Monthly Archives: January 2015

Whoops/More memory triggers

Already slacking in one resolution. Kind of. I haven’t neglected to write anything last week, but what I wrote I’ve been unable to edit into something I want to post, so I think I’ll abandon it for a little while to let it stew.

Instead, I’ll share a little something else, something slightly more superfluous. I was going to post this earlier this week, but it got really busy at work and I haven’t been able to edit it until now.

I’m a sucker for candles. Really, any good-smelling kind of things, like incense and wax, but candles were my first love as far as good-scented things go. There’s nothing quite like lighting one up and letting it burn, taking in the scent as the flame dances on the wick. So, whenever I walk by a candle aisle, I sneak a peek to see if anything catches my eye. Sometime last week, or perhaps the week before, as the fiance and I were in Target, we walked by an aisle that had a candle set up at the end of it. One in particular – Glade’s “Frosted Cookie Party” – caught my eye, and I grabbed it for a quick sniff. The scent was wonderful, but had a slightly different effect on me than I thought it would. Instead of reminding me of cookies, it reminded me of a certain toy I had when I was younger.

As far as toys went as a child, my tastes were pretty diverse. I’d play rough and tumble with my boy neighbors and their toy guns and wooden horses. I wasn’t afraid of getting too dirty, as I loved playing in the dirt and sand and making mud pies. I had quite the collection of hot wheels. I also had tons of girly dolls and Barbies. One in particular was a collection called Cupcake dolls. They had wide skirts with a rubber base that you could flip up and, along with their hat, make them look like a cupcake. They had no legs, as the rubber was sturdy enough to support their weight when they were in doll form. They had all kinds of accessories that transformed from sweet treats into practical accessories, like a banana split that turned into a vanity.

One of the really cool things about them, though, was the way they smelled. It was a light, sugary, vanilla kind of smell. It smelled exactly like that candle. One whiff and I was transported back to that bedroom in Georgia, transforming treat-looking toys into a vanity and a shower set up and a bed and a kitchen. Days of complex play, setting up chair-and-blanket forts and lining up porcelain dolls and searching for that perfect outfit combination for my Barbies and setting up a city to run my hot wheels through. My room was a magical space. And when I got a play area set up in the basement, I still remember clearly how it was like. It was the lone carpeted area in the section of the otherwise concrete-floored storage area of the basement. It smelled a little musty, but it didn’t bother me. I had a dresser or vanity of some sort that marked the border of the carpet along one end. It had a record player set up there, though I didn’t really use it. I think it was probably just set there at some point. I had a doll house there, probably some Barbie variety. My Polly Pockets, though, I kept in my room, as they were small and I worried about losing them in the vastness of the basement room (this was, of course, back in the day when Polly Pockets could actually fit in your pockets).

When we moved to International Falls, I had to cut down on a lot of my toys. I didn’t have a lot of the expensive variety, but I accumulated a lot (I was the last child my parents had, later in their life, so I had plenty of doting relatives and family friends to fling trinkets my way) and especially with the space I had to work with, it was accepting of a lot. Going from my large room with an alcove plus a basement play room to one small room meant cutting down on a lot. I ended up leaving a bunch of my toys for the children of the family that moved into our house to rent it from us, so the ones left behind were enjoyed.

Over the years, I’ve lost the vast majority of the things from the childhood between moves. Most of the things I don’t really care about, though I have lost a few things I truly regret leaving behind. I become quite attached to certain things. I’m working on letting go, because it causes me anxiety that I really cannot do anything about. Some things still nag at me, but I’m getting better at it. I’ll at least always have the memories, something will always come up that will transport me back to that little slice of magic that was my room.

Advertisements

Camp

Ah, camp. That lovely invention of summer that gives kids something to do during the break and parents a week or so of sanity, rest, and relaxation. I never went to camp as a small child, as I was very clingy and dependent on my parents growing up, besides being immensely shy and awkward. But by the time I was a teen, I decided to give it a try once I found a particular camp.

