And so, The Countdown begins

I grew up on the Central Coast in CA.  It was beautiful, still is, as far as I know.  Whenever I visit it’s just as I remember.  Blue skies, light cool breeze.  There are trees, and parks.  The beach is minutes away.  Several of them, even.  You have to love that kind of place.  It’s excellent for growing up.  It’s simple because it’s small, and it feels safe.  Everyone knows everyone. And if you don’t, you have a mutual friend I guarantee it.  You see the same people working at the same places, doing the same hikes up Madonna Mountain or Bishops Peak.  You see the same people on the same community theatre stages.  You see the same people at the gym, and walking on the beach.  You see them at the BBQ’s, and the bonfires, and they help each other move with expectations like  a cold beer at the end of the day.  They support the junior high teams, and the high school teams, long after they’ve been out of school themselves.  And they do it because they love their community, their little town.  It’s comfortable.  There’s a great and special kind of bond that’s created in people that grow up or live in a town like the one I grew up in.

It’s nothing like New York.

I moved here May 2010.  Most, if not all, of the people I knew back then were under the impression I was moving out here to pursue theatre.  Acting.  Broadway.  And all of them were wrong.  Sure, I was enrolled in a school where I was going to finish out my Bachelors degree.  I attended that particular school for one year.  It wasn’t for me.  Whether it was the school itself, the location, the curiculum, the teachers, or the fellow classmates–it wasn’t a good fit or me.  So I didn’t return the following year. I had probably 3 semesters left to get my degree, so another…22,000$ of student loans and debt with no real passion or direction for that field any more.  I was okay with not returning.  It was not the main reason I moved here.

I moved here to find myself.  I moved here seeking independence and something new and bigger than myself.  I moved here seeking a certain kind of shadow that I could hide in, in plain sight.  New York is great for being around a ton of people, and being completely alone at the same time.  And I loved that.  Granted, when I first moved here I was not alone.  My transition to the east coast was particularly easy because I had a place to live before I moved here.  My friend Robin already lived here and had a room I could move in to.  I shipped all my boxes there (UPS hated me, it’s a 5th floor walk up).  I found a job quickly, getting rehired Sporting The Green Apron was not ideal, but I knew it would only be temporary, it was something I could do for money, and I was good at it.  I even ended up being a main trainer for my district.  Managers were sent to me to learn how to make drinks.  It was not terrible–though it was not ideal.

I met someone here.  I loved him.  Our relationship took horrible turns and became toxic.  We were together for maybe a year and a half.  And he moved away in the fall of 2012.  I didn’t date anyone serious after him.  I couldn’t.  Not because he hurt me so, but because I knew I needed to do more for ME.  I knew I needed to find ME still.

My housemates moved out one by one and new people came in.  My brother Ben (Smurf) even moved out here for a year.  He needed a new start as well.  He needed to find something in him as well, something I think only moving far away from family and small towns can give you.  When he was ready, he went back.  And although I don’t speak to him daily anymore, I know he’s a different person having lived out here for a year.

Soon, I was all that remained of the Original 4 people that lived here when I moved out here in 2010.  I took over the lease, first time I’d been on a lease in years.  It was uplifting to feel a sense of adulthood or a level of responsibility again.  It also marked the longest I’d lived in any one place since leaving my parents house.  I took on housemates my own way, putting them through almost an audition process, trying to find the right match for me, for us.  At this point I had also passed the NY state board exams to be a licensed esthetician here.  So I was working in my field of expertise, my name was on a lease, and  I was making enough money that I even got to go out and play sometimes.  Just when everything seemed to add up nicely, I added full-time school to my plate.  Massage therapy.  It was in my field, my industry.  Although I had sworn to myself years ago I would not go through school again, there I was signing up for a 2-year commitment to receive an Associates Degree in Occupational Studies for Massage Therapy.

I was exhausted.  I rarely had a day off.  If I didn’t have school or work, I still had homework.  And eventually I had school, work, homework, and clinic hours to fulfill.  I barely made it. But I did.  I graduated in April 2015.  I switched spas so I could do both skin care and massage.  I still had some play money.  I still would go out and sing at karaoke.  I’d still flirt with whomever I chose for that night.  I finally had days off.  And I’d spend my time awake on those days off doing absolutely nothing.  I’d get up, and make it from my bedroom to the livingroom.  I’d watch TV.  I’d eat food.  And maybe 12 hours later I’d go back to my room and go to sleep.  It was amazing.

