice packs and food prepared for me, I filmed myself before the effects wore off.

The day of and after the surgery, I had to keep gauze in my mouth, which helped the pain and made it funny to talk. During those days the pain wasn't so bad. I had antibiotics and pain meds. One makes you constipated and the other gives you diarrhea. Lets just say I didn't poop for a week, which was fine by me until my stomach started to hurt, due to lack of movement. Once I finished the antibiotics, I had diarrhea for a few days, which wasn't fun. My surgery was on a Wednesday and I only took the rest of the week off, planning to go back to work the following Monday. My mom stayed at my place until Sunday and I ended up taking Monday off, although I really should of took Tuesday off too. Because of my tricky nerve situation and age, it took a little longer to heal. My face gradually swelled and bruised. It was very difficult for me to smile, laugh, and to bend over, causing blood and gravity into my cheeks causing pain.



I had an appointment a week later to check how things were healing. All but one socket was healing pretty good. The stitches dissolved and only left one gaping hole where the only tooth had erupted a couple years prior. At this very moment, that hole is almost nearly closed, but still healing. I also had numbness on the left side of my lower lip and chin after surgery. The numbness in my lip went away after the first day or so but the numbness stayed in my chin for about a few weeks and finally went away before I even noticed it. I was very thankful for that and it proved my skilled surgeon was right and very trusting. I just had my final appointment this afternoon just to check everything, he said everything looks great and that little hole I still have will completely heal soon. To allow for the healing process, I had practically quit smoking hookah. I went from smoking a couple times a week to only about once or twice a month. Because I have limited it so much, I have less of a desire to smoke, which is wonderful.

Now that I got the technical stuff out of the way, I want to describe my symptoms and behaviors. As I said, I was taking pain meds, prescription strength ibuprofen and hydrocodone. I've taken strong ibuprofen before and possibly took a lower dose of hydrocodone a couple times too when I had a spider bite some years ago, but no symptoms from that. This time, however, I felt incredibly uncomfortable due to the hydrocodone. I took it as prescribe the first day and while the pain wasn't so bad then, I did get twitchy and itchy especially when I would try to take naps. Whenever I did nap, it gave me really annoying and sometimes bad dreams. My dreams would just be furthering whatever thoughts were jumping around in my mind. They gave the illusion of me still being awake and would change scenes every time my thought process changed. It made it hard to sleep that first night. My mom and I decided that I would only take that during the day time and when I was ready for bed, I would just take the ibuprofen so that it wouldn't affect my sleep. This was a brilliant plan and helped me tremendously. My naps were still irritating and I would wake up in a panic and a bad mood. My poor mother dealt with my moodiness quite well and knew when to leave me be for a little bit until it wore off. She was great and I'm really thankful she was there. I was lucid for the most part but a little forgetful. Inspired by a friend who underwent surgery from a shattered elbow, her husband kept a written timetable for all her medications and that's exactly what we did which was vital.

Despite my worries, I was actually quite hungry during recovery, but I hardly craved the food that I was able to eat. It didn't occur to me that before my surgery, I should have weened myself off of crunchy foods, which is probably my biggest vice. Everything I wanted to eat was hard and crunchy. I did cheat and ordered food from UberEats that I probably wasn't quite ready for. While I never usually eat macaroni and cheese, I ate a lot of that. I had shakes every morning and stayed away from straws. The first night I ordered out for food, I got pho, which was good but very exhausting to eat and probably undid some of my stitches. I still have a ton of pudding, mac 'n' cheese, and applesauce leftover. Whenever I did eat crunchy foods, I just sucked on them a little to make them soft before chewing. All in all, eating was pretty comical.

Everyday, we assessed my pain, and I tried to space out and lower my dosage whenever I felt necessary because I knew I had to go back to work soon. I stayed away from alcohol and smoking. It was strange to sit on the couch and not have to work. Once I did go back to work, I realized more how painful it was to talk. I was still working at the school. Raising my voice, smiling, and laughing was very difficult and my jaw would ache most of the time. I had to use a little bit of makeup to cover the bruising on my jaw and my cheeks were still a little puffy. Everybody was happy I was back at work, but I wasn't. At this point I had the current week and one more week until my last day there, which made it harder and easier at the same time.