Northland Camp & Conference Center in Dunbar, Wisconsin, was my summer go-to from ages 13-17. It was a religious camp and my only experience with camp. The schedule was somewhat grueling and included required activities that I didn’t particularly enjoy, but I still liked it enough to request to keep going. I’m not sure if it was the idea of going to camp that I liked so much, or that I just convinced myself that I liked it, as looking back on it, the experience was pretty overrated. Fun, but overrated.

Wakeup was always early, because any getting-ready things that needed to be done had to be done by the time all the cabins were to line up for the daily flag raising. Then we had breakfast, followed by cabin devotions. The exact schedule varied day-to-day after that. Sometimes we’d have a cabin activity, or a camp bible session. We always had a morning chapel, at least. After lunch there were sometimes other bible sessions, team game activities (which I loathed, as I hated that kind of thing, but I couldn’t opt out), and then maybe a few hours of free time before dinner and evening chapel. One night a week we’d have an after-dark activity. There was also usually a water day that went along with the team games, but I remember one year it was so cold they almost had to cancel it. There was also a loooooong list of bible verses to memorize. That part wasn’t necessarily required, but it garnered your team lots of points, so it was always pressured.

Even though free time was pretty limited, they had many options with how to spend the time. They had a bookstore and coffee shop on site. There was an archery range. A shooting range. A climbing wall. Many, many trails for walking. A craft shop. A mini-golf course. And, of course, they had a large pond where one could use one part for boating and the other for swimming. I never got a chance to participate in the swimming, because you had to have a buddy with you, and since I never came with anyone (a lot of kids came as part of a church group) and I didn’t make friends too easily, I never had someone to go with. There’s probably other little things that I’ve forgotten about, too, but those are the major ones that stand out in my memory.

When I was 15 going on 16, my mother and I went to a special ladies retreat in Door County, Wisconsin. Door County is a lovely area, and we relished the time we spent on our little mini-vacation. I don’t remember who hosted the event or who was running it, but it featured at least a couple of people associated with Northland’s ministries, because I remember it came up in talking with a couple of women. I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but they suggested that I attend the Leadership Camp that Northland offered.

I was immediately hesitant about it, but we said we would think and pray about it. Ultimately, despite my initial hesitation, I ended up attending. Leadership Camp is two weeks instead of one, weekend stay included. The first week is pretty similar to the regular Teen Camp; we participated in all of their activities and are assigned a team, just like them, however we had our own special little sessions and individual counseling with various staff members. The second week was spent being a junior counselor in either the Kid or Teen Camps, along with a regular counselor. We also still had our special sessions and individual counseling sessions. The weekend was fairly open, compared to the week. We usually had a big group trip/activity on Saturday. Sunday we would go to a local church and sing.

The first year I went, when I was 16, I was in a deep denial of myself, my life, and my beliefs. While I had some doubts, I convinced myself of my faith and was in the midst of throwing myself into it with all of my energy. So my first year of Leadership Camp was pretty awesome. I bonded better with the other campers that joined me, probably because they were here purposefully and not just as something to do over the summer. We all had ministry aspirations. We rejoiced in our kindred hearts and drew close together, sharing our burdens and our hearts with each other and praying with one another.

The second year, however, did not go as smoothly. My denial had broken through into major issues for me. I had adopted a more goth-like look in terms of clothes and makeup. I was extremely depressed and stressed in general. I was having trouble dealing with certain traumas in my life that I felt I couldn’t get help for. Despite that, I still went, because I remembered the wonderful time I’d had and I yearned to be around people that were as kind and friendly and wonderful as I’d met the previous year.

While my fellow campers were still very nice to me, the counselors and staff were more stand-offish. I’m sure they likely remembered me from all the years I’d been attending, and my sudden change in appearance was fairly shocking. I still attended all of the sessions, still took copious amounts of studious notes, asked questions, memorized scripture, participated in everything, even if I didn’t want to. But they seemed to treat me differently, based on my looks and regardless of participation.

This became apparent during my first individual counseling session. I met with a lady in the ministry at Northland – a pastor’s wife, no less – and at first it seemed to be fairly the same as the last year. She was a different lady than the year before, but I knew her still, if only from a distance. However, not far into the session, she made a comment about my appearance being “goth”. I replied that I liked black and felt comfortable, which was true. I wasn’t wearing anything extreme, just a black shirt and black pants with thick black eyeliner. Compared to some goth kids I’d seen in the mall, I was pretty tame. But she apparently felt the need to comment on it and make a negative insinuation of it.