I also started seeing a therapist out here.  That was life changing.  That was originally a requirement, as part of my psychiatric plan.  At some point I had hit a place of depression and anxiety and sought out help.  I took antidepressants for a while, then stopped successfully, staying mentally balanced. But I continued to see my therapist.  I grew a great deal as a person by seeing her.  Learned about myself, how I hear things and respond.  How I interpret successes and failures.  How I choose the people in my life.  How I choose to keep people OUT of my life… I would not have come this far in my search of myself without her.  And I’m not in perfect place.  I don’t know that I ever will be.  I’m sure I’ll want or need something else every time I get to “the next level.” I don’t seem to be the kind of person that can deal with complacency.  I get bored.  I can’t do the same exact thing five days a week for five years.  I need changes.  Sure they can be little, but I need them.  I want them.  I like learning new stuff.  I like my quiet, alone time.  I like that some days I don’t see one other human being the entire day.  I like that some days, I don’t speak at all.  There are different kinds of discoveries I find in myself and about myself when I am quiet; when I am not entertaining or in the spotlight, which is where a lot of the people that know me think I love to be.  I like it there, sometimes.  I don’t love it there, all the time.  It’s hard to be “on” all the time.  I’m somewhere between an introvert and extrovert.  I find comfort in both places.

I’ve built a life for myself out here.  I’ve reached a certain kind of independence I didn’t consider before.  Not necessarily that I’d reached something I never thought I’d reach, just a place I hadn’t thought of.  And as I sit back and reflect on how far I’ve come in so many ways I can nod agreeing “good job, Mersai” and I can equally begin crying.

It can be…so…hard…here.  I don’t know why I’ve convinced myself it MUST be difficult in order to EARN _______ (whatever).  I don’t know why I still look at other peoples successes and see my failures, when somewhere in my brain i KNOW that that is impractical and immeasurable because they are not equal fields.  I can only measure me against me.  Where I’ve messed up, where I’ve gotten it right.  Where I could use improvement.  Where I could teach someone else.  There’s…so many things about ME that I do right, and so many things about ME I still want to work on and figure out that I’m unsure as to why I still consider myself in a race or competition with anyone else, but myself.

The good part is, I’m willing to continue to try.

The good part is, I don’t think I need to keep making it so difficult for myself anymore.  I think I can finally look at myself, see myself sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, and say out loud “it’s okay.”

I think I can finally say “I have found what I wanted here.  I have learned what I wanted here.  I have earned…what I wanted here.” A very good friend of mine reminded me not too long ago that I’ve been here, in Manhattan New York, for Five Years.  That’s the longest I’ve been anywhere since leaving my parents house.  He reminded me of what I have accomplished.  He said….I made it.

My heart pounded and tears burst out of my eyes when he said that.

I made it.  I made it, here.  And with that, it was okay to say “then I think I’m done here.”

I miss it already.  New York.  The ease of public transportation instead of having a car.  Broadway, whenever I want because I can.  Being alone in a crowd.  Being my own person.  Back home  I’m Sam’s daughter, Candy’s daughter, Summer’s sister, or Ben and Rik’s sister.  Back home I’m so-and-so’s friend.  Back home I was “the princess” and you’d find me at karaoke on certain days.  Back home I might be auditioning for a theatre production somewhere.  But, I miss New York already.  I miss the steamed dumplings from the chinese place downstairs.  I miss the stores so close to me I can go and come back in five minutes.  I miss the seasons.  Horrid as the summer and winter are, I survived.  I walked through it.  Over and over.  I miss looking up at the sky and seeing blue and white peaking just pass the building that seemed to stretch up forever.  There is more that I miss already.  I met some good people out here I call friends, and I now have to consider not knowing when I will see them again.  Being in NY also means I am close to Jersey (follow me here, I know Jersey doesn’t sound great…).  Jersey is where two of my good friends live, and my nephews.  My heart already aches knowing I won’t see Sammy bear and Jamey bean as often as I want.  It’s the same ache for the family I have in CA.  One should never have to choose.  Neither members of my family (in CA or in Jersey) are more important than the other.  But I have to choose *me* right now.