Another big thing I noticed was my mental capacity, which my dad believes has a lot to do with the anesthesia. I don't doubt that, I was feeling weird ever since. While recovering at home, I didn't have to use my brain so much, but once I was at work, I could see the evidence. I was not nearly as lucid as I usually am. I was kind of dumb, forgetful and scatterbrained. Thankfully, my coworkers and I just found it kind of funny. But it was another sign I wasn't quite ready to jump back into work so soon.

All in all, I'm very happy that I did that when I did it. It's done and over with, with a small price tag and no long term symptoms or damage. In fact, I no longer have pain in my mouth at all. I know now that a lot of what I experienced but mislabeled was pain from my wisdom teeth coming in. Now I have no worries and just have to keep up on regular cleanings and flossing.

Thoughts at the End of 2016

I often write notes on paper or in my phone, those either are snippets I post later or a small idea that I blog about in full. Below are some of my recent notes.

The Current Life: Written December 25th, 2016.
Sometimes I don't feel like living the current life, normal life. But what do I want to escape?
I know I like movies to escape. Am I trying to escape the mundane, responsibilities? What is it I'm trying to leave?
I know I enjoy the creative thoughts and provocation. I am not a person who craves adventure...
But I know I have always been desiring to escape something...



The great thing about rhythm is that you can see it.



I sleep less than I work.



I felt it but...I was just going in the wrong direction.


If you eat handfuls of peanuts and then drink wine, your burps taste like peanut butter and jelly.



I'm really sorry to hear that has happened. I'm afraid that I am not in the mental, physical, or financial position in my life right now to support you. I hope you can understand. I truly hope there is someone else in your life that can be there for you, it just can't be me right now.
But what I did not say to you was... you call me a good friend, but what kind of friend does that make you? I haven't heard from you in years. You may not have heard from me either, but I made an active choice not to.



This was an excerpt from an article I read about someone who knew a woman who kept her maiden name. I kept this excerpt because it made me cry, it was the most beautiful reason I have ever heard.
Anyway, one of my classmates was a married female who had kept her maiden name. This was still a relatively uncommon thing back then, so I asked her why she hadn't taken her husband's last name. I then expected myself to be in the midst of a feminist conversation about gender roles and blah blah blah. Instead she said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "I love my father-in-law very much and think he's a great guy. But he's not the one who worked his butt off, struggling with two jobs so he could afford to put me through undergrad and med school. I want it so every time MY dad drives by my office, he'll see HIS name on the shingle out front, since he's the guy who is responsible for my being here."



I wish winter would end with Christmas. Without the Christmasy feeling and the lights, it is just dreary. Another indication that I hate winter.
Winter is only a nice temporary escape from the hot Arizona weather, the chance to bundle up, spend more holiday time with the people you love, drink warm beverages, and sit by a fire. Aside from that, I hate the cold. I hate artificial heat. I hate bundling up and getting warm just by moving around. I hate endless days of overcast. I hate waiting for my car to warm up. I hate waking up in the dark and getting home after the light of the day is gone. I hate the allergies and the flu season.

11.25.2016

29

I understand that I need to do a post-surgery blog post to update on my recent wisdom teeth surgery, however that will have to come later as I have more pressing information to write about today.

I mentioned starting a job with United Blood Services in another recent post. I have just finished my third week of training, soon I will be faced with my first test to pass to keep my employment. Before I get into the effect the training has had on me, I want to finally sit down and focus on everything that I have left.

In my last week of employment at the school, on Halloween, my boss had a mandatory training and was out for the day, later that day she got a call from the adoption agency. A baby up for adoption was due to be born any minute and they had to get to the hospital. There is a 72 waiting period before rights are severed and they must be present for the time being. She and her husband adopted a baby girl born November 1st. As happy, no, thrilled, as I was for her, I was even more worried about my fellow coworkers that I was leaving behind. She began her maternity leave and I never got to say goodbye. I was sad about that but actually relieved because it made it only a little easier to leave. I have not spoken to her much nor have I seen her daughter yet, but I will visit them this upcoming week. The day before my last day was an early release day, the only time we get to work in the classroom without the students present. I had about a 3 minute window of being in the classroom entirely by myself. Early release days are a day of productivity and I like to put on music while we work. That little window of time I had alone, "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac was playing. That song always makes me at least a little emotional, I teared up as I looked around the room.