I brushed it off, thinking that she was probably just surprised at what would appear to her to be a sudden change. As we talked more and she dug deeper, I did confess issues with depression, especially following sexual abuse I’d suffered at the hands of a previous boyfriend. I don’t remember everything about the session, but what I distinctly remember is that she asked for as many details as I would give her (I didn’t give her much, as I didn’t feel comfortable doing so) and she simply advised me to be careful upon going home, that I wouldn’t be tempted into immorality with another man.

I remember being utterly shocked at her reaction. She didn’t necessarily invalidate the abuse itself, but she completely invalidated my feelings about it and my reactions to it (I had a lot of trouble even looking a man in the eye at the time, there was no way I wanted anyone to even touch me). I felt like she didn’t take it seriously, because she didn’t. She threw some bible verses at me, I’m sure, but I was in a haze of shock at the lack of support and empathy.

Despite the staff reaction, like I said, the other campers treated me the same. The group I was with my last year seemed to be a little looser, though still just as fervent. There was even a few regular Teen Campers who noticed my dress, asked if I was a “Christian Goth”, and immediately bonded with me over it. It must not be so bad, I reasoned as I walked to evening chapel with them.

However, that little hope came late in the second week. Before the second week even started, I was pulled aside and told – by the husband of the same lady I met with for counseling – that because of my “personal struggles”, I was deemed unfit to counsel the age group that I would be normally assigned to. Instead, I would be assigned to a younger group and paired up with the counselor I’d been with so far, I’m guessing in an effort for stability through the transition into the second week.

It was a devastating blow to me, especially because despite my struggles, I still had a heart for ministry and was still aching for chances to prove myself. My chin quivered and tears welled up in my eyes as he told me, but I refused to let them fall. I would not give in. I would not give him the satisfaction of confirming that I was indeed “broken” and that their decision was correct.

Later that night, in my bunk, I allowed myself some quiet tears, my face buried in my pillow to quell any sounds that might escape. Again, I refused to show any weakness, to anyone. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone. I had to go it alone, because I was alone. Utterly and completely alone.

That year was the last year for me, as I’d reached the maximum age that they accepted. As I left, I clung desperately to the good memories. Laughing with newly made friends. The smell of the morning mist as it rolled in while we lined up for flag-raising. Sitting in the open courtyard in between rows of cabins, listening to a fellow Leadership Camper strum a guitar and complain about the confiscation of his Grateful Dead CD’s. The instant camaraderie felt by others who weren’t the “norm” as far as appearances went in the conservative Christian community.

However, the good just doesn’t cancel out the bad, as much as I wish it did. While I mostly enjoyed the time I spent there, the blatant condemnation and utter lack of any sympathy still linger. Like a cloud that suddenly appears on a sunny day, the rejection will always be there.

I suppose it’s all for the best, looking back, as it helped loosen some of my ties to the Christian community that was previously very tight. Because of the events that followed, I know I would have ended up leaving anyway, but this subtle bond breaking made it just slightly easier, and I guess that’s all I could have asked for.

So, if anyone who knows me from that camp reads this, if you were one of those who accepted me regardless, thank you. Your love and acceptance were and are greatly appreciated. If you were one of those who judged me instead of offering support, I also say thank you. If not for you, my journey to discover my true self and eventually into transitioning into Paganism would have been rougher, tougher, and more ridden with guilt and anxiety than it already was. Thank you for showing me your true colours, for without that, it would have been harder to show mine.

~Shine on~

Jobs

So, taking a break from my home remembrances (which is nearly finished), I thought I would take a moment to reminisce about various jobs I’ve worked at.

I got my first job at 17. It was a pretty basic cashiering job at a local store in Wausau called Fleet Farm, just off of Highway 51 on Badger Ave. I had been desperately trying to get a part time job and they were the first to bite. I think I may have made around $8/hour, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I have back problems and of course we had to stand for hours at a time. We couldn’t even lean on anything because it was seen as “unprofessional” (I had been leaning at one point and I got a call at my register because they had been watching the video feed and saw that I was leaning). Those black mats did very little, if anything, to alleviate any discomfort.