What I don’t / won’t miss?  I won’t miss the smell of garbage and dog poop cooking in the heat of the summer.  I won’t miss the smell of a homeless person.  I won’t miss weather that reads 2 degrees, and with wind factor “feels like -19 degrees.” I won’t miss the stairs.  I won’t miss the opportunity to close down a bar at 4am because I actually stayed out that late (I haven’t done this in quite a while…).  I won’t miss the fact that there isn’t great mexican food out here (although I did finally get introduced to an excellent place just recently.  And If I was staying put, I’m sure I’d visit it more often).  I won’t miss being on the train and people saying “what time is it? Show time!” during my commute.  Then they’re blasting music I dont’ call music, and their dancing and flipping, and almost kicking people, then walking around collecting change or money for their performance.  A piece (a very small piece) of me says “that takes guts, and the flipping was impressive” but mostly I wanted them to shut up and sit down and not bother me.  I won’t miss the hustle.  I did it.  I absolutely got to a place where I was walking fast, I had somewhere to be and I needed to be there NOW, and I’d get annoyed with the people strolling and stopping mid stride to take a picture.  They didn’t know Rule Number 1 in NY (Get Out of the Way) I won’t miss Rule Number 2: You Have To Carry That. It was definitely rough toting around books for school, clothes for school, and kickboxing gear.  It was worse when I had to carry stuff, and walk with a cane because my back was hurting.

What I fear about returning to the Central Coast, CA?

* I am afraid people will think I am the same person that left five years ago and that they will treat me like that same person. I am not that person anymore.  I’ve grown a great deal.  Some things about me have changed.

* I am afraid *I* will treat people as though they have not grown in five years.  It would be unfair for me to think I am the only person that’s been moving forward.  I tend to trap myself in the “small town” ideas that everyone remains the exact same way, and I would be doing myself and others a great disservice by relying on that ideal as a truth.  I do not want to make this mistake, but I will not pretend I don’t fear it.

* I am afraid that returning means stepping backwards.  There is a difference, however,  between stumbling and falling backwards, and actively choosing a direction that appears behind you.

* I am afraid I won’t make money in my “field of expertise.” Out here I finally hit a place where I exclaimed “I am no longer just surviving my life, I am living it.” and money has a lot to do with that kind of ability, and capability.  I am not, and was not ever, making multiple thousands of dollars a week, or even every two weeks.  But my bills were paid, and I had play money, and that gave me a certain kind of freedom I fear will be taken from me upon my return.

What am I looking forward to?

* I miss my family.  I am looking forward to seeing them whenever I want, for as long as I want, and as often as I want.  It began being more difficult for me to be away when my sister had kids.  Her son has seen me in person maybe a handful of times now and it made my heart ache to see him so comfortable with my sisters friends, and not me.  I didn’t resent them (her friends), I  was (and am) so happy she has people in her life that care for her and her children.  But I felt left out and ultimately that is not something I could do for much longer.  Her daughter will be 1 soon, and I’ve seen her in person twice…My family means so much to me, I am often unable to express how much.

* Avocados that are larger than a chicken egg, and don’t cost $2 each  (yep.  right after family, is affordable and good avocados.  Good job CA. (wink) ).

* My friends on the Central Coast, and all up and down the state of CA ,have been in my life for years and years.  The history and memories we have I cherish, and instead of quick visits that echo in the shadows of past memories, we will get to make new ones.

* Better weather.  I mean, I know what cold is now.  I get it.  I’m okay without it now.  Looking outside and deciding if it’s sweater or hoodie attire-weather sounds great.

* Oddly enough, although I have claimed over and over and OVER that I am NOT a beach girl, or an outdoorsy girl (and I still stick by this to an extent), there is a peace I think i will find in nature once I return to it.  The city life has treated me just fine.  It did what it needed to do.  I’m willing to see the beach and the parks, and see what they have to offer.  Again, I am a different person now in 2015, than I was when I left in 2010.

* Life Changes.  These come out of no where sometimes.  Sometimes we are expecting the change, sometimes we are caught so far off guard we actually face plant.  I’m at a place where I am willing to see what the next change is, and I look forward to being in the comfort of my home town, and in the proximity of those I love most, when it happens.