In that moment, all of it started to finally hit me. That I was leaving. I had been non-stop busy in work and in my personal life that I had really no time to process it yet. That night I wrote an email to all the staff, thanking them and telling them they have become a family to me and I will miss them and while it is goodbye to the daily interactions, it wasn't goodbye forever. My last day was incredibly emotional. People gave me hugs in passing, gave me goodbye/birthday gifts, and I cried. I had made cards for my immediate coworkers and for just one single parent. She was incredible, super supportive of not just her son but of us working with him. I have never met such a great parent. She did not know I was leaving and I informed her that morning as I handed her a card. I had to walk away before we both started to cry. At the end of school when she came to pick up her son, she gave me a card and a gift and we cried together. Even the music teacher at the school gave me a thoughtful card and gift. I will never forget the people I have met in that journey, some of which are have become my close friends. While I ate the pizza and salad they chipped in for as my goodbye party, I got a card signed by many people on campus and I cried so hard. I felt hard hit with emotions and almost did not want to leave them. But I knew deep in my heart that I had to. The coworkers that had become my family are now left without me and my boss, they have two temporary vacancies, which is 2 too many. I text them from time to time and I know they are having a really hard time, I cannot stop the guilt that I feel, but in reality, I do feel better despite the guilt.

That night when I went to work with my cousin's kids as I always do after school, I was hit with more stress as the boys are having a hard time currently. They are at the age where they are beginning to act out, and sadly, I will never admit it to their mom, I think part of that is due to me. It has not been easy working with them, but I had to say goodbye to that as well. I will still work with them from time to time after I finish my training, but very infrequently and ideally not at all. Since this was the day before my birthday, my cousin came home from work and gave me my birthday gifts. She always finds the coolest shit, particularly skull stuff, that I absolutely love. We shared some wine and had a big heart to heart, and not a goodbye, but a hiatus. We are family after all, and I will continue to see them, but just won't work with them very much. This upcoming week, I will have a wine night with my former coworker, catch up with my cousin, and visit my former boss. I am happy that I will see them, but not really looking forward to the emotions that will come with it.

On my birthday, my first day off and no longer a school employee, I had a day of treating myself. I went to see Dr. Strange, which stars my favorite actor Mads Mikkelsen. I hung out with my dad for a bit, got a free birthday sub, got a massage, went shopping, had sushi and sake, and went home to watch a movie. It was the most exhilarating day I have had in a very long time. I showered and felt my literal bruises from my previous job and remembered that I will no longer get those. I will no longer work with children that hurt me, work in a hazardous environment. I felt free. I smiled all day, was exceptionally social despite spending the entire day by myself. I was glowing. I felt inspired. It completely makes up for my 28th birthday last year when I had walking pneumonia. 29 is my next rebirth.

The following day, I had a birthday party with friends, dinner, beer, bar hopping, corn hole and shots followed by a day of hangover.

That Monday I started training with UBS. Orientation was the first day and a half, very formal, typical stuff. Wednesday was the actual training, which is basically like being in college again. 8 hours a day of complete information overload. Still, my brain is turning to mush, in a good way I guess. I'm so into it that I have forgotten about my past life for the most part. But there are moments where I remember what I'm no longer doing, and gratitude fills me. I'm not going to lie, the more I learn, the more I'm intimidated by this new job, but I have constant assurance from my cousin who is an employee there, and by my trainer who thinks me and the other trainee will be highly successful.

So what are these things that I've left? I have left very abstract things such as pain, stress, anxiety, challenges, mood swings, fear, etc. I have to say now, everything I did with those kids, in that job, has prepared me in life for whatever comes at me next. I have left constant fluctuation, I have left miscommunication, I have left bursts of emotions, I have left the effect of others on me, I have left the watching eyes of untrusting parents, I have left abuse from upset children, I have left professionals that are not in any way professional. However, in my last day, I knew that I was leaving a support system, an irreplaceable one. That, I have to rebuild myself.

I don't miss the exhaustion I felt everyday. I don't miss the sore muscles and bones of my body. I don't miss constantly being alert for the unpredictable, I don't miss possible errors, I don't miss upsetting adults, I don't miss judgments, I don't miss crappy pay, I don't miss the guilt of taking a day off, I don't miss the heat of the room, I don't miss the looming fear of what the day will bring, I don't miss the screams, the tears, the attitude, I don't miss lack of administrative support, I don't miss the fact that Arizona education is horrible, I don't miss the concept of children. I may miss the kids, but once they are out of sight, they become out of mind for me. It's a coping mechanism, I've honestly merely thought about my coworkers more than anything, and my cousins from time to time.