In this, I shared a first job type of experience with my bestest best friend in the whole wide world, my soul-twin, Sara. She also got her first job working as a cashier, although she worked at Pick N Save on Schofield Ave. We loved to trade cashiering stories with each other. We were the Retail Hell Underground before RHU ever launched.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to stay at Fleet Farm for long. I nabbed a job at a department store called Younkers that was one of the “cornerstone” stores in the mall. Younkers is a regional chain who, while I was working there, was a division of Saks, although in 2006 it was sold to The Bon-Ton. I started in September and worked there part-time through February of the next year. Working there during the whole holiday season is the reason I despise probably about 99% of Christmas music. They had their own little station they tuned in to, and it cycled through the same songs every single day. I swear, if I hear “Santa, baby” one more goddamn time, there will be blood.

After that, I faltered a bit in the job market. It took me months to nab another job, but I managed to get my favourite job that I’ve had so far at Hsu Ginseng.

I didn’t get a whole lot in terms of pay, but even years later, it’s still the best job I’ve ever had, hands down. I worked in the warehouse, filling orders. Race wise, Caucasians were in the minority; most who worked there were either Chinese (working as sales reps) or Hmong (working in the sorting and grading area). I think there were five Caucasians there when I was there, so it was kind of interesting, culture-wise, to see something different so close, in a nigh immersion type of experience.

When we had a company meal, there were American dishes, certainly, but there were quite a bit of ethnic food, and let me tell you, those Hmong women from the grading area sure knew how to put out a spread. That was the first time I’ve ever had purple potatoes and they were fantastic. I think they were just baked, but they were incredible. It’s kind of difficult to describe the taste … almost flowery, maybe? They mostly taste similar to regular potatoes, but there’s just a spot of different in flavour that’s hard to describe. If you like potatoes, especially anywhere near as much as I like them, you’ll like the purple variety.

The only reason I left that job is because my family moved to Pennsylvania in 2006. I initially got a job working in the warehouse part of the same company as my father, but I was fired over a little piddling bit of bullshit (meanwhile, the guy who kept sexually harassing me was kept on). I was initially very upset about it – it was the first time I’ve ever been fired – but in reflection, it was a good thing, because if they aren’t going to fire someone over witnessed sexual harassment, it’s not a company I would want to work for.

In a few months, I found another job, this time working as a CSR for Guardian Protection. It was definitely nowhere near the top of my list of good jobs. It wasn’t so much the job atmosphere, it was just the job itself. I am just not an over-the-phone customer service kind of person. It was extremely stressful and I was having difficulties with sleep during my time there. So of course when my then-boyfriend told me about a contract that was coming up with a company he was affiliated with that would be very lucrative and beneficial for him, I put in my notice and ended up quitting in July 2007.

Huge mistake. The deal fell through and we ended up with neither of us having jobs. I secured another job at Mitsubishi Electric in October, I believe, filling orders in their warehouse, but it didn’t last too long. For starters, I started off in one department doing one job. Then all of a sudden, they switched me to another department doing a much more mind-numbing job, but I was promised that it would only be temporary. It wasn’t, and I ended up extremely frustrated because I was obviously having quite a bit of financial troubles (Mitsubishi paid less than Guardian) and the “temporary” job was so boring, really it only afforded me time to fret over my troubles, which made my mental state worse. We ended up being evicted that December, and we had to move a bit of a ways away, so I quit.

Throughout 2008 was a real struggle for me. I tried desperately to find a job. I was in denial of my situation – living in an unheated camper trailer in the driveway of my boyfriend’s family – and I kept trying and trying to function. I applied for every job I could find and found some work through temp agencies. In January of that year, I started off as a receptionist for a company while their regular receptionist was on medical leave. There was a possibility she might not return, and I was told that if she didn’t, I would be offered the job. I worked my hardest and did my best, because I liked the job and the atmosphere and I got on well with the other employees. However, about a month or so later, the woman who hired me was giving a tour to another woman. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but she was then introduced to me as the person they’d hired to take over the position permanently. Just like that, I was out of a job, and in a rather painful way, too. True, I was technically only temporary, but I had been told I would get the job if the person did not return. They never expressed any kind of displeasure with my work, and it felt like I’d been stabbed in the back. I cried the whole way home that day.