And so, the countdown begins.  Central Coast, CA?  I’ll see you in September.

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It’s now July, friends

It’s already JULY?????

What happened to June?

Let’s see, oh yes I remember.  I had a fun first week of June.  Said bye to a friend I met here in NY that moved to CA.  He’s gonna pursue writing for Television.  How cool is that? Then spent two glorious weeks in my hometown of CA visiting my friends and family.  Driving to Salinas to see more friends.  Officiating a wedding ceremony for my friends.  Celebrating my mom’s 60th birthday with a Beatles themed wine-tasting party. Seeing friends at karaoke I haven’t seen in almost a decade.  Slumber party with a few close, good friends.  Wine tasting with my mom and brother and friend Robin.  Having dinner at my Dadda’s house and playing with my niece and nephew.  I ate mexican food! Got a new tattoo, which all of my other siblings ALSO got.  THAT was really super cool and I love them sooooo much!!!  The only thing I missed out on that I wanted to do was go to the Drive-In.  Too much fun wine tasting….oh well.  Next time.

Then I got home, had a few days to recuperate from vacation.  Played tour guide for the sister of a close friend visiting.  (Mr. Gutter’s sister).  Then I got strep throat. BOOOOOO.  Vacation plus tour guide plus getting sick pretty much meant I didn’t work for almost a month.  Sounds stellar, my bank account REEEEAAAALLLYYYY disagrees with that.  heh

So I’m back at work this week.  I might pick up thursdays, turning my 3-days off to a typical 2-day.  But hey…At least I can be someone that gets days off, amirite?

I’m slowly getting back to my usual schedule.  I want to get back to kickboxing.  I want to do some meditation and yoga.  I’m a better person if I meditate.  If I take quiet time to breathe and let my mind wander and clear, I’m a better person.  I’m a better person if I blog and get out random thoughts that stir across my mind.

This blog post is not necessarily helping to do that, my mind is currently racing with new information, new questions, and no answers.  But I imagine, and….I hope…that the answers will come to me.  That they will either magically appear, or that God will answer them (yes God, I believe in a higher power. I could say the gods, or the Universe but this round I said God.  Get over it) in a way that I actually like and agree with…heh.

I hope the answers are not only good but strong.  I hope they are not expensive. If they are expensive answers, I hope that the money presents itself without much sacrifice.  I don’t know that I have much left to sacrifice in order to get the answers,

And so I’m here.  A successful July 4th weekend with a few friends.  About 15-20 people were invited.  Maybe 8-10 RSVP’d, and 4 arrived. It was nice to see the people that came over.  It speaks highly of the people that say they will come see me, play, visit–and follow through.  And I appreciate that.  I miss that in good friendships.  The followthrough.  It’s difficult, in NY.  I have flaked before, others have flaked on me.  Because time and money or travel is difficult.  I would like to think for the most part, that I am someone who follows through with something.  That I am a person of my word.  That I am a friend that followsthrough.  Friendships take work.  And it’s the ones we work for that stick.  We have to work for our relationships with our friends and family in order to keep them close.  In order to be vulnerable.  In order for trust and respect to exist in those relationships.  They are the ones that help you decide what is important and what is enough.  They help you discover what the true need is.  They tell you what you are made of, what you have given, what you have left.  They remind you how far you’ve come and encourage you to stay true to the path you choose.  They support you and encourage you.  They are a text away.  A phone call away.  The real friends and family will pick up the phone, they make time to video chat and return your text messages.  Real friends stay current in your life, because in my opinion….Old friends know who you were, Good friends know who you are.  And they help remind you when you forget or when you falter or stumble.

To my good friends and my close family: thank you.  For more than I can bullet point or verbally articulate.

Behind Paper Trees

Every once in a while someone says something that makes me re-ask a question I was assigned to answer several times during my time in acting school.

Who Am I?