I still talk about my old job almost everyday, but it is already in the past despite my speaking in present tense. I have always been a person who reflects and speaks often of the past, sometimes in comparison, but often as reminders as to what made me who I am and what got me to where I am. The methods and mechanisms that I used everyday to work in autism apply to just about everything in life and that is one of the hugest impact that job has had on me that is not related to effects on my personality. It has completely changed how I view, process, and approach the world. It is always applicable whether you realize or agree that it is or not. Perhaps I should discuss that further another time.

I feel a sense of pride of the work I have done. But now, the more I learn about this new job, new chapter, of my life, I see where pride will take a new form. I took a personality test recently, it was the most comprehensive and well put personality test I have ever taken, the results were astonishing. The main thing I took away from the results in regards to my life missions/work life, is that I have to help someone. I have to be helping, to feel like I'm dong anything at all. Despite the bad days, I still felt like I was making an impact, at least day to day, with all the children I have ever worked with. Now, in the new life, I get to literally be part of the process that may save a life. I will become the middle man, I will work with donors who give up their time, personal information, and blood to save a life. I'm thrilled enough just to work with blood, but really, helping others better to hell make this job worth it.

10.15.2016

Pre-surgery

This upcoming Wednesday, I am finally getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out. This will be my first surgery. My first time under anesthesia, my first time taking strong drugs, etc.

I have been paying for dental insurance since January 2012 when I first started my job at the school. Only this summer I finally used my insurance and went to a dentist. I picked a dentist that my cousin, her mother, brother, friends, and children go to. She highly recommended it to me as she has to many others. In my first visit, I discovered that I have peridontitis, gum disease. I had not been to a dentist in about over 12 years, probably longer. While this news was unfortunate, the good news was that I had absolutely no cavities, my teeth are in good condition. Except that my wisdom teeth are still present and creating a problem. Nearly 2 years ago, one wisdom teeth has partially erupted. This prompted me, slowly, to finally see a dentist. While I have noticed pain here and there, I always assumed I may have had a cavity or two. But now I know it is due to my bad gums and the fact that my wisdom teeth are growing forward rather than upwards/downwards. So I made a plan, I got my cleanings done before the insurance year was ending in July. And I upgraded my dental plan in hopes that I would force myself to get my wisdom teeth extracted before this year ends. The cleanings I had done in June were deep cleanings and cost me a great deal of money. I had to get deep cleanings because of my gum disease. The numbing shots I got lasted unfortunately too long. Upon that experience I recognize that I absolutely hate the feeling of numbness. They did one half of my mouth the first visit, and the other half a week later. Even in the second visit after asking for a less intense numbing shot, it still lasted a few hours longer than expected. Despite the discomfort, I'm glad I got it done. The dentist urged me multiple times to get my wisdom teeth out and referred me to an oral surgeon.

I finally had my consultation with the surgeon a little over a week ago and scheduled for surgery this upcoming week. I have planned everything out. My dad will be taking me to my surgery, wait, and take me home. My mom will be staying at my house for several days to take care of me post-surgery. With this being my first surgery and my first time taking strong pain pills, I am expecting many different outcomes. I'm very relieved that someone will be at home with me given who the hell knows what I'll be feeling. I am honestly hoping that I become loopy enough that the pain isn't too bad. I will have my mom on hand to record me if I start talking random drugged up gibberish. I really don't like taking pills thus have no experience and not a clue what it will do to me. I bought ice packs, various cold and soft foods.