I landed another temporary gig, but I quit that assignment after a couple of months because I never once did what I was told the job entailed (they were “getting computers set up” a process that apparently takes a couple of months after giving a job description to a temp agency), and I felt it was very deceptive. They also had a very particular dress code that was difficult for me to adapt to (being as I was less than dirt poor). I could wear jeans and t-shirts and the like, but there was absolutely no skin that could show when bending down. Of course, the job I ended up doing – keep in mind, the job that I was not hired for in any way, manner, shape, or form – required me to bend over a lot, and my shirts would ride up some and expose a little bit of skin. Not much skin, and no crack or anything like that, but just a little bit of back skin. Even a tiny glimpse was unacceptable, so after being reprimanded several times, I finally came in one day in the biggest shirt my then-boyfriend owned, looking slovenly and sloppy as shit, and I asked if that was fine. Unbelievably, they said yes. I quit that day.

My then-boyfriend’s step-mother worked with a park that ran a seasonal store, and I was initially hired on there to help out. Now, since I hadn’t grown up in Pennsylvania, much less the immediate area, I disclosed up front, in the interview, that I didn’t know a lot about the area and its features, but I was always open to learning about it and I had no problem doing so. I initially started as a full-time person, at manager-level, actually (yay!) and I ran the store. We didn’t get a whole lot of traffic, but it was fairly early in the boating and boat tour season, so I figured we would probably get more as time went on (it didn’t while I was there, probably because the group had next to no marketing skills and the store was tucked away in the park). We hosted a fundraiser during that time with a silent auction, and I actually spent a whole day running around and getting donations of gift certificates for them to use (I was compensated, obviously, for my time and gasoline). They ended up hiring two more people, as they’d planned to do, and I only actually met one of them (the other worked an opposite schedule to me). However, a couple of weeks after the third was hired on, I was told that they wanted to let me go. Why? Because I didn’t know the area well. Now, keep in mind, I had told them that up front, and I pointed that out to her, but she insisted they no longer wanted me in my full time position. I tearfully asked for a part-time position that I knew was open, because I really really needed a job, no matter how low the pay, and she agreed to start me on that schedule. However, it was only a couple of weeks later that they let me go for good. I was furiously angry, as the cited reason was something I myself had disclosed up front, so they could have avoided going to the trouble of hiring me and firing me by just not hiring me in the first place, but I didn’t have to exert any revenge. A big part of their little park program was owl rescue and education, and they had a beautiful owl that was basically their poster bird. Within a month after my final firing, the bird got loose during a demonstration and flew off, never to be seen again. Karma’s a heartless bitch sometimes.

I got another job soon after, though, a temp-to-hire position in the medical records department of a doctor’s office. They were still solely using paper charts at the time, so I spent my days fetching charts and putting them back and adding stuff to them. It wasn’t the most enjoyable job, but it was pretty easy, and I really liked the woman I worked closely with. She often remarked that I was the quickest trained employee she’d ever worked with, and she was very happy with me. It then came as a shock when I got a call from my temp agency as I was driving home one day, saying that the office no longer needed my services. I smelled the bullshit on that, because we had just been gearing up for a file audit and we really needed all the help we could get. It would have been impossible for the woman I worked with to do everything herself, and I’m sure the woman I worked with was furious (she wasn’t involved in any HR stuff, she was simply the only other file clerk, so she was supervisor and trainer by default rather than by any actual title). I asked him if they gave a reason, and he said no, just that they’d told him they no longer needed me. Again, shades of bullshit. I asked him to look into it for me and let me know, and I explained why. He never called me back, so I’m still at a loss as to what exactly happened.