During school we were required to play a piece of music that described where we were.  It didn’t have to be lyrically where we were, but part of where we were in our lives at that moment.  Sometimes people would pick songs from the seventies, sometimes it was on the current top ten of the billboard charts.  Something that spoke to the kind of person we currently were.  Like if you listen to a certain song on repeat, why? what about it is speaking to you RIGHT NOW? I do not remember every song I chose for these assignments.  I remember two of them, though.  “That I would Be Good,” by Alanis.  The other “Tracing,” by John Mayer.  During these exercises we played the song for everyone in class to hear, then read what we wrote in answering the question “Who am I?” then we played the song again.  Tonight, I was speaking to my mother.  Catching her up on the little pieces of my life, the day in and day out.  Then I told her a specific story and she said something so simple, and important I just kept repeating it over and over “You aren’t needy…be who you actually are.” And I sat back and just, repeated that a few times then glanced at my computer and said “who am i?”  Tonights answer shall be presented no different than the exercise that brought me to the question.

First, we listen
Due North, by Face The King

Then we read:

I’m able to rest more, lately.  I do not remember a time in my life…ever… that I didn’t have some kind of fear hovering over me.  They were only ever first-world-problems, for sure and I don’t want to get caught up in any religious dogma or political back-and-forth about my fears or issues, I only want to say that I have them.  Had them.  Have them.  But lately, I’m able to rest, more.

I was always on the go.  Always packing my schedule full of things that had to get done, and living in NY–I live in New York…–makes that schedule even longer because of travel time.  It’s something I have become accustomed to, and even appreciate at times, but it does in fact make my days longer.  I was always on the go.  Work.  School.  The first year I was out here I was in school to complete my degree in acting (which I did not end up completing, and that’s ok).  I also was lucky enough to live with my best friends so I had a support network here, that was helpful.  I quit school for a few reasons.  Some are my health became a problem.  My physical health, my emotional health, and my mental health.  And I struggled with a job I hated and days when I was scared to leave my apartment.  Literally, scared.

But lately, I’m able to rest more.  When I got my esthetician license (finally) in NY I immediately found a position working as one so I could leave the job I hated.  And for a while I worked two jobs.  The one I liked, and the one I hated.  Then it was just the one I liked, but if I didn’t have clients–I didn’t get paid and that raises a different kind of fear.  Eventually I found a good place to work, I made decent money and was content.  Then, I added school back on to my schedule.  I didn’t just enjoy having the one job that I liked, I had to add something on to my schedule to raise the stakes.  I don’t know why, but it felt like if i wasn’t always doing something, then I was wasting time.  And two more years of my life have gone by.  I had class, clinic, homework, and work, and rarely had days off.  I lived on coffee and 4-6 hours of sleep.  Some may say that’s plenty, this post is not about them though, it’s about me and who I am now, and where I am now.  So lets get to that.

Now.

I’m able to rest more.  I am able to be social.  I can go to concerts, and parties, and out with friends.  I can have friends over and just watch TV.  I can sit at home all day if I want on my day off, and do nothing but eat, watch TV, read a book and take naps.  It’s…unfamiliar territory.  And I again, and often, feel as though I’m wasting time.  But you know what? The other day I realized last year I had all these great realizations and this year was/is going to be the year I made certain things a reality and even though I’m not scratching things off that list–I’m able to rest more.  I’m unsure why it is so important that I use this time of rest wisely, but I believe I am.

Oddly, though, it’s almost like I’m hiding. Like I’m sitting still and watching.  I’m sitting still and listening.  I’m sitting still and feeling the breath come in and go out.  Maybe that’s not hiding from someone or something, but hiding in stillness.  Stillness I do not know if I have actually earned.

I am currently without major fear or anxiety.  I go to work when i should.  I take food with me so I’m not spending money on breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner, every day out.  I get home at a decent time, because I’m done with work at a decent time, and then I go to bed at a decent time.

I’m decent, that’s important.

I am still a daughter, sister, cousin, auntie, and friend.  I am still single, and this year I hit that last year that states I’m in my “mid-thirties” next year I will have to admit to being in my “late thirties” or straight up start lying (or you know, continue to lie…hey as long as I can get away with people thinking I’m younger, I don’t see why not). I have my name on a lease in an apartment in Manhattan, NY.  That seems pretty important to be able to say.

I have not been exercising.  Kickboxing was my thing for a while, and I miss it–I do, but something about finally being able to rest for a while is what won and I won’t apologize for that.  And I believe when i am ready, I won’t make an excuse to not go, I won’t talk myself out of it, I believe when I’m ready I’ll just…go.