Aside from what's been mentioned I do have some other fears just barely lurking in my mind. Because I am almost 29, my teeth have had a lot of time to grow in the weird fashion that they have. We discovered with various x-rays that my bottom teeth are very close to nerves. My left side actually is squishing a nerve as we speak. Because of this, they have to break my bottom wisdom teeth and take them out piece by piece to avoid any nerve damage. The surgeon mentioned that there may be temporary numbness in my lips/chin area. Hopefully the surgery is successful that it will not result in permanent numbness. Second, I have never had anesthesia and that always has its risks, while yes, I want to be knocked out for the surgery, there's no knowing if I will come out of it, or how long. Let's just say I'm really pushing this to the back of my mind. I've always had a fear of surgery, and I just have to hope for the best. I forgot to mention that great news! I was reluctant to making my appointment with the surgeon mostly due to cost. However, since I am leaving my job the first week in November, I want to use my benefits and PTO before I leave. I'm grateful that I upgraded my dental plan for the estimated out of pocket cost for the surgery is $166.90. Granted this is estimated, things could change if the surgery proves more difficult, etc. But this was stunning news, the total cost is nearly $3,000, so I will gladly pay only 200 bucks for this. I was prepared to get a payment plan but knowing the out of pocket cost isn't nearly as much as expected, I was thrilled to no longer needing a payment plan. I didn't even ask many questions during the consultation because that mattered less, I needed to know what it cost before I could really decide if I could do anything at this time. It all works out for the best, since I won't be able to take any time off soon once I start my new job.

I have prepared for just about everything, given I survive. Now we just have to wait until I am sober to make a post-surgery blog post!

10.03.2016

“I Have Nothing to Offer But Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat.”

-Winston Churchill



This summer was really hard.


My grandma died, my best friend's grandma had a stroke, trips gone bad, summer work with my cousins got to me. I was looking forward to the school year to begin, only so that I could be around my coworkers that I like. Spending the summer working alone 10 hour days with two boys had become work without any reprieve. I was looking forward to people with whom I share the same experiences with kids, with whom I can always joke around with to provide some comic relief in the intensity of our exhausting jobs. But what I had done was compartmentalize my stress and concerns. I deliberately push aside any thoughts that I could about the pending school year, as I do every summer. I do this because I have to, it makes the most sense. Each and every school year becomes harder and harder. There is no point in worrying about it during the summer. Even if I had not done this, nothing would prepare me for the utter shit that this school year has been. And I say this at barely two months into it. The short version is that we have more kids on our caseload than we have ever had, and not enough employees. Not only do we have 9 students, we have students with such vast differences in their needs from us. Another haunting that looms over me is the fact that my boss is taking maternity leave starting November to adopt a newborn. However, just today that has changed and the mother of the child has decided to keep her baby. But let's continue with the story as if that news has not come.

Let me bring you into August 2016. School has started and all the stress has unfolded many times over. The absolute worst part was the mood of my boss. She is a big reason I have stayed in this job for so long. I have never had a boss where I can be myself, have mutual respect, be honest, provide feedback and ask for feedback, and a friend. I have been in many jobs where I have been taken advantage because of my high work ethics. I'm a hard worker who is loyal and stays in each job for years. Currently, I have been working with special needs children for 4 years and 9 months. And that also includes having up to two other jobs working with special needs after school and during school breaks. So basically 10 hour days with children. I've always said that I wanted this experience, I have learned so much, it is the most challenging job I've had yet. It has changed me in countless ways, both positive and negative. It's been a struggle. Anyways, it was obvious on my boss's face everyday that she did not want to be there. I understood, yet it translated to me not wanting to be there too. If I can't rely on her, then why am I here? I started to look for other jobs. I spent weekends looking into other companies. I was looking for anything, even in retail, overnight stocking jobs, anything that would give me the freedom to be myself again.

This job has taken a toll on my mental, emotional, physical, and creative state. Mentally, I am exhausted, and hardly go out because I want to spend time doing nothing by myself. Emotionally, work has been harder because I am still grieving my grandma. Even if I don't think about her everyday now, I am not exactly the same. Physically, I continue to gain weight because I am lazy from utter exhaustion every day after work. I have been paying 10 bucks a month for a gym membership for 2 years and only used 3 months worth of it. My feet hurt, my back and hips are tight and tense, my legs and feet are iced every week. Creatively I have lost the drive more and more each year. I write less, I blog less, I read less, I paint less. I'm blocked, my creative flow is blocked. I read during the summer usually, and I haven't read a damn page in a book since school started. I should also mention I have not had a single relationship since I've been working with children. I was in my last relationship when I started at the school and it ended soon after. I've dated here and there, but nothing substantial or with any worthwhile direction.