The last job I had in 2008, and the last job I had for a long time was at a pizza shop that a couple of my friends worked at. It was the first food service job I’d had, but I liked it. The pay wasn’t fantastic, but I liked it there. I tell you what, I can make a mean pizza. 😉 It wasn’t meant to last, however. One night, I ended up working until close with only a manager, a guy who was extremely lazy.  I hated working alone with him, because as soon as he could, he’d go back in the office and just hang out in there the whole time. I hadn’t gotten to stretching the dough in my training yet, so if there was an order for a pizza in a size that wasn’t already stretched, I had to practically beg him to come out and stretch me some dough. That night, I got a call from a person who wanted to place a pre-order for lunch the next day. I had never done something like that before, and I wasn’t trained to do something like that, so naturally I put him on hold and went back to the office to ask the manager to take the call. He refused. He said to just take down what the guy wanted. I told him I wasn’t trained, and he said all I needed to do was just get what he wanted. The guy ended up asking questions that I couldn’t answer, but I did the best I could, as the manager was obviously in no interest of helping me. The next day, when I came in, I was brought to the office and fired. Apparently, the guy wasn’t satisfied with the answers to his questions and he called in that morning to cancel the whole order, so I was fired because of the lost business. I broke down in there and I explained the whole situation, but the manager guy was in really good with the owners, so of course since it was his word against mine, I was the one to leave. I was pissed off to no end by the blatant favouratism of a lazy-ass employee, but I had no recourse.

After that, I spiraled downward into a state of depression so severe, I ended up on eeking out on welfare for a while, because I had no other options at that point. I won’t go into detail about it here, because this is a long post anyway, but I’ll cover it at some point.

The next job I got, I started in October 2012. I was in my next to last term of school, and one of my schoolmates recommended me at her job. It was technically in my field, and they didn’t mind that I was still going to school, so they hired me on. I did radiology billing for four radiology groups in the Northeast Ohio area. I didn’t like dealing with some of the patients calling in about their bill, but the rest of the job was – dare I say – enjoyable. I even got to take over working claim rejections, and I was thrilled with my work. I really hated to leave that job, and I only did because I moved to Minnesota. I’d broken up with my then-boyfriend and decided to start over, as my brother offered me a place to stay. It ended up being a good thing anyway, because they were soon bought by another company and then that office was shut down and everyone lost their jobs. I still keep in touch with quite a few people from that job. We were like a wacky family. Our supervisor, Colleen, seemed to have a language of her own, but we all understood her and what she wanted. She rarely ever got anyone’s name right on the first or even second try of calling out to us, yet we always knew who she was talking to, even if it was the name of someone else working there. We had some good laughs, and I look back on it with fondness.

After I moved to Minnesota, I started desperately looking for a job, as I only had limited funds with which to pay needed bills. I found one a month after I got here and I started in early October 2013. It was another over-the-phone customer service position, this time at Minnesota Life Insurance. I was in the claims department, and I did claim-related things, like starting them, checking status, sending forms, and the like. It was a very high stress job, and even though I liked the people I worked with, again, I just couldn’t handle it. I had gotten the job through a temp agency for a six month assignment with the possibility of being hired on after that initial period, but I started job hunting and turned in my notice in February, just a little shy of the six month mark. I did get offered a permanent job there, as I did good work, but I couldn’t stay there. I was becoming an alcoholic and it simply wasn’t healthy for me. When I walked out on my last day, I put in my ear buds and blasted Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” as I left for the last time.

And, that brings me up to my current job. I started in February 2014 for Healthport, a copy service that contracts at various hospitals and doctor’s offices processing records requests. I now spend my days logging in requests, quality checking them, printing and sending electronic records, copying charts and microfiche, if needed, for historical records. It was a slight pay cut from Minnesota Life, but it was worth it for my mental health. Will I stay here forever? Who knows. I’ve learned that it’s pretty foolish to say anything for certain when it comes to the future, so for now, I’m just seeing where it’ll take me.

Happy New Year! It’s resolution time.

Hey y’all. 🙂 I haven’t forgotten about the blog, it’s just been quite the time lately. I had taken my self-imposed break, and then the holidays hit, and I’ve had quite the time recently. Because of a bank fuck-up, we had next to nothing to spend for the holidays, so I didn’t get to be all domestic as I’d wanted. Fuck it, it is what it is. I got to spend time with my fiance, that’s the most important thing to me. Same for New Year’s Eve. Because of the fuck-up, we had to sink most of our checks into rent for this month, so we just didn’t have the money to do anything “fun” with … though honestly, I quite enjoy staying home and hanging out. We watched Mr. Nanny in full MST3K mode and had a blast. Who says you need a large party to have fun?