Thing is, without any high stakes, or any kind of fear hovering over me I’m almost at a loss.  Do I just become one of those people that gets up and goes to work, and comes home and hangs out with people she likes–is THAT the life? Is THAT living the dream? Is THAT…enough?

This year I unblocked people from my social media and allowed more people in, or back in, to my life.  (Granted, that block list is still long, there’s bad people out there with ugly hearts and I won’t stand for it. Ever again) But in opening up, and becoming a bit vulnerable I allow myself to be seen.  I allowed classmates to become “friends” with me on fb.  Some people may find it odd that I would keep people separate, but it just worked better for me.  My social pages were for family and people I was social with, not co-workers or classmates.  And this year, I changed that…just to see.  Made me nervous, but it seems to still be working out okay.  And someone I had blocked is gently moving back into my line of sight.

Fear can be a dreadful, horrid thing.  It was out of fear, originally, that I separated people anyway.  It’s out of fear that I block them.  Not just fear of what they will find of me, but of what I will find of them and I sometimes like the idea of ignorance.  If I don’t know, then I won’t have to deal with it.  Whatever “it” was.  If I put up that shield, I’m not only protecting me, I’m protecting them–mostly me, though.  And in lowering the shield, and being vulnerable I do set myself up to become afraid again.  So as I do that, I try to remind myself to breathe, stay present–and rest.  I remind myself, I give myself permission, to rest.

Soon I’m going to up the ante on my vulnerability shake-down and do something I find outlandish: I’m going to go to an open mic night, and sing & play a song that *I* wrote.  I may go in to cardiac arrest shortly there after, so I may invite some local EMT’s.

But ultimately, right now, I think I’m somebody who is taking her time to see what happens next.  I stopped planning super far ahead.  Part of that is because I no longer need to plan that far ahead, another part is I don’t want to.  Because i don’t want to create expectations and then be let down, that’s never fun–and I’ve already done that.

So, somehow I find that right now I am…preparing.  Preparing to turn all those realizations n 2014  into realities.  Quietly, while at rest it’s like I’m creating the space and time and energy desired to climb up that wall.  I’m drawing it in to me.

I do not yet wonder what I will see once I get up there, but what’s different here is I do not feel as though I am simply moving forward.  But that I’m heading forward, like that’s the direction I’m pointing towards I’m just taking a break.  I’m standing there looking.  I’m observing.

Then, i realize that I’m actually already on the wall.  I’m watching.  I’m noticing who is on the wall with me, who is at the ground watching to make sure I get there; to root me on or catch me if I fall and have to start again, and I’m noticing who is at the top reaching down and intentionally holding their hand out to me to help me, only if I need it.

I’m feeling it out.  I’m getting grounded, I’m taking the time to feel it from within, before continuing up.  I’m testing the energy and preparing for any bad juju.  I’m observing.  I’m learning.  I’m hoping.  I’m accepting.  I’m wondering. My senses are awake though I am at rest, and  am preparing.  I’m climbing.  My eyes are open, my ears are listening, my mouth is slightly parted, and my palms are opened.  I am present and I am still. I’m focusing.

I am not sitting, stagnant.   I’m getting ready to launch

It will happen soon.  Be careful.  Don’t be afraid.

Now, we listen again: Due North

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Already May

So…it’s May, now.

In March:

Sloan moved out, rather quickly.  But hey, people need to do what they need to do sometimes to get back to themselves–right? I switched jobs.  Originally I was going to look for a place to do massage a couple days a week, and stay with the boutique spa I was at for three days a week.  Personalities sometimes class, and opportunities arise for different reasons.  SO, I moved on to a place where I do skin care, waxing, massage and body wellness.  The owner I work for is wonderful.  She has built her brand over the past forty years and is encouraging, kind and supportive.  That’s nice to have in a boss–am I right? When I told her I didn’t want to work 40hours because I needed time to breathe after two-years of being in class, clinic, and work full time 6-7 days a week she nodded and said she absolutely agreed.  She encouraged me to meditate and take time to read.  To sit and be quiet and recharge.  I loved that.  She has put a great deal of trust in me in a short amount of time and is a hands on trainer for her techniques.  For this industry, she is the best boss I have ever had.  I will learn a great deal from her and perhaps when I open my own Wellness Center I will feature her product line. =)