There have been some upsides lately though. I started a thing called Bullet Journaling, which has allowed me to take more control of my life in terms of productivity. I have been keeping track of my moods, to do lists, job searches, healthy and unhealthy habits, some creative ideas, and so on. I have been more productive with things around the house,with my car, with my phone (which I've had countless problems), and work related paperwork. It has helped me tremendously with my job search. I have so many aspects to look into. Pay, health insurance, taxes, hours, benefits, etc. I live in affordable housing so it is important for me to stay here and fit within the eligibility. I have made steps into the direction of fixing issues with my car. I had applied to work for Uber. Unfortunately my car is too old to be a regular Uber driver but it does fit the requirements to be a driver for the new UberEATS which is a food delivery service. I have only tried it once so far, but it will be a helpful addition to getting me away from working with children. Because as said before, many times, I need to stop this. I cannot work with children anymore. I've lost a lot of the love within myself. I've lost touch with the loving caring person that I am. I may still be that person deep down, but it's not in the forefront, I show it in different ways, not necessarily what I want it to be. My patience has also been worn thin. Needless to say, I am very good at my job regardless. Another quick positive result is that I continue to cook frequently, I would consider that a creative outlet in some way. It also provides a great deal of stress relief for me. Once I start prepping and cooking, I tend to forget the days events and dive into it. It also helps me eat healthy too.

My boss has also gotten better, and gradually little more to her usual self but still not quite the same....

Now this brings me to the point I really want to make. I took it upon myself to research a job I had previously considered, but didn't think it was worth it originally. United Blood Services had hired my cousin over a year ago, and I was under the assumption at the time that I needed certain requirements which was proven wrong. I also worried that the pay was not enough. After many texts, conversations, and research, I decided it was what I wanted. I applied in the middle of September. Originally when I was looking for jobs, I had planned to get one and then put in my notice, without any prior conversation with my current employer. However, I was merely researching and had not applied anywhere yet. But when I decided to put in my application with United Blood Services (UBS), I realized that I needed to use my boss as a reference therefore I must tell her first before she would get any phone calls about it. This created a lot of unnecessary stress. I talked to her and she was supportive. I knew that I wanted to leave before my boss would go on maternity leave because there was absolutely no way I was going to stay there while she was gone. So I had given myself a deadline. But in my mind, while I knew I needed to keep looking, I knew I wanted one job, and that was UBS. It fit all the boxes I have for myself. It provided great health insurance, dental, vision, 401k, Which was a big deal considering that a majority of the other jobs I looked into did not provide quite as much, if at all. I had considered originally doing Uber and still working with my cousins. But both jobs are independent contractor jobs that provide no benefits and withhold no taxes. It was not ideal but it was a backup plan if I could not get something better within my time frame. I had met with my step mom a few times to discuss my insurance options since she works in the industry and has a much better knowledge about it than anyone in my family. I was researching everything and anything. I'm very proud of myself actually. I even had a tarot reading with a friend just to have another way to think everything through. I knew that I was ready, but I was a little worried about the speed in which I was moving. I talked to my employers about the possibility of my upcoming resignation the day I applied to UBS. I had talked with my cousin and he told me training would begin in the beginning of October, so I was preparing myself and all my employers for the possibility of an immediate change (this was 3 weeks prior to October). Which that made me more scared than anything. A week and a half passed and I did not recieve any call backs until I finally did. Just when I was losing hope.

I had been summoned for jury duty in the middle of all this, I usually can get out of it because of my hearing. Granted, I would love to do it, but I really fear my hearing would prevent me from catching significant facts I needed to be a good juror. I had been summoned on call, I prepped everything, went to work expecting to leave for court. I was needed and I left in the middle of my shift and went to court. Turns out the case was a long term case and was expected to run into December or even January in the worst case scenario. There was no way I could give up that much time away from work so I was excused. While I was in court I had shut my phone off. After I left I turned my phone back on, I discovered that I got a call from UBS about my application and if I was still interested. This had made me do somersaults in my mind. I was so overcome with emotions that I cried on my way home. That day and the next I had played phone tag with the woman who inquired with me. I managed to talk to her once but she needed to talk to me for 10 to 15 minutes which I did not have at the time. I was urged to call when I was free. No success at reaching her directly after that. The weekend begun so I had to wait until Monday. I decided to call again before work on Monday and finally reached the woman where I had a brief phone interview just to make sure that I was okay with the job description. I was informed that I would being training in November which was a relief, thus I was able to put in enough time for my notice of resignation. She then passed my info to HR and I awaited a call to set up a face to face interview. I had an interview Tuesday and got offered the job the following day. All this time that I had been talking to my cousin about the job, he had emphasized many times that they hire pretty much anyone and that I should not worry. He was right.