So, as far as resolutions … man, I suck at them. I really do. I don’t think there are too many people that actually are good at keeping them. I think it’s because we make a broad, sweeping, large goal that sounds good and that we probably do want to do, but we ignore the fact that in order to accomplish the large goal, we must make little goals to achieve. There is one remnant left over from my Christian days, a quote that I still find to be true: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” While it poses the odd goal of eating a large creature (are elephants even tasty?) it speaks to the true nature of achieving large goals: there must be clear, concise, easily attainable little goals that build up and lead to the achievement of the large, overarching goal. You can’t change everything overnight, but at the same time, you must change something in order to get it started, or else (if you’re anything like me) you’ll procrastinate and put it off until Oh shit, it’s November, and I haven’t done anything.

So, what are my goals for this year? Weight loss, same as last year (did not get any weight loss done last year 😛 whoops). But instead of making a big goal and that’s that, I’m making little goals that I can easily achieve. Using one of my checks this month (depending on what I’ll need out of each of them) I will put in an order for DDPYoga. I’ve heard great things about it, and even got a recommendation from a personal friend, so I’m going to go for it. I need exercise, but with my asthma the way it is, straight-up cardio is just a no go. Plus, I really want to increase my range of motion and flexibility, and I think this is will be my best bet. I’m going to make a much more concerted effort to cut out pop (or soda, or coke, depending on your regional preference) from my intake, even diet pop. I’ve found great flavoured packets to add to bottled water, and I also have some recommendations from a few friends on substitutes. My little goal for this? I’m not going to buy it at the grocery store, and I will start limiting myself at work by one less per week until I get down to none. As far as more diet-specific things go, I’m still looking into nutrition and working out a plan that will be affordable for me, but I’ve decided to not push myself into an overload by focusing on minutiae that I can’t do anything about right now. Until the DDPYoga is received, I will focus on portions and eating more slowly. It’s actually easier for me to eat healthier food than it is to eat better portions.

This is actually a much more feasible way than what I did last year, and just joined a gym (that I ended up not going to very much) and grabbing some healthy food with no real plan on keeping it up or cutting out junk. I need to do this for my health, and I think that this will be the year it will get done.

Another little resolution I have is to put more content on my blog. And not just this blog, but another blog I’m running. I have one a blogspot connected to my Google+ (that I never really use), but I’m actually contemplating moving it over here, because I actually find it more interactive and I like the interface better than blogger. That will be a bit of an undertaking, but I think the move will be worth it. Once the transition is completed, I will make an effort for at least one post per week per blog. More is okay (and personally encouraged!), but the bare minimum will be one per week. The reason is because I’d like to start looking for a more writing-oriented job, but in looking through them, I’ve seen a lot require some sort of demonstration of writing, like a blog, which is perfectly acceptable and reasonable when hiring for a writing position. But I don’t want a bare bones blog to offer them, so I’d started my body mod blog back in August (I think) to start putting stuff out there. I faltered in September when internet at our house got spotty, and then I got busy with other things, but I’m going to put a renewed effort into it, because I want to show that not only can I write, but that I can write consistently over time.

So far, I’ve accomplished one small goal so far: writing this post! Yay! I love achieving goals. 🙂 See? It’s only the second day in January 2015, and I’m already on it. Small goals > large goals. I have a blog post mostly written, so next week I plan on finishing it and posting it. Also, if I find an essay that I wrote in college, I will post that as well. I had kind of wanted to post it after my friend’s death, as I had written it about my uncle’s death and I thought it would be appropriate, but I haven’t had the time to look for it lately. If I find it before I finish and edit the other post, I’ll write it up and post it instead. I’d seen it before the move, and I’m pretty sure I know where it is. All in all, though, things are going pretty well, as far as my resolutions go. I hope to keep them up throughout the year. To anybody who sticks with me through it, thank you. 🙂