In April:

I started to look for a new housemate to replace Sloan. I had fallen behind in Clinic II for school.  For clinic, I have to complete a certain number of treatments.  I fell behind in Clinic I because I hurt my back.  So at the start of Clinic II I was already 15 treatments behind schedule.  Then there were snow days and sick days and I couldn’t catch up.  So in April I took on two externships to clock more Clinic hours.  This meant doing approximately 12-15 sessions in a week.  It. Was. Exhausting.  BUT–I did it.  I successfully completed all my Clinic Hours, wrote a Pathology Paper, and passed all the finals of all the difficult classes.  I totally cried after them.  Path2 and TMR were SO DIFFICULT. But I passed.

I also had my birthday in April.  Last year I had the big (several..)party (ies) all Wonder Woman Themed.  This year I didn’t feel like having a big celebration.  However, Mr. Gutter took his boys (my 7 and 4 year old nephews) and his new Lady Friend (with her niece) to Medieval Times, and he bought me a ticket and took me for my birthday!! He had the King pronounce me as a PRINCESS of the Realm (I have pictures and video footage as proof!), he bought me a fun drink with a souvenir goblet, and had the Chancellor announce my birthday during dinner as well. DSCN4001 SO MUCH FUN. –Also I created a really important hashtag (pound sign): #YesAiyM , careful I’ll be trending

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So birthday, and finals, and then everything in life came to a crashing HALT.  Time started to feel longer, like I could accomplish more.

Work, is a little slow right now. And that’s okay.  I know my clientele will rebuild, I know that I will learn alot, and I know I will be successful there. For now I am appreciating the quiet downtime.  And I have three days off each week.  It’s almost unheard of.  And I’m really just…sitting here.  It’s so nice to not have anywhere particular to be.  It’s nice to not have to take 2-3 bags with me for the day with all my books and clothes for work and school.  It’s nice to have coffee in the morning in my recliner and watch TV, or read a magazine, or a book, or just sit back in the quiet.

All of what is happening now, is nice.  I may not be making any money, but I currently have my sanity, my health (physical, emotional, and mental) and I found a housemate for the summer.  I have food in my fridge and I have clean drinkable water.  I have friends in my life, both here in NY, and in CA. Family that loves me and supports me even though I’m so far away.  My back is doing alright, I see a chiropractor (Adam at Lamb Chiropractic) and I use my inversion table.

I may not be on the highest upswing, but I’m not on a downswing, and I’m still here at the playground.

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your walkabouts

Dear ____________,

You crossed my mind today.  It’s not unusual for you to cross my mind.  The frequency in which you cross it, however, is distracting and a little hurtful.

I remember you.  I promise.  I remember what it felt like in my stomach to sit next to you.  What it felt like the first time you looked into my eyes.  I promise, I remember.  You don’t need to continuously walk back and forth across my mind.  You don’t even smile at me when you do.  You just let your eyes stab me.  You walk by at different speeds, Sometimes you’re wearing what you wore the first time I saw you/met you.  sometimes you don’t have your shirt on.  And I remember you.  I remember how your skin felt under my hands and how you kissed me.  ok? I promise.  I remember.  You don’t need to stay present.  You’re not even available to me.  You get up and go about your daily life and randomly contact me.  Yet my stomach still flips, and my heart still skips when I see your name appear.  Randomly.  Every. Single.  Time.

So.  If you can get my attention just fine in “real life,” there’s no need to go on walk-abouts in my mind, okay?  Are you able to follow my logic here?

I remember you.  I remember what it felt like to be enveloped in your arms with your chest pressed against mine. Yes with your shirt on, yes with your shirt off.  I remember just fine.  I remember what it felt like for you to hold my hand and brush your hand across my face.

I remember what it was like to rest my head on your chest with my arm draped over you and what it felt like when I looked up to you and you stretched down to kiss me before I laid back on your chest.  I ran my fingers over and over and over your chest.

I promise I remember you.

Either be more present in “real life,” or get out of my life.  Occupying my mind is not an option.

Thank you,

Aiyani

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