Just this past Friday I put in my notice, my last day is November 3rd. That is the day before my 29th birthday, I usually always take my birthday off, so that is exactly what I'm doing. This makes my birthday celebration a bundle of celebrations! I will still be working with my cousins whenever I can, but not everyday or possibly not even every week. Training runs about 90 days or usually less as I've been told. After training my schedule will fluctuate dramatically. I could work starting at 4am or as late til midnight. Some shifts may even require me to go out of town either for the day or over night for multiple days. The pay is better than what I currently get at the school, but not as much as I currently get with both of my jobs. Thus working with my cousins when possible and doing Uber will supplement that. Eventually I predict not working with my cousins very much, except for holidays and summer. UBS is busy during the school year and slower in the summers, which allows me to work with my cousins during that time.

I'm getting ahead of myself, I should actually describe the position. I will be traveling to sites, typically schools, businesses, and churches, set up equipment, interview, and then draw blood from donors. For the hiring process, I had to undergo a background check and a drug test (my very first one!). During training I will take two tests, which if failed will lead to termination. Per my cousin, I should be fine and pass easily. The main site/office that I will clock in and clock out at is exactly 1.8 miles from my house. That is a huge plus. Training is paid, and income will increase after I pass training. If I ever decide to drive the trucks to the sites, I will also get a pay increase the days that I drive. Based on my interview, my own perspective, and the information given to me by my cousin, this job will be far less stressful than my current one. A key fact that I cannot wait to embrace. There are, of course, ups and downs with the job and working with people and donors, but all my experience leaves me plenty capable to handle it. While I am welcoming the flexibility of the schedule, I do know I will have to adjust to working different hours each day, especially if I have to get up earlier than I already do. Traveling out of town for the job sounds exciting to me, so I'm fine with that. I will be required to wear scrubs, non-porous work shoes, a watch, and keep my hair tied back. I'm excited about wearing scrubs everyday as I have already bought some. I dyed my hair a dark natural color the day I applied to the job because I knew they would probably have an issue with my bright red hair. I will have to keep my septum ring out, but it seems tattoos are not a problem. And blood! I deal with bodily fluids everyday, I am severely far from being grossed out by anything. Blood is definitely the least gross to me, I'm excited to be working with it. Not to mention how excited I am to be working in the medical field!!

Let's see, there is so much more information but that mostly sums it up. There are a lot of little things that aren't important to get into yet. I am as prepared as can be right now. However, I have not really let it set in that I will be leaving my current job. When I got the call that I got the job, my boss was the only other adult in the room with me, I was trying to be modest on the phone and not sound too excited. Work has been so crazy and I have been doing so much prepping, and other errands after work that this information really hasn't settled yet. My mom, my dad, my step mom, and my friends have been incredibly supportive and really all have been waiting for me to make this change. I had a few heart-to-heart conversations with some people during this process. I definitely owe a lot of this taking charge to make a change to my best friend. She had been respectful to me and my wishes not to discuss work stuff very much when we get together, but she also really encouraged me to do something else when I finally broke down. My step mom, too, has been great, she even told me that my father had been worried about me and that thought instantly brings tears to my eyes. He is very proud of me but also wants so much for me to be happy.

In the special education field, the lifespan (or time put in) of an employee is not very long. In autism, it's even shorter. Typically they say 3 to 5 years is the longest someone will work in that field, at least in a school environment. Here, I'm nearly at 5 years, I've almost maxed out. I may not feel like I am fully processing it all right now, but I am damn ready to say goodbye. I want to focus the love that I've lost on myself and on my newborn niece. I'm ready to be the best aunt I've always wanted to be.


I say that because I'm leaving behind these children I have been with for nearly 5 years, some 3 years, some only 1 year, some only a couple months, and I'm ready to focus on the new addition to my family. It so happens that the cousin I will be working with at UBS just had a daughter on September 10th. He has always been a brother and a best friend to me, so naturally I am the aunt to his child. I will have to post more about that, but I just had to say it now.